Lymphopenia (< 1Giga/L) detected before initiation of chemotherapy is a predictive factor for death in metastatic solid tumors. Combinatorial T cell repertoire (TCR) diversity was investigated and tested either alone or in combination with lymphopenia as a prognostic factor at diagnosis for overall survival (OS) in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients. The combinatorial TCR diversity was measured by semi quantitative multi-N-plex PCR on blood samples before the initiation of the first line chemotherapy in a development (n = 66) and validation (n = 67) MBC patient cohorts. A prognostic score, combining lymphocyte count and TCR diversity was evaluated. Univariate and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors for OS were performed in both cohorts. Lymphopenia and severe restriction of TCR diversity called “divpenia” (diversity ≤ 33%) were independently associated with shorter OS. Lympho-divpenia combining lymphopenia and severe divpenia accurately identified patients with poor OS in both cohorts (7.6 and 10.6 vs 24.5 and 22.9 mo). In multivariate analysis including other prognostic clinical factors, lympho-divpenia was found to be an independent prognostic factor in the pooled cohort (p = 0.005) along with lack of HER2 and hormonal receptors expression (p = 0.011) and anemia (p = 0.009). Lympho-divpenia is a novel prognostic factor that will be used to improve quality of MBC patients’ medical care.
divpenia; first line chemotherapy; lymphodivpenia; lymphopenia; metatastatic breast cancer; overall survival
The exact overall incidence of sarcoma and sarcoma subtypes is not known. The objective of the present population-based study was to determine this incidence in a European region (Rhone-Alpes) of six million inhabitants, based on a central pathological review of the cases.
From March 2005 to February 2007, pathology reports and tumor blocks were prospectively collected from the 158 pathologists of the Rhone-Alpes region. All diagnosed or suspected cases of sarcoma were collected, reviewed centrally, examined for molecular alterations and classified according to the 2002 World Health Organization classification. Of the 1287 patients screened during the study period, 748 met the criteria for inclusion in the study. The overall crude and world age-standardized incidence rates were respectively 6.2 and 4.8 per 100,000/year. Incidence rates for soft tissue, visceral and bone sarcomas were respectively 3.6, 2.0 and 0.6 per 100,000. The most frequent histological subtypes were gastrointestinal stromal tumor (18%; 1.1/100,000), unclassified sarcoma (16%; 1/100,000), liposarcoma (15%; 0.9/100,000) and leiomyosarcoma (11%; 0.7/100,000).
The observed incidence of sarcomas was higher than expected. This study is the first detailed investigation of the crude incidence of histological and molecular subtypes of sarcomas.
Long-term continuous imatinib is recommended for adult patients with unresectable and/or metastatic KIT+ gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) as long as the patient continues to benefit. In the adjuvant setting, recent findings indicate that patients at considerable risk of recurrence should receive at least 3 years of imatinib. Because imatinib is often administered for prolonged periods, proper management of imatinib-associated adverse events is crucial.
We report a 56-year-old man with metastatic KIT+ GIST of the liver who had Grade 3 imatinib intolerance (skin rash) when treatment was started. The rash was managed with antihistamine treatment (Dexchlorpheniramine maleate 4 mg per day) and several temporary (up to 2 weeks) dose interruptions. The patient’s skin rash partially improved, and he tolerated gradual reintroduction of imatinib over several months. The patient maintained imatinib 400 mg/d, and tolerated it during the 2 years when he was on antihistamine treatment. After 2 years, the patient continued imatinib therapy without having to take antihistamines. The patient responded according to RECIST 1.1 and Choi to imatinib treatment for his metastatic GIST (partial response). As of September, 2012, the patient has been on imatinib therapy for 131 months and remains progression free.
The results of this case report demonstrated that a patient with metastatic KIT+ GIST who was initially intolerant to imatinib maintained, and responded to imatinib therapy after treatment of an imatinib-associated adverse effect. These results suggest that initial intolerance to imatinib should not necessarily result in treatment discontinuation, as these adverse effects, when managed properly, may be tolerated and may decrease over time.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor; GIST; Metastasis; Imatinib mesylate; Skin rash
The antitumor activity of sorafenib in patients with metastatic or advanced angiosarcomas was investigated in a phase II trial. Sorafenib showed limited antitumor activity in pretreated patients only, but tumor control was of short duration.
