Accuracy and Prognostic Significance of Oncologists’ Estimates and Scenarios for Survival Time in Advanced Gastric Cancer

3 weeks 3 days ago
AbstractBackground.Worst‐case, typical, and best‐case scenarios for survival, based on simple multiples of an individual's expected survival time (EST), estimated by their oncologist, are a useful way of formulating and explaining prognosis. We aimed to determine the accuracy and prognostic significance of oncologists’ estimates of EST, and the accuracy of the resulting scenarios for survival time, in advanced gastric cancer.Materials and Methods.Sixty‐six oncologists estimated the EST at baseline for each of the 152 participants they enrolled in the INTEGRATE trial. We hypothesized that oncologists’ estimates of EST would be unbiased (∼50% would be longer or shorter than the observed survival time [OST]); imprecise (<33% within 0.67–1.33 times the OST); independently predictive of overall survival (OS); and accurate at deriving scenarios for survival time with approximately 10% of patients dying within a quarter of their EST (worst‐case scenario), 50% living within half to double their EST (typical scenario), and 10% living three or more times their EST (best‐case scenario).Results.Oncologists’ estimates of EST were unbiased (45% were shorter than the OST, 55% were longer); imprecise (29% were within 0.67–1.33 times observed); moderately discriminative (Harrell's C‐statistic 0.62, p = .001); and an independently significant predictor of OS (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.83–0.95; p = .001) in a Cox model including performance status, number of metastatic sites, neutrophil‐to‐lymphocyte ratio ≥3, treatment group, age, and health‐related quality of life (EORTC‐QLQC30 physical function score). Scenarios for survival time derived from oncologists’ estimates were remarkably accurate: 9% of patients died within a quarter of their EST, 57% lived within half to double their EST, and 12% lived three times their EST or longer.Conclusion.Oncologists’ estimates of EST were unbiased, imprecise, moderately discriminative, and independently significant predictors of OS. Simple multiples of the EST accurately estimated worst‐case, typical, and best‐case scenarios for survival time in advanced gastric cancer.Implications for Practice.Results of this study demonstrate that oncologists’ estimates of expected survival time for their patients with advanced gastric cancer were unbiased, imprecise, moderately discriminative, and independently significant predictors of overall survival. Simple multiples of the expected survival time accurately estimated worst‐case, typical, and best‐case scenarios for survival time in advanced gastric cancer.
Anuradha Vasista, Martin Stockler, Andrew Martin, Nick Pavlakis, Katrin Sjoquist, David Goldstein, Sanjeev Gill, Vikram Jain, Geoffrey Liu, George Kannourakis, Yeul Hong Kim, Louise Nott, Stephanie Snow, Matthew Burge, Dean Harris, Derek Jonker, Yu Jo…

Severe Epididymo‐Orchitis and Encephalitis Complicating Anti‐PD‐1 Therapy

3 weeks 3 days ago
AbstractBackground.Immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab have emerged as active treatment options for patients with many cancers, including metastatic melanoma, but can also cause symptomatic or life‐threatening immune‐related adverse events, including encephalitis. Epididymitis and orchitis are rare complications of these therapies.Case Presentation.We describe herein a patient with metastatic melanoma who developed epididymo‐orchitis followed by encephalitis while receiving pembrolizumab. The patient developed testicular pain and fever after his third dose of pembrolizumab; ultrasound evaluation demonstrated bilateral epididymo‐orchitis. He then developed headaches, fever, and altered mental status over the next week and was admitted to the hospital. Lumbar puncture revealed inflammatory changes consistent with meningoencephalitis; he did not improve with broad‐spectrum antibiotics, and an extensive workup for infectious etiologies, including cerebrospinal fluid testing using a clinical metagenomic next‐generation sequencing assay, was negative. He received high‐dose steroids for suspected autoimmune encephalitis, and both his orchitis and meningoencephalitis improved rapidly after one dose. He fully recovered after a 5‐week taper of oral steroids.Discussion.Here, we report a case of epididymo‐orchitis complicating immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. This patient subsequently developed severe encephalitis but rapidly improved with steroids. Clinicians should be aware of rare complications of these agents.Key Points. Epididymo‐orchitis is a rare and potentially life‐threatening complication of anti‐programmed death protein 1 (anti‐PD‐1) therapy.For patients on anti‐PD‐1 therapy who develop either epididymo‐orchitis or epididymitis without clear infectious cause, immune‐related adverse events should be considered in the differential diagnosis.If severe, epididymo‐orchitis related to anti‐PD‐1 therapy may be treated with high‐dose corticosteroids.
Henry T. Quach, Charles J. Robbins, Justin M. Balko, Charles Y. Chiu, Steve Miller, Michael R. Wilson, George E. Nelson, Douglas B. Johnson

