The efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/ASCT) were investigated for improving the outcomes of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma. A total of 15 patients with relapsed medulloblastoma were enrolled in the KSPNO-S-053 study from May 2005 to May 2007. All patients received approximately 4 cycles of salvage chemotherapy after relapse. Thirteen underwent HDCT/ASCT; CTE and CM regimen were employed for the first HDCT (HDCT1) and second HDCT (HDCT2), respectively, and 7 underwent HDCT2. One transplant related mortality (TRM) due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred during HDCT1 but HDCT2 was tolerable with no further TRM. The 3-yr overall survival probability and event-free survival rates ±95% confidence intervals (CI) were 33.3±12.2% and 26.7% ±11.4%, respectively. When analysis was confined to only patients who had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) prior to HDCT, the probability of 3-yr overall survival rates ±95% CI was 40.0±15.5%. No patients with stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD) survived. Survival rates from protocol KSPNO-S-053 are encouraging and show that tumor status prior to HDCT/ASCT is an important factor to consider for improving survival rates of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma.
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to better define the prognostic ability of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography following salvage chemotherapy before high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma and aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This appears to be an appropriate test to predict treatment failure.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to better define the prognostic ability of fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET) following salvage chemotherapy for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
We searched PubMed (from inception to January 31, 2010), bibliographies, and review articles without language restriction. Two assessors independently assessed study characteristics, quality, and results. We performed a meta-analysis to determine prognostic accuracy.
Twelve studies including 630 patients were eligible. The most commonly evaluated histologies were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 313) and HL (n = 187), which were typically treated with various salvage and high-dose chemotherapy regimens. Studies typically employed nonstandardized protocols and diagnostic criteria. The prognostic accuracy was heterogeneous across the included studies. 18F-FDG PET had a summary sensitivity of 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56–0.81) and specificity of 0.81 (95% CI, 0.73–0.87). The summary estimates were stable in sensitivity analyses. In four studies that performed direct comparisons between PET and conventional restaging modalities, PET had a superior accuracy for predicting treatment outcomes. Subgroup and metaregression analyses did not identify any particular factor to explain the observed heterogeneity.
18F-FDG PET performed after salvage therapy appears to be an appropriate test to predict treatment failure in patients with refractory or relapsed lymphoma who receive high-dose chemotherapy. Some evidence suggests PET is superior to conventional restaging for this purpose. Given the methodological limitations in the primary studies, prospective studies with standardized methodologies are needed to confirm and refine these promising results.
Lymphoma; Positron emission tomography; Fluorodeoxyglucose F18; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Prognosis; Meta-analysis
Background and Objectives
Several trials have generated conflicting results about the results of high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT) for primary breast cancer. This meta-analysis summarizes the available evidence from all suitable studies.
Design and Methods
Prospective, randomized trials with HDCT as a first-line therapy for primary breast cancer were included in this meta-analysis. The primary outcome of interest for our analysis was survival (disease-free survival and overall survival); secondary endpoints included treatment-related mortality (TRM) and second (non-breast) cancers. We used a median age of 47, a PR positive rate of 50% and a premenopausal rate of 70% as cutoff values to complete the subgroup analyses, which were pre-planned according to the prepared protocol.
Fourteen trials with 5747 patients were eligible for the meta-analysis. Compared with non-HDCT, non-significant second (non-breast) cancers (RR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.82–1.98) and higher TRM (RR = 3.42; 95% CI = 1.32–8.86) were associated with HDCT for primary breast cancer. A significant DFS benefit of HDCT was documented (HR = 0.89; 95% CI = 0.79–0.99). No difference in OS (overall survival) was found when the studies were pooled (HR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.82–1.00, p = 0.062). In subgroup analysis, age and hormone receptor status had a significant interaction with prolonged DFS and OS.
HDCT has a benefit on DFS and OS compared to SDC in some special patients with high-risk primary breast cancer.
