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1.  LICC: L-BLP25 in patients with colorectal carcinoma after curative resection of hepatic metastases--a randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, multinational, double-blinded phase II trial 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:144.
15-20% of all patients initially diagnosed with colorectal cancer develop metastatic disease and surgical resection remains the only potentially curative treatment available. Current 5-year survival following R0-resection of liver metastases is 28-39%, but recurrence eventually occurs in up to 70%. To date, adjuvant chemotherapy has not improved clinical outcomes significantly. The primary objective of the ongoing LICC trial (L-BLP25 In Colorectal Cancer) is to determine whether L-BLP25, an active cancer immunotherapy, extends recurrence-free survival (RFS) time over placebo in colorectal cancer patients following R0/R1 resection of hepatic metastases. L-BLP25 targets MUC1 glycoprotein, which is highly expressed in hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer. In a phase IIB trial, L-BLP25 has shown acceptable tolerability and a trend towards longer survival in patients with stage IIIB locoregional NSCLC.
This is a multinational, phase II, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a sample size of 159 patients from 20 centers in 3 countries. Patients with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma limited to liver metastases are included. Following curative-intent complete resection of the primary tumor and of all synchronous/metachronous metastases, eligible patients are randomized 2:1 to receive either L-BLP25 or placebo. Those allocated to L-BLP25 receive a single dose of 300 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide (CP) 3 days before first L-BLP25 dose, then primary treatment with s.c. L-BLP25 930 μg once weekly for 8 weeks, followed by s.c. L-BLP25 930 μg maintenance doses at 6-week (years 1&2) and 12-week (year 3) intervals unless recurrence occurs. In the control arm, CP is replaced by saline solution and L-BLP25 by placebo. Primary endpoint is the comparison of recurrence-free survival (RFS) time between groups. Secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS) time, safety, tolerability, RFS/OS in MUC-1 positive cancers. Exploratory immune response analyses are planned. The primary endpoint will be assessed in Q3 2016. Follow-up will end Q3 2017. Interim analyses are not planned.
The design and implementation of such a vaccination study in colorectal cancer is feasible. The study will provide recurrence-free and overall survival rates of groups in an unbiased fashion.
Trial Registration
EudraCT Number 2011-000218-20
PMCID: PMC3342924  PMID: 22494623
2.  Gene Expression Profiling for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy Decisions in Women with Early Breast Cancer 
Executive Summary
In February 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on evidence-based reviews of published literature surrounding three pharmacogenomic tests. This project came about when Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) asked MAS to provide evidence-based analyses on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three oncology pharmacogenomic tests currently in use in Ontario.
Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these technologies. These have been completed in conjunction with internal and external stakeholders, including a Provincial Expert Panel on Pharmacogenomics (PEPP). Within the PEPP, subgroup committees were developed for each disease area. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed by the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA) and is summarized within the reports.
The following reports can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: or at
Gene Expression Profiling for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy Decisions in Women with Early Breast Cancer: An Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation (EGFR) Testing for Prediction of Response to EGFR-Targeting Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) Drugs in Patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: An Evidence-Based and Ecopnomic Analysis
K-RAS testing in Treatment Decisions for Advanced Colorectal Cancer: an Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
To review and synthesize the available evidence regarding the laboratory performance, prognostic value, and predictive value of Oncotype-DX for the target population.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
The target population of this review is women with newly diagnosed early stage (stage I–IIIa) invasive breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and/or progesterone-receptor (PR) positive. Much of this review, however, is relevant for women with early stage (I and II) invasive breast cancer that is specifically ER positive, lymph node (LN) negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2/neu) negative. This refined population represents an estimated incident population of 3,315 new breast cancers in Ontario (according to 2007 data). Currently it is estimated that only 15% of these women will develop a distant metastasis at 10 years; however, a far great proportion currently receive adjuvant chemotherapy, suggesting that more women are being treated with chemotherapy than can benefit. There is therefore a need to develop better prognostic and predictive tools to improve the selection of women that may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
Technology of Concern
The Oncotype-DX Breast Cancer Assay (Genomic Health, Redwood City, CA) quantifies gene expression for 21 genes in breast cancer tissue by performing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumour blocks that are obtained during initial surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, or core biopsy) of women with early breast cancer that is newly diagnosed. The panel of 21 genes include genes associated with tumour proliferation and invasion, as well as other genes related to HER-2/neu expression, ER expression, and progesterone receptor (PR) expression.
Research Questions
What is the laboratory performance of Oncotype-DX?
How reliable is Oncotype-DX (i.e., how repeatable and reproducible is Oncotype-DX)?
How often does Oncotype-DX fail to give a useable result?
What is the prognostic value of Oncotype-DX?*
Is Oncotype-DX recurrence score associated with the risk of distant recurrence or death due to any cause in women with early breast cancer receiving tamoxifen?
What is the predictive value of Oncotype-DX?*
Does Oncoytpe-DX recurrence score predict significant benefit in terms of improvements in 10-year distant recurrence or death due to any cause for women receiving tamoxifen plus chemotherapy in comparison to women receiving tamoxifen alone?
How does Oncotype-DX compare to other known predictors of risk such as Adjuvant! Online?
How does Oncotype-DX impact patient quality of life and clinical/patient decision-making?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on March 19th, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1st, 2006 to March 19th, 2010. A starting search date of January 1st, 2006 was because a comprehensive systematic review of Oncotype-DX was identified in preliminary literature searching. This systematic review, by Marchionni et al. (2008), included literature up to January 1st, 2007. All studies identified in the review by Marchionni et al. as well as those identified in updated literature searching were used to form the evidentiary base of this review. The quality of the overall body of evidence was identified as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
Any observational trial, controlled clinical trial, randomized controlled trial (RCT), meta-analysis or systematic review that reported on the laboratory performance, prognostic value and/or predictive value of Oncotype-DX testing, or other outcome relevant to the Key Questions, specific to the target population was included.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies that did not report original data or original data analysis,
Studies published in a language other than English,
Studies reported only in abstract or as poster presentations (such publications were not sought nor included in this review since the MAS does not generally consider evidence that is not subject to peer review nor does the MAS consider evidence that lacks detailed description of methodology).
Outcomes of Interest
Outcomes of interest varied depending on the Key Question. For the Key Questions of prognostic and predictive value (Key Questions #2 and #3), the prospectively defined primary outcome was risk of 10-year distant recurrence. The prospectively defined secondary outcome was 10-year death due to any cause (i.e., overall survival). All additional outcomes such as risk of locoregional recurrence or disease-free survival (DFS) were not prospectively determined for this review but were reported as presented in included trials; these outcomes are referenced as tertiary outcomes in this review. Outcomes for other Key Questions (i.e., Key Questions #1, #4 and #5) were not prospectively defined due to the variability in endpoints relevant for these questions.
Summary of Findings
A total of 26 studies were included. Of these 26 studies, only five studies were relevant to the primary questions of this review (Key Questions #2 and #3). The following conclusions were drawn from the entire body of evidence:
There is a lack of external validation to support the reliability of Oncotype-DX; however, the current available evidence derived from internal industry validation studies suggests that Oncotype-DX is reliable (i.e., Oncotype-DX is repeatable and reproducible).
Current available evidence suggests a moderate failure rate of Oncotype-DX testing; however, the failure rate observed across clinical trials included in this review is likely inflated; the current Ontario experience suggests an acceptably lower rate of test failure.
In women with newly diagnosed early breast cancer (stage I–II) that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone-receptor positive and lymph-node negative:
There is low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has prognostic value in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen or anastrozole (the latter for postmenopausal women only),
There is very low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX can predict which women will benefit from adjuvant CMF/MF chemotherapy in women being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.
In postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed early breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone-receptor positive and lymph-node positive:
There is low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has limited prognostic value in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen or anastrozole,
There is very low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has limited predictive value for predicting which women will benefit from adjuvant CAF chemotherapy in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.
There are methodological and statistical limitations that affect both the generalizability of the current available evidence, as well as the magnitude and statistical strength of the observed effect sizes; in particular:
Of the major predictive trials, Oncotype-DX scores were only produced for a small subset of women (<40% of the original randomized population) potentially disabling the effects of treatment randomization and opening the possibility of selection bias;
Data is not specific to HER-2/neu-negative women;
There were limitations with multivariate statistical analyses.
Additional trials of observational design may provide further validation of the prognostic and predictive value of Oncotype-DX; however, it is unlikely that prospective or randomized data will become available in the near future due to ethical, time and resource considerations.
There is currently insufficient evidence investigating how Oncoytpe-DX compares to other known prognostic estimators of risk, such as Adjuvant! Online, and there is insufficient evidence investigating how Oncotype-DX would impact clinician/patient decision-making in a setting generalizable to Ontario.
PMCID: PMC3382301  PMID: 23074401
3.  Gene Expression Classification of Colon Cancer into Molecular Subtypes: Characterization, Validation, and Prognostic Value 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001453.
Colon cancer (CC) pathological staging fails to accurately predict recurrence, and to date, no gene expression signature has proven reliable for prognosis stratification in clinical practice, perhaps because CC is a heterogeneous disease. The aim of this study was to establish a comprehensive molecular classification of CC based on mRNA expression profile analyses.
