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1.  Plasma YKL-40 in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treated with First Line Oxaliplatin-Based Regimen with or without Cetuximab: RESULTS from the NORDIC VII Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87746.
Background
We aim to test the hypothesis that high plasma YKL-40 is associated with short progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) treated with first-line oxaliplatin and 5-flourouracil with or without cetuximab.
Patients and Methods
A total of 566 patients in the NORDIC VII Study were randomized 1∶1∶1 to arm A (Nordic FLOX), arm B (Nordic FLOX + cetuximab), or arm C (Nordic FLOX + cetuximab for 16 weeks followed by cetuximab alone as maintenance therapy). Pretreatment plasma samples were available from 510 patients. Plasma YKL-40 was determined by ELISA and dichotomized according to the age-corrected 95% YKL-40 level in 3130 healthy subjects.
Results
Pretreatment plasma YKL-40 was elevated in 204 patients (40%), and median YKL-40 was higher in patients with mCRC than in healthy subjects (age adjusted, P<0.001). Patients with elevated YKL-40 had shorter PFS than patients with normal YKL-40 (7.5 vs. 8.2 months; hazard ratio (HR)  = 1.27 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–1.53 P = 0.013) and shorter OS (16.8 vs. 23.9 months; HR = 1.33, 1.04–1.69, P = 0.024). Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that elevated pretreatment YKL-40 was an independent biomarker of short OS (HR = 1.12, 1.01–1.25, P = 0.033). The ratio of the updated plasma YKL-40 (i.e. level after 1, 2, 8 weeks of treatment, and at end of treatment compared to the baseline level) was associated with OS (HR = 1.27, 1.06–1.52, P = 0.011).
Conclusions
Plasma YKL-40 is an independent prognostic biomarker in patients with mCRC treated with first-line oxaliplatin-based therapy alone or combined with cetuximab.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087746
PMCID: PMC3912025  PMID: 24498368
2.  Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Multiple Risk Loci for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 
Berndt, Sonja I. | Skibola, Christine F. | Joseph, Vijai | Camp, Nicola J. | Nieters, Alexandra | Wang, Zhaoming | Cozen, Wendy | Monnereau, Alain | Wang, Sophia S. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Lan, Qing | Teras, Lauren R. | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Chung, Charles C. | Yeager, Meredith | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Hartge, Patricia | Purdue, Mark P. | Birmann, Brenda M. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Cocco, Pierluigi | Zhang, Yawei | Severi, Gianluca | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Lawrence, Charles | Burdette, Laurie | Yuenger, Jeffrey | Hutchinson, Amy | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Call, Timothy G. | Shanafelt, Tait D. | Novak, Anne J. | Kay, Neil E. | Liebow, Mark | Wang, Alice H. | Smedby, Karin E | Adami, Hans-Olov | Melbye, Mads | Glimelius, Bengt | Chang, Ellen T. | Glenn, Martha | Curtin, Karen | Cannon-Albright, Lisa A. | Jones, Brandt | Diver, W. Ryan | Link, Brian K. | Weiner, George J. | Conde, Lucia | Bracci, Paige M. | Riby, Jacques | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Smith, Martyn T. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Benavente, Yolanda | Becker, Nikolaus | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | Staines, Anthony | Rabe, Kari G. | Achenbach, Sara J. | Vachon, Celine M. | Goldin, Lynn R | Strom, Sara S. | Lanasa, Mark C. | Spector, Logan G. | Leis, Jose F. | Cunningham, Julie M. | Weinberg, J. Brice | Morrison, Vicki A. | Caporaso, Neil E. | Norman, Aaron D. | Linet, Martha S. | De Roos, Anneclaire J. | Morton, Lindsay M. | Severson, Richard K. | Riboli, Elio | Vineis, Paolo | Kaaks, Rudolph | Trichopoulos, Dimitrios | Masala, Giovanna | Weiderpass, Elisabete | Chirlaque, María-Dolores | Vermeulen, Roel C H | Travis, Ruth C. | Giles, Graham G. | Albanes, Demetrius | Virtamo, Jarmo | Weinstein, Stephanie | Clavel, Jacqueline | Zheng, Tongzhang | Holford, Theodore R | Offit, Kenneth | Zelenetz, Andrew | Klein, Robert J. | Spinelli, John J. | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Laden, Francine | Giovannucci, Edward | Kraft, Peter | Kricker, Anne | Turner, Jenny | Vajdic, Claire M. | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Miligi, Lucia | Liang, Liming | Sampson, Joshua | Crouch, Simon | Park, Ju-hyun | North, Kari E. | Cox, Angela | Snowden, John A. | Wright, Josh | Carracedo, Angel | Lopez-Otin, Carlos | Bea, Silvia | Salaverria, Itziar | Martin, David | Campo, Elias | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Cerhan, James R. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Slager, Susan L.
