[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) imposes a substantial burden on patients, health care systems and society due to increasing incidence and poor survival rates. In recent years, advances in the treatment of metastatic NSCLC have resulted from the introduction of targeted therapies. However, the application of these new agents increases treatment costs considerably. The objective of this article is to review the economic evidence of targeted therapies in metastatic NSCLC.
A systematic literature review was conducted to identify cost-effectiveness (CE) as well as cost-utility studies. Medline, Embase, SciSearch, Cochrane, and 9 other databases were searched from 2000 through April 2013 (including update) for full-text publications. The quality of the studies was assessed via the validated Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) instrument.
Nineteen studies (including update) involving the MoAb bevacizumab and the Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib met all inclusion criteria. The majority of studies analyzed the CE of first-line maintenance and second-line treatment with erlotinib. Five studies dealt with bevacizumab in first-line regimes. Gefitinib and pharmacogenomic profiling were each covered by only two studies. Furthermore, the available evidence was of only fair quality.
First-line maintenance treatment with erlotinib compared to Best Supportive Care (BSC) can be considered cost-effective. In comparison to docetaxel, erlotinib is likely to be cost-effective in subsequent treatment regimens as well. The insights for bevacizumab are miscellaneous. There are findings that gefitinib is cost-effective in first- and second-line treatment, however, based on only two studies. The role of pharmacogenomic testing needs to be evaluated. Therefore, future research should improve the available evidence and consider pharmacogenomic profiling as specified by the European Medicines Agency. Upcoming agents like crizotinib and afatinib need to be analyzed as well.
BMC Pulmonary Medicine 12/2014; 14(1):192. · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the levels of circulating copeptin in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and to evaluate its relation with disease severity, outcome and response to treatment.
Vasopressin is a key regulator of body fluid homeostasis. The co-secreted protein copeptin serves as surrogate for plasma vasopressin levels and increases in acute and chronic left ventricular dysfunction. Copeptin has not been studied in PAH.
Serum copeptin levels were evaluated in a retrospective cohort of 92 treatment-naive patients with PAH, 39 patients with normal right ventricular hemodynamics (diseased controls) and 14 apparently healthy individuals (healthy controls). In a second prospective cohort of 15 patients with PAH, serial changes of copeptin levels after initiation of PAH treatment were measured. Copeptin levels were compared with clinical, biochemical and hemodynamic parameters as well as response to treatment and clinical outcome.
Circulating copeptin levels were elevated in PAH patients compared to diseased controls (20.1 pmol/l vs. 5.1 pmol/l; p = 0.001). Baseline levels of copeptin correlated with NYHA functional class (r = 0.46;p = 0.01), 6 minute walking distance (r = -0.26; p = 0.04), NT-proBNP (r = 0.49, p = 0.01), creatinine (r = 0.39, p = 0.01) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (r = -0.32, p = 0.01). Copeptin levels did not correlate with hemodynamics but decreased after initiation of PAH therapy (p = 0.001). Elevated copeptin levels were associated with shorter survival (p < 0.001) and independent predictors of mortality in a multiple Cox regression analysis (HR1.4; 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.0; p = 0.02).
Patients with PAH had elevated copeptin levels. High circulating levels of copeptin were independent predictors of poor outcome, which makes copeptin a potentially useful biomarker in PAH.
Respiratory research 11/2013; 14(1):130. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At present only few studies directly compare the diagnostic yield of endobronchial ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration (EBUS-FNA) and transcervical video-assisted mediastinoscopy (TM) for mediastinal lymph node staging in patients with NSCLC. If and when EBUS-FNA may replace TM as Gold Standard remains controversial.
From April 2008 to December 2009, 36 patients with mediastinal lymphadenopathy underwent simultaneous EBUS-FNA/ TM at our institution. Among them were 26 patients with confirmed or suspected NSCLC.
A total of 133 samples were obtained by EBUS-FNA and 157 samples by TM. EBUS-FNA achieved significantly less conclusive, but more indeterminate pathological results in comparison to TM (78.7% vs. 98.6%, p < 0.001; 14.9% vs. 1.4%, p = 0.007). Less paratracheal nodes were sampled by EBUS-FNA (right: 46.2% vs. 88.5%, p = 0.003; left: 23.1% vs. 65.4%, p = 0.005), while sampling rates in the subcarinal localisation were comparable (96.2% vs. 80.8%, p = NS). Among patients with confirmed NSCLC and conclusive EBUS-FNA/ TM findings (n = 18), the prevalence of N2/N3 disease was 66.7% (n = 12) according to TM findings. Diverging nodal stages were found in five patients (27.8%). Three patients who were N2 negative in EBUS-FNA were upstaged to N2 or N3 by TM, two patients with N2 status in EBUS-FNA were upstaged to N3 by TM.
Compared to TM, EBUS-FNA had a lower diagnostic yield and resulted in systematic mediastinal nodal understaging. At this point we suggest corroborating negative EBUS-FNA results by transcervical mediastinoscopy.
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 06/2012; 7:51. · 0.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is influenced by environmental and genetic factors. An important fraction of COPD cases harbor a major genetic determinant, inherited ZZ (Glu342Lys) alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). A study was undertaken to investigate gene expression patterns in end-stage COPD lungs from patients with and without AATD. METHODS: Explanted lungs of end-stage ZZ AATD-related (treated and non-treated with AAT augmentation therapy) and "normal" MM COPD, and liver biopsies from patients suffering from liver cirrhosis with and without ZZ AATD were used for gene expression analysis by Affymetrix microarrays or RT-PCR. RESULTS: A total of 162 genes were found to be differentially expressed (p-value [less than or equal to] 0.05 and |FC| [greater than or equal to] 2) between MM and ZZ COPD patients. Of those, 134 gene sets were up-regulated and 28 were down-regulated in ZZ relative to MM lung tissue. A subgroup of genes, zinc finger protein 165, snail homolog 1 (Drosophila) (SNAI1), and Kruppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) 4 (gut), 9 and 10, perfectly segregated ZZ and MM COPD patients. The higher expression of KLF 9 and KLF10 has been verified in the replication cohort with AATD-related end-stage lung emphysema and liver cirrhosis. Furthermore, higher expression of KLF9, SNAI1 and DEFA1 was found in ZZ COPD lungs without augmentation therapy relative to MM COPD or ZZ COPD with augmentation therapy. CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal the involvement of transcriptional regulators of the zinc-finger family in COPD pathogenesis and provide deeper insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms of COPD with and without AATD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in the control of angiogenesis and vascular remodeling. Specific miRNAs in plexiform vasculopathy of severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in humans have not yet been investigated.
We analyzed expression of miR-143/145 (vascular smooth muscle-specific), miR-126 (endothelial-specific) and related mRNAs in plexiform (PLs) and concentric lesions (CLs), which had been laser-microdissected from specimens of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, explanted lungs of PAH patients (n = 12) and unaffected controls (n = 8). Samples were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry.
Expression levels of miR-143/145 and its target proteins (e.g., myocardin, smooth muscle myosin heavy chain) were found to be significantly higher in CLs than in PLs, whereas miR-126 and VEGF-A were significantly up-regulated in PLs when compared with CLs, indicating a more prominent angiogenic phenotype of PL. This correlates with a down-regulation of miR-204 as well as an up-regulation of miR-21 in PLs, which in turn corresponds to enhanced cell proliferation.
Our findings show that morphologic changes of plexiform vasculopathy in the end-stage PAH lung are reflected by alterations at the miRNA level.
The Journal of heart and lung transplantation: the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 04/2012; 31(7):764-72. · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current guidelines for the treatment of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) recommend basing therapeutic decision-making on haemodynamic, functional and biochemical variables. Most of these parameters have been evaluated as risk predictors at the time of diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to assess the prognostic impact of changes in these parameters after initiation of targeted therapy. A cohort of 109 patients with IPAH who had undergone haemodynamic, functional and biochemical assessments at baseline and 3-12 months after initiation of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)-targeted therapy, were followed for a median 38 months in order to determine predictors of mortality at baseline and during the course of their disease. Within the observation period, 53 (48.6%) patients died and four (3.7%) underwent lung transplantation. Kaplan-Meier estimates for transplantation-free survival were 92%, 67%, and 51% at 1, 3, and 5 yrs, respectively. Among baseline variables, 6-min walk distance, right atrial pressure, cardiac index, mixed-venous oxygen saturation (S(v,O(2))) and N-terminal-pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) were independent predictors of survival. During follow-up, changes in World Health Organization functional class, cardiac index, S(v,O(2)) and NT-proBNP proved significant predictors of outcome. When assigned to prognostic groups, improvements as well as deteriorations in these parameters after initiation of PAH-targeted therapy had a strong impact on survival. Measurements obtained at follow-up had a higher predictive value than variables obtained at baseline. Changes in established predictors of outcome during the course of the disease provide important prognostic information in patients with IPAH.
European Respiratory Journal 09/2011; 39(3):589-96. · 6.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary emphysema, defined as permanent abnormal enlargement of peripheral airspaces of the lung is a major component of
chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Despite the increasing importance of emphysema its pathogenesis remains poorly
understood. The association between emphysema and a hereditary deficiency of αl-antitrypsin led to the development of the
protease-antiprotease hypothesis in emphysema. The concept is that activated inflammatory cells in the lung release several
serine proteinases and matrix metalloproteinases, which destroy the lung tissue, overwhelming local antiprotease activities.
Since the protease-antiprotease hypothesis may not be able to explain all conditions that lead to airspace enlargement new
concepts have emerged in the last years that might explain the vanishing of lung structure. One concept is based on the vascular
atrophy model for emphysema, proposed by Liebow in the 1950s. The disappearance of lung alveoli in emphysema is thought to
be related to epithelial and endothelial alveolar septal death due to a decrease of endothelial cell maintenance factors.
This review describes the role of proteases and outlines the apoptosis initiated model leading to pulmonary emphysema.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a debilitating disease with a high mortality rate. A hallmark of PAH is plexiform lesions (PLs), complex vascular formations originating from remodeled pulmonary arteries. The development and significance of these lesions have been debated and are not yet fully understood. Some features of PLs resemble neoplastic disorders, and there is a striking resemblance to glomeruloid-like lesions (GLLs) in glioblastomas. To further elucidate PLs, we used in situ methods, such as (fluorescent) IHC staining, three-dimensional reconstruction, and laser microdissection, followed by mRNA expression analysis. We generated compartment-specific expression patterns in the lungs of 25 patients (11 with PAH associated with systemic shunts, 6 with idiopathic PAH, and 8 controls) and GLLs from 5 glioblastomas. PLs consisted of vascular channels lined by a continuously proliferating endothelium and backed by a uniform myogenic interstitium. They also showed up-regulation of remodeling-associated genes, such as HIF1a, TGF-β1, VEGF-α, VEGFR-1/-2, Ang-1, Tie-2, and THBS1, but also of cKIT and sprouting-associated markers, such as NOTCH and matrix metalloproteinases. The cellular composition and signaling seen in GLLs in neural neoplasms differed significantly from those in PLs. In conclusion, PLs show a distinct cellular composition and microenvironment, which contribute to the plexiform phenotype and set them apart from other processes of vascular remodeling in patients with PAH. Neoplastic models of angiogenesis seem to be of limited use in further study of plexiform vasculopathy.
American Journal Of Pathology 07/2011; 179(1):167-79. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteopontin (OPN) is a pleiotropic cytokine that has been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). OPN plasma levels may be related to disease severity and mortality in patients with PAH.
OPN plasma levels obtained during right-sided heart catheterization were assessed by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and related to hemodynamics, exercise capacity, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) level, uric acid level, C-reactive protein level, and survival in two cohorts of patients with IPAH: a 4-year retrospective cohort (n = 70) and a prospective cohort (n = 25) followed for 3 months after initiation of therapy. Forty apparently healthy individuals served as control subjects.
Baseline OPN levels were elevated in patients with IPAH compared with healthy control subjects (50.2 ± 35.9 vs 23.7 ± 2.8 ng/mL, P < .0001). In the retrospective as well as in the prospective cohort, OPN levels correlated with mean right atrial pressure and NT-BNP. In the retrospective cohort, OPN levels also correlated with age (r = 0.3, P = .02), 6-min walking distance (r=-0.4, P = .05), and New York Heart Association class (r = 0.4, P = .001). Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that baseline OPN levels were independent predictors of mortality (P = .02). When patients were divided according to their baseline OPN values, being normal or elevated at baseline (below or above 34.5 ng/mL), proportional survival rates were 100% vs 80% after 1 year and 77% vs 51% after 3 years, respectively.
Circulating OPN predicts survival in patients with IPAH and is associated with a higher New York Heart Association class. OPN, thus, may be useful as a biomarker in IPAH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a stress-responsive, transforming growth factor-β-related cytokine, which has recently been reported to be elevated in serum of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). The aim of the study was to examine the expression and biological roles of GDF-15 in the lung of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
GDF-15 expression in normal lungs and lung specimens of PAH patients were studied by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Using laser-assisted micro-dissection, GDF-15 expression was further analyzed within vascular compartments of PAH lungs. To elucidate the role of GDF-15 on endothelial cells, human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) were exposed to hypoxia and laminar shear stress. The effects of GDF-15 on the proliferation and cell death of HPMEC were studied using recombinant GDF-15 protein.
GDF-15 expression was found to be increased in lung specimens from PAH patients, compared to normal lungs. GDF-15 was abundantly expressed in pulmonary vascular endothelial cells with a strong signal in the core of plexiform lesions. HPMEC responded with marked upregulation of GDF-15 to hypoxia and laminar shear stress. Apoptotic cell death of HPMEC was diminished, whereas HPMEC proliferation was either increased or decreased depending of the concentration of recombinant GDF-15 protein.
GDF-15 expression is increased in PAH lungs and appears predominantly located in vascular endothelial cells. The expression pattern as well as the observed effects on proliferation and apoptosis of pulmonary endothelial cells suggest a role of GDF-15 in the homeostasis of endothelial cells in PAH patients.
Respiratory research 05/2011; 12:62. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obliteration of the small airways is a largely unresolved challenge in pulmonary medicine. It represents either the irreversible cause of functional impairment or a morphologic disorder of limited importance in a multitude of diseases. Bronchiolitis obliterans is a key complication of lung transplantation. No predictive markers for the onset of obliterative remodeling are currently available. To further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of airway remodeling, compartment-specific expression patterns were analyzed in patients. For this purpose, remodeled and nonremodeled bronchioli were isolated from transplanted and nontransplanted lung explants using laser-assisted microdissection (n = 24). mRNA expression of 45 fibrosis-associated genes was measured using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. For 20 genes, protein expression was also analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Infiltrating cells were characterized at conventional histology and immunohistochemistry. Obliterative remodeling of the small airways in transplanted and nontransplanted lungs shared similar grades of chronic inflammation and pivotal fibrotic pathways such as transforming growth factor β signaling and increased collagen expression. Bone morphogenetic protein and thrombospondin signaling, and also matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases, were primarily up-regulated in obliterative airway remodeling in nontransplanted lungs. In transplanted lungs, clinical remodeled bone morphogenetic protein but nonremodeled bronchioli were characterized by a concordant up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase-9, RANTES, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1. These distinct expression patterns warrant further investigation as potential markers of impending airway remodeling, especially for prospective longitudinal molecular profiling.
American Journal Of Pathology 02/2011; 178(2):599-608. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a progressive condition with a poor prognosis. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signaling plays an important role in its pathobiology.
To assess safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the PDGFR inhibitor imatinib in patients with PAH.
Patients with PAH in functional classes II-IV were enrolled in a 24-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Patients received imatinib (an inhibitor of PDGFR activity) 200 mg orally once daily (or placebo), which was increased to 400 mg if the initial dose was well tolerated. The primary endpoints were safety and change from baseline in the 6-minute-walk distance (6MWD). Secondary endpoints included hemodynamics and functional classification.
Fifty-nine patients enrolled (imatinib [n = 28]; placebo [n = 31]); 42 completed the study. Dropouts were equally matched between the two groups. In the intention-to-treat (ITT) population there was no significant change in the 6MWD (mean ± SD) in the imatinib versus placebo group (+22 ± 63 versus -1.0 ± 53 m). There was a significant decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance (imatinib -300 ± 347 versus placebo -78 ± 269 dynes · s · cm⁻⁵, P < 0.01) and increase in cardiac output (imatinib +0.6 ± 1.2 versus placebo -0.1 ± 0.9 L/min, P = 0.02). Serious adverse events occurred in 11 imatinib recipients (39%) and 7 placebo recipients (23%). Three deaths occurred in each group. Post hoc subgroup analyses suggest that patients with greater hemodynamic impairment may respond better than patients with less impairment.
These data from a Phase II study are consistent with imatinib being well tolerated in patients with PAH, and provide proof of concept for further studies evaluating its safety, tolerability, and efficacy in PAH. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00477269).
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 11/2010; 182(9):1171-7. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the diagnostic utility of circulating angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and its antagonist angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) as potential biomarkers of disease severity or response to treatment in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). Imbalances in angiogenic factors including vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) and the angiopoetin-Tie2 receptor system have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IPAH.
Plasma Ang-1, Ang-2, soluble Tie2 (sTie2), and VEGF were determined by in-house immunoassays in two cohorts of IPAH patients: a retrospective cohort (n = 81) and a prospective cohort (n = 25). Ten patients with normal pulmonary artery pressures and 14 apparently healthy subjects served as controls. Plasma levels of all angiogenic factors were elevated in IPAH patients compared with controls (all P < 0.005). Angiopoietin-2, but not Ang-1, sTie2, and VEGF correlated with cardiac index (r = -0.53, P < 0.001), pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) (r= 0.60, P < 0.001), and mixed venous oxygen saturation (SvO(2)) (r= -0.63, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, elevated Ang-2 was an independent risk factor of mortality (P = 0.004). The patients in the prospective cohort were studied longitudinally at baseline and 3 months after initiation of therapy. Changes in Ang-2 after initiation of therapy correlated with changes in mean right atrial pressure (r = 0.6, P = 0.008), PVR (r = 0.51, P = 0.04), and inversely related to changes in SvO(2) (r = -0.75, P < 0.001). Histological studies showed that the expression of Ang-2 mRNA and protein was up-regulated in plexiform lesions from IPAH lung tissue samples.
Ang-2 may be involved in the pathogenesis of IPAH, and plasma Ang-2 might serve as a promising new biomarker of disease severity and response to treatment in patients with IPAH.
European Heart Journal 09/2010; 31(18):2291-300. · 14.72 Impact Factor