[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To measure bone mineral density (BMD) reduction produced by letrozole as compared with tamoxifen and the benefit of the addition of zoledronic acid.
A phase 3 trial comparing tamoxifen, letrozole or letrozole+zoledronic acid in patients with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer was conducted; triptorelin was given to premenopausal patients. Two comparisons were planned: letrozole versus tamoxifen and letrozole+zoledronic acid versus letrozole. Primary end point was the difference in 1-year change of T-score at lumbar spine (LTS) measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scan.
Out of 483 patients enrolled, 459 were available for primary analyses. Median age was 50 (range 28-80). The estimated mean difference (95% confidence interval [CI]) in 1-year change of LTS was equal to -0.30 (95% CI -0.44 to -0.17) in the letrozole versus tamoxifen comparison (P<0.0001) and to +0.60 (95% CI +0.46 to +0.77) in the letrozole+zoledronic acid versus letrozole comparison (P<0.0001). Bone damage by letrozole decreased with increasing baseline body mass index in premenopausal, but not postmenopausal, patients (interaction test P=0.004 and 0.47, respectively).
In the HOBOE (HOrmonal BOne Effects) trial, the positive effect of zoledronic acid on BMD largely counteracts damage produced by letrozole as compared with tamoxifen. Letrozole effect is lower among overweight/obese premenopausal patients.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Annals of Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Figure A1. Mean change in EORTC quality of life scores at 6 weeks from baseline (a = functional scales; b = symptom scales). Gray bars represent weekly schedules of docetaxel; red bars represent 3-weekly schedules of docetaxel.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether weekly schedules of docetaxel-based chemotherapy were superior to 3-weekly ones in terms of quality of life in locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
Patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, aged ≤ 70 years, performance status 0-2, chemotherapy-naive for metastatic disease, were eligible. They were randomized to weekly or 3-weekly combination of docetaxel and epirubicin, if they were not treated with adjuvant anthracyclines, or docetaxel and capecitabine, if treated with adjuvant anthracyclines. Primary end-point was global quality of life change at 6-weeks, measured by EORTC QLQ-C30. With two-sided alpha 0.05 and 80% power for 35% effect size, 130 patients per arm were needed.
From February 2004 to March 2008, 139 patients were randomized, 70 to weekly and 69 to 3-weekly arm; 129 and 89 patients filled baseline and 6-week questionnaires, respectively. Global quality of life was better in the 3-weekly arm (p = 0.03); patients treated with weekly schedules presented a significantly worsening in role functioning and financial scores (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001). Neutropenia and stomatitis were worse in the 3-weekly arm, where two toxic deaths were observed. Overall response rate was 39.1% and 33.3% in 3-weekly and weekly arms; hazard ratio of progression was 1.29 (95% CI: 0.84-1.97) and hazard ratio of death was 1.38 (95% CI: 0.82-2.30) in the weekly arm.
In this trial, the weekly schedules of docetaxel-based chemotherapy appear to be inferior to the 3-weekly one in terms of quality of life in patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatase inhibitors (AI) have become a cornerstone of adjuvant treatment for postmenopausal patients with estrogen receptor (ER)- positive early breast cancer. This chapter reviews the available evidence on endocrine effects of AI. Pharmacological activity of AI produces estradiol suppression, which represents the only known mechanism of action of such drugs, determining both side effects and antineoplastic efficacy. Overall, all third-generation AI (anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole) produce a significant suppression of estradiol levels, but there are some data suggesting that this effect might be less extensive than commonly thought and there are few comparative data to verify whether estradiol suppression varies with different AI. The most frequent side effects, related to estradiol suppression and reported in largescale clinical trials of adjuvant treatment with AI, are gynecological symptoms (less frequent and less severe than with tamoxifen, with the exception of vaginal dryness) and musculoskeletal symptoms (worse than with tamoxifen, which even has a positive effect on bone health). Disorders of lipid metabolism and cardiovascular side effects are less frequent. Among the latter, thromboembolism is less frequent with AI than with tamoxifen. There are many issues still of interest for clinical research on endocrine effects of AI. For example, it seems of utmost importance to verify whether endocrine effects might be predictive of AI efficacy and help to select the patients who can derive the greatest benefit from treatment with these drugs.