Methods and Findings
Fresh-frozen primary tumor samples from a large multicenter cohort of 750 patients with stage I to IV CC who underwent surgery between 1987 and 2007 in seven centers were characterized for common DNA alterations, including BRAF, KRAS, and TP53 mutations, CpG island methylator phenotype, mismatch repair status, and chromosomal instability status, and were screened with whole genome and transcriptome arrays. 566 samples fulfilled RNA quality requirements. Unsupervised consensus hierarchical clustering applied to gene expression data from a discovery subset of 443 CC samples identified six molecular subtypes. These subtypes were associated with distinct clinicopathological characteristics, molecular alterations, specific enrichments of supervised gene expression signatures (stem cell phenotype–like, normal-like, serrated CC phenotype–like), and deregulated signaling pathways. Based on their main biological characteristics, we distinguished a deficient mismatch repair subtype, a KRAS mutant subtype, a cancer stem cell subtype, and three chromosomal instability subtypes, including one associated with down-regulated immune pathways, one with up-regulation of the Wnt pathway, and one displaying a normal-like gene expression profile. The classification was validated in the remaining 123 samples plus an independent set of 1,058 CC samples, including eight public datasets. Furthermore, prognosis was analyzed in the subset of stage II–III CC samples. The subtypes C4 and C6, but not the subtypes C1, C2, C3, and C5, were independently associated with shorter relapse-free survival, even after adjusting for age, sex, stage, and the emerging prognostic classifier Oncotype DX Colon Cancer Assay recurrence score (hazard ratio 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.1, p = 0.0097). However, a limitation of this study is that information on tumor grade and number of nodes examined was not available.
We describe the first, to our knowledge, robust transcriptome-based classification of CC that improves the current disease stratification based on clinicopathological variables and common DNA markers. The biological relevance of these subtypes is illustrated by significant differences in prognosis. This analysis provides possibilities for improving prognostic models and therapeutic strategies. In conclusion, we report a new classification of CC into six molecular subtypes that arise through distinct biological pathways.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Cancer of the large bowel (colorectal cancer) is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Despite recent advances in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer, an estimated 608,000 people die every year from this form of cancer—8% of all cancer deaths. The prognosis and treatment options for colorectal cancer depend on five pathological stages (0–IV), each of which has a different treatment option and five year survival rate, so it is important that the stage is correctly identified. Unfortunately, pathological staging fails to accurately predict recurrence (relapse) in patients undergoing surgery for localized colorectal cancer, which is a concern, as 10%–20% of patients with stage II and 30%–40% of those with stage III colorectal cancer develop recurrence.
Why Was This Study Done?
Previous studies have investigated whether there are any possible gene expression profiles (identified through microarray techniques) that can help predict prognosis of colorectal cancer, but so far, there have been no firm conclusions that can aid clinical practice. In this study, the researchers used genetic information from a French multicenter study to identify a standard, reproducible molecular classification based on gene expression analysis of colorectal cancer. The authors also assessed whether there were any associations between the identified molecular subtypes and clinical and pathological factors, common DNA alterations, and prognosis.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used genetic information from a cohort of 750 patients with stage I to IV colorectal cancer who underwent surgery between 1987 and 2007 in seven centers in France. The researchers identified relevant clinical and pathological staging information for each patient from the medical records and calculated recurrence-free survival (the time from surgery to the first recurrence) for patients with stage II or III disease. In the genetic analysis, 566 tumor samples were suitable—443 were used in a discovery set, to create the classification, and the remainder were used in a validation set, to test the classification. The researchers also used information from eight public datasets to validate their findings.
Using these methods, the researchers classified the colon cancer samples into six molecular subtypes (based on gene expression data) and, on further analysis and validation, were able to distinguish the main biological characteristics and deregulated pathways associated with each subtype. Importantly, the researchers found that that these six subtypes were associated with distinct clinical and pathological characteristics, molecular alterations, specific gene expression signatures, and deregulated signaling pathways. In the prognostic analysis based on recurrence-free survival, the researchers found that patients whose tumors were classified in one of two clusters (C4 and C6) had poorer recurrence-free survival than the other patients.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that it is possible to classify colorectal cancer into six robust molecular subtypes that might help identify new prognostic subgroups and could provide a basis for developing robust prognostic genetic signatures for stage II and III colorectal cancer and for identifying specific markers for the different subtypes that might be targets for future drug development. However, as this study was retrospective and did not include some known predictors of colorectal cancer prognosis, such as tumor grade and number of nodes examined, the significance and robustness of the prognostic classification requires further confirmation with large prospective patient cohorts.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The American Cancer Society provides information about colorectal cancer and also about how colorectal cancer is staged
The US National Cancer Institute also provides information on colon and rectal cancer and colon cancer stages
PMCID: PMC3660251  PMID: 23700391
4.  Evaluating Letrozole and Tamoxifen Alone and in Sequence for Postmenopausal Women with Steroid Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer: the BIG 1-98 Randomized Clinical Trial at 8.1 years Median Follow-Up 
The lancet oncology  2011;12(12):1101-1108.
Postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer have persistent, long-term risk of breast cancer recurrence and death. Therefore, trials evaluating endocrine therapies for this patient population require 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.
BIG 1-98 is a randomized, phase III, double-blind trial of 8010 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer that compares five years of tamoxifen or letrozole monotherapy or sequential treatment with two years of one of these agents followed by three years of the other. The primary efficacy endpoint is disease-free survival (DFS: events comprise invasive breast cancer relapse, second primaries [contralateral breast and non-breast], or death without prior cancer event), and secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS), distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI) and breast cancer-free interval (BCFI). The monotherapy comparison includes patients randomized to tamoxifen × 5 years (n=2459) or letrozole × 5 years (n=2463). In 2005, after significant DFS benefit was reported for letrozole as compared with tamoxifen, a protocol amendment facilitated the crossover to letrozole of patients who were still receiving tamoxifen alone; Cox models and Kaplan-Meier estimates with inverse probability of censoring weighting (IPCW) are used to account for selective crossover to letrozole of 619 patients in the tamoxifen arm. The comparison of sequential treatments to letrozole monotherapy includes patients enrolled in the four-arm option of the trial and randomized to letrozole × 5 years (n=1546), letrozole × 2 years followed by tamoxifen × 3 years (n=1540), or tamoxifen × 2 years followed by letrozole × 3 years (n=1548). All patients have completed study treatment; follow up is continuing for those enrolled in the four-arm option. BIG 1-98 is registered at NCT00004205.
At a median follow-up of 8.7 years from randomization (range 0–12.4), letrozole monotherapy is significantly better than tamoxifen, whether using IPCW or intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis [IPCW: DFS HR 0.82 (95% CI 0.74–0.92), OS HR 0.79 (0.69–0.900, DRFI HR 0.79 (0.68–0.92), BCFI HR 0.80 (0.70–0.92); ITT: DFS HR 0.86 (0.78–0.96), OS HR 0.87 (0.77–0.999), DRFI HR 0.86 (0.74–0.998), BCFI HR 0.86 (0.76–0.98)]. At a median follow-up of 8.0 years from randomization (range 0–11.2), there were no statistically significant differences in any of the four endpoints for either sequence compared with letrozole monotherapy. Eight-year ITT estimates [each with SE ≤ 1.1%] for letrozole monotherapy, letrozole followed by tamoxifen, and tamoxifen followed by letrozole were 78.6%, 77.8%, 77.3% for DFS; 87.5%, 87.7%, 85.9% for OS; 89.9%, 88.7%, 88.1% for DRFI; and 86.1%, 85.3%, 84.3% for BCFI.
For postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer, a reduction in breast cancer recurrence and mortality is obtained by letrozole monotherapy when compared to tamoxifen. Sequential treatments involving tamoxifen and letrozole do not improve outcome compared with letrozole monotherapy, but may represent useful strategies considering individual patient’s risk of recurrence and treatment tolerability: more thromboembolic events, vaginal bleeding, hot flushes and night sweats with tamoxifen, while more vaginal dryness, bone fractures, osteoporosis, arthralgia/myalgia, and higher grade cardiac events with letrozole.
Novartis, United States National Cancer Institute, International Breast Cancer Study Group.
PMCID: PMC3235950  PMID: 22018631
aromatase inhibitor; letrozole; breast cancer; adjuvant therapy; endocrine therapy; tamoxifen
5.  Randomized phase II study of S-1 dosing schedule for resected colorectal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:452.
Postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage III Colorectal cancer (CRC) is now internationally accepted as standard care for improving patient outcomes. The Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of S-1 for Colorectal Cancer (ACTS-CC) confirmed the non-inferiority of S-1 to tegafur/urcail/leucovorin in terms of overall survival and disease-free survival in patients with stage III CRC after curative surgery. However, the 6-month completion rate of S-1 treatment was 76.5 % in the ACTS-CC. Therefore, treatment completion remains an unresolved problem.
