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Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 16.7m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 93,400
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 304.8
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:30.2%
People dying from cancer /yr: 42,500
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Dutch Cancer Organisations and Resources
Dutch Cancer Centres
Recent Research Publications from The Netherlands

Dutch Cancer Organisations and Resources (8 links)

Dutch Cancer Centres (5 links)

Recent Research Publications from The Netherlands

Spicka I, Ocio EM, Oakervee HE, et al.
Randomized phase III study (ADMYRE) of plitidepsin in combination with dexamethasone vs. dexamethasone alone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(9):2139-2150 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The randomized phase III ADMYRE trial evaluated plitidepsin plus dexamethasone (DXM) versus DXM alone in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma after at least three but not more than six prior regimens, including at least bortezomib and lenalidomide or thalidomide. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive plitidepsin 5 mg/m

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.

Moreau P, Attal M, Hulin C, et al.
Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone with or without daratumumab before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (CASSIOPEIA): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 study.
Lancet. 2019; 394(10192):29-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bortezomib, thalidomide, and dexamethasone (VTd) plus autologous stem-cell transplantation is standard treatment in Europe for transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. We evaluated whether the addition of daratumumab to VTd before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation would improve stringent complete response rate in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
METHODS: In this two-part, randomised, open-label, phase 3 CASSIOPEIA trial, we recruited transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma at 111 European sites. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive four pre-transplant induction and two post-transplant consolidation cycles of VTd alone (VTd group) or in combination with daratumumab (D-VTd group). The primary endpoint of part 1 was stringent complete response assessed 100 days after transplantation. Part 2 (maintenance) is ongoing. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02541383.
FINDINGS: Between Sept 22, 2015, and Aug 1, 2017, 1085 patients were enrolled at 111 European sites and were randomly assigned to the D-VTd group (n=543) or the VTd group (n=542). At day 100 after transplantation, 157 (29%) of 543 patients in the D-VTd group and 110 (20%) of 542 patients in the VTd group in the intention-to-treat population had achieved a stringent complete response (odds ratio 1·60, 95% CI 1·21-2·12, p=0·0010). 211 (39%) patients in the D-VTd group versus 141 (26%) in the VTd group achieved a complete response or better, and 346 (64%) of 543 versus 236 (44%) of 542 achieved minimal residual disease-negativity (10
INTERPRETATION: D-VTd before and after autologous stem-cell transplantation improved depth of response and progression-free survival with acceptable safety. CASSIOPEIA is the first study showing the clinical benefit of daratumumab plus standard of care in transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.
FUNDING: The Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome and Dutch-Belgian Cooperative Trial Group for Hematology Oncology.

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

Voorwerk L, Slagter M, Horlings HM, et al.
Immune induction strategies in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer to enhance the sensitivity to PD-1 blockade: the TONIC trial.
Nat Med. 2019; 25(6):920-928 [PubMed] Related Publications
The efficacy of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is low

Rovers KP, Bakkers C, Simkens GAAM, et al.
Perioperative systemic therapy and cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC versus upfront cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC alone for isolated resectable colorectal peritoneal metastases: protocol of a multicentre, open-label, parallel-group, phase II-III, randomised, superiority study (CAIRO6)
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):390 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Upfront cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC (CRS-HIPEC) is the standard treatment for isolated resectable colorectal peritoneal metastases (PM) in the Netherlands. This study investigates whether addition of perioperative systemic therapy to CRS-HIPEC improves oncological outcomes.
METHODS: This open-label, parallel-group, phase II-III, randomised, superiority study is performed in nine Dutch tertiary referral centres. Eligible patients are adults who have a good performance status, histologically or cytologically proven resectable PM of a colorectal adenocarcinoma, no systemic colorectal metastases, no systemic therapy for colorectal cancer within six months prior to enrolment, and no previous CRS-HIPEC. Eligible patients are randomised (1:1) to perioperative systemic therapy and CRS-HIPEC (experimental arm) or upfront CRS-HIPEC alone (control arm) by using central randomisation software with minimisation stratified by a peritoneal cancer index of 0-10 or 11-20, metachronous or synchronous PM, previous systemic therapy for colorectal cancer, and HIPEC with oxaliplatin or mitomycin C. At the treating physician's discretion, perioperative systemic therapy consists of either four 3-weekly neoadjuvant and adjuvant cycles of capecitabine with oxaliplatin (CAPOX), six 2-weekly neoadjuvant and adjuvant cycles of 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin with oxaliplatin (FOLFOX), or six 2-weekly neoadjuvant cycles of 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin with irinotecan (FOLFIRI) followed by four 3-weekly (capecitabine) or six 2-weekly (5-fluorouracil/leucovorin) adjuvant cycles of fluoropyrimidine monotherapy. Bevacizumab is added to the first three (CAPOX) or four (FOLFOX/FOLFIRI) neoadjuvant cycles. The first 80 patients are enrolled in a phase II study to explore the feasibility of accrual and the feasibility, safety, and tolerance of perioperative systemic therapy. If predefined criteria of feasibility and safety are met, the study continues as a phase III study with 3-year overall survival as primary endpoint. A total of 358 patients is needed to detect the hypothesised 15% increase in 3-year overall survival (control arm 50%; experimental arm 65%). Secondary endpoints are surgical characteristics, major postoperative morbidity, progression-free survival, disease-free survival, health-related quality of life, costs, major systemic therapy related toxicity, and objective radiological and histopathological response rates.
DISCUSSION: This is the first randomised study that prospectively compares oncological outcomes of perioperative systemic therapy and CRS-HIPEC with upfront CRS-HIPEC alone for isolated resectable colorectal PM.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov/ NCT02758951 , NTR/ NTR6301 , ISRCTN/ ISRCTN15977568 , EudraCT/ 2016-001865-99 .

