To investigate the association between physical activity, body mass
index (BMI) and mammographic density in an ethnically-diverse
population-based sample of 522 postmenopausal women diagnosed with stage
0–IIIA breast cancer and enrolled in the Health, Eating, Activity,
and Lifestyle Study.
We collected information on BMI and physical activity during a clinic
visit two to three years after diagnosis. Weight and height were measured in
a standard manner. Using an interview-administered questionnaire,
participants recalled the type, duration, and frequency of physical
activities in the past year. We estimated dense area and percent density as
a continuous measure using a computer-assisted software program from
mammograms imaged approximately one to two years after diagnosis. Analysis
of covariance methods were used to obtain mean density across World Health
Organization BMI categories and physical activity tertiles adjusted for
We observed a statistically significant decline in percent density (p
for trend = .0001), and mammographic dense area (p for trend = 0.0052), with
increasing level of BMI adjusted for potential covariates. We observed a
statistically significant decline in mammographic dense area (p for trend =
.036) with increasing level of sports/recreational physical activity in
women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2. Conversely, in women with a
BMI < 25 kg/m2, we observed a nonstatistically significant
increase in mammographic dense area and percent density with increasing
level of sports/recreational physical activity.
Increasing physical activity among obese postmenopausal breast cancer
survivors may be a reasonable intervention approach to reduce mammographic
breast cancer; body fat; exercise; obesity; weight; breast tissue; breast density
Fenretinide induces apoptosis in malignant gliomas in vitro. This two-stage phase II trial was conducted to determine the efficacy of fenretinide in adults with recurrent malignant gliomas.
Patients and Methods
Twenty-two patients with anaplastic gliomas (AG) and 23 patients with glioblastoma (GBM) whose tumors had recurred after radiotherapy and no more than two chemotherapy regimens were enrolled. Fenretinide was given orally on days 1 to 7 and 22 to 28 in 6-week cycles in doses of 600 or 900 mg/m2 bid.
Six of 21 (29%) patients in the AG arm and two of 23 (9%) patients in the GBM arm had stable disease at 6 months. One patient with AG treated at 900 mg/m2 bid dosage had a partial radiologic response. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6 weeks for the AG arm and 6 weeks for the GBM arm. PFS at 6 months was 10% for the AG arm and 0% for the GBM arm. Grade 1 or 2 fatigue, dryness of skin, anemia, and hypoalbuminemia were the most frequent toxicities reported. The trial was closed after the first stage because of the inadequate activity at the fenretinide doses used. The first-administration mean plasma Cmax for fenretinide was 832 ± 360 ng/mL at the 600 mg/m2 bid dosage and 1,213 ± 261 ng/mL at the 900 mg/m2 bid dosage.
Fenretinide was inactive against recurrent malignant gliomas at the dosage used in this trial. However, additional studies using higher doses of the agent are warranted based on the tolerability of the agent and the potential for activity of a higher fenretinide dosage, as suggested in this trial.
Different prognostic factors stratify patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preoperative CA19-9 levels can predict stage of disease or survival and whether a change in preoperative to postoperative CA19-9 or the postoperative CA19-9 predicts overall survival.
Patients and Methods
Four hundred twenty-four consecutive patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma underwent resection between January 1, 1985 and January 1, 2004. Of the patients with a bilirubin less than 2 mg/dL, 176 had preoperative CA19-9 values, and 111 had pre- and postoperative CA19-9 values. Survival was measured from the first postoperative CA19-9 level measured (median, 39 days) until death or last follow-up. A multivariate failure time model was fit using clinical, operative, pathologic, and adjuvant treatment characteristics, and a categorization was defined by the values and changes in CA19-9 before and after surgery.
