The Lancet Oncology

Published by Elsevier
Print ISSN: 1470-2045
Publications
The relationship between data, knowledge, and wisdom is explained in this article. Codifying knowledge will help to disseminate good practice and provide a sound basis for developing clinical decision-support systems. Stimulated by increasing access to the Internet, there is a tension between traditional sources of knowledge (e.g. books, individuals recognized as experts), and sources facilitated by ready access to the Internet (e.g. wikis, blogs and other social networking resources).
 
TP53 has a crucial role in the DNA damage response. We therefore tested the hypothesis that taxanes confer a greater advantage than do anthracyclines on breast cancers with mutated TP53 than in those with wild-type TP53. In an open-label, phase 3 study, women (age <71 years) with locally advanced, inflammatory, or large operable breast cancers were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to either a standard anthracycline regimen (six cycles of intravenous fluorouracil 500 mg/m², epirubicin 100 mg/m², and cyclophosphamide 500 mg/m² every 21 days [FEC100], or fluorouracil 600 mg/m², epirubicin 75 mg/m², cyclophosphamide 900 mg/m² [tailored FEC] starting on day 1 and then every 21 days) or a taxane-based regimen (three cycles of docetaxel 100 mg/m², intravenously infused over 1 h on day 1 every 21 days, followed by three cycles of intravenous epirubicin 90 mg/m² and docetaxel 75 mg/m² on day 1 every 21 days [T-ET]) at 42 centres in Europe. Randomisation was by use of a minimisation method that stratified patients by institution and initial tumour stage. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) according to TP53 status. Analysis was by intention to treat. This is the final analysis of this trial. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00017095. 928 patients were enrolled in the FEC group and 928 in the T-ET group. TP53 status was not assessable for 183 (20%) patients in the FEC group and 204 (22%) patients in the T-ET group mainly because of low tumour-cell content in the biopsy. 361 primary endpoint events were recorded in the FEC group and 314 in the T-ET group. In patients with TP53-mutated tumours, 5-year PFS was 59·5% (95% CI 53·4-65·1) in the T-ET group (n=326) and 55·3% (49·2-60·9) in the FEC group (n=318; hazard ratio 0·84, 98% CI 0·63-1·14; p=0·17). In patients with TP53 wild-type tumours, 5-year PFS was 66·8% (95% CI 61·4-71·6) in the T-ET group (n=398) and 64·7% (59·6-69·4) in the FEC group (n=427; 0·89, 98% CI 0·68-1·18; p=0·35). For all patients, irrespective of TP53 status, 5-year PFS was 65·1% (95% CI 61·6-68·3) in the T-ET group and 60·8% (57·3-64·2) in the FEC group (0·85, 98% CI 0·71-1·02; p=0·035). At the sites using FEC100 versus T-ET, the most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were febrile neutropenia (75 [9%] of 803 vs 173 [21%] of 809, respectively), and neutropenia (653 [81%] vs 730 [90%], respectively). At the sites using tailored FEC versus T-ET, the most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were febrile neutropenia (ten [8%] of 118 vs 26 [22%] of 116, respectively), and neutropenia (100 [85%] vs 115 [99%], respectively). Two patients died of toxicity during or within 30 days of chemotherapy completion and without disease relapse (one in each group). Although TP53 status was prognostic for overall survival, it was not predictive of preferential sensitivity to taxanes. TP53 status tested by use of the yeast assay in this patient population cannot be used to select patients for an anthracycline-based chemotherapy versus a taxane-based chemotherapy. US National Cancer Institute, La Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, European Union, Pharmacia, and Sanofi-Aventis.
 
We have previously described gene-expression signatures that predict growth inhibitory and cytotoxic effects of common chemotherapeutic drugs in vitro. The aim of this study was to confirm the validity of these gene-expression signatures in a large series of patients with oestrogen-receptor-negative breast tumours who were treated in a phase III neoadjuvant clinical trial. This trial compares a non-taxane regimen (fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide [FEC] for six cycles) with a taxane regimen (docetaxel for three cycles followed by epirubicin plus docetaxel [TET] for three cycles) in women with oestrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer. The primary endpoint of the study is the difference in progression-free survival based on TP53 status and will be reported later. Predicting response with gene signatures was a planned secondary endpoint of the trial and is reported here. Pathological complete response, defined as complete disappearance of the tumour with no more than a few scattered tumour cells detected by the pathologist in the resection specimen, was used to assess chemosensitivity. RNA was prepared from sections of frozen biopsies taken at diagnosis and hybridised to Affymetrix X3P microarrays. In-vitro single-agent drug sensitivity signatures were combined to obtain FEC and TET regimen-specific signatures. This study is registered on the clinical trials site of the US National Cancer Institute website http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00017095. Of 212 patients with oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours assessed, 87 patients were excluded. 125 oestrogen-receptor-negative tumours (55 that showed pathological complete responses) were tested: 66 in the FEC group (28 that showed pathological complete responses) and 59 in the TET group (27 that showed pathological complete responses). The regimen-specific signatures significantly predicted pathological complete response in patients treated with the appropriate regimen (p<0.0001). The FEC predictor had a sensitivity of 96% (27 of 28 patients [95% CI 82-99]), specificity of 66% (25 of 38 patients [50-79]), positive predictive value (PPV) of 68% (27 of 40 patients [52-80]), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 96% (25 of 26 patients [81-99]). The TET predictor had a sensitivity of 93% (25 of 27 patients [77-98]), specificity 69% (22 of 32 patients [51-82]), PPV of 71% (25 of 35 patients [55-84]), and NPV of 92% (22 of 24 patients [74-98]). Analysis of tumour size, grade, nodal status, age, and regimen-specific signatures showed that the genomic signatures were the only independent variables predicting pathological complete response at p<0.01. Selection of patients with these signatures would increase the proportion of patients with pathological complete responses from 44% to around 70% in the patients studied here. We have validated the use of regimen-specific drug sensitivity signatures in the context of a multicentre randomised trial. The high NPV of both signatures may allow early selection of patients with breast cancer who should be considered for trials with new drugs.
 
Background: Radiotherapy for early breast cancer can decrease breast cancer mortality but increase other mortality, mainly from heart disease and lung cancer. The mean cardiac dose from irradiation of a left-sided breast cancer can be two or three times that for a right-sided breast cancer. The mean ipsilateral (ie, on the same side as the breast cancer) lung dose can also be two or three times the mean contralateral lung dose. Particularly during the 1970s, when typical heart and lung exposures were greater than now, the laterality of an irradiated breast cancer could measurably affect cardiac mortality and mortality from cancer of the right or the left lung decades later. This study aimed to assess the hazards in the general US population from routine cancer-registry and death-certificate data. Methods: We analysed data for 308 861 US women with early breast cancer of known laterality (left-sided or right-sided) who were registered in the US Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries during 1973-2001 and followed prospectively for cause-specific mortality until Jan 1, 2002. Findings: 115 165 (37%) received radiotherapy. Among those who did not, tumour laterality was of little relevance to subsequent mortality. For women diagnosed during 1973-82 and irradiated, the cardiac mortality ratio (left versus right tumour laterality) was 1.20 (95% CI 1.04-1.38) less than 10 years afterwards, 1.42 (1.11-1.82) 10-14 years afterwards, and 1.58 (1.29-1.95) after 15 years or more (trend: 2p=0.03). For women diagnosed during 1983-92 and irradiated, the cardiac mortality ratio was 1.04 (0.91-1.18) less than 10 years afterwards and 1.27 (0.99-1.63) 10 or more years afterwards. For women diagnosed during 1993-2001 and irradiated the cardiac mortality ratio was 0.96 (0.82-1.12), with none yet followed for 10 years. Among women irradiated for breast cancer who subsequently developed an ipsilateral or contralateral lung cancer, the lung cancer mortality ratio (ipsilateral versus contralateral) for women diagnosed during 1973-82 and irradiated was 1.17 (0.62-2.19), 2.00 (1.00-4.00), and 2.71 (1.65-4.48), respectively, less than 10 years, 10-14 years, and 15 or more years afterwards (trend: 2p=0.04). For women irradiated after 1982 there is, as yet, little information on lung cancer risks more than 10 years afterwards. Interpretation: US breast cancer radiotherapy regimens of the 1970s and early 1980s appreciably increased mortality from heart disease and lung cancer 10-20 years afterwards with, as yet, little direct evidence on the hazards after more than 20 years. Since the early 1980s, improvements in radiotherapy planning should have reduced such risks, but the long-term hazards in the general populations of various countries still need to be monitored directly.
 
Background: We compared standard adjuvant anthracycline chemotherapy with anthracycline-taxane combination chemotherapy in women with operable node-positive breast cancer. Here we report the final, 10-year follow-up analysis of disease-free survival, overall survival, and long-term safety. Methods: BCIRG 001 was an open label, phase 3, multicentre trial in which 1491 patients aged 18-70 years with node-positive, early breast cancer and a Karnofsky score of 80% or more were randomly assigned to adjuvant treatment with docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (TAC) or fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC) every 3 weeks for six cycles. Randomisation was stratified according to institution and number of involved axillary lymph nodes per patient (one to three vs four or more). Disease-free survival was the primary endpoint and was defined as the interval between randomisation and breast cancer relapse, second primary cancer, or death, whichever occurred first. Efficacy analyses were based on the intention-to-treat principle. BCIRG 001 is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00688740. Findings: Enrolement took place between June 11, 1997 and June 3, 1999; 745 patients were assigned to receive TAC and 746 patients were assigned to receive FAC. After a median follow-up of 124 months (IQR 90-126), disease-free survival was 62% (95% CI 58-65) for patients in the TAC group and 55% (51-59) for patients in the FAC group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·80, 95% CI 0·68-0·93; log-rank p=0·0043). 10-year overall survival was 76% (95% CI 72-79) for patients in the TAC group and 69% (65-72) for patients in the FAC group (HR 0·74, 0·61-0·90; log-rank p=0·0020). TAC improved disease-free survival relative to FAC irrespective of nodal, hormone receptor, and HER2 status, although not all differences were significant in these subgroup analyses. Grade 3-4 heart failure occurred in 26 (3%) patients in the TAC group and 17 (2%) patients in the FAC group, and caused death in two patients in the TAC group and four patients in the FAC group. A substantial decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction (defined as a relative decrease from baseline of 20% or more) was seen in 58 (17%) patients who received TAC and 41 (15%) patients who received FAC. Six patients who received TAC developed leukaemia or myelodysplasia, as did three patients who received FAC. Interpretation: Our results provide evidence that the initial therapeutic outcomes seen at the 5-year follow-up with a docetaxel-containing adjuvant regimen are maintained at 10 years. However, a substantial percentage of patients had a decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction, probably caused by anthracycline therapy, which warrants further investigation. Funding: Sanofi.
 
