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1.  Patterns of mortality after prolonged follow-up of a randomised controlled trial using granulocyte colony-stimulating factor to maintain chemotherapy dose intensity in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;99(2):253-258.
The effect of utilising granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) to maintain chemotherapy dose intensity in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) on long-term mortality patterns has not been formally evaluated. We analysed prolonged follow-up data from the first randomised controlled trial investigating this approach. Data on 10-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), freedom from progression (FFP) and incidence of second malignancies were collected for 80 patients with aggressive subtypes of NHL, who had been randomised to receive either VAPEC-B chemotherapy or VAPEC-B+G-CSF. Median follow-up was 15.7 years for surviving patients. No significant differences were found in PFS or OS. However, 10-year FFP was better in the G-CSF arm (68 vs 47%, P=0.037). Eleven deaths from causes unrelated to NHL or its treatment occurred in the G-CSF arm compared to five in controls. More deaths occurred from second malignancies (4 vs 2) and cardiovascular causes (5 vs 0) in the G-CSF arm. Although this pharmacovigilance study has insufficient statistical power to draw conclusions and is limited by the lack of data on smoking history and other cardiovascular risk factors, these unique long-term outcome data generate hypotheses that warrant further investigation.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604468
PMCID: PMC2480980  PMID: 18594529
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; granulocyte colony-stimulating factor; mortality pattern; dose intensity; pharmacovigilance; second malignancy
2.  Growth hormone and tumour recurrence. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1992;304(6842):1601-1605.
OBJECTIVE--To determine whether using growth hormone to treat radiation induced growth hormone deficiency causes tumour recurrence. DESIGN--Comparison of tumour recurrence rates in children treated with growth hormone for radiation induced deficiency and an untreated population. Computed tomograms from children with brain tumours were reviewed when starting growth hormone and subsequently. SETTING--North West region. PATIENTS--207 children treated for brain tumour, 47 of whom received growth hormone and 161 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 15 of whom received growth hormone. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Tumour recurrence and changes in appearances on computed tomography. RESULTS--Among children with brain tumour, five (11%) who received growth hormone had recurrences compared with 42 (26%) who did not receive growth hormone. Also adjusting for other variables that might affect tumour recurrence the estimated relative risk of recurrence was 0.82 (95% confidence interval 0.28 to 2.37). The only child with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia who relapsed while taking growth hormone had relapsed previously before starting treatment. Two of the five children with brain tumours who relapsed had abnormal appearances on computed tomography when growth hormone was started. 14 other children who remained relapse free and had follow up computed tomography showed no deterioration in radiological appearance during treatment. CONCLUSIONS--In this population growth hormone did not increase the risk of tumour recurrence but continued surveillance is essential. Abnormal results on computed tomography are not a contraindication to treatment with growth hormone.
PMCID: PMC1881949  PMID: 1628087
3.  Incidence of cerebral metastases in patients treated with trastuzumab for metastatic breast cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2004;91(4):639-643.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601970
PMCID: PMC2364775  PMID: 15266327
trastuzumab; brain metastases; breast cancer
4.  Semen cryopreservation, utilisation and reproductive outcome in men treated for Hodgkin's disease 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;87(4):381-384.
Between 1978 and 1990, 122 men underwent semen analysis before starting sterilising chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease. Eighty-one (66%) had semen quality within the normal range, 25 were oligospermic (<20×106 sperm per ml) and five were azoospermic (no sperm in the ejaculate). Semen from 115 men was cryopreserved and after a median follow-up time of 10.1 years, 33 men have utilised stored semen (actuarial rate 27%) and nine partners have become pregnant resulting in 11 live births and one termination for foetal malformation. Actuarial 10 year rates of destruction of semen before death or utilisation and death before utilisation are 19% and 13% respectively. This retrospective cohort study demonstrates that approximately one-quarter of men utilising cryopreserved semen after treatment for Hodgkin's disease obtain a live birth. The high non-utilisation rate is intriguing and warrants further investigation.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 381–384. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600483 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600483
PMCID: PMC2376135  PMID: 12177773
semen cryopreservation; reproductive outcome; Hodgkin's disease
5.  Heterogeneity of O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase expression in human breast tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(11):1797-1802.
