• Adjuvant chemotherapy with fluorouracil plus folinic acid vs gemcitabine following pancreatic cancer resection: a randomized controlled trial.

      Neoptolemos, John P; Stocken, Deborah D; Bassi, Claudio; Ghaneh, Paula; Cunningham, David; Goldstein, David; Padbury, Robert; Moore, Malcolm J; Gallinger, Steven; Mariette, Christophe; et al. (2010-09-08)
      CONTEXT: Adjuvant fluorouracil has been shown to be of benefit for patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Gemcitabine is known to be the most effective agent in advanced disease as well as an effective agent in patients with resected pancreatic cancer. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether fluorouracil or gemcitabine is superior in terms of overall survival as adjuvant treatment following resection of pancreatic cancer. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: The European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC)-3 trial, an open-label, phase 3, randomized controlled trial conducted in 159 pancreatic cancer centers in Europe, Australasia, Japan, and Canada. Included in ESPAC-3 version 2 were 1088 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma who had undergone cancer resection; patients were randomized between July 2000 and January 2007 and underwent at least 2 years of follow-up. INTERVENTIONS: Patients received either fluorouracil plus folinic acid (folinic acid, 20 mg/m(2), intravenous bolus injection, followed by fluorouracil, 425 mg/m(2) intravenous bolus injection given 1-5 days every 28 days) (n = 551) or gemcitabine (1000 mg/m(2) intravenous infusion once a week for 3 of every 4 weeks) (n = 537) for 6 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome measure was overall survival; secondary measures were toxicity, progression-free survival, and quality of life. RESULTS: Final analysis was carried out on an intention-to-treat basis after a median of 34.2 (interquartile range, 27.1-43.4) months' follow-up after 753 deaths (69%). Median survival was 23.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 21.1-25.0) months for patients treated with fluorouracil plus folinic acid and 23.6 (95% CI, 21.4-26.4) months for those treated with gemcitabine (chi(1)(2) = 0.7; P = .39; hazard ratio, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.81-1.08]). Seventy-seven patients (14%) receiving fluorouracil plus folinic acid had 97 treatment-related serious adverse events, compared with 40 patients (7.5%) receiving gemcitabine, who had 52 events (P < .001). There were no significant differences in either progression-free survival or global quality-of-life scores between the treatment groups. CONCLUSION: Compared with the use of fluorouracil plus folinic acid, gemcitabine did not result in improved overall survival in patients with completely resected pancreatic cancer. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00058201.
    • Clinical and immunological responses in metastatic melanoma patients vaccinated with a high-dose poly-epitope vaccine.

      Dangoor, A; Lorigan, Paul C; Keilholz, U; Schadendorf, D; Harris, A; Ottensmeier, C; Smyth, J; Hoffmann, K; Anderson, R; Cripps, M; et al. (2010-06)
      BACKGROUND: Safety and cellular immunogenicity of rising doses and varying regimens of a poly-epitope vaccine were evaluated in advanced metastatic melanoma. The vaccine comprised plasmid DNA and recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) both expressing a string (Mel3) of seven HLA.A2/A1 epitopes from five melanoma antigens. METHODS: Forty-one HLA-A2 positive patients with stage III/IV melanoma were enrolled. Patient groups received one or two doses of DNA.Mel3 followed by escalating doses of MVA.Mel3. Immunisations then continued eight weekly in the absence of disease progression. Epitope-specific CD8+ T cell responses were evaluated using ex-vivo tetramer and IFN-gamma ELISPOT assays. Safety and clinical responses were monitored. RESULTS: Prime-boost DNA/MVA induced Melan-A-specific CD8+ T cell responses in 22/31 (71%) patients detected by tetramer assay. ELISPOT detected a response to at least one epitope in 10/31 (32%) patients. T cell responder rates were <50% with low-dose DNA/MVA, or MVA alone, rising to 91% with high-dose DNA/MVA. Among eight patients showing evidence of clinical benefit-one PR (24 months+), five SD (5 months+) and two mixed responses-seven had associated immune responses. Melan-A-tetramer+ immunity was associated with a median 8-week increase in time-to-progression (P = 0.037) and 71 week increase in survival (P = 0.0002) compared to non-immunity. High-dose vaccine was well tolerated. The only significant toxicities were flu-like symptoms and injection-site reactions. CONCLUSIONS: DNA.Mel3 and MVA.Mel3 in a prime-boost protocol generated high rates of immune response to melanoma antigen epitopes. The treatment was well tolerated and the correlation of immune responses with patient outcomes encourages further investigation.
    • The need for advanced breast cancer treatment guidelines: results of an internet-based survey.

      Wardley, Andrew M; Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. andrew.wardley@christie.nhs.uk (2008-06)
      Although not curable, advanced breast cancer is treatable, however, treatment options are many and varied, and unlike early breast cancer (EBC), consistent guidelines are lacking. Breast cancer physicians were surveyed to assess the emotional impact of recurrence, factors affecting their treatment decisions, the role of guidelines in the management of advanced breast cancer and the need for new guidelines. Overall, distress levels were higher at recurrence than at first diagnosis of early breast cancer for both patients and physicians and the goal of treatment for this disease stage was to improve the patient's quality of life, delay disease progression and improve overall survival. While most respondents (96%) use the currently available guidelines, improvements are required, including the development of uniform global guidelines and recommendations for specific patient groups. Interactive computer programs and e-mail updates should also be utilised to ensure physicians are able to make fully informed decisions regarding optimum treatment.
    • O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase depletion and DNA damage in patients with melanoma treated with temozolomide alone or with lomeguatrib.

      Watson, Amanda J; Middleton, Mark R; McGown, Gail; Thorncroft, Mary R; Ranson, Malcolm R; Hersey, Peter; McArthur, Grant A; Davis, Ian D; Thomson, D; Beith, Jane; et al. (2009-04-21)
      We evaluated the pharmacodynamic effects of the O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) inactivator lomeguatrib (LM) on patients with melanoma in two clinical trials. Patients received temozolomide (TMZ) for 5 days either alone or with LM for 5, 10 or 14 days. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated before treatment and during cycle 1. Where available, tumour biopsies were obtained after the last drug dose in cycle 1. Samples were assayed for MGMT activity, total MGMT protein, and O(6)-methylguanine (O(6)-meG) and N7-methylguanine levels in DNA. MGMT was completely inactivated in PBMC from patients receiving LM, but detectable in those on TMZ alone. Tumours biopsied on the last day of treatment showed complete inactivation of MGMT but there was recovery of activity in tumours sampled later. Significantly more O(6)-meG was present in the PBMC DNA of LM/TMZ patients than those on TMZ alone. LM/TMZ leads to greater MGMT inactivation, and higher levels of O(6)-meG than TMZ alone. Early recovery of MGMT activity in tumours suggested that more protracted dosing with LM is required. Extended dosing of LM completely inactivated PBMC MGMT, and resulted in persistent levels of O(6)-meG in PBMC DNA during treatment.
    • Randomised phase II trial of 4 dose levels of single agent docetaxel in performance status (PS) 2 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): DOC PS2 trial. Manchester lung cancer group.

      Califano, Raffaele; Griffiths, Richard W; Lorigan, Paul C; Ashcroft, Linda; Taylor, Paul; Burt, Paul A; Lee, Lip W; Chittalia, Abbas; Harris, Maggie A; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; et al. (2011-09)
      The role of chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC patients and ECOG PS2 remains controversial. We evaluated 4 doses of 3-weekly docetaxel to identify a less toxic, clinically effective dose.
    • Sunitinib malate for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

      Raymond, E; Dahan, L; Raoul, J; Bang, Y; Borbath, I; Lombard-Bohas, C; Valle, Juan W; Metrakos, P; Smith, D; Vinik, A; et al. (2011-02-10)
      The multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib has shown activity against pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in preclinical models and phase 1 and 2 trials.
    • 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.