Nature genetics  2013;45(8):868-876.
doi:10.1038/ng.2652
PMCID: PMC3729927  PMID: 23770605
3.  Neo-adjuvant radiotherapy in rectal cancer 
In rectal cancer treatment, attention has focused on the local primary tumour and the regional tumour cell deposits to diminish the risk of a loco-regional recurrence. Several large randomized trials have also shown that combinations of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have markedly reduced the risk of a loco-regional recurrence, but this has not yet had any major influence on overall survival. The best results have been achieved when the radiotherapy has been given preoperatively. Preoperative radiotherapy improves loco-regional control even when surgery has been optimized to improve lateral clearance, i.e., when a total mesorectal excision has been performed. The relative reduction is then 50%-70%. The value of radiotherapy has not been tested in combination with more extensive surgery including lateral lymph node clearance, as practised in some Asian countries. Many details about how the radiotherapy is performed are still open for discussion, and practice varies between countries. A highly fractionated radiation schedule (5 Gy × 5), proven efficacious in many trials, has gained much popularity in some countries, whereas a conventionally fractionated regimen (1.8-2.0 Gy × 25-28), often combined with chemotherapy, is used in other countries. The additional therapy adds morbidity to the morbidity that surgery causes, and should therefore be administered only when the risk of loco-regional recurrence is sufficiently high. The best integration of the weakest modality, to date the drugs (conventional cytotoxics and biologicals) is not known. A new generation of trials exploring the best sequence of treatments is required. Furthermore, there is a great need to develop predictors of response, so that treatment can be further individualized and not solely based upon clinical factors and anatomic imaging.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i46.8489
PMCID: PMC3870494  PMID: 24379566
Chemotherapy; Chemoradiotherapy; Local control; Multidisciplinary; Organ preservation; Radiotherapy; Randomized trials; Rectal cancer
4.  Short-course radiotherapy followed by neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer – the RAPIDO trial 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:279.
Background
Current standard for most of the locally advanced rectal cancers is preoperative chemoradiotherapy, and, variably per institution, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Short-course preoperative radiation with delayed surgery has been shown to induce tumour down-staging in both randomized and observational studies. The concept of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy has been proven successful in gastric cancer, hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer and is currently tested in primary colon cancer.
Methods and design
Patients with rectal cancer with high risk features for local or systemic failure on magnetic resonance imaging are randomized to either a standard arm or an experimental arm. The standard arm consists of chemoradiation (1.8 Gy x 25 or 2 Gy x 25 with capecitabine) preoperatively, followed by selective postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy. Postoperative chemotherapy is optional and may be omitted by participating institutions. The experimental arm includes short-course radiotherapy (5 Gy x 5) followed by full-dose chemotherapy (capecitabine and oxaliplatin) in 6 cycles before surgery. In the experimental arm, no postoperative chemotherapy is prescribed. Surgery is performed according to TME principles in both study arms. The hypothesis is that short-course radiotherapy with neo-adjuvant chemotherapy increases disease-free and overall survival without compromising local control. Primary end-point is disease-free survival at 3 years. Secondary endpoints include overall survival, local control, toxicity profile, and treatment completion rate, rate of pathological complete response and microscopically radical resection, and quality of life.
Discussion
Following the advances in rectal cancer management, increased focus on survival rather than only on local control is now justified. In an experimental arm, short-course radiotherapy is combined with full-dose chemotherapy preoperatively, an alternative that offers advantages compared to concomitant chemoradiotherapy with or without postoperative chemotherapy. In a multi-centre setting this regimen is compared to current standard with the aim of improving survival for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01558921
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-279
PMCID: PMC3680047  PMID: 23742033
Rectal cancer; Radiotherapy; Chemotherapy; Neo-adjuvant; Magnetic resonance imaging
5.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma and Epstein–Barr Virus Status–Defined Subgroups 
Background
Accumulating evidence suggests that risk factors for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) differ by tumor Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status. This potential etiological heterogeneity is not recognized in current disease classification.