Angiosarcomas account for <2% of all soft tissue sarcomas. This subtype is one of the most aggressive forms of soft tissue sarcoma. The prognosis for angiosarcoma patients in the advanced phase remains poor with current cytotoxic agents (progression-free survival [PFS] time of ∼4 months and overall survival [OS] time of ∼8 months). We investigated the antitumor activity of sorafenib in patients with metastatic or advanced angiosarcomas in a phase II trial.
We conducted a stratified phase II trial. The primary endpoint was the progression-free rate (PFR) at 9 months according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. A two-stage design (optimal Simon design) was used. Patients received sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) for 9 months until unacceptable toxicity or tumor progression. Central pathological and radiological reviews were performed. Data on stratum A (superficial angiosarcoma) and stratum B (visceral angiosarcoma) are currently available. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier, NCT00874874).
Strata A and B recruited 26 and 15 patients, respectively. The median age was 63 years (range, 31–82 years), with 17 male and 24 female patients. Fourteen cases arose in irradiated fields. Thirty patients (73.0%) had been pretreated with conventional chemotherapy. No unexpected toxicity occurred. The PFR at 9 months was 3.8% in stratum A and 0.0% in stratum B. The median PFS times were 1.8 months and 3.8 months, respectively, whereas the median OS times were 12.0 months and 9.0 months, respectively. No responses were observed in chemotherapy-naïve patients, whereas a 40% tumor control rate and 23% response rate were observed in the pretreated population. In this cohort, no activating mutation of the KDR gene (exons 15, 16, 24) was detected.
Sorafenib showed limited antitumor activity in pretreated patients only, for both visceral and superficial angiosarcoma, but tumor control was of short duration.
Angiosarcoma; Sorafenib; Antiangiogenic agents
The accumulation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) within breast carcinoma lesions is associated with a poor clinical outcome. We demonstrated that the deleterious impact of tumor-associated pDCs (TApDCs) is due to their impaired capacity to produce Type I interferon, which in turn potentiates their ability to sustain the proliferation of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells.
breast cancer; immunosuppression; plasmacytoid dendritic cells; regulatory T cells; tolerance
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumours of the digestive tract. Pathogenesis is linked to activating mutations identified in two proto-oncogenes, v-kit Hardy/Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homologue KIT (KIT) and the platelet-derived growth factor α (PDGFRα). In addition, these mutations affect response to treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. In the present study, we report on the molecular characterisation of GISTs in the South African population. Tumour DNA was extracted from 46 GIST samples, followed by cycle sequencing of KIT exons 11, 13 and 17 and PDGFRα exons 12, 14 and 18. Fragment length analysis was used to detect a 6-bp duplication in KIT exon 9. Wild-type duplications were analysed further by PCR and sequencing of additional KIT and PDGFRα exons was performed. Overall, 78.3% of the samples had a mutation in KIT or PDGFRα. Of these, mutations were detected in KIT exon 11 (88.9%), PDGFRα exon 18 (8.3%) and KIT exon 9 (2.8%). Mutations varied from simple substitutions and duplications to large deletions (some with nucleotide insertions) resulting in missense mutations. In addition, seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in 17 patients, one of which appears novel. The incidence of mutations in KIT exon 11 and PDGFRα exon 18 is consistent with the literature, however, the low incidence of KIT exon 9 mutations detected was unexpected. In contrast to previous western and Asian studies, this mutation appears to be rare in the South African population. The present study contributes to the molecular understanding of GISTs in the South African population.
gastrointestinal stromal tumours; KIT mutations; PDGFRα mutations; South Africa
Pazopanib is a multikinase inhibitor which potently inhibits the activity of major receptor tyrosine kinases, including vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-a, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-a, and c-Kit. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 in the United States for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, pazopanib has been tested in advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma. Unlike other tyrosine kinase inhibitors, a statistically significant efficacy in phase II but also in randomized phase III studies has been shown. In comparison with sunitinib or sorafenib, pazopanib has a similar toxicity profile and is generally well tolerated. This review details the development of this new therapeutic class in the treatment of metastatic soft-tissue sarcomas.
