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Germany

Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 82.0m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 493,800
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 283.8
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:28.3%
People dying from cancer /yr: 217,600
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Cancer Organisations
Cancer Centres in Germany
Latest Research Publications from Germany

Cancer Organisations (21 links)


Cancer Centres in Germany (12 links)


Latest Research Publications from Germany

Strosberg J, El-Haddad G, Wolin E, et al.
Phase 3 Trial of (177)Lu-Dotatate for Midgut Neuroendocrine Tumors.
N Engl J Med. 2017; 376(2):125-135 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Patients with advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors who have had disease progression during first-line somatostatin analogue therapy have limited therapeutic options. This randomized, controlled trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of lutetium-177 ((177)Lu)-Dotatate in patients with advanced, progressive, somatostatin-receptor-positive midgut neuroendocrine tumors. Methods We randomly assigned 229 patients who had well-differentiated, metastatic midgut neuroendocrine tumors to receive either (177)Lu-Dotatate (116 patients) at a dose of 7.4 GBq every 8 weeks (four intravenous infusions, plus best supportive care including octreotide long-acting repeatable [LAR] administered intramuscularly at a dose of 30 mg) ((177)Lu-Dotatate group) or octreotide LAR alone (113 patients) administered intramuscularly at a dose of 60 mg every 4 weeks (control group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary end points included the objective response rate, overall survival, safety, and the side-effect profile. The final analysis of overall survival will be conducted in the future as specified in the protocol; a prespecified interim analysis of overall survival was conducted and is reported here. Results At the data-cutoff date for the primary analysis, the estimated rate of progression-free survival at month 20 was 65.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.0 to 76.8) in the (177)Lu-Dotatate group and 10.8% (95% CI, 3.5 to 23.0) in the control group. The response rate was 18% in the (177)Lu-Dotatate group versus 3% in the control group (P<0.001). In the planned interim analysis of overall survival, 14 deaths occurred in the (177)Lu-Dotatate group and 26 in the control group (P=0.004). Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and lymphopenia occurred in 1%, 2%, and 9%, respectively, of patients in the (177)Lu-Dotatate group as compared with no patients in the control group, with no evidence of renal toxic effects during the observed time frame. Conclusions Treatment with (177)Lu-Dotatate resulted in markedly longer progression-free survival and a significantly higher response rate than high-dose octreotide LAR among patients with advanced midgut neuroendocrine tumors. Preliminary evidence of an overall survival benefit was seen in an interim analysis; confirmation will be required in the planned final analysis. Clinically significant myelosuppression occurred in less than 10% of patients in the (177)Lu-Dotatate group. (Funded by Advanced Accelerator Applications; NETTER-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01578239 ; EudraCT number 2011-005049-11 .).

Abdelhafez M, Bastian A, Rausch S, et al.
Laparoscopic versus Open Partial Nephrectomy: Comparison of Overall and Subgroup Outcomes.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(1):261-265 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: At experienced centers, laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) can achieve similar results to those of open surgery (OPN). However, the role of LPN for complex tumors and imperative indications is under debate.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 356 cases (186 LPN and 170 OPN) between 2005-2012 were reviewed. Clinical, surgical, pathological and radiological data, including PADUA classification were analyzed.
RESULTS: In overall analysis, OPN was associated with higher tumor complexity (p≤0.03). Subgroup analysis of PADUA >8 tumors (n=85) showed no significant difference between LPN and OPN. In patients with unfavorable treatment characteristics (imperative indication/multifocal tumors, n=71) LPN was beneficial. In this subgroup, LPN led to better perioperative (p≤0.02) and postoperative (p≤0.04) outcome.
CONCLUSION: Use of LPN is associated with favorable tumor characteristics. Although no advantage was shown for LPN for tumors with higher complexity (PADUA>8), this large series confirmed the superiority of LPN for imperative indication or multifocal tumors.

Mok TS, Wu YL, Ahn MJ, et al.
Osimertinib or Platinum-Pemetrexed in EGFR T790M-Positive Lung Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2017; 376(7):629-640 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Osimertinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) that is selective for both EGFR-TKI sensitizing and T790M resistance mutations in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. The efficacy of osimertinib as compared with platinum-based therapy plus pemetrexed in such patients is unknown. Methods In this randomized, international, open-label, phase 3 trial, we assigned 419 patients with T790M-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, who had disease progression after first-line EGFR-TKI therapy, in a 2:1 ratio to receive either oral osimertinib (at a dose of 80 mg once daily) or intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg per square meter of body-surface area) plus either carboplatin (target area under the curve, 5 [AUC5]) or cisplatin (75 mg per square meter) every 3 weeks for up to six cycles; maintenance pemetrexed was allowed. In all the patients, disease had progressed during receipt of first-line EGFR-TKI therapy. The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival. Results The median duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer with osimertinib than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (10.1 months vs. 4.4 months; hazard ratio; 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 to 0.41; P<0.001). The objective response rate was significantly better with osimertinib (71%; 95% CI, 65 to 76) than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (31%; 95% CI, 24 to 40) (odds ratio for objective response, 5.39; 95% CI, 3.47 to 8.48; P<0.001). Among 144 patients with metastases to the central nervous system (CNS), the median duration of progression-free survival was longer among patients receiving osimertinib than among those receiving platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (8.5 months vs. 4.2 months; hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.49). The proportion of patients with adverse events of grade 3 or higher was lower with osimertinib (23%) than with platinum therapy plus pemetrexed (47%). Conclusions Osimertinib had significantly greater efficacy than platinum therapy plus pemetrexed in patients with T790M-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (including those with CNS metastases) in whom disease had progressed during first-line EGFR-TKI therapy. (Funded by AstraZeneca; AURA3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02151981 .).

Finn RS, Martin M, Rugo HS, et al.
Palbociclib and Letrozole in Advanced Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(20):1925-1936 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background A phase 2 study showed that progression-free survival was longer with palbociclib plus letrozole than with letrozole alone in the initial treatment of postmenopausal women with estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced breast cancer. We performed a phase 3 study that was designed to confirm and expand the efficacy and safety data for palbociclib plus letrozole for this indication. Methods In this double-blind study, we randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, 666 postmenopausal women with ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, who had not had prior treatment for advanced disease, to receive palbociclib plus letrozole or placebo plus letrozole. The primary end point was progression-free survival, as assessed by the investigators; secondary end points were overall survival, objective response, clinical benefit response, patient-reported outcomes, pharmacokinetic effects, and safety. Results The median progression-free survival was 24.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.1 to not estimable) in the palbociclib-letrozole group, as compared with 14.5 months (95% CI, 12.9 to 17.1) in the placebo-letrozole group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.72; P<0.001). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (occurring in 66.4% of the patients in the palbociclib-letrozole group vs. 1.4% in the placebo-letrozole group), leukopenia (24.8% vs. 0%), anemia (5.4% vs. 1.8%), and fatigue (1.8% vs. 0.5%). Febrile neutropenia was reported in 1.8% of patients in the palbociclib-letrozole group and in none of the patients in the placebo-letrozole group. Permanent discontinuation of any study treatment as a result of adverse events occurred in 43 patients (9.7%) in the palbociclib-letrozole group and in 13 patients (5.9%) in the placebo-letrozole group. Conclusions Among patients with previously untreated ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, palbociclib combined with letrozole resulted in significantly longer progression-free survival than that with letrozole alone, although the rates of myelotoxic effects were higher with palbociclib-letrozole. (Funded by Pfizer; PALOMA-2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01740427 .).

