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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Testicular cancer (TC) is the most common neoplasm in males aged 15–40 years. The majority of patients have no evidence of metastases at diagnosis and thus have clinical stage I (CSI) disease [Oldenburg J, Fossa SD, Nuver J et al. Testicular seminoma and non-seminoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol 2013; 24(Suppl 6): vi125–vi132; de Wit R, Fizazi K. Controversies in the management of clinical stage I testis cancer. J Clin Oncol 2006; 24: 5482–5492.]. Management of CSI TC is controversial and options include surveillance and active treatment. Different forms of adjuvant therapy exist, including either one or two cycles of carboplatin chemotherapy or radiotherapy for seminoma and either one or two cycles of cisplatin-based chemotherapy or retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for non-seminoma. Long-term disease-specific survival is ~99% with any of these approaches, including surveillance. While surveillance allows most patients to avoid additional treatment, adjuvant therapy markedly lowers the relapse rate. Weighing the net benefits of surveillance against those of adjuvant treatment depends on prioritizing competing aims such as avoiding unnecessary treatment, avoiding more burdensome treatment with salvage chemotherapy and minimizing the anxiety, stress and life disruption associated with relapse. Unbiased information about the advantages and disadvantages of surveillance and adjuvant treatment is a prerequisite for informed consent by the patient. In a clinical scenario like CSI TC, where different disease-management options produce indistinguishable long-term survival rates, patient values, priorities and preferences should be taken into account. In this review, we provide an overview about risk factors for relapse, potential benefits and harms of adjuvant chemotherapy and active surveillance and a rationale for involving patients in individualized decision making about their treatment rather than adopting a uniform recommendation for all.


Thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are rare primary mediastinal tumors arising from thymic epithelium. Their rarity and complexity hinder investigations of their causes and therapy development. Here, we summarize the existing knowledge regarding medical treatment of these tumors, and thoroughly review the known genetic aberrations associated with TETs and the present status of potential biological treatments. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), stem-cell factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R), and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and VEGF-2) are overexpressed in TETs. EGFR overexpression in TETs is associated with higher stage, and IGF1R overexpression has poor prognostic value. Data indicate that anti-IGF1R monoclonal antibodies, and inhibitors of angiogenesis, somatostatin receptors, histone deacetylase, mammalian target of rapamycin, and cyclin-dependent kinases may be active against TETs. Continued investigations in this field could lead to advancement of targeted and biological therapies for TETs.


Background

Despite the extensive development of risk prediction models to aid patient decision-making on prostate screening, it is unknown whether these models could improve predictive accuracy of PSA testing to detect prostate cancer (PCa). The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review to identify PCa risk models and to assess the model's performance to predict PCa by conducting a meta-analysis.

Design

A systematic literature search of Medline was conducted to identify PCa predictive risk models that used at least two variables, of which one of the variables was prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. Model performance (discrimination and calibration) was assessed. Prediction models validated in ≥5 study populations and reported area under the curve (AUC) for prediction of any or clinically significant PCa were eligible for meta-analysis. Summary AUC and 95% CIs were calculated using a random-effects model.

Results

The systematic review identified 127 unique PCa prediction models; however, only six models met study criteria for meta-analysis for predicting any PCa: Prostataclass, Finne, Karakiewcz, Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT), Chun, and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator 3 (ERSPC RC3). Summary AUC estimates show that PCPT does not differ from PSA testing (0.66) despite performing better in studies validating both PSA and PCPT. Predictive accuracy to discriminate PCa increases with Finne (AUC = 0.74), Karakiewcz (AUC = 0.74), Chun (AUC = 0.76) and ERSPC RC3 and Prostataclass have the highest discriminative value (AUC = 0.79), which is equivalent to doubling the sensitivity of PSA testing (44% versus 21%) without loss of specificity. The discriminative accuracy of PCPT to detect clinically significant PCa was AUC = 0.71. Calibration measures of the models were poorly reported.

Conclusions

Risk prediction models improve the predictive accuracy of PSA testing to detect PCa. Future developments in the use of PCa risk models should evaluate its clinical effectiveness in practice.


Background

The use of potential surrogate end points for overall survival, such as disease-free survival (DFS) or time-to-treatment failure (TTF) is increasingly common in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in cancer. However, the definition of time-to-event (TTE) end points is rarely precise and lacks uniformity across trials. End point definition can impact trial results by affecting estimation of treatment effect and statistical power. The DATECAN initiative (Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event End points in CANcer trials) aims to provide recommendations for definitions of TTE end points. We report guidelines for RCT in sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

Methods

We first carried out a literature review to identify TTE end points (primary or secondary) reported in publications of RCT. An international multidisciplinary panel of experts proposed recommendations for the definitions of these end points. Recommendations were developed through a validated consensus method formalizing the degree of agreement among experts.

Results

Recommended guidelines for the definition of TTE end points commonly used in RCT for sarcomas and GIST are provided for adjuvant and metastatic settings, including DFS, TTF, time to progression and others.

Conclusion

Use of standardized definitions should facilitate comparison of trials' results, and improve the quality of trial design and reporting. These guidelines could be of particular interest to research scientists involved in the design, conduct, reporting or assessment of RCT such as investigators, statisticians, reviewers, editors or regulatory authorities.