Of the 176 patients, 128 (73%) had T3 lesions, and 99 (56%) had N1 disease; 138 patients (78%) underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy. Median preoperative CA19-9 levels were lower in N0 patients compared with patients with positive nodes (nine v 164 U/mL, respectively; nonparametric P = .06) and in T1/T2 patients versus T3 patients (41 v 162 U/mL, respectively; P = .03). Median follow-up time (n = 111) was 1.8 years (range, 1 to 12.9 years), with overall actuarial 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates of 70%, 36%, and 30%, respectively. Significant predictors of survival on multivariate analysis included a decrease in CA19-9 (P = .0005), negative lymph nodes (P = .001), lower T stage (P = .0008), and postoperative CA19-9 less than 200 U/mL (P = .0007).
In patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, preoperative CA19-9 correlates with stage of disease. Both a postoperative decrease in CA19-9 and a postoperative CA19-9 value of less than 200 U/mL are strong independent predictors of survival, even after adjusting for stage. CA19-9 levels should be included in a patient’s perioperative care and should be considered for prognostic nomograms.
This multi-institutional phase I trial was designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of cilengitide (EMD 121974) and evaluate the use of perfusion MRI in patients with recurrent malignant glioma.
Patients and Methods
Patients received cilengitide twice weekly on a continuous basis. A treatment cycle was defined as 4 weeks. Treatment related dose limiting toxicity was defined as any grade 3 or 4 non-hematological toxicity or grade 4 hematological toxicity of any duration.
A total of 51 patients were enrolled in cohorts of 6 patients to doses of 120, 240, 360, 480, 600, 1200, 1800, and 2400 mg/m2 administered as a twice weekly intravenous infusion. Three patients progressed early and were inevaluable for toxicity assessment. The dose limiting toxicities observed were: one thrombosis (120 mg/m2), one grade 4 joint and bone pain (480 mg/m2), one thrombocytopenia (600 mg/m2) and one anorexia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia (800 mg/m2). The MTD was not reached. Two patients demonstrated complete response, three patients had partial response, and four patients had stable disease. Perfusion MRI revealed a significant relationship between the change in tumor relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) from baseline and area under the plasma concentration versus time curve after 16 weeks of therapy.
1) Cilengitide is well tolerated to doses of 2400 mg/m2; 2) Durable complete and partial responses were seen in this phase I study; 3) Clinical response appears related to rCBF changes.
To investigate how communication among physicians, patients, and
family/companions influences patients’ decision making about
participation in clinical trials.
Patients and Methods
We video recorded 235 outpatient interactions occurring among
oncologists, patients, and family/companions (if present) at two
comprehensive cancer centers. We combined interaction analysis of the
real-time video-recorded observations (collected at Time 1) with patient
self-reports (Time 2) to determine how communication about trial offers
influenced accrual decisions.
Clinical trials were explicitly offered in 20% of the
interactions. When offers were made and patients perceived they were offered
a trial, 75% of patients assented. Observed messages (at Time 1)
directly related to patients’ self-reports regarding their decisions
(2 weeks later), and how they felt about their decisions and their
physicians. Specifically, messages that help build a sense of an alliance
(among all parties, including the family/companions), provide support
(tangible assistance and reassurance about managing adverse effects), and
provide medical content in language that patients and family/companions
understand are associated with the patient’s decision and
In two urban, National Cancer Institute–designated
comprehensive cancer centers, a large percentage of patients are not offered
trials. When offered a trial, most patients enroll. The quality and quantity
of communication occurring among the oncologist, patient, and
family/companion when trials are discussed matter in the patient’s
decision-making process. These findings can help increase physician
awareness of the ways that messages and communication behaviors can be
observed and evaluated to improve clinical practice and research.
The purpose of this article is to review the recent advances in the atomic-level understanding of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (EGFR-TK). We aim to highlight the current and future importance of these studies for the understanding and treatment of malignancies where EGFR-TK is improperly activated.
The analysis was conducted on published crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (www.pdb.org) using the program O.
