[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Since sorafenib has shown activity in different tumour types and gemcitabine regimens improved the outcome for biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients, we evaluated first-line gemcitabine plus sorafenib in a double-blind phase II study.
Patients and methods
102 unresectable or metastatic BTC patients with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of gallbladder or intrahepatic bile ducts, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0–2 were randomised to gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 once weekly, first 7-weeks + 1-week rest followed by once 3-weeks + 1-week rest) plus sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or placebo. Treatment continued until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Tumour samples were prospectively stained for sorafenib targets and potential biomarkers. Serum samples (first two cycles) were measured for vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1)α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Gemcitabine plus sorafenib was generally well tolerated. Four and three patients achieved partial responses in the sorafenib and placebo groups, respectively. There was no difference in the primary end-point, median progression-free survival (PFS) for gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine plus placebo (3.0 versus 4.9 months, P = 0.859), and no difference for median overall survival (OS) (8.4 versus 11.2 months, P = 0.775). Patients with liver metastasis after resection of primary BTC survived longer with sorafenib (P = 0.019) compared to placebo. Patients who developed hand-foot syndrome (HFS) showed longer PFS and OS than patients without HFS. Two sorafenib targets, VEGFR-2 and c-kit, were not expressed in BTC samples. VEGFR-3 and Hif1α were associated with lymph node metastases and T stage. Absence of PDGFRβ expression correlated with longer PFS.
The addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine did not demonstrate improved efficacy in advanced BTC patients. Biomarker subgroup analysis suggested that some patients might benefit from combined treatment.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · European Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Significant prolongation of overall survival (OS) has been reached in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treatment within the last 5-10 years. Our study was conducted in order to evaluate and compare OS of different standard of care treatment options in a university-based outpatient clinic.
One hundred and three mCRC patients were identified by retrospective analysis and treated according to available guidelines. OS was analyzed according to the different combinations of first- and second-line treatments.
mCRC patients revealed an mOS of 34.4 months. Patients receiving anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) blockade in at least one treatment line showed a significantly longer survival time (p = 0.0056) versus patients without any bevacizumab. No OS differences were detected comparing the different first- and second-line chemotherapy (CTX) strategies in the unselected population. However, wild-type (wt) Kras patients treated with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy plus CTX in first-line therapy showed significantly longer OS compared to those receiving only additional VEGF inhibition or no targeted therapy (p = 0.0056; mOS 46.8 vs. 20.4 months, respectively). wt Kras patients profited in trend (p = 0.076) from CTX combinations of first-line anti-EGFR followed by second-line anti-VEGF compared to first-line anti-VEGF followed by second-line anti-EGFR (mOS 46.8 vs. 19.2 months, respectively).
Our results indicate successful allocation of the current mCRC treatment according to the Kras status. Differences in OS of wt Kras patients indicated the further need for randomized trials to define the potential benefit of sequential therapy with EGFR inhibition in first-line therapy followed by VEGFR inhibition vice versa.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is an important inhibitory mediator of esophageal function and its lack leads to typical features of achalasia. In contrast, the role of intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC-IM) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function is still controversial. Therefore, we examined the function and morphology of the LES in vivo in NO-deficient (nNOS(-/-) ), ICC-IM deficient (W/W(v) ) -, and wild-type (WT) mice.
Esophageal manometry was performed with a micro-sized transducer catheter to quantify LES pressure, swallow evoked LES relaxation, and esophageal body motility. The LES morphology was examined by semiquantitative analysis of the immunoreactivity (reduction grade I-IV) of neuronal NOS (nNOS), ICC-IM, and VIP and their correlation with esophageal function.
nNOS(-/-) in comparison to WT mice showed a significantly higher LES mean resting pressure with an impaired swallow induced relaxation, whereas W/W(v) mice had a hypotensive LES with decreased relaxation. W/W(v) and nNOS(-/-) mice demonstrated differing degrees of tubular esophageal dysfunction. The reduced immunoreactivity of nNOS correlated with an increased LES pressure and decreased LES relaxation, respectively. Cajal-cell reduction correlated with impaired LES relaxation, whereas VIP reduction revealed no correlation with esophageal function.
