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author:("bichon, J")
1.  Segmental chromosomal alterations lead to a higher risk of relapse in infants with MYCN-non-amplified localised unresectable/disseminated neuroblastoma (a SIOPEN collaborative study) 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(12):1940-1948.
In neuroblastoma (NB), the presence of segmental chromosome alterations (SCAs) is associated with a higher risk of relapse.
In order to analyse the role of SCAs in infants with localised unresectable/disseminated NB without MYCN amplification, we have performed an array CGH analysis of tumours from infants enroled in the prospective European INES trials.
Tumour samples from 218 out of 300 enroled patients could be analysed. Segmental chromosome alterations were observed in 11%, 20% and 59% of infants enroled in trials INES99.1 (localised unresectable NB), INES99.2 (stage 4s) and INES99.3 (stage 4) (P<0.0001). Progression-free survival was poorer in patients whose tumours harboured SCA, in the whole population and in trials INES99.1 and INES99.2, in the absence of clinical symptoms (log-rank test, P=0.0001, P=0.04 and P=0.0003, respectively). In multivariate analysis, a SCA genomic profile was the strongest predictor of poorer progression-free survival.
In infants with stage 4s MYCN-non-amplified NB, a SCA genomic profile identifies patients who will require upfront treatment even in the absence of other clinical indication for therapy, whereas in infants with localised unresectable NB, a genomic profile characterised by the absence of SCA identifies patients in whom treatment reduction might be possible. These findings will be implemented in a future international trial.
PMCID: PMC3251887  PMID: 22146831
neuroblastoma; infants; genomic profile; segmental chromosome alterations; prognosis
2.  Criteria for evaluation of disease extent by 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine scans in neuroblastoma: a report for the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Task Force 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;102(9):1319-1326.
Neuroblastoma is an embryonic tumour of the sympathetic nervous system, metastatic in half of the patients at diagnosis, with a high preponderance of osteomedullary disease, making accurate evaluation of metastatic sites and response to therapy challenging. Metaiodobenzylguanidine (mIBG), taken into cells via the norepinephrine transporter, provides a sensitive and specific method of assessing tumour in both soft tissue and bone sites. The goal of this report was to develop consensus guidelines for the use of mIBG scans in staging, response assessment and surveillance in neuroblastoma.
The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) Task Force, including a multidisciplinary group in paediatric oncology of North and South America, Europe, Oceania and Asia, formed a subcommittee on metastatic disease evaluation, including expert nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists, who developed these guidelines based on their experience and the medical literature, with approval by the larger INRG Task Force.
Guidelines for patient preparation, radiotracer administration, techniques of scanning including timing, energy, specific views, and use of single photon emission computed tomography are included. Optimal timing of scans in relation to therapy and for surveillance is reviewed. Validated semi-quantitative scoring methods in current use are reviewed, with recommendations for use in prognosis and response evaluation.
Metaiodobenzylguanidine scans are the most sensitive and specific method of staging and response evaluation in neuroblastoma, particularly when used with a semi-quantitative scoring method. Use of the optimal techniques for mIBG in staging and response, including a semi-quantitative score, is essential for evaluation of the efficacy of new therapy.
PMCID: PMC2865749  PMID: 20424613
neuroblastoma; mIBG; response criteria; International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG); minimal disease
3.  Treatment of localised resectable neuroblastoma. Results of the LNESG1 study by the SIOP Europe Neuroblastoma Group 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;99(7):1027-1033.
Main objective of this study was to confirm that surgery alone is an effective and safe treatment for localised resectable neuroblastoma except stage 2 with amplified MYCN gene (MYCNA). Of 427 eligible stages 1–2 patients, 411 had normal MYCN and 16 had MYCNA. Of the 288 stage 1 patients with normal MYCN, 1 died of complications and 16 relapsed, 2 of whom died; 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 94.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 91.6–97) and 98.9% (95% CI: 97.7–100), respectively. Of the 123 stage 2 patients with normal MYCN, 1 died of sepsis and 22 relapsed, 8 of whom died (RFS 82.8%, 95% CI: 76.2–89.5; OS 93.2%, 95% CI: 88.7–97.8). In stage 2, OS and RFS were worse for patients with elevated LDH and unfavourable histopathology. Of 16 children with MYCNA, 7 were stage 1 (5 relapses and 4 deaths) and 9 were stage 2 (3 relapses and 2 deaths) patients. In conclusion, surgery alone yielded excellent OS for both stage 1 and 2 neuroblastoma without MYCNA, although stage 2 patients with unfavourable histopathology and elevated LDH suffered a high number of relapses. Both stage 1 and 2 patients with MYCNA were at greater risk of relapse.
