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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

Gotlib J, Kluin-Nelemans HC, George TI, et al.
Efficacy and Safety of Midostaurin in Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis.
N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(26):2530-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Advanced systemic mastocytosis comprises rare hematologic neoplasms that are associated with a poor prognosis and lack effective treatment options. The multikinase inhibitor midostaurin inhibits KIT D816V, a primary driver of disease pathogenesis.
METHODS: We conducted an open-label study of oral midostaurin at a dose of 100 mg twice daily in 116 patients, of whom 89 with mastocytosis-related organ damage were eligible for inclusion in the primary efficacy population; 16 had aggressive systemic mastocytosis, 57 had systemic mastocytosis with an associated hematologic neoplasm, and 16 had mast-cell leukemia. The primary outcome was the best overall response.
RESULTS: The overall response rate was 60% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49 to 70); 45% of the patients had a major response, which was defined as complete resolution of at least one type of mastocytosis-related organ damage. Response rates were similar regardless of the subtype of advanced systemic mastocytosis, KIT mutation status, or exposure to previous therapy. The median best percentage changes in bone marrow mast-cell burden and serum tryptase level were -59% and -58%, respectively. The median overall survival was 28.7 months, and the median progression-free survival was 14.1 months. Among the 16 patients with mast-cell leukemia, the median overall survival was 9.4 months (95% CI, 7.5 to not estimated). Dose reduction owing to toxic effects occurred in 56% of the patients; re-escalation to the starting dose was feasible in 32% of those patients. The most frequent adverse events were low-grade nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. New or worsening grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia occurred in 24%, 41%, and 29% of the patients, respectively, mostly in those with preexisting cytopenias.
CONCLUSIONS: In this open-label study, midostaurin showed efficacy in patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis, including the highly fatal variant mast-cell leukemia. (Funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00782067.).

Eggermont AM, Suciu S, Rutkowski P, et al.
Long term follow up of the EORTC 18952 trial of adjuvant therapy in resected stage IIB-III cutaneous melanoma patients comparing intermediate doses of interferon-alpha-2b (IFN) with observation: Ulceration of primary is key determinant for IFN-sensitivity.
Eur J Cancer. 2016; 55:111-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We report on the long term outcome of the EORTC 18952 adjuvant interferon (IFN) trial in 1388 resected stage IIB/III melanoma patients and identify key predictive factors for outcome.
METHODS: We analysed outcome of the EORTC 18952 trial (4 weeks of IFN, 10 MU, 5 times/week for 4 weeks followed by 12 months IFN at 10 MU, 3 times/week versus followed by 24 months IFN at 5 MU 3 times/week versus observation) regarding relapse-free survival (RFS), distant metastasis-free interval/survival (DMFI/DMFS), and overall survival (OS), and analysed potential predictive factors of outcome.
FINDINGS: At a median follow-up of 11 years, the comparison of IFN 13 months versus IFN 25 months versus observation yielded estimated hazard ratios (HR) for RFS of 0.94 versus 0.84 (p = 0.06); for DMFI 0.95 versus 0.82 (p = 0.027); for DMFS 0.95 versus 0.84 (p = 0.07); and for OS 0·95 versus 0.84 (p = 0.08), respectively. The impact of treatment was greatest in the ulceration group, whereas in patients with non-ulcerated primaries the impact was null (HR ≥ 1.0). In patients with ulcerated melanoma the HR for IFN 13 months versus 25 months versus observation were for: RFS 0.82 (p = 0.16) versus 0.61 (p = 0.0008); DMFS 0.76 (p = 0.06) versus 0.57 (p = 0.0003); OS 0.80 (p = 0.13) versus 0.59 (p = 0.0007). In stage IIB/III-N1 (microscopic nodal involvement only) patients with ulcerated melanoma the HR estimates were for: RFS 0.85 versus 0.62; DMFS 0.80 versus 0.56; OS 0.77 versus 0.54.
CONCLUSIONS: This long term report of the EORTC 18952 trial demonstrates the superiority of the 25-month IFN schedule and defines ulceration of the primary as the overriding predictive factor for IFN-sensitivity.

Niraula S, Templeton AJ, Vera-Badillo FE, et al.
Study of testosterone-guided androgen deprivation therapy in management of prostate cancer.
Prostate. 2016; 76(2):235-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists is an effective initial therapy for men with advanced prostate cancer. LHRH agonists are usually administered indefinitely at a fixed interval.
METHODS: We recruited men with advanced prostate cancer who had been on fixed-schedule injections of an LHRH agonist for ≥1 year and had castrate serum testosterone [<1.75 nmol/l (approx. 50 ng/ml)]. Testosterone levels were measured at 6-week intervals and ADT was withheld until testosterone levels were no longer in the castrate range and then reinstituted. Time to reinstitution of ADT was the primary outcome and was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method; Cox regression was used to identify factors predicting delay in reinstitution of treatment. Influence on quality-of-life (QoL) was evaluated by the Expanded Prostate Index Composite (EPIC).
RESULTS: Forty-six evaluable men who had received LHRH agonist injections every 12 weeks were recruited. Median time to testosterone recovery (defined as testosterone outside the defined castrate level) after previous injection was >1 year. In univariable analysis, lower baseline testosterone [≤1 vs. >1 nmol/l (approx. 30 ng/dl)] and longer time on ADT (>5 vs. ≤5 years) predicted for prolonged time to testosterone recovery, but only lower baseline testosterone remained significant in multivariable analysis (Hazard Ratio = 5.2, P = 0.03). Overall EPIC scores remained stable but improvement from baseline was observed in the hormonal domain (P = 0.002). Median per-patient saving in cost was approximately USD 3,100 (1,050-6,200).
CONCLUSIONS: Testosterone-guided ADT reduces exposure to LHRH agonists, with reduction in cost and improvement in some symptoms from ADT. Testosterone-guided ADT should be considered an alternative to fixed schedule treatment by physicians and policy makers.

Harter P, Johnson T, Berton-Rigaud D, et al.
BRCA1/2 mutations associated with progression-free survival in ovarian cancer patients in the AGO-OVAR 16 study.
Gynecol Oncol. 2016; 140(3):443-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: AGO-OVAR 16 demonstrated that pazopanib maintenance therapy significantly increased progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with ovarian cancer whose disease had not progressed after first-line therapy. In a sub-study, we evaluated the effect of clinically important germline BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on PFS.
METHODS: Of 940 AGO-OVAR 16 participants, 664 had BRCA1/2 exon sequencing data (pazopanib, n=335; placebo, n=329). A Cox model was used to test the association between genetic variants and PFS.
RESULTS: Ninety-seven of 664 patients (15%) carried clinically important BRCA1/2 mutations (BRCA1/2 carriers: pazopanib 14%, placebo 16%). Median PFS was longer in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers than in BRCA1/2 non-carriers in the placebo arm (30.3 vs 14.1 months, hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.29-0.78; P=0.0031); a similar non-significant trend was noted with pazopanib (30.2 vs 17.7 months, hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% CI: 0.40-1.03; P=0.069). Among BRCA1/2 non-carriers, PFS was longer for pazopanib-treated patients than placebo-treated patients (17.7 vs 14.1 months, hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% CI: 0.62-0.97; P=0.024). Among BRCA1/2 carriers, there was no significant PFS difference between treatments, although numbers were small (pazopanib, 46; placebo, 51), resulting in a wide CI (hazard ratio, 1.36; 95% CI: 0.66-2.82).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with clinically important BRCA1/2 mutations had better prognosis. BRCA1/2 mutation status might be added as strata in future trials in primary ovarian cancer.

