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Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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Background

Tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM), consisting of direct contact between a macrophage, an endothelial cell, and a tumor cell, has been associated with metastasis in both rodent mammary tumors and human breast cancer. We prospectively examined the association between TMEM score and risk of distant metastasis and compared risk associated with TMEM score with that associated with IHC4.

Methods

We conducted a case–control study nested within a cohort of 3760 patients with invasive ductal breast carcinoma diagnosed between 1980 and 2000 and followed through 2010. Case patients were women who developed a subsequent distant metastasis; control subjects were matched (1:1) on age at and calendar year of primary diagnosis. TMEM was assessed by triple immunostain and IHC4 by standard methods; slides were read by pathologists blinded to outcome. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression, adjusted for clinical variables. A Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis was performed, and the area under the curve was estimated. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

TMEM score was associated with increased risk of distant metastasis in estrogen receptor (ER)+/human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) tumors (multivariable OR high vs low tertile = 2.70; 95% CI = 1.39 to 5.26; P trend = .004), whereas IHC4 score had a borderline positive association (OR10 unit increase = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.00 to 1.13); the association for TMEM score persisted after adjustment for IHC4 score. The area under the curve for TMEM, adjusted for clinical variables, was 0.78. Neither TMEM score nor IHC4 score was independently associated with metastatic risk overall or in the triple negative or HER2+ subgroups.

Conclusions

TMEM score predicted risk of distant metastasis in ER+/HER2 breast cancer independently of IHC4 score and classical clinicopathologic features.


Background

Screening mammography utilization in Vermont has declined since 2009 during a time of changing screening guidelines and increased interest in personalized screening regimens. This study evaluates whether the breast cancer risk distribution of the state’s screened population changed during the observed decline.

Methods

We examined the breast cancer risk distribution among screened women between 2001 and 2012 using data from the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System. We estimated each screened woman’s 5-year risk of breast cancer using the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium risk calculator. Annual screening counts by risk group were normalized and age-adjusted to the Vermont female population by direct standardization.

Results

The normalized rate of low-risk (5-year breast cancer risk of <1%) women screened increased 8.3% per year (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.8 to 11.9) between 2003 and 2008 and then declined by –5.4% per year (95% CI = –8.1 to –2.6) until 2012. When stratified by age group, the rate of low-risk women screened declined –4.4% per year (95% CI = –8.8 to 0.1; not statistically significant) for ages 40 to 49 years and declined a statistically significant –7.1% per year (95% CI = –12.1 to –2.0) for ages 50 to 74 years during 2008 to 2012. These declines represented the bulk of overall decreases in screening after 2008, with rates for women categorized in higher risk levels generally exhibiting small annual changes.

Conclusions

The observed decline in women screened in Vermont in recent years is largely attributable to reductions in screening visits by women who are at low risk of developing breast cancer.


Background

The immune therapeutic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the context of tumor-mediated immune suppression has not been previously described for monocyte-derived glioma-associated macrophages, which are the largest infiltrating immune cell population in glioblastomas and facilitate gliomagenesis.

Methods

An miRNA microarray was used to compare expression profiles between human glioblastoma-infiltrating macrophages and matched peripheral monocytes. The effects of miR-142-3p on phenotype and function of proinflammatory M1 and immunosuppressive M2 macrophages were determined. The therapeutic effect of miR-142-3p was ascertained in immune-competent C57BL/6J mice harboring intracerebral GL261 gliomas and in genetically engineered Ntv-a mice bearing high-grade gliomas. Student t test was used to evaluate the differences between ex vivo datasets. Survival was analyzed with the log-rank test and tumor sizes with linear mixed models and F test. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

miR-142-3p was the most downregulated miRNA (approximately 4.95-fold) in glioblastoma-infiltrating macrophages. M2 macrophages had lower miR-142-3p expression relative to M1 macrophages (P = .03). Overexpression of miR-142-3p in M2 macrophages induced selective modulation of transforming growth factor beta receptor 1, which led to subsequent preferential apoptosis in the M2 subset (P = .01). In vivo miR-142-3p administration resulted in glioma growth inhibition (P = .03, n = 5) and extended median survival (miR-142-3p–treated C57BL/6J mice vs scramble control: 31 days vs 23.5 days, P = .03, n = 10; miR-142-3p treated Ntv-a mice vs scramble control: 32 days vs 24 days, P = .03, n = 9), with an associated decrease in infiltrating macrophages (R 2 = .303).

Conclusions

These data indicate a unique role of miR-142-3p in glioma immunity by modulating M2 macrophages through the transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway.


Background

Integrin αvβ6 promotes migration, invasion, and survival of cancer cells; however, the relevance and role of αvβ6 has yet to be elucidated in breast cancer.

Methods

Protein expression of integrin subunit beta6 (β6) was measured in breast cancers by immunohistochemistry (n > 2000) and ITGB6 mRNA expression measured in the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium dataset. Overall survival was assessed using Kaplan Meier curves, and bioinformatics statistical analyses were performed (Cox proportional hazards model, Wald test, and Chi-square test of association). Using antibody (264RAD) blockade and siRNA knockdown of β6 in breast cell lines, the role of αvβ6 in Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) biology (expression, proliferation, invasion, growth in vivo) was assessed by flow cytometry, MTT, Transwell invasion, proximity ligation assay, and xenografts (n ≥ 3), respectively. A student’s t-test was used for two variables; three-plus variables used one-way analysis of variance with Bonferroni’s Multiple Comparison Test. Xenograft growth was analyzed using linear mixed model analysis, followed by Wald testing and survival, analyzed using the Log-Rank test. All statistical tests were two sided.

Results

High expression of either the mRNA or protein for the integrin subunit β6 was associated with very poor survival (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.19 to 2.15, P = .002) and increased metastases to distant sites. Co-expression of β6 and HER2 was associated with worse prognosis (HR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.16 to 3.35, P = .01). Monotherapy with 264RAD or trastuzumab slowed growth of MCF-7/HER2-18 and BT-474 xenografts similarly (P < .001), but combining 264RAD with trastuzumab effectively stopped tumor growth, even in trastuzumab-resistant MCF-7/HER2-18 xenografts.

Conclusions

Targeting αvβ6 with 264RAD alone or in combination with trastuzumab may provide a novel therapy for treating high-risk and trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer patients.


Background

Newer approaches to mammography, including digital image acquisition and computer-aided detection (CAD), and adjunct imaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) have diffused into clinical practice. The impact of these technologies on screening-related cost and outcomes remains undefined, particularly among older women.

Methods

Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare linked database, we constructed two cohorts of women without a history of breast cancer and followed each cohort for 2 years. We compared the use and cost of screening mammography including digital mammography and CAD, adjunct procedures including breast ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy between the period of 2001 and 2002 and the period of 2008 and 2009 using 2 and t test. We also assessed the change in breast cancer stage and incidence rates using 2 and Poisson regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

There were 137150 women (mean age = 76.0 years) in the early cohort (2001–2002) and 133097 women (mean age = 77.3 years) in the later cohort (2008–2009). The use of digital image acquisition for screening mammography increased from 2.0% in 2001 and 2002 to 29.8% in 2008 and 2009 (P < .001). CAD use increased from 3.2% to 33.1% (P < .001). Average screening-related cost per capita increased from $76 to $112 (P < .001), with annual national fee-for-service Medicare spending increasing from $666 million to $962 million. There was no statistically significant change in detection rates of early-stage tumors (2.45 vs 2.57 per 1000 person-years; P = .41).

Conclusions

Although breast cancer screening–related costs increased substantially from 2001 through 2009 among Medicare beneficiaries, a clinically significant change in stage at diagnosis was not observed.


Background

Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) rates have substantially increased in recent years and may reflect an exaggerated perceived benefit from the procedure. The objective of this study was to evaluate the magnitude of the survival benefit of CPM for women with unilateral breast cancer.

Methods

We developed a Markov model to simulate survival outcomes after CPM and no CPM among women with stage I or II breast cancer without a BRCA mutation. Probabilities for developing contralateral breast cancer (CBC), dying from CBC, dying from primary breast cancer, and age-specific mortality rates were estimated from published studies. We estimated life expectancy (LE) gain, 20-year overall survival, and disease-free survival with each intervention strategy among cohorts of women defined by age, estrogen receptor (ER) status, and stage of cancer.

