• Early versus delayed treatment of relapsed ovarian cancer (MRC OV05/EORTC 55955): a randomised trial.

      Rustin, G; Van der Burg, M; Griffin, C; Guthrie, D; Lamont, A; Jayson, Gordon C; Kristensen, G; Mediola, C; Coens, C; Qian, W; et al. (2010-10-02)
      BACKGROUND: Serum CA125 concentration often rises several months before clinical or symptomatic relapse in women with ovarian cancer. In the MRC OV05/EORTC 55955 collaborative trial, we aimed to establish the benefits of early treatment on the basis of increased CA125 concentrations compared with delayed treatment on the basis of clinical recurrence. METHODS: Women with ovarian cancer in complete remission after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and a normal CA125 concentration were registered for this randomised controlled trial. Clinical examination and CA125 measurement were done every 3 months. Patients and investigators were masked to CA125 results, which were monitored by coordinating centres. If CA125 concentration exceeded twice the upper limit of normal, patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by minimisation to early or delayed chemotherapy. Patients and clinical sites were informed of allocation to early treatment, and treatment was started as soon as possible within 28 days of the increased CA125 measurement. Patients assigned to delayed treatment continued masked CA125 measurements, with treatment commencing at clinical or symptomatic relapse. All patients were treated according to standard local practice. The primary outcome was overall survival. Analysis was by intention to treat. This study is registered, ISRCTN87786644. FINDINGS: 1442 patients were registered for the trial, of whom 529 were randomly assigned to treatment groups and were included in our analysis (265 early, 264 delayed). With a median follow-up of 56·9 months (IQR 37·4-81·8) from randomisation and 370 deaths (186 early, 184 delayed), there was no evidence of a difference in overall survival between early and delayed treatment (HR 0·98, 95% CI 0·80-1·20, p=0·85). Median survival from randomisation was 25·7 months (95% CI 23·0-27·9) for patients on early treatment and 27·1 months (22·8-30·9) for those on delayed treatment. INTERPRETATION: Our findings showed no evidence of a survival benefit with early treatment of relapse on the basis of a raised CA125 concentration alone, and therefore the value of routine measurement of CA125 in the follow-up of patients with ovarian cancer who attain a complete response after first-line treatment is not proven. FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.
    • An overview of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

      Burgess, Andrea; Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester. andrea.burgess@christie.nhs.uk (2009-05-22)
      This article outlines pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours including aetiology, investigations needed to make a diagnosis and the treatment options. It aims to provide general and oncology nurses with information about these rare but challenging tumours and it also offers some suggestions on how to improve patient care.
    • Surveillance of women at increased risk of breast cancer using mammography and clinical breast examination: further evidence of benefit.

      Maurice, A; Evans, D G; Affen, J; Greenhalgh, R; Duffy, Stephen W; Howell, Anthony; Genesis Prevention Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Trust, Wythenshawe, Manchester, United Kingdom. (2012-07-15)
      Women with a significant family history of breast cancer are generally offered early surveillance by mammography and often clinical breast examination (CBE). The evidence base for surveillance has been questioned. We reviewed its effectiveness in terms of tumour size, lymph node status and survival in 7,475 women seen over a 22-year period in the Manchester Family History Clinic. We diagnosed 139 invasive and 26 in situ breast cancers. Seventy-six percent of the invasive cancers were screen detected, 65% node negative and 71% <2 cm in diameter at diagnosis. Twenty-one tumours were BRCA1 positive and were significantly more likely to be grade 3, ER/PR negative (p < 0.0001) and have a poorer survival. CBE contributed to 30% of cancer diagnoses and was responsible for discovery of nine mammographically occult tumours. The cost per quality life year was estimated at £13,080 for tumours detected by CBE and not by mammography. We conclude that screening by annual mammography and CBE between age 35-50 years and 18 monthly from 50 to 60 years may diagnose breast cancer in a less advanced state in terms of size and node status compared with symptomatic cancers and, apart from BRCA1 carriers, is likely to contribute to improved long-term outcome compared with no surveillance.