[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some trial havedemonstrated a benefit of adjuvant fluoropirimidine with or without platinum compounds compared to surgery alone. ITACA-S study was designed to evaluate whether a sequential treatment of FOLFIRI (irinotecan plus 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid [5-FU/LV]) followed by docetaxel plus cisplatin improves disease free survival in comparison to 5-FU/LV in patients with radically resected gastric cancer.
Patients with resectable adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction were randomly assigned to either FOLFIRI (irinotecan 180 mg/m2 day one, LV 100 mg/m2 as two hour-infusion and 5-FU 400 mg/m2 as bolus, day one and day two followed by 600 mg/m2/day as 22-hour continuous infusion, q14 for four cycles) followed by docetaxel 75 mg/m2 day one, cisplatin 75 mg/m2 day one, q21 for three cycles (sequential arm) or De Gramont regimen (5-FU/LV arm).
From February 2005 to August 2009, 1106 patients were enrolled, and 1100 included in the analysis: 562 in sequential and 538 in 5-FU/LV arm. With a median follow-up of 57.4 months, 581 patients recurred or died (297 sequential arm and 284 5FU/LV arm), and 483 died (243 and 240, respectively). No statistically significant difference was detected for both disease free (HR 1.00; 95%CI: 0.85-1.17; p=0.974) and overall survival (HR 0.98; 95%CI: 0.82-1.18; p=0.865). Five-year disease free and overall survival rates were 44.6% and 44.6%, 51.0% and 50.6% in sequential and 5FU/LV arm, respectively.
A more intensive regimen failed to show any benefit in disease free and overall survival versus monotherapy [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01640782].
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The effect of the addition of fotemustine and/or interferon (IFN) to standard therapy with dacarbazine alone in patients with advanced malignant melanoma was investigated in a multicenter, randomized 2x2 factorial design trial. METHODS: A total of 260 patients were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups: (A) fotemustine and dacarbazine repeated on 3-week cycle; (B) same treatment as (A) plus IFN-alpha2b three times per week; (C) dacarbazine alone repeated on 3-week cycle; (D) same treatment as (C) plus IFN-alpha2b three times per week. Two comparisons were planned to assess the efficacy of fotemustine (groups A+B vs. C+D) and IFN-alpha2b (groups A+C vs. B+D). RESULTS: Addition of fotemustine did not significantly improve overall survival (OS) (p=0.28) or progression-free survival (PFS) (p=0.55); Hazard ratio (HR) for OS was 0.93 (95% CI 0.71-1.21). Similarly, addition of IFN-alpha2b did not improve OS (p=0.68) or PFS (p=0.65); HR for OS was 0.92 (95% CI 0.70-1.20). Overall response rate was not improved by the addition of either fotemustine (p=0.87) or IFN-alpha2b (p=0.57). The combination of all three drugs resulted in the highest occurrence of adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: No significant improvement in outcomes were observed with the addition of either fotemustine or IFN-alpha2b to dacarbazine.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01359956.
Journal of Translational Medicine 02/2013; 11(1):38. · 3.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the activity and safety of non-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Myocet®) in combination with docetaxel and trastuzumab as first-line treatment of patients with HER-2/neu-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
The maximum tolerated dose of the combination was defined in the phase I part of the study. In the phase II part, 45 HER-2/neu-positive MBC patients were enrolled to receive 6-8 cycles of Myocet® 50 mg/m2 (day 1), docetaxel 30 mg/m2 (days 2 and 9) plus trastuzumab (day 2, 4 mg/kg followed by 2 mg/kg/week) every 21 d until unacceptable toxicity or progression occurred. Objective response (primary end-point) and treatment tolerability were assessed according to World Health Organisation criteria. Cardiotoxicity was defined as signs and/or symptoms of congestive heart failure and/or a decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
The overall response rate was 55.6% (complete response 8.9%, partial response 46.7%), with a median time-to-progression of 10.9 months (C.I. 8.7-15.0). Median overall survival was not reached. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse events were granulocytopaenia (60.0%), leukocytopenia (43.2%) and alopecia (35.6%). Grade 3-4 diarrhoea, pain, oral and skin toxicity (4.4%, each) and nausea/vomiting, thrombocytopenia and elevated alkaline phosphatase (2.2%, each) were also reported. In 2 patients LVEF fell to <50%, with a decrease from baseline>15%. LVEF median values remained stable from baseline to the end of the study (60%).
