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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

Chari A, Vogl DT, Gavriatopoulou M, et al.
Oral Selinexor-Dexamethasone for Triple-Class Refractory Multiple Myeloma.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 381(8):727-738 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Selinexor, a selective inhibitor of nuclear export compound that blocks exportin 1 (XPO1) and forces nuclear accumulation and activation of tumor suppressor proteins, inhibits nuclear factor κB, and reduces oncoprotein messenger RNA translation, is a potential novel treatment for myeloma that is refractory to current therapeutic options.
METHODS: We administered oral selinexor (80 mg) plus dexamethasone (20 mg) twice weekly to patients with myeloma who had previous exposure to bortezomib, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, pomalidomide, daratumumab, and an alkylating agent and had disease refractory to at least one proteasome inhibitor, one immunomodulatory agent, and daratumumab (triple-class refractory). The primary end point was overall response, defined as a partial response or better, with response assessed by an independent review committee. Clinical benefit, defined as a minimal response or better, was a secondary end point.
RESULTS: A total of 122 patients in the United States and Europe were included in the modified intention-to-treat population (primary analysis), and 123 were included in the safety population. The median age was 65 years, and the median number of previous regimens was 7; a total of 53% of the patients had high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities. A partial response or better was observed in 26% of patients (95% confidence interval, 19 to 35), including two stringent complete responses; 39% of patients had a minimal response or better. The median duration of response was 4.4 months, median progression-free survival was 3.7 months, and median overall survival was 8.6 months. Fatigue, nausea, and decreased appetite were common and were typically grade 1 or 2 (grade 3 events were noted in up to 25% of patients, and no grade 4 events were reported). Thrombocytopenia occurred in 73% of the patients (grade 3 in 25% and grade 4 in 33%). Thrombocytopenia led to bleeding events of grade 3 or higher in 6 patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Selinexor-dexamethasone resulted in objective treatment responses in patients with myeloma refractory to currently available therapies. (Funded by Karyopharm Therapeutics; STORM ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02336815.).

Budau L, Wilhelm C, Moll R, et al.
Low number of intrafollicular T cells may predict favourable response to rituximab-based immuno-chemotherapy in advanced follicular lymphoma: a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(8):2149-2156 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: First-line rituximab therapy together with chemotherapy is the standard care for patients with advanced follicular B-cell lymphoma, as rituximab together with chemotherapy prolongs progression-free and overall survival (Herold et al. 2007; Marcus et al. 2005). However, as not all patient subgroups benefit from combined immuno-chemotherapy, we asked whether the microenvironment may predict benefit from rituximab-based therapy.
DESIGN: To address this question, we performed a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis on pathological specimens of 18 patients recruited into a randomized clinical trial, where patients with advanced follicular lymphoma were randomized into either chemotherapy or immuno-chemotherapy with rituximab (Herold et al. 2007).
RESULTS: We show here that rituximab exerts beneficial effects, especially in the subgroup of follicular lymphoma patients with low intrafollicular CD3, CD5, CD8, and ZAP70 and high CD56 and CD68 expression.
CONCLUSION: Rituximab may overcome immune-dormancy in follicular lymphoma in cases with lower intrafollicular T-cell numbers and higher CD56 and CD68 cell counts. As this was a retrospective analysis on a small subgroup of patients, these data need to be corroborated in larger clinical trials.

Tap WD, Gelderblom H, Palmerini E, et al.
Pexidartinib versus placebo for advanced tenosynovial giant cell tumour (ENLIVEN): a randomised phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2019; 394(10197):478-487 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tenosynovial giant cell tumour (TGCT), a rare, locally aggressive neoplasm, overexpresses colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1). Surgery is standard with no approved systemic therapy. We aimed to evaluate pexidartinib, a CSF1 receptor inhibitor, in patients with TGCT to provide them with a viable systemic treatment option, especially in cases that are not amenable to surgical resection.
METHODS: This phase 3 randomised trial had two parts. Part one was a double-blind study in which patients with symptomatic, advanced TGCT for whom surgery was not recommended were randomly assigned via an integrated web response system (1:1) to the pexidartinib or placebo group. Individuals in the pexidartinib group received a loading dose of 1000 mg pexidartinib per day orally (400 mg morning; 600 mg evening) for the first 2 weeks, followed by 800 mg per day (400 mg twice a day) for 22 weeks. Part two was an open-label study of pexidartinib for all patients. The primary endpoint, assessed in all intention-to-treat patients, was overall response at week 25, and was centrally reviewed by RECIST, version 1.1. Safety was analysed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02371369.
FINDINGS: Between May 11, 2015, and Sept 30, 2016, of 174 patients assessed for eligibility, 120 patients were randomly assigned to, and received, pexidartinib (n=61) or placebo (n=59). There were 11 dropouts in the placebo group and nine in the pexidartinib group. Emergence of mixed or cholestatic hepatotoxicity caused the data monitoring committee to stop enrolment six patients short of target. The proportion of patients who achieved overall response was higher for pexidartinib than placebo at week 25 by RECIST (24 [39%] of 61 vs none of 59; absolute difference 39% [95% CI 27-53]; p<0·0001). Serious adverse events occurred in eight (13%) of 61 patients in the pexidartinib group and one (2%) of 59 patients in the placebo group. Hair colour changes (67%), fatigue (54%), aspartate aminotransferase increase (39%), nausea (38%), alanine aminotransferase increase (28%), and dysgeusia (25%) were the most frequent pexidartinib-associated adverse events. Three patients given pexidartinib had aminotransferase elevations three or more times the upper limit of normal with total bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase two or more times the upper limit of normal indicative of mixed or cholestatic hepatotoxicity, one lasting 7 months and confirmed by biopsy.
INTERPRETATION: Pexidartinib is the first systemic therapy to show a robust tumour response in TGCT with improved patient symptoms and functional outcomes; mixed or cholestatic hepatotoxicity is an identified risk. Pexidartinib could be considered as a potential treatment for TGCT associated with severe morbidity or functional limitations in cases not amenable to improvement with surgery.
FUNDING: Daiichi Sankyo.