Results

Predicted LE gain from CPM ranged from 0.13 to 0.59 years for women with stage I breast cancer and 0.08 to 0.29 years for those with stage II breast cancer. Absolute 20-year survival differences ranged from 0.56% to 0.94% for women with stage I breast cancer and 0.36% to 0.61% for women with stage II breast cancer. CPM was more beneficial among younger women, stage I, and ER-negative breast cancer. Sensitivity analyses yielded a maximum 20-year survival difference with CPM of only 1.45%.

Conclusions

The absolute 20-year survival benefit from CPM was less than 1% among all age, ER status, and cancer stage groups. Estimates of LE gains and survival differences derived from decision models may provide more realistic expectations of CPM.


This sixteenth biannual report of the Cochrane Haematological Malignancies Group highlights recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the field of hemato-oncology, with special focus on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The report covers the publication period June 2012 to July 2013. Trials are selected regarding their methodology and implication for clinical practice. Studies were identified by electronic search of MEDLINE using a broad search filter that covers all topics in hemato-oncology combined with a highly sensitive search filter for randomized trials (Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions). Four RCTs are presented in detail, followed by two further RCTs of high importance in a short version. The report is finalized with an overview of new and updated Cochrane Reviews.




Primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing (without concurrent Pap tests) every 3 years is under consideration in the United States as an alternative to the two recommended cervical cancer screening strategies: primary Pap testing every 3 years, or concurrent Pap and HPV testing ("cotesting") every 5 years. Using logistic regression and Weibull survival models, we estimated and compared risks of cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or worse (CIN3+) for the three strategies among 1011092 women aged 30 to 64 years testing HPV-negative and/or Pap-negative in routine screening at Kaiser Permanente Northern California since 2003. All statistical tests were two sided. Three-year risks following an HPV-negative result were lower than 3-year risks following a Pap-negative result (CIN3+ = 0.069% vs 0.19%, P < .0001; Cancer = 0.011% vs 0.020%, P < .0001) and 5-year risks following an HPV-negative/Pap-negative cotest (CIN3+ = 0.069% vs 0.11%, P < .0001; Cancer = 0.011% vs 0.014%, P = .21). These findings suggest that primary HPV testing merits consideration as another alternative for cervical screening.








Background

Patients with neuroblastoma due to the amplification of a 130-kb genomic DNA region containing the MYCN oncogene have poor prognoses.

Methods

Bioinformatics data were used to discover a novel long noncoding RNA, lncUSMycN, at the 130-kb amplicon. RNA-protein pull-down assays were used to identify proteins bound to lncUSMycN RNA. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, multivariable Cox regression, and two-sided log-rank test were used to examine the prognostic value of lncUSMycN and NonO expression in three cohorts of neuroblastoma patients (n = 47, 88, and 476, respectively). Neuroblastoma-bearing mice were treated with antisense oligonucleotides targeting lncUSMycN (n = 12) or mismatch sequence (n = 13), and results were analyzed by multiple comparison two-way analysis of variance. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Bioinformatics data predicted lncUSMycN gene and RNA, and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction confirmed its three exons and two introns. The lncUSMycN gene was coamplified with MYCN in 88 of 341 human neuroblastoma tissues. lncUSMycN RNA bound to the RNA-binding protein NonO, leading to N-Myc RNA upregulation and neuroblastoma cell proliferation. High levels of lncUSMycN and NonO expression in human neuroblastoma tissues independently predicted poor patient prognoses (lncUSMycN: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06 to 3.28, P = .03; NonO: HR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.34 to 4.57, P = .004). Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides targeting lncUSMycN in neuroblastoma-bearing mice statistically significantly hindered tumor progression (P < .001).

Conclusions

Our data demonstrate the important roles of lncUSMycN and NonO in regulating N-Myc expression and neuroblastoma oncogenesis and provide the first evidence that amplification of long noncoding RNA genes can contribute to tumorigenesis.





Background

Aberrant DNA methylation in gene promoters is associated with aging and cancer, but the circumstances determining methylation change are unknown. We investigated the impact of lifestyle modulators of colorectal cancer (CRC) risk on the stability of gene promoter methylation in the colonic mucosa.

Methods

We measured genome-wide promoter CpG methylation in normal colon biopsies (n = 1092) from a female screening cohort, investigated the interaction of lifestyle factors with age-dependent increase in methylation with log-linear multivariable regression, and related their modifying effect to hypermethylation in CRC. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Of 20025 promoter-associated CpGs analyzed, 1713 showed statistically significant age-dependent methylation gains. Fewer CpGs acquired methylation in users of aspirin (≥2 years) and hormonal replacement therapy (HRT age ≥50 years) compared with nonusers (43 vs 1355; 1 vs1377, respectively), whereas more CpGs were affected in smokers (≥20 years) and individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 25kg/m2 and greater compared with control groups (180 vs 39; 554 vs 144, respectively). Fifty percent of the CpGs showing age-dependent methylation were found hypermethylated in CRC (odds ratio [OR] = 20; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 18 to 23; P < 2x10–16). These loci gained methylation with a higher median rate compared with age-only methylated sites (P = 2x10–76) and were enriched for polycomb regions (OR = 3.67). Importantly, aspirin (P < .001) and HRT use (P < .001) reduced the methylation rate at these cancer-related genes, whereas smoking (P < .001) and high BMI (P = .004) increased it.

Conclusions

Lifestyle, including aspirin use, modulates age-associated DNA methylation change in the colonic epithelium and thereby impacts the evolution of cancer methylomes.


Background

Sedentary behavior is emerging as an independent risk factor for chronic disease and mortality. However, the evidence relating television (TV) viewing and other sedentary behaviors to cancer risk has not been quantitatively summarized.

Methods

We performed a comprehensive electronic literature search in Cochrane, EMBASE, Medline, and SciSearch databases through February 2014 for published articles investigating sedentary behavior in relation to cancer incidence. Because randomized controlled trials are difficult to perform on this topic, we focused on observational studies that met uniform inclusion criteria. Data were extracted independently by both authors and summarized using random-effects meta-analysis and meta-regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Data from 43 observational studies including a total of 68936 cancer cases were analyzed. Comparing the highest vs lowest levels of sedentary time, the relative risks (RRs) for colon cancer were 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19 to 1.98) for TV viewing time, 1.24 (95% CI = 1.09 to 1.41) for occupational sitting time, and 1.24 (95% CI = 1.03 to 1.50) for total sitting time. For endometrial cancer, the relative risks were 1.66 (95% CI = 1.21 to 2.28) for TV viewing time and 1.32 (95% CI = 1.08 to 1.61) for total sitting time. A positive association with overall sedentary behavior was also noted for lung cancer (RR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.43). Sedentary behavior was unrelated to cancers of the breast, rectum, ovaries, prostate, stomach, esophagus, testes, renal cell, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Conclusions

Prolonged TV viewing and time spent in other sedentary pursuits is associated with increased risks of certain types of cancer.


Background

KRAS and BRAF V600E mutations are important predictive and prognostic markers, respectively, in colon cancer, but little is known about patient and clinical factors associated with them.

Methods

Two thousand three hundred twenty-six of 3397 patients in the N0147 phase III adjuvant trial for stage III colon cancer completed a patient questionnaire. Primary tumors were assessed for KRAS and BRAF V600E mutations and defective mismatch repair (dMMR) status. Logistic regression models and categorical data analysis were used to identify associations of patient and tumor characteristics with mutation status. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

KRAS (35%) and BRAF V600E (14%) mutations were nearly mutually exclusive. KRAS mutations were more likely to be present in patients without a family history of colon cancer and never smokers. Tumors with KRAS mutations were less likely to have dMMR (odds ratio [OR] = 0.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15 to 0.31; P < .001) and high-grade histology (OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.59 to 0.92; P < .001) but were more often right-sided. Among KRAS-mutated tumors, those with a Gly13Asp mutation tended to have dMMR and high-grade histology. Tumors with BRAF V600E mutations were more likely to be seen in patients who were aged 70 years or older (OR = 3.33; 95% CI = 2.50 to 4.42; P < .001) and current or former smokers (OR = 1.64; 95% CI = 1.26 to 2.14; P < .001) but less likely in non-whites and men. Tumors with BRAF V600E mutations were more likely to be right-sided and to have four or more positive lymph nodes, high-grade histology, and dMMR.

