Switzerland
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Switzerland: cancer statistics from IARC GlobalCan (2012)

Population in 2012: 7.7m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 42,000
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 287.0
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:28.8%
People dying from cancer /yr: 16,400

Menu: Swiss Cancer Resources

Swiss Cancer Organisations
Recent Research Publications from Switzerland

Swiss Cancer Organisations (14 links)


Recent Research Publications from Switzerland

Chinot OL, Wick W, Mason W, et al.
Bevacizumab plus radiotherapy-temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
N Engl J Med. 2014; 370(8):709-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Standard therapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma is radiotherapy plus temozolomide. In this phase 3 study, we evaluated the effect of the addition of bevacizumab to radiotherapy-temozolomide for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
METHODS: We randomly assigned patients with supratentorial glioblastoma to receive intravenous bevacizumab (10 mg per kilogram of body weight every 2 weeks) or placebo, plus radiotherapy (2 Gy 5 days a week; maximum, 60 Gy) and oral temozolomide (75 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day) for 6 weeks. After a 28-day treatment break, maintenance bevacizumab (10 mg per kilogram intravenously every 2 weeks) or placebo, plus temozolomide (150 to 200 mg per square meter per day for 5 days), was continued for six 4-week cycles, followed by bevacizumab monotherapy (15 mg per kilogram intravenously every 3 weeks) or placebo until the disease progressed or unacceptable toxic effects developed. The coprimary end points were investigator-assessed progression-free survival and overall survival.
RESULTS: A total of 458 patients were assigned to the bevacizumab group, and 463 patients to the placebo group. The median progression-free survival was longer in the bevacizumab group than in the placebo group (10.6 months vs. 6.2 months; stratified hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55 to 0.74; P<0.001). The benefit with respect to progression-free survival was observed across subgroups. Overall survival did not differ significantly between groups (stratified hazard ratio for death, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.02; P=0.10). The respective overall survival rates with bevacizumab and placebo were 72.4% and 66.3% at 1 year (P=0.049) and 33.9% and 30.1% at 2 years (P=0.24). Baseline health-related quality of life and performance status were maintained longer in the bevacizumab group, and the glucocorticoid requirement was lower. More patients in the bevacizumab group than in the placebo group had grade 3 or higher adverse events (66.8% vs. 51.3%) and grade 3 or higher adverse events often associated with bevacizumab (32.5% vs. 15.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of bevacizumab to radiotherapy-temozolomide did not improve survival in patients with glioblastoma. Improved progression-free survival and maintenance of baseline quality of life and performance status were observed with bevacizumab; however, the rate of adverse events was higher with bevacizumab than with placebo. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00943826.).

Related: Angiogenesis Inhibitors Dacarbazine Bevacizumab (Avastin) Temozolomide
From Aix-Marseille University, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Service de Neuro-Oncologie, Centre Hospitaliere Universitaire Timone, Marseille (O.L.C.), UFR de Santé, Médecine et Biologie Humaine, Bobigny (A.F.C.), and Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), H&...


Gambacorti Passerini C, Farina F, Stasia A, et al.
Crizotinib in advanced, chemoresistant anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive lymphoma patients.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(2):djt378 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive lymphomas respond to chemotherapy, but relapses, which bear a poor prognosis, occur. Crizotinib inhibits ALK in vitro and in vivo and was administered as monotherapy to 11 ALK+ lymphoma patients who were resistant/refractory to cytotoxic therapy. The overall response rate was 10 of 11 (90.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 58.7% to 99.8%). Disease status at the latest follow-up is as follows: four patients are in complete response (CR) (months >21, >30, >35, >40) under continuous crizotinib administration; 4 patients had progression of disease (months 1, 2, 2, 2); 1 patient obtained CR on crizotinib, received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant, and is in CR; 2 patients (treated before and/or after allogeneic bone marrow transplant) obtained and are still in CR but they have stopped crizotinib. Overall and progression-free survival rates at 2 years are 72.7% (95% CI = 39.1% to 94.0%) and 63.7% (95% CI = 30.8% to 89.1%), respectively. ALK mutations conferring resistance to crizotinib in vitro could be identified in relapsed patients. Crizotinib exerted a potent antitumor activity with durable responses in advanced, heavily pretreated ALK+ lymphoma patients, with a benign safety profile.

Related: FISH Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma Crizotinib (Xalkori)
Affiliations of authors: Department of Health Sciences, University Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy (CGP, FF, AS, SR, MC, LMo, CM, LA, RP); Hematology Unit (CGP) and Nuclear Medicine and PET Unit (CM, LG), San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy; M Tettamanti Research Center, Pediatric Clinic University of ...


Bosset JF, Calais G, Mineur L, et al.
Fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy after preoperative chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer: long-term results of the EORTC 22921 randomised study.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(2):184-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: EORTC trial 22921 examined the addition of preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy to preoperative radiotherapy in patients with rectal cancer. After a median follow-up of 5 years, chemotherapy-irrespective of timing-significantly improved local control. Adjuvant chemotherapy did not improve survival, but the Kaplan-Meier curves diverged, suggesting possible delayed benefit. Here, we report the updated long-term results.
METHODS: We randomly assigned patients with clinical stage T3 or T4 resectable rectal cancer to receive preoperative radiotherapy with or without concomitant chemotherapy before surgery followed by either adjuvant chemotherapy or surveillance. Randomisation was done using minimisation with factors of institution, sex, T stage, and distance from the tumour to the anal verge. Study coordinators, clinicians, and patients were aware of assignment. Radiotherapy consisted of 45 Gy to the posterior pelvis in 25 fractions of 1·8 Gy over 5 weeks. Each course of chemotherapy consisted of fluorouracil (350 mg/m(2) per day intravenous bolus) and folinic acid (leucovorin; 20 mg/m(2) per day intravenous bolus). For preoperative chemotherapy, two courses were given (during weeks 1 and 5 of radiotherapy). Adjuvant chemotherapy was given in four cycles, every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was overall survival. This analysis was done by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00002523.
FINDINGS: 1011 patients were randomly assigned to treatment between April, 1993, and March, 2003 (252 to preoperative radiotherapy and 253 to each of the other three groups). After a median follow-up of 10·4 years (IQR 7·8-13·1), 10-year overall survival was 49·4% (95% CI 44·6-54·1) for the preoperative radiotherapy group and 50·7% (45·9-55·2) for the preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy group (HR 0·99, 95% CI 0·83-1·18; p=0·91). 10-year overall survival was 51·8% (95% CI 47·0-56·4) for the adjuvant chemotherapy group and 48·4% (43·6-53·0) for the surveillance group (HR 0·91, 95% CI 0·77-1·09, p=0·32). 10-year disease-free survival was 44·2% (95% CI 39·5-48·8) for the preoperative radiotherapy group and 46·4% (41·7-50·9) for the preoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy group (HR 0·93, 95% CI 0·79-1·10; p=0·38). 10-year disease-free survival was 47·0% (95% CI 42·2-51·6) for the adjuvant chemotherapy group and 43·7% (39·1-48·2) for the surveillance group (HR 0·91, 95% CI 0·77-1·08, p=0·29). At 10 years, cumulative incidence of local relapse was 22·4% (95% CI 17·1-27·6) with radiotherapy alone, 11·8% (7·8-15·8) with neoadjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, 14·5% (10·1-18·9) with radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy and 11·7% (7·7-15·6) with both adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (p=0·0017). There was no difference in cumulative incidence of distant metastases (p=0·52). The frequency of long-term side-effects did not differ between the four groups (p=0·22).
INTERPRETATION: Adjuvant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy after preoperative radiotherapy (with or without chemotherapy) does not affect disease-free survival or overall survival. Our trial does not support the current practice of adjuvant chemotherapy after preoperative radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy. New treatment strategies incorporating neoadjuvant chemotherapy are required.
FUNDING: EORTC, US National Cancer Institute, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique, Ligue contre le Cancer Comité du Doubs.

