[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-6 triggers oncogenic/angiogenic signals and the cytokine-dependent pro-cachexia cascade. The prognostic role of the functional IL-6 (promoter) rs1800795 and the IL-6R (receptor) rs8192284 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) was studied in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with palliative chemotherapy.
BMC Cancer 05/2014; 14(1):357. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: Despite significant improvements in systemic chemotherapy over the last two decades, the prognosis of patients with advanced disease remains dismal. Collaborative, high-quality research and advances in high-throughput technologies have contributed to elucidate molecular pathways underpinning disease progression and have stimulated many clinical studies testing target therapies in the advanced disease setting. Although progress has been made thanks to trastuzumab in HER2 positive tumours, antiangiogenic drugs have produced conflicting results and EGFR-inhibitors have failed to show major improvements. Areas covered: While commenting on the results of many key Phase III randomized trials, the Authors discuss the most promising classes of novel targeted agents and present the current challenges toward a customized treatment. Expert opinion: Palliative chemotherapy became the worldwide standard of care for patients with advanced gastric cancers, producing significant life prolongation and improvement of life quality. Nevertheless, long-term outcomes of those patients remain poor. Because of the encouraging advancement in novel targeted therapies, such a disappointing scenario is now evolving. While results serve as a springboard for future research, more comprehensive efforts are needed to clarify the biological mechanisms underpinning cancer progression and help clinicians to develop new effective treatments.
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 05/2014; · 4.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In gastric cancer, available clinical studies focusing on the activated hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET pathway are limited to surgical and often heterogeneous series. MET copy number gain (CNG) and an activating truncation in the HGF promoter (deoxyadenosine tract element, DATE+) were studied in tumors of 95 patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with palliative chemotherapy. Associations with overall survival (OS) and the pattern of metastatic disease were studied. Median OS was 9.7 months in 80 MET CNG <5 copies cases (MET-), and 6.4 months in 15 MET CNG was 5 copies cases (MET+) (P=0.001). MET+ status confirmed the adverse prognostic effect in the multivariate model. A significantly different distribution of MET+/DATE+ and MET-/DATE- cases was observed between patients with and without peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC). MET+ status confirms its adverse prognostic role in advanced gastric cancer patients. The activated MET/HGF axis seems to be associated with PC. These findings are relevant to the development of anti-MET/HGF compounds.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 25 March 2014; doi:10.1038/tpj.2014.11.
The Pharmacogenomics Journal 03/2014; · 5.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of CA tandem repeats (CA)n in a highly polymorphic region of EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) intron 1 may affect gene transcription; the potential impact of allelic variants on the efficacy of cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients is debated for long. This study aimed at prospectively estimating the impact of EGFR intron 1 (CA)n variants on clinical outcome in KRAS exon 2 and BRAF wild-type chemo-refractory mCRC patients, receiving cetuximab and irinotecan. Variants presenting<and 20 CA repeats were defined as short (S) and long (L), respectively. One hundred and fifteen patients were included. No differences in progression-free survival or overall survival were observed between L- and SS genotypes (hazard ratio (HR)=1.00 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67-1.50), P=0.991; HR=1.32 (95% CI: 0.81-2.16), P=0.261). Exploratory analyses adopting other cutoff values previously described led to similar results. This prospective study did not confirm any previous retrospective finding, reporting a predictive or prognostic effect of EGFR (CA)n repeats allelic variants in chemo-refractory mCRC patients receiving cetuximab and irinotecan.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 11 February 2014; doi:10.1038/tpj.2014.1.
The Pharmacogenomics Journal 02/2014; · 5.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumour-associated Macrophages (TAM) present two different polarizations: classical (M1) characterized by immunostimulation activity and tumour suppression; alternative (M2) characterized by tumour promotion and immune suppression. In this retrospective study, we evaluated the correlation between the two forms of TAM with survival time in radically resected gastric cancer patients. A total of 52 chemo- and radio-naive patients were included. Two slides were prepared for each patient and double-stained for CD68/NOS2 (M1) or CD68/CD163 (M2) and five representative high-power fields per slide were evaluated for TAM count. The median value of the two macrophage populations density and the median value of M1/M2 ratio were used as cut-off. Twenty-seven patients with M1 density above-the-median had a significantly higher survival compared to those below the median. Twenty-six patients with M1/M2 ratio above the median showed median OS of 27.2 months compared to 15.5 months of the patients below the median. No association between M2 macrophage density and patient's outcome was found. In multivariate analysis, M1/M2 was a positive independent predictor of survival. The M1 macrophage density and M1/M2 ratio, as confirmed in multivariate analysis, are factors that can help in predicting patients survival time after radical surgery for gastric cancer.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 11/2013; · 4.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:The potential impact of different SNPs ofVEGF/VEGFRpathway on the clinical outcome of mCRC patients receiving
bev-containing regimens has been investigated in retrospective experiences with contrasting results. We previously
reported the association ofVEGFArs833061 C/T variants with PFS in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with firstline FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab. The primary objective of this work was to prospectively validate that retrospective finding. A
confirmatory analysis of other SNPs ofVEGF/VEGFRpathway genes was included.