Fischer K, Al-Sawaf O, Bahlo J, et al.
Venetoclax and Obinutuzumab in Patients with CLL and Coexisting Conditions.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(23):2225-2236 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax has shown activity in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its efficacy in combination with other agents in patients with CLL and coexisting conditions is not known.
METHODS: In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we investigated fixed-duration treatment with venetoclax and obinutuzumab in patients with previously untreated CLL and coexisting conditions. Patients with a score of greater than 6 on the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (scores range from 0 to 56, with higher scores indicating more impaired function of organ systems) or a calculated creatinine clearance of less than 70 ml per minute were randomly assigned to receive venetoclax-obinutuzumab or chlorambucil-obinutuzumab. The primary end point was investigator-assessed progression-free survival. The safety of each regimen was also evaluated.
RESULTS: In total, 432 patients (median age, 72 years; median Cumulative Illness Rating Scale score, 8; median creatinine clearance, 66.4 ml per minute) underwent randomization, with 216 assigned to each group. After a median follow-up of 28.1 months, 30 primary end-point events (disease progression or death) had occurred in the venetoclax-obinutuzumab group and 77 had occurred in the chlorambucil-obinutuzumab group (hazard ratio, 0.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23 to 0.53; P<0.001). The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the percentage of patients with progression-free survival at 24 months was significantly higher in the venetoclax-obinutuzumab group than in the chlorambucil-obinutuzumab group: 88.2% (95% CI, 83.7 to 92.6) as compared with 64.1% (95% CI, 57.4 to 70.8). This benefit was also observed in patients with
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with untreated CLL and coexisting conditions, venetoclax-obinutuzumab was associated with longer progression-free survival than chlorambucil-obinutuzumab. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche and AbbVie; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02242942.).

Robert C, Grob JJ, Stroyakovskiy D, et al.
Five-Year Outcomes with Dabrafenib plus Trametinib in Metastatic Melanoma.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 381(7):626-636 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients who have unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a
METHODS: We analyzed pooled extended-survival data from two trials involving previously untreated patients who had received BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (at a dose of 150 mg twice daily) plus MEK inhibitor trametinib (2 mg once daily) in the COMBI-d and COMBI-v trials. The median duration of follow-up was 22 months (range, 0 to 76). The primary end points in the COMBI-d and COMBI-v trials were progression-free survival and overall survival, respectively.
RESULTS: A total of 563 patients were randomly assigned to receive dabrafenib plus trametinib (211 in the COMBI-d trial and 352 in the COMBI-v trial). The progression-free survival rates were 21% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17 to 24) at 4 years and 19% (95% CI, 15 to 22) at 5 years. The overall survival rates were 37% (95% CI, 33 to 42) at 4 years and 34% (95% CI, 30 to 38) at 5 years. In multivariate analysis, several baseline factors (e.g., performance status, age, sex, number of organ sites with metastasis, and lactate dehydrogenase level) were significantly associated with both progression-free survival and overall survival. A complete response occurred in 109 patients (19%) and was associated with an improved long-term outcome, with an overall survival rate of 71% (95% CI, 62 to 79) at 5 years.
CONCLUSIONS: First-line treatment with dabrafenib plus trametinib led to long-term benefit in approximately one third of the patients who had unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a

Im SA, Lu YS, Bardia A, et al.
Overall Survival with Ribociclib plus Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 381(4):307-316 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An earlier analysis of this phase 3 trial showed that the addition of a cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor to endocrine therapy provided a greater benefit with regard to progression-free survival than endocrine therapy alone in premenopausal or perimenopausal patients with advanced hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. Here we report the results of a protocol-specified interim analysis of the key secondary end point of overall survival.
METHODS: We randomly assigned patients to receive either ribociclib or placebo in addition to endocrine therapy (goserelin and either a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor or tamoxifen). Overall survival was evaluated with the use of a stratified log-rank test and summarized with the use of Kaplan-Meier methods.
RESULTS: A total of 672 patients were included in the intention-to-treat population. There were 83 deaths among 335 patients (24.8%) in the ribociclib group and 109 deaths among 337 patients (32.3%) in the placebo group. The addition of ribociclib to endocrine therapy resulted in significantly longer overall survival than endocrine therapy alone. The estimated overall survival at 42 months was 70.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 63.5 to 76.0) in the ribociclib group and 46.0% (95% CI, 32.0 to 58.9) in the placebo group (hazard ratio for death, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.95; P = 0.00973 by log-rank test). The survival benefit seen in the subgroup of 495 patients who received an aromatase inhibitor was consistent with that in the overall intention-to-treat population (hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.98). The percentage of patients who received subsequent antineoplastic therapy was balanced between the groups (68.9% in the ribociclib group and 73.2% in the placebo group). The time from randomization to disease progression during receipt of second-line therapy or to death was also longer in the ribociclib group than in the placebo group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.87).
CONCLUSIONS: This trial showed significantly longer overall survival with a CDK4/6 inhibitor plus endocrine therapy than with endocrine therapy alone among patients with advanced hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. No new concerns regarding toxic effects emerged with longer follow-up. (Funded by Novartis; MONALEESA-7 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02278120.).

Golan T, Hammel P, Reni M, et al.
Maintenance Olaparib for Germline
N Engl J Med. 2019; 381(4):317-327 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with a germline
METHODS: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial to evaluate the efficacy of olaparib as maintenance therapy in patients who had a germline
RESULTS: Of the 3315 patients who underwent screening, 154 underwent randomization and were assigned to a trial intervention (92 to receive olaparib and 62 to receive placebo). The median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the olaparib group than in the placebo group (7.4 months vs. 3.8 months; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.35 to 0.82; P = 0.004). An interim analysis of overall survival, at a data maturity of 46%, showed no difference between the olaparib and placebo groups (median, 18.9 months vs. 18.1 months; hazard ratio for death, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.46; P = 0.68). There was no significant between-group difference in health-related quality of life, as indicated by the overall change from baseline in the global quality-of-life score (on a 100-point scale, with higher scores indicating better quality of life) based on the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (between-group difference, -2.47 points; 95% CI, -7.27 to 2.33). The incidence of grade 3 or higher adverse events was 40% in the olaparib group and 23% in the placebo group (between-group difference, 16 percentage points; 95% CI, -0.02 to 31); 5% and 2% of the patients, respectively, discontinued the trial intervention because of an adverse event.
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with a germline

