Associations between water sources, socio-demographic characteristics and household drinking water quality are described in a representative sample of six coastal districts of Ghana’s Central Region. Thirty-six enumeration areas (EAs) were randomly chosen from a representative survey of 90 EAs in rural, semi-urban and urban residence strata. In each EA, 24 households were randomly chosen for water quality sampling and socio-demographic interview. Escherichia coli per 100 ml H2O was quantified using the IDEXX Colilert® system and multi-stage regression models estimated cross-sectional associations between water sources, sanitation and socio-demographic factors. Almost three quarters, 74%, of the households have > 2 E. coli /100 ml H2O. Tap water has significantly lower E. coli levels compared with surface or rainwater and well water had the highest levels. Households with a water closet toilet have significantly lower E. coli compared with those using pit latrines or no toilets. Household size is positively associated, and a possessions index is negatively associated, with E. coli. Variations in community and household socio-demographic and behavioural factors are key determinants of drinking water quality. These factors should be included in planning health education associated with investments in water systems.
E. coli; Ghana; household water source; rural urban effects; sanitation; water quality
Blockade of programmed death 1 (PD-1), an inhibitory receptor expressed by T cells, can overcome immune resistance. We assessed the antitumor activity and safety of BMS-936558, an antibody that specifically blocks PD-1.
We enrolled patients with advanced melanoma, non–small-cell lung cancer, castration-resistant prostate cancer, or renal-cell or colorectal cancer to receive anti–PD-1 antibody at a dose of 0.1 to 10.0 mg per kilogram of body weight every 2 weeks. Response was assessed after each 8-week treatment cycle. Patients received up to 12 cycles until disease progression or a complete response occurred.
A total of 296 patients received treatment through February 24, 2012. Grade 3 or 4 drug-related adverse events occurred in 14% of patients; there were three deaths from pulmonary toxicity. No maximum tolerated dose was defined. Adverse events consistent with immune-related causes were observed. Among 236 patients in whom response could be evaluated, objective responses (complete or partial responses) were observed in those with non–small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, or renal-cell cancer. Cumulative response rates (all doses) were 18% among patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (14 of 76 patients), 28% among patients with melanoma (26 of 94 patients), and 27% among patients with renal-cell cancer (9 of 33 patients). Responses were durable; 20 of 31 responses lasted 1 year or more in patients with 1 year or more of follow-up. To assess the role of intratumoral PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) expression in the modulation of the PD-1–PD-L1 pathway, immunohistochemical analysis was performed on pretreatment tumor specimens obtained from 42 patients. Of 17 patients with PD-L1–negative tumors, none had an objective response; 9 of 25 patients (36%) with PD-L1–positive tumors had an objective response (P = 0.006).
Anti–PD-1 antibody produced objective responses in approximately one in four to one in five patients with non–small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, or renal-cell cancer; the adverse-event profile does not appear to preclude its use. Preliminary data suggest a relationship between PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and objective response. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00730639.)
This multicenter cooperative group single arm trial assessed the efficacy of a multiagent taxane-based chemotherapy in combination with hormonal therapy in men with metastatic androgen-dependent prostate cancer.
Forty-one patients with newly diagnosed metastatic prostate cancer involving both the axial and appendicular skeletons or viscera were enrolled. Thirty-five were treated with combined androgen blockade and up to 4 cycles of oral estramustine (280 mg orally 3 times per day) and etoposide (50 mg/m2 daily) for 14 days of each 21 day cycle, with paclitaxel (135 mg/m2 IV over 1 hour) on day 2 of each cycle. Chemotherapy was started within 30 days of initiation of hormonal therapy. Patients were followed to determine progression-free survival.
The median progression-free survival for the evaluable population was 13 months (95% CI 10–16 mo) with a median overall survival of 38 months (95% CI 28–49 mo). The main toxicities were myelosuppression with 9 patients with ≥ grade 3 neutropenia, and 1 with grade 4 thrombocytopenia. One patient died with neutropenic infection. Four episodes of thrombosis embolism occurred (3 grade 4, 1 grade 3) with one episode of grade 4 cardiac ischemia.
Administration of chemotherapy to this population is feasible with moderate toxicity. This is a high-risk population with poor prognosis and this study serves as a basis for ongoing phase III trials assessing this approach in metastatic prostate cancer.