Experimental design:To detect a HR for PFS of 1.7 forVEGFArs833061 T/T compared to C- variants in metastatic colorectal
cancer patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab, setting two-sideda= 0.05 andb= 0.20, 199 events were
required. VEGFA rs699946 A/G, rs699947 A/C, VEGFR1 rs9582036 A/C and rs7993418 A/G, VEGFR2 rs11133360 C/T,
rs12505758 C/T and rs2305948 C/T and EPAS1 rs4145836 A/G were also tested. Germ-line DNA was extracted from
peripheral blood. SNPs were analyzed by PCR and sequencing.
Results:Four-hundred-twenty-four pts were included. At the univariate analysis, no differences according to VEGFA
rs833061 C/T variants were observed in PFS (p = 0.38) or OS (p = 0.95). Among analyzed SNPs, only VEGFR2rs12505758 Cvariants, compared to T/T, were associated to shorter PFS (HR: 1.36 [1.05–1.75], p = 0.015, dominant genetic model) and OS,
with a trend toward significance (HR: 1.34 [0.95–1.88], p = 0.088). In the multivariate model, this association retained
significance (HR: 1.405 [1.082–1.825], p = 0.012) in PFS, that was lost by applying multiple testing correction (p = 0.14).
Conclusion:This prospective experience failed to validate the hypothesized predictive impact ofVEGFArs833061 variants.
Retrospective findings on different candidate SNPs were not confirmed. Only VEGFR2 rs12505758 variants, whose
prognostic and not predictive impact was previously reported, correlated with PFS. Given the complexity of angiogenesis, it
is rather unlike that a single germ-line SNP might be a good predictor of benefit from bevacizumab.
PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e66774. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy is a dose-related side effect which occurs in almost 40 % of patients treated with oxaliplatin. Aim of the present study was to identify reliable clinical factors predicting its development and duration. METHODS: One hundred sixty-nine completely resected colorectal cancer patients treated with adjuvant Folfox IV regimen were retrospectively included. The following pre-treatment clinical parameters were collected: hypocalcaemia, hypomagnesaemia, hypoalbuminaemia, anaemia, diabetes, chronic renal failure (CRF), folate deficiency, vitamin B(12) deficiency, number of cycles received and habit to alcohol consumption. Incidence, grade (NCI-CTCAE v.3) and duration of neuropathy were recorded. RESULTS: Incidence of neuropathy was found to be higher in patients with pre-treatment anaemia (p = 0.001), hypoalbuminaemia (p = 0.01) and hypomagnesaemia (p = 0.001) as well in those with habit to alcohol consumption (p = 0.003). Neuropathy durations were conversely associated with age, being longer in younger patients (p = 0.03), and again with hypoalbuminaemia (p = 0.04) and hypomagnesaemia (p = 0.002). No correlation was found with gender, hypocalcaemia, diabetes and CRF. The correlation between vitamin B(12) and folate levels and the development of neurotoxicity were not analysed because of the high number of missing data in the population. CONCLUSIONS: Age, anaemia, hypoalbuminaemia, hypomagnesaemia and alcohol consumption are reliable and easily assessable clinical factors predicting incidence and length of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.