Background

Using surrogate end points for overall survival, such as disease-free survival, is increasingly common in randomized controlled trials. However, the definitions of several of these time-to-event (TTE) end points are imprecisely which limits interpretation and cross-trial comparisons. The estimation of treatment effects may be directly affected by the definitions of end points. The DATECAN initiative (Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event Endpoints in CANcer trials) aims to provide recommendations for definitions of TTE end points. We report guidelines for randomized cancer clinical trials (RCTs) in breast cancer.

Patients and methods

A literature review was carried out to identify TTE end points (primary or secondary) reported in publications of randomized trials or guidelines. An international multidisciplinary panel of experts proposed recommendations for the definitions of these end points based on a validated consensus method that formalize the degree of agreement among experts.

Results

Recommended guidelines for the definitions of TTE end points commonly used in RCTs for breast cancer are provided for non-metastatic and metastatic settings.

Conclusion

The use of standardized definitions should facilitate comparisons of trial results and improve the quality of trial design and reporting. These guidelines could be of particular interest to those involved in the design, conducting, reporting, or assessment of RCT.


Background

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain cancer occurring in adults, and is associated with dismal outcome and few therapeutic options. GBM has been shown to predominantly disrupt three core pathways through somatic aberrations, rendering it ideal for precision medicine approaches.

Methods

We describe a 35-year-old female patient with recurrent GBM following surgical removal of the primary tumour, adjuvant treatment with temozolomide and a 3-year disease-free period. Rapid whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of three separate tumour regions at recurrence was carried out and interpreted relative to WGS of two regions of the primary tumour.

Results

We found extensive mutational and copy-number heterogeneity within the primary tumour. We identified a TP53 mutation and two focal amplifications involving PDGFRA, KIT and CDK4, on chromosomes 4 and 12. A clonal IDH1 R132H mutation in the primary, a known GBM driver event, was detectable at only very low frequency in the recurrent tumour. After sub-clonal diversification, evidence was found for a whole-genome doubling event and a translocation between the amplified regions of PDGFRA, KIT and CDK4, encoded within a double-minute chromosome also incorporating miR26a-2. The WGS analysis uncovered progressive evolution of the double-minute chromosome converging on the KIT/PDGFRA/PI3K/mTOR axis, superseding the IDH1 mutation in dominance in a mutually exclusive manner at recurrence, consequently the patient was treated with imatinib. Despite rapid sequencing and cancer genome-guided therapy against amplified oncogenes, the disease progressed, and the patient died shortly after.

Conclusion

This case sheds light on the dynamic evolution of a GBM tumour, defining the origins of the lethal sub-clone, the macro-evolutionary genomic events dominating the disease at recurrence and the loss of a clonal driver. Even in the era of rapid WGS analysis, cases such as this illustrate the significant hurdles for precision medicine success.


Background

The first-line combination of an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) and platinum-based doublet chemotherapy has not been sufficiently evaluated for patients with EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This randomized phase II study was designed to select a combination regimen for phase III evaluation.

Patients and methods

Chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced non-squamous, EGFR-mutant NSCLC were randomly assigned to receive either a concurrent or a sequential alternating regimen with gefitinib (250 mg) and carboplatin/pemetrexed [area under the curve (AUC) = 6 and 500 mg/m2; 3-weekly]. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points were overall survival (OS), response, and safety.

Results

All 80 patients enrolled were eligible and assessable for efficacy (41 and 39 patients in the concurrent and sequential alternating regimen groups, respectively). Median PFS was 18.3 months for the concurrent regimen and 15.3 months for the sequential alternating regimen [hazard ratio (HR) 0.71 (0.42–1.20), P = 0.20]. Although OS data are immature (16 and 24 death events), median survival times were 41.9 and 30.7 months in the concurrent and sequential alternating regimen groups, respectively [HR 0.51 (0.26–0.99); P = 0.042]. Response rates were similar in both groups (87.8% and 84.6%). Hematological and non-hematological adverse events were common and reversible; interstitial lung disease was neither frequent nor fatal (two cases in each group; 5% of all patients).

Conclusion

This is the first randomized study to investigate the efficacy of combinational EGFR-TKI and chemotherapy in the EGFR-mutated setting. Both regimens had promising efficacy with predictable toxicities, although concurrent regimens might provide better OS. The concurrent regimen was chosen to compare with gefitinib monotherapy in our ongoing phase III study.

Clinical trials registration

University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trial Registry (UMIN C000002789).


Background

KRAS mutations are detected in 25% of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and no targeted therapies are approved for this subset population. Trametinib, a selective allosteric inhibitor of MEK1/MEK2, demonstrated preclinical and clinical activity in KRAS-mutant NSCLC. We report a phase II trial comparing trametinib with docetaxel in patients with advanced KRAS-mutant NSCLC.

Patients and methods

Eligible patients with histologically confirmed KRAS-mutant NSCLC previously treated with one prior platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned in a ratio of 2 : 1 to trametinib (2 mg orally once daily) or docetaxel (75 mg/m2 i.v. every 3 weeks). Crossover to the other arm after disease progression was allowed. Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). The study was prematurely terminated after the interim analysis of 92 PFS events, which showed the comparison of trametinib versus docetaxel for PFS crossed the futility boundary.