Background: Currently, crizotinib is the only drug that has been approved for treatment of ALK-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to study the activity and safety of CH5424802, a potent, selective, and orally available ALK inhibitor. Methods: In this multicentre, single-arm, open-label, phase 1-2 study of CH5424802, we recruited ALK inhibitor-naive patients with ALK-rearranged advanced NSCLC from 13 hospitals in Japan. In the phase 1 portion of the study, patients received CH5424802 orally twice daily by dose escalation. The primary endpoints of the phase 1 were dose limiting toxicity (DLT), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and pharmacokinetic parameters. In the phase 2 portion of the study, patients received CH5424802 at the recommended dose identified in the phase 1 portion of the study orally twice a day. The primary endpoint of the phase 2 was the proportion of patients who had an objective response. Treatment was continued in 21-day cycles until disease progression, intolerable adverse events, or withdrawal of consent. The analysis was done by intent to treat. This study is registered with the Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center, number JapicCTI-101264. Findings: Patients were enrolled between Sept 10, 2010, and April 18, 2012. The data cutoff date was July 31, 2012. In the phase 1 portion, 24 patients were treated at doses of 20-300 mg twice daily. No DLTs or adverse events of grade 4 were noted up to the highest dose; thus 300 mg twice daily was the recommended phase 2 dose. In the phase 2 portion of the study, 46 patients were treated with the recommended dose, of whom 43 achieved an objective response (93.5%, 95% CI 82.1-98.6) including two complete responses (4.3%, 0.5-14.8) and 41 partial responses (89.1%, 76.4-96.4). Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 were recorded in 12 (26%) of 46 patients, including two patients each experiencing decreased neutrophil count and increased blood creatine phosphokinase. Serious adverse events occurred in five patients (11%). No grade 4 adverse events or deaths were reported. The study is still ongoing, since 40 of the 46 patients in the phase 2 portion remain on treatment. Interpretation: CH5424802 is well tolerated and highly active in patients with advanced ALK-rearranged NSCLC. Funding: Chugai Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd.
 
Few effective treatments exist for patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma not responding to treatment with bortezomib and lenalidomide. Pomalidomide alone has shown limited efficacy in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma, but synergistic effects have been noted when combined with dexamethasone. We compared the efficacy and safety of pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone with high-dose dexamethasone alone in these patients. This multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial was undertaken in Australia, Canada, Europe, Russia, and the USA. Patients were eligible if they had been diagnosed with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma, and had failed at least two previous treatments of bortezomib and lenalidomide. They were assigned in a 2:1 ratio with a validated interactive voice and internet response system to either 28 day cycles of pomalidomide (4 mg/day on days 1-21, orally) plus low-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1, 8, 15, and 22, orally) or high-dose dexamethasone (40 mg/day on days 1-4, 9-12, and 17-20, orally) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Stratification factors were age (≤75 years vs >75 years), disease population (refractory vs relapsed and refractory vs bortezomib intolerant), and number of previous treatments (two vs more than two). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01311687, and with EudraCT, number 2010-019820-30. The accrual for the study has been completed and the analyses are presented. 302 patients were randomly assigned to receive pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and 153 high-dose dexamethasone. After a median follow-up of 10·0 months (IQR 7·2-13·2), median PFS with pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone was 4·0 months (95% CI 3·6-4·7) versus 1·9 months (1·9-2·2) with high-dose dexamethasone (hazard ratio 0·48 [95% CI 0·39-0·60]; p<0·0001). The most common grade 3-4 haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups were neutropenia (143 [48%] of 300 vs 24 [16%] of 150, respectively), anaemia (99 [33%] vs 55 [37%], respectively), and thrombocytopenia (67 [22%] vs 39 [26%], respectively). Grade 3-4 non-haematological adverse events in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone and high-dose dexamethasone groups included pneumonia (38 [13%] vs 12 [8%], respectively), bone pain (21 [7%] vs seven [5%], respectively), and fatigue (16 [5%] vs nine [6%], respectively). There were 11 (4%) treatment-related adverse events leading to death in the pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone group and seven (5%) in the high-dose dexamethasone group. Pomalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone, an oral regimen, could be considered a new treatment option in patients with refractory or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. Celgene Corporation.
 
Several randomised trials have confirmed the benefit of adjuvant trastuzumab for patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer. However, concern has been expressed that adjuvant trastuzumab might be associated with an increased frequency of CNS relapses. We assessed the frequency and course of CNS relapses, either as first event or at any time, using data from the HERA trial. We estimated the cumulative incidence of first disease-free survival (DFS) events in the CNS versus other sites by competing risks analysis in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer who had been randomly assigned to receive 1 year of trastuzumab or to observation in the HERA trial after a median follow-up of 4 years (IQR 3·5-4·8). To obtain further information about CNS relapse at any time before death, we circulated a data collection form to investigators to obtain standardised information about CNS events that occurred in all patients who had died before July, 2009. We estimated the cumulative incidence of CNS relapse at any time with a competing risks analysis. Of 3401 patients who had been assigned to receive 1 year of trastuzumab or to observation, 69 (2%) had a CNS relapse as first DFS event and 747 (22%) had a first DFS event not in the CNS. The frequency of CNS relapses as first DFS event did not differ between the group given 1 year of trastuzumab (37 [2%] of 1703 patients) and the observation group (32 [2%] of 1698; p=0·55 [Gray's test]). 481 data collection forms were distributed, of which 413 (86%) were returned. The proportion of patients who had died and experienced a CNS relapse was numerically higher in the observation group (129 [57%] of 227) than in the group given trastuzumab for 1 year (88 [47%] of 186; p=0·06 [Gray's test]). Most CNS relapses were symptomatic (189 [87%] of 217). Adjuvant trastuzumab does not increase the risk of CNS relapse in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer. None.
 
Background: For patients with breast cancer and metastases in the sentinel nodes, axillary dissection has been standard treatment. However, for patients with limited sentinel-node involvement, axillary dissection might be overtreatment. We designed IBCSG trial 23-01 to determine whether no axillary dissection was non-inferior to axillary dissection in patients with one or more micrometastatic (≤2 mm) sentinel nodes and tumour of maximum 5 cm. Methods: In this multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial, patients were eligible if they had clinically non-palpable axillary lymph node(s) and a primary tumour of 5 cm or less and who, after sentinel-node biopsy, had one or more micrometastatic (≤2 mm) sentinel lymph nodes with no extracapsular extension. Patients were randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) to either undergo axillary dissection or not to undergo axillary dissection. Randomisation was stratified by centre and menopausal status. Treatment assignment was not masked. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival. Non-inferiority was defined as a hazard ratio (HR) of less than 1·25 for no axillary dissection versus axillary dissection. The analysis was by intention to treat. Per protocol, disease and survival information continues to be collected yearly. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00072293. Findings: Between April 1, 2001, and Feb 28, 2010, 465 patients were randomly assigned to axillary dissection and 469 to no axillary dissection. After the exclusion of three patients, 464 patients were in the axillary dissection group and 467 patients were in the no axillary dissection group. After a median follow-up of 5·0 (IQR 3·6-7·3) years, we recorded 69 disease-free survival events in the axillary dissection group and 55 events in the no axillary dissection group. Breast-cancer-related events were recorded in 48 patients in the axillary dissection group and 47 in the no axillary dissection group (ten local recurrences in the axillary dissection group and eight in the no axillary dissection group; three and nine contralateral breast cancers; one and five [corrected] regional recurrences; and 34 and 25 distant relapses). Other non-breast cancer events were recorded in 21 patients in the axillary dissection group and eight in the no axillary dissection group (20 and six second non-breast malignancies; and one and two deaths not due to a cancer event). 5-year disease-free survival was 87·8% (95% CI 84·4-91·2) in the group without axillary dissection and 84·4% (80·7-88·1) in the group with axillary dissection (log-rank p=0·16; HR for no axillary dissection vs axillary dissection was 0·78, 95% CI 0·55-1·11, non-inferiority p=0·0042). Patients with reported long-term surgical events (grade 3-4) included one sensory neuropathy (grade 3), three lymphoedema (two grade 3 and one grade 4), and three motor neuropathy (grade 3), all in the group that underwent axillary dissection, and one grade 3 motor neuropathy in the group without axillary dissection. One serious adverse event was reported, a postoperative infection in the axilla in the group with axillary dissection. Interpretation: Axillary dissection could be avoided in patients with early breast cancer and limited sentinel-node involvement, thus eliminating complications of axillary surgery with no adverse effect on survival. Funding: None.
 
The optimum dose of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is unknown. A meta-analysis suggested that the incidence of brain metastases might be reduced with higher PCI doses. This randomised clinical trial compared the effect of standard versus higher PCI doses on the incidence of brain metastases. Between September, 1999, and December, 2005, 720 patients with limited-stage SCLC in complete remission after chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy from 157 centres in 22 countries were randomly assigned to a standard (n=360, 25 Gy in 10 daily fractions of 2.5 Gy) or higher PCI total dose (n=360, 36 Gy) delivered using either conventional (18 daily fractions of 2 Gy) or accelerated hyperfractionated (24 fractions in 16 days with two daily sessions of 1.5 Gy separated by a minimum interval of 6 h) radiotherapy. All of the treatment schedules excluded weekends. Randomisation was stratified according to medical centre, age (</=60 and >60 years), and interval between the start of induction treatment and the date of randomisation (</=90, 91-180, and >180 days). Eligible patients were randomised blindly by the data centre of the Institut Gustave Roussy (PCI99-01 and IFCT) using minimisation, and by the data centres of EORTC (EORTC ROG and LG) and RTOG (for CALGB, ECOG, RTOG, and SWOG), both using block stratification. The primary endpoint was the incidence of brain metastases at 2 years. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00005062. Five patients in the standard-dose group and four in the higher-dose group did not receive PCI; nonetheless, all randomised patients were included in the effectiveness anlysis. After a median follow-up of 39 months (range 0-89 months), 145 patients had brain metastases; 82 in the standard-dose group and 63 in the higher-dose group. There was no significant difference in the 2-year incidence of brain metastases between the standard PCI dose group and the higher-dose group, at 29% (95% CI 24-35) and 23% (18-29), respectively (hazard ratio [HR] 0.80 [95% CI 0.57-1.11], p=0.18). 226 patients in the standard-dose group and 252 in the higher-dose group died; 2-year overall survival was 42% (95% CI 37-48) in the standard-dose group and 37% (32-42) in the higher-dose group (HR 1.20 [1.00-1.44]; p=0.05). The lower overall survival in the higher-dose group is probably due to increased cancer-related mortality: 189 patients in the standard group versus 218 in the higher-dose group died of progressive disease. Five serious adverse events occurred in the standard-dose group versus zero in the higher-dose group. The most common acute toxic events were fatigue (106 [30%] patients in the standard-dose group vs 121 [34%] in the higher-dose group), headache (85 [24%] vs 99 [28%]), and nausea or vomiting (80 [23%] vs 101 [28%]). No significant reduction in the total incidence of brain metastases was observed after higher-dose PCI, but there was a significant increase in mortality. PCI at 25 Gy should remain the standard of care in limited-stage SCLC. Institut Gustave-Roussy, Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (2001), Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (2007). The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) contribution to this trial was supported by grants 5U10 CA11488-30 through 5U10 CA011488-38 from the US National Cancer Institute.
 