No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · European journal of clinical & medical oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE We compared the endocrine effects of 6 and 12 months of adjuvant letrozole versus tamoxifen in postmenopausal patients with hormone-responsive early breast cancer within an ongoing phase III trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients were randomly assigned to receive tamoxifen, letrozole, or letrozole plus zoledronic acid. Serum values of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEA-S), progesterone, and cortisol were measured at baseline and after 6 and 12 months of treatment. For each hormone, changes from baseline at 6 and 12 months were compared between treatment groups, and differences over time for each group were analyzed. Results Hormonal data were available for 139 postmenopausal patients with a median age of 62 years, with 43 patients assigned to tamoxifen and 96 patients assigned to letrozole alone or combined with zoledronic acid. Baseline values were similar between the two groups for all hormones. Many significant changes were observed between drugs and for each drug over time. Namely, three hormones seemed significantly affected by one drug only: estradiol that decreased and progesterone that increased with letrozole and cortisol that increased with tamoxifen. Both drugs affected FSH (decreasing with tamoxifen and slightly increasing with letrozole), LH (decreasing more with tamoxifen than with letrozole), testosterone (slightly increasing with letrozole but not enough to differ from tamoxifen), and DHEA-S (increasing with both drugs but not differently between them). Zoledronic acid did not have significant impact on hormonal levels. CONCLUSION Adjuvant letrozole and tamoxifen result in significantly distinct endocrine effects. Such differences can explain the higher efficacy of letrozole as compared with tamoxifen.
Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Within an ongoing multicentre phase 3 randomised trial (ELDA, cancertrials.gov ID: NCT00331097), early breast cancer patients, 65-79 years old, with average to high risk of recurrence, are randomly assigned to receive CMF (cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m2, methotrexate 40 mg/m2, fluorouracil 600 mg/m2, days 1-8) or docetaxel (35 mg/m2 days 1-8-15), every 4 weeks. Here we report an unplanned safety analysis prompted by an amendment introducing creatinine clearance as a tool to adjust methotrexate dose. Before such change, 101 patients with a median age of 70 were randomly assigned CMF (53 patients) or docetaxel (48 patients). At least one grades 3-4 toxic event of any type was reported in 40 (75.5%) and 19 (39.6%) patients with CMF and docetaxel, respectively (p=0.0002). Grades 3-4 hematological events were observed in 37 (69.8%) vs. 4 (8.3%) cases (p<0.0001) and grades 3-4 non-hematological toxicity in 12 (22.6%) vs. 15 (31.2%) patients (p=0.11), with CMF and docetaxel, respectively. A higher incidence of anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and febrile neutropenia was reported with CMF. Constipation, mucositis, nausea and vomiting were more common with CMF; diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dysgeusia, neuropathy and liver toxicity were more frequent with docetaxel. No significant interaction was found between the occurrence of severe toxicity and baseline variables, including creatinine clearance and geriatric activity scales. In conclusion, weekly docetaxel appears to be less toxic than CMF in terms of hematological toxicity.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the endocrine effects of 6 months of adjuvant treatment with letrozole + triptorelin or tamoxifen + triptorelin in premenopausal patients with early breast cancer within an ongoing phase 3 trial (Hormonal Adjuvant Treatment Bone Effects study).
Prospectively collected hormonal data were available for 81 premenopausal women, of whom 30 were assigned to receive tamoxifen + triptorelin and 51 were assigned letrozole + triptorelin +/- zoledronate. Serum 17-beta-estradiol (E2), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), Delta4-androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, progesterone, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and cortisol were measured at baseline and after 6 months of treatment. For each hormone, 6-month values were compared between treatment groups by the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney exact test.
Median age was 44 years for both groups of patients. Letrozole + triptorelin (+/- zoledronate) induced a stronger suppression of median E2 serum levels (P = .0008), LH levels (P = .0005), and cortisol serum levels (P < .0001) compared with tamoxifen + triptorelin. Median FSH serum levels were suppressed in both groups, but such suppression was lower among patients receiving letrozole, who showed significantly higher median FSH serum levels (P < .0001). No significant differences were observed for testosterone, progesterone, ACTH, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone between the two groups of patients.
Letrozole in combination with triptorelin induces a more intense estrogen suppression than tamoxifen + triptorelin in premenopausal patients with early breast cancer.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After two studies reporting response rates higher than 70% in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer with weekly trastuzumab and vinorelbine, we planned a phase 2 study to test activity of the same combination, with trastuzumab given every 3 weeks.
Patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (3+ at immunohistochemistry or positive at fluorescence in situ hybridization), PS < or =2, normal left-ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and no more than one chemotherapy line for metastatic disease were eligible. Vinorelbine (30 mg/m2) was given on days 1 & 8 every 21 and trastuzumab (8 mg/kg day 1, then 6 mg/kg) every 21 days). A single-stage phase 2 design, with p0 = 0.45, p1 = 0.65, type I and II error = 0.10, was applied; 22 objective responses were required in 39 patients.