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.

Bruix J, Qin S, Merle P, et al.
Regorafenib for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who progressed on sorafenib treatment (RESORCE): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2017; 389(10064):56-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There are no systemic treatments for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) whose disease progresses during sorafenib treatment. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of regorafenib in patients with HCC who have progressed during sorafenib treatment.
METHODS: In this randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, phase 3 trial done at 152 sites in 21 countries, adults with HCC who tolerated sorafenib (≥400 mg/day for ≥20 of last 28 days of treatment), progressed on sorafenib, and had Child-Pugh A liver function were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) by a computer-generated randomisation list and interactive voice response system and stratified by geographical region, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, macrovascular invasion, extrahepatic disease, and α-fetoprotein level to best supportive care plus oral regorafenib 160 mg or placebo once daily during weeks 1-3 of each 4-week cycle. Investigators, patients, and the funder were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was overall survival (defined as time from randomisation to death due to any cause) and analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01774344.
FINDINGS: Between May 14, 2013, and Dec 31, 2015, 843 patients were screened, of whom 573 were enrolled and randomised (379 to regorafenib and 194 to placebo; population for efficacy analyses), and 567 initiated treatment (374 received regorafenib and 193 received placebo; population for safety analyses). Regorafenib improved overall survival with a hazard ratio of 0·63 (95% CI 0·50-0·79; one-sided p<0·0001); median survival was 10·6 months (95% CI 9·1-12·1) for regorafenib versus 7·8 months (6·3-8·8) for placebo. Adverse events were reported in all regorafenib recipients (374 [100%] of 374) and 179 (93%) of 193 placebo recipients. The most common clinically relevant grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent events were hypertension (57 patients [15%] in the regorafenib group vs nine patients [5%] in the placebo group), hand-foot skin reaction (47 patients [13%] vs one [1%]), fatigue (34 patients [9%] vs nine patients [5%]), and diarrhoea (12 patients [3%] vs no patients). Of the 88 deaths (grade 5 adverse events) reported during the study (50 patients [13%] assigned to regorafenib and 38 [20%] assigned to placebo), seven (2%) were considered by the investigator to be related to study drug in the regorafenib group and two (1%) in the placebo group, including two patients (1%) with hepatic failure in the placebo group.
INTERPRETATION: Regorafenib is the only systemic treatment shown to provide survival benefit in HCC patients progressing on sorafenib treatment. Future trials should explore combinations of regorafenib with other systemic agents and third-line treatments for patients who fail or who do not tolerate the sequence of sorafenib and regorafenib.
FUNDING: Bayer.

Wendler J, Kroiss M, Gast K, et al.
Clinical presentation, treatment and outcome of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma: results of a multicenter study in Germany.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2016; 175(6):521-529 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is an orphan disease and confers a dismal prognosis. Standard treatment is not established.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to describe clinical characteristics, current treatment regimens and outcome of ATC and to identify clinical prognostic markers and treatment factors associated with improved prognosis.
DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study at five German tertiary care centers.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Totally 100 ATC patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2015 were included in the analysis. Disease-specific overall survival (OS) was compared with the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test; Cox proportional hazard model was used to identify risk factors.
RESULTS: The 6-month, 1-year and 5-year disease-specific OS rates were 37, 28 and 5%, respectively. Stage-dependent OS at 6 months was 78, 54 and 18% for stage IVA, B and C, respectively. 29% patients survived >1 year. Multivariate analysis of OS identified age ≥70 years, incomplete local resection status and the presence of distant metastasis as significant risk factors associated with shorter survival. Radical surgery (hazard ratio [HR] 2.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19-4.09, P = 0.012), external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) ≥40 Gy (HR = 0.34, 0.15-0.76, P = 0.008) and any kind of chemotherapy (CTX) (HR = 11.64, 2.42-60.39, P = 0.003) were associated with longer survival in multivariate analyses adjusted for age and tumor stage. A multimodal treatment regimen was significantly associated with a survival benefit (HR = 1.04, 1.01-1.08, P < 0.0001) only in IVC patients.
CONCLUSION: Disease-specific OS is still poor in ATC. Treatment factors associated with improved OS provide a rationale to devise treatment pathways for routine care. Collaborative research structures should be aimed to advance treatment of ATC.

Rugo HS, Barve A, Waller CF, et al.
Effect of a Proposed Trastuzumab Biosimilar Compared With Trastuzumab on Overall Response Rate in Patients With ERBB2 (HER2)-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2017; 317(1):37-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: Treatment with the anti-ERBB2 humanized monoclonal antibody trastuzumab and chemotherapy significantly improves outcome in patients with ERBB2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer; a clinically effective biosimilar may help increase access to this therapy.
Objective: To compare the overall response rate and assess the safety of a proposed trastuzumab biosimilar plus a taxane or trastuzumab plus a taxane in patients without prior treatment for ERBB2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, phase 3 equivalence study in patients with metastatic breast cancer. From December 2012 to August 2015, 500 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive a proposed biosimilar or trastuzumab plus a taxane. Chemotherapy was administered for at least 24 weeks followed by antibody alone until unacceptable toxic effects or disease progression occurred.
Interventions: Proposed biosimilar (n = 230) or trastuzumab (n = 228) with a taxane.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was week 24 overall response rate (ORR) defined as complete or partial response. Equivalence boundaries were 0.81 to 1.24 with a 90% CI for ORR ratio (proposed biosimilar/trastuzumab) and -15% to 15% with a 95% CI for ORR difference. Secondary outcome measures included time to tumor progression, progression-free and overall survival at week 48, and adverse events.
Results: Among 500 women randomized, the intention-to-treat population included 458 women (mean [SD] age, 53.6 [11.11] years) and the safety population included 493 women. The ORR was 69.6% (95% CI, 63.62%-75.51%) for the proposed biosimilar vs 64.0% (95% CI, 57.81%-70.26%) for trastuzumab. The ORR ratio (1.09; 90% CI, 0.974-1.211) and ORR difference (5.53; 95% CI, -3.08 to 14.04) were within the equivalence boundaries. At week 48, there was no statistically significant difference with the proposed biosimilar vs trastuzumab for time to tumor progression (41.3% vs 43.0%; -1.7%; 95% CI, -11.1% to 6.9%), progression-free survival (44.3% vs 44.7%; -0.4%; 95% CI, -9.4% to 8.7%), or overall survival (89.1% vs 85.1%; 4.0%; 95% CI, -2.1% to 10.3%). In the proposed biosimilar and trastuzumab groups, 239 (98.6%) and 233 (94.7%) had at least 1 adverse event, the most common including neutropenia (57.5% vs 53.3%), peripheral neuropathy (23.1% vs 24.8%), and diarrhea (20.6% vs 20.7%).
Conclusions and Relevance: Among women with ERBB2-positive metastatic breast cancer receiving taxanes, the use of a proposed trastuzumab biosimilar compared with trastuzumab resulted in an equivalent overall response rate at 24 weeks. Further study is needed to assess safety and long-term clinical outcome.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02472964; EudraCT Identifier: 2011-001965-42.