Autologous haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) improves survival in patients with multiple myeloma, but disease progression remains an issue. Allogeneic HSCT might reduce disease progression, but can be associated with high treatment-related mortality. Thus, we aimed to assess effectiveness of allogeneic HSCT with non-myeloablative conditioning after autologous HSCT compared with tandem autologous HSCT. In our phase 3 biological assignment trial, we enrolled patients with multiple myeloma attending 37 transplant centres in the USA. Patients (<70 years old) with adequate organ function who had completed at least three cycles of systemic antimyeloma therapy within the past 10 months were eligible for inclusion. We assigned patients to receive an autologous HSCT followed by an allogeneic HSCT (auto-allo group) or tandem autologous HSCTs (auto-auto group) on the basis of the availability of an HLA-matched sibling donor. Patients in the auto-auto group subsequently underwent a random allocation (1:1) to maintenance therapy (thalidomide plus dexamethasone) or observation. To avoid enrolment bias, we classified patients as standard risk or high risk on the basis of cytogenetics and β2-microglobulin concentrations. We used the Kaplan-Meier method to estimate differences in 3-year progression-free survival (PFS; primary endpoint) between patients with standard-risk disease in the auto-allo group and the best results from the auto-auto group (maintenance, observation, or pooled). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00075829. Between Dec 17, 2003, and March 30, 2007, we enrolled 710 patients, of whom 625 had standard-risk disease and received an autologous HSCT. 156 (83%) of 189 patients with standard-risk disease in the auto-allo group and 366 (84%) of 436 in the auto-auto group received a second transplant. 219 patients in the auto-auto group were randomly assigned to observation and 217 to receive maintenance treatment, of whom 168 (77%) completed this treatment. PFS and overall survival did not differ between maintenance and observation groups and pooled data were used. Kaplan-Meier estimates of 3-year PFS were 43% (95% CI 36-51) in the auto-allo group and 46% (42-51) in the auto-auto group (p=0·671); overall survival also did not differ at 3 years (77% [95% CI 72-84] vs 80% [77-84]; p=0·191). Within 3 years, 87 (46%) of 189 patients in the auto-allo group had grade 3-5 adverse events as did 185 (42%) of 436 patients in the auto-auto group. The adverse events that differed most between groups were hyperbilirubinaemia (21 [11%] patients in the auto-allo group vs 14 [3%] in the auto-auto group) and peripheral neuropathy (11 [6%] in the auto-allo group vs 52 [12%] in the auto-auto group). Non-myeloablative allogeneic HSCT after autologous HSCT is not more effective than tandem autologous HSCT for patients with standard-risk multiple myeloma. Further enhancement of the graft versus myeloma effect and reduction in transplant-related mortality are needed to improve the allogeneic HSCT approach. US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.
 
Vorinostat is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that changes gene expression and protein activity. On the basis of the clinical benefit reported in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma treated in a phase 1 study of vorinostat, we designed this phase 3 trial to investigate whether vorinostat given as a second-line or third-line therapy improved patients' overall survival. This double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was done in 90 international centres. Patients with measurable advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma and disease progression after one or two previous systemic regimens were eligible. After stratification for Karnofsky performance status, histology, and number of previous chemotherapy regimens, patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by use of an interactive voice response system with a block size of four to either treatment with vorinostat or placebo. Patients received oral vorinostat 300 mg (or matching placebo) twice daily on days 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 of a 21-day cycle. The primary endpoints were overall survival and safety and tolerability of vorinostat. The primary efficacy comparison was done in the intention-to-treat population, and safety and tolerability was assessed in the treated population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00128102. From July 12, 2005, to Feb 14, 2011, 661 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive either vorinostat (n=329) or placebo (n=332) and included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Median overall survival for vorinostat was 30·7 weeks (95% CI 26·7-36·1) versus 27·1 weeks (23·1-31·9) for placebo (hazard ratio 0·98, 95% CI 0·83-1·17, p=0·86). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events for patients treated with vorinostat were fatigue or malaise (51 [16%] patients in the vorinostat group vs 25 [8%] in the placebo group]) and dyspnoea (35 [11%] vs 45 [14%]). In this randomised trial, vorinostat given as a second-line or third-line therapy did not improve overall survival and cannot be recommended as a therapy for patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma. Merck & Co. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
COX-2 is overexpressed in some cancers, including prostate cancer; however, little is known about the effect of COX-2 overexpression on outcome in radiation-treated patients with prostate cancer. We aimed to study COX-2 overexpression and outcome in a well-defined cohort of men who received treatment with short-term androgen deprivation (STAD) plus radiotherapy or long-term androgen deprivation (LTAD) plus radiotherapy. Men with prostate cancer who had participated in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 92-02 trial and for whom sufficient diagnostic tissue was available for immunohistochemical staining and image analysis of COX-2 expression were enrolled in this study. Patients in the 92-02 trial had been randomly assigned to treatment with STAD plus radiotherapy or LTAD plus radiotherapy. Multivariate analyses by Cox proportional hazards models were done to assess whether associations existed between COX-2 staining intensity and the RTOG 92-02 primary endpoints of biochemical failure (assessed by the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology [ASTRO] and Phoenix criteria), local failure, distant metastasis, cause-specific mortality, overall mortality, and any failure. 586 patients with sufficient diagnostic tissue for immunohistochemical staining and image analysis of COX-2 expression were included in this study. In the multivariate analyses, the intensity of COX-2 staining as a continuous covariate was an independent predictor of distant metastasis (hazard ratio [HR] 1.181 [95% CI 1.077-1.295], p=0.0004); biochemical failure by two definitions (ASTRO HR 1.073 [1.018-1.131], p=0.008; Phoenix HR 1.073 [1.014-1.134], p=0.014); and any failure (HR 1.068 [1.015-1.124], p=0.011). The higher the expression of COX-2, the greater the chance of failure. As a dichotomous covariate, COX-2 overexpression seemed to be most discriminating of outcome for those who received STAD compared with those who received LTAD. To our knowledge, this is the first study to establish an association of COX-2 expression with outcome in patients with prostate cancer who have had radiotherapy. Increasing COX-2 expression was significantly associated with biochemical failure, distant metastasis, and any failure. COX-2 inhibitors might improve patient response to radiotherapy in those treated with or without androgen deprivation. Our findings suggest that LTAD might overcome the effects of COX-2 overexpression. Therefore, COX-2 expression might be useful in selecting patients who need LTAD.
 
Background: Traditional cancer-survival analyses provide data on cancer management at the beginning of a study period, and are often not relevant to current practice because they refer to survival of patients treated with older regimens that might no longer be used. Therefore, shortening the delay in providing survival estimates is desirable. Period analysis can estimate cancer survival by the use of recent data. We aimed to apply the period-analysis method to data that were collected by European cancer registries to estimate recent survival by country and cancer site, and to assess survival changes in Europe. We also compared our findings with data on cancer survival in the USA from the US SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) programme. Methods: We analysed survival data for patients diagnosed with cancer in 2000-02, collected from 47 of the European cancer registries participating in the EUROCARE-4 study. 5-year period relative survival for patients diagnosed in 2000-02 was estimated as the product of interval-specific relative survival values of cohorts with different lengths of follow-up. 5-year survival profiles for patients diagnosed in 2000-02 were estimated for the European mean and for five European regions, and findings were compared with US SEER registry data for patients diagnosed in 2000-02. A 5-year survival profile for patients diagnosed in 1991-2002 and a 10-year survival profile for patients diagnosed in 1997-2002 were also estimated by the period method for all malignancies, by geographical area, and by cancer site. Findings: For all cancers, age-adjusted 5-year period survival improved for patients diagnosed in 2000-02, especially for patients with colorectal, breast, prostate, and thyroid cancer, Hodgkin's disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The European mean age-adjusted 5-year survival calculated by the period method for 2000-02 was high for testicular cancer (97.3% [95% CI 96.4-98.2]), melanoma (86.1% [84.3-88.0]), thyroid cancer (83.2% [80.9-85.6]), Hodgkin's disease (81.4% [78.9-84.1]), female breast cancer (79.0% [78.1-80.0]), corpus uteri (78.0% [76.2-79.9]), and prostate cancer (77.5% [76.5-78.6]); and low for stomach cancer (24.9% [23.7-26.2]), chronic myeloid leukaemia (32.2% [29.0-35.7]), acute myeloid leukaemia (14.8% [13.4-16.4]), and lung cancer (10.9% [10.5-11.4]). Survival for patients diagnosed in 2000-02 was generally highest for those in northern European countries and lowest for those in eastern European countries, although, patients in eastern European had the highest improvement in survival for major cancer sites during 1991-2002 (colorectal cancer from 30.3% [28.3-32.5] to 44.7% [42.8-46.7]; breast cancer from 60% [57.2-63.0] to 73.9% [71.7-76.2]; for prostate cancer from 39.5% [35.0-44.6] to 68.0% [64.2-72.1]). For all solid tumours, with the exception of stomach, testicular, and soft-tissue cancers, survival for patients diagnosed in 2000-02 was higher in the US SEER registries than for the European mean. For haematological malignancies, data from US SEER registries and the European mean were comparable in 2000-02, except for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Interpretation: Cancer-service infrastructure, prevention and screening programmes, access to diagnostic and treatment facilities, tumour-site-specific protocols, multidisciplinary management, application of evidence-based clinical guidelines, and recruitment to clinical trials probably account for most of the differences that we noted in outcomes.
 
Concomitant chemoradiotherapy and accelerated radiotherapy independently improve outcomes for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma (HNSCC). We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of a combination of these approaches. In our open-label phase 3 randomised trial, we enrolled patients with locally advanced, stage III and IV (non-metastatic) HNSCC and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2. We randomly allocated patients centrally with a computer program (with centre, T stage, N stage, and localisation as minimisation factors) in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive conventional chemoradiotherapy (70 Gy in 7 weeks plus three cycles of 4 days' concomitant carboplatin-fluorouracil), accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy (70 Gy in 6 weeks plus two cycles of 5 days' concomitant carboplatin-fluorouracil), or very accelerated radiotherapy alone (64·8 Gy [1·8 Gy twice daily] in 3·5 weeks). The primary endpoint, progression-free survival (PFS), was assessed in all enrolled patients. This trial is completed. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00828386. Between Feb 29, 2000, and May 9, 2007, we randomly allocated 279 patients to receive conventional chemoradiotherapy, 280 to accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy, and 281 to very accelerated radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 5·2 years (IQR 4·9-6·2); rates of chemotherapy and radiotherapy compliance were good in all groups. Accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy offered no PFS benefit compared with conventional chemoradiotherapy (HR 1·02, 95% CI 0·84-1·23; p=0·88) or very accelerated radiotherapy (0·83, 0·69-1·01; p=0·060); conventional chemoradiotherapy improved PFS compared with very accelerated radiotherapy (0·82, 0·67-0·99; p=0·041). 3-year PFS was 37·6% (95% CI 32·1-43·4) after conventional chemoradiotherapy, 34·1% (28·7-39·8) after accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy, and 32·2% (27·0-37·9) after very accelerated radiotherapy. More patients in the very accelerated radiotherapy group had RTOG grade 3-4 acute mucosal toxicity (226 [84%] of 268 patients) compared with accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy (205 [76%] of 271 patients) or conventional chemoradiotherapy (180 [69%] of 262; p=0·0001). 158 (60%) of 265 patients in the conventional chemoradiotherapy group, 176 (64%) of 276 patients in the accelerated radiotherapy-chemotherapy group, and 190 (70%) of 272 patients in the very accelerated radiotherapy group were intubated with feeding tubes during treatment (p=0·045). Chemotherapy has a substantial treatment effect given concomitantly with radiotherapy and acceleration of radiotherapy cannot compensate for the absence of chemotherapy. We noted the most favourable outcomes for conventional chemoradiotherapy, suggesting that acceleration of radiotherapy is probably not beneficial in concomitant chemoradiotherapy schedules. French Ministry of Health.
 