Conclusions

Specific patient and tumor characteristics are associated with KRAS and BRAF V600E mutations.


Among 2258 Helicobacter pylori–seropositive subjects randomly assigned to receive one-time H. pylori treatment with amoxicillin-omeprazole or its placebo, we evaluated the 15-year effect of treatment on gastric cancer incidence and mortality in subgroups defined by age, baseline gastric histopathology, and post-treatment infection status. We used conditional logistic and Cox regressions for covariable adjustments in incidence and mortality analyses, respectively. Treatment was associated with a statistically significant decrease in gastric cancer incidence (odds ratio = 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.17 to 0.79) and mortality (hazard ratio = 0.26; 95% CI = 0.09 to 0.79) at ages 55 years and older and a statistically significant decrease in incidence among those with intestinal metaplasia or dysplasia at baseline (odds ratio = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.34 to 0.91). Treatment benefits for incidence and mortality among those with and without post-treatment infection were similar. Thus H. pylori treatment can benefit older members and those with advanced baseline histopathology, and benefits are present even with post-treatment infection, suggesting treatment can benefit an entire population, not just the young or those with mild histopathology.


In this updated analysis of the EXPERT-C trial we show that, in magnetic resonance imaging–defined, high-risk, locally advanced rectal cancer, adding cetuximab to a treatment strategy with neoadjuvant CAPOX followed by chemoradiotherapy, surgery, and adjuvant CAPOX is not associated with a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in both KRAS/BRAF wild-type and unselected patients. In a retrospective biomarker analysis, TP53 was not prognostic but emerged as an independent predictive biomarker for cetuximab benefit. After a median follow-up of 65.0 months, TP53 wild-type patients (n = 69) who received cetuximab had a statistically significant better PFS (89.3% vs 65.0% at 5 years; hazard ratio [HR] = 0.23; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.07 to 0.78; two-sided P = .02 by Cox regression) and OS (92.7% vs 67.5% at 5 years; HR = 0.16; 95% CI = 0.04 to 0.70; two-sided P = .02 by Cox regression) than TP53 wild-type patients who were treated in the control arm. An interaction between TP53 status and cetuximab effect was found (P < .05) and remained statistically significant after adjusting for statistically significant prognostic factors and KRAS.



There is no consensus as to what symptoms or quality-of-life (QOL) domains should be measured as patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in ovarian cancer clinical trials. A panel of experts convened by the National Cancer Institute reviewed studies published between January 2000 and August 2011. The results were included in and combined with an expert consensus-building process to identify the most salient PROs for ovarian cancer clinical trials. We identified a set of PROs specific to ovarian cancer: abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, fear of recurrence/disease progression, indigestion, sexual dysfunction, vomiting, weight gain, and weight loss. Additional PROs identified in parallel with a group charged with identifying the most important PROs across cancer types were anorexia, cognitive problems, constipation, diarrhea, dyspnea, fatigue, nausea, neuropathy, pain, and insomnia. Physical and emotional domains were considered to be the most salient domains of QOL. Findings of the review and consensus process provide good support for use of these ovarian cancer–specific PROs in ovarian cancer clinical trials.


Background

The National Cancer Institute’s Symptom Management and Health-Related Quality of Life Steering Committee held a clinical trials planning meeting (September 2011) to identify a core symptom set to be assessed across oncology trials for the purposes of better understanding treatment efficacy and toxicity and to facilitate cross-study comparisons. We report the results of an evidence-synthesis and consensus-building effort that culminated in recommendations for core symptoms to be measured in adult cancer clinical trials that include a patient-reported outcome (PRO).

Methods

We used a data-driven, consensus-building process. A panel of experts, including patient representatives, conducted a systematic review of the literature (2001–2011) and analyzed six large datasets. Results were reviewed at a multistakeholder meeting, and a final set was derived emphasizing symptom prevalence across diverse cancer populations, impact on health outcomes and quality of life, and attribution to either disease or anticancer treatment.

Results

We recommend that a core set of 12 symptoms—specifically fatigue, insomnia, pain, anorexia (appetite loss), dyspnea, cognitive problems, anxiety (includes worry), nausea, depression (includes sadness), sensory neuropathy, constipation, and diarrhea—be considered for inclusion in clinical trials where a PRO is measured. Inclusion of symptoms and other patient-reported endpoints should be well justified, hypothesis driven, and meaningful to patients.

Conclusions

This core set will promote consistent assessment of common and clinically relevant disease- and treatment-related symptoms across cancer trials. As such, it provides a foundation to support data harmonization and continued efforts to enhance measurement of patient-centered outcomes in cancer clinical trials and observational studies.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Symptom Management and Health-Related Quality of Life Steering Committee convened four working groups to recommend core sets of patient-reported outcomes to be routinely incorporated in clinical trials. The Prostate Cancer Working Group included physicians, researchers, and a patient advocate. The group’s process included 1) a systematic literature review to determine the prevalence and severity of symptoms, 2) a multistakeholder meeting sponsored by the NCI to review the evidence and build consensus, and 3) a postmeeting expert panel synthesis of findings to finalize recommendations. Five domains were recommended for localized prostate cancer: urinary incontinence, urinary obstruction and irritation, bowel-related symptoms, sexual dysfunction, and hormonal symptoms. Four domains were recommended for advanced prostate cancer: pain, fatigue, mental well-being, and physical well-being. Additional domains for consideration include decisional regret, satisfaction with care, and anxiety related to prostate cancer. These recommendations have been endorsed by the NCI for implementation.


Background

Endoscopic resection is increasingly used to treat localized, early-stage esophageal cancer. We sought to assess its adoption, characterize the risks of nodal metastases, and define differences in procedural mortality and 5-year survival between endoscopic and surgical resection in the United States.

Methods

From the National Cancer Data Base, patients with T1a and T1b lesions were identified. Treatment patterns were characterized, and hierarchical regression methods were used to define predictors and evaluate outcomes. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Five thousand three hundred ninety patients were identified and underwent endoscopic (26.5%) or surgical resection (73.5%). Endoscopic resection increased from 19.0% to 53.0% for T1a lesions (P < .001) and from 6.6% to 20.9% for T1b cancers (P < .001). The strongest predictors of endoscopic resection were depth of invasion (T1a vs T1b: odds ratio [OR] = 4.45; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.76 to 5.27) and patient age of 75 years or older (vs age less than 55 years: OR = 4.86; 95% CI = 3.60 to 6.57). Among patients undergoing surgery, lymph node metastasis was 5.0% for T1a and 16.6% for T1b lesions. Predictors of nodal metastases included tumor size greater than 2cm (vs. <2cm) and intermediate-/high-grade lesions (vs low grade). For example, 0.5% of patients with low-grade T1a lesions less than 2cm had lymph node involvement. The risk of 30-day mortality was less after endoscopic resection (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.33; 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.58) but greater for conditional 5-year survival (HR = 1.63; 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.47).

Conclusions

Endoscopic resection has become the most common treatment of T1a esophageal cancer and has increased for T1b cancers. It remains important to balance the risk of nodal metastases and procedural risk when counseling patients regarding their treatment options.



Background

Breast cancer frequently metastasizes to the brain, colonizing a neuro-inflammatory microenvironment. The molecular pathways facilitating this colonization remain poorly understood.

Methods

Expression profiling of 23 matched sets of human resected brain metastases and primary breast tumors by two-sided paired t test was performed to identify brain metastasis–specific genes. The implicated DNA repair genes BARD1 and RAD51 were modulated in human (MDA-MB-231-BR) and murine (4T1-BR) brain-tropic breast cancer cell lines by lentiviral transduction of cDNA or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) coding sequences. Their functional contribution to brain metastasis development was evaluated in mouse xenograft models (n = 10 mice per group).