Sehouli J, Tomè O, Dimitrova D, et al.
A phase III, open label, randomized multicenter controlled trial of oral versus intravenous treosulfan in heavily pretreated recurrent ovarian cancer: a study of the North-Eastern German Society of Gynecological Oncology (NOGGO).
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(3):541-550 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In recurrent ovarian cancer (ROC), there is a high demand on effective therapies with a mild toxicity profile. Treosulfan is an alkylating agent approved as oral (p.o.) and intravenous (i.v.) formulation for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. Data on safety and efficacy for either formulation are rare. For the first time we conducted a randomized phase III study comparing both formulations in women with ROC.
METHODS: Patients having received at least two previous lines of chemotherapy were randomly assigned to one of two treatment arms: treosulfan i.v. 7000 mg/m(2) d1 q4w or treosulfan p.o. 600 mg/m(2) d1-28 q8w. Primary endpoint was safety regarding hematological and gastrointestinal toxicity grade III/IV, secondary endpoints were other toxicities, clinical benefit rate (CBR), time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS) and quality of life.
RESULTS: 250 patients were treated with treosulfan i.v. (128) or treosulfan p.o. (122). In general treosulfan therapy was well tolerated in both treatment arms. Leukopenia grade III/IV occurred significantly more frequently in the p.o. arm (3.9% i.v. arm, 14.8% p.o. arm, p = 0.002). Other toxicities were similar in both arms. CBR was comparable between arms (41.4% i.v. arm, 36.9% p.o. arm). No difference in TTP (3.7 months i.v. arm, 3.5 months p.o. arm) or OS (13.6 months i.v. arm, 10.4 months p.o. arm, p = 0.087) occurred.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the safety and efficacy results treosulfan is an acceptable option for heavily pretreated OC patients. Regarding the toxicity profile the i.v. application was better tolerated with less grade III and IV toxicities.

Forschner A, Eichner F, Amaral T, et al.
Improvement of overall survival in stage IV melanoma patients during 2011-2014: analysis of real-world data in 441 patients of the German Central Malignant Melanoma Registry (CMMR).
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(3):533-540 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: During 2011 and 2014, new treatment modalities like tyrosine kinase inhibitors and checkpoint inhibitors were introduced into the therapy of metastatic melanoma. This study addresses the question whether overall survival (OS) of metastatic melanoma patients has already been improved in 441 patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma between 2011 and 2014 in the real-world setting at the University Hospital Tuebingen.
METHODS: All patients were documented with their different therapies by the CMMR and followed up until March 2016. Survival probabilities were calculated by Kaplan-Meier estimators, and log-rank tests were used to evaluate significances. Hazard ratios were estimated by Cox regression analysis for survival probabilities and prognostic factors in stage IV melanoma.
RESULTS: Best OS was observed in patients (n = 93) treated by metastasectomy as primary treatment with the intention to completely excise all metastases (3-year OS 61%). OS for patients with first-line systemic treatment (n = 258) was unfavorable in general (3-year OS 23%). Of those, the most favorable outcome was observed in patients without brain metastasis and treated with immunotherapy (mostly ipilimumab), as first-line treatment (median OS 35 months, 3-year OS 43%). In case of brain metastases, patients with targeted therapy had a better OS (median 14 months) than patients with ipilimumab treatment (median 7 months). Among all patients with first-line systemic treatment, outcome of patients diagnosed in the years 2013/2014, compared to 2011 and 2012, showed an improved survival. Three-year OS for patients that entered stage IV in 2013/2014 was 37% compared to those that entered stage IV in 2011 (18%) and 2012 (20%).
CONCLUSION: The analysis of real-world data of treatment of metastatic melanoma showed an improvement of OS with both immunotherapy and targeted therapy. In case of cerebral metastasis, patients treated with targeted therapy showed a longer median OS than patients treated with ipilimumab.

Al-Sawaf O, Fischer K, Herling CD, et al.
Alemtuzumab consolidation in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: a phase I/II multicentre trial.
Eur J Haematol. 2017; 98(3):254-262 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Despite high rates of long-lasting remissions in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) treated with chemoimmunotherapy, none of the current therapeutic approaches is curative with the exception of allogeneic transplantation. One strategy to extend progression-free survival and long-term survival might be the establishment of consolidation therapies.
METHODS: In this trial, patients with complete or partial second remission after fludarabine-based treatment received consolidation therapy with alemtuzumab. The aim of this phase I/II trial was to determine the maximal tolerable dose (MTD) of alemtuzumab consolidation and to evaluate safety and efficacy in patients who responded to second-line fludarabine-based treatment. Thirteen patients in complete (CR) or partial remission (PR) received alemtuzumab dose escalation starting with 10 mg intravenously (iv) once weekly for 8 wk and increasing in 10-mg intervals per dose level.
RESULTS: The main dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were infectious complications, and the MTD was determined at 10 mg. After alemtuzumab consolidation, seven of 13 patients (53%) were in CR, and four of these patients (30.7%) achieved minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity (<1 × 10E-4). At a median follow-up of 71.5 months, four patients were progression-free, with a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 28.5 months after the end of second-line treatment.
CONCLUSION: The results provide a safe and efficient schedule with weekly intravenous application of 10 mg of alemtuzumab as a consolidation regime in patients with CLL.

Kaehler KC, Blome C, Forschner A, et al.
Preferences of German melanoma patients for interferon (IFN) α-2b toxicities (the DeCOG "GERMELATOX survey") versus melanoma recurrence to quantify patients' relative values for adjuvant therapy.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(46):e5375 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Currently interferon alfa-2b (IFNα-2b) is an approved adjuvant drug for high-risk melanoma patients that leads to an improvement in disease-free survival (DFS). However, it is unclear whether it also impacts overall survival. Widespread use of adjuvant high-dose IFNα has been tempered by its significant toxicity and its limited efficacy. Current therapeutic strategies like immune checkpoint blockade or targeted therapy may also be useful in the adjuvant setting. Therefore, it is important to weigh the trade-offs between possible side effects and therapeutic benefit.We assessed patient utilities for health states associated with IFN therapy. Utilities are measures of preference for a specific health state on a scale of 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health).Utilities were determined for health states associated with adjuvant IFN among 130 German low-risk melanoma patients using the standard gamble technique. Four IFNα-2b toxicity scenarios and the following 3 posttreatment outcomes were assessed: disease-free health and melanoma recurrence (with or without previous use of IFNα-2b) resulting in cancer death. Patients were asked to trade-off the improvement in 5-year DFS and the IFN-related side effects.Utilities for melanoma recurrence (mean 0.60) were significantly lower than for all IFNα-2b toxicity scenarios (mean 0.81-0.90). Patients were willing to tolerate mild-to-moderate and severe toxicity for a 50% and 75% chance of 5-year DFS, respectively. Both utilities and threshold benefits were mostly independent from patient characteristics like gender, income, and social situation. Significant impact was only observed by age and previous personal experience with cancer.On average, German patients were willing to trade even severe IFNα-2b toxicity for reducing the rate of melanoma recurrence. This result points out the importance of a relapse-free survival for melanoma patients. The utilities measured in our study can be applied to decision-making processes in clinical trials of new adjuvant drugs.

