The aim of this study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose limiting toxicities (DLTs), and determine the phase II dose for the combination of irinotecan-carboplatin-paclitaxel given as induction chemotherapy and with concomitant chest radiotherapy for patients with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer.
Patients with Cancer and Leukemia Group B performance status of 0 to 2, stage IIIA and IIIB NSCLC patients with resectable or unresectable disease were treated with induction chemotherapy (irinotecan 100 mg/m2, carboplatin AUC 5, and paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 days 1 and 22) followed by concomitant chemotherapy (irinotecan, carboplatin, and paclitaxel) and chest radiotherapy (66 Gy for unresectable and 50 Gy for resectable disease) beginning on week 7. The primary objective was to escalate the dose of irinotecan during chemoradiation in sequential cohorts to determine the DLT and MTD of the regimen.
Thirty-eight patients were enrolled (median age 63 years, 57% male, 41% performance status 0, 30% resectable). Induction chemotherapy was tolerable and active (response rate 26%; stable disease 60%). Eight patients did not receive concurrent chemoradiotherapy because of progressive disease (5), death (1), hypersensitivity reaction to paclitaxel (1), and withdrawal of consent (1). Twenty-nine patients received concurrent chemoradiotherapy. The concomitant administration of chest radiotherapy with weekly irinotecan, carboplatin, and paclitaxel was not feasible at the first, second, and third dose levels. DLT was failure to achieve recovery to ≤ grade 1 absolute neutrophil count by the day of scheduled chemotherapy administration. Dose de-escalation to irinotecan 30 mg/m2, paclitaxel 40 mg/m2 (with omission of carboplatin) delivered on weeks 2, 3, 5, and 6 of radiotherapy was the MTD. After induction chemotherapy, partial responses, stable disease, and progressive disease was observed in 26%, 60%, and 14% of patients, respectively. After chemoradiotherapy, partial responses were attained in 16 (55%) patients, whereas 12 patients (41%) attained disease stabilization. Median overall survival was 21 months for the entire cohort. Resectable patients had a median survival of 24 months, whereas unresectable patients had a median survival of 19 months. Differences in overall and progression-free survival rates between resectable and unresectable patients was not statistically significant (p = 0.52 and p = 0.90, respectively).
Carboplatin, paclitaxel, and irinotecan with concurrent chemoradiotherapy was poorly tolerated as a result of neutropenia. Although dose de-escalation was required for delivery of the regimen, the response rates and survival outcomes were comparable to other similar regimens.
Non-small cell lung cancer; Irinotecan; Radiation therapy; Multimodality therapy
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.
Erlotinib is clinically effective in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have adenocarcinoma, are never or limited former smokers, or have EGFR mutant tumors. We investigated the efficacy of erlotinib alone or in combination with chemotherapy in patients with these characteristics.
Patients and Methods
Patients with advanced NSCLC (adenocarcinoma) who were epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and chemotherapy naive never or light former smokers (smokers of > 100 cigarettes and ≤ 10 pack years and quit ≥ 1 year ago) were randomly assigned to continuous erlotinib or in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel (ECP) for six cycles followed by erlotinib alone. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Tissue collection was mandatory.
PFS was similar (5.0 v 6.6 months; P = .1988) in patients randomly assigned to erlotinib alone (arm A; n = 81) or to ECP (arm B; n = 100). EGFR mutation analysis was possible in 91% (164 of 181) of patients, and EGFR mutations were detected in 40% (51 of 128) of never smokers and in 42% (15 of 36) of light former smokers. In arm A, response rate (70% v 9%), PFS (14.1 v 2.6 months), and overall survival (OS; 31.3 v 18.1 month) favored EGFR-mutant patients. In arm B, response rate (73% v 30%), PFS (17.2 v 4.8 months), and OS (38.1 v 14.4 months) favored EGFR-mutant patients. Incidence of grades 3 to 4 hematologic (2% v 49%; P < .001) and nonhematologic (24% v 52%; P < .001) toxicity was greater in patients treated with ECP.
Erlotinib and erlotinib plus chemotherapy have similar efficacy in clinically selected populations of patients with advanced NSCLC. EGFR mutations identify patients most likely to benefit.