James ND, Sydes MR, Clarke NW, et al.
Addition of docetaxel, zoledronic acid, or both to first-line long-term hormone therapy in prostate cancer (STAMPEDE): survival results from an adaptive, multiarm, multistage, platform randomised controlled trial.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10024):1163-77 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Long-term hormone therapy has been the standard of care for advanced prostate cancer since the 1940s. STAMPEDE is a randomised controlled trial using a multiarm, multistage platform design. It recruits men with high-risk, locally advanced, metastatic or recurrent prostate cancer who are starting first-line long-term hormone therapy. We report primary survival results for three research comparisons testing the addition of zoledronic acid, docetaxel, or their combination to standard of care versus standard of care alone.
METHODS: Standard of care was hormone therapy for at least 2 years; radiotherapy was encouraged for men with N0M0 disease to November, 2011, then mandated; radiotherapy was optional for men with node-positive non-metastatic (N+M0) disease. Stratified randomisation (via minimisation) allocated men 2:1:1:1 to standard of care only (SOC-only; control), standard of care plus zoledronic acid (SOC + ZA), standard of care plus docetaxel (SOC + Doc), or standard of care with both zoledronic acid and docetaxel (SOC + ZA + Doc). Zoledronic acid (4 mg) was given for six 3-weekly cycles, then 4-weekly until 2 years, and docetaxel (75 mg/m(2)) for six 3-weekly cycles with prednisolone 10 mg daily. There was no blinding to treatment allocation. The primary outcome measure was overall survival. Pairwise comparisons of research versus control had 90% power at 2·5% one-sided α for hazard ratio (HR) 0·75, requiring roughly 400 control arm deaths. Statistical analyses were undertaken with standard log-rank-type methods for time-to-event data, with hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs derived from adjusted Cox models. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00268476) and ControlledTrials.com (ISRCTN78818544).
FINDINGS: 2962 men were randomly assigned to four groups between Oct 5, 2005, and March 31, 2013. Median age was 65 years (IQR 60-71). 1817 (61%) men had M+ disease, 448 (15%) had N+/X M0, and 697 (24%) had N0M0. 165 (6%) men were previously treated with local therapy, and median prostate-specific antigen was 65 ng/mL (IQR 23-184). Median follow-up was 43 months (IQR 30-60). There were 415 deaths in the control group (347 [84%] prostate cancer). Median overall survival was 71 months (IQR 32 to not reached) for SOC-only, not reached (32 to not reached) for SOC + ZA (HR 0·94, 95% CI 0·79-1·11; p=0·450), 81 months (41 to not reached) for SOC + Doc (0·78, 0·66-0·93; p=0·006), and 76 months (39 to not reached) for SOC + ZA + Doc (0·82, 0·69-0·97; p=0·022). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in treatment effect (for any of the treatments) across prespecified subsets. Grade 3-5 adverse events were reported for 399 (32%) patients receiving SOC, 197 (32%) receiving SOC + ZA, 288 (52%) receiving SOC + Doc, and 269 (52%) receiving SOC + ZA + Doc.
INTERPRETATION: Zoledronic acid showed no evidence of survival improvement and should not be part of standard of care for this population. Docetaxel chemotherapy, given at the time of long-term hormone therapy initiation, showed evidence of improved survival accompanied by an increase in adverse events. Docetaxel treatment should become part of standard of care for adequately fit men commencing long-term hormone therapy.
FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer, Janssen, Astellas, NIHR Clinical Research Network, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research.

Taverna C, Martinelli G, Hitz F, et al.
Rituximab Maintenance for a Maximum of 5 Years After Single-Agent Rituximab Induction in Follicular Lymphoma: Results of the Randomized Controlled Phase III Trial SAKK 35/03.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(5):495-500 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/10/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Rituximab maintenance therapy has been shown to improve progression-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma; however, the optimal duration of maintenance treatment remains unknown.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred seventy patients with untreated, relapsed, stable, or chemotherapy-resistant follicular lymphoma were treated with four doses of rituximab monotherapy in weekly intervals (375 mg/m(2)). Patients achieving at least a partial response were randomly assigned to receive maintenance therapy with one infusion of rituximab every 2 months, either on a short-term schedule (four administrations) or a long-term schedule (maximum of 5 years or until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity). The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). Progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), and toxicity were secondary end points. Comparisons between the two arms were performed using the log-rank test for survival end points.
RESULTS: One hundred sixty-five patients were randomly assigned to the short-term (n = 82) or long-term (n = 83) maintenance arms. Because of the low event rate, the final analysis was performed after 95 events had occurred, which was before the targeted event number of 99 had been reached. At a median follow-up period of 6.4 years, the median EFS was 3.4 years (95% CI, 2.1 to 5.3) in the short-term arm and 5.3 years (95% CI, 3.5 to not available) in the long-term arm (P = .14). Patients in the long-term arm experienced more adverse effects than did those in the short-term arm, with 76% v 50% of patients with at least one adverse event (P < .001), five versus one patient with grade 3 and 4 infections, and three versus zero patients discontinuing treatment because of unacceptable toxicity, respectively. There was no difference in OS between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: Long-term rituximab maintenance therapy does not improve EFS, which was the primary end point of this trial, or OS, and was associated with increased toxicity.

Shaw AT, Gandhi L, Gadgeel S, et al.
Alectinib in ALK-positive, crizotinib-resistant, non-small-cell lung cancer: a single-group, multicentre, phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2016; 17(2):234-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Alectinib--a highly selective, CNS-active, ALK inhibitor-showed promising clinical activity in crizotinib-naive and crizotinib-resistant patients with ALK-rearranged (ALK-positive) non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of alectinib in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC who progressed on previous crizotinib.
METHODS: We did a phase 2 study at 27 centres in the USA and Canada. We enrolled patients aged 18 years or older with stage IIIB-IV, ALK-positive NSCLC who had progressed after crizotinib. Patients were treated with oral alectinib 600 mg twice daily until progression, death, or withdrawal. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving an objective response by an independent review committee using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Response endpoints were assessed in the response-evaluable population (ie, patients with measurable disease at baseline who received at least one dose of study drug), and efficacy and safety analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population (all enrolled patients). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01871805. The study is ongoing and patients are still receiving treatment.
FINDINGS: Between Sept 4, 2013, and Aug 4, 2014, 87 patients were enrolled into the study (intention-to-treat population). At the time of the primary analysis (median follow-up 4·8 months [IQR 3·3-7·1]), 33 of 69 patients with measurable disease at baseline had a confirmed partial response; thus, the proportion of patients achieving an objective response by the independent review committee was 48% (95% CI 36-60). Adverse events were predominantly grade 1 or 2, most commonly constipation (31 [36%]), fatigue (29 [33%]), myalgia 21 [24%]), and peripheral oedema 20 [23%]). The most common grade 3 and 4 adverse events were changes in laboratory values, including increased blood creatine phosphokinase (seven [8%]), increased alanine aminotransferase (five [6%]), and increased aspartate aminotransferase (four [5%]). Two patients died: one had a haemorrhage (judged related to study treatment), and one had disease progression and a history of stroke (judged unrelated to treatment).
INTERPRETATION: Alectinib showed clinical activity and was well tolerated in patients with ALK-positive NSCLC who had progressed on crizotinib. Therefore, alectinib could be a suitable treatment for patients with ALK-positive disease who have progressed on crizotinib.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche.