The combination of Myocet®, docetaxel and trastuzumab is safe and shows promising activity as first-line treatment of HER-2-positive MBC.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 06/2011; 47(14):2091-8. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present article reports the updated survival outcome of the 200 patients enrolled in the Southern Italy Cooperative Oncology Group 9908 trial, which compared 12 weekly cycles of cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel (PET) with 4 triweekly (once every 3 weeks) cycles of epirubicin-paclitaxel (ET) in patients with locally advanced breast cancer (LABC).
The effects of treatment, pathologically documented response (pathological response), pre- and post-treatment biomarkers on relapse-free survival (RFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS) are analysed.
At a median follow-up of 74 (range 48-105 months) months, the 5-year RFS, DMFS, and OS were 64 % versus 53% (P = 0.11), 73% versus 55% (P = 0.04), and 82% versus 69% (P = 0.07) in PET and ET, respectively. At multivariate analysis, after adjusting treatment effect for pretreatment biomarkers, PET independently predicted better DMFS (P = 0.018) and OS (P = 0.03), whereas the impact on RFS was of borderline significance (0.057). PET treatment was significantly better than ET treatment only in high-grade or highly proliferating tumours. The better outcome in PET arm was the results of both the higher rate of patients with optimal pathological response and the lower rate of patients with biologically aggressive residual tumour.
The PET weekly regimen significantly improves both DMFS and OS in LABC patients, compared with the triweekly ET combination. The therapeutic advantage is limited to patients with highly aggressive tumours.
Annals of Oncology 10/2009; 21(4):707-16. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Findings from our previously published phase II study showed a high pathologic complete remission (pCR) rate in patients with triple-negative large operable breast cancer after the administration of eight cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel (PET) weekly cycles. The safety and efficacy data of the initial population were updated, with inclusion of additional experience with the same therapy.
Patients with triple-negative large operable breast cancer (T2-T3 N0-1; T > 3 cm) received eight preoperative weekly cycles of cisplatin 30 mg/m2, epirubicin 50 mg/m2, paclitaxel (Taxol) 120 mg/m2, with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (5 microg/kg days 3-5) support.
Overall 74 consecutive patients (T2/T3 = 35/39; N0/N+ = 26/48) were treated, from May 1999 to May 2008. At pathological assessment, 46 women (62%; 95% confidence interval 50-73) showed pCR in both breast and axilla. At a 41-month median follow-up (range 3-119), 13 events (nine distant metastases) had occurred, 5-year projected disease-free survival (DFS) and distant disease-free survival being 76% and 84%, respectively. Five-year DFS was 90% and 56% in pCRs and non-pCRs, respectively. Severe neutropenia and anemia occurred in 23 (31%) and eight (10.8%) patients, respectively. Severe non-hematological toxicity was recorded in <20% of patients. Peripheral neuropathy was quite frequent but never severe.
Eight weekly PET cycles are a highly effective primary treatment in women with triple-negative large operable breast cancer. This approach results in a very promising long-term DFS in this poor prognosis population. This triplet regimen is worthy of evaluation in phase III trials.
Annals of Oncology 02/2009; 20(7):1185-92. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) was originally defined as inoperable breast cancer. Inoperable breast cancer has the
following features: tumor with direct extension to the chest wall or skin (T4), tumor of any size with supraclavicular, or
infraclavicular nodes (N3), or findings used to describe inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) such as progressive breast erythema,
warmth, edema, and induration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical predictors for germline mutations of candidate genes in large clinic based population of patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) are widely awaited. Using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) analysis and DNA sequencing, 557 consecutively-collected CMM patients originating from South Italy were screened for CDKN2A germline mutations; subsets of them were screened for mutations in the BRAF and BRCA2 genes. Seven CDKN2A mutations were detected in 14 (2.5%) CMM patients. Relative risk of carrying a CDKN2A mutation for CMM patients was demonstrated to significantly increase with the presence of familial recurrence of melanoma (risk ratio (RR)=6.31; p=0.0009), multiple primary melanomas (RR=3.43; p=0.0014), and early onset age (RR=4.56; p=0.0026). All CDKN2A mutations were observed in non-Sardinian patients (14/441; 3.2%), whereas BRAF and BRCA2 genes were found mutated in Sardinian patients (3/116; 2.6%). Such indicators of the presence of CDKN2A mutations will be useful in counselling patients about undergoing genetic testing. Our findings strongly suggest that mutation rates of candidate cancer genes may deeply vary among CMM patients from different geographical areas.
