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Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Journal of Clinical Oncology









Purpose

This report examines cognitive complaints and neuropsychological (NP) testing outcomes in patients with early-stage breast cancer after the initiation of endocrine therapy (ET) to determine whether this therapy plays any role in post-treatment cognitive complaints.

Patients and Methods

One hundred seventy-three participants from the Mind Body Study (MBS) observational cohort provided data from self-report questionnaires and NP testing obtained at enrollment (T1, before initiation of ET), and 6 months later (T2). Bivariate analyses compared demographic and treatment variables, cognitive complaints, depressive symptoms, quality of life, and NP functioning between those who received ET versus not. Multivariable linear regression models examined predictors of cognitive complaints at T2, including selected demographic variables, depressive symptoms, ET use, and other medical variables, along with NP domains that were identified in bivariate analyses.

Results

Seventy percent of the 173 MBS participants initiated ET, evenly distributed between tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors. ET-treated participants reported significantly increased language and communication (LC) cognitive complaints at T2 (P = .003), but no significant differences in NP test performance. Multivariable regression on LC at T2 found higher LC complaints significantly associated with T1 LC score (P < .001), ET at T2 (P = .004), interaction between ET and past hormone therapy (HT) (P < .001), and diminished improvement in NP psychomotor function (P = .05). Depressive symptoms were not significant (P = .10).

Conclusion

Higher LC complaints are significantly associated with ET 6 months after starting treatment and reflect diminished improvements in some NP tests. Past HT is a significant predictor of higher LC complaints after initiation of ET.



Purpose

To determine whether prediagnostic body mass index (BMI) is associated with risk of second obesity-associated cancers in colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, and whether CRC survivors have increased susceptibility to obesity-associated cancer compared with cancer-free individuals.

Patients and Methods

Incident first primary CRC cases (N = 11,598) were identified from five prospective cohort studies. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to examine associations between baseline (prediagnostic) BMI and risk of second obesity-associated cancers (postmenopausal breast, kidney, pancreas, esophageal adenocarcinoma, endometrium) in CRC survivors, and compared associations to those for first obesity-associated cancers in the full cohort.

Results

Compared with survivors with normal prediagnostic BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), those who were overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2) or obese (30+ kg/m2) had greater risk of a second obesity-associated cancer (n = 224; overweight hazard ratio [HR], 1.39; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.92; obese HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.02 to 2.12; per 5-unit change in BMI HR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.98 to 1.29). The magnitude of risk for developing a first primary obesity-associated cancer was similar (overweight HR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.21; obese HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.56 to 1.66; per 5-unit change in BMI HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.21 to 1.24). Before diagnosis CRC patients were somewhat more likely than the overall cohort to be overweight (44% v 41%) or obese (25% v 21%).

Conclusion

CRC survivors who were overweight or obese before diagnosis had increased risk of second obesity-associated cancers compared with survivors with normal weight. The risks were similar in magnitude to those observed for first cancers in this population, suggesting increased prevalence of overweight or obesity, rather than increased susceptibility, may contribute to elevated second cancer risks in colorectal cancer survivors compared with the general population. These results support emphasis of existing weight guidelines for this high-risk group.



Purpose

There are increasing reports of rare but serious toxicities caused by new anticancer drugs, and there are costs associated with their management.

Methods

We identified anticancer drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration from 2000 to 2011 and pivotal trials supporting their registration. Twelve frequent grade 3 to 4 adverse event (AEs) were weighted and pooled in a meta-analysis. Estimates of incremental drug prices and incremental costs for management of AEs were calculated according to type of new agent based on target specificity.

Results

We identified 41 studies comprising 27,539 patients and evaluating 19 experimental drugs. Agents directed against a specific molecular target on cancer cells had a lower incidence of grade 3 to 4 toxicities compared with controls (median risk ratio [RR], 0.67; P = .22), whereas less-specific targeted agents, including angiogenesis inhibitors (median RR, 3.39; P < .001) and chemotherapeutic agents (median RR, 1.73; P < .001), were more toxic. Risk was increased regardless of whether the control arm contained active treatment (RR, 2.11; P < .001) or not (RR, 3.02; P < .001). Median incremental drug price for experimental agents was $6,000 per patient per month. Median cost of managing toxicity was low compared with drug costs but higher than controls for treatment with less-specific targeted agents and chemotherapies.

