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1.  A phase I/II study of 4 monthly courses of high-dose cyclophosphamide and thiotepa for metastatic breast cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;87(10):1079-1085.
This pilot phase I/II study intended to determine the maximum tolerated dose of cyclophosphamide and thiotepa administered on four consecutive courses with peripheral blood progenitor cell and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor support, as first-line therapy for hormone-refractory metastatic breast cancer patients. Twenty-eight patients were entered in the study. After two courses of epirubicin (120 mg m−2) and cyclophosphamide (2 g m−2) followed by granulocyte-colony stimulating factor injection and leukaphereses, patients received four cycles of cyclophosphamide and thiotepa. Each cycle was followed by peripheral blood progenitor cell and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor supports, then repeated every 28 to 35 days. Six escalating dose levels of cyclophosphamide and thiotepa were planned, beginning at cyclophosphamide 1.5 g m−2 and thiotepa 200 mg m−2. At least three patients were enrolled for each dose level. Eighteen patients completed the study. The maximum tolerated dose was 3000 mg m−2 cyclophosphamide and 400 mg m−2 thiotepa per course. Haematological toxicity was manageable on an outpatient basis and did not increase significantly with dose escalation. Dose-limiting toxicity was chemotherapy-induced immuno-suppression, which resulted in one toxic death and two life-threatening infections. Median times to treatment failure and survival were 11 and 26 months, respectively. Three patients were alive, free of disease 30 months after completion of the study. Such therapy allows for high-dose intensity and high cumulative doses on a short period of time with manageable toxicity.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 1079–1085. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600631
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2376188  PMID: 12402145
filgrastim; haematopoietic stem cell transplantation; breast neoplasms; chemotherapy
3.  The risk of thrombo-embolic events is increased in patients with germ-cell tumours and can be predicted by serum lactate dehydrogenase and body surface area 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(8):909-914.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of thrombo-embolic events (TEE) in patients with germ-cell tumours (GCT) who receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy, to compare this risk to that of a matched control group of non-GCT cancer patients, and to identify risk factors of TEE. The rate of TEE during the 6 months following the initiation of chemotherapy was assessed in 100 consecutive patients with GCT and in 100 controls with various neoplasms who were matched on sex and age, and who received first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy during the same period of time at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. Data were subsequently tested on a validation group of 77 GCT patients treated in Lyon, France. A total of 19 patients (19%) (95% confidence interval (CI): 13–28) and six patients (6%) (95% CI: 3–13) had a TEE in the GCT group and the non-GCT control group, respectively (relative risk (RR): 3.4; P<0.01). Three patients from the GCT group died of pulmonary embolism. In multivariate analysis, two factors had independent predictive value for TEE: a high body surface area (>1.9 m2) (RR: 5 (1.8–13.9)) and an elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (RR: 6.4 (2.3–18.2)). Patients with no risk factor (n=26) and those with at least one risk factor (n=71) had a probability of having a TEE of 4% (95% CI: 1–19) and 26% (95% CI: 17–37), respectively. In the GCT validation set, 10 (13%) patients had a TEE; patients with no risk factor and those with at least one risk factor had a probability of having a TEE of 0 and 17% (95% CI: 10–29), respectively. Patients with GCT are at a higher risk for TEE than patients with non-GCT cancer while on cisplatin-based chemotherapy. This risk can be accurately predicted by serum LDH and body surface area. This predictive index may help to study prospectively the impact of thromboprophylaxis in GCT patients.
PMCID: PMC2361657  PMID: 16205699
cancer of the testis; chemotherapy; cisplatin; germ-cell tumour; thrombosis
4.  Prognostic factors for tumour response, progression-free survival and toxicity in metastatic colorectal cancer patients given irinotecan (CPT-11) as second-line chemotherapy after 5FU failure 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(4):431-437.
Our purpose was to determine, in patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma treated with irinotecan single-agent after 5-FU failure, the most significant predictive parameters for tumour response, progression-free survival and toxicity. Between October 1992 and April 1995, 455 patients with 5-FU resistant metastatic colorectal carcinoma entered four consecutive phase II trials. The first two studies assessed tumour response, the other two were randomized studies which assessed the efficacy of racecadotril to prevent irinotecan-induced diarrhoea. Due to homogeneous main eligibility criterias, data from those studies could be pooled for statistical analysis. Potential clinical and biological predictive factors (PF) for toxicity, tumour growth control, e.g. response or stabilization and progression-free survival (PFS), were studied in multivariate analysis. 363 patients were evaluable for response, 432 were evaluable for PFS, 368 for neutropenia and 416 for delayed diarrhoea, respectively. Normal baseline haemoglobin level (Hb), time since diagnosis of colorectal carcinoma, grade 3 or 4 neutropenia or diarrhoea at first cycle and a low number of organs involved were the most PF for tumour growth control (P< 0.05). Significant prognostic variables for PFS were WHO Performance Status, liver and lymph-node involvement, time since diagnosis, age and CEA value (P≤ 0.02). Six groups of patients based on the number of unfavourable prognostic factors are presented. Baseline bilirubin, haemoglobin level, number of organs involved and time from diagnosis were PF for neutropenia; PS, serum creatinine, leukocyte count, time from 5-FU progression and prior abdominopelvic irradiation were PF for delayed diarrhoea (P≤ 0.05). These PF should help clinicians to anticipate for a given patient the probability to observe a response/stabilization or a toxicity. These results should also be prospectively confirmed in ongoing or future trials using irinotecan, both as a single agent and in combination with other drugs. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2374663  PMID: 10945486
irinotecan; colorectal cancer; prognostic factors; survival; toxicity
5.  Broad phase II and pharmacokinetic study of methoxy-morpholino doxorubicin (FCE 23762-MMRDX) in non-small-cell lung cancer, renal cancer and other solid tumour patients. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(1):139-146.