PMCID: PMC2567095  PMID: 18766186
neuroblastoma; localised; MYCN gene; prognostic factors
4.  Chromosomal CGH identifies patients with a higher risk of relapse in neuroblastoma without MYCN amplification 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(2):238-246.
Whereas neuroblastoma (NB) with MYCN amplification presents a poor prognosis, no single marker allows to reliably predict outcome in tumours without MYCN amplification. We report here an extensive analysis of 147 NB samples at diagnosis, without MYCN amplification, by chromosomal comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH), providing a comprehensive overview of their genomic imbalances. Comparative genomic hybridisation profiles showed gains or losses of entire chromosomes (type 1) in 71 cases, whereas partial chromosome gains or losses (type 2), including gain involving 17q were observed in 68 cases. Atypical profiles were present in eight cases. A type 1 profile was observed more frequently in localised disease (P<0.0001), and in patients of less than 12 months at diagnosis (P<0.0001). A type 2 genomic profile was associated with a higher risk of relapse in the overall population (log-rank test; P<0.0001), but also in the subgroup of patients with localised disease (log-rank test, P=0.007). In multivariate analysis, the genomic profile was the strongest independent prognostic factor. In conclusion, the genomic profile is of prognostic impact in patients without MYCN amplification, making it a help in the management of low-stage NB. Further studies using higher-resolution CGH are needed to better characterise atypical genomic alterations.
PMCID: PMC2360301  PMID: 17579628
neuroblastoma; pangenomic analysis; CGH; prognosis
5.  Incidence and prognostic value of tumour cells detected by RT–PCR in peripheral blood stem cell collections from patients with Ewing tumour 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;95(10):1326-1333.
To retrospectively evaluate the incidence of tumour cell contamination of peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) collections and to correlate these data with the clinical outcome after high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with stem cell rescue in patients with a high-risk Ewing tumour. Peripheral blood stem cell collections obtained from 171 patients were analysed. Tumour contamination was assessed by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). The files of 88 patients who underwent HDCT followed by PBSC reinfusion were reviewed in detail, and their outcome compared to the PBSC RT–PCR results. Seven of 88 PBSC collections (8%) contained tumour cells as detected by RT–PCR. Peripheral blood stem cells were collected after a median of five cycles of chemotherapy. No clinical factor predictive of tumour cell contamination of PBSC harvest could be identified. Event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) of the whole study population were 45.3 % and 51.8 % at 3 years from the date of the graft, respectively. Forty-five patients relapsed with a median time of 15 months after graft, only four of whom had tumour cell contamination of the PBSC harvest. Tumour cell contamination of PBSC collection is rare and does not seem to be associated with a significantly poorer EFS or OS in this high-risk population.
PMCID: PMC2360590  PMID: 17088915
ewing tumour; PBSC; tumour cell contamination; RT–PCR; outcome
6.  Knowledge about cataract, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration in the Hong Kong Chinese population 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2002;86(10):1080-1084.
Aims: Patients’ knowledge and participation in their care are important in prevention of blindness from common eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, and age related macular degeneration (AMD). The aim of this study was to measure knowledge of these conditions in the Hong Kong Chinese population.
Methods: Subjects aged 40 and above in the Shatin district of Hong Kong were randomly selected as part of a larger study of causes of adult visual loss. The subjects received eye examinations in which the primary cause of visual disability was recorded. The respondents were asked by trained interviewers in a standardised fashion about their knowledge of cataract, glaucoma, and AMD. Their answers were rated for accuracy by a senior ophthalmologist.
Results: Out of the 2538 eyes examined, 7.0% had visual acuity less than 6/18. Fully 69.6% of the visual disability for those aged 60 or above was caused by cataract, AMD, or glaucoma. Awareness of cataract in particular was high, in that over 90% of respondents had heard of it. However, only 22.9% of them could describe cataract symptoms correctly, and these percentages were even lower in glaucoma (10.2%) and AMD (<1%). Over 40% of subjects did not know that surgery was an appropriate treatment for cataract.
Conclusion: This sample of the Hong Kong Chinese population had limited knowledge of common eye diseases. Educational programmes to enhance public awareness may be needed to improve the effectiveness of health promotion and thus prevent unnecessary blindness.
PMCID: PMC1771305  PMID: 12234882
eye disease; geriatrics; Chinese
8.  Localised and unresectable neuroblastoma in infants: excellent outcome with low-dose primary chemotherapy 
British Journal of Cancer  2003;89(9):1605-1609.