A randomized phase II trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral daily administration and alternate-day administration of S-1 as adjuvant chemotherapy in curatively resected stage III CRC. Enrolled patients were assigned to either S-1 daily administration (Arm A) or alternate-day S-1 administration (Arm B). Assigned treatment will start within 8 weeks after surgery. In both arms, S-1 dosing (oral) will be based on body surface area (80 mg/day for body surface area < 1.25 m2, 100 mg/day for 1.25–1.5 m2, or 60 mg/day for > 1.5 m2). In Arm A, S-1 will be administered orally for 28 days, followed by a 14-day rest. Administration will be conducted for 24 weeks from the date of therapy start. In Arm B, S-1 will be administered orally on alternate days for 28 weeks from the date of the start of therapy. After treatment, all patients will be observed without additional therapy unless recurrent lesions or other cancer lesions occur. The primary endpoint is treatment completion rate. Secondary endpoints include 3-year disease-free survival, compliance, and adverse events.
Previously, S-1 alternate-day intake maintained the efficacy of chemotherapy while reducing adverse effects for patients with R0-resected stage II/III gastric cancer. Improvement of chemotherapy completion rate for patients with colorectal cancer will lead to an improved patient prognosis. Therefore, a randomized phase II trial has been designed to examine the efficacy of alternate-day versus current standard daily S-1 administration as adjuvant chemotherapy for R0-resected stage III colorectal cancer.
Trial registration
This study was registered on 18 February 2014 with University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry: UMIN000013185
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1476-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4470361  PMID: 26036466
Colorectal cancer; Randomized phase II; S-1; Dose schedule
6.  Phase II Trial of Preoperative Radiation With Concurrent Capecitabine, Oxaliplatin, and Bevacizumab Followed by Surgery and Postoperative 5-Fluorouracil, Leucovorin, Oxaliplatin (FOLFOX), and Bevacizumab in Patients With Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer: 5-Year Clinical Outcomes ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group E3204 
The Oncologist  2015;20(6):615-616.
Lessons Learned
The 5-year oncologic outcomes from the trial regimen were excellent. However, the neoadjuvant and surgical toxicity of this regimen was significant and was the primary reason for the low compliance with adjuvant systemic therapy.
Due to the lack of an improvement in the pathologic complete response rate, the substantial associated toxicity, and the negative phase III trials of adjuvant bevacizumab in colon cancer, this regimen will not be pursued for further study.
The addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy improves overall survival for metastatic colorectal cancer. We initiated a phase II trial to evaluate preoperative capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and bevacizumab with radiation therapy (RT) followed by surgery and postoperative 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin (FOLFOX), and bevacizumab for locally advanced rectal cancer. The purpose of this report is to describe the 5-year oncologic outcomes of this regimen.
In a phase II Simon two-stage design study, we evaluated preoperative treatment with capecitabine (825 mg/m2 b.i.d. Monday–Friday), oxaliplatin (50 mg/m2 weekly), bevacizumab (5 mg/kg on days 1, 15, and 29), and RT (50.4 Gy). Surgery was performed by 8 weeks after RT. Beginning 8–12 weeks after surgery, patients received FOLFOX plus bevacizumab (5 mg/kg) every 2 weeks for 12 cycles (oxaliplatin stopped after 9 cycles). The primary endpoint was a pathologic complete response (path-CR) rate of 30%. Fifty-seven patients with resectable T3/T4 rectal adenocarcinoma were enrolled between 2006 and 2010.
Of 57 enrolled patients, 53 were eligible and included in the analysis. Forty-eight (91%) patients completed preoperative therapy, all of whom underwent curative surgical resection. Nine patients (17%) achieved path-CR. There were 29 worst grade 3 events, 8 worst grade 4 events, and 2 patient deaths, 1 of which was attributed to study therapy. Twenty-six patients (54%) began adjuvant chemotherapy. After a median follow-up period of 41 months, the 5-year overall survival (OS) rate for all patients was 80%. Only 2 patients experienced cancer recurrence: 1 distant (liver) and 1 loco-regional (pelvic lymph nodes), respectively. Both of these patients are still alive. The 5-year relapse-free survival rate was 81%.
Despite the path-CR primary endpoint of this trial not being reached, the 5-year OS and recurrence-free survival rates were excellent. However, the neoadjuvant and surgical toxicity of this regimen was significant and was the primary reason for the low compliance with adjuvant systemic therapy. Because of the lack of an improvement in the path-CR rate, the substantial associated toxicity, and the negative phase III trials of adjuvant bevacizumab in colon cancer, this regimen will not be pursued for further study.
PMCID: PMC4571787  PMID: 25926352
7.  Surrogate endpoints for overall survival in chemotherapy and radiotherapy trials in operable and locally advanced lung cancer: a re-analysis of meta-analyses of individual patients' data 
The Lancet Oncology  2013;14(7):619-626.
The gold standard endpoint in clinical trials of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for lung cancer is overall survival. Although reliable and simple to measure, this endpoint takes years to observe. Surrogate endpoints that would enable earlier assessments of treatment effects would be useful. We assessed the correlations between potential surrogate endpoints and overall survival at individual and trial levels.
We analysed individual patients' data from 15 071 patients involved in 60 randomised clinical trials that were assessed in six meta-analyses. Two meta-analyses were of adjuvant chemotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancer, three were of sequential or concurrent chemotherapy, and one was of modified radiotherapy in locally advanced lung cancer. We investigated disease-free survival (DFS) or progression-free survival (PFS), defined as the time from randomisation to local or distant relapse or death, and locoregional control, defined as the time to the first local event, as potential surrogate endpoints. At the individual level we calculated the squared correlations between distributions of these three endpoints and overall survival, and at the trial level we calculated the squared correlation between treatment effects for endpoints.
In trials of adjuvant chemotherapy, correlations between DFS and overall survival were very good at the individual level (ρ2=0·83, 95% CI 0·83–0·83 in trials without radiotherapy, and 0·87, 0·87–0·87 in trials with radiotherapy) and excellent at trial level (R2=0·92, 95% CI 0·88–0·95 in trials without radiotherapy and 0·99, 0·98–1·00 in trials with radiotherapy). In studies of locally advanced disease, correlations between PFS and overall survival were very good at the individual level (ρ2 range 0·77–0·85, dependent on the regimen being assessed) and trial level (R2 range 0·89–0·97). In studies with data on locoregional control, individual-level correlations were good (ρ2=0·71, 95% CI 0·71–0·71 for concurrent chemotherapy and ρ2=0·61, 0·61–0·61 for modified vs standard radiotherapy) and trial-level correlations very good (R2=0·85, 95% CI 0·77–0·92 for concurrent chemotherapy and R2=0·95, 0·91–0·98 for modified vs standard radiotherapy).
We found a high level of evidence that DFS is a valid surrogate endpoint for overall survival in studies of adjuvant chemotherapy involving patients with non-small-cell lung cancers, and PFS in those of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for patients with locally advanced lung cancers. Extrapolation to targeted agents, however, is not automatically warranted.
Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, British Medical Research Council, Sanofi-Aventis.
PMCID: PMC3732017  PMID: 23680111
8.  Perioperative FOLFOX4 plus bevacizumab for initially unresectable advanced colorectal cancer (NAVIGATE-CRC-01) 
OncoTargets and therapy  2015;8:1111-1118.
Perioperative chemotherapy combined with surgery for liver metastases is considered an active strategy in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). However, its impact on initially unresectable, previously untreated advanced CRC, regardless of concurrent metastases, remains to be clarified.
A Phase II study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of perioperative FOLFOX4 plus bevacizumab for initially unresectable advanced CRC. Patients with previously untreated advanced colon or rectal cancer initially diagnosed as unresectable advanced CRC (TNM stage IIIb, IIIc, or IV) but potentially resectable after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) were studied. Preoperatively, patients received six cycles of NAC (five cycles of neoadjuvant FOLFOX4 plus bevacizumab followed by one cycle of FOLFOX4 alone). The interval between the last dose of bevacizumab and surgery was at least 5 weeks. Six cycles of adjuvant FOLFOX4 plus bevacizumab were given after surgery. The completion rate of NAC and feasibility of curative surgery were the primary endpoints.
An interim analysis was performed at the end of NAC in the 12th patient to assess the completion rate of NAC. The median follow-up time was 56 months. The characteristics of the patients were as follows: sex, eight males and four females; tumor location, sigmoid colon in three, ascending colon in one, and rectum (above the peritoneal reflection) in eight; stage, III in eight and IV in four (liver or lymph nodes). All patients completed six cycles of NAC. There were no treatment-related severe adverse events or deaths. An objective response to NAC was achieved in nine patients (75%), and no disease progression was observed. Eleven patients underwent curative tumor resection, including metastatic lesions. In December 2012, this Phase II study was terminated because of slow registration.
Perioperative FOLFOX4 plus bevacizumab is well tolerated and has a promising response rate leading to curative surgery, which offers a survival benefit in initially unresectable advanced CRC with concurrent metastatic lesions.
PMCID: PMC4445787  PMID: 26056475
bevacizumab; metastatic colorectal cancer; FOLFOX4; perioperative treatment
9.  Neoadjuvant plus adjuvant bevacizumab in early breast cancer (NSABP B-40 [NRG Oncology]): secondary outcomes of a phase 3, randomised controlled trial 
The Lancet. Oncology  2015;16(9):1037-1048.
