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Cancer Statistics
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
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Swiss Cancer Organisations
Recent Research Publications from Switzerland

Swiss Cancer Organisations (14 links)

Recent Research Publications from Switzerland

Poortmans PM, Collette S, Kirkove C, et al.
Internal Mammary and Medial Supraclavicular Irradiation in Breast Cancer.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(4):317-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The effect of internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph-node irradiation (regional nodal irradiation) added to whole-breast or thoracic-wall irradiation after surgery on survival among women with early-stage breast cancer is unknown.
METHODS: We randomly assigned women who had a centrally or medially located primary tumor, irrespective of axillary involvement, or an externally located tumor with axillary involvement to undergo either whole-breast or thoracic-wall irradiation in addition to regional nodal irradiation (nodal-irradiation group) or whole-breast or thoracic-wall irradiation alone (control group). The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points were the rates of disease-free survival, survival free from distant disease, and death from breast cancer.
RESULTS: Between 1996 and 2004, a total of 4004 patients underwent randomization. The majority of patients (76.1%) underwent breast-conserving surgery. After mastectomy, 73.4% of the patients in both groups underwent chest-wall irradiation. Nearly all patients with node-positive disease (99.0%) and 66.3% of patients with node-negative disease received adjuvant systemic treatment. At a median follow-up of 10.9 years, 811 patients had died. At 10 years, overall survival was 82.3% in the nodal-irradiation group and 80.7% in the control group (hazard ratio for death with nodal irradiation, 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 1.00; P=0.06). The rate of disease-free survival was 72.1% in the nodal-irradiation group and 69.1% in the control group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.00; P=0.04), the rate of distant disease-free survival was 78.0% versus 75.0% (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.98; P=0.02), and breast-cancer mortality was 12.5% versus 14.4% (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.97; P=0.02). Acute side effects of regional nodal irradiation were modest.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with early-stage breast cancer, irradiation of the regional nodes had a marginal effect on overall survival. Disease-free survival and distant disease-free survival were improved, and breast-cancer mortality was reduced. (Funded by Fonds Cancer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00002851.).

Larkin J, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, et al.
Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab or Monotherapy in Untreated Melanoma.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(1):23-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nivolumab (a programmed death 1 [PD-1] checkpoint inhibitor) and ipilimumab (a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 [CTLA-4] checkpoint inhibitor) have been shown to have complementary activity in metastatic melanoma. In this randomized, double-blind, phase 3 study, nivolumab alone or nivolumab plus ipilimumab was compared with ipilimumab alone in patients with metastatic melanoma.
METHODS: We assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, 945 previously untreated patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma to nivolumab alone, nivolumab plus ipilimumab, or ipilimumab alone. Progression-free survival and overall survival were coprimary end points. Results regarding progression-free survival are presented here.
RESULTS: The median progression-free survival was 11.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.9 to 16.7) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab, as compared with 2.9 months (95% CI, 2.8 to 3.4) with ipilimumab (hazard ratio for death or disease progression, 0.42; 99.5% CI, 0.31 to 0.57; P<0.001), and 6.9 months (95% CI, 4.3 to 9.5) with nivolumab (hazard ratio for the comparison with ipilimumab, 0.57; 99.5% CI, 0.43 to 0.76; P<0.001). In patients with tumors positive for the PD-1 ligand (PD-L1), the median progression-free survival was 14.0 months in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and in the nivolumab group, but in patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, progression-free survival was longer with the combination therapy than with nivolumab alone (11.2 months [95% CI, 8.0 to not reached] vs. 5.3 months [95% CI, 2.8 to 7.1]). Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 16.3% of the patients in the nivolumab group, 55.0% of those in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group, and 27.3% of those in the ipilimumab group.
CONCLUSIONS: Among previously untreated patients with metastatic melanoma, nivolumab alone or combined with ipilimumab resulted in significantly longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone. In patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, the combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade was more effective than either agent alone. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 067 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01844505.).

