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Surgery

Surgery is the main treatment for many types of solid tumour, especially when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. This involves surgical removal of all or part of the cancer. Sometimes surgery may be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. The type of operation will depend on the location of the main tumour, its size and other factors.

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Overviews - Cancer Surgery
Latest Research Publications
Surgical Oncology (specialty)
Specialist Journals

Overviews - Cancer Surgery (5 links)

These resources provide general overviews of surgery for cancer.

Latest Research Publications

Louie AV, van Werkhoven E, Chen H, et al.
Patient reported outcomes following stereotactic ablative radiotherapy or surgery for stage IA non-small-cell lung cancer: Results from the ROSEL multicenter randomized trial.
Radiother Oncol. 2015; 117(1):44-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report quality of life and indirect costs from patient reported outcomes from the ROSEL randomized control trial comparing stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR, also known as stereotactic body radiotherapy or SBRT) versus surgical resection for medically operable stage IA non-small cell lung cancer. ROSEL closed prematurely after accruing and randomizing 22 patients. This exploratory analysis found the global health related quality of life and indirect costs to be significantly favorable and cheaper, with SABR.

Stevenson AR, Solomon MJ, Lumley JW, et al.
Effect of Laparoscopic-Assisted Resection vs Open Resection on Pathological Outcomes in Rectal Cancer: The ALaCaRT Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2015; 314(13):1356-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Laparoscopic procedures are generally thought to have better outcomes than open procedures. Because of anatomical constraints, laparoscopic rectal resection may not be better because of limitations in performing an adequate cancer resection.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether laparoscopic resection is noninferior to open rectal cancer resection for adequacy of cancer clearance.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized, noninferiority, phase 3 trial (Australasian Laparoscopic Cancer of the Rectum; ALaCaRT) conducted between March 2010 and November 2014. Twenty-six accredited surgeons from 24 sites in Australia and New Zealand randomized 475 patients with T1-T3 rectal adenocarcinoma less than 15 cm from the anal verge.
INTERVENTIONS: Open laparotomy and rectal resection (n = 237) or laparoscopic rectal resection (n = 238).
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was a composite of oncological factors indicating an adequate surgical resection, with a noninferiority boundary of Δ = -8%. Successful resection was defined as meeting all the following criteria: (1) complete total mesorectal excision, (2) a clear circumferential margin (≥1 mm), and (3) a clear distal resection margin (≥1 mm). Pathologists used standardized reporting and were blinded to the method of surgery.
RESULTS: A successful resection was achieved in 194 patients (82%) in the laparoscopic surgery group and 208 patients (89%) in the open surgery group (risk difference of -7.0% [95% CI, -12.4% to ∞]; P = .38 for noninferiority). The circumferential resection margin was clear in 222 patients (93%) in the laparoscopic surgery group and in 228 patients (97%) in the open surgery group (risk difference of -3.7% [95% CI, -7.6% to 0.1%]; P = .06), the distal margin was clear in 236 patients (99%) in the laparoscopic surgery group and in 234 patients (99%) in the open surgery group (risk difference of -0.4% [95% CI, -1.8% to 1.0%]; P = .67), and total mesorectal excision was complete in 206 patients (87%) in the laparoscopic surgery group and 216 patients (92%) in the open surgery group (risk difference of -5.4% [95% CI, -10.9% to 0.2%]; P = .06). The conversion rate from laparoscopic to open surgery was 9%.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among patients with T1-T3 rectal tumors, noninferiority of laparoscopic surgery compared with open surgery for successful resection was not established. Although the overall quality of surgery was high, these findings do not provide sufficient evidence for the routine use of laparoscopic surgery. Longer follow-up of recurrence and survival is currently being acquired.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: anzctr.org Identifier: ACTRN12609000663257.

Bruix J, Takayama T, Mazzaferro V, et al.
Adjuvant sorafenib for hepatocellular carcinoma after resection or ablation (STORM): a phase 3, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(13):1344-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is no standard of care for adjuvant therapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. This trial was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of sorafenib versus placebo as adjuvant therapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after surgical resection or local ablation.
METHODS: We undertook this phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with a complete radiological response after surgical resection (n=900) or local ablation (n=214) in 202 sites (hospitals and research centres) in 28 countries. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 400 mg oral sorafenib or placebo twice a day, for a maximum of 4 years, according to a block randomisation scheme (block size of four) using an interactive voice-response system. Patients were stratified by curative treatment, geography, Child-Pugh status, and recurrence risk. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival assessed after database cut-off on Nov 29, 2013. We analysed efficacy in the intention-to-treat population and safety in randomly assigned patients receiving at least one study dose. The final analysis is reported. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00692770.
FINDINGS: We screened 1602 patients between Aug 15, 2008, and Nov 17, 2010, and randomly assigned 1114 patients. Of 556 patients in the sorafenib group, 553 (>99%) received the study treatment and 471 (85%) terminated treatment. Of 558 patients in the placebo group, 554 (99%) received the study treatment and 447 (80%) terminated treatment. Median duration of treatment and mean daily dose were 12·5 months (IQR 2·6-35·8) and 577 mg per day (SD 212·8) for sorafenib, compared with 22·2 months (8·1-38·8) and 778·0 mg per day (79·8) for placebo. Dose modification was reported for 497 (89%) of 559 patients in the sorafenib group and 206 (38%) of 548 patients in the placebo group. At final analysis, 464 recurrence-free survival events had occurred (270 in the placebo group and 194 in the sorafenib group). Median follow-up for recurrence-free survival was 8·5 months (IQR 2·9-19·5) in the sorafenib group and 8·4 months (2·9-19·8) in the placebo group. We noted no difference in median recurrence-free survival between the two groups (33·3 months in the sorafenib group vs 33·7 months in the placebo group; hazard ratio [HR] 0·940; 95% CI 0·780-1·134; one-sided p=0·26). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hand-foot skin reaction (154 [28%] of 559 patients in the sorafenib group vs four [<1%] of 548 patients in the placebo group) and diarrhoea (36 [6%] vs five [<1%] in the placebo group). Sorafenib-related serious adverse events included hand-foot skin reaction (ten [2%]), abnormal hepatic function (four [<1%]), and fatigue (three [<1%]). There were four (<1%) drug-related deaths in the sorafenib group and two (<1%) in the placebo group.
INTERPRETATION: Our data indicate that sorafenib is not an effective intervention in the adjuvant setting for hepatocellular carcinoma following resection or ablation.

