[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether addition of cetuximab to standard adjuvant chemotherapy with gemcitabine improves outcome in pancreatic cancer, specifically whether the rate of disease-free survival (DFS) at 18 months (primary end point) exceeds the previously reported 35% of gemcitabine alone.
Prospective, open-label, multicenter, nonrandomized phase II study in 76 patients with R0- or R1-resected ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas included between October 2006 and November 2008. Gemcitabine and cetuximab were administered for 24 weeks. Secondary end points included overall survival (OS) and toxic effect.
Seventy-three patients received cetuximab. Median DFS was 10.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.9-13.6] months and the DFS rate at month 18 of 27.1% (16.7%-37.6%) was inferior to 35%. Median OS was 22.4 (18.2-27.9) months. Subgroup analyses revealed a nonsignificant increase in DFS for patients with versus without skin toxic effect ≥grade 2 (median 14.7 versus 8.3 months, P = 0.073) and wild-type versus mutated K-Ras (median 11.5 versus 9.3 months, P = 0.57). Grade 3/4 toxic effects included neutropenia (11.0%), thrombopenia (7%), skin toxic effect (7%) and allergic reactions (7%).
Addition of cetuximab to adjuvant gemcitabine does not seem to improve DFS or OS of unstratified pancreatic cancer patients. Trends for improved DFS in patients with wild-type K-Ras and skin toxic effect remain to be confirmed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New therapeutic options for metastatic pancreatic cancer are urgently needed. In pancreatic cancer, overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) has been reported in up to 45%. This multicentre phase II study investigated the efficacy and toxicity of the HER2 antibody trastuzumab combined with capecitabine in the patients with pancreatic cancer and HER2 overexpression.
Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) after 12 weeks. A total of 212 patients were screened for HER2 expression.
Immunohistochemical (IHC) HER2 expression was: 83 (40%) grade 0, 71 (34%) grade 1, 31 (15%) grade 2, 22 (11%) grade 3. A total of 17 patients with IHC +3 HER2 expression or gene amplification could be assessed for the treatment response. Grade 3/4 treatment toxicities were: each 7% leucopenia, diarrhoea, nausea and hand-foot syndrome. Progression-free survival after 12 weeks was 23.5%, median overall survival (OS) 6.9 months.
This study demonstrates +3 HER2 expression or gene amplification in 11% of patients. Contrary to breast and gastric cancer, only 7 out of 11 (64%) patients with IHC +3 HER2 expression showed gene amplification. Although the therapy was well tolerated, PFS and OS did not perform favourably compared with standard chemotherapy. Together, we do not recommend further evaluation of anti-HER2 treatment in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2012; 106(6):1033-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical relevance of colonic bowel wall thickening seen on abdominal CT scans is unknown. Recommendations for further diagnostic procedures are lacking. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate detecting of bowel wall thickening on CT scan and findings that were seen in case of endoscopical evaluation.
The radiological database was retrospectively reviewed for all reports of CT scans from 2003 to 2009 at the University Hospital Regensburg, Germany. Patients with underlying diseases for suspected bowel wall thickening were excluded.
Sixty-two patients with bowel wall thickening were detected. Twenty-one percent (13/62) had generalized bowel wall thickening. In 58%, bowel wall thickening was limited to one segment of the colon (36/62), mostly left sided (25/62). Forty-four percent of patients (27/62) were sent to endoscopy. In 15% (4/27), malignancy was suspected, and it could be histologically confirmed in two patients. Nineteen percent (5/27) had normal endoscopy, and 67% (18/62) showed benign findings.
Colonic bowel wall thickening is not a common finding on CT scan in this study. Consequential endoscopic evaluation was performed in less than 50% of patients. Pathological findings were detected in 80% of these patients. We recommend endoscopical evaluation if bowel wall thickening is reported on CT scan.