Integrins are involved in prostate cancer metastasis by regulating cell adhesion, migration, invasion, motility, angiogenesis and bone metabolism. We evaluated the efficacy of two dose levels of cilengitide in patients (pts) with castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
Chemotherapy-naïve, asymptomatic metastatic CRPC pts were randomized to cilengitide 500mg or 2000mg IV twice weekly using parallel 2-stage design. The primary endpoint was rate of objective clinical progression at six-months. Secondary endpoints included clinical and PSA response rates, safety and effects of cilengitide treatment on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and bone remodeling markers.
Forty-four pts were accrued to first stage (22/arm). Median number of cycles was three in both arms (500mg arm: 1–8; 2000 mg arm: 1–15). At six months, two pts (9%) on the 500mg arm and five pts (23%) on the 2000mg arm had not progressed. Best objective response was stable disease (SD) in seven pts for 9.9[8.1,20.9] months. There were three grade 3 and no grade 4 toxicities. At 12 weeks, analysis of bone markers did not reveal significant trends. At progression, bone specific alkaline phosphatase and N-telopeptide increased in all pts, less so in pts on the 2000mg arm and in pts on both arms who obtained SD at 6 months. CTCs increased over time in both arms.
Cilengitide was well tolerated with modest clinical effect in favor of the higher dose. The unique trial design including a shift from response rate to objective progression as the endpoint, and not acting on PSA increases was feasible.
prostate cancer; metastatic disease; integrins; angiogenesis; cilengitide; bone biomarkers
Integrins mediate invasion and angiogenesis in prostate cancer bone metastases. We conducted a phase II study of Cilengitide, a selective antagonist of αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins, in non-metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer with rising PSA.
Patients were observed for 4 weeks with PSA monitoring, and then treated with 2,000 mg IV of cilengitide twice weekly until toxicity/progression. PSA, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating endothelial cells (CECs) were monitored each cycle with imaging performed every 3 cycles. Primary end point was PSA decline by ≥ 50%. Secondary endpoints were safety, PSA slope, time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), CTCs, CECs and gene expression.
16 pts were enrolled; 13 were eligible with median age 65.5 years, baseline PSA 8.4 ng/mL and median Gleason sum 7. Median of 3 cycles was administered. Treatment was well tolerated with 2 grade 3 toxicities and no grade 4 toxicities. There were no PSA responses; 11 patients progressed by PSA after 3 cycles. Median TTP was 1.8 months and median OS has not been reached. Median pre- and on-treatment PSA slopes were 1.1 and 1.8 ng/mL/month. Baseline CTCs were detected in 1/9 patients. CTC increased (0 to 1; 2 pts), remained at 0 (2 pts) or decreased (23 to 0; 1 patient) at progression. Baseline median CEC was 26 (0–61) and at progression, 47 (15–148). Low cell counts precluded gene expression studies.
Cilengitide was well tolerated but had no detectable clinical activity. CTCs are of questionable utility in non-metastatic prostate cancer.
EMD 121974; cilengitide; non-metastatic prostate cancer
Bone is the most common metastatic site for prostate cancer, and osseous metastases are the leading cause of morbidity from this disease. Recent autopsy studies prove that 100% of men who die of prostate cancer have bone involvement. Understanding the biology of prostate cancer and its evolution to an incurable androgen independent phenotype requires an understanding of the genetic and cellular alterations that lead to the seeding and proliferation of tumor foci in bone, as well as the microenvironment in which these metastases arise. No intensive studies, however, have been conducted on osseous metastatic tissues from patients with metastatic prostate cancer due to lack of access to such tissues for profiling and other research.
We demonstrate, for the first time, a reproducible methodology to obtain high quality clinical tumor tissues metastatic to the bone. This technique allowed the procurement of viable metastatic tumor tissue from involved bones in 13 recent autopsies conducted at the University of Michigan, and analyzed the gene expression of these tissues using real time PCR and microarrays.
We present here the discovery of non-ossified bone metastases from multiple patients with advanced prostate cancer and their subsequent characterization and comparison to non-osseous metastases from the same patients
This represents a versatile and practical approach that may be employed to characterize the steps in metastasis and the phenotypic characteristics of osseous metastasis of prostate cancer and to profile RNA, DNA and cDNA from tumor samples metastatic to the bone.