The aim was to perform a broad phase II and pharmacokinetic study of methoxymorpholino-doxorubicin (MMRDX), a drug active against multidrug-resistant tumour cells in vitro when given by i.v. bolus at 1.5 mg m(-2) every 4 weeks, in metastatic or unresectable solid tumour patients with known intrinsic drug resistance. Patients received a maximum of six cycles. Plasma, urine and leucocyte MMRDX and its 13-dihydro metabolite pharmacokinetic analysis was performed in patients without liver metastases. Patients (n = 48, 21 NSCLC, 19 renal cell, three head and neck tumour, three cervical cancer and two adenocarcinoma of unknown primary) received 132 cycles of MMRDX. Common toxicity criteria (CTC) grade III/IV thrombocytopenia (12% of cycles) and neutropenia (27% of cycles) occurred with median nadir on day 22. Transient transaminases elevation > grade III/IV was observed in 7% of cycles, late and prolonged nausea > or = grade II in 34% and vomiting > or = grade II in 39%. In two patients, the left ventricular ejection fraction was reduced > or = 15%. Of 37 evaluable patients, one out of 17 NSCLC had a partial response. Mean (+/- s.d.) MMRDX AUC0-infinity calculated up to 24 h after dosing was 20.4 +/- 6.2 microg h l(-1) (n = 11) and t(1/2, gamma) was 44.2 h. Mean plasma clearance (+/- s.d.) was 37.2 +/- 7.3 l h(-1) m(-2) and volume of distribution 1982 +/- 64 l m(-2). MMRDX leucocyte levels 2 and 24 h after infusion were 450 to 600-fold higher than corresponding MMRDX plasma levels. In urine, 2% of the MMRDX dose was excreted unchanged, and 2% as metabolite. The main side-effects of 1.5 mg m(-2) every 4 weeks of MMRDX are delayed nausea and vomiting and haematological toxicity. MMRDX is characterized by extensive clearance and rapid and extensive distribution into tissues. A low response rate was observed in patients with tumours with intrinsic chemotherapy resistance.
PMCID: PMC2151269  PMID: 9459159
6.  Cisplatin, vincristine and ifosphamide combination chemotherapy of metastatic seminoma: results of EORTC trial 30874. EORTC GU Group. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;71(3):619-624.
The aims of the trial were to establish the response rate and determine the toxicity of combination chemotherapy with ifosphamide, vincristine and cisplatin (HOP regimen) in advanced metastatic seminoma and to study the role of post-chemotherapy consolidation treatment. Patients with bulky metastatic non-alpha-fetoprotein-producing seminomas were eligible for this phase II study [serum human chorionic gonadotropin < 200 U l-1 (< 40 ng l-1)] if they presented with abdominal masses > or = 10 cm or had extra-gonadal seminoma or had relapsed after previous radiotherapy. The HOP regimen consisted of four 3-weekly cycles of the following drug combination: ifosphamide (days 1-5, 1.2 mg m-2 day-1), vincristine (day 1, 2 mg) and cisplatin (days 1-5, 20 mg m-2 day-1). Residual masses persisting 6 months after chemotherapy could be considered for consolidation surgery or radiotherapy. Maximal response to the HOP chemotherapy (evaluated at any time) was based on the WHO criteria. The median observation time was 2.5 years (range 1.8-5.5 years). Thirteen institutions treated 42 eligible patients within the study (testicular cancer stage > or = IID, 25; extragonadal, 5; relapse after previous radiotherapy, 12). Two patients were not evaluable for response owing to premature treatment discontinuation. Maximal response was as follows: complete remission (CR), 26 (65%); partial remission (PR) 11 (28%); no change (NC), 2 (5%); progressive disease (PD), 1 (3%). Four patients have died, three from their malignancy (two without previous irradiation and one with prior radiotherapy). The fourth patient died of treatment-related toxicity. The 3 year survival for all 42 eligible patients was 90%. Dose reduction and treatment postponement were necessary in 25 and 14 patients respectively. Ten patients experienced granulocytic fever. Previously irradiated patients tolerated chemotherapy as well as non-irradiated patients. Immediately after HOP chemotherapy a mass persisted in 16 of 17 patients with retroperitoneal masses of > or = 100 mm at presentation. Three of these residual lesions were resected within the following 6 months showing complete necrosis. Four lesions dissolved spontaneously during the first year of follow-up. Nine lesions persisted for > or = 1 year (one after consolidation radiotherapy) without leading to relapse. Four of seven patients with mediastinal lesions achieved CR and three a PR after HOP chemotherapy. The HOP chemotherapy regimen is highly effective in patients with advanced metastatic seminoma or those relapsing after previous radiotherapy, but is associated with a high risk of toxicity, in particular myelotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC2033625  PMID: 7880748

Results 1-6 (6)