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Latest Research Publications

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Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Balar AV, Galsky MD, Rosenberg JE, et al.
Atezolizumab as first-line treatment in cisplatin-ineligible patients with locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial.
Lancet. 2017; 389(10064):67-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: First-line chemotherapy for patients with cisplatin-ineligible locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma is associated with short response duration, poor survival, and high toxicity. This study assessed atezolizumab (anti-programmed death-ligand 1 [PD-L1]) as treatment for metastatic urothelial cancer in cisplatin-ineligible patients.
METHODS: For this single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 study, in 47 academic medical centres and community oncology practices in seven countries in North America and Europe, we recruited previously untreated patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who were cisplatin ineligible. Patients were given 1200 mg intravenous atezolizumab every 21 days until progression. The primary endpoint was independently confirmed objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (central review), assessed in prespecified subgroups based on PD-L1 expression and in all patients. All participants who received one or more doses of atezolizumab were included in the primary and safety analyses. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02108652.
FINDINGS: Between June 9, 2014, and March 30, 2015, we enrolled 123 patients, of whom 119 received one or more doses of atezolizumab. At 17·2 months' median follow-up, the objective response rate was 23% (95% CI 16 to 31), the complete response rate was 9% (n=11), and 19 of 27 responses were ongoing. Median response duration was not reached. Responses occurred across all PD-L1 and poor prognostic factor subgroups. Median progression-free survival was 2·7 months (2·1 to 4·2). Median overall survival was 15·9 months (10·4 to not estimable). Tumour mutation load was associated with response. Treatment-related adverse events that occurred in 10% or more of patients were fatigue (36 [30%] patients), diarrhoea (14 [12%] patients), and pruritus (13 [11%] patients). One treatment-related death (sepsis) occurred. Nine (8%) patients had an adverse event leading to treatment discontinuation. Immune-mediated events occurred in 14 (12%) patients.
INTERPRETATION: Atezolizumab showed encouraging durable response rates, survival, and tolerability, supporting its therapeutic use in untreated metastatic urothelial cancer.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche, Genentech.

Ravaud A, Motzer RJ, Pandha HS, et al.
Adjuvant Sunitinib in High-Risk Renal-Cell Carcinoma after Nephrectomy.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(23):2246-2254 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Sunitinib, a vascular endothelial growth factor pathway inhibitor, is an effective treatment for metastatic renal-cell carcinoma. We sought to determine the efficacy and safety of sunitinib in patients with locoregional renal-cell carcinoma at high risk for tumor recurrence after nephrectomy. Methods In this randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial, we assigned 615 patients with locoregional, high-risk clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma to receive either sunitinib (50 mg per day) or placebo on a 4-weeks-on, 2-weeks-off schedule for 1 year or until disease recurrence, unacceptable toxicity, or consent withdrawal. The primary end point was disease-free survival, according to blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included investigator-assessed disease-free survival, overall survival, and safety. Results The median duration of disease-free survival was 6.8 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.8 to not reached) in the sunitinib group and 5.6 years (95% CI, 3.8 to 6.6) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.98; P=0.03). Overall survival data were not mature at the time of data cutoff. Dose reductions because of adverse events were more frequent in the sunitinib group than in the placebo group (34.3% vs. 2%), as were dose interruptions (46.4% vs. 13.2%) and discontinuations (28.1% vs. 5.6%). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were more frequent in the sunitinib group (48.4% for grade 3 events and 12.1% for grade 4 events) than in the placebo group (15.8% and 3.6%, respectively). There was a similar incidence of serious adverse events in the two groups (21.9% for sunitinib vs. 17.1% for placebo); no deaths were attributed to toxic effects. Conclusions Among patients with locoregional clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma at high risk for tumor recurrence after nephrectomy, the median duration of disease-free survival was significantly longer in the sunitinib group than in the placebo group, at a cost of a higher rate of toxic events. (Funded by Pfizer; S-TRAC ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00375674 .).

Powles T, Sarwar N, Stockdale A, et al.
Safety and Efficacy of Pazopanib Therapy Prior to Planned Nephrectomy in Metastatic Clear Cell Renal Cancer.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(10):1303-1309 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: The role of cytoreductive nephrectomy in patients with metastatic renal cancer in the era of targeted therapy is uncertain.
Objective: To establish the safety and efficacy of upfront pazopanib therapy prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy in previously untreated patients with metastatic clear cell renal cancer.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Single-arm phase 2 study of 104 previously untreated patients with metastatic clear cell renal cancer recruited between June 2008 and October 2012 at cancer treatment centers with access to nephrectomy services. The minimum follow-up was 30 months.
Interventions: Patients received 12 to 14 weeks of preoperative pazopanib therapy prior to planned cytoreductive nephrectomy and continued pazopanib therapy after surgery. Treatment was stopped at disease progression.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was clinical benefit (using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1) prior to surgery (at 12-14 weeks). Secondary end points included surgical complications, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and biomarker analysis.
Results: Of 104 patients recruited, 100 patients were assessable for clinical benefit prior to planned nephrectomy; 80 of 104 (76.9%) were men; median [interquartile range] age, 64 [56-71] years). Overall, 84 of 100 (84% [95% CI, 75%-91%]) gained clinical benefit before planned nephrectomy. The median reduction in the size of the primary tumor was 14.4% (interquartile range, 1.4%-21.1%). No patients were unable to undergo surgery as a result of local progression of disease. Nephrectomy was performed in 63 (61%) of patients; 14 (22%) reported surgical complications. The 2 most common reasons for not undergoing surgery were progression of disease (n = 13) and patient choice (n = 9). There was 1 postoperative surgical death. The median PFS and OS for the whole cohort were 7.1 (95% CI, 6.0-9.2) and 22.7 (95% CI, 14.3-not estimable) months, respectively. Patients with MSKCC poor-risk disease or progressive disease prior to surgery had a poor outcome (median OS, 5.7 [95% CI, 2.6-10.8] and 3.9 [95% CI, 0.5-9.1] months, respectively). Surgical complications were observed in 14 (22%) of the nephrectomies. Biomarker analysis from sequential tissue samples revealed a decrease in CD8 expression (20.00 vs 13.75; P = .05) and significant reduction in expression of von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (100 vs 40; P < .001) and C-MET (300 vs 100; P < .001) and increased programmed cell death ligand 1 expression (0 vs 1.5; P < .001) in the immune component. No on-treatment biomarker correlated with response.
Conclusions and Relevance: Nephrectomy after upfront pazopanib therapy could be performed safely and was associated with good outcomes in patients with intermediate-risk metastatic clear cell renal cancer.