Blay JY, Shen L, Kang YK, et al.
Nilotinib versus imatinib as first-line therapy for patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours (ENESTg1): a randomised phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(5):550-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nilotinib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of ABL1/BCR-ABL1 and KIT, platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFRs), and the discoidin domain receptor. Gain-of-function mutations in KIT or PDGFRα are key drivers in most gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs). This trial was designed to test the efficacy and safety of nilotinib versus imatinib as first-line therapy for patients with advanced GISTs.
METHODS: In this randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial (ENESTg1), participants from academic centres were aged 18 years or older and had previously untreated, histologically confirmed, metastatic or unresectable GISTs. Patients were stratified by previous adjuvant therapy and randomly assigned (1:1) via a randomisation list to receive oral imatinib 400 mg once daily or oral nilotinib 400 mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was centrally reviewed progression-free survival. Efficacy endpoints were assessed by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00785785.
FINDINGS: Because the futility boundary was crossed at a preplanned interim analysis, trial accrual terminated in April, 2011. Between March 16, 2009, and April 21, 2011, 647 patients were enrolled; of whom 324 were allocated nilotinib and 320 were allocated imatinib. At final analysis of the core study (data cutoff, October, 2012), 2-year progression-free survival was higher in the imatinib group (59·2% [95% CI 50·9-66·5]) than in the nilotinib group (51·6% [43·0-59·5]; hazard ratio 1·47 [95% CI 1·10-1·95]). In the imatinib group, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were hypophosphataemia (19 [6%]), anaemia (17 [5%]), abdominal pain (13; 4%), and elevated lipase level (15; 5%), and in the nilotinib group were anaemia (18; 6%), elevated lipase level (15; 5%), elevated alanine aminotransferase concentration (12; 4%), and abdominal pain (11; 3%). The most common serious adverse event in both groups was abdominal pain (11 [4%] in the imatinib group, 14 [4%] in the nilotinib group).
INTERPRETATION: Nilotinib cannot be recommended for broad use to treat first-line GIST. However, future studies might identify patient subsets for whom first-line nilotinib could be of clinical benefit.
FUNDING: Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Eggermont AM, Chiarion-Sileni V, Grob JJ, et al.
Adjuvant ipilimumab versus placebo after complete resection of high-risk stage III melanoma (EORTC 18071): a randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(5):522-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ipilimumab is an approved treatment for patients with advanced melanoma. We aimed to assess ipilimumab as adjuvant therapy for patients with completely resected stage III melanoma at high risk of recurrence.
METHODS: We did a double-blind, phase 3 trial in patients with stage III cutaneous melanoma (excluding lymph node metastasis ≤1 mm or in-transit metastasis) with adequate resection of lymph nodes (ie, the primary cutaneous melanoma must have been completely excised with adequate surgical margins) who had not received previous systemic therapy for melanoma from 91 hospitals located in 19 countries. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1), centrally by an interactive voice response system, to receive intravenous infusions of 10 mg/kg ipilimumab or placebo every 3 weeks for four doses, then every 3 months for up to 3 years. Using a minimisation technique, randomisation was stratified by disease stage and geographical region. The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival, assessed by an independent review committee, and analysed by intention to treat. Enrollment is complete but the study is ongoing for follow-up for analysis of secondary endpoints. This trial is registered with EudraCT, number 2007-001974-10, and ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00636168.
FINDINGS: Between July 10, 2008, and Aug 1, 2011, 951 patients were randomly assigned to ipilimumab (n=475) or placebo (n=476), all of whom were included in the intention-to-treat analyses. At a median follow-up of 2·74 years (IQR 2·28-3·22), there were 528 recurrence-free survival events (234 in the ipilimumab group vs 294 in the placebo group). Median recurrence-free survival was 26·1 months (95% CI 19·3-39·3) in the ipilimumab group versus 17·1 months (95% CI 13·4-21·6) in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0·75; 95% CI 0·64-0·90; p=0·0013); 3-year recurrence-free survival was 46·5% (95% CI 41·5-51·3) in the ipilimumab group versus 34·8% (30·1-39·5) in the placebo group. The most common grade 3-4 immune-related adverse events in the ipilimumab group were gastrointestinal (75 [16%] vs four [<1%] in the placebo group), hepatic (50 [11%] vs one [<1%]), and endocrine (40 [8%] vs none). Adverse events led to discontinuation of treatment in 245 (52%) of 471 patients who started ipilimumab (182 [39%] during the initial treatment period of four doses). Five patients (1%) died due to drug-related adverse events. Five (1%) participants died because of drug-related adverse events in the ipilimumab group; three patients died because of colitis (two with gastrointestinal perforation), one patient because of myocarditis, and one patient because of multiorgan failure with Guillain-Barré syndrome.
INTERPRETATION: Adjuvant ipilimumab significantly improved recurrence-free survival for patients with completely resected high-risk stage III melanoma. The adverse event profile was consistent with that observed in advanced melanoma, but at higher incidences in particular for endocrinopathies. The risk-benefit ratio of adjuvant ipilimumab at this dose and schedule requires additional assessment based on distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival endpoints to define its definitive value.
FUNDING: Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Andres A, Mentha G, Adam R, et al.
Surgical management of patients with colorectal cancer and simultaneous liver and lung metastases.
Br J Surg. 2015; 102(6):691-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The management of patients with colorectal cancer and simultaneously diagnosed liver and lung metastases (SLLM) remains controversial.
METHODS: The LiverMetSurvey registry was interrogated for patients treated between 2000 and 2012 to assess outcomes after resection of SLLM, and the factors associated with survival. SLLM was defined as liver and lung metastases diagnosed 3 months or less apart. Survival was compared between patients with resected isolated liver metastases (group 1, control), those with resected liver and lung metastases (group 2), and patients with resected liver metastases and unresected (or unresectable) lung metastases (group 3). An Akaike test was used to select variables for assessment of survival adjusted for confounding variables.
RESULTS: Group 1 (isolated liver metastases, hepatic resection alone) included 9185 patients, group 2 (resection of liver and lung metastases) 149 patients, and group 3 (resection of liver metastases, no resection of lung metastases) 285 patients. Ten variables differed significantly between groups and seven were included in the model for adjusted survival (age, number of liver metastases, synchronicity of liver metastases with primary tumour, carcinoembryonic antigen level, node status of the primary tumour, initial resectability of liver metastases and inclusion in group 3). Adjusted overall 5-year survival was similar for groups 1 and 2 (51·5 and 44·5 per cent respectively), but worse for group 3 (14·3 per cent) (P = 0·001).
CONCLUSION: Patients who had resection of liver and lung metastases had similar overall survival to those who had undergone removal of isolated liver metastases.

Wang J, Shen ZX, Saglio G, et al.
Phase 3 study of nilotinib vs imatinib in Chinese patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase: ENESTchina.
Blood. 2015; 125(18):2771-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Treatment with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) targeting BCR-ABL1 is currently the standard of care for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase (CML-CP). In this study, we present results of the ENESTchina (Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials-China) that was conducted to investigate nilotinib 300 mg twice daily vs imatinib 400 mg once daily in a Chinese population. ENESTchina met its primary end point with a statistically significant higher rate of major molecular response (MMR; BCR-ABL1 ≤0.1% on the International Scale) at 12 months in the nilotinib arm vs the imatinib arm (52.2% vs 27.8%; P < .0001), and MMR rates remained higher with nilotinib vs imatinib throughout the follow-up period. Rates of complete cytogenetic response (0% Philadelphia chromosome-positive [Ph+] metaphases by standard cytogenetics) were comparable and ≥80% by 24 months in both arms. The estimated rate of freedom from progression to accelerated phase/blast crisis at 24 months was 95.4% in each arm. The safety profiles of both drugs were similar to those from previous studies. In conclusion, rates of MMR at 12 months were superior with nilotinib vs imatinib in Chinese patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ CML-CP. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01275196.

Peters C, Schrappe M, von Stackelberg A, et al.
Stem-cell transplantation in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A prospective international multicenter trial comparing sibling donors with matched unrelated donors-The ALL-SCT-BFM-2003 trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(11):1265-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation is widely performed in children with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the influence of donor types is poorly understood. Thus, transplantation outcomes were compared in the prospective multinational Berlin-Frankfurt-Muenster (BFM) study group trial: ALL-SCT-BFM 2003 (Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children and Adolescents with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: After conditioning with total-body irradiation and etoposide, 411 children with high-risk ALL received highly standardized stem-cell transplantations during the first or later remissions. Depending on donor availability, grafts originated from HLA-genoidentical siblings or from HLA-matched unrelated donors who were identified and matched by high-resolution allelic typing and were compatible in at least 9 of 10 HLA loci.
RESULTS: Four-year event-free survival (± standard deviation [SD]) did not differ between patients with transplantations from unrelated or sibling donors (0.67 ± 0.03 v 0.71 ± 0.05; P = .405), with cumulative incidences of nonrelapse mortality (± SD) of 0.10 ± 0.02 and 0.03 ± 0.02 (P = .017) and relapse rates (± SD) of 0.22 ± 0.02 and 0.24 ± 0.04 (P = .732), respectively. Among recipients of transplantations from unrelated donors, no significant differences in event-free survival, overall survival, or nonrelapse mortality were observed between 9/10 and 10/10 matched grafts or between peripheral blood stem cells and bone marrow. The absence of chronic graft-versus-host disease had no effect on event-free survival. Engraftment was faster after bone marrow transplantation from siblings and was associated with fewer severe infections and pulmonary complications.
CONCLUSION: Outcome among high-risk pediatric patients with ALL after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation was not affected by donor type. Standardized myeloablative conditioning produced a low incidence of treatment-related mortality and effective control of leukemia.

