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Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 41.1m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 115,200
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 216.7
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:21.8%
People dying from cancer /yr: 66,400
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Cancer Organisations & Resources
Latest Research Publications from Argentina

Cancer Organisations & Resources (8 links)

Latest Research Publications from Argentina

Tripodoro VA, Llanos V, De Lellis S, et al.
Prognostic factors in cancer patients with palliative needs identified by the NECPAL CCOMS-ICO© tool.
Medicina (B Aires). 2019; 79(2):95-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
The early identification of patients with palliative needs has shown benefits in terms of quality of life and treatment goals. No prospective methods have been applied in Argentina to identify palliative needs in cancer patients. The NECPAL tool combines the physician's own insight with objective indicators of disease progression and indicators of chronic advanced conditions. The aim of this study was to identify prognostic factors of mortality in hospitalized and ambulatory patients with cancer and palliative needs according to the NECPAL tool in a University Hospital in Buenos Aires city. Study variables were obtained by interviews with 10 physicians in charge of 317 patients with cancer over a 2-year follow-up period. A total of 183 patients with palliative needs were labelled as NECPAL+. Of these, 137 died after a median 4-month follow-up period. The death rate was 11% patients/month. The mortality was higher in inpatients during the first month (p < 0.003). In the multivariate model, the best predictors of mortality combining relevant indicators were: inpatients (HR 1.87; 95% CI 1.24-2.84; p = 0.003), initial diagnosis other than breast cancer (HR 2.04; 95% CI 1.23-3.40; p = 0.006), metastatic disease (HR 1.67; 95% CI 1.15-2.42; p = 0.007), functional deterioration (HR 1.95; 95% CI 1.28-2.97; p = 0.002), and malnutrition (HR 1.53; 95% CI 1.04-2.23; p = 0.02 9). The major breakthrough was the systematic prospective identification of palliative needs in cancer patients for the first time in Argentina. The NECPAL tool can improve the prediction of mortality in hospital settings.

Gago J, Paolino M, Arrossi S
Factors associated with low adherence to cervical cancer follow-up retest among HPV+/ cytology negative women: a study in programmatic context in a low-income population in Argentina.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):367 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cervical Cancer is still a major public health challenge in low and middle-income countries. HPV testing has been an innovative approach, which was introduced in Argentina for women aged 30+ through the Jujuy Demonstration Project (JDP) carried out between 2012 and 2014. After a positive HPV-test, cytology is used as triage method. Under this protocol, the group of women with HPV+ and normal cytology are recommended to repeat the test within 12-18 months. Studies have shown that this group has increased risk of CIN2+, however, assuring high levels of repeating test among these women is difficult to achieve. We analyze those factors associated with lower re-test attendance among HPV+/ cytology negative women at a programmatic level in low-middle income settings.
METHODS: We used data of women aged 30+ HPV-tested in the JDP and followed until 2018 (n = 49,565). We performed a set of different adjusted logistic regression models. Primary outcomes were re-test attendance and re-test attendance within recommended timeframe. We assessed as covariates age, health insurance status, year of HPV-testing, Pap testing in the past 3 years, HPV-testing modality (clinician-collected (CC) tests/self-collected (SC) tests), and span between HPV-test collection and report of results.
RESULTS: Forty nine thousand five hundred sixty five women were HPV-tested and 6742 had a positive HPV-test. Among HPV+ women, a total of 4522 were HPV+/Cytology negative (67.1%). In total, 3172 HPV+/Cytology negative women (70.1%) had a record of a second HPV test as of March 2018. Only 1196 women (26%) completed the second test within the timeframe. Women with no record of a previous Pap (OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.4-0.53, p < 0.001), aged 64+ (OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.31-0.68, p < 0.001) were less likely to be retested; while women with clinician-collected samples had higher odds of being re-tested (OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.06-1.91, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Low re-test rates were found in HPV +/ normal cytology women. Tailored interventions are needed to increase the effectiveness of the screening in this group, especially for those women with characteristics associated to lower attendance.

Eraso Y
Factors influencing oncologists' prescribing hormonal therapy in women with breast cancer: a qualitative study in Córdoba, Argentina.
Int J Equity Health. 2019; 18(1):35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hormonal therapy is an integral component for breast cancer treatment in women with oestrogen receptor positive tumours in early-stage and advanced cases of the disease. Little is known about what factors influence oncologists' prescribing practices, especially non-biological factors, although this information may have important implications for understanding inequalities in health care quality and outcomes. This paper presents findings from research on factors influencing oncologists' prescribing hormonal therapy for women with early and advanced cases of breast cancer in the city of Córdoba, Argentina.
METHODS: A qualitative study using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 16 oncologists was conducted. A stratified purposive sampling was used to recruit female and male participants and working at 3 health subsystems (private, social security, public). Data was analysed using the Framework approach.
RESULTS: According to the respondents, factors influencing prescribing practices of hormonal therapy are varied. Women's socio-economic status (poverty and wealth) and their level of health literacy can affect oncologists' prescribing practices. Overall, in comparison to male, female oncologists reported more awareness of patients' needs, more involvement in communicating drug side-effects, and in offering treatment options in private health settings. The 3 health subsystems provided a differential access to drugs and lines of hormonal treatment, which ranged from a limited availability in the public sector, to administrative restrictions imposed by the social security system, and to a lesser extent, the private sector. This happened in the backdrop of national legislation covering oncological treatments and drugs free of charge.
CONCLUSIONS: Addressing prescribing practices for hormonal therapy as a distinct type of breast cancer treatment (chronic care) is fundamental in the understanding of breast cancer care and can shed light on inequalities in treatments. Identifying the underlying care gaps in the prescription of hormonal therapy can help in the design of tailored interventions.

