[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clear cell sarcoma (CCS), initially named malignant melanoma of soft parts, is an aggressive soft tissue sarcoma (STS) that, due to MITF activation, shares with melanoma the expression of melanocyte differentiation antigens. CCS is poorly sensitive to chemotherapy. Multi-kinase inhibitors have been used as therapeutic agents. In the case we report here, treatment with sunitinib induced a long-lasting clinical response that was associated with an immune activation directed against Melan-A/MART-1 antigen.
A 28 years old female patient with an advanced molecularly confirmed CCS resistant to conventional chemotherapy was started in January 2012 on sunitinib, 37.5 mg/day, with evidence of radiologic and metabolic response at the primary and metastatic sites of disease. Pathologic response and loss of the Melan-A/MART-1 antigen were evidenced on residual tumor removed in April 2012. Immunological monitoring performed on patient's blood during pharmacological treatment revealed a systemic, Melan-A/MART-1 specific immunity and a low frequency of immunosuppressive cells. Sunitinib was restarted in May 2012, with a new response, and continued for 11 months although with repeatedly interruptions due to toxicity. Disease progression and new responses were documented at each treatment interruption and restart. Sunitinib was definitively interrupted in April 2013 for disease progression.
The analysis of this case proves that antigens expressed by CCS, as for melanoma, can be immunogenic in vivo and that tumor-antigen specific T cells may exert anti-tumor activity in CCS patient. Thus, manipulation of the immune response may have therapeutic potential for this STS subtype and immunotherapy approaches, can be promising therapeutic options for these patients.
BMC Cancer 12/2015; 15(1):1044. DOI:10.1186/s12885-015-1044-0 · 3.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND AIM:
Solid demonstrations of superior efficacy of drug-eluting beads trans-arterial chemoembolization with respect to conventional chemoembolization in hepatocellular carcinoma patients are lacking. Aim of the study was to compare these two techniques in two large cohorts of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma patients.
A single Center series of 249 early/intermediate hepatocellular carcinoma patients who underwent "on demand" chemoembolization in the period 2007-2011 was analyzed. Overall survival, time to progression, tumor response rate and safety were compared between 104 patients who underwent conventional chemoembolization and 145 who underwent drug-eluting beads chemoembolization. Time-to-event data were analyzed using the Cox univariate and multivariate regression.
The two cohorts resulted balanced for liver function and tumor stages. Objective response rate was 85.3% after conventional and 74.8% after drug-eluting beads chemoembolization (p = 0.039), and median time to progression was 17 [95% confidence interval: 14-21] vs. 11 months (9-12), respectively (p < 0.001). Treatment regimen was the sole independent predictor of progression at multivariate analysis [hazard ratio = 2.01; 1.45-2.80; p < 0.001]. Median survival was 39 (32-47) and 32 (24-39) months in the two groups, respectively (hazard ratio = 1.33; 0.94-1.87; p = 0.10) but conventional chemoembolization was significantly associated with a survival advantage in patients with bilobar neoplasia, portal hypertension and alpha-fetoprotein above normal limits. No significant differences in severe adverse events were found.
In a large series of Western hepatocellular carcinoma patients, drug-eluting beads chemoembolization with 100-300 µm particles did not seem to improve survival in comparison to conventional chemoembolization, which in turn provided better tumor responses and time to progression.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/jgh.13147 · 3.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to optimize the dosimetric approach and to review the absorbed doses delivered, taking into account radiobiology, in order to identify the optimal methodology for an individualized treatment planning strategy based on (99m)Tc-macroaggregated albumin (MAA) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images.
We performed retrospective dosimetry of the standard TheraSphere® treatment on 52 intermediate (n = 17) and advanced (i.e. portal vein thrombosis, n = 35) hepatocarcinoma patients with tumour burden < 50 % and without obstruction of the main portal vein trunk. Response was monitored with the densitometric radiological criterion (European Association for the Study of the Liver) and treatment-related liver decompensation was defined ad hoc with a time cut-off of 6 months. Adverse events clearly attributable to disease progression or other causes were not attributed to treatment. Voxel dosimetry was performed with the local deposition method on (99m)Tc-MAA SPECT images. The reconstruction protocol was optimized. Concordance of (99m)Tc-MAA and (90)Y bremsstrahlung microsphere biodistributions was studied in 35 sequential patients. Two segmentation methods were used, based on SPECT alone (home-made code) or on coregistered SPECT/CT images (IMALYTICS™ by Philips). STRATOS™ absorbed dose calculation was validated for (90)Y with a single time point. Radiobiology was used introducing other dosimetric variables besides the mean absorbed dose D: equivalent uniform dose (EUD), biologically effective dose averaged over voxel values (BEDave) and equivalent uniform biologically effective dose (EUBED). Two sets of radiobiological parameters, the first derived from microsphere irradiation and the second from external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), were used. A total of 16 possible methodologies were compared. Tumour control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) were derived. The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used as a figure of merit to identify the methodology which gave the best separation in terms of dosimetry between responding and non-responding lesions and liver decompensated vs non-decompensated liver treatment.
MAA and (90)Y biodistributions were not different (71 % of cases), different in 23 % and uncertain in 6 %. Response correlated with absorbed dose (Spearman's r from 0.48 to 0.69). Responding vs non-responding lesion absorbed doses were well separated, regardless of the methodology adopted (p = 0.0001, AUC from 0.75 to 0.87). EUBED gave significantly better separation with respect to mean dose (AUC = 0.87 vs 0.80, z = 2.07). Segmentation on SPECT gave better separation than on SPECT/CT. TCP(50 %) was at 250 Gy for small lesion volumes (<10 cc) and higher than 1,000 Gy for large lesions (>10 cc). Apparent radiosensitivity values from TCP were around 0.003/Gy, a factor of 3-5 lower than in EBRT, as found by other authors. The dose-rate effect was negligible: a purely linear model can be applied. Toxicity incidence was significantly larger for Child B7 patients (89 vs 14 %, p < 0.0001), who were therefore excluded from dose-toxicity analysis. Child A toxic vs non-toxic treatments were significantly separated in terms of dose averaged on whole non-tumoural parenchyma (including non-irradiated regions) with AUC from 0.73 to 0.94. TD50 was ≈ 100 Gy. No methodology was superior to parenchyma mean dose, which therefore can be used for planning, with a limit of TD15 ≈ 75 Gy.
A dosimetric treatment planning criterion for Child A patients without complete obstruction of the portal vein was developed.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 06/2015; 42(11). DOI:10.1007/s00259-015-3068-8 · 5.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventional skeletal chondrosarcoma is a bone neoplasm, which is poorly sensitive to anthracyclines-based chemotherapy. We report on an 18-month-long tumour response to gemcitabine as single agent in a young patient with an advanced secondary peripheral conventional chondrosarcoma, previously treated unsuccessfully with anthracyclines, ifosfamide, platinum, etoposide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present work was to improve the understanding of the impact of malignancy grade and myogenic/rhabdomyoblastic differentiation on the natural course of retroperitoneal liposarcoma. All consecutive patients affected by primary well-differentiated (WD)/dedifferentiated (DD) retroperitoneal liposarcoma, surgically treated at our institution between January 2002 and December 2011, were retrospectively evaluated. Tumors were stained for mdm2 and 5 myogenic markers (smooth muscle actin-α, h-caldesmon, calponin, desmin, myogenin). The French National Federation of the Centers for the Fight Against Cancer (FNCLCC) grading system was applied. Overall survival, crude cumulative incidence of local recurrence, and distant metastases were calculated. Multivariable analyses were carried out. A total of 144 patients were identified. Median follow-up was 68 months (interquartile range: 46 to 104 mo). Fifty-two patients were affected by WD/G1 and 92 by DD liposarcoma. Among the latter, 60 were grade G2 and 32 G3. Myogenic differentiation was present in 54 cases (8/52 WD/G1, 27/60 DD/G2, 18/32 DD/G3). Seven cases had a rhabdomyoblastic DD component (1/60 DD/G2 and 6/32 DD/G3). Five-year overall survival rates were 93%, 57%, and 21% for WD/G1 liposarcoma, G2 DD, and G3 DD liposarcoma, respectively, and 75%, 42%, and 29% for liposarcoma without myogenic differentiation, with myogenic differentiation, with rhabdomyoblastic differentiation, respectively (P<0.001). Of note, 5/6 patients affected by G3 DD liposarcoma with a rhabdomyoblastic component died within 8 months. FNCLCC grade and myogenic differentiation significantly predicted the outcome of retroperitoneal liposarcoma. These should be factored into treatment decision-making and possibly used to stratify patients in clinical trials.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology 01/2015; 39(3). DOI:10.1097/PAS.0000000000000366 · 5.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liposarcomas represent the most common histological type of soft-tissue sarcomas (STS). Its main subgroups, WD/DD, is known to be poorly sensitive to chemotherapy, with few active agents, i.e., anthracyclines +/- ifosfamide and trabectedin. High-dose ifosfamide (HDIFX >12 g/m2) is active in STS pts pretreated with standard-dose IFX, though with greater toxicity. A prolonged continuous-infusion (ci) through a portable external pump may be an alternative way to administer HDIFX.
From March 2002 to August 2013, 28 pts (median age =60, range =37-73 yrs) with advanced disease (6 WD and 22 WD/DD) were given ciHDIFX, at the dose of 14 g/m2 as a 14-day continuous infusion every 4 weeks. Twenty-four pts (86%) were previously treated with chemotherapy (19 with anthracyclines and ifosfamide; 4 with anthracycline monotherapy; 1 with trabectedin).
Seven PR (all in DDLPS), 2 minor response (MR) and 11 SD were observed. Of interest, 6 of 9 patients with PR or MR had had SD with the previous therapy with anthracycline plus ifosfamide. The median progression-free survival was 7 months. Most common side effects were mild myelosuppression (anemia G2-3 in 3 pts; G2-3 neutropenia in 3 pts and G4 in 1; G3 thrombocytopenia in 1 pt); nausea (G3 in 3 pts) and fatigue (G3 in 6 pts). One pts had transient G3 confusion.
These data suggest that ciHDIFX is active in WD/DDLPS, even in patients already treated with a combination of anthracyclines plus ifosfamide. In this series, ciHDIFX regimen was better tolerated than HDIFX in published studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
To explore the activity of pazopanib in solitary fibrous tumour (SFT).
Patients and methods:
In a preclinical study, we compared the activity of pazopanib, sorafenib, sunitinib, regorafenib, axitinib and bevacizumab in a dedifferentiated-SFT (DSFT) xenotransplanted into Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Antiangiogenics were administered at their reported optimal doses when mean tumour volume (TV) was 80 mm(3). Drug activity was assessed as TV inhibition percentage (TVI%). From May 2012, six consecutive patients with advanced SFT received pazopanib, on a national name-based programme. In one case sunitinib was administered after pazopanib failure.
In the xenograft model, pazopanib showed the lowest antitumour activity (21%TVI), while regorafenib was the most active (95%TVI). Sorafenib, bevacizumab, sunitinib were markedly active (78/70/65%TVI). Axitinib was marginally active (51%TVI). In the retrospective case-series, three patients carried malignant-SFT (MSFT), three DSFT. Best Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumour (RECIST) responses were: three stable disease (SD), all MSFT, three progressive disease (PD), all DSFT, corresponding to one partial response (PR), two SD, three PD by Choi criteria. Median-progression-free survival was 3 months (range 1-15). In one patient, sunitinib was started after pazopanib failure, with a response.
In dedifferentiated-SFT xenograft pazopanib induced a marginal antitumour activity, while regorafenib appeared the most active and promising agent. When administered in patients, pazopanib showed a modest activity in terms of tumour growth stabilisation, observed only in non-dedifferentiated cases.
European Journal of Cancer 09/2014; 50(17). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.09.004 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With improvements in the survival rates after childhood cancer, many clinicians have turned their attention to reporting on late effects, and how they might be prevented or treated. In childhood the thyroid gland is especially vulnerable to the carcinogenic action of ionizing radiation. This retrospective study focused on secondary thyroid cancers seen at our institution over more than 30 years (between 1980 and 2012) in patients treated for other malignancies in pediatric age. 36 patients were identified. In most cases, the primary cancer had been Hodgkin disease, and all the patients had been administered radiotherapy for their first malignancy. The secondary thyroid cancers were treated with total thyroidectomy in 27 cases (six with lymphadenectomy), and hemithyroidectomy in nine (one with lymphadenectomy). 12 Patients were also given radiometabolic therapy. All but two had TSH suppression therapy. The histological diagnoses were: 31 papillary and five follicular carcinomas. At 5 and 10 years, the OS was 100 and 95 %, respectively, and the PFS was 96 and 83 %. None of the patients died of their thyroid disease. Nodal involvement at onset was the only factor correlating with recurrence. Surgical sequelae only occurred in patients who underwent total thyroidectomy. Survival in these patients did not depend on the extent of surgery on the thyroid parenchyma. Our data confirm a good prognosis for secondary thyroid cancer, prompting us to encourage a minimalist approach to the treatment of these particular patients wherever possible.
Medical Oncology 08/2014; 31(8):121. DOI:10.1007/s12032-014-0121-6 · 2.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
In planning Yttrium-90 ((90)Y)-radioembolizations, strategy problems arise in tumours with multiple arterial supplies. We aim to demonstrate that tumours can be treated via one main feeding artery achieving flow redistribution by embolizing accessory vessels.
One hundred (90)Y-radioembolizations were performed on 90 patients using glass microspheres. In 19 lesions/17 patients, accessory branches were found feeding a minor tumour portion and embolized. In all 17 patients, the assessment of the complete perfusion was obtained by angiography and single photon emission computerized tomography-computerized tomography (SPECT-CT). Dosimetry, toxicity, and tumor response rate of the patients treated after flow redistribution were compared with the 83 standard-treated patients. Seventeen lesions in 15 patients with flow redistribution were chosen as target lesions and evaluated according to mRECIST criteria.
In all patients, the complete tumor perfusion was assessed immediately before radioembolization by angiography in all patients and after the (90)Y-infusion by SPECT-CT in 15 of 17 patients. In the 15 assessable patients, the response rate in their 17 lesions was 3 CR, 8 PR, and 6 SD. Dosimetric and toxicity data, as well tumour response rate, were comparable with the 83 patients with regular vasculature.
All embolization procedures were performed successfully with no complications, and the flow redistribution was obtained in all cases. Results in term of toxicity, median dose administered, and radiological response were comparable with standard radioembolizations. Our findings confirmed the intratumoral flow redistribution after embolizing the accessory arteries, which makes it possible to treat the tumour through its single main feeding artery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To evaluate the short-term safety and efficacy of the new generation of 70-150 µm drug-eluting beads (M1 DEB) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) as a primary therapy or as a bridge to liver transplantation (LT).
Forty-five consecutive patients underwent TACE with M1 DEB loaded with doxorubicin (DEBDOX/M1). Clinical data were recorded at 12, 24, and 48 h, 7 and 30 days after treatment. Response was assessed by computed tomographic scan according to the modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors criteria, and a second DEBDOX/M1 TACE was scheduled within 6 weeks in case of a noncomplete response.
All patients had well-compensated cirrhosis (97.7 % Child A, 44.4 % hepatitis C virus, median age 61 years). Twenty patients (44.4 %) had Barcelona Clinic for Liver Cancer class B disease; the median number of nodules and their sum of diameters were 2 (range 1-6) and 43 mm (range 10-190), respectively. The mean number of TACE procedures per patient was 1.4. Objective response rate (complete + partial response) was 77.7 % with a median time to best response of 3 months (95 % confidence interval 2-4). In 13 patients, DEBDOX/M1 TACE served as a bridge/downstaging to LT/surgery. Pathology showed that more than 90 % necrosis was achieved in 10 of 28 nodules. DEBDOX/M1 TACE was well tolerated, and the grade 3/4 adverse event rate was low (1 of 65 procedures).
DEBDOX/M1 TACE is an effective procedure with a favorable safety profile and promising results in terms of objective response rate, tumor downstaging, and necrosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a rare soft tissue sarcoma, marked by NR4A3 rearrangement. Herein we report on the activity of sunitinib in a series of 10 patients, strengthening what initially observed in two cases.
From July 2011, 10 patients with progressive metastatic translocated EMC have been consecutively treated with sunitinib 37.5mg/day, on a named-use basis. In an attempt to interpret the activity of sunitinib in EMC, genotype/phenotype correlations were carried out by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses. Moreover, transcriptome, immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses of a limited set of samples were performed focusing on some putative targets of sunitinib.
Eight of 10 patients are still on therapy. Six patients had a Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) partial response (PR), two were stable, two progressed. Positron emission tomography (PET) was consistent in 6/6 evaluable cases. One patient underwent surgery after sunitinib, with evidence of a pathologic response. At a median follow-up of 8.5months (range 2-28), no secondary resistance was detected. Median progression free survival (PFS) has not been reached. Interestingly, all responsive cases turned out to express the typical EWSR1-NR4A3 fusion, while refractory cases carried the alternative TAF15-NR4A3 fusion. Among putative sunitinib targets, only RET was expressed and activated in analysed samples.
This report confirms the therapeutic activity of sunitinib in EMC. Genotype/phenotype analyses support a correlation between response and EWSR1-NR4A3 fusion. Involvement of RET deserves further investigation.
European journal of cancer (Oxford, England: 1990) 04/2014; 50(9). DOI:10.1016/j.ejca.2014.03.013 · 5.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a rare soft tissue sarcoma, marked by NR4A3 rearrangement. Herein we report on the activity of sunitinib in a series of 10 patients, strengthening what initially observed in two cases.
Patients and methods
From July 2011, 10 patients with progressive metastatic translocated EMC have been consecutively treated with sunitinib 37.5 mg/day, on a named-use basis. In an attempt to interpret the activity of sunitinib in EMC, genotype/phenotype correlations were carried out by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses. Moreover, transcriptome, immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses of a limited set of samples were performed focusing on some putative targets of sunitinib.
Eight of 10 patients are still on therapy. Six patients had a Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) partial response (PR), two were stable, two progressed. Positron emission tomography (PET) was consistent in 6/6 evaluable cases. One patient underwent surgery after sunitinib, with evidence of a pathologic response. At a median follow-up of 8.5 months (range 2–28), no secondary resistance was detected. Median progression free survival (PFS) has not been reached. Interestingly, all responsive cases turned out to express the typical EWSR1–NR4A3 fusion, while refractory cases carried the alternative TAF15–NR4A3 fusion. Among putative sunitinib targets, only RET was expressed and activated in analysed samples.
This report confirms the therapeutic activity of sunitinib in EMC. Genotype/phenotype analyses support a correlation between response and EWSR1–NR4A3 fusion. Involvement of RET deserves further investigation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Pazopanib achieved the end point of clinical activity in pretreated patients with urothelial cancer in a single-group, phase 2 trial. The objective was to identify biological predictors of clinical benefit to pazopanib in these patients.
EDTA blood samples were collected at baseline (T0) and after 4 weeks (T1) of treatment, together with radiological imaging in all 41 patients to analyse plasma circulating angiogenic factor levels by multiplex ELISA plates. Changes from T0 to T1 in marker levels were matched with response with the covariance analysis. Univariable and multivariable analyses evaluated the association with overall survival (OS), adjusted for prespecified clinical variables. Net reclassification improvement (NRI) tested the performance of the recognised Cox model.
Increasing IL8(T1) level associated with lower response probability at covariance analysis (P=0.010). Both IL8(T0) (P=0.019) and IL8(T1) (P=0.004) associated with OS and the prognostic model, including clinical variables and IL8(T1) best-predicted OS after backward selection. The NRI for this model was 39%.When analysed as a time-varying covariate, IL8(T1) level<80 pg ml(-1) portended significantly greater response (∼80%) and 6-month OS (∼60%) probability than level ≥ 80.
IL8-level changes during pazopanib allowed for a prognostic improvement and were associated with response probability.
British Journal of Cancer 11/2013; 110(1). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.719 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trans-arterial radioembolization (TARE) with yttrium-90 induces tumor necrosis and
delays progression of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). TARE+sorafenib combinations may
further enhance objective tumor response. However, efficacy and safety of combo therapies have been
scarcely studied. This study aimed at investigating in two case/time-matched cohorts the added value of
sorafenib to TARE in unresectable HCC.
Material and methods
Out of 118 HCCs treated with TARE (Therasphere ®) between Dec 2010 and Dec 2012, a group of 15 patients who underwent the procedure while being on sorafenib (previously started in other Institutions) was identified (Group 1: study group). A second group of 30 patients who underwent TARE alone for similar tumor stages and well-balanced baseline liver function, was randomly extracted from a prospectively collected database (Group 2: controls). Treatment efficacy was investigated as progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) by means of Kaplan Meier method and compared with the Log-rank test. Along with patients/tumor parameters, response rate (according to RECIST 1.1 and EASL criteria), liver decompensation (LD) and time to LD were analyzed.
Baseline characteristics of the two groups did not statistically differ in terms of liver function, tumor burden
and performance status. 80% of patients in both groups were BCLC C stage because of portal vein
thrombosis (PVT) and all patients were Child-Pugh A. Patients in Group 1 had started sorafenib at a median
time of 2 months prior to TARE; median time on sorafenib was 9 months and median dose was 600 mg/day.
Five patients (33%) withdrew sorafenib after TARE (four of them because of LD, one due to tumor progression) while the remaining 10 were on therapy at the time of death or last follow-up. No significant differences in patients' outcome among the two groups were identified (median PFS 6 months in TARE+sorafenib vs. 7 months in TARE alone, p=0.935; median OS 10 vs. 10 months, p= 0.711). Objective response rate (ORR: complete + partial response) according to RECIST was 45.5% in Group 1 vs. 42.3% in Group 2 (p=1.0); ORR according to EASL was 10% in Group 1 vs. 40% in Group 2 (p=0.12). LD occurred within 6 months from treatment in 53.3% of Group 1 vs. 43.3% in Group 2 (p=0.526) and median time to decompensation was 5 vs. 8 months respectively (p=0.518). No influence on results of PVT, dosing and tumor burden was found.
The association of sorafenib does not seem to delay progression nor prolong survival in HCC patients treated with TARE. Liver toxicity and decompensation does not differ among the two therapeutic regimens.