Conclusion

Newly approved anticancer drugs are associated with increased toxicity, except for agents with a specific molecular target on cancer cells. Management of toxicity leads to a small increase in overall cost of treatment. Frequency of toxicity and associated costs are likely higher in less-selected patients treated in general oncologic practice. Development of biomarker-driven agents should be encouraged.


Purpose

Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group (IRSG) studies III and IV showed improved failure-free survival (FFS) rates with vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide (VAC; total cumulative cyclophosphamide dose, 26.4 g/m2) compared with vincristine and dactinomycin (VA) for patients with subset-one low-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS; stage 1/2 group I/II ERMS or stage 1 group III orbit ERMS). The objective of Children's Oncology Group ARST0331 was to reduce the length of therapy without compromising FFS for this subset of low-risk patients by using VA in combination with lower-dose cyclophosphamide (total cumulative dose, 4.8 g/m2) plus radiotherapy (RT).

Patients and Methods

This noninferiority prospective clinical trial enrolled newly diagnosed patients with subset-one clinical features. Therapy included four cycles of VAC followed by four cycles of VA over 22 weeks. Patients with microscopic or gross residual disease at study entry received RT.

Results

With a median follow-up of 4.3 years, we observed 35 failures among 271 eligible patients versus 48.4 expected failures, calculated using a fixed outcome based on the FFS expected for similar patients treated on the IRSG D9602 protocol. The estimated 3-year FFS rate was 89% (95% CI, 85% to 92%), and the overall survival rate was 98% (95% CI, 95% to 99%). Patients with paratesticular tumors had the most favorable outcome. Three-year cumulative incidence rates for any local, regional, or distant failures were 7.6%, 1.5%, and 3.4%, respectively.

Conclusion

Shorter-duration therapy that included lower-dose cyclophosphamide and RT did not compromise FFS for patients with subset-one low-risk ERMS.


Purpose

We examined the utility of post-therapy surveillance imaging in a large, prospectively enrolled cohort of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) from the United States and confirmed our results in an independent cohort of patients from France.

Methods

Patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL and treated with anthracycline-based immunochemotherapy were identified from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource (MER) of the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence and the Léon Bérard Cancer Center, Lyon, France. In those with relapse, details at relapse and outcomes were abstracted from records.

Results

680 individuals with DLBCL were identified from the MER, 552 (81%) of whom achieved remission after induction. 112 of the 552 patients (20%) suffered a relapse. The majority (64%) of relapses were identified before a scheduled follow-up visit. Surveillance imaging detected DLBCL relapse before clinical manifestations in nine out of 552 patients (1.6%) observed after therapy. In the Lyon cohort, imaging identified asymptomatic DLBCL relapse in four out of 222 patients (1.8%). There was no difference in survival after DLBCL relapse in patients detected at scheduled follow-up versus before scheduled follow-up in both the MER (P = .56) and Lyon cohorts (P = .25).

Conclusion

The majority of DLBCL relapses are detected outside of planned follow-up, with no difference in outcome in patients with DLBCL detected at a scheduled visit compared with patients with relapse detected outside of planned follow-up. These data do not support the use of routine surveillance imaging for follow-up of DLBCL.



Purpose

The clinical safety and efficacy of intravenous busulfan and fludarabine (IV Bu/Flu) myeloablative conditioning as well as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with high-dose, post-transplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) have been demonstrated independently in several single-institutional studies. We hypothesized that combining these two promising approaches in a multi-institutional study of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) -matched bone marrow transplantation would provide low rates of severe acute and chronic GVHD, low toxicity, and effective disease control.

Patients and Methods

Ninety-two adult patients (median age, 49 years; range, 21 to 65 years) with high-risk hematologic malignancies were enrolled at three centers (clinical trial No. NCT00809276). Forty-five patients received related allografts, and 47 received unrelated allografts. GVHD prophylaxis was solely with PTCy at 50 mg/kg/day on post-transplantation days +3 and +4.

Results

The cumulative incidences of grades 2 to 4 acute, grades 3 to 4 acute, and chronic GVHD were 51%, 15%, and 14%, respectively. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at 100 days and 1 year were 9% and 16%, respectively. With a median follow-up period of 2.2 years, the 2-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 62% and 67%, respectively. Donor relatedness did not affect NRM, DFS, or OS. Patients in complete remission (CR) without evidence of minimal residual disease (MRD) had markedly better DFS (80%) and OS (80%) than patients in CR with MRD or with active disease at the time of transplantation (DFS, P = .0005; OS, P = .019).