Bone marrow; tumor; metastatic prostate cancer
This phase II trial was designed to evaluate the efficacy of vorinostat in chemotherapy pretreated patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer.
Patients and Methods
Patients with disease progression on one prior chemotherapy, a PSA ≥ 5ng/ml, and adequate organ function were treated with 400 mg vorinostat orally daily. The primary endpoint was the six month progression rate. Secondary endpoints included safety, rate of PSA decline, objective response, overall survival, and effects of vorinostat on serum IL-6 levels.
Twenty-seven eligible patients were accrued. Median number of cycles delivered was 2 (range 1–7). All patients were taken off therapy before six months. The best objective response in the eligible patients was stable disease in 2 (7%) patients. No PSA decline of ≥ 50% was observed. There was one grade 4 adverse event (AE) and 44% of patients experienced grade 3 AEs. Most common AEs were: fatigue (81%), nausea (74%), anorexia (59%), vomiting (33%), diarrhea (33%), and weight loss (26%). Median time to progression and overall survival were 2.8 and 11.7 months respectively. Median IL-6 levels (pg/ml) were higher in patients removed from protocol for toxicity vs. progression at all time points, including baseline (5.2 vs 2.1, p=0.02), Day 15-Cycle 1 (9.5 vs 2.2, p=0.01), Day 1-Cycle 2 (9.8 vs 2.2, p=0.01), and end of study (11.0 vs 2.9, p=0.09)
Vorinostat at this dose was associated with significant toxicities limiting efficacy assessment in this patient population. The significant association between IL-6 levels and removal from study for toxicities warrants further investigation.
prostate cancer; metastatic; HDAC inhibitors; IL-6; SAHA; vorinostat; Zolinza
Mitoxantrone plus prednisone and ixabepilone each have modest activity as second-line chemotherapy in docetaxel-refractory castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients. Clinical noncrossresistance was previously observed.
Patients and Methods
Metastatic CRPC patients progressing during or after taxane-based chemotherapy enrolled in a phase I multicenter study of ixabepilone and mitoxantrone administered every 21 days along with prednisone. Ixabepilone and mitoxantrone doses were alternately escalated in a standard 3 + 3 design. Patients were evaluated for toxicity and disease response. Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were defined as treatment related, occurring during cycle 1, and included grade 4 prolonged or febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia (grade 4 or grade 3 with bleeding), or ≥ grade 3 nonhematologic toxicity.
Thirty-six patients were treated; 59% of patients experienced grade 3/4 neutropenia. DLTs included grade 3 diarrhea (n = 1), prolonged grade 4 neutropenia (n = 4), and grade 5 neutropenic infection (n = 1). Due to prolonged neutropenia, the highest dose levels were repeated with pegfilgrastim on day 2 of each cycle. The maximum tolerated dose in combination with pegfilgrastim was not exceeded. The recommended phase II dose is mitoxantrone 12 mg/m2 and ixabepilone 35 mg/m2 every 21 days, pegfilgrastim 6 mg subcutaneously day 2, and continuous prednisone 5 mg twice per day. Thirty-one percent of patients have experienced ≥ 50% prostate-specific antigen (PSA) declines, and two experienced objective responses. Of 21 patients treated with mitoxantrone 12 mg/m2 plus ixabepilone ≥ 30 mg/m2, nine (43%) experienced ≥ 50% PSA declines (95% CI, 22% to 66%).
These results suggest that the combination of ixabepilone and mitoxantrone is feasible and active in CRPC and requires dosing with pegfilgrastim.
We conducted a phase II trial of neoadjuvant paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine as well as transurethral resection of bladder tumor to evaluate the clinical T0 (cT0) rate with paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine, and to study cystoscopic surveillance or immediate cystectomy for patients with cT0 status following chemotherapy.