The reduction of ICC-IM and nNOS can cause dysfunction of the LES and esophageal peristalsis, whereas VIP reduction seems to have no effect. ICC-IM- and nNOS- deficiency might be independent relevant causes of esophageal dysfunction similar to that seen in human achalasia.
No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Combined inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta signalling and vascular endothelial growth factor promotes vascular normalisation in preclinical models and may lead to increased delivery of chemotherapy to tumour tissue. This phase I/II trial assessed the safety and efficacy of capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) plus bevacizumab and imatinib in the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Two dose levels (I/II) were defined: capecitabine 850/1000 mg m−2 twice daily on days 1–14; oxaliplatin 100/130 mg m−2 on day 1; bevacizumab 7.5 mg kg−1 on day 1; imatinib 300 mg day−1 on days 1–21 every 21 days. The primary study endpoint was safety. The phase II secondary endpoint was 6-month progression-free survival (PFS).
Dose level I was chosen for phase II testing because, even though further dose escalation was permitted by the protocol, gastrointestinal toxicities were considered to be clinically significant. A total of 49 patients were evaluated. The 6-month PFS rate was 76%, median PFS was 10.6 months and median overall survival was 23.2 months. Haematological toxicities were generally mild. Sensory neuropathy and diarrhoea were the most common grade 3 toxicities.
The combination of XELOX with bevacizumab and imatinib is tolerable and has promising efficacy.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · British Journal of Cancer
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment with cetuximab is accompanied by the development of an acneiform follicular skin exanthema in more than 80 % of patients. Severe exanthema (grade III/IV) develops in about 9-19 % of patients with the necessity of cetuximab dose reduction or cessation.
The study presented was a retrospective analysis of 50 gastrointestinal cancer patients treated with cetuximab in combination with either FOLFIRI or FOLFOX. One cohort of 15 patients received an in-house reactive skin protocol upon development of an exanthema. A second cohort of 15 patients received a skin prophylaxis starting with the first dose of cetuximab before clinical signs of toxicity. A third historic group of 20 patients had received no skin prophylaxis or reactive treatment.
19/20 patients of the historic group developed a skin exanthema. Grade III/IV exanthema was observed six times. Forty percent discontinued cetuximab therapy. The average time to exanthema onset was 14.7 days. Applying the reactive skin protocol after the first occurrence of an exanthema, the exanthema was downgraded as follows: No patients developed grade IV° exanthema, and two patients developed a grade II/III exanthema. In the majority of cases, the reactive skin protocol controlled the exanthema (grade 0-I°). No dose reductions in cetuximab were necessary. Applying the prophylactic skin protocol starting at the beginning of cetuximab application was not superior to the reactive skin protocol.
Cetuximab-induced skin exanthema can be coped with a reactive protocol equally effective as compared to a prophylactic skin treatment. A prospective study with higher patient numbers is planned.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This phase I/II-trial assessed the dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) with docetaxel and oxaliplatin in patients with locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the oesophagogastric junction. METHODS: Patients received neoadjuvant radiotherapy (50.4 Gy) together with weekly docetaxel (20 mg/m2 at dose level (DL) 1 and 2, 25 mg/m2 at DL 3) and oxaliplatin (40 mg/m2 at DL 1, 50 mg/m2 at DL 2 and 3) over 5 weeks. The primary endpoint was the DLT and the MTD of the RCT regimen. Secondary endpoints included overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS: A total of 24 patients were included. Four patients were treated at DL 1, 13 patients at DL 2 and 7 patients at DL 3. The MTD of the RCT was considered DL 2 with docetaxel 20 mg/m2 and oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2. Objective response (CR/PR) was observed in 32% (7/22) of patients. Eighteen patients (75%) underwent surgery after RCT. The median PFS for all patients (n = 24) was 6.5 months. The median overall survival for all patients (n = 24) was 16.3 months. Patients treated at DL 2 had a median overall survival of 29.5 months. CONCLUSION: Neoadjuvant RCT with docetaxel 20 mg/m2 and oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2 was effective and showed a good toxicity profile. Future studies should consider the addition of targeted therapies to current neoadjuvant therapy regimens to further improve the outcome of patients with advanced cancer of the oesophagogastric junction.Registered trial at clinical trials.gov: NCT00374985.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
We initiated this preclinical study in order to analyze the impact of sorafenib single treatment versus combination treatment in human colorectal cancer.
