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Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Journal of Clinical Oncology





Purpose

We previously demonstrated that 48% of patients with pain at sites of previously irradiated bone metastases benefit from reirradiation. It is unknown whether alleviating pain also improves patient perception of quality of life (QOL).

Patients and Methods

We used the database of a randomized trial comparing radiation treatment dose fractionation schedules to evaluate whether response, determined using the International Consensus Endpoint (ICE) and Brief Pain Inventory pain score (BPI-PS), is associated with patient perception of benefit, as measured using the European Organisation for Resesarch and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and functional interference scale of the BPI (BPI-FI). Evaluable patients completed baseline and 2-month follow-up assessments.

Results

Among 850 randomly assigned patients, 528 were evaluable for response using the ICE and 605 using the BPI-PS. Using the ICE, 253 patients experienced a response and 275 did not. Responding patients had superior scores on all items of the BPI-FI (ie, general activity, mood, walking ability, normal work, relations with other people, sleep, and enjoyment of life) and improved QOL, as determined by scores on the EORTC QLQ-C30 scales of physical, role, emotional and social functioning, global QOL, fatigue, pain, and appetite. Similar results were obtained using the BPI-PS; observed improvements were typically of lesser magnitude.

Conclusion

Patients responding to reirradiation of painful bone metastases experience superior QOL scores and less functional interference associated with pain. Patients should be offered re-treatment for painful bone metastases in the hope of reducing pain severity as well as improving QOL and pain interference.


Purpose

The optimal end point for randomized phase II trials of anticancer therapies remains controversial. We simulated phase II trials by resampling patients from N9741, a randomized phase III trial of chemotherapy regimens for metastatic colorectal cancer, and compared the power of various end points to detect the superior therapy (FOLFOX [infusional fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin] had longer overall survival than both IROX [irinotecan plus oxaliplatin] and IFL [irinotecan and bolus fluorouracil plus leucovorin])

Methods

Tumor measurements and progression-free survival (PFS) data were obtained for 1,471 patients; 1,002 had consistently measured tumors and were resampled (5,000 replicates) to simulate two-arm, randomized phase II trials with α = 0.10 (one sided) and 20 to 80 patients per arm. End points included log ratio of tumor size at 6, 12, and 18 weeks relative to baseline; time to tumor growth (TTG), estimated using a nonlinear mixed-effects model; and PFS. Arms were compared using rank sum tests for log ratio and TTG and a log-rank test for PFS.

Results

For FOLFOX versus IFL, TTG and PFS had similar power, with both exceeding the power of log ratio at 18 weeks; for FOLFOX versus IROX, TTG and log ratio at 18 weeks had similar power, with both exceeding the power of PFS. The best end points exhibited > 80% power with 60 to 80 patients per arm.

Conclusion

TTG is a powerful end point for randomized phase II trials of cytotoxic therapies in metastatic colorectal cancer; it was either comparable or superior to PFS and log ratio at 18 weeks. Additional studies will be needed to clarify the potential of TTG as a phase II end point.


Purpose

Hippocampal neural stem-cell injury during whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) may play a role in memory decline. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy can be used to avoid conformally the hippocampal neural stem-cell compartment during WBRT (HA-WBRT). RTOG 0933 was a single-arm phase II study of HA-WBRT for brain metastases with prespecified comparison with a historical control of patients treated with WBRT without hippocampal avoidance.

Patients and Methods

Eligible adult patients with brain metastases received HA-WBRT to 30 Gy in 10 fractions. Standardized cognitive function and quality-of-life (QOL) assessments were performed at baseline and 2, 4, and 6 months. The primary end point was the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised Delayed Recall (HVLT-R DR) at 4 months. The historical control demonstrated a 30% mean relative decline in HVLT-R DR from baseline to 4 months. To detect a mean relative decline ≤ 15% in HVLT-R DR after HA-WBRT, 51 analyzable patients were required to ensure 80% statistical power with α = 0.05.

Results

Of 113 patients accrued from March 2011 through November 2012, 42 patients were analyzable at 4 months. Mean relative decline in HVLT-R DR from baseline to 4 months was 7.0% (95% CI, –4.7% to 18.7%), significantly lower in comparison with the historical control (P < .001). No decline in QOL scores was observed. Two grade 3 toxicities and no grade 4 to 5 toxicities were reported. Median survival was 6.8 months.

Conclusion

Conformal avoidance of the hippocampus during WBRT is associated with preservation of memory and QOL as compared with historical series.


Purpose

CALGB 40302 sought to determine whether lapatinib would improve progression-free survival (PFS) among women with hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer treated with fulvestrant.

Patients and Methods

Eligible women had estrogen receptor–positive and/or progesterone receptor–positive tumors, regardless of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status, and prior aromatase inhibitor treatment. Patients received fulvestrant 500 mg intramuscularly on day 1, followed by 250 mg on days 15 and 28 and every 4 weeks thereafter, and either lapatinib 1,500 mg or placebo daily. The study planned to accrue 324 patients and was powered for a 50% improvement in PFS with lapatinib from 5 to 7.5 months.

Results

At the third planned interim analysis, the futility boundary was crossed, and the data and safety monitoring board recommend study closure, having accrued 295 patients. At the final analysis, there was no difference in PFS (hazard ratio [HR] of placebo to lapatinib, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.33; P = .37); median PFS was 4.7 months for fulvestrant plus lapatinib versus 3.8 months for fulvestrant plus placebo. There was no difference in overall survival (OS) (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.21; P = .25). For HER2-normal tumors, median PFS did not differ by treatment arm (4.1 v 3.8 months). For HER2-positive tumors, lapatinib was associated with longer median PFS (5.9 v 3.3 months), but the differential treatment effect by HER2 status was not significant (P = .53). The most frequent toxicities were diarrhea, fatigue, and rash associated with lapatinib.