PMCID: PMC2394428  PMID: 14583756
infants; neuroblastoma; unresectable; chemotherapy
9.  Treatment of stage 4s neuroblastoma – report of 10 years' experience of the French Society of Paediatric Oncology (SFOP) 
British Journal of Cancer  2003;89(3):470-476.
PMCID: PMC2394373  PMID: 12888814
neuroblastoma; stage 4s; prognosis; treatment
10.  The LMCE5 unselected cohort of 25 children consecutively diagnosed with untreated stage 4 neuroblastoma over 1 year at diagnosis 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;87(11):1197-1203.
The Lyon-Marseille-Curie-Est (LMCE) of France cooperative group has previously reported successive series of unselected stage four children older than 1 year at diagnosis with metastatic neuroblastoma (LMCE 1 and 3). The goal of LMCE 5 study was to increase progression free survival rate as compared to LMCE 1 and 3. Based on improvements reported with post induction chemotherapy, the LMCE 5 used post induction for all children, but omitted total body irradiation and immunomagnetic purging in megatherapy regimen for all children. Twenty-five sequentially diagnosed children received an induction regimen which compared with previous induction included an increased dose of etoposide and cyclophosphamide, delivered similar dose of cisplatinum, and deleted doxorubicin and vincristin. After surgery treatment was stratified based on response and eligible children received etoposide carboplatin (LMCE 5A : n=10)±doxorubicin (LMCE 5B–C n=13) followed by megatherapy (melphalan without total body irradiation and unpurged peripheral blood stem cell rescue). The increase in drug doses during induction did not improve remission rate. The progression free survival at 6 years is 8%. It is significantly worse than LMCE 3, and equivalent to LMCE 1 study though toxic death rate has decreased with increasing experience. Failure to improve the response rate during induction and reducing the megatherapy regimen may be the main factors in this disappointing result. Modified strategies for induction, non toxic alternative to total body irradiation, and post megatherapy regimen should be developed.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 1197–1203. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600627
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2408899  PMID: 12439705
autologous bone marrow transplantation; chemotherapy; children; megatherapy; metastasis; neuroblastoma; peripheral blood stem cell; total body irradiation
11.  Prognostic factors in localized Ewing's tumours and peripheral neuroectodermal tumours: the third study of the French Society of Paediatric Oncology (EW88 study) 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;85(11):1646-1654.
Purpose: (1) To improve survival rates in patients with Ewing's sarcoma (ES) or peripheral neuroectodermal tumours (PNET) using semi-continuous chemotherapy and aiming to peform surgery in all; (2) To identify early prognostic factors to tailor therapy for future studies. Patients and methods One hundred and forty-one patients were entered onto the trial between January 1988 and December 1991. Induction therapy consisted of five courses of Cytoxan, 150 mg/m2 × 7 days, followed by Doxorubicin, 35 mg/m2 i.v on day 8 given at short intervals. Surgery was recommended whenever possible. The delivery of radiation therapy was based on the quality of resection and the histological response to CT. Maintenance chemotherapy consisted of vincristine + actinomycin and cytoxan + doxorubicin. The total duration of therapy was 10 months. Results After a median follow-up of 8.5 years, the projected overall survival at 5 years was 66% and disease-free survival (DFS) was 58%. In patients treated by surgery, only the histological response to CT had an influence on survival: 75% DFS for patients with a good histological response (less than 5% of cells), 48% for intermediate responders and only 20% for poor responders (≥ 30% of cells), P < 0.0001. The initial tumor volume by itself had no influence on DFS in these patients. In contrast, the tumour volume had a strong impact on DFS in patients treated by radiation therapy alone. Age had no impact on outcome. Conclusion Therapeutic trials for localized Ewing's sarcoma should be based on the histological response to chemotherapy or on the tumour volume according to the modality used for local therapy. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363978  PMID: 11742482
Ewing's tumour; chemotherapy; prognostic factors
12.  Role of chemotherapy alone or in combination with hyperthermia in the primary treatment of intraocular retinoblastoma: preliminary results 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  1998;82(10):1154-1158.
BACKGROUND—The efficacy of the etoposide-carboplatin combination in extraocular retinoblastoma is well known. This drug combination is therefore used in intraocular retinoblastoma, as primary reduction chemotherapy, before local treatment. The use of carboplatin in combination with diode laser hyperthermia as local treatment (thermochemotherapy) has been recently described as a conservative approach avoiding external beam radiotherapy in posterior pole tumours.