The effect of increasing sorafenib doses on proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and activation of signal cascades was analyzed in vitro. The effect of sorafenib single treatment versus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) single treatment and combination therapy on in vivo proliferation and target cytokine receptor/ligand expression was analyzed in a human colon cancer xenograft mouse model using HT29 tumor cells.
In vitro, SW480 and HT29 cell lines were sensitive to sorafenib, as compared to Caco2 and SW620 cell lines, independent of the mutation status of K-ras, Raf, PTEN, or PI3K. The effect on migration was marginal, but distinct differences in caspases activation were seen. Combination strategies were beneficial in some settings (sorafenib + 5-FU; irinotecan) and disadvantageous in others (sorafenib + oxaliplatin), depending on the chemotherapeutic drug and cell line chosen. Sensitive cell lines revealed a downregulation of AKT and had a weak expression level of GADD45β. In resistant cell lines, pp53 and GADD45β levels decreased upon sorafenib exposure. In vivo, the combination treatment of sorafenib and 5-FU was equally effective as the respective monotherapy concerning tumor proliferation. Interestingly, treatment with either sorafenib or 5-FU resulted in a significant decrease of VEGFR1 and PDGFRβ expression intensity.
In colorectal cancer, a sensitivity towards sorafenib exists, which seems similarly effective as a 5-FU monotherapy. A combination therapy, in contrast, does not show any additional effect.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · International Journal of Colorectal Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Verschiedene Evidenrichtungen weisen auf genetische Faktoren hin, die bei der Ätiopathogenese der Achalasie involviert sind. Allerdings wurden bislang noch keine Gene identifiziert, die zum Risiko der Entwicklung einer idiopathischen Achalasie beitragen.
Methodik: Wir präsentieren eine genomweite Assoziationsstudie (GWAS), die ein Fall-Kontroll-Kollektiv (>600 Patienten mit Achalasie, >2000 Kontrollen) beinhaltet. Alle Teilnehmer sind zentral-europäischer Herkunft und die Genotypisierung wurde mithilfe von Illumina ImmunoChips (>100000 SNP (=Single Nucleotid Polypeptides)-Marker) durchgeführt.
Ergebnisse: 24 SNP-Marker waren mit der Achalasie assoziiert und überschritten die Schwelle für genomweite Signifikanz (P<5×10-08). Unter Anwendung einer schrittweisen Regressionsanalyse, die alle 24 assoziierten Marker beinhaltete, identifizierten wir 8 unabhängige genetische Loci, die zum Risiko einer idiopathischen Achalasie beitragen. Zudem konnten geschlechts-spezifische Analysen nachweisen, dass einer unserer besten assoziierten Befunde (P=7,53×10-15) ein stärkeres Signal bei Frauen (P=2,83×10-15) als bei Männern (P=1,94×10-3) hervorbrachte.
Diskussion: Unsere genetischen Untersuchungen bestätigen, dass Autoimmunprozesse bei der Krankheitsentwicklung der idiopathischen Achalasie eine entscheidende Rolle spielen. Zusätzlich rechtfertigen unsere Daten die Erwartungen, dass genomweite Assoziationsstudien mit mehr gleichverteilten SNP-Markern zu einer weiteren Identifikation von Risikogenen der Achalasie führen werden.