Kollár A, Jones RL, Stacchiotti S, et al.
Pazopanib in advanced vascular sarcomas: an EORTC Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (STBSG) retrospective analysis.
Acta Oncol. 2017; 56(1):88-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pazopanib is a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of patients with selective subtypes of advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) who have previously received standard chemotherapy including anthracyclines. Data on the efficacy in vascular sarcomas are limited. The main objective of this study was to investigate the activity of pazopanib in vascular sarcomas.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective study of patients with advanced vascular sarcomas, including angiosarcoma (AS), epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (HE) and intimal sarcoma (IS) treated with pazopanib in real life practice at EORTC centers as well as patients treated within the EORTC phase II and III clinical trials (62043/62072) was performed. Patient and tumor characteristics were collected. Response was assessed according to RECIST 1.1. and survival analysis was performed.
RESULTS: Fifty-two patients were identified, 40 (76.9%), 10 (19.2%) and two (3.8%) with AS, HE and IS, respectively. The response rate was eight (20%), two (20%) and two (100%) in the AS, HE and IS subtypes, respectively. There was no significant difference in response rate between cutaneous and non-cutaneous AS and similarly between radiation-associated and non-radiation-associated AS. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and median overall survival (OS; from commencing pazopanib) were three months (95% CI 2.1-4.4) and 9.9 months (95% CI 6.5-11.3) in AS, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The activity of pazopanib in AS is comparable to its reported activity in other STS subtypes. In this study, the activity of pazopanib was similar in cutaneous/non-cutaneous and in radiation/non-radiation-associated AS. In addition, pazopanib showed promising activity in HE and IS, worthy of further evaluation.

Hermann B, Lehners N, Brodhun M, et al.
Influenza virus infections in patients with malignancies -- characteristics and outcome of the season 2014/15. A survey conducted by the Infectious Diseases Working Party (AGIHO) of the German Society of Haematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO).
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2017; 36(3):565-573 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Influenza virus infections (IVI) may pose a vital threat to immunocompromised patients such as those suffering from malignancies, but specific data on epidemiology and outcome in these patients are scarce. In this study, we collected data on patients with active cancer or with a history of cancer, presenting with documented IVI in eight centres in Germany. Two hundred and three patients were identified, suffering from haematological malignancies or solid tumours; 109 (54 %) patients had active malignant disease. Influenza A was detected in 155 (77 %) and Influenza B in 46 (23 %) of patients (genera not determined in two patients). Clinical symptoms were consistent with upper respiratory tract infection in 55/203 (27 %), influenza-like illness in 82/203 (40 %), and pneumonia in 67/203 (33 %). Anti-viral treatment with oseltamivir was received by 116/195 (59 %). Superinfections occurred in 37/203 (18 %), and admission on an intensive care unit was required in 26/203 (13 %). Seventeen patients (9 %) died. Independent risk factors for death were delayed diagnosis of IVI and bacterial or fungal superinfection, but not underlying malignancy or ongoing immunosuppression. In conclusion, patients with IVI show high rates of pneumonia and mortality. Early and rapid diagnosis is essential. The high rate of pneumonia and superinfections should be taken into account when managing IVI in these patients.

Foukakis T, von Minckwitz G, Bengtsson NO, et al.
Effect of Tailored Dose-Dense Chemotherapy vs Standard 3-Weekly Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Recurrence-Free Survival Among Women With High-Risk Early Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2016; 316(18):1888-1896 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: Standard dosing of chemotherapy based on body surface area results in marked interpatient variation in pharmacokinetics, toxic effects, and efficacy. Whether tailored dosing can improve outcomes is unknown, as is the role of dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy.
Objective: To determine whether tailored dose-dense adjuvant chemotherapy improves the outcomes of early breast cancer compared with a standard 3-weekly chemotherapy schedule.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial of women aged 65 years and younger who had surgery for nonmetastatic node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer at 86 sites in Sweden, Germany, and Austria between February 20, 2007, and September 14, 2011.
Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 either to 4 cycles of leukocyte nadir-based tailored and dose-dense adjuvant epirubicin and cyclophosphamide every 2 weeks followed by 4 cycles of tailored dose-dense docetaxel every 2 weeks, or to standard-interval chemotherapy with 3 cycles of fluorouracil and epirubicin-cyclophosphamide every 3 weeks followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel every 3 weeks.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was breast cancer recurrence-free survival (BCRFS). Secondary end points included 5-year event-free survival (EFS), distant disease-free survival (DDFS), overall survival (OS), and rates of grade 3 or 4 toxic effects.
Results: Among 2017 randomized patients (1006 in the tailored dose-dense group and 1011 in the control group; median [IQR] age, 51 [45-58] years; 80% with hormone receptor-positive tumors; 97% with node-positive disease), 2000 received study treatment (≥1 cycle of chemotherapy; 1001 in the tailored dose-dense group and 999 in the control group). After a median follow-up of 5.3 years (IQR, 4.5-6.1 years), 269 BCRFS events were reported, 118 in the tailored dose-dense group and 151 in the control group (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61-1.01; log-rank P = .06; 5-year BCRFS, 88.7% vs 85.0%). The tailored dose-dense group had significantly better EFS than the control group (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63-0.99; P = .04; 5-year EFS, 86.7% vs 82.1%). The groups did not differ in OS (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.57-1.05; P = .09; 5-year OS, 92.1% vs 90.2%) or DDFS (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.64-1.08; P = .17; 5-year DDFS, 89.4% vs 86.7%). Grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic toxic effects occurred in 527 (52.6%) in the tailored dose-dense group and 366 (36.6%) in the control group.
Conclusions and Relevance: Among women with high-risk early breast cancer, the use of tailored dose-dense chemotherapy compared with standard adjuvant chemotherapy did not result in a statistically significant improvement in breast cancer recurrence-free survival. Nonhematologic toxic effects were more frequent in the tailored dose-dense group.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00798070; isrctn.org Identifier: ISRCTN39017665.