Yao JC, Fazio N, Singh S, et al.
Everolimus for the treatment of advanced, non-functional neuroendocrine tumours of the lung or gastrointestinal tract (RADIANT-4): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10022):968-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Effective systemic therapies for patients with advanced, progressive neuroendocrine tumours of the lung or gastrointestinal tract are scarce. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of everolimus compared with placebo in this patient population.
METHODS: In the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 RADIANT-4 trial, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with advanced, progressive, well-differentiated, non-functional neuroendocrine tumours of lung or gastrointestinal origin were enrolled from 97 centres in 25 countries worldwide. Eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio by an interactive voice response system to receive everolimus 10 mg per day orally or identical placebo, both with supportive care. Patients were stratified by tumour origin, performance status, and previous somatostatin analogue treatment. Patients, investigators, and the study sponsor were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival assessed by central radiology review, analysed by intention to treat. Overall survival was a key secondary endpoint. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01524783.
FINDINGS: Between April 3, 2012, and Aug 23, 2013, a total of 302 patients were enrolled, of whom 205 were allocated to everolimus 10 mg per day and 97 to placebo. Median progression-free survival was 11·0 months (95% CI 9·2-13·3) in the everolimus group and 3·9 months (3·6-7·4) in the placebo group. Everolimus was associated with a 52% reduction in the estimated risk of progression or death (hazard ratio [HR] 0·48 [95% CI 0·35-0·67], p<0·00001). Although not statistically significant, the results of the first pre-planned interim overall survival analysis indicated that everolimus might be associated with a reduction in the risk of death (HR 0·64 [95% CI 0·40-1·05], one-sided p=0·037, whereas the boundary for statistical significance was 0·0002). Grade 3 or 4 drug-related adverse events were infrequent and included stomatitis (in 18 [9%] of 202 patients in the everolimus group vs 0 of 98 in the placebo group), diarrhoea (15 [7%] vs 2 [2%]), infections (14 [7%] vs 0), anaemia (8 [4%] vs 1 [1%]), fatigue (7 [3%] vs 1 [1%]), and hyperglycaemia (7 [3%] vs 0).
INTERPRETATION: Treatment with everolimus was associated with significant improvement in progression-free survival in patients with progressive lung or gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours. The safety findings were consistent with the known side-effect profile of everolimus. Everolimus is the first targeted agent to show robust anti-tumour activity with acceptable tolerability across a broad range of neuroendocrine tumours, including those arising from the pancreas, lung, and gastrointestinal tract.
FUNDING: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Stupp R, Taillibert S, Kanner AA, et al.
Maintenance Therapy With Tumor-Treating Fields Plus Temozolomide vs Temozolomide Alone for Glioblastoma: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2015; 314(23):2535-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Glioblastoma is the most devastating primary malignancy of the central nervous system in adults. Most patients die within 1 to 2 years of diagnosis. Tumor-treating fields (TTFields) are a locoregionally delivered antimitotic treatment that interferes with cell division and organelle assembly.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of TTFields used in combination with temozolomide maintenance treatment after chemoradiation therapy for patients with glioblastoma.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: After completion of chemoradiotherapy, patients with glioblastoma were randomized (2:1) to receive maintenance treatment with either TTFields plus temozolomide (n = 466) or temozolomide alone (n = 229) (median time from diagnosis to randomization, 3.8 months in both groups). The study enrolled 695 of the planned 700 patients between July 2009 and November 2014 at 83 centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and South Korea. The trial was terminated based on the results of this planned interim analysis.
INTERVENTIONS: Treatment with TTFields was delivered continuously (>18 hours/day) via 4 transducer arrays placed on the shaved scalp and connected to a portable medical device. Temozolomide (150-200 mg/m2/d) was given for 5 days of each 28-day cycle.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was progression-free survival in the intent-to-treat population (significance threshold of .01) with overall survival in the per-protocol population (n = 280) as a powered secondary end point (significance threshold of .006). This prespecified interim analysis was to be conducted on the first 315 patients after at least 18 months of follow-up.
RESULTS: The interim analysis included 210 patients randomized to TTFields plus temozolomide and 105 randomized to temozolomide alone, and was conducted at a median follow-up of 38 months (range, 18-60 months). Median progression-free survival in the intent-to-treat population was 7.1 months (95% CI, 5.9-8.2 months) in the TTFields plus temozolomide group and 4.0 months (95% CI, 3.3-5.2 months) in the temozolomide alone group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62 [98.7% CI, 0.43-0.89]; P = .001). Median overall survival in the per-protocol population was 20.5 months (95% CI, 16.7-25.0 months) in the TTFields plus temozolomide group (n = 196) and 15.6 months (95% CI, 13.3-19.1 months) in the temozolomide alone group (n = 84) (HR, 0.64 [99.4% CI, 0.42-0.98]; P = .004).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this interim analysis of 315 patients with glioblastoma who had completed standard chemoradiation therapy, adding TTFields to maintenance temozolomide chemotherapy significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00916409.

Quartino AL, Hillenbach C, Li J, et al.
Population pharmacokinetic and exposure-response analysis for trastuzumab administered using a subcutaneous "manual syringe" injection or intravenously in women with HER2-positive early breast cancer.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2016; 77(1):77-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: To characterize the population pharmacokinetics (PKs) of subcutaneous (SC) and intravenous (IV) trastuzumab in early breast cancer (EBC), assess the impact of covariates on trastuzumab PK, and evaluate fixed (nonweight-based) dosing for the SC regimen administrated via handheld syringe.
METHODS: Serum trastuzumab concentrations from 595 patients with HER2-positive EBC in the HannaH study (fixed 600 mg SC trastuzumab or weight-based IV trastuzumab) were analyzed using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the exposure-response relationships between PK, efficacy [pathologic complete response (pCR)], and safety [grade ≥3 adverse events (AEs)].
RESULTS: Trastuzumab PK was described by a two-compartment model with parallel linear and nonlinear elimination and first-order SC absorption, with a bioavailability of 77 %. Estimated total clearance (CL) values were 0.18-0.22 L/day for steady-state trough/peak concentrations of 75-148 µg/mL; the estimate for central volume of distribution was 2.9 L. Body weight and alanine transaminase, while showing significant effects on PK, only explained 8% of the variability in CL. Exposure-response analyses showed no relationship between PK, pCR, and grade ≥3 AEs for either regimen.
CONCLUSION: A fixed 600 mg SC dose of trastuzumab provides the desired exposure, with steady-state trough concentrations (35-123 μg/mL for the 5th-95th percentiles) above the historical target concentration of 20 μg/mL for efficacy. Fixed dosing is further supported by lack of an exposure-response relationship between PK, pCR, and grade ≥3 AEs. No dose adjustment per patient factors is required within the ranges studied.