soft-tissue sarcoma; pazopanib; tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Regulatory T cells (Treg) have been reported of poor prognosis for overall survival in primary breast tumors (BT). As CCL22 plays a major role in Treg recruitment within primary BT we deciphered the mechanisms involved in the CCL22 production by breast epithelial tumor cells and propose herein the major role of their innate immune recognition in this production.
regulatory T cells; CCL22; NK cells; macrophages; breast cancer; breast epithelial cells; tolerance
Chondrosarcomas are the second most frequent primary malignant type of bone tumor. No effective systemic treatment has been identified in advanced or adjuvant phases for chondrosarcoma. The aim of the present study was to determine the antitumor effects of doxorubicin and everolimus, an mTOR inhibitor on chondrosarcoma progression.
Methods and Findings
Doxorubin and/or everolimus were tested in vivo as single agent or in combination in the rat orthotopic Schwarm chondrosarcoma model, in macroscopic phase, as well as with microscopic residual disease. Response to everolimus and/or doxorubicin was evaluated using chondrosarcoma volume evolution (MRI). Histological response was evaluated with % of tumor necrosis, tumor proliferation index, metabolism quantification analysis between the treated and control groups. Statistical analyses were performed using chi square, Fishers exact test. Doxorubicin single agent has no effect of tumor growth as compared to no treatment; conversely, everolimus single agent significantly inhibited tumor progression in macroscopic tumors with no synergistic additive effect with doxorubicin. Everolimus inhibited chondrosarcoma proliferation as evaluated by Ki67 expression did not induce the apoptosis of tumor cells; everolimus reduced Glut1 and 4EBP1 expression. Importantly when given in rats with microscopic residual diseases, in a pseudo neoadjuvant setting, following R1 resection of the implanted tumor, everolimus significantly delayed or prevented tumor recurrence.
MTOR inhibitor everolimus blocks cell proliferation, Glut1 expression and HIF1a expression, and prevents in vivo chondrosarcoma tumor progression in both macroscopic and in adjuvant phase post R1 resection. Taken together, our preclinical data indicate that mTOR inhibitor may be effective as a single agent in treating chondrosarcoma patients. A clinical trial evaluating mTOr inhibitor as neo-adjuvant and adjuvant therapy in chondrosarcoma patients is being constructed.
Using two different and complementary approaches (flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry) on two independent cohorts of ovarian cancer patients, we found that accumulation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) in tumors is associated with early relapse. This deleterious effect of tumor-associated pDC was evident when they are present in cancer epithelium but not in lymphoid aggregates.
immune tolerance; ovarian cancer; plasmacytoid dendritic cell; prognosis; progression-free survival
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a rare and highly aggressive mesenchymal tumor that develops in the abdominal cavity of young men adults. Patients typically present with symptoms of abdominal sarcomatosis. Diagnosis is based on histological analysis of biopsies which typically show small round blue cells in nests separated by an abundant desmoplastic stroma. DSRCT is associated with a unique chromosomal translocation t(11:22) (p 13; q 12) that involves the EWSR1 and WT1 genes. The prognosis is particularly poor; median survival ranges from 17 to 25 months, largely due to the presentation of the majority of patients with metastatic disease. Management of DSRCT remains challenging and current schemes lack a significant cure rate despite the use of aggressive treatments such as polychemotherapy, debulking surgery and whole abdominal radiation. Several methods are being evaluated to improve survival: addition of chemotherapy and targeted therapies to standard neoadjuvant protocol, completion of surgical resection with HIPEC, postoperative IMRT, treatment of hepatic metastases with [90Y]Yttrium microsphere liver embolization.