In this review we emphasize how recent EGFR kinase domain crystal structures can explain the mechanisms of activation for L858R and other EGFR-TK mutations, and compare these distinct activating mechanisms with those recently described for the wild-type EGFR. We suggest an atomic-level mechanism for the poor efficacy of lapatinib against tumors with activating EGFR kinase domain point mutations compared to the efficacy of gefitinib and erlotinib, and demonstrate how structural insights help our understanding of acquired resistance to these agents. We also highlight how these new molecular-level structural data are expected to affect the development of EGFR-TK targeted small molecule kinase inhibitors.
There are now more crystal structures published for the EGFR-TK domain than for any other tyrosine kinase. This wealth of crystallographic information is beginning to describe the mechanisms by which proper regulation of EGFR-TK is lost in disease. These crystal structures are beginning to show how small molecules inhibit EGFR-TK activity and will aid development of EGFR-TK mutant targeted therapies.
High-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) induces responses in 15% to 20% of patients with advanced melanoma; 5% to 8% are durable complete responses (CRs). The HLA-A2–restricted, modified gp100 peptide (210M) induces T-cell immunity in vivo and has little antitumor activity but, combined with high-dose IL-2, reportedly has a 42% (13 of 31 patients) response rate (RR). We evaluated 210M with one of three different IL-2 schedules to determine whether a basis exists for a phase III trial.
Patients and Methods
In three separate phase II trials, patients with melanoma received 210M subcutaneously during weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10 and standard high-dose IL-2 during weeks 1 and 3 (trial 1), weeks 7 and 9 (trial 2), or weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10 (trial 3). Immune assays were performed on peripheral-blood mononuclear cells collected before and after treatment.
From 1998 to 2003, 131 patients with HLA-A2–positive were enrolled. With 60-month median follow-up time, the overall RR for 121 assessable patients was 16.5% (95% CI, 10% to 26%); the RRs were 23.8% in trial 1 (42 patients), 12.5% in trial 2 (40 patients), and 12.8% in trial 3 (39 patients). There were 11 CRs (9%) and nine partial responses (7%), with 11 patients (9%) progression free at ≥ 30 months. Immune studies including assays of CD3-ζ expression and numbers of CD4+/CD25+/FoxP3+ regulatory T cells, CD15+/CD11b+/CD14− immature myeloid-derived cells, and CD8+gp100 tetramer-positive cells in the blood did not correlate with clinical benefit.
The results again demonstrate efficacy of high-dose IL-2 in advanced melanoma but did not demonstrate the promising clinical activity reported with vaccine and high-dose IL-2 in any of three phase II trials.
To assess the efficacy and toxicity of carboplatin, etoposide, and the bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide oblimersen as initial therapy for extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). bcl-2 has been implicated as a key factor in SCLC oncogenesis and chemotherapeutic resistance.
Patients and Methods
A 3:1 randomized phase II study was performed to evaluate carboplatin and etoposide with (arm A) or without oblimersen (arm B) in 56 assessable patients with chemotherapy-naïve ES-SCLC. Outcome measures including toxicity, objective response rate, complete response rate, failure-free survival, overall survival, and 1-year survival rate.
Oblimersen was associated with slightly more grade 3 to 4 hematologic toxicity (88% v 60%; P = .05). Response rates were 61% (95% CI, 45% to 76%) for arm A and 60% (95% CI, 32% to 84%) for arm B. The percentage of patients alive at 1 year was 24% (95% CI, 12% to 40%) with oblimersen, and 47% (95% CI, 21% to 73%) without oblimersen. Hazard ratios for failure-free survival (1.79; P = .07) and overall survival (2.13; P = .02) suggested worse outcome for patients receiving oblimersen. These results hold when adjusted for other prognostic factors, such as weight loss, in multivariate regression analysis.