van Aerts RMM, Kievit W, D'Agnolo HMA, et al.
Lanreotide Reduces Liver Growth In Patients With Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Liver and Kidney Disease.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 157(2):481-491.e7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Polycystic liver disease is the most common extrarenal manifestation of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). There is need for robust long-term evidence for the volume-reducing effect of somatostatin analogues. We made use of data from an open-label, randomized trial to determine the effects of lanreotide on height-adjusted liver volume (hTLV) and combined height-adjusted liver and kidney volume (hTLKV) in patients with ADPKD.
METHODS: We performed a 120-week study comparing the reno-protective effects of lanreotide vs standard care in 305 patients with ADPKD (the DIPAK-1 study). For this analysis, we studied the 175 patients with polycystic liver disease with hepatic cysts identified by magnetic resonance imaging and liver volume ≥2000 mL. Of these, 93 patients were assigned to a group that received lanreotide (120 mg subcutaneously every 4 weeks) and 82 to a group that received standard care (blood pressure control, a sodium-restricted diet, and antihypertensive agents). The primary endpoint was percent change in hTLV between baseline and end of treatment (week 120). A secondary endpoint was change in hTLKV.
RESULTS: At 120 weeks, hTLV decreased by 1.99% in the lanreotide group (95% confidence interval [CI], -4.21 to 0.24) and increased by 3.92% in the control group (95% CI, 1.56-6.28). Compared with the control group, lanreotide reduced the growth of hTLV by 5.91% (95% CI, -9.18 to -2.63; P < .001). Growth of hTLV was still reduced by 3.87% at 4 months after the last injection of lanreotide compared with baseline (95% CI, -7.55 to -0.18; P = .04). Lanreotide reduced growth of hTLKV by 7.18% compared with the control group (95% CI, -10.25 to -4.12; P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: In this subanalysis of a randomized trial of patients with polycystic liver disease due to ADPKD, lanreotide for 120 weeks reduced the growth of liver and combined liver and kidney volume. This effect was still present 4 months after the last injection of lanreotide. ClinicalTrials.gov, Number: NCT01616927.

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.

Palma DA, Olson R, Harrow S, et al.
Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy versus standard of care palliative treatment in patients with oligometastatic cancers (SABR-COMET): a randomised, phase 2, open-label trial.
Lancet. 2019; 393(10185):2051-2058 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The oligometastatic paradigm suggests that some patients with a limited number of metastases might be cured if all lesions are eradicated. Evidence from randomised controlled trials to support this paradigm is scarce. We aimed to assess the effect of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) on survival, oncological outcomes, toxicity, and quality of life in patients with a controlled primary tumour and one to five oligometastatic lesions.
METHODS: This randomised, open-label phase 2 study was done at 10 hospitals in Canada, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Australia. Patients aged 18 or older with a controlled primary tumour and one to five metastatic lesions, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score of 0-1, and a life expectancy of at least 6 months were eligible. After stratifying by the number of metastases (1-3 vs 4-5), we randomly assigned patients (1:2) to receive either palliative standard of care treatments alone (control group), or standard of care plus SABR to all metastatic lesions (SABR group), using a computer-generated randomisation list with permuted blocks of nine. Neither patients nor physicians were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was overall survival. We used a randomised phase 2 screening design with a two-sided α of 0·20 (wherein p<0·20 designates a positive trial). All analyses were intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01446744.
FINDINGS: 99 patients were randomised between Feb 10, 2012, and Aug 30, 2016. Of 99 patients, 33 (33%) were assigned to the control group and 66 (67%) to the SABR group. Two (3%) patients in the SABR group did not receive allocated treatment and withdrew from the trial; two (6%) patients in the control group also withdrew from the trial. Median follow-up was 25 months (IQR 19-54) in the control group versus 26 months (23-37) in the SABR group. Median overall survival was 28 months (95% CI 19-33) in the control group versus 41 months (26-not reached) in the SABR group (hazard ratio 0·57, 95% CI 0·30-1·10; p=0·090). Adverse events of grade 2 or worse occurred in three (9%) of 33 controls and 19 (29%) of 66 patients in the SABR group (p=0·026), an absolute increase of 20% (95% CI 5-34). Treatment-related deaths occurred in three (4·5%) of 66 patients after SABR, compared with none in the control group.
INTERPRETATION: SABR was associated with an improvement in overall survival, meeting the primary endpoint of this trial, but three (4·5%) of 66 patients in the SABR group had treatment-related death. Phase 3 trials are needed to conclusively show an overall survival benefit, and to determine the maximum number of metastatic lesions wherein SABR provides a benefit.
FUNDING: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and London Regional Cancer Program Catalyst Grant.

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.