Materials and Methods
Patients with T2-T4a chemotherapy and radiation naive urothelial cancer were eligible. T2+ tumor had to be diagnosed by transurethral bladder tumor resection followed by a second transurethral bladder tumor resection to confirm persistent disease within 16 weeks of the first resection. Three cycles of paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine were administered within 8 weeks of the second transurethral bladder tumor resection. Patients with cT0 status after paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine therapy could elect immediate cystectomy or cystoscopic surveillance, and those with greater than cT0 status were to undergo immediate cystectomy.
Of 77 patients 74 were assessable, and cT0 status after paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine was achieved in 34 of 74 patients (46%). Of the 34 patients with cT0 status 10 underwent immediate cystectomy, 6 of whom had persistent cancer. Persistent tumor at transurethral bladder tumor resection was seen in 28 patients (38%) and 21 underwent cystectomy. Thus, 35 of 74 patients underwent cystectomy. With a median followup of 22 months 2-year overall survival was 59% (95% CI 45, 72) and among cT0 cases it was 75% (95% CI 57, 93).
Although neoadjuvant paclitaxel, carboplatin and gemcitabine had a promising 46% cT0 rate, the study failed to meet the primary objective as there was an unacceptably high rate (60%) of persistent cancer at cystectomy in patients presumed to have pT0 status. Patients completing neoadjuvant chemotherapy should strongly consider definitive local therapy rather than cystoscopic surveillance regardless of post-chemotherapy cT0 status.
carcinoma; transitional cell; drug therapy
Men with androgen-independent prostate cancer (AIPC) frequently have bone metastasis. The effects of chemotherapy on markers of bone metabolism have not been well characterized. We conducted a prospective study of patients with AIPC randomized in the first cycle to receive either docetaxel/estramustine or zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate, to inhibit osteoclastic activity. Here we report the effects of therapy on markers of bone metabolism in these patients following the first cycle of therapy. Serum levels of several indices of bone remodeling were evaluated using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Changes in markers of bone metabolism were compared in patients receiving initial chemotherapy versus bisphosphonate. There was no significant difference in median change in any of the measured bone markers in patients given zoledronic acid when compared to chemotherapy. When comparing responders to nonresponders, overall interleukin-6 (IL-6) decreased by 35% in prostate-specific antigen responders; whereas, IL-6 levels increased by 76% in nonresponders (p = 0.03). Elevated IL-6 levels and reductions in IL-6 levels early in treatment may reflect ultimate clinical response to docetaxel-based regimens.
Semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in estuarine waters can adversely affect biota but watershed sources can be difficult to identify because these compounds are transient. Natural bacterial assemblages may respond to chronic, episodic exposure to SVOCs through selection of more organotolerant bacterial communities. We measured bacterial production, organotolerance and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) mineralization in Charleston Harbor and compared surface sediment from stations near a known, permitted SVOC outfall (pulp mill effluent) to that from more pristine stations. Naphthalene additions inhibited an average of 77% of bacterial metabolism in sediments from the more pristine site (Wando River). Production in sediments nearest the outfall was only inhibited an average of 9% and in some cases, was actually stimulated. In general, the stations with the highest rates of bacterial production also were among those with the highest rates of PAH mineralization. This suggests that the capacity to mineralize PAH carbon is a common feature amongst the bacterial assemblage in these estuarine sediments and could account for an average of 5.6% of bacterial carbon demand (in terms of production) in the summer, 3.3% in the spring (April) and only 1.2% in winter (December).
Naphthalene; Organotolerance; Bacterial production; SVOC; PAH mineralization
This two-arm phase II multicenter trial was designed to assess the efficacy and toxicity of neoadjuvant paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and carboplatin (PCaG) in patients with invasive bladder cancer.
Patients in arm I had either clinical stage T2 with hydronephrosis or T3 bladder cancer. They received 3 cycles of chemotherapy (paclitaxel 200mg/m2 day 1, carboplatin area under the curve (AUC)= 5 day 1, and gemcitabine 800mg/m2 days 1 and 8 of each 21 day cycle). Response was defined as achievement of a pathologic complete response (pT0). Patients on arm II with T4 or lymph node positive disease received up to 6 cycles of PCaG. Response was defined as conversion to surgical resectability.
