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Year of Publication
1.  Highlights from the seventh European Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Congress (EMCCC) 2014 
ecancermedicalscience  2015;9:497.
It is widely recognised that colorectal cancer has become a complex disease and involves many medical disciplines. The mission of the European Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Congress (EMCCC), which is an initiative of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG), is to facilitate the interaction between relevant disciplines on current issues of research. The three-day meeting in Amsterdam in November 2014 assembled approximately 450 participants with nine different disciplines from 38 countries worldwide. On day one, workshops on imaging, surgery, medical oncology/pathology, radiotherapy, and genetics were followed by the keynote lecture of the congress. On day two and three, a total of 35 established international opinion leaders presented lectures in plenary sessions on prevention and screening of early colorectal cancer, genetics, translational research, biomarkers, organ-saving treatment in rectal cancer, current controversies, and multidisciplinary management. Posters from submitted abstracts were displayed, with selected abstracts being orally presented.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2015.497
PMCID: PMC4303611  PMID: 25624878
Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group; DCCG; European Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Congress; EMCCC; colorectal cancer
2.  Impairment of cognitive functioning during Sunitinib or Sorafenib treatment in cancer patients: a cross sectional study 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:219.
Background
Impairment of cognitive functioning has been reported in several studies in patients treated with chemotherapy. So far, no studies have been published on the effects of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitors on cognitive functioning. We investigated the objective and subjective cognitive function of patients during treatment with VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR TKI).
Methods
Three groups of participants, matched on age, sex and education, were enrolled; 1. metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) or GIST patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib (VEGFR TKI patients n = 30); 2. patients with mRCC not receiving systemic treatment (patient controls n = 20); 3. healthy controls (n = 30). Sixteen neuropsychological tests examining the main cognitive domains (intelligence, memory, attention and concentration, executive functions and abstract reasoning) were administered by a neuropsychologist. Four questionnaires were used to assess subjective cognitive complaints, mood, fatigue and psychological wellbeing.
Results
No significant differences in mean age, sex distribution, education level or IQ were found between the three groups. Both patient groups performed significantly worse on the cognitive domains Learning & Memory and Executive Functions (Response Generation and Problem Solving) compared to healthy controls. However only the VEGFR TKI patients showed impairments on the Executive subdomain Response Generation. Effect sizes of cognitive dysfunction in patients using VEGFR TKI were larger on the domains Learning & Memory and Executive Functions, compared to patient controls. Both patients groups performed on the domain Attention & Concentration the same as the healthy controls. Longer duration of treatment on VEGFR TKI was associated with a worse score on Working Memory tasks.
Conclusions
Our data suggest that treatment with VEGFR TKI has a negative impact on cognitive functioning, specifically on Learning & Memory, and Executive Functioning. We propose that patients who are treated with VEGFR TKI are monitored and informed for possible signs or symptoms associated with cognitive impairment.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01246843.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-219
PMCID: PMC3987809  PMID: 24661373
Cognitive function; Sunitinib; Sorafenib; VEGFR TKI; Memory and Learning; Executive functioning
3.  Importance of helper T-cell activation in dendritic cell-based anticancer immunotherapy 
Oncoimmunology  2013;2(6):e24440.
Dendritic cell-based anticancer immunotherapy is feasible, safe and results in the induction of tumor-specific immune responses, at least in a fraction of vaccinated patients. The concomitant activation of cytotoxic and helper T cells, by loading DCs with peptides or electroporating them with the corresponding mRNAs, may further enhance vaccine-induced antitumor responses.
doi:10.4161/onci.24440
PMCID: PMC3716737  PMID: 23894702
cancer immunotherapy; dendritic cell vaccination; helper T cells; metastatic melanoma
4.  Beyond KRAS mutation status: influence of KRAS copy number status and microRNAs on clinical outcome to cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer patients 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:292.
Background
KRAS mutation is a negative predictive factor for treatment with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Novel predictive markers are required to further improve the selection of patients for this treatment. We assessed the influence of modification of KRAS by gene copy number aberration (CNA) and microRNAs (miRNAs) in correlation to clinical outcome in mCRC patients treated with cetuximab in combination with chemotherapy and bevacizumab.
Methods
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary tumour tissue was used from 34 mCRC patients in a phase III trial, who were selected based upon their good (n = 17) or poor (n = 17) progression-free survival (PFS) upon treatment with cetuximab in combination with capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and bevacizumab. Gene copy number at the KRAS locus was assessed using high resolution genome-wide array CGH and the expression levels of 17 miRNAs targeting KRAS were determined by real-time PCR.
Results
Copy number loss of the KRAS locus was observed in the tumour of 5 patients who were all good responders including patients with a KRAS mutation. Copy number gains in two wild-type KRAS tumours were associated with a poor PFS. In KRAS mutated tumours increased miR-200b and decreased miR-143 expression were associated with a good PFS. In wild-type KRAS patients, miRNA expression did not correlate with PFS in a multivariate model.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that the assessment of KRAS CNA and miRNAs targeting KRAS might further optimize the selection of mCRC eligible for anti-EGFR therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-292
PMCID: PMC3508829  PMID: 22804917
5.  The CARTS study: Chemoradiation therapy for rectal cancer in the distal rectum followed by organ-sparing transanal endoscopic microsurgery 
BMC Surgery  2011;11:34.
Background
The CARTS study is a multicenter feasibility study, investigating the role of rectum saving surgery for distal rectal cancer.
Methods/Design
Patients with a clinical T1-3 N0 M0 rectal adenocarcinoma below 10 cm from the anal verge will receive neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (25 fractions of 2 Gy with concurrent capecitabine). Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) will be performed 8 - 10 weeks after the end of the preoperative treatment depending on the clinical response.
Primary objective is to determine the number of patients with a (near) complete pathological response after chemoradiation therapy and TEM. Secondary objectives are the local recurrence rate and quality of life after this combined therapeutic modality. A three-step analysis will be performed after 20, 33 and 55 patients to ensure the feasibility of this treatment protocol.
Discussion
The CARTS-study is one of the first prospective multicentre trials to investigate the role of a rectum saving treatment modality using chemoradiation therapy and local excision. The CARTS study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01273051)
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-11-34
PMCID: PMC3295682  PMID: 22171697

Results 1-5 (5)