The feasibility and effectiveness of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) were evaluated in children younger than 3 yr of age with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Tandem HDCT/autoSCT was administered following six cycles of induction chemotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was administered if the tumor relapsed or progressed, otherwise, it was administered after 3 yr of age. Tumors relapsed or progressed during induction chemotherapy in 5 of 9 patients enrolled; 3 of these 5 received tandem HDCT/autoSCT as a salvage treatment. One patient died from sepsis during induction chemotherapy. The remaining 3 patients proceeded to tandem HDCT/autoSCT; however, 2 of these patients showed tumor relapse/progression after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. All 7 relapses/progressions occurred at primary sites even in patients with leptomeningeal seeding. Toxicities during tandem HDCT/autoSCT were manageable. A total of 5 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 20 (range 16-70) months from diagnosis. Four of 5 patients who received RT after relapse/progression are alive. The probability of overall survival at 3 yr from diagnosis was 53.3% ± 17.3%. Our tandem HDCT/autoSCT is feasible; however, early administration of RT prior to tandem HDCT/autoSCT should be considered to improve the outcome after tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
Rhabdoid Tumor; Central Nervous System; Drug Therapy; Stem Cell Transplantation; Radiotherapy; Child
Some men with metastatic germ cell tumours that have progressed after response to initial cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy are cured with conventional dose first salvage chemotherapy (CDCT) – however, many are not. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT) may be of value in these patients. Prognosis has recently been better defined by International Prognostic Factor Study Group (IPFSG) prognostic factors. HDCT after response to CDCT has been offered at our institution over the past two decades. We retrospectively assessed the validity of the IPFSG prognostic factors in our patients and evaluated the value of HDCT.
We identified eligible men with metastatic germ cell tumour progressed after at least 3 cycles of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and treated with cisplatin-based CDCT alone or with carboplatin-based HDCT. We also collected their clinical data. Patients were classified into risk groups using IPFSG factors, and progression-free and overall survival factors were analyzed and compared in patients treated with CDCT alone and with HDCT.
We identified 38 eligible first salvage patients who had received a median of 4 cycles (range, 1 to 7 cycles) of CDCT. Twenty patients received CDCT alone and 18 patients received CDCT plus HDCT. The overall median progression- free survival was 24.6 months (95%CI, 7.3 to 28.7 months) and overall median overall survival was 34.6 months (95%CI, 17.2 to 51.3 months). Distribution by IPFSG category and 2-year progression- free survival and 3-year overall survival rates within each risk category were very similar to the IPFSG results. There were two toxic deaths with CDCT and none with HDCT. Overall, patients treated with CDCT plus HDCT had improved progression- free survival and overall survival.
The IPFSG prognostic risk factors appeared valid in our patient population. The safety of HDCT with etoposide and carboplatin was confirmed. HDCT was associated with improved progression- free survival and overall survival outcomes, consistent with observations of the IPFSG group. Ideally, the value of optimal HDCT should be determined in comparison to optimal CDCT as first salvage therapy in men with metastatic germ cell tumour with a randomized trial.
Although the number of studies using tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) for the treatment of high-risk pediatric solid tumors has been increasing, documentation of hematologic recovery after tandem HDCT/autoSCT is very limited. For this reason, we retrospectively analyzed the hematologic recovery of 236 children with high-risk solid tumors who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. The median numbers of CD34+ cells transplanted during the first and second HDCT/autoSCT were 4.3 × 106/kg (range 0.6-220.2) and 4.1 × 106/kg (range 0.9-157.6), respectively (P = 0.664). While there was no difference in neutrophil recovery between the first and second HDCT/autoSCT, platelet and RBC recoveries were significantly delayed in the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Delayed recovery in the second HDCT/autoSCT was more prominent when the number of transplanted CD34+ cells was lower, especially if it was < 2 × 106/kg. A lower CD34+ cell count was also associated with increased RBC transfusion requirements and a higher serum ferritin level after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. More CD34+ cells need to be transplanted during the second HDCT/autoSCT in order to achieve the same hematologic recovery as the first HDCT/autoSCT.
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; CD34+ Cells; Hematologic Recovery; Iron Overload
The efficacy of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was investigated in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. Patients over 1 yr of age who were newly diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma from January 2000 to December 2005 were enrolled in The Korean Society of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology registry. All patients who were assigned to receive HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis were retrospectively analyzed to investigate the efficacy of single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Seventy and 71 patients were assigned to receive single or tandem HDCT/ASCR at diagnosis. Fifty-seven and 59 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR as scheduled. Twenty-four and 38 patients in the single or tandem HDCT group remained event free with a median follow-up of 56 (24-88) months. When the survival rate was analyzed according to intent-to-treat at diagnosis, the probability of the 5-yr event-free survival±95% confidence intervals was higher in the tandem HDCT group than in the single HDCT group (51.2±12.4% vs. 31.3±11.5%, P=0.030). The results of the present study demonstrate that the tandem HDCT/ASCR strategy is significantly better than the single HDCT/ASCR strategy for improved survival in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients.
