[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obese breast cancer patients have a higher risk of lymph node metastasis and a poorer prognosis compared to patients with normal weight. For obese women with node-positive breast cancer, an association between body weight and prognosis remains unclear. In this retrospective study, we analyzed patient data from the Phase-III ADEBAR trial, in which high-risk breast cancer patients (pT1-4, pN2-3, pM0) were randomized into a docetaxel-based versus epirubicin-based chemotherapy regimen. Patients were grouped according to their BMI value as underweight/normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m(2); n = 543), overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m(2); n = 482) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2); n = 285). Overweight and obese patients were older, had larger tumors and were more likely to be postmenopausal at the time of diagnosis compared to underweight/normal-weight patients (all p < 0.001). Multivariate Cox regression analyses adjusting for age and histopathological tumor features showed that obese patients had a significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS; HR 1.43; 95 % CI 1.11-1.86; p = 0.006) and overall survival (OS; HR 1.56; 95 % CI 1.14-2.14; p = 0.006) than non-obese patients. Subgroup analyses revealed that the differences in DFS and OS were significant for postmenopausal but not for premenopausal patients, and that the survival benefit of non-obese patients was more pronounced in women with hormone-receptor-positive disease. Obesity constitutes an independent, adverse prognostic factor in high-risk node-positive breast cancer patients, in particular for postmenopausal women and women with hormone-receptor-positive disease.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The management of high-risk endometrial cancer (HREC) remains controversial. We conducted a prospective multicenter phase-II clinical trial to evaluate an adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) with sequential radiotherapy (RT) in patients with HREC.
Patients with HREC from 8 institutions in Germany were enrolled. After surgery, patients received four cycles of paclitaxel 175 mg/m² (P) and carboplatin AUC5 (C) (d1, q21d) and subsequent external pelvic radiation therapy (1.8 Gy/d, d1-5) at a total dose of 45 Gy with vaginal brachytherapy (3 × 5 Gy). Quality of life (QoL) was assessed using the EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Primary endpoints were tolerability, toxicity and QoL. Progression-free survival (PFS) was defined as secondary endpoint.
Thirty-five patients were enrolled from 2004 through 2008. Median follow-up was 24 months (range 3-24 months). All patients received 4 cycles of P and C and completed RT. Overall, grade 3/4 haematological toxicity was 25.6 %. Three cycles were delayed because of leukopenia. Grade 3/4 non-haematologic toxicities were rare (≤3 %). No overall change in QoL occurred during treatment. Two-year median PFS and OS rates were both 75.8 %.
Adjuvant combination CT with P + C and sequential RT is well tolerated and a feasible regimen in patients with HREC. Subsequent phase-III trials are warranted.
No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
The detection of disseminated tumor cells in the bone marrow (DTC-BM) of breast cancer patients is an independent prognostic factor. In recent years, the focus of research was on finding methods for the detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in peripheral blood (PB). In this study, we investigated the presence of DTC-BM and CTC by simultaneous examinations in 202 patients at different stages of the disease.
Immunocytochemical examination of DTC-BM (10-20 ml of BM) with the anti-cytokeratin (CK) antibody A45B/B3 followed a standardized protocol. Analysis of PB (7.5 ml) for the presence of CTC was performed with the CellSearch Analyzer system (Veridex, Raritan, NJ, USA).
Overall, DTC-BM were detected in 57/202 (28.2 %, 1->1,000 DTC) and CTC in 41/202 (20.3 %, 1-411 CTC) patients. Congruence of findings was 71.3 % (144/202, p = .002). In 147 pts with primary diagnosis, congruence of results was 69.4 % (102/147). There was no significant correlation between DTC or CTC and the established pathological factors. After a median follow-up time of 34 months (0-82), presence of CTC was borderline significant for tumor-associated death (p = .060). For 41 patients at recurrence-free follow-up, congruence of results was 75.6 % (31/41, p = .018). In this group, there was a patient with both the highest DTC (>1,000) and CTC (411) count, and she presented with distant metastases 3 months later and had died 5 months after that. Of 14 patients with metastatic disease, 9 showed both DTC and CTC (overall congruence 78.6 %, p = .176).
There was significant congruence between DTC and CTC, which even increased in patients at follow-up and in those with metastases. Repeated CTC examinations could be a valuable tool for monitoring patients or the effectiveness of therapies.