George S, Motzer RJ, Hammers HJ, et al.
Safety and Efficacy of Nivolumab in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Treated Beyond Progression: A Subgroup Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(9):1179-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Response patterns with immunotherapy may differ from those of other treatments. This warrants further investigation because some patients may benefit from continued immunotherapy beyond Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST)-defined first progression.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and potential benefit of treatment with nivolumab, a programmed cell death 1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, beyond investigator-assessed first progression in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Subgroup analysis of a blinded, randomized, multicenter, phase 2 dose-ranging trial initiated May 31, 2011, including patients with clear-cell mRCC previously treated with antiangiogenic therapy. Data cutoffs for this subgroup analysis were May 15, 2013, for progression-free survival and objective response rate and March 5, 2014, for overall survival and duration of response. In this analysis, patients treated beyond first progression received their last dose of nivolumab more than 6 weeks after RECIST-defined progression, and patients not treated beyond first progression discontinued nivolumab before or at RECIST-defined progression.
INTERVENTIONS: Nivolumab 0.3, 2, or 10 mg/kg intravenously every 3 weeks.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Safety and efficacy of nivolumab treatment.
RESULTS: Of 168 patients (median [range] age, 61 [37-81] years; 72% male) randomized to nivolumab, 154 experienced progression (36 were treated beyond first progression, 26 were treated beyond first progression for ≤6 weeks, and 92 were not treated beyond first progression), 13 were treated and did not experience progression, and 1 was not treated. Prior to first progression, the RECIST-defined objective response rate was 14% (5 patients) and 16% (15 patients), and median progression-free survival was 4.2 (95% CI, 2.8-5.5) and 2.6 (95% CI, 1.5-3.9) months in patients treated and not treated beyond progression, respectively. Following initial progression, 25 (69%) patients treated beyond progression experienced subsequent tumor reduction or stabilization in target lesion size. The incidence of treatment-related adverse events was higher in patients treated beyond progression (n = 29 [81%]) vs those not treated beyond progression (n = 61 [66%]); however, after adjusting for length of treatment exposure, incidence was lower in patients treated beyond progression (322.9 vs 518.7 incidence rate/100 patient-years for patients treated vs not treated beyond progression).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this subgroup analysis, a proportion of patients who continued treatment beyond RECIST-defined first progression demonstrated sustained reductions in tumor burden or stabilization in the size of target lesions, with an acceptable safety profile. Further analysis will help define the clinical benefit for patients with mRCC treated with nivolumab beyond progression.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01354431.

Felsch M, Zaim S, Dicken V, et al.
Comparison of central and local serial CT assessments of metastatic renal cell carcinoma patients in a clinical phase IIB study.
Acta Radiol. 2017; 58(2):249-255 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Clinical oncological studies attempt to improve precision of data by central radiological assessments. However, it is unclear, to which extent local and central assessments diverge. Purpose To quantify inter-reader variability and the deviation of local from central radiological assessments of computed tomography (CT) scans. Material and Methods This was a sub-study of a randomized clinical phase IIb trial in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC), comparing first-line sorafenib with interferon-alpha-2a (IFN-α-2a). It analyzed agreements of local with central RECIST CT assessments by Cohen's kappa (κ), symmetry tests, deviations in waterfall plots, Bland-Altman plots, and parametric survival analyses. Results The concordance between local and central radiologic review was quantified by κ = 0.53. While local assessment yielded progressive disease (PD) in 18.6%, central assessment classified 22.5% of patient time points as PD exhibiting only a partial overlap with the 18.6% The tumor shrinkage rates in waterfall plots were 68.1% in local and 55.8% in central review (57.8% and 59% by Reader 1 and Reader 2). Bland-Altman plots identified a systematic shift of tumor change rates by -7.5% in local compared to central assessments, that may reflect a systematic tendency of more favorable results in local assessments. The discordance between local and central review was reflected by a time to progression (TTP) hazard ratio (HR) of 1.73 ( P = 0.0003). Conclusion These data suggest that central radiologic review may reduce technical measurement variability in clinical trials, which should be scrutinized in future studies compared to a volumetric reference.

Duran I, Hagen C, Arranz JÁ, et al.
SNPs associated with activity and toxicity of cabazitaxel in patients with advanced urothelial cell carcinoma.
Pharmacogenomics. 2016; 17(5):463-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We aimed to identify SNPs associated with cabazitaxel toxicity and response within a Phase II clinical trial using this compound in advanced transitional cell carcinoma after progression to a platinum-based regimen.
PATIENTS & METHODS: Eleven SNPs in CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP2C8, ABCB1 and TUBB1 were genotyped in 45 patients.
RESULTS: CYP3A5 rs776746 A allele was associated with protection against gastrointestinal toxicity (odds ratio: 0.06, 95% CI: 0.007-0.63, p = 0.018) and with reduced progression-free survival (hazard ratio: 5.1, 95% CI: 1.7-15.1, p = 0.0038, multivariable analysis). ABCB1 SNPs were associated with total number of grade 3-4 toxicity events (p-values of 0.009, 0.041 and 0.043, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Polymorphisms in CYP3A5 and ABCB1 may define a subset of patients with different cabazitaxel toxicity and efficacy and therefore could be used as markers for treatment optimization.

Beaumont JL, Salsman JM, Diaz J, et al.
Quality-adjusted time without symptoms or toxicity analysis of pazopanib versus sunitinib in patients with renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer. 2016; 122(7):1108-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a phase 3, randomized, open-label trial (Pazopanib versus Sunitinib in the Treatment of Locally Advanced and/or Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma, COMPARZ; NCT00720941), pazopanib was found to be noninferior to sunitinib in terms of progression-free survival in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma with no prior therapy. Overall treatment differences were evaluated in a post hoc analysis with a quality-adjusted time without symptoms or toxicity (Q-TWiST) methodology.
METHODS: Each patient's overall survival was partitioned into 3 mutually exclusive health states: time with grade 3 or 4 toxicity (TOX), time without symptoms of disease or grade 3/4 toxicity of treatment, and time after tumor progression or relapse (REL). The time spent in each state was weighted by a health-state utility associated with that state and summed to calculate the Q-TWiST. A threshold utility analysis was used, and utilities were applied across the range of 0 (similar to death) to 1 (perfect health).
RESULTS: A total of 1110 patients were enrolled (557 on pazopanib and 553 on sunitinib). The mean TOX was 31 days (95% confidence interval, 13-48 days) longer for sunitinib versus pazopanib. In the threshold utility analysis, the difference in the Q-TWiST ranged from -11 days (utility for TOX, 1; utility for REL, 0) to 43 days (utility for TOX, 0; utility for REL, 1) in favor of pazopanib across most utility combinations. Differences were significant in less than half of the utility combinations examined, and this typically occurred when the utility for TOX was lower than the utility for REL.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients randomized to pazopanib had a slightly longer Q-TWiST in comparison with sunitinib patients, and this was primarily due to the reduced length of TOX.