We conducted a phase II trial of dasatinib in malignant mesothelioma (MM) patients to evaluate its toxicity and efficacy as a second-line treatment.
Material and Methods
Patients with unresectable MM and no symptomatic effusions were given dasatinib 70 mg twice daily as part of a 28-day cycle. We also measured plasma VEGF and PDGFβ and serum CSF-1 and mesothelin-related protein at baseline and during therapy.
Forty-six patients were enrolled in this study. Fifty percent of the first 12 patients enrolled experienced ≥ grade 3 treatment-related adverse events, and therefore, the starting dose was reduced to 50 mg twice daily. Grade 3 and 4 toxicities included fatigue (11%) and pleural effusion (9%). The overall disease control rate was 32.6%, and PFS at 24 weeks was 23% (95% CI: 13.5%, 40.0%). Survival was markedly longer in patients with lower pre-treatment CSF-1 levels and in patients whose CSF-1 levels decreased from baseline during therapy.
Single-agent dasatinib has no activity in MM and is associated with pulmonary toxicities that prohibit its use in an unselected MM population.
dasatinib; mesothelioma; SRC kinase
Eribulin mesylate (E7389) is an analog of halichondrin B with a unique mechanism of microtubule binding. The activity and toxicity of eribulin were assessed in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with a taxane.
An open-label phase II study included patients with NSCLC previously treated with platinum and taxane-based therapy, with up to two prior cytotoxic regimens, given for metastatic disease or as adjuvant therapy. Patients were stratified by taxane-sensitivity: taxane-sensitive (TS, progression > 90 days after taxane) or taxane-resistant (TR, progression ≤ 90 days after taxane). Patients received an intravenous infusion of eribulin at 1.4 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 21 days. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) and secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Sixty-six patients were accrued. The ORR was 5% with a median duration of response of 7.8 months. In the TS arm, 3 out of 45 patients (7%) achieved a partial response (PR) and another 11 out of 45 (24%) achieved stable disease (SD) for at least 3 months, whereas in the TR arm, no patients achieved a PR and 4 out of 21 (19%) achieved SD for at least 3 months. Median PFS was 2.9 months in the TS subgroup and 1.2 months in the TR subgroup. The median OS was 12.6 months in the TS subgroup and 8.9 months in the TR subgroup. Toxicities were primarily hematologic; only two patients developed grade 3 neuropathy.
Eribulin mesylate is well tolerated and demonstrates activity in pre-treated, taxane-sensitive NSCLC.
Halichondrin B; Eribulin Mesylate; Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer; Taxane-Refractory; Taxane-Sensitive
CALGB 9633 was a Phase III trial that randomized patients with stage IB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to observation or four cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel. A statistically significant effect in favor of adjuvant chemotherapy was seen for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in the subgroup of patients with tumors ≥ 4 cm. A laboratory companion study was conducted to see if molecular and clinical factors could provide additional prognostic information.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded blocks were obtained for 250 of the 344 patients enrolled. Immunohistochemical staining for bcl-2, p53, blood group antigen A and mucin was correlated with DFS and OS.
The prevalence of the markers was bcl-2 17%, p53 47%, blood group antigen A 25% and mucin 45%. Univariate analysis for DFS showed a statistically significant effect for the presence of mucin (p=0.0005) and p53 (p=0.05) and for OS showed a significant effect for mucin (p=0.0005). In the multivariate Cox model, there was a statistically significant association between shorter DFS and presence of mucin (p=0.002; hazard ratio [HR] 2.05) and p53 (p=0.003; HR 1.95) and between shorter OS and presence of mucin (p=0.004; HR 2.03) and p53 (p=0.0005; HR 2.30). Of the clinical factors, male gender and larger tumor volume were also significant adverse prognostic factors (p<0.05).
A statistically significant association between shorter DFS and OS was seen for patients with p53 protein expression, mucin expression, male gender and larger tumors in this cohort of patients with stage IB NSCLC treated on CALGB 9633.
Non-small cell lung cancer; prognostic factors; p53; mucin
The efficacy of cisplatin, irinotecan, and bevacizumab was evaluated in patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).
