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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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To complement the existing treatment guidelines for all tumour types, ESMO organises consensus conferences to focus on specific issues in each type of tumour. The Second ESMO Consensus Conference on Lung Cancer was held on 11–12 May 2013 in Lugano. A total of 35 experts met to address several questions on management of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in each of four areas: pathology and molecular biomarkers, early stage disease, locally advanced disease and advanced (metastatic) disease. For each question, recommendations were made including reference to the grade of recommendation and level of evidence. This consensus paper focuses on recommendations for pathology and molecular biomarkers in relation to the diagnosis of lung cancer, primarily non-small-cell carcinomas.


Mast cell leukemia (MCL), the leukemic manifestation of systemic mastocytosis (SM), is characterized by leukemic expansion of immature mast cells (MCs) in the bone marrow (BM) and other internal organs; and a poor prognosis. In a subset of patients, circulating MCs are detectable. A major differential diagnosis to MCL is myelomastocytic leukemia (MML). Although criteria for both MCL and MML have been published, several questions remain concerning terminologies and subvariants. To discuss open issues, the EU/US-consensus group and the European Competence Network on Mastocytosis (ECNM) launched a series of meetings and workshops in 2011–2013. Resulting discussions and outcomes are provided in this article. The group recommends that MML be recognized as a distinct condition defined by mastocytic differentiation in advanced myeloid neoplasms without evidence of SM. The group also proposes that MCL be divided into acute MCL and chronic MCL, based on the presence or absence of C-Findings. In addition, a primary (de novo) form of MCL should be separated from secondary MCL that typically develops in the presence of a known antecedent MC neoplasm, usually aggressive SM (ASM) or MC sarcoma. For MCL, an imminent prephase is also proposed. This prephase represents ASM with rapid progression and 5%–19% MCs in BM smears, which is generally accepted to be of prognostic significance. We recommend that this condition be termed ASM in transformation to MCL (ASM-t). The refined classification of MCL fits within and extends the current WHO classification; and should improve prognostication and patient selection in practice as well as in clinical trials.


The therapeutic landscape of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) has been revolutionized by the arrival of multiple novel agents in the past 2 years. Immunotherapy in the form of sipuleucel-T, androgen axis inhibitors, including abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, a chemotherapeutic agent, cabazitaxel, and a radiopharmaceutical, radium-223, have all yielded incremental extensions of survival and have been recently approved. A number of other agents appear promising in early studies, suggesting that the armamentarium against castrate-resistant prostate cancer is likely to continue to expand. Emerging androgen pathway inhibitors include androgen synthesis inhibitors (TAK700), androgen receptor inhibitors (ARN-509, ODM-201), AR DNA binding domain inhibitors (EPI-001), selective AR downregulators or SARDs (AZD-3514), and agents that inhibit both androgen synthesis and receptor binding (TOK-001/galeterone). Promising immunotherapeutic agents include poxvirus vaccines and CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Biologic agents targeting the molecular drivers of disease are also being investigated as single agents, including cabozantinib (Met and VEGFR2 inhibitor) and tasquinimod (angiogenesis and immune modulatory agent). Despite the disappointing results seen from studies evaluating docetaxel in combination with other agents, including GVAX, anti-angiogentic agents (bevacizumab, aflibercept, lenalinomide), a SRC kinase inhibitor (dasatinib), endothelin receptor antagonists (atrasentan, zibotentan), and high-dose calcitriol (DN-101), the results from the trial evaluating docetaxel in combination with the clusterin antagonist, custirsen, are eagerly awaited. New therapeutic hurdles consist of discovering new targets, understanding resistance mechanisms, the optimal sequencing and combinations of available agents, as well as biomarkers predictive for benefit. Novel agents targeting bone metastases are being developed following the success of zoledronic acid and denosumab. Finally, all of these modalities do not appear curative, suggesting that clinical trial enrollment and a better understanding of biology remain of paramount importance.


Background

Current evidence on myelopoietic growth factors is difficult to overview for the practicing haematologist/oncologist. International guidelines are sometimes conflicting, exclude certain patient groups, or cannot directly be applied to the German health system. This guideline by the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) gives evidence-based recommendations for the use of G-CSF, pegylated G-CSF, and biosimilars to prevent infectious complications in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, including those with haematological malignancies.

Methods

We systematically searched and evaluated current evidence. An expert panel discussed the results and recommendations. We then compared our recommendations to current international guidelines.

Results

We summarised the data from eligible studies in evidence tables, developed recommendations for different entities and risk groups.

Conclusion

Comprehensive literature search and expert panel consensus confirmed many key recommendations given by international guidelines. Evidence for growth factors during acute myeloid leukaemia induction chemotherapy and pegfilgrastim use in haematological malignancies was rated lower compared with other guidelines.