Piñero F, Rubinstein F, Marciano S, et al.
Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Does the Place Where Ultrasound Is Performed Impact Its Effectiveness?
Dig Dis Sci. 2019; 64(3):718-728 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Biannual ultrasound (US) is recommended as the clinical screening tool for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The effectiveness of surveillance according to the place where US is performed has not been previously reported.
AIMS: To compare the effectiveness of US performed in the center responsible for follow-up as opposed to US proceeding from centers other than that of follow-up.
METHODS: This is a multicenter cohort study from Argentina. The last US was categorized as done in the same center or done in a different center from the institution of the patient's follow-up. Surveillance failure was defined as HCC diagnosis not meeting Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stages 0-A or when no nodules were observed at HCC diagnosis.
RESULTS: From 533 patients with HCC, 62.4% were under routine surveillance with a surveillance failure of 38.8%. After adjusting for a propensity score matching, BCLC stage and lead-time survival bias, surveillance was associated with a significant survival benefit [HR of 0.51 (CI 0.38; 0.69)]. Among patients under routine surveillance (n = 345), last US was performed in the same center in 51.6% and in a different center in 48.4%. Similar rates of surveillance failure were observed between US done in the same or in a different center (32% vs. 26.3%; P = 0.25). Survival was not significantly different between both surveillance modalities [HR 0.79 (CI 0.53; 1.20)].
CONCLUSIONS: Routine surveillance for HCC in the daily practice improved survival either when performed in the same center or in a different center from that of patient's follow-up.

Pou SA, Diaz MP, Velazquez GA
Socio-Environmental Patterns Associated with Cancer Mortality: A Study Based on a Quality of Life Approach
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2018; 19(11):3045-3052 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: With 18.6% of total deaths due to malignant tumors in 2016, cancer is the second leading death cause in Argentina. While there is a broad consensus on common risk factors at the individual cancer level, those operating at a contextual level have been poorly studied in developing countries. The objective of our study was to identify socio-environmental patterns in Argentina (2010), emphasizing quality of life, and to explore their associations with the spatial distribution of cancer mortality in the country. Methods: The study was conducted in 525 geographical divisions nested into 24 provinces. Sex-specific crude and age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR) for cancer (2009-2011 period) were calculated. Empirically derived socio-environmental patterns were identified through principal-component factor analysis on a selected set of variables: an urban scale and 29 indicators of a quality of life index in Argentina for 2010. Two-level Poisson regression models were used to estimate associations between the ASMR and the continuous factor scores for socio-environmental patterns as covariates. A random intercept was included to account for spatial variability in the ASMR distribution using Stata software. Results: Four socio-environmental patterns were identified, termed “Contexts with urban-related resources or cultural capital”, “Socioeconomically prosperous contexts”, “Environments with anthropic exposures” and “Plains region” (cumulative explained variance=57%). High mortality rates were found in counties characterized by socioeconomically prosperous contexts (RR=1.025 in women; 1.088 in men) and plain landscapes (RR=1.057 and 1.117, respectively). Counties featuring urban or cultural resources demonstrated increased mortality in women (RR=1.015, 95%CI=1.005-1.025), whereas rising rates associated with environments having anthropic exposures (RR=1.008, 95%CI=1.001-1.016) were observed only for men. Conclusion: This study identified four characteristic socio-environmental patterns in Argentina which incorporate features of quality of life, accounting to some extent for the differential burden of cancer mortality in this country.

Abeldaño A, Enz P, Maskin M, et al.
Primary cutaneous lymphoma in Argentina: a report of a nationwide study of 416 patients.
Int J Dermatol. 2019; 58(4):449-455 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the relative frequency of primary cutaneous lymphoma (PCL) in Argentina according to the new World Health Organization (WHO)-European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) classification system.
METHODS: A total of 416 patients from 21 dermatology services were included during a 5-year period (2010-2015); these patients were classified using WHO-EORTC criteria.
RESULTS: There were 231 (55.2%) males and 185 (44.8%) females; the male-to-female ratio was 1.35. The median age of the patients was 57 years (range, 0-90 years). Most patients were Caucasian (79%), and only 16% of patients were registered as Amerindian. Most patients (387/416, 93%) had cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL); 28 patients (6.7%) were diagnosed with cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (CBCL). The most frequent CTCL subtypes, in decreasing order of prevalence, were mycosis fungoides (MF), including its variants (75.7%); CD30+ primary cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorders (7.2%); and Sézary syndrome (SS) (3.1%). Cutaneous follicle center lymphoma was the most common CBCL subtype (2.9%). In the subset of patients ≤20 years of age, the most common condition was MF (57%), followed by extranodal NK-T nasal-type lymphoma (14%).
CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed relatively higher rates of MF and lower rates of CBCL in Argentinean patients that have been reported in American and European countries.