Lützen U, Zuhayra M, Marx M, et al.
Value and efficiency of sentinel lymph node diagnostics in patients with penile carcinoma with palpable inguinal lymph nodes as a new multimodal, minimally invasive approach.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(13):2313-2323 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The international guidelines recommend sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for lymph node staging in penile cancer with non-palpable inguinal lymph nodes (LN) but it is not recommended with palpable inguinal LN. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and morbidity of SLNB in combination with an ultrasound-guided resection of suspect inguinal LNs as a new multimodal, minimally invasive staging approach in these patients.
METHODS: We performed SLNB in 26 penile cancer patients with 42 palpable inguinal LNs. Prior to the combined staging procedures the patients underwent an ultrasound examination of the groins as well as planar lymphatic drainage scintigraphy and SPECT/CT scans. During the surgical procedure, the radioactive-labelled sentinel lymph nodes and, in addition, sonographically suspect LNs, were resected under ultrasound guidance. Follow-up screening was done by ultrasound examination of the groins according to the guidelines of the European Association of Urology.
RESULTS: Nineteen groins of 42 preoperatively palpable inguinal findings were histologically tumor-positive. SLNB alone showed lymphogenic metastases in 14 groins. Sonography revealed five further metastatic groins, which would not have been detected during SLNB due to a tumor-related blockage of lymphatic drainage or a so-called re-routing of the tracer. During follow-up, none of the 28 groins with tumor-negative LN status showed any LN recurrence in this combined investigation technique. The median follow-up period was 46 (24 to 92) months. Morbidity of this procedure was low at 4.76 % in relation to the number of groins resp. 7.69 % in relation to the number of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The results show that this combined procedure is a reliable multimodal diagnostic approach for treatment of penile cancer patients with palpable inguinal LNs. It is associated with low morbidity rates. SLNB alone would lead to a significantly higher false-negative rate in these patients. The encouraging results of this work can extend the range of indications for nuclear medicine in the form of SLNB using radioactive tracers in this patient group.

Schlenk RF, Lübbert M, Benner A, et al.
All-trans retinoic acid as adjunct to intensive treatment in younger adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia: results of the randomized AMLSG 07-04 study.
Ann Hematol. 2016; 95(12):1931-1942 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this clinical trial was to evaluate the impact of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in combination with chemotherapy and to assess the NPM1 status as biomarker for ATRA therapy in younger adult patients (18-60 years) with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Patients were randomized for intensive chemotherapy with or without open-label ATRA (45 mg/m(2), days 6-8; 15 mg/m(2), days 9-21). Two cycles of induction therapy were followed by risk-adapted consolidation with high-dose cytarabine or allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Due to the open label character of the study, analysis was performed on an intention-to-treat (ITT) and a per-protocol (PP) basis. One thousand one hundred patients were randomized (556, STANDARD; 544, ATRA) with 38 patients treated vice versa. Median follow-up for survival was 5.2 years. ITT analyses revealed no difference between ATRA and STANDARD for the total cohort and for the subset of NPM1-mutated AML with respect to event-free (EFS; p = 0.93, p = 0.17) and overall survival (OS; p = 0.24 and p = 0.32, respectively). Pre-specified PP analyses revealed better EFS in NPM1-mutated AML (p = 0.05) and better OS in the total cohort (p = 0.03). Explorative subgroup analyses on an ITT basis revealed better OS (p = 0.05) in ATRA for genetic low-risk patients according to ELN recommendations. The clinical trial is registered at clinicaltrialsregister.eu (EudraCT Number: 2004-004321-95).

Hortobagyi GN, Stemmer SM, Burris HA, et al.
Ribociclib as First-Line Therapy for HR-Positive, Advanced Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(18):1738-1748 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background The inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) could potentially overcome or delay resistance to endocrine therapy in advanced breast cancer that is positive for hormone receptor (HR) and negative for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Methods In this randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of the selective CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib combined with letrozole for first-line treatment in 668 postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative recurrent or metastatic breast cancer who had not received previous systemic therapy for advanced disease. We randomly assigned the patients to receive either ribociclib (600 mg per day on a 3-weeks-on, 1-week-off schedule) plus letrozole (2.5 mg per day) or placebo plus letrozole. The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival. Secondary end points included overall survival, overall response rate, and safety. A preplanned interim analysis was performed on January 29, 2016, after 243 patients had disease progression or died. Prespecified criteria for superiority required a hazard ratio of 0.56 or less with P<1.29×10(-5). Results The duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer in the ribociclib group than in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.72; P=3.29×10(-6) for superiority). The median duration of follow-up was 15.3 months. After 18 months, the progression-free survival rate was 63.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 54.6 to 70.3) in the ribociclib group and 42.2% (95% CI, 34.8 to 49.5) in the placebo group. In patients with measurable disease at baseline, the overall response rate was 52.7% and 37.1%, respectively (P<0.001). Common grade 3 or 4 adverse events that were reported in more than 10% of the patients in either group were neutropenia (59.3% in the ribociclib group vs. 0.9% in the placebo group) and leukopenia (21.0% vs. 0.6%); the rates of discontinuation because of adverse events were 7.5% and 2.1%, respectively. Conclusions Among patients receiving initial systemic treatment for HR-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, the duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer among those receiving ribociclib plus letrozole than among those receiving placebo plus letrozole, with a higher rate of myelosuppression in the ribociclib group. (Funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01958021 .).

Gambichler T, Wieland U, Silling S, et al.
Left-sided laterality of Merkel cell carcinoma in a German population: more than just sun exposure.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2017; 143(2):347-350 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lateral distribution of cancer has been observed previously. Most evident is this laterality in ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin cancer, based on an unequally distributed UV exposure.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore whether patients from Germany also show asymmetrical lateral distribution of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
METHODS: In total, 115 patients with MCC were studied for laterality of the primary tumour. Correlation of clinical variables with lateral distribution of MCC was investigated as well.
RESULTS: In 64/115 (55.7%) patients, primary tumours were present on the left side, in 37/115 (32.2%) on the right side, and in 14/115 (12.2%) in the midline (P < 0.0001). Excluding the latter localization occurrence of left-sided MCCs (64 of 101/63.4%) was significantly (P = 0.0072) more often observed (1.73-fold) when compared to right-sided tumours (37 of 101/36.6%). The excess of left-sided tumours was found on the head with a left-right ratio of 1.8, trunk of 8, arm of 1.2, and leg of 1.8. There was no significant association between laterality and gender, age, MCPyV status, and anatomic localization of primary tumours including the occurrence in sun-exposed sites.
CONCLUSIONS: Occurrence of left-sided MCCs was significantly more often observed when compared to right-sided tumours. Laterality was not associated with tumour presentation at chronically ultraviolet-exposed sites. Hence, the reason for laterality in MCC remains obscure, but likely goes beyond UV exposure.