The late effects of cancer treatment have recently gained a worldwide interest among reproductive endocrinologists, oncologists, and all health-care providers, and the protection against iatrogenic infertility caused by chemotherapy assumes a high priority. Here, we summarize the case for and against using GnRH-agonist for fertility preservation and minimizing chemotherapy-induced gonadotoxicity. The rationale and philosophy supporting its use is that preventing premature ovarian failure (POF) is preferable to treating it, following the dictum: ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Despite many publications on this subject, there are many equivocal issues necessitating summary. Until now, 20 studies (15 retrospective and 5 randomized, controlled trials) have reported on 1837 patients treated with GnRH-a in parallel to chemotherapy, showing a significant decrease in POF rate in survivors versus 9 studies reporting on 593 patients, with results not supporting GnRH-a use. Patients treated with GnRH-a in parallel to chemotherapy preserved their cyclic ovarian function in 91% of cases when compared with 41% of controls, with a pregnancy rate of 19–71% in the treated patients. Furthermore, seven meta-analyses have concluded that GnRH-a are beneficial and may decrease the risk of POF in survivors. However, controversy still remains regarding the efficiency of GnRH-a in preserving fertility. Since not all the methods involving fertility preservation are unequivocally successful and safe, these young patients deserve to be informed of all the various modalities to minimize gonadal damage and preserve ovarian function and future fertility. Combining several methods for a specific patient may increase the odds for minimally invasive fertility preservation.


Background

Plasma-derived cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) constitutes a potential surrogate for tumor DNA obtained from tissue biopsies. We posit that massively parallel sequencing (MPS) analysis of ctDNA may help define the repertoire of mutations in breast cancer and monitor tumor somatic alterations during the course of targeted therapy.

Patient and methods

A 66-year-old patient presented with synchronous estrogen receptor-positive/HER2-negative, highly proliferative, grade 2, mixed invasive ductal–lobular carcinoma with bone and liver metastases at diagnosis. DNA extracted from archival tumor material, plasma and peripheral blood leukocytes was subjected to targeted MPS using a platform comprising 300 cancer genes known to harbor actionable mutations. Multiple plasma samples were collected during the fourth line of treatment with an AKT inhibitor.

Results

Average read depths of 287x were obtained from the archival primary tumor, 139x from the liver metastasis and between 200x and 900x from ctDNA samples. Sixteen somatic non-synonymous mutations were detected in the liver metastasis, of which 9 (CDKN2A, AKT1, TP53, JAK3, TSC1, NF1, CDH1, MML3 and CTNNB1) were also detected in >5% of the alleles found in the primary tumor sample. Not all mutations identified in the metastasis were reliably identified in the primary tumor (e.g. FLT4). Analysis of ctDNA, nevertheless, captured all mutations present in the primary tumor and/or liver metastasis. In the longitudinal monitoring of the patient, the mutant allele fractions identified in ctDNA samples varied over time and mirrored the pharmacodynamic response to the targeted therapy as assessed by positron emission tomography–computed tomography.

Conclusions

This proof-of-principle study is one of the first to demonstrate that high-depth targeted MPS of plasma-derived ctDNA constitutes a potential tool for de novo mutation identification and monitoring of somatic genetic alterations during the course of targeted therapy, and may be employed to overcome the challenges posed by intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity.

Registered clinical trial

www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01090960.


Background

E75 (nelipepimut-S) is a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2/A3-restricted immunogenic peptide derived from the HER2 protein. We have conducted phase I/II clinical trials vaccinating breast cancer patients with nelipepimut-S and granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the adjuvant setting to prevent disease recurrence. All patients have completed 60 months follow-up, and here, we report the final analyses.

Patients and methods

The studies were conducted as dose escalation/schedule optimization trials enrolling node-positive and high-risk node-negative patients with tumors expressing any degree of HER2 (immunohistochemistry 1–3+). HLA-A2/3+ patients were vaccinated; others were followed prospectively as controls. Local and systemic toxicity was monitored. Clinical recurrences were documented, and disease-free survival (DFS) was analyzed by Kaplan–Meier curves; groups were compared using log-rank tests.

Results

Of 195 enrolled patients, 187 were assessable: 108 (57.8%) in the vaccinated group (VG) and 79 (42.2%) in the control group (CG). The groups were well matched for clinicopathologic characteristics. Toxicities were minimal. Five-year DFS was 89.7% in the VG versus 80.2% in the CG (P = 0.08). Due to trial design, 65% of patients received less than the optimal vaccine dose. Five-year DFS was 94.6% in optimally dosed patients (P = 0.05 versus the CG) and 87.1% in suboptimally dosed patients. A voluntary booster program was initiated, and among the 21 patients that were optimally boosted, there was only one recurrence (DFS = 95.2%).

Conclusion

The E75 vaccine is safe and appears to have clinical efficacy. A phase III trial evaluating the optimal dose and including booster inoculations has been initiated.