Islam JY, Hoyt AM, Ramos S, et al.
Acceptability of two- versus three-dose human papillomavirus vaccination schedule among providers and mothers of adolescent girls: a mixed-methods study in five countries.
Cancer Causes Control. 2018; 29(11):1115-1130 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The World Health Organization revised its human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination recommendations to include a two (2-) dose schedule for girls aged ≤ 15 years. We investigated acceptability of 2- versus 3-dose schedule among adolescent vaccination providers and mothers of adolescent girls in five countries.
METHODS: Adolescent vaccination providers (N = 151) and mothers of adolescent girls aged 9-14 years (N = 118) were recruited from Argentina, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, and Spain. We assessed providers' preference for a 2- versus 3-dose HPV vaccination schedule via quantitative surveys. Mothers' attitudes towards a 2-dose schedule were assessed through focus group discussions.
RESULTS: Most adolescent providers preferred a 2- over a 3-dose HPV vaccination schedule (overall: 74%), with preference ranging from 45.2% (South Africa) to 90.0% (South Korea). Lower cost, fewer clinic visits, and higher series completion were commonly cited reasons for 2-dose preference among providers and mothers. Safety and efficacy concerns were commonly cited barriers to accepting a 2-dose HPV vaccination schedule among providers and mothers. Mothers generally accepted the reduced schedule, however requested further information from a trusted source.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent vaccination providers and mothers preferred the 2-dose over 3-dose HPV vaccination schedule. Acceptability of a 2-dose HPV vaccination could be improved with additional information to providers and mothers on HPV vaccination safety and efficacy.

Aluma-Tenorio MS, Ávila-Álvarez A, Jaimes N, et al.
Basal cell carcinoma treated with Mohs micrographic surgery in young Ibero-American patients.
Int J Dermatol. 2018; 57(12):1447-1453 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The incidence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in younger individuals has increased in recent decades. However, the characteristics of BCCs in this population, especially in Ibero-Latin American countries, have not been completely defined.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the demographic, clinical, and histopathological characteristics of BCCs in patients younger than 40 treated with Mohs Micrographic Surgery (MMS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multicenter, retrospective study conducted between January 2009 and December 2014, in five Ibero-American countries, included biopsy-proven BCCs in patients younger than 40 that were treated with MMS. Demographic, clinical, histopathological, and surgical characteristics were described.
RESULTS: The study included 301 tumors in 241 patients, of whom 61% were female. The most common Fitzpatrick phototype was III. The most common histological subtypes were nodular (37.5%) and infiltrative (18.9%). Perineural invasion was encountered in 1.7%, and tumor clearance was achieved in 87.4% within two stages of MMS.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first Ibero-Latin American transnational study describing the characteristics of BCCs in young patients treated with MMS. Despite darker skin phototypes in this population, BCCs can occur in early ages and may present with aggressive features. Therefore, MMS may be considered an appropriate first-line treatment option in this population.

Gil L, de Aretxabala X, Lendoire J, et al.
Incidental Gallbladder Cancer: How Residual Disease Affects Outcome in Two Referral HPB Centers from South America.
World J Surg. 2019; 43(1):214-220 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Residual disease (RD) has been described as one of the most relevant prognostic factors after radical surgical resection for incidental gallbladder cancer (IGC). The purpose of the present study was to analyze patterns of RD and determinant prognostic factors in patients undergoing re-resection for IGC.
METHODS: Patients undergoing re-exploration due to IGC between 1990 and 2014 were identified in two referral centers from different South-American countries. Patients submitted to a radical definitive operation were included in the study. Demographics and tumor-treated related variables were analyzed in correlation with RD and survival. The site of RD, local (gallbladder bed) or regional (lymph nodes and bile duct) was correlated with disease-specific survival (DSS).
RESULTS: Of 265 patients with IGC submitted to surgery, 168 underwent a radical re-resection and RD was found in 58 (34.5%). Demographic, clinical and surgical variables were compared between both centers showing differences in type of resection, laparoscopic approach, T stages and disease stage. Location of RD was regional in 34 (20.2%) and local in 24 (14.3%), and no residual disease was found in 110 (65.5%) patients. T stage (T1b = 20%, T2 = 23.8%, T3 = 71.7%, p < 0.001) and disease stage (p < 0.001) were independent predictors of RD. Finding RD at any location reduced the DSS in comparison with non-RD patients (19.6 months vs. 62.7 months p < 0.001). No differences in DSS according to the location of RD were found, and all anatomic sites were equally poor (p = 0.27). RD at any site predicted DSS (p < 0.001), independently of all other IGC variables.
CONCLUSIONS: IGC presented similar clinical parameters in two different countries of South America. RD was demonstrated as the most critical prognostic variable in patients with IGC treated by a radical resection. The presence of RD was associated with poor outcome, independently of any anatomic location. Future studies incorporating neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with prognostic factors for RD are required to improve survival in this entity.

Shivappa N, Niclis C, Coquet JB, et al.
Increased inflammatory potential of diet is associated with increased odds of prostate cancer in Argentinian men.
Cancer Causes Control. 2018; 29(9):803-813 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Various aspects of diet, including specific food items and nutrients, have been shown to modulate inflammation and have been implicated in the etiology of prostate cancer (PrCA). No study examining the role of diet-associated inflammation in PrCA has been conducted in Latin America.
METHOD: We examined the association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII
RESULTS: Men in the most pro-inflammatory group (tertile 3) had 50% higher odds of having PrCA compared to men in the most anti-inflammatory group (tertile 1) (OR
CONCLUSIONS: A pro-inflammatory diet, reflected by higher DII scores, was positively associated with PrCA occurrence. Based on these results and those from other studies, steps should be taken to promote a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, in order to reduce risk of PrCA and other chronic diseases. Future studies should explore this association in a prospective setting.

