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1.  Deterioration in quality of life (QoL) in patients with malignant ascites: results from a phase II/III study comparing paracentesis plus catumaxomab with paracentesis alone 
Annals of Oncology  2012;23(8):1979-1985.
Malignant ascites (MA) is associated with poor prognosis and limited palliative therapeutic options. Therefore, quality of life (QoL) assessment is of particular importance to demonstrate new treatment value. Following the demonstration of the superiority of catumaxomab and paracentesis over paracentesis on puncture-free survival, this analysis aimed at comparing deterioration in QoL between both the treatment options.
Patients and methods
In a randomised, multicentre, phase II/III study of patients with MA due to epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) positive cancer, the QoL was evaluated using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 30 items (EORTC QLQ-C30) questionnaire at screening, 1, 3 and 7 months after treatment and in the case of re-puncture on the day of paracentesis. Time to first deterioration in QoL was defined as a decrease in the QoL score of at least five points and compared between the catumaxomab (n = 160) and control (n = 85) groups using the log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for baseline score, country and primary tumour type.
Deterioration in QoL scores appeared more rapidly in the control than in the catumaxomab group (median 19–26 days versus 47–49 days). The difference in time to deterioration in QoL between the groups was statistically significant for all scores (P < 0.01). The hazard ratios ranged from 0.08 to 0.24 (P < 0.01).
Treatment with catumaxomab delayed deterioration in QoL in patients with MA. Compared with paracentesis alone, catumaxomab enabled patients to benefit from better QoL for a prolonged survival period.
PMCID: PMC3403730  PMID: 22734013
deterioration; malignant ascites; quality of life
2.  The E-cadherin repressor Snail is associated with lower overall survival of ovarian cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;98(2):489-495.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among female genital malignancies. Reduced expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin was previously shown to be associated with adverse prognostic features. The role of the E-cadherin repressor Snail in ovarian cancer progression remains to be elucidated. We analysed formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded specimens of 48 primary ovarian tumours and corresponding metastases for expression of E-cadherin and Snail by immunohistochemistry. We found a significant correlation between E-cadherin expression in primary cancers and their corresponding metastases (P<0.001). This correlation was found for Snail expression as well (P<0.001). There was a significant (P=0.008) association of reduced E-cadherin expression in primary ovarian cancer with shorter overall survival. Similarly, Snail expression in corresponding metastases (P=0.047) was associated with reduced overall survival of the patients. Additionally, the group of patients showing reduced E-cadherin and increased Snail immunoreactivity in primary tumours and corresponding metastases, respectively, had a significantly higher risk of death (P=0.002 and 0.022, respectively) when compared to the patient group with the reference expression profile E-cadherin positive and Snail negative. Taken together, the results of our study show that the E-cadherin repressor Snail is associated with lower overall survival of ovarian cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC2361433  PMID: 18026186
Snail; E-cadherin; epithelial–mesenchymal transition; ovarian cancer; overall survival
3.  Prognostic significance of urokinase (uPA) and its inhibitor PAI-1 for survival in advanced ovarian carcinoma stage FIGO IIIc 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;79(11-12):1746-1751.
Strong evidence has accumulated on the prognostic value of tumour-associated proteolytic factors in patients afflicted with solid malignant tumours, including advanced ovarian cancer. We evaluated the prognostic impact of the protease urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its inhibitor PAI-1 on overall survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer stage FIGO IIIc in order to select patients at risk. uPA and PAI-1 antigen were determined by ELISA in primary tumour tissue extracts of 86 ovarian cancer patients FIGO stage IIIc enrolled in a prospective study. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using the Cox proportional hazard model. The time-varying coefficient model of Gray was used to assess the time-dependent strength of prognostic factors tumour mass, uPA and PAI-1 on overall survival. In all patients, uPA and PAI-1 (optimized cut-offs of 2.0 and 27.5 ng mg−1 protein respectively), in addition to the traditional prognostic parameters of residual tumour mass, nodal status, grading and ascites volume, were of prognostic significance in univariate analysis for overall survival. Even in patients with residual tumour mass (n = 43), the statistically independent prognostic impact of PAI-1 persisted, allowing further discrimination between low- and high-risk patients. In multivariate analysis, residual tumour mass (P < 0.001, relative risk (RR) 4.5), PAI-1 (P < 0.001; RR 3.1) and nodal status (P = 0.022, RR 2.6) turned out to be strong, statistically independent prognostic parameters. Evaluation of the time-dependent prognostic impact of residual tumour mass and PAI-1 on overall survival (n = 86, 50 months) revealed that the prognostic power of these factors increased with time. In patients with advanced ovarian cancer, both residual tumour mass and PAI-1 are statistically independent strong prognostic factors. Even within patient subgroups with or without residual tumour mass, PAI-1 allowed selection of patients at risk who might benefit from individualized therapy protocols. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2362775  PMID: 10206287
prognostic factors; ovarian cancer

Results 1-3 (3)