Tanis E, Julié C, Emile JF, et al.
Prognostic impact of immune response in resectable colorectal liver metastases treated by surgery alone or surgery with perioperative FOLFOX in the randomised EORTC study 40983.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(17):2708-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate whether the immune response in colorectal liver metastases is related to progression free survival (PFS) and if this may be influenced by systemic therapy.
METHODS: A retrospective central collection of tumour tissue was organised for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) study 40983, where patients with colorectal liver metastases were treated by either resection alone or resection with perioperative FOLFOX. Immunostaining on whole slides was performed to recognise T-lymphocytes (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+), B-lymphocytes (CD20+), macrophages (CD68+) and mast cells (CD117+) inside the tumour, at the tumour border (TNI) and in normal liver tissue surrounding the tumour (0.5-2mm from the TNI). Immunological response was compared between treatment arms and correlated to PFS.
RESULTS: Tumour tissue and immune response profiles were available for 82 resected patients, 38 in the perioperative chemotherapy arm and 44 in the surgery alone arm. Baseline patient and disease characteristics were similar between the treatment arms. In response to chemotherapy, we observed increased CD3+ lymphocyte and mast cell counts inside the tumour (p<0.01), lower CD4+ lymphocytes in the normal liver tissue (p=0.02) and lower macrophage counts in normal tissue (p<0.01) and at the TNI (p=0.02). High number of CD3+ lymphocyte and mast cells, and high T-cell score were correlated with tumour regression grade (TRG). Prolonged PFS correlated with the presence of mast cells in the tumour (9.8 versus 16.5 months, Hazard ratio (HR) 0.54 p=0.03), higher CD3+ lymphocyte count at the TNI (10.8 versus 22.8 months, HR 0.57, p=0.03) and T-cell score >2 (10.8 versus 38.6 months, HR 0.51, p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: Our analyses in the context of a randomised study suggest that chemotherapy influences immune cell profiles, independent of patient characteristics. Immune responses of lymphocytes and mast cells were associated with pathological response to chemotherapy and to increased PFS. High CD3+ lymphocytes at the tumour front and intratumoural mast cells appear to be prognostic for patients with colorectal liver metastases.

Zhao Y, Dai Z, Min W, et al.
Perioperative versus Preoperative Chemotherapy with Surgery in Patients with Resectable Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Esophagus: A Phase III Randomized Trial.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(9):1349-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Perioperative chemotherapy for resectable squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus remains elusive. Thus, we assessed whether a perioperative regimen of paclitaxel, cisplatin, and 5- fluorouracil (PCF) improved outcomes among patients with curable squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus comparing with preoperative chemotherapy alone.
METHODS: Overall, 346 patients with resectable squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus were randomly assigned to receive surgery plus perioperative chemotherapy (175, arm A) or preoperative chemotherapy (171, arm B). Both arms received two preoperative cycles of PCF: intravenous paclitaxel (100 mg per square meter of body surface area) and cisplatin (60 mg per square meter of body surface area) on day 1, and a continuous intravenous infusion of 5- fluorouracil (700 mg per square meter of body surface area per day) for 5 days. Arm A received two added postoperative cycles of PCF. The primary end point was relapse-free survival, and the secondary end point was overall survival.
RESULTS: Compared with preoperative chemotherapy group, perioperative chemotherapy group had a greater likelihood of 5-year relapse-free survival (hazard ratio for relapse, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.49-0.73; 31% versus 17%, p < 0.001) and of 5-year overall survival (hazard ratio for death, 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.59-0.95; 38% versus 22%, p < 0.001). A pathologic complete response rate was achieved in 77 of 320 patients (24.1%) who underwent resection after chemotherapy. The increased PCF-related toxic events were not detected with the addition of two postoperative cycles of PCF.
CONCLUSION: In patients with operable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, perioperative regimen of PCF can significantly improve 5-year relapse-free and overall survival comparing with preoperative chemotherapy alone. (The trial has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01225523.).

Muallem MZ, Gasimli K, Richter R, et al.
AGO Score As a Predictor of Surgical Outcome at Secondary Cytoreduction in Patients with Ovarian Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(6):3423-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The present study aimed to compare the outcome of secondary cytoreductive surgery retrospectively in patients with positive and negative Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynäkologische Onkologie (AGO) score that were operated on at the Department of Gynecology, Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medical University, between 2006 and 2013.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 209 consecutive patients presenting a first recurrence of epithelial ovarian cancer were enrolled: 139 patients had a positive AGO score, and 70 patients had at least one negative criterion of the AGO score. All patients underwent secondary cytoreductive surgery and data were evaluated retrospectively.
RESULTS: Total macroscopic tumor resection was obtained during secondary cytoreductive surgery in 127 patients (61%), 93 (67%) in the AGO-positive group and 34 (48.5%) in the AGO-negative group. Overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were identical in both groups of patients when secondary cytoreductive surgery succeeded in achieving complete tumor resection. PFS was 22 months in AGO-positive patients who were tumor-free after secondary cytoreductive surgery and 21 months in AGO-negative patients with complete resection after secondary cytoreductive surgery. There were no significant differences in morbidity and mortality rates for both groups.
CONCLUSION: AGO score is a useful predictor for operability in patients with a first recurrence of ovarian cancer. Patients with negative scores may still have a 50% chance of achieving optimal tumor resection after secondary cytoreductive surgery. This will be a pivotal factor when counseling patients with recurrent disease regarding further management options.