Conclusion

Adding lapatinib to fulvestrant does not improve PFS or OS in advanced ER-positive breast cancer and is more toxic.


Purpose

Patients with stage IV non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who progress through first-line therapy have poor progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), most commonly failing in original sites of gross disease. Cytoreduction with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) may help systemic agents delay relapse.

Patients and Methods

Patients in our single arm phase II study had stage IV NSCLC with no more than six sites of extracranial disease who failed early systemic chemotherapy and were able to receive SBRT and concurrent erlotinib until disease progression. After erlotinib commencement, SBRT with equipotent fractionation was delivered to all sites of disease. PFS, OS, and other end points were evaluated.

Results

Twenty-four patients (13 men and 11 women) with a median age of 67 years (range, 56-86 years) were enrolled with median follow-up of 11.6 months. All patients had progressed through platinum-based chemotherapy. A total of 52 sites were treated with 16 of 24 patients receiving SBRT to more than one site. Lung parenchyma was most often irradiated. Median PFS was 14.7 months, and median OS was 20.4 months. Most patients progressed in new distant sites with only three of 47 measurable lesions recurring within the SBRT field. Two grade 3 toxicities were radiation related. Zero of 13 patients tested were positive for an EGFR mutation.

Conclusion

Use of SBRT with erlotinib for unselected patients with stage IV NSCLC as a second- or subsequent line therapy resulted in dramatic changes in patterns of failure, was well tolerated, and resulted in high PFS and OS, substantially greater than historical values for patients who only received systemic agents.



Purpose

Asparaginase is a critical agent used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Pegaspargase (SS-PEG), a pegylated form of Escherichia coli L-asparaginase with a succinimidyl succinate (SS) linker, is the first-line asparaginase product used in Children’s Oncology Group (COG) ALL trials. Calaspargase pegol (SC-PEG) replaces the SS linker in SS-PEG with a succinimidyl carbamate linker, creating a more stable molecule. COG AALL07P4 was designed to determine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic comparability of SC-PEG to SS-PEG in patients with newly diagnosed high-risk (HR) B-cell ALL.

Patients and Methods

A total of 165 evaluable patients were randomly assigned at a 2:1 ratio to receive SC-PEG at 2,100 (SC-PEG2100; n =69) or 2,500 IU/m2 (SC-PEG2500; n=42) versus SS-PEG 2,500 IU/m2 (SS-PEG2500; n =54) as part of an otherwise identical chemotherapy regimen. The groups were similar demographically, except more female patients received SC-PEG2500.

Results

The mean half-life of plasma asparaginase activity for both SC-PEG doses was approximately 2.5x longer than that of SS-PEG2500. The total systemic exposure, as defined by induction area under the curve from time 0 to 25 days, was greater with SC-PEG2500 than with SS-PEG2500 or SC-PEG2100. The proportion of patients with plasma asparaginase activity ≥ 100 mIU/mL and ≥ 400 mIU/mL was higher in patients who received SC-PEG as compared with SS-PEG2500. After one dose of pegylated asparaginase on induction day 4, plasma asparagine was undetectable for 11 days for SS-PEG2500 and 18 days for both SC-PEG groups.

Conclusion

SC-PEG2500 achieves a significantly longer period of asparaginase activity above defined thresholds and asparagine depletion compared with SS-PEG2500 and has a comparable toxicity profile in children with HR B-cell ALL.


Purpose

The effects of ovarian function suppression (OFS) on survival and patient-reported outcomes were evaluated in a phase III trial in which premenopausal women were randomly assigned to tamoxifen with or without OFS.

Patients and Methods

Premenopausal women with axillary node-negative, hormone receptor–positive breast cancer tumors measuring ≤ 3 cm were randomly assigned to tamoxifen alone versus tamoxifen plus OFS; adjuvant chemotherapy was not permitted. Primary end points were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Secondary end points included toxicity and patient-reported outcomes. Patient-reported outcome data included health-related quality of life, menopausal symptoms, and sexual function. These were evaluated at baseline, 6 months, 12 months, and then annually for up to 5 years after registration.

Results

In all, 345 premenopausal women were enrolled: 171 on tamoxifen alone and 174 on tamoxifen plus OFS. With a median follow-up of 9.9 years, there was no significant difference between arms for DFS (5-year rate: 87.9% v 89.7%; log-rank P = .62) or OS (5-year rate: 95.2% v 97.6%; log-rank P = .67). Grade 3 or higher toxicity was more common in the tamoxifen plus OFS arm (22.4% v 12.3%; P = .004). Patients treated with tamoxifen plus OFS had more menopausal symptoms, lower sexual activity, and inferior health-related quality of life at 3-year follow-up (P < .01 for all). Differences diminished with further follow-up.

Conclusion

When added to tamoxifen, OFS results in more menopausal symptoms and sexual dysfunction, which contributes to inferior self-reported health-related quality of life. Because of early closure, this study is underpowered for drawing conclusions about the impact on survival when adding OFS to tamoxifen.


Purpose

There is a lack of treatments providing survival benefit for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC), with no standard of care. A randomized phase II trial showed significant benefit for gemcitabine, carboplatin, and iniparib (GCI) over gemcitabine and carboplatin (GC) in clinical benefit rate, response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Here, we formally compare the efficacy of these regimens in a phase III trial.

Patients and Methods

Patients with stage IV/locally recurrent TNBC who had received no more than two previous chemotherapy regimens for mTNBC were randomly allocated to gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under the curve 2 (days 1 and 8) alone or GC plus iniparib 5.6 mg/kg (days 1, 4, 8, and 11) every 3 weeks. Random assignment was stratified by the number of prior chemotherapies. The coprimary end points were OS and PFS. Patients receiving GC could cross over to iniparib on progression.