Results

One hundred and twenty-nine patients with KRAS-mutant NSCLC were randomized; of which, 86 patients received trametinib and 43 received docetaxel. Median PFS was 12 weeks in the trametinib arm and 11 weeks in the docetaxel arm (hazard ratio [HR] 1.14; 95% CI 0.75–1.75; P = 0.5197). Median overall survival, while the data are immature, was 8 months in the trametinib arm and was not reached in the docetaxel arm (HR 0.97; 95% CI 0.52–1.83; P = 0.934). There were 10 (12%) partial responses (PRs) in the trametinib arm and 5 (12%) PRs in the docetaxel arm (P = 1.0000). The most frequent adverse events (AEs) in ≥20% of trametinib patients were rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The most frequent grade 3 treatment-related AEs in the trametinib arm were hypertension, rash, diarrhea, and asthenia.

Conclusion

Trametinib showed similar PFS and a response rate as docetaxel in patients with previously treated KRAS-mutant-positive NSCLC.

Clinicaltrials.gov registration number

NCT01362296.


Background

Many patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) die within the first few years of diagnosis, and considerable excess mortality remains even after 5 years. We investigated the death rate and the distribution of causes of death for NSCLC patients by age and stage at diagnosis during long-term follow-up.

Patients and methods

All 72 021 patients aged 45–89 years diagnosed with stage I–III NSCLC between 1989 and 2008 in the Netherlands and who died up till 2011 were derived from the Netherlands Cancer Registry and linked with the database of Statistics Netherlands for underlying causes of death. Mortality ratios and proportional distribution of causes of death were calculated during 5 time periods after diagnosis of NSCLC (up to 15 years).

Results

Median follow-up was 9.6 years (range: 0–23 years). Lung cancer was the predominant cause of death in the first 6 years after diagnosis (being 80%–85% and ~90% up to 3 years for localized and locally advanced disease, respectively, and ~60%–75% and ~75%–85% during years 4–6 for both stage groups, respectively). Thereafter, lung cancer as cause of death proportionally decreased with time since diagnosis, but remained over 30%. Hence, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) became more important causes of death, especially for patients aged >60 years at diagnosis (up to 34% for cardiovascular diseases and up to 19% for COPD).

Conclusions

With time, the relative contribution of cardiovascular and COPD causes of death increased, although the absolute contribution of lung cancer remained high in non-metastatic NSCLC. Therefore, managing morbidity of these diseases remains relevant.


Background

This randomized phase II–III trial sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adding bevacizumab (Bev) following induction chemotherapy (CT) in extensive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Patients and methods

Enrolled SCLC patients received two induction cycles of CT. Responders were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive four additional cycles of CT alone or CT plus Bev (7.5 mg/kg), followed by single-agent Bev until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was the percentage of patients for whom disease remained controlled (still in response) at the fourth cycle.

Results

In total, 147 patients were enrolled. Partial response was observed in 103 patients, 74 of whom were eligible for Bev and randomly assigned to the CT alone group (n = 37) or the CT plus Bev group (n = 37). Response assessment at the end of the fourth cycle showed that disease control did not differ between the two groups (89.2% versus 91.9% of patients remaining responders in CT alone versus CT plus Bev, respectively; Fisher's exact test: P = 1.00). Progression-free survival (PFS) since randomization did not significantly differ, with a median PFS of 5.5 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9% to 6.0%] versus 5.3 months (95% CI 4.8% to 5.8%) in the CT alone and CT plus Bev groups, respectively [hazard ratio (HR) for CT alone: 1.1; 95% CI 0.7% to 1.7%; unadjusted P = 0.82]. Grade ≥2 hypertension and grade ≥3 thrombotic events were observed in 40% and 11% of patients, respectively, in the CT plus Bev group. Serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and soluble VEGF receptor titrations failed to identify predictive biomarkers.

Conclusion

Administering 7.5 mg/kg Bev after induction did not improve outcome in extensive SCLC patients.


Background

We investigated the association of BRCA1 and XPG mutations with response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in a subset of patients from a phase 3 clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of trabectedin + pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) versus PLD alone in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.

Patients and methods

A candidate array was designed based on the Breast Cancer Information Core database for BRCA mutation analyses. An exploratory analysis of BRCA1/XPG mutation status was conducted using a two-sided log-rank test and 0.05 significance in germline DNA samples from 264 women with failed first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, randomized (1 : 1) to trabectedin + PLD or PLD alone.

Results

Overall, 41 (16%) of the 264 women had BRCA1mut (trabectedin + PLD: n = 24/135, 18%; PLD: n = 17/129; 13%) and 17 (6%) had XPGmut (trabectedin + PLD: n = 8/135, 6%; PLD: n = 9/129, 7%). A higher RR was observed in BRCA1mut patients (20/41; 49%) versus BRCA1wt patients (62/223; 28%). Within the BRCA1mut group, trabectedin + PLD-treated patients had longer PFS and longer OS than PLD-treated patients (median PFS 13.5 versus 5.5 months, P = 0.0002; median OS 23.8 versus 12.5 months, P = 0.0086), whereas in BRCA1wt patients, OS was not significantly different (median OS: 19.1 versus 19.3 months; P = 0.9377). There were no differences in OS or PFS of patients with XPGmut between the two treatment arms. However, trabectedin + PLD-treated patients with XPGmut had a trend toward shorter PFS (median PFS: 1.9 versus 7.5 months; P = 0.1666) and OS (median OS: 14.5 versus 20.7 months; P = 0.1774) than those with XPGwt.

