[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receive only active supportive care because of poor performance status or presence of several comorbidities. We investigated whether erlotinib improves clinical outcome in these patients. METHODS: TOPICAL was a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, done at 78 centres in the UK. Eligibility criteria were newly diagnosed, pathologically confirmed NSCLC; stage IIIb or IV; chemotherapy naive; no symptomatic brain metastases; deemed unsuitable for chemotherapy because of poor (≥2) Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status or presence of several comorbidities, or both; and estimated life expectancy of at least 8 weeks. Patients were randomly assigned (by phone call, in a 1:1 ratio, stratified by disease stage, performance status, smoking history, and centre, block size 10) to receive oral placebo or erlotinib (150 mg per day) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Investigators, clinicians, and patients were masked to assignment. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Analyses were by intention to treat, and prespecified subgroup analyses included development of a rash due to erlotinib within 28 days of starting treatment. This study is registered, number ISRCTN 77383050. FINDINGS: Between April 14, 2005, and April 1, 2009, we randomly assigned 350 patients to receive erlotinib and 320 to receive placebo. We followed up patients until March 31, 2011. 657 patients died; median overall survival did not differ between groups (erlotinib, 3·7 months, 95% CI 3·2-4·2, vs placebo, 3·6 months, 3·2-3·9; unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0·94, 95% CI 0·81-1·10, p=0·46). 59% (178 of 302) of patients assigned erlotinib and who were assessable at 1 month developed first-cycle rash, which was the only independent factor associated with overall survival. Patients with first-cycle rash had better overall survival (HR 0·76, 95% CI 0·63-0·92, p=0·0058), compared with placebo. Compared with placebo, overall survival seemed to be worse in the group that did not develop first-cycle rash (1·30, 1·05-1·61, p=0·017). Grade 3 or 4 diarrhoea was more common with erlotinib than placebo (8% [28 of 334] vs 1% [four of 313], p=0·0001), as was high-grade rash (23% [79 of 334] vs 2% [five of 313], p<0·0001); other adverse events were much the same between groups. INTERPRETATION: Patients with NSCLC who are deemed unsuitable for chemotherapy could be given erlotinib. Patients who develop a first-cycle rash should continue to receive erlotinib, whereas those who do not have a rash after 28 days should discontinue erlotinib, because of the possibility of decreased survival. FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, Roche.
The lancet oncology 10/2012; · 14.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is currently no early predictive marker of survival for patients receiving chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Tumour response may be predictive for overall survival (OS), though this has not been explored. We have thus undertaken a combined-analysis of OS, from a 42day landmark, of 526 patients receiving systemic therapy for MPM. We also validate published progression-free survival rates (PFSRs) and a progression-free survival (PFS) prognostic-index model.
Analyses included nine MPM clinical trials incorporating six European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) studies. Analysis of OS from landmark (from day 42 post-treatment) was considered regarding tumour response. PFSR analysis data included six non-EORTC MPM clinical trials. Prognostic index validation was performed on one non-EORTC data-set, with available survival data.
Median OS, from landmark, of patients with partial response (PR) was 12·8months, stable disease (SD), 9·4months and progressive disease (PD), 3·4months. Both PR and SD were associated with longer OS from landmark compared with disease progression (both p<0·0001). PFSRs for platinum-based combination therapies were consistent with published significant clinical activity ranges. Effective separation between PFS and OS curves provided a validation of the EORTC prognostic model, based on histology, stage and performance status.
Response to chemotherapy is associated with significantly longer OS from landmark in patients with MPM.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 06/2012; 48(16):2983-92. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) surgical series have indicated that the positive prognostic effect of female sex is limited to patients with adenocarcinoma. We carried out a retrospective analysis to investigate the role of sex and histology on efficacy, toxicity, and dose delivery after chemotherapy. Patient and methods: Individual patient data were pooled from five randomized, phase III, advanced NSCLC chemotherapy trials. Primary outcomes were response rate, overall survival (OS), toxicity, and dose delivery. A secondary analysis examined survival by sex in histological subgroups.
Of 2349 patients, 34% were women. Women had a higher response rate to chemotherapy (42% versus 40%, P = 0.01) and longer survival than men (median OS 9.6 versus 8.6 months, P = 0.002). The difference in OS remained after adjusting for age, stage, performance status, and histology (hazard ratio 0.83, 95% confidence interval 0.74-0.92, P = 0.0005). Upon further examination, longer survival in women was only seen in patients with adenocarcinoma (test for interaction P = 0.006). There were no differences in hematological toxicity or transfusions. Women experienced more grade 3-4 emesis than men (P < 0.0001) and more dose delays (P = 0.02) or dose reductions (P < 0.0001).