Despite extensive data supporting a critical role for Bcl-2 in chemoresistance in SCLC, addition of oblimersen to a standard regimen for this disease did not improve any clinical outcome measure. Emerging data from several groups suggest that this lack of efficacy may be due to insufficient suppression of Bcl-2 in vivo. Additional evaluation of this agent in SCLC is not warranted.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world today and is poised to claim approximately 1 billion lives during the 21st century. A major challenge in treating this and other cancers is the intrinsic resistance to conventional therapies demonstrated by the stem/progenitor cell that is responsible for the sustained growth, survival, and invasion of the tumor. Identifying these stem cells in lung cancer and defining the biologic processes necessary for their existence is paramount in developing new clinical approaches with the goal of preventing disease recurrence. This review summarizes our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms operating within the putative cancer-initiating cell at the core of lung neoplasia.
To determine the clinical and biologic effects of bevacizumab, an anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibody, in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Patients and Methods
Adults with organ-confined HCC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2, and compensated liver disease were eligible. Patients received bevacizumab 5 mg/kg (n = 12) or 10 mg/kg (n = 34) every 2 weeks until disease progression or treatment-limiting toxicity. The primary objective was to determine whether bevacizumab improved the 6-month progression-free survival (PFS) rate from 40% to 60%. Secondary end points included determining the effects of bevacizumab on arterial enhancement and on plasma cytokine levels and the capacity of patients’ plasma to support angiogenesis via an in vitro assay.
The study included 46 patients, of whom six had objective responses (13%; 95% CI, 3% to 23%), and 65% were progression free at 6 months. Median PFS time was 6.9 months (95% CI, 6.5 to 9.1 months); overall survival rate was 53% at 1 year, 28% at 2 years, and 23% at 3 years. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events included hypertension (15%) and thrombosis (6%, including 4% with arterial thrombosis). Grade 3 or higher hemorrhage occurred in 11% of patients, including one fatal variceal bleed. Bevacizumab was associated with significant reductions in tumor enhancement by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and reductions in circulating VEGF-A and stromal-derived factor-1 levels. Functional angiogenic activity was associated with VEGF-A levels in patient plasma.
We observed significant clinical and biologic activity for bevacizumab in nonmetastatic HCC and achieved the primary study end point. Serious bleeding complications occurred in 11% of patients. Further evaluation is warranted in carefully selected patients.
We examined the relationship of sociodemographic factors, urban/rural residence, and countylevel socioeconomic factors on accrual of Maryland patients with cancer to National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cancer treatment clinical trials.
Patients and Methods
Data were analyzed for the period 1999 to 2002 for 2,240 Maryland patients with cancer accrued onto NCI-sponsored treatment trials. The extent to which Maryland patients with cancer and patients residing in lower socioeconomic and/or rural areas were accrued to cancer trials and were representative of all patients with cancer in Maryland was determined. Data were obtained from several sources, including NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program for Maryland patients with cancer in Cooperative Group therapeutic trials, Maryland Cancer Registry data on cancer incidence, and United States Census and the Department of Agriculture.
For Maryland patients with cancer accrued onto NCI-sponsored treatment trials between 1999 and 2002, subgroups accrued at a higher rate included pediatric and adolescent age groups, white patients, female patients (for sex-specific tumors), patients with private health insurance, and patients residing in the Maryland National Capitol region. Moreover, between 1999 and 2002, there was an estimated annual decline (8.9% per year; P < .05) in the percentage of black patients accrued onto cancer treatment trials. Logistic regression models uncovered different patterns of accrual for female patients and male patients on county-level socioeconomic factors.
Results highlight disparities in the accrual of Maryland patients with cancer onto NCI-sponsored treatment trials based on patient age, race/ethnicity, geography of residence, and county-level socioeconomic factors. Findings provide the basis for development of innovative tailored and targeted educational efforts to improve trial accrual, particularly for the underserved.
cancer; clinical trials; participation; accrual; socio-demographic; minorities; urban/rural; disparities; women’s health; men’s health
To examine the efficacy of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PC) in patients undergoing resection at Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH; Baltimore, MD).