Hecht JR, Reid TR, Garrett CR, et al.
Phase I study of everolimus, cetuximab and irinotecan as second-line therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(3):1567-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To evaluate feasible doses of weekly everolimus and irinotecan given with cetuximab for previously treated metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adults with mCRC that progressed after 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine-plus-oxaliplatin were treated using a sequential dose escalation scheme. Dosing decisions were based on the probability of experiencing a dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) during the first two 21-day treatment cycles.
RESULTS: Patients received everolimus 30 mg/week plus irinotecan 350 mg/m2 q3w (n=5; dose A1) or everolimus 30 mg/week plus irinotecan 250 mg/m2 q3w (n=14; dose B1). Among patients evaluable for the maximum tolerated dose, two out of four in A1 and one out of eight in B1 experienced four DLTs. The trial was terminated early based on changes in clinical practice and emerging data on everolimus dosing.
CONCLUSION: The feasible doses of everolimus and irinotecan administered with cetuximab as second-line therapy in mCRC were 30 mg/week and 250 mg/m2, respectively.

Karakhanova S, Ryschich E, Mosl B, et al.
Prognostic and predictive value of immunological parameters for chemoradioimmunotherapy in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(6):1027-36 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/03/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemoradioimmunotherapy of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma from the CapRI trial did not show any benefit of interferon-α in addition to a 5-fluorouracil (5FU)-based treatment. The aim of this study was to identify immunological parameters in patients from this trial to be used for predictive and/or prognostic purposes.
METHODS: The following methods were used: tumour immunohistology, FACS analyses, cytokine measurement, as well as cytotoxicity and ELIspot. Immunological parameters were correlated with patients' survival using the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: Irrespective of therapy type, high lymphocyte accumulation in tumours and frequencies of NK cells and effector (eff) CD8(+) T cells in peripheral blood of the patients were associated with patients' survival. Amount of CD3(+) and effector-memory CD8(+) blood lymphocytes, expression of CD152 and interleukin (IL)-2 serum level showed a predictive value for chemoradioimmunotherapy. Tumoural accumulation of CD3(+) and CD8(+) cells was predictive for outcome of chemotherapy alone. Besides, we identified the frequencies of CD3(+) lymphocytes, effCD8(+) T cells and NK cells in the peripheral blood of the patients, and IL-10 amount in serum, to be predictive values for 5FU-based chemotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Immunological parameters, identified in this trial as possible markers, may be of interest in personalized medicine towards the improvement of the treatment and prognosis of pancreatic carcinoma patients.

Moore HC, Unger JM, Phillips KA, et al.
Goserelin for ovarian protection during breast-cancer adjuvant chemotherapy.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 372(10):923-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 05/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian failure is a common toxic effect of chemotherapy. Studies of the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists to protect ovarian function have shown mixed results and lack data on pregnancy outcomes.
METHODS: We randomly assigned 257 premenopausal women with operable hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer to receive standard chemotherapy with the GnRH agonist goserelin (goserelin group) or standard chemotherapy without goserelin (chemotherapy-alone group). The primary study end point was the rate of ovarian failure at 2 years, with ovarian failure defined as the absence of menses in the preceding 6 months and levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the postmenopausal range. Rates were compared with the use of conditional logistic regression. Secondary end points included pregnancy outcomes and disease-free and overall survival.
RESULTS: At baseline, 218 patients were eligible and could be evaluated. Among 135 with complete primary end-point data, the ovarian failure rate was 8% in the goserelin group and 22% in the chemotherapy-alone group (odds ratio, 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09 to 0.97; two-sided P=0.04). Owing to missing primary end-point data, sensitivity analyses were performed, and the results were consistent with the main findings. Missing data did not differ according to treatment group or according to the stratification factors of age and planned chemotherapy regimen. Among the 218 patients who could be evaluated, pregnancy occurred in more women in the goserelin group than in the chemotherapy-alone group (21% vs. 11%, P=0.03); women in the goserelin group also had improved disease-free survival (P=0.04) and overall survival (P=0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Although missing data weaken interpretation of the findings, administration of goserelin with chemotherapy appeared to protect against ovarian failure, reducing the risk of early menopause and improving prospects for fertility. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; POEMS/S0230 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00068601.).

Matet A, Savastano MC, Rispoli M, et al.
En face optical coherence tomography of foveal microstructure in full-thickness macular hole: a model to study perifoveal Müller cells.
Am J Ophthalmol. 2015; 159(6):1142-1151.e3 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To characterize perifoveal intraretinal cavities observed around full-thickness macular holes (MH) using en face optical coherence tomography and to establish correlations with histology of human and primate maculae.
DESIGN: Retrospective nonconsecutive observational case series.
METHODS: Macular en face scans of 8 patients with MH were analyzed to quantify the areas of hyporeflective spaces, and were compared with macular flat mounts and sections from 1 normal human donor eye and 2 normal primate eyes (Macaca fascicularis). Immunohistochemistry was used to study the distribution of glutamine synthetase, expressed by Müller cells, and zonula occludens-1, a tight-junction protein.
RESULTS: The mean area of hyporeflective spaces was lower in the inner nuclear layer (INL) than in the complex formed by the outer plexiform (OPL) and the Henle fiber layers (HFL): 5.0 × 10(-3) mm(2) vs 15.9 × 10(-3) mm(2), respectively (P < .0001, Kruskal-Wallis test). In the OPL and HFL, cavities were elongated with a stellate pattern, whereas in the INL they were rounded and formed vertical cylinders. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that Müller cells followed a radial distribution around the fovea in the frontal plane and a "Z-shaped" course in the axial plane, running obliquely in the OPL and HFL and vertically in the inner layers. In addition, zonula occludens-1 co-localized with Müller cells within the complex of OPL and HFL, indicating junctions in between Müller cells and cone axons.
CONCLUSION: The dual profile of cavities around MHs correlates with Müller cell morphology and is consistent with the hypothesis of intra- or extracellular fluid accumulation along these cells.