Related: Fluorouracil Leucovorin
Department of Radiation Oncology, Besançon University Hospital J Minjoz, Besançon, France. Electronic address:
Research funded by:


Aebi S, Gelber S, Anderson SJ, et al.
Chemotherapy for isolated locoregional recurrence of breast cancer (CALOR): a randomised trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2014; 15(2):156-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with isolated locoregional recurrences (ILRR) of breast cancer have a high risk of distant metastasis and death from breast cancer. We aimed to establish whether adjuvant chemotherapy improves the outcome of such patients.
METHODS: The CALOR trial was a pragmatic, open-label, randomised trial that accrued patients with histologically proven and completely excised ILRR after unilateral breast cancer who had undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy with clear surgical margins. Eligible patients were enrolled from hospitals worldwide and were centrally randomised (1:1) to chemotherapy (type selected by the investigator; multidrug for at least four courses recommended) or no chemotherapy, using permuted blocks, and stratified by previous chemotherapy, oestrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor status, and location of ILRR. Patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive ILRR received adjuvant endocrine therapy, radiation therapy was mandated for patients with microscopically involved surgical margins, and anti-HER2 therapy was optional. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival. All analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00074152.
FINDINGS: From Aug 22, 2003, to Jan 31, 2010, 85 patients were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy and 77 were assigned to no chemotherapy. At a median follow-up of 4·9 years (IQR 3·6-6 ·0), 24 (28%) patients had disease-free survival events in the chemotherapy group compared with 34 (44%) in the no chemotherapy group. 5-year disease-free survival was 69% (95% CI 56-79) with chemotherapy versus 57% (44-67) without chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0·59 [95% CI 0·35-0·99]; p=0·046). Adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly more effective for women with oestrogen-receptor-negative ILRR (pinteraction=0·046), but analyses of disease-free survival according to the oestrogen-receptor status of the primary tumour were not statistically significant (pinteraction=0·43). Of the 81 patients who received chemotherapy, 12 (15%) had serious adverse events. The most common adverse events were neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and intestinal infection.
INTERPRETATION: Adjuvant chemotherapy should be recommended for patients with completely resected ILRR of breast cancer, especially if the recurrence is oestrogen-receptor negative.
FUNDING: US Department of Health and Human Services, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation, Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, Swedish Cancer Society, Oncosuisse, Cancer Association of South Africa, Foundation for Clinical Research of Eastern Switzerland (OSKK), Grupo Español de Investigación en Cáncer de Mama (GEICAM), and the Dutch Breast Cancer Trialists' Group (BOOG).

Related: Australia Breast Cancer
Luzerner Kantonsspital, Lucerne, Switzerland; University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland; Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Berne, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Research funded by:


Neukirchen J, Lauseker M, Blum S, et al.
Validation of the revised international prognostic scoring system (IPSS-R) in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome: a multicenter study.
Leuk Res. 2014; 38(1):57-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The revised IPSS (IPSS-R) was developed aiming at a better prognostication, taking into account patients treated with best supportive care. We herein validated this model on the basis of data from 1314 patients who received BSC only as well as patients who underwent induction chemotherapy (n=214) or allogeneic transplantation (n=167). We could demonstrate a clear distinction of the IPSS-R risk categories with regard to survival and risk of AML evolution in all patient cohorts. When comparing IPSS-R, IPSS, WHO prognostic scoring system (WPSS) and Duesseldorf score, the best results regarding the ability to predict survival were obtained by the IPSS-R.
Department of Hematology, Oncology and Clinical Immunology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany. Electronic address:


Goldinger SM, Zimmer L, Schulz C, et al.
Upstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibition: MEK inhibitor followed by a BRAF inhibitor in advanced melanoma patients.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(2):406-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
BRAF-mutant melanoma can be successfully treated by BRAF kinase inhibitors (BRAFi) and MEK kinase inhibitors (MEKi). However, the administration of BRAFi followed by MEKi did not generate promising response rate (RR). The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the time to progression (TTP) with a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway upstream inhibition strategy in BRAF mutated melanoma patients. BRAF mutation positive metastatic melanoma patients were identified within the Dermatology Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG) network and were treated first with a MEKi and upon progression with a selective BRAFi. A total of 23 melanoma patients (six females, 17 males, aged 47-80 years) were retrospectively analysed for TTP. The total median TTP was 8.9 months. The median TTP for MEKi was 4.8 (1.2-23.2) and subsequent for BRAFi 4.5 (1.2-15.7) months, respectively. A higher RR for MEKi (39%, nine partial responses and 0 complete responses) than previously reported was observed. Our analysis suggests that the reversed inhibition of the MAPK pathway is feasible in BRAF mutated melanoma. The median TTP (8.9 months) is close to the promising BRAF- and MEKi combination therapy (median progression-free survival (PFS) 9.4 months). The total treatment duration of the MAPK inhibition when a MEKi is administered first is similar compared to the reversed sequence, but TTP shifts in favour to the MEKi. This approach is feasible with reasonable tolerability. This clinical investigation encourages further studies in prospective clinical trials to define the optimal treatment schedule for the MAPK pathway inhibition and should be accompanied by molecular monitoring using repeated biopsies.

Related: Melanoma BRAF gene Vemurafenib (Zelboraf)
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zürich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland. Electronic address:


Trinquand A, Tanguy-Schmidt A, Ben Abdelali R, et al.
Toward a NOTCH1/FBXW7/RAS/PTEN-based oncogenetic risk classification of adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a Group for Research in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia study.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(34):4333-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The Group for Research in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (GRAALL) recently reported a significantly better outcome in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) harboring NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7 (N/F) mutations compared with unmutated T-ALL. Despite this, one third of patients with N/F-mutated T-ALL experienced relapse.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a series of 212 adult T-ALLs included in the multicenter randomized GRAALL-2003 and -2005 trials, we searched for additional N/K-RAS mutations and PTEN defects (mutations and gene deletion).
RESULTS: N/F mutations were identified in 143 (67%) of 212 patients, and lack of N/F mutation was confirmed to be associated with a poor prognosis. K-RAS, N-RAS, and PTEN mutations/deletions were identified in three (1.6%) of 191, 17 (8.9%) of 191, and 21 (12%) of 175 patients, respectively. The favorable prognostic significance of N/F mutations was restricted to patients without RAS/PTEN abnormalities. These observations led us to propose a new T-ALL oncogenetic classifier defining low-risk patients as those with N/F mutation but no RAS/PTEN mutation (97 of 189 patients; 51%) and all other patients (49%; including 13% with N/F and RAS/PTEN mutations) as high-risk patients. In multivariable analysis, this oncogenetic classifier remained the only significant prognostic covariate (event-free survival: hazard ratio [HR], 3.2; 95% CI, 1.9 to 5.15; P < .001; and overall survival: HR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.9 to 5.6; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that the presence of N/F mutations in the absence of RAS or PTEN abnormalities predicts good outcome in almost 50% of adult T-ALL. Conversely, the absence of N/F or presence of RAS/PTEN alterations identifies the remaining cohort of patients with poor prognosis.