Kehoe S, Hook J, Nankivell M, et al.
Primary chemotherapy versus primary surgery for newly diagnosed advanced ovarian cancer (CHORUS): an open-label, randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial.
Lancet. 2015; 386(9990):249-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The international standard of care for women with suspected advanced ovarian cancer is surgical debulking followed by platinum-based chemotherapy. We aimed to establish whether use of platinum-based primary chemotherapy followed by delayed surgery was an effective and safe alternative treatment regimen.
METHODS: In this phase 3, non-inferiority, randomised, controlled trial (CHORUS) undertaken in 87 hospitals in the UK and New Zealand, we enrolled women with suspected stage III or IV ovarian cancer. We randomly assigned women (1:1) either to undergo primary surgery followed by six cycles of chemotherapy, or to three cycles of primary chemotherapy, then surgery, followed by three more cycles of completion chemotherapy. Each 3-week cycle consisted of carboplatin AUC5 or AUC6 plus paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2), or an alternative carboplatin combination regimen, or carboplatin monotherapy. We did the random assignment by use of a minimisation method with a random element, and stratified participants according to the randomising centre, largest radiological tumour size, clinical stage, and prespecified chemotherapy regimen. Patients and investigators were not masked to group assignment. The primary outcome measure was overall survival. Primary analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population. To establish non-inferiority, the upper bound of a one-sided 90% CI for the hazard ratio (HR) had to be less than 1.18. This trial is registered, number ISRCTN74802813, and is closed to new participants.
FINDINGS: Between March 1, 2004, and Aug 30, 2010, we randomly assigned 552 women to treatment. Of the 550 women who were eligible, 276 were assigned to primary surgery and 274 to primary chemotherapy. All were included in the intention-to-treat analysis; 251 assigned to primary surgery and 253 to primary chemotherapy were included in the per-protocol analysis. As of May 31, 2014, 451 deaths had occurred: 231 in the primary-surgery group versus 220 in the primary-chemotherapy group. Median overall survival was 22.6 months in the primary-surgery group versus 24.1 months in primary chemotherapy. The HR for death was 0.87 in favour of primary chemotherapy, with the upper bound of the one-sided 90% CI 0.98 (95% CI 0.72-1.05). Grade 3 or 4 postoperative adverse events and deaths within 28 days after surgery were more common in the primary-surgery group than in the primary-chemotherapy group (60 [24%] of 252 women vs 30 [14%] of 209, p=0.0007, and 14 women [6%] vs 1 woman [<1%], p=0.001). The most common grade 3 or 4 postoperative adverse event was haemorrhage in both groups (8 women [3%] in the primary-surgery group vs 14 [6%] in the primary-chemotherapy group). 110 (49%) of 225 women receiving primary surgery and 102 (40%) of 253 receiving primary chemotherapy had a grade 3 or 4 chemotherapy related toxic effect (p=0.0654), mostly uncomplicated neutropenia (20% and 16%, respectively). One fatal toxic effect, neutropenic sepsis, occurred in the primary-chemotherapy group.
INTERPRETATION: In women with stage III or IV ovarian cancer, survival with primary chemotherapy is non-inferior to primary surgery. In this study population, giving primary chemotherapy before surgery is an acceptable standard of care for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
FUNDING: Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Douillard JY, Siena S, Peeters M, et al.
Impact of early tumour shrinkage and resection on outcomes in patients with wild-type RAS metastatic colorectal cancer.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(10):1231-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumour shrinkage (TS) increases the possibility of resection in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and may improve tumour-related symptoms. Here we report prespecified secondary response-related end-points and exploratory TS/resection outcomes for patients with RAS wild-type (WT) tumours (no mutations in KRAS/NRAS exons 2/3/4) from the PRIME study (NCT00364013).
METHODS: PRIME was a randomised phase 3 study comparing first-line panitumumab+FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 in mCRC patients. Tumour response analyses were conducted to compare response rates and their impact on survival outcomes.
RESULTS: Overall, 505 patients had RAS WT mCRC. More patients receiving panitumumab+FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 had ⩾30% (59% versus 38%; P<0.001) or ⩾20% (72% versus 57%; P<0.001) TS at week 8 (early TS); consistent TS benefits were observed over the first ∼40weeks of treatment. Objective response rate (P=0.003), duration of response (P=0.0027), depth of response (P=0.0149), progression-free survival (PFS; P=0.0015) and overall survival (OS; P=0.0057) were improved in the panitumumab+FOLFOX4 group. Both early TS and resection were associated with improved PFS and OS. 2-year OS rates for patients who did (n=64) versus did not (n=441) undergo resection were 88% versus 40%; 2-year OS rates for patients who did (n=45) versus did not (n=460) undergo complete resection were 96% versus 41%.
CONCLUSIONS: More patients receiving panitumumab+FOLFOX4 versus FOLFOX4 had ⩾30% or ⩾20% TS at week 8; PFS and OS were also improved with panitumumab+FOLFOX4. The clinical value of achieving early TS in mCRC warrants further investigation.

Mata DA, Groshen S, Von Rundstedt FC, et al.
Variability in surgical quality in a phase III clinical trial of radical cystectomy in patients with organ-confined, node-negative urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
J Surg Oncol. 2015; 111(7):923-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Previous studies have shown that variability in surgical technique can affect the outcomes of cooperative group trials. We analyzed measures of surgical quality and clinical outcomes in patients enrolled in the p53-MVAC trial.
METHODS: We performed a post-hoc analysis of patients with pT1-T2N0M0 urothelial carcinoma of the bladder following radical cystectomy (RC) and bilateral pelvic and iliac lymphadenectomy (LND). Measures of surgical quality were examined for associations with time to recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: We reviewed operative and/or pathology reports for 440 patients from 35 sites. We found that only 31% of patients met all suggested trial eligibility criteria of having ≥15 lymph nodes identified in the pathologic specimen (LN#) and having undergone both extended and presacral LND. There was no association between extent of LND, LN#, or presacral LND and TTR or OS after adjustment for confounders and multiple testing.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that there was substantial variability in surgical technique within a cooperative group trial. Despite explicit entry criteria, many patients did not undergo per-protocol LNDs. While outcomes were not apparently affected, it is nonetheless evident that careful attention to study design and quality monitoring will be critical to successful future trials.

Love RR, Laudico AV, Van Dinh N, et al.
Timing of adjuvant surgical oophorectomy in the menstrual cycle and disease-free and overall survival in premenopausal women with operable breast cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(6):djv064 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: For women with hormone receptor-positive, operable breast cancer, surgical oophorectomy plus tamoxifen is an effective adjuvant therapy. We conducted a phase III randomized clinical trial to test the hypothesis that oophorectomy surgery performed during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle was associated with better outcomes.
METHODS: Seven hundred forty premenopausal women entered a clinical trial in which those women estimated not to be in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle for the next one to six days (n = 509) were randomly assigned to receive treatment with surgical oophorectomy either delayed to be during a five-day window in the history-estimated midluteal phase of the menstrual cycles, or in the next one to six days. Women who were estimated to be in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle for the next one to six days (n = 231) were excluded from random assignment and received immediate surgical treatments. All patients began tamoxifen within 6 days of surgery and continued this for 5 years. Kaplan-Meier methods, the log-rank test, and multivariable Cox regression models were used to assess differences in five-year disease-free survival (DFS) between the groups. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The randomized midluteal phase surgery group had a five-year DFS of 64%, compared with 71% for the immediate surgery random assignment group (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.91 to 1.68, P = .18). Multivariable Cox regression models, which included important prognostic variables, gave similar results (aHR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.94 to 1.76, P = .12). For overall survival, the univariate hazard ratio was 1.33 (95% CI = 0.94 to 1.89, P = .11) and the multivariable aHR was 1.43 (95% CI = 1.00 to 2.06, P = .05). Better DFS for follicular phase surgery, which was unanticipated, proved consistent across multiple exploratory analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesized benefit of adjuvant luteal phase oophorectomy was not shown in this large trial.