Results

Five hundred nineteen patients were randomly assigned (261 GCI; 258 GC). In the primary analysis, no statistically significant difference was observed for OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.69 to 1.12; P = .28) nor PFS (HR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.98; P = .027). An exploratory analysis showed that patients in the second-/third-line had improved OS (HR = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.91) and PFS (HR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.92) with GCI. The safety profile for GCI was similar to GC.

Conclusion

The trial did not meet the prespecified criteria for the coprimary end points of PFS and OS in the ITT population. The potential benefit with iniparib observed in second-/third-line subgroup warrants further evaluation.


Purpose

To assess the role of pathologic complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant therapy as surrogate end point of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with breast cancer, we performed a trial-based meta-regression of randomized studies comparing different neoadjuvant systemic treatments.

Methods

The systematic literature search included electronic databases and proceedings of oncologic meetings. Endocrine therapy trials were excluded. Treatment effects on DFS and OS were expressed as hazard ratios (HRs), and treatment effects on pCR were expressed as odds ratios (ORs). A weighted regression analysis was performed on log-transformed treatment effect estimates to test the association between treatment effects on the surrogate outcome and treatment effects on the clinical outcome.

Results

Twenty-nine trials, 59 arms, and 30 comparisons, for a total of 14,641 patients, were included in the analysis. Using the complete set of data, the regression of either the log(HR) for DFS or the log(HR) for OS on the log(OR) for pCR demonstrated only weak associations (R 2 = 0.08; 95% CI, 0 to 0.47; and R2 = 0.09; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.41, respectively). Better associations were found in an exploratory analysis assessing a subset of trials comparing intensified/dose-dense chemotherapy versus standard-dose regimens (DFS: R2 = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.95; P = .003; and OS: R2 = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.93; P = .03).

Conclusion

This meta-regression analysis of 29 heterogeneous neoadjuvant trials does not support the use of pCR as a surrogate end point for DFS and OS in patients with breast cancer. However, pCR may potentially meet the criteria of surrogacy with specific systemic therapies.


Purpose

To investigate the risk for first depression, assessed as incident hospital contacts for depression and incident use of antidepressants, among women with breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

Danish national registries were used to identify 1,997,669 women with no diagnosis of cancer or a major psychiatric disorder. This cohort was followed from 1998 to 2011 for a diagnosis of breast cancer and for the two outcomes, hospital contact for depression and redeemed prescriptions for antidepressants. Rate ratios for incident hospital contacts for depression and incident use of antidepressants were estimated with Poisson regression models. Multivariable Cox regression was used to evaluate factors associated with the two outcomes among patients with breast cancer.

Results

We identified 44,494 women with breast cancer. In the first year after diagnosis, the rate ratio for a hospital contact for depression was 1.70 (95% CI 1.41 to 2.05) and that for use of antidepressants was 3.09 (95% CI 2.95 to 3.22); these rate ratios were significantly increased after 3 and 8 years, respectively. Comorbidity, node-positive disease, older age, basic and vocational educational levels, and living alone were associated with use of antidepressants.

Conclusion

Women with breast cancer are at long-term increased risk for first depression, including both severe episodes leading to hospital contact and use of antidepressants. Clinicians should be aware that the risk is highest in women with comorbid conditions, node-positive disease, and age of 70 years or more. We found no clear association between type of surgery or adjuvant treatment and risk for depression.








Purpose

The College of American Pathologists (CAP), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) guideline on molecular testing for the selection of patients with lung cancer for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitors was considered for endorsement.

Methods

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) staff reviewed the CAP/IASLC/AMP guideline for developmental rigor; an ASCO ad hoc review panel of experts reviewed the guideline content.

Results

The ASCO panel concurred that the recommendations are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence in this content area and present options that will be acceptable to patients. The CAP/IASLC/AMP guideline comprises 37 recommendations (evidence grade A or B), expert consensus opinions, or suggestions that address the following five principal questions: (1) When should molecular testing be performed? (2) How should EGFR testing be performed?(3) How should ALK testing be performed? (4) Should other genes be routinely tested in lung adenocarcinoma? (5) How should molecular testing be implemented and operationalized?

Conclusion

The ASCO review panel endorses the CAP/IASLC/AMP guideline. This guideline represents an important advance toward standardization of EGFR and ALK testing practices and is of major clinical relevance in advancing the care of patients with lung cancer. In the Discussion section, the ASCO review panel highlights three evolving areas: advances in ALK testing methodology, considerations for selecting appropriate populations for molecular testing, and emergence of other targetable molecular alterations.


Purpose

This prospective phase II study was designed to assess disease control and to describe acute and late adverse effects of treatment with proton radiotherapy in children with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).

Patients and Methods

Fifty-seven patients with localized RMS (age 21 years or younger) or metastatic embryonal RMS (age 2 to 10 years) were enrolled between February 2005 and August 2012. All patients were treated with chemotherapy based on either vincristine, actinomycin, and cyclophosphamide or vincristine, actinomycin, and ifosfamide–based chemotherapy and proton radiation. Surgical resection was based on tumor site and accessibility. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, Version 3.0, was used to assess and grade adverse effects of treatment. Concurrent enrollment onto Children’s Oncology Group or European Pediatric Sarcoma Study Group protocols was allowed. All pathology and imaging were reviewed at the treating institution.

Results

Median follow-up was 47 months (range, 14 to 102 months) for survivors. Five-year event-free survival (EFS), overall survival (OS), and local control (LC) were 69%, 78%, and 81%, respectively, for the entire cohort. The 5-year LC by risk group was 93% for low-risk and 77% for intermediate-risk disease. There were 13 patients with grade 3 acute toxicity and three patients with grade 3 late toxicity. There were no acute or late toxicities higher than grade 3.