Patients and Methods
Between August 30, 1993, and February 28, 2005, a total of 908 patients underwent PD for PC at JHH. A prospective database was reviewed to determine which patients received fluorouracil (FU) -based CRT. Excluded patients had metastatic disease, died 60 or fewer days after PD, received preoperative therapy, an experimental vaccine, adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation alone. The final cohort includes 616 patients.
The median follow-up was 17.8 months (interquartile range, 9.7 to 33.5 months). Overall median survival was 17.9 months (95% CI, 16.3 to 19.5 months). Groups were similar with respect to tumor size, nodal status, and margin status, but the CRT group was younger (P < .001), and less likely to present with a severe comorbid disease (P = .001). Patients with carcinomas larger than 3 cm (P = .001), grade 3 and 4 (P < .001), margin-positive resection (P = .001), and complications after surgery (P = .017) had poor long-term survival. Patients receiving CRT experienced an improved median (21.2 v 14.4 months; P < .001), 2-year (43.9% v 31.9%), and 5-year (20.1% v 15.4%) survival compared with no CRT. After controlling for high-risk features, CRT was still associated with improved survival (relative risk = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.89).
These data suggest that adjuvant concurrent FU-based CRT significantly improves survival after PD for PC when compared with patients not receiving CRT. These data support the use of combined adjuvant CRT for PC.
Aberrant vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling have been shown to play a role in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) pathogenesis and are associated with decreased survival. We evaluated the clinical activity and tolerability of sunitinib malate (SU11248), an oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks the activity of receptors for VEGF and PDGF, as well as related tyrosine kinases in patients with previously treated, advanced NSCLC.
Patients and Methods
Patients with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC for whom platinum-based chemotherapy had failed received 50 mg/d of sunitinib for 4 weeks followed by 2 weeks of no treatment in 6-week treatment cycles. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR); secondary end points included progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety.
Of the 63 patients treated with sunitinib, seven patients had confirmed partial responses, yielding an ORR of 11.1% (95% CI, 4.6% to 21.6%). An additional 18 patients (28.6%) experienced stable disease of at least 8 weeks in duration. Median progression-free survival was 12.0 weeks (95% CI, 10.0 to 16.1 weeks), and median overall survival was 23.4 weeks (95% CI, 17.0 to 28.3 weeks). Therapy was generally well tolerated.
Sunitinib has promising single-agent activity in patients with recurrent NSCLC, with an ORR similar to that of currently approved agents and an acceptable safety profile. Further evaluation in combination with other targeted agents and chemotherapy in patients with NSCLC is warranted.
It has been postulated that castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) commonly remains hormone dependent. Abiraterone acetate is a potent, selective, and orally available inhibitor of CYP17, the key enzyme in androgen and estrogen biosynthesis.
Patients and Methods
This was a phase I/II study of abiraterone acetate in castrate, chemotherapy-naive CRPC patients (n = 54) with phase II expansion at 1,000 mg (n = 42) using a two-stage design to reject the null hypothesis if more than seven patients had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) decline of ≥ 50% (null hypothesis = 0.1; alternative hypothesis = 0.3; α = .05; β = .14). Computed tomography scans every 12 weeks and circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration were performed. Prospective reversal of resistance at progression by adding dexamethasone 0.5 mg/d to suppress adrenocorticotropic hormone and upstream steroids was pursued.
A decline in PSA of ≥ 50% was observed in 28 (67%) of 42 phase II patients, and declines of ≥ 90% were observed in eight (19%) of 42 patients. Independent radiologic evaluation reported partial responses (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) in nine (37.5%) of 24 phase II patients with measurable disease. Decreases in CTC counts were also documented. The median time to PSA progression (TTPP) on abiraterone acetate alone for all phase II patients was 225 days (95% CI, 162 to 287 days). Exploratory analyses were performed on all 54 phase I/II patients; the addition of dexamethasone at disease progression reversed resistance in 33% of patients regardless of prior treatment with dexamethasone, and pretreatment serum androgen and estradiol levels were associated with a probability of ≥ 50% PSA decline and TTPP on abiraterone acetate and dexamethasone.