Ignatiadis M, Azim HA, Desmedt C, et al.
The Genomic Grade Assay Compared With Ki67 to Determine Risk of Distant Breast Cancer Recurrence.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(2):217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: The Genomic Grade Index (GGI) was previously developed, evaluated on frozen tissue, and shown to be prognostic in early breast cancer. To test the GGI in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast cancer tumors, a quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay was developed and named the Genomic Grade (GG). The GG assay has the potential to increase the clinical application of the GGI, but robust demonstration of the clinical validity of the GG assay is required.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prognostic ability of the GG assay to detect breast cancer recurrence compared with centrally reviewed immunohistochemical testing of Ki67 antigen proliferation.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This is an internationally collaborative substudy of a large phase 3 4-arm adjuvant trial. Patients had endocrine receptor-positive, node-positive, or node-negative nonmetastatic primary breast cancer. Patients included in this study had available formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples of their primary tumors and were randomized to either a 5-year tamoxifen monotherapy arm or a 5-year letrozole monotherapy arm. Associations between either GG assay results or log2-transformed Ki67 data and survival end points were evaluated using Cox regression models stratified for chemotherapy use; the 2 vs 4 arm randomization option; and endocrine therapy assignment with and without adjustment for clinicopathological parameters, including centrally reviewed histological grade, hormone receptors, and ERBB2 (formerly HER2 or HER2/neu). The likelihood ratio statistic was used to assess the added prognostic value.
INTERVENTIONS: Central evaluation and comparison, blinded for clinical information, of the GG assay, breast cancer histological grade, and Ki67.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI).
RESULTS: Genomic Grade assay data were obtained in 883 breast cancer samples (62%). At a median follow-up of 8.1 years, 84 (10%) had distant recurrences. Increasing GG or Ki67 were both significantly associated with lower DRFI and added independent prognostic information to the clinicopathological prognostic factors. In patients with early node-negative breast cancer who were endocrine-only treated, 38% were GG1 with a 10-year DRFI of 99% (95% CI, 97%-100%), and 18% were histological grade 1 with a 10-year DRFI of 100% (95% CI, 100%-100%). For GG equivocal patients, the 10-year DRFI was 94% (95% CI, 90%-98%), and for GG3 patients, the 10-year DRFI was 87% (95% CI, 80%-94%).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Either the GG assay or centrally reviewed Ki67 significantly improves clinicopathological models to determine distant recurrence of breast cancer. Compared with the histological grade, the GG assay can identify a higher proportion of endocrine-only treated patients with very low risk of distant recurrence at 10 years.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifiers: NCT00004205 and NCT00004205.

Richardson PG, Hungria VT, Yoon SS, et al.
Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone in previously treated multiple myeloma: outcomes by prior treatment.
Blood. 2016; 127(6):713-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
Panobinostat is a potent pan-deacetylase inhibitor that affects the growth and survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells through alteration of epigenetic mechanisms and protein metabolism. Panobinostat plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (PAN-BTZ-Dex) led to a significant increase in progression-free survival (PFS) vs placebo plus bortezomib and dexamethasone (Pbo-BTZ-Dex) in patients with relapsed or relapsed and refractory MM in the phase 3 PANORAMA 1 trial. This subgroup analysis evaluated outcomes in patients in the PANORAMA 1 trial based on prior treatment: a prior immunomodulatory drug (IMiD; n = 485), prior bortezomib plus an IMiD (n = 193), and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (n = 147). Median PFS with PAN-BTZ-Dex vs Pbo-BTZ-Dex across subgroups was as follows: prior IMiD (12.3 vs 7.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.68), prior bortezomib plus IMiD (10.6 vs 5.8 months; HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.36-0.76), and ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD (12.5 vs 4.7 months; HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31-0.72). Common grade 3/4 adverse events and laboratory abnormalities in patients who received PAN-BTZ-Dex across the prior treatment groups included thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, neutropenia, diarrhea, and asthenia/fatigue. Incidence of on-treatment deaths among patients who received prior bortezomib and an IMiD (regardless of number of prior regimens) was similar between treatment arms. This analysis demonstrated a clear PFS benefit of 7.8 months with PAN-BTZ-Dex among patients who received ≥2 prior regimens including bortezomib and an IMiD, a population with limited treatment options and poorer prognosis. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01023308.

Gautschi M, Oberholzer PA, Baumgartner M, et al.
Prognostic markers in lentigo maligna patients treated with imiquimod cream: A long-term follow-up study.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016; 74(1):81-87.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: More data are needed to define factors that predict long-term success after imiquimod therapy for lentigo maligna (LM).
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the demographic, clinical, and histologic prognostic markers of relapse-free survival in patients with LM who were treated with imiquimod.
METHODS: This was a single-arm, open-label, nonrandomized, prospective study.
RESULTS: Eighty-nine patients with histologically confirmed LM and a median follow-up time of 4.8 years after imiquimod treatment were included in our study. Sixteen patients (18%) relapsed. Statistically significant indicators of an increased risk of local recurrence included: the total number of melanocytes, the number of basal and suprabasal melanocytes and the number of pagetoid spreading melanocytes.
LIMITATIONS: Our study was a single-center, nonrandomized study.
CONCLUSION: An assessment of different melanocyte fractions in the diagnostic baseline biopsy specimen may help to predict the response of LM to imiquimod therapy.

Wen SW, Everitt SJ, Bedő J, et al.
Spleen Volume Variation in Patients with Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Platinum-Based Chemo-Radiotherapy.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(11):e0142608 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
There is renewed interest in the immune regulatory role of the spleen in oncology. To date, very few studies have examined macroscopic variations of splenic volume in the setting of cancer, prior to or during therapy, especially in humans. Changes in splenic volume may be associated with changes in splenic function. The purpose of this study was to investigate variations in spleen volume in NSCLC patients during chemo-radiotherapy. Sixty patients with stage I-IIIB NSCLC underwent radiotherapy (60 Gy/30 fractions) for six weeks with concomitant carboplatin/paclitaxel (Ca/P; n = 32) or cisplatin/etoposide (Ci/E; n = 28). A baseline PET/CT scan was performed within 2 weeks prior to treatment and during Weeks 2 and 4 of chemo-radiotherapy. Spleen volume was measured by contouring all CT slices. Significant macroscopic changes in splenic volume occurred early after the commencement of treatment. A significant decrease in spleen volume was observed for 66% of Ca/P and 79% of Ci/E patients between baseline and Week 2. Spleen volume was decreased by 14.2% for Ca/P (p<0.001) and 19.3% for Ci/E (p<0.001) patients. By Week 4, spleen volume was still significantly decreased for Ca/P patients compared to baseline, while for Ci/E patients, spleen volume returned to above baseline levels. This is the first report demonstrating macroscopic changes in the spleen in NSCLC patients undergoing radical chemo-radiotherapy that can be visualized by non-invasive imaging.

Ou SH, Ahn JS, De Petris L, et al.
Alectinib in Crizotinib-Refractory ALK-Rearranged Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Phase II Global Study.
J Clin Oncol. 2016; 34(7):661-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Crizotinib confers improved progression-free survival compared with chemotherapy in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-rearranged non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but progression invariably occurs. We investigated the efficacy and safety of alectinib, a potent and selective ALK inhibitor with excellent CNS penetration, in patients with crizotinib-refractory ALK-positive NSCLC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Alectinib 600 mg was administered orally twice daily. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR) by central independent review committee (IRC).
RESULTS: Of the 138 patients treated, 84 patients (61%) had CNS metastases at baseline, and 122 were response evaluable (RE) by IRC. ORR by IRC was 50% (95% CI, 41% to 59%), and the median duration of response (DOR) was 11.2 months (95% CI, 9.6 months to not reached). In 96 patients (79%) previously treated with chemotherapy, the ORR was 45% (95% CI, 35% to 55%). Median IRC-assessed progression-free survival for all 138 patients was 8.9 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 11.3 months). CNS disease control rate was 83% (95% CI, 74% to 91%), and the median CNS DOR was 10.3 months (95% CI, 7.6 to 11.2 months). CNS ORR in 35 patients with baseline measurable CNS lesions was 57% (95% CI, 39% to 74%). Of the 23 patients with baseline CNS metastases (measurable or nonmeasurable) and no prior radiation, 10 (43%) had a complete CNS response. At 12 months, the cumulative CNS progression rate (24.8%) was lower than the cumulative non-CNS progression rate (33.2%) for all patients. Common adverse events were constipation (33%), fatigue (26%), and peripheral edema (25%); most were grade 1 to 2.
CONCLUSION: Alectinib is highly active and well tolerated in patients with advanced, crizotinib-refractory ALK-positive NSCLC, including those with CNS metastases.