Results

Human brain metastases overexpressed BARD1 and RAD51 compared with either matched primary tumors (1.74-fold, P < .001; 1.46-fold, P < .001, respectively) or unlinked systemic metastases (1.49-fold, P = .01; 1.44-fold, P = .008, respectively). Overexpression of either gene in MDA-MB-231-BR cells increased brain metastases by threefold to fourfold after intracardiac injections, but not lung metastases upon tail-vein injections. In 4T1-BR cells, shRNA-mediated RAD51 knockdown reduced brain metastases by 2.5-fold without affecting lung metastasis development. In vitro, BARD1- and RAD51-overexpressing cells showed reduced genomic instability but only exhibited growth and colonization phenotypes upon DNA damage induction. Reactive oxygen species were present in tumor cells and elevated in the metastatic neuro-inflammatory microenvironment and could provide an endogenous source of genotoxic stress. Tempol, a brain-permeable oxygen radical scavenger suppressed brain metastasis promotion induced by BARD1 and RAD51 overexpression.

Conclusions

BARD1 and RAD51 are frequently overexpressed in brain metastases from breast cancer and may constitute a mechanism to overcome reactive oxygen species–mediated genotoxic stress in the metastatic brain.


The chromatin remodeling gene, ARID1A, has been implied as a tumor suppressor, and its somatic inactivating mutations occur in a wide variety of human cancers, most frequently in ovarian and uterine endometrioid and ovarian clear cell carcinomas. Tumors with ARID1A mutations also frequently harbor PTEN or PIK3CA mutations, suggesting their collaboration in tumorigenesis. Here, we used a conditional knockout mouse model in which Arid1a and Pten were deleted either individually or in combination in the mouse ovarian surface epithelium. After 6 months, 59.1% of mice with Arid1a and Pten double knockout developed ovarian endometrioid or undifferentiated carcinoma, whereas the remaining mice showed hyperplasia of ovarian surface epithelium. In contrast, 52 mice with homozygous or heterozygous deletion in either Arid1a or Pten did not develop ovarian lesions. These results demonstrate that inactivation of Arid1a alone is insufficient for tumor initiation but it requires additional genetic alteration(s) such as Pten deletion to drive tumorigenesis.


Background

Tumor-related leukocytosis (TRL) is occasionally found in patients with nonhematopoietic malignancies. We investigated the clinical implication of TRL and individualized treatment for TRL-positive cervical cancer, as well as the underlying biological mechanism.

Methods

Clinical data from 258 cervical cancer patients treated with definitive radiotherapy were analyzed to investigate the association between TRL and treatment outcome. Clinical samples, cervical cancer cell lines, and a mouse model of cervical cancer were used to examine the mechanisms responsible for TRL in cervical cancer, focusing on the role of tumor-derived granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

TRL was statistically significantly associated with younger age (Wilcoxon rank sum test, P = .03), larger tumor size (Wilcoxon rank sum test, P = .006), advanced clinical stage (2 test, P = .01), and shorter overall survival (Cox proportional hazard modeling and Wald tests, P < .001). Among cervical cancer patients, TRL was associated with upregulated tumor G-CSF expression (2 test, P < .001), elevated serum G-CSF levels (Student t test, P = .03), larger spleens (Student t test, P = .045), and increased MDSC frequencies in the blood (Student t test, P < .001) compared with the TRL-negative patients. In vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that tumor-derived G-CSF was involved in the underlying causative mechanism of TRL and MDSCs induced by tumor-derived G-CSF are responsible for the rapidly progressive and radioresistant nature of TRL-positive cervical cancer. The administration of anti-Gr-1 neutralizing antibody or the depletion of MDSCs by splenectomy (n = 6 per group) inhibited tumor growth and enhanced radiosensitivity in TRL-positive cervical cancer xenografts (Wilcoxon rank sum test, P = .008 and P = .02, respectively).

Conclusions

TRL is associated with resistance to radiotherapy among cervical cancer patients, and MDSC-targeting treatments may have therapeutic potential in these patients.



Background

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play various roles in cancer biology and drug resistance, but their association with outcomes in serous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is unknown.

Methods

The relationship between clinical outcomes and ABC transporter gene expression in two independent cohorts of high-grade serous EOC tumors was assessed with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, analysis of expression microarray data, and immunohistochemistry. Associations between clinical outcomes and ABCA transporter gene single nucleotide polymorphisms were tested in a genome-wide association study. Impact of short interfering RNA–mediated gene suppression was determined by colony forming and migration assays. Association with survival was assessed with Kaplan–Meier analysis and log-rank tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Associations with outcome were observed with ABC transporters of the "A" subfamily, but not with multidrug transporters. High-level expression of ABCA1, ABCA6, ABCA8, and ABCA9 in primary tumors was statistically significantly associated with reduced survival in serous ovarian cancer patients. Low levels of ABCA5 and the C-allele of rs536009 were associated with shorter overall survival (hazard ratio for death = 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.26 to 1.79; P = 6.5e–6). The combined expression pattern of ABCA1, ABCA5, and either ABCA8 or ABCA9 was associated with particularly poor outcome (mean overall survival in group with adverse ABCA1, ABCA5 and ABCA9 gene expression = 33.2 months, 95% CI = 26.4 to 40.1; vs 55.3 months in the group with favorable ABCA gene expression, 95% CI = 49.8 to 60.8; P = .001), independently of tumor stage or surgical debulking status. Suppression of cholesterol transporter ABCA1 inhibited ovarian cancer cell growth and migration in vitro, and statin treatment reduced ovarian cancer cell migration.

Conclusions

Expression of ABCA transporters was associated with poor outcome in serous ovarian cancer, implicating lipid trafficking as a potentially important process in EOC.


Background

Median survival of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with brain metastases is poor. We examined concurrent erlotinib and whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) followed by maintenance erlotinib in patients with untreated brain metastases, given the potential radiosensitizing properties of erlotinib and its direct effect on brain metastases and systemic activity.

Methods

Eighty NSCLC patients with KPS of 70 and greater and multiple brain metastases were randomly assigned to placebo (n = 40) or erlotinib (100mg, n = 40) given concurrently with WBRT (20 Gy in 5 fractions). Following WBRT, patients continued with placebo or erlotinib (150mg) until disease progression. The primary end point was neurological progression-free survival (nPFS); hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using Cox regression. All P values were two-sided.

Results

Fifteen patients (37.5%) from each arm were alive and without neurological progression 2 months after WBRT. Median nPFS was 1.6 months in both arms; nPFS HR 0.95 (95% CI = 0.59 to1.54; P = .84). Median overall survival (OS) was 2.9 and 3.4 months in the placebo and erlotinib arms; HR 0.95 (95% CI = 0.58 to 1.55; P = .83). The frequency of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations was low with only 1 of 35 (2.9%) patients with available samples had activating EGFR-mutations. Grade 3/4 adverse event rates were similar between the two groups (70.0% in each arm), except for rash 20.0% (erlotinib) vs 5.0% (placebo), and fatigue 17.5% vs 35.0%. No statistically significant quality of life differences were found.

Conclusions

Our study showed no advantage in nPFS or OS for concurrent erlotinib and WBRT followed by maintenance erlotinib in patients with predominantly EGFR wild-type NSCLC and multiple brain metastases compared to placebo. Future studies should focus on the role of erlotinib with or without WBRT in patients with EGFR mutations.



Background

Obesity increases the risk of cancer death among postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor–positive (ER+) breast cancer, but the direct evidence for the mechanisms is lacking. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate direct evidence for the mechanisms mediating this epidemiologic phenomenon.