Korfel A, Thiel E, Martus P, et al.
Randomized phase III study of whole-brain radiotherapy for primary CNS lymphoma.
Neurology. 2015; 84(12):1242-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This is the final report of a phase III randomized study to evaluate whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) in primary therapy of primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) after a median follow-up of 81.2 months.
METHODS: Patients with newly diagnosed PCNSL were randomized to high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX)-based chemotherapy alone or followed by WBRT. We hypothesized that the omission of WBRT would not compromise overall survival (OS; primary endpoint), using a noninferiority design with a margin of 0.9.
RESULTS: In the per-protocol population (n = 320), WBRT nonsignificantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) (median 18.2 vs 11.9 months, hazard ratio [HR] 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65-1.06], p = 0.14) and significantly PFS from last HDMTX (25.5 vs 12.0 months, HR 0.65 [95% CI 0.5-0.83], p = 0.001), but without OS prolongation (35.6 vs 37.1 months, HR 1.03 [95% CI 0.79-1.35], p = 0.82). In the intent-to-treat population (n = 410), there was a prolongation by WBRT of both PFS (15.4 vs 9.9 months, HR 0.79 [95% CI 0.64-0.98], p = 0.034) and PFS from last HDMTX (19.4 vs 11.9 months, HR 0.72 [95% CI 0.58-0.89], p = 0.003), but not of OS (32.4 vs 36.1 months, HR 0.98 [95% CI 0.79-1.26], p = 0.98).
CONCLUSION: Although the statistical proof of noninferiority regarding OS was not given, our results suggest no worsening of OS without WBRT in primary therapy of PCNSL.
CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class II evidence that in PCNSL HDMTX-based chemotherapy followed by WBRT does not significantly increase survival compared to chemotherapy alone. The study lacked the precision to exclude an important survival benefit or harm from WBRT.

Krop IE, Suter TM, Dang CT, et al.
Feasibility and cardiac safety of trastuzumab emtansine after anthracycline-based chemotherapy as (neo)adjuvant therapy for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive early-stage breast cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(10):1136-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), an antibody-drug conjugate comprising the cytotoxic agent DM1, a stable linker, and trastuzumab, has demonstrated substantial activity in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) -positive metastatic breast cancer, raising interest in evaluating the feasibility and cardiac safety of T-DM1 in early-stage breast cancer (EBC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (N = 153) with HER2-positive EBC and prechemotherapy left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≥ 55% received (neo)adjuvant doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide or fluorouracil plus epirubicin plus cyclophosphamide followed by T-DM1 for four cycles. Patients could then receive three to four cycles of optional docetaxel with or without trastuzumab. T-DM1 was then resumed with optional radiotherapy (sequential or concurrent) for 1 year (planned) of HER2-directed therapy. The coprimary end points were rate of prespecified cardiac events and safety.
RESULTS: Median follow-up was 24.6 months. No prespecified cardiac events or symptomatic congestive heart failures were reported. Four patients (2.7%) had asymptomatic LVEF declines (≥ 10 percentage points from baseline to LVEF < 50%), leading to T-DM1 discontinuation in one patient. Of 148 patients who received ≥ one cycle of T-DM1, 82.4% completed the planned 1-year duration of HER2-directed therapy. During T-DM1 treatment, 38.5% and 2.7% of patients experienced grade 3 and 4 adverse events, respectively. Approximately 95% of patients receiving T-DM1 plus radiotherapy completed ≥ 95% of the planned radiation dose with delay ≤ 5 days.
CONCLUSION: Use of T-DM1 for approximately 1 year after anthracycline-based chemotherapy was feasible and generally well tolerated by patients with HER2-positive EBC, providing support for phase III trials of T-DM1 in this setting.

Koelzer VH, Zlobec I, Berger MD, et al.
Tumor budding in colorectal cancer revisited: results of a multicenter interobserver study.
Virchows Arch. 2015; 466(5):485-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor budding in colorectal cancer (CRC) is recognized as a valuable prognostic factor but its translation into daily histopathology practice has been delayed by lack of agreement on the optimal method of assessment. Within the context of the Swiss Association of Gastrointestinal Pathology (SAGIP), we performed a multicenter interobserver study on tumor budding, comparing hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) with pan-cytokeratin staining using a 10 high power field (10HPF) and hotspot (1HPF) method. Two serial sections of 50 TNM stage II-IV surgically treated CRC were stained for H&E and pan-cytokeratin. Tumor buds were scored by independent observers at six participating centers in Switzerland and Austria using the 10HPF and 1HPF method on a digital pathology platform. Pearson correlation (r) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) comparing scores between centers were calculated. Three to four times more tumor buds were detected in pan-cytokeratin compared to H&E slides. Correlation coefficients for tumor budding counts between centers ranged from r = 0.46 to r = 0.91 for H&E and from r = 0.73 to r = 0.95 for pan-cytokeratin slides. Interobserver agreement across all centers was excellent for pan-cytokeratin [10HPF: ICC = 0.83 and 1HPF: ICC = 0.8]. In contrast, assessment of tumor budding on H&E slides reached only moderate agreement [10HPF: ICC = 0.58 and 1HPF: ICC = 0.49]. Based on previous literature and our findings, we recommend (1) pan-cytokeratin staining whenever possible, (2) 10HPF method for resection specimens, and (3) 1HPF method for limited material (preoperative biopsy or pT1). Since tumor budding counts can be used to determine probabilities of relevant outcomes and as such more optimally complement clinical decision making, we advocate the avoidance of cutoff scores.

Kalmanti L, Saussele S, Lauseker M, et al.
Safety and efficacy of imatinib in CML over a period of 10 years: data from the randomized CML-study IV.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(5):1123-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) have changed the natural course of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). With the advent of second-generation TKI safety and efficacy issues have gained interest. The randomized CML - Study IV was used for a long-term evaluation of imatinib (IM). 1503 patients have received IM, 1379 IM monotherapy. After a median observation of 7.1 years, 965 patients (64%) still received IM. At 10 years, progression-free survival was 82%, overall survival 84%, 59% achieved MR(5), 72% MR(4.5), 81% MR(4), 89% major molecular remission and 92% MR(2) (molecular equivalent to complete cytogenetic remission). All response levels were reached faster with IM800 mg except MR(5). Eight-year probabilities of adverse drug reactions (ADR) were 76%, of grades 3-4 22%, of non-hematologic 73%, and of hematologic 28%. More ADR were observed with IM800 mg and IM400 mg plus interferon α (IFN). Most patients had their first ADR early with decreasing frequency later on. No new late toxicity was observed. ADR to IM are frequent, but mostly mild and manageable, also with IM 800 mg and IM 400 mg+IFN. The deep molecular response rates indicate that most patients are candidates for IM discontinuation. After 10 years, IM continues to be an excellent initial choice for most patients with CML.