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Transplantation, Autologous
Recently, studies have demonstrated that the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy could be associated with better outcomes in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the benefit seems to be dependent on the drugs used in the chemotherapy regimens. This systematic review evaluated the strength of data on efficacy of the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC.
PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched. Eligible studies were randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that evaluated chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab in patients with advanced NSCLC. The outcomes included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), response rate (RR), toxicities and treatment related mortality. Hazard ratios (HR) and odds ratios (OR) were used for the meta-analysis and were expressed with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
We included results reported from five RCTs, with a total of 2,252 patients included in the primary analysis, all of them using platinum-based chemotherapy regimens. Compared to chemotherapy alone, the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy resulted in a significant longer OS (HR 0.89; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.99; p = 0.04), longer PFS (HR 0.73; 95% CI 0.66 to 0.82; p<0.00001) and higher response rates (OR 2.34; 95% CI 1.89 to 2.89; p<0.00001). We found no heterogeneity between trials, in all comparisons. There was a slight increase in toxicities in bevacizumab group, as well as an increased rate of treatment-related mortality.
The addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC prolongs OS, PFS and RR. Considering the toxicities added, and the small absolute benefits found, bevacizumab plus platinum-based chemotherapy can be considered an option in selected patients with advanced NSCLC. However, risks and benefits should be discussed with patients before decision making.
Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated by conventional dose chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the role of CTCs and CTCs undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in metastatic breast cancer. We used the platform of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) to study the CTCs and CTCs with EMT.
Patients and methods: CTCs were enumerated in 21 MBC patients before apheresis and 1 month after AHSCT. CD34-depleted apheresis products were analyzed for CD326+ epithelial and Aldefluor+ cancer stem cells (CSC) by flow cytometry and were depleted of CD45+ cells and assessed for EMT-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TF) by quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: Patients with ≥ 5 CTCs/7.5 mL of peripheral blood 1 month after AHSCT had shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (P=0.02) and overall survival (OS) (P=0.02). Patients with apheresis products containing high percentages of CD326+ epithelial cells or overexpressing EMT-TF had shorter PFS. In multivariate analysis, low percentage of CD326+ epithelial cells and response to HDCT with AHSCT were associated with longer PFS, whereas lower CTCs after AHSCT was associated with longer OS. High CTCs, 1 month after AHSCT correlated with shorter PFS and OS in MBC patients undergoing HDCT and AHSCT, while CTCs with EMT and CSCs phenotype in apheresis products are associated with relapse.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that CTC and CTCs with EMT are prognostic in MBC patients undergoing HDCT followed by AHSCT.
metastatic breast cancer; circulating tumor cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; high-dose chemotherapy; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
The pharmacokinetics of methadone is altered during pregnancy, but the most appropriate dosing and monitoring regimen has yet to be identified.
To review dosing and monitoring of methadone therapy in pregnancy.
A literature search was performed in several databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) from inception to May 2012. The search terms were “methadone”, “pregnancy”, “pharmacokinetic”, “clearance”, “metabolism”, “therapeutic drug monitoring”, and “methadone dosing”. Additional papers were identified by searching the bibliographies of primary and review articles. All English-language primary articles related to methadone pharmacokinetics in pregnancy were included. Articles not related to maternal outcomes were excluded.
The literature search yielded 1 case report and 10 studies discussing use of methadone by pregnant women. Methadone pharmacokinetics in pregnancy has been studied in 3 pharmacokinetic trials, and split dosing of methadone in pregnant women has been described in 1 case report and 3 dosing trials. Only 4 trials evaluated monitoring of methadone concentration in pregnancy. The studies included in this review confirm that methadone pharmacokinetics is altered in pregnancy and is potentially correlated with increases in maternal withdrawal symptoms. Insufficient evidence is available to warrant routine monitoring of serum methadone concentrations in pregnant women with opioid dependence.