Patients and Methods
Patients with ES-SCLC received cisplatin 30 mg/m2 and irinotecan 65 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg on day 1 every 21 days for six cycles on this phase II study. The primary end point was to differentiate between 50% and 65% 12-month survival rates.
Seventy-two patients were enrolled between March 2005 and April 2006; four patients canceled, and four were ineligible. Grade 3 or 4 toxicities included neutropenia (25%), all electrolyte (23%), diarrhea (16%), thrombocytopenia (10%), fatigue (10%), nausea (10%), hypertension (9%), anemia (9%), infection (7%), vascular access thrombosis (2%), stroke (2%), and bowel perforation (1%). Three deaths (5%) occurred on therapy as a result of pneumonitis (n = 1), stroke (n =1), and heart failure (n = 1). Complete response, partial response, and stable disease occurred in three (5%), 45 (70%), and 11 patients (17%), respectively. Progressive disease occurred in one patient (2%). Overall response rate was 75%. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.0 months (95% CI, 6.4 to 8.4 months). Median overall survival (OS) was 11.6 months (95% CI, 10.5 to 15.1 months). Hypertension ≥ grade 1 was associated with improved OS after adjusting for performance status (PS) and age (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.97; P = .04). Lower vascular endothelial growth factor levels correlated with worse PFS after adjusting for age and PS (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.99; P = .03).
PFS and OS times were higher compared with US trials in ES-SCLC with the same chemotherapy. However, the primary end point of the trial was not met. Hypertension was associated with improved survival after adjusting for age and PS.
Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma (BAC), a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is a difficult disease to treat with low response rates with cytotoxic chemotherapy. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, has demonstrated objective responses in BAC patients in early phase clinical trials. We conducted a phase II study of bortezomib inpatients with advanced stage BAC.
Patients with advanced BAC, adenocarcinoma with BAC features or BAC with adenocarcinoma features and less than two prior regimens were eligible. Prior epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor therapy was allowed. Bortezomib was administered intravenously at 1.6 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 of every 21 days cycle until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was response rate. The Simon two-stage design was utilized.
Forty-two patients were enrolled and the study was halted early for slow accrual. Patient characteristics were: female 55%, median age 68 years, and ECOG performance status of 0 and 1 in 31 and 11 patients respectively. Twenty-six(62%)patients had received prior therapy with an EGFR inhibitor. A median of 4 cycles of therapy were administered. Objective responses were noted in 5% while 57% had disease stabilization. The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 5.5 months and 13.6 months respectively. Grade 3 diarrhea and fatigue were noted in 3 and 5 patients respectively.
Bortezomib is tolerated well and is associated with modest anti-cancer activity in advanced BAC, including inpatients that progressed on EGFR inhibitor therapy.
bortezomib; proteasome inhibition; BAC; bronchioloalveolar carcinoma; NSCLC
Cancer and Leukemia Group B conducted a randomized phase II trial to investigate two novel chemotherapy regimens in combination with concurrent thoracic radiation therapy (TRT).
Patients and Methods
Patients with unresectable stage III non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were randomly assigned to carboplatin (area under the curve, 5) and pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) every 21 days for four cycles and TRT (70 Gy; arm A) or the same treatment with cetuximab administered concurrent only with TRT (arm B). Patients in both arms received up to four cycles of pemetrexed as consolidation therapy. The primary end point was the 18-month overall survival (OS) rate; if the 18-month OS rate was ≥ 55%, the regimen(s) would be considered for further study.
Of the 101 eligible patients enrolled (48 in arm A and 53 in arm B), 60% were male; the median age was 66 years (range, 32 to 81 years); 44% and 35% had adenocarcinoma and squamous carcinoma, respectively; and more patients enrolled onto arm A compared with arm B had a performance status of 0 (58% v 34%, respectively; P = .04). The 18-month OS rate was 58% (95% CI, 46% to 74%) in arm A and 54% (95% CI, 42% to 70%) in arm B. No significant difference in OS between patients with squamous and nonsquamous NSCLC was observed (P = .667). The toxicities observed were consistent with toxicities associated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy.
