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Welsh Cancer Organisations and Resources
Latest Research Publications from Wales

Welsh Cancer Organisations and Resources (18 links)

Latest Research Publications from Wales

Bortolato B, Hyphantis TN, Valpione S, et al.
Depression in cancer: The many biobehavioral pathways driving tumor progression.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 52:58-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is common among cancer patients, with prevalence rates up to four-times higher than the general population. Depression confers worse outcomes, including non-adherence to treatment and increased mortality in the oncology setting. Advances in the understanding of neurobiological underpinnings of depression have revealed shared biobehavioral mechanisms may contribute to cancer progression. Moreover, psychosocial stressors in cancer promote: (1) inflammation and oxidative/nitrosative stress; (2) a decreased immunosurveillance; and (3) a dysfunctional activation of the autonomic nervous system and of the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis. Consequently, the prompt recognition of depression among patients with cancer who may benefit of treatment strategies targeting depressive symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and sleep disturbances, is a public health priority. Moreover, behavioral strategies aiming at reducing psychological distress and depressive symptoms, including addressing unhealthy diet and life-style choices, as well as physical inactivity and sleep dysfunction, may represent important strategies not only to treat depression, but also to improve wider cancer-related outcomes. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the intertwined biobehavioral pathways linking depression to cancer progression. In addition, the clinical implications of these findings are critically reviewed.

Warren S, Partridge M, Bolsi A, et al.
An Analysis of Plan Robustness for Esophageal Tumors: Comparing Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy Plans and Spot Scanning Proton Planning.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 95(1):199-207 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Planning studies to compare x-ray and proton techniques and to select the most suitable technique for each patient have been hampered by the nonequivalence of several aspects of treatment planning and delivery. A fair comparison should compare similarly advanced delivery techniques from current clinical practice and also assess the robustness of each technique. The present study therefore compared volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and single-field optimization (SFO) spot scanning proton therapy plans created using a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) for dose escalation in midesophageal cancer and analyzed the effect of setup and range uncertainties on these plans.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: For 21 patients, SIB plans with a physical dose prescription of 2 Gy or 2.5 Gy/fraction in 25 fractions to planning target volume (PTV)50Gy or PTV62.5Gy (primary tumor with 0.5 cm margins) were created and evaluated for robustness to random setup errors and proton range errors. Dose-volume metrics were compared for the optimal and uncertainty plans, with P<.05 (Wilcoxon) considered significant.
RESULTS: SFO reduced the mean lung dose by 51.4% (range 35.1%-76.1%) and the mean heart dose by 40.9% (range 15.0%-57.4%) compared with VMAT. Proton plan robustness to a 3.5% range error was acceptable. For all patients, the clinical target volume D98 was 95.0% to 100.4% of the prescribed dose and gross tumor volume (GTV) D98 was 98.8% to 101%. Setup error robustness was patient anatomy dependent, and the potential minimum dose per fraction was always lower with SFO than with VMAT. The clinical target volume D98 was lower by 0.6% to 7.8% of the prescribed dose, and the GTV D98 was lower by 0.3% to 2.2% of the prescribed GTV dose.
CONCLUSIONS: The SFO plans achieved significant sparing of normal tissue compared with the VMAT plans for midesophageal cancer. The target dose coverage in the SIB proton plans was less robust to random setup errors and might be unacceptable for certain patients. Robust optimization to ensure adequate target coverage of SIB proton plans might be beneficial.

Noble S, Sui J
The treatment of cancer associated thrombosis: does one size fit all? Who should get LMWH/warfarin/DOACs?
Thromb Res. 2016; 140 Suppl 1:S154-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Whilst the term cancer associated thrombosis (CAT) offers an overarching term for all thrombotic events encountered during the cancer journey, the reality is that this is a far too simplistic reflection of a complex multifactorial process occurring within a heterogeneous population. The management of CAT needs to consider factors beyond the thrombus itself: patients must be treated as individuals within the context of their own cancer journey and their preferences for different treatment options. The breath of pathological, pharmacological and psychosocial variants means it is highly unlikely that one treatment regime will be appropriate for all patients. It is inevitable that regimes may need to be modified and anticoagulant agents changed according to clinical and patient preference needs. There is strong evidence supporting the use of low molecular weight heparin first line in the treatment of acute CAT. The evidence for warfarin and the direct acting oral anticoagulants is not as strong but, as oral agents, may be preferred by some patients. This paper shall identify the various treatment options available, factors which will influence the decision making process and when it is justifiable to treat patients differently to the established protocol.

Churg A, Attanoos R, Borczuk AC, et al.
Dataset for Reporting of Malignant Mesothelioma of the Pleura or Peritoneum: Recommendations From the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR).
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(10):1104-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: -The International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting is a not-for-profit organization formed by the Royal Colleges of Pathologists of Australasia and the United Kingdom; the College of American Pathologists; the Canadian Association of Pathologists-Association Canadienne des Pathologists, in association with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; and the European Society of Pathology. Its goal is to produce common, internationally agreed upon, evidence-based datasets for use throughout the world.
OBJECTIVE: -To describe a dataset developed by the Expert Panel of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting for reporting malignant mesothelioma of both the pleura and peritoneum. The dataset is composed of "required" (mandatory) and "recommended" (nonmandatory) elements.
DESIGN: -Based on a review of the most recent evidence and supported by explanatory commentary.
RESULTS: -Eight required elements and 7 recommended elements were agreed upon by the Expert Panel to represent the essential information for reporting malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum.
CONCLUSIONS: -In time, the widespread use of an internationally agreed upon, structured, pathology dataset for mesothelioma will lead not only to improved patient management but also provide valuable data for research and international benchmarks.