Few studies of methadone pharmacokinetics and therapeutic drug monitoring are available for pregnant women with opioid dependence. Although it is known that methadone pharmacokinetics is altered in pregnancy, there is insufficient evidence to guide dosage adjustments and serum concentration monitoring. Until further studies are available, regular follow-up of maternal withdrawal symptoms and empiric dosage adjustments throughout pregnancy are still recommended.
pharmacokinetics; methadone; pregnancy; dosing; pharmacocinétique; méthadone; grossesse; posologie
Multiple RBC transfusions inevitably lead to a state of iron overload before and after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT). Nonetheless, iron status during post-SCT follow-up remains unknown. Therefore, we investigated post-SCT ferritin levels, factors contributing to its sustained levels, and organ functions affected by iron overload in 49 children with high-risk neuroblastoma who underwent tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Although serum ferritin levels gradually decreased during post-SCT follow-up, 47.7% of the patients maintained ferritin levels above 1,000 ng/mL at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT. These patients had higher serum creatinine (0.62 vs 0.47 mg/mL, P = 0.007) than their counterparts (< 1,000 ng/mL). Post-SCT transfusion amount corresponded to increased ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P < 0.001). A lower CD34+ cell count was associated with a greater need of RBC transfusion, which in turn led to a higher serum ferritin level at 1 yr after HDCT/autoSCT. The number of CD34+ cells transplanted was an independent factor for ferritin levels at 1 yr after the second HDCT/autoSCT (P = 0.019). Consequently, CD34+ cells should be transplanted as many as possible to prevent the sustained iron overload after tandem HDCT/autoSCT and consequent adverse effects.
High-Dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation; Iron Overload; Deferasirox; Iron Chelation Treatment; Neuroblastoma
Each year in the UK there are 8100 new cases of malignant melanoma, and 1800 deaths, largely as a result of metastatic disease. The median survival of people with metastatic melanoma is 6 to 9 months after diagnosis, with 10% of people alive at 5 years. Chemotherapy is given with palliative rather than curative intent for metastatic disease.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of chemotherapy for metastatic melanoma? What are the effects of immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to March 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 24 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: adding interferon alfa (with or without interleukin-2) to chemotherapy; dacarbazine; single-agent or combination chemotherapy; supportive palliative care alone or with chemotherapy; and temozolomide.
There are 8100 new cases of malignant melanoma and 1800 deaths a year in the UK, largely as a result of metastatic disease.
The median survival of people with metastatic melanoma is 6 to 9 months after diagnosis, with 10% of people alive at 5 years.Chemotherapy is given with palliative rather than curative intent for metastatic disease.
There is consensus that it is reasonable to give chemotherapy to people with metastatic melanoma.
Chemotherapy for metastatic melanoma has been associated with serious adverse effects. However, these tend to be manageable, and it is reasonable to give chemotherapy to people with metastatic melanoma, although there are no good-quality studies to support this view, and only a small proportion of people may benefit.
Dacarbazine or temozolomide are the standard first-line chemotherapy.
Both dacarbazine and temozolomide are associated with similar progression-free survival and fewer adverse effects compared with other single-agent or combination chemotherapy.
Combination chemotherapy is no more effective than single-agent chemotherapy at increasing overall survival. Combination chemotherapy is associated with more adverse effects compared with single-agent chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy (interferon alfa or interferon alfa plus interleukin-2) is unlikely to increase survival when added to chemotherapy, and is associated with influenza-like symptoms and myelosuppression.
Background. Dose-dependent response makes certain pediatric brain tumors appropriate targets for high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell rescue (HDCT-AHSCR). Methods. The clinical outcomes and toxicities were analyzed retrospectively for 18 consecutive patients ≤19 y/o treated with HDCT-AHSCR at UCLA (1999–2009). Results. Patients' median age was 2.3 years. Fourteen had primary and 4 recurrent tumors: 12 neural/embryonal (7 medulloblastomas, 4 primitive neuroectodermal tumors, and a pineoblastoma), 3 glial/mixed, and 3 germ cell tumors. Eight patients had initial gross-total and seven subtotal resections. HDCT mostly consisted of carboplatin and/or thiotepa ± etoposide (n = 16). Nine patients underwent a single AHSCR and nine ≥3 tandems. Three-year progression-free and overall survival probabilities were 60.5% ± 16 and 69.3% ± 11.5. Ten patients with pre-AHSCR complete remissions were alive/disease-free, whereas 5 of 8 with measurable disease were deceased (median followup: 2.3 yrs). Nine of 13 survivors avoided radiation. Single AHSCR regimens had greater toxicity than ≥3 AHSCR (P < .01). Conclusion. HDCT-AHSCR has a definitive, though limited role for selected pediatric brain tumors with poor prognosis and pretransplant complete/partial remissions.