From Nov 2002 to May 2005, 50 patients were enrolled, with a median age of 54 years (range 31-81). Among 40 patients eligible for response assessment, there were 7 complete and 13 partial responses (overall response rate 50%; 95% exact CI 33.8-66.2); 11 patients had disease stabilization, lasting more than 6 months in 10 cases. Response rate did not vary according to patients and tumor characteristics, type and amount of previous chemotherapy. Within the whole series, median progression-free survival was 9.6 months (95% CI 7.3-12.3), median overall survival 22.7 months (95% CI 19.5-NA). Fifteen patients (30%) developed brain metastases at a median time of 12 months (range 1-25). There was one toxic death due to renal failure in a patient receiving concomitant pamidronate. Twenty-three patients (46%) had grade 3-4 neutropenia, 2 (4%) grade 3 anemia, 4 (8%) febrile neutropenia. Two patients stopped treatment because of grade 2 decline of LVEF and one patient because of grade 2 liver toxicity concomitant with a grade 1 decline of LVEF. One patient stopped trastuzumab after 50 cycles because of grade 1 decline of LVEF.
Although lower than in initial studies, activity of 3-weekly trastuzumab plus vinorelbine fell within the range of results reported with weekly schedules. Toxicity was prevalently manageable. This combination is safe and active for metastatic breast cancer patients who received adjuvant taxanes with anthracyclines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the molecular, histological, and functional characteristics of growth hormone (GH)- and pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy, and their responses to ischemia-reperfusion and mechanical stretch.
Four groups of male Wistar rats were studied: aortic banding (n=24, AB) or sham (n=24, controls) for 10 weeks, and GH treatment (n=24; 3.5mg/kg/day, GH) or placebo (n=24, controls) for 4 weeks. At 13 weeks, the rats were randomly subjected to: (i) assessment of basal left ventricular mRNA expression of sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-ATPase (SERCA-2), phospholamban (PLB), and Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) and collagen volume fraction (CVF) (Protocol A, 8 rats in each group); (ii) left ventricular no-flow ischemia with simultaneous evaluation of intracellular Ca(2+) handling and ATP, phosphocreatine (PCr) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) content (Protocol B, 12 rats in each group); or (iii) left ventricular mechanical stretch for 40 min with assessment of tumor necrosis-alpha (TNF-alpha) mRNA (Protocol C, 4 rats in each group). Protocol B and C were carried out in a Langendorff apparatus.
In Protocol A, no difference was found as to myocardial mRNA content of Ca(2+) regulating proteins and CVF in GH animals vs controls. In contrast, in the AB group, myocardial mRNA expression of SERCA-2 and PLB was downregulated while that of NCX and CVF were increased vs. controls (p<0.05). In Protocol B, recovery of left ventricular function was significantly decreased in AB vs GH groups and controls and this was associated with 1.6-fold increase in intracellular Ca(2+) overload during reperfusion (p<0.05). Baseline ATP content was similar in the four study groups, whereas PCr and Pi was lower in AB vs GH rats and controls. However, the time courses of high-energy phosphate metabolic changes did not differ during ischemia and reperfusion in the four study groups. In Protocol C, no detectable TNF-alpha mRNA level was found in the left ventricular myocardium of GH treated rats and controls at baseline, while a modest expression was noted in AB animals. Mechanical stretch resulted in de novo myocardial TNF-alpha mRNA expression in GH group and controls, which was dramatically increased in AB animals ( approximately 5-fold above baseline, p<0.001).
The data show that cardiac hypertrophy activated by short-term GH treatment confers cardioprotection compared with pressure overload with regard to molecular and histological characteristics, and responses to ischemia-reperfusion and mechanical stretch.