Haas NB, Manola J, Uzzo RG, et al.
Adjuvant sunitinib or sorafenib for high-risk, non-metastatic renal-cell carcinoma (ECOG-ACRIN E2805): a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10032):2008-16 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Renal-cell carcinoma is highly vascular, and proliferates primarily through dysregulation of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. We tested sunitinib and sorafenib, two oral anti-angiogenic agents that are effective in advanced renal-cell carcinoma, in patients with resected local disease at high risk for recurrence.
METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, phase 3 trial, we enrolled patients at 226 study centres in the USA and Canada. Eligible patients had pathological stage high-grade T1b or greater with completely resected non-metastatic renal-cell carcinoma and adequate cardiac, renal, and hepatic function. Patients were stratified by recurrence risk, histology, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, and surgical approach, and computerised double-blind randomisation was done centrally with permuted blocks. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive 54 weeks of sunitinib 50 mg per day orally throughout the first 4 weeks of each 6 week cycle, sorafenib 400 mg twice per day orally throughout each cycle, or placebo. Placebo could be sunitinib placebo given continuously for 4 weeks of every 6 week cycle or sorafenib placebo given twice per day throughout the study. The primary objective was to compare disease-free survival between each experimental group and placebo in the intention-to-treat population. All treated patients with at least one follow-up assessment were included in the safety analysis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00326898.
FINDINGS: Between April 24, 2006, and Sept 1, 2010, 1943 patients from the National Clinical Trials Network were randomly assigned to sunitinib (n=647), sorafenib (n=649), or placebo (n=647). Following high rates of toxicity-related discontinuation after 1323 patients had enrolled (treatment discontinued by 193 [44%] of 438 patients on sunitinib, 199 [45%] of 441 patients on sorafenib), the starting dose of each drug was reduced and then individually titrated up to the original full doses. On Oct 16, 2014, because of low conditional power for the primary endpoint, the ECOG-ACRIN Data Safety Monitoring Committee recommended that blinded follow-up cease and the results be released. The primary analysis showed no significant differences in disease-free survival. Median disease-free survival was 5·8 years (IQR 1·6-8·2) for sunitinib (hazard ratio [HR] 1·02, 97·5% CI 0·85-1·23, p=0·8038), 6·1 years (IQR 1·7-not estimable [NE]) for sorafenib (HR 0·97, 97·5% CI 0·80-1·17, p=0·7184), and 6·6 years (IQR 1·5-NE) for placebo. The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were hypertension (105 [17%] patients on sunitinib and 102 [16%] patients on sorafenib), hand-foot syndrome (94 [15%] patients on sunitinib and 208 [33%] patients on sorafenib), rash (15 [2%] patients on sunitinib and 95 [15%] patients on sorafenib), and fatigue 110 [18%] patients on sunitinib [corrected]. There were five deaths related to treatment or occurring within 30 days of the end of treatment; one patient receiving sorafenib died from infectious colitis while on treatment and four patients receiving sunitinib died, with one death due to each of neurological sequelae, sequelae of gastric perforation, pulmonary embolus, and disease progression. Revised dosing still resulted in high toxicity.
INTERPRETATION: Adjuvant treatment with the VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors sorafenib or sunitinib showed no survival benefit relative to placebo in a definitive phase 3 study. Furthermore, substantial treatment discontinuation occurred because of excessive toxicity, despite dose reductions. These results provide a strong rationale against the use of these drugs for high-risk kidney cancer in the adjuvant setting and suggest that the biology of cancer recurrence might be independent of angiogenesis.
FUNDING: US National Cancer Institute and ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, Pfizer, and Bayer.

Rosenberg JE, Hoffman-Censits J, Powles T, et al.
Atezolizumab in patients with locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have progressed following treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy: a single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10031):1909-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma have few treatment options after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy. In this trial, we assessed treatment with atezolizumab, an engineered humanised immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody that binds selectively to programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), in this patient population.
METHODS: For this multicentre, single-arm, two-cohort, phase 2 trial, patients (aged ≥18 years) with inoperable locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma whose disease had progressed after previous platinum-based chemotherapy were enrolled from 70 major academic medical centres and community oncology practices in Europe and North America. Key inclusion criteria for enrolment were Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, measurable disease defined by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1), adequate haematological and end-organ function, and no autoimmune disease or active infections. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumour specimens with sufficient viable tumour content were needed from all patients before enrolment. Patients received treatment with intravenous atezolizumab (1200 mg, given every 3 weeks). PD-L1 expression on tumour-infiltrating immune cells (ICs) was assessed prospectively by immunohistochemistry. The co-primary endpoints were the independent review facility-assessed objective response rate according to RECIST v1.1 and the investigator-assessed objective response rate according to immune-modified RECIST, analysed by intention to treat. A hierarchical testing procedure was used to assess whether the objective response rate was significantly higher than the historical control rate of 10% at an α level of 0·05. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02108652.
FINDINGS: Between May 13, 2014, and Nov 19, 2014, 486 patients were screened and 315 patients were enrolled into the study. Of these patients, 310 received atezolizumab treatment (five enrolled patients later did not meet eligibility criteria and were not dosed with study drug). The PD-L1 expression status on infiltrating immune cells (ICs) in the tumour microenvironment was defined by the percentage of PD-L1-positive immune cells: IC0 (<1%), IC1 (≥1% but <5%), and IC2/3 (≥5%). The primary analysis (data cutoff May 5, 2015) showed that compared with a historical control overall response rate of 10%, treatment with atezolizumab resulted in a significantly improved RECIST v1.1 objective response rate for each prespecified immune cell group (IC2/3: 27% [95% CI 19-37], p<0·0001; IC1/2/3: 18% [13-24], p=0·0004) and in all patients (15% [11-20], p=0·0058). With longer follow-up (data cutoff Sept 14, 2015), by independent review, objective response rates were 26% (95% CI 18-36) in the IC2/3 group, 18% (13-24) in the IC1/2/3 group, and 15% (11-19) overall in all 310 patients. With a median follow-up of 11·7 months (95% CI 11·4-12·2), ongoing responses were recorded in 38 (84%) of 45 responders. Exploratory analyses showed The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) subtypes and mutation load to be independently predictive for response to atezolizumab. Grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events, of which fatigue was the most common (five patients [2%]), occurred in 50 (16%) of 310 treated patients. Grade 3-4 immune-mediated adverse events occurred in 15 (5%) of 310 treated patients, with pneumonitis, increased aspartate aminotransferase, increased alanine aminotransferase, rash, and dyspnoea being the most common. No treatment-related deaths occurred during the study.
INTERPRETATION: Atezolizumab showed durable activity and good tolerability in this patient population. Increased levels of PD-L1 expression on immune cells were associated with increased response. This report is the first to show the association of TCGA subtypes with response to immune checkpoint inhibition and to show the importance of mutation load as a biomarker of response to this class of agents in advanced urothelial carcinoma.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Voss MH, Chen D, Marker M, et al.
Circulating biomarkers and outcome from a randomised phase II trial of sunitinib vs everolimus for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
Br J Cancer. 2016; 114(6):642-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RECORD-3 assessed non-inferiority of progression-free survival (PFS) with everolimus vs sunitinib in previously untreated patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Baseline plasma sample collection and randomised design enabled correlation of circulating biomarkers with efficacy.
METHODS: Samples were analysed for 121 cancer-related biomarkers. Analyses of biomarkers categorised patients as high or low (vs median) to assess association with first-line PFS (PFS1L) for each treatment arm. A composite biomarker score (CBS) incorporated biomarkers potentially predictive of PFS1L with everolimus.
RESULTS: Plasma samples from 442 of the 471 randomised patients were analysed. Biomarkers were associated with PFS1L for everolimus alone (29), sunitinib alone (9) or both (12). Everolimus-specific biomarkers (CSF1, ICAM1, IL-18BP, KIM1, TNFRII) with hazard ratio ⩾ 1.8 were integrated into a CBS (range 0-5). For CBS low (0-3, n = 291) vs high (4-5, n = 151), PFS1L differed significantly for everolimus but not for sunitinib. There was no significant difference in PFS1L between everolimus and sunitinib in the high CBS patient cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: Baseline levels of multiple soluble biomarkers correlated with benefit from everolimus and/or sunitinib, independent of clinical risk factors. A similar PFS1L was observed for both treatments among patients with high CBS score.