High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was applied to improve the prognosis of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma. From January 1997 to December 2006, 28 patients were newly diagnosed as stage 3 neuroblastoma. Nine of 11 patients with N-myc amplification and 5 of 17 patients without N-myc amplification (poor response in 2 patients, persistent residual tumor in 2 and relapse in 1) underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Patients without high-risk features received conventional treatment modalities only. While 8 of 9 patients underwent single HDCT/ASCR and the remaining one patient underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the early study period, all 5 patients underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the late period. Toxicities associated with HDCT/ASCR were tolerable and there was no treatment-related mortality. While the tumor relapsed in two of eight patients in single HDCT/ASCR group, all six patients in tandem HDCT/ASCR group remained relapse free. The 5-yr event-free survival (EFS) from diagnosis, in patients with N-myc amplification, was 71.6±14.0%. In addition, 12 of 14 patients who underwent HDCT/ASCR remained event free resulting in an 85.1±9.7% 5-yr EFS after the first HDCT/ASCR. The present study demonstrates that HDCT/ASCR may improve the survival of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
For patients with relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma, high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue may improve survival over chemotherapy alone. We assessed outcomes of HDCT-SCT in 37 consecutive adolescent and young adult patients with relapsed HL whose malignancy was categorized based on sensitivity to chemotherapy. We determined whether current outcomes supported the use of HDCT-SCT in all of our patients or just those patients with lower risk characteristics such as chemosensitivity. With a median follow up of 6.5 years, the 2 year overall survival was 89% (95% CI: 62%–97%) for the chemo-sensitive patients (n=21). Whereas for patients with resistant disease (n=16) OS was 53% (95%CI: 25%–74%). Both autologous and allogeneic transplants were well tolerated, with 100 day treatment related mortality under 10%. Our data show encouraging outcomes for patients with chemosensitive relapsed HL who receives HSCT and supports the value of the procedure even when the disease is chemoresistant.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Stem Cell Transplant; Salvage Therapy
The first Phase I study of autologous tolerogenic dendritic cells (Tol-DCs) in Type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients was recently completed. Pancreatic islet transplantation is an effective therapy for T1D, and infusion of Tol-DCs can control diabetes development while promoting graft survival. In this study, we aim to systematically review islet allograft survival following infusion of Tol-DCs induced by different methods, to better understand the mechanisms that mediate this process.
We searched PubMed and Embase (from inception to February 29th, 2012) for relevant publications. Data were extracted and quality was assessed by two independent reviewers. We semiquantitatively analyzed the effects of Tol-DCs on islet allograft survival using mixed leukocyte reaction, Th1/Th2 differentiation, Treg induction, and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity as mechanisms related-outcomes. We discussed the results with respect to possible mechanisms that promote survival.
Thirteen articles were included. The effects of Tol-DCs induced by five methods on allograft survival were different. Survival by each method was prolonged as follows: allopeptide-pulsed Tol-DCs (42.14±44 days), drug intervention (39 days), mesenchymal stem cell induction (23 days), genetic modification (8.99±4.75 days), and other derivation (2.61±6.98 days). The results indicate that Tol-DC dose and injection influenced graft survival. Single-dose injections of 104 Tol-DCs were the most effective for allograft survival, and multiple injections were not superior. Tol-DCs were also synergistic with immunosuppressive drugs or costimulation inhibitors. Possible mechanisms include donor specific T cell hyporesponsiveness, Th2 differentiation, Treg induction, cytotoxicity against allograft reduction, and chimerism induction.
Tol-DCs induced by five methods prolong MHC mismatched islet allograft survival to different degrees, but allopeptide-pulsed host DCs perform the best. Immunosuppressive or costimulatory blockade are synergistic with Tol-DC on graft survival. Multiple injections are not superior to single injection. Yet more rigorously designed studies with larger sample sizes are still needed in future.