NSABP B-40 was a 3 × 2 factorial trial testing whether adding capecitabine or gemcitabine to docetaxel followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide neoadjuvant chemotherapy would improve outcomes in women with operable, HER2-negative breast cancer and whether adding neoadjuvant plus adjuvant bevacizumab to neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens would also improve outcomes. As reported previously, addition of neoadjuvant bevacizumab increased the proportion of patients achieving a pathological complete response, which was the primary endpoint. We present secondary patient outcomes, including disease-free survival, a specified endpoint by protocol, and data for distant recurrence-free interval, and overall survival, which were not prespecified endpoints but were collected prospectively.
In this randomised controlled trial (NSABP B-40), we enrolled women aged 18 years or older, with operable, HER2-non-amplified invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast, 2 cm or greater in diameter by palpation, clinical stage T1c–3, cN0, cN1, or cN2a, without metastatic disease and diagnosed by core needle biopsy. Patients received one of three docetaxel-based neoadjuvant regimens for four cycles: docetaxel alone (100 mg/m2) with addition of capecitabine (825 mg/m2 oral twice daily days 1–14, 75 mg/m2 docetaxel) or with addition of gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 days 1 and 8 intravenously, 75 mg/m2 docetaxel), all followed by neoadjuvant doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (60 mg/m2 and 600 mg/m2 intravenously) every 3 weeks for four cycles. Those randomly assigned to bevacizumab groups were to receive bevacizumab (15 mg/kg, every 3 weeks for six cycles) with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and postoperatively for ten doses. Randomisation was done (1:1:1:1:1:1) via a biased-coin minimisation procedure to balance the characteristics with respect to clinical nodal status, clinical tumour size, hormone receptor status, and age. Intent-to-treat analyses were done for disease-free survival and overall survival. This study is registered with, number NCT00408408.
Between Jan 5, 2007, and June 30, 2010, 1206 patients were enrolled in the study. Follow-up data were collected from Oct 31, 2007 to March 27, 2014, and were available for overall survival in 1186 patients, disease-free survival in 1184, and distant recurrence-free interval in 1181. Neither capecitabine nor gemcitabine increased disease-free survival or overall survival. Median follow-up was 4.7 years (IQR 4.0–5.2). The addition of bevacizumab significantly increased overall survival (hazard ratio 0.65 [95% CI 0.49–0.88]; p=0.004) but did not significantly increase disease-free survival (0.80 [0.63–1.01]; p=0.06). Four deaths occurred on treatment due to vascular disorder (docetaxel plus capecitabine followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide group), sudden death (docetaxel plus capecitabine followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide group), infective endocarditis (docetaxel plus bevacizumab followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide and bevacizumab group), and visceral arterial ischaemia (docetaxel followed by doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide group). The most common grade 3–4 adverse events in the bevacizumab group were neutropenia (grade 3, 99 [17%]; grade 4, 37 [6%]), hand-foot syndrome (grade 3, 63 [11%]), and hypertension (grade 3, 60 [10%]; grade 4, two [<1%]) and in the non-bevacizumab group were neutropenia (grade 3, 98 [16%]; grade 4, 36 [6%]), fatigue (grade 3, 53 [9%]), and hand-foot syndrome (grade 3, 43 [7%]).
The addition of gemcitabine or capecitabine to neoadjuvant docetaxel plus doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide does not seem to provide any benefit to patients with operable breast cancer, and should not change clinical practice in the short term. The improved overall survival with bevacizumab contradicts the findings of other studies of bevacizumab in breast cancer and may indicate the need for additional investigation of this agent.
National Institutes of Health, Genentech, Roche Laboratories, Lilly Research Laboratories, and Precision Therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC4624323  PMID: 26272770
10.  Preoperative radiochemotherapy versus immediate surgery for resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer (PREOPANC trial): study protocol for a multicentre randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2016;17:127.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth largest cause of cancer death in the United States and Europe with over 100,000 deaths per year in Europe alone. The overall 5-year survival ranges from 2–7 % and has hardly improved over the last two decades. Approximately 15 % of all patients have resectable disease at diagnosis, and of those, only a subgroup has a resectable tumour at surgical exploration. Data from cohort studies have suggested that outcome can be improved by preoperative radiochemotherapy, but data from well-designed randomized studies are lacking. Our PREOPANC phase III trial aims to test the hypothesis that median overall survival of patients with resectable or borderline resectable pancreatic cancer can be improved with preoperative radiochemotherapy.
The PREOPANC trial is a randomized, controlled, multicentric superiority trial, initiated by the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group. Patients with (borderline) resectable pancreatic cancer are randomized to A: direct explorative laparotomy or B: after negative diagnostic laparoscopy, preoperative radiochemotherapy, followed by explorative laparotomy. A hypofractionated radiation scheme of 15 fractions of 2.4 gray (Gy) is combined with a course of gemcitabine, 1,000 mg/m2/dose on days 1, 8 and 15, preceded and followed by a modified course of gemcitabine. The target volumes of radiation are delineated on a 4D CT scan, where at least 95 % of the prescribed dose of 36 Gy in 15 fractions should cover 98 % of the planning target volume. Standard adjuvant chemotherapy is administered in both treatment arms after resection (six cycles in arm A and four in arm B). In total, 244 patients will be randomized in 17 hospitals in the Netherlands. The primary endpoint is overall survival by intention to treat. Secondary endpoints are (R0) resection rate, disease-free survival, time to locoregional recurrence or distant metastases and perioperative complications. Secondary endpoints for the experimental arm are toxicity and radiologic and pathologic response.
The PREOPANC trial is designed to investigate whether preoperative radiochemotherapy improves overall survival by means of increased (R0) resection rates in patients with resectable or borderline resectable pancreatic cancer.
Trial registration
Trial open for accrual: 3 April 2013
The Netherlands National Trial Register – NTR3709 (8 November 2012)
EU Clinical Trials Register – 2012-003181-40 (11 December 2012)
PMCID: PMC4784417  PMID: 26955809
(Borderline) resectable pancreatic cancer; Preoperative radiochemotherapy; Explorative laparotomy; Overall survival; Intention to treat
11.  Bifractionated CPT-11 with LV5FU2 infusion (FOLFIRI-3) in combination with bevacizumab: clinical outcomes in first-line metastatic colorectal cancers according to plasma angiopoietin-2 levels 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:611.
Optimization of chemotherapy effectiveness in metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRC) is a major endpoint to enhance the possibility of curative intent surgery. FOLFIRI3 has shown promising results as second-line chemotherapy for mCRC patients previously exposed to oxaliplatin. The clinical efficacy of FOLFIRI3 was never determined in association with bevacizumab in non-previously treated mCRC patients.
We conducted a phase II clinical trial to characterize the response rate and toxicity profile of FOLFIRI3-bevacizumab as initial treatment for mCRC. Sixty-one patients enrolled in 3 investigation centers were treated with FOLFIRI3-bevacizumab (median of 10 cycles) followed by a maintenance therapy combining bevacizumab and capecitabine. Levels of plasma angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at baseline.
Overall response rate (ORR) was 66.7% (8% of complete and 58% of partial responses). The disease control rate was 91.7%. After a median time of follow-up of 46.7 months, 56 patients (92%) had progressed or died. The median progression free survival (PFS) was 12.7 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.7-15.8 months). The median overall survival (OS) was 24.5 months (95% CI: 10.6-38.3 months). Twenty-one patients underwent curative intent-surgery including 4 patients with disease initially classified as unresectable. Most common grade III-IV toxicities were diarrhea (15%), neutropenia (13%), asthenia (10%), and infections (4%). Hypertension-related medications needed to be increased in 3 patients. In multivariate analysis, surgery of metastases and Ang-2 levels were the only independent prognostic factors for PFS and OS. Indeed, baseline level of Ang-2 above 5 ng/mL was confirmed as an independent prognostic factor for progression free survival (HR = 0.357; 95% CI: 0.168-0.76, p = 0.005) and overall survival (HR = 0.226; 95% CI: 0.098-0.53, p = 0.0002).
As front-line therapy, FOLFIRI-3-bevacizumab is associated with an acceptable toxicity and induced promising objective response rates. However, unfavorable clinical outcomes were observed in patients with high levels of angiopoietin-2.
PMCID: PMC3877948  PMID: 24373251
Colorectal cancer; Bevacizumab; FOLFIRI3; Irinotecan; Angiopoietin-2
12.  Liver resection for colorectal cancer metastases 
Current Oncology  2013;20(3):e255-e265.
Should surgery be considered for colorectal cancer (crc) patients who have liver metastases plus (a) pulmonary metastases, (b) portal nodal disease, or (c) other extrahepatic metastases (ehms)?
What is the role of chemotherapy in the surgical management of crc with liver metastases in (a) patients with resectable disease in the liver, or (b) patients with initially unresectable disease in the liver that is downsized with chemotherapy (“conversion”)?
What is the role of liver resection when one or more crc liver metastases have radiographic complete response (rcr) after chemotherapy?
