• A20 deletion is associated with copy number gain at the TNFA/B/C locus and occurs preferentially in translocation-negative MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa and salivary glands.

      Chanudet, E; Ye, Hongtao; Ferry, J; Bacon, C M; Adam, P; Müller-Hermelink, H K; Radford, John A; Pileri, S A; Ichimura, K; Collins, V P; et al. (2009-02)
      The genetic basis of MALT lymphoma is largely unknown. Characteristic chromosomal translocations are frequently associated with gastric and pulmonary cases, but are rare at other sites. We compared the genetic profiles of 33 ocular adnexal and 25 pulmonary MALT lymphomas by 1 Mb array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and revealed recurrent 6q23 losses and 6p21.2-6p22.1 gains exclusive to ocular cases. High-resolution chromosome 6 tile-path array-CGH identified NF-kappaB inhibitor A20 as the target of 6q23.3 deletion and TNFA/B/C locus as a putative target of 6p21.2-22.1 gain. Interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that A20 deletion occurred in MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa (8/42=19%), salivary gland (2/24=8%), thyroid (1/9=11%) and liver (1/2), but not in the lung (26), stomach (45) and skin (13). Homozygous deletion was observed in three cases. A20 deletion and TNFA/B/C gain were significantly associated (p<0.001) and exclusively found in cases without characteristic translocation. In ocular cases, A20 deletion was associated with concurrent involvement of different adnexal tissues or extraocular sites at diagnosis (p=0.007), a higher proportion of relapse (67% versus 37%) and a shorter relapse-free survival (p=0.033). A20 deletion and gain at TNFA/B/C locus may thus play an important role in the development of translocation-negative MALT lymphoma.
    • 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.
    • Alternating irinotecan with oxaliplatin combined with UFT plus leucovorin (SCOUT) in metastatic colorectal cancer.

      Sheikh, Hamid Y; Valle, Juan W; Waddell, Thomas K; Palmer, Karen; Wilson, Gregory; Sjursen, Ann-Marie; Craven, Olive; Swindell, Ric; Saunders, Mark P; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2008-08-19)
      Tegafur-uracil (UFT) plus leucovorin (LV, folinic acid) with alternating irinotecan and oxaliplatin were effective and well tolerated in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in a phase I study. This study expanded the maximum tolerated dose group. Patients aged >or=18 years had histologically confirmed, inoperable, previously untreated, measurable mCRC. Patients received irinotecan 180 mg m(-2) on day 1, oxaliplatin 100 mg m(-2) on day 15 and UFT 250 mg m(-2) plus LV 90 mg on days 1-21 every 28 days. The phase I/II study comprised 45 patients, 29 at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). The response rate in 38 evaluable patients was 63% (95% confidence interval (CI): 49-80). Median time to progression and overall survival were 8.7 months (95% CI: 7.9-10.4) and 16.8 months (95% CI: 9.6-25.3), respectively. In the MTD group, one patient had grade 3 leucopenia; one had grade 3 neutropaenia; three had grade 3 diarrhoea; and one had grade 3 neurotoxicity. No hand-foot syndrome grade >1 was seen. In total, 67% of eligible patients received second-line therapy. UFT plus LV with alternating irinotecan and oxaliplatin is an efficacious first-line treatment for mCRC, with minimal neurotoxicity and hand-foot syndrome.
    • Analyses adjusting for selective crossover show improved overall survival with adjuvant letrozole compared with tamoxifen in the BIG 1-98 study.

      Colleoni, Marco; Giobbie-Hurder, Anita; Regan, Meredith M; Thürlimann, Beat; Mouridsen, Henning; Mauriac, Louis; Forbes, John F; Paridaens, Robert; Láng, István; Smith, Ian; et al. (2011-03-20)
      Among postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive breast cancer, the aromatase inhibitor letrozole, when compared with tamoxifen, has been shown to significantly improve disease-free survival (DFS) and time to distant recurrence (TDR). We investigated whether letrozole monotherapy prolonged overall survival (OS) compared with tamoxifen monotherapy.
    • Assessment of circulating biomarkers for potential pharmacodynamic utility in patients with lymphoma.