Goldstein D, El-Maraghi RH, Hammel P, et al.
nab-Paclitaxel plus gemcitabine for metastatic pancreatic cancer: long-term survival from a phase III trial.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(2) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Positive findings from the phase III MPACT trial led to the regulatory approval of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine as a treatment option for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. This report is an update of overall survival (OS) based on longer follow-up.
METHODS: Patients (n = 861) with metastatic pancreatic cancer and a Karnofsky performance status of 70 or greater were randomly assigned one to one to receive nab-paclitaxel + gemcitabine or gemcitabine alone. Efficacy data for this post hoc analysis were collected through May 9, 2013. Exploratory analyses of carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) were conducted. The primary efficacy endpoint was OS, which was analyzed for all randomly assigned patients by the Kaplan-Meier method. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: The median OS was statistically significantly longer for nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine vs gemcitabine alone (8.7 vs 6.6 months, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.62 to 0.83, P < .001). Long-term (>three-year) survivors were identified in the nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine arm only (4%). In pooled treatment arm analyses, higher CA19-9 level and NLR at baseline were statistically significantly associated with worse OS. There appeared to be a treatment effect for OS favoring nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine over gemcitabine alone in poor-prognosis subgroups defined by these factors (HR = 0.612, P < .001 for CA19-9 level ≥ median and HR = 0.81, P = .079 for NLR > 5).
CONCLUSIONS: These data confirm and extend the primary report of OS, supporting the superior efficacy of nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine over gemcitabine alone. Subgroup analyses support the relevance of CA 19-9 and NLR as prognostic markers in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Wu X, Oliveria SA, Yagerman S, et al.
Feasibility and Efficacy of Patient-Initiated Mobile Teledermoscopy for Short-term Monitoring of Clinically Atypical Nevi.
JAMA Dermatol. 2015; 151(5):489-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Patient-driven mobile teledermoscopy may be applicable for monitoring of skin lesions.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility, efficacy, and patient receptivity of teledermoscopy for short-term monitoring of clinically atypical nevi.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a prospective cohort study performed at an institutional referral center in New York. Consecutive patients 18 years or older, with 1 or more clinically atypical nevi that required short-term monitoring and were accessible by a mobile imaging device were recruited for the study. All 34 patients consented to the study, and 29 completed follow-up. Dermoscopic images were obtained in the office-based setting by a dermatologist and with an iPhone by the patient at baseline and follow-up (3-4 months). Patients completed surveys that included questions about skincare awareness and attitudes toward teledermoscopy. Standard dermoscopic images were evaluated by the office-based dermatologist, and mobile dermoscopic images were sent via the Internet to a teledermatologist to evaluate image quality and presence of significant clinical lesion change. The decisions of the teledermatologist and office-based dermatologist were compared.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: (1) Feasibility of using mobile dermatoscope by patients, (2) diagnostic concordance of teledermoscopy vs conventional office-based visit, and (3) patient receptivity to teledermoscopy for short-term monitoring of nevi.
RESULTS: Of the 29 patients who completed the study, 28 (97%) were able to acquire baseline and follow-up images that were subsequently deemed evaluable by the teledermatologist. The diagnostic concordance between conventional office-based visits and teledermoscopy encounters was 0.87 (SE, 0.13) (κ statistic). In addition, patients reported high receptivity to teledermoscopy for short-term monitoring of nevi.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Results from this pilot study suggest that teledermoscopy is feasible and effective as a method for short-term monitoring of clinically atypical nevi. The implementation of teledermoscopy can potentially enhance patient convenience, optimize physician scheduling, and promote efficiency.

Edefonti V, Hashibe M, Parpinel M, et al.
Natural vitamin C intake and the risk of head and neck cancer: A pooled analysis in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(2):448-62 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/07/2016 Related Publications
Evidence of associations between single nutrients and head and neck cancer (HNC) is still more limited and less consistent than that for fruit and vegetables. However, clarification of the protective mechanisms of fruit and vegetables is important to our understanding of HNC etiology. We investigated the association between vitamin C intake from natural sources and cancer of the oral cavity/pharynx and larynx using individual-level pooled data from ten case-control studies (5,959 cases and 12,248 controls) participating in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium. After harmonization of study-specific exposure information via the residual method, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional multiple logistic regression models on quintile categories of 'non-alcohol energy-adjusted' vitamin C intake. In the presence of heterogeneity of the estimated ORs among studies, we derived those estimates from generalized linear mixed models. Higher intakes of vitamin C were inversely related to oral and pharyngeal (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.45-0.65, for the fifth quintile category versus the first one, p for trend<0.001) and laryngeal cancers (OR = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.40-0.68, p for trend = 0.006), although in the presence of heterogeneity among studies for both sites. Inverse associations were consistently observed for the anatomical subsites of oral and pharyngeal cancer, and across strata of age, sex, education, body mass index, tobacco, and alcohol, for both cancer sites. The inverse association of vitamin C intake from foods with HNC may reflect a protective effect on these cancers; however, we cannot rule out other explanations.

Spreafico A, Delord JP, De Mattos-Arruda L, et al.
A first-in-human phase I, dose-escalation, multicentre study of HSP990 administered orally in adult patients with advanced solid malignancies.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(4):650-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/02/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Heat-shock protein 990 (HSP990) is a potent and selective synthetic small-molecule HSP90 inhibitor. The primary objectives of this phase I first-in-human study were to determine dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended phase II dose (RP2D). Secondary objectives included characterisation of the safety profile, pharmacokinetics (PKs) and pharmacodynamics (PDs).
METHODS: Heat-shock protein 990 was administered orally once or two times weekly on a 28-day cycle schedule in patients with advanced solid tumours. Dose escalation was guided by a Bayesian logistic regression model with overdose control.
RESULTS: A total of 64 patients were enrolled. Fifty-three patients received HSP990 once weekly at 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 or 60 mg, whereas 11 patients received HSP990 two times weekly at 25 mg. Median duration of exposure was 8 weeks (range 1-116 weeks) and 12 patients remained on treatment for >16 weeks. Dose-limiting toxicities occurred in seven patients and included diarrhoea, QTc prolongation, ALT/AST elevations and central neurological toxicities. The most common drug-related adverse events were diarrhoea, fatigue and decreased appetite. Further dose escalation beyond 60 mg once weekly was not possible owing to neurological toxicity. Rapid absorption, no drug accumulation and large interpatient variability in PK exposures were observed. No objective responses were seen; 25 patients had a best overall response of stable disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Heat-shock protein 990 is relatively well tolerated, with neurological toxicity being the most relevant DLT. The single agent MTD/RP2D of HSP990 was declared at 50 mg once weekly.

