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1.  Block sequential adriamycin CMF – optimal non-myeloablative chemotherapy for high risk adjuvant breast cancer? 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;87(12):1365-1369.
After the publication of the 10-year survival data from Milan on the adjuvant use of the block sequential regimen consisting of four cycles of adriamycin followed by eight cycles of intravenous CMF, many centres adopted this as standard of care for high risk, multiple node-positive breast cancer. For this reason it was identified as the standard arm for the Anglo-Celtic adjuvant high-dose chemotherapy trial. This study reports on the experience of this regimen in 329 women with early breast cancer involving at least four axillary nodes, who were treated outside any adjuvant chemotherapy trial. At a median follow-up of 3 years, the overall 5-year disease-free survival is 61%, and the overall survival is 70%. These data confirm the efficacy of this regimen in non-trial patients, and, for the same high risk subgroup, indicate that this approach offers an outcome at least as good as that seen in the CALGB 9344 AC-Taxol arm, and the NCIC days 1 and 8 CEF.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 1365–1369. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600660 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600660
PMCID: PMC2376297  PMID: 12454763
anthracycline; adjuvant; breast cancer; survival
2.  A preliminary comparison of total skin electron treatment techniques to demonstrate the application of a mid-torso phantom for measurement of dose penetration 
The British Journal of Radiology  2011;84(1008):1125-1130.
Objectives
In the UK, the treatment of patients with mycosis fungoides using total skin electron (TSE) beam therapy is undertaken using a number of different irradiation techniques. As part of a review of these techniques, a comparative set of measurements would be useful to determine how the techniques differ in terms of dose distribution. A dose penetration intercomparison method that could be used as part of such a study is presented here.
Methods
The dose penetrations for six treatment techniques currently or recently used in four centres in the UK were measured. The variation of dose with skin depth was measured in a WT1 solid water mid-torso phantom. The phantom is portable and suitable to be used in all the techniques. It is designed to hold four small radiochromic film dosemeters to investigate the variation in dose around the mid-torso. For each treatment technique, the phantom was irradiated using the clinical set-up.
Results
The phantom performed well and was able to measure dose penetration and the uniformity of penetration for several treatment techniques.
Conclusion
These preliminary results demonstrate that there is some variation in dose distribution between different TSE treatment techniques and that the phantom could be used in a more comprehensive intercomparison. The results are not intended to demonstrate comprehensively the range of penetration that can be achieved in clinical practice as, for one of the treatment techniques, the penetration is customised for the extent of the disease.
doi:10.1259/bjr/52924135
PMCID: PMC3473835  PMID: 21304004
3.  NEAT: National Epirubicin Adjuvant Trial – toxicity, delivered dose intensity and quality of life 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;99(8):1226-1231.
The NEAT trial reported considerable benefit for ECMF (epirubicin followed by cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil) of 28% for relapse-free survival (RFS) and 30% for overall survival (OS), when compared with classical CMF in early breast cancer. To assess tolerability, toxicity, dose intensity and quality of life (QoL) analyses were undertaken. All 2021 eligible patients had common toxicity criteria (CTC), delivered chemotherapy and supportive treatments details and long-term morbidities recorded. The QoL substudy used multiple validated measures. ECMF produced low CTC scores, although higher than CMF for nausea, vomiting, alopecia, constipation, stomatitis (P<0.001), infection (P=0.001) and fatigue (P=0.03). Supportive treatments required, however, were similar across randomised treatments. On-treatment deaths were more common with CMF (13) than ECMF(5). Optimal course-delivered dose intensity (CDDI ⩾85%) was received more often by ECMF patients (83 vs 76%: P=0.0002), and was associated with better RFS (P=0.0006). QoL over 2 years was equivalent across treatments, despite minimally worse side effects for ECMF during treatment. ECMF benefit spanned all levels of toxicity, CDDI and QoL. There are no reported acute myeloid leukaemias or cardiac dysfunctions. ECMF is tolerable, deliverable, and significantly more effective than CMF, with no serious long-term toxicity or QoL detriment.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604674
PMCID: PMC2570521  PMID: 18797468
NEAT; breast cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy toxicity; dose intensity; quality of life
4.  Measurement of thyroglobulin mRNA in peripheral blood as an adjunctive test for monitoring thyroid cancer 
Molecular Pathology  2003;56(3):162-166.
Aims: Monitoring treated patients with thyroid cancer for recurrent or metastatic disease is currently based upon the serial measurement of circulating plasma thyroglobulin (Tg) concentrations. However, the clinical usefulness of Tg immunoassays is limited by poor sensitivity and interference from anti-Tg antibodies. This study investigated whether the detection of Tg mRNA in peripheral blood, using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), is of value in the biochemical surveillance of patients with thyroid cancer.
