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1.  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
2.  A direct comparison of CellSearch and ISET for circulating tumour-cell detection in patients with metastatic carcinomas 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(6):847-853.
Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) can provide information on patient prognosis and treatment efficacy. However, there is no universal method to detect CTC currently available. Here, we compared the performance of two CTC detection systems based on the expression of the EpCAM antigen (CellSearch assay) or on cell size (ISET assay).
Circulating tumour cells were enumerated in 60 patients with metastatic carcinomas of breast, prostate and lung origins using CellSearch according to the manufacturer's protocol and ISET by studying cytomorphology and immunolabelling with anti-cytokeratin or lineage-specific antibodies.
Concordant results were obtained in 55% (11 out of 20) of the patients with breast cancer, in 60% (12 out of 20) of the patients with prostate cancer and in only 20% (4 out of 20) of lung cancer patients.
Our results highlight important discrepancies between the numbers of CTC enumerated by both techniques. These differences depend mostly on the tumour type. These results suggest that technologies limiting CTC capture to EpCAM-positive cells, may present important limitations, especially in patients with metastatic lung carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3171010  PMID: 21829190
circulating tumour cell; breast cancer; prostate cancer; lung cancer; CellSearch; ISET
4.  Carcinoma of an unknown primary: are EGF receptor, Her-2/neu, and c-Kit tyrosine kinases potential targets for therapy? 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(7):857-861.
Carcinomas of an unknown primary site (CUP) are heterogeneous tumours with a median survival of only 8 months. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are promising new drugs. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of EGF-receptor, Her-2/neu, and c-Kit tyrosine kinases in CUP. Paraffin-embedded specimens were obtained from 54 patients with a CUP who were included in the GEFCAPI 01 randomised phase II trial. Immunohistochemistry was performed using the Dako autostainer with antibodies directed against HER-2/neu protein, EGFR protein, and c-Kit protein (CD117). EGFR expression was found in 36 out of 54 samples (66%). In contrast, Her-2/neu overexpression and c-Kit positivity were only detected in 4 and 10% of patients, respectively. No significant association was found between the expression of the tyrosine kinase receptors and prognosis. EGFR expression was significantly associated with response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy: the response rates were 50 and 22% in patients with EGFR-positive tumours and EGFR-negative tumours, respectively (P<0.05). This study shows that EGFR is frequently expressed in CUP. This finding may prompt clinical trials investigating EGFR inhibitors in this setting. In contrast, c-Kit expression and Her-2/neu overexpression occur infrequently in CUP. EGFR expression was correlated to tumour chemosensitivity.
PMCID: PMC2360401  PMID: 17876336
carcinoma of an unknown primitive; tyrosine kinase receptor; EGFR; c-Kit; Her-2/neu overexpression
5.  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
6.  Detection of HER-2/neu-positive circulating epithelial cells in prostate cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;90(2):443-448.
PMCID: PMC2409539  PMID: 14735191
HER-2/neu; circulating tumour cells; prostate cancer; metastatic process
7.  Bilateral germ-cell tumours: 22-year experience at the Institut Gustave Roussy 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;90(1):55-59.
PMCID: PMC2395303  PMID: 14710206
incidence; bilateral testicular germ-cell tumours; seminoma; nonseminomatous germ-cell tumour
8.  Alternating dose-dense chemotherapy in patients with high volume disseminated non-seminomatous germ cell tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(10):1555-1560.