Stahel RA, Riesterer O, Xyrafas A, et al.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and extrapleural pneumonectomy of malignant pleural mesothelioma with or without hemithoracic radiotherapy (SAKK 17/04): a randomised, international, multicentre phase 2 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(16):1651-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Postoperative hemithoracic radiotherapy has been used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma, but it has not been assessed in a randomised trial. We assessed high-dose hemithoracic radiotherapy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and extrapleural pneumonectomy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
METHODS: We did this phase 2 trial in two parts at 14 hospitals in Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. We enrolled patients with pathologically confirmed malignant pleural mesothelioma; resectable TNM stages T1-3 N0-2, M0; WHO performance status 0-1; age 18-70 years. In part 1, patients were given three cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) and pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) on day 1 given every 3 weeks) and extrapleural pneumonectomy; the primary endpoint was complete macroscopic resection (R0-1). In part 2, participants with complete macroscopic resection were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive high-dose radiotherapy or not. The target volume for radiotherapy encompassed the entire hemithorax, the thoracotomy channel, and mediastinal nodal stations if affected by the disease or violated surgically. A boost was given to areas at high risk for locoregional relapse. The allocation was stratified by centre, histology (sarcomatoid vs epithelioid or mixed), mediastinal lymph node involvement (N0-1 vs N2), and T stage (T1-2 vs T3). The primary endpoint of part 1 was the proportion of patients achieving complete macroscopic resection (R0 and R1). The primary endpoint in part 2 was locoregional relapse-free survival, analysed by intention to treat. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00334594.
FINDINGS: We enrolled patients between Dec 7, 2005, and Oct 17, 2012. Overall, we analysed 151 patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, of whom 113 (75%) had extrapleural pneumonectomy. Median follow-up was 54·2 months (IQR 32-66). 52 (34%) of 151 patients achieved an objective response. The most common grade 3 or 4 toxic effects were neutropenia (21 [14%] of 151 patients), anaemia (11 [7%]), and nausea or vomiting (eight [5%]). 113 patients had extrapleural pneumonectomy, with complete macroscopic resection achieved in 96 (64%) of 151 patients. We enrolled 54 patients in part 2; 27 in each group. The main reasons for exclusion were patient refusal (n=20) and ineligibility (n=10). 25 of 27 patients completed radiotherapy. Median total radiotherapy dose was 55·9 Gy (IQR 46·8-56·0). Median locoregional relapse-free survival from surgery, was 7·6 months (95% CI 4·5-10·7) in the no radiotherapy group and 9·4 months (6·5-11·9) in the radiotherapy group. The most common grade 3 or higher toxic effects related to radiotherapy were nausea or vomiting (three [11%] of 27 patients), oesophagitis (two [7%]), and pneumonitis (two [7%]). One patient died of pneumonitis. We recorded no toxic effects data for the control group.
INTERPRETATION: Our findings do not support the routine use of hemithoracic radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and extrapleural pneumonectomy.
FUNDING: Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research, Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Eli Lilly.

Harrington K, Temam S, Mehanna H, et al.
Postoperative Adjuvant Lapatinib and Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy Followed by Maintenance Lapatinib Monotherapy in High-Risk Patients With Resected Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(35):4202-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This multicenter phase III study evaluated the efficacy and safety of lapatinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor/ErbB2 inhibitor, administered concomitantly with chemoradiotherapy and as maintenance monotherapy in patients with high-risk surgically treated squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with resected stage II to IVA SCCHN, with a surgical margin ≤ 5 mm and/or extracapsular extension, were randomly assigned to chemoradiotherapy (66 Gy total radiation dose and cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) per day administered on days 1, 22, and 43) plus placebo or lapatinib (1,500 mg per day) before and during chemoradiotherapy, followed by 12 months of maintenance monotherapy.
RESULTS: Six hundred eighty-eight patients were enrolled (lapatinib, n = 346; placebo, n = 342). With a median follow-up time of 35.3 months, the study ended early because of the apparent plateauing of disease-free survival (DFS) events. Median DFS assessed by an independent review committee was 53.6 months and not reached for lapatinib and placebo, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.43). Investigator-assessed results confirmed the independent review committee assessment. No significant differences in DFS by human papillomavirus status or overall survival were observed between treatment arms. Similar numbers of patients in both treatment arms experienced adverse events (AEs), with more patients in the lapatinib arm than the placebo arm experiencing serious AEs (48% v 40%, respectively). The most commonly observed treatment-related AEs were diarrhea and rash, both predominantly in the lapatinib arm.
CONCLUSION: Addition of lapatinib to chemoradiotherapy and its use as long-term maintenance therapy does not offer any efficacy benefits and had additional toxicity compared with placebo in patients with surgically treated high-risk SCCHN.

André T, de Gramont A, Vernerey D, et al.
Adjuvant Fluorouracil, Leucovorin, and Oxaliplatin in Stage II to III Colon Cancer: Updated 10-Year Survival and Outcomes According to BRAF Mutation and Mismatch Repair Status of the MOSAIC Study.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(35):4176-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The MOSAIC (Multicenter International Study of Oxaliplatin/Fluorouracil/Leucovorin in the Adjuvant Treatment of Colon Cancer) study has demonstrated 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) and 6-year overall survival (OS) benefit of adjuvant oxaliplatin in stage II to III resected colon cancer. This update presents 10-year OS and OS and DFS by mismatch repair (MMR) status and BRAF mutation.
METHODS: Survival actualization after 10-year follow-up was performed in 2,246 patients with resected stage II to III colon cancer. We assessed MMR status and BRAF mutation in 1,008 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 9.5 years, 10-year OS rates in the bolus/infusional fluorouracil plus leucovorin (LV5FU2) and LV5FU2 plus oxaliplatin (FOLFOX4) arms were 67.1% versus 71.7% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.85; P = .043) in the whole population, 79.5% versus 78.4% for stage II (HR, 1.00; P = .980), and 59.0% versus 67.1% for stage III (HR, 0.80; P = .016) disease. Ninety-five patients (9.4%) had MMR-deficient (dMMR) tumors, and 94 (10.4%) had BRAF mutation. BRAF mutation was not prognostic for OS (P = .965), but dMMR was an independent prognostic factor (HR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.15 to 3.55; P = .014). HRs for DFS and OS benefit in the FOLFOX4 arm were 0.48 (95% CI, 0.20 to 1.12) and 0.41 (95% CI, 0.16 to 1.07), respectively, in patients with stage II to III dMMR and 0.50 (95% CI, 0.25 to 1.00) and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.31 to 1.42), respectively, in those with BRAF mutation.
CONCLUSION: The OS benefit of oxaliplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy, increasing over time and with the disease severity, was confirmed at 10 years in patients with stage II to III colon cancer. These updated results support the use of FOLFOX in patients with stage III disease, including those with dMMR or BRAF mutation.