Related: PTEN KRAS gene NOTCH1 gene NRAS gene FBXW7 gene
Amélie Trinquand, Raouf Ben Abdelali, Etienne Lengliné, Noémie De Gunzburg, Ludovic Lhermitte, Jonathan Bond, Agnès Buzyn, Elizabeth Macintyre, and Vahid Asnafi, University Paris Descartes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR)-8...


Rieken M, Xylinas E, Kluth L, et al.
Diabetes mellitus without metformin intake is associated with worse oncologic outcomes after radical nephroureterectomy for upper tract urothelial carcinoma.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2014; 40(1):113-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Evidence suggests a detrimental effect of diabetes mellitus (DM) on cancer incidence and outcomes. To date, the effect of DM and its treatment on prognosis in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) remains uninvestigated. We tested the hypothesis that DM and metformin use impact oncologic outcomes of patients treated with radical nephroureterectomy (RNU) for UTUC.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 2492 patients with UTUC treated at 23 institutions with RNU without neoadjuvant therapy. Cox regression models addressed the association of DM and metformin use with disease recurrence, cancer-specific mortality and any-cause mortality.
RESULTS: A total of 365 (14.3%) patients had DM and 194 (7.8%) patients used metformin. Within a median follow-up of 36 months, 663 (26.6%) patients experienced disease recurrence, 545 patients (21.9%) died of UTUC and 884 (35.5%) patients died from any cause. Diabetic patients who did not use metformin were at significantly higher risk of disease recurrence and cancer-specific death compared to non-diabetic patients and diabetic patients who used metformin. In multivariable Cox regression analyses, DM treated without metformin was associated with worse recurrence-free survival (HR: 1.44, 95% CI 1.10-1.90, p = 0.009) and cancer-specific mortality (HR: 1.49, 95% CI 1.11-2.00, p = 0.008).
CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic UTUC patients without metformin use have significantly worse oncologic outcomes than diabetics who used metformin and non-diabetics. The possible mechanism behind the impact of DM on UTUC biology and the potentially protective effect of metformin need further elucidation.

Related: Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter Kidney Cancer
Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA; Department of Urology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


Gilbert MR, Wang M, Aldape KD, et al.
Dose-dense temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a randomized phase III clinical trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(32):4085-91 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/11/2014 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide is the standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) methylation status may be an important determinant of treatment response. Dose-dense (DD) temozolomide results in prolonged depletion of MGMT in blood mononuclear cells and possibly in tumor. This trial tested whether DD temozolomide improves overall survival (OS) or progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This phase III trial enrolled patients older than age 18 years with a Karnofsky performance score of ≥ 60 with adequate tissue. Stratification included clinical factors and tumor MGMT methylation status. Patients were randomly assigned to standard temozolomide (arm 1) or DD temozolomide (arm 2) for 6 to 12 cycles. The primary end point was OS. Secondary analyses evaluated the impact of MGMT status.
RESULTS: A total of 833 patients were randomly assigned to either arm 1 or arm 2 (1,173 registered). No statistically significant difference was observed between arms for median OS (16.6 v 14.9 months, respectively; hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; P = .63) or median PFS (5.5 v 6.7 months; HR, 0.87; P = .06). Efficacy did not differ by methylation status. MGMT methylation was associated with improved OS (21.2 v 14 months; HR, 1.74; P < .001), PFS (8.7 v 5.7 months; HR, 1.63; P < .001), and response (P = .012). There was increased grade ≥ 3 toxicity in arm 2 (34% v 53%; P < .001), mostly lymphopenia and fatigue.
CONCLUSION: This study did not demonstrate improved efficacy for DD temozolomide for newly diagnosed GBM, regardless of methylation status. However, it did confirm the prognostic significance of MGMT methylation. Feasibility of large-scale accrual, prospective tumor collection, and molecular stratification was demonstrated.

Related: Dacarbazine Temozolomide
Mark R. Gilbert, Kenneth D. Aldape, Terri S. Armstrong, Jeffrey S. Wefel, Anita Mahajan, and Paul D. Brown, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Terri S. Armstrong, University of Texas Health Science Center-School of Nursing, Houston, TX; Meihua Wang and Minhee Won, Radiation Therapy Onco...


Terwijn M, van Putten WL, Kelder A, et al.
High prognostic impact of flow cytometric minimal residual disease detection in acute myeloid leukemia: data from the HOVON/SAKK AML 42A study.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(31):3889-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Half the patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who achieve complete remission (CR), ultimately relapse. Residual treatment-surviving leukemia is considered responsible for the outgrowth of AML. In many retrospective studies, detection of minimal residual disease (MRD) has been shown to enable identification of these poor-outcome patients by showing its independent prognostic impact. Most studies focus on molecular markers or analyze data in retrospect. This study establishes the value of immunophenotypically assessed MRD in the context of a multicenter clinical trial in adult AML with sample collection and analysis performed in a few specialized centers.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In adults (younger than age 60 years) with AML enrolled onto the Dutch-Belgian Hemato-Oncology Cooperative Group/Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Acute Myeloid Leukemia 42A study, MRD was evaluated in bone marrow samples in CR (164 after induction cycle 1, 183 after cycle 2, 124 after consolidation therapy).
RESULTS: After all courses of therapy, low MRD values distinguished patients with relatively favorable outcome from those with high relapse rate and adverse relapse-free and overall survival. In the whole patient group and in the subgroup with intermediate-risk cytogenetics, MRD was an independent prognostic factor. Multivariate analysis after cycle 2, when decisions about consolidation treatment have to be made, confirmed that high MRD values (> 0.1% of WBC) were associated with a higher risk of relapse after adjustment for consolidation treatment time-dependent covariate risk score and early or later CR.
CONCLUSION: In future treatment studies, risk stratification should be based not only on risk estimation assessed at diagnosis but also on MRD as a therapy-dependent prognostic factor.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Monique Terwijn, Angèle Kelder, Peter C. Huijgens, Angelika M. Dräger, Yvonne J.M. Oussoren, Willemijn J. Scholten, Alexander N. Snel, Gert J. Ossenkoppele, and Gerrit J. Schuurhuis, VU University Medical Centre; Bart J. Biemond, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam; Wim L.J. van Putten, Vi...


