Ignace Vergote

University of Leuven, Louvain, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (402)2614.41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an emerging class of gene expression modulators with relevant roles in several biological processes, including cell differentiation, development, apoptosis, and regulation of the cell cycle. Deregulation of those tiny RNA molecules has been described frequently as a major determinant for the initiation and progression of diseases, including cancer. Not only miRNAs but also the enzymes responsible for miRNA processing could be deregulated in cancer. In this review, we address the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, since there are oncogenic, tumor-suppressive, and metastatic-influencing miRNAs. Additionally, the different detection platforms and normalization strategies for miRNAs will be discussed. The major part of this review, however, will focus on the capability of miRNAs to act as diagnostic, predictive, or prognostic biomarkers. We will give an overview of their potential to correlate with response to or benefit from a given treatment and we will consider their ability to give information on prognosis in breast cancer. We will focus on miRNAs validated by more than one study or verified in independent cohorts or where results rely on preclinical as well as clinical evidence. As such, we will discuss their potential use in the personalized management of breast cancer. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-015-0526-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Breast Cancer Research 12/2015; 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s13058-015-0526-y · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are at high risk of tumor recurrence. Human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) has been shown to be overexpressed in EOC. The primary aim of our study was to evaluate the role of HE4 in predicting recurrence in EOC patients. Furthermore, we assessed the role of HE4 in predicting recurrence after second-line chemotherapy. We retrospectively analyzed data of 92 out of 275 primary EOC patients of the multicenter project "Ovarian Cancer: Diagnosis of a silent killer" (OVCAD). The concentrations of HE4 and CA125 were determined preoperatively and 6 months after the end of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy (FU) using ELISA and Luminex technique, respectively. The role of HE4 and CA125 for prediction of recurrence was determined using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves. Out of 92 patients included, 70 (76 %) were responders and 22 (23 %) non-responders in terms of response to platinum-based first-line chemotherapy. Median HE4 concentrations at follow-up (FU) differed between responders and non-responders (60.5 vs. 237.25 pM, p = 0.0001), respectively. The combined use of HE4 and CA125 at FU with cut-off values of 49.5 pM and 25 U/ml for HE4 and CA125, respectively, for predicting recurrence within 12 months after first-line chemotherapy performed better than HE4 or CA125 alone (area under the curve (AUC) 0.928, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 0.838-1, p < 0.001). HE4 at FU could predict recurrence within 6 months after second-line chemotherapy (AUC 0.719, 95 % CI 0.553-0.885, p = 0.024). The combination of both elevated biomarkers revealed significantly worse estimated median progression-free survival (PFS; hazard ratio (HR) 8.14, 95 % CI 3.75-17.68, p < 0.001) and slightly worse PFS in those in whom only one biomarker was elevated (HR 1.46, 95 % CI 0.72-2.96, p = 0.292) compared to those patients in whom no biomarker was elevated. For the estimated median overall survival (OS), our analysis revealed similar results. HE4 in combination with CA125 performed better than CA125 and HE4 alone in predicting recurrence within 12 months after first-line chemotherapy.