The combination of pemetrexed, carboplatin, and TRT met the prespecified criteria for further evaluation. This regimen should be studied further in patients with locally advanced unresectable nonsquamous NSCLC.
Radiation therapy remains a promising modality for curative treatment of localized prostate cancer, but dose-limiting toxicities significantly limit its effectiveness. Agents that enhance efficacy at lower radiation doses might have considerable value in increasing tumor control without compromising organ function. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the PARP inhibitor ABT-888 (veliparib) can enhance the response of prostate cancer cells and tumors to ionizing radiation (IR). Following exposure of DU-145 and PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines to the combination of 10μM ABT-888 and 6 Gy, we observed similar persistence between both cell lines of DNA damage foci and in vitro radiosensitization. We have previously observed that persistent DNA damage foci formed after ABT-888 plus IR efficiently promote accelerated cell senescence, but only PC-3 cells displayed the expected senescent response of G2/M arrest, induction of p21 and β-galactosidase expression, and accumulation as large, flat cells. In turn, combining ABT-888 with 6 Gy resulted in delayed tumor regrowth compared with either agent alone only in PC-3 xenograft tumors while DU-145 tumors continued to grow. By 7 days after treatment with ABT-888 plus IR, PC-3 tumors contained abundant senescent cells displaying persistent DNA damage foci, but no evidence of senescence was noted in the DU-145 tumors. That equivalent radiosensitization by ABT-888 plus IR in vitro failed to predict comparable results with tumors in vivo suggests that the efficacy of PARP inhibitors may partially depend on a competent senescence response to accumulated DNA damage.
Prostate cancer; PARP; radiation; senescence; PTEN
Identifying patients prior to treatment who are more likely to benefit from chemotherapeutic agents or more likely to experience adverse events is the aim of personalized medicine. Pharmacogenomics offers a potential means of achieving this through the discovery of predictive germline genetic biomarkers. When applied particularly to the treatment of head and neck cancers, such information could offer significant benefit to patients as a means of potentially reducing morbidity associated with platinum-based chemotherapy. We developed a genome-wide cell-based approach to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with platinum susceptibility and then evaluated these SNPs as predictors for response and toxicity in head and neck cancer patients treated with platinum-based therapy as part of a phase II clinical trial. Sixty head and neck cancer patients were evaluated. Of 45 genome-wide SNPs examined, we found that two SNPs, rs6870861 (p=0.004; false discovery rate [FDR] <0.05) and rs2551038 (p=0.005; FDR <0.05), were significantly associated with overall response to carboplatin-based induction chemotherapy when incorporated into a model along with total carboplatin exposure. Interestingly, these two SNPs are strongly associated with the baseline expression of ≥20 genes (all p≤10−4) and two of the genes (SLC22A5 and SLCO4C1) are important organic cation/anion transporters known to affect platinum uptake and clearance. Several other SNPs were nominally associated with carboplatin-related hematologic toxicities. These findings importantly demonstrate that a genome-wide cell-based model can identify novel germline genetic biomarkers of platinum susceptibility which are replicable in a clinical setting with treated cancer patients and appear clinically meaningful for potentially enabling future personalization of care in such patients.
pharmacogenomics; platinating agents; head and neck cancers
Despite high initial remission rates, most lymphomas relapse and require further therapy. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is a validated target in mantle cell lymphoma, but has not been extensively evaluated in other lymphomas.
Patients and Methods
We performed a phase II trial of single-agent temsirolimus 25-mg weekly in patients with relapsed aggressive and indolent lymphomas. The primary objective was overall and complete response rate. Patients were stratified by histology: group A (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, transformed follicular lymphoma), group B (follicular lymphoma), and group C (chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, and other indolent lymphomas).
Eighty-nine patients were treated, with outcome strongly dependent on histology. Group A had an overall and complete response rate of 28.1% and 12.5%, respectively, and median progression-free survival (PFS) of 2.6 months and median overall survival (OS) of 7.2 months. Group B had overall and complete response rates of 53.8% and 25.6%, respectively, and median PFS of 12.7 months; median OS has not yet been reached. Group C had a partial response rate of 11% with no complete responders. Toxicity was mainly mild and/or reversible myelosuppression and mucositis; however, four patients developed pneumonitis.