Clinical Trials

NCT00841399, NCT00584789.


Background

S-1 is an oral fluoropyrimidine whose antitumor effects have been demonstrated in treating various gastrointestinal cancers, including metastatic colon cancer, when administered as monotherapy or in combination chemotherapy. We conducted a randomized phase III study investigating the efficacy of S-1 as adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer by evaluating its noninferiority to tegafur–uracil plus leucovorin (UFT/LV).

Patients and methods

Patients aged 20–80 years with curatively resected stage III colon cancer were randomly assigned to receive S-1 (80–120 mg/day on days 1–28 every 42 days; four courses) or UFT/LV (UFT: 300–600 mg/day and LV: 75 mg/day on days 1–28 every 35 days; five courses). The primary end point was disease-free survival (DFS) at 3 years.

Results

A total of 1518 patients (758 and 760 in the S-1 and UFT/LV group, respectively) were included in the full analysis set. The 3-year DFS rate was 75.5% and 72.5% in the S-1 and UFT/LV group, respectively. The stratified hazard ratio for DFS in the S-1 group compared with the UFT/LV group was 0.85 (95% confidence interval: 0.70–1.03), demonstrating the noninferiority of S-1 (noninferiority stratified log-rank test, P < 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, no significant interactions were identified between the major baseline characteristics and the treatment groups.

Conclusion

Adjuvant chemotherapy using S-1 for stage III colon cancer was confirmed to be noninferior in DFS compared with UFT/LV. S-1 could be a new treatment option as adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer.

ClinicalTrials.gov

NCT00660894.


Background

Tremelimumab (CP-675,206) is a fully human monoclonal antibody binding to cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4) on T cells that stimulates the immune system by blocking the CTLA4-negative regulatory signal. Combination with standard chemotherapy may strengthen antitumor therapy. This is a phase Ib, multisite, open-label, nonrandomized dose escalation trial evaluating the safety, tolerability, and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of tremelimumab combined with gemcitabine in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Patients and methods

Gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of each 28-day cycles) was administrated with escalating doses of i.v. tremelimumab (6, 10, or 15 mg/kg) on day 1 of each 84-day cycle for a maximum of 4 cycles. The first 18 patients had an initial 4-week gemcitabine-only lead-in period. Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) related to tremelimumab were evaluated during the first 6 weeks after the first dose of tremelimumab.

Results

From June 2008 to August 2011, 34 patients were enrolled and received at least one dose of tremelimumab. No DLTs related to tremelimumab were observed at any dose, even when the maximum dose established for tremelimumab (15 mg/kg) was used. Most frequent grade 3/4 toxicities were asthenia (11.8%) and nausea (8.8%). Only one patient had a serious drug-related event (diarrhea with dehydration). The median overall survival was 7.4 months (95% confidence interval 5.8–9.4 months). At the end of treatment, two patients achieved partial response. Both patients received tremelimumab 15-mg/kg group (n = 2/19, 10.5%).

Conclusion

Tremelimumab plus gemcitabine demonstrated a safety and tolerability profile, warranting further study in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

ClinicalTrials.gov ID

NCT00556023.


Background

Treatment with antiepidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) monoclonal antibodies has been restricted to metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with RAS wild-type tumors. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) allows the assessment in a single analysis of a large number of gene alterations and might provide important predictive and prognostic information.

Patients and methods

In the CAPRI-GOIM trial, 340 KRAS exon 2 wild-type mCRC patients received first-line FOLFIRI plus cetuximab. Tumor samples (182/340, 53.5%) were assessed by NGS to search for mutations in 22 genes involved in colon cancer.

Results

Objective responses in the NGS cohort were observed in 104/182 patients [overall response rate (ORR) 57.1%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 52% to 66.4%] with a median progression-free survival (mPFS) of 9.8 (95% CI 8.7–11.5) months. NGS analysis was successfully completed in all 182 samples. One or more gene mutations (up to five) were detected in 124/182 (68.1%) tumors within 14/22 genes for a total of 206 mutations. KRAS exon 2 mutations were identified in 29/182 (15.9%) samples, defined as wild type by local laboratory assessment. Frequently mutated genes were: TP53 (39.6%), KRAS exons 3/4 (8.8%), NRAS exons 2/3 (7.1%), PIK3CA exons 9/20 (13.2%), BRAF (8.2%). FOLFIRI plus cetuximab treatment determined ORR of 62.0% (95% CI 55.5% to 74.6%) with mPFS of 11.1 (95% CI 9.2–12.8) months in patients with KRAS and NRAS wild-type tumors. Conversely, ORR was 46.6% (95% CI 39.9–57.5%) with mPFS of 8.9 (95% CI 7.4–9.6) months in patients with KRAS or NRAS mutations. Similarly, the subgroup of patients carrying KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, or PIK3CA mutations showed a worse outcome, although this might be due to a prognostic effect.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that NGS analysis in mCRC is feasible, reveals high level of intra and intertumor heterogeneity, and identifies patients that might benefit of FOLFIRI plus cetuximab treatment.