Chi KN, Agarwal N, Bjartell A, et al.
Apalutamide for Metastatic, Castration-Sensitive Prostate Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 381(1):13-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Apalutamide is an inhibitor of the ligand-binding domain of the androgen receptor. Whether the addition of apalutamide to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) would prolong radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival as compared with placebo plus ADT among patients with metastatic, castration-sensitive prostate cancer has not been determined.
METHODS: In this double-blind, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned patients with metastatic, castration-sensitive prostate cancer to receive apalutamide (240 mg per day) or placebo, added to ADT. Previous treatment for localized disease and previous docetaxel therapy were allowed. The primary end points were radiographic progression-free survival and overall survival.
RESULTS: A total of 525 patients were assigned to receive apalutamide plus ADT and 527 to receive placebo plus ADT. The median age was 68 years. A total of 16.4% of the patients had undergone prostatectomy or received radiotherapy for localized disease, and 10.7% had received previous docetaxel therapy; 62.7% had high-volume disease, and 37.3% had low-volume disease. At the first interim analysis, with a median of 22.7 months of follow-up, the percentage of patients with radiographic progression-free survival at 24 months was 68.2% in the apalutamide group and 47.5% in the placebo group (hazard ratio for radiographic progression or death, 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.60; P<0.001). Overall survival at 24 months was also greater with apalutamide than with placebo (82.4% in the apalutamide group vs. 73.5% in the placebo group; hazard ratio for death, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.89; P = 0.005). The frequency of grade 3 or 4 adverse events was 42.2% in the apalutamide group and 40.8% in the placebo group; rash was more common in the apalutamide group.
CONCLUSIONS: In this trial involving patients with metastatic, castration-sensitive prostate cancer, overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival were significantly longer with the addition of apalutamide to ADT than with placebo plus ADT, and the side-effect profile did not differ substantially between the two groups. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; TITAN ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02489318.).

Facon T, Kumar S, Plesner T, et al.
Daratumumab plus Lenalidomide and Dexamethasone for Untreated Myeloma.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(22):2104-2115 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is a standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation. We sought to determine whether the addition of daratumumab would significantly reduce the risk of disease progression or death in this population.
METHODS: We randomly assigned 737 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation to receive daratumumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone (daratumumab group) or lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone (control group). Treatment was to continue until the occurrence of disease progression or unacceptable side effects. The primary end point was progression-free survival.
RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 28.0 months, disease progression or death had occurred in 240 patients (97 of 368 patients [26.4%] in the daratumumab group and 143 of 369 patients [38.8%] in the control group). The estimated percentage of patients who were alive without disease progression at 30 months was 70.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 65.0 to 75.4) in the daratumumab group and 55.6% (95% CI, 49.5 to 61.3) in the control group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.73; P<0.001). The percentage of patients with a complete response or better was 47.6% in the daratumumab group and 24.9% in the control group (P<0.001). A total of 24.2% of the patients in the daratumumab group, as compared with 7.3% of the patients in the control group, had results below the threshold for minimal residual disease (1 tumor cell per 10
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who were ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation, the risk of disease progression or death was significantly lower among those who received daratumumab plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone than among those who received lenalidomide and dexamethasone alone. A higher incidence of neutropenia and pneumonia was observed in the daratumumab group. (Funded by Janssen Research and Development; MAIA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02252172.).

Cortes JE, Gutzmer R, Kieran MW, Solomon JA
Hedgehog signaling inhibitors in solid and hematological cancers.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2019; 76:41-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The hedgehog signaling pathway is normally tightly regulated. Mutations in hedgehog pathway components may lead to abnormal activation. Aberrantly activated hedgehog signaling plays a major role in the development of solid and hematological cancer. In recent years, inhibitors have been developed that attenuate hedgehog signaling; 2 have been approved for use in basal cell carcinoma (BCC), while others are under development or in clinical trials. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of known hedgehog inhibitors (HHIs) and their potential for the treatment of hematological cancers and solid tumors beyond BCC.
DESIGN: Published literature was searched to identify articles relating to HHIs in noncutaneous cancer. Both preclinical and clinical research articles were included. In addition, relevant clinical trial results were identified from www.clinicaltrials.gov. Information on the pharmacology of HHIs is also included.
RESULTS: HHIs show activity in a variety of solid and hematological cancers. In preclinical studies, HHIs demonstrated efficacy in pancreatic cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, breast cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In clinical studies, HHIs showed activity in medulloblastoma, as well as prostate, pancreatic, and hematological cancers. Current clinical trials testing the efficacy of HHIs are underway for prostate, pancreatic, and breast cancers, as well as multiple myeloma and AML.
CONCLUSIONS: As clinical trial results become available, it will be possible to discern which additional tumor types are suited to HHI mono- or combination therapy with other anticancer agents. The latter strategy may be useful for delaying or overcoming drug resistance.

Sachanas S, Pangalis GA, Fink AM, et al.
Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma: Analysis of Two Cohorts Including Patients in Clinical Trials of the German Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Study Group (GCLLSG) or in "Real-Life" Outside of Clinical Trials.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2591-2598 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Only few studies have focused exclusively on patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In the present report, 103 SLL patients were analyzed from both, clinical trials of the German Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Study Group and Greek centers, and emphasis was placed on the therapeutic strategy. The impact of lymph node characteristics, such as the presence of proliferation centers (PCs) on response and survival was also assessed.
RESULTS: SLL patients included in clinical trials were treated mostly with fludarabine-based regimens while those in "real-life" were staged and treated mostly as patients with low-grade lymphomas. Our analysis showed a trend for better survival for patients with SLL without detectable PCs.
CONCLUSION: Patients with SLL outside of clinical trials are usually treated as cases of lymphoma. In addition, this analysis supports published data regarding the adverse prognostic value of the presence of PCs in lymphoid nodes in SLL.

André F, Ciruelos E, Rubovszky G, et al.
Alpelisib for
N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(20):1929-1940 [PubMed] Related Publications

Rini BI, Powles T, Atkins MB, et al.
Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (IMmotion151): a multicentre, open-label, phase 3, randomised controlled trial.
Lancet. 2019; 393(10189):2404-2415 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A phase 2 trial showed improved progression-free survival for atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who express programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). Here, we report results of IMmotion151, a phase 3 trial comparing atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in first-line metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
METHODS: In this multicentre, open-label, phase 3, randomised controlled trial, patients with a component of clear cell or sarcomatoid histology and who were previously untreated, were recruited from 152 academic medical centres and community oncology practices in 21 countries, mainly in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region, and were randomly assigned 1:1 to either atezolizumab 1200 mg plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg intravenously once every 3 weeks or sunitinib 50 mg orally once daily for 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off. A permuted-block randomisation (block size of 4) was applied to obtain a balanced assignment to each treatment group with respect to the stratification factors. Study investigators and participants were not masked to treatment allocation. Patients, investigators, independent radiology committee members, and the sponsor were masked to PD-L1 expression status. Co-primary endpoints were investigator-assessed progression-free survival in the PD-L1 positive population and overall survival in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02420821.
FINDINGS: Of 915 patients enrolled between May 20, 2015, and Oct 12, 2016, 454 were randomly assigned to the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group and 461 to the sunitinib group. 362 (40%) of 915 patients had PD-L1 positive disease. Median follow-up was 15 months at the primary progression-free survival analysis and 24 months at the overall survival interim analysis. In the PD-L1 positive population, the median progression-free survival was 11·2 months in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group versus 7·7 months in the sunitinib group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·74 [95% CI 0·57-0·96]; p=0·0217). In the ITT population, median overall survival had an HR of 0·93 (0·76-1·14) and the results did not cross the significance boundary at the interim analysis. 182 (40%) of 451 patients in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group and 240 (54%) of 446 patients in the sunitinib group had treatment-related grade 3-4 adverse events: 24 (5%) in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group and 37 (8%) in the sunitinib group had treatment-related all-grade adverse events, which led to treatment-regimen discontinuation.
INTERPRETATION: Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab prolonged progression-free survival versus sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma and showed a favourable safety profile. Longer-term follow-up is necessary to establish whether a survival benefit will emerge. These study results support atezolizumab plus bevacizumab as a first-line treatment option for selected patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Genentech Inc.

Brenner H, Calderazzo S, Seufferlein T, et al.
Effect of a Single Aspirin Dose Prior to Fecal Immunochemical Testing on Test Sensitivity for Detecting Advanced Colorectal Neoplasms: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2019; 321(17):1686-1692 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
Importance: Fecal immunochemical tests for hemoglobin are widely used for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Observational studies suggested that sensitivity of fecal immunochemical tests for detecting advanced neoplasms could be increased by acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), especially among men.
Objective: To evaluate the potential to increase sensitivity of fecal immunochemical tests by administering a single 300-mg oral aspirin dose 2 days before stool sampling.
Design, Setting, and Participants: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was conducted in 14 gastroenterology practices and 4 hospitals in Germany, and included 2422 men and women aged 40 to 80 years scheduled for colonoscopy, with no recent use of aspirin or other drugs with antithrombotic effects (enrollment from June 2013 to November 2016, and final follow-up January 27, 2017).
Interventions: Administration of a single tablet containing 300 mg of aspirin (n = 1208) or placebo (n = 1214) 2 days before fecal sampling for fecal immunochemical test.
Main Outcome and Measures: The primary outcome was sensitivity of a quantitative fecal immunochemical test at 2 predefined cutoffs (10.2 and 17-μg Hb/g stool) for detecting advanced neoplasms (colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma).
Results: Among 2422 randomized patients (mean [SD] age, 59.6 [7.9] years; 1219, 50%, men), 2134 were included in the analysis (78% for primary screening colonoscopy, 22% for diagnostic colonoscopy). Advanced neoplasms were identified in 224 participants (10.5%), including 8 participants (0.4%) with CRC and 216 participants (10.1%) with advanced adenoma. Sensitivity was 40.2% in the aspirin group and 30.4% in the placebo group (difference 9.8%, 95% CI, -3.1% to 22.2%, P = .14) at cutoff 10.2-μg Hb/g stool and 28.6% in the aspirin and 22.5% in the placebo group (difference 6.0%, 95% CI, -5.7% to 17.5%, P = .32) at cutoff 17-μg Hb/g stool.
Conclusions and Relevance: Among adults aged 40 to 80 years not using aspirin or other antithrombotic medications, administration of a single dose of oral aspirin prior to fecal immunochemical testing, compared with placebo, did not significantly increase test sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal neoplasms at 2 predefined cutoffs of a quantitative fecal immunochemical test.
Trial registration: Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien Identifier: DRKS00003252; EudraCT Identifier: 2011-005603-32/DE.

Eichhorn F, Klotz LV, Bischoff H, et al.
Neoadjuvant anti-programmed Death-1 immunotherapy by Pembrolizumab in resectable nodal positive stage II/IIIa non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC): the NEOMUN trial.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):413 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Immunotherapies targeting the PD1/PD-L1 pathway have had a large impact on the treatment of advanced NSCLC. Concerning multimodality tumor therapy, only few trials until today have been performed investigating neoadjuvant treatment with anti PD-1 immunotherapy prior to curative intent surgery. Aim of the NEOMUN investigator initiated trial (EudraCT-Number: 2017-000105-20; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03197467) is to assess feasibility and safety of pre-surgical anti PD-1 treatment in order to improve long term survival.
METHODS: The study is designed as an open-label, single arm, prospective, monocenter, phase II study including 30 patients with NSCLC stage II/IIIA suitable for curative intent surgery. Investigational drug is Pembrolizumab. After 2 cycles of immunotherapy (à 200 mg q3w i.v.), tumor resection with lobectomy or bilobectomy will be performed. Primary objectives are to assess the feasibility and safety of a neoadjuvant immunotherapy and to assess antitumor activity of Pembrolizumab with regard to clinical and pathological tumor response. Secondary objective is disease free and overall survival. Exploratory objective is to analyze potential predictive biomarkers and to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of Pembrolizumab by extended immune cell and cytokine analysis of tumor tissue. The study protocol was approved by the local ethics committee and the federal authority. Start of patient enrollment is scheduled for June 2018.
DISCUSSION: The NEOMUN trial will be one of the first clinical trials investigating a multimodal treatment strategy including neoadjuvant immunotherapy using Pembrolizumab as an investigational drug. Assessing the safety and therapeutic potential of neoadjuvant immunotherapy in connection with lung surgery will be of great interest for thoracic surgeons.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively, the NEOMUN study has been registered on www.clinicaltrials.gov ; NCT03197467 (first post: June 23rd, 2017).

Lavezzi SM, de Jong J, Neyens M, et al.
Systemic Exposure of Rituximab Increased by Ibrutinib: Pharmacokinetic Results and Modeling Based on the HELIOS Trial.
Pharm Res. 2019; 36(7):93 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: In the HELIOS trial, bendamustine/rituximab (BR) plus ibrutinib (BR-I) improved disease outcomes versus BR plus placebo in previously treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Here, we describe the pharmacokinetic (PK) observations, along with modeling to further explore the interaction between ibrutinib and rituximab.
METHODS: 578 subjects were randomized to ibrutinib or placebo with BR (6 cycles). Ibrutinib PK samples and tumor measurements were obtained from all subjects; a subset was evaluated for bendamustine and rituximab PK. Population rituximab PK was assessed using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling.
RESULTS: Dose-normalized plasma concentration-time bendamustine data were comparable between the arms. Systemic rituximab exposure was higher with BR-I versus BR; mean trough serum concentrations were 2- to 3-fold higher in the first three cycles and 1.2- to 1.7-fold higher subsequently. No relevant safety differences were observed. In the modeling, including treatment arm as a categorical covariate and tumor burden as a continuous time-varying covariate on overall rituximab clearance significantly improved fitting of the data.
CONCLUSIONS: BR-I led to higher dose-normalized systemic rituximab exposure versus BR and more rapid steady-state achievement. The modeling data suggest that rituximab disposition is, at least in part, target mediated. Determining the clinical significance of these findings requires further assessments.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01611090 .

Schmidt-Hieber M, Tridello G, Ljungman P, et al.
The prognostic impact of the cytomegalovirus serostatus in patients with chronic hematological malignancies after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a report from the Infectious Diseases Working Party of EBMT.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(7):1755-1763 [PubMed] Related Publications
It has been shown recently that donor and/or recipient cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity is associated with a significant overall survival (OS) decline in acute leukemia patients who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). We now analyzed the prognostic impact of the donor/recipient CMV serostatus in 6968 patients with chronic hematological malignancies who underwent allo-HSCT. Donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity was associated with a significantly reduced 2-year progression-free survival (PFS, 50% vs. 52%, p = 0.03) and OS (62% vs. 65%, p = 0.01). Multivariate Cox regression analyses showed an independent negative prognostic impact of donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity on PFS (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2; p = 0.03), OS (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2; p = 0.003), and non-relapse mortality (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.3; p = 0.02). OS decline was strongest for CMV-seropositive recipients with a CMV-seronegative donor (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3), followed by CMV-seropositive patients with a CMV-seropositive donor (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2). Conversely, OS did not differ significantly between CMV-seronegative recipients allografted from a CMV-seropositive donor (HR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2) and patients with donor/recipient CMV seronegativity (p = 0.001 for the four groups together). Non-relapse mortality was also significantly (p = 0.01) higher for CMV-seropositive patients with a CMV-seronegative graft (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4) than for CMV-seropositive patients with a CMV-seropositive graft (HR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.9-1.2) or CMV-seronegative recipients with a CMV-seropositive graft (HR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.8-1.2). Donor and/or recipient CMV seropositivity still results in an OS decline in patients with chronic hematological malignancies who have undergone allo-HSCT. However, this OS decline seems to be lower than that described for acute leukemia patients previously.

Ortmann O, Torode J, Harrison C, et al.
Research driving innovation: what are key factors for successful integration of translational science into oncology care concepts? 5th European Roundtable Meeting (ERTM) May 4th, 2018, Berlin, Germany.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(6):1521-1525 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To identify key factors for successful integration of translational science into cancer care.
RESULTS: Organisation of the health care system matters to optimally bridge between public and private cancer research, cancer registries and routine care. Currently, there are deficits on various levels of connectivity. These hamper rapid and optimal transfer of innovation.
CONCLUSION: To overcome the deficits, strategies of data sharing and infrastructures allowing fast-track implementation of translational research findings into routine care need to be developed.

Cortes JE, Gambacorti-Passerini C, Deininger MW, et al.
Patient-reported outcomes in the phase 3 BFORE trial of bosutinib versus imatinib for newly diagnosed chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(6):1589-1599 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the phase 3 BFORE trial (NCT02130557), treatment with bosutinib resulted in a significantly higher major molecular response rate at 12 months versus imatinib in the modified intent-to-treat (mITT) population of patients with newly diagnosed chronic phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP CML). Assessment of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) was an exploratory objective.
METHODS: Patients with newly diagnosed CP CML were randomized 1:1 to receive once-daily bosutinib 400 mg or imatinib 400 mg as first-line therapy. Patients completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia (FACT-Leu) and EuroQoL-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaires at baseline, every 3 months for the first 24 months of treatment, every 6 months thereafter, and at treatment completion. We report PRO results at month 12 in the mITT population (bosutinib: n = 246; imatinib: n = 241).
RESULTS: Mean FACT-Leu combined and subscale scores were similar at baseline in the bosutinib and imatinib arms; at month 12, all scores demonstrated improvement or maintenance of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in both treatment arms. Repeated-measures mixed-effects models showed no significant difference between bosutinib and imatinib for any FACT-Leu score. Functional health status, as measured by EQ-5D, also demonstrated improvement or maintenance with bosutinib and imatinib at month 12.
CONCLUSIONS: Similar improvements in PROs compared with baseline were seen after 12 months of treatment with first-line bosutinib or imatinib in the BFORE trial. Newly diagnosed patients with CP CML receiving bosutinib or imatinib can preserve or improve HRQoL during treatment, although clinical efficacy was superior with bosutinib.

Al-Batran SE, Homann N, Pauligk C, et al.
Perioperative chemotherapy with fluorouracil plus leucovorin, oxaliplatin, and docetaxel versus fluorouracil or capecitabine plus cisplatin and epirubicin for locally advanced, resectable gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma (FLOT4): a randomised, phase 2/3 trial.
Lancet. 2019; 393(10184):1948-1957 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Docetaxel-based chemotherapy is effective in metastatic gastric and gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. This study reports on the safety and efficacy of the docetaxel-based triplet FLOT (fluorouracil plus leucovorin, oxaliplatin and docetaxel) as a perioperative therapy for patients with locally advanced, resectable tumours.
METHODS: In this controlled, open-label, phase 2/3 trial, we randomly assigned 716 patients with histologically-confirmed advanced clinical stage cT2 or higher or nodal positive stage (cN+), or both, resectable tumours, with no evidence of distant metastases, via central interactive web-based-response system, to receive either three pre-operative and three postoperative 3-week cycles of 50 mg/m
FINDINGS: Between Aug 8, 2010, and Feb 10, 2015, 716 patients were randomly assigned to treatment in 38 German hospitals or with practice-based oncologists. 360 patients were assigned to ECF/ECX and 356 patients to FLOT. Overall survival was increased in the FLOT group compared with the ECF/ECX group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·77; 95% confidence interval [CI; 0.63 to 0·94]; median overall survival, 50 months [38·33 to not reached] vs 35 months [27·35 to 46·26]). The number of patients with related serious adverse events (including those occurring during hospital stay for surgery) was similar in the two groups (96 [27%] in the ECF/ECX group vs 97 [27%] in the FLOT group), as was the number of toxic deaths (two [<1%] in both groups). Hospitalisation for toxicity occurred in 94 patients (26%) in the ECF/ECX group and 89 patients (25%) in the FLOT group.
INTERPRETATION: In locally advanced, resectable gastric or gastro-oesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, perioperative FLOT improved overall survival compared with perioperative ECF/ECX.
FUNDING: The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe), Sanofi-Aventis, Chugai, and Stiftung Leben mit Krebs Foundation.

Antonopoulos M, VAN Gool SW, Dionysiou D, et al.
Immune Phenotype Correlates With Survival in Patients With GBM Treated With Standard Temozolomide-based Therapy and Immunotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(4):2043-2051 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The need for more effective treatment modalities that can improve the clinical outcome of patients with glioblastoma multiforme remains imperative. Dendritic cell vaccination is a fast-developing treatment modality, currently under exploration. Functional immune cell subpopulations may play a role in the final outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from 101 patients drawn from the HGG-2010 trial, including baseline patient characteristics and fluorescence-activated cell sorting of immune cell subpopulations, were analyzed by statistical and machine-learning methods.
RESULTS: The analysis revealed strong correlations between immune profiles and overall survival, when the extent of resection and the vaccination schedule were used as stratification variables.
CONCLUSION: A systematic, in silico workflow detecting strong and statistically significant correlations between overall survival and immune profile-derived quantities obtained at the start of dendritic cell vaccination was devised. The derived correlations could serve as a basis for the identification of prognostic markers discriminating between potential long- and short-term survivors of patients with glioblastoma multiforme.

Herden U, Schoening W, Pratschke J, et al.
Accuracy of Pretransplant Imaging Diagnostic for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Retrospective German Multicenter Study.
Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019; 2019:8747438 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
Selection and prioritization of patients with HCC for LT are based on pretransplant imaging diagnostic, taking the risk of incorrect diagnosis. According to the German waitlist guidelines, imaging has to be reported to the allocation organization (Eurotransplant) and pathology reports have to be submitted thereafter. In order to assess current procedures we performed a retrospective multicenter analysis in all German transplant centers with focus on accuracy of imaging diagnostic and tumor classification. 1168 primary LT for HCC were conducted between 2007 and 2013 in Germany. Patients inside the Milan, UCSF, and up-to-seven criteria were misclassified with definitive histologic results in 18%, 15%, and 11%, respectively. Patients pretransplant outside the Milan, UCSF, and up-to-seven criteria were otherwise misclassified in 34%, 43%, and 41%. Recurrence-free survival correlated with classification by posttransplant histological report, but not pretransplant imaging diagnostic. Univariate analysis revealed tumor size, vascular invasion, and grading as significant parameters for outcome, while tumor grading was the only parameter persisting by multivariate testing.

Morschhauser F, Flinn IW, Advani R, et al.
Polatuzumab vedotin or pinatuzumab vedotin plus rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma: final results from a phase 2 randomised study (ROMULUS).
Lancet Haematol. 2019; 6(5):e254-e265 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) polatuzumab vedotin (pola) and pinatuzumab vedotin (pina) showed clinical activity and tolerability in phase 1 trials. The aim of this multicentre, open-label, phase 2 study was to compare rituximab plus pola (R-pola) or pina (R-pina) in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.
METHODS: In this phase 2 randomised study at 39 investigational sites in six countries, patients were randomly assigned (1:1), by use of a dynamic hierarchical randomisation scheme, to receive R-pola or R-pina (375 mg/m
FINDINGS: 81 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 42 with follicular lymphoma were recruited between Sept 27, 2012, and Oct 10, 2013, and were assigned to treatment. 81 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 41 patients with follicular lymphoma were eligible for analysis. Of the 42 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who received R-pina, 25 (60%, 95% CI 43-74) achieved an objective response and 11 (26%, 95% CI 14-42) achieved a complete response. Of the 39 patients in this cohort who received R-pola, 21 (54%, 95% CI 37-70) achieved an objective response, and eight (21%, 95% CI 9-36) achieved a complete response. Of the 21 patients in the follicular lymphoma cohort who received R-pina, 13 (62%, 95% CI 38-82) achieved an objective response, and one (5%, 95% CI 0·1-24) achieved a complete response. Of the 20 patients in this cohort who received R-pola, 14 (70%, 95% CI 46-88) achieved an objective response, and nine (45%, 95% CI 23-68) achieved a complete response. In the diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cohort, grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 33 (79%) of 42 patients receiving R-pina (most common were neutropenia [29%] and hyperglycaemia [10%]; nine [21%] grade 5 adverse events, five of which were infection-related), and in 30 (77%) of 39 patients receiving R-pola (most common were neutropenia [23%], anaemia [8%] and diarrhoea [8%]; no grade 5 adverse events). In the follicular lymphoma cohort, grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 13 (62%) of 21 patients receiving R-pina (most common were neutropenia [29%] and hyperglycaemia [14%]; no grade 5 adverse events) and in ten (50%) of 20 patients receiving R-pola (most common were neutropenia [15%] and diarrhoea [10%]; one grade 5 adverse event).
INTERPRETATION: R-pina and R-pola are potential treatment options in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. Pola was selected by the study funder for further development in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, partly because of longer durations of response than pina, and an overall benefit-risk favouring R-pola.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche.