Single-agent temsirolimus has significant activity in both diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, although the durability of responses and PFS are longer for patients with follicular lymphoma. This is the first report of substantial activity of temsirolimus in lymphomas other than mantle cell lymphoma, and supports further evaluation of mTOR as a target in these diseases.
The number of targeted small molecules being developed in oncology is increasing rapidly. Many of these are designed to inhibit multiple kinases so mechanisms of responsiveness and predictive biomarkers can be difficult to discern. In fact, with few exceptions, multi-kinase inhibitors are developed with limited mechanism-based patient selection. Enzastaurin is a multi-kinase inhibitor being studied in several malignancies that we hypothesized would be active in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) since it inhibits classic and novel protein kinase C isoforms. Indeed, enzastaurin reduced growth of SQ-20B and CAL27 tumor xenografts, decreased proliferation in these cell lines, inhibited putative target phosphorylation, and induced cell cycle arrest. Gene expression arrays confirmed that expression of cell cycle genes, including cyclins D and E, were significantly altered by exposure to enzastaurin. However, testing a panel of SCCHN cell lines revealed variable sensitivity to enzastaurin which correlated significantly with baseline cyclin D1 protein expression. Moreover, sensitivity and resistance could be reversed, respectively, by expression or depletion of cyclin D1. Furthermore, analysis of sensitive and resistant cell lines revealed distinct differences in cyclin D1 regulation. Enzastaurin modulated cyclin D1 synthesis via an AKT regulated pathway in the former while high level CCND1 gene amplification was present in the latter. These results underscore the critical relevance of cellular signaling context in developing cancer therapies, in general, and suggest that enzastaurin, in particular, would be most effective in tumors where baseline cyclin D1 expression is low to moderate and physiologically regulated.
Head and Neck Cancer; Cyclin D1; AKT; AGC kinases
Inhibition of angiogenesis is a novel strategy for the treatment of cancer. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of cediranib, a potent small molecule inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, in patients with refractory or recurrent small cell lung cancer (SCLC).
SCLC patients with progression following prior platinum-based chemotherapy only, performance status (PS) of 0-2 and adequate bone marrow, renal and hepatic function were included. The dose of cediranib was 45 mg PO QD for the first 12 patients, and was reduced to 30 mg PO QD for the subsequent patients due to intolerance of the higher dose. Treatment was given on a daily continuous schedule. The primary endpoint was determination of the response rate.
Twenty five patients were enrolled. Patient characteristics: male 13; median age - 61; PS: 0 -12 pts, 1- 12 pts. A median of 2 cycles were administered. Salient grade 3/4 toxicities were fatigue, diarrhea, hypertension, proteinuria and elevated liver enzymes. Tolerability was better with the 30 mg QD dose. Nine patients had stable disease, but none had a confirmed partial response. The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 2 and 6 months respectively. Response criteria to proceed to full accrual were not met. Increase in circulating endothelial cell count was noted at the time of progression in several patients.
Cediranib failed to demonstrate objective responses in recurrent or refractory SCLC at the dose and schedule evaluated. The 45 mg dose was intolerable in a majority of SCLC patients.
Assess efficacy and toxicity of gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, added to, and in maintenance after, concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in locally advanced head and neck cancer (LA-HNC) and correlate outcomes with EGFR gene copy number alterations.
Patients and Methods
Patients with stage III to IV LA-HNC received two cycles of carboplatin/paclitaxel induction chemotherapy (IC) followed by split-course CCRT with fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, twice daily radiotherapy (FHX), and gefitinib (250 mg daily) followed by continued gefitinib for 2 years total. The primary end point was complete response (CR) rate after CCRT. EGFR gene copy number was assessed by fluorescent in situ hybridization.
Sixty-nine patients (66 with stage IV disease, 37 with oropharynx primary tumors, and 67 with performance status 0 to 1) were enrolled with a median age of 55 years. Predominant grade 3 or 4 toxicities during IC and CCRT were neutropenia (n = 20) and in-field mucositis (n = 59) and dermatitis (n = 23), respectively. CR rate after CCRT was 90%. After median follow-up of 3.5 years, 4-year overall, progression-free, and disease-specific survival rates were 74%, 72%, and 89%, respectively. To date, one patient has developed a second primary tumor in the aerodigestive tract. In 31 patients with available tissue, high EGFR gene copy number was associated with worse overall survival (P = .02).