Advances in chemotherapy have improved survival in crc patients with liver metastases. The 5-year survival with chemotherapy alone is typically less than 1%, although two recent studies with folfox or folfoxiri (or both) reported rates of 5%–10%. However, liver resection is the treatment that is most effective in achieving long-term survival and offering the possibility of a cure in stage iv crc patients with liver metastases. This guideline deals with the role of chemotherapy with surgery, and the role of surgery when there are liver metastases plus ehms. Because only a proportion of patients with crc metastatic disease are considered for liver resection, and because management of this patient population is complex, multidisciplinary management is required.
Recommendations in the present guideline were formulated based on a prepublication version of a recent systematic review on this topic. The draft methodology experts, and external review by clinical practitioners. Feedback was incorporated into the final version of the guideline.
Practice Guideline
These recommendations apply to patients with liver metastases from crc who have had or will have a complete (R0) resection of the primary cancer and who are being considered for resection of the liver, or liver plus specific and limited ehms, with curative intent.
1(a). Patients with liver and lung metastases should be seen in consultation with a thoracic surgeon. Combined or staged metastasectomy is recommended when, taking into account anatomic and physiologic considerations, the assessment is that all pulmonary metastases can also be completely removed. Furthermore, liver resection may be indicated in patients who have had a prior lung resection, and vice versa.
1(b). Routine liver resection is not recommended in patients with portal nodal disease. This group includes patients with radiologically suspicious portal nodes or malignant portal nodes found preoperatively or intraoperatively. Liver plus nodal resection, together with perioperative systemic therapy, may be an option—after a full discussion with the patient—in cases with limited nodal involvement and with metastases that can be completely resected.
1(c). Routine liver resection is not recommended in patients with nonpulmonary ehms. Liver plus extrahepatic resection, together with perioperative systemic therapy, may be an option—after a full discussion with the patient—for metastases that can be completely resected.
2(a). Perioperative chemotherapy, either before and after resection, or after resection, is recommended in patients with resectable liver metastatic disease. This recommendation extends to patients with ehms that can be completely resected (R0). Risks and potential benefits of perioperative chemotherapy should be discussed for patients with resectable liver metastases. The data on whether patients with previous oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy or a short interval from completion of adjuvant therapy for primary crc might benefit from perioperative chemotherapy are limited.
2(b). Liver resection is recommended in patients with initially unresectable metastatic liver disease who have a sufficient downstaging response to conversion chemotherapy. If complete resection has been achieved, postoperative chemotherapy should be considered.
3. Surgical resection of all lesions, including lesions with rcr, is recommended when technically feasible and when adequate functional liver can be left as a remnant. When a lesion with rcr is present in a portion of the liver that cannot be resected, surgery may still be a reasonable therapeutic strategy if all other visible disease can be resected. Postoperative chemotherapy might be considered in those patients. Close follow-up of the lesion with rcr is warranted to allow localized treatment or further resection for an in situ recurrence.
PMCID: PMC3671032  PMID: 23737695
Colorectal cancer metastases; liver resection; hepatic resection; chemotherapy; complete response; downstaging
13.  KRAS Testing for Anti-EGFR Therapy in Advanced Colorectal Cancer 
Executive Summary
In February 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on evidence-based reviews of the literature surrounding three pharmacogenomic tests. This project came about when Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) asked MAS to provide evidence-based analyses on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three oncology pharmacogenomic tests currently in use in Ontario.
Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these technologies. These have been completed in conjunction with internal and external stakeholders, including a Provincial Expert Panel on Pharmacogenomics (PEPP). Within the PEPP, subgroup committees were developed for each disease area. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed by the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA) and is summarized within the reports.
The following reports can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: or at
Gene Expression Profiling for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy Decisions in Women with Early Breast Cancer: An Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation (EGFR) Testing for Prediction of Response to EGFR-Targeting Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) Drugs in Patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: an Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
K-RAS testing in Treatment Decisions for Advanced Colorectal Cancer: an Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis.
The objective of this systematic review is to determine the predictive value of KRAS testing in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with two anti-EGFR agents, cetuximab and panitumumab. Economic analyses are also being conducted to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of KRAS testing.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is usually defined as stage IV disease according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumour node metastasis (TNM) system or stage D in the Duke’s classification system. Patients with advanced colorectal cancer (mCRC) either present with metastatic disease or develop it through disease progression.
KRAS (Kristen-RAS, a member of the rat sarcoma virus (ras) gene family of oncogenes) is frequently mutated in epithelial cancers such as colorectal cancer, with mutations occurring in mutational hotspots (codons 12 and 13) of the KRAS protein. Involved in EGFR-mediated signalling of cellular processes such as cell proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, enhanced cell motility and neoangiogenesis, a mutation in the KRAS gene is believed to be involved in cancer pathogenesis. Such a mutation is also hypothesized to be involved in resistance to targeted anti-EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor with tyrosine kinase activity) treatments such as cetuximab and panitumumab, hence, the important in evaluating the evidence on the predictive value of KRAS testing in this context.
KRAS Mutation Testing in Advanced Colorectal Cancer
Both cetuximab and panitumumab are indicated by Health Canada in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumours are WT for the KRAS gene. Cetuximab may be offered as monotherapy in patients intolerant to irinotecan-based chemotherapy or in patients who have failed both irinotecan and oxaliplatin-based regimens and who received a fluoropyrimidine. It can also be administered in combination with irinotecan in patients refractory to other irinotecan-based chemotherapy regimens. Panitumumab is only indicated as a single agent after failure of fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.
In Ontario, patients with advanced colorectal cancer who are refractory to chemotherapy may be offered the targeted anti-EGFR treatments cetuximab or panitumumab. Eligibility for these treatments is based on the KRAS status of their tumour, derived from tissue collected from surgical or biopsy specimens. It is believed that KRAS status is not affected by treatments, therefore, for patients for whom surgical tissue is available for KRAS testing, additional biopsies prior to treatment with these targeted agents is not necessary. For patients that have not undergone surgery or for whom surgical tissue is not available, a biopsy of either the primary or metastatic site is required to determine their KRAS status. This is possible as status at the metastatic and primary tumour sites is considered to be similar.
Research Question
To determine if there is predictive value of KRAS testing in guiding treatment decisions with anti-EGFR targeted therapies in advanced colorectal cancer patients refractory to chemotherapy.
Research Methods
Literature Search
The Medical Advisory Secretariat followed its standard procedures and on May 18, 2010, searched the following electronic databases: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and The International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment database.
The subject headings and keywords searched included colorectal cancer, cetuximab, panitumumab, and KRAS testing. The search was further restricted to English-language articles published between January 1, 2009 and May 18, 2010 resulting in 1335 articles for review. Excluded were case reports, comments, editorials, nonsystematic reviews, and letters. Studies published from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008 were identified in a health technology assessment conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), published in 2010. In total, 14 observational studies were identified for inclusion in this EBA: 4 for cetuximab monotherapy, 7 for the cetuximab-irinotecan combination therapy, and 3 to be included in the review for panitumumab monotherapy
Inclusion Criteria
English-language articles, and English or French-language HTAs published from January 2005 to May 2010, inclusive.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or observational studies, including single arm treatment studies that include KRAS testing.
Studies with data on main outcomes of interest, overall and progression-free survival.
Studies of third line treatment with cetuximab or panitumumab in patients with advanced colorectal cancer refractory to chemotherapy.
For the cetuximab-irinotecan evaluation, studies in which at least 70% of patients in the study received this combination therapy.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies whose entire sample was included in subsequent publications which have been included in this EBA.
Studies in pediatric populations.
Case reports, comments, editorials, or letters.
Outcomes of Interest
Overall survival (OS), median
Progression-free-survival (PFS), median.
Response rates.
Adverse event rates.
Quality of life (QOL).
Summary of Findings of Systematic Review
Cetuximab or Panitumumab Monotherapy
Based on moderate GRADE observational evidence, there is improvement in PFS and OS favouring patients without the KRAS mutation (KRAS wildtype, or KRAS WT) compared to those with the mutation.
Cetuximab-Irinotecan Combination Therapy
There is low GRADE evidence that testing for KRAS may optimize survival benefits in patients without the KRAS mutation (KRAS wildtype, or KRAS WT) compared to those with the mutation.
However, cetuximab-irinotecan combination treatments based on KRAS status discount any effect of cetuximab in possibly reversing resistance to irinotecan in patients with the mutation, as observed effects were lower than for patients without the mutation. Clinical experts have raised concerns about the biological plausibility of this observation and this conclusion would, therefore, be regarded as hypothesis generating.
Economic Analysis
Cost-effectiveness and budget impact analyses were conducted incorporating estimates of effectiveness from this systematic review. Evaluation of relative cost-effectiveness, based on a decision-analytic cost-utility analysis, assessed testing for KRAS genetic mutations versus no testing in the context of treatment with cetuximab monotherapy, panitumumab monotherapy, cetuximab in combination with irinotecan, and best supportive care.
Of importance to note is that the cost-effectiveness analysis focused on the impact of testing for KRAS mutations compared to no testing in the context of different treatment options, and does not assess the cost-effectiveness of the drug treatments alone.