Voelkel V, Draeger T, Groothuis-Oudshoorn CGM, et al.
Predicting the risk of locoregional recurrence after early breast cancer: an external validation of the Dutch INFLUENCE-nomogram with clinical cancer registry data from Germany.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(7):1823-1833 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Follow-up after breast cancer treatment aims for an early detection of locoregional breast cancer recurrences (LRR) to improve the patients' outcome. By estimating individual's 5-year recurrence-risks, the Dutch INFLUENCE-nomogram can assist health professionals and patients in developing personalized risk-based follow-up pathways. The objective of this study is to validate the prediction tool on non-Dutch patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data for this external validation derive from a large clinical cancer registry in southern Germany, covering a population of 1.1 million. Patients with curative resection of early-stage breast cancer, diagnosed between 2000 and 2012, were included in the analysis (n = 6520). For each of them, an individual LRR-risk was estimated by the INFLUENCE-nomogram. Its predictive ability was tested by comparing estimated and observed LRR-probabilities using the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test and C-statistics.
RESULTS: In the German validation-cohort, 2.8% of the patients developed an LRR within 5 years after primary surgery (n = 184). While the INFLUENCE-nomogram generally underestimates the actual LRR-risk of the German patients (p < 0.001), its discriminative ability is comparable to the one observed in the original Dutch modeling-cohort (C-statistic German validation-cohort: 0.73, CI 0.69-0.77 vs. C-statistic Dutch modeling-cohort: 0.71, CI 0.69-0.73). Similar results were obtained in most of the subgroup analyses stratified by age, type of surgery and intrinsic biological subtypes.
CONCLUSION: The outcomes of this external validation underline the generalizability of the INFLUENCE-nomogram beyond the Dutch population. The model performance could be enhanced in future by incorporating additional risk factors for LRR.

Schuler E, Boughoufala S, Rautenberg C, et al.
Relapse patterns and treatment strategies in patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for myeloid malignancies.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(5):1225-1235 [PubMed] Related Publications
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) cures a considerable number of patients with myeloid malignancies, but relapse is the most frequent cause of death. We retrospectively studied relapse rate, kinetics, treatment, and outcome after first aHSCT in 446 patients during a 13-year period. Relapse occurred in 167 patients after a median of 4.6 months (116 hematologic (HR), 38 molecular (MR), and 13 extramedullary relapses (XR)). Median survival after relapse was 8.4 months and 2-year overall survival was 25%. Regarding survival after relapse, type (MR/HR/XR) and timepoint of relapse ( 12 months), age ( 50), diagnosis (MDS/AML and sAML), and remission status at transplant (CR and untreated MDS vs. refractory disease) were relevant in univariate analyses, in multivariate analyses timepoint, and type of relapse, age, and diagnosis. One hundred fifty-six patients were treated, most frequently with hypomethylating agents (HMA, n = 109) or intensive chemotherapy (n = 12). Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) was administered to 99 patients. Second aHSCT was performed in three patients as first and in 21 as higher salvage treatment. A complete remission (CR) was achieved in 46 patients (30%). Among CR patients, 65% had received HMA and DLI. Median survival of patients achieving CR was 105 months and 2-year overall survival was 80%. We conclude that with HMA and DLI or second aHSCT, a substantial number of patients, who relapse after aHSCT, can re-achieve remission and long-term survival. Techniques to further improve the detection of minimal residual disease are urgently needed because early treatment of MR results in significantly better survival.

Kessler T, Koschmieder S, Schliemann C, et al.
Phase II clinical trial of pazopanib in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), relapsed or refractory or at initial diagnosis without an intensive treatment option (PazoAML).
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(6):1393-1401 [PubMed] Related Publications
We evaluated pazopanib (800 mg orally QD) in patients not eligible for intensive treatment with relapsed/refractory AML or at initial diagnosis. Patients receiving pazopanib for > 14 days were analyzed for safety, tolerability, and efficacy. Co-primary endpoints were cumulative response rate and reduction of bone marrow microvessel density. Twenty patients (median age 76 years, range 52-86) were treated. Fifteen had relapsed/refractory and five had newly diagnosed AML. Median ECOG performance status was 1 (range 1-3). Four patients had adverse, 15 intermediate, and 1 patient favorable cytogenetic/molecular risk (ELN 2010 criteria). The safety profile of pazopanib was as reported. The most common adverse events of any grade were gastrointestinal. Two patients achieved PR (blast reduction > 50%), 14 stable disease (SD), and 4 progressive disease. Median PFS was 65 days (95% CI 29-105). After the end of the study, 1 CRi and 1 CRp occurred on demethylating agents, and 1 CR upon alloSCT. In these patients, SD and improved general condition on pazopanib allowed therapy escalation. Median OS for the overall study population was 191 days (95% CI 87-435) and 1-year survival was 35%. There was no significant change in microvessel density. Clinical trial information: NCT01361334.

Hutchison CA, Cockwell P, Moroz V, et al.
High cutoff versus high-flux haemodialysis for myeloma cast nephropathy in patients receiving bortezomib-based chemotherapy (EuLITE): a phase 2 randomised controlled trial.
Lancet Haematol. 2019; 6(4):e217-e228 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In multiple myeloma, severe acute kidney injury due to myeloma cast nephropathy is caused by pathogenic free light chain immunoglobulin in serum. High cutoff haemodialysis (HCO-HD) can remove large quantities of free light chain immunoglobulin from serum, but its effect on clinical outcomes is uncertain. We therefore aimed to assess whether HCO-HD could increase the frequency of renal recovery in patients with de novo multiple myeloma, severe acute kidney injury, and myeloma cast nephropathy relative to treatment with standard high-flux haemodialysis (HF-HD).
METHODS: In this open-label, phase 2, multicentre, randomised controlled trial (EuLITE), we recruited patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, biopsy-confirmed cast nephropathy, and acute kidney injury that required dialysis from renal services in 16 hospitals in the UK and Germany. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by random number generation to receive intensive HCO-HD (in sessions lasting 6-8 h) or standard HF-HD and they were stratified by age and centre. Patients and the medical staff treating them were not masked to treatment allocation. Patients received bortezomib, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone chemotherapy, and were then followed up for 2 years. The primary outcome was independence from dialysis at 90 days after random allocation to groups, which was assessed in an intention-to-treat population. The trial has completed follow-up, and is registered at the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN45967602.
FINDINGS: Between June 7, 2008, and Sept 18, 2013, we recruited 90 patients, of whom 43 (48%) were randomly assigned to receive HCO-HD and 47 (52%) were randomly assigned to receive HF-HD. All 90 patients were included in the analysis of the primary outcome. One (2%) patient from the HF-HD group withdrew consent before receiving treatment. During treatment, nine (21%) patients from the HCO-HD group and two (4%) patients in the HF-HD group discontinued trial treatment. After 90 days, 24 (56%) patients in the HCO-HD group and 24 (51%) patients in the HF-HD group were independent from dialysis (relative risk 1·09, 95% CI 0·74-1·61; p=0·81). During the 2-year follow-up, 98 serious adverse events were reported in the HCO-HD group and 82 serious adverse events were reported in the HF-HD group. The most common serious adverse events were infections and adverse events related to the cardiovascular and thrombotic and musculoskeletal systems. During the first 90 days, 26 infections were reported in the HCO-HD group and 13 infections were reported in the HF-HD group, including 14 lung infections in the HCO-HD group and three lung infections in the HF-HD group.
INTERPRETATION: In this phase 2 study, HCO-HD did not improve clinical outcomes for patients with de novo multiple myeloma and myeloma cast nephropathy who required haemodialysis for acute kidney injury and who received a bortezomib-based chemotherapy regimen relative to those receiving HF-HD. These results do not support proceeding to a phase 3 study for HCO-HD in these patients.
FUNDING: Gambro, Janssen, and Binding Site.