Necchi A, Lo Vullo S, Mariani L, et al.
An open-label, single-arm, phase 2 study of the Aurora kinase A inhibitor alisertib in patients with advanced urothelial cancer.
Invest New Drugs. 2016; 34(2):236-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Progress in developing effective salvage therapies for UC is warranted. Alisertib is an orally available, selective inhibitor of the aurora kinase A.
METHODS: A single-group, phase 2 trial was conducted with alisertib 50 mg orally BID for 7 days, with 14d rest until disease progression (PD) (NCT02109328). The primary endpoint (EP) was RECIST 1.1 objective response-rate (ORR, H0 ≤ 5%, H1 ≥ 20%, α = 10% and β = 20%). Eligibility included failure of at least one platinum-based regimen.
RESULTS: From 10/2014 to 04/2015, 22 patients were enrolled (20 evaluable for response), 8 (36.4%) in second-line and 14 (63.6 %) beyond the second-line. Eight (36.4%) had an ECOG-performance status 1-2. Two partial responses (PR, ORR: 9.1%), 7 stable disease (SD) and 11 PD were obtained. Median follow-up was 8.3 months (IQR: 7-10.3), 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) was 13.6% (95%CI: 4.8-39.0). Two SD are still receiving treatment after 11.5 and 6.3 months. Median overall survival (OS) was not reached (6-month OS: 59.1%, 95%CI: 41.7-83.7). Hb < 10 g/dl was significantly associated with shorter PFS and OS multivariably (p = 0.031 and p = 0.033). Tissue of the case with 11.5 month SD harbored a missense mutation of mTOR (E1813D), the nonsense mutation Q527STOP of TSC1, HER3 and TAF1L missense mutations. Grade 3-4 adverse events (AE) were: 40.9% mucositis, 36.4% fatigue, 18.2% neutropenia (13.6% febrile neutropenia). There were 2 treatment-related deaths.
CONCLUSIONS: The study did not meet the primary EP, yet sustained disease control was obtained in about 14% of patients. The incidence of AE and the issue of patient selection are two major concerns.

Agrawal S, Waxman I, Lambert A, et al.
Evaluation of the potential for QTc prolongation in patients with solid tumors receiving nivolumab.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2016; 77(3):635-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The fully human monoclonal antibody nivolumab binds to the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor, blocking interactions between PD-1 and its ligands on tumor cells and preventing T cell exhaustion in patients with cancer. The potential for corrected QT interval (QTc) prolongation was assessed in a subset of patients enrolled in a phase 2 dose-ranging study of nivolumab.
METHODS: Triplicate 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) obtained predose and post-dose were assessed by an independent ECG core laboratory. QTc derived from Fridericia's formula (QTcF) was evaluated by central tendency, categorical, and concentration-response analyses.
RESULTS: No patients had QTcF intervals or changes from baseline in QTcF (ΔQTcF) exceeding prespecified thresholds indicating borderline or prolonged QTcF (>480 ms) or ΔQTcF (>60 ms). Among 146 patients randomized to nivolumab 0.3, 2.0, or 10.0 mg/kg every 3 weeks, the maximum increases in mean (± SD) ∆QTcF at any time point were 4.9 (± 13.4), 1.2 (± 10.1), and 2.0 (± 8.9) ms, respectively. There was no relationship between ∆QTcF and nivolumab serum concentration and no association between predicted maximum ∆QTcF and mean maximum nivolumab concentration in any dosage group.
CONCLUSION: Results of these intensive ECG analyses indicate that nivolumab has no clinically meaningful effect on QTc interval when administered at doses up to 10.0 mg/kg.

Ghia AJ, Chang EL, Bishop AJ, et al.
Single-fraction versus multifraction spinal stereotactic radiosurgery for spinal metastases from renal cell carcinoma: secondary analysis of Phase I/II trials.
J Neurosurg Spine. 2016; 24(5):829-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to compare fractionation schemes and outcomes of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treated in institutional prospective spinal stereotactic radiosurgery (SSRS) trials who did not previously undergo radiation treatment at the site of the SSRS. METHODS Patients enrolled in 2 separate institutional prospective protocols and treated with SSRS between 2002 and 2011 were included. A secondary analysis was performed on patients with previously nonirradiated RCC spinal metastases treated with either single-fraction (SF) or multifraction (MF) SSRS. RESULTS SSRS was performed in 47 spinal sites on 43 patients. The median age of the patients was 62 years (range 38-75 years). The most common histological subtype was clear cell (n = 30). Fifteen sites underwent surgery prior to the SSRS, with laminectomy the most common procedure performed (n = 10). All SF SSRS was delivered to a dose of 24 Gy (n = 21) while MF regiments were either 27 Gy in 3 fractions (n = 20) or 30 Gy in 5 fractions (n = 6). The median overall survival duration for the entire cohort was 22.8 months. The median local control (LC) for the entire cohort was 80.6 months with 1-year and 2-year actuarial LC rates of 82% and 68%, respectively. Single-fraction SSRS correlated with improved 1- and 2-year actuarial LC relative to MF SSRS (95% vs 71% and 86% vs 55%, respectively; p = 0.009). On competing risk analysis, SF SSRS showed superior LC to MF SSRS (subhazard ratio [SHR] 6.57, p = 0.014). On multivariate analysis for LC with tumor volume (p = 0.272), number of treated levels (p = 0.819), gross tumor volume (GTV) coverage (p = 0.225), and GTV minimum point dose (p = 0.97) as covariates, MF SSRS remained inferior to SF SSRS (SHR 5.26, p = 0.033) CONCLUSIONS SSRS offers durable LC for spinal metastases from RCC. Single-fraction SSRS is associated with improved LC over MF SSRS for previously nonirradiated RCC spinal metastases.

Armstrong AJ, Halabi S, Eisen T, et al.
Everolimus versus sunitinib for patients with metastatic non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ASPEN): a multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2016; 17(3):378-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Non-clear cell renal cell carcinomas are histologically and genetically diverse kidney cancers with variable prognoses, and their optimum initial treatment is unknown. We aimed to compare the mTOR inhibitor everolimus and the VEGF receptor inhibitor sunitinib in patients with non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
METHODS: We enrolled patients with metastatic papillary, chromophobe, or unclassified non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma with no history of previous systemic treatment. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive everolimus (10 mg/day) or sunitinib (50 mg/day; 6-week cycles of 4 weeks with treatment followed by 2 weeks without treatment) administered orally until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Randomisation was stratified by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center risk group and papillary histology. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population using the RECIST 1.1 criteria. Safety was assessed in all patients who were randomly assigned to treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01108445.
FINDINGS: Between Sept 23, 2010, and Oct 28, 2013, 108 patients were randomly assigned to receive either sunitinib (n=51) or everolimus (n=57). As of December, 2014, 87 progression-free survival events had occurred with two remaining active patients, and the trial was closed for the primary analysis. Sunitinib significantly increased progression-free survival compared with everolimus (8·3 months [80% CI 5·8-11·4] vs 5·6 months [5·5-6·0]; hazard ratio 1·41 [80% CI 1·03-1·92]; p=0·16), although heterogeneity of the treatment effect was noted on the basis of histological subtypes and prognostic risk groups. No unexpected toxic effects were reported, and the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were hypertension (12 [24%] of 51 patients in the sunitinib group vs one [2%] of 57 patients in the everolimus group), infection (six [12%] vs four [7%]), diarrhoea (five [10%] vs one [2%]), pneumonitis (none vs five [9%]), stomatitis (none vs five [9%]), and hand-foot syndrome (four [8%] vs none).
INTERPRETATION: In patients with metastatic non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma, sunitinib improved progression-free survival compared with everolimus. Future trials of novel agents should account for heterogeneity in disease outcomes based on genetic, histological, and prognostic factors.
FUNDING: Novartis and Pfizer.