Maximum tolerated dose (MTD) chemotherapy followed by metronomic chemotherapy (low doses given on a frequent schedule) acts on tumour vascular endothelial cells by increasing the anti-tumour effect of anti-angiogenic agents. This multicentre, phase 2 study investigated the effectiveness of MTD gemcitabine combined with metronomic capecitabine plus the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib for the treatment of metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (RCC). Patients were enrolled at eight centres across Spain between Dec 13, 2006, and April 17, 2008. Patients were aged 18 years or older, had confirmed metastatic RCC with clear-cell histology, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, had not undergone previous therapy, and were unsuitable for, or intolerant to, immunotherapy. Treatment consisted of intravenous gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) (days 1 and 8), oral capecitabine 500 mg/m(2) twice a day (final dose after adjustment, days 1-14), and oral sorafenib 400 mg twice a day (days 1-21), for six cycles, followed by sorafenib monotherapy (at the investigator's discretion if clinical benefit was maintained). The primary endpoint was median progression-free survival (PFS) analysed in a population of all patients who received treatment. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00496301. 44 patients enrolled in the study, 40 of whom received treatment. Median PFS for these patients was 11.1 months (95% CI 7.9-17.1). A partial response was achieved in 20 patients, and stable disease in 17 patients. Most adverse events were grade 1 or 2. Grade 3 adverse events were fatigue or asthenia (n=9), hand-foot skin reaction (n=11), mucositis (n=3), diarrhoea (n=2), infection (n=2), and allergic reaction, hypertension, and rash (all n=1). Grade 3 haematological toxicity was noted in nine patients. One death due to pulmonary embolism was reported as grade 5 dyspnoea possibly related to study drug. PFS and response rates were greater than those previously observed with gemcitabine and capecitabine or sorafenib monotherapy in patients with metastatic RCC. Adverse events were manageable in most patients. These findings provide preliminary confirmation of the synergistic activity of the chemo-switch concept seen in preclinical studies, and merit further exploration. Spanish Oncology Genitourinary Group (SOGUG).
 
Metastatic leiomyosarcomas of uterine or soft-tissue origin have poor prognosis and moderate chemosensitivity. Trabectedin has shown activity in pretreated leiomyosarcoma. We did a single-group, multicentre, phase 2 trial (LMS-02) to assess the effect of first-line doxorubicin and trabectedin combination on disease control and survival. Adults (18 years to physiological age ≤70 years) with measurable metastatic or unresectable uterine leiomyosarcoma or soft-tissue leiomyosarcoma who had not received any previous chemotherapy were enrolled at 19 centres in France. Treatment consisted of 60 mg/m(2) intravenous doxorubicin followed by 1·1 mg/m(2) trabectedin in a 3 h intravenous infusion on day 1, both by the central venous route, and 6 mg subcutaneous pegfilgrastim on day 2, repeated every 3 weeks for up to six cycles. Surgery for residual disease was permitted. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving disease control, defined as complete or partial response or stable disease. Stratification was done by anatomical site and analyses were per protocol. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02131480. Between July 28, 2010, and May 10, 2013, 109 patients were enrolled and treated, of whom 108 were assessable for response: 47 in the uterine leiomyosarcoma group and 61 in the soft-tissue leiomyosarcoma group. 32 (68%) patients in the uterine leiomyosarcoma group and 45 (74%) in the soft-tissue leiomyosarcoma group received all six cycles of treatment. Of 47 patients with uterine leiomyosarcoma, 28 (59·6%, 95% CI 44·3-73·6) achieved a partial response and 13 (27·7%, 15·6-42·6) stable disease; 41 (87·2%, 74·3-95·2) patients achieved disease control. Of 61 patients with soft-tissue leiomyosarcoma, two (3·3%, 95% CI 0·4-11·7) achieved a complete response, 22 (36·1%, 25·0-50·8) had a partial response, and 32 (52·5%, 40·8-67·3) had stable disease; 56 (91·8%, 81·9-97·3) of patients achieved disease control. The most common grade 3-4 treatment-associated adverse events were neutropenia (84 [78%] of 108 patients), increased alanine aminotransferase concentration (42 [39%]), thrombocytopenia (40 [37%]), anaemia (29 [27%]), febrile neutropenia (26 [24%]), and fatigue (21 [19%]). Despite expected but manageable toxic effects, these results support the activity of doxorubicin plus trabectedin as first-line treatment for uterine leiomyosarcoma and soft-tissue leiomyosarcoma. This combination should be developed further in a phase 3 trial against the present standard of care. Pharmamar and Amgen. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
We assessed effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of paclitaxel or fluorouracil when added to radiation plus cisplatin followed by adjuvant chemotherapy in a programme of selected bladder preservation for patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer. In our randomised phase 2 trial, we enrolled patients with T2-4a transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder at 24 medical centres in the USA. We randomly allocated patients to receive paclitaxel plus cisplatin (paclitaxel group) or fluorouracil plus cisplatin (fluorouracil group) with twice-daily radiation in random block sizes per site on the basis of clinical T-stage (T2 vs T3-4). Patients and physicians were aware of treatment assignment. All patients had transurethral resection of bladder tumour and twice-daily radiotherapy to 40·3 Gy, along with allocated chemotherapy, followed by cystoscopic and biopsy assessment of response. Patients who had a tumour response with downstaging to T0, Tcis, or Ta received consolidation chemoradiotherapy to 64·3 Gy, with the same chemotherapy regimen as in the induction phase. Patients received adjuvant cisplatin-gemcitabine-paclitaxel after the end of chemoradiotherapy. If, after induction, persistent disease was graded as T1 or worse, we recommended patients undergo cystectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy. We assessed the primary endpoints of rates of treatment completion and toxic effects in all randomly allocated patients. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00055601. Between Dec 13, 2002, and Jan 11, 2008, we enrolled 97 patients, of whom 93 were eligible for analysis. Median follow-up was 5·0 years (IQR 5·0-6·2). Of 46 patients in the paclitaxel group, 45 (98%) completed induction (16 [35%] with grade 3-4 toxicity), 39 (85%) completed induction and consolidation (11 [24%] with grade 3-4 toxicity due to consolidation), and 31 (67%) completed the entire protocol with adjuvant chemotherapy. 34 (85%) of 40 assessable patients in the paclitaxel group had grade 3-4 toxicity during adjuvant chemotherapy. Of 47 patients in the fluorouracil group, 45 (96%) completed induction (nine [19%] with grade 3-4 toxicity), 39 (83%) completed induction and consolidation (12 [26%] had grade 3-4 toxicity due to consolidation), and 25 (53%) completed the entire protocol with adjuvant chemotherapy. 31 (76%) of 41 assessable patients in the fluorouracil group had grade 3-4 toxicity during adjuvant chemotherapy. Five (11%) patients treated with the paclitaxel regimen and three (6%) patients treated with the fluorouracil regimen developed late grade 3-4 radiotherapy toxicities. 11 (24%) patients treated with the paclitaxel regimen and 16 (34%) patients treated with the fluorouracil regimen developed late grade 3-4 toxicities unrelated to radiotherapy. One patient (in the fluorouracil group) died during follow-up. Six (13%) patients in the paclitaxel group and in three (6%) patients in the fluorouracil group discontinued due to treatment-related toxicity. In the absence of phase 3 data, our findings could inform selection of a bladder-sparing trimodality chemotherapy regimen for patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer. US National Cancer Institute.
 
Background: Adjuvant androgen suppression and bisphosphonates with escalating doses of radiotherapy might improve efficacy outcomes in men with locally advanced prostate cancer. In this study, we investigated whether these treatments had a detrimental effect on patient-reported-outcome (PRO) scores. Methods: We undertook a phase 3 trial with a 2×2 factorial design in 23 centres in Australia and New Zealand in men with non-metastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate (stage T2b-4 or T2a, Gleason score ≥7, and baseline prostate-specific antigen concentration [PSA] ≥10 μg/L), and without previous lymph node or systemic metastases or comorbidities that could reduce life expectancy to less than 5 years. The men were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to 6 months of neoadjuvant (short-term) androgen suppression (STAS) with leuprorelin (22·5 mg every 3 months, intramuscularly) or an additional 12 months (intermediate-term androgen suppression [ITAS]) of leuprorelin with or without 18 months of zoledronic acid (4 mg every 3 months, intravenously). Study drug administration commenced at randomisation after which radiotherapy started within the fifth month in all groups. Treatment allocation was open-label, and computer-generated randomisation, stratified by centre, baseline concentrations of PSA, clinical stage of the tumour, Gleason score, and use of a brachytherapy boost, was done by use of the minimisation technique. PRO scores were calculated from European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life and prostate-specific quality-of-life module questionnaires and compared with multiple regression models at baseline, and end of radiotherapy, and 18 months and 36 months according to group and radiation dose. The trial is ongoing and the primary endpoint, prostate-cancer-specific mortality, will be reported in 2014. This study is the final report of PRO scores (a secondary endpoint). Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00193856. Findings: 1071 men were randomly assigned to STAS (n=268), STAS plus zoledronic acid (n=268), ITAS (n=268), and ITAS plus zoledronic acid (n=267). At the end of radiotherapy, significant detrimental changes in PRO scores (p<0·01) occurred in all groups. There were no significant differences in global health status between groups at any timepoint. At 18 months, PROs that were significantly worse in the ITAS groups when compared with STAS were hormone-treatment-related symptoms (HTRS; STAS, 10·20 [95% CI 8·66-11·75]; ITAS, 17·36 [13·63-21·08], p<0·01; and ITAS plus zoledronic acid, 19·14 [15·43-22·85], p<0·01), sexual activity (STAS, 26·38 [23·50-29·27]; ITAS, 14·40 [7·44-21·36], p<0·01; and ITAS plus zoledronic acid, 16·34 [9·39-23·28], p<0·01), social function (STAS, 90·31 [87·89-92·73]; ITAS, 87·35 [81·52-93·18], p=0·09; and ITAS plus zoledronic acid, 83·66 [77·85-89·48], p<0·01), fatigue (STAS, 17·05 [14·58-19·51]; ITAS 24·52 [18·58-30·46], p<0·01; and ITAS plus zoledronic acid, 24·26 [18·33-30·18], p<0·01), and financial problems (STAS, 3·39 [1·29-5·48]; ITAS, 8·97 [3·92-14·02], p<0·01; and ITAS plus zoledronic acid, 8·92 [3·89-13·96], p<0·01). With the exception of HTRS, in which marginal differences remained, persisting significant differences disappeared by 36 months. Other factors associated with significant detrimental changes in PRO scores were a brachytherapy boost, incomplete testosterone and haemoglobin recoveries, age, and smoking. Interpretation: Compared with 6 months of androgen suppression, 18 months of androgen suppression causes additional detrimental changes at the 18 month follow-up in some PRO scores but not in global quality-of-life scores. However, with the exception of HTRS, these differences resolved by 36 months. The use of zoledronic acid every 3 months over 18 months does not result in additional detrimental changes, but the use of a brachytherapy boost to achieve radiation dose escalation in the prostate can adversely affect emotional function and financial problems. Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia, Abbott Pharmaceuticals Australia, New Zealand Health Research Council, New Zealand Cancer Society, University of Newcastle (Australia), Hunter Medical Research Institute, Calvary Mater Radiation Oncology Fund, and Maitland Cancer Appeal.
 