Aims: To evaluate the usefulness of molecular markers in predicting histopathological and clinical response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: In a phase II trial, 25 patients with metastatic gastric cancer received preoperative tandem HDCT consisting of etoposide, cisplatin, and mitomycin, followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation to achieve surgical resectability. Samples before and after treatment, from normal and tumour tissue, were characterised histopathologically, and both p53 and BAX expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Pretreatment formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded samples from normal and tumour tissue were microdissected, and the extracted DNA was preamplified using improved primer extension preamplification polymerase chain reaction. Detection of microsatellite instability (MSI) or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was performed using markers for p53, BAX, BAT25, BAT26, D2S123, D17S250, and APC. Exons 5–9 of the p53 gene were sequenced directly on ABI 373.
Results: Four parameters were significantly associated with response to chemotherapy and prolonged overall survival: positive p53 immunostaining, positive p53 mutation status before chemotherapy, strong histological regression induced by preoperative HDCT, and surgical treatment. Patients’s sex or age, tumour location or stage, lymph node status, Lauren classification, MSI, or LOH did not influence duration of survival significantly in this high risk population.
Conclusion: Positive p53 immunostaining and p53 mutation status in pretreatment tumour biopsies might be useful molecular predictors of response and prognosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated by preoperative HDCT.
gastric cancer; preoperative high dose chemotherapy; molecular parameters; histological regression; p53
In patients with inoperable locally advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma, does first-line dose-intensive chemotherapy supported by growth factor or autologous bone marrow or stem-cell transplantation improve response rate, time to disease progression, or survival as compared with standard-dose chemotherapy?
What are the effects of first-line dose-intensive chemotherapy supported by growth factor or autologous bone marrow or stem-cell transplantation on toxicity and quality of life?
Because therapeutic options for adult patients with advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma are scarce and the possibility of cure for these patients is extremely limited, the Sarcoma Disease Site Group (dsg) felt that a review of the available literature on dose-intensive chemotherapy for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma and subsequent development of a clinical practice guideline based on the evidence were important.
A systematic review was developed and clinical recommendations relevant to patients in Ontario were drafted. The practice guideline report was reviewed and approved by the Sarcoma dsg, which comprises medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, a pathologist, a methodologist, and community representatives. External review by Ontario practitioners was obtained through a mailed survey, the results of which were incorporated into the practice guideline. Final review and approval of the practice guideline was obtained from the Report Approval Panel.
Based on the systematic review, consensus, and external review, the Sarcoma dsg makes these recommendations:
Dose-intensive chemotherapy with growth factor support is not recommended in the first-line treatment of patients with inoperable locally advanced or metastatic soft tissue sarcoma.
The data are insufficient to support the use of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow or stem-cell transplantation as first-line treatment in this group of patients.
Eligible patients should be encouraged to enter clinical trials assessing novel approaches or compounds.
High-dose chemotherapy with growth factor or autologous bone marrow or stem-cell transplantation has adverse effects similar to those seen with standard-dose chemotherapy. With high-dose regimens, the incidence of grades 3 and 4 thrombocytopenia is significantly higher, and neutropenic fever and febrile neutropenia occur more frequently. Compared with standard treatment, the rate of treatment-related death is also higher with high-dose regimens.
Soft tissue sarcoma; dose-intensive chemotherapy; growth factor; autologous bone marrow or stem-cell transplantation; clinical practice guideline
In this study, we investigated the clinical characteristics and treatment results of osteosarcoma during the past 7 years, and evaluated the role of high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of patients who were diagnosed as osteosarcoma at our center from January, 2000 to December, 2007.
The 5-year overall survival and event-free survival of the patients were 72.6% and 55.9%, respectively. Seventeen (41.5%) patients showed disease progression during treatment or relapse after the end of treatment. The patients who had metastasis at diagnosis or who had a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed decreased overall and event-free survival. Four patients received ASCT after HDCT, and 3 of them are alive without disease.
The patients who relapsed or had refractory osteosarcoma or who had metastasis at diagnosis or a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed poor prognosis. HDCT with ASCT could be an alternative treatment option for these patients.
Osteosarcoma; Autologous stem cell transplantation; High dose chemotherapy; Pediatrics
To assess the effects of physician-centred gatekeeping on health, health care utilization, and costs by conducting a systematic review of the literature.