Conclusion

This multi-institutional study demonstrates that PTCy can be safely and effectively combined with IV Bu/Flu myeloablative conditioning and confirms PTCy’s efficacy as single-agent, short-course GVHD prophylaxis for both acute and chronic GVHD after bone marrow transplantation from HLA-matched donors.


Purpose

Although p16 protein expression, a surrogate marker of oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, is recognized as a prognostic marker in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), its prevalence and significance have not been well established in cancer of the oral cavity, hypopharynx, or larynx, collectively referred as non-OPSCC, where HPV infection is less common than in the oropharynx.

Patients and Methods

p16 expression and high-risk HPV status in non-OPSCCs from RTOG 0129, 0234, and 0522 studies were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH). Hazard ratios from Cox models were expressed as positive or negative, stratified by trial, and adjusted for clinical characteristics.

Results

p16 expression was positive in 14.1% (12 of 85), 24.2% (23 of 95), and 19.0% (27 of 142) and HPV ISH was positive in 6.5% (six of 93), 14.6% (15 of 103), and 6.9% (seven of 101) of non-OPSCCs from RTOG 0129, 0234, and 0522 studies, respectively. Hazard ratios for p16 expression were 0.63 (95% CI, 0.42 to 0.95; P = .03) and 0.56 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.89; P = .01) for progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively. Comparing OPSCC and non-OPSCC, patients with p16-positive OPSCC have better PFS and OS than patients with p16-positive non-OPSCC, but patients with p16-negative OPSCC and non-OPSCC have similar outcomes.

Conclusion

Similar to results in patients with OPSCC, patients with p16-negative non-OPSCC have worse outcomes than patients with p16-positive non-OPSCC, and HPV may also have a role in outcome in a subset of non-OPSCC. However, further development of a p16 IHC scoring system in non-OPSCC and improvement of HPV detection methods are warranted before broad application in the clinical setting.


Purpose

The antibody-drug conjugate glembatumumab vedotin links a fully human immunoglobulin G2 monoclonal antibody against the melanoma-related glycoprotein NMB (gpNMB) to the potent cytotoxin monomethyl auristatin E. This study evaluated the safety and activity of glembatumumab vedotin in patients with advanced melanoma.

Patients and Methods

Patients received glembatumumab vedotin every 3 weeks (schedule 1) in a dose escalation and phase II expansion at the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD). Dosing during 2 of 3 weeks (schedule 2) and weekly (schedule 3) was also assessed. The primary end points were safety and pharmacokinetics. The secondary end points included antitumor activity, gpNMB expression, and immunogenicity.

Results

One hundred seventeen patients were treated using schedule 1 (n = 79), schedule 2 (n = 15), or schedule 3 (n = 23). The MTDs were 1.88, 1.5, and 1.0 mg/kg for schedules 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Grade 3/4 treatment-related toxicities that occurred in two or more patients included rash, neutropenia, fatigue, neuropathy, arthralgia, myalgia, and diarrhea. Three treatment-related deaths (resulting from pneumococcal sepsis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and renal failure) occurred at doses exceeding the MTDs. In the schedule 1 phase II expansion cohort (n = 34), five patients (15%) had a partial response and eight patients (24%) had stable disease for ≥ 6 months. The objective response rate (ORR) was 2 of 6 (33%) for the schedule 2 MTD and 3 of 12 (25%) for the schedule 3 MTD. Rash was correlated with a greater ORR and improved progression-free survival.

Conclusion

Glembatumumab vedotin is active in advanced melanoma. The schedule 1 MTD (1.88 mg/kg once every 3 weeks) was associated with a promising ORR and was generally well tolerated. More frequent dosing was potentially associated with a greater ORR but increased toxicity.


Purpose

To describe treatment results in a large cohort with stage I nonseminoma germ cell cancer (NSGCC) treated in a surveillance program.

Patients and Methods

From January 1, 1984, to December 31, 2007, 1,226 patients with stage I NSGCC, including high-risk patients with vascular invasion, were observed in a surveillance program.

Results

The relapse rate after orchiectomy alone was 30.6% at 5 years. Presence of vascular invasion together with embryonal carcinoma and rete testis invasion in the testicular primary identified a group with a relapse risk of 50%. Without risk factors, the relapse risk was 12%. Eighty percent of relapses were diagnosed within the first year after orchiectomy. The median time to relapse was 5 months (range, 1 to 308 months). Early relapses were mainly detected by increase in tumor markers, and late relapses were detected by computed tomography scans. Relapses after 5 years were seen in 0.5% of the whole cohort or in 1.6% of relapsing patients. The majority of relapses (94.4%) belonged to the good prognostic group according to the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification. The disease-specific survival at 15 years was 99.1%.