Methods

We analyzed transcriptomic profiles of pretreatment biopsies from a prospective cohort of 137 ER+ breast cancer patients. We generated transgenic (MMTV-TGFα;A y /a) and orthotopic/syngeneic (A y /a) obese mouse models to investigate the effect of obesity on tumorigenesis and tumor progression and to determine biological mechanisms using whole-genome transcriptome microarrays and protein analyses. We used a coculture system to examine the impact of adipocytes/adipokines on breast cancer cell proliferation. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Functional transcriptomic analysis of patients revealed the association of obesity with 59 biological functional changes (P < .05) linked to cancer hallmarks. Gene enrichment analysis revealed enrichment of AKT-target genes (P = .04) and epithelial–mesenchymal transition genes (P = .03) in patients. Our obese mouse models demonstrated activation of the AKT/mTOR pathway in obesity-accelerated mammary tumor growth (3.7- to 7.0-fold; P < .001; n = 6–7 mice per group). Metformin or everolimus can suppress obesity-induced secretion of adipokines and breast tumor formation and growth (0.5-fold, P = .04; 0.3-fold, P < .001, respectively; n = 6–8 mice per group). The coculture model revealed that adipocyte-secreted adipokines (eg, TIMP-1) regulate adipocyte-induced breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion. Metformin suppress adipocyte-induced cell proliferation and adipocyte-secreted adipokines in vitro.

Conclusions

Adipokine secretion and AKT/mTOR activation play important roles in obesity-accelerated breast cancer aggressiveness in addition to hyperinsulinemia, estrogen signaling, and inflammation. Metformin and everolimus have potential for therapeutic interventions of ER+ breast cancer patients with obesity.


Background

Phase I trials have traditionally been designed to assess toxicity and establish phase II doses with dose-finding studies and expansion cohorts but are frequently exceeding the traditional sample size to further assess endpoints in specific patient subsets. The scientific objectives of phase I expansion cohorts and their evolving role in the current era of targeted therapies have yet to be systematically examined.

Methods

Adult therapeutic phase I trials opened within Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) from 1988 to 2012 were identified for sample size details. Statistical designs and study objectives of those submitted in 2011 were reviewed for expansion cohort details.

Results

Five hundred twenty-two adult therapeutic phase I trials were identified during the 25 years. The average sample size of a phase I study has increased from 33.8 patients to 73.1 patients over that time. The proportion of trials with planned enrollment of 50 or fewer patients dropped from 93.0% during the time period 1988 to 1992 to 46.0% between 2008 and 2012; at the same time, the proportion of trials enrolling 51 to 100 patients and more than 100 patients increased from 5.3% and 1.8%, respectively, to 40.5% and 13.5% (2 test, two-sided P < .001). Sixteen of the 60 trials (26.7%) in 2011 enrolled patients to three or more sub-cohorts in the expansion phase. Sixty percent of studies provided no statistical justification of the sample size, although 91.7% of trials stated response as an objective.

Conclusions

Our data suggest that phase I studies have dramatically changed in size and scientific scope within the last decade. Additional studies addressing the implications of this trend on research processes, ethical concerns, and resource burden are needed.












We identified a standard core set of patient-reported symptoms and health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) domains to be assessed in head and neck (H&N) cancer clinical trials. The core symptom and HRQOL domain scores were used to guide recommendations by a working group of experts as part of a National Cancer Institute Symptom Management and HRQOL Clinical Trials Planning Meeting. A PubMed search was conducted using the search terms of "health-related quality of life" and "head & neck cancer," limited to publications from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2010. Fifty-four articles were used to guide the choice of recommendations. Twenty-nine symptoms and nine domains were identified, from which 12 H&N-specific core symptoms and HRQOL domains were recommended: swallowing, oral pain, skin changes, dry mouth, dental health, opening mouth/trismus, taste, excess/thick mucous/saliva, shoulder disability/motion, voice/hoarseness, social domain, and functional domain. This core set of 12 H&N-specific, patient-reported symptoms and HRQOL domains should be assessed in future H&N cancer clinical trials.



Indoor tanning is carcinogenic to humans. Individuals report that they tan indoors before planning to be in the sun to prevent sunburns, but whether skin cancer is subsequently reduced is unknown. Using a population-based case–control study, we calculated the association between melanoma and indoor tanning after excluding exposed participants reporting indoor tanning–related burns, stratified by their number of lifetime sunburns (0, 1–2, 3–5, >5). Confounding was addressed using propensity score analysis methods. All statistical tests were two-sided. We observed increased risk of melanoma across all sunburn categories for participants who had tanned indoors without burning compared with those who never tanned indoors, including those who reported zero lifetime sunburns (odds ratio = 3.87; 95% confidence interval = 1.68 to 8.91; P = .002). These data provide evidence that indoor tanning is a risk factor for melanoma even among persons who reported never experiencing burns from indoor tanning or outdoor sun exposure.





Background

Increased levels of thyroglobulin (Tg) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) are associated with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (TC) risk, but strong epidemiological evidence is lacking.

Methods

Three hundred fifty-seven incident TC case patients (n = 300 women and 57 men; mean age at blood collection = 51.5 years) were identified in the EPIC cohort study and matched with 2 (women) or 3 (men) control subjects using incidence density sampling. Matching included study center, sex, age, date, time, and fasting status at blood collection. Levels of total and free (f) thyroxine (T4) and triiodo-thyronine (T3), TSH, Tg, and anti-Tg antibodies (TgAb) were measured by commercially available immunoassays. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed using conditional logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

TC risk was positively associated with Tg (OR for the highest vs lowest quartile = 9.15; 95% CI = 5.28 to 15.90; P < .001) and negatively associated with TSH level (OR = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.38 to 0.81; P = .001). Odds ratios were not modified by adjustment for weight and height and were consistent across sexes, age groups, and countries. The association with Tg was stronger in follicular than papillary TC. The odds ratio for TgAb-positivity was 1.50 (95% CI = 1.05 to 2.15; P = .03). Among case patients, TSH level was stable over time, whereas Tg level was higher in proximity to TC diagnosis. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve were 57% and 74% for TSH and Tg level, respectively.

Conclusions

High Tg levels precede by up to 8 years the detection of TC, pointing to a long sojourn time of the disease. Low TSH levels may predispose to TC onset. Neither marker has sufficient accuracy to be a screening test.


Background

A number of oncoproteins and tumor suppressors are known to be neddylated, but whether the neddylation pathway is entirely activated in human cancer remains unexplored.

Methods

NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) (E1) and NEDD8-conjugating enzyme (E2) expression and global-protein neddylation were examined by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. Cell proliferation, clonogenic survival, migration, and motility in vitro, as well as tumor formation and metastasis in vivo, were determined upon neddylation inhibition by MLN4924, an investigational NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor. Survival was analyzed with Kaplan–Meier methods and compared by the log-rank test. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

The entire neddylation pathway, including NEDD8-activating enzyme E1, NEDD8-conjugating enzyme E2, and global-protein neddylation, is overactivated in both lung adenocarcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma. Compared with lung adenocarcinoma patients with low expression, those with high expression had worse overall survival (NEDD8-activating enzyme E1 subunit 1 [NAE1]: hazard ratio [HR] = 2.07, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.95 to 4.52, P = .07; ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2M (UBC12): HR = 13.26, 95% CI = 1.77 to 99.35, P = .01; global protein neddylation: HR = 3.74, 95% CI = 1.65 to 8.47, P = .002). Moreover, inhibition of neddylation by the NAE inhibitor MLN4924 statistically significantly suppressed proliferation, survival, migration, and motility of lung cancer cells in vitro and tumor formation and metastasis in vivo. At the molecular level, MLN4924 inactivated Cullin-RING E3 ligases, led to accumulation of tumor-suppressive Cullin-RING E3 ligase substrates and induced phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced protein 1 (NOXA)-dependent apoptosis or cellular senescence.

Conclusions

Our study highlights the overactivated neddylation pathway in lung cancer development and as a promising therapeutic target.


Background

Lung cancer screening programs may provide opportunities to reduce smoking rates among participants. This study evaluates the impact of lung cancer screening results on smoking cessation.

Methods

Data from Lung Screening Study participants in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST; 2002–2009) were used to prepare multivariable longitudinal regression models predicting annual smoking cessation in those who were current smokers at study entry (n = 15489, excluding those developing lung cancer in follow-up). The associations of lung cancer screening results on smoking cessation over the trial period were analyzed. All hypothesis testing used two sided P values.