METHODS—All patients were reviewed, who were treated for retinoblastoma at the Institut Curie between June 1994 and October 1995, in whom treatment included either reduction chemotherapy or thermochemotherapy or both modalities successively. 23 patients presenting with unilateral (three) or bilateral (20) intraocular retinoblastoma received neoadjuvant chemotherapy consisting of two courses of etoposide 150 mg/m2/day and carboplatin 200 mg/m2/day for 3 days. 15 patients (17 eyes), eight of whom had already received neoadjuvant chemotherapy, were treated by thermochemotherapy.
RESULTS—Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: overall, seven eyes in seven patients could be treated conservatively, avoiding external beam irradiation, with a median follow up of 14 months. Thermochemotherapy: external beam irradiation was avoided for 14 of the 17 eyes treated.
CONCLUSION—Integration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and combined treatment with carboplatin and diode laser, into the therapeutic armamentarium for retinoblastoma allows use of more aggressive treatments such as enucleation and external beam radiation.

 Keywords: retinoblastoma; chemotherapy; thermochemotherapy
PMCID: PMC1722363  PMID: 9924303
13.  Adverse outcome of infants with metastatic neuroblastoma, MYCN amplification and/or bone lesions: results of the French Society of Pediatric Oncology 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(8):973-979.
To assess the relevance of MYCN amplification and bone lesions in stage 4 neuroblastoma (NB) in infants aged <1 year, 51 infants with stage 4 NB were enrolled. Three groups of patients were defined according to the type of metastases and the resectability of the primary tumour. Group I comprised 21 infants with radiologically detectable bone lesions, Group II 22 patients with an unresectable primary tumour and Group III eight patients with only metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) skeletal uptake. MYCN oncogene content was assayed in 47/51 tumours and found to be amplified in 17 (37%). The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of these 51 infants was 64.1% (± 7.1%). In a univariate analysis, bone lesions, MYCN amplification, urinary vanillylmandelic/homovanillic acid ratio and serum ferritin levels adversely influenced outcome. In the multivariate analysis, radiologically detectable bone lesions were the most powerful unfavourable prognostic indicator: the EFS rate was 27.2% for these infants compared to 90% for infants without bone lesions (P < 0.0001). Our data emphasize the poor prognosis of infants affected by stage 4 NB with bone lesions, especially when associated with MYCN amplification. Given the poor results in this group whatever the treatment, new therapeutic approaches need to be investigated in the future. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363565  PMID: 10993641
neuroblastoma; infants; metastasis; MYCN; bone lesions
14.  Unresectable localized neuroblastoma: improved survival after primary chemotherapy including carboplatin-etoposide. Neuroblastoma Study Group of the Société Française d'Oncologie Pédiatrique (SFOP). 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(12):2310-2317.
Neuroblastomas (NBs) were assessed according to INSS recommendations including MIBG scan and extensive bone marrow staging to eliminate metastatic spread. Patients with unresectable tumour received primary chemotherapy including two courses of carboplatin-etoposide (CE) and two of vincristine-cyclophosphamide-doxorubicin (CAdO). Post-operative treatment was to be given only in children over 1 year of age at diagnosis who had residual disease or lymph node (LN) involvement. Between 1990 and 1994, 130 consecutive children were registered. In comparison with resectable primaries, these tumours were more commonly abdominal, larger and associated with N-myc amplification (NMA). Complete, very good and partial response (CR, VGPR, PR) to CE were, respectively, 1%, 7% and 44%, overall response rate (RR) to two courses of CE and two courses of CAdO was 71%, and the tumour could be removed in all but four of the children. The toxicity was manageable. The 5-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were, respectively, 88% and 78% with a median follow-up of 38 months. In multivariate analysis, only NMA and LN involvement adversely influenced the outcome, particularly NMA. Children with unresectable NBs and no NMA fared as well as children with resectable ones as OS were, respectively, 95% and 99% and EFS 89% and 91%. Our data show encouraging results in localized but unresectable NBs as 90% of children may be considered as definitely cured, especially those without NMA.
PMCID: PMC2150389  PMID: 9649151
15.  Sensitive detection of occult Ewing's cells by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. 
British Journal of Cancer  1995;72(1):96-100.
Recently, Ewing's tumours have been shown to carry specific hybrid transcripts resulting from the fusion of the EWS gene with FLI-1 or ERG genes. Based on the sensitivity and specificity of the detection of these alterations by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technique, we have developed an assay to search for small numbers of Ewing cells in various sites from patients with Ewing's tumour. This method enables the detection of fewer than one tumour cell per million blood mononuclear cells. A total of 28 primary sites and 51 peripheral samples from 36 patients were investigated. Tumour cells could be detected in 4/18 blood samples, 4/15 bone marrow aspirates and 2/18 peripheral stem cell harvests. EWS/FLI-1 and EWS/ERG transcripts being observed in eight and two cases respectively. The type of fusion transcript detected in peripheral site(s) was identical to that observed in the primary site. At diagnosis 5/16 patients (31%) demonstrated either circulating tumour cells or/and occult bone marrow metastasis. After induction therapy, tumour cells were detected in 3/21 patients. This highly sensitive method should be a relevant tool to allow a more accurate clinical assessment of the dissemination of Ewing's tumours.
