• 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.
    • Biomarkers of angiogenesis and their role in the development of VEGF inhibitors.

      Murukesh, N; Dive, Caroline; Jayson, Gordon C; Department of Medical Oncology, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Cancer Research UK and University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2010-01-05)
      Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been confirmed as an important therapeutic target in randomised clinical trials in multiple disease settings. However, the extent to which individual patients benefit from VEGF inhibitors is unclear. If we are to optimise the use of these drugs or develop combination regimens that build on this efficacy, it is critical to identify those patients who are likely to benefit, particularly as these agents can be toxic and are expensive. To this end, biomarkers have been evaluated in tissue, in circulation and by imaging. Consistent drug-induced increases in plasma VEGF-A and blood pressure, as well as reductions in soluble VEGF-R2 and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI parameters have been reported. In some clinical trials, biomarker changes were statistically significant and associated with clinical end points, but there is considerable heterogeneity between studies that are to some extent attributable to methodological issues. On the basis of observations with these biomarkers, it is now appropriate to conduct detailed prospective studies to define a suite of predictive, pharmacodynamic and surrogate response biomarkers that identify those patients most likely to benefit from and monitor their response to this novel class of drugs.
    • A phase I study of the safety and pharmacokinetics of the combination of pertuzumab (rhuMab 2C4) and capecitabine in patients with advanced solid tumors.

      Albanell, Joan; Montagut, Clara; Jones, Eileen T; Pronk, Linda; Mellado, Begoña; Beech, Janette; Gascon, Pere; Zugmaier, Gerhard; Brewster, Michael; Saunders, Mark P; et al. (2008-05-01)
      PURPOSE: To study the safety, pharmacokinetics, and recommended dose of the combination of pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody HER2-dimerization inhibitor, and capecitabine in patients with advanced malignancies. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients that had progressed to standard treatment were treated with pertuzumab at a fixed dose of 1,050 mg given i.v. on day 1 plus capecitabine at doses of 825-1,000-1,250 mg/m(2), twice daily orally on days 1 to 14 of each 21-day treatment cycle, in three sequential cohorts. The pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and pertuzumab were studied. Patients received a single dose of capecitabine in a pretreatment phase (day -7) followed by serum sampling for capecitabine and its metabolites. RESULTS: Nineteen patients were accrued and 18 were assessable. The combination of capecitabine and pertuzumab was well tolerated at all dose levels and no dose-limiting toxicities were observed. The most frequent adverse event was asthenia, which was grade 3 in two patients. One asymptomatic pulmonary embolism occurred. No other grade 3 or 4 adverse events or cardiac or left ventricular ejection fraction events were reported. There was no apparent change in the pharmacokinetics of capecitabine and its metabolites when combined with pertuzumab. The pharmacokinetics of pertuzumab was apparently not modified when administered with capecitabine. Disease stabilization was observed in 11 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Pertuzumab and capecitabine were well tolerated at all dose levels. Escalation beyond the highest dose level tested was not planned, as this included the recommended doses of monotherapy for both drugs. In conclusion, this combination is ready for phase II testing.