Yu X, van Munster SN, Zhang Y, et al.
Durability of radiofrequency ablation for treatment of esophageal squamous cell neoplasia: 5-year follow-up of a treated cohort in China.
Gastrointest Endosc. 2019; 89(4):736-748.e2 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an accepted treatment for flat Barrett's neoplasia. Less is known about RFA for esophageal squamous cell neoplasia (ESCN). Our group has reported several prospective studies of RFA for ESCN in China with promising results through 12 months of follow-up. In this cohort study we aimed to evaluate longer term outcomes after RFA for ESCN.
METHODS: Patients with flat unstained lesions (USLs) on Lugol's endoscopy containing moderate-/high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (MGIN/HGIN) or mucosal cancer were treated with RFA every 3 months until complete remission (CR; no MGIN or a worse histologic grade). Patients with CR at 12 months (CR12) were included for follow-up and underwent annual Lugol's endoscopy with biopsy sampling and re-RFA for flat USLs. The clinical course of patients with persistent ESCN at 12 months (treatment failures) is also reported.
RESULTS: Among the 78 patients in CR12, 67 (86%) had sustained CR during a median of 48 months (interquartile range, 48-48) of follow-up and 5 endoscopies (interquartile range, 4-6). Recurrence occurred in 7 of 78 patients (9%; MGIN, n = 6; HGIN, n = 1); all lesions were managed with RFA. Four other patients (5%) had progression (to HGIN, n = 1; submucosal esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, n = 3). During follow-up protocol violations occurred in 46 of 78 patients (59%). Of the 12 treatment failures, progression occurred in 6. Overall, 2 patients developed subepithelial disease that was not visible after Lugol's endoscopy. Based on post-hoc analysis, the pink-color sign at baseline (a pink color change after Lugol's endoscopy) significantly predicted failure after RFA.
CONCLUSIONS: RFA is relatively easy to apply and can efficiently treat large areas with ESCN. Despite protocol violations that may have interfered with the efficacy of RFA in 59% of patients, most patients with CR12 had sustained CR during follow-up. However, some patients progressed to advanced disease and 2 developed subepithelial disease, not visible after Lugol's endoscopy. Based on currently available data, we advise the restriction of the use of RFA for flat MGIN and HGIN without the pink-color sign on Lugol's chromoendoscopy. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT02047305.).

van der Meulen JF, Bongers MY, Coppus SFPJ, et al.
The (cost) effectiveness of procedural sedation and analgesia versus general anaesthesia for hysteroscopic myomectomy, a multicentre randomised controlled trial: PROSECCO trial, a study protocol.
BMC Womens Health. 2019; 19(1):46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In women with abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroids are a frequent finding. In case of heavy menstrual bleeding and presence of submucosal type 0-1 fibroids, hysteroscopic resection is the treatment of first choice, as removal of these fibroids is highly effective. Hysteroscopic myomectomy is currently usually performed in the operating theatre. A considerable reduction in costs and a higher patient satisfaction are expected when procedural sedation and analgesia with propofol (PSA) in an outpatient setting is applied. However, both safety and effectiveness - including the necessity for re-intervention due to incomplete resection - have not yet been evaluated.
METHODS: This study is a multicentre randomised controlled trial with a non-inferiority design and will be performed in the Netherlands. Women > 18 years with a maximum of 3 symptomatic type 0 or 1 submucosal fibroids with a maximum diameter of 3.5 cm are eligible to participate in the trial. After informed consent, 205 women will be randomised to either hysteroscopic myomectomy using procedural sedation and analgesia with propofol in an outpatient setting or hysteroscopic myomectomy using general anaesthesia in a clinical setting in the operating theatre. Primary outcome will be the percentage of complete resections, based on transvaginal ultrasonography 6 weeks postoperatively. Secondary outcomes are cost effectiveness, menstrual blood loss (Pictorial blood assessment chart), quality of life, pain, return to daily activities/work, hospitalization, (post) operative complications and re-interventions. Women will be followed up to one year after hysteroscopic myomectomy.
DISCUSSION: This study may demonstrate comparable effectiveness of hysteroscopic myomectomy under procedural sedation and analgesia versus general anaesthesia in a safe and patient friendly environment, whilst achieving a significant cost reduction.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Dutch trial register, number NTR5357 . Registered 11th of August 2015.

van der Valk MJM, Hilling DE, Meershoek-Klein Kranenbarg E, et al.
Quality of Life After Curative Resection for Rectal Cancer in Patients Treated With Adjuvant Chemotherapy Compared With Observation: Results of the Randomized Phase III SCRIPT Trial.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2019; 62(6):711-720 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Adjuvant chemotherapy after curative resection for rectal cancer is the standard of care in several American and European guidelines.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the differences in health-related quality of life over time between patients with rectal cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy or observation.
DESIGN: This is a randomized controlled phase III trial.
SETTINGS: Health-related quality-of-life assessments were conducted in Dutch patients from 43 institutes.
PATIENTS: Patients with stage II or III rectal cancer who underwent preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy followed by curative surgery (the SCRIPT trial) were included.
INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned to adjuvant capecitabine monotherapy for 8 cycles or observation. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer C30 and CR38 questionnaires at 1 month after surgery (before the start of chemotherapy), and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the difference in quality of life at 6 months after surgery, just after completion of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients in the treatment group. Second, the difference in health-related quality of life at 12 months after surgery was examined. A statistically significant difference of 5 points was considered clinically relevant.
RESULTS: Health-related quality-of-life results of 226 of 233 patients were available. At T3, overall quality of life (C30 summary score) was worse for patients treated with chemotherapy compared with observation (mean 82.3 versus 86.9, p = 0.006), but the difference was not clinically relevant. Patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy reported clinically relevant worse physical functioning (mean 78.3 versus 87.0, p < 0.001) and more reports of fatigue and dyspnea (35.7 versus 21.0 and 17.1 versus 6.7, p < 0.001). All differences were resolved at 12 months postsurgery.
LIMITATIONS: A selection of relatively fit patients willing to be randomly assigned may limit the generalizability of the results.
CONCLUSIONS: Although inferior health-related quality of life was reported just after completion of adjuvant chemotherapy, no persistent deterioration in quality of life was detected. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A907.

Jansen MHE, Kessels JPHM, Nelemans PJ, et al.
Randomized Trial of Four Treatment Approaches for Actinic Keratosis.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(10):935-946 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Actinic keratosis is the most frequent premalignant skin disease in the white population. In current guidelines, no clear recommendations are made about which treatment is preferred.
METHODS: We investigated the effectiveness of four frequently used field-directed treatments (for multiple lesions in a continuous area). Patients with a clinical diagnosis of five or more actinic keratosis lesions on the head, involving one continuous area of 25 to 100 cm
RESULTS: A total of 624 patients were included from November 2014 through March 2017. At 12 months after the end of treatment, the cumulative probability of remaining free from treatment failure was significantly higher among patients who received fluorouracil (74.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 66.8 to 81.0) than among those who received imiquimod (53.9%; 95% CI, 45.4 to 61.6), MAL-PDT (37.7%; 95% CI, 30.0 to 45.3), or ingenol mebutate (28.9%; 95% CI, 21.8 to 36.3). As compared with fluorouracil, the hazard ratio for treatment failure was 2.03 (95% CI, 1.36 to 3.04) with imiquimod, 2.73 (95% CI, 1.87 to 3.99) with MAL-PDT, and 3.33 (95% CI, 2.29 to 4.85) with ingenol mebutate (P≤0.001 for all comparisons). No unexpected toxic effects were documented.
CONCLUSIONS: At 12 months after the end of treatment in patients with multiple actinic keratosis lesions on the head, 5% fluorouracil cream was the most effective of four field-directed treatments. (Funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02281682.).

Koster BD, Santegoets SJAM, Harting J, et al.
Autologous tumor cell vaccination combined with systemic CpG-B and IFN-α promotes immune activation and induces clinical responses in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma: a phase II trial.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2019; 68(6):1025-1035 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: In this study the toxicity and efficacy of an irradiated autologous tumor cell vaccine (ATV) co-injected with a class-B CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG-B) and GM-CSF, followed by systemic CpG-B and IFN-α administration, were examined in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).
Methods: A single-arm Phase II trial was conducted, in which patients with mRCC were intradermally injected with a minimum of three whole-cell vaccines containing 0.7–1.3 × 107 irradiated autologous tumor cells (ATC), admixed with 1 mg CpG-B and 100 µg GM-CSF, followed by bi-weekly s.c. injections with 8 mg CpG-B and s.c. injections with 6 MU IFN-α three times per week.
Results: Fifteen patients were treated according to the protocol. Treatment was well tolerated. Objective clinical responses occurred in three patients, including one long-term complete response. Disease stabilization occurred in another three patients. Positive delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to ATC were absent before treatment but present in 13 out of 15 patients during treatment. Immune monitoring revealed activation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells, non-classical monocytes and up-regulation of both PD-1 and CTLA4 on effector T cells upon treatment. Moreover, a pre-existing ex vivo IFN-γ response to ATC was associated with clinical response.
Conclusions: ATV combined with systemic CpG-B and IFN-α is tolerable, safe, immunogenic and able to elicit anti-tumor responses in patients with mRCC. Immune activation and treatment-induced up-regulation of PD-1 and CTLA4 on circulating T cells further suggest an added benefit of combining this approach with immune checkpoint blockade [added]

Parker C, Krishnan S, Hamadeh L, et al.
Outcomes of patients with childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with late bone marrow relapses: long-term follow-up of the ALLR3 open-label randomised trial.
Lancet Haematol. 2019; 6(4):e204-e216 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The ALLR3 trial investigated outcomes of children with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who had late bone marrow relapses. We analysed long-term follow-up outcomes of these patients.
METHODS: ALLR3 was an open-label randomised clinical trial that recruited children aged 1-18 years with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who had late bone marrow relapses. Eligible patients were recruited from centres in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK. Patients were randomly assigned from Jan 31, 2003, to Dec 31, 2007, and the trial closed to recruitment on Oct 31, 2013. Randomly assigned patients were allocated to receive either idarubicin or mitoxantrone in induction by stratified concealed randomisation; after randomisation stopped in Dec 31, 2007, all patients were allocated to receive mitoxantrone. After three blocks of therapy, patients with high minimal residual disease (≥10
FINDINGS: Between Feb 2, 2003, and Oct 28, 2013, 228 patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and late bone marrow relapses were treated. After a median follow-up of 84 months (IQR 48-109), progression-free survival of all randomly assigned patients was 60% (95% CI 54-70). 220 patients achieved second complete remission, and minimal residual disease was evaluable in 192 (87%). 110 patients with late bone marrow relapses and high minimal residual disease at the end of induction were allocated to undergo stem-cell transplantation, and 82 patients with low minimal residual disease at the end of induction were allocated to receive chemotherapy. In the patients allocated to undergo stem-cell transplantation, four relapses and three deaths were reported before the procedure, and 11 patients were not transplanted. Of the 92 patients transplanted, 58 (63%) remained in second complete remission, 13 (14%) died of complications, and 21 (23%) relapsed after stem-cell transplantation. In patients allocated to receive chemotherapy, one early treatment-related death was reported and 11 patients were transplanted. Of the 70 patients who continued on chemotherapy, 49 (70%) remained in second complete remission, two (3%) died of complications, and 19 (27%) relapsed. Progression-free survival at 5 years was 56% (95% CI 46-65) in those with high minimal residual disease and 72% (60-81) in patients with low minimal residual disease (p=0·0078). Treatment-related serious adverse events were not analysed in the long-term follow-up.
INTERPRETATION: Patients with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with late bone marrow relapses and low minimal residual disease at end of induction had favourable outcomes with chemotherapy without undergoing stem-cell transplantation. Patients with high minimal residual disease benefited from stem-cell transplantation, and targeted therapies might offer further improvements in outcomes for these patients.
FUNDING: Bloodwise (Formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) UK, Cancer Research UK, Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation, National Health and Medical Research Council Australia, KindreneKankervrij Netherlands, European Union Seventh Framework Programme, India Alliance Wellcome DBT Margdarshi Fellowship.

Wellenstein DJ, Honings J, Schutte HW, et al.
Cost analysis of office-based transnasal esophagoscopy.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019; 276(5):1457-1463 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although office-based transnasal esophagoscopy has been investigated extensively, a cost analysis is still lacking. We performed a cost analysis combined with feasibility study for two diagnostic processes: patients with globus pharyngeus and/or dysphagia, and hypopharyngeal carcinoma.
METHODS: Prospective cohort study.
RESULTS: Forty-one procedures were performed, of which 35 were fully completed. The procedure was well tolerated with mild complaints such as nasal or pharyngeal pain and burping. Four complications occurred: two minor epistaxis and two vasovagal reactions. In patients with globus pharyngeus and/or dysphagia, transnasal esophagoscopy resulted in a cost saving of €94.43 (p 0.026) per procedure, compared to our regular diagnostic process. In patients with suspicion of hypopharyngeal carcinoma, cost savings were €831.41 (p 0.000) per case.
CONCLUSIONS: Cost analysis showed that office-based transnasal esophagoscopy can provide significant cost savings for the current standard of care. Furthermore, this procedure resulted in good patient acceptability and few complications.

Neefjes ECW, van der Vorst MJDL, Boddaert MSA, et al.
Accuracy of the Delirium Observational Screening Scale (DOS) as a screening tool for delirium in patients with advanced cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):160 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Delirium Observation Screening Scale (DOS) was developed to facilitate early recognition of delirium by nurses during routine clinical care. It has shown good validity in a variety of patient populations, but has not yet been validated in hospitalized patients with advanced cancer, although the DOS is commonly used in this setting in daily practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the DOS in hospitalized patients with advanced cancer using the revised version of the Delirium Rating Scale (DRS-R
METHODS: Patients with advanced cancer admitted to the medical oncology ward were screened for delirium with the DOS and DRS-R-98. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV) and positive predictive value (PPV) of the DOS were calculated, using a DOS score ≥ 3 as a cut-off for delirium.
RESULTS: Ninety-five DOS negative and 98 DOS positive patients were identified. Sensitivity of the DOS, was > 99.9% (95%-CI, 95.8-100.0%), specificity was 99.5% (95%-CI 95.5-99.96%), PPV was 94.6% (95% CI 88.0-97.7), and NPV was > 99.9% (95% CI 96.1-100.0).
CONCLUSIONS: The DOS is an accurate screening tool for delirium in patients with advanced cancer. Since it has the benefit of being easily implicated in daily practice, we recommend to educate caregivers to screen patients with advanced cancer by DOS analysis. By early recognition and adequate treatment of this distressing delirium syndrome the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer can be improved.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01539733 (Feb 27, 2012 - retrospectively registered), Netherlands Trial Register NTR2559 (Oct 7, 2010).

Motzer RJ, Penkov K, Haanen J, et al.
Avelumab plus Axitinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma.
N Engl J Med. 2019; 380(12):1103-1115 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a single-group, phase 1b trial, avelumab plus axitinib resulted in objective responses in patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma. This phase 3 trial involving previously untreated patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma compared avelumab plus axitinib with the standard-of-care sunitinib.
METHODS: We randomly assigned patients in a 1:1 ratio to receive avelumab (10 mg per kilogram of body weight) intravenously every 2 weeks plus axitinib (5 mg) orally twice daily or sunitinib (50 mg) orally once daily for 4 weeks (6-week cycle). The two independent primary end points were progression-free survival and overall survival among patients with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive tumors. A key secondary end point was progression-free survival in the overall population; other end points included objective response and safety.
RESULTS: A total of 886 patients were assigned to receive avelumab plus axitinib (442 patients) or sunitinib (444 patients). Among the 560 patients with PD-L1-positive tumors (63.2%), the median progression-free survival was 13.8 months with avelumab plus axitinib, as compared with 7.2 months with sunitinib (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.47 to 0.79; P<0.001); in the overall population, the median progression-free survival was 13.8 months, as compared with 8.4 months (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.84; P<0.001). Among the patients with PD-L1-positive tumors, the objective response rate was 55.2% with avelumab plus axitinib and 25.5% with sunitinib; at a median follow-up for overall survival of 11.6 months and 10.7 months in the two groups, 37 patients and 44 patients had died, respectively. Adverse events during treatment occurred in 99.5% of patients in the avelumab-plus-axitinib group and in 99.3% of patients in the sunitinib group; these events were grade 3 or higher in 71.2% and 71.5% of the patients in the respective groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Progression-free survival was significantly longer with avelumab plus axitinib than with sunitinib among patients who received these agents as first-line treatment for advanced renal-cell carcinoma. (Funded by Pfizer and Merck [Darmstadt, Germany]; JAVELIN Renal 101 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02684006.).

Meijer TS, Burgmans MC, Fiocco M, et al.
Safety of Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion with Melphalan in Patients with Unresectable Liver Metastases from Ocular Melanoma Using the Delcath Systems' Second-Generation Hemofiltration System: A Prospective Non-randomized Phase II Trial.
Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2019; 42(6):841-852 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: To investigate the safety and toxicity of percutaneous hepatic perfusion with melphalan (M-PHP) with the Delcath Systems' second-generation (GEN 2) filter and compare the outcomes with historical data from studies using the first-generation filter.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective, single-arm, single-center phase II study was carried out including 35 patients with unresectable, histologically confirmed liver metastases from ocular melanoma between February 2014 and June 2017. Main exclusion criteria were extrahepatic disease and age > 75 years. M-PHP was performed with melphalan 3 mg/kg (maximum dose 220 mg). Safety and toxicity were assessed according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03.
RESULTS: A total of 67 M-PHPs were performed in 35 patients (median 2 procedures). Although hematologic grade 3/4 events were seen in the majority of patients (thrombocytopenia 54.5%, leukopenia 75.6%, neutropenia 66.7%, anemia (only grade 3) 18.1%), these were all well manageable or self-limiting. Of the non-hematologic grade 3 events (n = 14), febrile neutropenia (n = 3), pulmonary emboli (n = 2) and post-procedural hemorrhage (n = 2) were most common. A case of sepsis with bacterial pharyngitis was the only non-hematologic grade 4 event. Prior therapy for liver metastases was found to be a predictor of late grade 3/4 neutropenia with an odds ratio of 5.5 (95% CI 1.4-21.7).
CONCLUSIONS: M-PHP using the GEN 2 filter has an acceptable safety and toxicity profile, and seems to reduce hematologic toxicity when compared to M-PHP with a first-generation filter. Prior therapy of liver metastases is a possible predictive factor in developing grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity.

Werter IM, Huijts CM, Lougheed SM, et al.
Metronomic cyclophosphamide attenuates mTOR-mediated expansion of regulatory T cells, but does not impact clinical outcome in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer treated with everolimus.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2019; 68(5):787-798 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) patients have a median overall survival (mOS) of approximately 28 months. Until recently, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibition with everolimus was the standard second-line treatment regimen for mRCC patients, improving median progression-free survival (mPFS). Treatment with everolimus supports the expansion of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs), which exert a negative effect on antitumor immune responses. In a phase 1 dose-escalation study, we have recently demonstrated that a low dose of 50 mg oral cyclophosphamide once daily can be safely combined with everolimus in mRCC patients and prevents the everolimus-induced increase in Tregs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a multicenter phase 2 study, performed in patients with mRCC not amenable to or progressive on a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) containing treatment regimen, we assessed whether the addition of this metronomic dosing schedule of cyclophosphamide to therapy with everolimus could result in an improvement of progression-free survival (PFS) after 4 months of treatment.
RESULTS: Though results from this study confirmed that combination treatment effectively lowered circulating levels of Tregs, addition of cyclophosphamide did not improve the PFS rate at 4 months. For this reason, the study was abrogated at the predefined interim analysis.
CONCLUSION: Although the comprehensive immunomonitoring analysis performed in this study provides relevant information for the design of future immunotherapeutic approaches, the addition of metronomic cyclophosphamide to mRCC patients receiving everolimus cannot be recommended.

Repici A, Wallace MB, East JE, et al.
Efficacy of Per-oral Methylene Blue Formulation for Screening Colonoscopy.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(8):2198-2207.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Topically applied methylene blue dye chromoendoscopy is effective in improving detection of colorectal neoplasia. When combined with a pH- and time-dependent multimatrix structure, a per-oral methylene blue formulation (MB-MMX) can be delivered directly to the colorectal mucosa.
METHODS: We performed a phase 3 study of 1205 patients scheduled for colorectal cancer screening or surveillance colonoscopies (50-75 years old) at 20 sites in Europe and the United States, from December 2013 through October 2016. Patients were randomly assigned to groups given 200 mg MB-MMX, placebo, or 100 mg MB-MMX (ratio of 2:2:1). The 100-mg MB-MMX group was included for masking purposes. MB-MMX and placebo tablets were administered with a 4-L polyethylene glycol-based bowel preparation. The patients then underwent colonoscopy by an experienced endoscopist with centralized double-reading. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with 1 adenoma or carcinoma (adenoma detection rate [ADR]). We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for differences in detection between the 200-mg MB-MMX and placebo groups. False-positive (resection rate for non-neoplastic polyps) and adverse events were assessed as secondary endpoints.
RESULTS: The ADR was higher for the MB-MMX group (273 of 485 patients, 56.29%) than the placebo group (229 of 479 patients, 47.81%) (OR 1.46; 95% CI 1.09-1.96). The proportion of patients with nonpolypoid lesions was higher in the MB-MMX group (213 of 485 patients, 43.92%) than the placebo group (168 of 479 patients, 35.07%) (OR 1.66; 95% CI 1.21-2.26). The proportion of patients with adenomas ≤5 mm was higher in the MB-MMX group (180 of 485 patients, 37.11%) than the placebo group (148 of 479 patients, 30.90%) (OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.01-1.83), but there was no difference between groups in detection of polypoid or larger lesions. The false-positive rate did not differ significantly between groups (83 [23.31%] of 356 patients with non-neoplastic lesions in the MB-MMX vs 97 [29.75%] of 326 patients with non-neoplastic lesions in the placebo group). Overall, 0.7% of patients had severe adverse events but there was no significant difference between groups.
CONCLUSIONS: In a phase 3 trial of patients undergoing screening or surveillance colonoscopies, we found MB-MMX led to an absolute 8.5% increase in ADR, compared with placebo, without increasing the removal of non-neoplastic lesions. Clinicaltrials.gov no: NCT01694966.

Gibson RJ, van Sebille YZA, Wardill HR, et al.
Selective MMP Inhibition, Using AZD3342, to Reduce Gastrointestinal Toxicity and Enhance Chemoefficacy in a Rat Model.
Chemotherapy. 2018; 63(5):284-292 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The common cytotoxic mechanisms that underpin chemoefficacy and toxicity have hampered efforts to deliver effective supportive care interventions, particularly for gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been implicated in both tumor growth and GI toxicity, and as such MMP inhibitors present as a novel therapeutic avenue to simultaneously enhance treatment efficacy and reduce toxicity.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of an MMP-9/12 inhibitor, AZD3342, on tumor growth and GI toxicity in a rat model.
METHODS: Female tumor-bearing Dark Agouti rats (n = 90) were divided into 4 groups: vehicle control; methotrexate (MTX); AZD3342, and MTX + AZD3342. Tumors were measured daily (for 5 days) using digital calipers. GI toxicity was assessed using well-established clinical markers (diarrhea/weight loss), histopathological analysis, and functional assessment of intestinal barrier permeability.
RESULTS: AZD3342 delayed the onset of severe diarrhea by 1 day (vs. MTX) but was unable to improve the overall severity of diarrhea. No changes were detected in tissue morphology or intestinal barrier function. AZD3342 alone suppressed tumor growth (p = 0.003 vs. vehicle) but did not enhance the efficacy of MTX.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed partial efficacy of AZD3342 in reducing tumor growth and delaying the onset of severe diarrhea caused by MTX in rats. We suggest further studies be undertaken targeting appropriate scheduling of AZD3342 as well as investigating different cytotoxic therapies that strongly activate MMP signaling.