International Journal of Colorectal Disease 12/2011; 27(5):601-4. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-directed monoclonal antibody cetuximab combined with oxaliplatin/leucovorin/5-fluorouracil (FUFOX) was assessed in first-line metastatic gastric and oesophago-gastric junction (OGJ) cancer in a prospective phase II study showing a promising objective tumour response rate of 65% and a low mutation frequency of KRAS (3%). The aim of the correlative tumour tissue studies was to investigate the relationship between EGFR gene copy numbers, activation of the EGFR pathway, expression and mutation of E-cadherin, V600E BRAF mutation and clinical outcome of patients with gastric and OGJ cancer treated with cetuximab combined with FUFOX.
Patients included in this correlative study (n = 39) were a subset of patients from the clinical phase II study. The association between EGFR gene copy number, activation of the EGFR pathway, abundance and mutation of E-cadherin which plays an important role in these disorders, BRAF mutation and clinical outcome of patients was studied. EGFR gene copy number was assessed by FISH. Expression of the phosphorylated forms of EGFR and its downstream effectors Akt and MAPK, in addition to E-cadherin was analysed by immunohistochemistry. The frequency of mutant V600E BRAF was evaluated by allele-specific PCR and the mutation profile of the E-cadherin gene CDH1 was examined by DHPLC followed by direct sequence analysis. Correlations with overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP) and overall response rate (ORR) were assessed.
Our study showed a significant association between increased EGFR gene copy number (≥ 4.0) and OS in gastric and OGJ cancer, indicating the possibility that patients may be selected for treatment on a genetic basis. Furthermore, a significant correlation was shown between activated EGFR and shorter TTP and ORR, but not between activated EGFR and OS. No V600E BRAF mutations were identified. On the other hand, an interesting trend between high E-cadherin expression levels and better OS was observed and two CDH1 exon 9 missense mutations (A408V and D402H) were detected.
Our finding that increased EGFR gene copy numbers, activated EGFR and the E-cadherin status are potentially interesting biomarkers needs to be confirmed in larger randomized clinical trials.
Multicentre clinical study with the European Clinical Trials Database number 2004-004024-12.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) than the general population. Furthermore, chronic psychosocial stress increases the likelihood of developing IBD and multiple types of malignant neoplasms, including CRC. Here, for the first time, we investigate the effects of chronic psychosocial stress in male mice on an artificially induced CRC, by employing the chronic subordinate colony (CSC) housing paradigm in combination with the reliable azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) CRC model. Colonoscopy revealed that CSC mice showed accelerated macroscopic suspect lesions. In addition, more CSC mice developed low-grade dysplasia (LGD) and/or high-grade dysplasia (HGD) in the colonic tissue compared to the single-housed control mice (SHC). CSC mice showed an increased number of Ki67+ and a decreased number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling epithelial cells in colonic tissue. Colonic liver receptor homolog-1 (LRH-1), cyclooxygenase II (COXII), tumor necrosis factor, forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) mRNA as well as colonic ß-catenin, COXII, and LRH-1 protein expression were also increased in CSC compared with SHC mice. Although the number of CD4+ Th cells was increased, a tendency toward a decreased colonic interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA expression was observed. Furthermore, despite an increased percentage of CD3+ cells and CD3+/FoxP3+ double-positive cells within mesenteric lymph node cells of CSC mice, IFN-γ secretion from these cells was unaffected. Altogether, our results suggest that chronic psychosocial stress increases the risk for AOM/DSS-induced and, thus, inflammation-related CRC. Finally, assessment of additional time points may test whether the shift from tumor-protective Th1 cell to regulatory T-cell immunity represents a consequence of increased carcinogenesis or a causal factor involved in its development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic alterations within the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway, including KRAS mutations, have been demonstrated to be associated with response to EGFR inhibitors like cetuximab in colorectal cancers. Mutations in the KRAS gene have been found in 70-90% of pancreatic cancers. Unfortunately, the addition of cetuximab to chemotherapy did not increase response or survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in phase II and phase III studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between KRAS mutations and response or survival in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer treated with cetuximab plus chemotherapy.