Usset JL, Raghavan R, Tyrer JP, et al.
Assessment of Multifactor Gene-Environment Interactions and Ovarian Cancer Risk: Candidate Genes, Obesity, and Hormone-Related Risk Factors.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25(5):780-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Many epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk factors relate to hormone exposure and elevated estrogen levels are associated with obesity in postmenopausal women. Therefore, we hypothesized that gene-environment interactions related to hormone-related risk factors could differ between obese and non-obese women.
METHODS: We considered interactions between 11,441 SNPs within 80 candidate genes related to hormone biosynthesis and metabolism and insulin-like growth factors with six hormone-related factors (oral contraceptive use, parity, endometriosis, tubal ligation, hormone replacement therapy, and estrogen use) and assessed whether these interactions differed between obese and non-obese women. Interactions were assessed using logistic regression models and data from 14 case-control studies (6,247 cases; 10,379 controls). Histotype-specific analyses were also completed.
RESULTS: SNPs in the following candidate genes showed notable interaction: IGF1R (rs41497346, estrogen plus progesterone hormone therapy, histology = all, P = 4.9 × 10(-6)) and ESR1 (rs12661437, endometriosis, histology = all, P = 1.5 × 10(-5)). The most notable obesity-gene-hormone risk factor interaction was within INSR (rs113759408, parity, histology = endometrioid, P = 8.8 × 10(-6)).
CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated the feasibility of assessing multifactor interactions in large genetic epidemiology studies. Follow-up studies are necessary to assess the robustness of our findings for ESR1, CYP11A1, IGF1R, CYP11B1, INSR, and IGFBP2 Future work is needed to develop powerful statistical methods able to detect these complex interactions.
IMPACT: Assessment of multifactor interaction is feasible, and, here, suggests that the relationship between genetic variants within candidate genes and hormone-related risk factors may vary EOC susceptibility. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(5); 780-90. ©2016 AACR.

Kandil S, Westwell AD, McGuigan C
7-Substituted umbelliferone derivatives as androgen receptor antagonists for the potential treatment of prostate and breast cancer.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2016; 26(8):2000-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinically used androgen receptor (AR) antagonists (bicalutamide, flutamide and nilutamide) bind with low affinity to AR and can induce escape mechanisms. Furthermore, under AR gene amplification or mutation conditions they demonstrate agonist activity and fail to inhibit AR, causing relapse into castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Discovery of new scaffolds distinct from the 4-cyano/nitro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl group common to currently used antiandrogens is urgently needed to avoid cross-resistance with these compounds. In this study, a series of twenty-nine 7-substituted umbelliferone derivatives was prepared and their antiproliferative activities were evaluated. The most active compound 7a demonstrated submicromolar inhibitory activity in the human prostate cancer cell line (22Rv1); IC50=0.93 μM which represents a 50 fold improvement over the clinical antiandrogen bicalutamide (IC50=46 μM) and a more than 30 fold improvement over enzalutamide (IC50=32 μM). Interestingly, this compound showed even better activity against the human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7); IC50=0.47 μM. Molecular modelling studies provided a plausible theoretical explanation for our findings.

Gurusamy KS, Vaughan J, Fraser IS, et al.
Medical Therapies for Uterine Fibroids - A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0149631 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Uterine fibroids are common, often symptomatic and a third of women need repeated time off work. Consequently 25% to 50% of women with fibroids receive surgical treatment, namely myomectomy or hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is the definitive treatment as fibroids are hormone dependent and frequently recurrent. Medical treatment aims to control symptoms in order to replace or delay surgery. This may improve the outcome of surgery and prevent recurrence.
PURPOSE: To determine whether any medical treatment can be recommended in the treatment of women with fibroids about to undergo surgery and in those for whom surgery is not planned based on currently available evidence.
STUDY SELECTION: Two authors independently identified randomised controlled trials (RCT) of all pharmacological treatments aimed at the treatment of fibroids from a list of references obtained by formal search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane library, Science Citation Index, and until December 2013.
DATA EXTRACTION: Two authors independently extracted data from identified studies.
DATA SYNTHESIS: A Bayesian network meta-analysis was performed following the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-Decision Support Unit guidelines. Odds ratios, rate ratios, or mean differences with 95% credible intervals (CrI) were calculated.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 75 RCT met the inclusion criteria, 47 of which were included in the network meta-analysis. The overall quality of evidence was very low. The network meta-analysis showed differing results for different outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend any medical treatment in the management of fibroids. Certain treatments have future promise however further, well designed RCTs are needed.

Orbach D, Brennan B, De Paoli A, et al.
Conservative strategy in infantile fibrosarcoma is possible: The European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group experience.
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 57:1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Infantile fibrosarcoma (IFS) is a very rare disease occurring in young infants characterised by a high local aggressiveness but overall with a favourable survival. To try to reduce the total burden of therapy, the European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group has developed conservative therapeutic recommendations according to initial resectability.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between 2005 and 2012, children with localised IFS were prospectively registered. Initial surgery was suggested only if possible without mutilation. Patients with initial complete (IRS-group I/R0) or microscopic incomplete (group II/R1) resection had no further therapy. Patients with initial inoperable tumour (group III/R2) received first-line vincristine-actinomycin-D chemotherapy (VA). Delayed conservative surgery was planned after tumour reduction. Aggressive local therapy (mutilating surgery or external radiotherapy) was discouraged.
RESULTS: A total of 50 infants (median age 1.4 months), were included in the study. ETV6-NTRK3 transcript was present in 87.2% of patients where investigation was performed. According to initial surgery, 11 patients were classified as group I, 8 as group II and 31 as group III. VA chemotherapy was first delivered to 25 children with IRS-III/R2 and one with IRS-II/R1 disease. Response rate to VA was 68.0%. Mutilating surgery was only performed in three cases. After a median follow-up of 4.7 years (range 1.9-9.0), 3-year event-free survival and overall survival were respectively 84.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 70.5-91.7) and 94.0% (95% CI 82.5-98.0).
CONCLUSIONS: Conservative therapy is possible in IFS as only three children required mutilating surgery, and alkylating or anthracycline based chemotherapy was avoided in 71.0% of patients needing chemotherapy. VA regimen should be first line therapy in order to reduce long term effects.