Methods
We conducted a genome-wide association study of 1200 cHL patients and 6417 control subjects, with validation in an independent replication series, to identify common genetic variants associated with total cHL and subtypes defined by tumor EBV status. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) assuming a log-additive genetic model for the variants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
Two novel loci associated with total cHL irrespective of EBV status were identified in the major histocompatibility complex region; one resides adjacent to MICB (rs2248462: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.69, P = 1.3 × 10−13) and the other at HLA-DRA (rs2395185: OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.62, P = 8.3 × 10−25) with both results confirmed in an independent replication series. Consistent with previous reports, associations were found between EBV-positive cHL and genetic variants within the class I region (rs2734986, HLA-A: OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 2.00 to 3.00, P = 1.2 × 10−15; rs6904029, HCG9: OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.59, P = 5.5 × 10−10) and between EBV-negative cHL and rs6903608 within the class II region (rs6903608, HLA-DRA: OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.35, P = 6.1 × 10−31). The association between rs6903608 and EBV-negative cHL was confined to the nodular sclerosis histological subtype. Evidence for an association between EBV-negative cHL and rs20541 (5q31, IL13: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.76, P = 5.4 x 10−9), a variant previously linked to psoriasis and asthma, was observed; however, the evidence for replication was less clear. Notably, one additional psoriasis-associated variant, rs27524 (5q15, ERAP1), showed evidence of an association with cHL in the genome-wide association study (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.33, P = 1.5 × 10−4) and replication series (P = .03).
Conclusion
Overall, these results provide strong evidence that EBV status is an etiologically important classification of cHL and also suggest that some components of the pathological process are common to both EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djr516
PMCID: PMC3274508  PMID: 22286212
6.  Let-7 miRNA-binding site polymorphism in the KRAS 3′UTR; colorectal cancer screening population prevalence and influence on clinical outcome in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin +/− cetuximab 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:534.
Background
Recent studies have reported associations between a variant allele in a let-7 microRNA complementary site (LCS6) within the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) of KRAS (rs61764370) and clinical outcome in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients receiving cetuximab. The variant allele has also been associated with increased cancer risk. We aimed to reveal the incidence of the variant allele in a colorectal cancer screening population and to investigate the clinical relevance of the variant allele in mCRC patients treated with 1st line Nordic FLOX (bolus 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid and oxaliplatin) +/− cetuximab.
Methods
The feasibility of the variant allele as a risk factor for CRC was investigated by comparing the LCS6 gene frequencies in 197 CRC patients, 1060 individuals with colorectal polyps, and 358 healthy controls. The relationship between clinical outcome and LCS6 genotype was analyzed in 180 mCRC patients receiving Nordic FLOX and 355 patients receiving Nordic FLOX + cetuximab in the NORDIC-VII trial (NCT00145314).
Results
LCS6 frequencies did not vary between CRC patients (23%), individuals with polyps (20%), and healthy controls (20%) (P = 0.50). No statistically significant differences were demonstrated in the NORDIC-VII cohort even if numerically increased progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were found in patients with the LCS6 variant allele (8.5 (95% CI: 7.3-9.7 months) versus 7.8 months (95% CI: 7.4-8.3 months), P = 0.16 and 23.5 (95% CI: 21.6-25.4 months) versus 19.5 months (95% CI: 17.8-21.2 months), P = 0.31, respectively). Addition of cetuximab seemed to improve response rate more in variant carriers than in wild-type carriers (from 35% to 57% versus 44% to 47%), however the difference was not statistically significant (interaction P = 0.16).
Conclusions
The LCS6 variant allele does not seem to be a risk factor for development of colorectal polyps or CRC. No statistically significant effect of the LCS6 variant allele on response rate, PFS or OS was found in mCRC patients treated with 1st line Nordic FLOX +/− cetuximab.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-534
PMCID: PMC3526507  PMID: 23167843
Colorectal cancer; LCS6; MiRNA polymorphism; Cetuximab; Oxaliplatin; 5-fluorouracil
7.  Equal cancer treatment regardless of education level and family support? A qualitative study of oncologists’ decision-making 
BMJ Open  2012;2(4):e001248.
Objective
Treatment gradients by socioeconomic status have been observed within cancer care in several countries. The objective of this study was to explore whether patients’ educational level and social network influence oncologists’ clinical decision-making.
Design
Semi-structured interviews on factors considered when deciding on treatment for cancer patients. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis.
Setting
Oncologists in Swedish university- and non-university hospitals were interviewed in their respective places of work.
Participants
Twenty Swedish clinical oncologists selected through maximum-variation sampling.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Elements which influence oncologists’ decision-making process were explored with focus on educational level and patients’ social support systems.