Conclusions

In this exploratory analysis, patients with recurrent ovarian cancer carrying the BRCA1mut had improved outcomes with trabectedin + PLD treatment compared with PLD alone. Prospective evaluation of BRCA status is likely an important evaluation for DNA-damaging agents and may significantly impact interpretation of clinical studies. XPG may be a biomarker of poor outcome in these patients.


Background

This double-blind, phase 3 study assessed the efficacy and safety of ganitumab combined with gemcitabine as first-line treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Patients and methods

Patients with previously untreated metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned 2 : 2 : 1 to receive intravenous gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 (days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycle) plus placebo, ganitumab 12 mg/kg, or ganitumab 20 mg/kg (days 1 and 15 of each cycle). The primary end point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), safety, and efficacy by levels of circulating biomarkers.

Results

Overall, 322 patients were randomly assigned to placebo, 318 to ganitumab 12 mg/kg, and 160 to ganitumab 20 mg/kg. The study was stopped based on results from a preplanned futility analysis; the final results are reported. Median OS was 7.2 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 6.3–8.2] in the placebo arm, 7.0 months (95% CI, 6.2–8.5) in the ganitumab 12-mg/kg arm [hazard ratio (HR), 1.00; 95% CI, 0.82–1.21; P = 0.494], and 7.1 months (95% CI, 6.4–8.5) in the ganitumab 20-mg/kg arm (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.76–1.23; P = 0.397). Median PFS was 3.7, 3.6 (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.84–1.20; P = 0.520), and 3.7 months (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.77–1.22; P = 0.403), respectively. No unexpected toxicity was observed with ganitumab plus gemcitabine. The circulating biomarkers assessed [insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), IGF-binding protein-2, and -3] were not associated with a treatment effect on OS or PFS by ganitumab.

Conclusion

Ganitumab combined with gemcitabine had manageable toxicity but did not improve OS, compared with gemcitabine alone in unselected patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Clinical trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01231347.


Background

In many European countries, short-term 5 x 5 Gy radiotherapy has become the standard preoperative treatment of patients with resectable rectal cancer. Individualized risk assessment might allow a better selection of patients who will benefit from postoperative treatment and intensified follow-up.

Patients and methods

From patient's data from three European rectal cancer trials (N = 2881), we developed multivariate cox nomograms reflecting the risk for local recurrence (LR), distant metastases (DM) and overall survival (OS). Evaluated variables were age, gender, tumour distance from the anal verge, the use of radiotherapy, surgical technique (total mesorectal excision/conventional surgery), surgery type (low anterior resection/abdominoperineal resection), time from randomization to surgery, residual disease (R0 versus R1 + 2), pT-stage, pN-stage and surgical complications.

Results

Pathological T- and N-status are of vital importance for an accurate prediction of LR, DM and OS. Short-course radiotherapy reduces the rate of LR. The developed nomograms are capable of predicting events with a validation c-index of 0.79 (LR), 0.76 (DM) and 0.75 (OS). The proposed stratification in risk groups allowed significant distinction between Kaplan–Meier curves for outcome.

Conclusion

The developed nomograms can contribute to better individual risk prediction for LR, DM and OS for patients operated on rectal cancer. The practicality of the defined risk groups makes decision support in the consulting room feasible, assisting physicians to select patients for adjuvant therapy or intensified follow-up.


Background

The MYC oncogene has long been established as a central driver in many types of human cancers including colorectal cancer. However, the realization of MYC-targeting therapies remains elusive; as a result, synthetic lethal therapeutic approaches are alternatively being explored. A synthetic lethal therapeutic approach aims to kill MYC-driven tumors by targeting a certain co-regulator on the MYC pathway.

Patients and methods

We analyzed copy number and expression profiles from 130 colorectal cancer tumors together with publicly available datasets to identify co-regulators on the MYC pathway. Candidates were functionally tested by in vitro assays using colorectal cancer and normal fibroblast cell lines. Additionally, survival analyses were carried out on another 159 colorectal cancer patients and public datasets.

Results

Our in silico screening identified two MYC co-regulator candidates, AURKA and TPX2, which are interacting mitotic regulators located on chromosome 20q. We found the two candidates showed frequent co-amplification with the MYC locus while expression levels of MYC and the two genes were positively correlated with those of MYC downstream target genes across multiple cancer types. In vitro, the aberrant expression of MYC, AURKA and TPX2 resulted in more aggressive anchorage-independent growth in normal fibroblast cells. Furthermore, knockdown of AURKA or TPX2, or treatment with an AURKA-specific inhibitor effectively suppressed the proliferation of MYC-expressing colorectal cancer cells. Additionally, combined high expression of MYC, AURKA and TPX2 proved to be a poor prognostic indicator of colorectal cancer patient survival.

Conclusions

Through bioinformatic analyses and experiments, we proposed TPX2 and AURKA as novel co-regulators on the MYC pathway. Inhibiting the AURKA/TPX2 axis would be a novel synthetic lethal therapeutic approach for MYC-driven cancers.


Background

Previous clinical trials have not proved that adding epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors to chemotherapy confers a survival benefit for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer (ABTC). Whether the KRAS mutation status of tumor cells confounded the results of past studies is unknown.