I Gockel, W Kneist, H Lang: Klinik für Allgemein- und Abdominalchirurgie, Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
J Becker: Institut für Humangenetik der Universtität Bonn
MM Wouters, GE Boeckxstaens: University of Leuven, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), Leuven, Belgium
M Müller: Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik, Fachbereich Gastroenteorlogie, Wiesbaden
R Kiesslich, CC Schimanski: I. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
MM Nöthen, J Schumacher: Universitätsklinik Bonn, Institut für Humangenetik, Bonn
M Knapp: Universitätsklinik Bonn, Institut für Medizinische Biometrie, Informatik und Epidemiologie, Bonn
V77: Abstract Kongressbeitrag der 66. Jahrestagung der DGVS / 6. Herbsttagung der DGAV, 19.-22. September 2013, Hamburg
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anastomotic leakage after esophageal surgery is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Postoperative leakage of esophagogastric anastomosis has been reported in 2-30% of surgical patient, resulting in an increased need for reoperation and a high risk of subsequent esophageal stricture formation and fistula. So far, experimental investigations on major factors influencing the healing of esophageal anastomoses, e.g. neovascularization and collagen deposition, have been hindered by the lack of a functional rodent model.
We developed a novel technique of gastric tube formation followed by end-to-end esophagogastric anastomosis in a rat model. Standardized anastomoses were carried out in 18 Brown-Norway rats and normal esophagogastric healing was studied by measuring anastomotic breaking strength 5 days after surgery.
Five animals showed an insufficiency of the esophagogastric anastomosis as determined by anastomotic leakage testing. Normal anastomotic healing was found in 10 animals. The anastomotic breaking strength was 1.93 ± 0.45 N.
The rat model for performing esophagogastric anastomoses after gastric tube formation may serve as a functional and useful model in future research studies on microvascular and molecular processes of anastomotic healing.
No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · European Surgical Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of anticancer drugs in palliative settings is often limited by their severe toxic effects. In gastrointestinal carcinomas the 5-fluorouracil-based palliative regimen FOLFOX-4 is often preferred to the equally effective, but more convenient oral capecitabine-based regimen XELOX. This preference is mainly based on the fact that the highly effective oral agent capecitabine induces hand-foot syndrome (HFS). In this study, we investigated whether the continuous administration of skin prophylaxis (10% urea, panthenol, bisabolol, vitamin A, C and E) is capable of protecting against capecitabine-induced HFS and allowing a more convenient oral therapeutic option. In this retrospective analysis, the toxicity profiles, according to NCI CTCAE 3.0 criteria, of 54 patients with gastrointestinal cancer who received either XELOX (34 patients) or FOLFOX-4 (20 patients) were compared using Fisher tests. The treatment protocols that were compared, herein, did not differ significantly in the majority of the analyzed items, with the exception of increased nausea (XELOX-70), fatigue (XELOX-130) and tumor pain (XELOX-70 and XELOX-130). No significant differences were observed among the various groups with regard to emesis, diarrhea, mucositis, exanthema, alopecia, loss of weight and the incidence of infections. In particular, no significant differences in toxicity levels occurred in terms of dose, and HFS was limited if skin prophylaxis was performed continuously. XELOX-based palliative regimens provide an equally effective and comparably toxic therapeutic alternative to FOLFOX-4 if HFS prophylaxis is performed continuously. Since the oral administration of capecitabine is a more convenient method of application, it provides patients with a quality of life-preserving therapeutic alternative.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New targeted agents like antibodies or small molecules against tyrosine and lipid kinases clearly expand the standard therapy options in oncology. However, tumour resistance is still a challenge, often induced by mutations in growth-related signalling cascades. Twenty and ten percentage of all patients with colorectal and gastric cancers, respectively, carry phosphatidyl-3-kinase (PI3K) mutations and do not respond to receptor-blocking therapies. Recently, selective kinase inhibitors have been generated, which block the PI3K signalling pathway in tumour cells. So far, their therapeutic role for the treatment of mutated versus wild-type human gastrointestinal cancers has not been clarified in detail.