Gefitinib can be administered with FHX and as maintenance therapy for at least 2 years, demonstrating CR and survival rates that compare favorably with prior experience. High EGFR gene copy number may be associated with poor outcome in patients with LA-HNC treated with this regimen.
In recent years, there has been tremendous growth and interest in translational research, particularly in cancer biology. This area of study clearly establishes the connection between laboratory experimentation and practical human application. Though it is common for laboratory and clinical data regarding patient specimens to be maintained separately, the storage of such heterogeneous data in one database offers many benefits as it may facilitate more rapid accession of data and provide researchers access to greater numbers of tissue samples.
The Thoracic Oncology Program Database Project was developed to serve as a repository for well-annotated cancer specimen, clinical, genomic, and proteomic data obtained from tumor tissue studies. The TOPDP is not merely a library—it is a dynamic tool that may be used for data mining and exploratory analysis. Using the example of non-small cell lung cancer cases within the database, this study will demonstrate how clinical data may be combined with proteomic analyses of patient tissue samples in determining the functional relevance of protein over and under expression in this disease.
Clinical data for 1323 patients with non-small cell lung cancer has been captured to date. Proteomic studies have been performed on tissue samples from 105 of these patients. These tissues have been analyzed for the expression of 33 different protein biomarkers using tissue microarrays. The expression of 15 potential biomarkers was found to be significantly higher in tumor versus matched normal tissue. Proteins belonging to the receptor tyrosine kinase family were particularly likely to be over expressed in tumor tissues. There was no difference in protein expression across various histologies or stages of non-small cell lung cancer. Though not differentially expressed between tumor and non-tumor tissues, the over expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) was associated improved overall survival. However, this finding is preliminary and warrants further investigation.
Though the database project is still under development, the application of such a database has the potential to enhance our understanding of cancer biology and will help researchers to identify targets to modify the course of thoracic malignancies.
To determine the efficacy and safety of single agent sorafenib, an oral multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with advanced uterine carcinoma and carcinosarcoma.
This multi-institutional non-randomized phase II trial enrolled two cohorts: patients with uterine carcinoma (cohort A) and uterine carcinosarcoma (cohort B). Eligibility criteria included measurable disease, 0–1 prior chemotherapy regimens, and ECOG performance status ≤ 2. Sorafenib at a dose of 400 mg was administered orally twice daily. A cycle was defined as 28 days. Objective tumor response was the primary endpoint and was assessed following every two cycles.
Fifty–six patients (40 with carcinoma, 16 with carcinosarcoma) were enrolled between March 2005 and August 2007. Two (5%) patients with uterine carcinoma had a partial response (PR) and 17 (42.5%) achieved stable disease (SD). Five had SD lasting at least 4 months. The 6-month progression free survival rate for patients with carcinoma was 29%, and the median overall survival was 11.4 months. No patients with carcinosarcoma had an objective response. Four (25%) had SD, and one had SD lasting 18 months. The 6-month progression free survival rate was 13%, and the median overall survival was 5.0 months. Grade 3/4 drug related toxicities included: hypertension (13%), hand-foot syndrome (13%), hypophosphatemia (7%), anemia (5%), rash (5%), diarrhea (5%), thrombosis (5%), fatigue (5%) and bleeding (5%).
Sorafenib had minimal activity in patients with uterine carcinoma. Predictive factors for potential benefit are needed.
To examine the role of both protein kinase C (PKC)-β and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) using respective inhibitors, enzastaurin and KRN633.
Materials and Methods:
MPM cell lines, control cells, and a variety of archived MPM tumor samples were used to determine the protein expression levels of PKC-β, VEGFR-2, VEGF, and p-AKT. Effects of enzastaurin and KRN633 on phosphorylation status of key signaling molecules and viability of the mesothelioma cells were determined. The common soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, was treated with enzastaurin to determine its suitability to screen for highly potent kinase inhibitors.