An important determinant of cellular resistance to chemotherapeutic O6-alkylating agents, which comprise methylating and chloroethylating agents, is the ability of cells to repair alkylation damage at the O6-position of guanine in DNA. This is achieved by a specific DNA repair enzyme O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase. In this study O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase expression was measured in human breast tumours using both biochemical and immunohistochemical techniques. O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase activity was then compared with known clinical prognostic indices to assess the potential role of O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase in predicting the behaviour of this common malignancy. The application of both biochemical and immunohistochemical techniques was feasible and practical. Most breast tumours expressed high levels of O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase. Immunohistochemical analysis showed marked variation in expression not only between individuals but also within individual tumours, and in the same patient, between metastases and between primary tumour and metastatic site. O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase activity in tissue extracts significantly correlated not only with immunohistochemical staining intensity determined by subjective quantitation, but also with measures of protein levels using a computerised image analysis system including mean grey (P<0.001), percentage of cells positive for O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase (P<0.001), and integrated optical density (P<0.001). O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase expression did not correlate with any of the established clinical prognostic indicators for current treatment regimens. However, immunohistochemical offers a rapid and convenient method for assessing potential utility of O6-alkylating agents or O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase inactivating agents in future studies of breast cancer treatment.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1797–1802. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600324 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600324
PMCID: PMC2375409  PMID: 12087469
DNA repair; prognostic indicators; MGMT; nitrosoureas; methylating agents
6.  Requirement for expert histopathological assessment of ovarian cancer and borderline tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;82(4):760-762.
The distinction between borderline ovarian tumours (BOT) and ovarian carcinoma is made by histopathological assessment. Of 64 patients managed according to institutional BOT protocols, 27 (42%) had been referred with a diagnosis of ovarian carcinoma that was subsequently changed to BOT following histopathological review. The 70% 6-year event-free survival of the patients with a revised diagnosis was not significantly different from those who were referred with a diagnosis of BOT. This change in diagnosis is important as it avoids the need for chemotherapy for most patients and results in patients receiving appropriate information concerning prognosis. Interestingly, 24 patients (38.1%) reported a family history of epithelial cancer, a finding that has not been reported previously.© 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
doi:10.1054/bjoc.1999.0994
PMCID: PMC2374382  PMID: 10732741
ovarian tumour; borderline; pathology; survival
7.  Recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (filgrastim) following high-dose chemotherapy and peripheral blood progenitor cell rescue in high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: clinical benefits at no extra cost. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;77(8):1294-1299.
In order to evaluate the potential clinical and economic benefits of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF, filgrastim) following peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) rescue after high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT), 23 consecutive patients aged less than 60 years with poor-prognosis, high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) were entered into a prospective randomized trial between May 1993 and September 1995. Patients were randomized to receive either PBPC alone (n = 12) or PBPC+G-CSF (n = 11) after HDCT with busulphan and cyclophosphamide. G-CSF (300 microg day[-1]) was given from day +5 until recovery of granulocyte count to greater than 1.0 x 10(9) l(-1) for 2 consecutive days. The mean time to achieve a granulocyte count > 0.5 x 10(9) l(-1) was significantly shorter in the G-CSF arm (9.7 vs 13.2 days; P<0.0001) as was the median duration of hospital stay (12 vs 15 days; P = 0.001). In addition the recovery periods (range 9-12 vs 11-17 days to achieve a count of 1.0 x 10(9) l[-1]) and hospital stays (range 11-14 vs 13-22 days) were significantly less variable in patients receiving G-CSF in whom the values clustered around the median. There were no statistically significant differences between the study arms in terms of days of fever, documented episodes of bacteraemia, antimicrobial drug usage and platelet/red cell transfusion requirements. Taking into account the costs of total occupied-bed days, drugs, growth factor usage and haematological support, the mean expenditure per inpatient stay was pound sterling 6500 (range pound sterling 5465-pound sterling 8101) in the G-CSF group compared with pound sterling 8316 (range pound sterling 5953-pound sterling 15,801) in the group not receiving G-CSF, with an observed mean saving of 1816 per patient (or 22% of the total cost) in the G-CSF group. This study suggests that after HDCT and PBPC rescue, the use of G-CSF leads to more rapid haematological recovery periods and is associated with a more predictable and shorter hospital stay. Furthermore, and despite the additional costs for G-CSF, these clinical benefits are not translated into increased health care expenditure.