Conclusion

A surveillance policy for patients with stage I NSGCC is a safe approach associated with an excellent cure rate and an overall low treatment burden despite a high relapse rate in a small group of patients. We recommend surveillance for patients with stage I NSGCC with immediate systemic treatment at relapse. Clearly defined risk factors for relapse are presented if an option of risk-adapted treatment is preferred.


Purpose

For patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive lymphoma, we hypothesized that gemcitabine-based therapy before autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) is as effective as and less toxic than standard treatment.

Patients and Methods

We randomly assigned 619 patients with relapsed/refractory aggressive lymphoma to treatment with gemcitabine, dexamethasone, and cisplatin (GDP) or to dexamethasone, cytarabine, and cisplatin (DHAP). Patients with B-cell lymphoma also received rituximab. Responding patients proceeded to stem-cell collection and ASCT. Coprimary end points were response rate after two treatment cycles and transplantation rate. The noninferiority margin for the response rate to GDP relative to DHAP was set at 10%. Secondary end points included event-free and overall survival, treatment toxicity, and quality of life.

Results

For the intention-to-treat population, the response rate with GDP was 45.2%; with DHAP the response rate was 44.0% (95% CI for difference, –9.0% to 6.7%), meeting protocol-defined criteria for noninferiority of GDP (P = .005). Similar results were obtained in a per-protocol analysis. The transplantation rates were 52.1% with GDP and 49.3% with DHAP (P = .44). At a median follow-up of 53 months, no differences were detected in event-free survival (HR, 0.99; stratified log-rank P = .95) or overall survival (HR, 1.03; P = .78) between GDP and DHAP. Treatment with GDP was associated with less toxicity (P < .001) and need for hospitalization (P < .001), and preserved quality of life (P = .04).

Conclusion

For patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive lymphoma, in comparison with DHAP, treatment with GDP is associated with a noninferior response rate, similar transplantation rate, event-free survival, and overall survival, less toxicity and hospitalization, and superior quality of life.


Purpose

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) decreased fee-for-service (FFS) payments for outpatient chemotherapy. We assessed how this policy affected chemotherapy in FFS settings versus in integrated health networks (IHNs).

Patients and Methods

We examined 5,831 chemotherapy regimens for 3,613 patients from 2003 to 2006 with colorectal cancer (CRC) or lung cancers in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research Surveillance Consortium. Patients were from four geographically defined regions, seven large health maintenance organizations, and 15 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. The outcome of interest was receipt of chemotherapy that included at least one drug for which reimbursement declined after the MMA.

Results

The odds of receiving an MMA-affected drug were lower in the post-MMA era: the odds ratio (OR) was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.89). Important differences across cancers were detected: for CRC, the OR was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.46 to 0.92); for non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the OR was 1.60 (95% CI, 1.09 to 2.35); and for small-cell lung cancer, the OR was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.34 to 1.16). After the MMA, FFS patients were less likely to receive MMA-affected drugs: OR, 0.73 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.89). No pre- versus post-MMA difference in the use of MMA-affected drugs was detected among IHN patients: OR, 1.01 (95% CI, 0.66 to 1.56). Patients with CRC were less likely to receive an MMA-affected drug in both FFS and IHN settings in the post- versus pre-MMA era, whereas patients with NSCLC were the opposite: OR, 1.60 (95% CI, 1.09 to 2.35) for FFS and 6.33 (95% CI, 2.09 to 19.11) for IHNs post- versus pre-MMA.

Conclusion

Changes in reimbursement after the passage of MMA appear to have had less of an impact on prescribing patterns in FFS settings than the introduction of new drugs and clinical evidence as well as other factors driving adoption of new practice patterns.