European Journal of Cancer 02/2007; 43(1):137-43. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : To date, the standard treatment for patients who have carcinoma of unknown primary site has not been established.
: In this randomized Phase II study, 66 previously untreated patients (33 patients per arm) with carcinomas of unknown primary site received cisplatin (35 mg/m2) and gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2) with either paclitaxel (70 mg/m2) or vinorelbine (25 mg/m2), and all drugs were administered intravenously on Days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle. Twenty-nine patients (44%) presented with > or =2 involved sites. The pathologic diagnosis was mainly adenocarcinoma (48 patients; 72.7%) and squamous carcinoma (7 patients; 10.6%).
: In the first arm, 16 patients (48.5%) experienced an objective response, and 9 patients (27.2%) had disease stabilization. In the vinorelbine-containing arm, 14 patients (42.3%) experienced an objective response, and 8 patients (24.2%) had disease stabilization. The median response duration and the median time to progression were similar in both treatment arms; the median overall survival was 9.6 months (95% confidence interval, 7.11-12.09 months) for patients who received the cisplatin/gemcitabine/paclitaxel regimen and 13.6 months (95% confidence interval, 6.61-20.59 months) for patients who received the vinorelbine combination. Grade 3 and 4 toxicities were more frequent in the paclitaxel-containing arm.
: Both combinations satisfied the 2-step design, demonstrating antitumor activity without relevant differences in response rates or response duration; however, the vinorelbine-containing regimen yielded superior results both in terms of overall survival (13.6 months vs 9.6 months) and in terms of treatment tolerability. Therefore, according to a pick the winner attitude, the combination of cisplatin/gemcitabine/vinorelbine may be considered in the design of future randomized, Phase III trials for patients with carcinomas of unknown primary site.
Cancer 12/2006; 107(12):2898-905. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study aimed at evaluating whether a weekly cisplatin, epirubicin, and paclitaxel (PET) regimen could increase the pathological complete response (pCR) rate in comparison with a tri-weekly epirubicin and paclitaxel administration in locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) patients. Patients with stage IIIB disease were randomised to receive either 12 weekly cycles of cisplatin 30 mg m(-2), epirubicin 50 mg m(-2), and paclitaxel 120 mg m(-2) (PET) plus granulocyte-colony stimulating factor support, or four cycles of epirubicin 90 mg m(-2)+paclitaxel 175 mg m(-2) (ET) every 3 weeks. Overall, 200 patients (PET/ET=100/100) were included in this study. A pCR in both breast and axilla occurred in 16 (16%) PET patients and in six (6%) ET patients (P=0.02). The higher activity of PET was evident only in ER negative (27.5 vs 5.4%; P=0.026), and in HER/neu positive (31 vs 5%; P=0.037) tumours. The two arms yielded similar pCR rate in ER positive (PET/ET=7.5/7.1%) and HER/neu negative (PET/ET=10/6%) patients. At a 39 months median follow-up, 70 patients showed a progression or relapses (PET, 32 vs ET, 38). Anaemia, mucositis, peripheral neuropathy, and gastrointestinal toxicity were substantially more frequent in the PET arm. The PET weekly regimen is superior to ET in terms of pCR rate in LABC patients with ER negative and/or HER2 positive tumours Mature data in terms of disease-free and overall survival are needed to ascertain whether this approach could improve the prognosis of these subsets of LABC patients.