The aim of the study was to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among metastatic soft tissue (mSTS) or bone sarcoma (mBS) patients who had attained a favourable response to chemotherapy. We employed the EORTC QLQ-C30, the 3-item Cancer-Related Symptoms Questionnaire, and the EQ-5D instrument. HRQoL was evaluated overall and by health state in 120 mSTS/mBS patients enrolled in the SABINE study across nine countries in Europe and North America. Utility was estimated from responses to the EQ-5D instrument using UK population-based weights. The mean EQ-5D utility score was 0.69 for the pooled patient sample with little variation across health states. However, patients with progressive disease reported a clinically significant lower utility (0.56). Among disease symptoms, pain and respiratory symptoms are common. This study showed that mSTS/mBS is associated with reduced HRQoL and utility among patients with metastatic disease.
Sarcomas are divided into a group with specific alterations and a second presenting a complex karyotype, sometimes difficult to diagnose or with few therapeutic options available. We assessed if miRNA profiling by TaqMan low density arrays could predict the response of undifferentiated rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and osteosarcoma to treatment. We showed that miRNA signatures in response to a therapeutic agent (chemotherapy or the mTOR inhibitor RAD-001) were cell and drug specific on cell lines and a rat osteosarcoma model. This miRNA signature was related to cell or tumour sensitivity to this treatment and might be not due to chromosomal aberrations, as revealed by a CGH array analysis of rat tumours. Strikingly, miRNA profiling gave promising results for patient rhabdomyosarcoma, discriminating all types of RMS: (Pax+) or undifferentiated alveolar RMS as well as embryonal RMS. As highlighted by these results, miRNA profiling emerges as a potent molecular diagnostic tool for complex karyotype sarcomas.
To study the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics (PK) of the selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor nilotinib as a single-agent or in combination with imatinib in patients with advanced imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
A Phase I intercohort dose-escalation trial was performed in patients who received either (1) single-agent nilotinib 400 mg bid or (2) escalating doses of nilotinib (200 mg qd, 400 mg qd, or 400 mg bid) plus imatinib 400 mg bid (10- and 14-hour interval daily), or (3) nilotinib 400 mg bid plus imatinib 400 mg qd. Safety, PK and tumor assessments were performed.
Oral clearance (CL/F) of nilotinib was similar across the combination groups (mean CL/F=19.1-25.6 L/h), and lower than in the single-agent cohort (mean CL/F=35.6 L/h). A linear relationship between nilotinib daily dose and peak concentration (Cmax) was observed in the combination cohorts. Observed adverse events (AEs) were mostly non-hematological. Frequently reported AEs were rash (40%), fatigue (38%), abdominal pain (36%) and nausea (36%). Severe AEs (grade 3 or 4) included abdominal pain (13%) and rash (9%), the latter mainly with the combination. Thirty-eight patients had stable disease and two patients achieved partial response with a median progression-free survival of 134 days for the entire group.
Nilotinib alone or in combination with imatinib was well tolerated overall and showed clinical activity in imatinib-resistant GIST patients. This Phase I trial identified single-agent nilotinib 400 mg bid or combined with imatinib 400 mg qd as possible Phase II doses for further evaluation.
nilotinib; imatinib; gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST); Phase I; pharmacokinetics (PK)
This multicenter phase 2 study assessed the tolerability and efficacy of motesanib, an oral inhibitor of Kit, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFR), in patients with imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
Patients with advanced GIST who failed imatinib mesylate after ≥8 weeks of treatment with ≥600 mg daily received motesanib 125 mg orally once daily continuously for 48 weeks or until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression occurred. The primary endpoint was confirmed objective tumor response per RECIST and independent review. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), time to progression (TTP); objective response by 18FDG-PET and by changes in tumor size and/or density (Choi criteria); pharmacokinetics and safety.
In the patients evaluable for response (N = 102), the objective response rate was 3%; 59% of patients achieved stable disease, with 14% achieving durable stable disease ≥24 weeks; 38% had disease progression. Higher objective response rates were observed per 18FDG-PET (N = 91) (30%) and Choi criteria (41%). The median PFS was 16 weeks (95% CI = 14–24 weeks); the median TTP was 17 weeks (95% CI = 15–24 weeks). The most common motesanib treatment-related grade 3 adverse events included hypertension (23%), fatigue (9%), and diarrhea (5%). Motesanib did not accumulate with daily dosing.
In this study of patients with imatinib-resistant GIST, motesanib treatment resulted in acceptable tolerability and modest tumor control as evident in the proportion of patients who achieved stable disease and durable stable disease.
Angiogenesis; GIST; Imatinib; Kit receptor; Motesanib; VEGF receptor
From February 2001 to February 2002, 946 patients with advanced GI stromal tumors (GISTs) treated with imatinib were included in a controlled EORTC/ISG/AGITG (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Italian Sarcoma Group/Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group) trial. This analysis investigates whether the response classification assessed by RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors), predicts for time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS).
Patients and Methods
Per protocol, the first three disease assessments were done at 2, 4, and 6 months. For the purpose of the analysis (landmark method), disease response was subclassified in six categories: partial response (PR; > 30% size reduction), minor response (MR; 10% to 30% reduction), no change (NC) as either NC− (0% to 10% reduction) or NC+ (0% to 20% size increase), progressive disease (PD; > 20% increase/new lesions), and subjective PD (clinical progression).
A total of 906 patients had measurable disease at entry. At all measurement time points, complete response (CR), PR, and MR resulted in similar TTP and OS; this was also true for NC− and NC+, and for PD and subjective PD. Patients were subsequently classified as responders (CR/PR/MR), NC (NC+/NC−), or PD. This three-class response categorization was found to be highly predictive of further progression or survival for the first two measurement points. After 6 months of imatinib, responders (CR/PR/MR) had the same survival prognosis as patients classified as NC.
RECIST perfectly enables early discrimination between patients who benefited long term from imatinib and those who did not. After 6 months of imatinib, if the patient is not experiencing PD, the pattern of radiologic response by tumor size criteria has no prognostic value for further outcome. Imatinib needs to be continued as long as there is no progression according to RECIST.
Lymphopenia is frequent in advanced cancers and predicts the toxicity of chemotherapy. Its impact on relapse and survival is uncertain. Its prognostic value for survival was analyzed in 3 databases of previously reported prospective multicenter studies: 1) FEC chemotherapy in metastatic breast carcinoma; 2) CYVADIC in advanced soft-tissue sarcoma (EORTC-STBSG 62791); 3) prospective, consecutive phase III studies of aggressive diffuse large-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas conducted at Bérard center between 1987 and 1993. Univariate and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors for survival were performed. The incidence of lymphopenia <1000/μL before treatment was constant among series: 25%, 24%, 27% respectively. Lymphopenia was significantly more frequent (p<0.05) in metastatic breast cancer patients with performance status (PS)>1, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients with international prognostic index (IPI)>0, and advanced soft-tissue sarcoma and metastatic breast cancer patients with bone metastases. In univariate analysis, lymphopenia <1000/μL significantly correlated to overall survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer (median 10 vs. 14 months, p <0.0001), advanced soft-tissue sarcoma (median 5 vs. 10 months, p <0.01), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (median 11 vs. 94 months, p <0.0001). In multivariate analysis (Cox model), lymphopenia was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in metastatic breast cancer (RR: 1.8; 95%CI 1.3–2.4) along with liver metastases and PS; in advanced soft-tissue sarcoma (RR: 1.46; 95%CI 1.0–2.1) along with liver metastases, lung metastases and PS; and in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (RR: 1.48; 95%CI 1.03–2.1) along with IPI. Our findings demonstrate that lymphopenia is an independent prognostic factor for overall and progression-free survival in several cancers.
Production of high levels of IL-6 is often correlated with resistance to cytotoxics or ionizing radiations, in cancer cell lines as in various cancer patients. We investigated whether monoclonal antibodies directed against IL-6 may enable to reverse resistance of cancer cell lines.