      Greystoke, Alastair; O'Connor, James P B; Linton, Kim M; Taylor, M Ben; Cummings, Jeffrey; Ward, Timothy H; Maders, Fran; Hughes, Anthony; Ranson, Malcolm R; Illidge, Timothy M; et al. (2011-02-15)
      Treatment efficacy and toxicity are difficult to predict in lymphoma patients. In this study, the utility of circulating biomarkers in predicting and/or monitoring treatment efficacy/toxicity were investigated.
    • Assessment of letrozole and tamoxifen alone and in sequence for postmenopausal women with steroid hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: the BIG 1-98 randomised clinical trial at 8·1 years median follow-up.

      Regan, M; Neven, P; Giobbie-Hurder, A; Goldhirsch, A; Ejlertsen, B; Mauriac, L; Forbes, J; Smith, I; Láng, I; Wardley, Andrew M; et al. (2011-11)
      Postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer have persistent, long-term risk of breast-cancer recurrence and death. Therefore, trials assessing endocrine therapies for this patient population need extended follow-up. We present an update of efficacy outcomes in the Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 study at 8·1 years median follow-up.
    • Cancer cells metabolically "fertilize" the tumor microenvironment with hydrogen peroxide, driving the Warburg effect: implications for PET imaging of human tumors.

      Martinez-Outschoorn, U E; Lin, Z; Trimmer, C; Flomenberg, N; Wang, C; Pavlides, S; Pestell, R G; Howell, Anthony; Sotgia, F; Lisanti, M P; et al. (2011-08-01)
      Previously, we proposed that cancer cells behave as metabolic parasites, as they use targeted oxidative stress as a "weapon" to extract recycled nutrients from adjacent stromal cells. Oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts triggers autophagy and  mitophagy, resulting in compartmentalized cellular catabolism, loss of mitochondrial function, and the onset of aerobic glycolysis, in the tumor stroma. As such, cancer-associated fibroblasts produce high-energy nutrients (such as lactate and ketones) that fuel mitochondrial biogenesis, and oxidative metabolism in cancer cells. We have termed this new energy-transfer mechanism the "reverse Warburg effect." To further test the validity of this hypothesis, here we used an in vitro MCF7-fibroblast co-culture system, and quantitatively measured a variety of metabolic parameters by FACS analysis (analogous to laser-capture micro-dissection).  Mitochondrial activity, glucose uptake, and ROS production were measured with highly-sensitive fluorescent probes (MitoTracker, NBD-2-deoxy-glucose, and DCF-DA). Interestingly, using this approach, we directly show that cancer cells initially secrete hydrogen peroxide that then triggers oxidative stress in neighboring fibroblasts. Thus, oxidative stress is contagious (spreads like a virus) and is propagated laterally and vectorially from cancer cells to adjacent fibroblasts. Experimentally, we show that oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts quantitatively reduces mitochondrial activity, and increases glucose uptake, as the fibroblasts become more dependent on aerobic glycolysis.  Conversely, co-cultured cancer cells show significant increases in mitochondrial activity, and corresponding reductions in both glucose uptake and GLUT1 expression. Pre-treatment of co-cultures with extracellular catalase (an anti-oxidant enzyme that detoxifies hydrogen peroxide) blocks the onset of oxidative stress, and potently induces the death of cancer cells, likely via starvation.  Given that cancer-associated fibroblasts show the largest increases in glucose uptake, we suggest that PET imaging of human tumors, with Fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (F-2-DG), may be specifically detecting the tumor stroma, rather than epithelial cancer cells.
    • Caveolin-1 and mitochondrial SOD2 (MnSOD) function as tumor suppressors in the stromal microenvironment: a new genetically tractable model for human cancer associated fibroblasts.