Background

Masitinib is a highly selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor with activity against the main oncogenic drivers of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Masitinib was evaluated in patients with advanced GIST after imatinib failure or intolerance.

Patients and methods

Prospective, multicenter, randomized, open-label trial. Patients with inoperable, advanced imatinib-resistant GIST were randomized (1 : 1) to receive masitinib (12 mg/kg/day) or sunitinib (50 mg/day 4-weeks-on/2-weeks-off) until progression, intolerance, or refusal. Primary efficacy analysis was noncomparative, testing whether masitinib attained a median progression-free survival (PFS) (blind centrally reviewed RECIST) threshold of >3 months according to the lower bound of the 90% unilateral confidence interval (CI). Secondary analyses on overall survival (OS) and PFS were comparative with results presented according to a two-sided 95% CI.

Results

Forty-four patients were randomized to receive masitinib (n = 23) or sunitinib (n = 21). Median follow-up was 14 months. Patients receiving masitinib experienced less toxicity than those receiving sunitinib, with significantly lower occurrence of severe adverse events (52% versus 91%, respectively, P = 0.008). Median PFS (central RECIST) for the noncomparative primary analysis in the masitinib treatment arm was 3.71 months (90% CI 3.65). Secondary analyses showed that median OS was significantly longer for patients receiving masitinib followed by post-progression addition of sunitinib when compared against patients treated directly with sunitinib in second-line [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.27, 95% CI 0.09–0.85, P = 0.016]. This improvement was sustainable as evidenced by 26-month follow-up OS data (HR = 0.40, 95% CI 0.16–0.96, P = 0.033); an additional 12.4 months survival advantage being reported for the masitinib treatment arm. Risk of progression while under treatment with masitinib was in the same range as for sunitinib (HR = 1.1, 95% CI 0.6–2.2, P = 0.833).

Conclusions

Primary efficacy analysis ensured the masitinib treatment arm could satisfy a prespecified PFS threshold. Secondary efficacy analysis showed that masitinib followed by the standard of care generated a statistically significant survival benefit over standard of care. Encouraging median OS and safety data from this well-controlled and appropriately designed randomized trial indicate a positive benefit–risk ratio. Further development of masitinib in imatinib-resistant/intolerant patients with advanced GIST is warranted.


Background

Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (neo-CRT) followed by surgery has been shown to improve esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients' survival compared with surgery alone. However, the outcomes of CRT are heterogeneous, and no clinical or pathological method can currently predict CRT response. In this study, we aim to identify mRNA markers useful for ESCC CRT-response prediction.

Patients and methods

Gene expression analyses were carried out on pretreated cancer biopsies from 28 ESCCs who received neo-CRT and surgery. Surgical specimens were assessed for pathological response to CRT. The differentially expressed genes identified by expression profiling were validated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and a classifying model was built from qPCR data using Fisher's linear discriminant analysis. The predictive power of this model was further assessed in a second set of 32 ESCCs.

Results

The profiling of the 28 ESCCs identified 10 differentially expressed genes with more than a twofold change between patients with pathological complete response (pCR) and less than pCR (<pCR). A prediction model based on the qPCR values of three genes was generated, which provided a predictive accuracy of 86% upon leave-one-out cross-validation. Furthermore, the predictive power of this model was validated in another cohort of 32 ESCCs, among which a predictive accuracy of 81% was achieved. Importantly, the discriminant score was found to be the only independent factor that affected neo-CRT response in both the training (P = 0.015) and validation (P = 0.017) sets, respectively.

Conclusion

The expression levels of three genes determined by qPCR provide a possible model for ESCC CRT prediction, which will facilitate the individualization of ESCC treatment. Further prospective validation in larger independent cohorts is necessary to fully assess its predictive power.


Background

High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) is an effective salvage treatment of germ-cell tumors (GCTs) patients. In the first salvage setting, 30%–70% of patients may achieve durable remissions. Even when HDCT is administered as subsequent salvage treatment, up to 20% of patients may still be definitively cured. However, patients with refractory/relapsed disease still have a very poor long-term prognosis, requiring earlier intervention of HDCT.

Patients and methods

This phase II trial was addressed to nonrefractory patients failing Cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Inclusion criteria included seminomatous GCT in relapse after two lines of chemotherapy, nonseminomatous GCT in relapse after first or second lines, partial remission after first line, primary mediastinal GCT in first relapse. Patients received two cycles combining Epirubicin and Paclitaxel (Epi-Tax), followed by three consecutive HDCT, one using a Paclitaxel/Thiotepa (Thio-Tax) association and two using the 5-day Ifosfamide–Carboplatin–Etoposide regimen. The main objective was to determine the complete response rate.

