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1.  Research Participants' High Expectations of Benefit in Early-Phase Oncology Trials: Are We Asking the Right Question? 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;30(35):4396-4400.
Purpose
To determine whether patients' expectations of benefit in early-phase oncology trials depend on how patients are queried and to explore whether expectations are associated with patient characteristics.
Patients and Methods
Participants were 171 patients in phase I or II oncology trials in the United States. After providing informed consent for a trial but before receiving the investigational therapy, participants answered questions about expectations of benefit. We randomly assigned participants to one of three groups corresponding to three queries about expectations: frequency type, belief type, or both. Main outcomes were differences in expectations by question type and the extent to which expectations were associated with demographic characteristics, numeracy, dispositional optimism, religiousness/spirituality, understanding of research, and other measures.
Results
The belief-type group had a higher mean expectation of benefit (64.4 of 100) than the combination group (51.6; P = .01) and the frequency-type group (43.1; P < .001). Mean expectations in the combination and frequency groups were not significantly different (P = .06). Belief-type expectations were associated with a preference for nonquantitative information (r = −0.19; 95% CI, −0.19 to −0.36), knowledge about research (r = −0.21; 95% CI, −0.38 to −0.03), dispositional optimism (r = 0.20; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.37), and spirituality (r = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.38). Frequency-type expectations were associated with knowledge about clinical research (r = −0.27; 95% CI, −0.27 to −0.51).
Conclusion
In early-phase oncology trials, patients' reported expectations of benefit differed according to how patients were queried and were associated with patient characteristics. These findings have implications for how informed consent is obtained and assessed.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.40.6587
PMCID: PMC3615308  PMID: 23091107
2.  Antiangiogenic therapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma: Management of treatment-related toxicities 
Investigational New Drugs  2012;30(5):2066-2079.
Summary
Treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has evolved rapidly over the last two decades as major pathways involved in pathogenesis have been elucidated. These include the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) axis and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Therapies targeting the VEGF pathway include bevacizumab, sorafenib, sunitinib, pazopanib, and axitinib, whereas temsirolimus and everolimus inhibit the mTOR pathway. All of these novel therapies—VEGF and mTOR inhibitors—are associated with a variety of unique toxicities, some of which may necessitate expert medical management, treatment interruption, or dose reduction. Common adverse events with newer drugs include hypertension, skin reactions, gastrointestinal disturbances, thyroid dysfunction, and fatigue. Skilled management of these toxicities is vital to ensure optimal therapeutic dosing and maximize patient outcomes, including improved survival and quality of life. This review describes and compares the toxicity profiles of novel molecularly targeted agents used in the treatment of mRCC and presents guidance on how best to prevent and manage treatment-related toxicities. Particular attention is given to axitinib, the newest agent to enter the armamentarium. Axitinib is a second-generation receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with potent VEGF receptor inhibition that provides durable responses and superior progression-free survival in advanced RCC compared with sorafenib.
doi:10.1007/s10637-012-9796-8
PMCID: PMC3432793  PMID: 22327313
Axitinib; Renal cell carcinoma; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Toxicity; Adverse events
3.  A Phase I, open-label, dose escalation study of afatinib, in a 3-week-on/1-week-off schedule in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Investigational New Drugs  2012;31(2):399-408.
Summary
Background A Phase I study to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and pharmacokinetics of afatinib (BIBW 2992), a novel irreversible ErbB Family Blocker, administered orally once daily in a 3-week-on/1-week-off dosing schedule. Methods Patients with advanced solid tumors received single-agent afatinib at 10, 20, 40, 55 or 65 mg/day. Safety, antitumor activity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic modulation of biomarkers were assessed. Results: Forty-three patients were enrolled. Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) occurred in five patients in the dose escalation phase (1/8 at 40 mg/day; 1/6 at 55 mg/day; 3/6 at 65 mg/day). The MTD was established at 55 mg/day. In the expansion cohort at the MTD, 6 patients experienced a DLT in the first 28-day treatment period. The most frequent DLT was diarrhea. The most common adverse events were diarrhea, rash, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Overall, the afatinib safety profile in a 3-week-on/1-week-off dose schedule was similar to that of our daily-continuous schedule. Afatinib displayed dose-dependent pharmacokinetics at doses up to and including 55 mg/day, with a terminal half-life suitable for once-daily dosing. Signs of clinical antitumor activity were observed. In biopsies taken from clinically normal forearm skin, afatinib caused a reduced proliferation rate, with a concomitant increase in differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. Conclusion Afatinib in a 3-week-on/1-week-off schedule showed a good safety profile. The MTD was 55 mg/day, although excess DLTs in the expansion cohort indicated that the 40 mg/day dose would have an acceptable safety profile for future studies. Dose cohorts between 40 and 55 mg/day were not examined in this study.
doi:10.1007/s10637-012-9890-y
PMCID: PMC3589659  PMID: 23161335
Afatinib; Pharmacokinetics; EGFR; HER2

Results 1-3 (3)