Systematic search in PubMed (MEDLINE and Pre-MEDLINE), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library, from the databases' respective inception dates up to January 2010, using the search words “gatekeeping”, “gatekeeper*”, “first contact”, and “self-referral”. We included RCTs, CCTs, cohort studies, CBAs, and interrupted time-series. We included only studies in which the gatekeeper function was exercised by a physician and that reported health and patient-related outcomes including quality of life and satisfaction, quality of care, health care utilization, and/or economic outcomes (e.g. expenditures or efficiency). Selection was made independently by two reviewers and discrepancies were solved by consensus after discussion. Data on target population, intervention, additional interventions, study results, and methodological quality were extracted. Methodological quality was assessed independently by two reviewers following the previously defined criteria. Discrepancies were solved by consensus after discussion.
This review includes 26 studies in 32 publications. The majority of studies (62%) reported data from the United States and in most gatekeeping was associated with lower utilization of health services (up to −78%) and lower expenditures (up to −80%). However, there was great variability in the magnitude and direction of the differences.
Overall, the evidence regarding the effects of gatekeeping is of limited quality. Many studies are available regarding the effects on health care utilisation and expenditures, whereas effects on health and patient-related outcomes have been studied only exceptionally and are inconclusive.
Gatekeeping; health care costs; health care utilization; primary health care; systematic review
This pilot study evaluates the degree of side effects during high-dose chemotherapy (HD-VIC) plus autologous bone marrow transplant (HDCT) and its possible prevention by the cytoprotective thiol-derivate amifostine. Additionally, the in-patient medical costs of both treatment arms were compared. 40 patients with solid tumours were randomized to receive HD-VIC chemotherapy with or without amifostine (910 mg/m2 at day 1–3) given as a short infusion prior to carboplatin and ifosfamide. Patients were stratified according to pretreatment. HDCT consisted of an 18 h infusion of carboplatin (500 mg/m2/d over 18 h), ifosfamide (4 g/m2/d over 4 h) and etoposide (500 mg/m2/d) all given for 3 consecutive days. All patients received prophylactic application of G-CSF (5 μg kg−1 subcutaneously) to ameliorate neutropenia after treatment. Patients were monitored for nephrotoxicity, gastrointestinal side effects, haematopoietic recovery, as well as frequency of fever and infections. The median fall of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 10% from baseline in the amifostine group (105 to 95 ml min−1) and 37% in the control patient group (107 to 67 ml min−1) (P< 0.01). Amifostine-treated patients revealed a less pronounced increase in albumine and low molecular weight protein urinary excretion. Stomatitis grade III/IV occurred in 25% without versus 0% of patients with amifostine (P = 0.01). Acute nausea/vomiting was frequently observed immediately during or after the application of amifostine despite intensive antiemetic prophylaxis consisting of 5-HT3-receptor antagonists/dexamethasone/trifluorpromazine. However, delayed emesis occurred more often in the control patients. Engraftment of neutrophil (> 500 μl−1) and thrombocytes (> 25 000 μl−1)were observed at days 9 versus 10 and 10 versus 12, respectively, both slightly in favour of the amifostine arm. In addition, a lower number of days with fever and a shortened duration of hospital stay were observed in the amifostine arm. The reduction of acute toxicity observed in the amifostine arm resulted in 30% savings in costs for supportive care (Euro 4396 versus Euro 3153 per patient). Taking into account the drug costs of amifostine, calculation of in-patient treatment costs from the start of chemotherapy to discharge revealed additional costs of Euro 540 per patient in the amifostine arm. This randomized pilot study indicates that both organ and haematotoxicity of HD-VIC chemotherapy can be ameliorated by the use of amifostine. Additionally, a nearly complete preservation of GFR was observed in amifostine-treated patients which may be advantageous if repetitive cycles of HDCT are planned. Larger randomized trials evaluating amifostine cytoprotection during high-dose chemotherapy are warranted. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign http://www.bjcancer.com
toxicity; high-dose chemotherapy; PBSC transplantation; cytoprotection; amifostine; pharmacoeconomics
A comprehensive systematic review of economic evaluations of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) to establish the value of these therapies to health reform efforts.
PubMed, CINAHL, AMED, PsychInfo, Web of Science and EMBASE were searched from inception through 2010. In addition, bibliographies of found articles and reviews were searched, and key researchers were contacted.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies
Studies of CIM were identified using criteria based on those of the Cochrane complementary and alternative medicine group. All studies of CIM reporting economic outcomes were included.