PMCID: PMC2034130  PMID: 7599072
16.  Growth and growth hormone secretion after bone marrow transplantation. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1993;68(4):458-463.
This study analyses the growth and the growth hormone secretion of children given various conditioning protocols before bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Twenty nine children (14 boys, 15 girls) given BMT were classified according to their conditioning protocol: total body irradiation (TBI) given as a single exposure of 10 Grays (Gy, group I, 11 cases), or 8 Gy (group II, four cases), 12 Gy given as six fractionated doses (Group III, seven cases), or chemotherapy alone (group IV, seven cases). The arginine-insulin stimulated growth hormone peak, 2-7.5 years after BMT, was > 10 micrograms/l in all patients except four from group I (6.9-8.9 micrograms/l). A second growth hormone secretion evaluation was performed in 10 group I patients because of persistent low growth velocity despite a normal growth hormone peak. There were no significant changes in the mean (SEM) stimulated growth hormone peak (18.4 (2.2) v 20.1 (3.6) micrograms/l) at 3 (0.3) to 5.2 (0.6) years after BMT. The sleep growth hormone peaks and concentrations (n = 6) were normal. The mean cumulative height changes (SD) during the three years after BMT were: -1.4 (0.2) in group I, -0.1 (0.4) in group II, -0.4 (0.2) in group III, and 1.5 (0.5) in group IV; this was significant in groups I and IV. The final heights of two monozygotic twins (BMT donor and recipient) had differed by 17.5 cm, despite them both having normal growth hormone peaks and puberty. Eight patients, treated for congenital immune deficiency syndrome, were growth retarded at the time of BMT. Of these, only those conditioned by chemotherapy alone had significant catch up growth (2(0.6)SD) while those conditioned by a single Gy exposure did not (0(0.4)SD). It is concluded that the total radiation dose is critical for growth evolution, as is the fractionation schedule. For the TBI doses and the interval since BMT studied, there was no correlation between growth hormone peak and the height loss. The rapidity of decreased growth velocity after TBI and the comparison between the monozygotic twins suggest that radiation induced skeletal lesions are partly responsible for the decreased growth.
PMCID: PMC1029264  PMID: 8503666
17.  Enhancement of natural killer function through activation of the T11 E rosette receptor. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1987;79(1):305-308.
Natural killer (NK) cells, which represent a small fraction of normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells, were purified by immunofluorescent cell sorting of NKH1+ cells. cytotoxicity of NKH1+ cells could be enhanced through activation by monoclonal antibodies (anti-T11(2) and anti-T11(3)) specific for epitopes of the sheep erythrocyte receptor or by recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2). After 18 h, incubation with both anti-T11(2/3) and rIL-2 resulted in similar levels of enhanced cytotoxicity against NK-resistant as well as NK-sensitive targets. Before and after induction, cytotoxicity was found predominantly within the NKH1+ population. These results suggest that several distinct mechanisms may be capable of enhancing NK activity and that the cells responsible for lymphokine-activated killing are likely to be the same population capable of spontaneous or natural killing before activation in vitro.
PMCID: PMC424050  PMID: 3098784
18.  Chromosomal replication origins (oriC) of Enterobacter aerogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae are functional in Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1982;152(3):983-993.
The chromosomal DNA replication origins (oriC) from two members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, Enterobacter aerogenes and Klebsiella pneumoniae, have been isolated as functional replication origins in Escherichia coli. The origins in the SalI restriction fragments of 17.5 and 10.2 kilobase pairs, cloned from E. aerogenes and K. pneumoniae, respectively, were found to be between the asnA and uncB genes, as are the origins of the E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium chromosomes. Plasmids containing oriC from E aerogenes, K. pneumoniae, and S. typhimurium replicate in the E. coli cell-free enzyme system (Fuller, et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78:7370--7374, 1981), and this replication is dependent on dnaA protein activity. These SalI fragments from E. aerogenes and K. pneumoniae carry a region which is lethal to E. coli when many copies are present. We show that this region is also carried on the E. coli 9.0-kilobase-pair EcoRI restriction fragment containing oriC. The F0 genes of the atp or unc operon, when linked to the unc operon promoter, are apparently responsible for the lethality.
PMCID: PMC221601  PMID: 6292170

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