      Trimmer, C; Sotgia, F; Whitaker-Menezes, D; Balliet, Renee M; Eaton, Gregory; Martinez-Outschoorn, Ubaldo E; Pavlides, Stephanos; Howell, Anthony; Iozzo, Renato V; Pestell, Richard G; et al. (2011-02-15)
      We have recently proposed a new model for understanding tumor metabolism, termed: "The Autophagic Tumor Stroma Model of Cancer Metabolism". In this new paradigm, catabolism (autophagy) in the tumor stroma fuels the anabolic growth of aggressive cancer cells. Mechanistically, tumor cells induce autophagy in adjacent cancer-associated fibroblasts via the loss of caveolin-1 (Cav-1), which is sufficient to promote oxidative stress in stromal fibroblasts. To further test this hypothesis, here we created human Cav-1 deficient immortalized fibroblasts using a targeted sh-RNA knock-down approach. Relative to control fibroblasts, Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts dramatically promoted tumor growth in xenograft assays employing an aggressive human breast cancer cell line, namely MDA-MB-231 cells. Co-injection of Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts, with MDA-MB-231 cells, increased both tumor mass and tumor volume by ~4-fold. Immuno-staining with CD31 indicated that this paracrine tumor promoting effect was clearly independent of angiogenesis. Mechanistically, proteomic analysis of these human Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts identified > 40 protein biomarkers that were upregulated, most of which were associated with i) myofibroblast differentiation, or ii) oxidative stress/hypoxia. In direct support of these findings, the tumor promoting effects of Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts could be functionally suppressed (nearly 2-fold) by the recombinant over-expression of SOD2 (superoxide dismutase 2), a known mitochondrial enzyme that de-activates superoxide, thereby reducing mitochondrial oxidative stress. In contrast, cytoplasmic soluble SOD1 had no effect, further highlighting a specific role for mitochondrial oxidative stress in this process. In summary, here we provide new evidence directly supporting a key role for a loss of stromal Cav-1 expression and oxidative stress in cancer-associated fibroblasts, in promoting tumor growth, which is consistent with "The Autophagic Tumor Stroma Model of Cancer". The human Cav-1 deficient fibroblasts that we have generated are a new genetically tractable model system for identifying other suppressors of the cancer-associated fibroblast phenotype, via a genetic "complementation" approach. This has important implications for understanding the pathogenesis of triple negative and basal breasts cancers, as well as tamoxifen-resistance in ER+ breast cancers, which are all associated with a Cav-1 deficient "lethal" tumor micro-environment, driving poor clinical outcome.
    • Circulating tumor cells as a window on metastasis biology in lung cancer.

      Hou, Jian-Mei; Krebs, Matthew G; Ward, Timothy H; Sloane, Robert; Priest, Lynsey; Hughes, Andrew; Clack, Glen; Ranson, Malcolm R; Blackhall, Fiona H; Dive, Caroline; et al. (2011-03)
      Circulating tumor cell (CTC) number in metastatic cancer patients yields prognostic information consistent with enhanced cell migration and invasion via loss of adhesion, a feature of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Tumor cells also invade via collective migration with maintained cell-cell contacts and consistent with this is the circulating tumor microemboli (CTM; contiguous groups of tumor cells) that are observed in metastatic cancer patients. Using a blood filtration approach, we examined markers of EMT (cytokeratins, E-cadherin, vimentin, neural cadherin) and prevalence of apoptosis in CTCs and CTM to explore likely mechanism(s) of invasion in lung cancer patients and address the hypothesis that cells within CTM have a survival advantage. Intra-patient and inter-patient heterogeneity was observed for EMT markers in CTCs and CTM. Vimentin was only expressed in some CTCs, but in the majority of cells within CTM; E-cadherin expression was lost, cytoplasmic or nuclear, and rarely expressed at the surface of the cells within CTM. A subpopulation of CTCs was apoptotic, but apoptosis was absent within CTM. This pilot study suggests that EMT is not prosecuted homogeneously in tumor cells within the circulation of lung cancer patients and that collective migration and enhanced survival of cells within CTM might contribute to lung cancer metastasis. Multiplex analysis and further detailed exploration of metastatic potential and EMT in CTCs/CTM is now warranted in a larger patient cohort.
    • 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 clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of genotyping for CYP2D6 for the management of women with breast cancer treated with tamoxifen: a systematic review.

      Fleeman, N; Martin Saborido, C; Payne, K; Boland, A; Dickson, R; Dundar, Y; Fernández Santander, A; Howell, Sacha J; Newman, W; Oyee, J; et al. (2011-09)
      Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in the UK. Tamoxifen (TAM) is considered as the standard of care for many women with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. However, wide variability in the response of individuals to drugs at the same doses may occur, which may be a result of interindividual genetic differences (pharmacogenetics). TAM is known to be metabolised to its active metabolites N-desmethyl TAM and 4-hydroxytamoxifen by a number of CYP450 enzymes, including CYP2D6, CYP3A4, CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP2B6. N-desmethyl TAM is further metabolised to endoxifen by CYP2D6. Endoxifen, which is also formed via the action of CYP2D6, is 30- to 100-fold more potent than TAM in suppressing oestrogen-dependent cell proliferation, and is considered an entity responsible for significant pharmacological effects of TAM. Thus, an association between the cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) genotype and phenotype (expected drug effects) is believed to exist and it has been postulated that CYP2D6 testing may play a role in optimising an individual's adjuvant hormonal treatment.
    • Clinical experience with gefitinib in Indian patients.

      Parikh, Purvish; Chang, Alex; Nag, Shona; Digumarti, Raghunadharao; Bhattacharyya, Gouri Shankar; Doval, Dinesh Chandra; Babu, Govind; Chacko, Raju Titus; Advani, Suresh; Ranade, Anantbhushan; et al. (2008-04)
      INTRODUCTION: Treatment options are limited in patients with advanced or refractory non-small cell lung cancer and lead to suboptimal outcome and/or benefit. The epidermal growth factor tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib (IRESSA) has been approved in many countries. Increased responsiveness to gefitinib has been demonstrated in particular subsets of patients, for example never smokers and patients of Asian origin. However, to date, little is known of its use specifically in patients from India. METHODS: Retrospective ad hoc analysis of clinical data from experience with gefitinib in patients with advanced NSCLC from India enrolled in the IRESSA Survival Evaluation in Lung (ISEL) study (n = 77) or included in the gefitinib expanded-access program in India (n = 133). RESULTS: Among Indian patients enrolled in the ISEL study, median survival was 6.4 months with gefitinib and 5.1 month with placebo. The objective response rate in Indian patients was 14% with gefitinib versus 0% with placebo. In ISEL, tolerability data from Indian patients were consistent with the overall study population. In the Indian gefitinib expanded-access program, median survival was 6 months and gefitinib was well tolerated. CONCLUSIONS: Gefitinib seems well tolerated in Indian patients with advanced NSCLC, with some clinical benefit observed.
    • Consolidation radiotherapy in patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma: survival data from the UKLG LY09 randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN97144519).

      Johnson, Peter W; Sydes, Matthew R; Hancock, Barry W; Cullen, Michael H; Radford, John A; Stenning, Sally P; University of Southampton, Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Unit, London, United Kingdom. (2010-07-10)
      PURPOSE: This study analyzed the outcomes of nonrandomized consolidation radiotherapy (RT) given after chemotherapy in the initial treatment of advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL). The results were collected prospectively within a randomized controlled trial of induction chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned between doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine and one of two prespecified multidrug regimens. At least six cycles of chemotherapy were planned, with up to eight for patients showing slower response. Involved-field RT was recommended for incomplete response to chemotherapy or bulk disease at presentation. The primary outcome measure was progression-free survival (PFS), landmarked from the end of chemotherapy. RESULTS: Among 807 patients randomly assigned, 702 achieved objective response. Postchemotherapy RT for consolidation was reported in 300 (43%). With median follow-up of 6.9 years, 161 PFS events and 83 deaths were reported. Baseline characteristics showed more patients with bulk disease having RT (190 [63%] v 111 [28%]) and only partial response after chemotherapy (150 [50%] v 36 [9%]). Other baseline characteristics were similar. PFS was superior for patients having RT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.60) with 5-year PFS 71% without RT, 86% with RT. A similar advantage was seen for overall survival (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.77). There was no evidence of heterogeneity of treatment effect across subgroups. CONCLUSION: Patients who received consolidation RT apparently had better outcomes, consistently across all prognostic groups which persisted in multivariate analysis. This suggests that RT contributes significantly to the cure rate for advanced HL, although patient selection for combined modality treatment requires better definition in prospective trials.
    • Development of antiangiogenic agents for ovarian cancer.

      Collinson, Fiona J; Hall, Geoff D; Perren, Timothy J; Jayson, Gordon C; Department of Medical Oncology, St James' University Hospital, Leeds, UK. fjcollinson@doctors.org.uk (2008-01)
      Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) remains a major source of cancer morbidity and mortality, despite advances in surgical and chemotherapeutic management. The molecular pathways that control angiogenesis have been demonstrated to be key to the pathogenesis of EOC, and have been shown to have prognostic significance. Increased understanding of the pathways and molecules involved in angiogenesis has allowed the identification of a number of targets for antiangiogenic therapies and the development of a variety of antiangiogenic drugs. There is now significant preclinical evidence, and a growing body of clinical data, demonstrating promising results with antiangiogenic drugs in the treatment of EOC. Single-agent VEGF inhibitor response rates in pretreated patients of between 15 and 20% have been reported, with much higher response rates when used in combination with chemotherapeutic agents. These benefits, however, must be balanced with the toxicities associated with these drugs, particularly the more serious ones, such as gastrointestinal perforation. The results of ongoing and future randomized clinical trials will confirm if, and how, antiangiogenic therapies should be integrated into the routine management of EOC. However, critical issues, such as the relative importance of combination remission induction regimens and maintenance therapy, remain poorly defined.
    • 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.
    • Effect of anastrozole on bone mineral density: 5-year results from the anastrozole, tamoxifen, alone or in combination trial 18233230.

      Eastell, Richard; Adams, Judith E; Coleman, Robert E; Howell, Anthony; Hannon, Rosemary A; Cuzick, Jack; Mackey, John R; Beckmann, Matthias W; Clack, Glen; Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, University of Sheffield, UK. r.eastell@sheffield.ac.uk (2008-03-01)
      PURPOSE: The Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial (median follow-up, 68 months) has shown that adjuvant anastrozole has superior efficacy and better tolerability than tamoxifen. However, anastrozole reduces circulating estrogen, and low estradiol levels are associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and increased fracture risk. It is therefore important to understand the effects of long-term aromatase inhibitor therapy on BMD. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This prospective substudy of the ATAC trial assessed BMD changes in postmenopausal women with invasive primary breast cancer receiving anastrozole (1 mg/d) or tamoxifen (20 mg/d) as adjuvant therapy for 5 years. Lumbar spine and total hip BMD were assessed at baseline and after 1, 2, and 5 years. RESULTS: One hundred ninety-seven women from the monotherapy arms of the ATAC trial were recruited onto the bone substudy, and 108 were included in the primary analysis. Among anastrozole-treated patients, there was a decrease in median BMD from baseline to 5 years in lumbar spine (-6.08%) and total hip (-7.24%) compared with the tamoxifen group (lumbar spine, +2.77%; total hip, +0.74%). No patients with normal BMD at baseline became osteoporotic at 5 years. CONCLUSION: Anastrozole is associated with accelerated bone loss over the 5-year treatment period. However, although patients with pre-existing osteopenia are likely to require monitoring and bone-protection strategies, patients with normal BMD would not appear to require monitoring beyond the recommendation for healthy postmenopausal women. The effect of anastrozole on bone should be weighed against its superior efficacy and better tolerability profile versus tamoxifen in the main ATAC trial.
    • Effect of body mass index on recurrences in tamoxifen and anastrozole treated women: an exploratory analysis from the ATAC trial.

      Sestak, Ivana; Distler, Wolfgang; Forbes, John F; Dowsett, Mitch; Howell, Anthony; Cuzick, Jack; Cancer Research UK UK, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom. i.sestak@qmul.ac.uk (2010-07-20)
      PURPOSE: Third-generation aromatase inhibitors have been widely used in postmenopausal women for the adjuvant treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. As aromatase inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of androgens to estrogens in adipose tissue, we hypothesized that anastrozole may be more effective in women with a high body mass index (BMI). PATIENTS AND METHODS: The Arimidex, Tamoxifen Alone or in Combination (ATAC) study was a double-blind randomized clinical trial in which postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive oral daily anastrozole (1 mg) alone, tamoxifen (20 mg) alone, or the combination in a double-blind fashion. Analyses were based on the 100-month median follow-up for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancers (estrogen [ER] and/or progesterone [PgR] positive). Here, we investigate the impact of BMI on recurrence and the relative benefit of anastrozole versus tamoxifen according to baseline BMI. Results Overall, women with a high BMI (BMI > 35 kg/m(2)) at baseline had more recurrences than those women with a low BMI (BMI < 23 kg/m(2); adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.39; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.82; P(heterogeneity) = .03) and significantly more distant recurrences (adjusted HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.61; P(heterogeneity) = .01). Overall, the relative benefit of anastrozole versus tamoxifen was nonsignificantly better in thin women compared to overweight women. CONCLUSION: These results confirm the poorer prognosis of obese women with early-stage breast cancer. Recurrence rates were lower for anastrozole than tamoxifen for all BMI quintiles. Our results suggest that the relative efficacy of anastrozole compared to tamoxifen is greater in thin postmenopausal women and higher doses or more complete inhibitors might be more effective in overweight women, but this requires independent confirmation.
    • Effective oral chemotherapy for breast cancer: pillars of strength.

      Findlay, M; Von Minckwitz, G; Wardley, Andrew M; Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. mp.findlay@auckland.ac.nz (2008-02)
      Traditionally, anticancer therapy has been dominated by intravenous drug therapy. However, oral agents provide an attractive approach to chemotherapy and use of oral treatments is increasing. We discuss the benefits and challenges of oral chemotherapy from the perspectives of patients, healthcare providers and healthcare funders. Important issues include patient preference, efficacy, compliance, bioavailability, reimbursement, use in special patient populations, financial and staff time savings and flexibility of dosing. We review data for traditional oral agents (e.g. cyclophosphamide, methotrexate), newer oral chemotherapies (e.g. capecitabine), oral formulations of traditionally intravenous agents (e.g. vinorelbine, idarubicin) and new biologic agents under evaluation in breast cancer (e.g. tyrosine kinase inhibitors). Lastly, we review studies of all-oral combination regimens. The wealth of data available and the increasing use of oral agents in breast cancer suggest that many of the concerns and perceptions about oral therapy, including efficacy and bioavailability, have been overcome, and that oral therapy will play a major role in breast cancer management in the future in both the metastatic and adjuvant settings.
    • Effects of anastrozole on cognitive performance in postmenopausal women: a randomised, double-blind chemoprevention trial (IBIS II).

      Jenkins, Valerie A; Ambroisine, Laurence M; Atkins, Louise; Cuzick, Jack; Howell, Anthony; Fallowfield, Lesley J; Cancer Research UK Psychosocial Oncology Group, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, UK. (2008-10)
      BACKGROUND: Mild cognitive impairments have been recorded in cross-sectional studies of women with breast cancer receiving endocrine treatment. More comprehensive studies were warranted because aromatase inhibitors are being used increasingly in both chemoprevention and adjuvant settings. We report findings from the cognitive subprotocol of the International Breast Intervention Study (IBIS II), a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of anastrozole in postmenopausal women at high risk of developing breast cancer. We aimed to study and compare the effect of anastrozole versus placebo on memory and attention in these women. METHODS: Between Jan 3, 2003, and Dec 21, 2005, participants were recruited into the cognitive subprotocol from five UK centres. Cognitive assessments were done before randomisation, at 6 months, and at 24 months. 227 of 249 women approached completed a comprehensive set of standardised cognitive tasks at baseline and were randomly assigned to receive anastrozole (1 mg/day for 5 years) or placebo. Psychological morbidity, endocrine symptoms, and self-reported cognitive complaints were also measured. The main outcomes were cognitive task scores at baseline, 6 months, and 24 months. Analyses were done by intention to treat. This study is registered as an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN31488319. FINDINGS: 111 women were assigned to anastrozole and 116 women to placebo. At 6 months, ten women in each group were excluded from analysis, leaving a total of 207 of 227 (91%) women available for further assessments. At 24 months, 24 women were excluded from the anastrozole group and 32 from the placebo group, leaving 151 of 227 (67%) women. We did not note any significant differences between the groups for any of the cognitive tasks. By 6 months, 13 women in both groups reported changes to their memory and this had decreased to five women in the placebo group and three women in the anastrozole group by the 24-month assessment. Significantly more women in the anastrozole group complained of hot flushes at 24 months (23 of 76 [30%] vs 11 of 73 [15%], p=0.032, not corrected for multiple comparison), but this was the only difference in reported endocrine symptoms. INTERPRETATION: These findings show little or no impairment of cognitive performance with the use of anastrozole compared with placebo in postmenopausal women at high risk of developing breast cancer who were able to tolerate endocrine-related side-effects. Future studies assessing cognition should be done within randomised trials with baseline assessments to ascertain the true extent of the putative effects that treatments for breast cancer might have on memory and attention. FUNDING: Cancer Research UK, London, UK (grant numbers C6280/A3162 and C6280/A6764).
    • The endocrine prevention of breast cancer.

      Howell, Anthony; CRUK Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. anthony.howell@christie.nhs.uk (2008-08)
      Breast cancer incidence is increasing in all parts of the world. Although in Western countries death rates are declining, there is a need to make attempts to prevent the disease in order to reduce the trauma of diagnosis and treatment. Endocrine approaches to breast cancer prevention have been the most successful approach to cancer prevention to date. Studies with tamoxifen were initiated when it was noted that, during adjuvant treatment after surgery to prevent relapse, the incidence of new contralateral cancers was reduced by half. Four trials of >or=5 years of tamoxifen compared with placebo in women at increased risk of breast cancer were initiated in the 1980s and showed a similar reduction in breast cancer, but only in oestrogen-receptor-positive disease. Recent follow-up indicated that there is a carry-over effect of tamoxifen after the completion of treatment at 5 years so that the preventive effect at 10 years is significantly great than at 5. The selective oestrogen receptor modulator (SERM) raloxifene has also been assessed as a preventive agent in two major international randomized trials compared with placebo and shows a protective effect similar to that of tamoxifen. An American study subsequently compared tamoxifen and raloxifene in a trial of nearly 20,000 women at increased risk (the STAR trial) and demonstrated that the two agents were equally effective but that the toxicity of raloxifene was less. Adjuvant trials comparing tamoxifen and the modern potent aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane) indicate that they are superior to tamoxifen and reduce contralateral breast cancer by approximately 70%. This observation has led to the initiation of two trials in postmenopausal women comparing anastrozole (the IBISII trial) or exemestane (the MAP-3 trial) with placebo. Currently it is recommended that tamoxifen is used to prevent breast cancer in premenopausal women and raloxifene for postmenopausal women (it is not effective in the premenopausal group),and we await the results of the aromatase inhibitor trials.