KRAS status is predictive of outcomes in cetuximab and panitumumab monotherapy, and in cetuximab-irinotecan combination therapy.
While KRAS testing is cost-effective for all strategies considered, it is not equally cost-effective for all treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3377508  PMID: 23074403
14.  A phase I/II study of biweekly capecitabine and irinotecan plus bevacizumab as second-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer 
Triweekly capecitabine plus irinotecan (XELIRI) is not completely regarded as a valid substitute for fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) because of the potential for greater toxicity. We conducted a phase I/II study to assess the efficacy and safety of biweekly XELIRI plus bevacizumab (BV) as second-line chemotherapy for mCRC.
Patients with mCRC who had received prior chemotherapy including oxaliplatin and BV and had a UGT1A1 genotype of wild-type or heterozygous for UGT1A1*6 or *28 were eligible for this study. Treatment comprised capecitabine 1,000 mg/m2 twice daily from the evening of day 1 to the morning of day 8, intravenous irinotecan on day 1, and BV 5 mg/kg on day 1 every 2 weeks. The phase I study consisted of two steps (irinotecan 150 and 180 mg/m2), and dose-limiting toxicity was assessed during the first treatment cycle. The primary endpoint of the phase II study was progression-free survival (PFS).
The recommended dose of irinotecan was determined to be 180 mg/m2 in the phase I study. Between November 2010 and August 2013, 44 patients were enrolled in phase II. The patients’ characteristics were as follows (N=44): median age, 60 years (range 32–80); male/female, 21/23; and UGT1A1 wild-type/heterozygous, 29/15. The median PFS was 6.8 months (95% confidence interval, 5.3–8.2 months), and the primary endpoint was met. Median overall survival was 18.3 months. The response rate was 22.7%. There was no significant difference in PFS or overall survival according to UGT1A1 status. Grade 3 or higher adverse events were mainly neutropenia in six patients and diarrhea in five patients. There were no other severe adverse events or treatment-related deaths.
In mCRC patients with wild-type or heterozygous UGT1A1*6 or *28 genotype, biweekly XELIRI + BV is effective and feasible as second-line chemotherapy. Biweekly XELIRI + BV is considered a valid substitute for FOLFIRI + BV in mCRC.
PMCID: PMC4365742  PMID: 25834402
XELIRI; bevacizumab; metastatic colorectal cancer; UGT1A1
15.  GASTRICHIP: D2 resection and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in locally advanced gastric carcinoma: a randomized and multicenter phase III study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:183.
In Europe, gastric cancer remains diagnosed at advanced stage (serosal and/or lymph node involvement). Despite curative management combining perioperative systemic chemotherapy and gastrectomy with D1-D2 lymph node dissection, 5-year survival rates of T3 and/or N + patients remain under 30%. More than 50% of recurrences are peritoneal and/or locoregional. The use of adjuvant hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy that eliminates free cancer cells that can be released into peritoneal cavity during the gastrectomy and prevents peritoneal carcinomatosis recurrences, was extensively evaluated by several randomized trials conducted in Asia. Two meta-analysis reported that adjuvant hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy significantly reduces the peritoneal recurrences and significantly improves the overall survival. As it was previously done for the evaluation of the extension of lymph node dissection, it seems very important to validate on European or caucasian patients the results observed in trials performed in Asia.
GASTRICHIP is a prospective, open, randomized multicenter phase III clinical study with two arms that aims to evaluate the effects of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy with oxaliplatin on patients with gastric cancer involving the serosa and/or lymph node involvement and/or with positive cytology at peritoneal washing, treated with perioperative systemic chemotherapy and D1-D2 curative gastrectomy. Peroperatively, at the end of curative surgery, patients will be randomized after preoperatively written consent has been given for participation. Primary endpoint will be overall survival from the date of surgery to the date of death or to the end of follow-up (5 years). Secondary endpoint will be 3- and 5-year recurrence-free survival, site of recurrence, morbidity, and quality of life. An ancillary study will compare the incidence of positive peritoneal cytology pre- and post-gastrectomy in two arms of the study, and assess its impact on 5-year survival. The number of patients to be randomized was calculated to be 306.
Trial registration
EudraCT number: 2012-005748-12, identifier: NCT01882933.
PMCID: PMC3995601  PMID: 24628950
Gastric adenocarcinoma; Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; Oxaliplatin; Peritoneal carcinomatosis
16.  Optimal schedule of adjuvant chemotherapy with S-1 for stage III colon cancer: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:17.
Although, in Western countries, oxaliplatin-based regimens have been established as a gold standard treatment for patients with stage III or high risk stage II colon cancer after curative resection, in Japan fluorouracil-based regimens have been widely accepted and recommended in the guidelines for adjuvant settings in patients with stage III colon cancer. S-1, an oral preparation evolved from uracil and tegafur, has equivalent efficacy to uracil and tegafur/leucovorin for treating patients with advanced colorectal cancer and might be a suitable regimen in an adjuvant setting. However, the completion rate of the standard six-week cycle of the S-1 regimen is poor and the establishment of an optimal treatment schedule is critical. Therefore, we will conduct a multicenter randomized phase II trial to compare six-week and three-week cycles to establish the optimal schedule of S-1 adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III colon cancer after curative resection.
The study is an open-label, multicenter randomized phase II trial. The primary endpoint of this study is three-year disease-free survival rate. Secondary endpoints are the completion rate of the treatment, relative dose intensity, overall survival, disease-free survival, and incidence of adverse events. The sample size was 200, determined with a significance level of 0.20, power of 0.80, and non-inferiority margin of a 10% absolute difference in the primary endpoint.
Although S-1 has not been approved yet as a standard treatment of colon cancer in an adjuvant setting, it is a promising option. Moreover, in Japan S-1 is a standard treatment for patients with stage II/III gastric cancer after curative resection and a promising option for patients with colorectal liver metastases in an adjuvant setting. However, a six-week cycle of treatment is not considered to be the best schedule, and some clinicians use a modified schedule, such as a three-week cycle to keep a sufficient dose intensity with few adverse events. Therefore, it will be useful to determine whether a three-week cycle has an equal or greater efficacy and tolerance to side-effects compared with the standard six-week cycle schedule, and thus may be the most suitable treatment schedule for S-1 treatment.
Trial registration
The University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN) Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000006750.
PMCID: PMC3564899  PMID: 23320901
Colon cancer; Stage III; Adjuvant chemotherapy; S-1
17.  Neoadjuvant FOLFOX 4 versus FOLFOX 4 with Cetuximab versus immediate surgery for high-risk stage II and III colon cancers: a multicentre randomised controlled phase II trial – the PRODIGE 22 - ECKINOXE trial 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:511.
In patients with high risk stage II and stage III colon cancer (CC), curative surgery followed by adjuvant FOLFOX-4 chemotherapy has become the standard of care. However, for 20 to 30 % of these patients, the current curative treatment strategy of surgical excision followed by adjuvant chemotherapy fails either to clear locoregional spread or to eradicate distant micrometastases, leading to disease recurrence. Preoperative chemotherapy is an attractive concept for these CCs and has the potential to impact upon both of these causes of failure. Optimum systemic therapy at the earliest possible opportunity may be more effective at eradicating distant metastases than the same treatment given after the delay and immunological stress of surgery. Added to this, shrinking the primary tumor before surgery may reduce the risk of incomplete surgical excision, and the risk of tumor cell shedding during surgery.
PRODIGE 22 - ECKINOXE is a multicenter randomized phase II trial designed to evaluate efficacy and feasibility of two chemotherapy regimens (FOLFOX-4 alone and FOLFOX-4 + Cetuximab) in a peri-operative strategy in patients with bulky CCs. Patients with CC deemed as high risk T3, T4 and/or N2 on initial abdominopelvic CT scan are randomized to either colectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy (control arm), or 4 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with FOLFOX-4 (for RAS mutated patients). In RAS wild-type patients a third arm testing FOLFOX+ cetuximab has been added prior to colectomy. Patients in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy arms will receive postoperative treatment for 4 months (8 cycles) to complete their therapeutic schedule. The primary endpoint of the study is the histological Tumor Regression Grade (TRG) as defined by Ryan. The secondary endpoints are: treatment strategy safety (toxicity, primary tumor related complications under chemotherapy, peri-operative morbidity), disease-free and recurrence free survivals at 3 years, quality of life, carcinologic quality and completeness of the surgery, initial radiological staging and radiological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the correlation between histopathological and radiological response. Taking into account a 50 % prevalence of CC without RAS mutation, accrual of 165 patients is needed for this Phase II trial.
Trial Registration
NCT01675999 (
PMCID: PMC4497499  PMID: 26156156
Colon cancer; Locally advanced disease; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; FOLFOX; Cetuximab; Randomized phase II trial
18.  Adjuvant radiotherapy for stage I endometrial cancer 
This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 2, 2007. The role of radiotherapy (both pelvic external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and vaginal intracavity brachytherapy (VBT)) in stage I endometrial cancer following hysterectomy remains controversial.
To assess the efficacy of adjuvant radiotherapy following surgery for stage I endometrial cancer.
Search methods
We searched The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Specialised Register to end-2005 for the original review, and extended the search to January 2012 for the update.
