[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An increasing proportion of cancer patients are aged >65 years and many are aged >70 years. Treatment of the elderly with lung cancer has, therefore, become an important issue; so we performed a retrospective study of our patients to demonstrate how elderly patients with NSCLC are treated in real-life, clinical practice. All patients aged ≥70 years with NSCLC at our department were reviewed retrospectively. In total, 1059 patients (50.8% of all NSCLC patients). Of these patients, 243 (22.9%) received chemotherapy, 164 (70.4%) of whom were treated with a platinum doublet using carboplatin. Second- and third-line chemotherapy were given to 31.4% and 13.9% of patients, respectively. Median overall survival was 289 and 320 days for male and female patients, respectively. Patients with performance status (PS) 0 experienced significantly better survival than patients with PS1 or PS 2: 410, 314, and 204 days, respectively. Age was of less importance, with patients aged 70–79 years versus those aged ≥80 years. Treatment of elderly NSCLC patients with chemotherapy is feasible if they have a good PS and appears to prolong survival. In this study, we found no significant differences in survival either between age groups or genders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
First-line pemetrexed-cisplatin (Pem-Cis) induction therapy followed by Pem maintenance, and first-line bevacizumab- (Bev-) based therapy are treatment options for patients with advanced non-squamous NSCLC. This study explored efficacy and safety of first-line induction Pem-Cis + Bev followed by maintenance Pem + Bev.
Materials and methods
Patients with ECOG performance status (PS) 0-1 were scheduled to receive 4 cycles Pem 500 mg/m2, Cis 75 mg/m2, and Bev 7.5 mg/kg, given every 21 days. In absence of progressive disease (PD) and if ECOG-PS ≤1, patients could continue Pem + Bev maintenance until PD or unacceptable toxicity. All patients received vitamin supplementation as per Pem label. Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), response rate, and toxicity.
109 patients received induction therapy (median age 61yrs, ECOG-PS 0/1 54/46%, stage IIIB/IV 9/91%, adenocarcinoma 91%), 72 patients (66.1%) started maintenance therapy. Median (maximum) numbers of cycles were 4 (4) for Cis and 8 (34) for Pem + Bev. Overall, median PFS and OS were 6.9 (90%CI 5.7-8.3) and 14.7 (95%CI 11.5-19.7) months. For patients starting maintenance therapy, median (95%CI) PFS and OS were 9.4 (7.2-11.5) and 19.7 (14.9-25.9) months. Overall response and disease control rates were 42.2% and 67.9%, respectively. Two patients died from study-treatment related toxicity (gastrointestinal hemorrhage, aspiration pneumonia; both during induction therapy). Most common G3/4 toxicities were neutropenia (25.7%) and fatigue (14.7%); hypertension was less common (5.5%).
Patients with advanced NS-NSCLC eligible for Bev-treatment may derive clinical benefit at acceptable toxicity from the addition of Bev to both Pem-Cis induction and Pem maintenance therapy; however, this is not an approved combination regimen.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01004250
Lung Cancer 10/2014; 86(1). DOI:10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.07.003 · 3.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Home-based care in oncology is mainly reserved for patients at the end of life. Regulations regarding home delivery of cytotoxics differ across Europe, with a notable lack of practice guidelines in most countries. This has led to a lack of data addressing the feasibility of home-based administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy. In advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, pemetrexed is approved as maintenance therapy after first-line chemotherapy. In this setting, patients have the potential to be treated long-term with maintenance therapy, which, in the absence of unacceptable toxicity, is continued until disease progression. The favourable safety profile of pemetrexed and the ease of its administration by 10-minute intravenous infusion every 3 weeks make this drug a suitable candidate for administration in a home setting.
Literature and regulations relevant to the home-based delivery of cytotoxic therapy were reviewed, and a phase II feasibility study of home administration of pemetrexed maintenance therapy was designed. At least 50 patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0--1 and no progressive disease after four cycles of platinum-based first-line therapy are required to allow investigation of the feasibility of home-based administration of pemetrexed maintenance therapy (500 mg/m2 every 3 weeks until progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity). Feasibility is being assessed as adherence to the home-based administration process (primary endpoint), patient safety, impact on patients' quality of life, patient and physician satisfaction with home care, and healthcare resource use and costs. Enrolment of patients from the UK and Sweden, where home-based care is relatively well developed, commenced in December 2011.
This feasibility study addresses an important aspect of maintenance therapy, that is, patient comfort during protracted home-based chemotherapy. The study design requires unusual methodology and specific logistics to address outcomes relevant to the home-delivery approach. This article presents a study design that offers a novel and reproducible model for home-based chemotherapy, and provides an up-to-date overview of the literature regarding this type of treatment.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01473563.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 10/2013; 11(1):163. DOI:10.1186/1477-7525-11-163 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is challenging. The first available diagnostic material is often an effusion and biochemical analysis of soluble markers may provide additional diagnostic information. This study aimed to establish a predictive model using biomarkers from pleural effusions, to allow early and accurate diagnosis.