No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Growth Hormone & IGF Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The serine-threonine kinase Akt/PKB mediates stimuli from different classes of cardiomyocyte receptors, including the growth hormone/insulin like growth factor and the beta-adrenergic receptors. Whereas the growth-promoting and antiapoptotic properties of Akt activation are well established, little is known about the effects of Akt on myocardial contractility, intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) handling, oxygen consumption, and beta-adrenergic pathway. To this aim, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a wild-type Akt in vivo adenoviral gene transfer using a catheter-based technique combined with aortopulmonary crossclamping. Left ventricular (LV) contractility and intracellular Ca(2+) handling were evaluated in an isolated isovolumic buffer-perfused, aequorin-loaded whole heart preparations 10 days after the surgery. The Ca(2+)-force relationship was obtained under steady-state conditions in tetanized muscles. No significant hypertrophy was detected in adenovirus with wild-type Akt (Ad.Akt) versus controls rats (LV-to-body weight ratio 2.6+/-0.2 versus 2.7+/-0.1 mg/g, controls versus Ad.Akt, P, NS). LV contractility, measured as developed pressure, increased by 41% in Ad.Akt. This was accounted for by both more systolic Ca(2+) available to the contractile machinery (+19% versus controls) and by enhanced myofilament Ca(2+) responsiveness, documented by an increased maximal Ca(2+)-activated pressure (+19% versus controls) and a shift to the left of the Ca(2+)-force relationship. Such increased contractility was paralleled by a slight increase of myocardial oxygen consumption (14%), while titrated dose of dobutamine providing similar inotropic effect augmented oxygen consumption by 39% (P<0.01). Phospholamban, calsequestrin, and ryanodine receptor LV mRNA and protein content were not different among the study groups, while sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase protein levels were significantly increased in Ad.Akt rats. beta-Adrenergic receptor density, affinity, kinase-1 levels, and adenylyl cyclase activity were similar in the three animal groups. In conclusion, our results support an important role for Akt/PKB in the regulation of myocardial contractility and mechanoenergetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An isovolumic normal rat heart Langendorff model was used to examine the effects of moderate (15 mmHg) and severe (35 mmHg) mechanical stretch on the time course (from 0 to 60 min) of myocardial expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and their cognate receptors. After 10 min of moderate stretch, TNF-alpha was de novo expressed, whereas constitutive IL-6 and IGF-1 levels were slightly upregulated; no further changes occurred up to 60 min. In comparison, severe stretch resulted in a higher and progressive increase in TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 expression up to 20 min. After 20 min, whereas TNF-alpha expression further increased, IL-6 and IGF-1 levels progressively reduced to values lower than those observed under moderate stretch and in unstretched (5 mmHg) control myocardium (IL-6). Mechanical stretch did not significantly alter the expression of the cognate receptors. Indeed, the TNF-alpha receptor (p55) tended to be progressively upregulated under severe stretch over time. The current data provide the first demonstration that TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IGF-1 ligand-receptor systems are differentially expressed within the normal rat myocardium in response to graded mechanical stretch. Such findings may have potential implications with regard to compensatory hypertrophy and failure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reason why patients with growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) are at increased risk for premature cardiovascular death is still unclear. Although a variety of vascular risk factors have been identified in GHD, little is known regarding vascular reactivity and its contribution to premature arteriosclerosis.
We assessed vascular function in 7 childhood-onset, GH-deficient nontreated patients (age 22+/-3 years, body mass index [BMI] 25+/-1 kg/m(2)) and 10 healthy subjects (age 24+/-0.4 years, BMI 22+/-1 kg/m(2)) by using strain gauge plethysmography to measure forearm blood flow in response to vasodilatory agents. The increase in forearm blood flow to intrabrachial infusion of the endothelium-dependent vasodilator acetylcholine was significantly lower in GH-deficient nontreated patients than in control subjects (P:<0.05). Likewise, forearm release of nitrite and cGMP during acetylcholine stimulation was reduced in GH-deficient nontreated patients (P:<0.05 and P:<0.002 versus controls). The response to the endothelium-independent vasodilator sodium nitroprusside was also markedly blunted in GH-deficient patients compared with control subjects (P:<0.005). To confirm that abnormal vascular reactivity was due to GHD, we also studied 8 patients with childhood-onset GHD (age 31+/-2 years, BMI 24+/-1 kg/m(2)) who were receiving stable GH replacement therapy. In these patients, the response to both endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilators, as well as forearm nitrite and cGMP, release was not different from that observed in normal subjects. Peak hyperemic response to 5-minute forearm ischemia was significantly reduced in GH-deficient nontreated patients (17.2+/-2.6 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1), P:<0.01) but not in GH-treated patients (24.8+/-3.3 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1)) compared with normal subjects (29.5+/-3.2 mL x dL(-1) x min(-1)).
The data support the concept that GH plays an important role in the maintenance of a normal vascular function in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of heart failure is associated with an impairment of intracellular calcium handling. The precise mechanisms involved are still obscure. When membrane depolarization occurs, a small amount of extracellular calcium enters the intracellular milieu through the L-type channels. Such "trigger" calcium acts on specific receptors of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, that, in turn, according to the so-called calcium entry-calcium release mechanism, allows the release of a larger amount of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Removal of calcium from the cytosol is the key event of the diastolic phase. Calcium removal from cytosol occurs through specific membrane pumps. Recent therapeutic approaches involving gene targeting of calcium pumps have yielded promising results. Specifically, increased levels of SERCA 2 in the myocardium have shown to enhance cardiac contractility under normal circumstances and in experimental heart failure. Future research is needed to confirm these findings in human heart failure.
No preview · Article · Jul 2000 · Italian heart journal. Supplement: official journal of the Italian Federation of Cardiology