Selection criteria
We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared post-operative adjuvant radiotherapy (either EBRTor VBT, or both) versus no radiotherapy or VBT in women with stage I endometrial cancer.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors independently assessed trials and extracted data to a specifically designed data collection form. The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes were endometrial cancer-related deaths, locoregional recurrence and distant recurrence. Meta-analyses were performed using Cochrane Review Manager Software 5.1.
Main results
We included eight trials. Seven trials (3628 women) compared EBRT with no EBRT (or VBT), and one trial (645 women) compared VBTwith no additional treatment. We considered six of the eight trials to be of a high quality. Time-to-event data were not available for all trials and all outcomes.
EBRT (with or without VBT) compared with no EBRT (or VBT alone) for stage I endometrial carcinoma significantly reduced locoregional recurrence (time-to-event data: five trials, 2965 women; Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.36, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.25 to 0.52; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; Risk Ratio (RR) 0.33, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.47). This reduced risk of locoregional recurrence did not translate into improved overall survival (time-to-event data: five trials, 2,965 women; HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.20; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.15) or improved endometrial cancer-related survival (time-to-event data: five trials, 2965 women; HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.28; and dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.29) or improved distant recurrence rates (dichotomous data: seven trials, 3628 women; RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.35).
EBRT did not improve survival outcomes in either the intermediate-risk or high-risk subgroups, although high-risk data were limited, and a benefit of EBRT for high-risk women could not be excluded. One trial (PORTEC-2) compared EBRT with VBT in the high-intermediate risk group and reported that VBT was effective in ensuring vaginal control with a non-significant difference in loco-regional relapse rate compared to EBRT (5.1% versus 2.1%; HR 2.08, 95% CI 0.71 to 6.09; P = 0·17). In the subgroup of low-risk patients (IA/B and grade 1/2), EBRT increased the risk of endometrial carcinoma-related deaths (including treatment-related deaths) (two trials, 517 women; RR 2.64, 95% CI 1.05 to 6.66) but there was a lack of data on overall survival. We considered the evidence for the low-risk subgroup to be of a low quality.
EBRT was associated with significantly increased severe acute toxicity (two trials, 1328 patients, RR 4.68, 95% CI 1.35 to 16.16), increased severe late toxicity (six trials, 3501 women; RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.61 to 4.11) and significant reductions in quality of life scores and rectal and bladder function more than 10 years after randomisation (one trial, 351 women) compared with no EBRT.
One trial of VBT versus no additional treatment in women with low-risk lesions reported a non-significant reduction in locoregional recurrence in the VBT group compared with the no additional treatment group (RR 0.39, (95% CI 0.14 to 1.09). There were no significant differences in survival outcomes in this trial.
Authors’ conclusions
EBRT reduces the risk of locoregional recurrence but has no significant impact on cancer-related deaths or overall survival. It is associated with significant morbidity and a reduction in quality of life. There is no demonstrable survival advantage from adjuvant EBRT for high-risk stage I endometrial cancer, however, the meta-analyses of this subgroup were underpowered and also included high-intermediate risk women, therefore we cannot exclude a small benefit in the high-risk subgroup. EBRT may have an adverse effect on endometrial cancer survival when used to treat uncomplicated low-risk (IA/B grade 1/2) endometrial cancer. For the intermediate to high-intermediate risk group, VBT alone appears to be adequate in ensuring vaginal control compared to EBRT. Further research is needed to guide practice for lesions that are truly high risk. In addition, the definitions of risk should be standardised.
PMCID: PMC4164955  PMID: 22513918
Endometrial Neoplasms [pathology; *radiotherapy; surgery]; Neoplasm Staging; Radiotherapy, Adjuvant [methods]; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Survival Analysis; Female; Humans
19.  Preoperative treatment with radiochemotherapy for locally advanced gastroesophageal junction cancer and unresectable locally advanced gastric cancer 
Radiology and Oncology  2015;49(2):163-172.
To purpose of the study was to analyze the results of preoperative radiochemotherapy in patients with unresectable gastric or locoregionally advanced gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer treated at a single institution.
Patients and methods.
Between 1/2004 and 6/2012, 90 patients with locoregionally advanced GEJ or unresectable gastric cancer were treated with preoperative radiochemotherapy at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana. Planned treatment schedule consisted of induction chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin, followed by concomitant radiochemotherapy four weeks later. Three-dimensional conformal external beam radiotherapy was delivered by dual energy (6 and 15 MV) linear accelerator in 25 daily fractions of 1.8 Gy in 5 weeks with two additional cycles of chemotherapy repeated every 28 days. Surgery was performed 4–6 weeks after completing radiochemotherapy. Following the surgery, multidisciplinary advisory team reassessed patients for the need of adjuvant chemotherapy. The primary endpoints were histopathological R0 resection rate and pathological response rate. The secondary endpoints were toxicity of preoperative radiochemotherapy and survival.
Treatment with preoperative radiochemotherapy was completed according to the protocol in 84 of 90 patients (93.3%). Twenty patients (22.2%) did not undergo the surgery because of the disease progression, serious comorbidity, poor performance status or still unresectable tumour. In 13 patients (14.4%) only exploration was performed because the tumour was assessed as unresectable or diffuse peritoneal carcinomatosis was established. Fifty-seven patients (63.4%) underwent surgery with the aim of complete removal of the tumour. Radical resection was achieved in 50 (55.6%) patients and the remaining seven (7.8%) patients underwent non-radical surgery (R1 in five and R2 in two patients). In this group of patients (n = 57), pathological complete response of tumour was achieved in five patients (5.6% of all treated patients or 8.8% of all operated patients). Down-staging was recorded in 49 patients (86%), in one patient (1.8%) the stage after radiochemotherapy was unchanged while in seven patients (12.3%) the pathological stage was higher than clinical, mainly due to higher pN stage. No death was recorded during preoperative radiochemotherapy. Most grade 3 and 4 toxicities were due to vomiting, nausea and bone marrow suppression (granulocytopenia). Twenty-six (45.6%) patients died due to GEJ or gastric carcinoma, one died because of septic shock following the surgery and a reason for two deaths was unknown. Twenty-eight patients (49.1%) were disease free at the time of analysis, while 29 patients (50.9%) developed the recurrence, mostly as distant metastases. At two years, locoregional control, disease-free survival, disease-specific survival and overall survival were 82.9%, 43.9%, 56.9% and 53.9%, respectively.
Preoperative radiochemotherapy was feasible in our group of patients and had acceptable toxicity. Majority of patients achieved down-staging, allowing greater proportion of radical resections (R0), which are essential for patients’ cure.
PMCID: PMC4387993  PMID: 26029028
unresectable gastric cancer; gastroesophageal junction cancer; preoperative radiochemotherapy; surgery; toxicity
20.  Adjuvant Chemotherapy Using the FOLFOX Regimen in Colon Cancer 
Great progress has been made in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy using the FOLFOX regimen in patients with stage III and high-risk stage II colon cancer.
Eighty-two patients who underwent a potentially curative resection for stage III or high-risk stage II colon cancer were enrolled in this retrospective study. They received FOLFOX4 or modified FOLFOX6. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival.
During the median follow-up of 37 months (range, 21 to 61 months), 14 patients experienced disease relapse. The disease-free survival rate at 3 years was 82.9%: 84.6% for stage II and 82.6% for stage III. At the time of the analysis, 8 patients were dead from recurrence. The probability of overall survival at 5 years was 74.5%: 90% for stage II and 74.6% for stage III. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic adverse events included neutropenia (40.2%), anemia (2.4%), and thrombocytopenia (1.2%). Gastrointestinal toxicities included grade 3 or 4 nausea (4.9%) and stomatitis (2.4%). Peripheral sensory neuropathy was observed in 81.7% of the patients during treatment. Of the 11 patients (13.4%) who had grade 3 peripheral sensory neuropathy during treatment, grade 3 symptoms were persistent in 3 patients with gait disturbance at the time of analysis. No treatment-related deaths were recorded.
Postoperative chemotherapy using the FOLFOX regimen, oxaliplatin in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, is effective and tolerable in patients with stage III and high-risk stage II colon cancer.
PMCID: PMC3145885  PMID: 21829769
Colonic neoplasms; Adjuvant chemotherapy; Oxaliplatin; FOLFOX protocol
21.  Postoperative prophylactic hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy for stage III colorectal cancer: a retrospective study 
OncoTargets and therapy  2016;9:5897-5902.
Radical resection is the main treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC), but metastasis or recurrence is common in which liver metastasis accounted for 83% of the cases. Therefore, the prognosis of patients with advanced CRC may be improved if liver metastasis is prevented. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) on liver metastases of stage III CRC patients after curative resection.
