R Demmer

Kantonsspital St. Gallen, San Gallo, Saint Gallen, Switzerland

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Publications (3)13.66 Total impact

  • M Früh · S Gillessen · T Cerny · R Demmer · G D'Addario
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    ABSTRACT: Combination chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX) is active in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Oxaliplatin has a favourable toxicity profile compared to cisplatin. Gemcitabine's cellular uptake mechanism is saturable and fixed dose rate (FDR) infusion results in higher intracellular concentrations. We evaluated the feasibility, response rate and toxicity of bi-weekly GEMOX. Eligible patients with inoperable stage IIIB and IV NSCLC were treated with gemcitabine 1200mg/m(2) FDR and oxaliplatin 85mg/m(2), both given on d1 and d15 every 4 weeks for a maximum of six cycles. Tumour response was assessed every 8 weeks using RECIST criteria. Forty eligible patients initiated treatment between December 2002 and December 2004. There were nine partial responses (23%). An additional 23 patients (58%) had stable disease, resulting in a disease stabilization rate of 81%. The time to progression was 7.3 months (95% CI, 6.0-8.2 months). Median survival time was 10.4 months (95% CI, 8.7-13.2 months). The 1 and 2-year survival rates were 42% and 12%, respectively. The time to treatment response was 2.2 months (95% CI, 1.8-3.5 months) with a median response duration of 4 months. The most common grade 3 or higher toxicities were leucopenia (20%), asthenia (15%) and neurotoxicity (10%). There were no treatment-related deaths. Patients with performance status (PS) of 0 had a significantly longer survival than patients with higher PS (12.9 months versus 9.4 months, HR 0.45, P=0.03). Bi-weekly GEMOX is active and well tolerated for chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced NSCLC. This regimen merits consideration for further investigation.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Lung Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Taste alteration (dysgeusia), an underrecognized toxicity associated with taxane-based chemotherapy (TaxCh), lacks standard treatment. We investigated prevention of dysgeusia with oral glutamine in patients undergoing first-time TaxCh. Adult patients were randomized to receive either 30 g/day glutamine or placebo (maltodextrin) from day 1 of TaxCh. Dysgeusia was measured daily with a visual analogue scale (VAS). On each chemotherapy cycle, objective (sour, sweet, salty, bitter) and subjective (four-category scale) taste and toxicity (National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria, v.3) were assessed. Stomatitis and zinc deficiency were treated. For primary outcomes, repeated dysgeusia scores were analyzed with a linear mixed model. Repeated data on each objective or subjective taste item were analyzed with a generalized estimating equation. Of 52 patients randomized, 41 completed treatment (median study duration, 74 days). At baseline, the glutamine (n = 21) and placebo (n = 20) groups were comparable for age (64 years), gender (32% men), tumor types, chemotherapy (docetaxel, 44%; paclitaxel, 56%), schedule (weekly, 78%; 3-weekly, 22%), treatment intention (15% adjuvant), dysgeusia (VAS, 11/100), and taste recognition (88%). Twenty-four patients had peripheral neuropathy grades 1-2; none had grade 3. Glutamine and placebo were not different for maximal dysgeusia and increase from baseline, with an insignificant linear time effect. Separate subgroup analyses for patients with baseline dysgeusia < or =11 or >11 did not alter the results. Objective or subjective taste tests were not different, neither were adverse events. Compared with placebo, oral glutamine did not prevent or decrease subjective taste disturbances or altered taste perception associated with TaxCh. The role of glutamine in supportive care of taxane-associated dysgeusia seems limited.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · The Oncologist
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty-one adult patients were randomised to receive ghrelin on days 1 and 8 and placebo on days 4 and 11 or vice versa, given intravenously over a 60-min period before lunch: 10 received 2 microg kg(-1) (lower-dose) ghrelin; 11 received 8 microg kg(-1) (upper-dose) ghrelin. Active and total ghrelin, growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor 1 levels were monitored at baseline (4-5 days before day 1), during treatment days, and at end of study (day 17/18). Drug-related adverse events (assessed by NCI-CTC-toxicity criteria and cardiac examination) did not differ between ghrelin and placebo. No grade 3/4 toxicity or stimulation of tumour growth was observed. The peak increase of GH, a biological marker of ghrelin action, was 25 ng ml(-1) with lower-dose and 42 ng ml(-1) with upper-dose ghrelin. Morning fasting total ghrelin levels were higher (P<0.05) for upper-dose patients at end of study (3580 pg ml(-1)) than at baseline (990 pg ml(-1)). Insulin-like growth factor 1 levels did not change. At day 8, 81% of patients preferred ghrelin to placebo as against 63% at the end of study. Nutritional intake and eating-related symptoms, measured to explore preliminary efficacy, did not differ between ghrelin and placebo. Ghrelin is well tolerated and safe in patients with advanced cancer. For safety, tolerance, and patients' preference for treatment, no difference was observed between the lower- and upper-dose group.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · British Journal of Cancer

Publication Stats

137 Citations
13.66 Total Impact Points


  • 2008
    • Kantonsspital St. Gallen
      San Gallo, Saint Gallen, Switzerland
    • Cantonal Hospital of Schwyz
      Schwyz, Schwyz, Switzerland