FOxTROT patient pathway
FOxTROT trial schema
FOxTROT patient pathway
Background: Preoperative (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy and radiotherapy are more effective than similar postoperative treatment for oesophageal, gastric, and rectal cancers, perhaps because of more effective micrometastasis eradication and reduced risk of incomplete excision and tumour cell shedding during surgery. The FOxTROT trial aims to investigate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of preoperative chemotherapy for colon cancer. Methods: In the pilot stage of this randomised controlled trial, 150 patients with radiologically staged locally advanced (T3 with ≥5 mm invasion beyond the muscularis propria or T4) tumours from 35 UK centres were randomly assigned (2:1) to preoperative (three cycles of OxMdG [oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2), l-folinic acid 175 mg, fluorouracil 400 mg/m(2) bolus, then 2400 mg/m(2) by 46 h infusion] repeated at 2-weekly intervals followed by surgery and a further nine cycles of OxMdG) or standard postoperative chemotherapy (12 cycles of OxMdG). Patients with KRAS wild-type tumours were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive panitumumab (6 mg/kg; every 2 weeks with the first 6 weeks of chemotherapy) or not. Treatment allocation was through a central randomisation service using a minimised randomisation procedure including age, radiological T and N stage, site of tumour, and presence of defunctioning colostomy as stratification variables. Primary outcome measures of the pilot phase were feasibility, safety, and tolerance of preoperative therapy, and accuracy of radiological staging. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN 87163246. Findings: 96% (95 of 99) of patients started and 89% (85 of 95) completed preoperative chemotherapy with grade 3-4 gastrointestinal toxicity in 7% (seven of 94) of patients. All 99 tumours in the preoperative group were resected, with no significant differences in postoperative morbidity between the preoperative and control groups: 14% (14 of 99) versus 12% (six of 51) had complications prolonging hospital stay (p=0·81). 98% (50 of 51) of postoperative chemotherapy patients had T3 or more advanced tumours confirmed at post-resection pathology compared with 91% (90 of 99) of patients following preoperative chemotherapy (p=0·10). Preoperative therapy resulted in significant downstaging of TNM5 compared with the postoperative group (p=0·04), including two pathological complete responses, apical node involvement (1% [one of 98] vs 20% [ten of 50], p<0·0001), resection margin involvement (4% [four of 99] vs 20% [ten of 50], p=0·002), and blinded centrally scored tumour regression grading: 31% (29 of 94) vs 2% (one of 46) moderate or greater regression (p=0·0001). Interpretation: Preoperative chemotherapy for radiologically staged, locally advanced operable primary colon cancer is feasible with acceptable toxicity and perioperative morbidity. Proceeding to the phase 3 trial, to establish whether the encouraging pathological responses seen with preoperative therapy translates into improved long-term oncological outcome, is appropriate. Funding: Cancer Research UK.
 
Nivolumab, a fully human IgG4 PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody, can result in durable responses in patients with melanoma who have progressed after ipilimumab and BRAF inhibitors. We assessed the efficacy and safety of nivolumab compared with investigator's choice of chemotherapy (ICC) as a second-line or later-line treatment in patients with advanced melanoma. In this randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial, we recruited patients at 90 sites in 14 countries. Eligible patients were 18 years or older, had unresectable or metastatic melanoma, and progressed after ipilimumab, or ipilimumab and a BRAF inhibitor if they were BRAF(V 600) mutation-positive. Participating investigators randomly assigned (with an interactive voice response system) patients 2:1 to receive an intravenous infusion of nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks or ICC (dacarbazine 1000 mg/m(2) every 3 weeks or paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2) combined with carboplatin area under the curve 6 every 3 weeks) until progression or unacceptable toxic effects. We stratified randomisation by BRAF mutation status, tumour expression of PD-L1, and previous best overall response to ipilimumab. We used permuted blocks (block size of six) within each stratum. Primary endpoints were the proportion of patients who had an objective response and overall survival. Treatment was given open-label, but those doing tumour assessments were masked to treatment assignment. We assessed objective responses per-protocol after 120 patients had been treated with nivolumab and had a minimum follow-up of 24 weeks, and safety in all patients who had had at least one dose of treatment. The trial is closed and this is the first interim analysis, reporting the objective response primary endpoint. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01721746. Between Dec 21, 2012, and Jan 10, 2014, we screened 631 patients, randomly allocating 272 patients to nivolumab and 133 to ICC. Confirmed objective responses were reported in 38 (31·7%, 95% CI 23·5-40·8) of the first 120 patients in the nivolumab group versus five (10·6%, 3·5-23·1) of 47 patients in the ICC group. Grade 3-4 adverse events related to nivolumab included increased lipase (three [1%] of 268 patients), increased alanine aminotransferase, anaemia, and fatigue (two [1%] each); for ICC, these included neutropenia (14 [14%] of 102), thrombocytopenia (six [6%]), and anaemia (five [5%]). We noted grade 3-4 drug-related serious adverse events in 12 (5%) nivolumab-treated patients and nine (9%) patients in the ICC group. No treatment-related deaths occurred. Nivolumab led to a greater proportion of patients achieving an objective response and fewer toxic effects than with alternative available chemotherapy regimens for patients with advanced melanoma that has progressed after ipilimumab or ipilimumab and a BRAF inhibitor. Nivolumab represents a new treatment option with clinically meaningful durable objective responses in a population of high unmet need. Bristol-Myers Squibb. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
Preoperative chemoradiotherapy, total mesorectal excision surgery, and adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil is the standard combined modality treatment for rectal cancer. With the aim of improving disease-free survival (DFS), this phase 3 study (CAO/ARO/AIO-04) integrated oxaliplatin into standard treatment. This was a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 study in patients with histologically proven carcinoma of the rectum with clinically staged T3-4 or any node-positive disease. Between July 25, 2006, and Feb 26, 2010, patients were randomly assigned to two groups: a control group receiving standard fluorouracil-based combined modality treatment, consisting of preoperative radiotherapy of 50·4 Gy plus infusional fluorouracil (1000 mg/m(2) days 1-5 and 29-33), followed by surgery and four cycles of bolus fluorouracil (500 mg/m(2) days 1-5 and 29; fluorouracil group); and an experimental group receiving preoperative radiotherapy of 50·4 Gy plus infusional fluorouracil (250 mg/m(2) days 1-14 and 22-35) and oxaliplatin (50 mg/m(2) days 1, 8, 22, and 29), followed by surgery and eight cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy with oxaliplatin (100 mg/m(2) days 1 and 15), leucovorin (400 mg/m(2) days 1 and 15), and infusional fluorouracil (2400 mg/m(2) days 1-2 and 15-16; fluorouracil plus oxaliplatin group). Randomisation was done with computer-generated block-randomisation codes stratified by centre, clinical T category (cT1-4 vs cT4), and clinical N category (cN0 vs cN1-2) without masking. DFS is the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints, including toxicity, compliance, and histopathological response are reported here. Safety and compliance analyses included patients as treated, efficacy endpoints were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00349076. Of the 1265 patients initially enrolled, 1236 were evaluable (613 in the fluorouracil plus oxaliplatin group and 623 in the fluorouracil group). Preoperative grade 3-4 toxic effects occurred in 140 (23%) of 606 patients who actually received fluorouracil and oxaliplatin during chemoradiotherapy and in 127 (20%) of 624 patients who actually received fluorouracil chemoradiotherapy. Grade 3-4 diarrhoea was more common in those who received fluorouracil and oxaliplatin during chemoradiotherapy than in those who received fluorouracil during chemoradiotherapy (73 patients [12%] vs 52 patients [8%]), as was grade 3-4 nausea or vomiting (23 [4%] vs nine [1%]). 516 (85%) of the 606 patients who received fluorouracil and oxaliplatin-based chemoradiotherapy had the full dose of chemotherapy, and 571 (94%) had the full dose of radiotherapy; as did 495 (79%) and 601 (96%) of 624 patients who received fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy, respectively. A pathological complete response was achieved in 103 (17%) of 591 patients who underwent surgery in the fluorouracil and oxaliplatin group and in 81 (13%) of 606 patients who underwent surgery in the fluorouracil group (odds ratio 1·40, 95% CI 1·02-1·92; p=0·038). In the fluorouracil and oxaliplatin group, 352 (81%) of 435 patients who began adjuvant chemotherapy completed all cycles (with or without dose reduction), as did 386 (83%) of 463 patients in the fluorouracil group. Inclusion of oxaliplatin into modified fluorouracil-based combined modality treatment was feasible and led to more patients achieving a pathological complete response than did standard treatment. Longer follow-up is needed to assess DFS. German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe).
 
Ipilimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 to enhance antitumour immunity. Our aim was to assess the use of ipilimumab after radiotherapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer that progressed after docetaxel chemotherapy. We did a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial in which men with at least one bone metastasis from castration-resistant prostate cancer that had progressed after docetaxel treatment were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive bone-directed radiotherapy (8 Gy in one fraction) followed by either ipilimumab 10 mg/kg or placebo every 3 weeks for up to four doses. Non-progressing patients could continue to receive ipilimumab at 10 mg/kg or placebo as maintenance therapy every 3 months until disease progression, unacceptable toxic effect, or death. Patients were randomly assigned to either treatment group via a minimisation algorithm, and stratified by Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, alkaline phosphatase concentration, haemoglobin concentration, and investigator site. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was overall survival, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00861614. From May 26, 2009, to Feb 15, 2012, 799 patients were randomly assigned (399 to ipilimumab and 400 to placebo), all of whom were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Median overall survival was 11·2 months (95% CI 9·5-12·7) with ipilimumab and 10·0 months (8·3-11·0) with placebo (hazard ratio [HR] 0·85, 0·72-1·00; p=0·053). However, the assessment of the proportional hazards assumption showed that it was violated (p=0·0031). A piecewise hazard model showed that the HR changed over time: the HR for 0-5 months was 1·46 (95% CI 1·10-1·95), for 5-12 months was 0·65 (0·50-0·85), and beyond 12 months was 0·60 (0·43-0·86). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were immune-related, occurring in 101 (26%) patients in the ipilimumab group and 11 (3%) of patients in the placebo group. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse events included diarrhoea (64 [16%] of 393 patients in the ipilimumab group vs seven [2%] of 396 in the placebo group), fatigue (40 [11%] vs 35 [9%]), anaemia (40 [10%] vs 43 [11%]), and colitis (18 [5%] vs 0). Four (1%) deaths occurred because of toxic effects of the study drug, all in the ipilimumab group. Although there was no significant difference between the ipilimumab group and the placebo group in terms of overall survival in the primary analysis, there were signs of activity with the drug that warrant further investigation. Bristol-Myers Squibb.
 