Rieken M, Xylinas E, Kluth L, et al.
Association of diabetes mellitus and metformin use with oncological outcomes of patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
BJU Int. 2013; 112(8):1105-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and metformin use with prognosis and outcomes of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 1117 patients with NMIBC treated at four institutions between 1996 and 2007. Cox regression models were used to analyse the association of DM and metformin use with disease recurrence, disease progression, cancer-specific mortality and any-cause mortality.
RESULTS: Of the 1117 patients, 125 (11.1%) had DM and 43 (3.8%) used metformin. Within a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 64 (22-106) months, 469 (42.0%) patients experienced disease recurrence, 103 (9.2%) experienced disease progression, 50 (4.5%) died from bladder cancer and 249 (22.3%) died from other causes. In multivariable Cox regression analyses, patients with DM who did not take metformin had a greater risk of disease recurrence (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.94, P = 0.01) and progression (HR: 2.38, 95% CI 1.40-4.06, P = 0.001) but not any-cause mortality than patients without DM. DM with metformin use was independently associated with a lower risk of disease recurrence (HR: 0.50, 95% CI 0.27-0.94, P = 0.03).
CONCLUSION: Patients with DM and NMIBC who do not take metformin seem to be at an increased risk of disease recurrence and progression; metformin use seems to exert a protective effect with regard to disease recurrence. The mechanisms behind the impact of DM on patients with NMIBC and the potential protective effect of metformin need further elucidation.

Related: Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology
Department of Urology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, USA; Department of Urology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


Viganò L, Capussotti L, De Rosa G, et al.
Liver resection for colorectal metastases after chemotherapy: impact of chemotherapy-related liver injuries, pathological tumor response, and micrometastases on long-term survival.
Ann Surg. 2013; 258(5):731-40; discussion 741-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We analyzed the impact of chemotherapy-related liver injuries (CALI), pathological tumor regression grade (TRG), and micrometastases on long-term prognosis in patients undergoing liver resection for colorectal metastases after preoperative chemotherapy.
BACKGROUND: CALI worsen the short-term outcomes of liver resection, but their impact on long-term prognosis is unknown. Recently, a prognostic role of TRG has been suggested. Micrometastases (microscopic vascular or biliary invasion) are reduced by preoperative chemotherapy, but their impact on survival is unclear.
METHODS: Patients undergoing liver resection for colorectal metastases between 1998 and 2011 and treated with oxaliplatin and/or irinotecan-based preoperative chemotherapy were eligible for the study. Patients with operative mortality or incomplete resection (R2) were excluded. All specimens were reviewed to assess CALI, TRG, and micrometastases.
RESULTS: A total of 323 patients were included. Grade 2-3 sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS) was present in 124 patients (38.4%), grade 2-3 steatosis in 73 (22.6%), and steatohepatitis in 30 (9.3%). Among all patients, 22.9% had TRG 1-2 (major response), whereas 55.7% had TRG 4-5 (no response). Microvascular invasion was detected in 37.8% of patients and microscopic biliary infiltration in 5.6%.The higher the SOS grade the lower the pathological response: TRG 1-2 occurred in 16.9% of patients with grade 2-3 SOS versus 26.6% of patients with grade 0-1 SOS (P = 0.032).After a median follow-up of 36.9 months, 5-year survival was 38.6%. CALI did not negatively impact survival. Multivariate analysis showed that grade 2-3 steatosis was associated with better survival than grade 0-1 steatosis (5-year survival rate of 52.5% vs 35.2%, P = 0.002). TRG better than the percentage of viable cells stratified patient prognosis: 5-year survival rate of 60.4% in TRG 1-2, 40.2% in TRG 3, and 29.8% in TRG 4-5 (P = 0.0001). Microscopic vascular and biliary invasion negatively impacted outcome (5-year survival rate of 23.3% vs 45.7% if absent, P = 0.017; 0% vs 42.3%, P = 0.032, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: TRG was confirmed to be a crucial prognostic determinant. CALI do not negatively impact long-term prognosis, but the tumor response is reduced in patients with grade 2-3 SOS. Steatosis was found to have a protective effect on survival. Micrometastases significantly impacted prognosis assessment.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Bevacizumab (Avastin) Oxaliplatin Irinotecan
Departments of *HPB and Digestive Surgery and †Pathology, Ospedale Mauriziano Umberto I, Torino, Italy; and Departments of ‡Visceral and Transplantation Surgery and §Clinical Pathology, University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.


Ohtsu A, Ajani JA, Bai YX, et al.
Everolimus for previously treated advanced gastric cancer: results of the randomized, double-blind, phase III GRANITE-1 study.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(31):3935-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The oral mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor everolimus demonstrated promising efficacy in a phase II study of pretreated advanced gastric cancer. This international, double-blind, phase III study compared everolimus efficacy and safety with that of best supportive care (BSC) in previously treated advanced gastric cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with advanced gastric cancer that progressed after one or two lines of systemic chemotherapy were randomly assigned to everolimus 10 mg/d (assignment schedule: 2:1) or matching placebo, both given with BSC. Randomization was stratified by previous chemotherapy lines (one v two) and region (Asia v rest of the world [ROW]). Treatment continued until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. Primary end point was overall survival (OS). Secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate, and safety.
RESULTS: Six hundred fifty-six patients (median age, 62.0 years; 73.6% male) were enrolled. Median OS was 5.4 months with everolimus and 4.3 months with placebo (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.08; P = .124). Median PFS was 1.7 months and 1.4 months in the everolimus and placebo arms, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.78). Common grade 3/4 adverse events included anemia, decreased appetite, and fatigue. The safety profile was similar in patients enrolled in Asia versus ROW.
CONCLUSION: Compared with BSC, everolimus did not significantly improve overall survival for advanced gastric cancer that progressed after one or two lines of previous systemic chemotherapy. The safety profile observed for everolimus was consistent with that observed for everolimus in other cancers.

Related: Stomach Cancer Gastric Cancer Everolimus (Afinitor)
Atsushi Ohtsu, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa; Keisho Chin, Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo; Kei Muro, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, Nagoya, Japan; Jaffer A. Ajani, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Tarek Sahmoud, ...


Buchs NC, Pugin F, Volonte F, et al.
Robotic transanal endoscopic microsurgery: technical details for the lateral approach.
Dis Colon Rectum. 2013; 56(10):1194-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Transanal endoscopic microsurgery is a minimally invasive approach reserved for the resection of selected rectal tumors. However, this approach is technically demanding. Although robotic technology may overcome the limitations of this approach, the system can be difficult to dock, especially in the lithotomy position.
OBJECTIVE: The study aim is thus to report the technical details of robotic transanal endoscopic microsurgery with the use of a lateral approach.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS: This study is a prospective evaluation of robotic transanal endoscopic microsurgery in a single tertiary institution, under a protocol approved by our local ethics committee.
INTERVENTION: Patients underwent a routine mechanical bowel preparation and were placed in the left or right lateral position according to the tumor location. A circular anal dilatator was used together with the glove port technique. The robotic system was then docked over the hip. A 30° optic and 2 articulated instruments were used with an additional assistant trocar. The tumor excision was realized with an atraumatic grasper and an articulated cautery hook, and the defect was closed with barbed continuous stiches in each case.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The primary outcome was the safety and feasibility of the procedure.
RESULTS: Three patients underwent a robotic transanal endoscopic microsurgery with the use of the lateral approach. Mean operative time was 110 minutes, including 20 minutes for the docking of the robot. There was 1 intraoperative complication (a pneumoperitoneum without intraabdominal lesion) and no postoperative complications. Mean hospital stay was 3 days. Margins were negative in all the cases.
LIMITATIONS: The study was limited by the small number of patients.
CONCLUSION: Robotic transanal endoscopic microsurgery with use of the lateral approach is feasible and may facilitate the local resection of small lesions of the mid and lower rectum. It might assume an important place in sphincter-preserving surgery, especially for selected and early rectal cancer (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/DCR/A114).
Clinic for Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