    Tumor Biology 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s13277-015-4031-9 · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • Gynecologic Oncology 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.09.077 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent phase III trial compared the efficacy of cisplatin-topotecan (a topoisomerase I inhibitor) followed by carboplatin-paclitaxel (Arm 1) versus paclitaxel-carboplatin (Arm 2) in women with newly diagnosed stage IIB or greater ovarian cancer. There was a significantly lower response rate in the experimental arm compared to standard treatment, and less likelihood of normalized CA125 within the first 3 months. At 43 months follow-up, there were no significant group differences in progression-free survival. There were also significantly more side effects in the experimental arm. The current study examined quality of life (QoL) endpoints using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the ovarian cancer module, QLQ-OV28, administered prior to randomization, at day 1 of treatment cycles 3, 5, and 7, at completion of the last cycle, and at 3 and 6 months following completion of chemotherapy. Global QoL, physical symptoms, fatigue, and role, emotional, cognitive and social function (all from the EORTC QLQ-C30) significantly improved in both treatment arms, with no significant between-arm differences. Between-group differences in pain, insomnia, and peripheral neuropathy reported while on treatment did not differ at follow-up. Nausea and vomiting improved more with standard treatment both during and after treatment. Body image significantly differed between the groups only at cycle 5 (more deterioration in Arm 2) but group differences disappeared at follow-up. A stratified analysis of global QoL by debulking surgery status found no greater effect indicating that overall improvements in QoL were unrelated to surgical recovery. There was no significant QoL advantage of cisplatin-topotecan. This finding, combined with no progression-free survival conferred by this combination, reaffirms carboplatin-paclitaxel as the standard of care for women with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00520-015-2873-8 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bevacizumab Combined With Weekly Paclitaxel, Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin, or Topotecan in Platinum-Resistant Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: Analysis by Chemotherapy Cohort of the Randomized Phase III AURELIA Trial
    Journal of clinical orthodontics: JCO 08/2015; DOI:10.1200/JCO.2015.63.1408
  • Cancer Research 08/2015; 75(15 Supplement):CT204-CT204. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-CT204 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have demonstrated associations between endometriosis and certain histotypes of ovarian cancer, including clear cell, low-grade serous and endometrioid carcinomas. We aimed to determine whether the observed associations might be due to shared genetic aetiology. To address this, we used two endometriosis datasets genotyped on common arrays with full-genome coverage (3,194 cases and 7,060 controls) and a large ovarian cancer dataset genotyped on the customised iCOGS arrays (10,065 cases and 21,663 controls). Previous work has suggested that a large number of genetic variants contribute to endometriosis and ovarian cancer (all histotypes combined) susceptibility. Here using the iCOGS data, we confirmed polygenic architecture for most histotypes of ovarian cancer. This led us to evaluate if the polygenic effects are shared across diseases. We found evidence for shared genetic risks between endometriosis and all histotypes of ovarian cancer, except for the intestinal mucinous type. Clear cell carcinoma showed the strongest genetic correlation with endometriosis (0.51, 95% CI=0.18-0.84). Endometrioid and low-grade serous carcinomas had similar correlation coefficients (0.48, 95% CI=0.07-0.89 and 0.40, 95% CI=0.05-0.75, respectively). High-grade serous carcinoma, which often arises from the fallopian tubes, showed a weaker genetic correlation with endometriosis (0.25, 95% CI=0.11-0.39), despite the absence of a known epidemiological association. These results suggest that the epidemiological association between endometriosis and ovarian adenocarcinoma may be attributable to shared genetic susceptibility loci. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2015; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddv306 · 6.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is the sixth most common cancer in women and therapies are limited for advanced and recurrent disease. Patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDTX) models are becoming popular tools in translational research because of their histological and genetic similarity to the original tumors and the ability to predict therapeutic response to treatments. Here, we established and characterized a panel of 24 EC PDTX models which includes the major histological and genetic subtypes observed in patients. Fresh tumor tissues collected from primary, metastatic and recurrent type I and type II EC patients were engrafted in immunocompromised mice. Histology, vimentin, and cytokeratin expression were evaluated, together with Microsatellite instability (MSI), mutation profiling by Whole Exome Sequencing and copy number profiling by Whole Genome Low Coverage Sequencing. The efficacy of both PI3K and MEK inhibitors was evaluated in a model of endometrioid carcinoma harboring PTEN, PIK3CA and KRAS mutations. We observed good similarity between primary tumors and the corresponding xenografts, at histological and genetic level. Among the engrafted endometrioid models, we found a significant enrichment of MSI and POLE mutated tumors, compared to non-engrafted samples. Combination treatment with NVP-BEZ235 and AZD6244 showed the possibility to stabilize the tumor growth in one model originated from a patient who already received several lines of chemotherapy. The established EC PDTX models, resembling the original human tumors, promise to be useful for preclinical evaluation of novel combination and targeted therapies in specific EC subgroups. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Gynecologic Oncology 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.07.104 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have so far reported 12 loci associated with serous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk. We hypothesized that some of these loci function through nearby transcription factor (TF) genes and that putative target genes of these TFs as identified by co-expression may also be enriched for additional EOC risk associations. We selected TF genes within 1 Mb of the top signal at the 12 genome-wide significant risk loci. Mutual information, a form of correlation, was used to build networks of genes strongly co-expressed with each selected TF gene in the unified microarray data set of 489 serous EOC tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Genes represented in this data set were subsequently ranked using a gene-level test based on results for germline SNPs from a serous EOC GWAS meta-analysis (2,196 cases/4,396 controls). Gene set enrichment analysis identified six networks centered on TF genes (HOXB2, HOXB5, HOXB6, HOXB7 at 17q21.32 and HOXD1, HOXD3 at 2q31) that were significantly enriched for genes from the risk-associated end of the ranked list (P<0.05 and FDR<0.05). These results were replicated (P<0.05) using an independent association study (7,035 cases/21,693 controls). Genes underlying enrichment in the six networks were pooled into a combined network. We identified a HOX-centric network associated with serous EOC risk containing several genes with known or emerging roles in serous EOC development. Network analysis integrating large, context-specific data sets has the potential to offer mechanistic insights into cancer susceptibility and prioritize genes for experimental characterization. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 07/2015; DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1270 · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy resistance remains a major challenge in the treatment of ovarian cancer. We hypothesize that germline polymorphisms might be associated with clinical outcome. We analyzed ~2.8 million genotyped and imputed SNPs from the iCOGS experiment for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in 2,901 European epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients who underwent firstline treatment of cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy regardless of regimen, and in a subset of 1,098 patients treated with ≥4 cycles of paclitaxel and carboplatin at standard doses. We evaluated the top SNPs in 4,434 EOC patients including patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Additionally we conducted pathway analysis of all intragenic SNPs and tested their association with PFS and OS using gene set enrichment analysis. Five SNPs were significantly associated (p≤1.0x10(-5)) with poorer outcomes in at least one of the four analyses, three of which, rs4910232 (11p15.3), rs2549714 (16q23) and rs6674079 (1q22) were located in long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) RP11-179A10.1, RP11-314O13.1 and RP11-284F21.8 respectively (p≤7.1x10(-6)). ENCODE ChIP-seq data at 1q22 for normal ovary shows evidence of histone modification around RP11-284F21.8, and rs6674079 is perfectly correlated with another SNP within the super-enhancer MEF2D, expression levels of which were reportedly associated with prognosis in another solid tumor. YAP1- and WWTR1 (TAZ)-stimulated gene expression, and HDL-mediated lipid transport pathways were associated with PFS and OS, respectively, in the cohort who had standard chemotherapy (pGSEA≤6x10(-3)). We have identified SNPs in three lncRNAs that might be important targets for novel EOC therapies. Copyright © 2015, American Association for Cancer Research.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-0632 · 8.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Key contentIntroduction to preoperative classification of ovarian and tubal neoplasms.A discussion of existing guidelines by professional societies.Updated evidence and new strategies for preoperative diagnosis of ovarian cancer.Evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and characterisation of adnexal masses.Areas of future interest in the field of adnexal tumour diagnosis.Learning objectivesTo understand the importance of accurate preoperative discrimination of adnexal tumours to ensure optimal patient management.To critically appraise current guidelines by professional societies.To discuss findings from a recent systematic review and meta-analysis, and two diagnostic accuracy studies comparing different types of prediction models for ovarian cancer diagnosis.To understand the advantages and disadvantages of different International Ovarian Tumour Analysis (IOTA) prediction models.Ethical issuesConsequences of misclassification of ovarian and tubal masses.Inappropriate use of IOTA prediction models.
    The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 07/2015; 17(3). DOI:10.1111/tog.12200
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    International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 07/2015; 25(6):1094-1095. DOI:10.1097/IGC.0000000000000446 · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Ignace Vergote · Christopher P Leamon
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in the development of molecularly targeted therapies, limited improvements in overall survival have been noted among many cancer patients with solid tumors, primarily due to development of drug resistance. Accordingly, there is an unmet need for new targeted therapies and treatment approaches for cancer, especially for overcoming resistance. Expression of the folate receptor is upregulated in many tumor types and thus represents an ideal target for cancer treatment. Several folate receptor targeted therapies are in development, including the small molecule drug conjugate vintafolide, the monoclonal antibody farletuzumab, and the antibody-drug conjugate IMGN853. The role of the folate receptor as a target in cancer progression and resistance as well as emerging preclinical and clinical data from studies on those folate receptor targeted agents that are in development with a focus on vintafolide are reviewed. The folate receptor has several unique properties, such as high expression in several tumor types, that make it a rational target for cancer treatment, and allow for selective delivery of folate receptor targeted agents. Early-stage clinical data in lung and ovarian cancer suggest that vintafolide has the potential for combination with other standard approved agents.