To define the inhibitory and pro-apoptotic effects of the two PI3K inhibitors BEZ235 and BKM120 in three human colon cancer (HT-29, HCT-116 and DLD-1) and three gastric cancer (NCI-n87, AGS and MKN-45), cell lines with different PIK3CA gene mutation status were used. Firstly, viability, apoptosis and caspase assays were performed during incubation with either the inhibitors alone or combined with different cytotoxic agents. Secondly, the molecular consequences for the cell cycle and signalling pathways were analysed by defining the protein levels by FACS and Western blot analysis.
Both the PI3K inhibitors BEZ235 and BKM120 induced a clear concentration-dependent reduction in cell viability and an increase in apoptotic cell death, with the mutated cells being more sensitive to treatment. However, single-agent BEZ235 caused a G1 arrest in tumour cells, whilst BKM120 induced a G2 shift in a half of the gastrointestinal cancer cell lines. There was a clear downregulation in the protein levels of the PI3K-AKT pathway at the concentrations of 100 nM for both agents and for BEZ235 the additional inhibition of the mTOR pathway. Furthermore, BEZ235 caused synergistic induction of apoptosis when combined with irinotecan in colon cancer cell lines. Human gastric cancer cells were less sensitive to both BEZ235 and BKM120.
BEZ235 and BKM120 induced pro-apoptotic effects in all cell lines and especially with an increased response in the PI3KCA mutated cells. Our data support the clinical development of these PI3K inhibitors for patients with wild-type or mutated colon cancers.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 15-20% of all patients initially diagnosed with colorectal cancer develop metastatic disease and surgical resection remains the only potentially curative treatment available. Current 5-year survival following R0-resection of liver metastases is 28-39%, but recurrence eventually occurs in up to 70%. To date, adjuvant chemotherapy has not improved clinical outcomes significantly. The primary objective of the ongoing LICC trial (L-BLP25 In Colorectal Cancer) is to determine whether L-BLP25, an active cancer immunotherapy, extends recurrence-free survival (RFS) time over placebo in colorectal cancer patients following R0/R1 resection of hepatic metastases. L-BLP25 targets MUC1 glycoprotein, which is highly expressed in hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer. In a phase IIB trial, L-BLP25 has shown acceptable tolerability and a trend towards longer survival in patients with stage IIIB locoregional NSCLC.
This is a multinational, phase II, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a sample size of 159 patients from 20 centers in 3 countries. Patients with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma limited to liver metastases are included. Following curative-intent complete resection of the primary tumor and of all synchronous/metachronous metastases, eligible patients are randomized 2:1 to receive either L-BLP25 or placebo. Those allocated to L-BLP25 receive a single dose of 300 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide (CP) 3 days before first L-BLP25 dose, then primary treatment with s.c. L-BLP25 930 μg once weekly for 8 weeks, followed by s.c. L-BLP25 930 μg maintenance doses at 6-week (years 1&2) and 12-week (year 3) intervals unless recurrence occurs. In the control arm, CP is replaced by saline solution and L-BLP25 by placebo. Primary endpoint is the comparison of recurrence-free survival (RFS) time between groups. Secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS) time, safety, tolerability, RFS/OS in MUC-1 positive cancers. Exploratory immune response analyses are planned. The primary endpoint will be assessed in Q3 2016. Follow-up will end Q3 2017. Interim analyses are not planned.
The design and implementation of such a vaccination study in colorectal cancer is feasible. The study will provide recurrence-free and overall survival rates of groups in an unbiased fashion.
EudraCT Number 2011-000218-20.