Siefker-Radtke AO, Campbell MT, Munsell MF, et al.
Front-line Treatment with Gemcitabine, Paclitaxel, and Doxorubicin for Patients With Unresectable or Metastatic Urothelial Cancer and Poor Renal Function: Final Results from a Phase II Study.
Urology. 2016; 89:83-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the response rate of gemcitabine, paclitaxel, and doxorubicin in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma, we conducted a phase II clinical trial. Patients with renal insufficiency cannot receive standard cisplatin-based chemotherapy for urothelial carcinoma, and carboplatin-based regimens have proved unsatisfactory. Secondary end points for this study included overall survival, safety of the regimen, and safety of same-day pegfilgrastim dosing.
METHODS: A two-stage design was chosen with target response rate of 40%. Key inclusion criteria were metastatic or unresectable urothelial carcinoma, no prior chemotherapy, glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min, and no dialysis. Gemcitabine (900 mg/m(2)), paclitaxel (135 mg/m(2)), and doxorubicin (40 mg/m(2)) were administered on day 1 of each 14-day cycle. Pegfilgrastim was given with every cycle on either day 1 or optionally day 2.
RESULTS: Forty patients were enrolled and 39 were treated. Median age was 72 years (range 51-89). There were 7 complete and 15 partial responses, for a response rate of 56.4% (95% confidence interval, 39.6-72.2). Most cycles (82.8%) were given with same-day pegfilgrastim. Notable grade 3 and 4 nonhematologic toxicities were fatigue and mucositis (10.3% each). There were 4 episodes of neutropenic fever (4 of 198 cycles [2%]; 4 of 39 patients [10.3%]) and no treatment-related deaths. Median overall survival was 14.4 months.
CONCLUSION: The combination of gemcitabine, paclitaxel, and doxorubicin is effective first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma and renal insufficiency. Neutropenic prophylaxis was acceptable whether pegfilgrastim was given immediately or 24 hours after chemotherapy.

Goldstein D, Rosenberg JE, Figlin RA, et al.
Is change in blood pressure a biomarker of pazopanib and sunitinib efficacy in advanced/metastatic renal cell carcinoma?
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 53:96-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Pazopanib, an oral antiangiogenic agent, is associated with improved outcomes in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. In this retrospective analysis, we explore hypertension, an on-target adverse event, as a predictive marker.
METHODS: Data from the pazopanib arm of the phase III COMPARZ trial (NCT00720941) comprised the test set. Pooled data from phase II (NCT00244764) and III (NCT00334282) pazopanib trials comprised the validation set. Data from the sunitinib arm of COMPARZ were analysed separately. Measures of efficacy were response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) was the primary metric, and systolic hypertension (S-HTN) and diastolic hypertension (D-HTN) were secondary metrics; 4- and 12-week landmark analyses were performed.
RESULTS: Analyses revealed no significant associations at the landmarks between response and MAP. We observed a trend towards improved PFS with S-HTN at week 4 (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.79, P = 0.060) and week 12 (HR = 0.75, P = 0.073) among pazopanib-treated patients in COMPARZ. This trend was not confirmed at week 12 in the validation set or in sunitinib-treated patients. In the test set, there was a trend towards increased OS in patients with S-HTN by week 4 (HR = 0.76, P = 0.062) and with D-HTN by week 4 (HR = 0.71, P = 0.016) but not by week 12. No significant differences in OS were observed in sunitinib-treated patients for S-HTN or D-HTN.
CONCLUSION: Neither hypertension nor any blood pressure elevation above baseline was associated with efficacy outcomes of pazopanib or sunitinib. Accordingly, management of tyrosine kinase inhibitor-induced hypertension is unlikely to compromise outcome.

Mimura H, Arai Y, Yamakado K, et al.
Phase I/II Study of Radiofrequency Ablation for Malignant Renal Tumors: Japan Interventional Radiology in Oncology Study Group 0701.
Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2016; 39(5):717-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This multicenter phase I/II study evaluated the safety, feasibility, and initial efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for small malignant renal tumors.
METHODS: Thirty-three patients were enrolled in the study. A single session of RFA was performed in patients with a renal tumor of 1-3 cm in greatest diameter, with the exception of lesions adjacent to the renal hilum. The primary endpoint was the safety of renal RFA, and the secondary endpoints were its feasibility and initial efficacy for local control, as well as the incidence and grade of adverse events. Clinical efficacy was evaluated by CT scans within 1 week and at a further 4 weeks after the procedure using the criteria adapted from the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors.
RESULTS: The RFA procedure was completed in 100% (95% confidence interval [CI] 89-100%) of all 33 patients. There were no severe adverse events (0% [95% CI 0-11%]). Among the 33 patients, a complete response, partial response, progressive disease, and stable disease were seen in 28 (85%), 0 (0%), one (3%), and one (3%) patient(s), respectively, with a tumor response rate of 85% [95% CI 68-95%]). Three patients (9%), including one ineligible patient (3%), were not evaluable. Out of 30 evaluable patients, a complete response was achieved in 28 (93%).
CONCLUSION: The current multicenter trial revealed that RFA is a safe, feasible, and effective treatment for small malignant renal tumors in patients who are not candidates for surgery.

Sorich MJ, Kichenadasse G, Rowland A, et al.
Angiotensin system inhibitors and survival in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with VEGF-targeted therapy: A pooled secondary analysis of clinical trials.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(9):2293-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Use of angiotensin system inhibitors (ASIs; angiotensin receptor blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) has been reported to be associated with improved survival in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), particularly when used with vascular endothelial growth factor-targeted therapies. This study was a secondary pooled analysis of two Phase III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of patients with mRCC: NCT00334282 comparing pazopanib to placebo and NCT00720941 comparing pazopanib to sunitinib. ASI users were defined as patients using an ASI at baseline. Association with overall survival (OS; primary outcome) and progression-free survival (PFS) was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. The association was adjusted in multivariable analysis for baseline systolic blood pressure (SBP), use of other antihypertensive drugs and prognostic factors comprising the Heng risk criteria for mRCC. Of 1,545 patients pooled from the two RCTs, 649 (42%) were using one or more antihypertensive drugs at baseline, 385 (59%) of which were using an ASI. In the multivariable analysis of patients using pazopanib or sunitinib, no significant association was observed between baseline ASI use and OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.97 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80-1.18], p = 0.80) or PFS (HR 0.88 [95% CI 0.73-1.06], p = 0.17). Exploratory subgroup analysis of NCT00720941 highlighted that the effect of baseline ASI use on OS may differ between patients treated with sunitinib and pazopanib. In conclusion, use of ASIs at baseline was not a significant independent prognostic factor for improved survival in a pooled analysis of mRCC patients treated with pazopanib or sunitinib.