Results

Forty-five patients were included between September 2004 and December 2007: 44 received the first HDCT cycle, 39 two HDCT cycles, 29 could receive the whole protocol. Sixteen patients did not receive the entire protocol, including eight (17.7%) for toxic side-effects. Two patients (4.4%) died of toxicities, and 17 (37.7%) of disease progression. With a median follow-up time of 26 months (range, 4–51), the final overall response rate was 48.8% (including a complete response rate of 15.5% and a partial response/negative serum markers rate of 26.6%) in an intent-to-treat analysis. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) times were 22 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 2–not reached] and 32 months (95% CI 4–49), respectively. The 2-year PFS was a plateau setup at 50% (95% CI 32–67) and the 2-year OS was 66% (95% CI 44–81).

Conclusion

The TAXIF II protocol was effective in nonrefractory GCT patients failing Cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The toxic death rate remained acceptable in the field of HDCT regimens.

Trial registration number

NCT00231582.


Background

Few articles have documented regimens and timing of perioperative chemotherapy for bladder cancer in routine practice. Here, we describe practice patterns in the general population of Ontario, Canada.

Methods

In this retrospective cohort study, treatment and physician billing records were linked to the Ontario Cancer Registry to describe use of neoadjuvant (NACT) and adjuvant (ACT) chemotherapy among all patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer treated with cystectomy in Ontario 1994–2008. Time to initiation of ACT (TTAC) was measured from cystectomy. Multivariate Cox regression was used to identify factors associated with overall (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS).

Results

Of 2944 patients undergoing cystectomy, 4% (129/2944) and 19% (571/2944) were treated with NACT and ACT, respectively. Five-year OS was 25% [95% confidence interval (CI) 17% to 34%] for NACT, 29% (95% CI 25% to 33%) for ACT cases. Among patients with identifiable drug regimens, cisplatin was used in 82% (253/308) and carboplatin in 14% (43/308). The most common regimens were gemcitabine–cisplatin (54%, 166/308) and methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, cisplatin (MVAC) (21%, 66/308). Mean TTAC was 10 weeks; 23% of patients had TTAC >12 weeks. TTAC >12 weeks was associated with inferior OS [hazard ratio (HR) 1.28, 95% CI 1.00–1.62] and CSS (HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00–1.69). In adjusted analyses, OS and CSS were lower among patients treated with carboplatin compared with those treated with cisplatin; OS HR 2.14 (95% CI 1.40–3.29) and CSS HR 2.06 (95% CI 1.26–3.37).

Conclusions

Most patients in the general population receive cisplatin, and this may be associated with superior outcomes to carboplatin. Initiation of ACT beyond 12 weeks is associated with inferior survival. Patients should start ACT as soon as they are medically fit to do so.


Background

We conducted a phase I trial of gemcitabine (gem) with concurrent radiotherapy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BC) ineligible for surgery or cisplatin or refusing organ loss.

Patients and methods

Patients with urothelial cancer, cT2-T4, cN0-1, M0, ineligible for surgery due to local tumor extension, PS, age or co-morbidities or who refused surgery were included. After maximal transurethral resection, the treatment schedule included: twice-weekly i.v. infusion of gem [dose levels (DL) 1–6: 20, 27, 30, 33, 50 and 40 mg/m2, respectively] for 30 min and concurrent radiotherapy (RT) to the bladder with 55.5 Gy. The primary end point was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose recommended (RD) for further studies of this gem schedule. The secondary end point was late toxicity. The MTD was defined by dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) in 2 or more of 6 patients, discontinuation of RT and/or gem for >1 week in 2 or more of 6 patients due to grade (G) 3/4 acute and/or late toxicity in more than 2 of 18 patients.

Results

Thirty-five of 44 patients were assessable for toxicity and thus the primary end point. DLTs occurred in two of five patients at dose level 5: one G3 alanine aminotransferase elevation and one G3 fatigue. The MTD, therefore, was 50 mg/m2 gem twice weekly. At DL 6 with 40 mg/m2, the RD was established: only one of six patients developed G3 fatigue and diarrhea. Late toxicity was rare and of low grade (only G1-2). The 2-year locoregional failure rate was 32% (9/28); 10 of 28 patients (38%) were alive with an intact bladder and no evidence of recurrent disease, 9 patients developed distant metastases and 6 died of their disease.

Conclusions

Gemcitabine in combination with RT is well tolerated in BC patients ineligible for surgery and/or cisplatin. The RD of gemcitabine for subsequent trials is 40 mg/m2 twice weekly with concurrent radiation.


Background

This phase I/II study was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, and efficacy of lenalidomide plus sunitinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients.

Patients and methods

Patients with histologically confirmed, metastatic RCC were treated with 10 mg/day lenalidomide plus 37.5 mg/day sunitinib, orally in 21-day cycles. Doses were escalated to determine the MTD in phase I, with additional patients planned at this dose in phase II. Primary end points were MTD and response rate.

Results

Sixteen patients received a median of 2, 3, and 5 cycles in cohort 1 [lenalidomide 10 mg (days 1–21) and sunitinib 37.5 mg (days 1–21)], cohort 2 [lenalidomide 10 mg (days 1–21) and sunitinib 37.5 mg (days 1–14)], and cohort 3 [lenalidomide 15 mg (days 1–21) and sunitinib 37.5 mg (days 1–14)], respectively. Median treatment durations were 41, 63, and 97 days for lenalidomide; and 41, 57, and 97.5 days for sunitinib. The MTD was found to be continuous dosing of lenalidomide 10 mg/day plus sunitinib 37.5 mg/day for 14 of 21 days. Dose-limiting toxicities included neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, asthenia, atrial fibrillation, and increased transaminases. The most frequent grade 3–4 treatment-emergent adverse events were hematologic, including neutropenia and leukopenia. One patient achieved partial response, and seven had stable disease of which three were confirmed at subsequent tumor assessments. B cells and several T-cell subsets were modulated versus baseline.

Conclusion

The dose schedules of lenalidomide and sunitinib evaluated in this study were not well tolerated; cumulative toxicity precluded enrollment at the MTD.


Background

To improve outcome of elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, dose-dense rituximab was evaluated in the prospective DENSE-R-CHOP-14 trial.

Patients and methods

Rituximab (375 mg/m2) was given on days 0, 1, 4, 8, 15, 22, 29, 43, 57, 71, 85, and 99 together with six CHOP-14 cycles. Results were to be compared with patients who had received the same chemotherapy in combination with eight 2-week applications of rituximab in RICOVER-60.

Results

One hundred twenty-four patients are assessable. Dose-dense rituximab resulted in considerably higher serum levels during the first 50 days of treatment, but rituximab exposure time was not prolonged. Grade 3 and 4 infections were exceptionally high in the first 20 patients without anti-infective prophylaxis, but decreased after introduction of prophylaxis with aciclovir and cotrimoxazole in the remaining 104 patients (from 13% to 6% per cycle and from 35% to 18% per patient; P = 0.007 and P = 0.125, respectively). Patients with international prognostic index = 3–5 had higher complete response/complete response unconfirmed rates (82% versus 68%; P = 0.033) than in the respective RICOVER-60 population, but this did not translate into better long-term outcome, even though male hazard was decreased (event-free survival: from 1.5 to 1.1; progression-free survival: from 1.7 to 1.1; overall survival: from 1.4 to 1.0).

Conclusions

Dose-dense rituximab achieved higher rituximab serum levels, but was not more effective than eight 2-week applications in the historical control population, even though minor improvements in poor-prognosis and male patients cannot be excluded. The increased, though manageable toxicity, precludes its use in routine practice. Our results strongly support anti-infective prophylaxis with aciclovir and cotrimoxazole for all patients receiving R-CHOP.


Background

Forodesine is a potent inhibitor of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) that leads to intracellular accumulation of deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP) in T and B cells, resulting in apoptosis. Forodesine has demonstrated impressive antitumor activity in early phase clinical trials in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Patients and methods

In this phase II study, patients with CTCL who had already failed three or more systemic therapies were recruited. We investigated the response rate, safety and tolerability of oral forodesine treatment in subjects with cutaneous manifestations of CTCL, stages IB, IIA, IIB, III and IVA. The safety population encompassing all stages was used for analysis of accountability, demographics and safety. The efficacy population differed from the safety population by exclusion of stage IB and IIA patients.

Results

All 144 patients had performance status 0–2. The median duration of CTCL from diagnosis was 53 months (5–516 months). The median number of pretreatments was 4 (range: 3–15). No complete remissions were observed. In the efficacy group of patients, 11% achieved partial remission and 50% had stable disease. The median time to response was 56 days and the median duration of response was 191 days. A total of 96% of all treated patients reported one or more adverse events (AEs) and 33% reported a serious AE. The majority of AEs were classified as mild or moderate in severity. The most commonly reported AEs (>10%) were peripheral edema, fatigue, insomnia, pruritus, diarrhea, headache and nausea. Overall eight patients died during the study: five due to sepsis and infections, one due to a second malignancy (esophageal cancer), one due to disease progression and one due to liver failure.

Conclusion

Oral forodesine at a dose of 200 mg daily is feasible and shows partial efficacy in this highly selected CTCL population and some durable responses.


Background

Afatinib is an oral, irreversible ErbB family blocker that has shown activity in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated lung cancer. We hypothesized that the agent would have greater antitumor activity compared with cetuximab in recurrent or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients, whose disease has progressed after platinum-containing therapy.

