European Journal of Cancer

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0959-8049


Where is the evidence?
  • Article

January 2005


17 Reads


Late phase II study of novel oral fluoropyrimidine anticancer drug S-1 (1 M tegafur-0.4 M gimestat-1 M otastat potassium) in advanced gastric cancer patients

November 1998


49 Reads


A Ohtsu


N Horikoshi




T Taguchi
S-1 is a novel oral anticancer drug, composed of tegafur (FT), gimestat (CDHP) and otastat potassium (Oxo) in a molar ratio of 1:0.4:1, based on the biochemical modulation of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). CDHP inhibits dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), an enzyme which degrades 5-FU, and maintains prolonged 5-FU concentrations in the blood and tumours. Oxo is distributed in the gastrointestinal tract at a high concentration after oral administration and alleviates gastrointestinal toxicity due to 5-FU. S-1 improves the tumour-selective toxicity of 5-FU by the actions of two modulators, CDHP and Oxo. We conducted a late phase II clinical trial of S-1 as an open trial in patients with advanced gastric cancer, to confirm its antitumour effect and adverse reactions. 51 patients with advanced gastric cancer were enrolled in the trial. S-1 was administered orally twice daily after meals, at a standard dose of 80 mg/m2/day. One course consisted of consecutive administration for 28 days and 14 days' rest. Administration was repeated over four courses. A complete response was obtained in 1 patient and partial responses in 24 patients, producing a response rate of 49% (25/51) (95% confidence interval (CI) 35.9-62.3%). The incidence of adverse reactions was 78% (40/51) and that of adverse reactions of grades 3 and 4 was 20%. Adverse reactions of grades 3 and 4 included a decrease in the haematocrit, leucopenia, granulocytopenia, diarrhoea, malaise and proteinuria. No serious unexpected adverse reactions were observed. In conclusion, S-1 was effective and well tolerated in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

Screening for neuroblastoma in late infancy by use of EIA (enzyme-linked immunoassay) method: 115 000 screened infants in Austria

September 1997


13 Reads

The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of a neuroblastoma screening programme for children in late infancy, based on collaboration of general paediatricians and practitioners in Austria, using the technique of enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA) for biochemical analyses. Analysis of catecholamine metabolites in spot urine samples by EIA with high performance liquid chromatography as a backup was undertaken. Austrian infants (median age 8.7 months) were screened. Overall compliance was 30%. The EIA method had a high rate (6.7%) of false-positive results. 28 infants were admitted to hospital. In 15 cases, neuroblastoma was found (four stage 1, five stage 2B, six stage 3). The EIA method can be used for neuroblastoma screening, but requires a backup analytical technique in order to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. The stage distribution and biological features of neuroblastomas diagnosed by screening at a later age are different from those detected by earlier screening. Screening in late infancy might be of more benefit than early screening.

A randomised trial comparing preoperative to perioperative chemotherapy in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (IFCT 0002 trial)

June 2013


61 Reads

Hypothesis: There will be a detectable increase in overall survival (OS) using preoperative (PRE) as opposed to perioperative (PERI) chemotherapy in resectable StageI-II non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: This multicenter, open-label, randomised trial with a 2×2 factorial design first compared two chemotherapy strategies (PRE versus PERI), then two chemotherapy regimens (gemcitabine-cisplatin [GP] versus paclitaxel-carboplatin [TC]). The PRE group received two preoperative cycles followed by two additional preoperative cycles, while the PERI group underwent two preoperative cycles followed by two postoperative cycles, the 3rd and 4th cycles being given only to responders in both cases. Results: A total of 528 patients were randomised, 267 of which were assigned to the PRE group and 261 to the PERI group. Three-year OS did not differ between the two groups (67.4% and 67.7%, respectively; hazard ratio (HR)=1.01 [0.79-1.30], p=0.92), nor did 3-year disease-free survival, response rates, toxicity, or postoperative mortality. Pathological complete response was observed in 22 (8.2%) and 16 patients (6.1%), respectively. Although quality of life did not differ significantly, chemotherapy compliance was significantly higher in the PRE group. The proportion of responders who received Cycles 3 and 4 was significantly higher in the PRE group (90.4% versus 75.2%, p=0.001). In responders, the dose intensity of Cycles 3 and 4 was higher in the PRE group than in the PERI group (mean relative dose intensity of 90.4% versus 82.6%, respectively; p=0.0007). There was no difference between GP and TC in 3-year OS (HR=0.97 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.76-1.25], p=0.80) or response rates. However, the regimens' toxicity profiles differed. Conclusions: This study failed to demonstrate any difference in survival between patients receiving preoperative and perioperative chemotherapy in early-stage NSCLC. The increase from two to four preoperative chemotherapy cycles did not increase the pathological response rate.

Thimet oligopeptidase (EC activates CPI-0004Na, an extracellularly tumour-activated prodrug of doxorubicin

December 2006


49 Reads

CPI-0004Na is a tetrapeptidic extracellularly tumour-activated prodrug of doxorubicin. The tetrapeptide structure ensures blood stability and selective cleavage by unidentified peptidase(s) released by tumour cells. The purpose of this work was to identify the enzyme responsible for the first rate-limiting step of CPI-0004Na activation, initially attributed to a 70 kDa acidic (pI=5.2) metallopeptidase active at neutral pH that was subsequently purified from HeLa cell homogenates. Two electrophoretic bands were isolated and identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight (MALDI-tof) and electrospray ionisation-quadrupole-time of flight (ESI-Q-tof) mass spectrometry as thimet oligopeptidase (TOP). The identity of the CPI-0004Na activating enzyme and TOP was further supported by the similar substrate specificity of the purified enzyme and recombinant TOP, by thiol stimulation of CPI-0004Na cleavage by cancer cell conditioned media (unique characteristic of TOP) and by the inhibition of CPI-0004Na activation by specific inhibitors or immunoprecipitation. Although other enzymes can be involved, TOP clearly appears to be a likely candidate for extracellular activation of the CPI-0004Na prodrug.

ITOC2 – 009. Role of signal transduction and microRNAs on the immunogenicity of melanoma cells
  • Article
  • Full-text available

December 2015


69 Reads

Melanoma tumors are heterogeneous and involve different processes generating cells with variable metastatic capacity, which also results in distinct clinical outcome of patients and variations in therapy responses. This might be due to different strategies leading to evasion of T and or NK cell-mediated surveillance, which is accompanied by disease progression and a poor survival of melanoma patients. Therefore, the characterization of immune escape mechanisms might contribute to a better understanding of the development of the aggressive melanoma phenotype. This study analysed the underlying molecular mechanisms of HLA class I abnormalities and aberrant HLA-G expression in melanoma. A reduced mRNA and/or protein expression of various components of the MHC class I antigen processing machinery (APM) was identified in a large series of melanoma cell lines and lesions, which could be correlated with an increased tumor grading. In addition, adoptive T cell therapy also caused an escape from immune cell recognition by down-regulation components of the antigen processing machinery (APM). Recently, microRNAs (miRs) targeting HLA class I APM components were identified suggesting an important role for posttranscriptional control in this process. These miRs have functional activities on APM components, thereby also affecting HLA class I surface expression. Thus, these miRs might be used as novel targets for the treatment of melanoma or for selection of melanoma patients undergoing the most effective (immuno)therapy. In addition, a direct link of the IFN signalling pathway and the constitutive HLA class I APM component expression was found in melanoma. Down-regulation or loss of single components of the IFN-γ signal cascade was detected, which could be due to structural alterations, epigenetic mechanisms, such as methylation and/or histone deacetylation, or transcriptional/post-transcriptional deregulation. This was accompanied by a heterogeneous response of melanoma cells to IFN-γ treatment. Alterations in the IFN-γ signalling pathway were directly associated with a down-regulation of constitutive HLA class I components as demonstrated in melanoma lesions as well as in melanoma cell lines. Using shRNA-mediated silencing a direct effect of STAT1, JAK1 and JAK2 on MHC class I surface expression was confirmed. These data may provide novel insights into the complex regulation of HLA class I expression in melanoma and gives a rational for excluding patients for specific immunotherapies. Furthermore, strategies will be developed for restoration of the HLA class I positive phenotype.

A prospective multicentre phase II study of cisplatin and weekly docetaxel as first-line treatment for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer (KCSG HN07-01)

July 2012


32 Reads

Background: The purpose of this phase II study was to determine the efficacy and toxicity of cisplatin and weekly docetaxel combination chemotherapy as a first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer. Patients and methods: Recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer patients were enrolled and received a combination of weekly docetaxel (35 mg/m(2) on Day1 and Day8) and cisplatin (70 mg/m(2) D1) every 21 days, for up to a maximum of 6 cycles. The primary endpoint was objective response rate, and the secondary endpoints included toxicity of combination chemotherapy, progression-free survival, overall survival and 1-year survival rate. Results: In total, 47 patients were enrolled and analysed, and 46 patients (97.9%) completed the planned protocol. In an intent-to-treat analysis, 6 patients (12.8%) achieved complete response (CR) and 27 patients (57.4%) showed partial response (PR), with an objective response rate of 70.2%. The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 9.6 months (95% C.I. 5.7-13.5 months) and 28.5 months (95% C.I. 16.9-40.1 months), respectively, and the 1-year survival rate was 89.9%. The common grade 3 adverse events were stomatitis (1.2%), neutropenia (0.8%), anaemia (0.8%), infection (0.8%) and diarrhoea (0.8%). Grade 4 adverse events were not observed in this study. Conclusions: The combination chemotherapy of cisplatin and weekly docetaxel is highly effective and shows favourable toxicity as a first-line chemotherapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer.

Are patients in clinical trials representative of the general population? Dose intensity and toxicities associated with FE100C-D chemotherapy in a non-trial population of node positive breast cancer patients compared with PACS-01 trial group

January 2011


82 Reads

In our institution, adjuvant taxanes are currently offered to fit, node positive breast cancer patients who are either Her2 positive (any ER/PR) or triple negative (ER/PR/Her2 negative). The FE(100)C-D (FE(100)C × 3→docetaxel 100mg/m(2) × 3) regime, based on the PACS 01 trial [Roche H, Fumoleau P, Spielmann M, et al. Sequential Adjuvant Epirubicin-Based and Docetaxel Chemotherapy for node positive Breast Cancer Patients: The FNCLCC PACS 01 Trial. J Clin Oncol 2006;24:5664-5671] is used. We retrospectively audited our experience with FE(100)C-D at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and one representative district general hospital (DGH), Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary (FDRI). Over a two year period, 101 patients commenced adjuvant FE(100)C-D chemotherapy. Data was matched with the FE(100)C-D arm of the PACS 01 trial. Median age was 54 years. Twenty-six patients (26%) had ≥ 1 episode of febrile neutropaenia (FN), including one fatal episode. Twenty-nine percent of patients required treatment interruption ≥ 1 week. Thirty percent of patients had dose reductions. Thirty percent of patients received <90% dose intensity of docetaxel. The FN rate was substantially higher and docetaxel dose intensity substantially lower in our unselected sample of patients than in the reference study.(1) This 'real-life' data illustrates the problems of applying clinical trial data to the more generalised patient population.

Fig. 1-MYCN induces the expression of MCM genes. Gene expression was analysed on microarrays at 0, 8, 24 and 120 h after MYCN induction. The Y-axis represents gene expression, the X-axis represents time after MYCN induction (hours).
Fig. 2-qPCR and Northern blot validation of the induction of MCM genes by MYCN. (a) The induction of MCM genes was determined with qPCR at 0, 24 and 120 h after MYCN induction. The expression of each gene at time point t = 0 is arbitrarily set on 1. Gene expression was normalised to the geometric averaged expression of control genes b-actin and PSMB4. Error bars represent the standard deviation. As control the down-regulation of TK2 (right panel) is shown. (b) Northern blot analysis of expression of MCM2, MCM3, MCM4, MCM6 and MYCN at the indicated time points. Ethidium bromide staining of 28S ribosomal RNA was used as loading control.
Fig. 3-ChIP analysis shows a direct binding of MYCN to promoters of minichromosome maintenance genes. (a) Overview of the primer pairs used to analyse binding of MYCN to the MCM promoters. Grey squares represent exons. The first exon starts at position 0 and canonical (.) and non-canonical (,) E-boxes are indicated. The forward (c) and reversed (b) primers of each primer pair are shown. (b) ChIP analysis of MYCN binding to the MCM genes. Precipitated chromatin was analysed by qPCR with the primer pairs indicated in A. For each primer pair the difference in C t value between chromatin precipitated with anti-MYCN and an a-specific antibody (DC t ) was calculated. b-Actin and NME1 were used as negative and positive control. Data presented were obtained from four independent ChIP experiments. Error bars represent the standard deviation.
Fig. 5-The correlation of MYCN expression correlates with the expression of MCM2 and MCM10 in a series of 110 neuroblastomas. The red Y-axis gives the 2 log values of the expression of MYCN, the blue Y-axis gives the 2 log MCM2 or MCM10 expression values. (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)
Progression of localised Wilms’ tumour during preoperative chemotherapy is an independent prognostic factor: A report from the SIOP 93–01 nephroblastoma trial and study

February 2007


108 Reads

The SIOP nephroblastoma clinical trials have previously demonstrated that preoperative chemotherapy is advantageous for patients with nephroblastoma (Wilms' tumour). However, some primary tumours increase in size during preoperative chemotherapy, and to investigate the clinical relevance of this progression we studied the patient cohort with increasing tumours included in the SIOP 93-01 study (June 1993 to June 2000). Patients were considered eligible if they had a confirmed localised Wilms' tumour that had been measured in at least two dimensions at diagnosis and before surgery. Tumour response to preoperative chemotherapy was defined according to criteria set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Patient characteristics in the different response groups were compared and related to event-free survival and overall survival. Patient records were studied regarding compliance with protocol. Tumour progression during preoperative chemotherapy was observed in 57 of 1090 patients (5%) with localised Wilms' tumours. In those cases, the tumours were significantly smaller at diagnosis and were more often stage III (p=0.05) and associated with high risk histopathology (p=0.03). After adjustment for stage and risk group, progression was proved to be correlated with poorer event-free and overall survival (hazard ratio 1.9, p=0.026 and 3.2, p=0.002 respectively). In summary, progression of localised Wilms' tumours is rarely seen in patients during preoperative chemotherapy. However, independent of stage distribution and histopathological risk group, those whose tumours do increase in size have poorer event-free and overall survival.

Characteristics and outcome of stage II and III non-anaplastic Wilms’ tumour treated according to the SIOP trial and study 93-01

July 2012


37 Reads

Purpose: To determine the prognosis of children with stage II and III of low or intermediate risk histology (SIOP classification) in unilateral localised Wilms tumour (WT) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy according to the trial and study of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology, SIOP 93-01. Patients and methods: Patients with unilateral localised WT and stage II or III with low (LR) or intermediate risk (IR) histology between 6 months and 18 years of age, were selected from the total sample of patients registered in the SIOP 93-01 study between June 1993 and December 2001. All patients received 4 weeks of actinomycin-D/vincristine before surgery. Postoperative chemotherapy consisted of actinomycin-D, vincristine and epirubicin/doxorubicin for 27 weeks. Flank or whole abdomen irradiation was given for stage III. Event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were analysed for various subgroups. Results: Of 1476 registered patients 594 (40%) met the inclusion criteria for this analysis. Four hundred and two (67%) had stage II disease and 563 (95%) had intermediate risk histology. Median tumour volume was 439 ml at diagnosis and 163 ml after preoperative chemotherapy. With a median follow-up of 8 years, 5-year EFS was 90% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 87-92%) and OS 95% (95% CI: 93-97%). Patients with stage III, blastemal type histology and a large volume at surgery had a worse outcome. Conclusion: Treatment for stage II and III LR or IR WT is successful in a neoadjuvant setting as advised by the SIOP. Stage, tumour volume and blastemal type histology are the most important prognostic factors.

A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase III intergroup study of gefitinib in patients with advanced NSCLC, non-progressing after first line platinum-based chemotherapy (EORTC 08021/ILCP 01/03)

July 2011


34 Reads

EORTC study 08021/ILCP 01/03 evaluated the role of consolidation gefitinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), administered in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), not progressing following standard 1st-line chemotherapy. Patients with advanced NSCLC, not-progressing after four cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy, were randomised to receive either gefitinib 250mg/d or matched placebo until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end-point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end-points were progression-free survival (PFS) and toxicity. The study was powered to detect a 28% increase in OS from a median of 11-14.1months (HR=0.78) and planned to randomise 598 patients to observe 514 deaths. After inclusion of 173 patients, the trial was prematurely closed due to low accrual. Baseline characteristics for gefitinib (n=86) and placebo (n=87) arms were well balanced. After a median follow up of 41months, the difference in median OS in the gefitinib and placebo arms was not statistically significant (10.9 and 9.4months, HR 0.83 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.60-1.15]; p=0.2). The difference in median PFS significantly favoured gefitinib (4.1 and 2.9months, HR=0.61, [95% CI 0.45, 0.83]), p=0.0015). Adverse events reported in more than 10% of patients were rash (47% with gefitinib versus 13% with placebo) and diarrhoea (34% with gefitinib versus13% with placebo). Despite its premature closure, this trial confirms previous evidence that consolidation gefitinib is safe and improves PFS. However, no difference in OS was observed in this study (NCT00091156).

Raltitrexed (Tomudex (R)) versus standard leucovorin-modulated bolus 5-fluorouracil: Results from the randomised phase III Pan-European Trial in Adjuvant Colon Cancer 01 (PETACC-1)

August 2008


54 Reads

PETACC-1 assessed if raltitrexed is non-inferior to 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin for relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in adjuvant stage III colon cancer. Non-inferiority required both HR for RFS and OS<1.25 at 1-sided alpha=0.05. Patients (1921) were randomised to six cycles of 5-FU/LV (n=969) or eight cycles of raltitrexed (n=952). We report the final results in 993 eligible patients who started and completed the allocated treatment (489 5-FU/LV and n=504 Raltitrexed) of whom respectively 146 and 148 died, respectively. The trial closed prematurely when 17 (1.9%) raltitrexed-related deaths were reported. Haematological and gastrointestinal toxicities were more frequent with 5-FU/LV, liver toxicities with raltitrexed. Raltitrexed was stopped for toxicity in 13.2% and 5-FU/LV in 8.5%. Sixty-day mortality was 9% versus 7%. With 4.1 years median follow-up, the HR for RFS was 1.16 (90% CI 0.99-1.37) and that for OS was 1.01 (90% CI 0.84-1.23). The trial failed to demonstrate non-inferiority of raltitrexed. Free drugs and financial support from AstraZeneca.

Abstract P4-18-01: Do participants in adjuvant breast cancer trials reflect the breast cancer patient population?

April 2015


78 Reads

To describe the proportion of women in Tayside, Scotland diagnosed with early breast cancer who would have been eligible for influential adjuvant breast cancer trials. Phase III trials of adjuvant treatment for breast cancer referenced in five national guidelines were shortlisted by breast cancer specialists to identify the twelve considered most influential. Eligibility criteria were extracted from protocols and applied to a 16-year cohort of women who had received a diagnosis of breast cancer and the proportion meeting trial criteria calculated. The criteria used clinically in Tayside to make decisions about use of the trial treatments were also applied to the cohort. Finally, the proportion of women receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy as part of their care and who would have been eligible for the trial evaluating that therapy was calculated. Of the cohort's 4811 women, 3535 (73%) were eligible for at least one trial but eligibility for an individual trial rarely exceeded 45%. There were substantial differences between the proportion of women meeting trial eligibility criteria and the proportion considered clinically eligible for the same treatment. The proportion of women receiving an endocrine therapy as part of their care who would also have been eligible for the trial evaluating that treatment ranged from 17% to 56%. Clinical eligibility criteria may be at variance with trial criteria. For adjuvant endocrine therapy, a substantial proportion of women who would have been ineligible for a trial nevertheless received the trial treatment as part of their care. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tomita Y, Uemura H, Fujimoto H, Kanayama HO, Shinohara N, Nakazawa H, Imai K, Umeyama Y, Ozono S, Naito S, Akaza HKey predictive factors of axitinib (AG-013736)-induced proteinuria and efficacy: a phase II study in Japanese patients with cytokine-refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Eur J Cancer 47: 2592-2602

August 2011


102 Reads

Axitinib (AG-013736) is an oral, selective and potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR)-1, 2 and 3. This phase II study investigated axitinib efficacy, safety and biomarkers in Japanese patients with cytokine-refractory metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). In an open-label, multicentre study, 64 patients received an axitinib starting dose of 5mg twice daily. Objective response rate (ORR) was 50.0% and median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11.0 months per independent review committee. Common treatment-related adverse events were hypertension (84%; 70% grade ≥3), hand-foot syndrome (75%; 22% grade ≥3) and diarrhoea (64%; 5% grade ≥3). Eighteen patients (28%) developed proteinuria ≥2g/24h and required dose reduction or treatment interruption/discontinuation. Proteinuria was a major cause for treatment discontinuation. Baseline urine protein levels were associated with development of proteinuria ≥2g/24h (hazard ratio [HR]=5.457, P=0.0035 in patients with baseline proteinuria ≥1+ versus <1+). Baseline urine protein levels correlated more strongly with axitinib-related proteinuria than other baseline renal function test values or blood pressure. Patients with greater decreases in soluble VEGFR-2 concentrations had significantly higher ORR and longer PFS than those with smaller decreases (ORR: 64.5% versus 37.5%, P=0.045; median PFS: 12.9 months versus 9.2 months, HR=0.42, P=0.01). Axitinib showed significant antitumour activity and was well tolerated in Japanese mRCC patients. Baseline proteinuria and soluble VEGFR-2 levels may be key indicators of axitinib-induced proteinuria and efficacy, respectively.

Phase I safety and pharmacokinetic study of SU-014813 in combination with docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumours

March 2011


49 Reads

In pre-clinical models enhanced anti-tumour activity was observed when SU-014813, an oral multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor was combined with docetaxel. This synergy might be explained by improvement of the penetration of cytotoxic agents into tumours as a result of both VEGFR and PDGFR inhibition. We assessed the maximal tolerated dose (MTD), evaluated the pharmacokinetics and preliminary anti-tumour efficacy of oral SU-014813 administered continuously in combination with docetaxel to patients with advanced solid tumours. In this phase I study successive patient cohorts received docetaxel 60 or 75mg/m(2) every 3weeks in combination with chronic daily dosing of SU-014813. Dose limiting toxicity was assessed both in the first and second treatment cycle. Twenty-five patients were entered on study of which 24 started treatment. Dose limiting toxicities were prolonged neutropenia, neutropenic fever, fatigue and diarrhoea. Other toxicities included fatigue, alopecia, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, rash, hypertension and hair discolouration. The recommended phase II dose was determined to be docetaxel 75mg/m(2) in combination with SU-014813 50mg/day. There was no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction. Two patients (8%) achieved a partial response (PR) and 7 patients (29%) had stabilisation of their disease (SD) >6months, for a clinical benefit rate of 37.5%. The activity observed in patients with melanoma and sunitinib refractory gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) was particularly noteworthy. Oral SU-014813 50mg/day with docetaxel 75mg/m(2) is a clinically feasible regimen with a manageable safety profile and anti-tumour activity. Further development is warranted in patients with melanoma and GIST.

A randomised phase II study of docetaxel/oxaliplatin and docetaxel in patients with previously treated non-small cell lung cancer: An Alpe-Adria Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary group trial (ATOM 019)

April 2011


15 Reads

To date, no combination regimen has proven superior to single agent chemotherapy as a second-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This multicenter, non-comparative randomised phase II trial evaluated the activity of docetaxel (75 mg/m(2) on day 1) with oxaliplatin (70 mg/m(2) on day 2) every 3 weeks in previously treated NSCLC patients; the reference arm was single-agent docetaxel (75 mg/m(2) on day 1 every 3 weeks). It was designed as a one-stage, three-outcome phase II trial; 21 evaluable patients were required in each arm. The primary end-point was response rate; secondary end-points were toxicity, progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival. Fifty patients were enrolled. Patient characteristics included male/female, 76/24%; median age 62 years; ECOG PS 0/1, 36/64%; previous platinum-based chemotherapy, 98%. Partial response was seen in 20% and 8%, stable disease in 52% and 32%, of patients treated with docetaxel/oxaliplatin and docetaxel, respectively. Main grade 3-4 toxicities were neutropenia 56% and 64%; febrile neutropenia 4% and 8%; diarrhoea 12% and 4% for docetaxel/oxaliplatin and docetaxel, respectively. Median PFS was 5.0 and 1.7 months, median survival 11.0 and 7.1 months, and 1-year survival 44% and 32% for docetaxel/oxaliplatin and docetaxel, respectively. The study met its pre-defined study end-point; docetaxel/oxaliplatin and more generally platinum-containing doublets warrant further evaluation as second-line therapy for patients with NSCLC.

Cisplatin alone or combined with gemcitabine in carcinomas of unknown primary: Results of the randomised GEFCAPI 02 trial

February 2012


85 Reads

To compare the overall survival rates of good-prognosis carcinomas of an unknown primary site (CUPS) patients treated with cisplatin alone (C) or in combination with gemcitabine (CG). Good prognosis was defined according to the GEFCAPI (Groupe d'Etude Français des Carcinomes de site Primitif Inconnu) classification by PS (Performance Status) ≤ 1 and LDH (Lactate Deshydrogenase) within the normal range. Patients were randomly assigned to receive C or CG. Patients in the C arm received cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) repeated every 3 weeks. In the CG arm, chemotherapy consisted of gemcitabine 1250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 and cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) IV on day 1, repeated every 3 weeks. The original plan was to accrue 192 patients in order to detect a 20% difference in overall survival. Fifty-two patients were enrolled (arm A: 25; arm B: 27). The trial was stopped early due to insufficient accrual. The median overall survival (OS) rate was 11 months [95% confidence interval: 9-20] and 8 months [95%CI: 6-12], in the CG arm and in the C arm, respectively. The 1-year survival rate was 46% [95%CI: 28-64] in the combination arm and 35% [95%CI: 19-56] in the C arm (log rank test: p=0.73). The median progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 5 [95%CI: 3-11] and 3 [95%CI: 1-8] months in the CG and in the C arm, respectively. The 1-year PFS rate was 29% [95%CI: 15-48] in the combination arm and 15% [95%CI: 5-35] in the C arm (log rank test: p=0.27). No toxic deaths occurred. Grade 3-4 neutropenia (63% versus 12%) and grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia (37% versus 4%) were more frequent in the CG arm than in the C arm. A non-significantly better outcome was observed with CG as compared to C in patients with CUP and a non-unfavourable prognosis. The toxicity profile of the combined arm was represented by haematologic toxicity with thrombocytopenia and leuconeutropenia. International collaboration is required to conduct phase III trials in patients with CUP.

Outcome, quality of life and cognitive function of patients with brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer treated with whole brain radiotherapy combined with gefitinib or temozolomide. A randomised phase II trial of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK 70/03)

November 2011


93 Reads

Patients with brain metastases (BM) rarely survive longer than 6months and are commonly excluded from clinical trials. We explored two combined modality regimens with novel agents with single agent activity and radiosensitizing properties. In this randomised phase II trial patients with BM from NSCLC were randomly assigned to 30Gy WBRT with either concomitant gefitinib (GFT) 250mg/day continuously or temozolomide (TMZ) 75mg/m(2) for 21/28days. The primary end-point was overall survival, with quality of life and cognitive function as secondary end-points. We enrolled 59 patients (GFT 16, TMZ 43), and 56 patients have died, mainly (80%) from disease progression. Four patients succumbed complications of the disease or corticosteroids (intestinal perforation (2), CNS haemorrhage and pulmonary emboli). Median overall survival in the gefitinib arm was 6.3months (95% CI 2.1-14.6), and 4.9months (95% CI 2.3-5.6) in TMZ treated patients. Fatigue was the main complaint. No relevant toxicity with those therapeutic regimens was observed. Fatal outcome in three patients may have been related to corticosteroids. Cognitive function improved during treatment. However, median overall survival for all patients was only 4.9months (95% CI 2.3-5.7) and 1-year survival 25.4% (95% CI 15.4-37.0%).

Pretreatment neutrophil count as an independent prognostic factor in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: An analysis of Japan Multinational Trial Organisation LC00-03

March 2009


144 Reads

We examined the impact of pretreatment neutrophil count on survival in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A total of 388 chemo-naïve patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC from a randomised controlled trial were evaluated. The effects of pretreatment peripheral blood neutrophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio on survival were examined using the proportional hazards regression model to estimate hazard ratios after adjustment for covariates. The optimal cut-off value was determined by proportional hazards regression analysis with the minimum P-value approach and shrinkage procedure. After adjustment for prognostic factors, the pretreatment elevated neutrophil count was statistically significantly associated with short overall (P=0.0008) and progression-free survival (P=0.024), whereas no association was found between prognosis and lymphocyte or monocyte count. The cut-off value selected for neutrophil count was 4500 mm(-3) (corrected hazard ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09-2.54). The median survival time was 19.3 months (95%CI, 16.5-21.4) for the low-neutrophil group (4500 mm(-3), n=204) and was 10.2 months (95%CI, 8.0-12.3) for the high-neutrophil group (4500 mm(-3), n=184). We confirmed that pretreatment elevated neutrophil count is an independent prognostic factor in patients with advanced NSCLC receiving modern chemotherapy. Neutrophil count is easily measured at low cost, and it may be a useful indicator of patient prognosis.

The EORTC 10041/BIG 03-04 MINDACT trial is feasible: results of the pilot phase

November 2011


175 Reads

The MINDACT (Microarray In Node-negative and 1-3 node positive Disease may Avoid ChemoTherapy) trial investigates the clinical utility of the 70-gene profile (MammaPrint) for the selection of breast cancer patients for adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) together with standard clinicopathological criteria. We present the results of the pilot phase consisting of first 800 patients included. MINDACT has enrolled 6600 patients, classified into high or low risk by MammaPrint and clinicopathological risk through Adjuvant! Online. Patients with both clinical (C) and genomic (G) high risks are offered adjuvant CT; those with both C and G low risks do not receive CT; patients with discordant risk are randomised for the decision of adjuvant CT based on C or G risk. CT randomisation of anthracycline-based versus docetaxel/capecitabine and endocrine therapy randomisation between letrozole and tamoxifen→letrozole are offered. During the pilot phase 46% of screened patients were enrolled. Main reasons for non-enrolment were node positivity before trial amendment, sample quality problems and failure to meet logistic settings. Among the 800 patients, 386 (48%) were C-low/G-low, 198 (24.8%) as C-high/G-high, 75 (9.4%) as C-low/G-high and 141 (17.6%) as C-high/G-low. In total 216 (27%) cases were discordant. The difference between patients with C-high (42%) and G-high risk (34%) is 8.25% (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.7-11.8%; P<.0001). Compliance with the treatment decision was high (>92%). The logistically complex MINDACT trial is feasible in a multinational setting. The proportion of discordant patients, the potential reduction in CT by using the genomic signature and compliance to treatment assignment are in accordance with the trial hypotheses.

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