CYP17 blockade by abiraterone acetate results in declines in PSA and CTC counts and radiologic responses, confirming that CRPC commonly remains hormone driven.
MGCD0103 is a novel isotype-selective inhibitor of human histone deaceylases (HDACs) with the potential to regulate aberrant gene expression and restore normal growth control in malignancies.
Patients and Methods
A phase I trial of MGCD0103, given as a three-times-per-week oral dose for 2 of every 3 weeks, was performed in patients with advanced solid tumors. Primary end points were safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamic (PD) assessments of HDAC activity, and histone acetylation status in peripheral WBCs.
Six dose levels ranging from 12.5 to 56 mg/m2/d were evaluated in 38 patients over 99 cycles (median, 2; range, 1 to 11). The recommended phase II dose was 45 mg/m2/d. Dose-limiting toxicities consisting of fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and dehydration were observed in three (27%) of 11 and two (67%) of three patients treated at the 45 and 56 mg/m2/d dose levels, respectively. Disease stabilization for four or more cycles was observed in five (16%) of 32 patients assessable for efficacy. PK analyses demonstrated interpatient variability which was improved by coadministration with low pH beverages. Elimination half-life ranged from 6.7 to 12.2 hours, and no accumulation was observed with repeated dosing. PD evaluations confirmed inhibition of HDAC activity and induction of acetylation of H3 histones in peripheral WBCs from patients by MGCD0103.
At doses evaluated, MGCD0103 appears tolerable and exhibits favorable PK and PD profiles with evidence of target inhibition in surrogate tissues.
Essential thrombocythemia (ET) manifests substantial interpatient heterogeneity in rates of thrombosis, hemorrhage, and disease transformation. Bone marrow histology reflects underlying disease activity in ET but many morphological features show poor reproducibility.
Patients and Methods
We evaluated the clinical significance of bone marrow reticulin, a measure previously shown to have relatively high interobserver reliability, in a large, prospectively-studied cohort of ET patients.
Reticulin grade positively correlated with white blood cell (P = .05) and platelet counts (P = .0001) at diagnosis. Elevated reticulin levels at presentation predicted higher rates of arterial thrombosis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.9; P = .01), major hemorrhage (HR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.9; P = .05), and myelofibrotic transformation (HR, 5.5; 95% CI, 1.7 to 18.4; P = .0007) independently of known risk factors. Higher reticulin levels at diagnosis were associated with greater subsequent falls in hemoglobin levels in patients treated with anagrelide (P < .0001), but not in those receiving hydroxyurea (P = .9). Moreover, serial trephine specimens in patients randomly assigned to anagrelide showed significantly greater increases in reticulin grade compared with those allocated to hydroxyurea (P = .0003), and four patients who developed increased bone marrow reticulin on anagrelide showed regression of fibrosis when switched to hydroxyurea. These data suggest that patients receiving anagrelide therapy should undergo surveillance bone marrow biopsy every 2 to 3 years and that those who show substantially increasing reticulin levels are at risk of myelofibrotic transformation and may benefit from changing therapy before adverse clinical features develop.
Our results demonstrate that bone marrow reticulin grade at diagnosis represents an independent prognostic marker in ET, reflecting activity and/or duration of disease, with implications for the monitoring of patients receiving anagrelide.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene copy number detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) has proven to be useful for selection of non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients for treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Here, we evaluate EGFR FISH as a predictive marker in NSCLC patients receiving the EGFR monoclonal antibody inhibitor cetuximab plus chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods
Two hundred twenty-nine chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced-stage NSCLC were enrolled onto a phase II selection trial evaluating sequential or concurrent chemotherapy (paclitaxel plus carboplatin) with cetuximab.
EGFR FISH was assessable in 76 patients with available tumor tissue and classified as positive (four or more gene copies per cell in ≥ 40% of the cells or gene amplification) in 59.2%. Response (complete response/partial response) was numerically higher in FISH-positive (45%) versus FISH-negative (26%) patients (P = .14), whereas disease control rate (complete response/partial response plus stable disease) was statistically superior (81% v 55%, respectively; P = .02). Patients with FISH-positive tumors had a median progression-free survival time of 6 months compared with 3 months for FISH-negative patients (P = .0008). Median survival time was 15 months for the FISH-positive group compared with 7 months for patients who were FISH negative. (P = .04). Furthermore, survival favored FISH-positive patients receiving concurrent therapy.
These results are the first to suggest that EGFR FISH is a predictive factor for selection of NSCLC patients for cetuximab plus chemotherapy. Prospective validation of these findings is warranted.
Adjuvant chemotherapy has been associated with mild cognitive decline among a subset of breast cancer survivors. Late cognitive effects after chemotherapy can have a deleterious impact on survivor quality of life and functional health; however, the etiology of chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction remains unknown.
Patients and Methods
We present a case of monozygotic twins who are discordant for breast cancer and chemotherapy exposure (ie, one twin contracted breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy, and the other had no breast cancer). As part of a larger study, each was evaluated with standardized, self-report measures of cognitive function, standard neuropsychological tests, and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Results indicated small differences in neuropsychological test performance but striking contrasts in self-reported cognitive complaints and structural and functional MRI images. Specifically, the twin who underwent chemotherapy had substantially more subjective cognitive complaints, more white matter hyperintensities on MRI, and an expanded spatial extent of brain activation during working memory processing than her nonaffected twin.
This case illustrates possible physiologic mechanisms that could produce long-term cognitive complaints among chemotherapy recipients and help formulate hypotheses for further empirical study in the area of chemotherapy-associated cognitive dysfunction.
Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) has been widely adopted as a key component of breast and gynecologic cancer risk-reduction for women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Despite 17% to 39% of all BRCA mutation carriers having a mutation in BRCA2, no prospective study to date has evaluated the efficacy of RRSO for the prevention of breast and BRCA-associated gynecologic (ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal) cancer when BRCA2 mutation carriers are analyzed separately from BRCA1 mutation carriers.
Patients and Methods
A total of 1,079 women 30 years of age and older with ovaries in situ and a deleterious BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation were enrolled onto prospective follow-up studies at one of 11 centers from November 1, 1994 to December 1, 2004. Women self-selected RRSO or observation. Follow-up information through November 30, 2005, was collected by questionnaire and medical record review. The effect of RRSO on time to diagnosis of breast or BRCA-associated gynecologic cancer was analyzed using a Cox proportional-hazards model.
During 3-year follow-up, RRSO was associated with an 85% reduction in BRCA1-associated gynecologic cancer risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.56) and a 72% reduction in BRCA2-associated breast cancer risk (HR = 0.28; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.92). While protection against BRCA1-associated breast cancer (HR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.30 to 1.22) and BRCA2-associated gynecologic cancer (HR = 0.00; 95% CI, not estimable) was suggested, neither effect reached statistical significance.
The protection conferred by RRSO against breast and gynecologic cancers may differ between carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. Further studies evaluating the efficacy of risk-reduction strategies in BRCA mutation carriers should stratify by the specific gene mutated.
Computerized tomography (CT) of liver is used in oncologic practice for staging tumors, evaluating response to treatment, and screening patients for hepatic resection. Because of the impact of CT liver scan on major treatment decisions, it is important to assess its accuracy. Patients undergoing liver transplantation or resection provide a unique opportunity to test the accuracy of hepatic-imaging techniques by comparison of findings of preoperative CT scan with those at gross pathologic examination of resected specimens. Forty-one patients who had partial hepatic resection (34 patients) or liver transplantation (eight patients) for malignant (30 patients) or benign (11 patients) tumors were evaluable. Eight (47%) of 17 patients with primary malignant liver tumors, four (31%) of 13 patients with metastatic liver tumors, and two (20%) of 10 patients with benign liver tumors had tumor nodules in resected specimens that were not apparent on preoperative CT studies. These nodules varied in size from 0.1 to 1.6 cm. While 11 of 14 of these nodules were <1.0 cm, three of 14 were >1.0 cm. These results suggest that conventional CT alone may be insufficient to accurately determine the presence or absence of liver metastases, extent of liver involvement, or response of hepatic metastases to treatment.
Behavioral symptoms are a common side effect of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and include disturbances in energy, sleep, mood, and cognition. These symptoms cause serious disruption in patients’ quality of life and may persist for years following treatment. Patients need accurate information about the occurrence of these side effects as well as assistance with symptom management. This review considers four of the most common behavioral sequelae of breast cancer: fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression, and cognitive impairment. Research on the prevalence, mechanisms, and treatment of each symptom is described, concluding with recommendations for future studies.
We evaluated rapid androgen cycling in combination with docetaxel for men with progressive non-castrate prostate cancers.
Non-castrate patients with ≤ 6 months of hormones were eligible. Cohort 1 (63 patients ) received 6 28-day cycles of docetaxel (75 mg/m2), leuprolide and 7 days of topical testosterone. Cohort 2 (39 patients) received 9 21-day cycles of docetaxel (70 mg/m2), leuprolide and 3 days of testosterone. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients at 18 months who achieved non -castrate testosterone levels (>150 ng/dl) and an undetectable PSA (≤ 0.05, ≤0.5, or ≤2.0 ng/ml with prior prostatectomy, radiotherapy, or no definitive therapy, respectively). Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) activity and docetaxel pharmacokinetics were evaluated.
A higher proportion of patients achieved the undetectable PSA outcome at 18 months in cohort 2 relative to cohort 1 (13% vs. 0%). The 16% incidence of febrile neutropenia was higher than observed in patients was castration-resistant disease, which may have been related to a 50% reduction in overall docetaxel clearance in the non-castrate group. There was no alteration in CYP3A4 activity (P=0.87) or docetaxel clearance (P=0.88) between cycles.
The undetectable PSA endpoint allows for a rapid screening of interventions for further study. Increasing the number of docetaxel cycles following a shorter period of testosterone repletion, and a longer duration of testosterone depletion, increased the proportion of men who achieved an undetectable PSA. The higher-than-expected incidence of febrile neutropenia may have been related to the reduced overall docetaxel clearance in patients with non-castrate vs castrate testosterone levels.
Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is associated with greater risk of incident coronary heart disease and hospital admission for myocardial infarction; treatment-related increases in serum lipids may contribute to greater cardiovascular disease risk. We evaluated the effects of toremifene, a selective estrogen-receptor modulator, on fasting serum lipid levels in men receiving ADT for prostate cancer.
Patients and Methods
In an ongoing, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III fracture-prevention study, 1,389 men receiving ADT for prostate cancer were randomly assigned to receive toremifene (80 mg/d) or placebo. In this interim analysis of 188 patients, changes in fasting serum lipids from baseline to month 12 were compared between the placebo and toremifene groups.
Changes in serum lipids differed significantly between the groups. Mean (± SE) total cholesterol decreased by 1.0% ± 1.7% from baseline to month 12 in the placebo group and decreased by 8.1% ± 1.4% in the toremifene group (P = .001 for between group comparison). Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol increased by 0.8% ± 2.5% in the placebo group and decreased by 8.2% ± 2.5% in the toremifene group (P = .003). In contrast, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreased by 4.9% ± 1.2% in the placebo group and increased by 0.5% ± 2.2% in the toremifene group (P = .018). Triglycerides increased by 6.9% ± 4.2% in the placebo group and decreased by 13.2% ± 3.6% in the toremifene group (P = .003).
Toremifene significantly decreased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and increased HDL cholesterol in men receiving ADT for prostate cancer.