Schuurhuizen CSEW, Braamse AMJ, Konings IRHM, et al.
Predictors for use of psychosocial services in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer receiving first line systemic treatment.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):115 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced disease experience high levels of psychological distress, yet there is low uptake of psychosocial services offered to patients who screened positive for distress. In this study we aimed to identify predictors for use of psychosocial services in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) receiving first line chemotherapy enrolled in a prospective cluster randomized trial (CRT).
METHODS: Patients completed measures on psychological distress, physical distress, and quality of life at baseline. Demographics, clinical characteristics at baseline and clinical events during treatment (e.g. severe adverse events, clinical benefit) were extracted from patient records. Patients reported psychosocial service utilization in- and outside the hospital after 10, 24 and 48 weeks of treatment. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify predictors for the use of psychosocial services.
RESULTS: Out of 349 patients, seventy patients (20.0%) used psychosocial support services during the follow-up period. Use of psychosocial services was associated with younger age, a higher educational level, presence of more pain (at baseline), and the expressed need to talk to a professional (at baseline). In addition, patients without progressive disease within the first ten weeks of treatment were more likely to use psychosocial services .
CONCLUSIONS: One in five patients with mCRC receiving first line palliative treatment used psychosocial services during this prospective longitudinal CRT. Sociodemographic factors (age, education), clinical factors (pain and no progressive disease) and the expressed need to talk to a professional predicted use of psychosocial services. Identification of these predictors may contribute to the understanding of factors that determine the need for psychosocial services.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Netherlands Trial Register NTR4034 .

Hoogstad-van Evert J, Bekkers R, Ottevanger N, et al.
Intraperitoneal infusion of ex vivo-cultured allogeneic NK cells in recurrent ovarian carcinoma patients (a phase I study).
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(5):e14290 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/09/2019 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Recurrent ovarian carcinoma has dismal prognosis, but control of disease and prolonged survival are possible in some patients. The estimated 5-year survival is 46% for all stages of ovarian cancer, and only 28% for metastasized disease. Notably, the majority of women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed with stage III or IV disease with a high recurrence rate. As most women with relapsed or metastatic cancer will die of progressive disease, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic strategies. The primary aim of our study is to evaluate safety and toxicity of intraperitoneal infusion of ex vivo-expanded natural killer cells (NK), generated from CD34+ umbilical cord blood (UCB) progenitor cells, with and without a preceding non-myeloablative immunosuppressive conditioning regimen in patients suffering from recurrent ovarian cancer. The secondary objectives are to compare the in vivo lifespan, expansion, and biological activity of intraperitoneally infused NK cell products with or without preparative chemotherapy, as well as evaluate effects on disease load.
METHODS: In this phase I safety trial, 12 patients who are suffering from recurrent ovarian cancer, detected by a significant rise in serum level of CA-125 on two successive time points, will be included. Prior to UCB-NK cell infusion, a laparoscopy is performed to place a catheter in the peritoneal cavity. The first cohort of three patients will receive a single intraperitoneal infusion of 1.5-3×10 UCB-NK cells, generated ex vivo from CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells obtained from an allogeneic UCB unit, without a preparative chemotherapy regimen. The second group of three patients will be treated with a similar dose of UCB-NK cells following a preparative four days non-myeloablative immunosuppressive conditioning regimen with cyclophosphamide and fludarabine (Cy/Flu). If no severe toxicity is seen in these 6 patients, an extension cohort of 6 patients will be included to answer the secondary objectives.
DISCUSSION: This study investigates the safety of a promising new cellular therapy in a group of patients with a poor prognosis. Demonstration of safety and in vivo expansion capacity of allogeneic UCB-NK cells in the absence of Cy/Flu pretreatment will provide rationale for UCB-NK cell infusion after regular second-line chemotherapy.

Hurley RM, Wahner Hendrickson AE, Visscher DW, et al.
53BP1 as a potential predictor of response in PARP inhibitor-treated homologous recombination-deficient ovarian cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2019; 153(1):127-134 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors have shown substantial activity in homologous recombination- (HR-) deficient ovarian cancer and are undergoing testing in other HR-deficient tumors. For reasons that are incompletely understood, not all patients with HR-deficient cancers respond to these agents. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that changes in alternative DNA repair pathways affect PARP inhibitor (PARPi) sensitivity in ovarian cancer models. This has not previously been assessed in the clinical setting.
METHODS: Clonogenic and plasmid-based HR repair assays were performed to compare BRCA1-mutant COV362 ovarian cancer cells with or without 53BP1 gene deletion. Archival biopsies from ovarian cancer patients in the phase I, open-label clinical trial of PARPi ABT-767 were stained for PARP1, RAD51, 53BP1 and multiple components of the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathway. Modified histochemistry- (H-) scores were determined for each repair protein in each sample. HRD score was determined from tumor DNA.
RESULTS: 53BP1 deletion increased HR in BRCA1-mutant COV362 cells and decreased PARPi sensitivity in vitro. In 36 women with relapsed ovarian cancer, responses to the PARPi ABT-767 were observed exclusively in cancers with HR deficiency. In this subset, 7 of 18 patients (39%) had objective responses. The actual HRD score did not further correlate with change from baseline tumor volume (r = 0.050; p = 0.87). However, in the HR-deficient subset, decreased 53BP1 H-score was associated with decreased antitumor efficacy of ABT-767 (r = -0.69, p = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: Differences in complementary repair pathways, particularly 53BP1, correlate with PARPi response of HR-deficient ovarian cancers.