Results
Oncologists consciously used less combination chemotherapy for patients living alone, fearing treatment toxicity. Highly educated patients were considered as well-read, demanding and sometimes difficult to reason with. Patients with higher education, those very keen to have treatment and persuasive relatives were considered as challenges for the oncologist. Having large groups of relatives in a room made doctors feel outnumbered. A desire to please patients and relatives was posed as the main reason for giving in to patients’ demands, even when this resulted in treatment with limited efficacy.
Conclusions
Oncologists tailor treatment for patients living alone to avoid harmful side-effects. Many find patients’ demands difficult to handle and this may result in strong socioeconomic groups being over-treated.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001248
PMCID: PMC3432847  PMID: 22923630
Chemotherapy; Health Services Administration & Management; Quality in health care; Oncology; Gastrointestinal tumours; Qualitative Research
8.  Multidisciplinary treatment of patients with rectal cancer: Development during the past decades and plans for the future 
Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences  2012;117(2):225-236.
In rectal cancer treatment, both the local primary and the regional and systemic tumour cell deposits must be taken care of in order to improve survival. The three main treatments, surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, each with their own advantages and limitations, must then be combined to improve results. Several large randomized trials have shown that combinations of the modalities have markedly reduced the loco-regional recurrences, but have not yet had any major influence on overall survival. The best integration of the weakest modality, to date the drugs (conventional cytotoxics and biologicals), is not known. A new generation of trials exploring the best sequence of treatments is required. Furthermore, treatment of rectal cancer is administered to populations of individuals, based upon clinical factors and imaging, and can presently not be further individualized. There is an urgent need to develop response predictors.
doi:10.3109/03009734.2012.658974
PMCID: PMC3339554  PMID: 22512246
Chemoradiotherapy; chemotherapy; local control; multidisciplinary; organ preservation; radiotherapy; randomized trials; rectal cancer
9.  Allele-specific copy number analysis of tumor samples with aneuploidy and tumor heterogeneity 
Genome Biology  2011;12(10):R108.
We describe a bioinformatic tool, Tumor Aberration Prediction Suite (TAPS), for the identification of allele-specific copy numbers in tumor samples using data from Affymetrix SNP arrays. It includes detailed visualization of genomic segment characteristics and iterative pattern recognition for copy number identification, and does not require patient-matched normal samples. TAPS can be used to identify chromosomal aberrations with high sensitivity even when the proportion of tumor cells is as low as 30%. Analysis of cancer samples indicates that TAPS is well suited to investigate samples with aneuploidy and tumor heterogeneity, which is commonly found in many types of solid tumors.
doi:10.1186/gb-2011-12-10-r108
PMCID: PMC3333778  PMID: 22023820
10.  Survival endpoints in colorectal cancer and the effect of second primary other cancer on disease free survival 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:438.
Background
In cancer research the selection and definitions of survival endpoints are important and yet they are not used consistently. The aim of this study was to compare different survival endpoints in patients with primary colorectal cancer (CRC) and to understand the effect of second primary other cancer on disease-free survival (DFS) calculations.
Methods
A population-based cohort of 415 patients with CRC, 332 of whom were treated with curative intention between the years 2000-2003, was analysed. Events such as locoregional recurrence, distant metastases, second primary cancers, death, cause of death and loss to follow-up were recorded. Different survival endpoints, including DFS, overall survival, cancer-specific survival, relapse-free survival, time to treatment failure and time to recurrence were compared and DFS was calculated with and without inclusion of second primary other cancers.
Results
The events that occurred most often in patients treated with curative intention were non-cancer-related death (n = 74), distant metastases (n = 66) and death from CRC (n = 59). DFS was the survival endpoint with most events (n = 170) followed by overall survival (n = 144) and relapse-free survival (n = 139). Fewer events were seen for time to treatment failure (n = 80), time to recurrence (n = 68) and cancer-specific survival (n = 59). Second primary other cancer occurred in 26 patients and its inclusion as an event in DFS calculations had a detrimental effect on the survival. The DFS for patients with stage I-III disease was 62% after 5 years if second primary other cancer was not included as an event, compared with 58% if it was. However, the difference was larger for stage II (68 vs 60%) than for stage III (49 vs 47%).
Conclusions
The inclusion of second primary other cancer as an endpoint in DFS analyses significantly alters the DFS for patients with CRC. Researchers and journals must clearly define survival endpoints in all trial protocols and published manuscripts.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-438
PMCID: PMC3209454  PMID: 21989154
11.  Genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma identifies a risk locus at 6p21.32 
Nature genetics  2010;42(8):661-664.