Kunkler IH, Williams LJ, Jack WJ, et al.
Breast-conserving surgery with or without irradiation in women aged 65 years or older with early breast cancer (PRIME II): a randomised controlled trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(3):266-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: For most older women with early breast cancer, standard treatment after breast-conserving surgery is adjuvant whole-breast radiotherapy and adjuvant endocrine treatment. We aimed to assess the effect omission of whole-breast radiotherapy would have on local control in older women at low risk of local recurrence at 5 years.
METHODS: Between April 16, 2003, and Dec 22, 2009, 1326 women aged 65 years or older with early breast cancer judged low-risk (ie, hormone receptor-positive, axillary node-negative, T1-T2 up to 3 cm at the longest dimension, and clear margins; grade 3 tumour histology or lymphovascular invasion, but not both, were permitted), who had had breast-conserving surgery and were receiving adjuvant endocrine treatment, were recruited into a phase 3 randomised controlled trial at 76 centres in four countries. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to either whole-breast radiotherapy (40-50 Gy in 15-25 fractions) or no radiotherapy by computer-generated permuted block randomisation, stratified by centre, with a block size of four. The primary endpoint was ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence. Follow-up continues and will end at the 10-year anniversary of the last randomised patient. Analyses were done by intention to treat. The trial is registered on ISRCTN.com, number ISRCTN95889329.
FINDINGS: 658 women who had undergone breast-conserving surgery and who were receiving adjuvant endocrine treatment were randomly assigned to receive whole-breast irradiation and 668 were allocated to no further treatment. After median follow-up of 5 years (IQR 3·84-6·05), ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence was 1·3% (95% CI 0·2-2·3; n=5) in women assigned to whole-breast radiotherapy and 4·1% (2·4-5·7; n=26) in those assigned no radiotherapy (p=0·0002). Compared with women allocated to whole-breast radiotherapy, the univariate hazard ratio for ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence in women assigned to no radiotherapy was 5·19 (95% CI 1·99-13·52; p=0·0007). No differences in regional recurrence, distant metastases, contralateral breast cancers, or new breast cancers were noted between groups. 5-year overall survival was 93·9% (95% CI 91·8-96·0) in both groups (p=0·34). 89 women died; eight of 49 patients allocated to no radiotherapy and four of 40 assigned to radiotherapy died from breast cancer.
INTERPRETATION: Postoperative whole-breast radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery and adjuvant endocrine treatment resulted in a significant but modest reduction in local recurrence for women aged 65 years or older with early breast cancer 5 years after randomisation. However, the 5-year rate of ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence is probably low enough for omission of radiotherapy to be considered for some patients.
FUNDING: Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government), Breast Cancer Institute (Western General Hospital, Edinburgh).

Bartelink H, Maingon P, Poortmans P, et al.
Whole-breast irradiation with or without a boost for patients treated with breast-conserving surgery for early breast cancer: 20-year follow-up of a randomised phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(1):47-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Since the introduction of breast-conserving treatment, various radiation doses after lumpectomy have been used. In a phase 3 randomised controlled trial, we investigated the effect of a radiation boost of 16 Gy on overall survival, local control, and fibrosis for patients with stage I and II breast cancer who underwent breast-conserving treatment compared with patients who received no boost. Here, we present the 20-year follow-up results.
METHODS: Patients with microscopically complete excision for invasive disease followed by whole-breast irradiation of 50 Gy in 5 weeks were centrally randomised (1:1) with a minimisation algorithm to receive 16 Gy boost or no boost, with minimisation for age, menopausal status, presence of extensive ductal carcinoma in situ, clinical tumour size, nodal status, and institution. Neither patients nor investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02295033.
FINDINGS: Between May 24, 1989, and June 25, 1996, 2657 patients were randomly assigned to receive no radiation boost and 2661 patients randomly assigned to receive a radiation boost. Median follow-up was 17.2 years (IQR 13.0-19.0). 20-year overall survival was 59.7% (99% CI 56.3-63.0) in the boost group versus 61.1% (57.6-64.3) in the no boost group, hazard ratio (HR) 1.05 (99% CI 0.92-1.19, p=0.323). Ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence was the first treatment failure for 354 patients (13%) in the no boost group versus 237 patients (9%) in the boost group, HR 0.65 (99% CI 0.52-0.81, p<0.0001). The 20-year cumulative incidence of ipsilatelal breast tumour recurrence was 16.4% (99% CI 14.1-18.8) in the no boost group versus 12.0% (9.8-14.4) in the boost group. Mastectomies as first salvage treatment for ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence occurred in 279 (79%) of 354 patients in the no boost group versus 178 (75%) of 237 in the boost group. The cumulative incidence of severe fibrosis at 20 years was 1.8% (99% CI 1.1-2.5) in the no boost group versus 5.2% (99% CI 3.9-6.4) in the boost group (p<0.0001).
INTERPRETATION: A radiation boost after whole-breast irradiation has no effect on long-term overall survival, but can improve local control, with the largest absolute benefit in young patients, although it increases the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis. The extra radiation dose can be avoided in most patients older than age 60 years.
FUNDING: Fonds Cancer, Belgium.

Donker M, van Tienhoven G, Straver ME, et al.
Radiotherapy or surgery of the axilla after a positive sentinel node in breast cancer (EORTC 10981-22023 AMAROS): a randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 non-inferiority trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(12):1303-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: If treatment of the axilla is indicated in patients with breast cancer who have a positive sentinel node, axillary lymph node dissection is the present standard. Although axillary lymph node dissection provides excellent regional control, it is associated with harmful side-effects. We aimed to assess whether axillary radiotherapy provides comparable regional control with fewer side-effects.
METHODS: Patients with T1-2 primary breast cancer and no palpable lymphadenopathy were enrolled in the randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 non-inferiority EORTC 10981-22023 AMAROS trial. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by a computer-generated allocation schedule to receive either axillary lymph node dissection or axillary radiotherapy in case of a positive sentinel node, stratified by institution. The primary endpoint was non-inferiority of 5-year axillary recurrence, considered to be not more than 4% for the axillary radiotherapy group compared with an expected 2% in the axillary lymph node dissection group. Analyses were by intention to treat and per protocol. The AMAROS trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00014612.
FINDINGS: Between Feb 19, 2001, and April 29, 2010, 4823 patients were enrolled at 34 centres from nine European countries, of whom 4806 were eligible for randomisation. 2402 patients were randomly assigned to receive axillary lymph node dissection and 2404 to receive axillary radiotherapy. Of the 1425 patients with a positive sentinel node, 744 had been randomly assigned to axillary lymph node dissection and 681 to axillary radiotherapy; these patients constituted the intention-to-treat population. Median follow-up was 6·1 years (IQR 4·1-8·0) for the patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes. In the axillary lymph node dissection group, 220 (33%) of 672 patients who underwent axillary lymph node dissection had additional positive nodes. Axillary recurrence occurred in four of 744 patients in the axillary lymph node dissection group and seven of 681 in the axillary radiotherapy group. 5-year axillary recurrence was 0·43% (95% CI 0·00-0·92) after axillary lymph node dissection versus 1·19% (0·31-2·08) after axillary radiotherapy. The planned non-inferiority test was underpowered because of the low number of events. The one-sided 95% CI for the underpowered non-inferiority test on the hazard ratio was 0·00-5·27, with a non-inferiority margin of 2. Lymphoedema in the ipsilateral arm was noted significantly more often after axillary lymph node dissection than after axillary radiotherapy at 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.
INTERPRETATION: Axillary lymph node dissection and axillary radiotherapy after a positive sentinel node provide excellent and comparable axillary control for patients with T1-2 primary breast cancer and no palpable lymphadenopathy. Axillary radiotherapy results in significantly less morbidity.
FUNDING: EORTC Charitable Trust.