Study appraisal methods
All recent (and likely most cost-relevant) full economic evaluations published 2001–2010 were subjected to several measures of quality. Detailed results of higher-quality studies are reported.
A total of 338 economic evaluations of CIM were identified, of which 204, covering a wide variety of CIM for different populations, were published 2001–2010. A total of 114 of these were full economic evaluations. And 90% of these articles covered studies of single CIM therapies and only one compared usual care to usual care plus access to multiple licensed CIM practitioners. Of the recent full evaluations, 31 (27%) met five study-quality criteria, and 22 of these also met the minimum criterion for study transferability (‘generalisability’). Of the 56 comparisons made in the higher-quality studies, 16 (29%) show a health improvement with cost savings for the CIM therapy versus usual care. Study quality of the cost-utility analyses (CUAs) of CIM was generally comparable to that seen in CUAs across all medicine according to several measures, and the quality of the cost-saving studies was slightly, but not significantly, lower than those showing cost increases (85% vs 88%, p=0.460).
This comprehensive review identified many CIM economic evaluations missed by previous reviews and emerging evidence of cost-effectiveness and possible cost savings in at least a few clinical populations. Recommendations are made for future studies.
Complementary Medicine; Health Economics; Statistics & Research Methods
The purpose of this study was to evaluate in a phase I-II trial whether low doses of recombinant human interleukin 2 (rHuIL-2) over a prolonged period of time are safe and effective in eradicating or controlling minimal residual disease in children with neuroblastoma given high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). From January 1992 to July 1996, 17 consecutive patients, with either stage IV or relapsed neuroblastoma, were enrolled. Patients received rHuIL-2 after a median time interval (min-max) of 105 days (56-153) after HDCT and ASCT. The protocol consisted of 2 'priming' courses of rHuIL-2 at escalating doses administered intravenously at 72-h intervals, followed by 'maintenance' with 11 monthly and six bimonthly boosting 5-day courses administered subcutaneously on an outpatient basis. At April 1997, 7 out of the 17 patients had completed the treatment schedule, four had discontinued treatment because of toxicity and four because of relapse; the remaining two patients are still on treatment, having completed 15 courses. Expansion of T lymphocytes, together with an increase in both natural killer cells and in activated T lymphocytes was evidenced. After a median (min-max) follow-up time of 30 (16-64) months, 12 out of 17 patients are alive and well. Two patients relapsed and died 14 and 35 months after transplant. Three patients are alive after having relapsed at 41, 21 and 13 months. The actuarial 2-year event-free survival and overall survival are 67% and 92% respectively. Intermittent administration of low doses of rHuIL-2 given for a long period of time is well tolerated and seems capable of controlling minimal residual disease after HDCT and ASCT in children with high-risk neuroblastoma.
Sipuleucel-T is a novel active cellular immunotherapy for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). It is assumed to be associated with less adverse events than conventional docetaxel-based chemotherapy.
Material and methods
A systematic review of literature published between January, 1 1966 and February, 6 2012 was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of sipuleucel-T in patients with mCRPC. Databases were searched: Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane, CancerLit as well as ASCO and ESCO websites.
Three randomized clinical trials with a total of 737 participants fulfilled established criteria. The overall survival of patients who received sipuleucel-T in comparison to the control group was significantly longer with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.73 (95% CI: 0.61-0.88; p = 0.001). Time to disease progression was not prolonged using sipuleucel-T compared to placebo, HR = 0.89 (95% CI: 0.75-1.05; p = 0.18). Relative benefit (RB) of serum PSA level reduction of at least 50% for sipuleucel-T compared to placebo did not meet statistical significance, RB = 1.97 (95% CI: 0.48-8.14; p = 0.38). The safety population consisted of 729 patients with mCRPC. Compared to the control group, the pooled relative risks (RR) of all adverse events – RR = 1.03 (95% CI: 1.00-1.05; p = 0.06), grade 3 to 5 adverse events – RR = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.79-1.22; p = 0.86) and cerebrovascular events – RR = 1.93 (95% CI: 0.73-5.09; p = 0.18) were not significantly higher for men treated with sipuleucel-T.
The use of sipuleucel-T prolonged the overall survival among men with mCRPC. No effect on time to disease progression was observed and the safety profile was acceptable.
APC 8015; prostate cancer vaccine; sipuleucel-T; Provenge