van Rooijen S, Carli F, Dalton S, et al.
Multimodal prehabilitation in colorectal cancer patients to improve functional capacity and reduce postoperative complications: the first international randomized controlled trial for multimodal prehabilitation.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):98 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most prevalent type of cancer in the world. Surgery is the only curative option. However, postoperative complications occur in up to 50% of patients and are associated with higher morbidity and mortality rates, lower health related quality of life (HRQoL) and increased expenditure in health care. The number and severity of complications are closely related to preoperative functional capacity, nutritional state, psychological state, and smoking behavior. Traditional approaches have targeted the postoperative period for rehabilitation and lifestyle changes. However, recent evidence shows that the preoperative period might be the optimal moment for intervention. This study will determine the impact of multimodal prehabilitation on patients' functional capacity and postoperative complications.
METHODS/DESIGN: This international multicenter, prospective, randomized controlled trial will include 714 patients undergoing colorectal surgery for cancer. Patients will be allocated to the intervention group, which will receive 4 weeks of prehabilitation (group 1, prehab), or the control group, which will receive no prehabilitation (group 2, no prehab). Both groups will receive perioperative care in accordance with the enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) guidelines. The primary outcomes for measurement will be functional capacity (as assessed using the six-minute walk test (6MWT)) and postoperative status determined with the Comprehensive Complication Index (CCI). Secondary outcomes will include HRQoL, length of hospital stay (LOS) and a cost-effectiveness analysis.
DISCUSSION: Multimodal prehabilitation is expected to enhance patients' functional capacity and to reduce postoperative complications. It may therefore result in increased survival and improved HRQoL. This is the first international multicenter study investigating multimodal prehabilitation for patients undergoing colorectal surgery for cancer.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial Registry: NTR5947 - date of registration: 1 August 2016.

Jabbarian LJ, Groenvold M, Petersen MA, et al.
Assessing Emotional Functioning with Increased Power: Relative Validity of a Customized EORTC Short Form in the International ACTION Trial.
Value Health. 2019; 22(1):92-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: There is a need to improve the assessment of emotional functioning (EF). In the international Advance Care Planning: an Innovative Palliative Care Intervention to Improve Quality of Life in Cancer Patients - a Multi-Centre Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial (ACTION) trial involving patients with advanced cancer, EF was assessed by a customized 10-item short form (EF10). The EF10 is based on the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) EF item bank and has the potential for greater precision than the common EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 four-item scale (EF4). We assessed the relative validity (RV) of EF10 compared with EF4.
METHODS: Patients from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom completed EF10 and EF4, and provided data on generic quality of life, coping, self-efficacy, and personal characteristics. Based on clinical and sociodemographic variables and questionnaire responses, 53 "known groups" that were expected to differ were formed, for example, females versus males. The EF10 and EF4 were first independently compared within this known group, for example, the EF10 score of females vs the EF10 score of males. When these differences were significant, the RV was calculated for the comparison of the EF10 with the EF4.
RESULTS: A total of 1028 patients (57% lung, 43% colorectal cancer) participated. Forty-five of the 53 known-groups comparisons were significantly different and were used for calculating the RV. In 41 of 45 (91%) comparisons, the RV was more than 1, meaning that EF10 had a higher RV than EF4. The mean RV of EF10 compared with that of EF4 was 1.41, indicating superior statistical power of EF10 to detect differences in EF.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with EF4, EF10 shows superior power, allowing a 20% to 34% smaller sample size without reducing power, when used as a primary outcome measure.

Kwakman JJM, van Kruijsdijk RCM, Elias SG, et al.
Choosing the right strategy based on individualized treatment effect predictions: combination versus sequential chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Acta Oncol. 2019; 58(3):326-333 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Translating results from randomized trials to individual patients is challenging, since treatment effects may vary due to heterogeneous prognostic characteristics. We aimed to demonstrate model development for individualized treatment effect predictions in cancer patients. We used data from two randomized trials that investigated sequential versus combination chemotherapy in unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used data from 803 patients included in CAIRO for prediction model development and internal validation, and data from 1423 patients included in FOCUS for external validation. A Weibull model with pre-specified patient and tumour characteristics was developed for a prediction of gain in median overall survival (OS) by upfront combination versus sequential chemotherapy. Decision curve analysis with net benefit was used. A nomogram was built using logistic regression for estimating the probability of receiving second-line treatment after the first-line monochemotherapy.
RESULTS: Median-predicted gain in OS for the combination versus sequential chemotherapy was 2.3 months (IQR: -1.1 to 3.7 months). A predicted gain in favour of sequential chemotherapy was found in 231 patients (29%) and a predicted gain of >3 months for combination chemotherapy in 294 patients (37%). Patients with benefit from sequential chemotherapy had metachronous metastatic disease and a left-sided primary tumour. Decision curve analyses showed improvement in a net benefit for treating all patients according to prediction-based treatment compared to treating all patients with combination chemotherapy. Multiple characteristics were identified as prognostic variables which identify patients at risk of never receiving second-line treatment if treated with initial monochemotherapy. External validation showed good calibration with moderate discrimination in both models (C-index 0.66 and 0.65, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: We successfully developed individualized prediction models including prognostic characteristics derived from randomized trials to estimate treatment effects in mCRC patients. In times where the heterogeneity of CRC becomes increasingly evident, such tools are an important step towards personalized treatment.

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