[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ipilimumab, a CTLA-4-blocking monoclonal antibody, improved the overall survival (OS) of advanced melanoma patients treated in prospective clinical trials. We here report a study on the outcome of patients with pretreated advanced melanoma offered ipilimumab (at its licensed dose of 3 mg/kg, every 3 wk for a total of 4 doses) in an expanded access program at a single-center university hospital. Of the 50 patients initiating ipilimumab, 31 patients completed induction therapy and 9 patients were offered reinduction therapy. Most immune-related adverse events were mild and reversible. The best objective response rate by mWHO-criteria included 1 complete response and 4 partial responses (best objective response rate of 10%). Two additional patients obtained a partial response by immune-related response criteria. Median OS was 7 months, with a 1- and 2-year survival rate of 45.2% and 28.8%, respectively. Long-term disease control with ipilimumab was observed in 7 patients of which 4 received reinduction. Baseline serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and the absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) measured on week 6 significantly correlated with OS. In conclusion, in this single-center experience with ipilimumab for advanced pretreated melanoma patients, clinical outcome was comparable with the results of published prospective studies. Reinduction therapy was of importance for maintaining long-term disease control in the majority of responding patients. Baseline CRP and ALC at week 6 deserve further prospective evaluation as prognostic and/or predictive (surrogate) markers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ipilimumab 3 mg/kg was the first agent to improve survival of pretreated advanced melanoma patients. Nonconventional response patterns to ipilimumab have been reported widely, but most of these data were from studies with ipilimumab 10 mg/kg. Here, case reports from five patients treated within an expanded access program (EAP) with ipilimumab at its licensed dose of 3 mg/kg illustrate the efficacy of ipilimumab in an expanded access setting and the range of different tumor response patterns encountered. The durable clinical benefit seen in these patients despite the observed atypical response patterns highlights the necessity for comprehensive clinical decision making.
Cancer Investigation 10/2012; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 61-year-old man with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease presented to our hospital with recurrence of a right-sided spontaneous secondary pneumothorax. Thoracoscopic abrasion of the parietal pleura was performed, but an important air leak persisted. Presumed to originate from a bulla in the right upper lobe, bullectomy and pleural decortication were performed, but leakage remained. Lobectomy was considered, and quantitative ventilation/perfusion SPECT was performed to predict the functional outcome.Fused high-resolution CT/Tc Technegas images localized leakage not only to a bleb in the right upper lobe but also to the subcutaneous emphysema in the thoracic wall. The air leak resolved after conservative treatment.
Clinical nuclear medicine 09/2012; · 3.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the ability of helical tomotherapy to spare the function of the parotid glands in patients with head-and-neck cancer by analyzing dose-volume histograms, salivary gland scintigraphy, and quality of life assessment.
Data from 76 consecutive patients treated with helical tomotherapy (Hi-Art Tomotherapy) at the University Hospital Brussel were analyzed. During planning, priority was given to planning target volume (PTV) coverage: ≥ 95% of the dose must be delivered to ≥ 95% of the PTV. Elective nodal regions received 54 Gy (1.8 Gy/fraction). A dose of 70.5 Gy (2.35 Gy/fraction) was prescribed to the primary tumor and pathologic lymph nodes (simultaneous integrated boost scheme). Objective scoring of salivary excretion was performed by salivary gland scintigraphy. Subjective scoring of salivary gland function was evaluated by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaires Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 (QLQ-C30) and Quality of Life Questionnaire-Head and Neck 35 (H&N35).
Analysis of dose-volume histograms (DVHs) showed excellent coverage of the PTV. The volume of PTV receiving 95% of the prescribed dose (V95%) was 99.4 (range, 96.3-99.9). DVH analysis of parotid gland showed a median value of the mean parotid dose of 32.1 Gy (range, 17.5-70.3 Gy). The median parotid volume receiving a dose <26 Gy was 51.2%. Quality of life evaluation demonstrated an initial deterioration of almost all scales and items in QLQ-C30 and QLQ-H&N35. Most items improved in time, and some reached baseline values 18 months after treatment.
DVH analysis, scintigraphic evaluation of parotid function, and quality of life assessment of our patient group showed that helical tomotherapy makes it possible to preserve parotid gland function without compromising disease control. We recommend mean parotid doses of <34 Gy and doses <26 Gy to a maximum 47% of the parotid volume as planning goals. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy should be considered as standard treatment in patients with head-and-neck cancer.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 07/2012; 84(2):443-8. · 4.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the preoperative utility of FDG PET for the diagnosis and prognosis in a retrospective breast cancer case series.
In this retrospective study, 104 patients who had undergone a preoperative FDG PET scan for primary breast cancer at the UZ Brussel during the period 2002-2008 were identified. Selection criteria were: histological confirmation, FDG PET performed prior to therapy, and breast surgery integrated into the primary therapy plan. Patterns of increased metabolism were recorded according to the involved locations: breast, ipsilateral axillary region, internal mammary chain, or distant organs. The end-point for the survival analysis using Cox proportional hazards was disease-free survival. The contribution of prognostic factors was evaluated using the Akaike information criterion and the Nagelkerke index.
PET positivity was associated with age, gender, tumour location, tumour size >2 cm, lymphovascular invasion, oestrogen and progesterone receptor status. Among 63 patients with a negative axillary PET status, 56 (88.9 %) had three or fewer involved nodes, whereas among 41 patients with a positive axillary PET status, 25 (61.0 %) had more than three positive nodes (P < 0.0001). In the survival analysis of preoperative characteristics, PET axillary node positivity was the foremost statistically significant factor associated with decreased disease-free survival (hazard ratio 2.81, 95% CI 1.17-6.74).
Preoperative PET axillary node positivity identified patients with a higher burden of nodal involvement, which might be important for treatment decisions in breast cancer patients.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 07/2012; 39(10):1618-27. · 4.53 Impact Factor