Conclusion

Five-year LC, EFS, and OS rates were similar to those observed in comparable trials that used photon radiation. Acute and late toxicity rates were favorable. Proton radiation appears to represent a safe and effective radiation modality for pediatric RMS.


Purpose

To investigate the prognostic value of BRAF V600E mutation for the recurrence of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC).

Patients and Methods

This was a retrospective multicenter study of the relationship between BRAF V600E mutation and recurrence of PTC in 2,099 patients (1,615 women and 484 men), with a median age of 45 years (interquartile range [IQR], 34 to 58 years) and a median follow-up time of 36 months (IQR, 14 to 75 months).

Results

The overall BRAF V600E mutation prevalence was 48.5% (1,017 of 2,099). PTC recurrence occurred in 20.9% (213 of 1,017) of BRAF V600E mutation–positive and 11.6% (125 of 1,082) of BRAF V600E mutation–negative patients. Recurrence rates were 47.71 (95% CI, 41.72 to 54.57) versus 26.03 (95% CI, 21.85 to 31.02) per 1,000 person-years in BRAF mutation–positive versus –negative patients (P < .001), with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.82 (95% CI, 1.46 to 2.28), which remained significant in a multivariable model adjusting for patient sex and age at diagnosis, medical center, and various conventional pathologic factors. Significant association between BRAF mutation and PTC recurrence was also found in patients with conventionally low-risk disease stage I or II and micro-PTC and within various subtypes of PTC. For example, in BRAF mutation–positive versus –negative follicular-variant PTC, recurrence occurred in 21.3% (19 of 89) and 7.0% (24 of 342) of patients, respectively, with recurrence rates of 53.84 (95% CI, 34.34 to 84.40) versus 19.47 (95% CI, 13.05 to 29.04) per 1,000 person-years (P < .001) and an HR of 3.20 (95% CI, 1.46 to 7.02) after adjustment for clinicopathologic factors. BRAF mutation was associated with poorer recurrence-free probability in Kaplan-Meier survival analyses in various clinicopathologic categories.

Conclusion

This large multicenter study demonstrates an independent prognostic value of BRAF V600E mutation for PTC recurrence in various clinicopathologic categories.


Purpose

Although American Society of Clinical Oncology guidelines discourage the use of tumor marker assessment for routine surveillance in nonmetastatic breast cancer, their use in practice is uncertain. Our objective was to determine use of tumor marker tests such as carcinoembryonic antigen and CA 15-3/CA 27.29 and associated Medicare costs in early-stage breast cancer survivors.

Methods

By using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare records for patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 2001 and 2007, tumor marker usage within 2 years after diagnosis was identified by billing codes. Logistic regression models were used to identify clinical and demographic factors associated with use of tumor markers. To determine impact on costs of care, we used multivariable regression, controlling for other factors known to influence total medical costs.

Results

We identified 39,650 eligible patients. Of these, 16,653 (42%) received at least one tumor marker assessment, averaging 5.7 tests over 2 years, with rates of use per person increasing over time. Factors significantly associated with use included age at diagnosis, diagnosis year, stage at diagnosis, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and urban/rural status. Rates of advanced imaging, but not biopsies, were significantly higher in the assessment group. Medical costs for patients who received at least one test were approximately 29% greater than costs for those who did not, adjusting for other factors.

Conclusion

Breast cancer tumor markers are frequently used among women with early-stage disease and are associated with an increase in both diagnostic procedures and total cost of care. A better understanding of factors driving the use of and the potential benefits and harms of surveillance-based tumor marker testing is needed.


Purpose

We have previously shown that the PAM50-based risk of recurrence (ROR) score is significantly correlated with distant recurrence in both the translational research cohort within the Arimidex, Tamoxifen Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial (TransATAC) and Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group 8 (ABCSG 8) randomized trials. Here, we focus on the ROR score for predicting distant recurrence after 5 years of follow-up in a combined analysis of these two randomized trials.

Methods

Long-term follow-up data and tissue samples were obtained from 2,137 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive early-stage breast cancer from the ABCSG 8 and TransATAC trials. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models to determine the prognostic value of ROR for distant recurrence beyond 5 years in the combined data set.

Results

A total of 2,137 women who did not have a recurrence 5 years after diagnosis were included in the combined analyses. The Clinical Treatment Score (CTS) was the strongest prognostic factor 5 years after diagnosis (univariable: likelihood ratio [LR] 2 = 94.12, bivariable: LR 2 = 61.43). The ROR score was significantly prognostic by itself in years 5 to 10. In the node-negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–negative subgroup, more prognostic value for late distant recurrence was added by the ROR score compared with the CTS.

Conclusion

The ROR score added clinically meaningful prognostic information to the CTS in all patients and all subgroups in the late follow-up period. These results suggest that the ROR score may be helpful for separating patients into risk groups who could be spared or potentially benefit from extended hormonal therapy beyond 5 years of treatment.


Purpose

Positive interim analysis findings from four large adjuvant trials evaluating trastuzumab in patients with early-stage human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive breast cancer were first reported in 2005. One of these reports, the joint analysis of North Central Cancer Treatment Group NCCTG N9831 (Combination Chemotherapy With or Without Trastuzumab in Treating Women With HER2-Overexpressing Breast Cancer) and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project NSABP B-31 (Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide Plus Paclitaxel With or Without Trastuzumab in Treating Women With Node-Positive Breast Cancer That Overexpresses HER2), was updated in 2011. We now report the planned definitive overall survival (OS) results from this joint analysis along with updates on the disease-free survival (DFS) end point.

Methods

In all, 4,046 patients with HER2-positive operable breast cancer were enrolled to receive doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel with or without trastuzumab in both trials. The required number of events for the definitive statistical analysis for OS (710 events) was reached in September 2012. Updated analyses of overall DFS and related subgroups were also performed.

Results

Median time on study was 8.4 years. Adding trastuzumab to chemotherapy led to a 37% relative improvement in OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.73; P < .001) and an increase in 10-year OS rate from 75.2% to 84%. These results were accompanied by an improvement in DFS of 40% (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.68; P < .001) and increase in 10-year DFS rate from 62.2% to 73.7%. All patient subgroups benefited from addition of this targeted anti-HER2 agent.

Conclusion

The addition of trastuzumab to paclitaxel after doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer results in a substantial and durable improvement in survival as a result of a sustained marked reduction in cancer recurrence.


Purpose

Lenalidomide has significant single-agent activity in relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We demonstrated that lenalidomide can be safely combined with R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone); this new combination is known as R2CHOP. The goal of this phase II study was to evaluate the efficacy of this combination in newly diagnosed DLBCL.

Patients and Methods

Eligible patients were adults with newly diagnosed untreated stages II to IV CD20+ DLBCL. Patients received lenalidomide 25 mg orally per day on days 1 through 10 with standard-dose R-CHOP every 21 days for six cycles. All patients received pegfilgrastim on day 2 of each cycle and aspirin prophylaxis throughout. DLBCL molecular subtype was determined by tumor immunohistochemistry and classified as germinal center B-cell (GCB) versus non-GCB in the R2CHOP patients and 87 control patients with DLBCL from the Lymphoma Database who were treated with conventional R-CHOP.

Results

In all, 64 patients with DLBCL were enrolled, and 60 were evaluable for response. The overall response rate was 98% (59 of 60) with 80% (48 of 60) achieving complete response. Event-free survival and overall survival (OS) rates at 24 months were 59% (95% CI, 48% to 74%) and 78% (95% CI, 68% to 90%), respectively. In R-CHOP patients, 24-month progression-free survival (PFS) and OS were 28% versus 64% (P < .001) and 46% versus 78% (P < .001) in non-GCB DLBCL versus GCB DLBCL, respectively. In contrast, there was no difference in 24-month PFS or OS for R2CHOP patients on the basis of non-GCB and GCB subtype (60% v 59% [P = .83] and 83% v 75% [P = .61] at 2 years, respectively).

Conclusion

R2CHOP shows promising efficacy in DLBCL. The addition of lenalidomide appears to mitigate a negative impact of non-GCB phenotype on patient outcome.



Purpose

To explore the prognostic and/or predictive value of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) pathway–related biomarkers in the phase III CLEOPATRA study of pertuzumab plus trastuzumab plus docetaxel versus placebo plus trastuzumab plus docetaxel as first-line treatment for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

Mandatory tumor and serum samples were collected (N = 808; 58% to 99.8% were assessable), and amphiregulin, betacellulin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha, EGF receptor, HER2, HER3, insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor, PTEN, phosphorylated AKT, PIK3CA, CMYC, serum HER2 extracellular domain (sHER2), and FCR were assessed using appropriate assays. Two types of correlations were investigated using univariable Cox regression: predictive effects (qualitative association of biomarkers with pertuzumab progression-free survival [PFS] benefit) and prognostic effects independent of treatment arm (relationship of each biomarker to clinical outcome in both arms pooled).

Results

Pertuzumab consistently showed a PFS benefit, independent of biomarker subgroups (hazard ratio < 1.0), including estrogen receptor–negative and –positive subgroups. High HER2 protein, high HER2 and HER3 mRNA levels, wild-type PIK3CA, and low sHER2 showed a significantly better prognosis (P < .05). PIK3CA showed the greatest prognostic effect, with longer median PFS for patients whose tumors expressed wild-type versus mutated PIK3CA in both the control (13.8 v 8.6 months) and pertuzumab groups (21.8 v 12.5 months).

Conclusion

Through comprehensive prospective analyses, CLEOPATRA biomarker data demonstrate that HER2 is the only marker suited for patient selection for the trastuzumab plus pertuzumab–based regimen in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. HER2, HER3, and PIK3CA were relevant prognostic factors.


Purpose

In a recent analysis of a large clinical database, postdiagnosis aspirin use was associated with 57% lower prostate cancer–specific mortality (PCSM) among men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. However, information on this association remains limited. We assessed the association between daily aspirin use and PCSM in a large prospective cohort.

Patients and Methods

This analysis included men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer between enrollment in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort in 1992 or 1993 and June 2009. Aspirin use was reported at enrollment, in 1997, and every 2 years thereafter. During follow-up through 2010, there were 441 prostate cancer deaths among 8,427 prostate cancer cases with information on prediagnosis aspirin use and 301 prostate cancer deaths among 7,118 prostate cancer cases with information on postdiagnosis aspirin use.

Results

Compared with no aspirin use, neither prediagnosis nor postdiagnosis daily aspirin use were statistically significantly associated with PCSM (prediagnosis use, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 0.92, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.17, postdiagnosis use, HR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.29). However, among men diagnosed with high-risk cancers (≥ T3 and/or Gleason score ≥ 8), postdiagnosis daily aspirin use was associated with lower PCSM (HR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.97), with no clear difference by dose (low-dose, typically 81 mg per day, HR = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.27 to 0.92, higher dose, HR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.40 to 1.34).

Conclusion

A randomized trial of aspirin among men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer was recently funded. Our results suggest any additional randomized trials addressing this question should prioritize enrolling men with high-risk cancers and need not use high doses.



Purpose

High-dose interferon (IFN) for 1 year (HDI) is the US Food and Drug Administration–approved adjuvant therapy for patients with high-risk melanoma. Efforts to modify IFN dose and schedule have not improved efficacy. We sought to determine whether a shorter course of biochemotherapy would be more effective.

Patients and Methods

S0008 (S0008: Chemotherapy Plus Biological Therapy in Treating Patients With Melanoma) was an Intergroup phase III trial that enrolled high-risk patients (stage IIIA-N2a through IIIC-N3), randomly assigning them to receive either HDI or biochemotherapy consisting of dacarbazine DTIC, cisplatin, vinblastine, interleukin-2, IFN alfa-2b (IFN-α-2b) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor given every 21 days for three cycles. Coprimary end points were relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results

In all, 432 patients were enrolled. Grade 3 and 4 adverse events occurred in 57% and 7% of HDI patients and 36% and 40% of biochemotherapy patients, respectively. At a median follow-up of 7.2 years, biochemotherapy improved RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.97;P = .015), with a median RFS of 4.0 years (95% CI, 1.9 years to not reached [NR]) versus 1.9 years for HDI (95% CI, 1.2 to 2.8 years) and a 5-year RFS of 48% versus 39%. Median OS was not different (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.31;P = .55), with a median OS of 9.9 years (95% CI, 4.62 years to NR) for biochemotherapy versus 6.7 years (95% CI, 4.5 years to NR) for HDI and a 5-year OS of 56% for both arms.

Conclusion

Biochemotherapy is a shorter, alternative adjuvant treatment for patients with high-risk melanoma that provides statistically significant improvement in RFS but no difference in OS and more toxicity compared with HDI.






Purpose

Four randomized studies show that adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) lowers the risk of subsequent ipsilateral breast events (IBEs) after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) by approximately 50% after 10 to 15 years. We present 20 years of follow-up data for the SweDCIS trial.

Patients and Methods

Between 1987 and 1999 1,046 women were randomly assigned to RT or not after BCS for primary DCIS. Results up to 2005 have been published, and we now add another 7 years of follow-up. All breast cancer events and causes of death were registered.

Results

There were 129 in situ and 129 invasive IBEs. Absolute risk reduction in the RT arm was 12.0% at 20 years (95% CI, 6.5 to 17.7), with a relative risk reduction of 37.5%. Absolute reduction was 10.0% (95% CI, 6.0 to 14.0) for in situ and 2.0% (95% CI, –3.0 to 7.0) for invasive IBEs. There was a nonstatistically significantly increased number of contralateral events in the RT arm (67 v 48 events; hazard ratio, 1.38; 95% CI, 0.95 to 2.00). Breast cancer–specific death and overall survival were not influenced. Younger women experienced a relatively higher risk of invasive IBE and lower effect of RT. The hazard over time looked different for in situ and invasive IBEs.

Conclusion

Use of adjuvant RT is supported by 20-year follow-up. Modest protection against invasive recurrences and a possible increase in contralateral cancers still call for a need to find groups of patients for whom RT could be avoided or mastectomy with breast reconstruction is indicated.


Purpose

Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are at increased risk of treatment-related cardiovascular (CV) events; whether exercise modifies this risk is unknown.

Methods

Survivors of HL (n = 1,187; median age, 31.2 years) completed a questionnaire evaluating vigorous-intensity exercise behavior. CV events were collected in follow-up questionnaires and graded according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.03). The primary end point was incidence of any major (grade 3 to 5) CV event. Poisson regression analyses were used to estimate the association between exercise exposure (metabolic equivalent [MET] hours/week–1) and risk of major CV events after adjustment for clinical covariates and cancer treatment.

Results

Median follow-up was 11.9 years (range, 1.7 to 14.3 years). Cumulative incidence of any CV event was 12.2% at 10 years for survivors reporting 0 MET hours/week–1 compared with 5.2% for those reporting ≥ 9 MET hours/week–1. In multivariable analyses, the incidence of any CV event decreased across increasing MET categories (Ptrend = .002). Compared with survivors reporting 0 MET hours/week–1, the adjusted rate ratio for any CV event was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.56 to 1.34) for 3 to 6 MET hours/week–1, 0.45 (95% CI, 0.26 to 0.80) for 9 to 12 MET hours/week–1, and 0.47 (95% CI, 0.23 to 0.95) for 15 to 21 MET hours/week–1. Adherence to national vigorous intensity exercise guidelines (ie, ≥ 9 MET hours/week–1) was associated with a 51% reduction in the risk of any CV event in comparison with not meeting the guidelines (P = .002).

Conclusion

Vigorous exercise was associated with a lower risk of CV events in a dose-dependent manner independent of CV risk profile and treatment in survivors of HL.


Purpose

Cure rates for localized high-risk prostate cancers (PCa) and some intermediate-risk PCa are frequently suboptimal with local therapy. Outcomes are improved by concomitant androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) with radiation therapy, but not by concomitant ADT with surgery. Luteinizing hormone–releasing hormone agonist (LHRHa; leuprolide acetate) does not reduce serum androgens as effectively as abiraterone acetate (AA), a prodrug of abiraterone, a CYP17 inhibitor that lowers serum testosterone (< 1 ng/dL) and improves survival in metastatic PCa. The possibility that greater androgen suppression in patients with localized high-risk PCa will result in improved clinical outcomes makes paramount the reassessment of neoadjuvant ADT with more robust androgen suppression.

Patients and Methods

A neoadjuvant randomized phase II trial of LHRHa with AA was conducted in patients with localized high-risk PCa (N = 58). For the first 12 weeks, patients were randomly assigned to LHRHa versus LHRHa plus AA. After a research prostate biopsy, all patients received 12 additional weeks of LHRHa plus AA followed by prostatectomy.

Results

The levels of intraprostatic androgens from 12-week prostate biopsies, including the primary end point (dihydrotestosterone/testosterone), were significantly lower (dehydroepiandrosterone, 4-androstene-3,17-dione, dihydrotestosterone, all P < .001; testosterone, P < .05) with LHRHa plus AA compared with LHRHa alone. Prostatectomy pathologic staging demonstrated a low incidence of complete responses and minimal residual disease, with residual T3- or lymph node–positive disease in the majority.