Patients and methods

ABTC patients stratified by KRAS status, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and primary tumor location were randomized 1 : 1 to receive GEMOX (800 mg/m2 gemcitabine and 85 mg/m2 oxaliplatin) or C-GEMOX (500 mg/m2 cetuximab plus GEMOX) every 2 weeks. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR).

Results

The study enrolled 122 patients between December 2010 and May 2012 (62 treated with C-GEMOX and 60 with GEMOX). Compared with GEMOX alone, C-GEMOX was associated with trend to better ORR (27% versus 15%; P = 0.12) and progression-free survival (PFS, 6.7 versus 4.1 months; P = 0.05), but not overall survival (OS, 10.6 versus 9.8 months; P = 0.91). KRAS mutations, which were detected in 36% of tumor samples, did not affect the trends of difference in ORR and PFS between C-GEMOX and GEMOX. The two treatment arms had similar adverse events, except that more patients had skin rashes, allergic reactions, and neutropenia in the C-GEMOX arm. Of patients with C-GEMOX, the presence of a grade 2 or 3 skin rash was associated with significantly better ORR, PFS, and OS.

Conclusions

Addition of cetuximab did not significantly improve the ORR of GEMOX chemotherapy in ABTC, although a trend of PFS improvement was observed. The trend of improvement did not correlate with KRAS mutation status.

Clinical Trials number

This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01267344). All patients gave written informed consent.


Background

Post-treatment survival experience of early colon cancer (CC) patients is well described in the literature, which states that cure is probable for some patients. However, comparisons of treated patients' survival versus that expected from a matched general population (MGP) are limited.

Patients and methods

A total of 32 745 patients from 25 randomized adjuvant trials conducted from 1977 to 2012 in 41 countries were pooled. Observed long-term survival of these patients was compared with expected survival matched on sex, age, country, and year, both overall and by stage (II and III), sex, treatment [surgery, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), 5-FU + oxaliplatin], age (<70 and 70+), enrollment year (pre/post 2000), and recurrence (yes/no). Comparisons were made at randomization and repeated conditional on survival to 1, 2, 3, and 5 years. CC and MGP equivalence was tested, and observed Kaplan–Meier survival rates compared with expected MGP rates 3 years out from each landmark. Analyses were also repeated in patients without recurrence.

Results

Within most cohorts, long-term survival of CC patients remained statistically worse than the MGP, though conditional survival generally improved over time. Among those surviving 5 years, stage II, oxaliplatin-treated, elderly, and recurrence-free patients achieved subsequent 3-year survival rates within 5% of the MGP, with recurrence-free patients achieving equivalence.

Conclusions

Conditional on survival to 5 years, long-term survival of most CC patients on clinical trials remains modestly poorer than an MGP, but achieves MGP levels in some subgroups. These findings emphasize the need for access to quality care and improved treatment and follow-up strategies.


Background

We undertook the present analysis to examine the shifting influence of prognostic factors in HIV-positive patients diagnosed with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) over the last two decades.

Patients and methods

We carried out a pooled analysis from an existing database of patients with AIDS-related lymphoma. Individual patient data had been obtained prior from prospective phase II or III clinical trials carried out between 1990 until 2010 in North America and Europe that studied chemo(immuno)therapy in HIV-positive patients diagnosed with AIDS-related lymphomas. Studies had been identified by a systematic review. We analyzed patient-level data for 1546 patients with AIDS-related lymphomas using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models to identify the association of patient-, lymphoma-, and HIV-specific variables with the outcomes complete response (CR), progression-free survival, and overall survival (OS) in different eras: pre-cART (1989–1995), early cART (1996–2000), recent cART (2001–2004), and contemporary cART era (2005–2010).

Results

Outcomes for patients with AIDS-related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma improved significantly over time, irrespective of baseline CD4 count or age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (IPI) risk category. Two-year OS was best in the contemporary era: 67% and 75% compared with 24% and 37% in the pre-cART era (P < 0.001). While the age-adjusted IPI was a significant predictor of outcome in all time periods, the influence of other factors waxed and waned. Individual HIV-related factors such as low CD4 counts (<50/mm3) and prior history of AIDS were no longer associated with poor outcomes in the contemporary era.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrate a significant improvement of CR rate and survival for all patients with AIDS-related lymphomas. Effective HIV-directed therapies reduce the impact of HIV-related prognostic factors on outcomes and allow curative antilymphoma therapy for the majority of patients with aggressive NHL.


Background

Central nervous system (CNS) relapse is an uncommon but challenging complication in patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Survival after CNS relapse is extremely poor. Identification of high-risk populations is therefore critical in determining patients who might be candidates for a prophylactic approach.

Patients and methods

A total of 608 patients (median age, 67 years; range 22–92) with MCL newly diagnosed between 1994 and 2012 were evaluated. Pretreatment characteristics and treatment regimens were evaluated for their association with CNS relapse by competing risk regression analysis.