Chen JX, Wileyto EP, Soulen MC
Randomized Embolization Trial for NeuroEndocrine Tumor Metastases to the Liver (RETNET): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Trials. 2018; 19(1):390 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are the second most common gastrointestinal malignancy after colon cancer. Up to 90% of patients with NETs develop liver metastases, which are a major determinant of symptoms and survival. Current guidelines recommend embolotherapy for progressive or symptomatic NET liver metastases, but the optimal technique among bland embolization, lipiodol chemoembolization, and drug-eluting bead chemoembolization remains unknown and controversial.
METHODS/DESIGN: A prospective, open-label, multicenter randomized controlled trial will be conducted in patients with progressive or symptomatic unresectable NET liver metastases. Patients will be randomized to treatment with bland embolization, lipiodol chemoembolization, or drug-eluting microsphere chemoembolization, with 60 enrollees per arm. The primary endpoint will be hepatic progression-free survival (HPFS) following initial embolotherapy by RECIST criteria. The sample size is powered to detect an HR of 1.78 for HPFS following chemoembolization compared with bland embolization, which was estimated on the basis of existing retrospective studies. Secondary endpoints include overall progression-free survival, duration of symptom control, quality of life, rate of adverse events, and interval between embolotherapy cycles. Interim safety analyses will be performed at 10 and 30 patients per arm.
DISCUSSION: The RETNET trial is a prospective, multicenter randomized controlled trial designed to determine the optimal embolotherapy technique for NET liver metastases.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02724540 . Registered on March 31, 2016.

Román MD, Niclis C, Aballay LR, et al.
Do Exposure to Arsenic, Occupation and Diet Have Synergistic Effects on Prostate Cancer Risk?
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2018; 19(6):1495-1501 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Background: Diverse environmental exposures, as well as dietary and lifestyle factors, are associated with prostate cancer (PC) etiology; however little is known about joint interactive influences. The aim of this study was to analyse effects of diet combined with arsenic in drinking water and agricultural occupation on PC risk. Methods: A case-control study was conducted in Córdoba, Argentina (period 2008-2015) including 147 cases of PC and 300 controls. All subjects were interviewed about food consumption, socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics. A sample of drinking water was taken to determine arsenic concentrations. Adherence scores to the Traditional Dietary Pattern were estimated, based on a principal component factor analysis. A two-level logistic regression model was fitted in order to assess effects of the Traditional Pattern, occupation and arsenic exposure on the occurrence of PC (outcome). Family history of PC was considered as a clustering variable. Results: PC risk was greatest in subjects with high adherence to the Traditional Pattern (OR 2.18; 95%IC 1.097–4.344). Subjects exposed to arsenic in drinking water above 0.01mg/l who simultaneously performed agricultural activities showed a markedly elevated PC risk (OR 5.07; 95%IC 2.074-12.404). Variance of the random effect of family history of PC was significant. conclusion: Diet, arsenic and occupation in agriculture exert significant effects on PC risk. Further efforts are necessary to analyse risk factors integrally, in order to achieve a better understanding of the complex causal network for PC in this multiple-exposure population.

Funes S, Sampor C, Villasante F, et al.
Feasibility and results of an intraarterial chemotherapy program for the conservative treatment of retinoblastoma in Argentina.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018; 65(8):e27086 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The feasibility and results of intraarterial chemotherapy, also termed ophthalmic artery chemosurgery (OAC), for retinoblastoma in less developed countries have seldom been reported.
PROCEDURE: A retrospective evaluation of a program of OAC in Argentina from 2010 to 2015.
RESULTS: Ninety-seven eyes from 81 patients (61 bilateral) were analyzed. In 35 eyes, OAC was given as primary therapy and in 62 it was used for the treatment of tumors with partial response or those relapsing after systemic chemoreduction with focal therapy or external-beam radiotherapy. Twenty-two primarily treated eyes had group D and 13 groups B/C. A total of 400 procedures were carried out. Chemotherapy used included combinations of melphalan, carboplatin, and topotecan. There was no mortality associated with OAC. Toxicity included fever and neutropenia in five (1.25%), hypotension and bradycardia during anesthesia in two and femoral thrombosis in one, eyelid edema in nine, and neutropenia or thrombocytopenia in 28 cycles. With a median follow-up of 48.7 months (range 12-79), the 3-year probability of event-free survival (pEFS) (enucleation and/or radiotherapy were considered events) was comparable for patients who received first-line therapy and those treated at relapse (0.65 vs. 0.63, P = 0.5). In the former, the pEFS was 0.91 and 0.43 for groups B/C and D, respectively (P = 0.01). Two patients died of extraocular dissemination after refusal of enucleation.
CONCLUSIONS: OAC was feasible with low toxicity. pEFS improved in all groups compared to the previous experience with systemic chemotherapy reducing the use of radiotherapy. The overall mortality associated with OAC is comparable to our previous experience with systemic chemoreduction.

Gomez SM, Caniza M, Fynn A, et al.
Fungal infections in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children at a pediatric children's hospital in Argentina.
Transpl Infect Dis. 2018; 20(4):e12913 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our primary objective was to describe the incidence of proven or probable invasive fungal infections (IFIs), a devastating complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), in HCST in a middle-income country. Secondary objectives were to describe factors associated with IFIs and outcomes. In this single center retrospective study, pediatric patients who underwent a first allogeneic or autologous HSCT from 1998 to 2016 were included. Of the 251 HSCT recipients: 143 transplants were allogeneic and 108 were autologous. Overall, 23 (9%) experienced an IFI, mostly due to yeasts (83%). IFIs were more common in allogeneic HSCT (18/143, 13%) than in autologous HSCT (5/108, 5%; P = .045). Of the 23 patients with IFIs, 14 (61%) died, but only 1 directly from IFI (pulmonary aspergillosis). Overall survival at 3 years was 0.42 ± 0.11 in patients with IFIs and 0.60 ± 0.37 in those without IFIs (P = .049). In Argentina, IFIs during HSCT are common. Recipients of allogeneic HSCT are at higher risk, and IFI is associated with reduced overall survival. Future work should focus on interventions to reduce and improve IFI outcomes in children undergoing transplants in low- and middle-income countries.