The optimum use of cytotoxic drugs for advanced colorectal cancer has not been defined. Our aim was to investigate whether combination treatment is better than the sequential administration of the same drugs in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. In this open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients (1:1 ratio) with advanced, measurable, non-resectable colorectal cancer and WHO performance status 0-2 to receive either first-line treatment with bolus (400 mg/m(2)) and infusional (2400 mg/m(2)) fluorouracil plus leucovorin (400 mg/m(2)) (simplified LV5FU2 regimen), second-line LV5FU2 plus oxaliplatin (100 mg/m(2)) (FOLFOX6), and third-line LV5FU2 plus irinotecan (180 mg/m(2)) (FOLFIRI) or first-line FOLFOX6 and second-line FOLFIRI. Chemotherapy was administered every 2 weeks. Randomisation was done centrally using minimisation (minimisation factors were WHO performance status, previous adjuvant chemotherapy, number of disease sites, and centre). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival after two lines of treatment. Analyses were by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00126256. 205 patients were randomly assigned to the sequential group and 205 to the combination group. 161 (79%) patients in the sequential group and 161 (79%) in the combination group died during the study. Median progression-free survival after two lines was 10·5 months (95% CI 9·6-11·5) in the sequential group and 10·3 months (9·0-11·9) in the combination group (hazard ratio 0·95, 95% CI 0·77-1·16; p=0·61). All six deaths caused by toxic effects of treatment occurred in the combination group. During first-line chemotherapy, significantly fewer severe (grade 3-4) haematological adverse events (12 events in 203 patients in sequential group vs 83 events in 203 patients in combination group; p<0·0001) and non-haematological adverse events (26 events vs 186 events; p<0·0001) occurred in the sequential group than in the combination group. Upfront combination chemotherapy is more toxic and is not more effective than the sequential use of the same cytotoxic drugs in patients with advanced, non-resectable colorectal cancer. Sanofi-Aventis France.
 
The antiepidermal growth factor receptor (antiEGFR) monoclonal antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab have good clinical activity in about 10% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that is resistant to chemotherapy. The molecular mechanisms underlying clinical response or resistance to these agents are unknown. Tumours from 31 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had either an objective response (n=10) or stable disease or progressive disease (n=21) after treatment with cetuximab or panitumumab were screened for genetic changes in EGFR or its immediate intracellular effectors. Specifically, we assessed the EGFR copy number and the mutation profile of the EGFR catalytic domain and of selected exons in KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA. Eight of nine of patients with objective responses who were assessable by fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) had an increased EGFR copy number. By contrast, one of 21 non-responders assessable by FISH had an increased EGFR copy number (p<0.0001 for responders vs non-responders, Fisher's exact test). The mutation status of the EGFR catalytic domain and its immediate downstream effectors PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF did not correlate with disease response. In colorectal-cancer cell lines, the concentration of cetuximab that completely inhibited proliferation of cells with amplified EGFR copy number did not affect proliferation of cells with unamplified EGFR. We propose that the response to antiEGFR treatment has a genetic basis and suggest that patients might be selected for treatment on the basis of EGFR copy number.
 
The Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial was designed to compare the efficacy and safety of anastrozole with tamoxifen as adjuvant treatment for postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer. After an extended follow-up beyond the 5 years of treatment, we aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and risk-benefit indices of these compounds. We analysed postmenopausal women (mean age 64 years [SD 9]) with localised breast cancer randomly assigned to anastrozole (n=3125) or tamoxifen (n=3116). Efficacy measures, including death and risk-benefit indices, were analysed by intention to treat. Safety analyses were based on treatment first received (n=3092 for anastrozole and n=3094 tamoxifen). We calculated a risk-benefit analysis using the two global indices for the Women's Health Initiative and for Disease-Free Survival and Serious Adverse Events. This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN18233230. At median follow-up of 68 months (range 1-93), treatment-related adverse events occurred significantly less often with anastrozole than with tamoxifen (1884 [61%] vs 2117 [68%]; p<0.0001), as did treatment-related serious adverse events (146 [5%] vs 277 [9%]; p<0.0001) and adverse events leading to withdrawal (344 [11%] vs 442 [14%]; p=0.0002). Patients given anastrozole had significantly fewer overall events for the Global Index of the Women's Health Initiative (744 [24%] vs 851 [27%]; hazard ratio 0.85 [95% CI 0.77-0.94], p=0.001) and the Global Index of Disease-Free Survival and Serious Adverse Events (1453 [46%] vs 1594 [51%]; 0.88 [0.82-0.94]; p=0.0004). Anastrozole is tolerated better than tamoxifen by postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer, and results in fewer serious adverse events. Furthermore, it has a more favourable overall risk-benefit profile and lower recurrence rate than tamoxifen.
 
We aimed to improve the outcomes for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma by testing the feasibility and safety of the addition of bevacizumab to chemoradiotherapy. We enrolled patients older than 18 years with stage IIB-IVB nasopharyngeal carcinoma from 19 centres in North America and Hong Kong. Treatment consisted of three cycles of bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) and cisplatin (100 mg/m(2)) both given on days 1, 22, and 43 of radiation (70 Gy) with intensity-modulated radiation therapy delivered over 33 days on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Patients then received three cycles of bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) and cisplatin (80 mg/m(2)), both given on days 64, 85, and 106 after radiation, and three cycles of fluorouracil (1000 mg/m(2) per day), given on days 64-67, 85-88, and 106-109 after radiation. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of treatment-related grade 4 haemorrhage or any grade 5 adverse event in the first year. Analyses were done with all eligible patients who started protocol treatment. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00408694. From Dec 13, 2006, to Feb 5, 2009, we enrolled 46 patients, of whom 44 were eligible for analysis. We recorded no grade 3-4 haemorrhages or grade 5 adverse events; nine patients (20%) had a treatment-related grade 1-2 haemorrhage. Nine patients had one or more grade 4 blood or bone marrow-related complication (grade 4 leucopenia was noted in six patients, grade 4 lymphopenia in five, grade 4 neutrophils in five, and grade 4 anaemia in one). One patient had two grade 4 infections with grade 3-4 neutrophils. One patient reported grade 4 tinnitus, one patient reported grade 4 thrombosis, one reported grade 4 radiation mucositis, and two reported grade 4 pharyngolaryngeal pain. With a median follow-up of 2·5 years (IQR 2·1-2·9), the estimated 2 year locoregional progression-free interval was 83·7% (95% CI 72·6-94·9), the 2 year distant metastasis-free interval was 90·8% (82·2-99·5), the 2 year progression-free survival was 74·7% (61·8-87·6), and 2 year overall survival was 90·9% (82·3-99·4). The addition of bevacizumab to standard chemoradiation treatment for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma is feasible, and might delay the progression of subclinical distant disease. National Cancer Institute, USA.
 
Patients with squamous non-small-cell lung cancer that is refractory to multiple treatments have poor outcomes. We assessed the activity of nivolumab, a fully human IgG4 PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody, for patients with advanced, refractory, squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. We did this phase 2, single-arm trial at 27 sites (academic, hospital, and private cancer centres) in France, Germany, Italy, and USA. Patients who had received two or more previous treatments received intravenous nivolumab (3 mg/kg) every 2 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxic effects. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a confirmed objective response as assessed by an independent radiology review committee. We included all treated patients in the analyses. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01721759. Between Nov 16, 2012, and July 22, 2013, we enrolled and treated 117 patients. 17 (14·5%, 95% CI 8·7-22·2) of 117 patients had an objective response as assessed by an independent radiology review committee. Median time to response was 3·3 months (IQR 2·2-4·8), and median duration of response was not reached (95% CI 8·31-not applicable); 13 (77%) of 17 of responses were ongoing at the time of analysis. 30 (26%) of 117 patients had stable disease (median duration 6·0 months, 95% CI 4·7-10·9). 20 (17%) of 117 patients reported grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events, including: fatigue (five [4%] of 117 patients), pneumonitis (four [3%]), and diarrhoea (three [3%]). There were two treatment-associated deaths caused by pneumonia and ischaemic stroke that occurred in patients with multiple comorbidities in the setting of progressive disease. Nivolumab has clinically meaningful activity and a manageable safety profile in previously treated patients with advanced, refractory, squamous non-small cell lung cancer. These data support the assessment of nivolumab in randomised, controlled, phase 3 studies of first-line and second-line treatment. Bristol-Myers Squibb. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
Radiotherapy is the standard care in elderly patients with malignant astrocytoma and the role of primary chemotherapy is poorly defined. We did a randomised trial to compare the efficacy and safety of dose-dense temozolomide alone versus radiotherapy alone in elderly patients with anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma. Between May 15, 2005, and Nov 2, 2009, we enrolled patients with confirmed anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma, age older than 65 years, and a Karnofsky performance score of 60 or higher. Patients were randomly assigned 100 mg/m(2) temozolomide, given on days 1-7 of 1 week on, 1 week off cycles, or radiotherapy of 60·0 Gy, administered over 6-7 weeks in 30 fractions of 1·8-2·0 Gy. The primary endpoint was overall survival. We assessed non-inferiority with a 25% margin, analysed for all patients who received at least one dose of assigned treatment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01502241. Of 584 patients screened, we enrolled 412. 373 patients (195 randomly allocated to the temozolomide group and 178 to the radiotherapy group) received at least one dose of treatment and were included in efficacy analyses. Median overall survival was 8·6 months (95% CI 7·3-10·2) in the temozolomide group versus 9·6 months (8·2-10·8) in the radiotherapy group (hazard ratio [HR] 1·09, 95% CI 0·84-1·42, p(non-inferiority)=0·033). Median event-free survival (EFS) did not differ significantly between the temozolomide and radiotherapy groups (3·3 months [95% CI 3·2-4·1] vs 4·7 [4·2-5·2]; HR 1·15, 95% CI 0·92-1·43, p(non-inferiority)=0·043). Tumour MGMT promoter methylation was seen in 73 (35%) of 209 patients tested. MGMT promoter methylation was associated with longer overall survival than was unmethylated status (11·9 months [95% CI 9·0 to not reached] vs 8·2 months [7·0-10·0]; HR 0·62, 95% CI 0·42-0·91, p=0·014). EFS was longer in patients with MGMT promoter methylation who received temozolomide than in those who underwent radiotherapy (8·4 months [95e% CI 5·5-11·7] vs 4·6 [4·2-5·0]), whereas the opposite was true for patients with no methylation of the MGMT promoter (3·3 months [3·0-3·5] vs 4·6 months [3·7-6·3]). The most frequent grade 3-4 intervention-related adverse events were neutropenia (16 patients in the temozolomide group vs two in the radiotherapy group), lymphocytopenia (46 vs one), thrombocytopenia (14 vs four), raised liver-enzyme concentrations (30 vs 16), infections (35 vs 23), and thromboembolic events (24 vs eight). Temozolomide alone is non-inferior to radiotherapy alone in the treatment of elderly patients with malignant astrocytoma. MGMT promoter methylation seems to be a useful biomarker for outcomes by treatment and could aid decision-making. Merck Sharp & Dohme.
 
Activating mutations in EGFR are important markers of response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The OPTIMAL study compared efficacy and tolerability of the TKI erlotinib versus standard chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC. We undertook an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial at 22 centres in China. Patients older than 18 years with histologically confirmed stage IIIB or IV NSCLC and a confirmed activating mutation of EGFR (exon 19 deletion or exon 21 L858R point mutation) received either oral erlotinib (150 mg/day) until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects, or up to four cycles of gemcitabine plus carboplatin. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) with a minimisation procedure and were stratified according to EGFR mutation type, histological subtype (adenocarcinoma vs non-adenocarcinoma), and smoking status. The primary outcome was progression-free survival, analysed in patients with confirmed disease who received at least one dose of study treatment. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00874419, and has completed enrolment; patients are still in follow-up. 83 patients were randomly assigned to receive erlotinib and 82 to receive gemcitabine plus carboplatin; 82 in the erlotinib group and 72 in the chemotherapy group were included in analysis of the primary endpoint. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in erlotinib-treated patients than in those on chemotherapy (13.1 [95% CI 10.58-16.53] vs 4.6 [4.21-5.42] months; hazard ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.10-0.26; p<0.0001). Chemotherapy was associated with more grade 3 or 4 toxic effects than was erlotinib (including neutropenia in 30 [42%] of 72 patients and thrombocytopenia in 29 [40%] patients on chemotherapy vs no patients with either event on erlotinib); the most common grade 3 or 4 toxic effects with erlotinib were increased alanine aminotransferase concentrations (three [4%] of 83 patients) and skin rash (two [2%] patients). Chemotherapy was also associated with increased treatment-related serious adverse events (ten [14%] of 72 patients [decreased platelet count, n=8; decreased neutrophil count, n=1; hepatic dysfunction, n=1] vs two [2%] of 83 patients [both hepatic dysfunction]). Compared with standard chemotherapy, erlotinib conferred a significant progression-free survival benefit in patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and was associated with more favourable tolerability. These findings suggest that erlotinib is important for first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC. F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (China); Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality.
 