Results

None of the patients received intrathecal prophylaxis. Overall, 33 patients (5.4%) experienced CNS relapse during a median follow-up of 42.7 months. Median time from diagnosis to CNS relapse was 20.3 months (range: 2.2–141.3 months). Three-year cumulative incidence of CNS relapse was 5.6% [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3.7% to 8.0%]. Univariate analysis revealed several risk factors including blastoid variant, leukemic presentation, high-risk MCL International Prognostic Index and high Ki-67 (proliferation marker). Multivariate analyses revealed that Ki-67 ≥ 30 was the only significant risk factor for CNS relapse (hazard ratio: 6.0, 95% CI 1.9–19.4, P = 0.003). Two-year cumulative incidence of CNS relapse in patients with Ki-67 ≥ 30 was 25.4% (95% CI 13.5–39.1), while that in the patients with Ki-67 < 30 was 1.6% (95% CI 0.4–4.2). None of the treatment modalities, including rituximab, high-dose cytarabine, high-dose methotrexate or consolidative autologous stem-cell transplant, were associated with a lower incidence of CNS relapse. Survival after CNS relapse was poor, with median survival time of 8.3 months. There was no significant difference in the survival by the site of CNS involvement.


Background

A subgroup of sarcomas is characterized by defining chromosomal translocations, creating fusion transcription factor oncogenes. Resultant fusion oncoproteins associate with chromatin-modifying complexes containing histone deacetylases (HDAC), and lead to epigenetic transcriptional dysregulation. HDAC inhibitors were shown to be effective in vitro, reversing gene repression by these complexes, restoring PTEN expression and apoptosis via the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

Patients and methods

SB939 is an oral inhibitor of classes 1 and 2 HDAC. Eligible patients with recurrent or metastatic translocation-associated sarcoma (TAS) by local pathology were treated with 60 mg/day every other day for 3 of 4 weeks. Central pathology review was conducted with fusion oncogenes characterized, and HDAC2 expression correlated with efficacy in pre-specified methods.

Results

Twenty-two patients were treated with a median of 2 cycles. Fourteen patients were assessable for response with confirmed specific chromosomal translocations; 8 had a best response of stable disease (SD) (median duration 5.4 months) with no confirmed objective responses. The 3-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 49%. Among those with HDAC2 score ≥5, 7/10 had SD, versus 0/3 with HDAC2 score <5. SB939 was considered as well tolerated with <10% patients experienced ≥grade 3 toxicity.

Conclusion

This study was stopped prematurely due to prolonged unavailability of SB939. No objective responses were seen. Although the observed SD in HDAC2 high patients was interesting, due to the small sample size, no definitive conclusion can be drawn about the efficacy of SB939 in this patient population.

Clinical trial

NCT01112384.


Background

The incidence of non-intercepted prescription errors and the risk factors involved, including the impact of computerised order entry (CPOE) systems on such errors, are unknown. Our objective was to determine the incidence, type, severity, and related risk factors of non-intercepted prescription dose errors.

Patients and methods

A prospective, comparative cohort study in two clinical oncology units. One institution used a CPOE system with no connection to the electronic patient record system, while the other used paper-based prescription forms. All standard prescriptions were included and reviewed. Doses were recalculated according to the guidelines of each institution, using the patient data as documented in the patient record, the paper-based prescription form, or the CPOE system. A non-intercepted prescription dose error was defined as ≥10% difference between the administered and the recalculated dose.

Results

Data were collected from 1 November 2012 to 15 January 2013. A total of 5767 prescriptions were evaluated, 2677 from the institution using CPOE and 3090 from the institution with paper-based prescription. Crude analysis showed an overall risk of a prescription dose error of 1.73 per 100 prescriptions. CPOE resulted in 1.60 and paper-based prescription forms in 1.84 errors per 100 prescriptions, i.e. odds ratio (OR) = 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59–1.29, P = 0.49]. Fifteen different types of errors and four potential risk factors were identified. None of the dose errors resulted in the death of the patient.

Conclusion(s)

Non-intercepted prescribing dose errors occurred in <2% of the prescriptions. The parallel CPOE system did not significantly reduce the overall risk of dose errors, and although it reduced the risk of calculation errors, it introduced other errors. Strategies to prevent future prescription errors could usefully focus on integrated computerised systems that can aid dose calculations and reduce transcription errors between databases.


Background

Minimal invasive methods are needed as an alternative to surgery for treatment of lung metastases.

Patients and methods

The prospective database of two cancer centers including all consecutive patients treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for lung metastasis over 8 years was reviewed. RFA was carried out under general anesthesia, with computed tomography guidance using a 15-gauge multitined expandable electrodes RF needle.

Results

Five hundred sixty-six patients including 290 men (51%), 62.7 ± 13.2 years old with primary tumor to the colon (34%), rectum (18%), kidney (12%), soft tissue (9%) and miscellaneous (27%) received 642 RFA for 1037 lung metastases. Fifty-three percent of patients had 1 metastasis, 25% had 2, 14% had 3, 5% had 4 and 4% had 5–8. Metastases were unilateral (75%), or bilateral (25%). The median diameter [extremes] of metastases was 15 mm (4–70). Twenty-two percent of patients had extrapulmonary disease amenable to local therapy including 49 liver, 16 bone and 60 miscellaneous metastases.

