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1.  Everolimus in metastatic renal cell carcinoma after failure of initial anti–VEGF therapy: final results of a noninterventional study 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:303.
Data are limited regarding routine use of everolimus after initial vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)–targeted therapy. The aim of this prospective, noninterventional, observational study was to assess efficacy and safety of everolimus after initial VEGF-targeted treatment in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) in routine clinical settings.
Everolimus was administered per routine clinical practice. Patients with mRCC of any histology from 116 active sites in Germany were included. The main objective was to determine everolimus efficacy in time to progression (TTP). Progression-free survival (PFS), treatment duration, tumor response, adherence to everolimus regimen, treatment after everolimus, and safety were also assessed.
In the total population (N = 334), median follow-up was 5.2 months (range, 0–32 months). Median treatment duration (safety population, n = 318) was 6.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 5–8 months). Median TTP and median PFS were similar in populations investigated. In patients who received everolimus as second-line treatment (n = 211), median (95% CI) TTP was 7.1 months (5–9 months) and median PFS was 6.9 months (5–9 months). Commonly reported adverse events (safety population, n = 318) were dyspnea (17%), anemia (15%), and fatigue (12%). Limitations of the noninterventional design should be considered.
This study reflects routine clinical use of everolimus in a large sample of patients with mRCC. Favorable efficacy and safety were seen for everolimus after previous therapy with one VEGF-targeted agent. Results of this study confirm everolimus as one of the standard options in second-line therapy for patients with mRCC. Novartis study code, CRAD001LD27: VFA registry for noninterventional studies (
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1309-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4413536  PMID: 25925846
Observational study; Everolimus (RAD001); Carcinoma; Renal cell; Targeted molecular therapy
2.  Interdisciplinary decision making in prostate cancer therapy – 5-years’ time trends at the Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Center (IPC) of the Charité Berlin 
Patients with prostate cancer face the difficult decision between a wide range of therapeutic options. These men require elaborate information about their individual risk profile and the therapeutic strategies´ risks and benefits to choose the best possible option. In order to detect time trends and quality improvements between an early patient population (2003/2004) and a later reference group (2007/2008) data was analysed with regards to epidemiologic parameters, differences in diagnostics and the type and ranking of the recommended therapies taking into account changes to Gleason Grading System and implementation of new therapeutic strategies, particularly Active surveillance, in 2005.
Data from all 496 consecutive patients who received consultation in 2003/2004 (n = 280) and 2007/2008 (n = 216) was retrospectively evaluated. Categorical variables were compared using the Chi-square test. Dependent variables were analysed using the unpaired Students´ t-test and the Mann–Whitney U-test.
The cohorts were comparable concerning clinical stage, initial PSA, prostate volume, comorbidities and organ confined disease. Patients in Cohort I were younger (66.44 vs. 69.31y; p < .001) and had a longer life expectancy (17.22 vs. 14.75y; p < .001). 50.9%, 28.2% and 20.9% in Cohort I and 37.2%, 39.6% and 23.2% in Cohort II showed low-, intermediate- and high-risk disease (D´Amico) with a trend towards an increased risk profile in Cohort II (p = .066). The risk-adapted therapy recommended as first option was radical prostatectomy for 91.5% in Cohort I and 69.7% in Cohort II, radiation therapy for 83.7% in Cohort I and 50.7% in Cohort II, and other therapies (brachytherapy, Active surveillance, Watchful waiting, high-intensity focused ultrasound) for 6.5% in Cohort I and 6.9% in Cohort II (p < .001). Radiation therapy was predominant in both cohorts as second treatment option (p < .001). Time trends showing quality improvement involved an increase in biopsy cores (9.95 ± 2.38 vs. 8.43 ± 2.29; p < .001) and an increased recommendation for bilateral nerve sparing (p < .001).
In the earlier years, younger patients with a more favourable risk profile presented for interdisciplinary consultation. A unilateral recommendation for radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy was predominant. In the later years, the patient population was considerably older. However, this group may have benefitted from optimised diagnostic possibilities and a wider range of treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3751298  PMID: 23915212
Prostate cancer; Interdisciplinary consultation; Medical decision making; Time trends
3.  Reference miRNAs for miRNAome Analysis of Urothelial Carcinomas 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39309.
Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) is widely used in microRNA (miRNA) expression studies on cancer. To compensate for the analytical variability produced by the multiple steps of the method, relative quantification of the measured miRNAs is required, which is based on normalization to endogenous reference genes. No study has been performed so far on reference miRNAs for normalization of miRNA expression in urothelial carcinoma. The aim of this study was to identify suitable reference miRNAs for miRNA expression studies by RT-qPCR in urothelial carcinoma.