Reck M, Rodríguez-Abreu D, Robinson AG, et al.
Pembrolizumab versus Chemotherapy for PD-L1-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(19):1823-1833 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against programmed death 1 (PD-1) that has antitumor activity in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with increased activity in tumors that express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Methods In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 305 patients who had previously untreated advanced NSCLC with PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells and no sensitizing mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene or translocation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene to receive either pembrolizumab (at a fixed dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks) or the investigator's choice of platinum-based chemotherapy. Crossover from the chemotherapy group to the pembrolizumab group was permitted in the event of disease progression. The primary end point, progression-free survival, was assessed by means of blinded, independent, central radiologic review. Secondary end points were overall survival, objective response rate, and safety. Results Median progression-free survival was 10.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.7 to not reached) in the pembrolizumab group versus 6.0 months (95% CI, 4.2 to 6.2) in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.68; P<0.001). The estimated rate of overall survival at 6 months was 80.2% in the pembrolizumab group versus 72.4% in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.89; P=0.005). The response rate was higher in the pembrolizumab group than in the chemotherapy group (44.8% vs. 27.8%), the median duration of response was longer (not reached [range, 1.9+ to 14.5+ months] vs. 6.3 months [range, 2.1+ to 12.6+]), and treatment-related adverse events of any grade were less frequent (occurring in 73.4% vs. 90.0% of patients), as were grade 3, 4, or 5 treatment-related adverse events (26.6% vs. 53.3%). Conclusions In patients with advanced NSCLC and PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells, pembrolizumab was associated with significantly longer progression-free and overall survival and with fewer adverse events than was platinum-based chemotherapy. (Funded by Merck; KEYNOTE-024 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02142738 .).

Ferris RL, Blumenschein G, Fayette J, et al.
Nivolumab for Recurrent Squamous-Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(19):1856-1867 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck after platinum chemotherapy have a very poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options. Nivolumab, an anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody, was assessed as treatment for this condition. Methods In this randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial, we assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, 361 patients with recurrent squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck whose disease had progressed within 6 months after platinum-based chemotherapy to receive nivolumab (at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight) every 2 weeks or standard, single-agent systemic therapy (methotrexate, docetaxel, or cetuximab). The primary end point was overall survival. Additional end points included progression-free survival, rate of objective response, safety, and patient-reported quality of life. Results The median overall survival was 7.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.5 to 9.1) in the nivolumab group versus 5.1 months (95% CI, 4.0 to 6.0) in the group that received standard therapy. Overall survival was significantly longer with nivolumab than with standard therapy (hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 97.73% CI, 0.51 to 0.96; P=0.01), and the estimates of the 1-year survival rate were approximately 19 percentage points higher with nivolumab than with standard therapy (36.0% vs. 16.6%). The median progression-free survival was 2.0 months (95% CI, 1.9 to 2.1) with nivolumab versus 2.3 months (95% CI, 1.9 to 3.1) with standard therapy (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.13; P=0.32). The rate of progression-free survival at 6 months was 19.7% with nivolumab versus 9.9% with standard therapy. The response rate was 13.3% in the nivolumab group versus 5.8% in the standard-therapy group. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 13.1% of the patients in the nivolumab group versus 35.1% of those in the standard-therapy group. Physical, role, and social functioning was stable in the nivolumab group, whereas it was meaningfully worse in the standard-therapy group. Conclusions Among patients with platinum-refractory, recurrent squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, treatment with nivolumab resulted in longer overall survival than treatment with standard, single-agent therapy. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 141 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02105636 .).

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 .).

Mirza MR, Monk BJ, Herrstedt J, et al.
Niraparib Maintenance Therapy in Platinum-Sensitive, Recurrent Ovarian Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(22):2154-2164 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Niraparib is an oral poly(adenosine diphosphate [ADP]-ribose) polymerase (PARP) 1/2 inhibitor that has shown clinical activity in patients with ovarian cancer. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of niraparib versus placebo as maintenance treatment for patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer. Methods In this randomized, double-blind, phase 3 trial, patients were categorized according to the presence or absence of a germline BRCA mutation (gBRCA cohort and non-gBRCA cohort) and the type of non-gBRCA mutation and were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive niraparib (300 mg) or placebo once daily. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results Of 553 enrolled patients, 203 were in the gBRCA cohort (with 138 assigned to niraparib and 65 to placebo), and 350 patients were in the non-gBRCA cohort (with 234 assigned to niraparib and 116 to placebo). Patients in the niraparib group had a significantly longer median duration of progression-free survival than did those in the placebo group, including 21.0 vs. 5.5 months in the gBRCA cohort (hazard ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17 to 0.41), as compared with 12.9 months vs. 3.8 months in the non-gBRCA cohort for patients who had tumors with homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) (hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.59) and 9.3 months vs. 3.9 months in the overall non-gBRCA cohort (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.61; P<0.001 for all three comparisons). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events that were reported in the niraparib group were thrombocytopenia (in 33.8%), anemia (in 25.3%), and neutropenia (in 19.6%), which were managed with dose modifications. Conclusions Among patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer, the median duration of progression-free survival was significantly longer among those receiving niraparib than among those receiving placebo, regardless of the presence or absence of gBRCA mutations or HRD status, with moderate bone marrow toxicity. (Funded by Tesaro; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01847274 .).

Eggermont AM, Chiarion-Sileni V, Grob JJ, et al.
Prolonged Survival in Stage III Melanoma with Ipilimumab Adjuvant Therapy.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(19):1845-1855 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background On the basis of data from a phase 2 trial that compared the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab at doses of 0.3 mg, 3 mg, and 10 mg per kilogram of body weight in patients with advanced melanoma, this phase 3 trial evaluated ipilimumab at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram in patients who had undergone complete resection of stage III melanoma. Methods After patients had undergone complete resection of stage III cutaneous melanoma, we randomly assigned them to receive ipilimumab at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram (475 patients) or placebo (476) every 3 weeks for four doses, then every 3 months for up to 3 years or until disease recurrence or an unacceptable level of toxic effects occurred. Recurrence-free survival was the primary end point. Secondary end points included overall survival, distant metastasis-free survival, and safety. Results At a median follow-up of 5.3 years, the 5-year rate of recurrence-free survival was 40.8% in the ipilimumab group, as compared with 30.3% in the placebo group (hazard ratio for recurrence or death, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.89; P<0.001). The rate of overall survival at 5 years was 65.4% in the ipilimumab group, as compared with 54.4% in the placebo group (hazard ratio for death, 0.72; 95.1% CI, 0.58 to 0.88; P=0.001). The rate of distant metastasis-free survival at 5 years was 48.3% in the ipilimumab group, as compared with 38.9% in the placebo group (hazard ratio for death or distant metastasis, 0.76; 95.8% CI, 0.64 to 0.92; P=0.002). Adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 54.1% of the patients in the ipilimumab group and in 26.2% of those in the placebo group. Immune-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 41.6% of the patients in the ipilimumab group and in 2.7% of those in the placebo group. In the ipilimumab group, 5 patients (1.1%) died owing to immune-related adverse events. Conclusions As adjuvant therapy for high-risk stage III melanoma, ipilimumab at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram resulted in significantly higher rates of recurrence-free survival, overall survival, and distant metastasis-free survival than placebo. There were more immune-related adverse events with ipilimumab than with placebo. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00636168 , and EudraCT number, 2007-001974-10 .).

Dimopoulos MA, Oriol A, Nahi H, et al.
Daratumumab, Lenalidomide, and Dexamethasone for Multiple Myeloma.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 375(14):1319-1331 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background Daratumumab showed promising efficacy alone and with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in a phase 1-2 study involving patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Methods In this phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 569 patients with multiple myeloma who had received one or more previous lines of therapy to receive lenalidomide and dexamethasone either alone (control group) or in combination with daratumumab (daratumumab group). The primary end point was progression-free survival. Results At a median follow-up of 13.5 months in a protocol-specified interim analysis, 169 events of disease progression or death were observed (in 53 of 286 patients [18.5%] in the daratumumab group vs. 116 of 283 [41.0%] in the control group; hazard ratio, 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27 to 0.52; P<0.001 by stratified log-rank test). The Kaplan-Meier rate of progression-free survival at 12 months was 83.2% (95% CI, 78.3 to 87.2) in the daratumumab group, as compared with 60.1% (95% CI, 54.0 to 65.7) in the control group. A significantly higher rate of overall response was observed in the daratumumab group than in the control group (92.9% vs. 76.4%, P<0.001), as was a higher rate of complete response or better (43.1% vs. 19.2%, P<0.001). In the daratumumab group, 22.4% of the patients had results below the threshold for minimal residual disease (1 tumor cell per 10(5) white cells), as compared with 4.6% of those in the control group (P<0.001); results below the threshold for minimal residual disease were associated with improved outcomes. The most common adverse events of grade 3 or 4 during treatment were neutropenia (in 51.9% of the patients in the daratumumab group vs. 37.0% of those in the control group), thrombocytopenia (in 12.7% vs. 13.5%), and anemia (in 12.4% vs. 19.6%). Daratumumab-associated infusion-related reactions occurred in 47.7% of the patients and were mostly of grade 1 or 2. Conclusions The addition of daratumumab to lenalidomide and dexamethasone significantly lengthened progression-free survival among patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Daratumumab was associated with infusion-related reactions and a higher rate of neutropenia than the control therapy. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; POLLUX ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02076009 .).

Schulz C, Müller J, Sauter J, et al.
Superiority of a Split-dose Regimen of Sodium Picosulfate/Magnesium Citrate (SPMC) in Comparison to a Prior-day Schedule (AM/PM) for Colonoscopy Preparation. A Randomized Single-blinded Study.
J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2016; 25(3):295-302 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Split-dose regimens are generally recommended for bowel cleansers. However, other regimens still remain in the summary of product characteristics of some bowel cleansers in Europe. The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy and safety of a split-dose regimen of sodium picosulfate/magnesium citrate (SPMC) with a prior-day schedule (AM/PM).
METHODS: Multicenter, randomized (EudraCT no. 2013-001620-20), endoscopist-blinded, parallel study, carried out in subjects 18 years or older undergoing elective colonoscopy. The primary endpoint was the bowel cleansing assessment using a binary transformation (adequate/inadequate) of the Global Preparation Assessment (GPA) scale. Additional parameters analyzed were the segmental assessment of bowel cleansing (RSS), the adenoma detection rate and safety evaluations.
RESULTS: 315 subjects comprised the ITT set. A significantly higher proportion of patients in the split-dose regimen had an adequate bowel preparation (AM/PM: 30.8% vs split-dose: 79.9%; p<0.0001). The mean global RSS was significantly lower in the split-dose group (AM/PM: 5.0 [SD: 2.91] vs split-dose: 2.6 [SD: 2.14]; p<0.0001). Flat polyps were detected in a higher proportion of subjects in the split-dose group compared with the AM/PM group (AM/PM: 16.0% vs split-dose: 22.0%). Both regimens were equally safe and well tolerated, with no serious treatment-emergent adverse events or discontinuations due to adverse events.
CONCLUSION: A split-dose regimen of SPMC is superior to the AM/PM regimen administered the day before colonoscopy. Split regimen of SPMC should be considered the standard of use.

Vrieling C, van Werkhoven E, Maingon P, et al.
Prognostic Factors for Local Control in Breast Cancer After Long-term Follow-up in the EORTC Boost vs No Boost Trial: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(1):42-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: Prognostic factors of ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) may change over time following breast-conserving therapy.
Objective: The EORTC "boost no boost" trial showed that young age and high-grade invasive carcinoma were the most important risk factors for IBTR. This study reanalyses pathological prognostic factors related to IBTR using long-term follow-up.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Participants included 5569 early-stage breast cancer patients, treated with breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and whole-breast irradiation (WBI), who were randomized between no boost and a 16-Gy boost in the EORTC phase III "boost no boost" trial (1989-1996). A total of 1616 patients with a microscopically complete resection (according to local pathologists), included in the central pathology review, have been analyzed in this study. Median follow-up was 18.2 years.
Interventions: No further treatment or 16-Gy boost, after BCS and 50-Gy WBI.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Time to ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) as first event.
Results: The 20-year cumulative incidence of IBTR in 1616 patients (160 events observed) was 15% (95% CI, 12%-17%). Young age (P < .001) and presence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (HR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.36-3.38; P = .001) were associated with an increased risk of IBTR in multivariable analysis. The cumulative incidence of IBTR at 20 years was 34% (95% CI, 25%-41%), 14% (95% CI, 10%-18%), and 11% (95% CI, 8%-15%), in patients 40 years or younger, 41 to 50 years and 50 years or older, respectively (P < .001). This incidence was 18% (95% CI, 14%-22%) and 9% (95% CI, 6%-12%) for tumors with and without DCIS (P < .001). High-grade tumors relapsed more frequently early during follow-up but the relative effect of age and presence of DCIS seemed stable over time. The boost reduced the 20-year IBTR incidence from 31% (95% CI, 22%-39%) to 15% (95% CI, 8%-21%) (HR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.22-0.62; P < .001) in high-risk patients (≤50 years with DCIS present).
Conclusions and Relevance: The association of high-grade invasive tumor with IBTR diminished during follow-up, while the effect of DCIS adjacent to invasive tumor seemed to remain stable. Therefore, patients with high-grade invasive tumors should be monitored closely, especially in the first 5 years, while additional DCIS is an indication for longer follow-up, emphasizing the importance of long-term trial follow-up to estimate absolute effects accurately.
Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02295033.