Median follow-up was 35.5 months. Median overall survival (OS) was 62 months. Four-year local efficacy was 89%. Four-year lung disease control rate was 44.1%, with patient retreated safely up to four times. Primary origin, disease-free interval, size and number of metastases were associated with OS in multivariate analysis. Progression at RFA site was associated with poor OS [P = 0.011, hazard ratio (HR): 1.69 (95% confidence interval 1.13–2.54)]. In the 293 colorectal cancer metastases, size >2 cm (HR = 2.10, P = 0.0027) and a number of metastases ≥3 (HR = 1.86, P = 0.011) remained significantly associated with OS. A prognostic score made of three groups based on the four above-mentioned prognostic factors demonstrated 3-year OS rates of respectively 82.2%, 69.5% and 53.6% (log-rank test, P ≤ 0.0001) among the three groups in the overall population, and of 81.3%, 72.8% and 57.9% (log-rank test, P = 0.005) in the colorectal cancer patients.

Conclusion

Radiofrequency is an option for treatment of small size lung metastases, namely the ones below 2–3 cm.


Background

Drug–drug interactions (DDIs) are of major concern in oncology, since cancer patients typically take many concomitant medications. Retrospective studies have been conducted to determine the prevalence of DDIs. However, prospective studies on DDIs needing interventions in cancer patients have not yet been carried out. Therefore, a prospective study was designed to identify DDIs leading to interventions among ambulatory cancer patients receiving anticancer treatment.

Patients and methods

Patients starting with a new treatment regimen with i.v. or oral anticancer medication were asked to participate. The patients’ medication was checked for DDIs by using drug interaction software. An expert team of clinical pharmacologists evaluated the relevance of these identified DDIs. If a DDI was qualified as potentially clinically relevant, an intervention was proposed to the treating (hemato)oncologist. Several variables were studied as determinants for performing an intervention. Descriptive statistics and uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out.

Results

In this study, 302 patients were included. A total of 603 DDIs were identified by the drug interaction software and judged by the expert team. Of all 603 DDIs, 120 DDIs were considered potentially clinically relevant. These 120 DDIs, present in a total of 81 patients, resulted in a clinical intervention already executed by the (hemato)oncologist in 39 patients (13%), while an additional intervention was proposed by a clinical pharmacologist in 42 patients (14%). The number of comorbidities and the number of ‘over-the-counter’ drugs were identified as determinants.

Conclusions

Clinical interventions on DDIs are frequently required among patients starting with anticancer therapy. Structured screening for these potentially clinically relevant DDIs, by (hemato)oncologists in close collaborations with clinical pharmacologists, should take place before the start and during anticancer treatment.

Clinical Trials number

This study was registered at the Dutch Trial Registry under number NTR3760.


Background

The aim of this study was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of OPB-51602, an oral, direct signal transduction activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) inhibitor, in patients with refractory solid tumors.

Patients and methods

Three cohorts were studied: cohort A, a sequential dose escalation of OPB-51602 administered intermittently (days 1–14 every 21 days); cohort B, an expansion cohort evaluating the dose lower than the MTD; cohort C, evaluating continuous daily dosing.

Results

Fifty-one patients were studied at 2, 4, and 5 mg per day dosing. The MTD was 5 mg; first-cycle dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were grade 3 hyponatremia in one patient, and grade 3 dehydration in another. Intermittent dosing of both 2 and 4 mg doses were tolerable, and the recommended phase II dose was 4 mg. Cohort B investigated 4 mg intermittently, whereas cohort C investigated 4 mg continuously. Common toxicities included fatigue, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and early-onset peripheral neuropathy. Drug-induced pneumonitis occurred in two patients in cohort C. Continuous dosing was associated with a higher incidence of peripheral neuropathy and a lower mean relative dose intensity, compared with intermittent dosing. Steady-state pharmacokinetics was characterized by high oral clearance, mean elimination half-life ranging from 44 to 61 h, and a large terminal-phase volume of distribution. An active metabolite, OPB-51822, accumulated to a greater extent than OPB-51602. Flow cytometry of peripheral blood mononuclear cells demonstrated pSTAT3 (Tyr705) inhibition following exposure. Two patients achieved partial responses at 5 mg intermittently and 4 mg continuously; both had epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with prior EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor exposure.

Conclusion

OPB-51602 demonstrates promising antitumor activity, particularly in NSCLC. Its long half-life and poorer tolerability of continuous dosing, compared with intermittent dosing, suggest that less frequent dosing should be explored.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier

NCT01184807.


Background

Objective was to determine maximum tolerated dose (MTD), recommended dose (RD) and schedule, safety, pharmacokinetic (PK) profile, pharmacodynamic (PD) effects, and antitumor activity of Debio0932, a new second-generation oral heat shock protein (HSP) inhibitor.

Patients and methods

This was a multicenter, uncontrolled, open-label, nonrandomized, dose-escalation study in adults with treatment-resistant advanced cancer. Groups of three patients received oral Debio0932 either daily or every other day. The starting dose of 50 mg was escalated until the MTD was reached, i.e. dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) occurred in ≥2 patients. Further 9 patients and an extension cohort of 30 patients were treated at the next lower dose (=RD). Adverse events (AEs), tumor response, PK, and HSP70 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were recorded over 30 days.

