• Acquisition of biologically relevant gene expression data by Affymetrix microarray analysis of archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumours.

      Linton, Kim M; Hey, Yvonne; Saunders, Emma K; Jeziorska, M; Denton, J; Wilson, Claire L; Swindell, Ric; Dibben, Sian; Miller, Crispin J; Pepper, Stuart D; et al. (2008-04-22)
      Robust protocols for microarray gene expression profiling of archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (FFPET) are needed to facilitate research when availability of fresh-frozen tissue is limited. Recent reports attest to the feasibility of this approach, but the clinical value of these data is poorly understood. We employed state-of-the-art RNA extraction and Affymetrix microarray technology to examine 34 archival FFPET primary extremity soft tissue sarcomas. Nineteen arrays met stringent QC criteria and were used to model prognostic signatures for metastatic recurrence. Arrays from two paired frozen and FFPET samples were compared: although FFPET sensitivity was low ( approximately 50%), high specificity (95%) and positive predictive value (92%) suggest that transcript detection is reliable. Good agreement between arrays and real time (RT)-PCR was confirmed, especially for abundant transcripts, and RT-PCR validated the regulation pattern for 19 of 24 candidate genes (overall R(2)=0.4662). RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry on independent cases validated prognostic significance for several genes including RECQL4, FRRS1, CFH and MET - whose combined expression carried greater prognostic value than tumour grade - and cmet and TRKB proteins. These molecules warrant further evaluation in larger series. Reliable clinically relevant data can be obtained from archival FFPET, but protocol amendments are needed to improve the sensitivity and broad application of this approach.
    • Antivascular agents for non-small-cell lung cancer: current status and future directions.

      Amir, Eitan; Mandoky, Laszlo; Blackhall, Fiona H; Thatcher, Nick; Klepetko, Walter; Ankersmit, Hendrik Jan; Reza Hoda, Mir Ali; Ostoros, Gyula; Dank, Magdolna; Dome, Balazs; et al. (2009-11)
      BACKGROUND: Despite improvements in surgery and chemo(radio)therapy which have allowed for modest advances in the treatment of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), survival remains poor and further improvements are needed. Attention over recent years has focused, therefore, on targeted therapies, with notable success in the development of antivascular drugs. OBJECTIVE: To summarize the current knowledge on antivascular therapy in patients with NSCLC. METHOD: Review of randomized controlled trials exploring treatment of NSCLC patients with antivascular drugs. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), when added to cytotoxic chemotherapy, was the first treatment to prolong the overall survival of patients with advanced NSCLC beyond 12 months, a significant breakthrough in the management of advanced NSCLC. Small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors and alternative antivascular strategies such as VEGF-trap and vascular disrupting agents are also being investigated and have shown promise in clinical trials. This review summarizes the most recent and important findings in antivascular agents in NSCLC.
    • 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.
    • Evaluation of circulating tumor cells and serological cell death biomarkers in small cell lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

      Hou, Jian-Mei; Greystoke, Alastair; Lancashire, Lee J; Cummings, Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy H; Board, Ruth E; Amir, Eitan; Hughes, Sarah; Krebs, Matthew G; Hughes, Andrew; et al. (2009-08)
      Serological cell death biomarkers and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have potential uses as tools for pharmacodynamic blood-based assays and their subsequent application to early clinical trials. In this study, we evaluated both the expression and clinical significance of CTCs and serological cell death biomarkers in patients with small cell lung cancer. Blood samples from 88 patients were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for various cytokeratin 18 products (eg, M65, cell death, M30, and apoptosis) as well as nucleosomal DNA. CTCs (per 7.5 ml of blood) were quantified using Veridex CellSearch technology. Before therapeutic treatment, cell death biomarkers were elevated in patients compared with controls. CTCs were detected in 86% of patients; additionally, CD56 was detectable in CTCs, confirming their neoplastic origin. M30 levels correlated with the percentage of apoptotic CTCs. M30, M65, lactate dehydrogenase, and CTC number were prognostic for patient survival as determined by univariate analysis. Using multivariate analysis, both lactate dehydrogenase and M65 levels remained significant. CTC number fell following chemotherapy, whereas levels of serological cell death biomarkers peaked at 48 hours and fell by day 22, mirroring the tumor response. A 48-hour rise in nucleosomal DNA and M30 levels was associated with early response and severe toxicity, respectively. Our results provide a rationale to include the use of serological biomarkers and CTCs in early clinical trials of new agents for small cell lung cancer.
    • Trastuzumab plus anastrozole versus anastrozole alone for the treatment of postmenopausal women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer: results from the randomized phase III TAnDEM study.

      Kaufman, Bella; Mackey, John R; Clemens, Michael R; Bapsy, Poonamalle P; Vaid, Ashok; Wardley, Andrew M; Tjulandin, Sergei; Jahn, Michaela; Lehle, Michaela; Feyereislova, Andrea; et al. (2009-11-20)
      PURPOSE: TAnDEM is the first randomized phase III study to combine a hormonal agent and trastuzumab without chemotherapy as treatment for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/hormone receptor-copositive metastatic breast cancer (MBC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Postmenopausal women with HER2/hormone receptor-copositive MBC were randomly assigned to anastrozole (1 mg/d orally) with or without trastuzumab (4 mg/kg intravenous infusion on day 1, then 2 mg/kg every week) until progression. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intent-to-treat population. Results Overall, 103 patients received trastuzumab plus anastrozole; 104 received anastrozole alone. Patients in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole arm experienced significant improvements in PFS compared with patients receiving anastrozole alone (hazard ratio = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.84; median PFS, 4.8 v 2.4 months; log-rank P = .0016). In patients with centrally confirmed hormone receptor positivity (n = 150), median PFS was 5.6 and 3.8 months in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole and anastrozole alone arms, respectively (log-rank P = .006). Overall survival in the overall and centrally confirmed hormone receptor-positive populations showed no statistically significant treatment difference; however, 70% of patients in the anastrozole alone arm crossed over to receive trastuzumab after progression on anastrozole alone. Incidence of grade 3 and 4 adverse events was 23% and 5%, respectively, in the trastuzumab plus anastrozole arm, and 15% and 1%, respectively, in the anastrozole alone arm; one patient in the combination arm experienced New York Heart Association class II congestive heart failure. CONCLUSION: Trastuzumab plus anastrozole improves outcomes for patients with HER2/hormone receptor-copositive MBC compared with anastrozole alone, although adverse events and serious adverse events were more frequent with the combination.