PMCID: PMC2150159  PMID: 9579836
8.  Prognostic factors for disease progression in advanced Hodgkin's disease: an analysis of patients aged under 60 years showing no progression in the first 6 months after starting primary chemotherapy. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(1):110-115.
The aim of this study was to determine whether a very high-risk group based on presenting characteristics could be identified in patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease who may benefit from high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT). Between 1975 and 1992, 453 previously untreated patients aged under 60 years who did not progress in the first 6 months after the start of standard chemotherapy had their hospital notes reviewed. The outcomes analysed were early disease progression (in the 6- to 18-month window following the start of chemotherapy) and disease progression in the whole of the follow-up period. A Cox regression analysis was used to investigate the combined effects of a number of presenting characteristics on these outcomes. Despite the presence of factors with significant effects on the relative rate of progression, the absolute effects in a group identified as having the poorest prognosis were not especially poor. No group could be defined with a freedom from progression rate of less than 70% over 6-18 months, and the worst prognostic group, which included only 53 patients, had an overall freedom from progression rate of 57% at 5 years. Four other reported prognostic indices were evaluated using our data set, but none of the indices was more successful in identifying a very high-risk group. It has not been possible to define a sufficiently high-risk group of patients with Hodgkin's disease based on presenting characteristics for whom HDCT could be advised as part of primary treatment. The search for more discriminating prognostic factors identifying vulnerable patients with a high risk of relapse must continue before a role can be found for HDCT following conventional chemotherapy in patients without disease progression.
PMCID: PMC2222699  PMID: 9000607
9.  Prognostic significance of CCND1 (cyclin D1) overexpression in primary resected non-small-cell lung cancer. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;73(3):294-300.
Amplification of the CCDN1 gene encoding cyclin D1 was examined by Southern blotting and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and occurred in 8 of 53 patients (15%) with primary resected non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These tumours and 17 additional tumours with a normal gene copy number showed overexpression of cyclin D1 (25/53, 47%), as assessed by immunostaining using a monoclonal antibody. In 22/25 cases, cyclin D1 was localised in the cytoplasm, but some (7/25) had simultaneous nuclear staining. This result is in marked contrast to that reported in breast, hepatocellular and colorectal carcinoma studies where immunostaining was invariably nuclear. Examination of a restriction fragment length polymorphic (RFLP) site within the 3'untranslated region of the cDNA following reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR (29/53 informative cases) showed a strong association between cytoplasmic staining and imbalance in allele-specific message levels. Cyclin D1 overexpression was associated with a poorly differentiated histology (P = 0.04), less lymphocytic infiltration of the tumour (P = 0.02) and a reduction in local relapse rate (P = 0.01). The relative risk of local relapse was 9.1 in tumours without cyclin D1 overexpression (P = 0.01, Cox regression analysis). We conclude that genetic alteration of cyclin D1 is a key abnormality in lung carcinogenesis and may have diagnostic and prognostic importance in the treatment of resectable NSCLC.
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PMCID: PMC2074441  PMID: 8562333

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