Russell MR, Walker MJ, Williamson AJ, et al.
Protein Z: A putative novel biomarker for early detection of ovarian cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(12):2984-92 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Ovarian cancer (OC) has the highest mortality of all gynaecological cancers. Early diagnosis offers an approach to achieving better outcomes. We conducted a blinded-evaluation of prospectively collected preclinical serum from participants in the multimodal group of the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening. Using isobaric tags (iTRAQ) we identified 90 proteins differentially expressed between OC cases and controls. A second targeted mass spectrometry analysis of twenty of these candidates identified Protein Z as a potential early detection biomarker for OC. This was further validated by ELISA analysis in 482 serial serum samples, from 80 individuals, 49 OC cases and 31 controls, spanning up to 7 years prior to diagnosis. Protein Z was significantly down-regulated up to 2 years pre-diagnosis (p = 0.000000411) in 8 of 19 Type I patients whilst in 5 Type II individuals, it was significantly up-regulated up to 4 years before diagnosis (p = 0.01). ROC curve analysis for CA-125 and CA-125 combined with Protein Z showed a statistically significant (p = 0.00033) increase in the AUC from 77 to 81% for Type I and a statistically significant (p= 0.00003) increase in the AUC from 76 to 82% for Type II. Protein Z is a novel independent early detection biomarker for Type I and Type II ovarian cancer; which can discriminate between both types. Protein Z also adds to CA-125 and potentially the Risk of Ovarian Cancer algorithm in the detection of both subtypes.

Lee CK, Davies L, Gebski VJ, et al.
Serum Human Epidermal Growth Factor 2 Extracellular Domain as a Predictive Biomarker for Lapatinib Treatment Efficacy in Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(9):936-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We examined the prognostic and predictive value of serum human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) extracellular domain (sHER2) in patients with advanced breast cancer treated with lapatinib using data from three randomized trials.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed sHER2 and tissue HER2 (tHER2) data from 1,902 patients (84%) who were randomly assigned to receive lapatinib or control in the trials EGF30001, EGF30008, and EGF100151. Cox regression analyses were performed to correlate both biomarkers with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: Median sHER2 levels were 25.1 and 10.1 ng/mL in tHER2-amplified (tHER-positive) and nonamplified (tHER-negative) populations, respectively (r = 0.42 for sHER2-tHER2 correlation). Lapatinib had significant PFS benefit over control (hazard ratio [HR], 0.855; P = .004), but not OS (HR, 0.941; P = .33). Lapatinib PFS benefit is independently predicted by higher sHER2 values (HR per 10-ng/mL increase in sHER2: lapatinib-containing therapies, 1.009 v nonlapatinib-containing therapies, 1.044; P(interaction) < .001) and by positive tHER2 (HR [lapatinib v nonlapatinib]: tHER2 positive, 0.638 v tHER2 negative, 0.940; P(interaction) = .001). Within the tHER2-positive subpopulation (n = 515), higher sHER2 values still independently predicted lapatinib PFS benefit (HR per 10-ng/mL increase in sHER2: lapatinib-containing therapies, 1.017 v nonlapatinib-containing therapies, 1.041; P(interaction) = .008). In control arms (n = 936), higher sHER2 was associated with worse prognosis in multivariable analyses (PFS HR per 10 ng/mL: PFS, 1.024; P < .001; and OS, 1.018; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Higher sHER2 predicts greater PFS benefit with lapatinib independent of tHER2 status. High sHER2 is also independently prognostic for worse survival in patients who received nonlapatinib-containing therapies. The predictive role of sHER2 for other anti-HER2 agents requires further research.

Woods LM, Rachet B, O'Connell D, et al.
Impact of deprivation on breast cancer survival among women eligible for mammographic screening in the West Midlands (UK) and New South Wales (Australia): Women diagnosed 1997-2006.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(10):2396-403 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK display marked differences in survival between categories defined by socio-economic deprivation. Timeliness of diagnosis is one of the possible explanations for these patterns. Women whose cancer is screen-detected are more likely to be diagnosed at an earlier stage. We examined deprivation and screening-specific survival in order to evaluate the role of early diagnosis upon deprivation-specific survival differences in the West Midlands (UK) and New South Wales (Australia). We estimated net survival for women aged 50-65 years at diagnosis and whom had been continuously eligible for screening from the age of 50. Records for 5,628 women in West Midlands (98.5% of those eligible, mean age at diagnosis 53.7 years) and 6,396 women in New South Wales (99.9% of those eligible, mean age at diagnosis 53.8 years). In New South Wales, survival was similar amongst affluent and deprived women, regardless of whether their cancer was screen-detected or not. In the West Midlands, there were large and persistent differences in survival between affluent and deprived women. Deprivation differences were similar between the screen-detected and non-screen detected groups. These differences are unlikely to be solely explained by artefact, or by patient or tumour factors. Further investigations into the timeliness and appropriateness of the treatments received by women with breast cancer across the social spectrum in the UK are warranted.