de Jong EE, van Elmpt W, Leijenaar RT, et al.
[18F]FDG PET/CT-based response assessment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer treated with paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab with or without nitroglycerin patches.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(1):8-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Nitroglycerin (NTG) is a vasodilating drug, which increases tumor blood flow and consequently decreases hypoxia. Therefore, changes in [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG PET) uptake pattern may occur. In this analysis, we investigated the feasibility of [18F]FDG PET for response assessment to paclitaxel-carboplatin-bevacizumab (PCB) treatment with and without NTG patches. And we compared the [18F]FDG PET response assessment to RECIST response assessment and survival.
METHODS: A total of 223 stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients were included in a phase II study (NCT01171170) randomizing between PCB treatment with or without NTG patches. For 60 participating patients, a baseline and a second [18F]FDG PET/computed tomography (CT) scan, performed between day 22 and 24 after the start of treatment, were available. Tumor response was defined as a 30 % decrease in CT and PET parameters, and was compared to RECIST response at week 6. The predictive value of these assessments for progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was assessed with and without NTG.
RESULTS: A 30 % decrease in SUVpeak assessment identified more patients as responders compared to a 30 % decrease in CT diameter assessment (73 % vs. 18 %), however, this was not correlated to OS (SUVpeak30 p = 0.833; CTdiameter30 p = 0.557). Changes in PET parameters between the baseline and the second scan were not significantly different for the NTG group compared to the control group (p value range 0.159-0.634). The CT-based (part of the [18F]FDG PET/CT) parameters showed a significant difference between the baseline and the second scan for the NTG group compared to the control group (CT diameter decrease of 7 ± 23 % vs. 19 ± 14 %, p = 0.016, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in tumoral FDG uptake in advanced NSCLC patients treated with chemotherapy with and without NTG did not differ between both treatment arms. Early PET-based response assessment showed more tumor responders than CT-based response assessment (part of the [18F]FDG PET/CT); this was not correlated to survival. This might be due to timing of the [18F]FDG PET shortly after the bevacizumab infusion.

Sachpekidis C, Hillengass J, Goldschmidt H, et al.
Treatment response evaluation with (18)F-FDG PET/CT and (18)F-NaF PET/CT in multiple myeloma patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2017; 44(1):50-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this study was to assess the combined use of the radiotracers (18)F-FDG and (18)F-NaF in treatment response evaluation of a group of multiple myeloma (MM) patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy (HDT) followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) by means of static (whole-body) and dynamic PET/CT (dPET/CT).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-four patients with primary, previously untreated MM scheduled for treatment with HDT followed by ASCT were enrolled in the study. All patients underwent PET/CT scanning with (18)F-FDG and (18)F-NaF before and after therapy. Treatment response by means of PET/CT was assessed according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 1999 criteria. The evaluation of dPET/CT studies was based on qualitative evaluation, semi-quantitative (SUV) calculation, and quantitative analysis based on two-tissue compartment modelling and a non-compartmental approach leading to the extraction of fractal dimension (FD).
RESULTS: An analysis was possible in 29 patients: three with clinical complete response (CR) and 26 with non-CR (13 patients near complete response-nCR, four patients very good partial response-VGPR, nine patients partial response-PR). After treatment, (18)F-FDG PET/CT was negative in 14/29 patients and positive in 15/29 patients, showing a sensitivity of 57.5 % and a specificity of 100 %. According to the EORTC 1999 criteria, (18)F-FDG PET/CT-based treatment response revealed CR in 14 patients ((18)F-FDG PET/CT CR), PR in 11 patients ((18)F-FDG PET/CT PR) and progressive disease in four patients ((18)F-FDG PET/CT PD). In terms of (18)F-NaF PET/CT, 4/29 patients (13.8 %) had a negative baseline scan, thus failed to depict MM. Regarding the patients for which a direct lesion-to-lesion comparison was feasible, (18)F-NaF PET/CT depicted 56 of the 129 (18)F-FDG positive lesions (43 %). Follow-up (18)F-NaF PET/CT showed persistence of 81.5 % of the baseline (18)F-NaF positive MM lesions after treatment, despite the fact that 64.7 % of them had turned to (18)F-FDG negative. Treatment response according to (18)F-NaF PET/CT revealed CR in one patient ((18)F-NaF PET/CT CR), PR in five patients ((18)F-NaF PET/CT PR), SD in 12 patients ((18)F-NaF PET/CT SD), and PD in seven patients ((18)F-NaF PET/CT PD). Dynamic (18)F-FDG and (18)F-NaF PET/CT studies showed that SUVaverage, SUVmax, as well as the kinetic parameters K1, influx and FD from reference bone marrow and skeleton responded to therapy with a significant decrease (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: F-FDG PET/CT demonstrated a sensitivity of 57.7 % and a specificity of 100 % in treatment response evaluation of MM. Despite its limited sensitivity, the performance of (18)F-FDG PET/CT was satisfactory, given that 6/9 false negative patients in follow-up scans (66.7 %) were clinically characterized as nCR, a disease stage with very low tumor mass. On the other hand, (18)F-NaF PET/CT does not seem to add significantly to (18)F-FDG PET/CT in treatment response evaluation of MM patients undergoing HDT and ASCT, at least shortly after therapy.

de Morrée ES, Vogelzang NJ, Petrylak DP, et al.
Association of Survival Benefit With Docetaxel in Prostate Cancer and Total Number of Cycles Administered: A Post Hoc Analysis of the Mainsail Study.
JAMA Oncol. 2017; 3(1):68-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: The optimal total number of docetaxel cycles in patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCPRC) has not been investigated yet. It is unknown whether it is beneficial for patients to continue treatment upon 6 cycles.
Objective: To investigate whether the number of docetaxel cycles administered to patients deriving clinical benefit was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (OS) in a post hoc analysis of the Mainsail trial.
Design, Setting, and Participants: The Mainsail trial was a multinational randomized phase 3 study of 1059 patients with mCRPC receiving docetaxel, prednisone, and lenalidomide (DPL) or docetaxel, prednisone, and a placebo (DP). Study patients were treated until progressive disease or unacceptable adverse effects occurred. Median OS was found to be inferior in the DPL arm compared with the DP arm. As a result of increased toxic effects with the DPL combination, patients on DPL received fewer docetaxel cycles (median, 6) vs 8 cycles in the control group. As the dose intensity was comparable in both treatment arms, we investigated whether the number of docetaxel cycles administered to patients deriving clinical benefit on Mainsail was an independent prognostic factor for OS. We conducted primary univariate and multivariate analyses for the intention-to-treat population. Additional sensitivity analyses were done, excluding patients who stopped treatment for reasons of disease progression and those who received 4 or fewer cycles of docetaxel for other reasons, minimizing the effect of confounding factors.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Total number of docetaxel cycles delivered as an independent factor for OS.
Results: Overall, all 1059 patients from the Mainsail trial were included (mean [SD] age, 68.7 [7.89] years). Treatment with 8 or more cycles of docetaxel was associated with superior OS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.909; 95% CI, 1.660-2.194; P < .001), irrespective of lenalidomide treatment (HR, 1.060; 95% CI, 0.924-1.215; P = .41). Likewise, in the sensitivity analysis, patients who received a greater number of docetaxel cycles had superior OS; patients who received more than 10 cycles had a median OS of 33.0 months compared with 26.9 months in patients treated with 8 to 10 cycles; and patients who received 5 to 7 cycles had a median OS of 22.8 months (P < .001).
Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that continuation of docetaxel chemotherapy contributes to the survival benefit. Prospective validation is warranted.

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