    07/2015; 7(4). DOI:10.1177/1758834015584763
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    ABSTRACT: Defective cellular transport processes can lead to aberrant accumulation of trace elements, iron, small molecules and hormones in the cell, which in turn may promote the formation of reactive oxygen species, promoting DNA damage and aberrant expression of key regulatory cancer genes. As DNA damage and uncontrolled proliferation are hallmarks of cancer, including epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), we hypothesized that inherited variation in the cellular transport genes contributes to EOC risk. In total, DNA samples were obtained from 14,525 case subjects with invasive EOC and from 23,447 controls from 43 sites in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). Two hundred seventy nine SNPs, representing 131 genes, were genotyped using an Illumina Infinium iSelect BeadChip as part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). SNP analyses were conducted using unconditional logistic regression under a log-additive model, and the FDR q<0.2 was applied to adjust for multiple comparisons. The most significant evidence of an association for all invasive cancers combined and for the serous subtype was observed for SNP rs17216603 in the iron transporter gene HEPH (invasive: OR = 0.85, P = 0.00026; serous: OR = 0.81, P = 0.00020); this SNP was also associated with the borderline/low malignant potential (LMP) tumors (P = 0.021). Other genes significantly associated with EOC histological subtypes (p<0.05) included the UGT1A (endometrioid), SLC25A45 (mucinous), SLC39A11 (low malignant potential), and SERPINA7 (clear cell carcinoma). In addition, 1785 SNPs in six genes (HEPH, MGST1, SERPINA, SLC25A45, SLC39A11 and UGT1A) were imputed from the 1000 Genomes Project and examined for association with INV EOC in white-European subjects. The most significant imputed SNP was rs117729793 in SLC39A11 (per allele, OR = 2.55, 95% CI = 1.5-4.35, p = 5.66x10-4). These results, generated on a large cohort of women, revealed associations between inherited cellular transport gene variants and risk of EOC histologic subtypes.
    PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0128106. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0128106 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) can be prevented. Alizapride is an established antiemetic that may be effective in this role. Our primary objective was to test the hypothesis that alizapride is noninferior to ondansetron for the prophylaxis of PONV. A randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blinded noninferiority study. University hospitals of Leuven, Belgium, from November 2008 to July 2011. A total of 523 patients undergoing laparoscopic gynaecological surgery were included in the study. Reasons for exclusion were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) greater than 2, hypersensitivity to the study medication, pregnancy, mental disorders, psychiatric illness or consumption of antiemetic drugs within 24 h before initiation of the study. Patients received either alizapride 100 mg, ondansetron 4 mg or placebo intravenously 30 min before the end of surgery. The main outcome measures included the incidences of postoperative nausea (PON) and postoperative vomiting (POV) during the stay in the postanaesthetic care unit (PACU), with noninferiority testing for alizapride versus ondansetron. The region of noninferiority was defined as a relative difference in incidence of 25%. Secondary outcome was the incidence of PONV in the PACU and after 24 h. In the alizapride group, 32% of the patients experienced PON during the PACU stay, compared with 28% in the ondansetron group [relative risk 1.13, 90% confidence interval (CI) 0.87 to 1.46], exceeding the predefined margin of noninferiority. With respect to the incidences of POV during the PACU stay, 12.8% of the patients randomised to receive alizapride experienced POV, compared with 7.7% of who received ondansetron (relative risk 1.67, 90% CI 1.00 to 2.87). The incidences of PON and POV in the placebo group during the PACU stay were 34.2 and 9.8%, respectively. The 24-h incidences of PONV were lower than expected in this high-risk group of patients and were similar at 39.3, 36.8 and 31.5% in the placebo, alizapride and ondansetron groups, respectively (χ, P = 0.36). Patients treated with ondansetron required significantly less rescue medication than placebo-treated patients (P = 0.035). Due to the lower than expected incidences of PONV in this study, the power to conclude any noninferiority of alizapride was reduced to only 41%. We found no evidence to support the noninferiority of alizapride 100 mg when compared with ondansetron 4 mg for the intraoperative prophylaxis of PONV. However, the lower than expected incidences of PONV reduced the power of this study to conclude noninferiority or confirm significant beneficial effects for either antiemetic for PON and POV during the PACU stay. Eudra CT 2008-004789-20.