San-Miguel JF, Richardson PG, Günther A, et al.
Phase Ib study of panobinostat and bortezomib in relapsed or relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(29):3696-703 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Despite advancements, prognosis for patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM) is poor, and novel therapies are needed. Panobinostat is a potent deacetylase inhibitor that elicits synergistic effects on MM cells in combination with bortezomib. This phase Ib study sought to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of panobinostat plus bortezomib in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In the dose-escalation phase (n = 47), panobinostat was administered orally thrice weekly every week in combination with bortezomib (21-day cycles). After MTD determination, patients were evaluated in an expansion phase (n = 15) that incorporated a 1-week treatment holiday of panobinostat, with dexamethasone added in cycle 2. Additional assessments included safety, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy per International Myeloma Working Group criteria.
RESULTS: The MTD was established at panobinostat 20 mg plus bortezomib 1.3 mg/m(2). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events (AEs) included thrombocytopenia (85.1%), neutropenia (63.8%), and asthenia (29.8%) in the escalation phase, and thrombocytopenia (66.7%), neutropenia (46.7%), and fatigue (20.0%) in the expansion phase. At MTD in the escalation phase, eight patients (47.1%) discontinued therapy as a result of AEs, whereas five patients (33.3%) discontinued treatment in the expansion phase. Expansion phase patients demonstrated greater median treatment duration. Overall response rate (ORR) was 73.3% in the expansion phase and 52.9% at the escalation phase MTD. Among bortezomib-refractory patients, the ORR was 26.3%, and 42.1% of patients had ≥ minimal response.
CONCLUSION: The MTD of panobinostat plus bortezomib was determined and demonstrated activity in patients with relapsed or relapsed/refractory MM, including bortezomib-refractory patients. A phase II/III clinical trial program (Panobinostat or Placebo With Bortezomib and Dexamethasone in Patients With Relapsed Multiple Myeloma [PANORAMA]) has been initiated.

Related: Myeloma Myeloma - Molecular Biology Bortezomib
Jesús F. San-Miguel and María Victoria Mateos, Servicio e Hematologia, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca, Institut de Bilogia Molecular de Barcelona (Universidad de Salamanca-Spanish National Research Council), Salamanca; Joan...


von Minckwitz G, Blohmer JU, Costa SD, et al.
Response-guided neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(29):3623-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We investigated disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) after response-guided neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We treated 2,072 patients with two cycles of docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (TAC) and randomly assigned early responders to four (n = 704) or six (n = 686) additional TAC cycles, and early nonresponders to four cycles of TAC (n = 321) or vinorelbine and capecitabine (NX; n = 301) before surgery.
RESULTS: DFS was longer in early responders receiving TAC × 8 than in those receiving TAC × 6 (hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.97; P = .026), and in early nonresponders receiving TAC-NX than in those receiving TAC × 6 (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.49 to 0.82; P = .001). Exploratory analysis showed that DFS after response-guided chemotherapy (TAC × 8 or TAC-NX) was significantly longer (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.85; P < .003), as was OS (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.99; P = .048), than on conventional chemotherapy (TAC × 6). DFS was longer after response-guided chemotherapy in all hormone receptor-positive tumors (luminal A HR = 0.55, luminal B [human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) negative] HR = 0.40, and luminal B [HER2 positive] HR = 0.56), but not in hormone receptor-negative tumors (HER2 positive [nonluminal] HR = 1.01 and triple negative HR = 0.87). Pathologic complete response did not predict these survival effects. pCR predicted an improved DFS in triple-negative (HR = 6.67), HER2-positive (nonluminal; HR 5.24), or luminal B (HER2-negative) tumors (HR = 3.74).
CONCLUSION: This exploratory analysis suggests that response-guided neoadjuvant chemotherapy might improve survival and is most effective in hormone receptor-positive tumors. If confirmed, the response-guided approach could provide a clinically meaningful advantage for the neoadjuvant over the adjuvant approach in early breast cancer.

Related: Breast Cancer
Gunter von Minckwitz, Keyur Mehta, and Sibylle Loibl, Headquarters, German Breast Group, Neu-Isenburg; Jens Uwe Blohmer, St Gertrauden Krankenhaus, Berlin); Serban Dan Costa, Universitäts-Frauenklinik, Magdeburg; Carsten Denkert, Institute for Pathology, Charite, Berlin; Holger Eidtmann, Unive...


Tschuor Ch, Croome KP, Sergeant G, et al.
Salvage parenchymal liver transection for patients with insufficient volume increase after portal vein occlusion -- an extension of the ALPPS approach.
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2013; 39(11):1230-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Portal vein ligation (PVL) or embolization (PVE) are standard approaches to induce liver hypertrophy of the future liver remnant (FLR) prior to hepatectomy in primarily non-resectable liver tumors. However, this approach fails in about one third of patients. Recently, the new "ALPPS" approach has been described that combines PVL with parenchymal transection to induce rapid liver hypertrophy. This series explores whether isolated parenchymal transection boosts liver hypertrophy in scenarios of failed PVL/PVE.
METHODS: A multicenter database with 170 patients undergoing portal vein manipulation to increase the size of the FLR was screened for patients undergoing isolated parenchymal transection as a salvage procedure. Three patients who underwent PVL/PVE with subsequent insufficient volume gain and subsequently underwent parenchymal liver transection as a salvage procedure were identified. Patient characteristics, volume increase, postoperative complications and outcomes were analyzed.
RESULTS: The first patient underwent liver transection 16 weeks after failed PVL with a standardized FLR (sFLR) of 30%, which increased to 47% in 7 days. The second patient showed a sFLR of 25% 28 weeks after PVL and subsequent PVE of segment IV, which increased to 41% in 7 days after transection. The third patient underwent liver partition 8 weeks after PVE with a sFLR of 19%, which increased to 37% in six days. All patients underwent a R0 resection.
CONCLUSION: Failed PVE or PVL appears to represent a good indication for the isolated parenchymal liver transection according to the newly developed ALPPS approach.

