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Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 9.5m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 50,500
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 270.0
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:27.8%
People dying from cancer /yr: 22,100
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)
Swedish Cancer Organisations
Cancer Centres in Sweden
Latest Research Publications from Sweden

Swedish Cancer Organisations (16 links)

Cancer Centres in Sweden (6 links)

Latest Research Publications from Sweden

Garcia AR, Arsenian-Henriksson M
Serine-Glycine-One-Carbon Metabolism: The Hidden Achilles Heel of
Cancer Res. 2019; 79(15):3818-3819 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of

Rubio CA, Schmidt PT
Dissecting the Microscopic Anatomy of Colon Crypts in Non-dysplastic Sessile Serrated Polyps.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(8):4259-4263 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Sessile serrated polyps (SSP) are characterized by crypts with corrupted shapes (CCS).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The number of CCS and the lateral size of 60 non-dysplastic SSP (NDSSP) were investigated.
RESULTS: Out of 60 NDSSP, 34 were small (≤9 mm) and 26, large (≥10 mm). In total, 1,101 CCS were recorded: 547 CCS were connected to the lumen (CCSL) and 554 CCS were not (CCSNL). The lateral size of NDSSP, the total number of CCS and the number of CCSNL were significantly higher in large NDSSP than in small NDSSP. Conversely, the number of CCS connected to the lumen/mm (CCSL/mm) and of crypts with normal shapes connected to the lumen/mm (CCSNL/mm), were significantly lower in large NDSSP than in small NDSSP.
CONCLUSION: The lateral expansion of large NDSSP ensues via increased numbers of CCS at the expense of a decreased number of both CCSL/mm and CCSNL/mm.

Nkfusai NC, Mubah TM, Yankam BM, et al.
Prevalence of precancerous cervical lesions in women attending Mezam Polyclinic Bamenda, Cameroon.
Pan Afr Med J. 2019; 32:174 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Introduction: Precancerous cervical lesion is significantly a health problem globally. Thus, screening targeting women between the ages of 17-60 is being undertaken in developing countries, including Cameroon. Over 50% (7.8 per 100,000) women die of cervical cancer every year. This study was to determine the prevalence of precancerous cervical lesion, the age demography and access the risk factor.
Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted from August 09th to October 17th 2017. A total of 60 women participated, and were screened for precancerous cervical lesion. Data were collected by using a questionnaire. Visual inspection with acetic acid and visual inspection with Lugol's iodine was applied for the screening. SPSS version 16.0 was used for data entry and analysis. Logistic regression analysis was fitted and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals and p-values were computed to identify factors associated with precancerous cervical cancer lesion.
Results: Out of 60 study participants, 2(3.33%) were found to be positive for precancerous cervical cancer lesion.
Conclusion: The prevalence of precancerous cervical lesion in women that consulted at the Mezam polyclinic is high.

Lindström MS
Expanding the scope of candidate prognostic marker IGFBP2 in glioblastoma.
Biosci Rep. 2019; 39(7) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. Unfortunately, it has a very poor prognosis and no cure. In a recent paper by Yuan et al. (

Utjés D, Malmstedt J, Teras J, et al.
2-cm versus 4-cm surgical excision margins for primary cutaneous melanoma thicker than 2 mm: long-term follow-up of a multicentre, randomised trial.
Lancet. 2019; 394(10197):471-477 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The optimal surgical excision margins are uncertain for patients with thick (>2 mm) localised cutaneous melanomas. In our previous report of this multicentre, randomised controlled trial, with a median follow-up of 6·7 years, we showed that a narrow excision margin (2 cm vs 4 cm) did not affect melanoma-specific nor overall survival. Here, we present extended follow-up of this cohort.
METHODS: In this open-label, multicentre randomised controlled trial, we recruited patients from 53 hospitals in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, and Norway. We enrolled clinically staged patients aged 75 years or younger diagnosed with localised cutaneous melanoma thicker than 2 mm, and with primary site on the trunk or upper or lower extremities. Patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to treatment either with a 2-cm or a 4-cm excision margin. A physician enrolled the patients after histological confirmation of a cutaneous melanoma thicker than 2 mm. Some patients were enrolled by a physician acting as responsible for clinical care and as a trial investigator (follow-up, data collection, and manuscript writing). In other cases physicians not involved in running the trial enrolled patients. Randomisation was done by telephone call to a randomisation office, by sealed envelope, or by computer generated lists using permuted blocks. Patients were stratified according to geographical region. No part of the trial was masked. The primary outcome in this extended follow-up study was overall survival and the co-primary outcome was melanoma-specific survival. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT03638492.
FINDINGS: Between Jan 22, 1992, and May 19, 2004, 936 clinically staged patients were recruited and randomly assigned to a 4-cm excision margin (n=465) or a 2-cm excision margin (n=471). At a median overall follow-up of 19·6 years (235 months, IQR 200-260), 621 deaths were reported-304 (49%) in the 2-cm group and 317 (51%) in the 4-cm group (unadjusted HR 0·98, 95% CI 0·83-1·14; p=0·75). 397 deaths were attributed to cutaneous melanoma-192 (48%) in the 2-cm excision margin group and 205 (52%) in the 4-cm excision margin group (unadjusted HR 0·95, 95% CI 0·78-1·16, p=0·61).
INTERPRETATION: A 2-cm excision margin was safe for patients with thick (>2 mm) localised cutaneous melanoma at a follow-up of median 19·6 years. These findings support the use of 2-cm excision margins in current clinical practice.
FUNDING: The Swedish Cancer Society, Stockholm Cancer Society, the Swedish Society for Medical Research, Radiumhemmet Research funds, Stockholm County Council, Wallström funds.

