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1.  Outcome Prediction of Children with Neuroblastoma using a Multigene Expression Signature, a Retrospective SIOPEN/COG/GPOH Study 
The lancet oncology  2009;10(7):663-671.
BACKGROUND
More accurate prognostic assessment of patients with neuroblastoma is required to improve the choice of risk-related therapy. The aim of this study is to develop and validate a gene expression signature for improved outcome prediction.
METHODS
Fifty-nine genes were carefully selected based on an innovative data-mining strategy and profiled in the largest neuroblastoma patient series (n=579) to date using RT-qPCR starting from only 20 ng of RNA. A multigene expression signature was built using 30 training samples, tested on 313 test samples and subsequently validated in a blind study on an independent set of 236 additional tumours.
FINDINGS
The signature accurately classifies patients with respect to overall and progression-free survival (p<0·0001). The signature has a performance, sensitivity, and specificity of 85·4% (95%CI: 77·7–93·2), 84·4% (95%CI: 66·5–94·1), and 86·5% (95%CI: 81·1–90·6), respectively to predict patient outcome. Multivariate analysis indicates that the signature is a significant independent predictor after controlling for currently used riskfactors. Patients with high molecular risk have a higher risk to die from disease and for relapse/progression than patients with low molecular risk (odds ratio of 19·32 (95%CI: 6·50–57·43) and 3·96 (95%CI: 1·97–7·97) for OS and PFS, respectively). Patients with increased risk for adverse outcome can also be identified within the current treatment groups demonstrating the potential of this signature for improved clinical management. These results were confirmed in the validation study in which the signature was also independently statistically significant in a model adjusted for MYCN status, age, INSS stage, ploidy, INPC grade of differentiation, and MKI. The high patient/gene ratio (579/59) underlies the observed statistical power and robustness.
INTERPRETATION
A 59-gene expression signature predicts outcome of neuroblastoma patients with high accuracy. The signature is an independent risk predictor, identifying patients with increased risk in the current clinical risk groups. The applied method and signature is suitable for routine lab testing and ready for evaluation in prospective studies.
FUNDING
The Belgian Foundation Against Cancer, found of public interest (project SCIE2006-25), the Children Cancer Fund Ghent, the Belgian Society of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, the Belgian Kid’s Fund and the Fondation Nuovo-Soldati (JV), the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (KDP, JH), the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (grant number: G•0198•08), the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders, Strategisch basisonderzoek (IWT-SBO 60848), the Fondation Fournier Majoie pour l’Innovation, the Instituto Carlos III,RD 06/0020/0102 Spain, the Italian Neuroblastoma Foundation, the European Community under the FP6 (project: STREP: EET-pipeline, number: 037260), and the Belgian program of Interuniversity Poles of Attraction, initiated by the Belgian State, Prime Minister's Office, Science Policy Programming.
doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70154-8
PMCID: PMC3045079  PMID: 19515614
2.  Review of mifamurtide in the treatment of patients with osteosarcoma 
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone. The disease, however, is very rare with less than 2,000 expected patients at all age groups per year within the European Union and the United States of America. With multimodal therapy, which combines multiagent chemotherapy and complete resection of all macroscopically detectable tumors, about 60%–70% of patients with localized osteosarcoma can be cured. The prognosis, however, is still poor for patients with synchronous or metachronous metastatic or nonresectable primary disease, with reported 5-year event-free survival (EFS) rates of less than 30%. Overall, the EFS rate has been rather stable since the introduction of combination chemotherapy including doxorubicin, cisplatin, high-dose methotrexate with leukovorin rescue, and/or ifosfamide. Mifamurtide, a modulator of innate immunity, which activates macrophages and monocytes, which in turn release chemicals with potential tumoricidal effects, may help to control microscopic metastatic disease and has been safely given together with standard adjuvant chemotherapy to patients with high-grade osteosarcoma. Results of the recently published intergroup study 0133 trial from the Children’s Cancer and Pediatric Oncology Groups suggest that mifamurtide is a medicine that deserves further investigation in this orphan disease.
PMCID: PMC2893760  PMID: 20596505
orphan drug; orphan disease; outcome innate immunity; immunotherapy

Results 1-2 (2)