British Journal of Cancer 11/2006; 95(8):1005-12. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Combination therapies of fluorouracil (FU) with irinotecan (CPT-11) and docetaxel plus cisplatin have been proven to be active in metastatic gastric cancer. In this paper, we present the results of a phase III trial in which these two combinations given sequentially were compared to mitomycin C (MMC) monochemotherapy in an adjuvant setting. METHODS: 169 patients with radically resected gastric cancer were randomized to receive CPT-11 (180 mg/m2 day 1), leucovorin (100 mg/m2 days 1-2), FU (400-600 mg/m2 days 1-2, q 14; for four cycles; FOLFIRI regimen), followed by docetaxel (85 mg/m2 day 1), cisplatin (75 mg/m2 day 1, q 21; for three cycles; arm A), or MMC (8 mg/m2 days 1-2 as 2-hour infusion, q 42; for four cycles; arm B). All patients had histologically confirmed gastric carcinoma with nodal positivity or pT3/4. A total of 166 patients (85 in arm A and 81 in arm B) were treated. Adjuvant treatment was completed in 76% of the patients in arm A and in 70% of the patients in arm B. The main grade 3/4 side effects recorded were neutropenia in 35%, with only 1 febrile patient, and diarrhea in 11% in arm A, and thrombocytopenia in 10% and neutropenia in 7% in arm B. The FOLFIRI regimen and docetaxel/cisplatin given in sequence was well tolerated and feasible in adjuvant setting. This sequence treatment currently represents the experimental arm of an ongoing multicenter trial.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of circulating malignant cells (CMCs) through a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay seems to be a demonstration of systemic disease. We here evaluated the prognostic role of RT-PCR assays in serially-taken peripheral blood samples from patients with malignant melanoma (MM).
One hundred forty-nine melanoma patients with disease stage ranging from I to III were consecutively collected in 1997. A multi-marker RT-PCR assay was used on peripheral blood samples obtained at time of diagnosis and every 6 months during the first two years of follow-up (total: 5 samples). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed after 83 months of median follow-up.
Detection of at least one circulating mRNA marker was considered a signal of the presence of CMC (referred to as PCR-positive assay). A significant correlation was found between the rate of recurrences and the increasing number of PCR-positive assays (P = 0.007). Presence of CMC in a high number (> or =2) of analysed blood samples was significantly correlated with a poor clinical outcome (disease-free survival: P = 0.019; overall survival: P = 0.034). Multivariate analysis revealed that presence of a PCR-positive status does play a role as independent prognostic factors for overall survival in melanoma patients, adding precision to the predictive power of the disease stage.
Our findings indicated that serial RT-PCR assay may identify a high risk subset of melanoma patients with occult cancer cells constantly detected in blood circulation. Prolonged presence of CMCs seems to act as a surrogate marker of disease progression or a sign of more aggressive disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to define the antitumor activity of eight cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel (PET) weekly cycles with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) support in patients with large operable breast cancer.
Operable breast cancer (T2-3 N0-1; T >3 cm) patients received eight preoperative weekly cycles of cisplatin 30 mg/m2, epirubicin 50 mg/m2 and paclitaxel 120 mg/m2, with G-CSF (5 microg/kg, days 3-5) support.
Sixty-three patients (T2/T3=30/33; N0/N+=8/55) were enrolled. Thirty-one clinical complete (49%) and 30 partial (48%) responses were recorded, giving a 97% response rate (95% confidence interval 89% to 100%). Breast-sparing surgery was performed in 32/63 (51%) patients. At pathological assessment, 28 patients (45%) showed absence of invasive residual disease in breast and 34 (55%) had negative axilla. In 20 women (32%) both breast and axilla were found to be disease-free. At a 23-month median follow-up (range 4-63), only eight relapses and two deaths had occurred, with the 4-year projected relapse-free and overall survival being 59% and 95%, respectively. Grade 3-4 neutropenia and anemia occurred in 24% and 5% of patients, respectively. Emesis, diarrhea and mucositis were the main non-hematological toxicities; however, only nine (14%) patients experienced one or more episodes of severe non-hematological toxicity. Peripheral neuropathy was frequent, but never severe.
A 2-month weekly treatment with PET represents a well tolerated and highly effective approach in large operable breast cancer patients. In spite of the short duration of chemotherapy, one-third of patients achieved a complete eradication of the tumor in both breast and axilla.
Annals of Oncology 09/2005; 16(8):1268-75. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the feasibility and activity of combination treatment with docetaxel (DTX) and irinotecan (CPT-11), given together every other week, combined with filgrastim support, in anthracycline- and paclitaxel-pretreated breast cancer (BC) patients.
Advanced BC patients pretreated with anthracycline- and paclitaxel-based chemotherapy were eligible. DTX (80 mg/m2) and CPT-11 (100 mg/m2) were given biweekly with filgrastim support (300 microg/day on days 4-7).