PKC-β1, PKC-β2 and VEGFR-2/KDR were overexpressed in MPM cell lines and MPM tumor tissues. Enzastaurin treatment resulted in significant loss in viability of VEGF induced cell proliferation; however, the effect of KRN633 was much less. Enzastaurin also dramatically decreased the phosphorylation of PKC-β, its downstream target p-AKT, and surprisingly, the upstream VEGFR-2. The combination of the two drugs at best was additive and similar results were obtained with respect to cell viability. Treatment of C. elegans with enzastaurin resulted in clear phenotypic changes and the worms were hypermotile with abnormal pattern and shape of eggs, suggesting altered fecundity.
PKC-β1 and VEGFR-2 are both excellent therapeutic targets in MPM. Enzastaurin was better at killing MPM cells than KRN633 and the combination lacked synergy. In addition, we show here that C. elegans can be used to screen for the next generation inhibitors as treatment with enzastaurin resulted in clear phenotypic changes that could be assayed.
Enzastaurin; KRN633; malignant pleural mesothelioma; PKC-β; VEGFR-2
SRC is an oncogene with an essential role in the invasiveness and metastasis of solid tumors including small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Dasatinib is a potent inhibitor of SRC as well as other tyrosine kinases. The primary objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of second-line dasatinib in patients with chemo-sensitive (relapse or progression ≥90 days after completing first-line therapy) SCLC.
Patients and Methods:
Patients with measurable disease, performance status (PS) 0-1, no more than 1 prior platinum-based chemotherapy regimen, and adequate hematologic, hepatic, and renal function were eligible. Dasatinib was administered orally at 70 mg twice daily continuously (1 cycle = 21 days) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Response was determined after every 2 cycles. Patients were followed until disease progression or death. The study was prospectively designed to simultaneously discriminate between complete plus partial response rates of 5% versus 20% and progression-free survival (PFS) rates at 6 weeks of 50% versus 70.7% in 53 evaluable patients with at least 92% power. The study was to be terminated early and declared negative if 1 or less objective response and 14 or fewer instances of PFS ≥ 6 weeks were observed among the initial 27 patients; however, patient accrual continued while the initial 27 patients were evaluated.
Between 4/2007 and 12/2008, 45 patients were enrolled, but one patient never received any protocol therapy and one patient was ineligible: male/female, 17/26; white/black/unknown, 40/2/1; median age, 64 (range, 35-84) years; and PS 0/1, 12/31. No objective response was recorded among the 43 eligible and treated patients. Among the initial 27 patients, only 13 instances of PFS ≥ 6 weeks were observed. With a median follow up time of 7.1 months, median estimated overall survival and PFS times for the 43 eligible and treated patients were 17.0 and 5.9 weeks, respectively. Common reasons for removal of patients from protocol treatment were progressive disease (65%) and adverse events (26%). Toxicity was generally mild to moderate: grade 3 events of >5% frequency included fatigue, and pleural and pericardial effusions; and no grade 4 or 5 events were encountered.
Dasatinib did not reach our specified efficacy criteria in this clinical setting, and the study was terminated.
Phase II; Dasatinib; Small cell lung cancer
The optimal treatment for medically inoperable stage I non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been defined.
Patients and Methods
Cancer and Leukemia Group B trial 39904 prospectively assessed accelerated, once-daily, three-dimensional radiotherapy for early-stage NSCLC. The primary objectives were to define the maximally accelerated course of conformal radiotherapy and to describe the short-term and long-term toxicity of therapy. Entry was limited to patients with clinical stage T1N0 or T2N0 NSCLC (< 4 cm) and pulmonary dysfunction. The nominal total radiotherapy dose remained at 70 Gy, while the number of daily fractions in each successive cohort was reduced.
Thirty-nine eligible patients were accrued (eight patients each on cohorts 1 to 4 and seven patients on cohort 5) between January 2001 and July 2005. One grade 3 nonhematologic toxicity was observed in both cohort 3 (dyspnea) and cohort 4 (pain). The major response rate was 77%. After a median follow-up time of 53 months, the actuarial median survival time of all eligible patients was 38.5 months. Local relapse was observed in three patients.