Motzer RJ, Alyasova A, Ye D, et al.
Phase II trial of second-line everolimus in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RECORD-4).
Ann Oncol. 2016; 27(3):441-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RECORD-1 demonstrated clinical benefit of everolimus in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) previously treated with sunitinib, sorafenib, or both; prior treatment with cytokines, bevacizumab, and chemotherapy was also permitted. RECORD-4 prospectively assessed everolimus in a purely second-line setting.
METHODS: Patients with clear-cell mRCC were enrolled into one of three cohorts based on first-line therapy with sunitinib, other anti-VEGF agents, or cytokines. Patients were treated with everolimus 10 mg/day until progression (RECIST, v1.0) or intolerance. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) per investigator review. Data cutoff was 1 September 2014, for the primary analysis and 26 June 2015, for the final overall survival (OS) analysis.
RESULTS: Enrolled patients (N = 134) previously received sunitinib (n = 58), other anti-VEGF therapy (n = 62; sorafenib, 23; bevacizumab, 16; pazopanib, 13; tivozanib, 5; and axitinib, 3), or cytokines (n = 14). Overall median age was 59 years, and most patients were men (68%) and of favorable/intermediate MSKCC risk (52/37%). Overall median PFS was 7.8 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 5.7-11.0]; in the cohorts, it was 5.7 months (95% CI 3.7-11.3) with previous sunitinib, 7.8 months (95% CI 5.7-11.0) with other previous anti-VEGF therapy, and 12.9 months [95% CI 2.6-not estimable (NE)] with previous cytokines. Overall, 67% of patients achieved stable disease as their best objective response. At final OS analysis, total median OS was 23.8 months (95% CI 17.0-NE) and, in the cohorts, it was 23.8 months (95% CI 13.7-NE) with previous sunitinib, 17.2 months (95% CI 11.9-NE) with other previous anti-VEGF therapy, and NE (95% CI 15.9-NE) with previous cytokine-based therapy. Overall, 56% of patients experienced grade 3 or 4 adverse events (regardless of relationship to study drug).
CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm the PFS benefit of second-line everolimus after first-line sunitinib or other anti-VEGF therapies. The safety profile of everolimus was consistent with previous experience.
CLINICAL TRIAL NAME AND IDENTIFIER: Everolimus as Second-line Therapy in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (RECORD-4), ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT01491672.

De Santis M, Wiechno PJ, Bellmunt J, et al.
Vinflunine-gemcitabine versus vinflunine-carboplatin as first-line chemotherapy in cisplatin-unfit patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma: results of an international randomized phase II trial (JASINT1).
Ann Oncol. 2016; 27(3):449-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is no standard first-line chemotherapy for advanced urothelial carcinoma (aUC) in cisplatin-ineligible (cisplatin-unfit) patients. The study assessed the efficacy and tolerability profile of two vinflunine-based cytotoxic regimens in this setting.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with aUC a creatinine clearance (CrCl) of <60 but ≥30 ml/min, performance status 0 or 1 and no prior chemotherapy for advanced disease were randomized (1 : 1). They received vinflunine 250 or 280 mg/m(2) (based on baseline CrCl) on day 1, plus either gemcitabine [750 mg/m(2) escalated to 1000 mg/m(2) in cycle 2 if no toxicity grade (G) ≥2 on days 1 and 8 (VG) or plus carboplatin area under the curve 4.5 day 1 (VC) every 21 days]. To detect a 22% improvement in each arm compared with H0 (41%) in the primary end point, disease control rate (DCR = complete response + partial response + stable disease), 31 assessable patients per arm were required (α = 5%, β = 20%).
RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients were enrolled (34 VG, 35 VC). Less G3/4 haematological adverse events (AEs) were reported with VG: neutropaenia was seen in 38% (versus 68% with VC) and febrile neutropaenia in 3% (versus 14% with VC) of patients. No major differences were observed for non-haematological AEs. DCR was 77% in both groups; overall response rate (ORR) was 44.1% versus 28.6%, with a median progression-free survival of 5.9 versus 6.1 months and median OS of 14.0 versus 12.8 months with VG and VC, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Both vinflunine-based doublets offer a similar DCR, ORR and OS. The better haematological tolerance favours the VG combination, which warrants further study. CLINICALTRIALS.GOV PROTOCOL IDENTIFIER: NCT 01599013.

Vestergaard A, Hafeez S, Muren LP, et al.
The potential of MRI-guided online adaptive re-optimisation in radiotherapy of urinary bladder cancer.
Radiother Oncol. 2016; 118(1):154-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Adaptive radiotherapy (ART) using plan selection is being introduced clinically for bladder cancer, but the challenge of how to compensate for intra-fractional motion remains. The purpose of this study was to assess target coverage with respect to intra-fractional motion and the potential for normal tissue sparing in MRI-guided ART (MRIGART) using isotropic (MRIGARTiso), an-isotropic (MRIGARTanIso) and population-based margins (MRIGARTpop).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nine bladder cancer patients treated in a phase II trial of plan selection underwent 6-7 weekly repeat MRI series, each with volumetric scans acquired over a 10 min period. Adaptive re-planning on the 0 min MRI scans was performed using density override, simulating a hypo-fractionated schedule. Target coverage was evaluated on the 10 min scan to quantify the impact of intra-fractional motion.
RESULTS: MRIGARTanIso reduced the course-averaged PTV by median 304 cc compared to plan selection. Bladder shifts affected target coverage in individual fractions for all strategies. Two patients had a v95% of the bladder below 98% for MRIGARTiso. MRIGARTiso decreased the bowel V25 with 15-46 cc compared to MRIGARTpop.
CONCLUSION: Online re-optimised ART has a considerable normal tissue sparing potential. MRIGART with online corrections for target shift during a treatment fraction should be considered in ART for bladder cancer.

Noguchi M, Matsumoto K, Uemura H, et al.
An Open-Label, Randomized Phase II Trial of Personalized Peptide Vaccination in Patients with Bladder Cancer that Progressed after Platinum-Based Chemotherapy.
Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 22(1):54-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The prognosis of platinum-based chemotherapy-resistant metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder remains poor. Personalized selection of the right peptides for each patient could be a novel approach for a cancer vaccine to boost anticancer immunity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In this randomized, open-label, phase II study, patients ages ≥18 years with progressive bladder cancer after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive personalized peptide vaccination (PPV) plus best supportive care (BSC) or BSC. PPV treatment used a maximum of four peptides chosen from 31 candidate peptides according to human leukocyte antigen types and peptide-reactive IgG titers, for 12 s.c. injections (8 injections, weekly; 4 injections, bi-weekly). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), immune response, and toxicity.
RESULTS: Eighty patients were randomly assigned to receive either PPV plus BSC (n = 39) or BSC (n = 41). No significant improvement in PFS was noted [HR, 0.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.4-1.2, P = 0.17]. For the secondary endpoints, PPV plus BSC significantly prolonged OS compared with BSC (HR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.34-0.99, P = 0.049), with median OS of 7.9 months (95% CI, 3.5-12.0) in the PPV plus BSC and 4.1 months (95% CI, 2.8-6.9) in the BSC. PPV treatment was well tolerated, without serious adverse drug reactions.
CONCLUSIONS: PPV could not prolong PFS, but OS appeared to be improved with low toxicity and immune responses. Further large-scale, randomized trials are needed to confirm these results.