    European Journal of Anaesthesiology 06/2015; DOI:10.1097/EJA.0000000000000288 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first version of ENGOT's Requirements for Trials Between Academic Groups and Industry Partners in Europe was published 2010. This first update integrates the experiences made by the ENGOT network and the cooperative group studies while performing, analyzing, and publishing -among others - three large phase III trials. Furthermore, progress in European legislation and its impact on clinical studies in Europe have been considered in this update process.
    International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 06/2015; 25(7). DOI:10.1097/IGC.0000000000000478 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Importance: Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for fetal aneuploidy by scanning cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma is rapidly becoming a major prenatal genetic test. Similar to placental DNA, tumor DNA can be detected in the plasma, and analysis of cell-free tumor DNA can be used to characterize and monitor cancers. We show that plasma DNA profiling allows for presymptomatic detection of tumors in pregnant women undergoing routine NIPT. Observations: During NIPT in over 4000 prospective pregnancies by parallel sequencing of maternal plasma cell-free DNA, 3 aberrant genome representation (GR) profiles were observed that could not be attributed to the maternal or fetal genomic constitution. A maternal cancer was suspected, and those 3 patients were referred for whole-body diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, which uncovered an ovarian carcinoma, a follicular lymphoma, and a Hodgkin lymphoma, each confirmed by subsequent pathologic and genetic investigations. The copy number variations in the subsequent tumor biopsies were concordant with the NIPT plasma GR profiles. Conclusions and relevance: We show that maternal plasma cell-free DNA sequencing for noninvasive prenatal testing also may enable accurate presymptomatic detection of maternal tumors and treatment during pregnancy.
    06/2015; 1(6). DOI:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.1883
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    ABSTRACT: Standard treatment of cervical cancer FIGO stage IB1 is a radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy. As the number of patients with a preserved fertility wish has increased, the need for fertility sparing surgery emerges. In this study we discuss 11 patients with cervical carcinoma stage IB treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by large cone resection. In this retrospective study we included 10 patients with FIGO stage IB1 and 1 patient with IB2 cervical cancer, who first received a pelvic lymphadenectomy followed by neoadjuvant chemotherapy and conization. Paclitaxel-ifosfamide-cisplatinum or a combination of paclitaxel-carboplatin was used as neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Complete response after chemotherapy was observed in 64%, partial response in 27% and 9% had progressive disease. All patients with response underwent a conization, with no residual disease on pathology in 80%. Patients with residual disease were treated by radical hysterectomy. In 9 patients fertility sparing surgery could be performed and 6 (67%) got pregnant. Five patients had 7 children and two patients had four missed abortions. Two premature deliveries at 32 and 33weeks were described, both in the same patient. Recurrence was observed in one patient that was treated with simple hysterectomy followed by radiochemotherapy. Median follow up time is 58months with all patients alive and no evidence of disease until now. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by conization seems to be a promising new fertility sparing treatment modality in patients with cervical carcinoma stage IB1, but further studies with larger populations should confirm these data. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Gynecologic Oncology 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.05.043 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate addition of prophylactic G-CSF to each weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin course in patients with recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian (OC), or recurrent or advanced endometrial (EC) or cervical carcinoma (CC). 108 patients were enrolled i.e. 36 in each cohort. Eighteen courses of paclitaxel (60mg/m(2)) and carboplatin (AUC 2.7) were administered weekly. G-CSF (Filgrastim) was given to all patients on day 5 (and if needed on day 6). For patients with OC, 91% had platinum-resistant and 9% platinum-refractory disease. Median number of prior chemotherapy lines was 3 for OC, 1 for EC, and 1 for CC. Grade 3-4 neutropenia was observed in 34% of patients (95% CI: 26%-44%, P<0,0001) (OC 29%, EC 36%, CC 38%). This is lower compared to historical data in all cohorts (84%). Confirmed sepsis was observed in 5%, grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in 41%, grade 2-3 peripheral neuropathy in 17% of patients. In 71% of patients dose was delayed. Dose reduction was necessary for carboplatin in 47% and paclitaxel in 18% of patients. ORR was 51% (OC 48%, EC 45%, CC 58%). Median (95% CI) PFS and OS was 7.1 (5.1-8.1) and 12.7 (10.2-16.3) months, respectively (OC 7 and 13, EC 6 and 19, CC 6 and 14). Weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin with G-CSF is an effective treatment with acceptable toxicity in patients with platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory OC, advanced or recurrent EC and CC. The incidence of grade 3-4 neutropenia is lower with addition of weekly G-CSF compared with earlier studies without routine use of prophylactic G-CSF. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Gynecologic Oncology 06/2015; 138(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.05.042 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work, we aimed to identify molecular epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tissue biomarkers in patients with ovarian cancer who were treated within the phase III randomized European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Gynaecological Cancer Group (EORTC-GCG) 55041 study comparing erlotinib with observation in patients with no evidence of disease progression after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Somatic mutations in KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA, EGFR, and PTEN were determined in 318 (38 %) and expression of EGFR, pAkt, pMAPK, E-cadherin and Vimentin, and EGFR and HER2 gene copy numbers in 218 (26 %) of a total of 835 randomized patients. Biomarker data were correlated with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Only 28 mutations were observed among KRAS, BRAF, NRAS, PIK3CA, EGFR, and PTEN (in 7.5 % of patients), of which the most frequent were in KRAS and PIK3CA. EGFR mutations occurred in only three patients. When all mutations were pooled, patients with at least one mutation in KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, or EGFR had longer PFS (33.1 versus 12.3 months; HR 0.57; 95 % CI 0.33 to 0.99; P = 0.042) compared to those with wild-type tumors. EGFR overexpression was detected in 93 of 218 patients (42.7 %), and 66 of 180 patients (36.7 %) had EGFR gene amplification or high levels of copy number gain. Fifty-eight of 128 patients had positive pMAPK expression (45.3 %), which was associated with inferior OS (38.9 versus 67.0 months; HR 1.81; 95 % CI 1.11 to 2.97; P = 0.016). Patients with positive EGFR fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) status had worse OS (46.1 months) than those with negative status (67.0 months; HR 1.56; 95 % CI 1.01 to 2.40; P = 0.044) and shorter PFS (9.6 versus 16.1 months; HR 1.57; 95 % CI 1.11 to 2.22; P = 0.010). None of the investigated biomarkers correlated with responsiveness to erlotinib. In this phase III study, increased EGFR gene copy number was associated with worse OS and PFS in patients with ovarian cancer. It remains to be determined whether this association is purely prognostic or is also predictive.
    Targeted Oncology 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11523-015-0369-6 · 4.00 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9k Citations
2,614.41 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2015
    • University of Leuven
      • • Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT)
      • • Department of Reproduction, Development and Regeneration
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
    • University of Innsbruck
      • Institute of Biochemistry
      Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
  • 1996–2015
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven
      • • Department of Gynaecology and obstetrics
      • • Department of Surgical oncology
      • • Department of Radiology
      Louvain, Flemish, Belgium
  • 2014
    • European Union
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital, Belgium
    • Maria Sklodowska Curie Memorial Cancer Centre
      Gleiwitz, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
    • West Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Georgetown, Georgia, United States
    • European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
      Bruxelles, Brussels Capital, Belgium
  • 2013
    • Leuven Instituut voor Fertiliteit en Embryologie
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2009–2012
    • Catholic University of Louvain
      • Department of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Pediatrics - GYPE
      Лувен-ла-Нев, Walloon, Belgium
    • Radboud University Nijmegen
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010
    • Vesalius Research Center
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium
    • Philipps University of Marburg
      Marburg, Hesse, Germany
    • Maasstad Ziekenhuis
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • University of Groningen
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 2003
    • Leiden University
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2001
    • The Princess Margaret Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1995
    • University of Oslo
      • Department of Chemistry
      Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 1993
    • Lund University
      Lund, Skåne, Sweden
  • 1992
    • Gynecologic Oncology Group
      Buffalo, New York, United States
  • 1983
    • University of Antwerp
      Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium