This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III study aimed to determine whether thalidomide prolongs survival of patients with extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).
One hundred nineteen patients received two courses of etoposide, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and 4'-epidoxorubicin (PCDE). Responder patients who had recovered from chemotherapy toxicity were randomly assigned to receive four additional PCDE cycles plus thalidomide (400 mg daily) or placebo.
After the first two PCDE cycles, objective response rate was 81.5%, and 92 patients were randomly assigned to placebo (n = 43) or thalidomide (n = 49). Median exposure duration to placebo was 4.5 months, and median exposure to thalidomide was 4.9 months. Patients treated with thalidomide had a longer survival compared with patients who received placebo, although the difference was not statistically significant (minimal follow-up, 3 years; median survival time, 11.7 v 8.7 months, respectively; log-rank test: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.49 to 1.12; P = .16). Patients with a performance status (PS) of 1 or 2 who received thalidomide had a significantly longer survival (HR = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.92; P = .02). The disease also progressed slower in patients with PS of 1 or 2 receiving thalidomide (HR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.87; P = .02), whereas the difference did not reach statistical significance for the whole population (HR = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.49 to 1.12; P = .15). Neuropathy occurred more frequently in the thalidomide group compared with the placebo group (33% v 12%, respectively).
Treatment with thalidomide was not associated with a significant improvement in survival of SCLC patients. There was pronounced heterogeneity in survival outcomes between groups of patients. Some benefit was observed among patients with a PS of 1 or 2 (exploratory analyses), deserving further studies targeting angiogenesis in this disease.
Mutations within the KRAS proto-oncogene have predictive value but are of uncertain prognostic value in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. We took advantage of PETACC-3, an adjuvant trial with 3,278 patients with stage II to III colon cancer, to evaluate the prognostic value of KRAS and BRAF tumor mutation status in this setting.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks (n = 1,564) were prospectively collected and DNA was extracted from tissue sections from 1,404 cases. Planned analysis of KRAS exon 2 and BRAF exon 15 mutations was performed by allele-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction. Survival analyses were based on univariate and multivariate proportional hazard regression models.
KRAS and BRAF tumor mutation rates were 37.0% and 7.9%, respectively, and were not significantly different according to tumor stage. In a multivariate analysis containing stage, tumor site, nodal status, sex, age, grade, and microsatellite instability (MSI) status, KRAS mutation was associated with grade (P = .0016), while BRAF mutation was significantly associated with female sex (P = .017), and highly significantly associated with right-sided tumors, older age, high grade, and MSI-high tumors (all P < 10(-4)). In univariate and multivariate analysis, KRAS mutations did not have a major prognostic value regarding relapse-free survival (RFS) or overall survival (OS). BRAF mutation was not prognostic for RFS, but was for OS, particularly in patients with MSI-low (MSI-L) and stable (MSI-S) tumors (hazard ratio, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.4; P = .0003).
In stage II-III colon cancer, the KRAS mutation status does not have major prognostic value. BRAF is prognostic for OS in MS-L/S tumors.
PURPOSEWe assessed the toxicity and efficacy of dexamethasone and a novel dosing method of Escherichia coli L-asparaginase (EC-Asnase) in children and adolescents with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients achieving complete remission (CR) on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocol 00-01 were eligible for random assignment to 1) dexamethasone or prednisone, administered as 5-day pulses, every 3 weeks, and 2) weekly EC-Asnase, administered as a 25,000 IU/m(2) fixed dose (FD) or individualized dose (ID) starting at 12,500-IU/m(2), adjusted every 3 weeks based on nadir serum asparaginase activity (NSAA) determinations.ResultsBetween 2000 and 2004, 492 evaluable patients (ages 1 to 18 years) enrolled; 473 patients (96%) achieved CR. Four hundred eight patients (86%) participated in the corticosteroid randomization and 384 patients (81%) in the EC-Asnase randomization. With 4.9 years of median follow-up, dexamethasone was associated with superior 5-year event-free survival (EFS; 90% v 81% for prednisone; P = .01) but higher rates of infection (P = .03) and, in older children, higher cumulative incidence of osteonecrosis (P = .02) and fracture (P = .06). ID EC-Asnase had superior 5-year EFS (90% v 82% for FD; P = .04), but did not reduce the frequency of asparaginase-related toxicity. Multivariable analysis identified both dexamethasone and ID EC-Asnase as independent predictors of favorable EFS. CONCLUSION
There was no overall difference in skeletal toxicity by corticosteroid type; dexamethasone was associated with more infections and, in older children, increased incidence of osteonecrosis and fracture. There was no difference in asparaginase-related toxicity by EC-Asnase dosing method. Dexamethasone and ID EC-Asnase were each associated with superior EFS. Monitoring NSAA during treatment with EC-Asnase may be an effective strategy to improve outcome in pediatric ALL.
To compare clinical benefit response (CBR) and quality of life (QOL) in patients receiving gemcitabine (Gem) plus capecitabine (Cap) versus single-agent Gem for advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive GemCap (oral Cap 650 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1 through 14 plus Gem 1,000 mg/m(2) in a 30-minute infusion on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks) or Gem (1,000 mg/m(2) in a 30-minute infusion weekly for 7 weeks, followed by a 1-week break, and then weekly for 3 weeks every 4 weeks) for 24 weeks or until progression. CBR criteria and QOL indicators were assessed over this period. CBR was defined as improvement from baseline for >or= 4 consecutive weeks in pain (pain intensity or analgesic consumption) and Karnofsky performance status, stability in one but improvement in the other, or stability in pain and performance status but improvement in weight.
Of 319 patients, 19% treated with GemCap and 20% treated with Gem experienced a CBR, with a median duration of 9.5 and 6.5 weeks, respectively (P < .02); 54% of patients treated with GemCap and 60% treated with Gem had no CBR (remaining patients were not assessable). There was no treatment difference in QOL (n = 311). QOL indicators were improving under chemotherapy (P < .05). These changes differed by the time to failure, with a worsening 1 to 2 months before treatment failure (all P < .05).
There is no indication of a difference in CBR or QOL between GemCap and Gem. Regardless of their initial condition, some patients experience an improvement in QOL on chemotherapy, followed by a worsening before treatment failure.
Short imatinib pulses were added to chemotherapy to improve the long-term survival of adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) -positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), to optimize complete remission (CR) and stem-cell transplantation (SCT) rates.
Of 94 total patients (age range, 19 to 66 years), 35 represented the control cohort (ie, imatinib-negative [IM-negative] group), and 59 received imatinib 600 mg/d orally for 7 consecutive days (ie, imatinib-positive [IM-positive] group), starting from day 15 of chemotherapy course 1 and from 3 days before chemotherapy during courses 2 to 8. Patients in CR were eligible for allogeneic SCT or, alternatively, for high-dose therapy with autologous SCT followed by long-term maintenance with intermittent imatinib.
CR and SCT rates were greater in the IM-positive group (CR: 92% v 80.5%; P = .08; allogeneic SCT: 63% v 39%; P = .041). At a median observation time of 5 years (range, 0.6 to 9.2 years), 22 patients in the IM-positive group versus five patients in the IM-negative group were alive in first CR (P = .037). Patients in the IM-positive group had significantly greater overall and disease-free survival probabilities (overall: 0.38 v 0.23; P = .009; disease free: 0.39 v 0.25; P = .044) and a lower incidence of relapse (P = .005). SCT-related mortality was 28% (ie, 15 of 54 patients), and postgraft survival probability was 0.46 overall.
This imatinib-based protocol improved long-term outcome of adult patients with Ph-positive ALL. With SCT, post-transplantation mortality and relapse remain the major hindrance to additional therapeutic improvement. Additional intensification of imatinib therapy should warrant a better molecular response and clinical outcome, both in patients selected for SCT and in those unable to undergo this procedure.
To demonstrate the efficacy of docetaxel and cisplatin (DP) chemotherapy with concurrent thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) for patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC).
Patients age 75 years or younger with LA-NSCLC, stratified by performance status, stage, and institution, were randomly assigned to two arms consisting of DP (docetaxel 40 mg/m(2) and cisplatin 40 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 29, and 36) or mitomycin, vindesine, and cisplatin (MVP) chemotherapy with concurrent TRT.
Between July 2000 and July 2005, 200 patients were allocated into either the DP or MVP arm. The survival time at 2 years, a primary end point, was favorable to the DP arm (P = .059 by a stratified log-rank test as a planned analysis and P = .044 by an early-period, weighted log-rank as an unplanned analysis). There was a trend toward improved response rate, 2-year survival rate, median progression-free time, and median survival in the DP arm (78.8%, 60.3%,13.4 months, and 26.8 months, respectively) compared with the MVP arm (70.3%, 48.1%, 10.5 months, and 23.7 months, respectively), which was not statistically significant (P > .05). Grade 3 febrile neutropenia occurred more often in the MVP arm than in the DP arm (39% v 22%, respectively; P = .012), and grade 3 to 4 radiation esophagitis was likely to be more common in the DP arm than in the MVP arm (14% v 6%, P = .056).
DP chemotherapy combined with concurrent TRT is an alternative to MVP chemotherapy for patients with LA-NSCLC.
To investigate the prognostic and predictive significance of subtyping node-positive early breast cancer by immunohistochemistry in a clinical trial of a docetaxel-containing regimen.
Pathologic data from a central laboratory were available for 1,350 patients (91%) from the BCIRG 001 trial of docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (TAC) versus fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC) for operable node-positive breast cancer. Patients were classified by tumor characteristics as (1) triple negative (estrogen receptor [ER]-negative, progesterone receptor [PR]-negative, HER2/neu [HER2]-negative), (2) HER2 (HER2-positive, ER-negative, PR-negative), (3) luminal B (ER-positive and/or PR-positive and either HER2-positive and/or Ki67(high)), and (4) luminal A (ER-positive and/or PR-positive and not HER2-positive or Ki67(high)), and assessed for prognostic significance and response to adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients were subdivided into triple negative (14.5%), HER2 (8.5%), luminal B (61.1%), and luminal A (15.9%). Three-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates (P values with luminal B as referent) were 67% (P < .0001), 68% (P = .0008), 82% (referent luminal B), and 91% (P = .0027), respectively, with hazard ratios of 2.22, 2.12, and 0.46. Improved 3-year DFS with TAC was found in the luminal B group (P = .025) and a combined ER-positive/HER2-negative group treated with tamoxifen (P = .041), with a marginal trend in the triple negatives (P = .051) and HER2 (P = .068) subtypes. No DFS advantage was seen in the luminal A population.
A simple immunopanel can divide breast cancers into biologic subtypes with strong prognostic effects. TAC significantly complements endocrine therapy in patients with luminal B subtype and, in the absence of targeted therapy, is effective in the triple-negative population.
TO THE EDITOR: The article by Hugh et al 1 presents a useful classification of node-positive breast cancer to indicate survival and best use of chemotherapy with docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide versus fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide. However, in the luminal B group—in which, compared with the luminal A group, survival was midway between the triple-negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) ‐positive groups—22% of the patients were HER2 positive. Because we routinely treat all HER2-positive patients with Herceptin (trastuzumab;Genentech,SouthSanFrancisco,CA)andchemotherapy,itwouldbeofgreatinteresttoseedisease-freeandoverallsurvival fortheluminalBgroupwithoutincludingtheHER2-positivepatients. The major difference between the luminal A and B groups without HER2 considered would be the Ki67-1 index, which was high in the majority of patients in the luminal B group and low in all patients in the luminal A group. Examining Figure 4 in the article, one has the impressionthatuseofdocetaxel,doxorubicin,andcyclophosphamide rendered the disease-free survival of the luminal B group without HER2-positive patients almost equivalent to that of the luminal A group. Thus, the major benefit of the luminal B subclassification may be in selecting patients who are most apt to benefit from taxanecontaining chemotherapy, which would then render their prognosis similar to that of the luminal A group.
Although dose-intensive strategies or high-dose therapy induction followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation have improved the outcome for patients with mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL), most eventually relapse and subsequently respond poorly to additional therapy. Bortezomib (in the United States) and temsirolimus (in Europe) are currently the only two treatments approved for relapsed disease. Lenalidomide is an immunomodulatory agent with proven tumoricidal and antiproliferative activity in MCL. The MCL-001 (EMERGE) trial is a global, multicenter phase II study examining the safety and efficacy of lenalidomide in patients who had relapsed or were refractory to bortezomib.
Lenalidomide 25 mg orally was administered on days 1 through 21 every 28 days until disease progression or intolerance. Primary end points were overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR); secondary end points included complete response (CR) rate, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety.
In all, 134 patients were enrolled with a median age of 67 years and a median of four prior therapies (range, two to 10 prior therapies). The ORR was 28% (7.5% CR/CR unconfirmed) with rapid time to response (median, 2.2 months) and a median DOR of 16.6 months (95% CI, 7.7 to 26.7 months). Median PFS was 4.0 months (95% CI, 3.6 to 5.6 months), and median OS was 19.0 months (95% CI, 12.5 to 23.9 months). The most common grade 3 to 4 adverse events were neutropenia (43%), thrombocytopenia (28%), anemia (11%), pneumonia (8%), and fatigue (7%).
The MCL-001 study demonstrated durable efficacy of lenalidomide with a predictable safety profile in heavily pretreated patients with MCL who had all relapsed or progressed after or were refractory to bortezomib.
A phase I trial of intrathecal (IT) mafosfamide was performed to determine the optimal dose, dose-limiting toxicities, and incidence and severity of other toxicities when administered in association with concomitant multiagent systemic chemotherapy to children younger than 3 years with newly diagnosed embryonal tumors.
Twenty-five assessable patients received IT mafosfamide at one of six dose levels ranging from 5 mg to 17 mg. Patients were premedicated with dexamethasone (0.15 mg/kg) and morphine (0.1 mg/kg) before receiving IT mafosfamide. Serial samples of CSF for pharmacokinetic studies were obtained in a subset of patients with Ommaya reservoirs.
Irritability, presumably secondary to pain or headache during mafosfamide administration, was dose limiting in two of three patients at the 17-mg dose level. The maximum-tolerated dose of IT mafosfamide following premedication with dexamethasone and morphine was 14 mg.
The maximum tolerated dose and recommended phase II dose of IT mafosfamide in patients younger than 3 years with newly diagnosed embryonal CNS tumors is 14 mg. A trial to assess the efficacy of regional therapy with IT mafosfamide administered with intensive systemic chemotherapy in children younger than 3 years with primary intracranial embryonal tumors is now in progress.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a targetable receptor frequently overexpressed in basal-like breast cancer, which comprises most triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs), the only subtype without established targeted therapy.
In this randomized phase II trial, patients with metastatic TNBC received anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab (400 mg/m(2) load then 250 mg/m(2) per week intravenously [IV]) alone, with carboplatin (area under the curve of 2, once per week IV) added after progression or as concomitant therapy from the beginning. Response rate (RR) was the primary end point; others included time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. Embedded correlative studies included molecular subtyping on archival tissue. Fresh tumor tissue before and after 7 to 14 days of therapy was used for microarray analyses exploring EGFR pathway activity and inhibition.
In 102 patients with TNBC, RRs were 6% (two of 31) to cetuximab and 16% (four of 25) to cetuximab plus carboplatin after progression. RR to those treated from the beginning with cetuximab plus carboplatin was 17% (12 of 71); 31% of patients responded or had prolonged disease stabilization. The cetuximab plus carboplatin regimen was well tolerated, but both TTP and OS were short at 2.1 months (95% CI, 1.8 to 5.5 months) and 10.4 months (95% CI, 7.7 to 13.1 months), respectively. Of 73 patients with archival tissue for analysis, 74% had basal-like molecular subtype. Sixteen patients had tumor biopsies before and 1 week after therapy; genomic patterns of the EGFR pathway showed activation in 13 and inhibition by therapy in five.
Despite strong preclinical data, combination cetuximab plus carboplatin in metastatic TNBC produced responses in fewer than 20% of patients. EGFR pathway analysis showed that most TNBCs involved activation. However, cetuximab blocked expression of the EGFR pathway in only a minority, suggesting that most had alternate mechanisms for pathway activation.
To evaluate the rate of pathologic complete response and toxicity of neoadjuvant chemoradiation for advanced T3/T4 distal rectal cancers in a randomized phase II study
Patients with clinical T3/T4 distal rectal cancers were randomly assigned in a phase II study to receive combined neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgical resection. Patients were randomly assigned to receive continuous venous infusion (CVI) fluorouracil (FU) 225 mg/m2 per day, 7 days per week, plus pelvic hyperfractionated radiation 55.2 to 60 Gy at 1.2 Gy bid (arm 1) or CVI FU 225 mg/m2 per day Monday to Friday, 120 hours per week plus irinotecan 50 mg/m2 once weekly for 4 weeks plus pelvic radiation therapy 50.4 to 54 Gy at 1.8 Gy per day (arm 2). Surgery was performed 4 to 10 weeks after completion of neoadjuvant therapy. The primary end point of this study was pathologic complete response (pCR). Secondary end points included acute and late normal tissue morbidity.
A total of 106 patients were entered onto the study, with 103 assessable for response. The overall resectability rate was 93%. The median time to surgery was 7 weeks. Tumor downstaging was observed in 78% of patients in both arms. The pCR rate for all assessable patients was 26% in each arm. For patients who had surgery, the pCR rate was also the same (28%) in both arms. Acute and late toxicity was also similar. Grade 3 and 4 acute hematologic and nonhematologic toxicity occurred in 13% and 38% in arm 1 and 12% and 45% in arm 2, respectively.
Although the overall complete response rate and toxicity seems similar in both arms, this is the first multi-institutional study to establish a relatively high (28%) pCR rate after neoadjuvant therapy.
Patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) or locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) were randomly assigned to 21-day doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide administered for five cycles (standard arm) versus weekly doxorubicin and daily oral cyclophosphamide administered with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor support for 15 weeks (continuous arm). All patients had subsequent weekly paclitaxel for 12 weeks before surgery.
Patients (n = 372) were randomly assigned to the standard arm (n = 186) or the continuous arm (n = 186) stratified by disease type (LABC, n = 256; IBC, n = 116). The primary outcome was microscopic pathologic complete response (pCR) at surgery. Secondary outcomes included disease-free survival, overall survival, and toxicity.
More patients in the standard arm had grade 3 to 4 leukopenia and neutropenia, but there were more instances of stomatitis/pharyngitis and hand-foot skin reaction in the continuous arm. Assessed among 356 eligible patients, pCR was not different between the treatment groups stratified by disease type (P = .42). In subset analysis, higher pCR rates were observed in the continuous arm versus the standard arm only for stage IIIB disease (P = .0057) and in IBC (P = .06). Comparison of overall survival and disease-free survival showed no difference between treatment groups (P = .37 and P = .87, respectively).
No significant clinical benefit was seen for the investigational arm in this trial overall.
To evaluate the effect of rituximab in limited-stage diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), we conducted a multicenter phase II trial combining rituximab with three cycles of CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone; R-CHOP) followed by involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT).
Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) study S0014 enrolled patients with newly diagnosed, aggressive, CD20-expressing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Patients had limited-stage disease and at least one adverse risk factor as defined by the stage-modified International Prognostic Index (nonbulky stage II disease, age > 60 years, WHO performance status of 2, or elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase). Four doses of rituximab were infused on days -7, 1, 22, and 43, and CHOP was administered on days 3, 24, and 45, followed 3 weeks later by 40 to 46 Gy of IFRT.
Sixty patients with aggressive NHL were eligible. With the median follow-up of 5.3 years, treatment resulted in a progression-free survival (PFS) of 93% at 2 years and 88% at 4 years. Overall survival (OS) was 95% at 2 years and 92% at 4 years. These results were compared with those from a historic group of patients treated without rituximab on S8736, demonstrating PFS of 78% and OS of 88% at 4 years.
In limited-stage DLBCL, the addition of rituximab to three cycles of CHOP plus IFRT met prespecified study criteria of efficacy, with 2-year PFS of at least 84%, meriting further investigation. There is a pattern of continuing relapse with modest survival gains. We hypothesize that such a pattern may be the result of biologic differences between limited- and advanced-stage lymphoma.
Gemcitabine as a single agent and the combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel have activity in patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma. To determine if the addition of docetaxel to gemcitabine improved clinical outcome of patients with metastatic soft tissue sarcomas, we compared a fixed dose rate infusion of gemcitabine versus a lower dose of gemcitabine with docetaxel.
In this open-label phase II clinical trial, the primary end point was tumor response, defined as complete or partial response or stable disease lasting at least 24 weeks. A Bayesian adaptive randomization procedure was used to produce an imbalance in the randomization in favor of the superior treatment, accounting for treatment-subgroup interactions.
One hundred nineteen of 122 randomly assigned patients had assessable outcomes. The adaptive randomization assigned 73 patients (60%) to gemcitabine-docetaxel and 49 patients (40%) to gemcitabine alone, indicating gemcitabine-docetaxel was superior. The objective Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors response rates were 16% (gemcitabine-docetaxel) and 8% (gemcitabine). Given the data, the posterior probabilities that gemcitabine-docetaxel was superior for progression-free and overall survival were 0.98 and 0.97, respectively. Median progression-free survival was 6.2 months for gemcitabine-docetaxel and 3.0 months for gemcitabine alone; median overall survival was 17.9 months for gemcitabine-docetaxel and 11.5 months for gemcitabine. The posterior probability that patients receiving gemcitabine-docetaxel had a shorter time to discontinuation for toxicity compared with gemcitabine alone was .999.
Gemcitabine-docetaxel yielded superior progression-free and overall survival to gemcitabine alone, but with increased toxicity. Adaptive randomization is an effective method to reduce the number of patients receiving inferior therapy.
We sought to improve outcomes for patients with high-risk head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) after surgical resection by testing the feasibility and safety of early postoperative chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy.
Eligible patients had resected, stages III to IV HNSCC with positive margins, extracapsular nodal extension, or multiple positive nodes. Paclitaxel (80 mg/m(2)) was given once weekly during postoperative weeks 2, 3, and 4 and was given before radiation therapy (RT). Paclitaxel (30 mg/m(2)) and cisplatin (20 mg/m(2)) were given once weekly during the last 3 weeks of RT (60 Gy over 6 weeks, beginning 4 to 5 weeks after surgery). The primary end points were treatment safety and tolerability compared with concurrent cisplatin (100 mg/m(2) every 3 weeks) and RT, as tested in Radiation Therapy Oncology Group trial RTOG 9501.
The median follow-up time for the 70 patients enrolled was 3.3 years (range, 0.6 to 4.4 years) for surviving patients. Tolerability of all treatment components was comparable to that of RTOG 9501 treatment, which is the current standard of care (compliance rate, 75%; 95% CI, 63% to 85%). One patient died, and seven patients experienced grade 4 nonhematologic toxicities. Rates of locoregional control, disease-free survival, and overall survival exceeded those of RTOG 9501 after adjustment for important prognostic variables (ie, positive margins, extracapsular extension, primary site, and performance status).
Chemotherapy soon after surgery followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy therapy was feasible; tolerance was in line with standard postoperative chemoradiotherapy; and this regimen led to excellent rates of locoregional control and disease-free survival.
This randomized, open-label trial compared dacomitinib (PF-00299804), an irreversible inhibitor of human epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR)/HER1, HER2, and HER4, with erlotinib, a reversible EGFR inhibitor, in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Patients and Methods
Patients with NSCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2, no prior HER-directed therapy, and one/two prior chemotherapy regimens received dacomitinib 45 mg or erlotinib 150 mg once daily.
One hundred eighty-eight patients were randomly assigned. Treatment arms were balanced for most clinical and molecular characteristics. Median progression-free survival (PFS; primary end point) was 2.86 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.91 months for patients treated with erlotinib (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.91; two-sided P = .012); in patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, median PFS was 3.71 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.91 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.85; two-sided P = .006); and in patients with KRAS wild-type/EGFR wild-type tumors, median PFS was 2.21 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.84 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.99; two-sided P = .043). Median overall survival was 9.53 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 7.44 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.80; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.13; two-sided P = .205). Adverse event-related discontinuations were uncommon in both arms. Common treatment-related adverse events were dermatologic and gastrointestinal, predominantly grade 1 to 2, and more frequent with dacomitinib.
Dacomitinib demonstrated significantly improved PFS versus erlotinib, with acceptable toxicity. PFS benefit was observed in most clinical and molecular subsets, notably KRAS wild-type/EGFR any status, KRAS wild-type/EGFR wild-type, and EGFR mutants.
Anthracyclines, taxanes, and alkylating agents are among the most active agents in treatment of adjuvant breast cancer (BC), but the optimal schedule for their administration is unknown. We performed an adjuvant trial to compare the sequential regimen of doxorubicin with cyclophosphamide (AC) followed by docetaxel (ie, AC>T) with the combination regimen of TAC.
Women with node-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-nonamplified, operable BC were stratified by number of axillary nodes and hormone receptor status and were randomly assigned to adjuvant chemotherapy with six cycles of TAC (75/50/500 mg/m² every 3 weeks) or four cycles of AC (60/600 mg/m² every 3 weeks) followed by four doses of docetaxel at 100 mg/m² every 3 weeks (AC>T). After completion of chemotherapy, radiation therapy was given as indicated, and patients with hormone receptor (HR) -positive disease received adjuvant hormonal therapy with tamoxifen and/or aromatase inhibitors.
In 30 months, 3,298 patients were enrolled (n = 1,649 in each arm). The major baseline characteristics were well balanced between the groups. At a median follow-up of 65 months, estimated 5-year disease-free survival rates were 79% in both groups (log-rank P = .98; hazard ratio [HR], 1.0; 95%CI, 0.86 to 1.16), and 5-year overall survival rates for both arms were 88% and 89%, respectively (log-rank P = .37; HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.11). TAC was associated with more febrile neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, and AC>T was associated with more sensory neuropathy, nail changes, and myalgia. The incidence of neutropenic infection was similar in both groups.
The sequential and combination regimens incorporating three drugs were equally effective but differed in toxicity profile.
PF-00562271 is a novel inhibitor of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). The objectives of this study were to identify the recommended phase II dose (RP2D) and assess safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD), and antitumor activity of PF-00562271.
Part 1 was a dose escalation without and with food. Part 2 enrolled specific tumor types in an expansion at the RP2D and also assessed the effect of PF-00562271 on single-dose midazolam PK in a subgroup of patients.
Ninety-nine patients (median age, 60 years; 98% with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1) were treated in 12 fasting and three fed cohorts. The 125-mg twice-per-day fed dose was deemed the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and RP2D. Grade 3 dose-limiting toxicities included headache, nausea/vomiting, dehydration, and edema. Nausea was the most frequently observed toxicity (60% of patients, all grades 1 or 2 at RP2D). PF-00562271 exposure increased with increasing dose; serum concentration-time profiles showed characteristic nonlinear disposition. Steady-state exposures were reached within 1 week. On coadministration, geometric mean values of midazolam maximal observed serum concentration and area under the serum concentration-time curve increased by 60% and more than two-fold, respectively. Of 14 patients evaluable by [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the expansion cohorts, seven metabolic responses were observed. With conventional imaging, 31 patients had stable disease at first restaging scans, and 15 of these remained stable for six or more cycles.
The MTD and RP2D of PF-00562271 is 125 mg twice per day with food. PF-00562271 displayed time- and dose-dependent nonlinear PK and is likely a potent CYP 3A inhibitor. This first-in-class study supports further investigation of FAK as a promising therapeutic target.
PURPOSEWe previously reported the eradication of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-amplified human xenografts in mice by inhibition of the HER2 pathway with lapatinib and trastuzumab to block all homo- and heterodimer signaling as well as by blockade of estrogen receptor (ER) when expressed. In this clinical trial, we sought to translate these findings to patients using targeted therapy without chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS
Women with stages II to III HER2-positive breast cancers were eligible. They received trastuzumab once per week (4 mg/kg loading, then 2 mg/kg) and lapatinib 1000 mg once per day for 12 weeks. Women with ER-positive tumors also received letrozole (plus a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone [LHRH] agonist if premenopausal). Pathologic response was assessed by ER status. Biopsies were obtained at baseline, weeks 2 and 8, and time of surgery.ResultsSixty-six patients were enrolled, and 64 were eligible and evaluable for response. Median tumor size was 6 cm (range, 1.5 to 30 cm). Adverse events were mainly grades 1 to 2 (GI, 63%; skin, 46%). Grade 3 metabolic, GI, and liver (18%; 12 patients) and grade 4 liver toxicities (one patient) were also observed. Overall, in-breast pathologic complete response (pCR; ypT0-is) was 27% (ER positive, 21%; ER negative, 36%). The rate of low-volume residual disease (ypT1a-b) was 22% (ER positive, 33%; ER negative, 4%). CONCLUSION
In patients with locally advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, our approach of targeted therapy only resulted in a high pCR rate without chemotherapy. Our data support the hypothesis that selected patients with HER2-positive tumors may not need chemotherapy, and more-complete blockade of HER receptors and ER is an effective strategy worthy of further study.
Docetaxel-trastuzumab (TH) is effective therapy for HER2-amplified metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Preclinical findings of synergy between docetaxel, carboplatin, and trastuzumab (TCH) prompted a phase III randomized trial comparing TCH with TH in patients with HER2-amplified MBC.
Two hundred sixty-three patients were randomly assigned to receive eight 3-week cycles of TH (trastuzumab plus docetaxel 100 mg/m(2)) or TCH (trastuzumab plus carboplatin at area under the serum concentration-time curve 6 and docetaxel 75 mg/m(2)). Trastuzumab was given at 4 mg/kg loading dose followed by a 2 mg/kg dose once per week during chemotherapy, and then 6 mg/kg once every 3 weeks until progression.
Patient characteristics were balanced between groups. There was no significant difference between TH and TCH in terms of the primary end point, time to progression (medians of 11.1 and 10.4 months, respectively; hazard ratio, 0.914; 95% CI, 0.694 to 1.203; P = .57), response rate (72% for both groups), or overall survival (medians of 37.1 and 37.4 months, respectively; P = .99). Rates of grades 3 or 4 adverse effects for TH and TCH, respectively, were neutropenic-related complications, 29% and 23%; thrombocytopenia, 2% and 15%; anemia, 5% and 11%; sensory neuropathy, 3% and 0.8%; fatigue, 5% and 12%; peripheral edema, 3.8% and 1.5%; and diarrhea, 2% and 10%. Two patients given TCH died of sepsis, and one patient given TH experienced sudden cardiac death. Absolute left ventricular ejection fraction decline > 15% was seen in 5.5% of patients on the TH arm and 6.7% of patients on the TCH arm.
Adding carboplatin did not enhance TH antitumor activity.TH (docetaxel, 100 mg/m(2)) and TCH (docetaxel, 75 mg/m(2)) demonstrated efficacy with acceptable toxicity in women with HER2-amplified MBC.
ABI-007 is a novel solvent-free, albumin-bound, 130-nm particle formulation of paclitaxel designed to avoid solvent-related toxicities and to deliver paclitaxel to tumors via molecular pathways involving an endothelial cell-surface albumin receptor (gp60) and an albumin-binding protein expressed by tumor cells and secreted into the tumor interstitium (secreted protein acid rich in cysteine). This study determined the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of ABI-007 monotherapy administered weekly (three weekly doses, repeated every 4 weeks) and assessed the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel administered as ABI-007.
Patients with advanced nonhematologic malignancies received ABI-007 without premedication at dose levels from 80 to 200 mg/m(2) as a 30-minute intravenous infusion once a week for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of rest (one cycle).
Thirty-nine patients were treated with an average of five cycles of ABI-007; 33% of patients received > or = six cycles of treatment. MTDs for heavily and lightly pretreated patients were 100 and 150 mg/m(2), respectively; and the dose-limiting toxicities were grade 4 neutropenia and grade 3 peripheral neuropathy, respectively. Maximum paclitaxel concentration and area under the curve increased linearly with dose. Dose-dependent changes in plasma clearance did not occur. Partial responses were observed in five patients with breast, lung, and ovarian cancers, all of whom had previously been treated with paclitaxel containing polyoxyethylated castor oil in the formulation.
This study demonstrated that weekly ABI-007 can be administered at doses exceeding those typically used for paclitaxel containing polyoxyethylated castor oil. Pharmacokinetics were linear over the dose range studied. Antitumor responses occurred in patients previously treated with paclitaxel containing polyoxyethylated castor oil.
ABI-007 is a novel nanoparticle, albumin-bound paclitaxel that is free of solvents. This multicenter phase II study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ABI-007 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Sixty-three women with histologically confirmed and measurable MBC received 300 mg/m2 ABI-007 by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every 3 weeks without premedication. Forty-eight patients received prior chemotherapy; 39 patients received no prior treatment for metastatic disease.
Overall response rates (complete or partial responses) were 48% (95% CI, 35.3% to 60.0%) for all patients. For patients who received ABI-007 as first-line and greater than first-line therapy for their metastatic disease, the respective response rates were 64% (95% CI, 49.0% to 79.2%) and 21% (95% CI, 7.1% to 42.1%). Median time to disease progression was 26.6 weeks, and median survival was 63.6 weeks. No severe hypersensitivity reactions were reported despite the lack of premedication. Toxicities observed were typical of paclitaxel and included grade 4 neutropenia (24%), grade 3 sensory neuropathy (11%), and grade 4 febrile neutropenia (5%). Patients received a median of six treatment cycles; 16 patients had 25% dose reductions because of toxicities, and two of these patients had subsequent dose reductions.
ABI-007, the first biologically interactive albumin-bound form of paclitaxel in the nanoparticle state, uses the natural carrier albumin rather than synthetic solvents to deliver paclitaxel and allows for safe administration of high paclitaxel doses without premedication, resulting in significant antitumor activity in patients with MBC, including those receiving the drug as first-line therapy.
To determine the relationship, in patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon, between survival and the number of lymph nodes analyzed from surgical specimens.
Intergroup Trial INT-0089 is a mature trial of adjuvant chemotherapy for high-risk patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer. We performed a secondary analysis of this group with overall survival (OS) as the main end point. Cause-specific survival (CSS) and disease-free survival were secondary end points. Rates for these outcome measures were estimated using Kaplan-Meier methodology. Log-rank test was used to compare overall curves, and Cox proportional hazards regression was used to multivariately assess predictors of outcome.
The median number of lymph nodes removed at colectomy was 11 (range, one to 87). Of the 3411 assessable patients, 648 had no evidence of lymph node metastasis. Multivariate analyses were performed on the node-positive and node-negative groups separately to ascertain the effect of lymph node removal. Survival decreased with increasing number of lymph node involvement (P =.0001 for all three survival end points). After controlling for the number of nodes involved, survival increased as more nodes were analyzed (P =.0001 for all three end points). Even when no nodes were involved, OS and CSS improved as more lymph nodes were analyzed (P =.0005 and P =.007, respectively).
The number of lymph nodes analyzed for staging colon cancers is, itself, a prognostic variable on outcome. The impact of this variable is such that it may be an important variable to include in evaluating future trials.
In 1990, fluorouracil (FU) plus levamisole for 1 year became standard adjuvant treatment for patients with high-risk stages II and III colon cancer. Intergroup (INT) 0089 assessed the relative contributions of leucovorin and levamisole in such patients.
From 1988 to 1992, 3,794 patients were randomly assigned. Experimental treatment consisted of one of three chemotherapy regimens: the low-dose leucovorin plus FU (Mayo Clinic; LDLV) regimen, the high-dose leucovorin plus FU (Roswell Park; HDLV) regimen, and the low-dose leucovorin plus levamisole plus FU (LDLV plus LEV) regimen, each administered for 30 to 32 weeks. The control arm was levamisole plus FU (LEV) for 1 year.
After a median follow-up of 10 years, of 3,561 eligible patients, 1,691 (47%) have died and 1,330 (37%) have experienced disease recurrence; 137 (10%) of those experiencing recurrence are still alive. A total of 481 patients (13%) died without evidence of recurrence, and 1,723 (48%) are alive and disease free. Although there were toxicity differences among the four arms, none was statistically superior in disease-free or overall survival.
The 6- to 8-month regimens of LDLV and HDLV without levamisole used in this trial, rather than the previous standard regimen of 12 months of LEV, have become widely used. INT-0089 has long-term follow-up of the largest clinical trial of patients with high-risk colon cancer, documenting not only the durability of the treatment effects, but also the natural history of patients with high-risk colon cancer, and analyses of treatment based on age, race, and comorbid conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and second primary cancers.
The impact of the modality used for local control of Ewing sarcoma is uncertain. We investigated the relationship between the type of local control modality, surgery, radiation (RT) or both (S + RT), and subsequent risk for local failure (LF) in patients with nonmetastatic pelvic Ewing sarcoma treated on INT-0091.
Patients < or = 30 years with Ewing sarcoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumor or primitive sarcoma of bone were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy with doxorubicin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and dactinomycin, (VACA) or with these four drugs alternating with ifosfamide and etoposide (VACA-IE). The local control modality, surgery, RT or both was chosen by the treating physicians. The effect of local control modality was assessed after adjusting for the size of tumor (< 8 cm, > or = 8 cm) and chemotherapy type.
Seventy-five patients with pelvic tumors and a median follow-up of 4.4 years (0.6 to 11.4 years) comprised the study population. Twelve underwent surgery, 44 received RT, and 19 received both. The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and cumulative incidence of LF was 49% and 21% (16%, LF only; 5%, LF and distant failure). There was no significant difference in EFS or LF by tumor size (< 8 cm, > or = 8 cm), local control (LC) modality, or chemotherapy. However, VACA-IE seems to confer an LC benefit (11% v 30%; P = .06).
There was no significant effect of local control modality (surgery, RT or S + RT) selected by the treating physicians on rates of local failure or EFS. However, VACA-IE improves LC (11%) compared with previously published results for pelvic Ewing sarcoma.
The Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) coordinated an Intergroup study with the participation of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). This randomized phase III trial compared chemoradiotherapy versus radiotherapy alone in patients with nasopharyngeal cancers.
Radiotherapy was administered in both arms: 1.8- to 2.0-Gy/d fractions Monday to Friday for 35 to 39 fractions for a total dose of 70 Gy. The investigational arm received chemotherapy with cisplatin 100 mg/m2 on days 1, 22, and 43 during radiotherapy; postradiotherapy, chemotherapy with cisplatin 80 mg/m2 on day 1 and fluorouracil 1,000 mg/m2/d on days 1 to 4 was administered every 4 weeks for three courses. Patients were stratified by tumor stage, nodal stage, performance status, and histology.
Of 193 patients registered, 147 (69 radiotherapy and 78 chemoradiotherapy) were eligible for primary analysis for survival and toxicity. The median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 15 months for eligible patients on the radiotherapy arm and was not reached for the chemo-radiotherapy group. The 3-year PFS rate was 24% versus 69%, respectively (P < .001). The median survival time was 34 months for the radiotherapy group and not reached for the chemo-radiotherapy group, and the 3-year survival rate was 47% versus 78%, respectively (P = .005). One hundred eighty-five patients were included in a secondary analysis for survival. The 3-year survival rate for patients randomized to radiotherapy was 46%, and for the chemoradiotherapy group was 76% (P < .001).
We conclude that chemoradiotherapy is superior to radiotherapy alone for patients with advanced nasopharyngeal cancers with respect to PFS and overall survival.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and adjuvant chemotherapy are two adjuvant treatment options for patients with clinical stage I nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis (NSGCT). Aim of this trial was to prove the advantage of one cycle of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) chemotherapy compared with RPLND in terms of recurrence.
Between 1996 and 2005, 382 patients were randomly assigned to receive either RPLND (n = 191) or one course of BEP (n = 191) after orchidectomy. The primary study end point was the rate of recurrence. The trial was powered to detect a 7% reduction (from 10% to 3%) of recurrence with chemotherapy compared with surgery.
After a median follow-up of 4.7 years, two and 15 recurrences were observed in the intention-to-treat population with chemotherapy and surgery, respectively (P = .0011). The difference in the 2-year recurrence-free survival rate between chemotherapy (99.46%; 95% CI, 96.20% to 99.92%) and surgery (91.87%; 95% CI, 86.87% to 95.02%) was 7.59% (95% CI, 3.13% to 12.05%). The hazard ratio to experience a tumor recurrence with surgery as opposed to chemotherapy was 7.937 (95% CI, 1.808 to 34.48).
To our knowledge, this is the largest randomized trial investigating adjuvant treatment strategies in clinical stage I NSGCT, which showed the superiority of one course BEP over RPLND performed according to community standards to prevent recurrence. Although not standard treatment, one course of BEP is active in an unselected group of patients with clinical stage I disease and merits further investigation.
We conducted a phase III study to compare the survival impact of concurrent versus sequential treatment with radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (CT) in unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Patients were randomly assigned to one of the two treatment arms. In the sequential arm, patients received induction CT with cisplatin (120 mg/m2) on days 1, 29, and 57, and vinorelbine (30 mg/m2/wk) from day 1 to day 78, followed by thoracic RT at a dose of 66 Gy in 33 fractions (2 Gy per fraction and 5 fractions per week). In the concurrent arm, the same RT was started on day 1 with two concurrent cycles of cisplatin 20 mg/m2/d and etoposide 50 mg/m2/d (days 1 to 5 and days 29 to 33); patients then received consolidation therapy with cisplatin 80 mg/m2 on days 78 and 106 and vinorelbine 30 mg/m2/wk from days 78 to 127.
Two hundred five patients were randomly assigned. Pretreatment characteristics were well balanced between the two arms. There were six toxic deaths in the sequential arm and 10 in the concurrent arm. Median survival was 14.5 months in the sequential arm and 16.3 months in the concurrent arm (log-rank test P = .24). Two-, 3-, and 4-year survival rates were better in the concurrent arm (39%, 25%, and 21%, respectively) than in the sequential arm (26%, 19%, and 14%, respectively). Esophageal toxicity was significantly more frequent in the concurrent arm than in the sequential arm (32% v 3%).
Although not statistically significant, clinically important differences in the median, 2-, 3-, and 4-year survival rates were observed, with a trend in favor of concurrent chemoradiation therapy, suggesting that is the optimal strategy for patients with locally advanced NSCLC.
The purpose of this study was to construct a simple and powerful prognostic index (PI) of epithelial ovarian cancer, the PIEPOC.
In a retrospective review, data from 768 women with stage III or IV epithelial ovarian cancer from 24 institutions in Japan were evaluated for clinical features predictive of overall survival. A PI and risk groups to predict overall survival after initial surgery were developed using the proportional hazards regression model.
Of six factors, the four prognostic factors that remained independently significant in the analysis of a training sample (538 randomly selected patients) were age, performance status (PS), histologic cell type, and residual tumor size. From the regression function, we derived a PI = 1 (if age 70 and above) + 1 (if PS 1 or 2) + 2 (if PS 3 or 4) + 1 (if mucinous or clear-cell) + 2 (if residual size 0.1 cm and above). Patients were classified into three risk groups (PIEPOC): low risk (PI 0-2), intermediate risk (PI 3), and high risk (PI 4-6). The PIEPOC was equally predictive in a validation sample (n = 230), identifying three groups (5-year survival: 0.67 in low, 0.43 in intermediate, 0.17 in high risk).
Our proposed PI, the PIEPOC, was predictive in our patient population and may have utility in clinical practice. Prospective studies would be needed to confirm the prognostic predictive ability of the PIEPOC for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.
To assess the benefit and toxicity and quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes of pelvic nodes irradiation in nonmetastatic prostate carcinoma patients.
Between December 1998 and June 2004, 444 patients with T1b-T3, N0 pNx, M0 prostate carcinoma were randomly assigned to either pelvic and prostate radiotherapy or prostate radiotherapy only. Patients were stratified according to the prognostic factor of lymph node involvement (LNI). Short-term 6-month neoadjuvant and concomitant hormonal therapy was allowed only for patients in the high-risk group. The pelvic dose was 46 Gy. The total dose recommended to the prostate was changed during the course of the study from 66 Gy to 70 Gy. Criteria for progression-free survival (PFS) included biologic prostate-specific antigen recurrences or a local or metastatic evolution. Acute and late toxicities were recorded according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and Late Effects in Normal Tissues Subjective, Objective, Management, and Analytic scales, respectively. The QOL outcome was recorded with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30, the International Prostatic Symptom Score, and the Sexual Function Index scales.
With a 42.1-month median follow-up time, the 5-year PFS and overall survival were similar in the two treatment arms for the whole series and for each stratified group. On multivariate analysis, low LNI risk and hormonal therapy were statistically associated with increased PFS. However, subgroup analyses based on these factors did not show any benefit for pelvic irradiation. There were no significant differences in acute and late digestive toxicities and in QOL outcomes.
Pelvic node irradiation was well tolerated but did not improve PFS.
To report mature results of a randomized trial that compared extended-field radiotherapy (EFRT) versus pelvic radiotherapy with concomitant fluorouracil and cisplatin (CTRT) in women with locoregionally advanced carcinomas of the uterine cervix.
Four hundred three women with cervical cancer were randomly assigned to receive either EFRT or CTRT. Patients were eligible if they had stage IIB to IVA disease, stage IB to IIA disease with a tumor diameter > or = 5 cm, or positive pelvic lymph nodes. Patients were stratified by stage and by method of lymph node evaluation.
The median follow-up time for 228 surviving patients was 6.6 years. The overall survival rate for patients treated with CTRT was significantly greater than that for patients treated with EFRT (67% v 41% at 8 years; P <.0001). There was an overall reduction in the risk of disease recurrence of 51% (95% CI, 36% to 66%) for patients who received CTRT. Patients with stage IB to IIB disease who received CTRT had better overall and disease-free survival than those treated with EFRT (P <.0001); 116 patients with stage III to IVA disease had better disease-free survival (P =.05) and a trend toward better overall survival (P =.07) if they were randomly assigned to CTRT. The rate of serious late complications of treatment was similar for the two treatment arms.
Mature analysis confirms that the addition of fluorouracil and cisplatin to radiotherapy significantly improved the survival rate of women with locally advanced cervical cancer without increasing the rate of late treatment-related side effects.
N,N-diethyl-2-[4-(phenylmethyl)phenoxy]ethanamine (DPPE; tesmilifene) is a novel agent that augments chemotherapy cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. A phase II trial combining DPPE and doxorubicin (DOX) in metastatic breast carcinoma showed increased response over that expected with DOX. We report a phase III trial comparing DOX with DPPE plus DOX in metastatic or recurrent breast cancer.