Koechli V, Klaeser B, Banz Y, et al.
Consolidation of first remission using radioimmunotherapy with yttrium-90-ibritumomab-tiuxetan in adult patients with Burkitt lymphoma.
Leuk Res. 2015; 39(3):307-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
The addition of anti-CD20 antibodies to high intensity polychemotherapy regimens has improved response and survival rates in newly diagnosed patients with Burkitt lymphoma (BL). However, the role of additional anti-CD20 directed radioimmunotherapy for consolidation of first remission (CR1) has not been reported so far in BL patients receiving rituximab during first-line treatment. We compared five BL patients receiving Y-90-IT radioimmunotherapy consolidation in CR1 to 22 consecutive BL patients without consolidation. We observed that Y-90-IT treatment was associated with clinically relevant myelosuppression. After a median follow-up of 50 months, none of the patients with Y-90-IT treatment relapsed, and no patient died. In contrast, one patient (4.5%) in the non-Y-90-IT group relapsed (50 months-PFS 95.5%; p=0.6336), and one patient died (50 months-OS 95.5%; p=0.6171). In conclusion, our data suggest that survival rates are excellent and equal in rituximab pretreated BL patients with or without Y-90-IT consolidation in first remission.

Arribas AJ, Rinaldi A, Mensah AA, et al.
DNA methylation profiling identifies two splenic marginal zone lymphoma subgroups with different clinical and genetic features.
Blood. 2015; 125(12):1922-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/02/2016 Related Publications
Splenic marginal zone lymphoma is a rare lymphoma. Loss of 7q31 and somatic mutations affecting the NOTCH2 and KLF2 genes are the commonest genomic aberrations. Epigenetic changes can be pharmacologically reverted; therefore, identification of groups of patients with specific epigenomic alterations might have therapeutic relevance. Here we integrated genome-wide DNA-promoter methylation profiling with gene expression profiling, and clinical and biological variables. An unsupervised clustering analysis of a test series of 98 samples identified 2 clusters with different degrees of promoter methylation. The cluster comprising samples with higher-promoter methylation (High-M) had a poorer overall survival compared with the lower (Low-M) cluster. The prognostic relevance of the High-M phenotype was confirmed in an independent validation set of 36 patients. In the whole series, the High-M phenotype was associated with IGHV1-02 usage, mutations of NOTCH2 gene, 7q31-32 loss, and histologic transformation. In the High-M set, a number of tumor-suppressor genes were methylated and repressed. PRC2 subunit genes and several prosurvival lymphoma genes were unmethylated and overexpressed. A model based on the methylation of 3 genes (CACNB2, HTRA1, KLF4) identified a poorer-outcome patient subset. Exposure of splenic marginal zone lymphoma cell lines to a demethylating agent caused partial reversion of the High-M phenotype and inhibition of proliferation.

Suchorska B, Jansen NL, Linn J, et al.
Biological tumor volume in 18FET-PET before radiochemotherapy correlates with survival in GBM.
Neurology. 2015; 84(7):710-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to identify static and dynamic O-(2-[(18)F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine PET ((18)FET-PET)-derived imaging biomarkers in patients with glioblastoma (GBM).
METHODS: Seventy-nine patients with newly diagnosed GBM were included; 42 patients underwent stereotactic biopsy (unresectable tumors) and 37 patients microsurgical tumor resection. All patients were scheduled to receive radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (RCx/TMZ). (18)FET-PET evaluation using static and dynamic analysis was done before biopsy/resection, after resection, 4 to 6 weeks following RCx, and after 3 cycles of TMZ. Endpoints were survival and progression-free-survival. Prognostic factors were obtained from proportional hazards models.
RESULTS: Biological tumor volume before RCx (BTV(preRCx)) was the most important (18)FET-PET-derived imaging biomarker and was independent of MGMT promoter methylation and clinical prognostic factors: patients with smaller BTV(preRCx) had significantly longer progression-free and overall survival (OS). (18)FET time-activity curves (TACs) before treatment and their changes after RCx were also related to outcome; patients with initially increasing TACs experienced longer OS.
CONCLUSION: BTV(preRCx) and TAC represent important (18)FET-PET-derived imaging biomarkers in GBM. Increasing TACs are associated with prolonged OS. The BTV(preRCx) is a strong prognostic factor for progression-free survival and OS independent of the mode of surgery. Our data furthermore suggest that patients harboring resectable GBM might benefit from maximal PET-guided tumor resection.

Franscini LC, Vazquez-Montes M, Buclin T, et al.
Pediatric reference intervals for plasma free and total metanephrines established with a parametric approach: relevance to the diagnosis of neuroblastoma.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015; 62(4):587-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Urine catecholamines, vanillylmandelic, and homovanillic acid are recognized biomarkers for the diagnosis and follow-up of neuroblastoma. Plasma free (f) and total (t) normetanephrine (NMN), metanephrine (MN) and methoxytyramine (MT) could represent a convenient alternative to those urine markers. The primary objective of this study was to establish pediatric centile charts for plasma metanephrines. Secondarily, we explored their diagnostic performance in 10 patients with neuroblastoma.
PROCEDURE: We recruited 191 children (69 females) free of neuroendocrine disease to establish reference intervals for plasma metanephrines, reported as centile curves for a given age and sex based on a parametric method using fractional polynomials models. Urine markers and plasma metanephrines were measured in 10 children with neuroblastoma at diagnosis. Plasma total metanephrines were measured by HPLC with coulometric detection and plasma free metanephrines by tandem LC-MS.
RESULTS: We observed a significant age-dependence for tNMN, fNMN, and fMN, and a gender and age-dependence for tMN, fNMN, and fMN. Free MT was below the lower limit of quantification in 94% of the children. All patients with neuroblastoma at diagnosis were above the 97.5th percentile for tMT, tNMN, fNMN, and fMT, whereas their fMN and tMN were mostly within the normal range. As expected, urine assays were inconstantly predictive of the disease.
CONCLUSIONS: A continuous model incorporating all data for a given analyte represents an appealing alternative to arbitrary partitioning of reference intervals across age categories. Plasma metanephrines are promising biomarkers for neuroblastoma, and their performances need to be confirmed in a prospective study on a large cohort of patients.