Verzura M, Batagelj E, Bagnes C, et al.
Analysis of EML4-ALK rearrangement in non-small cell lung cancer in Argentina.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2018; 34:77-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Identification of EML4-ALK rearrangement by FISH test has become standard in advanced NSCLC patients. There is limited information about the prevalence and clinical characteristics of ALK translocation in Latin America. The aim of our study was to evaluate this lung cancer subtype features in Argentinian patients and the factibility of FISH test with different methods used for obtaining tissue samples.
METHODS: Between August 2014 and February 2017, 183 non-squamous NSCLC patients were prospectively enrolled from five Argentinian institutions. Different techniques and procedures were used to obtained tissue samples material. ALK determination was performed by FISH and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Correlation with clinico-pathological information and different biopsy procedures was assessed.
RESULTS: From 183 non-squamous NSCLC samples, 131 could perform FISH test, finding 123 (93.9%) negative and 8 (6.1%) positive patients. Fifty-one samples were not evaluable by FISH, 35 because of technical problems and 16 due to not/weak signal. The difficulties in obtaining adequate FISH tests were observed significantly more frequently for fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and core-needle biopsy than for excisional and incisional biopsy (p = 0.009). Regarding the procedures, surgery was the most efficient, obtaining only 12.7% (10/79) of not evaluable samples for FISH, while CT guided biopsy and transbronchial biopsy (TBB) failed in 43.8% (21/48) and 41.3% (19/46) of patients respectively (p < 0.001). We observed a significant association between ALK translocation and never smoking habit (p = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: Our ALK rearrangements frequency (6.1%) was similar to the reports worldwide. One of the major determinants for the ALK FISH test success is the quality of the tissue sample obtained.

Fux-Otta C, Maliqueo M, Echiburú B, et al.
Pregnancy outcomes in women with polycystic ovary syndrome in two Latin American populations.
J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018; 38(6):750-755 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pregnancy complications and obstetric outcomes were compared in 80 Chilean (PPCOS

Piñero F, Marciano S, Fernández N, et al.
Adherence to Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer therapeutic algorithm for hepatocellular carcinoma in the daily practice: a multicenter cohort study from Argentina.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018; 30(4):376-383 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Adherence to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging algorithm for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma is challenging in the daily practice. We aimed to analyze adherence to BCLC along with its effect on patient survival.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A cohort study was conducted in 14 hospitals from Argentina including patients with newly diagnosed hepatocellular carcinoma (2009-2016). Adherence was considered when the first treatment was the one recommended by the BCLC.
RESULTS: Overall, 708 patients were included. At diagnosis, BCLC stages were as follows: stage 0 4%, A 43%, B 22%, C 9% and D 22%. Overall, 53% of the patients were treated according to BCLC, 24% were undertreated, and 23% overtreated. Adherence to BCLC increased to 63% in subsequent treatments. Independent factors associated with adherence to BCLC were the presence of portal hypertension [odds ratio: 1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-2.39] and BCLC stage C (odds ratio: 0.32; 95% CI: 0.12-0.72). In a multivariable model adjusting for portal hypertension and BCLC stages, adherence to BCLC showed improved survival (hazard ratio: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.52-0.87).
CONCLUSION: Adherence to BCLC represents a challenge in the daily practice, with almost half of the patients being treated accordingly, showing that the decision-making process should be tailored to each individual patient.

Colman Lerner JE, Gutierrez MLA, Mellado D, et al.
Characterization and cancer risk assessment of VOCs in home and school environments in gran La Plata, Argentina.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018; 25(10):10039-10048 [PubMed] Related Publications
Three areas are highlighted in Gran La Plata, Argentina: industrial, urban, and residential. In this work, the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor air of homes and schools in those areas were analyzed, through the use of passive monitors. The study period is between 2007 and 2010. Higher levels of VOCs were found in homes and schools in the industrial zone, higher than the levels corresponding to urban and residential. Taking into account the relationship between indoor and outdoor levels of VOCs, they have ratios (I/O) between 1.5 and 10 are evidenced contributions of emission sources of VOCs both indoor and outdoor. Complementarily, we estimated the life time cancer risk (LCR) for benzene, styrene, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene in children who spend their time mostly in such indoor environments. The results show high LCR values for benzene, which exceed acceptable values for the US EPA.

Badano I, Sanabria DJ, Totaro ME, et al.
Mitochondrial DNA ancestry, HPV infection and the risk of cervical cancer in a multiethnic population of northeastern Argentina.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(1):e0190966 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Misiones Province in northeastern Argentina is considered to be a region with a high prevalence of HPV infection and a high mortality rate due to cervical cancer. The reasons for this epidemiological trend are not completely understood. To gain insight into this problem, we explored the relationship between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) ancestry, HPV infection, and development of cervical lesions/cancer in women from the city of Posadas in Misiones Province.
METHODS: Two hundred and sixty-one women, including 92 cases of patients diagnosed with cervical lesions and 169 controls, were analyzed. mtDNA ancestry was assessed through HVS1 sequencing, while the detection and typing of HPV infection was conducted through nested multiplex PCR analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted with the resulting data to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) adjusted by socio-demographic variables.
RESULTS: The study participants showed 68.6% Amerindian, 26.1% European and 5.3% African mtDNA ancestry, respectively. Multiple regression analysis showed that women with African mtDNAs were three times more likely to develop a cervical lesion than those with Native American or European mtDNAs [OR of 3.8 (1.2-11.5) for ancestry and OR of 3.5 (1.0-12.0) for L haplogroups], although the associated p values were not significant when tested under more complex multivariate models. HPV infection and the development of cervical lesions/cancer were significant for all tested models, with the highest OR values for HPV16 [OR of 24.2 (9.3-62.7)] and HPV-58 [OR of 19.0 (2.4-147.7)].
CONCLUSION: HPV infection remains a central risk factor for cervical cancer in the Posadas population. The potential role of African mtDNA ancestry opens a new avenue for future medical association studies in multiethnic populations, and will require further confirmation in large-scale studies.