Methods: RNA was extracted from peripheral blood of five normal controls, six patients with abnormal thyroid function tests, and 28 patients who had undergone thyroidectomy for well differentiated thyroid cancer. From each, an 87 bp product from base pair 262 to 348 in the cDNA sequence of the thyroglobulin gene was amplified by RT-PCR.
Results: Tg mRNA was detected in normal individuals and patients with thyroid cancer. In the group of patients studied, identification of metastatic thyroid tissue by radioiodine scanning correlated better with Tg mRNA assay results than with serum Tg concentrations (accuracy 84% v 75%). No interference from circulating Tg antibodies was apparent. In patients studied prospectively over a 12 month period, there was a significant correlation between detectable Tg mRNA in peripheral blood and the presence or absence of metastatic disease, as demonstrated by radioiodine scanning.
Conclusions: These results suggest that detection of Tg mRNA in blood is a more sensitive marker for metastatic thyroid disease than Tg immunoassay, and appears to be unaffected by the presence of circulating anti-Tg antibodies.
PMCID: PMC1187312  PMID: 12782763
thyroglobulin mRNA; thyroid cancer
5.  West Midlands Oncology Association trials of adjuvant chemotherapy in operable breast cancer: results after a median follow-up of 7 years. I. Patients with involved axillary lymph nodes. 
British Journal of Cancer  1989;60(6):911-918.
The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a regimen of combination chemotherapy known to be active in advanced breast cancer when given as an adjuvant treatment after mastectomy. A total of 569 patients with cancer of the breast and involvement of axillary lymph nodes were randomised, after simple mastectomy with axillary sampling, to receive either no adjuvant treatment or intravenous adriamycin 50 mg, vincristine 1 mg, cyclophosphamide 250 mg, methotrexate 150 mg and fluorouracil 250 mg (AVCMF) every 21 days for eight cycles. Randomisation was stratified according to menopausal status and tumour size. Treatment was started within 14 days of surgery in 94% of patients. Eighty-eight per cent of patients received at least seven cycles of chemotherapy with no dose reduction. The median relapse-free survival was prolonged by 14 months in patients treated with AVCMF (chi2 1 = 11.7; P = 0.0006). In the premenopausal group this period was 17 months (chi2 1 = 8.8; P = 0.003) compared with 8 months in the post-menopausal group (chi2 1 = 3.3; P = 0.07). Neither overall survival nor survival in these subgroups was significantly influenced by treatment.
PMCID: PMC2247250  PMID: 2690913
6.  West Midlands Oncology Association trials of adjuvant chemotherapy in operable breast cancer: results after a median follow-up of 7 years. II. Patients without involved axillary lymph nodes. 
British Journal of Cancer  1989;60(6):919-924.
The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a regimen of combination chemotherapy when given as an adjuvant treatment after mastectomy to patients with histologically negative axillary lymph nodes. A total of 574 patients with cancer of the breast and no involvement of axillary lymph nodes were randomised, after simple mastectomy with axillary sampling, to receive either no adjuvant treatment or oral fluorouracil 500 mg, methotrexate 25 mg and chlorambucil 10 mg p.o. on day 1 and fluorouracil 500 mg and chlorambucil 10 mg p.o. on day 2 (LMF) every 21 days for eight cycles. Randomisation was stratified according to menopausal status and tumour size. Treatment was started within 14 days of surgery in 97% of patients. Ninety per cent of patients received eight cycles of chemotherapy with no dose reduction. At a median follow-up of 7 years, there was no evidence that relapse-free or overall survival time were influenced by treatment.
PMCID: PMC2247283  PMID: 2690914
8.  Tumour markers in breast cancer. 
British Journal of Cancer  1979;40(5):710-718.
The clinical usefulness of 8 potential tumour markers has been evaluated in 69 patients with Stage I and II breast cancer and 57 patients with Stage III and IV. Serum CEA concentrations were raised in 13% of patients with local and 65% of those with advanced breast cancer. In patients with clinical evidence of progression or regression of tumour, serum CEA levels changed appropriately in 83% of cases. Taking 4 of the markers (carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), lactalbumin, alpha subunit and haptoglobin) serum concentrations of one or more were raised in 33% of patients with local disease and 81% of those with advanced breast cancer. However, marker concentrations were often only marginally raised, and are unlikely to provide sensitive guide to tumour burden. CEA, lactalbumin and alpha subunit were detectable in 68%, 43% and 40% respectively of extracts of primary breast cancers.
PMCID: PMC2010109  PMID: 92331
11.  Why join a multicentre breast cancer trial? 
British Medical Journal  1979;1(6166):817.
PMCID: PMC1598413  PMID: 435804

Results 1-11 (11)