[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neo-adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy (CT-RT) has been shown to decrease local recurrence rate in locally advanced rectal cancer. This multicenter phase II trial was conducted to evaluate the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of a combination of pre-operative radiotherapy and concurrent Capecitabine plus Oxaliplatin (XELOXART Trial). From October 2008 to May 2011, fifty consecutive patients affected with T3/T4 and/or N+ rectal cancer were enrolled. Treatment protocol consisted of 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions, Oxaliplatin 60 mg/m(2) once a week for 6 weeks and oral Capecitabine 825 mg/m(2) twice daily from day 1 to 14 and from day 22 to 35. Surgery was planned 6-8 weeks after. Main endpoints were pathological complete response rate (pCR) and the type of surgery performed compared to the planned one at diagnosis. 50 patients were included; pCR (ypT0N0M0) was achieved in 6 patients (12 %). Tumour downstaging was observed in 27 patients (54 %), and nodal downstaging in 32 patients (64 %). A total of 32 patients had lower rectal cancer, with 24 candidate for abdominal-perineal resection. At the end of CT-RT, a total of 12/24 (50 %) underwent conservative surgery. Grade 3 toxicity (fatigue and diarrhoea) occurred in 4 % of patients; grade 4 sensory neuropathy occurred in 2 % of patients. Perioperative complications of any grade occurred in 10 % of patients. Pre-operative CT-RT with Capecitabine-Oxaliplatin was well tolerated and resulted in an encouraging sphincter preservation and tumour downstaging rate. No improvements in terms of pathological complete response rate were shown.
Medical Oncology 06/2013; 30(2):581. · 2.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To explore the use of CAM (Complementary/Alternative Medicine) in a population of cancer patients undergoing antineoplastic therapy, and to compare differences in sociodemographics, quality of life, and psychological features between CAM users and non-users.
The study population was consecutive cancer patients undergoing antineoplastic treatment in three Piedmont cancer centers. Data were collected from anonymous questionnaires investigating CAM use or not, and what type if used, and sociodemographics, and through validated psychometric instruments to assess psychological features: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Mini Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale.
Of the 288 evaluable patients, 52 (18.1%) reported using one or more types of CAM; the most often cited were herbs, special diets and body-based practices, such as plantar reflexology, chiropractic application, and massage. On quality of life assessment, CAM users scored lower than CAM non-users for physical wellbeing (P = 0.006); no significant differences emerged for anxiety and depression and coping styles.
CAM use is less prevalent in northern Italy than in most other European countries. CAM users were found to have a lower quality of life than CAM non-users.
Quality of Life Research 11/2010; 20(5):683-90. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common sensorimotor disorder characterized by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs that are relieved by movement. This study evaluated the prevalence of RLS in a consecutive series of cancer patients during chemotherapy and examined the relationship between presence of RLS and quality of life, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in these patients.
RLS was assessed according to the International RLS Study Group essential diagnostic criteria in two stages: a screening questionnaire first, followed by a sleep specialist-conducted structured diagnostic interview. The following questionnaires were administered: Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) for Quality-of-life (QoL) assessment; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to evaluate the levels of anxiety and depression; and Mini Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (Mini-MAC) to assess coping styles.
A total of 257 patients were evaluated. Among them 56 were identified by the screening questionnaire to meet the criteria for RLS and 47 of whom were confirmed as affected by RLS after a structured interview, rendering a prevalence rate of 18.3%. RLS was significantly more frequent in women than men (23.7 vs. 11.8%; P = 0.01), and in patients receiving antineoplastic therapies for more than 3 months than their counterpart (21.8 vs. 10.8%; P = 0.03). Compared with those without RLS, patients with RLS had higher levels of anxiety (P = 0.0009) and depression (P = 0.001) and lower quality of life (P = 0.006). Sex-chemotherapy-duration-adjusted odds ratios of anxiety and physical well-being associated with RLS were 1.1 (95% CI 1.00-1.19; P = 0.04) and 0.7 (95% CI 0.43-1.01; P = 0.04), respectively.
The prevalence of RLS in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is 18.3%, about double of that expected in the general population. The occurrence of RLS is much more frequent in female patients and with longer-term chemotherapy. Cancer patients afflicted by RLS have significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression, and poorer quality of life especially in the physical well-being dimension. Recognition and treatment of RLS in cancer patients is an important target in clinical management and may improve quality of life and overall health outcomes in these patients.
Quality of Life Research 02/2010; 19(4):531-7. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate response rate, toxicity and epidermal growth factor (EGFR) mutations and gene copy number as outcome predictive factors in Italian patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with gefitinib (Iressa) in an expanded access program (EAP).
A total of 137 patients with advanced NSCLC received gefitinib as first line treatment or after failure of chemotherapy. In 43 cases, tissue specimens were available for EGFR status evaluation: immunohistochemical (IHC) for EGFR, fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) or Chromogenic in situ hybridisation (CISH)-(ISH) analysis for EGFR and HER2 gene copy number, and PCR-DNA sequencing for mutational analysis of EGFR were performed.