Clinically Integrated Molecular Diagnostics in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

3 weeks 6 days ago
AbstractBackground.Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive salivary gland malignancy without effective systemic therapies. Delineation of molecular profiles in ACC has led to an increased number of biomarker‐stratified clinical trials; however, the clinical utility and U.S.‐centric financial sustainability of integrated next‐generation sequencing (NGS) in routine practice has, to our knowledge, not been assessed.Materials and Methods.In our practice, NGS genotyping was implemented at the discretion of the primary clinician. We combined NGS‐based mutation and fusion detection, with MYB break‐apart fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and MYB immunohistochemistry. Utility was defined as the fraction of patients with tumors harboring alterations that are potentially amenable to targeted therapies. Financial sustainability was assessed using the fraction of global reimbursement.Results.Among 181 consecutive ACC cases (2011–2018), prospective genotyping was performed in 11% (n = 20/181; n = 8 nonresectable). Testing identified 5/20 (25%) NOTCH1 aberrations, 6/20 (30%) MYB‐NFIB fusions (all confirmed by FISH), and 2/20 (10%) MYBL1‐NFIB fusions. Overall, these three alterations (MYB/MYBL1/NOTCH1) made up 65% of patients, and this subset had a more aggressive course with significantly shorter progression‐free survival. In 75% (n = 6/8) of nonresectable patients, we detected potentially actionable alterations. Financial analysis of the global charges, including NGS codes, indicated 63% reimbursement, which is in line with national (U.S.‐based) and international levels of reimbursementConclusion.Prospective routine clinical genotyping in ACC can identify clinically relevant subsets of patients and is approaching financial sustainability. Demonstrating clinical utility and financial sustainability in an orphan disease (ACC) requires a multiyear and multidimensional program.Implications for Practice.Delineation of molecular profiles in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) has been accomplished in the research setting; however, the ability to identify relevant patient subsets in clinical practice has not been assessed. This work presents an approach to perform integrated molecular genotyping of patients with ACC with nonresectable, recurrent, or systemic disease. It was determined that 75% of nonresectable patients harbor potentially actionable alterations and that 63% of charges are reimbursed. This report outlines that orphan diseases such as ACC require a multiyear, multidimensional program to demonstrate utility in clinical practice.
Julia Thierauf, Nisha Ramamurthy, Vickie Y. Jo, Hayley Robinson, Ryan P. Frazier, Jonathan Gonzalez, Macie&#x0237; Pacula, Enrique Dominguez Meneses, Vania Nose, Valentina Nardi, Dora Dias-Santagata, Long P. Le, Derrick T. Lin, William C. Faquin, Lori J…

Attitudes and Barriers to Research Among Oncology Trainees in East Africa

3 weeks 6 days ago
AbstractBackground.East Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and faces a rising burden of cancer; however, few people are equipped to effectively conduct research in this area.Materials and Methods.A 31‐item questionnaire was distributed to current trainees and recent graduates of the Master in Medicine in Clinical Oncology Program at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. Areas that were assessed included (a) demographic information, (b) prior research training, (c) prior and current research activities, (d) attitudes toward the importance of research, and (e) supports and barriers to inclusion of research in an oncology career path.Results.A total of 30 individuals responded to the survey, of whom 53% (n = 16) were male and 70% (n = 21) identified as current trainees. Among the majority of respondents, attitudes toward research were strongly favorable. Although only 37% (n = 11) reported receiving any formal training in research methodology, 87% (n = 26) reported intentions to incorporate research into their careers. The absence of protected time for research and lack of access to research funding opportunities were identified by a majority of respondents as critical barriers.Conclusion.A majority of current or recent oncology trainees in Tanzania desire to incorporate research into their careers, but most also lack adequate training in research methodology and longitudinal mentorship. Our future collaboration will focus on creation of appropriate research training curriculums and fostering an environment that catalyzes interprofessional development and transforms and extends context‐specific cancer research in East Africa.Implications for Practice.Current and recent oncology trainees in East Africa expressed a high enthusiasm for research, driven by a sense of urgency related to the burden from cancer that the region faces. This highlights the need for cancer research training and mentorship in this setting. This work hypothesizes that African principal investigators can operate effectively if proper attention is given to selection and provision of high‐quality foundational didactic training to learn the theory and implementation of research as well as to the development of an environment conducive to mentoring.
Fidel Rubagumya, Sarah K. Nyagabona, Khadija H. Msami, Achille Manirakiza, Ahuka N. Longombe, Theoneste Maniragaba, Hilary Chan, Alan Paciorek, Li Zhang, Emmanuel Balandya, Leyna H. Germana, Elia J. Mmbaga, Nazima Dharsee, Katherine Van Loon

microRNA‐431 as a Chemosensitizer and Potentiator of Drug Activity in Adrenocortical Carcinoma