The positive prognostic effect among women is confirmed in patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy but appears confined to those with adenocarcinoma histology.
Annals of Oncology 03/2010; 21(10):2023-8. · 7.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancers rely on angiogenesis for their growth and dissemination. We hypothesized that thalidomide, an oral antiangiogenic agent, when combined with chemotherapy, and as maintenance treatment, would improve survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Seven hundred twenty-two patients were randomly assigned to receive placebo or thalidomide capsules 100 to 200 mg daily for up to 2 years. All patients received gemcitabine and carboplatin every 3 weeks for up to four cycles. End points were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), response rate, grade 3/4 toxicity, and quality of life (QoL).
The median OS rates were 8.9 months (placebo) and 8.5 months (thalidomide). The hazard ratio (HR) was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.97 to 1.32; P = .12). The 2-year survival rate was 16% and 12% in the placebo and thalidomide arms, respectively. The PFS results were consistent with those for OS. The risk of having a thrombotic event was increased by 74% in the thalidomide group: HR of 1.74 (95% CI, 1.20 to 2.52; P = .003). There were no differences in hematologic toxicities, but a slight excess of rash and neuropathy in the thalidomide group. QoL scores were similar but thalidomide was associated with less insomnia, and more constipation and peripheral neuropathy. In a retrospective analysis, patients with nonsquamous histology in the thalidomide group had a poorer survival: 2-year risk difference of 10% (95% CI, 4% to 16%; P < .001).
In this large trial of patients with NSCLC, thalidomide in combination with chemotherapy did not improve survival overall, but increased the risk of thrombotic events. Unexpectedly, survival was significantly worse in patients with nonsquamous histology.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 09/2009; 27(31):5248-54. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer cells rely on angiogenesis for growth and dissemination, and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly angiogenic tumor. We evaluated thalidomide, an anti-angiogenic agent, when combined with chemotherapy and as maintenance treatment.
A total of 724 patients (51% with limited and 49% with extensive disease) were randomly assigned to receive placebo or thalidomide capsules, 100-200 mg daily for up to 2 years. All patients received etoposide and carboplatin every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. Endpoints were overall survival, progression-free survival, tumor response rate, toxicity, and quality of life (QoL). Hazard ratios (HRs) for comparing thalidomide against placebo were estimated using Cox regression modeling. Statistical tests were two-sided.
The median overall survival was 10.5 months (placebo) and 10.1 months (thalidomide) (HR for death = 1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.93 to 1.27; P = .28). Among patients with limited-stage disease, there was no evidence of a survival difference (HR for death = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.73 to 1.15), but among patients with extensive disease, survival was worse in the thalidomide group (HR for death = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.68). Progression-free survival rates were also similar in the two groups (HR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.92 to 1.24). Thalidomide was associated with an increased risk of having a thrombotic event, mainly pulmonary embolus and deep vein thrombosis (19% thalidomide vs 10% placebo; HR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.41 to 3.20; P < .001). There were no statistically significant differences between treatments in hematological and nonhematological toxic effects, except more patients in the thalidomide group had rash, constipation, or neuropathy. Overall, QoL scores were similar in the two treatment groups, but thalidomide was associated with less insomnia and diarrhea and more constipation and peripheral neuropathy.
In this large randomized trial, thalidomide in combination with chemotherapy did not improve survival of patients with SCLC but was associated with an increased risk of thrombotic events.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The combination of cisplatin and etoposide (PE) has been a standard treatment for patients with poor-prognosis small cell lung cancer (SCLC). This non-inferiority design trial aimed to determine whether the combination of gemcitabine and carboplatin (GC) results in similar survival but is less toxic with better quality of life.
Previously untreated patients with SCLC with extensive disease or limited stage with poor prognostic factors were randomly assigned to six 3-weekly cycles of GC or PE.
241 patients (121 GC, 120 PE) were recruited, of which 216 (90%) had died. There was no difference in overall survival (HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.32). Median survival with GC and PE was 8.0 and 8.1 months, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 5.9 months with GC and 6.3 months with PE. Grade 3 or 4 myelosuppressions were more frequent with GC (anaemia: 14% GC vs 2% PE; leucopenia: 32% GC vs 13% PE; thrombocytopenia: 22% GC vs 4% PE), but these were not associated with increased hospital admissions, infections or fatalities. Grade 2-3 alopecia (68% PE vs 17% GC) and nausea (43% PE vs 26% GC) were more frequent with PE. Patients given GC received more chemotherapy as outpatients (89% GC vs 66% PE of treatment cycles). In QoL questionnaires, more patients receiving PE reported being upset by hair loss (p = 0.004) and impaired cognitive functioning (p = 0.04).