In arm I, 31 patients were enrolled and 22 were evaluable for response. Seven were pT0 (32% of evaluable patients, 22% by intent to treat). In arm II, 37 patients were enrolled and 29 were evaluable for response with 24 surgically resectable (83% of evaluable and 65% by intent to treat). The most common toxicity was neutropenia with 39 events in arm 1 and 68 in arm 2. There were 7 deaths on study (5 during chemotherapy and 2 post-cystectomy).
Neoadjuvant PCaG resulted in a significant number of responses in both arms but greater than anticipated toxicity. The pT0 rate was modest and overall efficacy difficult to assess due to the toxicity. More studies of novel agents and combinations are needed to improve the efficacy, and reduce the toxicity of neoadjuvant therapy for bladder cancer.
The crude extract of an Alaskan ethnobotanical plant, Oplopanax horridus, was subjected to counter-current chromatography (CCC), and the selected active regions were evaluated for their synergistic effects with an in vitro model of anti-tubercular efficacy. CCC as a support-free high-resolution separation method was employed to preclude potential irreversible absorption to a solid stationary phase. The microplate Alamar blue assay and the isobole method were used to measure the biological activity and eliminate dose-response dependent errors, respectively. Using the combination of CCC, bioassay and isobole method, significant synergistic effects were observed. Among the entire polarity range, fractions with distribution constant between 0.44 and 0.81 showed the most synergistic enhancement with an increase in potency by 108% for the recombined fractions.
Devil’s Club; Oplopanax horridus; synergy; CCC; isobole method
It is well documented that microbial contamination of coastal waters poses a significant risk to human health through recreational exposure and consumption of shellfish. Identifying the source of microbial contamination (microbial source tracking) plays a dominant role in enabling effective management and remediation strategies. One method used to determine the source of the contamination is quantification of the ratio of the four subgroups of F+-specific RNA coliphages (family Leviviridae) in impacted water samples. Because of typically low concentrations in the environment, enrichment assays are performed prior to detection, even though differential replication rates have been reported. These assays are also compromised by differential loss of phage infectivity among subgroups after release into the environment, thus obscuring the initial ratio. Here, a culture-independent multiplex real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) protocol for the simultaneous quantification of all four subgroups of F+-specific RNA coliphages using novel primer sets and molecular beacons is presented. This assay is extremely sensitive, achieving detection with as few as 10 copies of isolated coliphage RNA, and is linear for a minimum of six orders of magnitude. During survival experiments, the real-time RT-PCR technique was able to quantify coliphages in seawater when culture-based double agar layer assay failed. While infectivity was lost at different rates at the subgroup level, decay constants in seawater, calculated using the real-time RT-PCR estimates, did not vary among subgroups. The accurate determination of the in situ concentration of F+-specific RNA coliphages using this method will facilitate more effective remediation strategies for impacted environments.
Individual cancers harbor a set of genetic aberrations that can be informative for identifying rational therapies currently available or in clinical trials. We implemented a pilot study to explore the practical challenges of applying high-throughput sequencing in clinical oncology. We enrolled patients with advanced or refractory cancer who were eligible for clinical trials. For each patient, we performed whole-genome sequencing of the tumor, targeted whole-exome sequencing of tumor and normal DNA, and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the tumor to identify potentially informative mutations in a clinically relevant time frame of 3 to 4 weeks. With this approach, we detected several classes of cancer mutations including structural rearrangements, copy number alterations, point mutations, and gene expression alterations. A multidisciplinary Sequencing Tumor Board (STB) deliberated on the clinical interpretation of the sequencing results obtained. We tested our sequencing strategy on human prostate cancer xenografts. Next, we enrolled two patients into the clinical protocol and were able to review the results at our STB within 24 days of biopsy. The first patient had metastatic colorectal cancer in which we identified somatic point mutations in NRAS, TP53, AURKA, FAS, and MYH11, plus amplification and overexpression of cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8). The second patient had malignant melanoma, in which we identified a somatic point mutation in HRAS and a structural rearrangement affecting CDKN2C. The STB identified the CDK8 amplification and Ras mutation as providing a rationale for clinical trials with CDK inhibitors or MEK (mitogenactivated or extracellular signal–regulated protein kinase kinase) and PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitors, respectively. Integrative high-throughput sequencing of patients with advanced cancer generates a comprehensive, individual mutational landscape to facilitate biomarker-driven clinical trials in oncology.