Supportive Care in Cancer 11/2012; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Elderly patients are generally underrepresented in the study populations of combination chemotherapy trials. This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of a modified FOLFOX regimen in elderly patients with metastatic gastric cancer and presenting associated disease(s). METHODS: A total of 43 patients aged ≥70 years received oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2) together with 6S-leucovorin 200 mg/m(2) on day 1, followed by a 46-h infusion of 5-fluorouracil 2,400 mg/m(2), every 2 weeks. Assessment of response was performed every four cycles according to RECIST criteria. RESULTS: Median patient age was 74 years (range, 70-83 years). Overall response rate was 34.9 % [95 % confidence interval (CI), 20.6-49.1, with 3 complete responses and 12 partial responses. Grade 3 neutropenia occurred in 4 patients (9.3 %), fatigue in 3 patients (7.0 %), and vomiting in 2 patients (4.6 %). Grade 2 and 3 peripheral neuropathy was observed in 5 patients (11.6 %) and 1 patient (2.3 %), respectively. No treatment-related death was observed. Median progression-free and overall survival were 6.8 and 10.5 months, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This modified FOLFOX regimen is an active and well-tolerated treatment for elderly patients with metastatic gastric cancer and also represents a good therapeutic option in patients with associated disease(s).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preclinical and experimental data in vivo indicate that Lethal-7 (Let-7) microRNA downregulates KRAS with antitumor effects in the presence of activating KRAS mutations. We quantified the Let-7a isoform in KRAS-mutated colorectal carcinomas from patients who received salvage cetuximab plus irinotecan. The study population was retrospectively identified among metastatic colorectal cancer patients who underwent third-line therapy with cetuximab plus irinotecan in a period when only epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression was required for anti-EGFR therapy. In 59 patients harboring KRAS mutations, Let-7a levels were analyzed for association with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) times. An exploratory subgroup analysis was performed using the rs61764370 (LCS6 T>G) polymorphism that experimentally impairs Let-7 binding to KRAS mRNA. In the whole group, higher Let-7a levels were significantly associated with better survival outcomes. For the primary OS endpoint, the multivariate hazard ratio was 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.91; p = .01). The same findings with an accentuated positive effect of high Let-7a levels on both OS and PFS times were observed in an exploratory analysis of the 45 wild-type LCS6 patients (excluding 14 carriers of the LCS6 G allele variant). All survival associations were confirmed after excluding patients with KRAS codon 13 mutations. Among the clinicopathologic features, high Let-7a levels were associated with grade 2-3 skin toxicity (p = .002). In patients with KRAS mutations, Let-7a analysis may serve to identify subgroups of patients who may still benefit from EGFR inhibition and this may open up new perspectives for alternative treatment strategies.
The Oncologist 05/2012; 17(6):823-9. · 4.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastases to the liver receive most of their blood supply from the arterial route, therefore for patients with hepatic metastases from large bowel cancer, hepatic arterial infusion adopting drug-eluting beads preloaded with irinotecan (DEBIRI) may offer a chance of cure.
In a multi-institutional study, 74 patients were randomly assigned to receive DEBIRI (36) versus systemic irinotecan, fluorouracil and leucovorin (FOLFIRI, 38). The primary end-point was survival; secondary end points were response, recurrence, toxicity, quality of life, cost and influence of molecular markers.
At 50 months, overall survival was significantly longer for patients treated with DEBIRI than for those treated with FOLFIRI (p=0.031, log-rank). Median survival was 22 (95% Confidence Interval CI=21-23) months, for DEBIRI and 15 (95% CI=12-18) months for FOLFIRI. Progression-free survival was 7 (95% CI=3-11) months in the DEBIRI group compared to 4 (95% CI=3-5) months in the FOLFIRI group and the difference between groups was statistically significant (p=0.006, log-rank). Extrahepatic progression had occurred in all patients by the end of the study, at a median time of 13 (95% CI=10-16) months in the DEBIRI group compared to 9 (95% CI 5-13) months in the FOLFIRI group. A statistically significant difference between groups was not observed (p=0.064, log-rank).The median time for duration of improvement to quality of life was 8 (95% CI=3-13) months in the DEBIRI group and 3 (95% CI=2-4) months in the FOLFIRI group. The difference in duration of improvement was statistically significant (p=0.00002, log-rank).
This study showed a statistically significant difference between DEBIRI and FOLFIRI for overall survival (7 months), progression-free survival (3 months) and quality of life (5 months). In addition, a clinically significant improvement in time to extrahepatic progression (4 months) was observed for DEBIRI, a reversal of the expectation for a regional treatment. This suggests a benefit of DEBIRI treatment over standard chemotherapy and serves to establish the expected difference between these two treatment options for planning future large randomized studies.
Anticancer research 04/2012; 32(4):1387-95. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This phase II trial was conducted to determine the activity and safety of the combination of fixed-dose rate (FDR) gemcitabine and capecitabine in metastatic biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients.
Patients with unresectable BTC who had pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma, no prior chemotherapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status ≤1 and measurable disease were enrolled. Treatment consisted of FDR gemcitabine at 800 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 21 days with capecitabine administered orally b.i.d. in equal doses (650 mg/m(2) b.i.d.) for 14 days (28 doses).
Between May 2005 and February 2009, 30 patients were enrolled. The median age was 67 years (45-76) and there were 14 males. Thirty patients were evaluable for response and toxicity. A total of 221 cycles were administered (median 7, range 2-16). One patient achieved complete response and 7 patients achieved partial response, giving an overall response rate of 26.7% in the intention-to-treat population. Twelve patients (40.0%) had stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 6.33 months. The median overall survival was 10.8 months. Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were noted in 13 and 7% of the patients, respectively. Grade 2/3 nonhematologic toxicities were asthenia (54% of patients), diarrhea (17%), stomatitis (23%) and hand-foot syndrome (7%). There was no treatment-related death. The drugs taken were skipped at least once in 45% of the patients and the dose was reduced in 26% of them.