Gallego-Ortega D, Ledger A, Roden DL, et al.
ELF5 Drives Lung Metastasis in Luminal Breast Cancer through Recruitment of Gr1+ CD11b+ Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells.
PLoS Biol. 2015; 13(12):e1002330 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
During pregnancy, the ETS transcription factor ELF5 establishes the milk-secreting alveolar cell lineage by driving a cell fate decision of the mammary luminal progenitor cell. In breast cancer, ELF5 is a key transcriptional determinant of tumor subtype and has been implicated in the development of insensitivity to anti-estrogen therapy. In the mouse mammary tumor virus-Polyoma Middle T (MMTV-PyMT) model of luminal breast cancer, induction of ELF5 levels increased leukocyte infiltration, angiogenesis, and blood vessel permeability in primary tumors and greatly increased the size and number of lung metastasis. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells, a group of immature neutrophils recently identified as mediators of vasculogenesis and metastasis, were recruited to the tumor in response to ELF5. Depletion of these cells using specific Ly6G antibodies prevented ELF5 from driving vasculogenesis and metastasis. Expression signatures in luminal A breast cancers indicated that increased myeloid cell invasion and inflammation were correlated with ELF5 expression, and increased ELF5 immunohistochemical staining predicted much shorter metastasis-free and overall survival of luminal A patients, defining a group who experienced unexpectedly early disease progression. Thus, in the MMTV-PyMT mouse mammary model, increased ELF5 levels drive metastasis by co-opting the innate immune system. As ELF5 has been previously implicated in the development of antiestrogen resistance, this finding implicates ELF5 as a defining factor in the acquisition of the key aspects of the lethal phenotype in luminal A breast cancer.

Macbeth F, Noble S, Evans J, et al.
Randomized Phase III Trial of Standard Therapy Plus Low Molecular Weight Heparin in Patients With Lung Cancer: FRAGMATIC Trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(5):488-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is common in cancer patients. Evidence has suggested that low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) might improve survival in patients with cancer by preventing both VTE and the progression of metastases. No trial in a single cancer type has been powered to demonstrate a clinically significant survival difference. The aim of this trial was to investigate this question in patients with lung cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, open-label, randomized trial to evaluate the addition of a primary prophylactic dose of LMWH for 24 weeks to standard treatment in patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer of any stage and histology. The primary outcome was 1-year survival. Secondary outcomes included metastasis-free survival, VTE-free survival, toxicity, and quality of life.
RESULTS: For this trial, 2,202 patients were randomly assigned to the two treatment arms over 4 years. The trial did not reach its intended number of events for the primary analysis (2,047 deaths), and data were analyzed after 2,013 deaths after discussion with the independent data monitoring committee. There was no evidence of a difference in overall or metastasis-free survival between the two arms (hazard ratio [HR], 1.01; 95% CI, 0.93 to 1.10; P = .814; and HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.08; P = .864, respectively). There was a reduction in the risk of VTE from 9.7% to 5.5% (HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.79; P = .001) in the LMWH arm and no difference in major bleeding events but evidence of an increase in the composite of major and clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding in the LMWH arm.
CONCLUSION: LMWH did not improve overall survival in the patients with lung cancer in this trial. A significant reduction in VTE is associated with an increase in clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding. Strategies to target those at greatest risk of VTE are warranted.

Kanate AS, Mussetti A, Kharfan-Dabaja MA, et al.
Reduced-intensity transplantation for lymphomas using haploidentical related donors vs HLA-matched unrelated donors.
Blood. 2016; 127(7):938-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
We evaluated 917 adult lymphoma patients who received haploidentical (n = 185) or HLA-matched unrelated donor (URD) transplantation either with (n = 241) or without antithymocyte globulin (ATG; n = 491) following reduced-intensity conditioning regimens. Haploidentical recipients received posttransplant cyclophosphamide-based graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, whereas URD recipients received calcineurin inhibitor-based prophylaxis. Median follow-up of survivors was 3 years. The 100-day cumulative incidence of grade III-IV acute GVHD on univariate analysis was 8%, 12%, and 17% in the haploidentical, URD without ATG, and URD with ATG groups, respectively (P = .44). Corresponding 1-year rates of chronic GVHD on univariate analysis were 13%, 51%, and 33%, respectively (P < .001). On multivariate analysis, grade III-IV acute GVHD was higher in URD without ATG (P = .001), as well as URD with ATG (P = .01), relative to haploidentical transplants. Similarly, relative to haploidentical transplants, risk of chronic GVHD was higher in URD without ATG and URD with ATG (P < .0001). Cumulative incidence of relapse/progression at 3 years was 36%, 28%, and 36% in the haploidentical, URD without ATG, and URD with ATG groups, respectively (P = .07). Corresponding 3-year overall survival (OS) was 60%, 62%, and 50% in the 3 groups, respectively, with multivariate analysis showing no survival difference between URD without ATG (P = .21) or URD with ATG (P = .16), relative to haploidentical transplants. Multivariate analysis showed no difference between the 3 groups in terms of nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse/progression, and progression-free survival (PFS). These data suggest that reduced-intensity conditioning haploidentical transplantation with posttransplant cyclophosphamide does not compromise early survival outcomes compared with matched URD transplantation, and is associated with significantly reduced risk of chronic GVHD.

Treasure T, Macbeth F
Is Surgery Warranted for Oligometastatic Disease?
Thorac Surg Clin. 2016; 26(1):79-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
The development of metastases after curative treatment can be seen as a failure. A common justification for the removal of metastases is that the knowledge that they are there may cause psychological distress, a real symptom that may be relieved by their removal. Although it is a commonly used justification for metastasectomy, the authors are unaware of any studies confirming or quantifying the health gain. This article strongly challenges the belief in clinical effectiveness and demonstrates that it is supported neither by a sound biological rationale nor by any good evidence. Reasons are suggested why this unfounded belief has become so prevalent.