Parma D, Ferrer M, Luce L, et al.
RB1 gene mutations in Argentine retinoblastoma patients. Implications for genetic counseling.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(12):e0189736 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
Retinoblastoma (RB) is an inherited childhood ocular cancer caused by mutations in the tumor suppressor RB1 gene. Identification of RB1 mutations is essential to assess the risk of developing retinoblastoma in the patients´ relatives. Retinoblastoma is a potentially curable cancer and an early diagnosis is critical for survival and eye preservation. Unilateral retinoblastoma is mostly non-heritable and results from two somatic mutations whereas bilateral retinoblastoma is heritable and results from one germline and one somatic mutation, both have high penetrance, 90%. The purpose of this study was to identify causative RB1 mutations in RB patients with different clinical presentations. A comprehensive approach was used to study a cohort of 34 patients with unilateral, bilateral and trilateral retinoblastoma. Blood and tumor DNA was analyzed by sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay. Validation of an insertion mutation was performed by cloning the PCR product. Most of the patients in our cohort had unilateral RB, eight patients had bilateral RB and one patient had a trilateral tumor with ocular and suprasellar/sellar locations. Other tumors in addition to retinoblastoma were also found in the affected families. One patient had two syndromes, retinoblastoma and schwannomatosis, and another RB patient had a father with a retinoma. Five out of the 25 unilateral RB patients carried germinal mutations (20%), which were mostly missense mutations. The bilateral and trilateral patients carried splice-site, nonsense and frameshift mutations as well as a whole RB1 gene deletion. Missense mutations were associated with mild phenotype: unilateral retinoblastoma, retinoma or no tumor. In this study we identified causative RB1 mutations in most bilateral RB patients and in some unilateral RB patients, including five novel mutations. These data are crucial for genetic counseling and confirm the need to perform complete genetic screening for RB1 mutations in both constitutional and tumor tissues.

Esteban S, Ricci R, Terrasa S, Kopitowski K
Colonoscopy overuse in colorectal cancer screening and associated factors in Argentina: a retrospective cohort study.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2017; 17(1):162 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In recent years, there has been growing concern about the overuse of colonoscopy (CC). Our objective was to evaluate the incidence rate and cumulative probability of having a potentially inadequate CC (PI-CC, e.g. a CC that was performed earlier that recommended) and the association between the report of a hyperplastic polyp in the baseline CC report and the probability of having a PI-CC.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort of adults 50y/o or older with a complete baseline CC between January 1st and December 31st 2005, without reported lesions or with hyperplastic polyps, based on secondary data extracted from the electronic medical record of the Hospital Italiano of Buenos Aires. The outcome consisted of time until a PI-CC, defined as the time measured between basal colonoscopy and a colonoscopy performed earlier than the inter-screening interval recommended by the USPSTF and the USMSTF.
RESULTS: 389 patients were included. The cumulative probability of receiving a PI-CC over 10 years was 0.29 (95% CI 0.241, 0.342). The incidence rate resulted in 30.91 PI-CC per 1000 person-years (95% CI 25.14, 38). The crude analysis of the association between the outcome and the presence of hyperplastic polyps in the baseline CC, showed a statistically significant difference between both groups (log rank, p 0.036). The multivariate analysis yielded a hazard ratio of 1.67 (95% CI 1.02-2.73).
CONCLUSION: We observed that 3 in every 10 patients treated in our health system received a PI-CC during the first ten consecutive years after a normal complete CC. Furthermore, this could be in part attributed to the presence of a hyperplastic polyp in the baseline CC.

Niclis C, Pou SA, Shivappa N, et al.
Proinflammatory Dietary Intake is Associated with Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study in Argentina Using a Multilevel Modeling Approach.
Nutr Cancer. 2018; 70(1):61-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Little evidence regarding the inflammatory potential of diet and its effect on colorectal cancer exists in Latin American countries. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®) and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in Córdoba, Argentina. A frequency-matched case-control study (N = 446, including 144 (32.3%) CRC cases and 302 (67.7%) controls was conducted in Córdoba (Argentina) from 2008 through 2015. DII® scores were computed based on dietary intake assessed by a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Multilevel logistic regression models were fit to evaluate the association between DII scores and CRC, following adjustment for age, body mass index, sex, energy intake, smoking habits, socio-economic status, physical activity, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as first-level covariates and level of urbanization as the contextual variable. Odds of colorectal cancer increased linearly with increasing DII scores (OR