4 weeks 1 day ago
AbstractBackground.Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare endocrine cancer with treatments limited in efficacy for metastatic disease. New molecular targeted therapies have yet to improve patient outcomes. In contrast, established treatment regimens of adrenolytics and chemotherapy have demonstrated treatment benefit, although admittedly in a minority of patients. Identification of microRNAs (miRNAs) in patients responsive to adjuvant therapy may offer a means to sensitize patients with progressive disease to existing adjuvant regimens.Materials and Methods.Samples from primary ACC tumors of 10 Stage IV patients were examined for differentially expressed miRNAs between a “sensitive” and “resistant” cohort. Candidate microRNAs were restored via transfection in two functional ACC cell lines. Gain of function and effects on apoptosis and cell cycle were assessed.Results.microRNA‐431 (miR‐431) was underexpressed in patients with ACC with progressive disease undergoing adjuvant therapy. Restoration of miR‐431 in vitro decreased the half maximal inhibitory concentrations of doxorubicin and mitotane, with markedly increased apoptosis. We found that a reversal of epithelial‐mesenchymal transition underlies the action of miR‐431 with doxorubicin treatment, with Zinc Finger E‐Box Binding Homeobox 1 implicated as the molecular target of miR‐431 in ACC.Conclusion.This is the first report of the potential of miRNA therapy to sensitize ACC to current established adjuvant therapy regimens, which may mitigate the resistance underlying treatment failure in patients with advanced ACC. Effective and well‐studied methods of targeted miRNA delivery in existence hints at the imminent translatability of these findings.Implications for Practice.Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare endocrine cancer with outcomes not improving despite extensive research and new targeted therapies. Mitotane and etoposide/doxorubicin/cisplatin chemotherapy is trial validated for improved recurrence‐free survival. However, a minority of patients experience sustained benefit. Significant side effects exist for this regimen, with patients often unable to attain target drug doses shown to give survival benefit. This preclinical study examines the role of microRNAs in sensitizing ACC to doxorubicin or mitotane. This study offers an important bridge between new and existing cancer treatments, offering an imminently translatable approach to the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma.
Grace T.Y. Kwok, Jing Ting Zhao, Anthony R. Glover, Anthony J. Gill, Roderick Clifton-Bligh, Bruce G. Robinson, Julian C.Y. Ip, Stan B. Sidhu

Clinical and Prognostic Characteristics of 53 Cases of Extracranial Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor in Children. A Single‐Institute Experience from 2007 to 2017

4 weeks 2 days ago
AbstractBackground.The aim of this study is to add to the current knowledge regarding extracranial malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT), a rare and highly aggressive tumor that occurs most commonly in infants and young children.Patients and Methods.A retrospective medical record review was conducted on 53 patients with pathologically confirmed MRT in Beijing Children's Hospital between January 2007 and October 2017.Results.Fifty‐three patients were diagnosed with MRT at a median age of 16 months, including 32 cases of malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney (MRTK) and 21 cases of extrarenal extracranial rhabdoid tumor (EERT). Fourteen (14/32, 43.75%) patients with MRTK and five (5/21, 23.81%) patients with EERT had metastases at diagnosis, and quite a few number of cases occurred tumor rupture (26.42%). Among the 53 patients, 40 (75.47%) patients died, 10 (18.87%) patients survived, and 3 patients (5.66%) were lost to follow‐up. Among the 40 dead patients, 38 patients died from rapid progression of the disease or tumor recurrence, and 2 patients died of severe postoperative complications. Most of the recurrent or relapsed cases (94.11%) occurred within 8 months, with a median time of 76 days after diagnosis. The overall survival rates of 3 years and 5 years for the entire cohort were 23.71% and 18.44%, respectively. After survival analysis, it was clear that a younger age at diagnosis and distant stage patients had relatively poor outcomes. The effect of treatment was the most difficult to analyze because patients were not treated uniformly. Statistically significant differences in survival were noted among patients treated with standard chemotherapy, total resection, and radiotherapy.Conclusion.Extracranial MRT is still a highly aggressive tumor in children. Younger patients and those suffering from metastatic disease were most likely to have a poor outcome because of rapid progression or recurrence of the tumor.Implications for Practice.This is the largest single‐institutional report that investigates the clinical characteristics and outcomes of extracranial malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT) in China. Our study showed that gross hematuria and tumor rupture were typical characteristics of malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney. After survival analysis, it was found that the advanced stage of the tumor and an age ≤12 months at diagnosis were significantly associated with poorer survival. Although extracranial MRT is still a highly aggressive tumor in children, multimodal treatment approach, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, should be employed for this disease.
Haiyan Cheng, Shen Yang, Siyu Cai, Xiaoli Ma, Hong Qin, Weiping Zhang, Libing Fu, Qi Zeng, Mingjie Wen, Xiaoxia Peng, Huanmin Wang