Spagnolo F, Sestak I, Howell A, et al.
Anastrozole-Induced Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Results From the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study II Prevention Trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(2):139-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist in the carpal tunnel. It has been suggested that hormonal risk factors may be involved in the pathogenesis of CTS, and a higher incidence of CTS has been reported in randomized clinical trials with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) compared with tamoxifen.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was an exploratory analysis of the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study II, a double-blind randomized clinical trial in which women at increased risk of breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive anastrozole or placebo. This is the first report of risk factors for and characteristics of CTS in women taking an AI in a placebo-controlled trial.
RESULTS: Overall, 96 participants with CTS were observed: 65 (3.4%) in the anastrozole arm and 31 (1.6%) in the placebo arm (odds ratio, 2.16 [1.40 to 3.33]; P < .001). Ten participants were reported as having severe CTS, of which eight were taking anastrozole (P = .08). Eighteen women (0.9%) in the anastrozole arm and six women (0.3%) in the placebo arm reported surgical intervention, which was significantly different (odds ratio, 3.06 [1.21 to 7.72], P = .018). Six women discontinued with the allocated treatment because of the onset of CTS. Apart from treatment allocation, a high body mass index and an a prior report of musculoskeletal symptoms after trial entry were the only other risk factors for CTS identified in these postmenopausal women.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of anastrozole was associated with a higher incidence of CTS but few participants required surgery. Further investigations are warranted into the risk factors and treatment of AI-induced CTS.

Block KI, Gyllenhaal C, Lowe L, et al.
Designing a broad-spectrum integrative approach for cancer prevention and treatment.
Semin Cancer Biol. 2015; 35 Suppl:S276-304 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Targeted therapies and the consequent adoption of "personalized" oncology have achieved notable successes in some cancers; however, significant problems remain with this approach. Many targeted therapies are highly toxic, costs are extremely high, and most patients experience relapse after a few disease-free months. Relapses arise from genetic heterogeneity in tumors, which harbor therapy-resistant immortalized cells that have adopted alternate and compensatory pathways (i.e., pathways that are not reliant upon the same mechanisms as those which have been targeted). To address these limitations, an international task force of 180 scientists was assembled to explore the concept of a low-toxicity "broad-spectrum" therapeutic approach that could simultaneously target many key pathways and mechanisms. Using cancer hallmark phenotypes and the tumor microenvironment to account for the various aspects of relevant cancer biology, interdisciplinary teams reviewed each hallmark area and nominated a wide range of high-priority targets (74 in total) that could be modified to improve patient outcomes. For these targets, corresponding low-toxicity therapeutic approaches were then suggested, many of which were phytochemicals. Proposed actions on each target and all of the approaches were further reviewed for known effects on other hallmark areas and the tumor microenvironment. Potential contrary or procarcinogenic effects were found for 3.9% of the relationships between targets and hallmarks, and mixed evidence of complementary and contrary relationships was found for 7.1%. Approximately 67% of the relationships revealed potentially complementary effects, and the remainder had no known relationship. Among the approaches, 1.1% had contrary, 2.8% had mixed and 62.1% had complementary relationships. These results suggest that a broad-spectrum approach should be feasible from a safety standpoint. This novel approach has potential to be relatively inexpensive, it should help us address stages and types of cancer that lack conventional treatment, and it may reduce relapse risks. A proposed agenda for future research is offered.

Casali PG, Le Cesne A, Poveda Velasco A, et al.
Time to Definitive Failure to the First Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor in Localized GI Stromal Tumors Treated With Imatinib As an Adjuvant: A European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group Intergroup Randomized Trial in Collaboration With the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group, UNICANCER, French Sarcoma Group, Italian Sarcoma Group, and Spanish Group for Research on Sarcomas.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(36):4276-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In 2004, we started an intergroup randomized trial of adjuvant imatinib versus no further therapy after R0-R1 surgery patients with localized, high- or intermediate-risk GI stromal tumor (GIST).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned to 2 years of imatinib 400 mg daily or no further therapy after surgery. The primary end point was overall survival; relapse-free survival (RFS), relapse-free interval, and toxicity were secondary end points. In 2009, given the concurrent improvement in prognosis of patients with advanced GIST, we changed the primary end point to imatinib failure-free survival (IFFS), with agreement of the independent data monitoring committee. We report on a planned interim analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 908 patients were randomly assigned between December 2004 and October 2008: 454 to imatinib and 454 to observation. Of these, 835 patients were eligible. With a median follow-up of 4.7 years, 5-year IFFS was 87% in the imatinib arm versus 84% in the control arm (hazard ratio, 0.79; 98.5% CI, 0.50 to 1.25; P = .21); RFS was 84% versus 66% at 3 years and 69% versus 63% at 5 years (log-rank P < .001); and 5-year overall survival was 100% versus 99%, respectively. Among 528 patients with high-risk GIST by local pathologist, 5-year IFFS was 79% versus 73%; among 336 centrally reviewed high-risk patients, it was 77% versus 73%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms that adjuvant imatinib has an overt impact on RFS. No significant difference in IFFS was observed, although in the high-risk subgroup there was a trend in favor of the adjuvant arm. IFFS was conceived as a potential end point in the adjuvant setting because it is sensitive to secondary resistance, which is the main adverse prognostic factor in patients with advanced GIST.

Walter HS, Rule SA, Dyer MJ, et al.
A phase 1 clinical trial of the selective BTK inhibitor ONO/GS-4059 in relapsed and refractory mature B-cell malignancies.
Blood. 2016; 127(4):411-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
We report the results of a multicenter phase 1 dose-escalation study of the selective Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ONO/GS-4059 in 90 patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies. There were 9 dose-escalation cohorts ranging from 20 mg to 600 mg once daily with twice-daily regimens of 240 mg and 300 mg. Twenty-four of 25 evaluable chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients (96%) responded to ONO/GS-4059, with a median treatment duration of 80 weeks; 21 CLL patients remain on treatment. Lymph node responses were rapid and associated with a concurrent lymphocytosis. Eleven of 12 evaluable patients with mantle cell lymphoma (92%) responded (median treatment duration, 40 weeks). Eleven of 31 non-germinal center B-cell diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients (35%) responded but median treatment duration was 12 weeks due to development of progressive disease. ONO/GS-4059 was very well tolerated with 75% of adverse events (AEs) being Common Toxicity Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0 grade 1 or grade 2. Grade 3/4 AEs were mainly hematologic and recovered spontaneously during therapy. One CLL patient experienced a grade 3 treatment-related bleeding event (spontaneous muscle hematoma) but no clinically significant diarrhea, cardiac dysrhythmias, or arthralgia were observed. No maximal tolerated dose (MTD) was reached in the CLL cohort. In the non-Hodgkin lymphoma cohort, 4 patients developed a dose-limiting toxicity, yielding an MTD of 480 mg once daily. ONO/GS-4059 has significant activity in relapsed/refractory B-cell malignancies without major drug-related toxicity. The selectivity of ONO/GS-4059 should confer advantages in combination therapies. This trial was registered at as #NCT01659255.

Hurt CN, Mukherjee S, Bridgewater J, et al.
Health-Related Quality of Life in SCALOP, a Randomized Phase 2 Trial Comparing Chemoradiation Therapy Regimens in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 93(4):810-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) provides survival benefits but may result in considerable toxicity. Health-related quality of life (HRQL) measurements during CRT have not been widely reported. This paper reports HRQL data from the Selective Chemoradiation in Advanced Localised Pancreatic Cancer (SCALOP) trial, including validation of the QLQ-PAN26 tool in CRT.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with locally advanced, inoperable, nonmetastatic carcinoma of the pancreas were eligible. Following 12 weeks of induction gemcitabine plus capecitabine (GEMCAP) chemotherapy, patients with stable and responding disease were randomized to a further cycle of GEMCAP followed by capecitabine- or gemcitabine-based CRT. HRQL was assessed with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the EORTC Pancreatic Cancer module (PAN26).
RESULTS: A total of 114 patients from 28 UK centers were registered and 74 patients randomized. There was improvement in the majority of HRQL scales during induction chemotherapy. Patients with significant deterioration in fatigue, appetite loss, and gastrointestinal symptoms during CRT recovered within 3 weeks following CRT. Differences in changes in HRQL scores between trial arms rarely reached statistical significance; however, where they did, they favored capecitabine therapy. PAN26 scales had good internal consistency and were able to distinguish between subgroups of patients experiencing toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: Although there is deterioration in HRQL following CRT, this resolves within 3 weeks. HRQL data support the use of capecitabine- over gemcitabine-based chemoradiation. The QLQ-PAN26 is a reliable and valid tool for use in patients receiving CRT.

Halkett GK, Lobb EA, Miller L, et al.
Protocol for the Care-IS Trial: a randomised controlled trial of a supportive educational intervention for carers of patients with high-grade glioma (HGG).
BMJ Open. 2015; 5(10):e009477 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: High-grade glioma (HGG) is a rapidly progressive and debilitating disease. Primary carers experience significant levels of distress which impacts on their experience of caregiving, the quality of care received and the community in terms of the increased reliance on healthcare due to the potential development of complicated grief. This paper describes the protocol for testing the efficacy and feasibility of an intervention for primary carers of patients with HGG in order to improve preparedness to care and reduce carer distress.
METHODS: Randomised controlled trial. The target population is carers of patients with HGG who are undergoing combined chemoradiotherapy. The intervention consists of 4 components: (1) initial telephone assessment of unmet needs of the carer, (2) tailoring of a personalised resource folder, (3) home visit, (4) ongoing monthly telephone contact and support for 12 months. The control arm will receive usual care.
PRIMARY HYPOTHESIS: This intervention will improve preparedness for caring and reduce carer psychological distress.
SECONDARY HYPOTHESIS: This intervention will reduce carer unmet needs. The longer term aim of the intervention is to reduce patient healthcare resource utilisation and, by doing so, reduce costs. Assessments will be obtained at baseline, 8 weeks post intervention, then 4, 6 and 12 months. Participants will also complete a healthcare utilisation checklist and proxy performance status which will be assessed at baseline and monthly. 240 carers will be recruited. The sample size is 180. Multilevel mixed effects regression models will be applied to test the effect of the intervention.
ETHICS: Ethics approval has been gained from Curtin University and the participating sites.
DISSEMINATION: Results will be reported in international peer-reviewed journals.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registration (ACTRN)12612001147875.

Kopecki Z, Yang GN, Jackson JE, et al.
Cytoskeletal protein Flightless I inhibits apoptosis, enhances tumor cell invasion and promotes cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma progression.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(34):36426-40 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Flightless I (Flii) is an actin remodeling protein that affects cellular processes including adhesion, proliferation and migration. In order to determine the role of Flii during carcinogenesis, squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) were induced in Flii heterozygous (Flii+/-), wild-type and Flii overexpressing (FliiTg/Tg) mice by intradermal injection of 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA). Flii levels were further assessed in biopsies from human SCCs and the human SCC cell line (MET-1) was used to determine the effect of Flii on cellular invasion. Flii was highly expressed in human SCC biopsies particularly by the invading cells at the tumor edge. FliiTg/Tg mice developed large, aggressive SCCs in response to MCA. In contrast Flii+/- mice had significantly smaller tumors that were less invasive. Intradermal injection of Flii neutralizing antibodies during SCC initiation and progression significantly reduced the size of the tumors and, in vitro, decreased cellular sphere formation and invasion. Analysis of the tumors from the Flii overexpressing mice showed reduced caspase I and annexin V expression suggesting Flii may negatively regulate apoptosis within these tumors. These studies therefore suggest that Flii enhances SCC tumor progression by decreasing apoptosis and enhancing tumor cell invasion. Targeting Flii may be a potential strategy for reducing the severity of SCCs.