Giralt J, Trigo J, Nuyts S, et al.
Panitumumab plus radiotherapy versus chemoradiotherapy in patients with unresected, locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (CONCERT-2): a randomised, controlled, open-label phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(2):221-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We aimed to compare panitumumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody against EGFR, plus radiotherapy with chemoradiotherapy in patients with unresected, locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
METHODS: In this international, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial, we recruited patients with locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck from 22 sites in eight countries worldwide. Patients aged 18 years and older with stage III, IVa, or IVb, previously untreated, measurable (≥ 10 mm for at least one dimension), locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck (non-nasopharygeal) and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1 were randomly assigned (2:3) by an independent vendor to open-label chemoradiotherapy (two cycles of cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) during radiotherapy) or to radiotherapy plus panitumumab (three cycles of panitumumab 9 mg/kg every 3 weeks administered with radiotherapy) using a stratified randomisation with a block size of five. All patients received 70-72 Gy to gross tumour and 54 Gy to areas of subclinical disease with accelerated fractionation radiotherapy. The primary endpoint was local-regional control at 2 years, analysed in all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of their assigned protocol-specific treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, or panitumumab). The trial is closed and this is the final analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00547157.
FINDINGS: Between Nov 30, 2007, and Nov 16, 2009, 152 patients were enrolled, and 151 received treatment (61 in the chemoradiotherapy group and 90 in the radiotherapy plus panitumumab group). Local-regional control at 2 years was 61% (95% CI 47-72) in the chemoradiotherapy group and 51% (40-62) in the radiotherapy plus panitumumab group. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse events were mucosal inflammation (25 [40%] of 62 patients in the chemoradiotherapy group vs 37 [42%] of 89 patients in the radiotherapy plus panitumumab group), dysphagia (20 [32%] vs 36 [40%]), and radiation skin injury (seven [11%] vs 21 [24%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 25 (40%) of 62 patients in the chemoradiotherapy group and in 30 (34%) of 89 patients in the radiotherapy plus panitumumab group.
INTERPRETATION: Panitumumab cannot replace cisplatin in the combined treatment with radiotherapy for unresected stage III-IVb squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and the role of EGFR inhibition in locally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck needs to be reassessed.

Arellano J, Hauber AB, Mohamed AF, et al.
Physicians' preferences for bone metastases drug therapy in the United States.
Value Health. 2015; 18(1):78-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Several characteristics of bone-targeted agents are considered when making treatment decisions. This study evaluated physicians' therapy preferences for preventing skeletal-related events (SREs) in patients with bone metastases secondary to solid tumors.
METHODS: A Web-enabled, discrete-choice experiment online survey was conducted among physicians who treated patients with bone metastases and solid tumors in the United States. Respondents chose between pairs of hypothetical medications defined by combinations of six attributes at varying levels for two hypothetical patients. Preference weights for attribute levels were estimated using a random-parameters logit model.
RESULTS: In total, 200 physicians completed the survey. Their mean age was 52 years, 57% were in practice for more than 15 years, 37% were oncologists, and 65% treated 10 or fewer patients with bone metastases weekly. Out-of-pocket cost to patients was the most important attribute overall. Among clinical outcomes, time to first SRE and risk of renal impairment were the most important attributes. Statistically significant preferences were observed for all attribute levels for time to first SRE, risk of renal impairment, and mode of administration. Predicted choice probability analysis showed that physicians preferred a hypothetical medication with attributes similar to those of denosumab over one with attributes similar to those of zoledronic acid.
CONCLUSIONS: Physicians indicated that clinical attributes are important when considering bone-targeting therapy for bone metastases, but consistent with the current health care landscape, patient out-of-pocket cost was the most important. With health care costs being increasingly shifted to patients, physicians require accurate information about co-pays and assistance programs to avoid patients receiving less costly, yet potentially inferior, treatment.

Marincek N, Radojewski P, Dumont RA, et al.
Somatostatin receptor-targeted radiopeptide therapy with 90Y-DOTATOC and 177Lu-DOTATOC in progressive meningioma: long-term results of a phase II clinical trial.
J Nucl Med. 2015; 56(2):171-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Meningiomas express members of the somatostatin receptor family. The present study assessed the long-term benefits and harm of somatostatin-based radiopeptide therapy in meningioma patients.
METHODS: Patients with progressive unresectable meningioma were treated with (90)Y-DOTATOC and (177)Lu-DOTATOC until tumor progression or permanent toxicity occurred. Multivariable Cox regression analyses were used to study predictors of survival.
RESULTS: Overall, 74 treatment cycles were performed on 34 patients. Stable disease was achieved in 23 patients. Severe hematotoxicity occurred in 3 patients, and severe renal toxicity in 1 patient. Mean survival was 8.6 y from the time of recruitment. Stable disease after treatment (hazard ratio, 0.017 vs. progressive disease; 95% confidence interval, 0.001-0.35; n = 34; P = 0.01) and high tumor uptake (hazard ratio, 0.046 vs. intermediate or low tumor uptake; 95% confidence interval, 0.004-0.63; n = 34; P = 0.019) were associated with longer survival.
CONCLUSION: (90)Y-DOTATOC and (177)Lu-DOTATOC are promising tools for treating progressive unresectable meningioma, especially in cases of high tracer uptake in the tumor.

Donnez J, Hudecek R, Donnez O, et al.
Efficacy and safety of repeated use of ulipristal acetate in uterine fibroids.
Fertil Steril. 2015; 103(2):519-27.e3 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy and safety of repeated 12-week courses of 5 or 10 mg daily of ulipristal acetate for intermittent treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids.
DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized administration of two 12-week courses of ulipristal acetate.
SETTING: Gynecology centers.
PATIENT(S): A total of 451 patients with symptomatic uterine fibroid(s) and heavy bleeding.
INTERVENTION(S): Two repeated 12-week treatment courses of daily 5 or 10 mg of ulipristal acetate.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Amenorrhea, controlled bleeding, fibroid volume, quality of life (QoL), pain.
RESULT(S): In the 5- and 10-mg treatment groups (62% and 73% of patients, respectively) achieved amenorrhea during both treatment courses. Proportions of patients achieving controlled bleeding during two treatment courses were >80%. Menstruation resumed after each treatment course and was diminished compared with baseline. After the second treatment course, median reductions from baseline in fibroid volume were 54% and 58% for the patients receiving 5 and 10 mg of ulipristal acetate, respectively. Pain and QoL improved in both groups. Ulipristal acetate was well tolerated with less than 5% of patients discontinuing treatment due to adverse events.
CONCLUSION(S): Repeated 12-week courses of daily oral ulipristal acetate (5 and 10 mg) effectively control bleeding and pain, reduce fibroid volume, and restore QoL in patients with symptomatic fibroids.