Shapiro J, van Hagen P, Lingsma HF, et al.
Prolonged time to surgery after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy increases histopathological response without affecting survival in patients with esophageal or junctional cancer.
Ann Surg. 2014; 260(5):807-13; discussion 813-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the relation between time to surgery (TTS) after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) and pathologically complete response (pCR), surgical outcome, and survival in patients with esophageal cancer.
BACKGROUND: Standard treatment for potentially curable esophageal cancer is nCRT plus surgery after 4 to 6 weeks. In rectal cancer patients, evidence suggests that prolonged TTS is associated with a higher pCR rate and possibly with better survival.
METHODS: We identified patients treated with nCRT plus surgery for esophageal cancer between 2001 and 2011. TTS (last day of radiotherapy to day of surgery) varied mainly for logistical reasons. Minimal follow-up was 24 months. The effect of TTS on pCR rate, postoperative complications, and survival was determined with (ordinal) logistic, linear, and Cox regression, respectively.
RESULTS: In total, 325 patients were included. Median TTS was 48 days (p25-p75=40-60). After 45 days, TTS was associated with an increased probability of pCR [odds ratio (OR)=1.35 per additional week of TSS, P=0.0004] and a small increased risk of postoperative complications (OR=1.20, P<0.001). Prolonged TTS had no effect on disease-free and overall survivals (HR=1.00 and HR=1.06 per additional week of TSS, P=0.976 and P=0.139, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged TTS after nCRT increases the probability of pCR and is associated with a slightly increased probability of postoperative complications, without affecting disease-free and overall survivals. We conclude that TTS can be safely prolonged from the usual 4 to 6 weeks up to at least 12 weeks, which facilitates a more conservative wait-and-see strategy after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy to be tested.

Lee CK, Lord S, Grunewald T, et al.
Impact of secondary cytoreductive surgery on survival in patients with platinum sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer: analysis of the CALYPSO trial.
Gynecol Oncol. 2015; 136(1):18-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The role of secondary cytoreductive surgery (SCR) in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (ROC) remains controversial. The overall survival (OS) benefits for surgery reported in observational studies may be due to the selection of patients with better prognosis.
METHODS: Using data from the CALYPSO trial, OS of patients who had SCR was compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone. Multivariate analyses were performed to adjust for prognostic factors. We also tested for an interaction between baseline prognostic groupings and the benefit of surgery.
RESULTS: Of the 975 patients randomised in CALYPSO, 19% had SCR and 80% had chemotherapy alone. OS was longer for the SCR group than for chemotherapy alone (median, 49.9 vs. 29.7 months; adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.68; P = 0.004). For patients with SCR, the 3-year OS was 72% for those with no measurable disease, and 28% if residual tumour was larger than 5 cm. Patients with good prognostic features benefited the most from SCR (HR 0.43; P < 0.001). The benefit of SCR was less in patients with poorer prognostic features (test of trend P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: SCR was associated with improved OS in platinum-sensitive ROC, particularly in patients with favourable prognostic characteristics. However, these findings may be due to selection bias, and hence randomised trials are still essential.

't Lam-Boer J, Mol L, Verhoef C, et al.
The CAIRO4 study: the role of surgery of the primary tumour with few or absent symptoms in patients with synchronous unresectable metastases of colorectal cancer--a randomized phase III study of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG).
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:741 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is no consensus regarding resection of the primary tumour with few or absent symptoms in patients with synchronous unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). A potential benefit of resection of the primary tumour is to prevent complications of the primary tumour in later stages of the disease. We here propose a randomized trial in order to demonstrate that resection of the primary tumour improves overall survival.
METHODS/DESIGN: The CAIRO4 study is a multicentre, randomized, phase III study of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG). Patients with synchronous unresectable metastases of CRC and few or absent symptoms of the primary tumour are randomized 1:1 between systemic therapy only, and resection of the primary tumour followed by systemic therapy. Systemic therapy will consist of fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy in combination with bevacizumab. The primary objective of this study is to determine the clinical benefit in terms of overall survival of initial resection of the primary tumour. Secondary endpoints include progression free survival, surgical morbidity, quality of life and the number of patients requiring resection of the primary tumour in the control arm.
DISCUSSION: The CAIRO4 study is a multicentre, randomized, phase III study that will assess the benefit of resection of the primary tumour in patients with synchronous metastatic CRC.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: The CAIRO4 study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01606098).

Inomata M, Akagi T, Katayama H, et al.
A randomized controlled trial comparing laparoscopic surgery with open surgery in palliative resection of primary tumor in incurable Stage IV colorectal cancer: Japan Clinical Oncology Group Study JCOG 1107 (ENCORE trial).
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2014; 44(11):1123-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
A randomized controlled trial was started in Japan to evaluate the non-inferiority of overall survival of laparoscopic surgery to open surgery for palliative resection of primary tumor in incurable Stage IV colorectal cancer. Symptomatic, Stage IV colorectal cancer patients with non-curable metastasis are pre-operatively randomized to either open or laparoscopic colorectal resection. Surgeons in 56 specialized institutions will recruit 450 patients. The primary endpoint is overall survival. Secondary endpoints are progression-free survival, the proportion of conversion from laparoscopic surgery to open surgery, the proportion of patients who fulfill the criteria of starting chemotherapy by 6 weeks after operation, intraoperative and post-operative complications, adverse events during chemotherapy and serious adverse events.