Accelerated conformal radiotherapy was well tolerated in a high-risk population with clinical stage I NSCLC. Outcomes are comparable to prospective reports of alternative therapies, including stereotactic body radiation therapy and limited resection, with less apparent severe toxicity. Further investigation of this approach is warranted.
During the last 25 years, National Cancer Institute (NCI) cooperative trial groups have extended trial networks from academic centers to include certain community and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) centers. We compared trial patients' attributes and outcomes by these enrollment settings.
Patients and Methods
Studying 2,708 patients on one of 10 cooperative group, randomized lung trials at 272 institutions, we compared patient attributes by enrollment setting (ie, academic, community, and VHA affiliates). We used adjusted Cox regression to evaluate for survival differences by setting.
Main member institutions enrolled 44% of patients; community affiliates enrolled 44%; and VHAs enrolled 12%. Patient attributes (ie, case-mix) of age, ethnicity, sex, and performance status varied by enrollment setting. After analysis was adjusted for patient case-mix, no mortality differences by enrollment setting were noted.
Although trial patients with primarily advanced-stage lung cancer from nonacademic centers were older and had worse performance statuses than those from academic centers, survival did not differ by enrollment setting after analysis accounted for patient heterogeneity. An answer for whether long-term outcomes for patients at community and VHA centers affiliated with cooperative trial groups are equivalent to those at academic centers when care is delivered through NCI trials requires additional research among patients with longer survival horizons.
Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, exerts anticancer effects by both histone and nonhistone–mediated mechanisms. It also enhances the anticancer effects of platinum compounds and taxanes in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. This phase II randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study evaluated the efficacy of vorinostat in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with advanced-stage NSCLC.
Patients and Methods
Patients with previously untreated stage IIIB (ie, wet) or IV NSCLC were randomly assigned (2:1) to carboplatin (area under the curve, 6 mg/mL × min) and paclitaxel (200 mg/m2 day 3) with either vorinostat (400 mg by mouth daily) or placebo. Vorinostat or placebo was given on days 1 through 14 of each 3-week cycle to a maximum of six cycles. The primary end point was comparison of the response rate.
Ninety-four patients initiated protocol therapy. Baseline patient characteristics were similar between the two arms. The median number of cycles was four for both treatment arms. The confirmed response rate was 34% with vorinostat versus 12.5% with placebo (P = .02). There was a trend toward improvement in median progression-free survival (6.0 months v 4.1 months; P = .48) and overall survival (13.0 months v 9.7 months; P = .17) in the vorinostat arm. Grade 4 platelet toxicity was more common with vorinostat (18% v 3%; P < .05). Nausea, emesis, fatigue, dehydration, and hyponatremia also were more frequent with vorinostat.
Vorinostat enhances the efficacy of carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with advanced NSCLC. HDAC inhibition is a promising therapeutic strategy for treatment of NSCLC.
Single agent epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) have demonstrated reproducible response rates of 5–15% in treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHN). The subset of patients that benefits most from these agents remains unknown. We reviewed individual patient data from 5 clinical trials of erlotinib, lapatinib, or gefitinib to determine if there are clinical characteristics that are associated with clinical benefit defined as complete response (CR), partial response (PR), and stable disease (SD) >4 months. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). 319 subjects were included. Observed responses were: 1% CR, 6% PR, 24% SD >4mo, 18% SD < 4mo, 45% progressive disease (PD), 7% not evaluable (NE). The median OS was 6.4 months and the median PFS was 2.7 months. The most common toxicities observed were rash (grade 1 in 37%, grade 2 in 33%, grade 3+ in 6%) and diarrhea (grade 1 in 30%, grade 2 in 10%, grade 3+ in 5%). Performance status (PS) (p=0.04), older age (p=0.02), and development of rash (p<0.01), diarrhea (p=0.03), or oral side effects (p=0.02) were independently associated with clinical benefit. Older age, better PS, and development of rash were associated with longer PFS and OS. Clinical parameters that appear to predict response to EGFR TKI include PS and age. EGFR mechanistic toxicities that develop during therapy are also highly associated with benefit and suggest a relationship between drug exposure and outcome.
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor; Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor; Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Meta-analysis