Purpose

Glycoprotein NMB (gpNMB), a novel transmembrane protein overexpressed in 40% to 60% of breast cancers, promotes metastases in animal models and is a prognostic marker of a poor outcome in patients. The antibody-drug conjugate glembatumumab vedotin consists of a fully human anti-gpNMB monoclonal antibody, conjugated via a cleavable linker to monomethyl auristatin E. Glembatumumab vedotin is generally well tolerated, with observed objective responses in advanced melanoma. This is, to our knowledge, the first study of glembatumumab vedotin in breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

Eligible patients had advanced/metastatic breast cancer with at least two prior chemotherapy regimens, including taxane, anthracycline, and capecitabine. A standard 3+3 dose escalation was followed by a phase II expansion. Immunohistochemistry for gpNMB was performed retrospectively for patients with available tumor tissue.

Results

Forty-two patients were enrolled. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) consisted of worsening neuropathy at 1.34 mg/kg. After excluding patients with baseline neuropathy more than grade 1, no DLT occurred through 1.88 mg/kg (the phase II dose). The phase II primary activity end point was met (12-week progression-free survival [PFS12] = 9 of 27 patients; 33%). Sixteen of 19 (84%) patients tested had gpNMB-positive tumors. At the phase II dose, median PFS was 9.1 weeks for all patients, 17.9 weeks for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and 18.0 weeks for patients with gpNMB-positive tumors. Two patients had confirmed partial responses; both had gpNMB-positive tumors and one had TNBC.

Conclusion

Glembatumumab vedotin has an acceptable safety profile. Preliminary evidence of activity in treatment-resistant metastatic breast cancer requires confirmation, such as the phase II randomized trial (EMERGE) that also examines the relationship between activity and gpNMB distribution/intensity.



Purpose

We evaluated the role of residual vein thrombosis (RVT) to assess the optimal duration of anticoagulants in patients with cancer who have deep vein thrombosis (DVT) of the lower limbs.

Patients and Methods

Patients with active cancer and a first episode of DVT treated with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for 6 months were eligible. Patients were managed according to RVT findings: those with RVT were randomly assigned to continue LMWH for an additional 6 months (group A1) or to discontinue it (group A2), and patients without RVT stopped LMWH (group B). The primary end point was recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) during the 1 year after disconinuation of LMWH, and the secondary end point was major bleeding. Analyses are from the time of random assignment.

Results

Between October 2005 and April 2010, 347 patients were enrolled. RVT was detected in 242 patients (69.7%); recurrence occurred in 22 of the 119 patients in group A1compared with 27 of 123 patients in group A2. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for group A2 versus A1 was 1.37 (95% CI, 0.7 to 2.5; P = .311). Three of the 105 patients in group B developed recurrent VTE; adjusted HR for group A1 versus B was 6.0 (95% CI, 1.7 to 21.2; P = .005). Three major bleeding events occurred in group A1, and two events each occurred in groups A2 and B. The HR for major bleeding in group A1 versus group A2 was 3.78 (95% CI, 0.77 to 18.58; P = .102). Overall, 42 patients (12.1%) died during follow-up as a result of cancer progression.

Conclusion

In patients with cancer with a first DVT, treated for 6 months with LMWH, absence of RVT identifies a population at low risk for recurrent thrombotic events. Continuation of LMWH in patients with RVT up to 1 year did not reduce recurrent VTE.








Purpose

Currently, antiangiogenic strategies in metastatic breast cancer have demonstrated modest improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) but not improved quality or duration of survival, warranting evaluation of new agents in a placebo-controlled setting. Ramucirumab is a human immunoglobulin G1 antibody that binds vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and blocks ligand-stimulated activation. The ROSE/TRIO-012 trial evaluated ramucirumab with docetaxel in unresectable, locally recurrent, or metastatic breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multinational phase III trial, 1,144 patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –negative breast cancer who had not received cytotoxic chemotherapy in the advanced setting were randomly assigned at a two-to-one ratio to receive docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus ramucirumab 10 mg/kg or docetaxel 75 mg/m2 plus placebo once every 3 weeks. Treatment continued until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or other withdrawal criteria. Patients were stratified by previous taxane therapy, visceral metastasis, hormone receptor status, and geographic region. An independent data monitoring committee oversaw the trial. The primary end point was investigator-assessed PFS.

Results

Median PFS in patients treated with ramucirumab plus docetaxel was 9.5 months, compared with 8.2 months in patients who received placebo plus docetaxel (hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; P = .077). Median overall survival was 27.3 months in patients who received ramucirumab plus docetaxel, compared with 27.2 months in patients who received placebo plus docetaxel (HR, 1.01; P = .915). Toxicities seen at significantly higher rates in patients receiving ramucirumab included fatigue, hypertension, febrile neutropenia, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome, and stomatitis.

Conclusion

Addition of ramucirumab to docetaxel in HER2-negative advanced breast cancer did not meaningfully improve important clinical outcomes.




Purpose

A randomized clinical trial compared efficacy and toxicity of standard all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) plus chemotherapy versus ATRA plus arsenic trioxide in patients with newly diagnosed, low- or intermediate-risk acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Here, we report health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) results.

Patients and Methods

HRQOL was a secondary end point of this trial. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire–Core 30 was used to assess HRQOL at end of induction and after consolidation therapy. All analyses were based on 156 patients who received at least one dose of treatment, with groups defined according to randomly assigned treatment. Primary analysis was performed, estimating mean HRQOL score over time and differences between treatment arms using a linear mixed model.

Results

Overall, 162 patients age 18 to 70 years were enrolled. Of these, 150 and 142 patients were evaluable for HRQOL after induction therapy and third consolidation course, respectively. Overall compliance with HRQOL forms was 80.1%. The largest difference, favoring patients treated with ATRA plus arsenic trioxide, was found for fatigue severity (mean score difference, –9.3; 95% CI, –17.8 to –0.7; P = .034) at end of induction therapy. This difference was also clinically relevant. HRQOL differences between treatment arms at end of consolidation showed that for several scales, differences between treatment arms were marginal.

Conclusion

Overall, current HRQOL findings further support the use of ATRA plus arsenic trioxide as preferred first-line treatment in patients with low- or intermediate-risk APL.


Purpose

Optimizing evidence-based care to improve quality is a critical priority in the United States. We sought to examine adherence to imaging guideline recommendations for staging in patients with locally advanced lung cancer in a national cohort.

Methods

We identified 3,808 patients with stage IIB, IIIA, or IIIB lung cancer by using the national Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Cancer Registry (2004-2007) and linked these patients to VA and Medicare databases to examine receipt of guideline-recommended imaging based on National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria. Our primary outcomes were receipt of guideline-recommended brain imaging and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. We also examined rates of overuse defined as combined use of bone scintigraphy (BS) and PET, which current guidelines recommend against. All imaging was assessed during the period 180 days before and 180 days after diagnosis.

Results

Nearly 75% of patients received recommended brain imaging, and 60% received recommended PET imaging. Overuse of BS and PET occurred in 25% of patients. More advanced clinical stage and later year of diagnosis were the only clinical or demographic factors associated with higher rates of guideline-recommended imaging after adjusting for covariates. We observed considerable regional variation in recommended PET imaging and overuse of combined BS and PET.

Conclusion

Receipt of guideline-recommended imaging is not universal. PET appears to be underused overall, whereas BS demonstrates continued overuse. Wide regional variation suggests that these findings could be the result of local practice patterns, which may be amenable to provider education efforts such as Choosing Wisely.


Purpose

The role of adjuvant radiotherapy (aRT) in treating patients with pN1 prostate cancer is controversial. We tested the hypothesis that the impact of aRT on cancer-specific mortality (CSM) in these individuals is related to tumor characteristics.

Methods

We evaluated 1,107 patients with pN1 prostate cancer treated with radical prostatectomy and anatomically extended pelvic lymph node dissection between 1988 and 2010 at two tertiary care centers. All patients received adjuvant hormonal therapy with or without aRT. Regression tree analysis stratified patients into risk groups on the basis of their tumor characteristics and the corresponding CSM rate. Cox regression analysis tested the relationship between aRT and CSM rate, as well as overall mortality (OM) rate in each risk group separately.

Results

Overall, 35% of patients received aRT. At multivariable analysis, aRT was associated with more favorable CSM rate (hazard ratio [HR], 0.37; P < .001). However, when patients were stratified into risk groups, only two groups of men benefited from aRT: (1) patients with positive lymph node (PLN) count ≤ 2, Gleason score 7 to 10, pT3b/pT4 stage, or positive surgical margins (HR, 0.30; P = .002); and (2) patients with PLN count of 3 to 4 (HR, 0.21; P = .02), regardless of other tumor characteristics. These results were confirmed when OM was examined as an end point.

Conclusion

The beneficial impact of aRT on survival in patients with pN1 prostate cancer is highly influenced by tumor characteristics. Men with low-volume nodal disease (≤ two PLNs) in the presence of intermediate- to high-grade, non–specimen-confined disease and those with intermediate-volume nodal disease (three to four PLNs) represent the ideal candidates for aRT after surgery.