van Seijen M, Brcic L, Gonzales AN, et al.
Impact of delayed and prolonged fixation on the evaluation of immunohistochemical staining on lung carcinoma resection specimen.
Virchows Arch. 2019; 475(2):191-199 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pre-analytical factors, such as fixation time, influence morphology of diagnostic and predictive immunohistochemical staining, which are increasingly used in the evaluation of lung cancer. Our aim was to investigate if variations in fixation time influence the outcome of immunohistochemical staining in lung cancer. From lung resections, specimen with tumor size bigger than 4 cm, 10 samples were obtained: 2 were put through the standard fixation protocol, 5 through the delayed, and 3 through the prolonged fixation protocol. After paraffin embedding, tissue microarrays (TMAs) were made. They were stained with 20 antibodies and scored for quality and intensity of staining. Samples with delay in fixation showed loss of TMA cores on glass slides and deterioration of tissue quality leading to reduction in the expression of CK 7, Keratin MNF116, CAM 5.2, CK 5/6, TTF-1, C-MET, Napsin A, D2-40, and PD-L1. Prolonged fixation had no influence on the performance of immunohistochemical stains. Delay of fixation negatively affects the expression of different immunohistochemical markers, influencing diagnostic (cytokeratins) and predictive (PD-L1) testing. These results emphasize the need for adequate fixation of resection specimen.

Fröbom R, Sellberg F, Xu C, et al.
Biochemical Inhibition of DOG1/TMEM16A Achieves Antitumoral Effects in Human Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Cells
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(7):3433-3442 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: DOG1 is a calcium-activated chloride channel that has gained attention as a promising drug target due to its involvement in several processes essential for tumor development and progression. DOG1 is overexpressed in >95% of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The aim was to determine DOG1 inhibition antitumoral effects on GIST.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human GIST (GIST-T1 and GIST882) cell lines were used to study the effect of DOG1 inhibitors on chloride currents, viability, colony formation, and cell cycle.
CONCLUSION: DOG1 inhibition has antitumoral effects in GIST cells in vitro, and could potentially serve as a target for GIST therapy.

Ansari D, Ohlsson H, Althini C, et al.
The Hippo Signaling Pathway in Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(7):3317-3321 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hippo signaling is a key regulator of organ size, tissue hemostasis and regeneration. Dysregulation of the Hippo pathway has been recognized in a variety of human cancers, including pancreatic cancer. YES-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) are the two major downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway. YAP and TAZ have been found to promote pancreatic tumor development and progression, even in the absence of mutant Kirsten RAS (KRAS). Pancreatic cancer is associated with an abundant stromal reaction leading to tumor growth and immune escape. It has been found that YAP and TAZ modulate behavior of pancreatic stellate cells and recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Moreover, YAP and TAZ are associated with chemoresistance and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. This review dissects the role of Hippo signaling in pancreatic cancer, focusing on molecular mechanisms and prospects for future intervention.

Ansari D, Althini C, Ohlsson H, et al.
The Role of PEDF in Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(7):3311-3315 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is an important antiangiogenic and antitumorigenic factor in a variety of cancer forms, including pancreatic cancer. PEDF is mainly secreted as a soluble monomeric glycoprotein. In human pancreatic cancer PEDF levels are decreased, both in the tissue and serum. The decrease is associated with increased tumor angiogenesis, fibrosis, inflammation, autophagy, occurrence of liver metastasis and worse prognosis. In murine models, loss of PEDF is sufficient to induce invasive carcinoma and this phenotype is associated with large lesions characterized by poor differentiation. Lentiviral gene transfer of PEDF has resulted in decreased microvessel density and has inhibited tumor growth. Herein we review the multifunctional role of PEDF in pancreatic cancer and its therapeutic potential.

Ali H, AbdelMageed M, Olsson L, et al.
Utility of G protein-coupled receptor 35 expression for predicting outcome in colon cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2019; 41(6):1010428319858885 [PubMed] Related Publications
The utility of mRNA and protein determinations of G protein-coupled receptor 35, that is, GPR35a (GPR35 V1) and GPR35b (GPR35 V2/3), as indicators of outcome for colon cancer patients after curative surgery was investigated. Expression levels of V1 and V2/3 GPR35, carcinoembryonic antigen and CXCL17 mRNAs were assessed in primary tumours and regional lymph nodes of 121 colon cancer patients (stage I-IV), colon cancer cell lines and control colon epithelial cells using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of G protein-coupled receptor 35 was investigated by two-colour immunohistochemistry and immunomorphometry. GPR35 V2/3 mRNA, but not V1 mRNA, was expressed in colon cancer cell lines, primary colon tumours and control colon epithelial cells. Haematoxylin and eosin positive (H&E(+)), but not H&E(-), lymph nodes expressed high levels of GPR35 V2/3 mRNA (

Carpén T, Sorsa T, Jouhi L, et al.
High levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) in the serum are associated with poor prognosis in HPV-negative squamous cell oropharyngeal cancer.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2019; 68(8):1263-1272 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An emerging subset of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCC) is caused by HPV. HPV-positive OPSCC has a better prognosis than HPV-negative OPSCC, but other prognostic markers for these two different diseases are scarce. Our aim was to evaluate serum levels and tumor expression of matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and to assess their prognostic role in HPV-positive and HPV-negative OPSCC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 90 consecutive OPSCC patients diagnosed and treated with curative intent at the Helsinki University Hospital between 2012 and 2016 were included. Serum samples were prospectively collected. An immunofluorometric assay and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to determine MMP-8 and TIMP-1 serum concentrations, respectively. HPV status of the tumors was determined using a combination of HPV-DNA genotyping and p16-INK4a immunohistochemistry. The endpoints were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS).
RESULTS: High TIMP-1 serum levels were strongly and independently associated with poorer OS (adjusted HR 14.7, 95% CI 1.8-117.4, p = 0.011) and DFS (adjusted HR 8.7, 95% CI 1.3-57.1, p = 0.024) among HPV-negative patients; this association was not observed in HPV-positive OPSCC. Although TIMP-1 was immunoexpressed in the majority of the tumor tissue samples, the level of immunoexpression was not associated with prognosis, nor did MMP-8 serum levels.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that serum TIMP-1 levels may serve as an independent prognostic marker for HPV-negative OPSCC patients.

Malinverno M, Maderna C, Abu Taha A, et al.
Endothelial cell clonal expansion in the development of cerebral cavernous malformations.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2761 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a neurovascular familial or sporadic disease that is characterised by capillary-venous cavernomas, and is due to loss-of-function mutations to any one of three CCM genes. Familial CCM follows a two-hit mechanism similar to that of tumour suppressor genes, while in sporadic cavernomas only a small fraction of endothelial cells shows mutated CCM genes. We reported that in mouse models and in human patients, endothelial cells lining the lesions have different features from the surrounding endothelium, as they express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers. Here we show that cavernomas originate from clonal expansion of few Ccm3-null endothelial cells that express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers. These cells then attract surrounding wild-type endothelial cells, inducing them to express mesenchymal/stem-cell markers and to contribute to cavernoma growth. These characteristics of Ccm3-null cells are reminiscent of the tumour-initiating cells that are responsible for tumour growth. Our data support the concept that CCM has benign tumour characteristics.

Widmark A, Gunnlaugsson A, Beckman L, et al.
Ultra-hypofractionated versus conventionally fractionated radiotherapy for prostate cancer: 5-year outcomes of the HYPO-RT-PC randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial.
Lancet. 2019; 394(10196):385-395 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hypofractionated radiotherapy for prostate cancer has gained increased attention due to its proposed high radiation-fraction sensitivity. Recent reports from studies comparing moderately hypofractionated and conventionally fractionated radiotherapy support the clinical use of moderate hypofractionation. To date, there are no published randomised studies on ultra-hypofractionated radiotherapy. Here, we report the outcomes of the Scandinavian HYPO-RT-PC phase 3 trial with the aim to show non-inferiority of ultra-hypofractionation compared with conventional fractionation.
METHODS: In this open-label, randomised, phase 3 non-inferiority trial done in 12 centres in Sweden and Denmark, we recruited men up to 75 years of age with intermediate-to-high-risk prostate cancer and a WHO performance status between 0 and 2. Patients were randomly assigned to ultra-hypofractionation (42·7 Gy in seven fractions, 3 days per week for 2·5 weeks) or conventional fractionated radiotherapy (78·0 Gy in 39 fractions, 5 days per week for 8 weeks). No androgen deprivation therapy was allowed. The primary endpoint was time to biochemical or clinical failure, analysed in the per-protocol population. The prespecified non-inferiority margin was 4% at 5 years, corresponding to a critical hazard ratio (HR) limit of 1·338. Physician-recorded toxicity was measured according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) morbidity scale and patient-reported outcome measurements with the Prostate Cancer Symptom Scale (PCSS) questionnaire. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN45905321.
FINDINGS: Between July 1, 2005, and Nov 4, 2015, 1200 patients were randomly assigned to conventional fractionation (n=602) or ultra-hypofractionation (n=598), of whom 1180 (591 conventional fractionation and 589 ultra-hypofractionation) constituted the per-protocol population. 1054 (89%) participants were intermediate risk and 126 (11%) were high risk. Median follow-up time was 5·0 years (IQR 3·1-7·0). The estimated failure-free survival at 5 years was 84% (95% CI 80-87) in both treatment groups, with an adjusted HR of 1·002 (95% CI 0·758-1·325; log-rank p=0·99). There was weak evidence of an increased frequency of acute physician-reported RTOG grade 2 or worse urinary toxicity in the ultra-hypofractionation group at end of radiotherapy (158 [28%] of 569 patients vs 132 [23%] of 578 patients; p=0·057). There were no significant differences in grade 2 or worse urinary or bowel late toxicity between the two treatment groups at any point after radiotherapy, except for an increase in urinary toxicity in the ultra-hypofractionation group compared to the conventional fractionation group at 1-year follow-up (32 [6%] of 528 patients vs 13 [2%] of 529 patients; (p=0·0037). We observed no differences between groups in frequencies at 5 years of RTOG grade 2 or worse urinary toxicity (11 [5%] of 243 patients for the ultra-hypofractionation group vs 12 [5%] of 249 for the conventional fractionation group; p=1·00) and bowel toxicity (three [1%] of 244 patients vs nine [4%] of 249 patients; p=0·14). Patient-reported outcomes revealed significantly higher levels of acute urinary and bowel symptoms in the ultra-hypofractionation group compared with the conventional fractionation group but no significant increases in late symptoms were found, except for increased urinary symptoms at 1-year follow-up, consistent with the physician-evaluated toxicity.
INTERPRETATION: Ultra-hypofractionated radiotherapy is non-inferior to conventionally fractionated radiotherapy for intermediate-to-high risk prostate cancer regarding failure-free survival. Early side-effects are more pronounced with ultra-hypofractionation compared with conventional fractionation whereas late toxicity is similar in both treatment groups. The results support the use of ultra-hypofractionation for radiotherapy of prostate cancer.
FUNDING: The Nordic Cancer Union, the Swedish Cancer Society, and the Swedish Research Council.

Nkfusai NC, Cumber SN, Williams T, et al.
Cervical cancer in the Bamenda Regional Hospital, North West Region of Cameroon: a retrospective study.
Pan Afr Med J. 2019; 32:90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Introduction: Cervical cancer is ranked the 7
Methods: The objective of this study was to determine the proportion of cervical cancer among other types of cancers in the cancer registry of the Bamenda Regional Hospital, North West Region of Cameroon from past records. We reviewed all records from the registry of patients who attended the Bamenda Regional Hospital to screen and/or be operated upon for cervical cancer and other types of cancer. Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of cases were captured using a data collection sheet: age, type of cancer, stage of cancer, type of surgery carried out and date of surgery. Data were entered and analysed in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 software.
Results: 59 cancer cases were received in the center between 2012 and 2017. Of these, 31 (52%) had cervical cancer. Most patients who screened positive for cancer of the cervix were of the 50-54 age groups. Most of these patients (47.5%), were received at late stages (stages 3 and 4).
Conclusion: Over half (52%) of the patients receiving cancer care in this center have cervical cancer and generally turn up late for management.

Odin E, Sondén A, Carlsson G, et al.
Folate pathway genes linked to mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration are associated with outcome of patients with stage III colorectal cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2019; 41(6):1010428319846231 [PubMed] Related Publications
5-fluorouracil in combination with the folate leucovorin is the cornerstone in treatment of colorectal cancer. Transport of leucovorin into cells, and subsequent metabolic action, require expression of several genes. The aim was to analyze if tumoral expression of genes putatively involved in leucovorin transport, polyglutamation, or metabolism was associated with outcome of patients with stage III colorectal cancer treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. A total of 363 stage III colorectal cancer patients who received adjuvant bolus 5-fluorouracil + leucovorin alone, or in combination with oxaliplatin according to Nordic bolus regimes were included. Expression of 11 folate pathway genes was determined in tumors using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and related to disease-free survival. The median follow-up time was 5 years. During follow-up, 114 (31%) patients suffered from recurrent disease. A high tumoral expression of the genes

Costa H, Touma J, Davoudi B, et al.
Human cytomegalovirus infection is correlated with enhanced cyclooxygenase-2 and 5-lipoxygenase protein expression in breast cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(8):2083-2095 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: While enhanced expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) and their derived metabolites is associated with breast cancer (BC) risk, the precise link between BC carcinogenesis and enhanced inflammatory activity remains to be clarified. Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) may induce expression of COX-2 and 5-LO and is frequently found in breast cancer biopsies. Thus, we investigated whether there is an association between HCMV proteins and expression of COX-2 and 5-LO in human BC tissue and BC cell lines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Paraffin embedded biopsies obtained from 49 patients with breast cancer and 26 tissue samples from adjacent, benign breast tissues were retrospectively examined for HCMV-immediate early (IE), HCMV-Late (LA), COX-2, and 5-LO proteins by immunohistochemistry. In vitro, uninfected and HCMV-infected BC cell lines were examined for COX-2 and 5-LO transcripts and proteins by PCR and flow cytometry.
RESULTS: Extensive expression of COX-2, 5-LO and HCMV-IE proteins were preferentially detected in BC samples. We found a statistically significant concordant correlation between extensive HCMV-IE and COX-2 (P < 0.0001) as well as with HCMV-IE and 5-LO (P = 0.0003) in infiltrating BC. In vitro, HCMV infection induced COX-2 and 5-LO transcripts and COX-2 proteins in MCF-7 cells (P =0.008, P =0.018, respectively). In MDA-MB-231 cells that already had high base line levels of COX-2 expression, HCMV induced both COX-2 and 5-LO proteins but not transcripts.
CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate a significant correlation between extensive HCMV-IE protein expression and overexpression of COX-2 and 5-LO in human breast cancer.

Baccini M, Ghirardi L, Farinella D, Biggeri A
Comparison of two statistical indicators in communicating epidemiological results to the population: a randomized study in a high environmental risk area of Italy.
BMC Public Health. 2019; 19(1):733 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: When communicating risks to the general population, the format of the epidemiological results may affect individual reactions. In environmental epidemiology, no study has compared the use of different statistical formats in communicating results to the population. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the degree of concern expressed by residents of a high environmental risk site, regarding epidemiological results on cancer mortality in the area where they live, is influenced by the statistical indicator used in communication.
METHODS: A sample of residents in the high environmental risk area of Livorno (Italy) was randomized to respond to different questionnaires, in which the same epidemiological results were expressed by two alternative risk indexes: percent excess risk and time needed to harm, defined as the number of days that one has to wait for, on average, to observe 1 death in excess in respect to the baseline. Participants were asked to express their concern on a quantitative scale or to rank different diseases according to their impressions. The statistical analysis was performed using an Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting approach based on propensity score, in order to account for sample stratification and adjust for unbalance between groups occurring despite randomization.
RESULTS: The probability of high concern levels was larger under time needed to harm than under percent excess, with a difference between proportions of 6.7% (95% Confidence Interval, 0.6,12.8%). Mortality from sexual glands cancer was ranked as more worrisome and mortality from thyroid gland cancer as less worrisome under time needed to harm than under percent excess. No rank change was found for lung cancer. Larger differences between the two indicators arose in subjects with higher education or better numerical skills.
CONCLUSIONS: Communicating epidemiological results to the population is not a neutral task. The degree of concern and judgments when comparing results on different diseases may depend on the risk indicators used. Translating scientific results into lay language should not exempt from careful evaluation of the impact of this translation on lay people.

Lindblom EK, Hui S, Brooks J, et al.
Radiation-induced Vascular Damage and the Impact on the Treatment Outcome of Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(6):2721-2727 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate radiation-induced tumour vascular damage and its impact thereof on the outcome of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Vessel densities in animal tumours before and after a single dose of 20 Gy were quantified and used as input for simulations of three-dimensional tumours with heterogeneous oxygenation. SBRT treatments of the modelled tumours in 1-8 fractions were simulated. The impact of vessel collapse on the outcome of SBRT was investigated by calculating tumour control probability (TCP) and the dose required to obtain a TCP of 50% (D
RESULTS: A radiation-induced increase of acute hypoxia in tumours during SBRT treatment could be simulated based on the experimental data. The D
CONCLUSION: The vascular changes after high doses of radiation could compromise the outcome of SBRT by increasing tumour hypoxia.

Chantzi E, Jarvius M, Niklasson M, et al.
COMBImage2: a parallel computational framework for higher-order drug combination analysis that includes automated plate design, matched filter based object counting and temporal data mining.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2019; 20(1):304 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pharmacological treatment of complex diseases using more than two drugs is commonplace in the clinic due to better efficacy, decreased toxicity and reduced risk for developing resistance. However, many of these higher-order treatments have not undergone any detailed preceding in vitro evaluation that could support their therapeutic potential and reveal disease related insights. Despite the increased medical need for discovery and development of higher-order drug combinations, very few reports from systematic large-scale studies along this direction exist. A major reason is lack of computational tools that enable automated design and analysis of exhaustive drug combination experiments, where all possible subsets among a panel of pre-selected drugs have to be evaluated.
RESULTS: Motivated by this, we developed COMBImage2, a parallel computational framework for higher-order drug combination analysis. COMBImage2 goes far beyond its predecessor COMBImage in many different ways. In particular, it offers automated 384-well plate design, as well as quality control that involves resampling statistics and inter-plate analyses. Moreover, it is equipped with a generic matched filter based object counting method that is currently designed for apoptotic-like cells. Furthermore, apart from higher-order synergy analyses, COMBImage2 introduces a novel data mining approach for identifying interesting temporal response patterns and disentangling higher- from lower- and single-drug effects. COMBImage2 was employed in the context of a small pilot study focused on the CUSP9v4 protocol, which is currently used in the clinic for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma. For the first time, all 246 possible combinations of order 4 or lower of the 9 single drugs consisting the CUSP9v4 cocktail, were evaluated on an in vitro clonal culture of glioma initiating cells.
CONCLUSIONS: COMBImage2 is able to automatically design and robustly analyze exhaustive and in general higher-order drug combination experiments. Such a versatile video microscopy oriented framework is likely to enable, guide and accelerate systematic large-scale drug combination studies not only for cancer but also other diseases.

Tsagozis P, Laitinen MK, Stevenson JD, et al.
Treatment outcome of patients with chondroblastic osteosarcoma of the limbs and pelvis.
Bone Joint J. 2019; 101-B(6):739-744 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The aim of this study was to identify factors that determine outcomes of treatment for patients with chondroblastic osteosarcomas (COS) of the limbs and pelvis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The authors carried out a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from 256 patients diagnosed between 1979 and 2015. Of the 256 patients diagnosed with COS of the pelvis and the limbs, 147 patients (57%) were male and 109 patients (43%) were female. The mean age at presentation was 20 years (0 to 90).
RESULTS: In all, 82% of the patients had a poor response to chemotherapy, which was associated with the presence of a predominantly chondroblastic component (more than 50% of tumour volume). The incidence of local recurrence was 15%. Synchronous or metachronous metastasis was diagnosed in 60% of patients. Overall survival was 51% and 42% after five and ten years, respectively. Limb localization and wide surgical margins were associated with a lower risk of local recurrence after multivariable analysis, while the response to chemotherapy was not. Local recurrence, advanced patient age, pelvic tumours, and large volume negatively influenced survival. Resection of pulmonary metastases was associated with a survival benefit in the limited number of patients in whom this was undertaken.
CONCLUSION: COS demonstrates a poor response to chemotherapy and a high incidence of metastases. Wide resection is associated with improved local control and overall survival, while excision of pulmonary metastases is associated with improved survival in selected patients. Cite this article:

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

Nevala R, Jäämaa S, Tukiainen E, et al.
Long-term results of surgical resection of lung metastases from soft tissue sarcoma: A single center experience.
J Surg Oncol. 2019; 120(2):168-175 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A single-institution experience of pulmonary metastasectomy in soft tissue sarcoma (STS) was retrospectively reviewed. Our specific aim was to examine, whether the resection of pulmonary metastases could be curative. We also compared overall survival (OS) of patients after complete or incomplete pulmonary resection and nonsurgical treatment.
METHODS: Between 1987 and 2016, 1580 patients were treated for STS with curative intent by Soft Tissue Sarcoma Group at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. Three hundred forty-seven patients (22%) developed advanced disease and 130 STS patients (9%) developed pulmonary metastases as first systemic relapse. Seventy four patients (5%) were operated for lung metastases.
RESULTS: Fifty-five patients (42%) had a complete and 19 (15%) incomplete resection. Fifty-six (43%) were unoperated. Median OS after complete or incomplete metastasectomy, chemotherapy, or best supportive care was 22, 18, 8, and 5 months, respectively. Twelve patients (9%) developed no further metastases and are alive with no evidence of disease. Disease-free survival (DFS) for completely resected patients was 17% at 5 years. All long-term survivors had oligometastatic disease and they underwent one to three complete metastasectomies.
CONCLUSIONS: Complete pulmonary metastasectomy in STS results in 5 years DFS in nearly one-fifth of patients. Most of these patients are probably cured.

Lindh C, Kis L, Delahunt B, et al.
PD-L1 expression and deficient mismatch repair in ductal adenocarcinoma of the prostate.
APMIS. 2019; 127(8):554-560 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to investigate the expression of programmed death receptor ligand 1 (PD-L1) and deficient mismatch repair (dMMR) in ductal adenocarcinoma of the prostate. A tissue microarray of 32 ductal and 42 grade-matched acinar adenocarcinomas was used. Slides were stained for PD-L1, PD-L2, MMR proteins, CD4 and CD8. PD-L1 expression in tumor cells was only seen in 3% (1/34) of ductal and 5% (2/42) of acinar adenocarcinomas (p = 1.0), while PD-L1 expression in tumor-infiltrating immune cells was seen in 29% (10/34) of ductal and 14% (6/42) of acinar adenocarcinomas (p = 0.16). dMMR, as defined by loss of one or more of the MMR proteins, was identified in 5% (4/73) of cases, including 1 ductal and 3 acinar adenocarcinomas. There was a suggested association between infiltration of CD8+ lymphocytes and ductal subtype (p = 0.04) but not between CD4+ lymphocytes and tumor type (p = 0.28). The study shows that both dMMR and PD-L1 expression is uncommon in tumor cells of both ductal and acinar adenocarcinoma of the prostate, while PD-L1 expression in tumor-infiltrating immune cells is a more common finding.

Månsson C, Brahmstaedt R, Nygren P, et al.
Percutaneous Irreversible Electroporation as First-line Treatment of Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2509-2512 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Irreversible electroporation (IRE) has recently been used as an experimental ablation treatment following systemic chemotherapy in locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). The primary aim of this study was to evaluate survival of LAPC patients after IRE prior to chemotherapy. The secondary aim was to examine the complication rates.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-four patients with LAPC were included and treated with percutaneous ultrasound-guided IRE under general anesthesia. Survival data from the National Quality Registry for Pancreatic and Periampullary Cancer for LAPC during the same period were used for comparison.
RESULTS: The median survival after diagnosis was 13.3 months in the IRE group compared to 9.9 months in the registry group (p=0.511). Six patients had a severe complication after IRE treatment.
CONCLUSION: No obvious gain in survival was observed with IRE as the first line treatment of LAPC and IRE was associated with severe complications. This study does not support percutaneous IRE in this setting.

Lindblom EK, Dasu A, Toma-Dasu I
Hypoxia Induced by Vascular Damage at High Doses Could Compromise the Outcome of Radiotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2337-2340 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: This study investigated the impact of temporary vascular collapse on tumour control probability (TCP) in stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), taking into account different radiosensitivities of chronically and acutely hypoxic cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three-dimensional tumours with heterogeneous oxygenation were simulated assuming different fractions of collapsed vessels at every treatment fraction. The modelled tumours contained a chronically hypoxic subvolume of 30-60% of the tumour diameter, and a hypoxic fraction ≤5 mm Hg of 30-50%. The rest of the tumours were well-oxygenated at the start of the simulated treatment.
RESULTS: For all simulated cases, the largest reduction in TCP from 97% to 2% was found in a tumour with a small chronically hypoxic core treated with 60 Gy in eight fractions and assuming a treatment-induced vascular collapse of 35% in the well-oxygenated region.
CONCLUSION: The timing of SBRT fractions should be considered together with the tumour oxygenation to avoid loss of TCP in SBRT.

Dabral S, Muecke C, Valasarajan C, et al.
A RASSF1A-HIF1α loop drives Warburg effect in cancer and pulmonary hypertension.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2130 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hypoxia signaling plays a major role in non-malignant and malignant hyperproliferative diseases. Pulmonary hypertension (PH), a hypoxia-driven vascular disease, is characterized by a glycolytic switch similar to the Warburg effect in cancer. Ras association domain family 1A (RASSF1A) is a scaffold protein that acts as a tumour suppressor. Here we show that hypoxia promotes stabilization of RASSF1A through NOX-1- and protein kinase C- dependent phosphorylation. In parallel, hypoxia inducible factor-1 α (HIF-1α) activates RASSF1A transcription via HIF-binding sites in the RASSF1A promoter region. Vice versa, RASSF1A binds to HIF-1α, blocks its prolyl-hydroxylation and proteasomal degradation, and thus enhances the activation of the glycolytic switch. We find that this mechanism operates in experimental hypoxia-induced PH, which is blocked in RASSF1A knockout mice, in human primary PH vascular cells, and in a subset of human lung cancer cells. We conclude that RASSF1A-HIF-1α forms a feedforward loop driving hypoxia signaling in PH and cancer.

Mroueh R, Haapaniemi A, Saarto T, et al.
Non-curative treatment of patients with oral tongue squamous-cell carcinoma.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2019; 276(7):2039-2045 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Late-stage OTSCC is associated with poor overall survival (OS). Non-curative treatment approach aims to improve quality of life and prolong survival of patients deemed incurable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the used non-curative treatment modalities for OTSSC and patient survival.
METHODS: All patients diagnosed with OTSCC and treated with non-curative intent at the HUS Helsinki University Hospital (Helsinki, Finland) during the 12-year period of 2005-2016 were included. Survival analysis after the non-curative treatment decision was conducted using the Kaplan-Meier method in this population-based study.
RESULTS: Eighty-two patients were identified. A non-curative treatment decision was made at presentation without any previous treatment in 26 patients (7% of all patients diagnosed with OTSCC during the study period). Palliative radiotherapy was administered to 24% of all patients. The average survival time after the non-curative treatment decision was 3.7 months (median 2 and range 0-26).
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the short mean survival time after decision for treatment with non-curative intent, and the notable symptom burden in this patient population, a prompt initiation of all non-curative measures is warranted.

Jespersen H, Bagge RO, Ullenhag G, et al.
Concomitant use of pembrolizumab and entinostat in adult patients with metastatic uveal melanoma (PEMDAC study): protocol for a multicenter phase II open label study.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):415 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: While recent years have seen a revolution in the treatment of metastatic cutaneous melanoma, no treatment has yet been able to demonstrate any prolonged survival in metastatic uveal melanoma. Thus, metastatic uveal melanoma remains a disease with an urgent unmet medical need. Reports of treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors have thus far been disappointing. Based on animal experiments, it is reasonable to hypothesize that the effect of immunotherapy may be augmented by epigenetic therapy. Proposed mechanisms include enhanced expression of HLA class I and cancer antigens on cancer cells, as well as suppression of myeloid suppressor cells.
METHODS: The PEMDAC study is a multicenter, open label phase II study assessing the efficacy of concomitant use of the PD1 inhibitor pembrolizumab and the class I HDAC inhibitor entinostat in adult patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. Primary endpoint is objective response rate. Eligible patients have histologically confirmed metastatic uveal melanoma, ECOG performance status 0-1, measurable disease as per RECIST 1.1 and may have received any number of prior therapies, with the exception of anticancer immunotherapy. Twenty nine patients will be enrolled. Patients receive pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every third week in combination with entinostat 5 mg orally once weekly. Treatment will continue until progression of disease or intolerable toxicity or for a maximum of 24 months.
DISCUSSION: The PEMDAC study is the first trial to assess whether the addition of an HDAC inhibitor to anti-PD1 therapy can yield objective anti-tumoral responses in metastatic UM.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT02697630 . (Registered 3 March 2016). EudraCT registration number: 2016-002114-50.

Löfgren L, Eloranta S, Krawiec K, et al.
Validation of data quality in the Swedish National Register for Breast Cancer.
BMC Public Health. 2019; 19(1):495 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The National Breast Cancer Register (NBCR) of Sweden was launched in 2008 and is used for quality assurance, benchmarking, and research. Its three reporting forms encompass Notification, Adjuvant therapy and Follow-up. Target levels are set by national and international guidelines. This national validation assessed data quality of the register.
METHODS: Data recorded through the Notification form were evaluated for completeness, timeliness, comparability and validity. Completeness was assessed by cross-linkage to the Swedish Cancer Register (SCR). Comparability was analyzed by comparing registration routines in NBCR with national and international guidelines. Timeliness was defined as the difference between the earliest date of diagnosis and the reporting date to NBCR. Validity was assessed by re-abstraction of medical chart data for 800 randomly selected patients diagnosed in 2013.
RESULTS: The completeness of the NBCR was high with a coverage across regions and years (2010-2014) of 99.9%. Of all incident cases reported to the NBCR in 2013 (N = 8654), 98.5% were included within 12 months and differences between health regions were essentially negligible. Coding procedures followed guidelines and were uniformly adhered to. The proportion of missing values was < 5% for most variables and reported information generally had high exact agreement (> 90%).
CONCLUSIONS: Completeness of data, comparability and agreement in the NBCR was high. For clinical quality purposes and benchmarking, improved timeliness is warranted. Assessment of validity has resulted in a thorough review of all variables included in the Notification form with clarifications and revision of selected variables.

Gulyas M, Fillinger J, Kaposi AD, Molnar M
Use of cholesterol and soluble tumour markers CEA and syndecan-2 in pleural effusions in cases of inconclusive cytology.
J Clin Pathol. 2019; 72(8):529-535 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIMS: In order to improve diagnostics in pleural effusions, additional value of effusion cholesterol, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and syndecan-2 assays to cytology was studied.
METHODS: Biomarkers were measured in effusion supernatants from 247 patients, of whom 126 had malignant pleural involvement, and their additional diagnostic efficacy to cytology was assessed.
RESULTS: Syndecan-2 measurement, although gave detectable concentrations in all effusions with highest median value in mesotheliomas, was non-discriminative between different pathological conditions. CEA concentrations exceeding 5 ng/mL cut-off point indicated carcinomas, regardless of pleural involvement, which gave a sensitivity of 62% and specificity of 100% for carcinoma. Cholesterol concentration over 1.21 mmol/L cut-off value indicated neoplastic pleural involvement with 99% sensitivity and 'merely' 69% specificity, the latter mainly due to raised levels being associated also with benign inflammatory effusions. Combined CEA and cholesterol determinations increased the sensitivity for diagnosing carcinomatosis from 70% with cytology alone to 84% and established the correct diagnosis in 16 of 31 carcinomatosis cases with inconclusive cytology. Cholesterol measurement alone, with elevated level, in combination with absence of substantial number of inflammatory cells in effusion sediment proved to be a magnificent marker for neoplastic pleural involvement with 99% efficacy, and recognised all 36 such cases with inconclusive cytology.
CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous measurement of CEA and cholesterol concentrations in effusion, or at least cholesterol alone, in combination with non-inflammatory fluid cytology, provides additional specific information about neoplastic pleural involvement, and can therefore be used as an adjunct to cytology, above all, in inconclusive cases.

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