The combination of FDR gemcitabine and capecitabine in this 3-week cycle is safe and seems to have a good activity in advanced biliary cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this case report we describe the case of a patient with multiple bone metastases of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma with exon 21 point-mutation of EGFR, treated with gefitinib. After only 3 months, FDG-PET/CT scan showed a complete response of bone metastases and right hylar adenopathy. Implications for need of early use of FDG-PET/CT scan after gefitinib treatment are discussed
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The combination of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) has demonstrated a survival advantage over cisplatin and 5-FU, but with substantial hematological toxicity. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a sequential regimen with cisplatin, leucovorin, and 5-FU (PLF) followed by docetaxel in metastatic gastric cancer patients.
Treatment consisted of 4 cycles of biweekly PLF (cisplatin 50 mg/m(2) as a 30-min infusion on day 1, leucovorin 200 mg/m(2) in a 2-h infusion, and 5-FU 2,800 mg/m(2) in a 48-h continuous infusion starting on day 1) followed, in cases of response or stable disease, by 3 cycles of docetaxel (75 mg/m(2), every 3 weeks).
Thirty-four patients were enrolled, with an average age of 64 years (range 34-69). The main cumulative grade 3-4 toxicities were: neutropenia (38.2%), febrile neutropenia (11.8%), and fatigue (14.7%). After the planned 7 cycles of treatment, the overall response rate was 38.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] 21.9-54.6), with 3 complete and 10 partial responses. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 4.8 and 10.6 months, respectively.
For patients with metastatic gastric cancer, the sequential administration of cisplatin, leucovorin, 5-FU, and docetaxel may be an effective palliative option and offers a far more favorable toxicity profile than the simultaneous use of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-FU.
Gastric Cancer 01/2012; 15(4):419-26. · 3.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether prognosis of patients with high-risk gastric cancer may depend on MET copy number gain (CNG) or an activating truncation within a deoxyadenosine tract element (DATE) in the promoter region of the MET ligand HGF.
A single-institution cohort of 230 patients with stage II/III gastric cancer was studied. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor specimens were used for DNA extraction. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for MET CNG and sequencing for HGF DATE truncation (< 25 deoxyadenosines instead of 30) were used. Results were analyzed for association with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). To assess the reliability of the qPCR measurement, a random sample of cases was reanalyzed using an alternative assay (fluorescent in situ hybridization [FISH]) with calculation of the intracorrelation coefficient (ICC).
In 216 assessable patients, MET CNG five or more copies and homozygous HGF-truncated DATE occurred in 21 patients (10%) and 30 patients (13%), respectively. Patients with MET CNG five or more copies (MET-positive) showed significantly worse prognosis with multivariate hazard ratio (HR) of 3.02 (95% CI, 1.71 to 5.33; P < .001) for DFS and multivariate HR of 2.91 (95% CI, 1.65 to 5.11; P < .001) for OS. The agreement between qPCR and FISH was high, with ICC = 0.9% (95% CI, 0.81% to 0.95%; the closer the ICC is to 1, the greater is the agreement). HGF-truncated DATE did not show relevant prognostic effect.
In this study, qPCR revealed approximately 10% of white patients with gastric cancer harboring MET CNG of five or more copies. This marker was significantly associated with unfavorable prognosis. This information is relevant to the current clinical development of anti-MET compounds.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 12/2011; 29(36):4789-95. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite therapeutic innovations, metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is still characterized by poor prognosis and few molecular markers predict the risk of progression. Polycomb group genes (PcGs) are epigenetic modifiers involved in tumor suppressor gene silencing. PcG member EZH2 mediates gene silencing through histone-H3 lysine-27 methylation. In colorectal cancer (CRC), EZH2 overexpression predicts shorter survival. Recently, four EZH2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been described. The present study was aimed at evaluating the correlation between EZH2 SNPs and outcome parameters in mCRC patients.
DNA was extracted from blood samples of 110 mCRC patients treated with first-line 5-fluorouracil, folinic acid, irinotecan (FOLFIRI) and bevacizumab. Genotyping was carried out by real-time PCR. Genotype was used to predict objective response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). EZH2 messenger RNA levels were evaluated on lymphocytes of a parallel cohort of 50 CRC patients.
One allelic variant (rs3757441 C/C versus C/T or T/T) was significantly associated with shorter PFS and OS (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). At multivariate analysis, the same variant resulted an independent predictor of PFS and OS (P < 0.05). The C/C variant was associated with significantly higher EZH2 expression (P < 0.05).
An EZH2 SNP may be useful to predict clinical outcome in mCRC patients.
Annals of Oncology 09/2011; 23(5):1207-13. · 7.38 Impact Factor