Anthracycline-naive women with measurable metastatic disease were randomly assigned to receive, every 21 days, either DOX 60 mg/m(2) intravenously or DOX during the last 20 minutes of an 80-minute infusion of DPPE (5.3 mg/kg), in both cases to cumulative DOX doses of 450 mg/m(2). Patients receiving DPPE were aggressively premedicated to ameliorate toxicity. End points included progression-free survival (PFS), response rate (RR), and response duration (RD), quality of life (QOL), toxicity, and overall survival (OS).
A planned interim analysis failed to detect an RR difference more than 5%. The study was closed to additional accrual and all DPPE was discontinued. The final analysis was conducted as planned after 256 progression events (median follow-up, 20.5 months). There was no significant difference in RR, RD, or PFS between arms. DPPE plus DOX was statistically superior to DOX in OS (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.91; P =.021). DPPE plus DOX was associated with more gastrointestinal and CNS toxicity. No consistent influence on QOL was detected.
This study demonstrated no advantage in RR, RD, or PFS but significantly superior OS for DPPE plus DOX. Additional studies of DPPE are warranted.
To improve efficacy and reduce toxicity of treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Patients from all risk groups, including infants and those with T-cell disease, were treated between 1987 and 1991. Standard-risk (SR) patients did not receive cranial irradiation, whereas high-risk (HR) and very high-risk (VHR) patients participated in a randomized comparison of 18 Gy of cranial irradiation conventionally fractionated versus two fractions per day (hyperfractionated).
At a median follow-up of 9.2 years, the 9-year event-free survival (EFS +/- SE) was 75% +/- 2% for all 369 patients, 77% +/- 4% for the 142 SR patients, and 73% +/- 3% for the 227 HR/VHR patients (P =.37 comparing SR and HR/VHR). The CNS, with or without concomitant bone marrow involvement, was the first site of relapse in 19 (13%) of the 142 SR patients: 16 (20%) of 79 SR boys and three (5%) of 63 SR girls. This high incidence of relapses necessitated a recall of SR boys for additional therapy. CNS relapse occurred in only two (1%) of 227 HR and VHR patients. There were no outcome differences found among randomized treatment groups. Nine-year overall survival was 84% +/- 2% for the entire population, 93% +/- 2% for SR children, and 79% +/- 3% for HR and VHR children (P <.01 comparing SR and HR/VHR).
A high overall survival outcome was obtained for SR patients despite the high risk of CNS relapse for SR boys, which was presumed to be associated with eliminating cranial radiation without intensifying systemic or intrathecal chemotherapy. For HR/VHR patients, inability to salvage after relapse (nearly all of which were in the bone marrow) remains a significant clinical problem.
The PACS 01 trial compared six cycles of fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FEC) with a sequential regimen of three cycles of FEC followed by three cycles of docetaxel (FEC-D) as adjuvant treatment for women with node-positive early breast cancer.
Between June 1997 and March 2000, 1,999 patients with operable node-positive breast cancer were randomly assigned to either FEC every 21 days for six cycles, or three cycles of FEC followed by three cycles of docetaxel, both given every 21 days. Hormone-receptor-positive patients received tamoxifen for 5 years after chemotherapy. The primary end point was 5-year disease-free survival (DFS).
Median follow-up was 60 months. Five-year DFS rates were 73.2% with FEC and 78.4% with FEC-D (unadjusted P = .011; adjusted P = .012). Multivariate analysis adjusted for prognostic factors showed an 18% reduction in the relative risk of relapse with FEC-D. Five-year overall survival rates were 86.7% with FEC and 90.7% with FEC-D, demonstrating a 27% reduction in the relative risk of death (unadjusted P = .014; adjusted P = .017). The incidence of grade 3 to 4 neutropenia, the need for hematopoietic growth factor, and incidence of nausea/vomiting were higher with FEC. Docetaxel was associated with more febrile neutropenia in the fourth cycle, stomatitis, edema, and nail disorders. Though rare overall, there were fewer cardiac events after FEC-D (P = .03), attributable mainly to the lower anthracycline cumulative dose.
Sequential adjuvant chemotherapy with FEC followed by docetaxel significantly improves disease-free and overall survival in node-positive breast cancer patients and has a favorable safety profile.
Although the benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy has been clearly established in patients with Dukes' C colon cancer, such benefit has been questioned in patients with Dukes' B disease. To determine whether patients with Dukes' B disease benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and to evaluate the magnitude of the benefit, compared with that observed in Dukes' C patients, we examined the relative efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy according to Dukes' stage in four sequential National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project trials (C-01, C-02, C-03, and C-04) that compared different adjuvant chemotherapy regimens with each other or with no adjuvant treatment.
The four trials included Dukes' B and C patients and were conducted between 1977 and 1990. The eligibility criteria and follow-up requirements were similar for all four trials. Protocol C-01 compared adjuvant semustine, vincristine, and fluorouracil (5-FU) (MOF regimen) with operation alone. Protocol C-02 compared the perioperative administration of a portal venous infusion of 5-FU with operation alone. Protocol C-03 compared adjuvant 5-FU and leucovorin (LV) with adjuvant MOF. Protocol C-04 compared adjuvant 5-FU and LV with 5-FU and levamisole (LEV) and with the combination of 5-FU, LV, and LEV.
Forty-one percent of the patients included in these four trials had resected Dukes' B tumors. In all four studies, the overall, disease-free, and recurrence-free survival improvement noted for all patients was evident in both Dukes' B and Dukes' C patients. When the relative efficacy of chemotherapy was examined, there was always an observed reduction in mortality, recurrence, or disease-free survival event, irrespective of Dukes' stage, and in most instances, the reduction was as great or greater for Dukes' B patients as for Dukes' C patients. When data from all four trials were examined in a combined analysis, the mortality reduction was 30% for Dukes' B patients versus 18% for Dukes' C patients. The mortality reduction in Dukes' B patients occurred irrespective of the presence or absence of adverse prognostic factors.
Patients with Dukes' B colon cancer benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and should be presented with this treatment option. Regardless of the presence or absence of other clinical prognostic factors, Dukes' B patients seem to benefit from chemotherapy administration.
Adjuvant postoperative treatment with fluorouracil (5-FU) and levamisole in curatively resected stage III colon cancer significantly reduces the risk of cancer recurrence and improves survival. Biochemical modulation of 5-FU with leucovorin has resulted in increased remission rates in metastatic colorectal cancer, thus reflecting an increased tumor-cell kill. The impact of 5-FU plus leucovorin on survival and tumor recurrence was analyzed in comparison with the effects of 5-FU plus levamisole in the prospective multicentric trial adjCCA-01.
Patients with a curatively resected International Union Against Cancer stage III colon cancer were stratified according to T, N, and G category and randomly assigned to receive one of the two adjuvant treatment schemes: 5-FU 400 mg/m(2) body-surface area intravenously in the first chemotherapy course, then 450 mg/m(2) x 5 days; 12 cycles, plus leucovorin 100 mg/m(2) (arm A), or 5-FU plus levamisole (Moertel scheme; arm B).
Six hundred eighty (96.9%) of 702 patients enrolled onto this study were eligible. After a median follow-up time of 46.5 months, the 5-FU plus leucovorin combination significantly improved disease-free survival (P =.037) and significantly decreased overall mortality (P =.0089) in comparison with 5-FU plus levamisole. In a multivariate proportional hazards model, adjuvant chemotherapy emerged as a significant prognostic factor for survival (P =.0059) and disease-free survival (P =.03). Adjuvant treatment with 5-FU plus levamisole as well as with 5-FU plus leucovorin was generally well tolerated; only a minority of patients experienced grade 3 and 4 toxicities.