Behringer K, Goergen H, Hitz F, et al.
Omission of dacarbazine or bleomycin, or both, from the ABVD regimen in treatment of early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma (GHSG HD13): an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority trial.
Lancet. 2015; 385(9976):1418-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of bleomycin and dacarbazine in the ABVD regimen (ie, doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) has been questioned, especially for treatment of early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma, because of the drugs' toxicity. We aimed to investigate whether omission of either bleomycin or dacarbazine, or both, from ABVD reduced the efficacy of this regimen in treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
METHODS: In this open-label, randomised, multicentre trial (HD13) we compared two cycles of ABVD with two cycles of the reduced-intensity regimen variants ABV (doxorubicin, bleomycin, and vinblastine), AVD (doxorubicin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine), and AV (doxorubicin and vinblastine), in patients with newly diagnosed, histologically proven, classic or nodular, lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma. In each treatment group, 30 Gy involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) was given after both cycles of chemotherapy were completed. From Jan 28, 2003, patients were centrally randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) with a minimisation method to the four groups. Because of high event rates, assignment to the AV and ABV groups stopped early, on Sept 30, 2005, and Feb 10, 2006; assignment to ABVD and AVD continued (1:1) until Sept 30, 2009. Our primary objective was to show non-inferiority of the experimental variants compared with ABVD in terms of freedom from treatment failure (FFTF), by excluding a difference of 6% after 5 years corresponding to a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.72, via a 95% CI. Analyses reported here include qualified patients only, and between-group comparisons include only patients recruited during the same period. The trial was registered, number ISRCTN63474366.
FINDINGS: Of 1502 qualified patients, 566, 198, 571, and 167 were randomly assigned to receive ABVD, ABV, AVD, or AV, respectively. 5 year FFTF was 93.1%, 81.4%, 89.2%, and 77.1% with ABVD, ABV, AVD, and AV, respectively. Compared with ABVD, inferiority of the dacarbazine-deleted variants was detected with 5 year differences of -11.5% (95% CI -18.3 to -4.7; HR 2.06 [1.21 to 3.52]) for ABV and -15.2% (-23.0 to -7.4; HR 2.57 [1.51 to 4.40]) for AV. Non-inferiority of AVD compared with ABVD could also not be detected (5 year difference -3.9%, -7.7 to -0·1; HR 1.50, 1.00 to 2.26). 178 (33%) of 544 patients given ABVD had WHO grade III or IV toxicity, compared with 53 (28%) of 187 given ABV, 142 (26%) of 539 given AVD, and 40 (26%) of 151 given AV. Leucopenia was the most common event, and highest in the groups given bleomycin.
INTERPRETATION: Dacarbazine cannot be omitted from ABVD without a substantial loss of efficacy. With respect to our predefined non-inferiority margin, bleomycin cannot be safely omitted either, and the standard of care for patients with early-stage favourable Hodgkin's lymphoma should remain ABVD followed by IFRT.
FUNDING: Deutsche Krebshilfe and Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research.

Frezza AM, Cesari M, Baumhoer D, et al.
Mesenchymal chondrosarcoma: prognostic factors and outcome in 113 patients. A European Musculoskeletal Oncology Society study.
Eur J Cancer. 2015; 51(3):374-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mesenchymal chondrosarcoma (MCS) is a distinct, very rare sarcoma with little evidence supporting treatment recommendations.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Specialist centres collaborated to report prognostic factors and outcome for 113 patients.
RESULTS: Median age was 30 years (range: 11-80), male/female ratio 1.1. Primary sites were extremities (40%), trunk (47%) and head and neck (13%), 41 arising primarily in soft tissue. Seventeen patients had metastases at diagnosis. Mean follow-up was 14.9 years (range: 1-34), median overall survival (OS) 17 years (95% confidence interval (CI): 10.3-28.6). Ninety-five of 96 patients with localised disease underwent surgery, 54 additionally received combination chemotherapy. Sixty-five of 95 patients are alive and 45 progression-free (5 local recurrence, 34 distant metastases, 11 combined). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and OS were 7 (95% CI: 3.03-10.96) and 20 (95% CI: 12.63-27.36) years respectively. Chemotherapy administration in patients with localised disease was associated with reduced risk of recurrence (P=0.046; hazard ratio (HR)=0.482 95% CI: 0.213-0.996) and death (P=0.004; HR=0.445 95% CI: 0.256-0.774). Clear resection margins predicted less frequent local recurrence (2% versus 27%; P=0.002). Primary site and origin did not influence survival. The absence of metastases at diagnosis was associated with a significantly better outcome (P<0.0001). Data on radiotherapy indications, dose and fractionation were insufficiently complete, to allow comment of its impact on outcomes. Median OS for patients with metastases at presentation was 3 years (95% CI: 0-4.25).
CONCLUSIONS: Prognosis in MCS varies considerably. Metastatic disease at diagnosis has the strongest impact on survival. Complete resection and adjuvant chemotherapy should be considered as standard of care for localised disease.

Stearns V, Chapman JA, Ma CX, et al.
Treatment-associated musculoskeletal and vasomotor symptoms and relapse-free survival in the NCIC CTG MA.27 adjuvant breast cancer aromatase inhibitor trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(3):265-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/01/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Treatment-emergent symptoms with adjuvant tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have been associated with superior recurrence-free survival (RFS). We hypothesized that MA.27 anastrozole- or exemestane-treated patients with new or worsening vasomotor and/or joint symptoms would have improved RFS.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: MA.27 randomly assigned 7,576 postmenopausal women with breast cancer to 5 years of anastrozole or exemestane. Patient-reported symptoms were collected using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0 at protocol-specified baseline and 6- and 12-month clinical visits. Symptoms were considered present with either vasomotor and/or joint complaints. Associations between symptoms and baseline patient characteristics were examined with χ(2) and Fisher's exact tests. Subsequent effects of new or worsening symptoms on RFS were examined with landmark analyses and stratified univariable and multivariable Cox models. We examined the effects of 3-month symptoms arising from unplanned clinic visits as a result of severe toxicity.
RESULTS: Patients were assessable if eligible for the MA.27 trial, received some trial therapy, and had no disease recurrence at the end of a symptom assessment period; 96% of patients (n = 7,306 patients) were included at 6 months, and 96% (n = 7,246) were included at 12 months. Thirty-four percent of patients had baseline symptoms. For patients without baseline symptoms, 25% and 52% had new symptoms by 6 and 12 months, respectively. Neither treatment-emergent nor baseline symptoms significantly impacted RFS (P > .10) in patients with or without baseline symptoms.
CONCLUSION: In MA.27, anastrozole or exemestane treatment-emergent symptoms were not associated with improved RFS. Women should be supported through treatment and encouraged to remain on their AI regardless of their symptoms.

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