Ghadjar P, Hayoz S, Bernhard J, et al.
Acute Toxicity and Quality of Life After Dose-Intensified Salvage Radiation Therapy for Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer After Prostatectomy: First Results of the Randomized Trial SAKK 09/10.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(35):4158-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Patients with biochemical failure (BF) after radical prostatectomy may benefit from dose-intensified salvage radiation therapy (SRT) of the prostate bed. We performed a randomized phase III trial assessing dose intensification.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with BF but without evidence of macroscopic disease were randomly assigned to either 64 or 70 Gy. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy or intensity-modulated radiation therapy/rotational techniques were used. The primary end point was freedom from BF. Secondary end points were acute toxicity according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.0) and quality of life (QoL) according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaires C30 and PR25.
RESULTS: Three hundred fifty patients were enrolled between February 2011 and April 2014. Three patients withdrew informed consent, and three patients were not eligible, resulting in 344 patients age 48 to 75 years in the safety population. Thirty patients (8.7%) had grade 2 and two patients (0.6%) had grade 3 genitourinary (GU) baseline symptoms. Acute grade 2 and 3 GU toxicity was observed in 22 patients (13.0%) and one patient (0.6%), respectively, with 64 Gy and in 29 patients (16.6%) and three patients (1.7%), respectively, with 70 Gy (P = .2). Baseline grade 2 GI toxicity was observed in one patient (0.6%). Acute grade 2 and 3 GI toxicity was observed in 27 patients (16.0%) and one patient (0.6%), respectively, with 64 Gy, and in 27 patients (15.4%) and four patients (2.3%), respectively, with 70 Gy (P = .8). Changes in early QoL were minor. Patients receiving 70 Gy reported a more pronounced and clinically relevant worsening in urinary symptoms (mean difference in change score between arms, 3.6; P = .02).
CONCLUSION: Dose-intensified SRT was associated with low rates of acute grade 2 and 3 GU and GI toxicity. The impact of dose-intensified SRT on QoL was minor, except for a significantly greater worsening in urinary symptoms.

Mohr P, Hauschild A, Trefzer U, et al.
Intermittent High-Dose Intravenous Interferon Alfa-2b for Adjuvant Treatment of Stage III Melanoma: Final Analysis of a Randomized Phase III Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group Trial.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(34):4077-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability, and quality of life (QoL) in patients receiving intravenous, intermittent high-dose interferon alfa-2b (IFN-α-2b [iHDI]) compared with standard high-dose IFN-α-2b (HDI).
PATIENT AND METHODS: Patients with stage III resected lymph node or in-transit metastasis from cutaneous malignant melanoma were randomly assigned to receive either a standard HDI regimen or three courses of IFN-α-2b 20 MIU/m(2) administered intravenously 5 days a week for 4 weeks then repeated every 4 months. Distant metastasis-free survival was the primary end point for efficacy analysis. In addition, relapse-free survival, overall survival, safety as determined by Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events criteria, and QoL were secondary end points.
RESULTS: Of 649 patients enrolled, 22 patients were excluded from the intent-to-treat analysis. The remaining 627 patients were well balanced between the arms according to sex, age, and stage. After a median follow-up of 55 months, a multivariable Cox model revealed no significant differences for distant metastasis-free survival (hazard ratio [HR], 1.21; P = .12) or overall survival (HR, 1.01; P = .85). In contrast, the difference for relapse-free survival was significant (HR, 1.27; P = .03), favoring standard HDI. Early termination of treatment because of adverse events or QoL occurred significantly more often with HDI than with iHDI (26.0% v 14.8%; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Although the safety and QoL profiles for the intermittent regimen were favorable, no significant difference was observed for survival while the HR for relapse with iHDI was increased. Therefore, an iHDI regimen, as tested here, cannot be recommended as adjuvant treatment for high-risk melanoma.

Strnad V, Ott OJ, Hildebrandt G, et al.
5-year results of accelerated partial breast irradiation using sole interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy versus whole-breast irradiation with boost after breast-conserving surgery for low-risk invasive and in-situ carcinoma of the female breast: a randomised, phase 3, non-inferiority trial.
Lancet. 2016; 387(10015):229-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In a phase 3, randomised, non-inferiority trial, accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) for patients with stage 0, I, and IIA breast cancer who underwent breast-conserving treatment was compared with whole-breast irradiation. Here, we present 5-year follow-up results.
METHODS: We did a phase 3, randomised, non-inferiority trial at 16 hospitals and medical centres in seven European countries. 1184 patients with low-risk invasive and ductal carcinoma in situ treated with breast-conserving surgery were centrally randomised to either whole-breast irradiation or APBI using multicatheter brachytherapy. The primary endpoint was local recurrence. Analysis was done according to treatment received. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00402519.
FINDINGS: Between April 20, 2004, and July 30, 2009, 551 patients had whole-breast irradiation with tumour-bed boost and 633 patients received APBI using interstitial multicatheter brachytherapy. At 5-year follow-up, nine patients treated with APBI and five patients receiving whole-breast irradiation had a local recurrence; the cumulative incidence of local recurrence was 1.44% (95% CI 0.51-2.38) with APBI and 0.92% (0.12-1.73) with whole-breast irradiation (difference 0.52%, 95% CI -0.72 to 1.75; p=0.42). No grade 4 late side-effects were reported. The 5-year risk of grade 2-3 late side-effects to the skin was 3.2% with APBI versus 5.7% with whole-breast irradiation (p=0.08), and 5-year risk of grade 2-3 subcutaneous tissue late side-effects was 7.6% versus 6.3% (p=0.53). The risk of severe (grade 3) fibrosis at 5 years was 0.2% with whole-breast irradiation and 0% with APBI (p=0.46).
INTERPRETATION: The difference between treatments was below the relevance margin of 3 percentage points. Therefore, adjuvant APBI using multicatheter brachytherapy after breast-conserving surgery in patients with early breast cancer is not inferior to adjuvant whole-breast irradiation with respect to 5-year local control, disease-free survival, and overall survival.
FUNDING: German Cancer Aid.

Donnez J, Donnez O, Matule D, et al.
Long-term medical management of uterine fibroids with ulipristal acetate.
Fertil Steril. 2016; 105(1):165-173.e4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy and safety of repeated 12-week courses of 5 or 10 mg daily ulipristal acetate for intermittent treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids.
DESIGN: Double-blind, randomized administration of four 12-week courses of ulipristal acetate.
SETTING: Gynecology centers.
PATIENT(S): Four hundred fifty-one subjects with symptomatic uterine fibroid(s) and heavy menstrual bleeding.
INTERVENTION(S): Four repeated 12-week treatment courses of daily 5 or 10 mg ulipristal acetate.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Endometrial safety and general safety, laboratory parameters, amenorrhea, controlled bleeding, fibroid volume, quality of life (QoL), and pain.
RESULT(S): Efficacy results, such as bleeding control and fibroid volume reduction, were in line with previously published data. Pain and QoL showed marked improvements from screening, even during the off-treatment intervals. The safety profile of ulipristal acetate was confirmed, and repeated treatment courses did not increase the occurrence of adverse reactions. There were no significant changes in laboratory parameters during the study. The percentage of subjects with endometrial thickness ≥ 16 mm was 7.4% (all subjects) after the first treatment course and returned to below screening levels (4.9%) in subsequent treatment courses. As in previous studies, ulipristal acetate did not increase the occurrence of endometrial features of concern. The frequency of nonphysiological changes did not increase with repeated treatment. They were observed in 17.8% and 13.3% of biopsies after treatment courses 2 and 4, respectively, and were reversible after treatment cessation.
CONCLUSION(S): The results of this study demonstrate the efficacy and further support the safety profile of repeated intermittent treatment of symptomatic fibroids with ulipristal acetate.