Fifty patients (48 with metastatic and 2 with locally advanced cancer) were enrolled, with a total of 318 cycles being delivered. Thirty-one patients had visceral localizations. All patients had received epirubicin plus paclitaxel, with or without cisplatin, as front-line treatment for advanced disease. Overall, fatigue and diarrhea were the main chemotherapy-related toxicities in this study, being severe in 10 (20%) and 4 (8%) patients. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 18 (36%) and 6 (12%) patients, respectively. Red blood cell transfusions were required in 4 patients. A total of 32 objective responses were registered (overall response rate, ORR = 64%, 95% confidence interval = 49-77%), including 8 complete responses (16%). An additional 8 patients showed stable disease. After a median follow-up of 18 (range 4-29) months, 30 patients were still alive, and 19 were progression free; median progression-free and overall survivals were 10 and 23 months, respectively.
Biweekly DTX/CPT-11 with G-CSF support is a well-tolerated and highly effective approach in anthracycline-/paclitaxel-pretreated patients. The very promising ORR and survival outcome observed in this subset of patients with a poor prognosis suggest that this regimen might play a major role in the management of this disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study was aimed at defining the antitumor activity of the cisplatin-epirubicin-paclitaxel (PET) weekly administration with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) support in chemonaive small-cell lung cancer patients with extensive disease (ED-SCLC).
Chemonaive ED-SCLC patients received cisplatin 30 mg/sqm, epirubicin 50 mg/sqm and paclitaxel 120 mg/sqm, weekly, with G-CSF (5 microg/kg from day 3 to 5) support, for a maximum of 12 weeks.
Thirty-nine patients were treated, for a total of 354 cycles delivered. Eight complete (21%), and 22 partial responses (56%) were recorded, giving a 77% (95% CI = 61-89%) objective response rate (ORR). After 14 (range, 7-28)-month median follow-up, 24 deaths have occurred. Median progression-free and overall survival were 7 months and 11 months, with 1- and 2-year projected survivals of 45 and 24%, respectively. No toxic deaths occurred. Grade 4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 4 (10%) and 1 (3%) patients, respectively. Only one case of neutropenic sepsis was recorded, while hemorrhagic thrombocytopenia was never observed. Emesis, loss of appetite, mucositis and fatigue were the main nonhematological toxicities, being severe in 9, 8, 4 and 7 patients, respectively.
The weekly PET combination with G-CSF support represents an active therapeutic approach in chemonaive ED-SCLC patients. However, both ORR and median survival does not seem substantially better than those achievable with a standard regimen. In view of that, and in consideration of the relevant nonhematological toxicity, this approach should not be pursued outside clinical trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a multicenter phase II study to evaluate the clinical efficacy, toxicity, and dose intensity of a new weekly schedule of docetaxel and gemcitabine as first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients.
We enrolled 58 patients, 52% of whom had received a previous anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. The treatment schedule was: docetaxel 35 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1, 8, 15 every 28 days.
All patients were assessable for toxicity and 56 for efficacy. Overall response rate was 64.3% with 16.1% of complete responses and 48.2% of partial responses. Median survival was 22.10 months (95% CI: 15.53-28.67) and median time to tumor progression was 13.6 months (95% CI: 10.71-16.49). The most common hematological toxicity was neutropenia (no febrile neutropenia), which occurred in 28 patients (48.3%) but grade 3-4 in only 8 patients (14%). Alopecia, the most common nonhematological toxicity, occurred in 20 (34.5%) patients, but only 5 patients (8.6%) experienced grade 3 alopecia.
The activity of docetaxel and gemcitabine in metastatic breast cancer is confirmed. The promising results of the employed schedule, in agreement with other published studies, need to be further confirmed within a phase III study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temozolomide (TMZ) is an oral alkylating agent; it produces DNA methyl adducts, which are removed by the DNA repair enzyme AGAT. In vitro studies suggest that CDDP may enhance the antitumor activity of TMZ due to the ability of cisplatin (CDDP) to down-regulate AGAT activity. In a previous phase I study, the combination of TMZ and CDDP was tested, and the recommended dose for each drug was defined. On the basis of these results, we designed a phase II study to evaluate the activity and safety profile of the TMZ-CDDP association in patients with advanced melanoma.