Candidate reference miRNAs were selected from 24 urothelial carcinoma and normal bladder tissue samples by miRNA microarrays. The usefulness of these candidate reference miRNAs together with the commonly for normalization purposes used small nuclear RNAs RNU6B, RNU48, and Z30 were thereafter validated by RT-qPCR in 58 tissue samples and analyzed by the algorithms geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper.
Principal Findings
Based on the miRNA microarray data, a total of 16 miRNAs were identified as putative reference genes. After validation by RT-qPCR, miR-101, miR-125a-5p, miR-148b, miR-151-5p, miR-181a, miR-181b, miR-29c, miR-324-3p, miR-424, miR-874, RNU6B, RNU48, and Z30 were used for geNorm, NormFinder, and BestKeeper analyses that gave different combinations of recommended reference genes for normalization.
The present study provided the first systematic analysis for identifying suitable reference miRNAs for miRNA expression studies of urothelial carcinoma by RT-qPCR. Different combinations of reference genes resulted in reliable expression data for both strongly and less strongly altered miRNAs. Notably, RNU6B, which is the most frequently used reference gene for miRNA studies, gave inaccurate normalization. The combination of four (miR-101, miR-125a-5p, miR-148b, and miR-151-5p) or three (miR-148b, miR-181b, and miR-874,) reference miRNAs is recommended for normalization.
PMCID: PMC3380005  PMID: 22745731
4.  Laparoscopic and open postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection in patients with advanced testicular cancer – a single center analysis 
BMC Urology  2012;12:15.
The open approach represents the gold standard for postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (O-PCLND) in patients with residual testicular cancer. We analyzed laparoscopic postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (L-PCLND) and O-PCLND at our institution.
Patients underwent either L-PCLND (n = 43) or O-PCLND (n = 24). Categorical and continuous variables were compared using the Fisher exact test and Mann–Whitney U test respectively. Overall survival was evaluated with the log-rank test.
Primary histology was embryonal cell carcinomas (18 patients), pure seminoma (2 cases) and mixed NSGCTs (47 patients). According to the IGCCCG patients were categorized into “good”, “intermediate” and “poor prognosis” disease in 55.2%, 14.9% and 20.8%, respectively. Median operative time for L-PCLND was 212 min and 232 min for O-PCLND (p = 0.256). Median postoperative duration of drainage and hospital stay was shorter after L-PCLND (0.0 vs. 3.5 days; p < 0.001 and 6.0 vs. 11.5 days; p = 0.002). Intraoperative complications occurred in 21.7% (L-PCLND) and 38.0% (O-PCLND) of cases with 19.5% and 28.5% of Clavien Grade III complications for L-PCLND and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.224). Significant blood loss (>500 ml) was almost equally distributed (8.6% vs. 14.2%: p = 0.076). No significant differences were observed for injuries of major vessels and postoperative complications (p = 0.758; p = 0.370). Tumor recurrence occurred in 8.6% following L-PCLND and in 14.2% following O-PCLND with a mean disease-free survival of 76.6 and 89.2 months, respectively. Overall survival was 83.3 and 95.0 months for L-PCNLD and O-PCLND, respectively (p = 0.447).
L-PCLND represents a safe surgical option for well selected patients at an experienced center.
PMCID: PMC3431976  PMID: 22651395
Advanced testicular cancer; Postchemotherapy; Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection; Laparoscopy; Metastasis
5.  Identification of Metastamirs as Metastasis-associated MicroRNAs in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in cancerogenesis and cancer progression, but their specific role in the metastasis of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCC) is still limited. Based on microRNA microarray analyses from normal and cancerous samples of ccRCC specimens and from bone metastases of ccRCC patients, we identified a set of 57 differentially expressed microRNAs between these three sample groups of ccRCC. A selected panel of 33 miRNAs was subsequently validated by RT-qPCR on total 57 samples. Then, 30 of the 33 examined miRNAs were confirmed to be deregulated. A stepwise down-regulation of miRNA expression from normal, over primary tumor to metastatic tissue samples, was found to be typical. A total of 23 miRNAs (miR-10b/-19a/-19b/-20a/-29a/-29b/-29c/-100/-101/-126/-127/-130/-141/-143/-145/-148a/-192/-194/-200c/-210/-215/-370/-514) were down-regulated in metastatic tissue samples compared with normal tissue. This down-regulated expression in metastatic tissue in comparison with primary tumor tissue was also present in 21 miRNAs. In cell culture experiments with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and trichostatin A, epigenetic modifications were shown as one reason of this down-regulation. The altered miRNA profiles, comprising newly identified metastasis-associated miRNAs, termed metastamir and the predicted miRNA-target interactions together with the significant correlations of miRNAs that were either lost or newly appeared in the studied sample groups, afford a solid basis for further functional analyses of individual miRNAs in RCC metastatic progression.