GC is as effective as PE in terms of overall survival and progression-free survival and has a toxicity profile more acceptable to patients. Trial registration number: ISRCTN 39679215.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is almost always fatal, and few treatment options are available. Although active symptom control (ASC) has been recommended for the management of this disease, no consensus exists for the role of chemotherapy. We investigated whether the addition of chemotherapy to ASC improved survival and quality of life.
409 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, from 76 centres in the UK and two in Australia, were randomly assigned to ASC alone (treatment could include steroids, analgesic drugs, bronchodilators, palliative radiotherapy [n=136]); to ASC plus MVP (four cycles of mitomycin 6 mg/m2, vinblastine 6 mg/m2, and cisplatin 50 mg/m2 every 3 weeks [n=137]); or to ASC plus vinorelbine (one injection of vinorelbine 30 mg/m2 every week for 12 weeks [n=136]). Randomisation was done by minimisation, with stratification for WHO performance status, histology, and centre. Follow-up was every 3 weeks to 21 weeks after randomisation, and every 8 weeks thereafter. Because of slow accrual, the two chemotherapy groups were combined and compared with ASC alone for the primary outcome of overall survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered, number ISRCTN54469112.
At the time of analysis, 393 (96%) patients had died (ASC 132 [97%], ASC plus MVP 132 [96%], ASC plus vinorelbine 129 [95%]). Compared with ASC alone, we noted a small, non-significant survival benefit for ASC plus chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] 0.89 [95% CI 0.72-1.10]; p=0.29). Median survival was 7.6 months in the ASC alone group and 8.5 months in the ASC plus chemotherapy group. Exploratory analyses suggested a survival advantage for ASC plus vinorelbine compared with ASC alone (HR 0.80 [0.63-1.02]; p=0.08), with a median survival of 9.5 months. There was no evidence of a survival benefit with ASC plus MVP (HR 0.99 [0.78-1.27]; p=0.95). We observed no between-group differences in four predefined quality-of-life subscales (physical functioning, pain, dyspnoea, and global health status) at any of the assessments in the first 6 months.
The addition of chemotherapy to ASC offers no significant benefits in terms of overall survival or quality of life. However, exploratory analyses suggested that vinorelbine merits further investigation.
The Lancet 06/2008; 371(9625):1685-94. · 39.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rapidly progressive invariably lethal tumor. Treatment options remain limited and the outcome in relapsed disease is poor warranting new therapeutic options. Following our previous experience in the first-line setting, we conducted a phase 2 open-label non-comparative study to assess the safety and efficacy of weekly vinorelbine chemotherapy, each cycle consisting of 30 mg/m(2) for 6 weeks, in patients with previous exposure to chemotherapy. In 63 individuals with relapsed MPM who had not received previous vinorelbine, we observed an objective response rate of 16% and an overall survival of 9.6 months (95% confidence interval 7.3-11.8 months). The main grade III/IV toxicity observed was neutropenia and toxicity was similar to weekly vinorelbine when used in the first-line setting. Weekly vinorelbine appeared to have a reasonable response rate with an acceptable toxicity profile in the second-line treatment of MPM. Its use should be prospectively evaluated in a randomised trial in the first or second-line therapy of MPM.
Lung Cancer 06/2008; 63(1):94-7. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is no standard therapy for relapsed small cell lung cancer (rSCLC). We evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of a new triplet consisting of irinotecan (100 mg/m(2) Days 1 and 15 q28), cisplatin (40 mg/m(2) Days 1 and 15 q28) and mitomycin (6 mg/m(2) d1 q28) administered to a maximum of 6 cycles in individuals with rSCLC that had relapsed following first line treatment. Partial remissions were observed in 35% and progression in 30% of patients. Progression free survival measured 4.5 months (95% CI 0.8-8.2) and overall survival was 7.8 months (95% CI 5.3-10.3). QoL showed improvement in activity symptoms and stabilization of physical symptoms. As IPM was a well-tolerated regimen with activity in rSCLC, a phase III trial comparing this triplet with other regimens in this setting is warranted.
International Journal of Cancer 01/2008; 121(11):2575-7. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rapidly progressive lethal tumor. Treatment options remain limited and the outcome in recurrent disease is poor.
A Phase II open-label noncomparative study was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of the triplet combination irinotecan, cisplatin, and mitomycin-C (IPM) chemotherapy in untreated patients and in those with previous exposure to chemotherapy.
In 62 patients an objective response rate of 25% was observed. In the first-line setting progression-free survival measured 6.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.5-7.3) and overall survival was 10.8 months (95% CI: 7.9-13.7). In the second-line setting progression-free survival was 7.3 months (95% CI: 3.4-11.2) and overall survival was also 7.3 months (95% CI: 4.8-9.8). Psychosocial well-being improved during chemotherapy and the main toxicity observed was neutropenia (40%).
IPM appeared to have a reasonable response rate with an acceptable toxicity profile in the first- and second-line treatment of MPM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an increasing health burden on many societies worldwide and, being generally resistant to conventional treatment, has a poor prognosis with a median survival of <1 year. Novel therapies based on the biology of this tumor seek to activate a proapoptotic cellular pathway. In this study, we investigated the expression and biological significance of argininosuccinate synthetase (AS), a rate-limiting enzyme in arginine production.
Initially, we documented down-regulation of AS mRNA in three of seven MPM cell lines and absence of AS protein in four of seven MPM cell lines. We confirmed that the 9q34 locus, the site of the AS gene, was intact using a 1-Mb comparative genomic hybridization array; however, there was aberrant promoter CpG methylation in cell lines lacking AS expression, consistent with epigenetic regulation of transcription. To investigate the use of AS negativity as a therapeutic target, arginine was removed from the culture medium of the MPM cell lines.
In keeping with the cell line data, 63% (52 of 82) of patients had tumors displaying reduced or absent AS protein, as assessed using a tissue microarray. Cell viability declined markedly in the AS-negative cell lines 2591 and MSTO but not in the AS-positive cell line, 28. This response was apparent by day 4 and maintained by day 9 in vitro. Arginine depletion induced BAX conformation change and mitochondrial inner membrane depolarization selectively in AS-negative MPM cells.
In summary, we have identified AS negativity as a frequent event in MPM in vivo, leading to susceptibility to cytotoxicity following restriction of arginine. A phase II clinical trial is planned to evaluate the role of arginine depletion in patients with AS-negative MPM.
Clinical Cancer Research 01/2007; 12(23):7126-31. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To replicate an earlier National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) trial that examined the effect on survival of the timing of thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) in patients with limited disease small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
Patients received three cycles of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine alternating with three cycles of etoposide and cisplatin. Three hundred twenty five chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-naïve patients were randomly assigned to either early TRT administered concurrently in the second cycle or late TRT administered concurrently with the sixth cycle; the dose was 40 Gy in 15 fractions over 3 weeks.
TRT was received by 92% and 82% of patients in the early and late arms, respectively (P = .01). Sixty-nine percent of patients in the early arm received all six courses of chemotherapy compared with 80% in the late arm (P = .003). There was no evidence of a survival difference; median overall survival time was 13.7 and 15.1 months in the early and late arms, respectively (P = .23). In a meta-analysis of all eight trials that compared early and late TRT, there were three in which the proportion of patients who completed their planned chemotherapy was similar between the TRT arms (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.86) and five in which proportionally fewer patients in the early TRT arm completed their chemotherapy (HR = 1.06; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.17).
This study failed to show a survival advantage for early TRT with chemotherapy in limited-stage SCLC, unlike the NCIC trial. However, the results of a meta-analysis suggest that it is essential to ensure that the delivery of chemotherapy is optimal when administered with early TRT.
Journal of Clinical Oncology 09/2006; 24(24):3823-30. · 18.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 30-40% of non-small cell lung cancer patients will present with metastatic disease, and its associated poor prognosis. Chemotherapy has an established palliative role within late-stage disease, but is also being used increasingly in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. Platinum-based chemotherapy has been shown to produce definite improvements in efficacy and quality of life in non-small cell lung cancer patients, and is now the standard of care. Carboplatin has similar biochemical properties to those of cisplatin. However, carboplatin has much less renal, otologic, neurologic and upper gastrointestinal toxicities than cisplatin, and treatment can be conveniently delivered in an out-patient setting. Furthermore, platinum combinations with third-generation cytotoxics have shown additional gains in survival rates. Gemcitabine and carboplatin is a well-tolerated regime. Recent meta- and cost analyses have discovered that gemcitabine-based regimes may have an advantage over other third-generation agent platinum combinations. This article reviews the evidence demonstrating that gemcitabine-carboplatin is effective, convenient and cost effective.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a highly chemoresistant cancer with a poor prognosis. Hypoxia is a specific property of solid tumours, contributes to low apoptotic potential, and can be selectively targeted by bioreductive drugs. Hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) is a subunit of a heterodimeric transcription complex that regulates several genes associated with tumour progression and anti-apoptosis. In this study, we measured for the first time the expression of HIF-1alpha in MPM. Our results show that HIF-1alpha is commonly expressed in MPM but not in normal mesothelium, consistent with the presence of hypoxia. HIF-1alpha does not appear to predict survival; however, this study suggests that bioreductive drugs should be investigated in clinical trials of MPM.
Lung Cancer 02/2006; 51(1):53-9. · 3.39 Impact Factor