No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The SUCCESS-A trial is a prospective, multicenter, phase III clinical trial for high-risk primary breast cancer. It compares disease-free survival after randomization in patients treated with fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel (FEC-D) with that of patients treated with 3 cycles of FEC followed by 3 cycles of gemcitabine and docetaxel (FEC-DG). After a second randomization patients were treated with zoledronate for 2 or 5 years. A total of 251 centers took part in the trial and 3754 patients were recruited over a period of 18 months which ended in March 2007. In a questionnaire-based survey we investigated the impact of enrollment in the trial on patient care, the choice of chemotherapy protocol and access to current oncologic information as well as overall satisfaction in the respective centers. Analysis of the 78 questionnaires returned showed that 40 % of the centers had never previously enrolled patients with these indications in clinical studies. Prior to participating in the study, 4 % of the centers prescribed CMF or other protocols in patients with high-primary breast cancer risk, 46 % administered anthracycline-based chemotherapy and 50 % gave taxane-based chemotherapy. Around half of the participating centers noted that intensity of care and overall quality of care became even better and that access to breast cancer-specific information improved through participation in the trial. After their experience with the SUCCESS-A trial, all of the centers stated that they were prepared to enroll patients in clinical phase III trials again in the future. These data indicate that both patients and physicians benefit from clinical trials, as enrollment improves treatment strategies and individual patient care, irrespective of study endpoints.
No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Geburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Aromatase inhibitors effectively prevent breast cancer recurrence and development of new contralateral tumours in postmenopausal women. We assessed the efficacy and safety of the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole for prevention of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease.
Between Feb 2, 2003, and Jan 31, 2012, we recruited postmenopausal women aged 40–70 years from 18 countries into an international, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. To be eligible, women had to be at increased risk of breast cancer (judged on the basis of specific criteria). Eligible women were randomly assigned (1:1) by central computer allocation to receive 1 mg oral anastrozole or matching placebo every day for 5 years. Randomisation was stratified by country and was done with blocks (size six, eight, or ten). All trial personnel, participants, and clinicians were masked to treatment allocation; only the trial statistician was unmasked. The primary endpoint was histologically confirmed breast cancer (invasive cancers or non-invasive ductal carcinoma in situ). Analyses were done by intention to treat. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN31488319.
1920 women were randomly assigned to receive anastrozole and 1944 to placebo. After a median follow-up of 5·0 years (IQR 3·0–7·1), 40 women in the anastrozole group (2%) and 85 in the placebo group (4%) had developed breast cancer (hazard ratio 0·47, 95% CI 0·32–0·68, p<0·0001). The predicted cumulative incidence of all breast cancers after 7 years was 5·6% in the placebo group and 2·8% in the anastrozole group. 18 deaths were reported in the anastrozole group and 17 in the placebo group, and no specific causes were more common in one group than the other (p=0·836).
Anastrozole effectively reduces incidence of breast cancer in high-risk postmenopausal women. This finding, along with the fact that most of the side-effects associated with oestrogen deprivation were not attributable to treatment, provides support for the use of anastrozole in postmenopausal women at high risk of breast cancer.
Cancer Research UK, the National Health and Medical Research Council Australia, Sanofi-Aventis, and AstraZeneca.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: We describe the impact of a sequential dose-dense schedule of carboplatin and paclitaxel on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with ovarian cancer.
In this multicenter phase II trial, four cycles of carboplatin followed by 12 cycles of weekly paclitaxel were applied after cytoreductive surgery. QoL was assessed using the QoL questionnaires EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-OV28 before chemotherapy (baseline), after four cycles of carboplatin, at the end of treatment (EOT), and after 6, 12, and 24 months.
Out of 104 eligible patients 87 (84%) participated in at least one QoL assessment. At baseline, all QLQ-C30 scales and symptoms were significantly worse than age-adjusted values for the general population. Subsequently QoL improved in general. During chemotherapy with paclitaxel, most functioning scales and symptoms worsened slightly (not significantly). However, peripheral neuropathy and chemotherapy-related side-effects increased to clinically important levels. At the end of treatment, most QoL scores were similar to those of the general population, but physical functioning and fatigue were worse. Sexual functioning and peripheral neuropathy remained problematic.