PMCID: PMC3492794  PMID: 23139634
Renal cell carcinoma; Microarray; RT-qPCR; microRNAs; Metastasis.
6.  Intrinsic resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors is associated with poor clinical outcome in metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:295.
Data on sequential therapy in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) and intrinsic resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (rTKI) treatment remains vague.
We retrospectively studied treatment characteristics and outcome of mRCC patients refractory to first rTKI therapy.
Thirty-five mRCC patients (male, 18; female, 11) with primary resistance to first rTKI therapy (sunitinib, n = 28; sorafenib, n = 7) and a median treatment interval of 2.4 months (1 - 4.6) were identified. In 22 patients, progressive disease (PD) was determined by a new metastatic lesion. Of these, 16 patients received subsequent therapy with 12 patients remaining refractory and 4 patients achieving disease stabilization. In 13 patients continuous growth of existing metastatic lesions determined PD. Of these, 9 received sequential therapy with 6 achieving disease stabilization. Altogether, 25 patients were treated sequentially (rTKI: n = 15; mTOR-inhibitor: n = 10) and achieved a median PFS of 3.2 months (range, 1-16.6). Fifteen patients failed to respond to either line of therapy. Disease control was not associated with type of subsequent therapy. Median OS was 14.9 months (CI: 5.5-24.4).
Intrinsic resistance to rTKI is associated with a low chance of response to sequential therapy and a poor prognosis in mRCC patients.
PMCID: PMC3154177  PMID: 21756335
7.  Metabolic profiling reveals key metabolic features of renal cell carcinoma 
Recent evidence suggests that metabolic changes play a pivotal role in the biology of cancer and in particular renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Here, a global metabolite profiling approach was applied to characterize the metabolite pool of RCC and normal renal tissue. Advanced decision tree models were applied to characterize the metabolic signature of RCC and to explore features of metastasized tumours. The findings were validated in a second independent dataset. Vitamin E derivates and metabolites of glucose, fatty acid, and inositol phosphate metabolism determined the metabolic profile of RCC. α-tocopherol, hippuric acid, myoinositol, fructose-1-phosphate and glucose-1-phosphate contributed most to the tumour/normal discrimination and all showed pronounced concentration changes in RCC. The identified metabolic profile was characterized by a low recognition error of only 5% for tumour versus normal samples. Data on metastasized tumours suggested a key role for metabolic pathways involving arachidonic acid, free fatty acids, proline, uracil and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. These results illustrate the potential of mass spectroscopy based metabolomics in conjunction with sophisticated data analysis methods to uncover the metabolic phenotype of cancer. Differentially regulated metabolites, such as vitamin E compounds, hippuric acid and myoinositol, provide leads for the characterization of novel pathways in RCC.
PMCID: PMC3822498  PMID: 19845817
kidney cancer; metabolism; metabolomics; metastasis
8.  Down-regulation of the pro-apoptotic XIAP associated factor-1 (XAF1) during progression of clear-cell renal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:276.
Decreased expression of the interferon-stimulated, putative tumour suppressor gene XAF1 has been shown to play a role during the onset, progression and treatment failure in various malignancies. However, little is yet known about its potential implication in the tumour biology of clear-cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC).
This study assessed the expression of XAF1 protein in tumour tissue obtained from 291 ccRCC patients and 68 normal renal tissue samples, utilizing immunohistochemistry on a tissue-micro-array. XAF1 expression was correlated to clinico-pathological tumour features and prognosis.
Nuclear XAF1 expression was commonly detected in normal renal- (94.1%) and ccRCC (91.8%) samples, without significant differences of expression levels. Low XAF1 expression in ccRCC tissue, however, was associated with progression of tumour stage (p = 0.040) and grade (p < 0.001). Low XAF1 tumour levels were also prognostic of significantly shortened overall survival times in univariate analysis (p = 0.018), but did not provide independent prognostic information.
These data suggest down-regulation of XAF1 expression to be implicated in ccRCC progression and implies that its re-induction may provide a therapeutic approach. Although the prognostic value of XAF1 in ccRCC appears to be limited, its predictive value remains to be determined, especially in patients with metastatic disease undergoing novel combination therapies of targeted agents with Interferon-alpha.
PMCID: PMC3087333  PMID: 19664236

Results 1-8 (8)