Within a multicenter phase II trial, 64 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer were treated with cetuximab in combination with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin until disease progression. Analyses of the EGFR pathway, including KRAS mutations, could be performed in 25 patients. Analyses were carried out following microdissection of the tumor.
Fourteen (56%) of the 25 patients examined harbored a point mutation in codon 12 of the KRAS gene. No differences between the groups were noted in median progression-free survival (104 days in KRAS wild-type patients vs. 118 days in patients with KRAS mutations). Overall survival was longer in wild-type patients compared to patients with KRAS mutations (263 vs. 162 days), but the difference did not reach statistical significance. A further analysis of our clinical phase II trial showed that the presence of a rash was significantly correlated with overall survival.
KRAS mutation in codon 12 may be associated with reduced survival compared to KRAS wild type. The role of KRAS mutations for cetuximab therapy in pancreatic cancer warrants further investigation in larger trials to exclude an epiphenomenon. Furthermore, the development of a rash is indicative of clinical benefit.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bolus impaction in the esophagus is a common indication for emergency endoscopy. The aim of this study was to determine the most common causes of esophageal bolus impaction.
In this retrospective study, data of 54 patients (41 male, 13 female) with bolus impaction in the esophagus were analyzed. Type and localization of the bolus and the endoscopic extraction tool used were evaluated. In 48 of 54 patients (89%), biopsy samples were taken of the esophagus for histological examination.
Mean age of the patients was 53 ± 20 years. Fourteen of 54 patients (26%) had experienced bolus impaction previously. Meat bolus (n = 35, 65%) was the most common cause of esophageal obstruction. In most cases, boluses were found in either the distal (n = 31) or the proximal (n = 18) esophagus. In 22 patients (41%), the bolus was pushed into the stomach by the endoscope. In most other cases the bolus, including foreign bodies, could be removed with the 5-arm polyp grasper or alligator forceps. Main causes of bolus impaction were eosinophilic esophagitis (n = 10) or reflux disease with or without peptic stenosis (n = 10), respectively.
Bolus impaction is frequently correlated with eosinophilic esophagitis and reflux esophagitis; therefore, diagnostic workup should include esophageal biopsy sampling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fistulae or leakages of anastomotic junctions of the gastrointestinal tract used to be an indication for surgery. However, patients often are severely ill and endoscopic therapeutic options have been suggested to avoid surgical intervention.
This is a retrospective analysis of fibrin glue application in the treatment of gastrointestinal fistulae or anastomotic leakages.
The aim of this study was to investigate the value of fibrin glue in the treatment of gastrointestinal fistulae and leakages.
From September 1996 to November 2002, 52 patients with gastrointestinal fistulae or insufficiencies have been treated endoscopically including the use of fibrin glue (Tissucol Duo S®, Baxter, Unterschleissheim, Germany). Clinical data comprising concomitant therapies and results were analysed by chart review.
Twenty-six lesions were located in the oesophagus or gastroesophageal junction, 4 in the stomach, 7 in the small intestine, 13 colorectal and 2 in the pancreas. The duration of treatment ranged from 12 to 1,765 days. Two to 81 ml fibrin glue (median 8.5) was used in 1-40 sessions (median 4). All patients received antibiotics; additional endoscopic options were frequently applied. Endoscopic therapy cured 55.7% patients (n = 29); 36.5% (n = 19) were cured with fibrin glue as sole endoscopic option. In 23.1% (n = 12), surgical intervention became necessary. Patients without major infectious complications tended to have a higher cure rate without surgery (87.5% vs. 50%). Eleven patients died (21.1%).
Endoscopic therapy is a valuable option in the treatment of fistulae and anastomotic insufficiencies of the gastrointestinal tract. It usually is applied repeatedly. Fibrin glue is a mainstay of this procedure. Major infectious complications seem to define a subgroup of patients with poorer outcome.
