• SCOTCERV: a phase II trial of docetaxel and gemcitabine as second line chemotherapy in cervical cancer.

      Symonds, R P; Davidson, Susan E; Chan, S; Reed, N S; McMahon, T; Rai, D; Harden, S; Paul, J; University of Leicester, Department of Cancer Studies & Molecular Medicine, Leicester, UK. (2011-10)
      The aim of the study was to determine the response rate and response duration of cervical cancer previously treated by cisplatin (with or without radiation) to a combination of docetaxel and gemcitabine. Secondary endpoints were assessment of toxicity and quality of life (QoL) of patients receiving the treatment.
    • Spontaneous regression of pulmonary metastases from breast angiosarcoma.

      Kim, Su Woon; Wylie, James P; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2008)
      Spontaneous regression of cancer is a rare phenomenon. We present a rare case of pulmonary metastases in a 72-year-old woman with metastatic breast angiosarcoma. She was diagnosed with a breast angiosarcoma in 2005 and underwent a total mastectomy and postoperative radiotherapy. Unfortunately, a year later she was found to have multiple lung and scalp metastases but in a view of her poor general fitness, she was not a candidate for chemotherapy and was kept on regular followup. Despite the absence of any treatment, the followup chest X-ray showed a significant reduction in the number and size of lung nodules and her scalp lesions regressed completely. Seven months after the diagnosis of metastatic disease, the nodules in her scalp remain controlled.
    • Standard-dose versus higher-dose prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) in patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer in complete remission after chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy (PCI 99-01, EORTC 22003-08004, RTOG 0212, and IFCT 99-01): a randomised clinical trial.

      Le Péchoux, Cécile; Dunant, Ariane; Senan, Suresh; Wolfson, Aaron; Quoix, Elisabeth; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Ciuleanu, Tudor; Arriagada, Rodrigo; Jones, Richard C; Wanders, Rinus; et al. (2009-05)
      BACKGROUND: The optimum dose of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is unknown. A meta-analysis suggested that the incidence of brain metastases might be reduced with higher PCI doses. This randomised clinical trial compared the effect of standard versus higher PCI doses on the incidence of brain metastases. METHODS: Between September, 1999, and December, 2005, 720 patients with limited-stage SCLC in complete remission after chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy from 157 centres in 22 countries were randomly assigned to a standard (n=360, 25 Gy in 10 daily fractions of 2.5 Gy) or higher PCI total dose (n=360, 36 Gy) delivered using either conventional (18 daily fractions of 2 Gy) or accelerated hyperfractionated (24 fractions in 16 days with two daily sessions of 1.5 Gy separated by a minimum interval of 6 h) radiotherapy. All of the treatment schedules excluded weekends. Randomisation was stratified according to medical centre, age (60 years), and interval between the start of induction treatment and the date of randomisation (180 days). Eligible patients were randomised blindly by the data centre of the Institut Gustave Roussy (PCI99-01 and IFCT) using minimisation, and by the data centres of EORTC (EORTC ROG and LG) and RTOG (for CALGB, ECOG, RTOG, and SWOG), both using block stratification. The primary endpoint was the incidence of brain metastases at 2 years. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00005062. FINDINGS: Five patients in the standard-dose group and four in the higher-dose group did not receive PCI; nonetheless, all randomised patients were included in the effectiveness anlysis. After a median follow-up of 39 months (range 0-89 months), 145 patients had brain metastases; 82 in the standard-dose group and 63 in the higher-dose group. There was no significant difference in the 2-year incidence of brain metastases between the standard PCI dose group and the higher-dose group, at 29% (95% CI 24-35) and 23% (18-29), respectively (hazard ratio [HR] 0.80 [95% CI 0.57-1.11], p=0.18). 226 patients in the standard-dose group and 252 in the higher-dose group died; 2-year overall survival was 42% (95% CI 37-48) in the standard-dose group and 37% (32-42) in the higher-dose group (HR 1.20 [1.00-1.44]; p=0.05). The lower overall survival in the higher-dose group is probably due to increased cancer-related mortality: 189 patients in the standard group versus 218 in the higher-dose group died of progressive disease. Five serious adverse events occurred in the standard-dose group versus zero in the higher-dose group. The most common acute toxic events were fatigue (106 [30%] patients in the standard-dose group vs 121 [34%] in the higher-dose group), headache (85 [24%] vs 99 [28%]), and nausea or vomiting (80 [23%] vs 101 [28%]). INTERPRETATION: No significant reduction in the total incidence of brain metastases was observed after higher-dose PCI, but there was a significant increase in mortality. PCI at 25 Gy should remain the standard of care in limited-stage SCLC. FUNDING: Institut Gustave-Roussy, Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (2001), Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (2007). The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) contribution to this trial was supported by grants 5U10 CA11488-30 through 5U10 CA011488-38 from the US National Cancer Institute.
    • Suboptimal use of intravenous contrast during radiotherapy planning in the UK.

      Kim, Su Woon; Russell, Wanda; Price, Patricia M; Saleem, Azeem; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2008-12)
      We aimed to evaluate the use of intravenous (IV) contrast during acquisition of radiotherapy planning (RTP) scans and to compare current usage with the Royal College of Radiologists' (RCR) recommendations. Questionnaires were circulated via the Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network (ACORRN) website, email and post to 60 UK radiotherapy centre managers. Questions were asked regarding the (i) tumour sites where IV contrast was used, (ii) person administering the contrast, (iii) availability of dynamic pump, (iv) tumour sites that centres wished to use contrast, (v) reasons for not using contrast and (vi) awareness of RCR recommendations. 50 (83%) centres responded to the questionnaire, of which 27 responded via the ACCORN website and 18 by e-mail. Despite 38 out of 50 responding centres using IV contrast, and accessibility to dynamic pumps existing in 39 centres, IV contrast usage was suboptimal, with more than half of the centres (27/50; 54%) wishing to use it at more tumour sites. IV contrast was most often used during RTP of the brain, with suboptimal usage in lung tumours. None of the 50 centres administered IV contrast during RTP scan acquisition in all of the 8 RCR recommended tumour sites. Radiographers were mainly responsible for contrast administration, and a lack of staff was cited as the main reason for suboptimal contrast usage. Disappointingly, only 35 of the 50 radiotherapy managers (70%) were aware of the RCR recommendations. Redress of the underlying reasons for suboptimal IV contrast administration during RTP, including acquisition of the necessary skill mix by staff and implementation of RCR recommendations, would help standardize UK practice.
    • Symptom experience in patients with primary brain tumours: a longitudinal exploratory study.

      Molassiotis, Alexander; Wilson, Barbara; Brunton, Lisa; Chaudhary, Haseeb; Gattamaneni, Rao; McBain, Catherine A; University of Manchester, School of Nursing, University Place, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. alex.molassiotis@manchester.ac.uk (2010-12)
      This study was undertaken to further understand the symptom experience and the impact of symptoms in daily life in people treated for brain tumours.
    • Synchronous chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck using capecitabine: a single-centre, open-label, single-group phase II study.

      Jegannathen, Apurna; Mais, Kathleen L; Sykes, Andrew J; Lee, Lip W; Yap, Beng K; Birzgalis, Andrew R; Homer, Jarrod J; Ryder, W David J; Slevin, Nicholas J; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. (2011-03)
      To evaluate the efficacy of concurrent oral capecitabine with accelerated hypofractionated radical radiotherapy in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
    • A systematic review of honey uses and its potential value within oncology care.

      Bardy, Joy; Slevin, Nicholas J; Mais, Kathleen L; Molassiotis, Alexander; School of Nursing, Social Work and Midwifery, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2008-10)
      AIM: To synthesise the evidence regarding honey's role in health care and to identify whether this evidence applies more specifically to cancer care. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: The inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed by two reviewers and a keyword strategy was developed. EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and PUBMED databases were screened to identify suitable articles. The citation list from each included study was also screened for potentially suitable papers. The key findings from each study were entered onto a data extraction sheet. RESULTS: In total, 43 studies were included in the systematic review, which included studies in relation to wounds (n = 19), burns (n = 11), skin (n = 3), cancer (n = 5) and others (n = 5). In addition, a systematic review regarding honey use in wound care was also included. While the majority of studies noted the efficacy of honey in clinical use, five studies found honey to be equally as effective as the comparator and three found honey to be less effective than the comparator treatment. Other research did not illustrate any significant difference between standard treatment regimes vs. honey treatment. Studies were generally poor in quality because of small sample sizes, lack of randomisation and absence of blinding. CONCLUSIONS: Honey was found to be a suitable alternative for wound healing, burns and various skin conditions and to potentially have a role within cancer care. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: In the cancer setting, honey may be used for radiation-induced mucositis, radiotherapy-induced skin reactions, hand and foot skin reactions in chemotherapy patients and for oral cavity and external surgical wounds.
    • Targeted agents in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Clinical developments and rationale for the combination with thoracic radiotherapy.

      Koh, Pek K; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Blackhall, Fiona H; De Ruysscher, D; Department of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011-12-22)
      In recent years there has been undoubted progress in the evaluation and development of targeted agents for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A major contributor has been the discovery of molecular subtypes harbouring a critical oncogenic driver mutation, specifically sensitizing mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene and the EML4-ALK gene translocation. Radiotherapy is a cornerstone of therapy for the curative intent treatment of early stage, localized disease; and for the palliation of symptoms in advanced, metastatic disease. In this molecular targeted era there is limited understanding of how best to combine targeted agents with radiotherapy and in general clinical studies with radiotherapy have lagged behind studies of targeted agents with chemotherapy. Here we summarise the progress made to date and highlight future directions.
    • Testicular seminoma with mediastinal lymphadenopathy -- a diagnostic pitfall.

      Jegannathen, Apurna; Taylor, Malcolm B; Jones, M; Logue, John P; Departments of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. (2009-05)
      Relapse following adjuvant paraaortic radiation therapy in patients with Stage I seminoma is rare, occurring in approximately 4% of men. The majority of relapses are sited in the pelvis but relapse in the mediastinum is also recognised. As such, radiological imaging using chest radiographs remains commonplace in follow-up. However, there are reports of the association of testicular cancers with sarcoidosis and sarcoid-like processes in the mediastinum, emphasising the importance of making histological diagnosis prior to commencement of any treatment. We report on two men treated for testicular seminoma who on follow-up developed mediastinal lymphadenopathy, which was initially assumed to be metastatic seminoma. Both patients underwent mediastinascopy and biopsy prior to commencement of anti-cancer therapy. In both cases, the biopsies showed sarcoidosis, and unnecessary anti-cancer treatment was avoided.
    • Treatment for advanced cervical cancer: Impact on quality of life.

      Davidson, Susan E; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK. (2010-08-30)
      Cisplatin-based combinations can potentially improve response rates in patients with cervical cancer, but unacceptable toxicity must be avoided. Quality of life (QoL) measures are increasingly used to assess the benefits versus limitations of chemotherapy regimens. A MEDLINE search of English language publications from January 2000 to December 2008 was conducted using the search terms: 'quality of life' OR 'QoL' OR 'HRQoL' AND 'cervical cancer'. Abstracts from the Association of Clinical Oncology meeting, 2008, were also searched. Article inclusion was based on abstract content. Several cervical cancer therapies have shown response rate improvements in combination with cisplatin, including topotecan and paclitaxel. However, only topotecan/cisplatin demonstrates a significant overall survival advantage over cisplatin monotherapy, while both topotecan/cisplatin and paclitaxel/cisplatin demonstrate comparable impact on QoL to cisplatin alone. Few trials of combination chemotherapy for cervical cancer have directly assessed QoL. The combination of topotecan/cisplatin significantly increases overall survival rates without reducing patient QoL.
    • UGT1A1*28 genotype predicts gastrointestinal toxicity in patients treated with intermediate-dose irinotecan.

      Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Minchell, Laura J; Roberts, Stephen A; Tobi, Simon; Hadfield, Kristen D; Blackhall, Fiona H; Mullamitha, Saifee A; Wilson, Gregory; Valle, Juan W; Saunders, Mark P; et al. (2009-05)
      AIMS: Variants in UGT1A1 have previously been associated with toxicity from irinotecan chemotherapy. We conducted a pragmatic prospective cohort study to establish the relevance of UGT1A1 variants in the prediction of severe diarrhea and neutropenia in patients with colorectal cancer receiving irinotecan in a routine clinical setting. MATERIALS & METHODS: Genotyping of UGT1A1*28 and c.-3156G>A was undertaken in an unselected, prospective cohort of 96 individuals treated with irinotecan at a single major UK oncology centre. Data on cytotoxic drugs received, and toxicity for all irinotecan treatment cycles were collected from case notes. Over 95% (92/96) of patients received an intermediate dose of irinotecan (180 mg/m(2), twice weekly). Irinotecan was given in combination with other cytotoxic drugs in 93/96 subjects and Grade 3 or 4 toxicity occurred in 23% of subjects. RESULTS: No association was found between UGT1A1*28 or c.-3156G>A and neutropenia. However, individuals carrying two copies of UGT1A1*28 (p = 0.04; OR: 14; 95% CI: 1.1-185) or c.-3156G>A (p = 0.03) had a significantly increased risk of diarrhea over all cycles. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that UGT1A1 genotyping is not a good predictor of hematological toxicity in patients treated with intermediate irinotecan doses. However, it may be useful in the identification of patients at risk of severe diarrhea.
    • The UK national breast cancer screening programme for survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma detects breast cancer at an early stage.

      Howell, Sacha J; Searle, C; Goode, Valerie; Gardener, T; Linton, Kim M; Cowan, Richard A; Harris, Maggie A; Hopwood, Penelope; Swindell, Ric; Norman, Alison; et al. (2009-08-18)
      BACKGROUND: Supradiaphragmatic radiotherapy (SRT) to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) at a young age increases the risk of breast cancer (BC). A national notification risk assessment and screening programme (NRASP) for women who were treated with SRT before the age of 36 years was instituted in the United Kingdom in 2003. In this study, we report the implementation and screening results from the largest English Cancer Network. METHODS: A total of 417 eligible women were identified through cancer registry/hospital databases and from follow-up (FU) clinics. Screening results were collated retrospectively, and registry searches were used to capture BC cases. RESULTS: Of the 417 women invited for clinical review, 243 (58%) attended. Of these 417 women, 23 (5.5%) have been diagnosed with BC, a standardised incidence ratio of 2.9 compared with the age-matched general population. Of five invasive BCs diagnosed within the NRASP, none involved axillary lymph nodes compared with 7 of 13 (54%) diagnosed outside the programme (P<0.10). The mean latency for BC cases was 19.5+/-8.35 years and the mean FU duration for those unaffected by BC was 14.6+/-9.11 years (P<0.01), suggesting that those unaffected by BC remain at high risk. Recall and negative biopsy rates were acceptable (10.5 and 0.8%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The NRASP appears to detect BC at an early stage with acceptable biopsy rates, although numbers are small. Determination of NRASP results on a national basis is required for the accurate evaluation of screening efficacy in women previously treated with SRT.
    • Ultrasound Imaging to Assess Inter- and Intra-fraction Motion during Bladder Radiotherapy and its Potential as a Verification Tool.

      McBain, Catherine A; Green, M M; Stratford, Julia; Davies, Julie; McCarthy, Claire; Taylor, Benjamin; McHugh, D; Swindell, Ric; Khoo, Vincent S; Price, Patricia M; et al. (2009-06)
      AIMS: Organ motion is the principle source of error in bladder cancer radiotherapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate ultrasound bladder volume measurement as a surrogate measure of organ motion during radiotherapy: (1) to assess inter- and intra-fraction bladder variation and (2) as a potential treatment verification tool. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients receiving radical radiotherapy for bladder cancer underwent post-void ultrasound bladder volume measurement at the time of radiotherapy treatment planning (RTP), and immediately before (post-void) and after receiving daily fractions. RESULTS: Ultrasound bladder volume measurement was found to be a simple and acceptable method to estimate relative bladder volume changes. Six patients showed significant changes to post-void bladder volume over the treatment course (P<0.05). The mean inter-fraction post-void bladder volume of five patients exceeded their RTP ultrasound bladder volume by more than 50%. Intra-fraction bladder volume increased on 275/308 (89%) assessed fractions, with the mean intra-fraction volume increases of seven patients exceeding their RTP ultrasound bladder volume by more than 50%. CONCLUSIONS: Both day-to-day bladder volume variation and bladder filling during treatment should be considered in RTP and delivery. Ultrasound may provide a practical daily verification tool by: supporting volume limitation as a method of treatment margin reduction; allowing detection of patients who may require interventions to promote bladder reproducibility; and identifying patients with prominent volume changes for the selective application of more advanced adaptive/image-guided radiotherapy techniques.
    • Use of G-CSF during concurrent chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy in patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer safety data from a phase II trial.

      Sheikh, Hamid Y; Colaco, Rovel J; Lorigan, Paul C; Blackhall, Fiona H; Califano, Raffaele; Ashcroft, Linda; Taylor, Paul; Thatcher, Nick; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Dept of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. (2011-10)
      There is paucity of data in the literature regarding the safety of combining granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) during chemo-radiotherapy (CTRT) in lung cancer patients. The ASCO 2006 recommendations advise against use of CSFs during concomitant mediastinal CTRT. The only randomised study evaluating CSFs in this context showed significant increase in grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia and an excess of pulmonary toxic deaths. In the context of a phase II trial, 38 patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer were randomised to receive once-daily (66 Gy in 33 fractions) or twice-daily (45 Gy in 30 fractions) radiotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was given concurrently with cisplatin and etoposide. G-CSF was given as primary or secondary prophylaxis or as a therapeutic measure during an episode of febrile neutropenia according to local protocols. Common terminology criteria for adverse events (CTCAE) v3.0 was used to record toxicity. Thirteen (34%) of 38 patients received G-CSF concurrently with RT. With a median follow-up of 16.9 months, there were no treatment related deaths reported. Seven (54%) patients experienced grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia and 5 (38%) experienced grade 3/4 anaemia. Thirty-one percent required platelet transfusions. No episodes of bleeding were observed. There were no cases of grade 3/4 acute pneumonitis. These data suggests that with modern three-dimensional (3D) conformal RT, G-CSF administration concurrently with CTRT does not result in the increase risk of pulmonary toxicity, but does increase the risk of thrombocytopenia. Whether the risks of thrombocytopenia are outweighed by the outcome of timely early concurrent CTRT is being evaluated prospectively in the ongoing phase III CONVERT trial (NCT00433563) in which G-CSF is permitted during thoracic irradiation.
    • Use of multiple biological markers in radiotherapy-treated head and neck cancer.

      Silva, Priyamal; Slevin, Nicholas J; Sloan, Philip; Valentine, Helen R; Ryder, W David J; Price, Patricia M; West, Catharine M L; Homer, Jarrod J; School of Cancer & Enabling Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2010-06)
      OBJECTIVE: Management of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is often based on clinical parameters, with little appreciation of the underlying tumour biology. Single biological marker studies fail to acknowledge the complexity of these tumours. Our aim was to define a profile of biological markers associated with outcome. DESIGN: This retrospective study involved consecutive patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with primary radiotherapy between 1996 and 2001. Pre-treatment biopsies were used to study the immunohistochemical expression of nine biological markers. Markers were chosen to reflect biologically relevant pathways. RESULTS: Following analysis of nine markers, a profile of two markers was derived (carbonic anhydrase 9 and major vault protein), the co-expression of which conferred a significantly poor probability of locoregional control. The prognostic effect of these biomarkers in combination was greater than their effect individually. CONCLUSION: Biomarker profiles can be established which highlight large differences in locoregional control. Identifying tumours that express both carbonic anhydrase 9 and major vault protein may facilitate patient selection for more aggressive treatment.
    • Vandetanib with FOLFIRI in patients with advanced colorectal adenocarcinoma: results from an open-label, multicentre Phase I study.

      Saunders, Mark P; Wilson, R; Peeters, M; Smith, R; Godwood, A; Oliver, S; Van Cutsem, E; Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK, Mark.Saunders@christie.nhs.uk. (2009-01-29)
      PURPOSE: The safety and tolerability of vandetanib (ZACTIMAtrade mark; ZD6474) plus FOLFIRI was investigated in patients with advanced colorectal cancer (CRC). METHODS: Patients eligible for first- or second-line chemotherapy received once-daily oral doses of vandetanib (100 or 300 mg) plus 14-day treatment cycles of FOLFIRI. RESULTS: A total of 21 patients received vandetanib 100 mg (n = 11) or 300 mg (n = 10) + FOLFIRI. Combination therapy was well tolerated at both vandetanib dose levels. There were no DLTs in the vandetanib 100 mg cohort and one DLT of hypertension (CTCAE grade 3) in the 300 mg cohort. The most common adverse events were diarrhoea (n = 20), nausea (n = 12) and fatigue (n = 10). Two patients (one in each cohort) discontinued vandetanib due to adverse events (rash, 100 mg cohort; hypertension, 300 mg cohort). There was no apparent pharmacokinetic interaction between vandetanib and FOLFIRI. Preliminary efficacy results included two confirmed partial responses in the 100 mg cohort and 9 patients with stable disease >/=8 weeks (100 mg, n = 7; 300 mg, n = 2). CONCLUSIONS: Once-daily vandetanib (100 or 300 mg) in combination with a standard FOLFIRI regimen was generally well tolerated in patients with advanced CRC.
    • What Three Wise Men have to say about diagnosis.

      Mani, Navin; Slevin, Nicholas J; Hudson, Andrew M; Department of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011)