Role of Targeted Therapy and Immune Checkpoint Blockers in Advanced Non‐Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Review

4 weeks 2 days ago
AbstractAdvanced non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a complex disease comprising molecularly distinct tumor types, each with a unique biology that is becoming increasingly better characterized. The aim of this review is to present an optimized treatment schema and the accompanying diagnostic testing approach for patients with advanced NSCLC. There are a number of therapies currently approved for patients with advanced NSCLC, including agents that target particular oncogenic drivers, as well as immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs) that elicit an antitumor response. Identification of genetic alterations (e.g., epidermal growth factor receptor, anaplastic lymphoma kinase, reactive oxygen species proto‐oncogene 1, B‐Raf proto‐oncogene) or programmed cell death ligand‐1 expression levels in NSCLC requires diligent molecular testing at initial diagnosis and, in some cases, at disease progression to ensure the most efficacious treatment is delivered. Accurate molecular diagnostic testing, along with the careful selection of currently approved targeted agents, ICBs, or systemic chemotherapy, provides therapy that is personalized according to patients’ needs to achieve the best possible outcome. Enrollment in clinical trials that further the development of tailored therapies is highly recommended at all stages of treatment.Implications for Practice.Targeted therapies and immune checkpoint blockers provide effective and tailored options for patients with non‐small cell lung cancer. Careful molecular analysis of tumor samples is necessary to identify the genetic alterations that are present, to ensure that each patient receives the most efficacious treatment for their specific tumor type. Personalized therapy provides each patient with the best probability for prolonged survival. Enrolling patients in clinical trials should be the first consideration before making each treatment decision.
Nagla Abdel Karim, Karen Kelly

FDA Approval Summary: Brentuximab Vedotin in First‐Line Treatment of Peripheral T‐Cell Lymphoma

4 weeks 2 days ago
AbstractIn November 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved brentuximab vedotin (BV) for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma or other CD30‐expressing peripheral T‐cell lymphomas (PTCL), including angioimmunoblastic T‐cell lymphoma and PTCL not otherwise specified, in combination with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone (CHP). Approval was based on ECHELON‐2, a randomized, double‐blind, actively controlled trial that compared BV+CHP with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) in 452 patients with newly diagnosed, CD30‐expressing PTCL. Efficacy was based on independent review facility‐assessed progression‐free survival (PFS). The median PFS was 48.2 months with BV+CHP versus 20.8 months with CHOP, resulting in a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.71 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54–0.93). The trial also demonstrated improvement in overall survival (HR 0.66; 95% CI: 0.46–0.95), complete response rate (68% vs. 56%), and overall response rate (83% vs. 72%) with BV+CHP. The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥20%) observed ≥2% more with BV+CHP were nausea, diarrhea, fatigue or asthenia, mucositis, pyrexia, vomiting, and anemia. Peripheral neuropathy rates were similar (52% with BV+CHP, 55% with CHOP). Through the Real‐Time Oncology Review pilot program, which allows FDA early access to key data, FDA granted this approval less than 2 weeks after official submission of the application.Implications for Practice.This is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of patients with newly diagnosed peripheral T‐cell lymphomas (PTCL). Improvement in progression‐free and overall survival over cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone chemotherapy, which has been the standard of care for decades, is unprecedented. The new regimen represents a major advance for the frontline treatment of patients with CD30‐expressing PTCL.
Nicholas C. Richardson, Yvette L. Kasamon, Haiyan Chen, R. Angelo de Claro, Jingjing Ye, Gideon M. Blumenthal, Ann T. Farrell, Richard Pazdur

Value of Tumor Growth Rate (TGR) as an Early Biomarker Predictor of Patients’ Outcome in Neuroendocrine Tumors (NET)—The GREPONET Study