Effusions were collected prospectively from 190 consecutive patients at a regional referral centre. Hyaluronan, N-ERC/mesothelin, C-ERC/mesothelin, osteopontin, syndecan-1, syndecan-2, and thioredoxin were measured using ELISA and HPLC. A predictive model was generated and validated using a second prospective set of 375 effusions collected consecutively at a different referral centre.
Biochemical markers significantly associated with mesothelioma were hyaluronan (odds ratio, 95% CI: 8.82, 4.82-20.39), N-ERC/mesothelin (4.81, 3.19-7.93), CERC/mesothelin (3.58, 2.43-5.59) and syndecan-1 (1.34, 1.03-1.77). A two-step model using hyaluronan and N-ERC/mesothelin, and combining a threshold decision rule with logistic regression, yielded good discrimination with an area under the ROC curve of 0.99 (95% CI: 0.97-1.00) in the model generation dataset and 0.83 (0.74-0.91) in the validation dataset, respectively.
A two-step model using hyaluronan and N-ERC/mesothelin predicts mesothelioma with high specificity. This method can be performed on the first available effusion and could be a useful adjunct to the morphological diagnosis of mesothelioma.
PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e72030. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072030 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current paradigm is that untreated lung cancer is invariably and rapidly fatal, therefore the medical community normally dismisses the idea that a patient could live with such a disease for years without any therapy.Yet, evidence from lung cancer screening research and from recent clinical series suggests that, although rarely recognized in routine practice, slow-growing lung cancers do exist and are more common than previously thought.Current evidence is reviewed and clinical cases are illustrated to show that slow-growing lung cancer is a real clinical entity, and the reasons why management protocols developed in the screening setting may also be useful in clinical practice are discussed. Features suggesting that a lung cancer may be slow-growing are described and appraised, areas of uncertainty are examined, modern management options for early-stage disease are appraised, and the influence that all this knowledge might have on our clinical decision-making is weighed. Further research directed at developing appropriate guidelines for these peculiar but increasingly common patients is warranted.
European Respiratory Journal 05/2013; 42(6). DOI:10.1183/09031936.00186212 · 7.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequential administration of chemotherapeutic drugs might have advantages: additive toxicity is avoided and the individual drugs can be given in full dosages. The Swedish group earlier found the combination of gemcitabine and carboplatin to be effective and with acceptable toxicity. The group therefore decided to add docetaxel in a sequential way in a randomized phase II study. Patients were randomized to either gemcitabine or carboplatin for six cycles or the same regimen for three cycles followed by weekly single agent docetaxel. The primary objective was time to progression (TTP). One hundred and twenty-three patients with performance status WHO 0-2 and with earlier un-treated non-small cell lung cancer with measurable stage IIIB disease, not amenable to curative treatment, or stage IV disease without known metastatic spread to the CNS, were enrolled. Hematological toxicity was more common in the GC group but clinically significant bleeding or leucopenic fever occurred only in a minority of patients. No complete responses were noted. Partial response (PR) was observed in 19.3% and 20.8% in the GC and GCD group, respectively. Progression-free survival was 5.6 and 4.8 months and overall survival time 10.6 and 10.1 months in the GC and GCD groups, respectively. Thus, sequential treatment with docetaxel after treatment with gemcitabine and carboplatin did not improve time to progression, response rates, or overall survival.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The village of Karain, Turkey, has the world's highest prevalence rate of malignant mesothelioma (MM). Environmental exposure to erionite is thought to cause the disease. However, it has also been suggested that the disease is mainly genetic. Residents in Karain village were traced from 1990 to 2006. Mineral samples were obtained from stones used in construction of their houses and any fibers present were identified. All women who had moved to the village as brides were traced and their cause of death determined. MM was the cause of death in 52 of 322 villagers, representing 50.5% of all deaths. Only 2 of 8 types of stones used in construction contained erionite, and these stones had been used almost exclusively in the mid-sections of the village, where MM was common. In houses not containing erionite, no cases of MM were observed. Sixty-four women came as brides to Karain from villages where erionite or asbestos is not found. Of the 16 women who have died, 11 (69%) died from MM. The extreme risk of MM in Karain is due to indoor exposure to erionite. The effect of genetic factors on mesothelioma development cannot be evaluated in this study, but is likely to be minor.
Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health 04/2010; 65(2):86-93. DOI:10.1080/19338240903390305 · 0.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At least four of the sultans who ruled during the 19th century suffered from tuberculosis (TB), and probably many of the women and children in the harem too. Life there was crowded with low standards of hygiene, resulting in high mortality, especially among children. Infectious diseases were the main killers and TB was one of the many factors behind the decline and fall of the empire.