Patients and methods

An open-label, randomized, phase II trial was conducted in 43 centers; 124 patients were randomized (1 : 1) to either afatinib (50 mg/day) or cetuximab (250 mg/m2/week) until disease progression or intolerable adverse events (AEs) (stage I), with optional crossover (stage II). The primary end point was tumor shrinkage before crossover assessed by investigator (IR) and independent central review (ICR).

Results

A total of 121 patients were treated (61 afatinib, 60 cetuximab) and 68 crossed over to stage II (32 and 36 respectively). In stage I, mean tumor shrinkage by IR/ICR was 10.4%/16.6% with afatinib and 5.4%/10.1% with cetuximab (P = 0.46/0.30). Objective response rate was 16.1%/8.1% with afatinib and 6.5%/9.7% with cetuximab (IR/ICR). Comparable disease control rates were observed with afatinib (50%) and cetuximab (56.5%) by IR; similar results were seen by ICR. Most common grade ≥3 drug-related AEs (DRAEs) were rash/acne (18% versus 8.3%), diarrhea (14.8% versus 0%), and stomatitis/mucositis (11.5% versus 0%) with afatinib and cetuximab, respectively. Patients with DRAEs leading to treatment discontinuation were 23% with afatinib and 5% with cetuximab. In stage II, disease control rate (IR/ICR) was 38.9%/33.3% with afatinib and 18.8%/18.8% with cetuximab.

Conclusion

Afatinib showed antitumor activity comparable to cetuximab in R/M HNSCC in this exploratory phase II trial, although more patients on afatinib discontinued treatment due to AEs. Sequential EGFR/ErbB treatment with afatinib and cetuximab provided sustained clinical benefit in patients after crossover, suggesting a lack of cross-resistance.


Background

Chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) is a clinically important complication that affects patient outcome by delaying chemotherapy doses or reducing dose intensity. Risk of FN depends on chemotherapy- and patient-level factors. We sought to determine the effects of chronic comorbidities on risk of FN.

Design

We conducted a cohort study to examine the association between a variety of chronic comorbidities and risk of FN in patients diagnosed with six types of cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast, colorectal, lung, ovary, and gastric cancer) from 2000 to 2009 who were treated with chemotherapy at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, a large managed care organization. We excluded those patients who received primary prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. History of comorbidities and FN events were identified using electronic medical records. Cox models adjusting for propensity score, stratified by cancer type, were used to determine the association between comorbid conditions and FN. Models that additionally adjusted for cancer stage, baseline neutrophil count, chemotherapy regimen, and dose reduction were also evaluated.

Results

A total of 19 160 patients with mean age of 60 years were included; 963 (5.0%) developed FN in the first chemotherapy cycle. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.30 (1.07–1.57)], congestive heart failure [HR = 1.43 (1.00–1.98)], HIV infection [HR = 3.40 (1.90–5.63)], autoimmune disease [HR = 2.01 (1.10–3.33)], peptic ulcer disease [HR = 1.57 (1.05–2.26)], renal disease [HR = 1.60 (1.21–2.09)], and thyroid disorder [HR = 1.32 (1.06–1.64)] were all associated with a significantly increased FN risk.

Conclusions

These results provide evidence that history of several chronic comorbidities increases risk of FN, which should be considered when managing patients during chemotherapy.


Background

Detailed information about lung cancer patients requiring admission to intensive care units (ICUs) is mostly restricted to single-center studies. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes of lung cancer patients admitted to ICUs.

Patients and methods

Prospective multicenter study in 449 patients with lung cancer (small cell, n = 55; non-small cell, n = 394) admitted to 22 ICUs in six countries in Europe and South America during 2011. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards frailty models were built to identify characteristics associated with 30-day and 6-month mortality.

Results

Most of the patients (71%) had newly diagnosed cancer. Cancer-related complications occurred in 56% of patients; the most common was tumoral airway involvement (26%). Ventilatory support was required in 53% of patients. Overall hospital, 30-day, and 6-month mortality rates were 39%, 41%, and 55%, respectively. After adjustment for type of admission and early treatment-limitation decisions, determinants of mortality were organ dysfunction severity, poor performance status (PS), recurrent/progressive cancer, and cancer-related complications. Mortality rates were far lower in the patient subset with nonrecurrent/progressive cancer and a good PS, even those with sepsis, multiple organ dysfunctions, and need for ventilatory support. Mortality was also lower in high-volume centers. Poor PS predicted failure to receive the initially planned cancer treatment after hospital discharge.

Conclusions

ICU admission was associated with meaningful survival in lung cancer patients with good PS and non-recurrent/progressive disease. Conversely, mortality rates were very high in patients not fit for anticancer treatment and poor PS. In this subgroup, palliative care may be the best option.