We exposed ten haematological cancer cells from lymphoma, myeloma, or leukemia origins to cytotoxics or ionizing radiations and assessed the effects of anti–IL-6 antibody addition on cell proliferation, apoptosis, or IL-6 signaling. A strong correlation between IL-6 secretion, measured by ELISA, and resistance to doxorubicin as ionizing radiations was observed in the multiple myeloma U266 and the Burkitt's lymphoma Daudi and Namalwa cells. Although an anti–IL-6 antibody combined to both treatments efficiently blocked IL-6 signaling in U266 cells, expressing the IL-6 receptor gp80, it did not increase treatment-induced anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on these cells, as well as on Daudi and Namalwa cells. This lack of effect could be related to diverse factors: 1) a higher release of the soluble form of IL-6 receptor gp80 in response to doxorubicin and irradiation from all cell lines, 2) an impaired level of the IL-6 pathway inhibitor SOCS3 in Daudi cells, and 3) an increased release of IL-10 and TNFα, two cytokines involved in cell radio- and chemoresistance.
These data support the fact that IL-6 is not the preponderant actor of cell resistance to cytotoxics and ionizing radiations, which seems to be regulated by a complex network of proteins.
To determine the dose of trabectedin plus doxorubicin with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) support associated with manageable neutropenia and acceptable dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) in patients with recurrent or persistent soft tissue sarcoma (STS).
In this phase I, open-label, multicenter trial, patients previously treated with 0–1 prior chemotherapy regimens excluding doxorubicin, an ECOG performance status 0–1, and adequate organ function received a 10–15-minute intravenous (IV) infusion of doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 immediately followed by a 3-hour IV infusion of trabectedin 0.9–1.3 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 3-week cycle. Because four of the first six patients experienced DLT-defining neutropenia during cycle 1, all subsequent patients received primary prophylactic G-CSF. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was the highest dose level with ≥6 patients in which less than one third of the patients experienced severe neutropenia or DLT. Blood was collected during cycle 1 for pharmacokinetic analyses. Adverse events (AEs), tumor response, and survival were assessed.
Patients (N = 41) received a median of six cycles of treatment (range, 2–13). The MTD was trabectedin 1.1 mg/m2 and doxorubicin 60 mg/m2. Common grade 3/4 treatment-emergent AEs were neutropenia (71%), ALT increase (46%), and thrombocytopenia (37%). Overall, five (12%) patients achieved a partial response, and 34 (83%) maintained stable disease. Median progression-free survival was 9.2 months. Doxorubicin and trabectedin pharmacokinetics were not altered substantially with concomitant administration.
The combination of doxorubicin 60 mg/m2 followed by trabectedin 1.1 mg/m2 every 21 days is safe and active in patients with STS.
trabectedin; ET-743; doxorubicin; sarcoma; pharmacokinetics; YONDELIS
Overview of the Disease ProcessIncidencePrognosisPredictive MarkersCurrent General Therapy Standards in North America and EuropeLocalized or Potentially Resectable DiseaseUnresectable or Metastatic DiseaseAccomplishments During the YearTherapySurgical Issues and Perioperative TherapyImatinibSunitinibNew DrugsBiomarkersBasic and Other Translational ScienceWhat Needs to Be DoneFuture DirectionsComments on ResearchObstacles to Progress
Trabectedin is a new marine-derived compound that binds the DNA minor groove and interacts with proteins of the DNA repair machinery. Phase I trials have established the standard regimen as 1500 μg/m2 24-hour continuous infusion repeated every 3 weeks. Several phase II trials have shown response in 5%–10% of unselected patients with soft tissue sarcoma failing prior chemotherapy and disease stabilisation in 30%–40%. Furthermore, prolonged disease control has been described in 15%–20% of patients. Toxicities are mainly haematological and hepatic with grade 3–4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia observed in approximately 50% and 20% of patients respectively, and grade 3–4 elevation of liver enzymes observed in 35%–50% of patients treated with trabectedin. Current research focuses on the identification of predictive factors for patients with soft tissue sarcoma treated with trabectedin.
chemotherapy; sarcoma; drug development; DNA repair
Since screening for cancer has been advocated, funded, and promoted in France, it is important to evaluate the attitudes of subjects in the general population and general practitioners (GPs) toward cancer screening strategies.
EDIFICE is a nationwide opinion poll that was carried out by telephone among a representative sample of 1,504 subjects living in France and aged between 40 and 75 years and among a representative sample of 600 GPs. The questionnaire administered to subjects queried about previous screening for cancer.
Ninety-three percent of women stated that they had undergone at least one mammography. Although rated “A” recommendation—strongly recommended—by the US Preventive Services Task Force, screening for colorectal cancer received less attention than prostate cancer screening which is rated “I”—insufficient evidence—(reported screening rates of 25% and 36%, respectively). Six percent of subjects stated that they had undergone lung cancer screening. GPs’ attitudes toward cancer screening showed similar inconsistencies.
It thus appears that understanding of cancer screening practices in the French general population does not match scientific evidence. To a lesser extent, this also holds for GPs.
Mass-screening; Compliance; Health care opinion poll; Health services research; Health services misuse
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening has been shown to decrease CRC mortality. Organised mass screening programs are being implemented in France. Its perception in the general population and by general practitioners is not well known.
Two nationwide observational telephone surveys were conducted in early 2005. First among a representative sample of subjects living in France and aged between 50 and 74 years that covered both geographical departments with and without implemented screening services. Second among General Practionners (Gps). Descriptive and multiple logistic regression was carried out.
Twenty-five percent of the persons(N = 1509) reported having undergone at least one CRC screening, 18% of the 600 interviewed GPs reported recommending a screening test for CRC systematically to their patients aged 50–74 years. The odds ratio (OR) of having undergone a screening test using FOBT was 3.91 (95% CI: 2.49–6.16) for those living in organised departments (referent group living in departments without organised screening), almost twice as high as impact educational level (OR = 2.03; 95% CI: 1.19–3.47).
CRC screening is improved in geographical departments where it is organised by health authorities. In France, an organised screening programs decrease inequalities for CRC screening.
In the multidisciplinary management of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs), there is a need to coordinate the efforts of pathology, radiology, surgery and oncology. Surgery is the mainstay for resectable nonmetastatic GISTs, but virtually all GISTs are associated with a risk of metastasis. Imatinib 400 mg/day with or without surgery is the recommended first-line treatment for recurrent or metastatic GIST; a higher dose may be considered in patients who progress, develop secondary resistance or present with specific genotypic characteristics. Adjuvant or neoadjuvant imatinib is not advised for resectable non-metastatic GISTs. Neoadjuvant imatinib may be considered when surgery would result in significant morbidity or loss of organ function. Follow-up computed tomography imaging is recommended every three to six months for at least five years. Patients with metastatic disease should be continued on imatinib due to the high risk of recurrence on discontinuation of therapy. Treatment should be continued until there is progression or intolerable adverse effects. If dose escalation with imatinib fails, a clinical trial with novel agents alone or in combination may be considered. The present recommendations were developed at a surgical subcommittee meeting and a subsequent full Advisory Committee meeting held in Toronto, Ontario, in April 2005, under the sponsorship of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Consensus; Gastrointestinal stromal tumour; Imatinib; Oncology; Treatment
Tumor growth promotes the expansion of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (T reg) cells that counteract T cell–mediated immune responses. An inverse correlation between natural killer (NK) cell activation and T reg cell expansion in tumor-bearing patients, shown here, prompted us to address the role of T reg cells in controlling innate antitumor immunity. Our experiments indicate that human T reg cells expressed membrane-bound transforming growth factor (TGF)–β, which directly inhibited NK cell effector functions and down-regulated NKG2D receptors on the NK cell surface. Adoptive transfer of wild-type T reg cells but not TGF-β−/− T reg cells into nude mice suppressed NK cell–mediated cytotoxicity, reduced NKG2D receptor expression, and accelerated the growth of tumors that are normally controlled by NK cells. Conversely, the depletion of mouse T reg cells exacerbated NK cell proliferation and cytotoxicity in vivo. Human NK cell–mediated tumor recognition could also be restored by depletion of T reg cells from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. These findings support a role for T reg cells in blunting the NK cell arm of the innate immune system.