In the study population, response rate (PR) was 13%; disease stabilization (DS) 26%; overall disease control rate 39%; median survival 6.3 months and time to progression 2.7 months. Toxicity was mild (G3 skin toxicity in 3% and G3 liver toxicity in 4% of patients). An EGFR-mutation was detected in 9/43 patients: Eight deletions in exon 19 and 1 missense mutation in exon 21. Increased gene copy number for EGFR and/or HER2 was detected in 17/43 patients. Response rate was significantly higher in women, non-smokers, in mutation carriers than in wild type carriers, in EGFR-trisomy/polysomy carriers and HER2-trisomy/polysomy carriers.
In this study, response rate and toxicity to gefitinib treatment were consistent with previously reported data for whites. Female gender, absence of smoking history, EGFR-mutations, EGFR and HER2-polysomy were significantly associated with response to gefitinib therapy in NSCLC patients.
Lung Cancer 08/2008; 61(1):73-81. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is increasing among the elderly representing about 30% of NSCLC patients over 70 years old. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response, survival and tolerability of a modified schedule with cisplatin-vinorelbine in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC.
Between November 2001 and March 2003, 30 patients were included into the study. Median age was 73 (range 70-77). Male/female 27/3 (90%/10%); 60% of patients were stage IV at diagnosis and only one patient presented with brain metastasis. Treatment consisted of cisplatin 30 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8, and vinorelbine 25 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 21 days.
A total of 120 cycles were administered with a median of four cycles per patient. The most relevant WHO toxicities were: neutropenia grade 3 in 6 (20%) patients and grade 4 in 13 (43%) patients. There were three (10%) treatment-related deaths: two caused by neutropenic fever and one due to acute pulmonary oedema. No other relevant hematological and non-hematological toxicities occurred. By intention-to-treat analysis, 10 patients (33%) showed stable disease and 10 patients (33%) showed a partial response while 10 patients (33%) showed treatment failure. Median survival time was 7.4 months; 1-year survival was 36.6% and median time to progression was 5.14 months.
At this dose and schedule, the combination of vinorelbine and cisplatin obtained a response rate and survival comparable to the most active regimens. Non-hematologic toxicity was mild while neutropenia was the most relevant toxicity.
Lung Cancer 01/2007; 54(3):353-7. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The safety and efficacy of a combined regimen of weekly paclitaxel and gemcitabine was tested in patients with refractory and sensitive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Treatment consisted of paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 15 and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks. Of the 31 patients enrolled, 10 had refractory and 21 had sensitive disease. Objective responses occurred in 8 patients (26%), including 2 out of 10 patients with refractory- and 6 out of 21 patients with sensitive SCLC. Median time to progression and median survival were 9.4 and 32 weeks, respectively.
The schedule was very well tolerated, with grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in 26% of the patients, grade 3 neutropenia in 26%, grade 3-4 asthenia in 13% and grade 1-2 sensory neuropathy in 32%.
To conclude, this weekly schedule of paclitaxel and gemcitabine was found to have moderate activity in platinum-etoposide pretreated SCLC patients and a favorable toxicity profile.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 09/2006; 58(2):203-9. · 2.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the activity and safety of a sequential regimen of cisplatin and vinorelbine followed by paclitaxel and gemcitabine in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Treatment was two cycles of cisplatin 80 mg/m(2) on day 1 and vinorelbine 30 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks followed by two cycles of paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2) on day 1 and gemcitabine 1250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks.
Fifty-five patients with inoperable NSCLC, performance status 2 or less were enrolled, including 19 patients with brain lesions. There were 23 partial responses (42%; 95% confidence interval 29-55). The median time to progression and overall survival were 5.8 and 10.3 months, respectively (6.5 and 12.8 in the patient subset without brain metastases). One-year survival rate was 47.5%. Grade III/IV neutropenia was the major side effect; it occurred in 56% of patients and was mainly limited to the first two chemotherapy cycles with cisplatin and vinorelbine.
Sequential combination of cisplatin and vinorelbine followed by paclitaxel and gemcitabine is a manageable and active regimen for patients with NSCLC. It deserves to be tested against a standard two-drug scheme in a phase III trial.
Lung Cancer 03/2005; 47(2):269-75. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the activity and toxicity of a weekly paclitaxel plus gemcitabine combination as second-line treatment in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 on days 1, 8 and 15 and gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks were administered to 34 consecutive, advanced NSCLC patients uniformly pretreated with cisplatin or carboplatin and vinorelbine. The median time interval from first- to second-line treatment was 8 weeks (range 1-72). A total of 124 cycles with a median of 3 cycles per patient were administered (range 1-6). Four patients (12%) achieved a partial response (95% confidence interval: 1-23%), 17 had stable disease (50%) and 12 progressed (37%). Three responses were observed in 14 patients showing disease response or stabilization to previous platinum therapy. The median survival was 28 weeks (range 3-91), the median progression-free survival was 12 weeks (range 3-50) and the 1-year survival rate was 23%. The toxicity profile was favorable. In conclusion, a weekly schedule of paclitaxel plus gemcitabine as a second-line regimen has moderate activity and good tolerability in NSCLC patients not refractory to previous platinum-vinorelbine treatment.
Anticancer research 24(4):2567-72. · 1.71 Impact Factor