Background

Most evidence about associations between birth weight and adult cancer risk comes from studies linking birth records to cancer registration data, where information on known risk factors for cancer is generally lacking. Here, we report on associations between birth weight and cause-specific cancer risk in a large cohort of UK women, and investigate how observed associations are affected by other factors.

Methods

A total of 453 023 women, born in the 1930s and 1940s, reported their birth weight, maternal smoking, parental heights, age at menarche, adult height, adult smoking, and many other personal characteristics. They were followed for incident cancer. Using Cox regression, relative risks by birth weight were estimated for cancers with more than 1500 incident cases, adjusting for 17 potential confounding factors, individually and simultaneously.

Results

Birth weight reported in adulthood was strongly correlated with that recorded at birth (correlation coefficient = 0.78, P < 0.0001). Reported birth weight was associated with most of the potential confounding factors examined, the strongest association being with adult height. After 9.2 years follow-up per woman, 39 060 incident cancers were registered (4414 colorectal, 3175 lung, 1795 malignant melanoma, 14 542 breast, 2623 endometrial, 2009 ovarian, 1565 non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and 8937 other cancers). Associations with birth weight were null or weak and reduced after adjustment by adult height (P[trend] > 0.01 for every cancer, after adjustment). In contrast, adult height was strongly related to the risk of every cancer except lung cancer, after adjusting for birth weight and other factors (P[trend] < 0.0001 for most cancers). For lung cancer, adjusting for smoking reduced the association with birth weight. Meta-analyses were dominated by our findings.

Conclusion

Birth weight and adult height are correlated and likely to be markers of some aspect of growth that affects cancer risk in adulthood. However, birth weight adds little, if any, additional information to adult height as a predictor of cancer incidence in women.


Background

Between the 1970s and 2000 mortality in most of Latin America showed favorable trends for some common cancer sites, including stomach and male lung cancer. However, major concerns were related to mortality patterns from other cancers, particularly in women. We provide an up-to-date picture of patterns and trends in cancer mortality in Latin America.

Methods

We analyzed data from the World Health Organization mortality database in 2005–2009 for 20 cancer sites in 11 Latin American countries and, for comparative purposes, in the USA and Canada. We computed age-standardized (world population) rates (per 100 000 person-year) and provided an overview of trends since 1980 using joinpoint regression models.

Results

Cancer mortality from some common cancers (including colorectum and lung) is still comparatively low in Latin America, and decreasing trends continue for other cancer sites (including stomach, uterus, male lung cancers) in several countries. However, there were upward trends for colorectal cancer mortality for both sexes, and for lung and breast cancer mortality in women from most countries. During the last decade, lung cancer mortality in women rose by 1%–3% per year in all Latin American countries except Mexico and Costa Rica, whereas rises of about 1% were registered for breast cancer in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. Moreover, high mortality from cancer of the cervix uteri was recorded in most countries, with rates over 13/100 000 women in Cuba and Venezuela. In men, upward trends were registered for prostate cancer mortality in Brazil and Colombia, but also in Cuba, where the rate in 2005–2009 was more than twice that of the USA (23.6 versus 10/100 000).

Conclusions

Tobacco control, efficient screening programs, early cancer detection and widespread access to treatments continue to be a major priority for cancer prevention in most Latin American countries.


Background

The role of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) in the management of atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated liposarcoma (ALT/WD-LPS) remains controversial.

Methods

Two hundred eighty-three patients with operable ALT/WD-LPS, no history of previous cancer, chemotherapy (CT) or RT, treated between 1984 and 2011 registered in the Conticabase database were included and described. Overall (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and time to local relapse (TTLR) were evaluated from the time of first treatment.

Results

Three of 20 centers enrolled 58% of the patients. Median age at diagnosis was 61 (range 25–94) years, 147 patients (52%) were males, 222 (78%) patients had their primary tumor located in an extremity while 36 (13%) and 25 (9%) had tumors involving the girdle and the trunk wall, respectively. The median size of primary tumors was 17 cm (range 2–48 cm). Adjuvant RT was given to 132 patients (47%). Patients who received adjuvant RT had larger tumors (P = 0.005), involving more often the distal limbs (P < 0.001). Use of adjuvant RT varied across centers and along the study period. Other characteristics were balanced between the two groups. Median follow-up was 61.7 months. None of the patients developed metastasis during follow-up. The 5-year local relapse-free survival rates were 98.3% versus 80.3% with and without adjuvant RT, respectively (P < 0.001). Once stratified on time period (before/after 2003), adjuvant RT, tumor site and margin status (R0 versus other) were independently associated with TTLR. No OS difference was observed (P = 0.105).

Conclusion

In this study, adjuvant RT following resection of ALT/WD-LPS was associated with a reduction of LR risk.