Related: Liver Cancer
Swiss HPB Center, Department of Surgery and Transplantation, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


Nagler A, Rocha V, Labopin M, et al.
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia in remission: comparison of intravenous busulfan plus cyclophosphamide (Cy) versus total-body irradiation plus Cy as conditioning regimen--a report from the acute leukemia working party of the European group for blood and marrow transplantation.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(28):3549-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cyclophosphamide (Cy) combined with total-body irradiation (TBI) or with busulfan (Bu) are currently the most common myeloablative regimens used in allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT) in adults with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Intravenous (IV) Bu has more predictable bioavailability and a safer toxicity profile than the oral formulation. Comparative studies of outcomes have been performed between oral Bu/Cy and Cy/TBI, but there have been no comparative trials in the era of IV Bu.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective registry-based study comparing outcomes of patients with AML in first or second remission after alloSCT from sibling donors who underwent IV Bu/Cy (n = 795) or Cy/TBI (n = 864) conditioning.
RESULTS: Engraftment rate was 98% and 99% after IV Bu/Cy and Cy/TBI, respectively. Grade 2 to 4 acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was significantly lower in the IV Bu/Cy compared with Cy/TBI group (P < .001). Similarly, chronic GVHD was significantly lower in the IV Bu/Cy compared with Cy/TBI group (P = .003). Cumulative incidence of 2-year nonrelapse mortality (NRM; ± standard deviation [SD]) was 12% ± 1% in the IV Bu/Cy group and 15% ± 2% in the Cy/TBI group (P = .14), and 2-year relapse incidence (RI; ± SD) was 26% ± 3% and 21% ± 1%, respectively (P = .012). Leukemia-free survival (LFS) rate (± SD) was 61% ± 2% after IV Bu/Cy and 64% ± 2% after Cy/TBI (P = .27). In multivariable analysis, adjusting for differences between both groups, patients who received IV Bu/Cy had lower acute and chronic GVHD, higher RI, and a trend toward lower NRM. LFS was not statistically different between the two conditioning regimens.
CONCLUSION: This retrospective study shows that final outcomes after myeloablative conditioning using IV Bu/Cy were not statistically different from those after Cy/TBI.

Related: Busulfan Cyclophosphamide Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Arnon Nagler and Avichai Shimoni, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hasomer, Israel; Vanderson Rocha, Churchill Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, United Kingdom; Myriam Labopin and Mohamad Mohty, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris University; Gerard Socie, Hôpital St Louis, Paris; Ma...


Sassowsky M, Gut P, Hölscher T, et al.
Use of EORTC target definition guidelines for dose-intensified salvage radiation therapy for recurrent prostate cancer: results of the quality assurance program of the randomized trial SAKK 09/10.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013; 87(3):534-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Different international target volume delineation guidelines exist and different treatment techniques are available for salvage radiation therapy (RT) for recurrent prostate cancer, but less is known regarding their respective applicability in clinical practice.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: A randomized phase III trial testing 64 Gy vs 70 Gy salvage RT was accompanied by an intense quality assurance program including a site-specific and study-specific questionnaire and a dummy run (DR). Target volume delineation was performed according to the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer guidelines, and a DR-based treatment plan was established for 70 Gy. Major and minor protocol deviations were noted, interobserver agreement of delineated target contours was assessed, and dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters of different treatment techniques were compared.
RESULTS: Thirty European centers participated, 43% of which were using 3-dimensional conformal RT (3D-CRT), with the remaining centers using intensity modulated RT (IMRT) or volumetric modulated arc technique (VMAT). The first submitted version of the DR contained major deviations in 21 of 30 (70%) centers, mostly caused by inappropriately defined or lack of prostate bed (PB). All but 5 centers completed the DR successfully with their second submitted version. The interobserver agreement of the PB was moderate and was improved by the DR review, as indicated by an increased κ value (0.59 vs 0.55), mean sensitivity (0.64 vs 0.58), volume of total agreement (3.9 vs 3.3 cm(3)), and decrease in the union volume (79.3 vs 84.2 cm(3)). Rectal and bladder wall DVH parameters of IMRT and VMAT vs 3D-CRT plans were not significantly different.
CONCLUSIONS: The interobserver agreement of PB delineation was moderate but was improved by the DR. Major deviations could be identified for the majority of centers. The DR has improved the acquaintance of the participating centers with the trial protocol.

Related: Prostate Cancer
Department of Radiation Oncology and Division of Medical Radiation Physics, Bern University Hospital, Switzerland.


Broemme J, Abu-Isa J, Kottke R, et al.
Adjuvant therapy after resection of brain metastases. Frameless image-guided LINAC-based radiosurgery and stereotactic hypofractionated radiotherapy.
Strahlenther Onkol. 2013; 189(9):765-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor bed stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) after resection of brain metastases is a new strategy to delay or avoid whole-brain irradiation (WBRT) and its associated toxicities. This retrospective study analyzes results of frameless image-guided linear accelerator (LINAC)-based SRS and stereotactic hypofractionated radiotherapy (SHRT) as adjuvant treatment without WBRT.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between March 2009 and February 2012, 44 resection cavities in 42 patients were treated with SRS (23 cavities) or SHRT (21 cavities). All treatments were delivered using a stereotactic LINAC. All cavities were expanded by ≥ 2 mm in all directions to create the clinical target volume (CTV).
RESULTS: The median planning target volume (PTV) for SRS was 11.1 cm(3). The median dose prescribed to the PTV margin for SRS was 17 Gy. Median PTV for SHRT was 22.3 cm(3). The fractionation schemes applied were: 4 fractions of 6 Gy (5 patients), 6 fractions of 4 Gy (6 patients) and 10 fractions of 4 Gy (10 patients). Median follow-up was 9.6 months. Local control (LC) rates after 6 and 12 months were 91 and 77 %, respectively. No statistically significant differences in LC rates between SRS and SHRT treatments were observed. Distant brain control (DBC) rates at 6 and 12 months were 61 and 33 %, respectively. Overall survival (OS) at 6 and 12 months was 87 and 63.5 %, respectively, with a median OS of 15.9 months. One patient treated by SRS showed symptoms of radionecrosis, which was confirmed histologically.
CONCLUSION: Frameless image-guided LINAC-based adjuvant SRS and SHRT are effective and well tolerated local treatment strategies after resection of brain metastases in patients with oligometastatic disease.
Departments of Radiation Oncology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Ghadjar P, Sun H, Zimmermann F, et al.
Physical examination during chemoradiation predicts outcome of locally advanced head and neck cancer. Secondary results of a randomized phase III trial (SAKK 10/94).
Oral Oncol. 2013; 49(10):1006-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To analyze the prognostic value of clinical tumor response during chemoradiation for locally advanced head and neck cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The locoregional response at 50.4Gy was assessed by physical examination (PE) in patients treated within the randomized trial SAKK 10/94 using hyperfractionated radiotherapy (RT), median total dose 74.4Gy with or without cisplatin 20mg/m(2) chemotherapy on 5 consecutive days during weeks 1 and 5 or 6 of RT. Response was classified as a complete response (CR), complete response with uncertainty (Cru), partial response (PR), stable disease (SD), or progressive disease (PD). The primary endpoint was time to treatment failure (TTF) due to any cause. Secondary endpoints included locoregional-recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards (PH) models were applied to analyze the associations between survival endpoints and clinical tumor response.
RESULTS: A total of 136, 131 and 97 patients were evaluable for response at the primary tumor, lymph nodes and both sites combined, respectively. At 50.4Gy 57/136 (42%), 46/131 (35%) and 21/97 (22%) patients had a good response (CR/Cru vs. PR/SD) at the primary tumor, the lymph nodes, and both sites combined, respectively. The median follow-up times were 11.4, 9.6 and 11.4years for the three groups. Good responses were all significantly associated with improved TTF, LRRFS, DMFS and OS in univariate analysis whereas good response at the primary tumor and lymph nodes remained significantly associated with TTF and OS after multivariate Cox PH models.
CONCLUSIONS: Locoregional response at 50.4Gy was identified as predictor of oncologic outcome. PE during treatment should not be underestimated in clinical practice.