Results

In adjusted analyses, smoking cessation was strongly associated with the amount of abnormality observed in the previous year’s screening (P < .0001). Compared with those with a normal screen, individuals were less likely to be smokers if their previous year’s screen had a major abnormality that was not suspicious for lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 0.811; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.722 to 0.912; P < .001), was suspicious for lung cancer but stable from previous screens (OR = 0.785; 95% CI = 0.706 to 0.872; P < .001), or was suspicious for lung cancer and was new or changed from the previous screen (OR = 0.663; 95% CI = 0.607 to 0.724; P < .001). Differences in smoking prevalence were present up to 5 years after the last screen.

Conclusions

Smoking cessation is statistically significantly associated with screen-detected abnormality. Integration of effective smoking cessation programs within screening programs should lead to further reduction in smoking-related morbidity and mortality.



Background

Olaparib has single-agent activity against breast/ovarian cancer (BrCa/OvCa) in germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers (gBRCAm). We hypothesized addition of olaparib to carboplatin can be administered safely and yield preliminary clinical activity.

Methods

Eligible patients had measurable or evaluable disease, gBRCAm, and good end-organ function. A 3 + 3 dose escalation tested daily oral capsule olaparib (100 or 200mg every 12 hours; dose level1 or 2) with carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) on day 8 (AUC3 day 8), then every 21 days. For dose levels 3 to 6, patients were given olaparib days 1 to 7 at 200 and 400 mg every 12 hours, with carboplatin AUC3 to 5 on day 1 or 2 every 21 days; a maximum of eight combination cycles were permitted, after which daily maintenance of olaparib 400mg every12 hours continued until progression. Dose-limiting toxicity was defined in the first two cycles. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected for polymorphism analysis and polyADP-ribose incorporation. Paired tumor biopsies (before/after cycle 1) were obtained for biomarker proteomics and apoptosis endpoints.

Results

Forty-five women (37 OvCa/8 BrCa) were treated. Dose-limiting toxicity was not reached on the intermittent schedule. Expansion proceeded with olaparib 400mg every 12 hours on days 1 to 7/carboplatin AUC5. Grade 3/4 adverse events included neutropenia (42.2%), thrombocytopenia (20.0%), and anemia (15.6%). Responses included 1 complete response (1 BrCa; 23 months) and 21 partial responses (50.0%; 15 OvCa; 6 BrCa; median = 16 [4 to >45] in OvCa and 10 [6 to >40] months in BrCa). Proteomic analysis suggests high pretreatment pS209-eIF4E and FOXO3a correlated with duration of response (two-sided P < .001; Pearson’s R 2 = 0.94).

Conclusions

Olaparib capsules 400mg every 12 hours on days 1 to 7/carboplatin AUC5 is safe and has activity in gBRCAm BrCa/OvCa patients. Exploratory translational studies indicate pretreatment tissue FOXO3a expression may be predictive for response to therapy, requiring prospective validation.


Background

The current treatment regimen for malignant glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is tumor resection followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Despite the proven safety of oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) in clinical trials for GBMs, its efficacy is suboptimal mainly because of insufficient viral spread after tumor resection.

Methods

Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were loaded with oHSV (MSC-oHSV), and their fate was explored by real-time imaging in vitro and in vivo. Using novel diagnostic and armed oHSV mutants and real-time multimodality imaging, the efficacy of MSC-oHSV and its proapoptotic variant, oHSV-TRAIL encapsulated in biocompatible synthetic extracellular matrix (sECM), was tested in different mouse GBM models, which more accurately reflect the current clinical settings of malignant, resistant, and resected tumors. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

MSC-oHSVs effectively produce oHSV progeny, which results in killing of GBMs in vitro and in vivo mediated by a dynamic process of oHSV infection and tumor destruction. sECM-encapsulated MSC-oHSVs result in statistically significant increased anti-GBM efficacy compared with direct injection of purified oHSV in a preclinical model of GBM resection, resulting in prolonged median survival in mice (P < .001 with Gehan–Breslow–Wilcoxin test). To supersede resistant tumors, MSC loaded with oHSV-TRAIL effectively induce apoptosis-mediated killing and prolonged median survival in mice bearing oHSV- and TRAIL-resistant GBM in vitro (P < .001 with 2 contingency test).

Conclusions

Human MSC loaded with different oHSV variants provide a platform to translate oncolytic virus therapies to clinics in a broad spectrum of GBMs after resection and could also have direct implications in different cancer types.


Background

There is substantial variability in cancer risk in women who have inherited a BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutation. Numerous factors have been hypothesized to modify these risks, but studies are of variable quality, and it remains unclear which of these may be of value in clinical risk assessment.

Methods

PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched for articles published through September 2013. Fixed effects meta-analysis was done using the hazard ratios and/or odds ratios to estimate the pooled effect estimates (ES) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to identify factors that are associated with cancer risk modification in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Results

We identified 44 nonoverlapping studies that met predefined quality criteria. Sufficient evidence is available to make clinically relevant inferences about a number of cancer risk modifiers. The only variable examined that produced a probable association was late age at first live birth, a meta-analysis showed a decrease in the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 mutation carriers with women aged 30 years or older vs. women younger than 30 years (ES = 0.65; 95% CI =0.42 to 0.99). The same was shown for women aged 25 to 29 years versus those aged less than 25 years (ES = 0.69; 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.99). Breastfeeding and tubal ligation were associated with reduced ovarian cancer risk in BRCA1 mutation carriers; oral contraceptives were associated with reduced risk among BRCA1/2 mutation carriers. Smoking was associated with increased breast cancer risk in BRCA2 mutation carriers only.

Conclusions

Data assessing many potential risk modifiers are inadequate, and many have not been externally validated. Although additional studies are required to confirm some associations, sufficient information is available for some risk factors to be used in risk counseling or lifestyle modification to minimize cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.


Background

Compared with film, digital mammography has superior sensitivity but lower specificity for women aged 40 to 49 years and women with dense breasts. Digital has replaced film in virtually all US facilities, but overall population health and cost from use of this technology are unclear.

Methods

Using five independent models, we compared digital screening strategies starting at age 40 or 50 years applied annually, biennially, or based on density with biennial film screening from ages 50 to 74 years and with no screening. Common data elements included cancer incidence and test performance, both modified by breast density. Lifetime outcomes included mortality, quality-adjusted life-years, and screening and treatment costs.

Results

For every 1000 women screened biennially from age 50 to 74 years, switching to digital from film yielded a median within-model improvement of 2 life-years, 0.27 additional deaths averted, 220 additional false-positive results, and $0.35 million more in costs. For an individual woman, this translates to a health gain of 0.73 days. Extending biennial digital screening to women ages 40 to 49 years was cost-effective, although results were sensitive to quality-of-life decrements related to screening and false positives. Targeting annual screening by density yielded similar outcomes to targeting by age. Annual screening approaches could increase costs to $5.26 million per 1000 women, in part because of higher numbers of screens and false positives, and were not efficient or cost-effective.

Conclusions

The transition to digital breast cancer screening in the United States increased total costs for small added health benefits. The value of digital mammography screening among women aged 40 to 49 years depends on women’s preferences regarding false positives.


Background

Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor with subgroups requiring distinct therapeutic strategies. Genetic dissection of melanoma subgroups and identification of therapeutic agents are of great interest in the field. These efforts will ultimately lead to treatment strategies, likely combinatorial, based on genetic information.

Methods

To identify "driver" genes that can be targeted therapeutically, we screened metastatic melanomas for somatic mutations by exome sequencing followed by selecting those with available targeted therapies directed to the gene product or its functional partner. The FBXW7 gene and its substrate NOTCH1 were identified and further examined. Mutation profiling of FBXW7, biological relevance of these mutations and its inactivation, and pharmacological inhibition of NOTCH1 were examined using in vitro and in vivo assays.

