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1.  Evaluation of second-line and subsequent targeted therapies in metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) patients treated with first-line cediranib 
Introduction:
Pivotal phase III trials have positioned angiogenesis inhibitors as first-line therapy for the management of most advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinomas (mRCC). Approaches to second-line therapy, however, remain more controversial with respect to drug selection and drug sequencing.
Methods:
In this study we evaluated mRCC patients who were initially treated on the first-line National Cancer Institute (NCI) trial with the highly potent vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), cediranib, to determine the efficacy and tolerability of subsequent therapies.
Results:
Twenty-eight (65.1%) of the 43 patients enrolled on the first-line cediranib trial were known to receive second-line therapy, most commonly sunitinib (n = 21), with 4 (14%), 2 (7%) and 1 (3%) patients receiving temsirolimus, sorafenib, and interleukin, respectively. Of these, 14 (50%) went on to have 3 or more lines of therapy. The progression-free survival (PFS) proportion (PFS) at 1 year from starting second line was 30% (14.5%–47.9%). Longer duration of first-line cediranib treatment was modestly associated with longer duration of second-line treatment (Spearman rho 0.26). Patients who discontinued cediranib for toxicity were less likely to receive second-line sunitinib.
Conclusion:
In this real world evaluation, sequential use of TKIs for the management of mRCC was common. PFS with sequential TKIs was similar to observed and published results for any second-line therapy. Prior toxicity affected treatment patterns and the frequent use of at least 3 lines of therapy underscores the need for prospective sequencing trials in this disease.
doi:10.5489/cuaj.2426
PMCID: PMC4277518  PMID: 25553152
2.  Three primary testicular tumours: Trials and tribulations of testicular preservation 
Canadian Urological Association Journal  2013;7(9-10):E630-E633.
Balancing recurrence risk, side effects and patient preference in the treatment of multiple metachronous testicular tumours can be challenging. We present the case of a young male patient who developed 3 different primary testicular neoplasms over an 8-year period, each associated with retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy requiring chemotherapy. The first tumour at age 19 was managed with radical orchiectomy. Four years later, a partial orchiectomy was performed to remove 2 small lesions. Another 4 years later, a complete orchiectomy was required for an additional tumour. This case highlights the caveats of testis-sparing surgery for testis cancer and the need for careful surveillance in these patients.
doi:10.5489/cuaj.1260
PMCID: PMC3886200  PMID: 24409211
3.  Divergent Genomic and Epigenomic Landscapes of Lung Cancer Subtypes Underscore the Selection of Different Oncogenic Pathways during Tumor Development 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37775.
For therapeutic purposes, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has traditionally been regarded as a single disease. However, recent evidence suggest that the two major subtypes of NSCLC, adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) respond differently to both molecular targeted and new generation chemotherapies. Therefore, identifying the molecular differences between these tumor types may impact novel treatment strategy. We performed the first large-scale analysis of 261 primary NSCLC tumors (169 AC and 92 SqCC), integrating genome-wide DNA copy number, methylation and gene expression profiles to identify subtype-specific molecular alterations relevant to new agent design and choice of therapy. Comparison of AC and SqCC genomic and epigenomic landscapes revealed 778 altered genes with corresponding expression changes that are selected during tumor development in a subtype-specific manner. Analysis of >200 additional NSCLCs confirmed that these genes are responsible for driving the differential development and resulting phenotypes of AC and SqCC. Importantly, we identified key oncogenic pathways disrupted in each subtype that likely serve as the basis for their differential tumor biology and clinical outcomes. Downregulation of HNF4α target genes was the most common pathway specific to AC, while SqCC demonstrated disruption of numerous histone modifying enzymes as well as the transcription factor E2F1. In silico screening of candidate therapeutic compounds using subtype-specific pathway components identified HDAC and PI3K inhibitors as potential treatments tailored to lung SqCC. Together, our findings suggest that AC and SqCC develop through distinct pathogenetic pathways that have significant implication in our approach to the clinical management of NSCLC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037775
PMCID: PMC3357406  PMID: 22629454
4.  Correlations of EGFR mutations and increases in EGFR and HER2 copy number to gefitinib response in a retrospective analysis of lung cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:128.
Background
Gefitinib, a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), has shown limited efficacy in the treatment of lung cancer. Recognized clinical predictors of response to this drug, specifically female, non-smoker, Asian descent, and adenocarcinoma, together suggest a genetic basis for drug response. Recent studies have addressed the relationship between response and either sequence mutations or increased copy number of specific receptor tyrosine kinases. We set out to examine the relationship between response and the molecular status of two such kinases, EGFR and HER2, in 39 patients treated with gefitinib at the BC Cancer Agency.
Methods
Archival patient material was reviewed by a pathologist and malignant cells were selectively isolated by laser microdissection or manual recovery of cells from microscope slides. Genomic DNA was extracted from 37 such patient samples and exons 18–24, coding for the tyrosine kinase domain of EGFR, were amplified by PCR and sequenced. EGFR and HER2 copy number status were also assessed using FISH in 26 samples. Correlations between molecular features and drug response were assessed using the two-sided Fisher's exact test.
Results
Mutations previously correlated with response were detected in five tumours, four with exon 19 deletions and one with an exon 21 missense L858R point mutation. Increased gene copy number was observed in thirteen tumours, seven with EGFR amplification, three with HER2 amplification, and three with amplification of both genes. In our study cohort, a correlation was not observed between response and EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion p = 0.0889, we observed a single exon 21 mutation in a non-responder) or increases in EGFR or HER2 copy number (p = 0.552 and 0.437, respectively).
Conclusion
Neither mutation of EGFR nor increased copy number of EGFR or HER2 was diagnostic of response to gefitinib in this cohort. However, validation of these features in a larger sample set is appropriate. Identification of additional predictive biomarkers beyond EGFR status may be necessary to accurately predict treatment outcome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-7-128
PMCID: PMC1952070  PMID: 17626639
5.  Lung Cancer in the 1990s 
Canadian Family Physician  1990;36:960-964.
The author reviews the investigation and staging of patients with lung cancer. Surgical, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy roles in management of non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are discussed. The author concludes with practical guidelines for screening and prevention by family physicians.
PMCID: PMC2280462  PMID: 21233969
family medicine; lung cancer; oncology

Results 1-5 (5)