Byrd JC, Flynn JM, Kipps TJ, et al.
Randomized phase 2 study of obinutuzumab monotherapy in symptomatic, previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Blood. 2016; 127(1):79-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
Obinutuzumab is a glycoengineered, type 2 anti-CD20 humanized antibody with single-agent activity in relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). With other CD20 antibodies, a dose-response relationship has been shown. We therefore performed a randomized phase 2 study in symptomatic, untreated CLL patients to evaluate if an obinutuzumab dose response exists. Obinutuzumab was given at a dose of 1000 mg (100 mg IV day 1, 900 mg day 2, 1000 mg day 8 and day 15 of cycle 1; 1000 mg day 1 of cycles 2-8) or 2000 mg (100 mg IV day 1, 900 mg day 2, 1000 mg day 3, 2000 mg day 8 and day 15 of cycle 1; 2000 mg day 1 of cycles 2-8). The primary end point was overall response rate (ORR). Eighty patients were enrolled with similar demographics: median age 67 years, 41% high-risk Rai disease, and 10% del(17p)(13.1). ORR (67% vs 49%, P = .08) and complete response (CR) or CR with incomplete cytopenia response (20% vs 5%) favored 2000 mg obinutuzumab. Overall, therapy was well tolerated, and infusion events were manageable. This study demonstrates significant efficacy of obinutuzumab monotherapy, for 1000 mg as well as for 2000 mg, in untreated CLL patients with acceptable toxicity. Although exploratory, a dose-response relationship may exist, but its relevance to improving progression-free survival is uncertain and will require further follow-up. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01414205.

Huellner MW, de Galiza Barbosa F, Husmann L, et al.
TNM Staging of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Comparison of PET/MR and PET/CT.
J Nucl Med. 2016; 57(1):21-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of whole-body unenhanced PET/MR with that of PET/CT in determining the stage of non-small cell lung cancer.
METHODS: This study was approved by the institutional review board and by national government authorities. Forty-two consecutive patients referred for the initial staging of non-small cell lung cancer underwent whole-body imaging with a sequential trimodality PET/CT/MR system. PET/MR and PET/CT datasets were evaluated separately, and a TNM stage was assigned on the basis of the image analysis. Nodal stations in the chest were identified according to the mapping system of the American Thoracic Society. The standard of reference was histopathology for the tumor stage in 20 subjects, for the nodal stage in 22 patients, and for extrathoracic metastases in 5 subjects. All other lesions were confirmed by at least 1 different imaging method. A Wilcoxon signed-ranks test was used for comparing PET/MR with PET/CT.
RESULTS: PET/MR did not provide additional information compared with PET/CT. The diagnostic accuracy of both imaging modalities was equal (T staging, P = 0.177; N staging, P = 0.114; M staging, P = 0.465), however, with advantages for PET/CT by trend. In the subgroup with histopathologic confirmation of T and N stages, the situation was similar (T staging, P = 0.705; N staging, P = 0.334).
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that PET/MR using a fast MR protocol does not improve the diagnostic accuracy of the staging of non-small cell lung cancer.

Hochhaus A, Rosti G, Cross NC, et al.
Frontline nilotinib in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase: results from the European ENEST1st study.
Leukemia. 2016; 30(1):57-64 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
The Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials as First-Line Treatment (ENEST1st) study included 1089 patients with newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase. The rate of deep molecular response (MR(4) (BCR-ABL1⩽0.01% on the International Scale or undetectable BCR-ABL1 with ⩾10,000 ABL1 transcripts)) at 18 months was evaluated as the primary end point, with molecular responses monitored by the European Treatment and Outcome Study network of standardized laboratories. This analysis was conducted after all patients had completed 24 months of study treatment (80.9% of patients) or discontinued early. In patients with typical BCR-ABL1 transcripts and ⩽3 months of prior imatinib therapy, 38.4% (404/1052) achieved MR(4) at 18 months. Six patients (0.6%) developed accelerated or blastic phase, and 13 (1.2%) died. The safety profile of nilotinib was consistent with that of previous studies, although the frequencies of some nilotinib-associated adverse events were lower (for example, rash, 21.4%). Ischemic cardiovascular events occurred in 6.0% of patients. Routine monitoring of lipid and glucose levels was not mandated in the protocol. These results support the use of frontline nilotinib, particularly when achievement of a deep molecular response (a prerequisite for attempting treatment-free remission in clinical trials) is a treatment goal.

Grob JJ, Amonkar MM, Karaszewska B, et al.
Comparison of dabrafenib and trametinib combination therapy with vemurafenib monotherapy on health-related quality of life in patients with unresectable or metastatic cutaneous BRAF Val600-mutation-positive melanoma (COMBI-v): results of a phase 3, open-label, randomised trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(13):1389-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the COMBI-v trial, patients with previously untreated BRAF Val600Glu or Val600Lys mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma who were treated with the combination of dabrafenib and trametinib had significantly longer overall and progression-free survival than those treated with vemurafenib alone. Here, we present the effects of treatments on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), an exploratory endpoint in the COMBI-v study.
METHODS: COMBI-v was an open-label, randomised phase 3 study in which 704 patients with metastatic melanoma with a BRAF Val600 mutation were randomly assigned (1:1) by an interactive voice response system to receive either a combination of dabrafenib (150 mg twice-daily) and trametinib (2 mg once-daily) or vemurafenib monotherapy (960 mg twice-daily) orally as first-line therapy. The primary endpoint was overall survival. In this pre-specified exploratory analysis, we prospectively assessed HRQoL in the intention-to-treat population with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C30), EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D), and Melanoma Subscale of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Melanoma (FACT-M), completed at baseline, during study treatment, at disease progression, and after progression. We used a mixed-model, repeated measures ANCOVA to assess differences in mean scores between groups with baseline score as covariate; all p-values are descriptive. The COMBI-v trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01597908, and is ongoing for the primary endpoint, but is not recruiting patients.
FINDINGS: From June 4, 2012, to Oct 7, 2013, 1645 patients at 193 centres worldwide were screened for eligibility, and 704 patients were randomly assigned to dabrafenib plus trametinib (n=352) or vemurafenib (n=352). Questionnaire completion rates for both groups were high (>95% at baseline, >80% at follow-up assessments, and >70% at disease progression) with similar HRQoL and symptom scores reported at baseline in both treatment groups for all questionnaires. Differences in mean scores between treatment groups were significant and clinically meaningful in favour of the combination compared with vemurafenib monotherapy for most domains across all three questionnaires during study treatment and at disease progression, including EORTC QLQ-C30 global health (7·92, 7·62, 6·86, 7·47, 5·16, 7·56, and 7·57 at weeks 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and disease progression, respectively; p<0·001 for all assessments except p=0·005 at week 40), EORTC QLQ-C30 pain (-13·20, -8·05, -8·82, -12·69, -12·46, -11·41, and -10·57 at weeks 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and disease progression, respectively; all p<0·001), EQ-5D thermometer scores (7·96, 8·05, 6·83, 11·53, 7·41, 9·08, and 10·51 at weeks 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and disease progression, respectively; p<0·001 for all assessments except p=0·006 at week 32), and FACT-M Melanoma Subscale score (3·62, 2·93, 2·45, 3·39, 2·85, 3·00, and 3·68 at weeks 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and disease progression, respectively; all p<0·001).
INTERPRETATION: From the patient's perspective, which integrates not only survival advantage but also disease-associated and adverse-event-associated symptoms, treatment with the combination of a BRAF inhibitor plus a MEK inhibitor (dabrafenib plus trametinib) adds a clear benefit over monotherapy with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib and supports the combination therapy as standard of care in this population.