Results

We found FBXW7 to be mutated in eight (8.1%) melanoma patients in our cohort (n = 103). Protein expression analysis in human tissue samples (n = 96) and melanoma cell lines (n = 20) showed FBXW7 inactivation as a common event in melanoma (40.0% of cell lines). As a result of FBXW7 loss, we observed an accumulation of its substrates, such as NOTCH1. Ectopic expression of mutant forms of FBXW7 (by 2.4-fold), as well as silencing of FBXW7 in immortalized melanocytes, accelerated tumor formation in vivo (by 3.9-fold). Its inactivation led to NOTCH1 activation, upregulation of NOTCH1 target genes (by 2.6-fold), and promotion of tumor angiogenesis and resulted in tumor shrinkage upon NOTCH1 inhibition (by fivefold).

Conclusions

Our data provides evidence on FBXW7 as a critical tumor suppressor mutated and inactivated in melanoma that results in sustained NOTCH1 activation and renders NOTCH signaling inhibition as a promising therapeutic strategy in this setting.


Background

Cardiovascular disease has emerged as a serious late effect in survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer, but risk has not been quantified comprehensively in a population-based setting.

Methods

In the Danish Cancer Registry, we identified 43153 1-year survivors of cancer diagnosed at ages 15 to 39 years (1943–2009) and alive in 1977; from the Danish Civil Registration System, we randomly selected a comparison cohort of the same age and sex. Subjects were linked to the Danish Patient Register, and observed numbers of first hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes I10–I79) were compared with the expected numbers derived from the comparison cohort. We calculated the absolute excess risks attributable to status as a survivor of cancer and standardized hospitalization rate ratios (RRs). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

During follow-up, 10591 survivors (24.5%) were discharged from the hospital with cardiovascular disease, whereas 8124 were expected (RR = 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI)] = 1.28 to 1.33; P < .001). The absolute excess risks were 400 and 350 extra cases of cardiovascular disease per 100000 person-years for people aged 20 to 59 and 60 to 79 years at discharge, respectively. Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma experienced high risks for being hospitalized with valvular disease (RR = 12.2; 95% CI = 9.9 to 15.0; P < .001). Survivors of leukemia had high risks for cerebral hemorrhage (RR = 10.3; 95% CI = 5.5 to 19.1; P < .001) and cardiomyopathy (RR = 8.6; 95% CI = 4.3 to 17.3; P < .001).

Conclusions

Survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease throughout life, although each main type of adolescent and young adult cancer had its own risk profile.


It has been suggested that paracetamol reduces the risk for ovarian cancer. We examined the association between prescription use of paracetamol and ovarian cancer risk in a nationwide case–control study nested within the Danish female population. Case patients (n = 3471) were all women with a first diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer during the period from 2000 to 2009. Population control subjects (n = 50576) were selected by risk set sampling. Data were derived from prescription and other nationwide registries. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and two-sided 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for ovarian cancer associated with use of paracetamol or nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). All statistical tests were two-sided. Use of paracetamol was associated with a reduced odds ratio for ovarian cancer (OR = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.92; P < .001) compared with nonuse, and the odds ratio decreased further with long-term (≥10 years), high-intensity paracetamol use (OR = 0.45; 95% CI = 0.24 to 0.86; P = .02). Use of nonaspirin NSAIDs was not associated with ovarian cancer risk.



Background

Targeting smokers at higher lung cancer risk can improve efficiency and reduce false-positive detection in lung cancer screening. We evaluated whether time to first cigarette after waking (TTFC), a single-item measure of nicotine dependency, could improve stratification of lung cancer risk beyond standard smoking metrics (intensity, duration, and pack-years).

Methods

In 3249 ever-smokers (n = 1812 case subjects; n = 1437 control subjects) from a population-based case–control study in Italy, we examined the association between TTFC and lung cancer using logistic regression and estimated lung cancer incidence by levels of TTFC, and intensity, duration, and pack-years using absolute risk regression. Significance tests were two-sided.

Results

Compared with smokers with TTFC greater than 60 minutes, the lung cancer odds ratios for TTFC of 31 to 60 minutes, 6 to 30 minutes, and 5 or fewer minutes (by increasing dependency) were 2.57 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.03 to 3.26), 2.27 (95% CI = 1.79 to 2.88), and 3.50 (95% CI = 2.64 to 4.64), respectively (P trend < .0001). The average lung cancer incidence rates for smokers of 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 30 and more than 30 cigarettes per day were consistently higher among smokers with TTFC of 60 or fewer minutes vs more than 60 minutes (64.1 vs 11.7; 125.6 vs 28.6; 130.1 vs 40.7; and 260.8 vs 108.9 per 100000 person-years, respectively). The slopes of increase in lung cancer rates with smoking duration and pack-years were statistically significantly greater among smokers with higher dependency (P interaction < .001).

Conclusions

Lung cancer risk increases with shorter TTFC; this simple nicotine dependency measure increases lung cancer risk stratification beyond standard smoking measures. Assessing TTFC may improve lung cancer risk prediction and could be useful in lung cancer screening and smoking cessation programs.





Background

Inflammation may play an important role in cancer progression, and a high neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) has been reported to be a poor prognostic indicator in several malignancies. Here we quantify the prognostic impact of this biomarker and assess its consistency in solid tumors.

Methods

A systematic review of electronic databases was conducted to identify publications exploring the association of blood NLR and clinical outcome in solid tumors. Overall survival (OS) was the primary outcome, and cancer-specific survival (CSS), progression-free survival (PFS), and disease-free survival (DFS) were secondary outcomes. Data from studies reporting a hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) or a P value were pooled in a meta-analysis. Pooled hazard ratios were computed and weighted using generic inverse-variance and random-effect modeling. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

One hundred studies comprising 40559 patients were included in the analysis, 57 of them published in 2012 or later. Median cutoff for NLR was 4. Overall, NLR greater than the cutoff was associated with a hazard ratio for OS of 1.81 (95% CI = 1.67 to 1.97; P < .001), an effect observed in all disease subgroups, sites, and stages. Hazard ratios for NLR greater than the cutoff for CSS, PFS, and DFS were 1.61, 1.63, and 2.27, respectively (all P < .001).

Conclusions

A high NLR is associated with an adverse OS in many solid tumors. The NLR is a readily available and inexpensive biomarker, and its addition to established prognostic scores for clinical decision making warrants further investigation.
















Background

Patient navigation is a promising intervention to address cancer disparities but requires a multisite controlled trial to assess its effectiveness.

Methods

The Patient Navigation Research Program compared patient navigation with usual care on time to diagnosis or treatment for participants with breast, cervical, colorectal, or prostate screening abnormalities and/or cancers between 2007 and 2010. Patient navigators developed individualized strategies to address barriers to care, with the focus on preventing delays in care. To assess timeliness of diagnostic resolution, we conducted a meta-analysis of center- and cancer-specific adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) comparing patient navigation vs usual care. To assess initiation of cancer therapy, we calculated a single aHR, pooling data across all centers and cancer types. We conducted a metaregression to evaluate variability across centers. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

The 10521 participants with abnormal screening tests and 2105 with a cancer or precancer diagnosis were predominantly from racial/ethnic minority groups (73%) and publically insured (40%) or uninsured (31%). There was no benefit during the first 90 days of care, but a benefit of navigation was seen from 91 to 365 days for both diagnostic resolution (aHR = 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23 to 1.84; P < .001)) and treatment initiation (aHR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.86; P < .007). Metaregression revealed that navigation had its greatest benefits within centers with the greatest delays in follow-up under usual care.

Conclusions

Patient navigation demonstrated a moderate benefit in improving timely cancer care. These results support adoption of patient navigation in settings that serve populations at risk of being lost to follow-up.





In view of advances in early detection and treatment, the 5-year relative survival rate for all cancer patients combined is now approximately 66%. As a result, there are more than 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, with this number increasing by 2% annually. For many patients, improvements in survival have been countered by therapy-associated adverse effects that may seriously impair long-term functional status, workplace productivity, and quality of life. Approximately 20% to 40% of cancer patients given neurotoxic chemotherapy develop chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN), which represents one of the most common and potentially permanent nonhematologic side effects of chemotherapy. Permanent bilateral hearing loss and/or tinnitus can result from several ototoxic therapies, including cisplatin- or carboplatin-based chemotherapy. CIPN and ototoxicity represent important challenges because of the lack of means for effective prevention, mitigation, or a priori identification of high-risk patients, and few studies have applied modern genomic approaches to understand underlying mechanisms/pathways. Translational genomics, including cell-based models, now offer opportunities to make inroads for the first time to develop preventive and interventional strategies for CIPN, ototoxicity, and other treatment-related complications. This commentary provides current perspective on a successful research strategy, with a focus on cisplatin, developed by an experienced, transdisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians, representing pharmacogenomics, statistical genetics, neurology, hearing science, medical oncology, epidemiology, and cancer survivorship. Principles outlined herein are applicable to the construction of research programs in translational genomics with strong clinical relevance and highlight unprecedented opportunities to understand, prevent, and treat long-term treatment-related morbidities.


Background

Ovarian cancer causes more than 15000 deaths per year in the United States. The survival of patients is quite heterogeneous, and accurate prognostic tools would help with the clinical management of these patients.

Methods

We developed and validated two gene expression signatures, the first for predicting survival in advanced-stage, serous ovarian cancer and the second for predicting debulking status. We integrated 13 publicly available datasets totaling 1525 subjects. We trained prediction models using a meta-analysis variation on the compound covariable method, tested models by a "leave-one-dataset-out" procedure, and validated models in additional independent datasets. Selected genes from the debulking signature were validated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in two further independent cohorts of 179 and 78 patients, respectively. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

The survival signature stratified patients into high- and low-risk groups (hazard ratio = 2.19; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84 to 2.61) statistically significantly better than the TCGA signature (P = .04). POSTN, CXCL14, FAP, NUAK1, PTCH1, and TGFBR2 were validated by qRT-PCR (P < .05) and POSTN, CXCL14, and phosphorylated Smad2/3 were validated by immunohistochemistry (P < .001) as independent predictors of debulking status. The sum of immunohistochemistry intensities for these three proteins provided a tool that classified 92.8% of samples correctly in high- and low-risk groups for suboptimal debulking (area under the curve = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.84 to 0.93).

Conclusions

Our survival signature provides the most accurate and validated prognostic model for early- and advanced-stage high-grade, serous ovarian cancer. The debulking signature accurately predicts the outcome of cytoreductive surgery, potentially allowing for stratification of patients for primary vs secondary cytoreduction.


Background

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States. Numerous gene signatures of patient prognosis have been proposed, but diverse data and methods make these difficult to compare or use in a clinically meaningful way. We sought to identify successful published prognostic gene signatures through systematic validation using public data.

Methods

A systematic review identified 14 prognostic models for late-stage ovarian cancer. For each, we evaluated its 1) reimplementation as described by the original study, 2) performance for prognosis of overall survival in independent data, and 3) performance compared with random gene signatures. We compared and ranked models by validation in 10 published datasets comprising 1251 primarily high-grade, late-stage serous ovarian cancer patients. All tests of statistical significance were two-sided.

Results

Twelve published models had 95% confidence intervals of the C-index that did not include the null value of 0.5; eight outperformed 97.5% of signatures including the same number of randomly selected genes and trained on the same data. The four top-ranked models achieved overall validation C-indices of 0.56 to 0.60 and shared anticorrelation with expression of immune response pathways. Most models demonstrated lower accuracy in new datasets than in validation sets presented in their publication.

Conclusions

This analysis provides definitive support for a handful of prognostic models but also confirms that these require improvement to be of clinical value. This work addresses outstanding controversies in the ovarian cancer literature and provides a reproducible framework for meta-analytic evaluation of gene signatures.


Background

Many prognostic biomarkers have been proposed recently. However, there is a lack of therapeutic strategies exploiting novel prognostic biomarkers. We aimed to propose therapeutic options in patients with overexpression of TRIM44, a recently identified prognostic gene.

Methods

Genomic and transcriptomic data of epithelial cancers (n = 1932), breast cancers (BCs; n = 1980) and esophago-gastric cancers (EGCs; n = 163) were used to identify genomic aberrations driving TRIM44 overexpression. The driver gene status of TRIM44 was determined using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) screen of the 11p13 amplicon. Integrative analysis was applied across multiple datasets to identify pathway activation and potential therapeutic strategies. Validation of the in silico findings were performed using in vitro assays, xenografts, and patient samples (n = 160).

Results

TRIM44 overexpression results from genomic amplification in 16.1% of epithelial cancers, including 8.1% of EGCs and 6.1% of BCs. This was confirmed using fluorescent in situ hybridization. The siRNA screen confirmed TRIM44 to be a driver of the amplicon. In silico analysis revealed an association between TRIM44 and mTOR signalling, supported by a decrease in mTOR signalling after siRNA knockdown of TRIM44 in cell lines and colocalization of TRIM44 and p-mTOR in patient samples. In vitro inhibition studies using an mTOR inhibitor (everolimus) decreased cell viability in two TRIM44-amplified cells lines by 88% and 70% compared with 35% in the control cell line. These findings were recapitulated in xenograft models.

Conclusions

Genomic amplification drives TRIM44 overexpression in EGCs and BCs. Targeting the mTOR pathway provides a potential therapeutic option for TRIM44-amplified tumors.


Background

The epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been implicated as an important process in tumor cell invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. The transcription factor brachyury has recently been described as a driver of EMT of human carcinoma cells.

Methods

Brachyury mRNA and protein expression was analyzed in human breast carcinomas and benign tissues. The role of brachyury in breast tumor prognosis and drug resistance and the ability of brachyury-specific T cells to lyse human breast carcinoma cells were also evaluated. Kaplan–Meier analyses were used to evaluate the association between brachyury expression and survival. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

The level of brachyury expression in breast cancer cells was positively associated with their ability to invade the extracellular matrix, efficiently form mammospheres in vitro, and resist the cytotoxic effect of docetaxel. A comparison of survival among breast cancer patients treated with tamoxifen in the adjuvant setting who had tumors with high vs low brachyury mRNA expression demonstrated that high expression of brachyury is associated as an independent variable with higher risk of recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] = 7.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.4 to 23.5; P = 5.14x10–4) and distant metastasis (HR = 15.2; 95% CI = 3.5 to 66.3; P = 3.01x10–4). We also demonstrated that brachyury-specific T cells can lyse human breast carcinoma cells.

Conclusions

The studies reported here provide the rationale for the use of a vaccine targeting brachyury for the therapy of human breast cancer, either as a monotherapy or in combination therapies.


Background

In 2010, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries began collecting human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) receptor status for breast cancer cases.

Methods

Breast cancer subtypes defined by joint hormone receptor (HR; estrogen receptor [ER] and progesterone receptor [PR]) and HER2 status were assessed across the 28% of the US population that is covered by SEER registries. Age-specific incidence rates by subtype were calculated for non-Hispanic (NH) white, NH black, NH Asian Pacific Islander (API), and Hispanic women. Joint HR/HER2 status distributions by age, race/ethnicity, county-level poverty, registry, stage, Bloom–Richardson grade, tumor size, and nodal status were evaluated using multivariable adjusted polytomous logistic regression. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results

Among case patients with known HR/HER2 status, 36810 (72.7%) were found to be HR+/HER2, 6193 (12.2%) were triple-negative (HR/HER2), 5240 (10.3%) were HR+/HER2+, and 2328 (4.6%) were HR/HER2+; 6912 (12%) had unknown HR/HER2 status. NH white women had the highest incidence rate of the HR+/HER2 subtype, and NH black women had the highest rate of the triple-negative subtype. Compared with women with the HR+/HER2 subtype, triple-negative patients were more likely to be NH black and Hispanic; HR+/HER2+ patients were more likely to be NH API; and HR/HER2+ patients were more likely to be NH black, NH API, and Hispanic. Patients with triple-negative, HR+/HER2+, and HR/HER2+ breast cancer were 10% to 30% less likely to be diagnosed at older ages compared with HR+/HER2 patients and 6.4-fold to 20.0-fold more likely to present with high-grade disease.

Conclusions

In the future, SEER data can be used to monitor clinical outcomes in women diagnosed with different molecular subtypes of breast cancer for a large portion (approximately 28%) of the US population.