Conclusion

LHRHa plus AA treatment suppresses tissue androgens more effectively than LHRHa alone. Intensive intratumoral androgen suppression with LHRHa plus AA before prostatectomy for localized high-risk PCa may reduce tumor burden.


Purpose

The Children's Oncology Group study AHOD0031, a randomized phase III study, was designed to evaluate the role of early chemotherapy response in tailoring subsequent therapy in pediatric intermediate-risk Hodgkin lymphoma. To avoid treatment-associated risks that compromise long-term health and to maintain high cure rates, dose-intensive chemotherapy with limited cumulative doses was used.

Patients and Methods

Patients received two cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone (ABVE-PC) followed by response evaluation. Rapid early responders (RERs) received two additional ABVE-PC cycles, followed by complete response (CR) evaluation. RERs with CR were randomly assigned to involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) or no additional therapy; RERs with less than CR were nonrandomly assigned to IFRT. Slow early responders (SERs) were randomlyassigned to receive two additional ABVE-PC cycles with or without two cycles of dexamethasone, etoposide, cisplatin, and cytarabine (DECA). All SERs were assigned to receive IFRT.

Results

Among 1,712 eligible patients, 4-year event-free survival (EFS) was 85.0%: 86.9% for RERs and 77.4% for SERs (P < .001). Four-year overall survival was 97.8%: 98.5% for RERs and 95.3% for SERs (P < .001). Four-year EFS was 87.9% versus 84.3% (P = .11) for RERs with CR who were randomly assigned to IFRT versus no IFRT, and 86.7% versus 87.3% (P = .87) for RERs with positron emission tomography (PET) –negative results at response assessment. Four-year EFS was 79.3% versus 75.2% (P = .11) for SERs who were randomly assigned to DECA versus no DECA, and 70.7% versus 54.6% (P = .05) for SERs with PET-positive results at response assessment.

Conclusion

This trial demonstrated that early response assessment supported therapeutic titration (omitting radiotherapy in RERs with CR; augmenting chemotherapy in SERs with PET-positive disease). Strategies directed toward improved response assessment and risk stratification may enhance tailoring of treatment to patient characteristics and response.


Purpose

Carfilzomib is an irreversible inhibitor of the constitutive proteasome and immunoproteasome. This phase I study evaluated the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of carfilzomib administered as a 30-minute intravenous (IV) infusion. Safety and efficacy of carfilzomib as a single agent or in combination with low-dose dexamethasone were assessed.

Patients and Methods

Patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma (MM) were administered single-agent carfilzomib on days 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16 of a 28-day cycle. Cycle one day 1 and 2 doses were 20 mg/m2, followed thereafter by dose escalation to 36, 45, 56, or 70 mg/m2. Additionally, carfilzomib was combined with low-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/wk).

Results

Thirty-three patients were treated with single-agent carfilzomib. Dose-limiting toxicities in two patients at 70 mg/m2 were renal tubular necrosis and proteinuria (both grade 3). The MTD was 56 mg/m2. Nausea (51.5%), fatigue (51.5%), pyrexia (42.4%), and dyspnea and thrombocytopenia (each 39.4%) were the most common treatment-related toxicities. Overall response rate (ORR) was 50% (56-mg/m2 cohort). Increasing carfilzomib dosing from 20 to 56 mg/m2 resulted in higher area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to last sampling and maximum plasma concentration exposure with short half-life (range, 0.837 to 1.21 hours) and dose-dependent inhibition of proteasome chymotrypsin-like activity. In 22 patients treated with 45 or 56 mg/m2 of carfilzomib plus low-dose dexamethasone, the ORR was 55% with a safety profile comparable to that of single-agent carfilzomib.

Conclusion

Carfilzomib administered as a 30-minute IV infusion at 56 mg/m2 (as single agent or with low-dose dexamethasone) was generally well tolerated and highly active in patients with relapsed and/or refractory MM. These data have provided the basis for the phase III randomized, multicenter trial ENDEAVOR.



Purpose

Preclinical and early clinical studies have demonstrated that initial therapy with combined BRAF and MEK inhibition is more effective in BRAFV600-mutant melanoma than single-agent BRAF inhibitors. This study assessed the safety and efficacy of dabrafenib and trametinib in patients who had received prior BRAF inhibitor treatment.

Patients and Methods

In this open-label phase I/II study, we evaluated the pharmacology, safety, and efficacy of dabrafenib and trametinib. Here, we report patients treated with combination therapy after disease progression with BRAF inhibitor treatment administered before study enrollment (part B; n = 26) or after cross-over at progression with dabrafenib monotherapy (part C; n = 45).

Results

In parts B and C, confirmed objective response rates (ORR) were 15% (95% CI, 4% to 35%) and 13% (95% CI, 5% to 27%), respectively; an additional 50% and 44% experienced stable disease ≥ 8 weeks, respectively. In part C, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.6 months (95% CI, 2 to 4), and median overall survival was 11.8 months (95% CI, 8 to 25) from cross-over. Patients who previously received dabrafenib ≥ 6 months had superior outcomes with the combination compared with those treated < 6 months; median PFS was 3.9 (95% CI, 3 to 7) versus 1.8 months (95% CI, 2 to 4; hazard ratio, 0.49; P = .02), and ORR was 26% (95% CI, 10% to 48%) versus 0% (95% CI, 0% to 15%).

Conclusion

Dabrafenib plus trametinib has modest clinical efficacy in patients with BRAF inhibitor–resistant melanoma. This regimen may be a therapeutic strategy for patients who previously benefited from BRAF inhibitor monotherapy ≥ 6 months but demonstrates minimal efficacy after rapid progression with BRAF inhibitor therapy.


Purpose

Emerging evidence supporting the use of laparoscopic colectomy in patients with cancer has led to dramatic increases in utilization. Though certain patient and hospital characteristics may be associated with the use of laparoscopy, the influence of geography is poorly understood.