Journal of Medical Biography 09/2009; 17(3):170-3. DOI:10.1258/jmb.2009.009012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Material from 117 consecutive patients with lung cancer was investigated with respect to serological markers for chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection. Specific C. pneumoniae IgA antibodies were found significantly more often in patients with lung cancer than in control groups with coronary heart disease and in healthy controls, even after adjustment for smoking. The results suggest that chronic C. pnmmoniae infection is common in patients with lung cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma has a poor prognosis and there is limited effect of treatment. The Nordic Mesothelioma groups decided in the year 2000 to investigate a combination of liposomized doxorubicin, carboplatin, and gemcitabine for this disease in a phase II study.
From January 2001, to December 2003, 173 evaluable patients with biopsy-verified malignant mesothelioma were included. Two patients were lost to follow-up, but all the others were followed for at least 4 years or until death.
Toxicity was fairly low. There were 56 responses (32.4%), of which 2 were complete; the median time to progression was 8.6 months, and the median overall survival was 13 months. Some patients had their responses 4 to 6 months after last treatment. For 116 patients with epitheloid subtype, median survival was 17 months. A subgroup of these patients with good performance status, early stage, and age 70 years or less, showed a median survival of 22 months.
The treatment yields good results with a high number of responses and long survival, and a low toxicity. The long survival of the epitheloid subgroup with good prognostic factors is as good as or even better than some studies on "radical" surgery or multimodal treatment, underlining the need of randomized studies to evaluate such treatment options.
Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 12/2008; 3(11):1325-31. DOI:10.1097/JTO.0b013e31818b174d · 5.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate weekly induction chemotherapy followed by weekly concomitant chemoradiotherapy in a multicentre phase II study of patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC; stage wet IIIB excluded).
Eligible patients received three weekly cycles of paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC2 followed by six weekly cycles of paclitaxel 60 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC2 in combination with thoracic radiotherapy (2 Gy per fraction and day to a total dose of 60 Gy).
Sixty-four patients (40 males and 24 females) with a median age of 63 years (range, 43-79 years) entered the study. T and N stage were distributed as follows: T1 2 patients (3.2%), T2 10 patients (15.6%), T3 15 patients (23.4%), T4 37 patients (57.8%); N0 10 patients (15.6%), N1 1 patient (1.6%), N2 26 patients (40.6%), N3 26 patients (40.6%), and N missing 1 patient (1.6%). Seven patients (10.9%) suffered from grade 3/4 oesophagitis. Grade 1/2 oesophagitis occurred in 36 patients (56.3%) and pneumonitis grade 1/2 occurred in 10 patients (15.6%). Sixty-three patients were evaluated on an intent-to-treat basis. The overall response rate was 74.6%. The median time to progression was 247 days and median overall survival was 461 days. According to subgroup analyses, no statistically significant differences were noted according to gender, age (<65 vs. > or =65 years), performance status, histology, or study centre.
Induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy with weekly cycles of paclitaxel and carboplatin is feasible and generates moderate toxicity. Efficacy is comparable to other recently published regimens. However, prognosis remains, in general, poor for this group of patients and further work to develop better therapy is required.
Anticancer research 09/2008; 28(5B):2851-7. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present paradigm is that slow-growing and clinically unimportant lung cancers are very rare. Over the years, convincing evidence for their existence in significant numbers has been dismissed, but with computerized tomography scanning being increasingly common, their reality can no longer be denied. The time is now ripe for a paradigm shift--with consequences for screening as well as clinical practice in the future. The doubling time of the tumor is probably the most important factor for survival of the patient, and research on how to measure this figure is urgent. Age, smoking habits, and comorbidities of the patient are now the main factors when discussing treatment with the patient; once we can predict the behavior of the cancer, i.e., whether it is indolent or actually threatens the patient's life, we will be able to give better advice.
Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 04/2008; 3(3):208-11. DOI:10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181653ce3 · 5.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has a poor prognosis and there is limited effect of treatment. Lately, pemetrexed and cisplatin have been established as the standard treatment.
The present study was planned in 1998, when there was no standard treatment. Single-dose doxorubicine had, in small studies, accomplished remissions, and the Scandinavian Mesothelioma Groups therefore decided to test a liposomized form of this drug, which had shown limited toxicity but good efficacy in a few small studies.
Fifty-four evaluable patients with histologically verified and inoperable MPM were treated with liposomized doxorubicine 40 mg/m(2), every 4 weeks for six cycles.
In all, 29 patients (54%) received at least six treatments. The quality of life remained good during the study. Hematologic toxicity was very low. Palmo-plantar erythema occurred in 11 patients (20%), thereof 7 grade II but none was severe and none was dose-limiting. There were four partial responses (7%). The median time to progression (TTP) was 5 months, the median survival was 12 months, and at 24 months, 22% were still alive.
Liposomized doxorubicine has a low toxicity and is well tolerated; there were a remarkably long TTP and a good survival. Thus, despite the low response rate, liposomized doxorubicine remains an interesting drug for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma.