• 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.
    • Identification of early predictive imaging biomarkers and their relationship to serological angiogenic markers in patients with ovarian cancer with residual disease following cytotoxic therapy.

      Mitchell, Claire L; O'Connor, James P B; Jackson, A; Parker, G J M; Roberts, C; Watson, Y; Cheung, S; Davies, K; Buonaccorsi, G A; Clamp, Andrew R; et al. (2010-03-29)
      BACKGROUND: Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer often achieve partial response following chemotherapy, resulting in persistent small volume disease. After completion of treatment, the dilemma of when to initiate subsequent chemotherapy arises. Identification of biomarkers that could be used to predict when subsequent treatment is needed would be of significant benefit. Design: Twenty-three patients with advanced ovarian cancer and residual asymptomatic disease following chemotherapy underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) at study entry, 4, 8, 12, 18 and 26 weeks or disease progression. A subgroup of patients provided plasma samples within which a panel of angiogenic biomarkers was quantified. RESULTS: By 4 weeks, significant differences in whole tumour volume, enhancing fraction and Ca125 were observed between patients whose disease progressed by 26 weeks and those who remained stable. Significant correlations between plasma soluble vascular endothelial growth factor recptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) and sVEGFR-2 concentrations, and blood volume and tumour endothelial permeability surface area product measured by DCE-MRI were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Imaging markers have a potential role in early prediction of disease progression in patients with residual ovarian cancer and may supplement current measures of progression. The correlation of DCE-MRI and serological biomarkers suggests that tumour angiogenesis affects these markers through common biological means and warrants further investigation.
    • Inhibition of carboplatin-induced DNA interstrand cross-link repair by gemcitabine in patients receiving these drugs for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

      Ledermann, J A; Gabra, H; Jayson, Gordon C; Spanswick, V J; Rustin, G J S; Jitlal, Mark; James, L E; Hartley, J A; UCL Hospitals, UCL Cancer Institute, London, United Kingdom. j.ledermann@ctc.ucl.ac.uk (2010-10-01)
      BACKGROUND: The potential of gemcitabine to interact with carboplatin was explored in a phase II trial in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were sampled after drug administration to measure DNA interstrand cross-link formation and repair. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty patients received carboplatin target area under concentration-time curve (AUC 4) followed by gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) with a second dose of gemcitabine on day 8. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were obtained in 12 patients before and at intervals during the first cycle of chemotherapy. DNA cross-link formation and repair (unhooking) were measured by the single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay following ex vivo incubation. RESULTS: The global response rate was 47% (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors rate, 29%; CA125 rate, 63%). Delays in treatment were seen in 24% of cycles largely due to myelosuppression; 15% of day 8 administration was omitted. Peak carboplatin-induced DNA cross-linking was seen by 24 hours. Significant reduction was seen in the repair of in vivo carboplatin-induced DNA cross-links following administration of gemcitabine. CONCLUSION: An enhanced activity of carboplatin in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer may be due to synergy with gemcitabine through inhibition of repair of DNA cross-links. Future studies should explore coadministration of these drugs, as this may be a more effective schedule.
    • Penetrance estimates for BRCA1 and BRCA2 based on genetic testing in a Clinical Cancer Genetics service setting: risks of breast/ovarian cancer quoted should reflect the cancer burden in the family.

      Evans, D Gareth R; Shenton, Andrew; Woodward, Emma; Lalloo, Fiona; Howell, Anthony; Maher, Eamonn R; Academic Unit of Medical Genetics and Regional Genetics Service, St Mary's Hospital Manchester M13 0JH, UK. gareth.evans@cmmc.nhs.uk (2008)
      BACKGROUND: The identification of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in familial breast cancer kindreds allows genetic testing of at risk relatives. However, considerable controversy exists regarding the cancer risks in women who test positive for the family mutation. METHODS: We reviewed 385 unrelated families (223 with BRCA1 and 162 with BRCA2 mutations) ascertained through two regional cancer genetics services. We estimated the penetrance for both breast and ovarian cancer in female mutation carriers (904 proven mutation carriers - 1442 females in total assumed to carry the mutation) and also assessed the effect on penetrance of mutation position and birth cohort. RESULTS: Breast cancer penetrance to 70 and to 80 years was 68% (95%CI 64.7-71.3%) and 79.5% (95%CI 75.5-83.5%) respectively for BRCA1 and 75% (95%CI 71.7-78.3%) and 88% (95%CI 85.3-91.7%) for BRCA2. Ovarian cancer risk to 70 and to 80 years was 60% (95%CI 65-71%) and 65% (95%CI 75-84%) for BRCA1 and 30% (95%CI 25.5-34.5%) and 37% (95%CI 31.5-42.5%) for BRCA2. These risks were borne out by a prospective study of cancer in the families and genetic testing of unaffected relatives. We also found evidence of a strong cohort effect with women born after 1940 having a cumulative risk of 22% for breast cancer by 40 years of age compared to 8% in women born before 1930 (p = 0.0005). CONCLUSION: In high-risk families, selected in a genetics service setting, women who test positive for the familial BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation are likely to have cumulative breast cancer risks in keeping with the estimates obtained originally from large families. This is particularly true for women born after 1940.
    • Preliminary study of oxygen-enhanced longitudinal relaxation in MRI: a potential novel biomarker of oxygenation changes in solid tumors.

      O'Connor, James P B; Naish, Josephine H; Parker, Geoff J M; Waterton, John C; Watson, Yvonne; Jayson, Gordon C; Buonaccorsi, Giovanni A; Cheung, Susan; Buckley, David L; McGrath, Deirdre M; et al. (2009-11-15)
      PURPOSE: There is considerable interest in developing non-invasive methods of mapping tumor hypoxia. Changes in tissue oxygen concentration produce proportional changes in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) longitudinal relaxation rate (R(1)). This technique has been used previously to evaluate oxygen delivery to healthy tissues and is distinct from blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) imaging. Here we report application of this method to detect alteration in tumor oxygenation status. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Ten patients with advanced cancer of the abdomen and pelvis underwent serial measurement of tumor R(1) while breathing medical air (21% oxygen) followed by 100% oxygen (oxygen-enhanced MRI). Gadolinium-based dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI was then performed to compare the spatial distribution of perfusion with that of oxygen-induced DeltaR(1). RESULTS: DeltaR(1) showed significant increases of 0.021 to 0.058 s(-1) in eight patients with either locally recurrent tumor from cervical and hepatocellular carcinomas or metastases from ovarian and colorectal carcinomas. In general, there was congruency between perfusion and oxygen concentration. However, regional mismatch was observed in some tumor cores. Here, moderate gadolinium uptake (consistent with moderate perfusion) was associated with low area under the DeltaR(1) curve (consistent with minimal increase in oxygen concentration). CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence that oxygen-enhanced longitudinal relaxation can monitor changes in tumor oxygen concentration. The technique shows promise in identifying hypoxic regions within tumors and may enable spatial mapping of change in tumor oxygen concentration.
    • Uptake of risk-reducing surgery in unaffected women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer is risk, age, and time dependent.

      Evans, D Gareth R; Lalloo, Fiona; Ashcroft, Linda; Shenton, Andrew; Clancy, Tara; Baildam, Andrew D; Brain, Anne; Hopwood, Penelope; Howell, Anthony; Regional Genetic Service, The University of Manchester, St.Mary's Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom. Gareth.evans@cmft.nhs.uk (2009-08)
      PURPOSE: The uptake of risk-reducing surgery in women at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer is highly variable between countries and centers within countries. We have investigated the rate, timing, and age of uptake of surgery in the northwest of England to report the results after up to 7 years in a Regional Genetics center. METHODS: Uptake was documented in 211 known unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers from 509 families and in 3,515 women at >25% lifetime risk of breast cancer without known mutations. RESULTS: Of the 211 mutation carriers, 40% opted for bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy (BRRM) and 45% underwent bilateral risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (BRRSPO). Uptake of BRRM was significantly related to lifetime risk and age but continued over several years. In women not known to carry a BRCA mutation, 6.4% of women at 40% to 45% lifetime risk, 2.5% of women at 33% to 39% lifetime risk, and 1.8% of women at 25% to 32% lifetime risk underwent BRRM (P < 0.005). BRRSPO uptake was greater in BRCA1 (52%) than BRCA2 (28%) carriers but in both groups tended to occur within the first 2 years after gene test (except in the youngest age group) and in women between the ages of 35 and 45. CONCLUSION: To truly assess the uptake of risk-reducing surgery, longer-term follow-up is necessary particularly in younger women who are likely to delay BRRSPO. Careful risk counseling does seem to influence women's decisions for surgery, although the effect is not immediate.