Wiedenmann NE, Bucher S, Hentschel M, et al.
Serial [18F]-fluoromisonidazole PET during radiochemotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer and its correlation with outcome.
Radiother Oncol. 2015; 117(1):113-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The aim was to assess changes of tumour hypoxia during primary radiochemotherapy (RCT) for head and neck cancer (HNC) and to evaluate their relationship with treatment outcome.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Hypoxia was assessed by FMISO-PET in weeks 0, 2 and 5 of RCT. The tumour volume (TV) was determined using FDG-PET/MRI/CT co-registered images. The level of hypoxia was quantified on FMISO-PET as TBRmax (SUVmaxTV/SUVmean background). The hypoxic subvolume (HSV) was defined as TV that showed FMISO uptake ⩾1.4 times blood pool activity.
RESULTS: Sixteen consecutive patients (T3-4, N+, M0) were included (mean follow-up 31, median 44months). Mean TBRmax decreased significantly (p<0.05) from 1.94 to 1.57 (week 2) and 1.27 (week 5). Mean HSV in week 2 and week 5 (HSV2=5.8ml, HSV3=0.3ml) were significantly (p<0.05) smaller than at baseline (HSV1=15.8ml). Kaplan-Meier plots of local recurrence free survival stratified at the median TBRmax showed superior local control for less hypoxic tumours, the difference being significant at baseline and after 2weeks (p=0.031, p=0.016).
CONCLUSIONS: FMISO-PET documented that in most HNC reoxygenation starts early during RCT and is correlated with better outcome.

Palermo G, Maisel D, Barrett M, et al.
Gene expression of INPP5F as an independent prognostic marker in fludarabine-based therapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Blood Cancer J. 2015; 5:e353 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2017 Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a heterogeneous disease. Various disease-related and patient-related factors have been shown to influence the course of the disease. The aim of this study was to identify novel biomarkers of significant clinical relevance. Pretreatment CD19-separated lymphocytes (n=237; discovery set) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (n=92; validation set) from the REACH trial, a randomized phase III trial in relapsed CLL comparing rituximab plus fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide with fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide alone, underwent gene expression profiling. By using Cox regression survival analysis on the discovery set, we identified inositol polyphosphate-5-phosphatase F (INPP5F) as a prognostic factor for progression-free survival (P<0.001; hazard ratio (HR), 1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.35-1.98) and overall survival (P<0.001; HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.18-1.84), regardless of adjusting for known prognostic factors. These findings were confirmed on the validation set, suggesting that INPP5F may serve as a novel, easy-to-assess future prognostic biomarker for fludarabine-based therapy in CLL.

Fabarius A, Kalmanti L, Dietz CT, et al.
Impact of unbalanced minor route versus major route karyotypes at diagnosis on prognosis of CML.
Ann Hematol. 2015; 94(12):2015-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Major route additional cytogenetic aberrations (ACA) at diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) indicate an increased risk of progression and shorter survival. Since major route ACA are almost always unbalanced, it is unclear whether other unbalanced ACA at diagnosis also confer an unfavourable prognosis. On the basis of 1348 Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic phase patients of the randomized CML study IV, we examined the impact of unbalanced minor route ACA at diagnosis versus major route ACA on prognosis. At diagnosis, 1175 patients (87.2 %) had a translocation t(9;22)(q34;q11) and 74 (5.5 %) a variant translocation t(v;22) only, while a loss of the Y chromosome (-Y) was present in addition in 44 (3.3 %), balanced or unbalanced minor route ACA each in 17 (1.3 %) and major route ACA in 21 (1.6 %) cases. Patients with unbalanced minor route ACA had no significantly different cumulative incidences of complete cytogenetic remission or major molecular remission and no significantly different progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) than patients with t(9;22), t(v;22), -Y and balanced minor route karyotypes. In contrast, patients with major route ACA had a shorter OS and PFS than all other groups (all pairwise comparisons to each of the other groups: p ≤ 0.015). Five-year survival probabilities were for t(9;22) 91.4 % (95 % CI 89.5-93.1), t(v; 22) 87 % (77.2-94.3), -Y 89.0 % (76.7-97.0), balanced 100 %, unbalanced minor route 92.3 % (72.4-100) and major route 52.2 % (28.2-75.5). We conclude that only major route, but not balanced or unbalanced minor route ACA at diagnosis, has a negative impact on prognosis of CML.

Copie-Bergman C, Cuillière-Dartigues P, Baia M, et al.
MYC-IG rearrangements are negative predictors of survival in DLBCL patients treated with immunochemotherapy: a GELA/LYSA study.
Blood. 2015; 126(22):2466-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with MYC rearrangement (MYC-R) carries an unfavorable outcome. We explored the prognostic value of the MYC translocation partner gene in a series of MYC-R de novo DLBCL patients enrolled in first-line prospective clinical trials (Groupe d'Etudes des Lymphomes de l'Adulte/Lymphoma Study Association) and treated with rituximab-anthracycline-based chemotherapy. A total of 774 DLBCL cases characterized for cell of origin by the Hans classifier were analyzed using fluorescence in situ hybridization with BCL2, BCL6, MYC, immunoglobulin (IG)K, and IGL break-apart and IGH/MYC, IGK/MYC, and IGL/MYC fusion probes. MYC-R was observed in 51/574 (8.9%) evaluable DLBCL cases. MYC-R cases were predominantly of the germinal center B-cell-like subtype 37/51 (74%) with no distinctive morphologic and phenotypic features. Nineteen cases were MYC single-hit and 32 cases were MYC double-hit (MYC plus BCL2 and/or BCL6) DLBCL. MYC translocation partner was an IG gene in 24 cases (MYC-IG) and a non-IG gene (MYC-non-IG) in 26 of 50 evaluable cases. Noteworthy, MYC-IG patients had shorter overall survival (OS) (P = .0002) compared with MYC-negative patients, whereas no survival difference was observed between MYC-non-IG and MYC-negative patients. In multivariate analyses, MYC-IG predicted poor progression-free survival (P = .0051) and OS (P = .0006) independently from the International Prognostic Index and the Hans classifier. In conclusion, we show in this prospective randomized trial that the adverse prognostic impact of MYC-R is correlated to the MYC-IG translocation partner gene in DLBCL patients treated with immunochemotherapy. These results may have an important impact on the clinical management of DLBCL patients with MYC-R who should be routinely characterized according to MYC partner gene. These trials are individually registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00144807, #NCT01087424, #NCT00169143, #NCT00144755, #NCT00140660, #NCT00140595, and #NCT00135499.

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