Between 2002 and 2008, 287 stage III CRC patients who had undergone radical resection were included in this study. According to postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy modality, these patients were divided into two groups. Patients in the combined therapy group received two cycles of HAIC plus four cycles of systemic chemotherapy, while patients in the monotherapy group received six cycles of systemic chemotherapy alone. The HAIC regimen consisted of hepatic arterial infusion of oxaliplatin (OXA, 85 mg/m2) on day 1 and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, 2,400 mg/m2) on days 2 and 3 followed by a vein infusion of folinic acid (FA, 200 mg/m2) as a 2-hour infusion on days 2 and 3. The systemic chemotherapy regimen consisted of a 2-hour infusion of OXA (85 mg/m2) on day 1 followed by FA (200 mg/m2) as a 2-hour infusion on days 2 and 3, and by 5-FU (2,400 mg/m2) as a 48-hour infusion. This was repeated every 4 weeks. All cases were followed up for 5 years or until death. The 5-year overall survival, disease-free survival, liver metastases-free survival, and the overall liver metastases rates were retrospectively compared.
Significant differences were found in the 5-year overall survival (combined therapy, 70.71%; monotherapy, 57.14%; P=0.014), disease-free survival (combined therapy, 69.29%; monotherapy, 55.78%; P=0.021), and liver metastases-free survival rates (combined therapy, 70%; monotherapy, 56.46%; P=0.019).
Prophylactic adjuvant HAIC can prevent metachronous liver metastases and improve the prognosis of patients with stage III CRC after curative resection.
PMCID: PMC5045227  PMID: 27713643
colorectal cancer; hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy; liver metastases; chemotherapy
22.  Predicting survival after pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal cancer: previous liver metastases matter 
BMC Surgery  2010;10:17.
Few patients with lung metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC) are candidates for surgical therapy with a curative intent, and it is currently impossible to identify those who may benefit the most from thoracotomy. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of various parameters on survival after pulmonary metastasectomy for CRC.
We performed a retrospective analysis of 40 consecutive patients (median age 63.5 [range 33-82] years) who underwent resection of pulmonary metastases from CRC in our institution from 1996 to 2009.
Median follow-up was 33 (range 4-139) months. Twenty-four (60%) patients did not have previous liver metastases before undergoing lung surgery. Median disease-free interval between primary colorectal tumor and development of lung metastases was 32.5 months. 3- and 5-year overall survival after thoracotomy was 70.1% and 43.4%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the following parameters were correlated with tumor recurrence after thoracotomy; a history of previous liver metastases (HR = 3.8, 95%CI 1.4-9.8); and lung surgery other than wedge resection (HR = 3.0, 95%CI 1.1-7.8). Prior resection of liver metastases was also correlated with an increased risk of death (HR = 5.1, 95% CI 1.1-24.8, p = 0.04). Median survival after thoracotomy was 87 (range 34-139) months in the group of patients without liver metastases versus 40 (range 28-51) months in patients who had undergone prior hepatectomy (p = 0.09).
The main parameter associated with poor outcome after lung resection of CRC metastases is a history of liver metastases.
PMCID: PMC2887792  PMID: 20525275
23.  Pathological serosa and node-based classification accurately predicts gastric cancer recurrence risk and outcome, and determines potential and limitation of a Japanese-style extensive surgery for Western patients: A prospective with quality control 10-year follow-up study 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(12):1602-1609.
UICC classification accurately predicts overall survival but not recurrence-risk. We report here data of overall and first site-specific recurrence following curative surgery useful for the development of recurrence-oriented preventive target therapies. Patients who underwent resection for gastric cancer were stratified according to curability of surgery [curative (R0) vs non-curative resection], extent of surgery [limited (D1) vs extended (D2) node dissection] and pathological nodal/serosal status. The intent-to-treat principle, log-rank test and Cox regression analysis were used for statistical analysis of time-to-event (recurrence, death) endpoints. Curative resection only produced a chance of cure whereas survival was very poor following non-curative resection (P < 0.0001). For D2 R0 subgroup of patients, a pathological serosa and a node state-based classification into three groups, proved to be of clinical implication. Risk of recurrence after a median follow-up of 92 months was low among patients with both serosa and node-negative cancer (first group; 11%), moderate among those with either serosa or node-positive cancer (second group; 53%) and very high among those with both serosa and node-positive cancer (third group; 83%). In multivariate analysis, the relative risks of recurrence and death from gastric cancer among patients in the second and third groups, as compared to those in the first, were 7.07 (95% CI, 2.36–21.17;P  = 0.0002) and 16.19 (95% CI, 5.76–45.54;P < 0.0001) respectively. First site-specific recurrence analysis revealed: low rate of loco-regional recurrence alone (12%), serosa state determinant factor of the site-recurrence (peritoneal for serosa-positive and haematogenous for serosa-negative cancers) and dramatic increase of all types of recurrence by the presence of nodal metastases. Our findings demonstrate that a pathological serosa- and node-based classification is very simple and predicts accurately site-specific recurrence-risks. Furthermore they reveal that risk of recurrence following curative D2 surgery alone is low for serosa- and node-negative cancers, but very high in serosa- and node-positive cancers suggesting the need for new therapeutic strategies in this subgroup of patients. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363675  PMID: 11401312
gastric cancer; extensive surgery; recurrence; survival; prognostic factors
24.  Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy versus lobectomy for operable stage I non-small-cell lung cancer: a pooled analysis of two randomised trials 
The Lancet. Oncology  2015;16(6):630-637.
The standard of care for operable, stage I, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is lobectomy with mediastinal lymph node dissection or sampling. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for inoperable stage I NSCLC has shown promising results, but two independent, randomised, phase 3 trials of SABR in patients with operable stage I NSCLC (STARS and ROSEL) closed early due to slow accrual. We aimed to assess overall survival for SABR versus surgery by pooling data from these trials.
Eligible patients in the STARS and ROSEL studies were those with clinical T1–2a (<4 cm), N0M0, operable NSCLC. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to SABR or lobectomy with mediastinal lymph node dissection or sampling. We did a pooled analysis in the intention-to-treat population using overall survival as the primary endpoint. Both trials are registered with (STARS: NCT00840749; ROSEL: NCT00687986).
58 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned (31 to SABR and 27 to surgery). Median follow-up was 40.2 months (IQR 23.0–47.3) for the SABR group and 35.4 months (18.9–40.7) for the surgery group. Six patients in the surgery group died compared with one patient in the SABR group. Estimated overall survival at 3 years was 95% (95% CI 85–100) in the SABR group compared with 79% (64–97) in the surgery group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.14 [95% CI 0.017–1.190], log-rank p=0.037). Recurrence-free survival at 3 years was 86% (95% CI 74–100) in the SABR group and 80% (65–97) in the surgery group (HR 0.69 [95% CI 0.21–2.29], log-rank p=0.54). In the surgery group, one patient had regional nodal recurrence and two had distant metastases; in the SABR group, one patient had local recurrence, four had regional nodal recurrence, and one had distant metastases. Three (10%) patients in the SABR group had grade 3 treatment-related adverse events (three [10%] chest wall pain, two [6%] dyspnoea or cough, and one [3%] fatigue and rib fracture). No patients given SABR had grade 4 events or treatment-related death. In the surgery group, one (4%) patient died of surgical complications and 12 (44%) patients had grade 3–4 treatment-related adverse events. Grade 3 events occurring in more than one patient in the surgery group were dyspnoea (four [15%] patients), chest pain (four [15%] patients), and lung infections (two [7%]).
SABR could be an option for treating operable stage I NSCLC. Because of the small patient sample size and short follow-up, additional randomised studies comparing SABR with surgery in operable patients are warranted.
Accuray Inc, Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, NCI Cancer Center Support, NCI Clinical and Translational Science Award.
PMCID: PMC4489408  PMID: 25981812
25.  Human Papillomavirus-16 Infection in Advanced Oral Cavity Cancer Patients Is Related to an Increased Risk of Distant Metastases and Poor Survival 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40767.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an oncogenic virus causing oropharyngeal cancers and resulting in a favorable outcome after the treatment. The role of HPV in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains ambiguous.
This study aimed to examine the effect of HPV infection on disease control among patients with OSCC following radical surgery with radiation-based adjuvant therapy.
Patients and Method
We prospectively followed 173 patients with advanced OSCC (96% were stage III/IV) who had undergone radical surgery and adjuvant therapy between 2004 and 2006. They were followed between surgery and death or up to 60 months. Surgical specimens were examined using a PCR-based HPV blot test. The primary endpoints were the risk of relapse and the time to relapse; the secondary endpoints were disease-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival.
The prevalence of HPV-positive OSCC was 22%; HPV-16 (9%) and HPV-18 (7%) were the genotypes most commonly encountered. Solitary HPV-16 infection was a poor predictor of 5-year distant metastases (hazard ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–8.0; P = 0.005), disease-free survival (P = 0.037), disease-specific survival (P = 0.006), and overall survival (P = 0.010), whereas HPV-18 infection had no impact on 5-year outcomes. The rate of 5-year distant metastases was significantly higher in the HPV-16 or level IV/V metastasis group compared with both the extracapsular spread or tumor depth ≥11-mm group and patients without risk factors (P<0.001).
HPV infections in advanced OSCC patients are not uncommon and clinically relevant. Compared with HPV-16-negative advanced OSCC patients, those with a single HPV-16 infection are at higher risk of distant metastases and poor survival despite undergoing radiation-based adjuvant therapy and require a more aggressive adjuvant treatment and a more thorough follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3395633  PMID: 22808258

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