Budde K, Zonnenberg BA, Frost M, et al.
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of everolimus in patients with renal angiomyolipoma and tuberous sclerosis complex or lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016; 81(5):958-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
AIMS: The purpose was to determine the exposure-response relationship of everolimus in patients with angiomyolipoma from the EXIST-2 trial and to analyze the correlation between exposure and plasma concentrations of angiogenic biomarkers in these patients.
METHODS: One hundred and eighteen patients with angiomyolipoma associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) or sporadic lymphangioleiomyomatosis (sLAM) were randomly assigned 2 : 1 to receive everolimus 10 mg (n = 79) or placebo (n = 39) once daily. Blood samples for determining everolimus concentration were collected at weeks 2, 4, 12, 24 and 48 during double-blind treatment. Plasma samples for biomarker analysis were collected at baseline and weeks 4, 12, 24, 36, 48 and at the end of treatment. Concentrations of eight angiogenic biomarkers associated with tumour growth were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
RESULTS: Peak and trough concentrations of everolimus in blood remained stable over time and similar to those reported in other indications. Substantial pharmacodynamic effects were observed in the everolimus, but not placebo, arm for three biomarkers: After 24 weeks of treatment, reduction of vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D) and collagen type IV (COL-IV) (mean fold-changes with 95% confidence intervals [CI] were 0.36 [0.33, 0.40], and 0.54 [0.51, 0.57], respectively, P < 0.001 for both), along with increased VEGF-A (mean fold-change of 1.59 [1.39, 1.80], P < 0.001), were seen. Furthermore, baseline VEGF-D and COL-IV levels were associated with angiomyolipoma size at baseline and with angiomyolipoma response to everolimus.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that plasma angiogenic markers may provide an objective measure of patient response to everolimus.

Jamshidi N, Jonasch E, Zapala M, et al.
The radiogenomic risk score stratifies outcomes in a renal cell cancer phase 2 clinical trial.
Eur Radiol. 2016; 26(8):2798-807 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To characterize a radiogenomic risk score (RRS), a previously defined biomarker, and to evaluate its potential for stratifying radiological progression-free survival (rPFS) in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) undergoing pre-surgical treatment with bevacizumab.
METHODOLOGY: In this IRB-approved study, prospective imaging analysis of the RRS was performed on phase II clinical trial data of mRCC patients (n = 41) evaluating whether patient stratification according to the RRS resulted in groups more or less likely to have a rPFS to pre-surgical bevacizumab prior to cytoreductive nephrectomy. Survival times of RRS subgroups were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
RESULTS: The RRS is enriched in diverse molecular processes including drug response, stress response, protein kinase regulation, and signal transduction pathways (P < 0.05). The RRS successfully stratified rPFS to bevacizumab based on pre-treatment computed tomography imaging with a median progression-free survival of 6 versus >25 months (P = 0.005) and overall survival of 25 versus >37 months in the high and low RRS groups (P = 0.03), respectively. Conventional prognostic predictors including the Motzer and Heng criteria were not predictive in this cohort (P > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The RRS stratifies rPFS to bevacizumab in patients from a phase II clinical trial with mRCC undergoing cytoreductive nephrectomy and pre-surgical bevacizumab.
KEY POINTS: • The RRS SOMA stratifies patient outcomes in a phase II clinical trial. • RRS stratifies subjects into prognostic groups in a discrete or continuous fashion. • RRS is biologically enriched in diverse processes including drug response programs.

Motzer RJ, Hutson TE, Glen H, et al.
Lenvatinib, everolimus, and the combination in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: a randomised, phase 2, open-label, multicentre trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(15):1473-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Currently, metastatic renal cell carcinoma is treated with sequential single agents targeting VEGF or mTOR. Here, we aimed to assess lenvatinib, everolimus, or their combination as second-line treatment in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
METHODS: We did a randomised, phase 2, open-label, multicentre trial at 37 centres in five countries and enrolled patients with advanced or metastatic, clear-cell, renal cell carcinoma. We included patients who had received treatment with a VEGF-targeted therapy and progressed on or within 9 months of stopping that agent. Patients were randomised via an interactive voice response system in a 1:1:1 ratio to either lenvatinib (24 mg/day), everolimus (10 mg/day), or lenvatinib plus everolimus (18 mg/day and 5 mg/day, respectively) administered orally in continuous 28-day cycles until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. The randomisation procedure dynamically minimised imbalances between treatment groups for the stratification factors haemoglobin and corrected serum calcium. The primary objective was progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. This study is closed to enrolment but patients' treatment and follow-up is ongoing. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01136733.
FINDINGS: Between March 16, 2012, and June 19, 2013, 153 patients were randomly allocated to receive either the combination of lenvatinib plus everolimus (n=51), single-agent lenvatinib (n=52), or single-agent everolimus (n=50). Lenvatinib plus everolimus significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with everolimus alone (median 14·6 months [95% CI 5·9-20·1] vs 5·5 months [3·5-7·1]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·40, 95% CI 0·24-0·68; p=0·0005), but not compared with lenvatinib alone (7·4 months [95% CI 5·6-10·2]; HR 0·66, 95% CI 0·30-1·10; p=0·12). Single-agent lenvatinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with everolimus alone (HR 0·61, 95% CI 0·38-0·98; p=0·048). Grade 3 and 4 events occurred in fewer patients allocated single-agent everolimus (25 [50%]) compared with those assigned lenvatinib alone (41 [79%]) or lenvatinib plus everolimus (36 [71%]). The most common grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse event in patients allocated lenvatinib plus everolimus was diarrhoea (ten [20%]), in those assigned single-agent lenvatinib it was proteinuria (ten [19%]), and in those assigned single-agent everolimus it was anaemia (six [12%]). Two deaths were deemed related to study drug, one cerebral haemorrhage in the lenvatinib plus everolimus group and one myocardial infarction with single-agent lenvatinib.
INTERPRETATION: Lenvatinib plus everolimus and lenvatinib alone resulted in a progression-free survival benefit for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who have progressed after one previous VEGF-targeted therapy. Further study of lenvatinib is warranted in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
FUNDING: Eisai Inc.

Galsky MD, Hahn NM, Wong B, et al.
Phase 2 trial of the topoisomerase II inhibitor, amrubicin, as second-line therapy in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2015; 76(6):1259-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The purpose of this investigator-initiated multicenter phase II study was to determine the activity of the third-generation synthetic anthracycline, amrubicin, administered as second-line therapy in patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma.
METHODS: Patients with progressive metastatic urothelial cancer despite first-line chemotherapy were eligible for enrollment. Amrubicin was initially administered at a dose of 40 mg/m(2)/day daily × 3 every 21 days, and the dose was subsequently reduced to 35 mg/m(2)/day daily × 3 every 21 days. Prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor was administered to all patients, and prophylactic antibiotics were administered to patients at high risk of febrile neutropenia. Treatment was administered for up to six cycles in the absence of intolerable toxicity or disease progression. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate.
RESULTS: A total of 22 patients were enrolled. Among the first three patients enrolled, all developed grade 4 neutropenia and one patient died of neutropenic sepsis. The starting dose of amrubicin was subsequently reduced, there were no further episodes of febrile neutropenia, and only one patient required a subsequent dose reduction. The most common adverse events were hematologic; grade ≥3 neutropenia occurred in 27 %, and other grade ≥3 adverse events were uncommon. Partial responses were achieved in three patients [13.6, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0-28 %), while stable disease was the best response in 12 patients (54.5, 95 % CI 33.7-75.3 %). The trial was closed prematurely due to a development decision by the funder.
CONCLUSIONS: Amrubicin as second-line therapy in advanced urothelial carcinoma is associated with modest single-agent activity. While there remains a role for the introduction of novel cytotoxic agents in the management of metastatic urothelial cancer, optimal development of such therapies will likely require patient selection biomarkers.