Lambert SD, Clover K, Pallant JF, et al.
Making Sense of Variations in Prevalence Estimates of Depression in Cancer: A Co-Calibration of Commonly Used Depression Scales Using Rasch Analysis.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2015; 13(10):1203-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The use of different depression self-report scales warrants co-calibration studies to establish relationships between scores from 2 or more scales. The goal of this study was to examine variations in measurement across 5 commonly used scales to measure depression among patients with cancer: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression subscale (HADS-D), Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-Depression subscale (DASS-D).
METHODS: The depression scales were completed by 162 patients with cancer. Participants were also assessed by the major depressive episode module of the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. Rasch analysis and receiver operating characteristic curves were performed.
RESULTS: Rasch analysis of the 5 scales indicated that these all measured depression. The HADS and BDI-II had the widest measurement range, whereas the DASS-D had the narrowest range. Co-calibration revealed that the cutoff scores across the scales were not equivalent. The mild cutoff score on the PHQ-9 was easier to meet than the mild cutoff score on the CES-D, BDI-II, and DASS-D. The HADS-D possible cutoff score was equivalent to cutoff scores for major to severe depression on the other scales. Optimal cutoff scores for clinical assessment of depression were in the mild to moderate depression range for most scales.
CONCLUSIONS: The labels of depression associated with the different scales are not equivalent. Most markedly, the HADS-D possible case cutoff score represents a much higher level of depression than equivalent scores on other scales. Therefore, use of different scales will lead to different estimates of prevalence of depression when used in the same sample.

Palendira U, Rickinson AB
Primary immunodeficiencies and the control of Epstein-Barr virus infection.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2015; 1356:22-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human primary immunodeficiency (PID) states, where mutations in single immune system genes predispose individuals to certain infectious agents and not others, are experiments of nature that hold important lessons for the immunologist. The number of genetically defined PIDs is rising rapidly, as is the opportunity to learn from them. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus, has long been of interest because of its complex interaction with the immune system. Thus, it causes both infectious mononucleosis (IM), an immunopathologic disease associated with exaggerated host responses, and at least one malignancy, EBV-positive lymphoproliferative disease, when those responses are impaired. Here, we describe the full range of PIDs currently linked with an increased risk of EBV-associated disease. These provide examples where IM-like immunopathology is fatally exaggerated, and others where responses impaired at the stage of induction, expansion, or effector function predispose to malignancy. Current evidence from this rapidly moving field supports the view that lesions in both natural killer cell and T cell function can lead to EBV pathology.

Motzer RJ, Escudier B, McDermott DF, et al.
Nivolumab versus Everolimus in Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(19):1803-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nivolumab, a programmed death 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitor, was associated with encouraging overall survival in uncontrolled studies involving previously treated patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma. This randomized, open-label, phase 3 study compared nivolumab with everolimus in patients with renal-cell carcinoma who had received previous treatment.
METHODS: A total of 821 patients with advanced clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma for which they had received previous treatment with one or two regimens of antiangiogenic therapy were randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) to receive 3 mg of nivolumab per kilogram of body weight intravenously every 2 weeks or a 10-mg everolimus tablet orally once daily. The primary end point was overall survival. The secondary end points included the objective response rate and safety.
RESULTS: The median overall survival was 25.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 21.8 to not estimable) with nivolumab and 19.6 months (95% CI, 17.6 to 23.1) with everolimus. The hazard ratio for death with nivolumab versus everolimus was 0.73 (98.5% CI, 0.57 to 0.93; P=0.002), which met the prespecified criterion for superiority (P≤0.0148). The objective response rate was greater with nivolumab than with everolimus (25% vs. 5%; odds ratio, 5.98 [95% CI, 3.68 to 9.72]; P<0.001). The median progression-free survival was 4.6 months (95% CI, 3.7 to 5.4) with nivolumab and 4.4 months (95% CI, 3.7 to 5.5) with everolimus (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.03; P=0.11). Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 19% of the patients receiving nivolumab and in 37% of the patients receiving everolimus; the most common event with nivolumab was fatigue (in 2% of the patients), and the most common event with everolimus was anemia (in 8%).
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with previously treated advanced renal-cell carcinoma, overall survival was longer and fewer grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred with nivolumab than with everolimus. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 025 number, NCT01668784.).

Schmidt-Hansen M, Bennett MI, Hilgart J
Oxycodone for Cancer Pain in Adult Patients.
JAMA. 2015 Sep 22-29; 314(12):1282-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
CLINICAL QUESTION: Is oxycodone associated with greater efficacy and fewer adverse events compared with alternative analgesics for cancer pain?
BOTTOM LINE: Oxycodone was not associated with superior cancer pain relief or fewer adverse effects compared with other strong opioids, such as morphine or oxymorphone. However, the quality of the evidence was low.

Olson TA, Murray MJ, Rodriguez-Galindo C, et al.
Pediatric and Adolescent Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors: The Road to Collaboration.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(27):3018-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
During the past 35 years, survival rates for children with extracranial malignant germ cell tumors (GCTs) have increased significantly. Success has been achieved primarily through the application of platinum-based chemotherapy regimens; however, clinical challenges in GCTs remain. Excellent outcomes are not distributed uniformly across the heterogeneous distribution of age, histologic features, and primary tumor site. Despite good outcomes overall, the likelihood of a cure for certain sites and histologic conditions is less than 50%. In addition, there are considerable long-term treatment-related effects for survivors. Even modest cisplatin dosing can cause significant long-term morbidities. A particular challenge in designing new therapies for GCT is that a variety of specialists use different risk stratifications, staging systems, and treatment approaches for three distinct age groups (childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood). Traditionally, pediatric cancer patients younger than 15 years have been treated by pediatric oncologists in collaboration with their surgical specialty colleagues. Adolescents and young adults with GCTs often are treated by medical oncologists, urologists, or gynecologic oncologists. The therapeutic dilemma for all is how to best define disease risk so that therapy and toxicity can be appropriately reduced for some patients and intensified for others. Further clinical and biologic insights can only be achieved through collaborations that do not set limitations by age, sex, and primary tumor site. Therefore, international collaborations, spanning different cooperative groups and disciplines, have been developed to address these challenges.