Purpose

To provide treatment recommendations for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

Methods

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Care Ontario convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based recommendations informed by a systematic review of the literature.

Results

When added to androgen deprivation, therapies demonstrating improved survival, improved quality of life (QOL), and favorable benefit-harm balance include abiraterone acetate/prednisone, enzalutamide, and radium-223 (223Ra; for men with predominantly bone metastases). Improved survival and QOL with moderate toxicity risk are associated with docetaxel/prednisone. For asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic men, improved survival with unclear QOL impact and low toxicity are associated with sipuleucel-T. For men who previously received docetaxel, improved survival, unclear QOL impact, and moderate to high toxicity risk are associated with cabazitaxel/prednisone. Modest QOL benefit (without survival benefit) and high toxicity risk are associated with mitoxantrone/prednisone after docetaxel. No benefit and excess toxicity are observed with bevacizumab, estramustine, and sunitinib.

Recommendations

Continue androgen deprivation (pharmaceutical or surgical) indefinitely. Abiraterone acetate/prednisone, enzalutamide, or 223Ra should be offered; docetaxel/prednisone should also be offered, accompanied by discussion of toxicity risk. Sipuleucel-T may be offered to asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic men. For men who have experienced progression with docetaxel, cabazitaxel may be offered, accompanied by discussion of toxicity risk. Mitoxantrone may be offered, accompanied by discussion of limited clinical benefit and toxicity risk. Ketoconazole or antiandrogens (eg, bicalutamide, flutamide, nilutamide) may be offered, accompanied by discussion of limited known clinical benefit. Bevacizumab, estramustine, and sunitinib should not be offered. There is insufficient evidence to evaluate optimal sequences or combinations of therapies. Palliative care should be offered to all patients.


Purpose

The introduction of all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) has significantly improved outcomes for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), although a subset of patients still suffer relapse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of maintenance therapy with the synthetic retinoid tamibarotene in APL.

Patients and Methods

Patients with newly diagnosed APL in molecular remission at the end of consolidation therapy were randomly assigned to receive ATRA or tamibarotene, both orally, for 14 days every 3 months for up to 2 years.

Results

A total of 347 patients were enrolled. Of the 344 eligible patients, 319 (93%) achieved complete remission. After completing three courses of consolidation therapy, 269 patients underwent maintenance random assignment. The relapse-free survival (RFS) rate at 4 years was 84% for the ATRA arm and 91% for the tamibarotene arm (hazard ratio [HR], 0.54; 95% CI, 0.26 to 1.13). When the analysis was restricted to 52 high-risk patients with an initial WBC count ≥ 10.0 x 109/L, the intergroup difference was statistically significant, with 4-year RFS rates of 58% for the ATRA arm and 87% for the tamibarotene arm (HR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.95). For patients with non–high-risk disease, the HR was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.32 to 2.01). The test for interaction between treatment effects and these subgroups resulted in P = .075. Both treatments were generally well tolerated.

Conclusion

In this trial, no difference was detected between ATRA and tamibarotene for maintenance therapy. In an exploratory analysis, there was a suggestion of improved efficacy of tamibarotene in high-risk patients, but this requires further study.


Purpose

Arsenic trioxide (ATO) is a highly effective agent for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). QT interval prolongation is common with ATO and can pose a barrier to effective administration. The objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence, management, and clinical consequences of QT prolongation in a large cohort of patients treated with ATO.

Patients and Methods

We analyzed 3,011 electrocardiograms from 113 patients with non-APL acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome who were treated on a previously reported clinical trial. QT intervals were assessed using four different correction formulas, and data were correlated with clinical parameters and treatment with ATO.

Results

There were no clinically significant cardiac events in the study population. Of those receiving ATO therapy, 29 patients (26%) had rate-uncorrected QT values above 470 ms and 13 (12%) had values exceeding 500 ms. With the commonly used Bazett rate correction formula, 102 patients (90%) had QTc greater than 470 ms, including 74 (65%) above 500 ms. By using alternative rate correction formulas, only 24% to 32% of patients had rate-corrected QT intervals above 500 ms.

Conclusion

QT interval prolongation is common with ATO treatment, but clinically significant arrhythmias are rare and can be avoided with appropriate precautions. Use of the Bazett correction may result in unnecessary interruptions in ATO therapy, and alternative rate correction formulas should be considered for routine electrocardiographic monitoring.