Maintenance treatment of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without disease progression after first-line chemotherapy is a subject of ongoing research. The aim of the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, INFORM study was to investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the EGFR-tyrosine-kinase inhibitor gefitinib in the maintenance setting. Patients were aged 18 years or older, were of east Asian ethnic origin, had a life expectancy of more than 12 weeks, histologically or cytologically confirmed stage IIIb or IV NSCLC, a WHO performance status of 0-2, and had completed four cycles of first-line platinum-based doublet chemotherapy without disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. Between Sept 28, 2008 and Aug 11, 2009, 296 patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive either gefitinib (250 mg per day orally) or placebo (orally) within 3-6 weeks after chemotherapy until progression or unacceptable toxic effects. Randomisation was done via an interactive web response system with computer-generated randomisation codes. Our primary endpoint was progression-free survival assessed in the intention-to-treat population. This completed study is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00770588. Progression-free survival was significantly longer with gefitinib (n=148) than with placebo (148) (median progression-free survival 4·8 months [95% CI 3·2-8·5] vs 2·6 months [1·6-2·8]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·42, 95% CI 0·33-0·55; p<0·0001). Adverse events occurred more frequently with gefitinib than with placebo; the most common adverse events of any grade were rash (73 [50%] of 147 in the gefitinib group vs 14 [9%] of 148 in the placebo group), diarrhoea (37 [25%] vs 13 [9%]), and alanine aminotransferase increase (31 [21%] vs 12 [8%]). The most commonly reported grade 3 or 4 adverse event was alanine aminotransferase increase (3 [2%] of 147 in the gefitinib group, none of 148 in the placebo group). Ten of 147 (7%) patients given gefitinib and five of 148 (3%) patients given placebo had serious adverse events. Three deaths were thought to be related to treatment with gefitinib: one from interstitial lung disease; one from lung infection; and one from pneumonia. Maintenance treatment with gefitinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with placebo in patients from east Asia with advanced NSCLC who achieved disease control after first-line chemotherapy. Clinicians should consider these data when making decisions about maintenance treatment in such patients. AstraZeneca.
 
We aimed to assess efficacy and tolerability of vorinostat in combination with bortezomib for treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In our randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years) at 174 university hospitals in 31 countries worldwide. Eligible patients had to have non-refractory multiple myeloma that previously responded to treatment (one to three regimens) but were currently progressing, ECOG performance statuses of 2 or less, and no continuing toxic effects from previous treatment. We excluded patients with known resistance to bortezomib. We randomly allocated patients (1:1) using an interactive voice response system to receive 21 day cycles of bortezomib (1·3 mg/m(2) intravenously on days 1, 4, 8, and 11) in combination with oral vorinostat (400 mg) or matching placebo once-daily on days 1-14. We stratified patients by baseline tumour stage (International Staging System stage 1 or stage ≥2), previous bone-marrow transplantation (yes or no), and number of previous regimens (1 or ≥2). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population. We assessed adverse events in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number 00773747. Between Dec 24, 2008, and Sept 8, 2011, we randomly allocated 317 eligible patients to the vorinostat group (315 of whom received at least one dose) and 320 to the placebo group (all of whom received at least one dose). Median PFS was 7·63 months (95% CI 6·87-8·40) in the vorinostat group and 6·83 months (5·67-7·73) in the placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·77, 95% CI 0·64-0·94; p=0·0100). 312 (99%) of 315 patients in the vorinostat group and 315 (98%) of 320 patients in the placebo group had adverse events (300 [95%] adverse events in the vorinostat group and 282 [88%] in the control group were regarded as related to treatment). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were thrombocytopenia (143 [45%] patients in the vorinostat group vs 77 [24%] patients in the placebo group), neutropenia (89 [28%] vs 80 [25%]), and anaemia (53 [17%] vs 40 [13%]). Although the combination of vorinostat and bortezomib prolonged PFS relative to bortezomib and placebo, the clinical relevance of the difference in PFS between the two groups is not clear. Different treatment schedules of bortezomib and vorinostat might improve tolerability and enhance activity. Merck.
 
Intraoperative MRI is increasingly used in neurosurgery, although there is little evidence for its use. We aimed to assess efficacy of intraoperative MRI guidance on extent of resection in patients with glioma. In our prospective, randomised, parallel-group trial, we enrolled adults (≥18 years) with contrast enhancing gliomas amenable to radiologically complete resection who presented to Goethe University (Frankfurt, Germany). We randomly assigned patients (1:1) with computer-generated blocks of four and a sealed-envelope design to undergo intraoperative MRI-guided surgery or conventional microsurgery (control group). Surgeons and patients were unmasked to treatment group allocation, but an independent neuroradiologist was masked during analysis of all preoperative and postoperative imaging data. The primary endpoint was rate of complete resections as established by early postoperative high-field MRI (1·5 T or 3·0 T). Analysis was done per protocol. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01394692. We enrolled 58 patients between Oct 1, 2007, and July 1, 2010. 24 (83%) of 29 patients randomly allocated to the intraoperative MRI group and 25 (86%) of 29 controls were eligible for analysis (four patients in each group had metastasis and one patient in the intraoperative MRI group withdrew consent after randomisation). More patients in the intraoperative MRI group had complete tumour resection (23 [96%] of 24 patients) than did in the control group (17 [68%] of 25, p=0·023). Postoperative rates of new neurological deficits did not differ between patients in the intraoperative MRI group (three [13%] of 24) and controls (two [8%] of 25, p=1·0). No patient for whom use of intraoperative MRI led to continued resection of residual tumour had neurological deterioration. One patient in the control group died before 6 months. Our study provides evidence for the use of intraoperative MRI guidance in glioma surgery: such imaging helps surgeons provide the optimum extent of resection. None.
 
Dacomitinib is an irreversible pan-EGFR family tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Findings from a phase 2 study in non-small cell lung cancer showed favourable efficacy for dacomitinib compared with erlotinib. We aimed to compare dacomitinib with erlotinib in a phase 3 study. In a randomised, multicentre, double-blind phase 3 trial in 134 centres in 23 countries, we enrolled patients who had locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, progression after one or two previous regimens of chemotherapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2, and presence of measurable disease. We randomly assigned patients in a 1:1 ratio to dacomitinib (45 mg/day) or erlotinib (150 mg/day) with matching placebo. Treatment allocation was masked to the investigator, patient, and study funder. Randomisation was stratified by histology (adenocarcinoma vs non-adenocarcinoma), ethnic origin (Asian vs non-Asian and Indian sub-continent), performance status (0-1 vs 2), and smoking status (never-smoker vs ever-smoker). The coprimary endpoints were progression-free survival per independent review for all randomly assigned patients, and for all randomly assigned patients with KRAS wild-type tumours. The study has completed accrual and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01360554. Between June 22, 2011, and March 12, 2013, we enrolled 878 patients and randomly assigned 439 to dacomitinib (256 KRAS wild type) and 439 (263 KRAS wild type) to erlotinib. Median progression-free survival was 2·6 months (95% CI 1·9-2·8) in both the dacomitinib group and the erlotinib group (stratified hazard ratio [HR] 0·941, 95% CI 0·802-1·104, one-sided log-rank p=0·229). For patients with wild-type KRAS, median progression-free survival was 2·6 months for dacomitinib (95% CI 1·9-2·9) and erlotinib (95% CI 1·9-3·0; stratified HR 1·022, 95% CI 0·834-1·253, one-sided p=0·587). In patients who received at least one dose of study drug, the most frequent grade 3-4 adverse events were diarrhoea (47 [11%] patients in the dacomitinib group vs ten [2%] patients in the erlotinib group), rash (29 [7%] vs 12 [3%]), and stomatitis (15 [3%] vs two [<1%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 52 (12%) patients receiving dacomitinib and 40 (9%) patients receiving erlotinib. Irreversible EGFR inhibition with dacomitinib was not superior to erlotinib in an unselected patient population with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer or in patients with KRAS wild-type tumours. Further study of irreversible EGFR inhibitors should be restricted to patients with activating EGFR mutations. Pfizer. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
 
New therapeutic options are needed for patients with heavily pretreated breast cancer. Etirinotecan pegol is a long-acting topoisomerase-I inhibitor designed to provide prolonged tumour-cell exposure to SN38, the active metabolite. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of two etirinotecan pegol dosing schedules in patients with previously treated metastatic breast cancer to determine an optimum dosing schedule for phase 3 trials. In this randomised, two-stage, open-label phase 2 trial, we recruited patients aged 18 years or older who had received taxane therapy and undergone two or fewer previous chemotherapy regimens for metastatic breast cancer, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, from 18 sites in three countries. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to etirinotecan pegol 145 mg/m(2) every 14 days or every 21 days. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a confirmed objective response as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.0, analysed by intention to treat. Safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00802945. 70 patients (35 in each group) were randomly assigned to treatment between Feb 17, 2009 and April 13, 2010. Of the 70 patients, 20 (29%; 95% CI 18·4-40·6) achieved an objective response (two [3%] had a complete response and 18 [26%] had a partial response). Ten patients on the 14-day schedule achieved an objective response (29%; 95% CI 14·6-46·3; eight partial responses, two complete responses) as did ten on the 21-day schedule (29%; 95% CI 14·6-46·3; all partial responses). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were delayed diarrhoea (seven [20%] of 35 patients on the 14-day schedule vs eight [23%] of 35 patients on the 21-day schedule), fatigue (five [14%] vs three [9%]), neutropenia (four [11%] vs four [11%]), and dehydration (three [9%] vs four [11%]); 14 [20%] patients discontinued treatment because of drug-related toxicity. There were two possible drug-related deaths (acute renal failure and septic shock) in the 14-day group; other drug-related serious adverse events reported by more than one patient included ten [14%] patients with diarrhoea (six [17%] patients on the 14-day schedule vs four [11%] on the 21-day schedule), six [9%] with dehydration (two [6%] vs four [11%]), two [3%] with nausea (two [6%] vs none), and two [3%] with vomiting (two [6%] vs none). On the basis of the overall clinical data, pharmacokinetics, and tolerability profile, etirinotecan pegol 145 mg/m(2) every 21 days has been selected for a phase 3 trial against treatment of physician's choice in patients with advanced breast cancer. Nektar Therapeutics.
 