Movahedi M, Bishop DT, Macrae F, et al.
Obesity, Aspirin, and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Carriers of Hereditary Colorectal Cancer: A Prospective Investigation in the CAPP2 Study.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(31):3591-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In the general population, increased adiposity is a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC), but whether obesity has similar effects in those with hereditary CRC is uncertain. This prospective study investigated the association between body mass index and cancer risk in patients with Lynch syndrome (LS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Participants with LS were recruited to the CAPP2 study, in which they were randomly assigned to receive aspirin 600 mg per day or aspirin placebo, plus resistant starch 30 g per day or starch placebo (2 × 2 factorial design). Mean intervention period was 25.0 months, and mean follow-up was 55.7 months.
RESULTS: During follow-up, 55 of 937 participants developed CRC. For obese participants, CRC risk was 2.41× (95% CI, 1.22 to 4.85) greater than for underweight and normal-weight participants (reference group), and CRC risk increased by 7% for each 1-kg/m(2) increase in body mass index. The risk of all LS-related cancers in obese people was 1.77× (95% CI, 1.06 to 2.96; P = .03) greater than for the reference group. In subgroup analysis, obesity was associated with 3.72× (95% CI, 1.41 to 9.81) greater CRC risk in patients with LS with MLH1 mutation, but no excess risk was observed in those with MSH2 or MSH6 mutation (P = .5). The obesity-related excess CRC risk was confined to those randomly assigned to the aspirin placebo group (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.12 to 6.79; P = .03).
CONCLUSION: Obesity is associated with substantially increased CRC risk in patients with LS, but this risk is abrogated in those taking aspirin. Such patients are likely to benefit from obesity prevention and/or regular aspirin.

Thomas AD, Fahrer J, Johnson GE, Kaina B
Theoretical considerations for thresholds in chemical carcinogenesis.
Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2015 Jul-Sep; 765:56-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is increasing evidence for non-linear relationships for gene mutations, chromosomal aberrations and even tumor incidences in response to low doses of genotoxic carcinogens. To attain the biological relevance of such non-linear responses, there is a need to identify the underlying defense mechanisms that allow tolerance to low doses of genotoxicants. This communication discusses presumptive cancer prevention mechanisms that may contribute to thresholds, i.e. points of departure, for each endpoint, from initial DNA lesion to tumor formation. We discuss a sequential order of genome protection during carcinogenesis where genotoxicant scavenging, cellular efflux, DNA repair, elimination of damaged cells by apoptosis, autophagy, silencing by DNA damage-triggered replicative senescence, and finally, elimination of transformed (premalignant) cells by the immune system are thought to be responsible for a threshold in tumor formation. We highlight DNA repair, for which experimental evidence has been recently provided to dictate a role in PoDs. In conclusion, from a theoretical perspective it is reasonable to posit that tolerance to low dose levels exists for each requisite step of tumor formation and these tolerance mechanisms are critical in determining thresholds in chemical carcinogenesis.

Klyuchnikov E, Bacher U, Kröger NM, et al.
Reduced-Intensity Allografting as First Transplantation Approach in Relapsed/Refractory Grades One and Two Follicular Lymphoma Provides Improved Outcomes in Long-Term Survivors.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(12):2091-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
This study was conducted to compare long-term outcomes in patients with refractory/relapsed grades 1 and 2 follicular lymphoma (FL) after allogeneic (allo) versus autologous (auto) hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in the rituximab era. Adult patients with relapsed/refractory grades 1 and 2 FL undergoing first reduced-intensity allo-HCT or first autograft during 2000 to 2012 were evaluated. A total of 518 rituximab-treated patients were included. Allo-HCT patients were younger and more heavily pretreated, and more patients had advanced stage and chemoresistant disease. The 5-year adjusted probabilities, comparing auto-HCT versus allo-HCT groups for nonrelapse mortality (NRM) were 5% versus 26% (P < .0001); relapse/progression: 54% versus 20% (P < .0001); progression-free survival (PFS): 41% versus 58% (P < .001), and overall survival (OS): 74% versus 66% (P = .05). Auto-HCT was associated with a higher risk of relapse/progression beyond 5 months after HCT (relative risk [RR], 4.4; P < .0001) and worse PFS (RR, 2.9; P < .0001) beyond 11 months after HCT. In the first 24 months after HCT, auto-HCT was associated with improved OS (RR, .41; P < .0001), but beyond 24 months, it was associated with inferior OS (RR, 2.2; P = .006). A landmark analysis of patients alive and progression-free at 2 years after HCT confirmed these observations, showing no difference in further NRM between both groups, but there was significantly higher risk of relapse/progression (RR, 7.3; P < .0001) and inferior PFS (RR, 3.2; P < .0001) and OS (RR, 2.1; P = .04) after auto-HCT. The 10-year cumulative incidences of second hematological malignancies after allo-HCT and auto-HCT were 0% and 7%, respectively. Auto-HCT and reduced-intensity-conditioned allo-HCT as first transplantation approach can provide durable disease control in grades 1 and 2 FL patients. Continued disease relapse risk after auto-HCT translates into improved PFS and OS after allo-HCT in long-term survivors.
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