To identify susceptibility loci for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study. We identified two variants associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1,465 FL cases/6,958 controls at 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs7755224, r2=1.0; combined p-values=1.12×10-29, 2.00×10-19), providing further support that MHC genetic variation influences FL susceptibility. Confirmatory evidence of a previously reported association was also found between chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and rs735665 (combined p-value=4.24×10-9).
doi:10.1038/ng.626
PMCID: PMC2913472  PMID: 20639881
12.  KRAS analysis in colorectal carcinoma: Analytical aspects of Pyrosequencing and allele-specific PCR in clinical practice 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:660.
Background
Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor therapy is now approved for treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinomas (CRC) in patients with tumors lacking KRAS mutations. Several procedures to detect KRAS mutations have been developed. However, the analytical sensitivity and specificity of these assays on routine clinical samples are not yet fully characterised.
Methods
The practical aspects and clinical applicability of a KRAS-assay based on Pyrosequencing were evaluated in a series of 314 consecutive CRC cases submitted for diagnostic KRAS analysis. The performance of Pyrosequencing compared to allele-specific, real-time PCR was then explored by a direct comparison of CE-IVD-marked versions of Pyrosequencing and TheraScreen (DxS) KRAS assays for a consecutive subset (n = 100) of the 314 clinical CRC samples.
Results
Using Pyrosequencing, 39% of the 314 CRC samples were found KRAS-mutated and several of the mutations (8%) were located in codon 61. To explore the analytical sensitivity of the Pyrosequencing assay, mutated patient DNA was serially diluted with wild-type patient DNA. Dilutions corresponding to 1.25-2.5% tumor cells still revealed detectable mutation signals. In clinical practice, our algorithm for KRAS analysis includes a reanalysis of samples with low tumor cell content (< 10%, n = 56) using an independent assay (allele-specific PCR, DxS). All mutations identified by Pyrosequencing were then confirmed and, in addition, one more mutated sample was identified in this subset of 56 samples. Finally, a direct comparison of the two technologies was done by re-analysis of a subset (n = 100) of the clinical samples using CE-IVD-marked versions of Pyrosequencing and TheraScreen KRAS assays in a single blinded fashion. The number of samples for which the KRAS codon 12/13 mutation status could be defined using the Pyrosequencing or the TheraScreen assay was 94 and 91, respectively, and both assays detected the same number of codon 12 and 13 mutations.
Conclusions
KRAS mutation detection using Pyrosequencing was evaluated on a consecutive set of clinical CRC samples. Pyrosequencing provided sufficient analytical sensitivity and specificity to assess the mutation status in routine formalin-fixed CRC samples, even in tissues with a low tumor cell content.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-660
PMCID: PMC3002357  PMID: 21122130
13.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in rectal cancer: a comprehensive review 
Insights into Imaging  2010;1(4):245-267.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has established itself as the primary method for local staging in patients with rectal cancer. This is due to several factors, most importantly because of the ability to assess the status of circumferential resection margin. There are several newer developments being introduced continuously, such as diffusion-weighted imaging and imaging with 3 T. Assessment of loco-regional lymph nodes has also been investigated extensively using different approaches, but more work needs to be done. Finally, evaluation of tumours during or after preoperative treatment is becoming an everyday reality. All these new aspects prompt a review of the most recent advances and opinions. In this review, a comprehensive overview of the current status of MRI in the loco-regional assessment and management of rectal cancer is presented. The findings on MRI and their accuracy are reviewed based on the most up-to-date evidence. Optimisation of MRI acquisition and relevant regional anatomy are also presented, based on published literature and our own experience.
doi:10.1007/s13244-010-0037-4
PMCID: PMC3259411  PMID: 22347920
MRI; CT; Rectum; Cancer
14.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in rectal cancer: a comprehensive review 
Insights into Imaging  2010;1(4):245-267.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has established itself as the primary method for local staging in patients with rectal cancer. This is due to several factors, most importantly because of the ability to assess the status of circumferential resection margin. There are several newer developments being introduced continuously, such as diffusion-weighted imaging and imaging with 3 T. Assessment of loco-regional lymph nodes has also been investigated extensively using different approaches, but more work needs to be done. Finally, evaluation of tumours during or after preoperative treatment is becoming an everyday reality. All these new aspects prompt a review of the most recent advances and opinions. In this review, a comprehensive overview of the current status of MRI in the loco-regional assessment and management of rectal cancer is presented. The findings on MRI and their accuracy are reviewed based on the most up-to-date evidence. Optimisation of MRI acquisition and relevant regional anatomy are also presented, based on published literature and our own experience.
doi:10.1007/s13244-010-0037-4
PMCID: PMC3259411  PMID: 22347920
MRI; CT; Rectum; Cancer
15.  Serum YKL-40 and IL-6 Levels in Hodgkin Lymphoma 
Purpose
Serum levels of the inflammatory markers YKL-40 and IL-6 are increased in many conditions, including cancers. We examined serum YKL-40 and IL-6 levels in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), a tumor with strong immunologic reaction to relatively few tumor cells, especially in nodular sclerosis HL.