Fernando HC, Landreneau RJ, Mandrekar SJ, et al.
Impact of brachytherapy on local recurrence rates after sublobar resection: results from ACOSOG Z4032 (Alliance), a phase III randomized trial for high-risk operable non-small-cell lung cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(23):2456-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: A major concern with sublobar resection (SR) for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is high local recurrence (LR). Adjuvant brachytherapy may reduce LR This multicenter randomized trial compares SR to SR with brachytherapy (SRB).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: High-risk operable patients with NSCLC ≤ 3 cm were randomly assigned to SR or SRB. The primary end point was time to LR, where LR included recurrence at the staple line (local progression), in the primary tumor lobe away from the staple line, and in ipsilateral hilar nodes. The trial was designed to have a 90% power to detect a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.315 in favor of SRB, using a one-sided type I error rate of 0.05 with a sample size of 100 eligible patients in each arm.
RESULTS: Two hundred twenty-four patients were randomly assigned; 222 patients were evaluable for intent-to-treat analysis. Median age was 71 years (range, 49 to 87 years). No differences were found in baseline characteristics. Median follow-up time was 4.38 years (range, 0.04 to 5.59 years). There was no difference in time to LR (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.51 to 1.98; log-rank P = .98) or in the types of LR. Local progression occurred in only 17 (7.7%) of 222 patients. In patients with potentially compromised margins (margin < 1 cm, margin-to-tumor ratio < 1, positive staple line cytology, wedge resection, nodule size > 2.0 cm), SRB did not reduce LR, although trends favored the SRB arm. This was most marked in 14 patients with positive staple line cytology (HR, 0.22; P = .24). Three-year overall survival rates were similar for patients in the SR (71%) and SRB (71%) arms (P = .97).
CONCLUSION: Brachytherapy did not reduce LR after SR. This finding may have been related to closer attention to parenchymal margins by surgeons participating in this study.

Kennedy RH, Francis EA, Wharton R, et al.
Multicenter randomized controlled trial of conventional versus laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer within an enhanced recovery programme: EnROL.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(17):1804-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Laparoscopic resection and a multimodal approach known as an enhanced recovery program (ERP) have been major changes in colorectal perioperative care that have improved clinical outcomes for colorectal cancer resection. EnROL (Enhanced Recovery Open Versus Laparoscopic) is a multicenter randomized controlled trial examining whether the benefits of laparoscopy still exist when open surgery is optimized within an ERP.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adults with colorectal cancer suitable for elective resection were randomly assigned at a ratio of 1:1 to laparoscopic or open surgery within an ERP, stratified by center, cancer site (colon v rectum), and age group (<66 v 66-75 v >75 years) using minimization. The primary outcome was physical fatigue at 1 month postsurgery. Secondary outcomes included hospital stay, complications, other patient-reported outcomes (PROs), and physical function. Patients and outcome assessors were blinded until 7 days postsurgery or discharge if earlier. Central independent and blinded pathologic assessment of surgical quality was undertaken.
RESULTS: A total of 204 patients (laparoscopy, n=103; open surgery, n=101) were recruited from 12 UK centers from July 2008 to April 2012. One-month physical fatigue scores were similar in both groups (mean: laparoscopy, 12.28; 95% CI, 11.37 to 13.19 v open surgery, 12.05; 95% CI, 11.14 to 12.96; adjusted mean difference, -0.23; 95% CI, -1.52 to 1.07). Median total hospital stay was significantly shorter after laparoscopic surgery (median: laparoscopy, 5; interquartile range [IQR], 4 to 9 v open surgery, 7; IQR, 5 to 11 days; P=.033). There were no differences in other secondary outcomes or in specimen quality after central pathologic review.
CONCLUSION: In patients treated by experienced surgeons within an ERP, physical fatigue and other PROs were similar in both groups, but laparoscopic surgery significantly reduced length of hospital stay.

Du CY, Zhou Y, Song C, et al.
Is there a role of surgery in patients with recurrent or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours responding to imatinib: a prospective randomised trial in China.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(10):1772-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: For advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) patients who are responding to imatinib mesylate, the role of surgery has not been formally demonstrated. This multicenter randomised controlled trial was designed to assess whether surgery to treat residual disease for patients with recurrent/metastatic GISTs responding to imatinib mesylate (IM) improved progression free survival (PFS) compared with IM treatment alone.
METHODS: Between 3 and 12months after starting IM for recurrent/metastatic GISTs, eligible patients were randomised to two arms: Arm A (surgery for residual disease) and Arm B (IM treatment alone). In Arm A (19pts), surgery was performed to remove residual macroscopic lesions as completely as possible, and IM treatment continued after surgery. In Arm B (22pts), IM was given alone at a dose of 400mg per day until disease progression. The primary end-point was PFS measured from the date IM started. This study was registered in the ChiCTR registry with the ID number ChiCTR-TRC-00000244.
RESULTS: This randomised trial was closed early due to poor accrual. Only 41 patients were enrolled as opposed to 210 patients planned. 2-year PFS was 88.4% in the surgery arm and 57.7% in the IM-alone arm (P=0.089). Median overall survival (mOS) was not reached in the surgery arm and 49months in patients with IM-alone arm (P=0.024).
CONCLUSIONS: While no significant differences were observed in the two arms, this study suggests that surgical removal of the metastatic lesion may improve the outcome of advanced GIST patients and should stimulate additional research on this topic.

Gunderson CC, Java J, Moore KN, Walker JL
The impact of obesity on surgical staging, complications, and survival with uterine cancer: a Gynecologic Oncology Group LAP2 ancillary data study.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 133(1):23-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of body mass index (BMI) on complications, recurrence, and survival in GOG LAP2, a randomized comparison of laparoscopic versus open staging in clinically early stage uterine cancer (EC).
METHODS: An ancillary data analysis of GOG LAP2 was performed. Categorical variables were compared using Pearson chi-square test and continuous variables using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests by BMI group. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate independent prognostic factors on survival. Statistical tests were two-tailed with α=0.05, except where noted. Statistical analyses utilized R programming language.
RESULTS: 2596 women were included. BMI (kg/m(2)) groups were <25 (29.5%), 25-30 (28.2%), 30-35 (21%), 35-40 (10.9%), and ≥40 (10.4%). Stage (p=0.021), grade (p<0.001), and histology (p=0.005) differed by BMI. Obese women were less likely to have high risk (HR) disease (+lymph nodes/ovaries/cytology) or tumor features that met GOG99 high intermediate risk (HIR) criteria (p<0.001). Adjuvant therapy (p=0.151) and recurrence (p=0.46) did not vary by BMI. Hospitalization >2days, antibiotic use, wound infection, and venous thrombophlebitis were higher with BMI ≥40. BMI (p=0.016), age (p<0.0001), race (p=0.033), and risk group (p<0.0001) predicted all-cause mortality. BMI was not predictive of disease-specific survival (p=0.79), but age (p=0.032) and risk group (p<0.0001) were significant factors.
CONCLUSION: Obese women have greater surgical risk and lower risk of metastatic disease. BMI is associated with all-cause but not disease-specific mortality, emphasizing the detrimental effect of obesity (independent of EC), which deserves particular attention.

Aoyama T, Yoshikawa T, Morita S, et al.
Methylene blue-assisted technique for harvesting lymph nodes after radical surgery for gastric cancer: a prospective randomized phase III study.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:155 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This randomized Phase III trial will evaluate whether the methylene blue-assisted technique is efficient for harvesting lymph nodes after radical surgery for gastric cancer.
METHODS/DESIGN: Patients that undergo distal or total gastrectomy with radical nodal dissection will be randomly assigned to Group A: the standard group, the lymph nodes (LNs) will be harvested from the fresh specimen immediately after surgery, or Group B: the methylene blue-assisted group, where the LNs will be harvested from specimens fixed with 10% buffered formalin with methylene blue for 48 hours after surgery. The primary endpoint is the ratio of the number of the harvested LNs per time (minute). The secondary endpoint is the number of harvested LNs. A 25% reduction in the ratio of harvested lymph-node/time (minute) was determined to be necessary for this test treatment, considering the balance between the cost and benefit. Retrospective data was used to estimate the ratio of the number of the harvested LNs per time (minute) to be 40/30 minutes in Group A. A 25% risk reduction and a rate of 40/22.5 minutes is expected in Group B. Therefore, the sample size required ensuring a two-sided alpha error of 5% and statistical power of 80% is 52 patients, with 26 patients per arm. The number of patients to be accrued was set at 60 in total, due to the likelihood of enrolling ineligible patients.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN000008624.

Shimada M, Morine Y, Nagano H, et al.
Effect of TU-100, a traditional Japanese medicine, administered after hepatic resection in patients with liver cancer: a multi-center, phase III trial (JFMC40-1001).
Int J Clin Oncol. 2015; 20(1):95-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This multi-center, phase III trial assesses the efficacy of daikenchuto (TU-100) on gastrointestinal disorders after hepatic resection (UMIN Registration No. 000003103).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 231 patients, who underwent hepatic resection at 26 Japanese centers, were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral doses (15 g/day, three times a day) of TU-100 or placebo control from preoperative day 3 to postoperative day 10, except on the day of surgery. Primary end points were the time from extubation until the first postoperative bowel movement (FBM-T), serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and ammonia levels.
RESULTS: Finally, 209 patients (TU-100: n = 108, placebo: n = 101) were included in the statistical analysis. The median FBM-T was 88.2 h (95 % CI 74.0-94.1) in the TU-100 group and 93.1 h (95 % CI 83.3-99.4) in the placebo group, demonstrating that TU-100 accelerated the time to first bowel movement significantly more than placebo control. Serum CRP levels did not differ significantly during the study period, although serum CRP levels in the TU-100 group tended to be lower than those in the placebo group in patients with grade B liver damage. Meanwhile, the two groups had similar serum ammonia levels. TU-100-related serious adverse events did not occur during the study.
CONCLUSIONS: TU-100 appears to improve gastrointestinal dysmotility and reduce serum CRP levels in patients with grade B liver damage after hepatectomy. TU-100 is an effective treatment option after hepatic resection in patients with liver cancer.

Aoyama T, Yoshikawa T, Hayashi T, et al.
Randomized comparison of surgical stress and the nutritional status between laparoscopy-assisted and open distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(6):1983-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG) for gastric cancer may prevent the development of an impaired nutritional status due to reduced surgical stress compared with open distal gastrectomy (ODG).
METHODS: This study was performed as an exploratory analysis of a phase III trial comparing LADG and ODG for stage I gastric cancer during the period between May and December of 2011. All patients received the same perioperative care via fast-track surgery. The level of surgical stress was evaluated based on the white blood cell count and the interleukin-6 (IL-6) level. The nutritional status was measured according to the total body weight, amount of lean body mass, lymphocyte count, and prealbumin level.
RESULTS: Twenty-six patients were randomized to receive ODG (13 patients) or LADG (13 patients). The baseline characteristics and surgical outcomes were similar between the two groups. The median IL-6 level increased from 0.8 to 36.3 pg/dl in the ODG group and from 1.5 to 53.3 pg/dl in the LADG group. The median amount of lean body mass decreased from 48.3 to 46.8 kg in the ODG group and from 46.6 to 46.0 kg in the LADG group. There are no significant differences between two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The level of surgical stress and the nutritional status were found to be similar between the ODG and LADG groups in a randomized comparison using the same perioperative care of fast-track surgery.

van de Laar R, Zusterzeel PL, Van Gorp T, et al.
Cytoreductive surgery followed by chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone for recurrent platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer (SOCceR trial): a multicenter randomised controlled study.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Improvement in treatment for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer is needed. Standard therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer consists of platinum-based chemotherapy. Median overall survival is reported between 18 and 35 months. Currently, the role of surgery in recurrent ovarian cancer is not clear. In selective patients a survival benefit up to 62 months is reported for patients undergoing complete secondary cytoreductive surgery. Whether cytoreductive surgery in recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer is beneficial remains questionable due to the lack of level I-II evidence.
METHODS/DESIGN: Multicentre randomized controlled trial, including all nine gynecologic oncologic centres in the Netherlands and their affiliated hospitals. Eligible patients are women, with first recurrence of FIGO stage Ic-IV platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer or fallopian tube cancer, who meet the inclusion criteria. Participants are randomized between the standard treatment consisting of at least six cycles of intravenous platinum based chemotherapy and the experimental treatment which consists of secondary cytoreductive surgery followed by at least six cycles of intravenous platinum based chemotherapy. Primary outcome measure is progression free survival. In total 230 patients will be randomized. Data will be analysed according to intention to treat.
DISCUSSION: Where the role of cytoreductive surgery is widely accepted in the initial treatment of ovarian cancer, its value in recurrent platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer has not been established so far. A better understanding of the benefits and patients selection criteria for secondary cytoreductive surgery has to be obtained. Therefore the 4th ovarian cancer consensus conference in 2010 stated that randomized controlled phase 3 trials evaluating the role of surgery in platinum-sensitive recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer are urgently needed. We present a recently started multicentre randomized controlled trial that will investigate the role of secondary cytoreductive surgery followed by chemotherapy will improve progression free survival in selected patients with first recurrence of platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer.

Valle JW, Palmer D, Jackson R, et al.
Optimal duration and timing of adjuvant chemotherapy after definitive surgery for ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas: ongoing lessons from the ESPAC-3 study.
J Clin Oncol. 2014; 32(6):504-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Adjuvant chemotherapy improves patient survival rates after resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but the optimal duration and time to initiate chemotherapy is unknown.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma treated within the international, phase III, European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer-3 (version 2) study were included if they had been randomly assigned to chemotherapy. Overall survival analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat basis, retaining patients in their randomized groups, and adjusting the overall treatment effect by known prognostic variables as well as the start time of chemotherapy.
RESULTS: There were 985 patients, of whom 486 (49%) received gemcitabine and 499 (51%) received fluorouracil; 675 patients (68%) completed all six cycles of chemotherapy (full course) and 293 patients (30%) completed one to five cycles. Lymph node involvement, resection margins status, tumor differentiation, and completion of therapy were all shown by multivariable Cox regression to be independent survival factors. Overall survival favored patients who completed the full six courses of treatment versus those who did not (hazard ratio [HR], 0.516; 95% CI, 0.443 to 0.601; P < .001). Time to starting chemotherapy did not influence overall survival rates for the full study population (HR, 0.985; 95% CI, 0.956 to 1.015). Chemotherapy start time was an important survival factor only for the subgroup of patients who did not complete therapy, in favor of later treatment (P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Completion of all six cycles of planned adjuvant chemotherapy rather than early initiation was an independent prognostic factor after resection for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. There seems to be no difference in outcome if chemotherapy is delayed up to 12 weeks, thus allowing adequate time for postoperative recovery.

Takii Y, Shimada Y, Moriya Y, et al.
A randomized controlled trial of the conventional technique versus the no-touch isolation technique for primary tumor resection in patients with colorectal cancer: Japan Clinical Oncology Group Study JCOG1006.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2014; 44(1):97-100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A randomized controlled trial is currently being conducted in Japan to demonstrate the superiority of the no-touch isolation technique over the conventional technique for patients with potentially curative colon and rectosigmoid cancer. The conventional technique procedure gives first priority to mobilization of the tumor-bearing segment of the colon, which is followed by central vascular ligation and ligation of other vasculature. Conversely, the no-touch isolation technique gives first priority to central vascular ligation, which is followed by mobilization of the tumor-bearing segment of the colon. A total of 850 patients will be enrolled in this trial. The primary endpoint is disease-free survival. Secondary endpoints are overall survival, relapse-free survival, liver metastasis-free survival, mode of recurrence, surgical morbidity, adverse events due to postoperative chemotherapy, serious adverse events and short-term clinical outcomes.

Eggermont AM, Suciu S, Rutkowski P, et al.
Adjuvant ganglioside GM2-KLH/QS-21 vaccination versus observation after resection of primary tumor > 1.5 mm in patients with stage II melanoma: results of the EORTC 18961 randomized phase III trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(30):3831-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The GM2 ganglioside is an antigen expressed in the majority of melanomas. The GM2-KLH/QS-21 vaccine induces high immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibody responses. The EORTC 18961 trial compared the efficacy of GM2-KLH/QS-21 vaccination versus observation.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 1,314 patients with a primary tumor > 1.50 mm in thickness (T3-4N0M0; American Joint Committee on Cancer stage II) were randomly assigned to GM2-KLH/QS-21 vaccination (n = 657) or observation (n = 657). Treatment consisted of subcutaneous injections once per week from week 1 to 4, then every 3 months for the first 2 years and every 6 months during the third year. Primary end point was relapse-free survival (RFS). Secondary end points were distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and overall survival (OS). Analyses were by intent to treat.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 1.8 years, the trial was stopped at the second interim analysis for futility regarding RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.00; P = .99) and detrimental outcome regarding OS (HR, 1.66; P = .02). After a median follow-up of 4.2 years, we had recorded 400 relapses, nine deaths without relapse, a total of 236 deaths. At 4 years, the vaccination arm showed a decreased RFS rate of 1.2% (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.25) and OS rate of 2.1% (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.51). Toxicity was acceptable, with 4.6% of patients ending study participation because of toxicity.
CONCLUSION: GM2-KLH/QS-21 vaccination does not improve outcome for patients with stage II melanoma.

Greimel E, Kristensen GB, van der Burg ME, et al.
Quality of life of advanced ovarian cancer patients in the randomized phase III study comparing primary debulking surgery versus neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
Gynecol Oncol. 2013; 131(2):437-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The EORTC 55971 trial compared primary debulking surgery (PDS) versus neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) followed by interval debulking surgery (IDS). The impact of both treatment arms on quality of life (QOL) is reported.
METHODS: Patients with stages IIIc or IV ovarian cancer completed the EORTC QLQ-C30 before treatment, at the third and sixth cycle of chemotherapy, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up.
RESULTS: Data of 404 patients (N=201 PDS arm; N=203 IDS arm) were included in the QOL analysis. Between treatment arms no statistically significant differences were found in any of the QOL functioning scales. Patients showed a clinically relevant improvement (>10 points) on the global health/QOL, role functioning, emotional functioning and social functioning scales during and after treatment independent of the type of treatment. Clinically relevant differences from baseline to the follow-up assessments were noted for fatigue, pain, insomnia, appetite loss, constipation, diarrhea indicating symptom control in both treatment arms. Institutions with good QOL compliance were associated with better outcomes. There was a statistical significant difference in the overall debulking status with 39.9% optimal debulking surgery in institutions with good QOL compliance compared to 19.9% in institutions with poor QOL compliance (p=0.0011). Overall survival (median 32.30 versus 23.29 months; p=0.0006) and progression free survival (median 12.35 versus 9.92 months; p=0.0002) were also significantly better.
CONCLUSIONS: Survival and QOL after NACT followed by surgery was similar to survival and QOL after PDS followed by chemotherapy. However, institutions with good QOL compliance had better survival outcomes.

Frumovitz M, Querleu D, Gil-Moreno A, et al.
Lymphadenectomy in locally advanced cervical cancer study (LiLACS): Phase III clinical trial comparing surgical with radiologic staging in patients with stages IB2-IVA cervical cancer.
J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 21(1):3-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Radiation treatment planning for women with locally advanced cervical cancer (stages IB2-IVA) is often based on positron emission tomography (PET). PET, however, has poor sensitivity in detecting metastases in aortocaval nodes. We have initiated a study with the objective of determining whether pre-therapeutic laparoscopic surgical staging followed by tailored chemoradiation improves survival as compared with PET/computed tomography (CT) radiologic staging alone followed by chemoradiation. This international, multicenter phase III trial will enroll 600 women with stages IB2-IVA cervical cancer and PET/CT findings showing fluorodeoxyglucose-avid pelvic nodes and fluorodeoxyglucose-negative para-aortic nodes. Eligible patients will be randomized to undergo either pelvic radiotherapy with chemotherapy (standard-of-care arm) or surgical staging via a minimally invasive extraperitoneal approach followed by tailored radiotherapy with chemotherapy (experimental arm). The primary end point is overall survival. Secondary end points are disease-free survival, short- and long-term morbidity with pre-therapeutic surgical staging, and determination of anatomic locations of metastatic para-aortic nodes in relationship to the inferior mesenteric artery. We believe this study will show that tailored chemoradiation after pre-therapeutic surgical staging improves survival as compared with chemoradiation based on PET/CT in women with stages IB2-IVA cervical cancer.

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