Results

Fifty patients were treated with doses up to 1600 mg, at which level three DLT occurred (febrile neutropenia, diarrhea, asthenia). In total, 39 patients were then treated at the RD of 1000 mg daily. Most common drug-related AEs were asthenia and gastrointestinal events. No ocular toxicities were observed. Debio0932 was rapidly absorbed and metabolized. Plasma steady state was reached within 9 days. Volume of distribution was high and elimination half-life was 9–11 h. Food had no effect on PK. PD showed large interpatient variability, but no dose–effect relationship. Partial tumor response was observed in 2 patients (NSCLC and breast cancer), stable disease (SD) in 12 patients (5 of 8 NSCLC patients). In the extension cohort, 9 patients had SD, and 1 patient a partial metabolic tumor response.

Conclusion

Debio0932 has limited clinical activity, together with manageable toxicity. Further development as adjunct treatment of NSCLC at daily doses of 1000 mg is warranted.

Clinical trial

NCT01168752.


Background

We carried out a phase I trial of the vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor pazopanib and the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat to determine the safety and efficacy. Because these agents are known to target factors activated by TP53 mutation and facilitate mutant p53 degradation, a subgroup analysis may be interesting in patients with TP53 mutant malignancies.

Patients and methods

Patients with advanced solid tumors (n = 78) were enrolled following a 3 + 3 design, with dose expansion for those with responsive tumors. Hotspot TP53 mutations were tested when tumor specimens were available.

Results

Adverse events of ≥grade 3 included thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue, hypertension, diarrhea and vomiting. Overall, the treatment produced stable disease for at least 6 months or partial response (SD ≥6 months/PR) in 19% of the patients, median progression-free survival (PFS) of 2.2 months, and median overall survival (OS) of 8.9 months. In patients with detected hotspot TP53 mutant advanced solid tumors (n = 11), the treatment led to a 45% rate of SD ≥6 months/PR (1 PR and 3 SD ≥6 months), median PFS of 3.5 months, and median OS of 12.7 months, compared favorably with the results for patients with undetected hotspot TP53 mutations (n = 25): 16% (1 PR and 3 SD ≥6 months, P = 0.096), 2.0 months (P = 0.042), and 7.4 months (P = 0.1), respectively.

Conclusion

The recommended phase II dosage was oral pazopanib at 600 mg daily plus oral vorinostat at 300 mg daily. The preliminary evidence supports further evaluation of the combination in cancer patients with mutated TP53, especially in those with metastatic sarcoma or metastatic colorectal cancer.

Clinical trial registration

www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01339871


Background

Molecular phenotypes of invasive breast cancer predict early recurrence. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) exhibits similar phenotypes, but their frequency and significance remain unclear. To determine whether DCIS molecular phenotypes predict recurrence, 314 women (median age 57.7 years) with primary DCIS who were screened or entered DCIS trials in a specialist breast unit from 1990 to 2010 were studied.

Patients and methods

Expression of Ki67, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) within primary DCIS was established using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Patients were subdivided into molecular phenotypes using IHC surrogates [Luminal A (ER/PR+HER2–), Luminal B (ER/PR+/HER2+), HER2 type (ER and PR–/HER2+) or triple negative (ER/PR/HER2)] and recurrence rates compared.

Results

Overall, there were 57 (18.2%) recurrences, 35 (11.2%) DCIS and 22 (7%) invasive cancer. A low rate of recurrence at 5 years was seen in Luminal A DCIS (7.6%), compared with 15.8%–36.1% in other phenotypes. Independent predictors of overall recurrence on multivariate analysis were involved (<1 mm) surgical margins (HR 4.31, P < 0.001), high-grade lesions (HR 2.28, P < 0.024) and molecular phenotype (HR 5.14, P = 0.001 for Luminal B; HR 6.46, P < 0.001 for HER2 type and HR 3.27, P = 0.028 for triple-negative disease compared with Luminal A DCIS). Independent predictors for invasive recurrence were high Ki67 expression (HR 1.04, P = 0.021) and molecular phenotype (HR 13.4, P = 0.014 for Luminal B; HR 11.4, P = 0.027 for HER2 type and HR 10.3, P = 0.031 for triple negative compared with Luminal A DCIS).

Conclusions

DCIS molecular phenotype predicts for both overall and invasive recurrence. HER2 testing of DCIS could help clinicians individualise the treatment of patients with DCIS.


Background

A previously carried out randomized phase IIb, placebo-controlled trial of 1 year of inhaled budesonide, which was nested in a lung cancer screening study, showed that non-solid and partially solid lung nodules detected by low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), and not immediately suspicious for lung cancer, tended to regress. Because some of these nodules may be slow-growing adenocarcinoma precursors, we evaluated long-term outcomes (after stopping the 1-year intervention) by annual LDCT.

Patients and methods

We analyzed the evolution of target and non-target trial nodules detected by LDCT in the budesonide and placebo arms up to 5 years after randomization. The numbers and characteristics of lung cancers diagnosed during follow-up were also analyzed.

Results

The mean maximum diameter of non-solid nodules reduced significantly (from 5.03 mm at baseline to 2.61 mm after 5 years) in the budesonide arm; there was no significant size change in the placebo arm. The mean diameter of partially solid lesions also decreased significantly, but only by 0.69 mm. The size of solid nodules did not change. Neither the number of new lesions nor the number of lung cancers differed in the two arms.

Conclusions

Inhaled budesonide given for 1 year significantly decreased the size of non-solid nodules detected by screening LDCT after 5 years. This is of potential importance since some of these nodules may progress slowly to adenocarcinoma. However, further studies are required to assess clinical implications.

Clinical trial number

NCT01540552.