From March 2001 to March 2002, 37 patients with metastatic melanoma, not amenable to surgery, were enrolled in this study. All eligible patients were treated with the combination of CDDP 75 mg/m2 i.v. d 1, TMZ 200 mg/m2 p.o. days 1-5 recycled every 4 weeks. Interferon alpha2b (IFN alpha2b) was administered at the end of chemotherapy to responsive patients at the dose of 5 M.I. U s.c. 3 times a week for 1 year.
A total of 174 courses were administered, with a median number of 4 courses/patient (range 1-10). After chemotherapy, 9 CRs and 9 PRs were observed for an overall response rate of 48.6% (95% C.I., 31.9%-65.6%). One of 5 patients with initial brain metastases showed a complete response to the therapy. Five out of 9 CR patients were still with no evidence of recurrence, ranging from 28+ to 82+ weeks. The median survival time was 48 weeks. The schedule was well tolerated, with the most frequent adverse events reported being nausea and vomiting (59%), alopecia (14%) and fatigue (11%), all well controlled by supportive therapy. Haemotological toxicities were mild to moderate. Side-effects attributable to IFN alpha2b were also mild and manageable.
The combination of TMZ and CDDP seems to be active in untreated patients with advanced melanoma. Absence of recurrence in the majority (5/9; 56%) of CR patients seems to indicate that IFN may act on the duration of the response to chemotherapy. The schedule was well tolerated, with nausea and vomiting as the most frequent adverse events.
Anticancer research 01/2005; 25(2B):1441-7. · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical trials with non-profit promoters are frequently performed in oncology and represent a highly valuable source of information.
To describe the costs of insurance policies and their determinants, data were collected from 12 Italian non-profit promoters of cancer trials. The cost of policies was expressed as per-patient premium.
Sixty-two quotations issued by only two companies were collected, relative to 44 trials proposed for quotation between December 1998 and February 2003. Only the date of quotation was significantly associated with the cost (P = 0.0003) of quotations by Company A for policies with a deductible, with cost increasing over time. Date of quotation (P = 0.0002), sample size (P = 0.008) and number of study arms (P = 0.02) were independently associated with the cost of no-deductible policies quoted by Company A. Only the number of study arms was significantly associated with cost (P = 0.0001) in no-deductible policies quoted by Company B.
There is insufficient competition among companies for insurance of cancer trials with non-profit promoters. Many variables that affect the trial risk profile from a clinical perspective are not associated with insurance cost. Date of quotation is among the strongest determinants of the cost, which has sharply increased over time. This trend may become a serious problem for non-profit promoters of cancer clinical trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gemcitabine is considered the gold standard treatment for unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Intra-arterial drug administration had shown some interesting results in small phase II studies. In this study, patients were randomly assigned to receive gemcitabine at a dose of 1,000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes intravenously weekly for 7 weeks, followed by 1 week of rest, then weekly for 3 weeks every 4 weeks or FLEC: 5-fluoruracil 1,000 mg/m2, leucovorin 100 mg/m2, epirubicin 60 mg/m2, carboplatin 300 mg/m2 infused bolus intra-arterially into celiac axis at a 3-week interval 3 times or 5-fluorouracil 400 mg/m2 plus folinic acid 20 mg/m2 for 5 days every 4 weeks for 6 cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival, while time to treatment failure, response rate, clinical benefit response were secondary endpoints. Sixty-seven patients were randomly allocated gemcitabine and 71 were allocated FLEC intra-arterially. Patients treated with FLEC lived for significantly longer than patients on gemcitabine (p=0.036). Survival at 1 year increased from 21% in the gemcitabine group to 35% in the FLEC group. Median survival was 7.9 months in the FLEC group and 5.8 months in the gemcitabine group. Median time to treatment failure was longer with FLEC (5.3 vs 4.2 months for FLEC vs gemcitabine respectively; p=0.013). Clinical benefit was similar in both groups (17.9% for gemcitabine and 26.7% for FLEC; p=NS). CT-scan partial response was similar in both groups (5.9% for gemcitabine and 14% for FLEC; p=NS). Toxicity profiles were different. Compared with gemcitabine, the FLEC regimen given intra-arterially improved survival in patients with unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.