Adverse events with a frequency of at least 3% in the safety population 
Kaplan-Meier curves of overall survival (A) and progression-free survival (B) as assessed by independent review committee  
Overall survival in prespecifi ed subgroups *Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group criteria. †More patients received adjuvant chemotherapy in the TAS-102 group than in the placebo group, but this diff erence had no eff ect on the assessment of overall survival with the Cox proportional hazards model with one variable (p=0·605); there was no interaction (p=0·822).  
Treatments that confer survival benefit are needed in patients with heavily pretreated metastatic colorectal cancer. The aim of this trial was to investigate the efficacy and safety of TAS-102-a novel oral nucleoside antitumour agent. Between August 25, 2009, and April 12, 2010, we undertook a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial in Japan. Eligible patients were 20 years or older; had confirmed colorectal adenocarcinoma; had a treatment history of two or more regimens of standard chemotherapy; and were refractory or intolerant to fluoropyrimidine, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin. Patients had to be able to take oral drugs; have measurable lesions; have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of between 0 and 2; and have adequate bone-marrow, hepatic, and renal functions within 7 days of enrolment. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to either TAS-102 (35 mg/m(2) given orally twice a day in a 28-day cycle [2-week cycle of 5 days of treatment followed by a 2-day rest period, and then a 14-day rest period]) or placebo; all patients received best supportive care. Randomisation was done with minimisation methods, with performance status as the allocation factor. The randomisation sequence was generated with a validated computer system by an independent team from the trial sponsor. Investigators, patients, data analysts, and the trial sponsor were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. Safety analyses were done in the per-protocol population. The study is in progress and is registered with Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center, number JapicCTI-090880. 112 patients allocated to TAS-102 and 57 allocated to placebo made up the intention-to-treat population. Median follow-up was 11·3 months (IQR 10·7-14·0). Median overall survival was 9·0 months (95% CI 7·3-11·3) in the TAS-102 group and 6·6 months (4·9-8·0) in the placebo group (hazard ratio for death 0·56, 80% CI 0·44-0·71, 95% CI 0·39-0·81; p=0·0011). 57 (50%) of 113 patients given TAS-102 in the safety population had neutropenia of grade 3 or 4, 32 (28%) leucopenia, and 19 (17%) anaemia. No patient given placebo had grade 3 or worse neutropenia or leucopenia; three (5%) of 57 had grade 3 or worse anaemia. Serious adverse events occurred in 21 (19%) patients in the TAS-102 group and in five (9%) in the placebo group. No treatment-related deaths occurred. TAS-102 has promising efficacy and a manageable safety profile in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who are refractory or intolerant to standard chemotherapies. Taiho Pharmaceutical.
 
Imatinib treatment significantly improves survival in patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), but little is known about whether treatment can safely be discontinued in the long term. We aimed to assess whether imatinib can be discontinued without occurrence of molecular relapse in patients in complete molecular remission (CMR) while on imatinib. In our prospective, multicentre, non-randomised Stop Imatinib (STIM) study, imatinib treatment (of >2 years duration) was discontinued in patients with CML who were aged 18 years and older and in CMR (>5-log reduction in BCR-ABL and ABL levels and undetectable transcripts on quantitative RT-PCR). Patients who had undergone immunomodulatory treatment (apart from interferon α), treatment for other malignancies, or allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation were not included. Patients were enrolled at 19 participating institutions in France. In this interim analysis, rate of relapse was assessed by use of RT-PCR for patients with at least 12 months of follow-up. Imatinib was reintroduced in patients who had molecular relapse. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00478985. 100 patients were enrolled between July 9, 2007, and Dec 17, 2009. Median follow-up was 17 months (range 1-30), and 69 patients had at least 12 months follow-up (median 24 months, range 13-30). 42 (61%) of these 69 patients relapsed (40 before 6 months, one patient at month 7, and one at month 19). At 12 months, the probability of persistent CMR for these 69 patients was 41% (95% CI 29-52). All patients who relapsed responded to reintroduction of imatinib: 16 of the 42 patients who relapsed showed decreases in their BCR-ABL levels, and 26 achieved CMR that was sustained after imatinib rechallenge. Imatinib can be safely discontinued in patients with a CMR of at least 2 years duration. Imatinib discontinuation in this setting yields promising results for molecular relapse-free survival, raising the possibility that, at least in some patients, CML might be cured with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
 
Background: Biomarkers to improve the risk-benefit of extended adjuvant endocrine therapy for late recurrence in patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer would be clinically valuable. We compared the prognostic ability of the breast-cancer index (BCI) assay, 21-gene recurrence score (Oncotype DX), and an immunohistochemical prognostic model (IHC4) for both early and late recurrence in patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive, node-negative (N0) disease who took part in the Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) clinical trial. Methods: In this prospective comparison study, we obtained archival tumour blocks from the TransATAC tissue bank from all postmenopausal patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer from whom the 21-gene recurrence score and IHC4 values had already been derived. We did BCI analysis in matched samples with sufficient residual RNA using two BCI models-cubic (BCI-C) and linear (BCI-L)-using previously validated cutoffs. We assessed prognostic ability of BCI for distant recurrence over 10 years (the primary endpoint) and compared it with that of the 21-gene recurrence score and IHC4. We also tested the ability of the assays to predict early (0-5 years) and late (5-10 years) distant recurrence. To assess the ability of the biomarkers to predict recurrence beyond standard clinicopathological variables, we calculated the change in the likelihood-ratio χ(2) (LR-Δχ(2)) from Cox proportional hazards models. Findings: Suitable tissue was available from 665 patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive, N0 breast cancer for BCI analysis. The primary analysis showed significant differences in risk of distant recurrence over 10 years in the categorical BCI-C risk groups (p<0·0001) with 6·8% (95% CI 4·4-10·0) of patients in the low-risk group, 17·3% (12·0-24·7) in the intermediate group, and 22·2% (15·3-31·5) in the high-risk group having distant recurrence. The secondary analysis showed that BCI-L was a much stronger predictor for overall (0-10 year) distant recurrence compared with BCI-C (interquartile HR 2·30 [95% CI 1·62-3·27]; LR-Δχ(2)=22·69; p<0·0001). When compared with BCI-L, the 21-gene recurrence score was less predictive (HR 1·48 [95% CI 1·22-1·78]; LR-Δχ(2)=13·68; p=0·0002) and IHC4 was similar (HR 1·69 [95% CI 1·51-2·56]; LR-Δχ(2)=22·83; p<0·0001). All further analyses were done with the BCI-L model. In a multivariable analysis, all assays had significant prognostic ability for early distant recurrence (BCI-L HR 2·77 [95% CI 1·63-4·70], LR-Δχ(2)=15·42, p<0·0001; 21-gene recurrence score HR 1·80 [1·42-2·29], LR-Δχ(2)=18·48, p<0·0001; IHC4 HR 2·90 [2·01-4·18], LR-Δχ(2)=29·14, p<0·0001); however, only BCI-L was significant for late distant recurrence (BCI-L HR 1·95 [95% CI 1·22-3·14], LR-Δχ(2)=7·97, p=0·0048; 21-gene recurrence score HR 1·13 [0·82-1·56], LR-Δχ(2)=0·48, p=0·47; IHC4 HR 1·30 [0·88-1·94], LR-Δχ(2)=1·59, p=0·20). Interpretation: BCI-L was the only significant prognostic test for risk of both early and late distant recurrence and identified two risk populations for each timeframe. It could help to identify patients at high risk for late distant recurrence who might benefit from extended endocrine or other therapy. Funding: Avon Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Breast Cancer Foundation, US Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, Susan G Komen for the Cure, Breakthrough Breast Cancer through the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Foundation, AstraZeneca, Cancer Research UK, and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at the Royal Marsden (London, UK).
 
Adjuvant! is a web-based program that calculates individualised 10-year survival probabilities and predicted benefit of adjuvant systemic therapy. The Adjuvant! model has not been validated in any large European series. The aim of our study was to validate Adjuvant! in Dutch patients, investigating both its calibration and discriminatory accuracy. Patients who were at least partly treated at the Netherlands Cancer Institute for breast cancer between 1987 and 1998 were included if they met the following criteria: tumour size T1 (< or =2 cm), T2 (2-5 cm), or T3 (>5 cm), invasive breast carcinoma, with information about involvement of axillary lymph nodes available, no distant metastases, primary surgery, axillary staging, and radiotherapy according to national guidelines. Clinicopathological characteristics and adjuvant treatment data were retrieved from hospital records and medical registries and were entered into the Adjuvant! (version 8.0) batch processor with blinding to outcome. Endpoints were overall survival and the proportion of patients that did not die from breast cancer (breast-cancer-specific survival [BCSS]). 5380 patients were included with median follow-up of 11.7 years (range 0.03-21.8). The 10-year observed overall survival (69.0%) and BCSS (78.6%) and Adjuvant! predicted overall survival (69.1%) and BCSS (77.8%) were not statistically different (p=0.87 and p=0.18, respectively). Moreover, differences between predicted and observed outcomes were within 2% for most relevant clinicopathological subgroups. In patients younger than 40 years, Adjuvant! overestimated overall survival by 4.2% (p=0.04) and BCSS by 4.7% (p=0.01). The concordance index, which indicates discriminatory accuracy at the individual level, was 0.71 for BCSS in the entire cohort. Adjuvant! accurately predicted 10-year outcomes in this large-scale Dutch validation study and is of use for adjuvant treatment decision making, although the results may be less reliable in some subgroups.
 
The EORTC 10801 trial compared breast-conserving therapy (BCT) with modified radical mastectomy (MRM) in patients with tumours 5 cm or smaller and axillary node negative or positive disease. Compared with BCT, MRM resulted in better local control, but did not affect overall survival or time to distant metastases. We report 20-year follow-up results. The EORTC 10801 trial was open for accrual between 1980 and 1986 in eight centres in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, and South Africa. 448 patients were randomised to BCT and 420 to MRM. Randomisation was done centrally, stratifying patients by institute, carcinoma stage (I or II), and menopausal status. BCT comprised of lumpectomy and complete axillary clearance, followed by breast radiotherapy and a tumour-bed boost. The primary endpoint was time to distant metastasis. This analysis was done on all eligible patients, as they were randomised. After a median follow-up of 22·1 years (IQR 18·5-23·8), 175 patients (42%) had distant metastases in the MRM group versus 207 (46%) in the BCT group. Furthermore, 506 patients (58%) died (232 [55%] in the MRM group and 274 [61%] in the BCT group). No significant difference was observed between BCT and MRM for time to distant metastases (hazard ratio 1·13, 95% CI 0·92-1·38; p=0·23) or for time to death (1·11, 0·94-1·33; 0·23). Cumulative incidence of distant metastases at 20 years was 42·6% (95% CI 37·8-47·5) in the MRM group and 46·9% (42·2-51·6) in the BCT group. 20-year overall survival was estimated to be 44·5% (95% CI 39·3-49·5) in the MRM group and 39·1% (34·4-43·9) in the BCT group. There was no difference between the groups in time to distant metastases or overall survival by age (time to distant metastases: <50 years 1·09 [95% CI 0·79-1·51] vs ≥50 years 1·16 [0·90-1·50]; overall survival <50 years 1·17 [0·86-1·59] vs ≥50 years 1·10 [0·89-1·37]). BCT, including radiotherapy, offered as standard care to patients with early breast cancer seems to be justified, since long-term follow-up in this trial showed similar survival to that after mastectomy. European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
 
Top-cited authors
Yann Grosse
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
Fatiha El Ghissassi
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
Kurt Straif
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
Beatrice Lauby-Secretan
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer
Roberta De Angelis
  • Istituto Superiore di Sanità