Related: Cisplatin Cancer of the Larynx Laryngeal Cancer - Molecular Biology Oral Cancer
Departments of Radiation Oncology, Charité University Medicine, Germany; Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Switzerland. Electronic address:


Bükki J, Stanga Z, Tellez FB, et al.
Omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids for the prevention of severe neutropenic enterocolitis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Nutr Cancer. 2013; 65(6):834-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neutropenic enterocolitis is a potentially fatal complication of myeloablative chemotherapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are precursors of potent anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Our aim was to explore the safety and effectiveness of omega-3 PUFA added to parenteral nutrition in protecting leukemia patients from severe enterocolitis. Fourteen patients with acute myeloid leukemia who received omega-3 PUFA in a Phase II trial were compared with 66 consecutive control patients not getting this intervention. We performed crude and adjusted comparisons, using inverse probability of treatment weighting for adjusted analysis, and blind outcome assessment to minimize assessor bias. Primary outcome was severe enterocolitis (≥Grade 3). The crude odds ratio of Grade 3 colitis or higher was 1.36 (95% CI 0.37 to 4.96, P = 0.64), and the adjusted odds ratio was 0.79 (95% CI 0.35 to 1.78, P = 0.57). There was little evidence to suggest differences between groups in serious adverse events and overall mortality. Our results provide little evidence that addition of omega-3 PUFA is beneficial in this condition. Routine treatment with omega-3 PUFA is currently not warranted.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Department of Internal Medicine, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.


Brömme JO, Schmücking M, Arnold A, et al.
Taxane-containing induction chemotherapy followed by definitive chemoradiotherapy. Outcome in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer.
Strahlenther Onkol. 2013; 189(8):618-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Induction chemotherapy followed by definitive chemoradiotherapy is an intensified treatment approach for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) that might be associated with high rates of toxicity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data of 40 consecutive patients who underwent induction chemotherapy with docetaxel-containing regimens followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and concomitant systemic therapy for unresectable locally advanced HNSCC were retrospectively analyzed. Primary objectives were RT-related acute and late toxicity. Secondary objectives were response to induction chemotherapy, locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), overall survival (OS), and influencing factors for LRRFS and OS.
RESULTS: The median follow-up for surviving patients was 21 months (range, 2-53 months). Patients received a median of three cycles of induction chemotherapy followed by IMRT to 72 Gy. Three patients died during induction chemotherapy and one during chemoradiotherapy. Acute RT-related toxicity was of grade 3 and 4 in 72 and 3 % of patients, respectively, mainly dysphagia and dermatitis. Late RT-related toxicity was mainly xerostomia and bone/cartilage necrosis and was of grade 3 and 4 in 15 % of patients. One- and 2-year LRRFS and OS were 72 and 49 % and 77 and 71 %, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy using IMRT was associated with a high rate of severe acute and late RT-related toxicities in this selected patient cohort. Four patients were lost because of fatal complications. Induction chemotherapy did not compromise the delivery of full-dose RT; however, the use of three cycles of concomitant cisplatin was impaired.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology
Department of Radiation Oncology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, 3010, Bern, Switzerland.


von Hohenstaufen KA, Conconi A, de Campos CP, et al.
Prognostic impact of monocyte count at presentation in mantle cell lymphoma.
Br J Haematol. 2013; 162(4):465-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
An increased number of circulating monocytes at presentation has recently been associated with shorter survival in Hodgkin lymphoma, follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma. This study aimed to assess the prognostic impact of the absolute monocyte count (AMC) at diagnosis in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). AMC at diagnosis was available in 97 MCL cases recorded in the databases of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland in Bellinzona (Switzerland) and the Division of Haematology of the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara (Italy). With a median follow up of 7 years, the 5-year overall survival was 29% for patients with AMC >0·50 × 10(9) /l and 62% for patients with AMC ≤0·50 × 10(9) /l (P = 0·008). Elevated AMC and beta-2 microglobulin at diagnosis remained independent outcome predictors at multivariate analysis, controlling for the MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI), and have been used to build a simple prognostic scoring system. In this relatively small and heterogeneous series an increased AMC identified poor-risk patients. Our results suggest that AMC together with the beta-2 microglobulin level might provide an inexpensive way to stratify MCL patient risk as a complement to the MIPI, which was confirmed to be a very powerful prognostic tool.

Related: Cyclophosphamide Cytarabine Doxorubicin Mantle Cell Lymphoma Methotrexate Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplants Vincristine
IOSI - Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


Sessa C, Shapiro GI, Bhalla KN, et al.
First-in-human phase I dose-escalation study of the HSP90 inhibitor AUY922 in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(13):3671-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: A phase I study was conducted with the primary objective of determining the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of AUY922 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Secondary objectives included characterization of the safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic profiles. Patients and Methods: Patients with advanced solid tumors received 1-hour i.v. infusions of AUY922 once a week in a 28-day cycle. An adaptive Bayesian logistic regression model that employed observed dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) in the first treatment cycle was used to guide dose-escalation decisions, with the established MTD to be used in phase II studies.
RESULTS: One hundred and one patients were enrolled and explored at doses in the range of 2 to 70 mg/m(2). DLTs occurred in 8 patients (22-70 mg/m(2)) and included diarrhea, asthenia/fatigue, anorexia, atrial flutter, and visual symptoms. At 70 mg/m(2), the AUY922 concentration achieved was consistent with active concentrations in a range of xenograft models. There was evidence of target inhibition in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (HSP70 induction) and tumor (client protein depletion and reduction of metabolic activity by (18)F-FDG PET). The recommended phase II dose (RP2D) of 70 mg/m(2) was proposed on the basis of toxicity and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles.
CONCLUSIONS: At the RP2D of 70 mg/m(2), AUY922 exhibited acceptable tolerability, and phase II single-agent and combination studies have been initiated in patients with HER2-positive breast, gastric, and non-small cell lung cancers.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction
Instituto Oncologico della Svizzera Italiana, Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Research funded by:


Rueegg CS, Gianinazzi ME, Michel G, et al.
Do childhood cancer survivors with physical performance limitations reach healthy activity levels?
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013; 60(10):1714-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The extent to which physical performance limitations affect the ability of childhood cancer survivors to reach healthy activity levels is unknown. Therefore this study aims to describe the effect of different types of limitations on activity levels in survivors.
PROCEDURE: Within the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study we sent a questionnaire to all survivors (≥16 years) registered in the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, who survived >5 years and were diagnosed 1976-2005 aged <16 years. We measured healthy activity levels using international guidelines and assessed different kinds of performance limitations (visual impairment, weight and endurance problems, cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neurological problems, pain and fatigue syndromes).
RESULTS: The sample included 1,560 survivors (75% response rate), of whom 209 (13.5%) reported they have performance limitations. Forty-two percent of survivors with limitations reached healthy activity levels, compared to 57% of survivors without limitations. Least active were survivors with vision impairments (25% active), weight and endurance problems (27.3%), cardiorespiratory problems (36.4%), and musculoskeletal problems (43.1%). After adjusting for socio-demographic variables and type of cancer, we found that survivors with limitations were 1.4 (95%CI 1.0-2.0; P = 0.047) times more likely to be inactive.
CONCLUSIONS: Although many survivors with physical performance limitations maintain healthy activity levels, there is room for improvement. Adapted and targeted physical activity counseling for survivors with performance limitations might help them to raise level of activity and pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Children's Cancer Web: Home Page
Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Giovanella L, Piccardo A, Paone G, et al.
Thyroid lobe ablation with iodine- ¹³¹I in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma: a randomized comparison between 1.1 and 3.7 GBq activities.
Nucl Med Commun. 2013; 34(8):767-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the ablation rate after administration of 1.1 or 3.7 GBq of iodine- (¹³¹I) to patients with low-risk differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) primarily treated by lobectomy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Enrolled were 136 consecutive patients affected by histologically proven low-risk DTC previously treated by lobectomy. Patients were randomized to receive a single dose of 1.1 or 3.7 GBq of ¹³¹I in an equivalence trial. Successful thyroid ablation was defined as a negative diagnostic whole-body scan and stimulated thyroglobulin levels lower than 2 ng/ml in the absence of thyroglobulin antibodies.
RESULTS: The patient demographic and clinical data were well balanced at baseline. The ablation rate was significantly (P<0.01) higher in patients treated with 3.7 GBq (75%) than in those treated with 1.1 GBq (54%) of radioiodine. No relevant side effects occurred in either group.
CONCLUSION: Radioiodine lobe ablation with a single administration of 3.7 GBq is a simple and safe mode of treatment, achieving an ablation rate higher than that of 1.1 GBq. This procedure may be offered as an alternative to completion thyroidectomy in highly selected DTC patients who had experienced complications during initial surgery or for whom completion thyroidectomy is contraindicated.

Related: Thyroid Cancer
Department of Nuclear Medicine and Thyroid Centre, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


Szucs-Farkas Z, Schick A, Cullmann JL, et al.
Comparison of dual-energy subtraction and electronic bone suppression combined with computer-aided detection on chest radiographs: effect on human observers' performance in nodule detection.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2013; 200(5):1006-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to compare the effect of dual-energy subtraction and bone suppression software alone and in combination with computer-aided detection (CAD) on the performance of human observers in lung nodule detection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred one patients with from one to five lung nodules measuring 5-29 mm and 42 subjects with no nodules were retrospectively selected and randomized. Three independent radiologists marked suspicious-appearing lesions on the original chest radiographs, dual-energy subtraction images, and bone-suppressed images before and after postprocessing with CAD. Marks of the observers and CAD marks were compared with CT as the reference standard. Data were analyzed using nonparametric tests and the jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristic (JAFROC) method.
RESULTS: Using dual-energy subtraction alone (p = 0.0198) or CAD alone (p = 0.0095) improved the detection rate compared with using the original conventional chest radiograph. The combination of bone suppression and CAD provided the highest sensitivity (51.6%) and the original nonenhanced conventional chest radiograph alone provided the lowest (46.9%; p = 0.0049). Dual-energy subtraction and bone suppression provided the same false-positive (p = 0.2702) and true-positive (p = 0.8451) rates. Up to 22.9% of lesions were found only by the CAD program and were missed by the readers. JAFROC showed no difference in the performance between modalities (p = 0.2742-0.5442).
CONCLUSION: Dual-energy subtraction and the electronic bone suppression program used in this study provided similar detection rates for pulmonary nodules. Additionally, CAD alone or combined with bone suppression can significantly improve the sensitivity of human observers for pulmonary nodule detection.
University Hospital and University of Bern, Berne, Switzerland.


Hitz F, Fischer N, Pabst T, et al.
Rituximab, bendamustine, and lenalidomide in patients with aggressive B cell lymphoma not eligible for high-dose chemotherapy or anthracycline-based therapy: phase I results of the SAKK 38/08 trial.
Ann Hematol. 2013; 92(8):1033-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
This phase I trial was designed to develop a new effective and well-tolerated regimen for patients with aggressive B cell lymphoma not eligible for front-line anthracycline-based chemotherapy or aggressive second-line treatment strategies. The combination of rituximab (375 mg/m(2) on day 1), bendamustine (70 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 2), and lenalidomide was tested with a dose escalation of lenalidomide at three dose levels (10, 15, or 20 mg/day) using a 3 + 3 design. Courses were repeated every 4 weeks. The recommended dose was defined as one level below the dose level identifying ≥2/6 patients with a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) during the first cycle. Thirteen patients were eligible for analysis. Median age was 77 years. WHO performance status was 0 or 1 in 12 patients. The Charlson Comorbidity Index showed relevant comorbidities in all patients. Two DLTs occurred at the second dose level (15 mg/day) within the first cycle: one patient had prolonged grade 3 neutropenia, and one patient experienced grade 4 cardiac adverse event (myocardial infarction). Additional grade 3 and 4 toxicities were as follows: neutropenia (31 %), thrombocytopenia (23 %), cardiac toxicity (31 %), fatigue (15 %), and rash (15 %). The dose of lenalidomide of 10 mg/day was recommended for a subsequent phase II in combination with rituximab 375 mg/m(2) on day 1 and bendamustine 70 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 2.

Related: Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma Thalidomide Rituximab (Mabthera) Lenalidomide Bendamustine
Kantonsspital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.


Templeton AJ, Dutoit V, Cathomas R, et al.
Phase 2 trial of single-agent everolimus in chemotherapy-naive patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (SAKK 08/08).
Eur Urol. 2013; 64(1):150-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) tumor suppressor gene is deregulated in many advanced prostate cancers, leading to activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and thus increased cell survival.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate everolimus, an inhibitor of mTOR, in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), and to explore potentially predictive serum biomarkers by proteomics, the significance of PTEN status in tumor tissue, and the impact of everolimus on immune cell subpopulations and function.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 37 chemotherapy-naive patients with mCRPC and progressive disease were recruited to this single-arm phase 2 trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00976755).
INTERVENTION: Everolimus was administered continuously at a dose of 10mg daily.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) at 12 wk defined as the absence of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), radiographic progression, or clinical progression. Groups were compared using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests or Fisher exact tests for continuous and discrete variables, respectively. Time-to-event end points were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and univariate Cox regression.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 13 patients (35%; 95% confidence interval, 20-53) met the primary end point. Confirmed PSA response ≥50% was seen in two (5%), and four further patients (11%) had a PSA decline ≥30%. Higher serum levels of carboxypeptidase M and apolipoprotein B were predictive for reaching the primary end point. Deletion of PTEN was associated with longer PFS and response. Treatment was associated with a dose-dependent decrease of CD3, CD4, and CD8 T lymphocytes and CD8 proliferation and an increase in regulatory T cells. Small sample size was the major limitation of the study.
CONCLUSIONS: Everolimus activity in unselected patients with mCRPC is moderate, but PTEN deletion could be predictive for response. Several serum glycoproteins were able to predict PFS at 12 wk. Prospective validation of these potential biomarkers is warranted.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov with the identifier NCT00976755. Results of this study were presented in part at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (June 3-7, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA) and the annual meeting of the German, Austrian, and Swiss Societies for Oncology and Hematology (September 30-October 4, 2011; Basel, Switzerland).

Related: PTEN Everolimus (Afinitor) KLK3
Department of Medical Oncology, Kantonsspital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.


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