Kim YS, Lee SI, Park SH, et al.
A Phase II Study of Weekly Docetaxel as Second-Line Chemotherapy in Patients With Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma.
Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2016; 14(1):76-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The present multicenter phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of weekly docetaxel as second-line chemotherapy for metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Weekly docetaxel was well tolerated but demonstrated modest activity, with a response rate of 6%, a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 1.4 months, and a median overall survival (OS) of 8.3 months. The dichotomy between PFS and OS was likely associated with subsequent platinum-based chemotherapy received by 58% of the patients.
BACKGROUND: Docetaxel is commonly used for second-line therapy for metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC). However, myelosuppression is a substantial concern when the traditional 3-week docetaxel cycle is used. The present multicenter phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of weekly docetaxel as second-line chemotherapy for metastatic UC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with progression after previous platinum-based chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic disease were treated with docetaxel 30 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 every 21 days. The primary endpoint was the response rate.
RESULTS: The study enrolled 31 patients. Their median age was 64 years (range, 40-79 years). An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1, liver metastasis, and a hemoglobin level < 10 g/dL were observed in 100%, 32%, and 23% of patients, respectively. Previous platinum-based chemotherapy had been administered for metastatic disease in 29 patients (94%). Although fatigue (13%) and anorexia (6%) were the most frequently observed grade 3 to 4 toxicities, the safety profiles were generally mild and manageable. Two patients (6%) achieved an objective response, which was maintained for 3.0 to 7.8 months. Eight patients experienced disease stabilization (disease control rate, 32%). The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 1.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-1.6) and 8.3 months (95% CI, 5.9-10.6), respectively. A relatively long OS was associated with further salvage platinum-based chemotherapy (n = 18, 58%) showing an encouraging activity (response rate, 44%; median PFS, 4.0 months).
CONCLUSION: Second-line chemotherapy with weekly docetaxel was well tolerated but demonstrated modest activity in patients with metastatic UC. A platinum-based combination as second-line treatment might be considered for selected patients.

Eto M, Kawano Y, Hirao Y, et al.
Phase II clinical trial of sorafenib plus interferon-alpha treatment for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma in Japan.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:667 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To improve antitumor effects against metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), use of molecular target-based drugs in sequential or combination therapy has been advocated. In combination therapy, interferon (IFN)-α amplified the effect of sorafenib in our murine model (J Urol 184:2549, 2010), and cytokine-treated mRCC patients in Japan had good prognoses (Eur Urol 57:317, 2010). We thus conducted a phase II clinical trial of sorafenib plus IFN-α for untreated mRCC patients in Japan.
METHODS: In this multicenter, prospective study, provisionally registered patients with histologically confirmed metastatic clear cell RCC received natural IFN-α (3 dosages of 3 million U per week) for 2 weeks. Only IFN-α-tolerant patients were registered to this trial, and treated additionally with oral sorafenib (400 mg, bid). The primary end point of the study was rate of response (CR + PR) to sorafenib plus IFN-α treatment assessed using RECIST v1.0. The secondary end points were disease control rate (CR + PR + SD), progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety of the combined treatment. PFS and OS curves were plotted using the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: From July 2009 to July 2012, a total of 53 untreated patients were provisionally registered, and 51 patients were finally registered. Rate of Response to the combined therapy of sorafenib plus IFN-α was 26.2 % (11/42) (CR 1, PR 10). The median PFS was 10.1 months (95 % CI, 6.4 to 18.5 months), and the median OS has not been reached yet. The combined therapy increased neither the incidence of adverse effects (AE) nor the incidence of unexpected AE. A limitation was that a relatively high number of patients (9 patients) were excluded for eligibility criteria violations.
CONCLUSION: Our data have demonstrated that sorafenib plus IFN-α treatment is safe and effective for untreated mRCC patients.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN000002466 , 9(th) September, 2009.

Eisen T, Loembé AB, Shparyk Y, et al.
A randomised, phase II study of nintedanib or sunitinib in previously untreated patients with advanced renal cell cancer: 3-year results.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 113(8):1140-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This exploratory study evaluated the safety/efficacy of nintedanib or sunitinib as first-line therapy in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
METHODS: Ninety-six patients were randomised (2:1) to either nintedanib (200 mg twice daily) or sunitinib (50 mg kg(-1) once daily (4 weeks on treatment; 2 weeks off)). Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) at 9 months. P-values reported are descriptive only; the study was not powered for such comparisons.
RESULTS: Progression-free survival at 9 months was comparable between nintedanib and sunitinib (43.1% vs 45.2%, respectively; P=0.85). Median PFS was 8.4 months in each group (hazard ratio (HR), 1.12; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70-1.80; P=0.64). Median overall survival was 20.4 and 21.2 months for nintedanib and sunitinib, respectively (HR, 0.92; 95% CI: 0.54-1.56; P=0.76). Overall incidence of any grade adverse events (AEs) was comparable (90.6% vs 93.8%); AEs grade ⩾ 3 were lower with nintedanib than sunitinib (48.4% vs 59.4%). Nintedanib was associated with lower incidences of some AEs typical of antiangiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs): hypertension, hypothyroidism, hand-foot syndrome, cardiac disorders and haematological abnormalities.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with advanced RCC, nintedanib has promising efficacy and similar tolerability to sunitinib, and a manageable safety profile with fewer TKI-associated AEs.

Xia Y, Liu L, Long Q, et al.
Decreased expression of CTR2 predicts poor prognosis of patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Urol Oncol. 2016; 34(1):5.e1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is well known for its hypervascularity due to the Von Hippel-Lindau/hypoxia-inducible factor dysregulation. Recent findings suggested that copper transporter 2 (CTR2) is also associated with angiogenesis through copper׳s modulation of the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway. Our group thus explored the prognostic role of CTR2 in patients with ccRCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 331 patients with ccRCC who underwent nephrectomy were enrolled between February 2005 and June 2007 at a single institution. The median follow-up was 98.97 months (2.63-120.47mo). Patients׳ samples were collected and stained for CTR2 by immunohistochemistry. The staining intensity was analyzed quantitatively and defined as high/low expression using X-tile software. Stage, Size, Grade, and Necrosis score and University of California Los Angeles Integrated Staging System score were applied to stratify patients׳ risks. Survival analyses were performed through the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazard model. After integrating tumoral CTR2 expression with other clinical parameters, 2 nomograms were generated for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) prediction.
RESULTS: CTR2 expression in ccRCC was decreased compared with that in the peritumoral tissue (P<0.001) and negatively correlated with many other clinical parameters. In survival analyses using the Kaplan-Meier method, low tumoral CTR2 expression displayed a dismal prognostic effect both in OS and DFS prediction (P<0.001). Multivariate analyses also revealed the same result after adjusted with other clinical parameters (P<0.001). Stratifying patients into 3 risk levels using the Stage, Size, Grade, and Necrosis score and University of California Los Angeles Integrated Staging System score, decreased CTR2 expression associated with shorter OS and DFS in the low- and intermediate-risk groups. Moreover, the generated nomogram integrating tumoral CTR2 expression performed better in predicting patients׳ OS than using TNM stages alone (c-index = 0.799; 95% CI: 0.752-0.846 vs. 0.691; 95% CI: 0.637-0.745).
CONCLUSIONS: CTR2 is a novel prognostic marker for patients with ccRCC both in OS and DFS prediction, and could be incorporated with other clinical parameters for better patient risk stratification.

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