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author:("Cañete, adla")
1.  Phase II study of irinotecan in combination with temozolomide (TEMIRI) in children with recurrent or refractory medulloblastoma: a joint ITCC and SIOPE brain tumor study 
Neuro-Oncology  2013;15(9):1236-1243.
This multicenter phase II study investigated temozolomide + irinotecan (TEMIRI) treatment in children with relapsed or refractory medulloblastoma.
Patients received temozolomide 100–125 mg/m2/day (days 1–5) and irinotecan 10 mg/m2/day (days 1–5 and 8–12) every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was tumor response within the first 4 cycles confirmed ≥4 weeks and assessed by an external response review committee (ERRC). In a 2-stage Optimum Simon design, ≥6 responses in the first 15 evaluable patients were required within the first 4 cycles for continued enrollment; a total of 19 responses from the first 46 evaluable patients was considered successful.
Sixty-six patients were treated. Seven responses were recorded during stage 1 and 15 in the first 46 ERRC evaluated patients (2 complete responses and 13 partial responses). The objective response rate during the first 4 cycles was 32.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.5%–48.0%). Median duration of response was 27.0 weeks (7.7–44.1 wk). In 63 patients evaluated by local investigators, the objective response rate was 33.3% (95% CI, 22.0%–46.3%), and 68.3% (95% CI, 55.3%–79.4%) experienced clinical benefit. Median survival was 16.7 months (95% CI, 13.3–19.8). The most common grade 3 treatment-related nonhematologic adverse event was diarrhea (7.6%). Grade 3/4 treatment-related hematologic adverse events included neutropenia (16.7%), thrombocytopenia (12.1%), anemia (9.1%), and lymphopenia (9%).
The planned study primary endpoint was not met. However, its tolerability makes TEMIRI a suitable candidate chemotherapy backbone for molecularly targeted agents in future trials in this setting.
PMCID: PMC3748925  PMID: 23857707
medulloblastoma; temozolomide; TEMIRI
2.  Neuroblastoma after Childhood: Prognostic Relevance of Segmental Chromosome Aberrations, ATRX Protein Status, and Immune Cell Infiltration1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(6):471-480.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common malignancy in children but rarely occurs during adolescence or adulthood. This subgroup is characterized by an indolent disease course, almost uniformly fatal, yet little is known about the biologic characteristics. The aim of this study was to identify differential features regarding DNA copy number alterations, α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) protein expression, and the presence of tumor-associated inflammatory cells. Thirty-one NB patients older than 10 years who were included in the Spanish NB Registry were considered for the current study; seven young and middle-aged adult patients (range 18-60 years) formed part of the cohort. We performed single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, immunohistochemistry for immune markers (CD4, CD8, CD20, CD11b, CD11c, and CD68), and ATRX protein expression. Assorted genetic profiles were found with a predominant presence of a segmental chromosome aberration (SCA) profile. Preadolescent and adolescent NB tumors showed a higher number of SCA, including 17q gain and 11q deletion. There was also a marked infiltration of immune cells, mainly high and heterogeneous, in young and middle-aged adult tumors. ATRX negative expression was present in the tumors. The characteristics of preadolescent, adolescent, young adult, and middle-aged adult NB tumors are different, not only from childhood NB tumors but also from each other. Similar examinations of a larger number of such tumor tissues from cooperative groups should lead to a better older age–dependent tumor pattern and to innovative, individual risk-adapted therapeutic approaches for these patients.
PMCID: PMC4198743  PMID: 25077701
aSNP, single nucleotide polymorphism array; AYA, adolescent and young adults; cnLOH, copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity; FSCA, focal segmental chromosome aberration; Het, heterogeneous; Hom, homogeneous; IHC, immunohistochemistry; MLPA, multiplex ligation probe amplification; MNA, MYCN amplified; MNNA, MYCN not amplified; NB, neuroblastoma; NCA, numerical chromosome aberration; SCA, segmental chromosome aberration
3.  Targeting Neuroblastoma Stem Cells with Retinoic Acid and Proteasome Inhibitor 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76761.
Neuroblastma cell lines contain a side-population of cells which express stemness markers. These stem-like cells may represent the potential underlying mechanism for resistance to conventional therapy and recurrence of neuroblastoma in patients.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To develop novel strategies for targeting the side-population of neurobastomas, we analyzed the effects of 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA) combined with the proteasome inhibitor MG132. The short-term action of the treatment was compared with effects after a 5-day recovery period during which both chemicals were withdrawn. RA induced growth arrest and differentiation of SH-SY5Y and SK-N-BE(2) neuroblastoma cell lines. Inhibition of the proteasome caused apoptosis in both cell lines, thus, revealing the critical role of this pathway in the regulated degradation of proteins involved in neuroblastoma proliferation and survival. The combination of RA with MG132 induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner, in addition to promoting G2/M arrest in treated cultures. Interestingly, expression of stem cell markers such as Nestin, Sox2, and Oct4 were reduced after the recovery period of combined treatment as compared with untreated cells or treated cells with either compound alone. Consistent with this, neurosphere formation was significantly impaired by the combined treatment of RA and MG132.
Given that stem-like cells are associated with resistant to conventional therapy and are thought to be responsible for relapse, our results suggest that dual therapy of RA and proteasome inhibitor might be beneficial for targeting the side-population of cells associated residual disease in high-risk neuroblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3792090  PMID: 24116151
4.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3045079  PMID: 19515614

Results 1-4 (4)