Experimental Design
We analyzed Danish and Swedish patients with incident HL (N=470) and population controls from Denmark (N= 245 for YKL-40; N= 348 for IL-6). Serum YKL-40 and IL-6 levels were determined by ELISA, and log-transformed data were analysed by linear regression, adjusting for age and sex.
Results
Serum levels of YKL-40 and IL-6 were increased in HL patients compared to controls (YKL-40: 3.6-fold, IL-6: 8.3-fold; both p<0.0001). In samples from pre-treatment HL patients (N=176), levels were correlated with more advanced stages (ptrend 0.0001 for YKL-40 and 0.013 for IL-6) and in those with B symptoms, but levels were similar in nodular sclerosis and mixed cellularity subtypes, by EBV status, and in younger (<45 years old) and older patients. Patients tested soon after treatment onset had significantly lower levels than pre-treatment patients, but even >6 months after treatment onset, serum YKL-40 and IL-6 levels remained significantly increased, compared to controls. In patients who died (N=12), pre-treatment levels for both YKL-40 and IL-6 were higher than in survivors, although not statistically significantly.
Conclusions
Serum YKL-40 and IL-6 levels were increased in untreated HL patients and those with more advanced stages but did not differ significantly by HL histology. Following treatment, serum levels were significantly lower.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-08-1026
PMCID: PMC2613488  PMID: 18980992
16.  Perioperative chemotherapy with FOLFOX4 and surgery versus surgery alone for resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer (EORTC Intergroup trial 40983): a randomised controlled trial 
Lancet  2008;371(9617):1007-1016.
Summary
Background
Surgical resection alone is regarded as the standard of care for patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer, but relapse is common. We assessed the combination of perioperative chemotherapy and surgery compared with surgery alone for patients with initially resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer.
Methods
This parallel-group study reports the trial's final data for progression-free survival for a protocol unspecified interim time-point, while overall survival is still being monitored. 364 patients with histologically proven colorectal cancer and up to four liver metastases were randomly assigned to either six cycles of FOLFOX4 before and six cycles after surgery or to surgery alone (182 in perioperative chemotherapy group vs 182 in surgery group). Patients were centrally randomised by minimisation, adjusting for centre and risk score. The primary objective was to detect a hazard ratio (HR) of 0·71 or less for progression-free survival. Primary analysis was by intention to treat. Analyses were repeated for all eligible (171 vs 171) and resected patients (151 vs 152). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00006479.
Findings
In the perioperative chemotherapy group, 151 (83%) patients were resected after a median of six (range 1–6) preoperative cycles and 115 (63%) patients received a median six (1–8) postoperative cycles. 152 (84%) patients were resected in the surgery group. The absolute increase in rate of progression-free survival at 3 years was 7·3% (from 28·1% [95·66% CI 21·3–35·5] to 35·4% [28·1–42·7]; HR 0·79 [0·62–1·02]; p=0·058) in randomised patients; 8·1% (from 28·1% [21·2–36·6] to 36·2% [28·7–43·8]; HR 0·77 [0·60–1·00]; p=0·041) in eligible patients; and 9·2% (from 33·2% [25·3–41·2] to 42·4% [34·0–50·5]; HR 0·73 [0·55–0·97]; p=0·025) in patients undergoing resection. 139 patients died (64 in perioperative chemotherapy group vs 75 in surgery group). Reversible postoperative complications occurred more often after chemotherapy than after surgery (40/159 [25%] vs 27/170 [16%]; p=0·04). After surgery we recorded two deaths in the surgery alone group and one in the perioperative chemotherapy group.
Interpretation
Perioperative chemotherapy with FOLFOX4 is compatible with major liver surgery and reduces the risk of events of progression-free survival in eligible and resected patients.
Funding
Swedish Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, US National Cancer Institute, Sanofi-Aventis.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60455-9
PMCID: PMC2277487  PMID: 18358928

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