Only about half of patients with a poor-prognosis non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours can achieve a cure. The aim of this phase II study was to assess the efficacy and toxicity of a dose-dense alternating chemotherapy regimen in this subset of patients. High volume non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours was defined as follows: at least two sites of non pulmonary metastases, an extragonadal primary tumour, a serum human chorionic gonadotropin level higher than 10 000 mIU ml−1, or a alpha-foetoprotein level higher than 2000 mIU ml−1. Patients who fulfilled these criteria were treated with the so-called BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen (bleomycin, vincristine, and cisplatin; cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin; cisplatin, vincristine, methotrexate, and bleomycin; etoposide, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide) plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A total of 58 patients were enrolled. Patients were retrospectively classified according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group classification; 38 patients (66%) had poor-prognosis disease and 19 patients (33%) had intermediate-prognosis. Patients received a median of 2.5 courses (range 0.25 to five courses) of the BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen. Forty-two patients (72.4%) had a complete response to therapy. With a median follow-up time of 31 months, the 3-year progression-free survival rate was 71% (95% confidence interval, 60 to 84%) and the 3-year overall survival rate was 73% (95% confidence interval: 62 to 86%). The 3-year PFS rates were 83% (95% confidence interval: 68 to 100%) in the intermediate-prognosis group and 65% (95% confidence interval: 51 to 82%) in the poor-prognosis group. Early side effects included mainly grade 4 haematologic toxicity (neutropaenia in 79% of patients, thrombocytopaenia in 69%, anaemia in 22%), grade 4 stomatitis (19%), and four early deaths (7% of patients), at least partially related to toxicity. The dose-dense BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen is highly active in patients with non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours classified as intermediate-prognosis or poor-prognosis according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group. Because outcomes with this regimen compare favourably with outcome after standard therapy, dose-dense chemotherapy should be further investigated in this subset of patients.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1555–1560. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600272
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2746595  PMID: 12085204
chemotherapy; dose-dense chemotherapy; germ-cell tumours; International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group; non-seminomatous germ cell-tumours
9.  Ca125 and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) as tumour markers for intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round-cell tumours. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(1):76-78.
Seven consecutive patients with intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round-cell tumours were screened at presentation for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), Ca19-9, Ca15-3, Ca125, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE). Initially elevated tumour markers were used to monitor therapy and follow-up. Tumour marker assays were all in the normal range, with the exception of Ca125 and NSE. The Ca125 level was initially high in six of the seven patients (86%) with a median value of 200 U ml-1 and a range of 22-735 U ml-1. The NSE value was elevated before therapy in three of the five patients (60%) for whom assay results were available, with a median of 19 ng ml-1 and a range of 6.8-37.5 ng ml-1 . Ca1 25 normalized in five out of six cases and NSE always normalized during chemotherapy, but neither of these two tumour markers correlated specifically with response, as only one patient experienced a partial response, five tumour stabilization and the remaining patient tumour progression. At progression, Ca125 was again elevated in two out of four cases several weeks before clinical relapse and NSE in only one out of three cases. Ca125 and NSE are frequently raised in the serum of patients with intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round-cell tumours before therapy, but are not reliable monitors of the course of the disease. However, normalization is frequently associated with an improvement of symptoms or a moderate clinical response.
PMCID: PMC2222692  PMID: 9000601
10.  Exploratory analysis of the visceral disease subgroup in a phase III study of abiraterone acetate in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer 
Visceral disease, non-nodal soft-tissue metastases predominantly involving the lung and liver, is a negative prognostic factor in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). An exploratory analysis of COU-AA-301 assessed whether abiraterone acetate (AA) improved overall survival (OS) in mCRPC patients with visceral disease progressing post docetaxel.
In COU-AA-301, post-docetaxel mCRPC patients were randomized 2:1 to AA 1000 mg (n=797) or placebo (n=398) once daily, each with prednisone 5 mg b.i.d. The primary end point was OS; secondary end points included radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS), PSA response rate and objective response rate (ORR). Treatment effects in visceral disease (n=352) and non-visceral disease (n=843) subsets were examined using final data (775 OS events).
AA plus prednisone produced similar absolute improvement in median OS in patients with (4.6 months) and without (4.8 months) visceral disease versus prednisone; hazard ratios (HRs) were 0.79 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60–1.05; P=0.102) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.58–0.83; P<0.0001), respectively. Treatment with AA plus prednisone significantly and comparably improved secondary endpoint outcomes versus prednisone in both the subsets: the HRs for rPFS were 0.60 (95% CI: 0.46–0.78; P=0.0002) and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.58–0.80; P<0.0001) in visceral and non-visceral disease subsets, respectively. PSA response rates were 28% versus 7% in the visceral disease subsets and 30% versus 5% in the non-visceral disease subsets (both P<0.0001), and ORRs were 11% versus 0% (P=0.0058) and 19% versus 5% (P=0.0010), respectively. The incidence of grade 3/4 adverse events was similar between the subsets and between the treatment arms in each subset. Adverse events related to CYP17 blockade were increased in the AA arms and were similar in patients with or without visceral disease.
AA plus prednisone provides significant clinical benefit, including improvements in OS and secondary end points, in post-docetaxel mCRPC patients with or without baseline visceral disease. The presence of visceral disease does not preclude clinical benefit from abiraterone.
PMCID: PMC3921671  PMID: 24080993
abiraterone acetate; liver metastases; metastatic prostate cancer; survival; visceral disease

Results 1-10 (10)