After a curative resection of a stage III colon cancer, adjuvant treatment with 5-FU plus leucovorin is generally well tolerated and significantly more effective than 5-FU plus levamisole in reducing tumor relapse and improving survival.
To assess the efficacy and toxicity of sunitinib monotherapy in palliative squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
Patients and Methods
Thirty-eight patients with SCCHN having evidence of progressive disease (PD) were treated with sunitinib 37.5 mg/d given continuously until PD or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was the rate of disease control, defined as stable disease (SD) or partial response (PR) at 6 to 8 weeks after treatment initiation (two-stage design, Simon). Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) was performed in a subset of patients before and 6 to 8 weeks after treatment. The volume transfer constant of the contrast agent (K trans ) was used to measure changes in the microcirculation blood flow and endothelial permeability of the tumor.
A PR was observed in one patient, SD in 18, and PD in 19 (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST]), resulting in a disease control rate of 50%. Among the 18 patients with SD, there were five unconfirmed PRs and six additional minor responses. A significant decrease in K trans was seen in three of the four patients who received DCE-MRI monitoring. Grade 5 head and neck bleeds occurred in four patients. Local complications, including the appearance or worsening of tumor skin ulceration or tumor fistula, were recorded in 15 patients.
Sunitinib demonstrated modest activity in palliative SSCHN. The severity of some of the complications highlights the importance of improved patient selection for future studies with sunitinib in head and neck cancer. Sunitinib should not be used outside clinical trials in SSCHN.
To evaluate the duration and dose intensity of epirubicin-based regimens in premenopausal patients with lymph node-positive breast cancer.
Between 1986 and 1990, 621 patients with operable breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive fluorouracil (Roche SA, Basel, Switzerland) 500 mg/m2, epirubicin (Pharmacia SA, Milan, Italy) 50 mg/m2, and cyclophosphamide (Asta Medica AG, Frankfurt, Germany) 500 mg/m2 every 21 days (FEC 50) for six cycles (6 FEC 50); FEC 50 for three cycles (3 FEC 50); or the same regimen with epirubicin 75 mg/m2 (FEC 75) for three cycles (3 FEC 75). All patients in the three arms received chest wall irradiation at the end of the third cycle.
After a 131-month median follow-up, the 10-year disease-free survival (DFS) was 53.4%, 42.5%, and 43.6% (P =.05) in the three arms, respectively. Pairwise comparisons demonstrate that 6 FEC 50 was superior both to 3 FEC 50 (P =.02) and to 3 FEC 75 (P =.05). The 10-year overall survival (OS) for the 6 FEC 50 arm was 64.3%, for the 3 FEC 50 arm it was 56.6%, and for the 3 FEC 75 arm, it was 59.7% (P =.25), respectively. Pairwise comparisons demonstrate that 6 FEC 50 was more effective than 3 FEC 50 (P =.10). Cox regression analysis demonstrates that OS was significantly better in the 6 FEC 50 than in the 3 FEC 50 arm (P =.046). No severe infections (grade 3 to 4), acute cardiac toxicity, or deaths from toxicity have been observed. Only five patients developed delayed cardiac dysfunctions, and three patients developed acute myeloblastic leukemia.
After a long-term follow-up in an adjuvant setting, the benefit of six cycles of FEC 50 compared with three cycles, whatever the dose, is highly significant in terms of DFS. As regards OS, the group receiving six cycles of FEC 50 has significantly better results than the group receiving three cycles of FEC 50.
Hepatobiliary adverse events (AEs) have been observed in a small proportion of patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) treated with lapatinib. This study sought to identify gene variants associated with lapatinib-induced ALT elevation and hepatobiliary AEs.
A two-stage pharmacogenetic investigation of ALT elevation was conducted in lapatinib-treated patients with MBC. Exploratory marker identification evaluated classical HLA alleles, candidate genes, and genome-wide screening in 37 cases with ALT greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) and 286 controls with ALT ≤ 1× ULN, selected from 901 lapatinib-treated patients in 12 trials. Markers achieving prespecified association thresholds were progressed to an independent confirmatory data set of 24 ALT cases and 155 controls selected from a subsequent trial of 374 lapatinib-treated patients.
Of 58 variants associated with ALT elevation in the exploratory data set, four exceeded the prespecified significance threshold in the confirmatory analysis. These variants reside in the same MHC genomic locus and include HLA-DQA1*02:01. In the confirmatory study, DQA1*02:01 allele carriage was present in 71% of ALT cases and in 21% of controls (P < .001; odds ratio, 9.0; 95% CI, 3.2 to 27.4). As a predictor of liver safety risk in ALT cases versus noncases, DQA1*02:01 had negative and positive predictive values of 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95 to 0.99) and 0.17 (95% CI 0.10 to 0.26), respectively.
These results support a role for immune mechanisms in lapatinib-induced hepatotoxicity. Further work is required to determine whether testing for DQA1*02:01 allele carriage is clinically useful in managing liver safety risk during lapatinib treatment.
To investigate oxaliplatin combined with fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy as preoperative treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer.
Seven hundred forty-seven patients with resectable, locally advanced (cT3-4 and/or cN1-2) adenocarcinoma of the mid-low rectum were randomly assigned to receive pelvic radiation (50.4 Gy in 28 daily fractions) and concomitant infused fluorouracil (225 mg/m(2)/d) either alone (arm A, n = 379) or combined with oxaliplatin (60 mg/m(2) weekly × 6; arm B, n = 368). Overall survival is the primary end point. A protocol-planned analysis of response to preoperative treatment is reported here.
Grade 3 to 4 adverse events during preoperative treatment were more frequent with oxaliplatin plus fluorouracil and radiation than with radiation and fluorouracil alone (24% v 8% of treated patients; P < .001). In arm B, 83% of the patients treated with oxaliplatin had five or more weekly administrations. Ninety-one percent, compared with 97% in the control arm, received ≥ 45 Gy (P < .001). Ninety-six percent versus 95% of patients underwent surgery with similar rates of abdominoperineal resections (20% v 18%, arm A v arm B). The rate of pathologic complete responses was 16% in both arms (odds ratio = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.44; P = .904). Twenty-six percent versus 29% of patients had pathologically positive lymph nodes (arm A v arm B; P = .447), 46% versus 44% had tumor infiltration beyond the muscularis propria (P = .701), and 7% versus 4% had positive circumferential resection margins (P = .239). Intra-abdominal metastases were found at surgery in 2.9% versus 0.5% of patients (arm A v arm B; P = .014).
Adding oxaliplatin to fluorouracil-based preoperative chemoradiotherapy significantly increases toxicity without affecting primary tumor response. Longer follow-up is needed to assess the impact on efficacy end points.
In the Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) 93-01 study, 30 patients older than 16 years were found to have Wilms' tumor. They were treated according to the pediatric protocol and were analyzed for clinical presentation, stage distribution, and prognosis.
Patient age ranged from 16 to 62 years (median, 25.4 years). Tumor stages were defined according to SIOP, and treatment was risk-adapted according to SIOP 93-01/Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH) protocol. The patients were evaluated with regard to response, toxicity, and prognosis. Specimens of all tumors were centrally reviewed.
Ten patients (33%) had metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis (liver, four patients; lung, three patients; liver and lung, three patients). The local stage distribution showed a predominance of higher stages (stage I, eight patients; stage IIN-, three patients; stage IIN+, four patients; stage III, 15 patients). Histologic studies revealed intermediate-risk in 23 of 30 tumors; two tumors were classified as high-risk; and three tumors were clear-cell sarcomas. Two of 30 patients showed a nephroblastoma and a renal cell carcinoma simultaneously in the same kidney. A complete remission was achieved in 24 patients; four patients relapsed after complete remission; and three of them reached a second remission with further treatment. Event-free survival was 57%, with an overall survival of 83% (median observation time, 4 years).
Adults can be cured in a high percentage by a multimodal treatment according to pediatric protocols. Toxicity is higher than in children, but acceptable in view of the high remission rate.