Meindl-Beinker NM, Betge J, Gutting T, et al.
A multicenter open-label phase II trial to evaluate nivolumab and ipilimumab for 2nd line therapy in elderly patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell cancer (RAMONA).
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):231 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Advanced esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) is frequently diagnosed in elderly patients. The impact of 2nd line chemotherapy is poorly defined. Recent data demonstrated effectiveness of checkpoint inhibitors in different squamous cell carcinomas. Therefore, we assess combined nivolumab/ipilimumab as 2nd line therapy in elderly ESCC patients.
METHODS: RAMONA is a multicenter open-label phase II trial. The primary objective is to demonstrate a significant survival benefit of nivolumab/ipilimumab in advanced ESCC compared to historical data of standard chemotherapy. Primary endpoint is therefore overall survival (OS). Major secondary objective is the evaluation of tolerability. Time to QoL deterioration will thus be determined as key secondary endpoint. Further secondary endpoints are tumor response, PFS and safety. We aim to recruit a total of n = 75 subjects that have to be > 65 years old. Eligibility is determined by the geriatric status (G8 screening and Deficit Accumulation Frailty Index (DAFI)). A safety assessment will be performed after a 3 cycle run-in phase of nivolumab (240 mg Q2W) to justify escalation for eligible patients to combined nivolumab (240 mg Q2W) and ipilimumab (1 mg/kg Q6W), while the other patients will remain on nivolumab only. RAMONA also includes translational research sub-studies to identify predictive biomarkers, including PD-1 and PD-L1 evaluation at different time points, establishment of organoid cultures and microbiome analyses for response prediction.
DISCUSSION: The RAMONA trial aims to implement checkpoint inhibitors for elderly patients with advanced ESCC as second line therapy. Novel biomarkers for checkpoint-inhibitor response are analyzed in extensive translational sub-studies.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT Number: 2017-002056-86 ; NCT03416244 , registered: 31.1.2018.

Chia SKL, Martin M, Holmes FA, et al.
PIK3CA alterations and benefit with neratinib: analysis from the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III ExteNET trial.
Breast Cancer Res. 2019; 21(1):39 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neratinib is an irreversible pan-HER tyrosine kinase inhibitor that inhibits PI3K/Akt and MAPK signaling pathways after HER2 receptor activation. The ExteNET study showed that neratinib significantly improved 5-year invasive disease-free survival (iDFS) in women who completed trastuzumab-based adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer (EBC). We assessed the prognostic and predictive significance of PIK3CA alterations in patients in ExteNET.
METHODS: Participants were women aged ≥ 18 years (≥ 20 years in Japan) with stage 1-3c (modified to stage 2-3c in February 2010) operable breast cancer, who had completed (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy plus trastuzumab ≤ 2 years before randomization, with no evidence of disease recurrence or metastatic disease at study entry. Patients were randomized to oral neratinib 240 mg/day or placebo for 1 year. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded primary tumor specimens underwent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) PIK3CA testing for two hotspot mutations in exon 9, one hot-spot mutation in exon 20, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis for PIK3CA amplification. The primary endpoint (iDFS) was tested with log-rank test and hazard ratios (HRs) estimated using Cox proportional-hazards models.
RESULTS: Among the intent-to-treat population (n = 2840), tumor specimens were available for PCR testing (991 patients) and PIK3CA FISH (702 patients). Overall, 262 samples were PIK3CA altered: 201 were mutated (77%), 52 (20%) were amplified, and 9 (3%) were mutated and amplified. iDFS was non-significantly worse in placebo-treated patients with altered vs wild-type PIK3CA (HR 1.34; 95% CI 0.72-2.50; P = 0.357). Neratinib's effect over placebo was significant in patients with PIK3CA-altered tumors (HR 0.41; 95% CI 0.17-0.90, P = 0.028) but not PIK3CA wild-type tumors (HR 0.72; 95% CI 0.36-1.41; P = 0.34). The interaction test was non-significant (P = 0.309).
CONCLUSIONS: Although there was a greater absolute risk reduction associated with neratinib treatment of patients with PIK3CA-altered tumors in ExteNET, current data do not support PIK3CA alteration as a predictive biomarker of response to neratinib in HER2-positive EBC.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT00878709 . Trial registered April 9, 2009.

Buecker R, Hong ZY, Liu XM, et al.
Risk factors to identify patients who may not benefit from whole brain irradiation for brain metastases - a single institution analysis.
Radiat Oncol. 2019; 14(1):41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy plays a major role in the management of brain metastases. This study aimed to identify the subset of patients with multiple brain metastases who may not benefit from whole brain irradiation (WBI) due to a short survival time regardless of treatment.
METHODS: We analyzed a total of 339 patient records with brain metastases treated with whole brain radiotherapy from January 2009 to January 2016. External beam radiotherapy techniques were used to deliver 33 Gy in 11 fractions (4 fractions per week) to the whole brain. Eight clinical factors with a potential influence on survival were investigated using the Kaplan-Meier method. All factors with a P < 0.05 in univariate analysis were entered into multivariate analysis using Cox regression.
RESULTS: In the present series of 339 patients, median survival time was 2.5 months (M; range, 0-61 months). Four risk factors Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS) < 70, age > 70, > 3 of metastases intracranial, uncontrolled primary tumor) were identified that were significant and negatively correlated with median survival time. Patients with no risk factors had a median survival of 4.7 M; one risk factor, 2.5 M; two risk factors, 2.3 M; and 3-4 risk factors, 0.4 M (p < 0.00001).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with identified risk factors might have a negatively impacted overall survival after WBI. Accordingly, patients who will not benefit from WBI can be easily predicted if they have 3-4 of these risk factors.

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