González ML, Causada-Calo N, Santino JP, et al.
Universal determination of microsatellite instability using BAT26 as a single marker in an Argentine colorectal cancer cohort.
Fam Cancer. 2018; 17(3):395-402 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is a hallmark tool for Lynch syndrome (LS) screening and a prognostic marker for sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). In regions with limited resources and scarce CRC molecular characterization as South America, the implementation of universal MSI screening is under debate for both its purposes. We sought to estimate the frequency of BAT26 in colorectal adenocarcinomas and to determine associated clinical and histological features. Consecutive patients from a CRC registry were included. BAT26 determination was performed in all cases; if instability was found, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and BRAF mutation analyses were done, as appropriate. Differences were assessed by chi-squared or Fisher's exact test, or by T test or Mann-Whitney. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with BAT26-unstable tumors. We included 155 patients; mean age was 65.6 (SD 14.4) and 56.1% were male. The frequency of BAT26-unstable tumors was 22% (95% CI 15.7-29.3). Factors independently associated with BAT26-unstable tumors were right colon localization (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.3-8.7), histological MSI features (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.9-13.6) and Amsterdam criteria (OR 23.2, 95% CI 1.9-286.7). IHC was altered in 85.3% BAT26-unstable tumors and 70.6% lacked MLH1 expression; 47.8% of these harbored BRAF V600E mutation. We provide evidence to link the frequency of BAT26 to an increased diagnostic yield (up to 1.4-folds) of suspected LS cases in comparison to the revised Bethesda guidelines alone. In regions with limited resources, clinical and histological features associated with BAT26-unstable status could be useful to direct MSI screening in sporadic CRCs and may help guide clinical care and future research.

Gomez S, Fynn AB, Fernanda S, et al.
Early bacterial and fungal infection in children receiving allogeneic stem cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in Argentina.
Pediatr Transplant. 2018; 22(1) [PubMed] Related Publications
Infections are important complications associated with allogeneic HSCT. Describing infection rates in low- and middle-income countries provides data to infer efficacy of supportive care practices in these settings. In this retrospective cohort study, we included patients (age ≤ 18 years) who underwent a first allogeneic HSCT for ALL in a single center in Argentina between 1998 and 2016. The primary outcome was sterile site bacterial infection. Secondary outcomes were proven or probable invasive fungal infection, TRM, and infectious deaths. There were 68 allogeneic HSCT recipients with ALL included in this analysis. Overall, 17 (25.0%) experienced at least one sterile site bacterial infection and 10 (14.7%) experienced at least one proven or probable invasive fungal infection. The TRM rate was 19.1%, and 3 (4.4%) patients died of infection. In a middle-income country center in Argentina, pediatric allogeneic HSCT infection rates, TRM, and infection-related mortality were comparable to high-income countries. These data support continuation of allogeneic HSCT programs in similar resource-limited settings provided that adequate supportive care and monitoring of outcomes can be performed.

Vindrola-Padros C, Brage E
What is not, but might be: The disnarrated in parents' stories of their child's cancer treatment.
Soc Sci Med. 2017; 193:16-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
The study of illness narratives is based on the premise that stories are told for a reason and storytellers make narrative decisions on what to include and leave out of a story, the style of narration, the place where the story is told and the audience. Through this narrative work, they situate themselves in particular ways and make sense of the illness and the world around them. In this article, we explore the disnarrated, a style of narration that features events that do not happen, but are nonetheless referred to in the story. The aim of the article is to illustrate the additional layers of meaning that can be uncovered from illness stories when attention is paid to what did not happen, but, yet, is still part of the story. We draw from a qualitative study carried out with 17 parents whose children were diagnosed with cancer and were receiving medical care in Argentina. We carried out narrative interviews with the parents and participant-observation in hospital areas and the hotels where they resided during treatment. The analysis of the interview transcripts was carried out using a holistic understanding of the narratives and focusing on the identification of themes that appeared disnarrated. The fieldnotes from the observations were used to contextualize the narrative analysis. The disnarrated, in its many manifestations, produced a layer of analysis of parents' stories of treatment patterned by parents' desires, hopes and fears. The disnarrated was used by parents to discuss alternative care trajectories and express fears regarding what the future would bring for the child and family. The disnarrated is a useful analytical tool for examining illness stories as it points to storytellers' views of what is acceptable or desirable in their world and their hopes and preferences for alternative realities.

Felice MS, Rossi JG, Alonso CN, et al.
Second Neoplasms in Children Following a Treatment for Acute Leukemia and/or Lymphoma: 29 Years of Experience in a Single Institution in Argentina.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2017; 39(8):e406-e412 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Childhood acute leukemias (AL) and lymphomas achieve good survival rates. However, second neoplasms (SN) are a devastating event.
METHODS: From August 1987 to December 2016, 34 of 3321 (1%) patients with diagnosis of AL or lymphoma developed SN. SN were AL (n=16), CNS tumors (n=5), endocrinal tumors (n=3), lymphomas (n=2), schwannoma (n=2) assorted sarcomas (n=4), retinal melanoma (n=1), and Vanek tumor (n=1). Median latency was 51 (range, 10 to 110) months for hematological malignancies and 119 (range, 25 to 236) months for solid tumors (P=0.001).
RESULTS: A total of 33 patients with SN were treated taking into account cumulative doses of anthracyclines and radiotherapy. Twenty-three (67.6%) patients achieved complete remission (CR), 5 died early during therapy and 5 were refractory or partial responders. Six patients presented relapses of the SN and 1 died in CR. Seventeen patients remain alive in CR, with a median follow-up of 110 (range, 4 to 276) months.
CONCLUSIONS: (1) The latency period was significantly longer for patients developing solid tumors than for those developing AL. (2) AL was the most frequent SN. (3) Our results strongly encourage giving standard therapy to SN, considering cumulative doses of previous treatment, since similar probabilities of surviving as "de novo" counterparts can be achieved.

