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1.  Pre-treatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio may be associated with the outcome in patients treated with everolimus for metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;109(7):1755-1759.
Everolimus is a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). We aimed to assess the association between pre-treatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the outcome of patients treated with everolimus for mRCC.
Ninety-seven patients with mRCC were treated with everolimus till April 2013 in our institutions. Patients were stratified in two groups with NLR >3 (Group A) vs <3 (Group B). Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using Kaplan–Meier method. Gender, age, Motzer prognostic group, PFS on first-line therapy, neutrophilia and NLR were included in the Cox analysis to investigate their prognostic relevance.
Median OS and PFS were 10.6 and 5.3 months, respectively. Median OS was 12.2 months in Group A and 24.4 months in Group B (P=0.001). Median PFS was 3.4 months in Group A and 9.9 months in Group B (P<0.001). At multivariate analysis, only Motzer prognostic group and NLR were independent prognostic factors for OS and PFS.
Pre-treatment NLR is an independent prognostic factor for patients with mRCC treated with second- or third-line everolimus. This should be investigated and validated in prospective studies.
PMCID: PMC3790174  PMID: 24008663
renal cell carcinoma; mTOR inhibitors; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; targeted therapy; everolimus; neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio
2.  Maintaining success, reducing treatment burden, focusing on survivorship: highlights from the third European consensus conference on diagnosis and treatment of germ-cell cancer 
Annals of Oncology  2012;24(4):878-888.
In November 2011, the Third European Consensus Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Germ-Cell Cancer (GCC) was held in Berlin, Germany. This third conference followed similar meetings in 2003 (Essen, Germany) and 2006 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) [Schmoll H-J, Souchon R, Krege S et al. European consensus on diagnosis and treatment of germ-cell cancer: a report of the European Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group (EGCCCG). Ann Oncol 2004; 15: 1377–1399; Krege S, Beyer J, Souchon R et al. European consensus conference on diagnosis and treatment of germ-cell cancer: a report of the second meeting of the European Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus group (EGCCCG): part I. Eur Urol 2008; 53: 478–496; Krege S, Beyer J, Souchon R et al. European consensus conference on diagnosis and treatment of germ-cell cancer: a report of the second meeting of the European Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus group (EGCCCG): part II. Eur Urol 2008; 53: 497–513]. A panel of 56 of 60 invited GCC experts from all across Europe discussed all aspects on diagnosis and treatment of GCC, with a particular focus on acute and late toxic effects as well as on survivorship issues.
The panel consisted of oncologists, urologic surgeons, radiooncologists, pathologists and basic scientists, who are all actively involved in care of GCC patients. Panelists were chosen based on the publication activity in recent years. Before the meeting, panelists were asked to review the literature published since 2006 in 20 major areas concerning all aspects of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of GCC patients, and to prepare an updated version of the previous recommendations to be discussed at the conference. In addition, ∼50 E-vote questions were drafted and presented at the conference to address the most controversial areas for a poll of expert opinions. Here, we present the main recommendations and controversies of this meeting. The votes of the panelists are added as online supplements.
PMCID: PMC3603440  PMID: 23152360
consensus conference; diagnosis; germ-cell cancer; late toxic effects; long-term follow-up; treatment
3.  Circulating tumour cells are associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism in metastatic breast cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2009;101(11):1813-1816.
Cancer is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are an independent predictor of survival in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that CTCs are associated with the risk of VTE in MBC patients.
This retrospective study included 290 MBC patients treated in the MD Anderson Cancer Center from January 2004 to December 2007. Circulating tumour cells were detected and enumerated using the CellSearch system before starting new lines of therapy.
At a median follow-up of 12.5 months, 25 patients experienced VTE and 53 patients died without experiencing thrombosis. Cumulative incidence of thrombosis at 12 months was 8.5% (95% confidence interval (CI)=5.5%, 12.4%). Patients with CTCs ⩾1 and ⩾5 had a higher incidence of VTE compared with patients with 0 and <5 CTCs (12-month estimate, 11.7 and 11.6% vs 3 and 6.6%; P=0.006 and P=0.076, respectively). In the multivariate model, patients with CTCs⩾1 had a hazard ratio of VTE of 5.29 (95% CI=1.58, 17.7, P=0.007) compared with patients with no CTCs.
These results suggest that CTCs in MBC patients are associated with increased risk of VTE. These patients should be followed up more closely for the risk of VTE.
PMCID: PMC2788266  PMID: 19888227
circulating tumour cells; venous thromboembolism
4.  Salvage high-dose chemotherapy for children with extragonadal germ-cell tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(4):412-417.
We reviewed the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) experience with salvage high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) in paediatric patients with extragonadal germ-cell tumour (GCT). A total of 23 children with extragonadal GCT, median age 12 years (range 1–20), were treated with salvage HDC with haematopoietic progenitor cell support. The GCT primary location was intracranial site in nine cases, sacrococcyx in eight, retroperitoneum in four, and mediastinum in two. In all, 22 patients had a nongerminomatous GCT and one germinoma. Nine patients received HDC in first- and 14 in second- or third-relapse situation. No toxic deaths occurred. Overall, 16 of 23 patients (70%) achieved a complete remission. With a median follow-up of 66 months (range 31–173 months), 10 (43%) are continuously disease-free. Of six patients who had a disease recurrence after HDC, one achieved a disease-free status with surgical resection followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In total, 11 patients (48%) are currently disease-free. Eight of 14 patients (57%) with extracranial primary and three of nine patients (33%) with intracranial primary GCT are currently disease-free. HDC induced impressive long-term remissions as salvage treatment in children with extragonadal extracranial GCTs. Salvage HDC should be investigated in prospective trials in these patients.
PMCID: PMC2361583  PMID: 16106248
extragonadal germ cell tumour; high-dose chemotherapy; salvage therapy; children

Results 1-4 (4)