QoL was affected mainly by the weekly paclitaxel schedule, but effects were in most cases only temporary. A dose-dense regimen using a sequential protocol may be favourable in terms of QoL.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Anticancer research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treosulfan, an alkylating agent, has demonstrated activity in recurrent ovarian carcinoma. It is equieffective as oral (p.o.) and intravenous (i.v.) formulation. To explore the preference and compliance of elderly patients regarding p.o. or i.v. treosulfan for the treatment of relapsed ovarian carcinoma, women aged 65 years or older were included in this prospective multicenter study. Since elderly patients usually have several concomitant diseases and experience more treatment toxicity, an interim safety analysis was planned and performed after 25 patients finished therapy to assess the tolerability of the treatment regimens.
Patients had a free choice of treosulfan i.v. (7,000 mg/m(2) day 1 of a 28-day cycle) or p.o. (600 mg/m(2) day 1-28 of a 56-day cycle) for a maximum of 12 cycles (i.v.) or 12 months (p.o.). Indecisive patients were randomized. Toxicity was evaluated according to the NCI-CTC version 2.0.
Twenty-five of 51 recruited patients completed therapy at the time of the planned interim analysis (median age, 75 years; range, 70-82). Median ECOG was 1, and median number of prior chemotherapy regimens was 2. A median number of 4 cycles (range, 1-12) were administered per patient. Anemia was the most common hematological toxicity (88 % of patients). Most frequent non-hematological toxicities were nausea (76 %), constipation (68 %), and fatigue (64 %).
Treatment was generally well tolerated despite the fact that most patients suffered from multiple comorbidities and were heavily pretreated. There were no unexpected hematological or non-hematological toxicities. Based on this safety analysis, the next step of study recruitment was continued.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognostic significance of disseminated tumor cells from bone marrow (BM-DTCs) of breast cancer patients has been demonstrated previously. In this study, data of a standardized long term follow-up of 829 patients with examination of BM-DTCs at primary diagnosis are presented.
BM aspiration and immunocytochemical examination of DTCs was performed according to a standardized protocol. Follow-up data of all patients were adjusted with the cancer registries of southern Bavaria.
A total of 268 patients (32%) had BM-DTCs with a median of 2 (1-1223)/2 x 10⁶ cells. Positive BM findings correlated with tumor size (p=0.032), but not with other histopathological parameters. After a median follow-up of 73 months, BM-DTCs were highly relevant for the development of distant metastases (p=0.006) and, beneath standard histological parameters, reduced overall survival (p=0.038).
These results confirm the prognostic relevance of the detection of BM-DTCs. Newer methods, such as detection of circulating tumor cells in blood, will have to demonstrate comparable prognostic information in the future.
No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Anticancer research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Observational studies suggested that luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists (LHRHa) might prevent premature ovarian failure resulting from adjuvant chemotherapy in premenopausal patients. We aimed to test the efficacy of ovarian function preservation with the LHRHa goserelin in patients with breast cancer.
In a prospective, randomized, open-label, controlled multicenter study, 60 patients younger than age 46 years with hormone-insensitive breast cancer were allocated to receive anthracycline/cyclophosphamide (with or without taxane) -based neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without goserelin. The first goserelin injection was administered at least 2 weeks before the first chemotherapy cycle, continuing at 3.6 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks until the end of the last cycle. The primary objective was the reappearance of normal ovarian function, defined as two consecutive menstrual periods within 21 to 35 days at 6 months after end of chemotherapy.
Fifty-three patients (88.3%) experienced temporary amenorrhea (93.3% with v 83.3% without goserelin). No significant difference was observed regarding the reappearance of menstruation at 6 months after chemotherapy (70.0% with v 56.7% without goserelin; difference of 13.3%; 95% CI, -10.85 to 37.45; P = .284). All but one evaluable patient reported regular menses at 2 years after chemotherapy. Time to restoration of menstruation was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.2 to 8.4) with goserelin and 6.1 months (95% CI, 5.3 to 6.8) without goserelin (P = .304). Chemotherapy resulted in a decreased ovarian reserve measured by inhibin B and anti-Müllerian hormone during follow-up, supporting the other findings.
Premenopausal patients with breast cancer receiving goserelin simultaneously with modern neoadjuvant chemotherapy did not experience statistically significantly less amenorrhea 6 months after end of chemotherapy compared with those receiving chemotherapy alone.
Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Clinical Oncology