International Journal of Colorectal Disease 03/2011; 26(3):303-11. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cetuximab enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy in several cancer types. This trial assessed the activity of cetuximab and chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer.
Patients with previously untreated, metastatic, gastric cancer received cetuximab 400 mg m(-2) at first infusion followed by weekly infusions of 250 mg m(-2) combined with FUFOX (oxaliplatin 50 mg m(-2), 5-FU 2000 mg m(-2), and DL-folinic acid 200 mg m(-2) d1, 8, 15 and 22 qd36). The primary endpoint was tumour response.
Overall, 52 patients were enrolled. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were diarrhoea (33%), and skin toxicity (24%). Efficacy was evaluable in 46 patients who showed a response rate of 65% (CI 95%: 50-79%) including four complete responses. Time to progression (TTP) was 7.6 months (CI 95%: 5.0-10.1 months) and overall survival (OS) was 9.5 months (CI 95%: 7.9-11.1 months). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was detectable in 60% of tumours but showed no correlation with treatment outcome. A KRAS mutation was found in only 1 of 32 (3%) tumour samples analysed.
Cetuximab plus FUFOX showed an interesting high response rate in metastatic gastric cancer. Cetuximab plus platinum-fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy is at present being investigated in a phase III randomised controlled trial.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2010; 102(3):500-5. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal (GI) tract involvement has been observed in the majority of patients with SSc. This has been attributed to an accumulation of extracellular matrix within the GI walls. We visualized the walls of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum with its layers and measured the thickness in SSc patients and control patients utilizing endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).
Twenty-five SSc patients and 25 controls were evaluated. In addition to analysis of clinical symptoms, endoscopy and EUS (20-MHz miniprobe) were performed. The thickness of the complete wall was measured, and the mucosa, submucosa and muscularis were evaluated separately.
Clinical symptoms of SSc patients were dysphagia (14/25) and heartburn (19/25). Endoscopic findings were hiatal hernia (16/25), oesophagitis (6/25), amotility (19/25) and a dehiscent pylorus (15/25). In comparison with controls, SSc patients had significantly thicker oesophageal [SSc 1.619 (0.454) mm, control 1.392 (0.333) mm; P = 0.025], antral [SSc 1.876 (0.635) mm, control 1.599 (0.291) mm; P = 0.029] and duodenal [SSc 1.730 (0.522) mm, control 1.525 (0.222) mm; P = 0.039] walls. Predominantly, submucosa and muscularis were significantly thicker in SSc patients. The presence of dysphagia or amotility was significantly associated with the thickening of the GI walls.
The EUS revealed a significant thickening of the walls of the upper GI tract in SSc patients. Predominantly, the submucosa and muscularis are enlarged. These results strengthen the hypothesis that increased matrix deposition is an important aspect in the pathogenesis of GI involvement in SSc.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have reported that male gender is an independent risk factor especially for erosive reflux disease (ERD). Non erosive GERD (NERD) is more common in females. The rate of prevalence and severity of reflux symptoms increase in females with age, while among men it peaked between 50 and 70 years and thereafter declined. The gender effect may be caused by differences in parietal cell mass between males and females. Barrett's esophagus is a major complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease and is associated with 30-125 times increased risk of developing carcinoma. Most studies have found gender differences with females significantly less likely to have Barrett's esophagus with a 20-yr age shift between the parallel age specific prevalence curves, for males between the ages of 20 and 59 yr and for females between the ages of 20 and 79 yr. Male predominance for ERD as a precursor to Barrett's esophagus may be partly explain the greater male/female sex ratio for Barrett's esophagus. Female sex hormones may play a protective role. Knowledge of gender-specific differences of reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus may be helpful to improve surveillance and screening strategies, although distinct recommendations are lacking so far .
Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 10/2009; 47(10):1065-8. · 1.41 Impact Factor