Methods

We used national Medicare claims data from 2009 and 2010 to examine geographic variation in utilization of laparoscopic colectomy for patients with colon cancer. Patients were assigned to hospital referral regions (HRRs) where they were treated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to generate age, sex, and race-adjusted rates of laparoscopic colectomy for each HRR. Patient quintiles of adjusted HRR utilization were used to evaluate differences in patient and hospital characteristics across low and high-utilizing HRRs.

Results

A total of 93,786 patients underwent colon resections at 3,476 hospitals during the study period, of which 30,502 (32.5%) were performed laparoscopically. Differences in patient characteristics between the lowest and highest quintiles of HRR utilization were negligible, and there was no difference in the availability of laparoscopic technology. Yet adjusted rates of laparoscopic colectomy utilization varied from 0% to 66.8% across 306 HRRs in the United States.

Conclusion

There is wide geographic variation in the utilization of laparoscopic colectomy for Medicare patients with colon cancer, suggesting treatment location may substantially influence a patient's options for surgical approach. Future efforts to reduce variation will require increased dissemination of training techniques, novel opportunities for learning among surgeons, and enhanced educational resources for patients.


Purpose

Patterns of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) –negative, antihepatitis B core antigen antibody (anti-HBc) –positive patients with lymphoma receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy have not been well described.

Patients and Methods

HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc–positive Chinese patients with undetectable serum HBV DNA (< 10 IU/mL), diagnosed with hematologic malignancies and receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy, were prospectively monitored every 4 weeks for up to 2 years. Entecavir was started when HBV reactivation (defined as detectable HBV DNA) was encountered.

Results

Among 260 patients receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy, 63 patients (24.2%) who were HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive underwent follow-up for a median of 70 weeks (range, 6 to 104 weeks). The 2-year cumulative rate of HBV reactivation was 41.5%, occurring at a median of 23 weeks (range, 4 to 100 weeks) after rituximab treatment. The median HBV DNA level at reactivation was 43 IU/mL (range, 14 to 920 IU/mL). A baseline undetectable antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs; < 10 mIU/mL) was the only significant risk factor that was positively associated with HBV reactivation (hazard ratio, 3.51; 95% CI, 1.37 to 8.98; P = .009). Patients with negative baseline anti-HBs, compared with those with positive anti-HBs, had a significantly higher 2-year cumulative rate of HBV reactivation (68.3% v 34.4%; P = .012). At HBV reactivation, all patients had normal ALT, and all patients but one were HBsAg negative. Entecavir successfully controlled HBV reactivation in all patients.

Conclusion

A high rate of HBV reactivation was observed in HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc–positive patients undergoing rituximab-containing chemotherapy, with the risk of reactivation significantly higher in anti-HBs–negative patients. Periodic HBV DNA monitoring was an effective strategy in preventing HBV-related complications.


Purpose

To create clinically useful models that incorporate readily available demographic and cancer treatment characteristics to predict individual risk of heart failure among 5-year survivors of childhood cancer.

Patients and Methods

Survivors in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) free of significant cardiovascular disease 5 years after cancer diagnosis (n = 13,060) were observed through age 40 years for the development of heart failure (ie, requiring medications or heart transplantation or leading to death). Siblings (n = 4,023) established the baseline population risk. An additional 3,421 survivors from Emma Children's Hospital (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), the National Wilms Tumor Study, and the St Jude Lifetime Cohort Study were used to validate the CCSS prediction models.

Results

Heart failure occurred in 285 CCSS participants. Risk scores based on selected exposures (sex, age at cancer diagnosis, and anthracycline and chest radiotherapy doses) achieved an area under the curve of 0.74 and concordance statistic of 0.76 at or through age 40 years. Validation cohort estimates ranged from 0.68 to 0.82. Risk scores were collapsed to form statistically distinct low-, moderate-, and high-risk groups, corresponding to cumulative incidences of heart failure at age 40 years of 0.5% (95% CI, 0.2% to 0.8%), 2.4% (95% CI, 1.8% to 3.0%), and 11.7% (95% CI, 8.8% to 14.5%), respectively. In comparison, siblings had a cumulative incidence of 0.3% (95% CI, 0.1% to 0.5%).

Conclusion

Using information available to clinicians soon after completion of childhood cancer therapy, individual risk for subsequent heart failure can be predicted with reasonable accuracy and discrimination. These validated models provide a framework on which to base future screening strategies and interventions.


Purpose

Neratinib is a potent irreversible pan-tyrosine kinase inhibitor with antitumor activity and acceptable tolerability in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) –positive breast cancer. A multinational, open-label, phase I/II trial was conducted to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of neratinib plus capecitabine in patients with solid tumors (part one) and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of neratinib plus capecitabine in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (part two).

Patients and Methods

Part one was a 3 + 3 dose-escalation study in which patients with advanced solid tumors received oral neratinib once per day continuously plus capecitabine twice per day on days 1 to 14 of a 21-day cycle at predefined dose levels. In part two, patients with trastuzumab-pretreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer received neratinib plus capecitabine at the MTD. The primary end point in part two was objective response rate (ORR).

Results

In part one (n = 33), the combination of neratinib 240 mg per day plus capecitabine 1,500 mg/m2 per day was defined as the MTD, which was further evaluated in part 2 (n = 72). The most common drug-related adverse events were diarrhea (88%) and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome (48%). In part two, the ORR was 64% (n = 39 of 61) in patients with no prior lapatinib exposure and 57% (n = 4 of 7) in patients previously treated with lapatinib. Median progression-free survival was 40.3 and 35.9 weeks, respectively.

Conclusion

Neratinib in combination with capecitabine had a manageable toxicity profile and showed promising antitumor activity in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer pretreated with trastuzumab and lapatinib.


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.