Villegas Rubio JA, Cacciavillano W, Rose A, et al.
Ambulatory High-dose Methotrexate Administration in Pediatric Osteosarcoma Patients at a Single Institution in Argentina.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2017; 39(7):e349-e352 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of ambulatory high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) administration with oral hydration, alkalinization, and leucovorin rescue. HDMTX (12 g/m) was given intravenously over 4 hours after urine alkalinization. Families and patients were instructed to continue ambulatory oral hydration and alkalinization to monitor urine pH and to adjust bicarbonate according to our institution's treatment algorithm. Clinical status and MTX levels were controlled every 24 hours, and oral leucovorin dose was adjusted accordingly.
RESULTS: From April 2007 to December 2010, 150 of 447 courses of HDMTX (31.4%) were given on an outpatient basis, and 91.2% were successfully completed. The main causes of failure were poor oral tolerance (n=6) and fever (n=4). Most patients (81%) had MTX levels of <10 μmol/L 24 hours post-HDMTX; only in 1 course the levels were >50 μmol/L (50.96 μmol/L). Neutropenia grade III/IV was observed in 18.3% of the courses, grade III/IV leukopenia in 2.7%, and grade III/IV thrombocytopenia and anemia in 4.7%. Around 39% were associated with grade III/IV hepatic toxicity (asymptomatic hypertransaminasemia), grade III-IV gastrointestinal toxicity (vomiting and diarrhea) (5%), grade III-IV mucositis (4%), and none of the patients developed renal toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: Ambulatory HDMTX administration is feasible and safe in a population with poor resources in a developing country.

Enrico A, Bestach Y, Flores MG, et al.
Influence of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Progression on the Prognosis of 831 Patients With Myelodysplastic Syndromes From the Argentine Database.
Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2017; 17(11):743-752.e5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A large group of patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) will die of causes intrinsic to bone marrow failure. One third of patients will develop acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is associated with an extremely poor outcome and a short survival. Our objectives were to analyze the prognostic variables and scoring systems in the attempt to determine the influence of progression on the overall survival of MDS patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 831 MDS patients, including those from the Argentine Registry.
RESULTS: Of the 831 MDS patients, 158 (19.0%) experienced transformation, with a median overall survival of 17.9 months from diagnosis and 3.5 months after progression. The survival of patients with adverse karyotypes or greater risk, according to the International Prognostic Scoring System-revised (IPSS-R) or World Health Organization-based Prognostic Scoring System (WPSS) was not affected when stratified by patients with and without evolution to AML (P > .05). In contrast, the survival of lower risk patients was significantly reduced for those patients with progression to AML (P < .001) and those younger (P = .024) than those who died of non-AML-related causes. The intermediate-risk patients were heterogeneously distributed; however, an upgrade from a lower IPSS-R to a higher WPSS-hemoglobin risk category was associated with a worse outcome, not affected by progression (P = .420), with a median event-free survival of 16 months.
CONCLUSION: The use of the IPSS-R and WPSS systems simultaneously might help in identifying those patients who require more aggressive treatment. Nevertheless, more efforts are needed to improve the identification of those lower risk patients whose survival is significantly reduced by progression to AML.

Brage E, Vindrola-Padros C
An ethnographic exploration of the delivery of psychosocial care to children with cancer in Argentina.
Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2017; 29:91-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The integration of psychosocial care in the routine care of cancer patients has been set as an international standard, but there are healthcare contexts where these services are lacking as psychosocial care providers are not incorporated in multidisciplinary teams and screening for psychological distress is not carried out routinely or systematically.
METHOD: In this article, we discuss the findings from an ethnographic study that focused on exploring the working experiences of psychosocial care providers from one children's hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The study is based on 10 in-depth interviews with hospital staff members and participant observation in selected hospital areas. The transcripts from the interviews and fieldnotes from the observations were analyzed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: We found that psychosocial care providers encounter difficulties while attempting to deliver services to children and their families, produced mainly by their lack of collaboration with other professional groups, insufficient human resources, and a growing patient population. As a result of this situation, psychosocial care providers often prioritize some patients over others, leaving a considerable number of patients and family members without psychosocial support.
CONCLUSIONS: The study highlighted the barriers psychosocial care providers encounter while attempting to deliver services to children and their families. Further work needs to be carried out to fully integrate psychosocial care in national health policies and ensure this type of support is available for all patients and their families.

Pérez CL, Tous MI
Diversity of human herpesvirus 8 genotypes in patients with AIDS and non-AIDS associated Kaposi's sarcoma, Castleman's disease and primary effusion lymphoma in Argentina.
J Med Virol. 2017; 89(11):2020-2028 [PubMed] Related Publications
HHV-8 genotypes are distributed heterogeneously worldwide. The variable K1 gene and the conserved ORF26E region serve to genotype. The aim of the study was to characterize HHV-8 isolates from patients with AIDS, classical, and iatrogenic KS, primary effusion lymphoma and Castleman's disease and one organ donor from Argentina by analysis of ORFK1 and ORF26E regions. DNA was extracted from fresh or paraffin embedded biopsies, blood, and saliva samples and submitted to HHV-8 PCR. Phylogenetic analyses of ORFK1 showed that subtypes C (C1, C2, and C3), B1 and A (A1, A2, and A3) were present in 70.8%, 16.7%, and 12.5% of cases, respectively. Analyses of ORF26E fragment revealed that most strains (45.8%) were subtype A/C while the remaining fall into K, J, B2, R, and D subtypes. Linkage between ORFK1-ORF26E subtypes corresponded to reported relationships, except for one strain that clustered with B1 (K1 African) and D (ORF26E Asian-Pacific) subtypes. This research reveals predominance of subtype C, a broad spectrum of HHV-8 genotypes and reports the first isolation of the African B genotype in Argentina.

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