1 month ago
AbstractIntroduction.Tumor growth rate (TGR; percent size change per month [%/m]) is postulated to be an early radiological biomarker to overcome limitations of RECIST. This study aimed to assess the impact of TGR in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and potential clinical and therapeutic applications.Materials and Methods.Patients (pts) with advanced grade (G) 1/2 NETs from the pancreas or small bowel initiating systemic treatment (ST) or watch and wait (WW) were eligible. Baseline and follow‐up scans were retrospectively reviewed to calculate TGR at pretreatment (TGR0), first follow‐up (TGRfirst), and 3(±1) months of study entry (TGR3m).Results.Out of 905 pts screened, 222 were eligible. Best TGRfirst (222 pts) cutoff was 0.8 (area under the curve, 0.74). When applied to TGR3m (103 pts), pts with TGR3m <0.8 (66.9%) versus TGR3m ≥ 0.8 (33.1%) had longer median progression‐free survival (PFS; 26.3 m; 95% confidence interval [CI] 19.5–32.4 vs. 9.3 m; 95% CI, 6.1–22.9) and lower progression rate at 12 months (7.3% vs. 56.8%; p = .001). WW (vs. ST) and TGR3m ≥ 0.8 (hazard ratio [HR], 3.75; 95% CI, 2.21–6.34; p < .001) were retained as factors associated with a shorter PFS in multivariable Cox regression. TGR3m (HR, 3.62; 95% CI, 1.97–6.64; p < .001) was also an independent factor related to shorter PFS when analysis was limited to pts with stable disease (81 pts). Out of the 60 pts with TGR0 data available, 60% of pts had TGR0 < 4%/month. TGR0 ≥ 4 %/month (HR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.15–4.31; p = .018) was also an independent factor related to shorter PFS.Conclusion.TGR is an early radiological biomarker able to predict PFS and to identify patients with advanced NETs who may require closer radiological follow‐up.Implications for Practice.Tumor growth rate at 3 months (TGR3m) is an early radiological biomarker able to predict progression‐free survival and to identify patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors who may require closer radiological follow‐up. It is feasible to calculate TGR3m in clinical practice and it could be a useful tool for guiding patient management. This biomarker could also be implemented in future clinical trials to assess response to therapy.
Angela Lamarca, Joakim Crona, Maxime Ronot, Marta Opalinska, Carlos Lopez Lopez, Daniela Pezzutti, Pavan Najran, Luciana Carvhalo, Regis Otaviano Franca Bezerra, Philip Borg, Naik Vietti Violi, Hector Vidal Trueba, Louis de Mestier, Niklaus Schaefer,…

Clinical Characteristics and Prognostic Factors of Patients with Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma with Fever: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis

1 month ago
AbstractBackground.Patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) rarely present fever as the initial symptom. We aimed to identify clinical characteristics and prognostic factors for these feverish patients.Subjects, Materials, and Methods.This study retrospectively reviewed 31 patients with ICC with fever (≥38.0°C) treated at our hospital between January 2002 and December 2014. A propensity score was used to match patients with and without fever at a ratio of 1:2.Results.Patients with ICC with fever had higher serum γ‐glutamyl transferase and carcinoembryonic antigen levels, larger tumors, poorer tumor differentiation, and worse prognosis (all p < .05) than those without fever. This was supported by propensity score matching (PSM) analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that microvascular invasion, hilar lymph node metastasis, and temperature ≥ 38.6°C were related to prognosis. Patients with ICC with fever had higher levels of leucocytes, neutrophils, neutrophil‐to‐lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and platelet‐to‐lymphocyte ratio (PLR) in peripheral blood before and after PSM analysis. Body temperature positively correlated with leucocytes (r = 0.599, p < .001), neutrophils (r = 0.644, p < .001), NLR (r = 0.681, p < .001), and PLR (r = 0.457, p = .010).Conclusion.Patients with ICC with fever ≥38.0°C and ≥38.6°C had poor and extremely poor prognosis, respectively. Radical surgical treatment may improve the prognosis of patients with ICC with fever <38.6°C. However, systemic therapy (e.g., anti‐inflammatory and immune therapy) may be preferable to surgery for these patients with fever ≥38.6°C.Implications for Practice.Patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) with fever (≥38.0°C) as the initial symptom are extremely rare. Because their symptoms are similar to those of liver abscess, diagnosis is challenging, and most of these patients are already at an advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. Patients with ICC with fever had different clinical characteristics and worse prognosis than those without fever. The prognosis of those with temperature <38.6°C would be improved by timely surgical intervention. Those with fever ≥38.6°C had an extremely dismal outcome, although they all received radical surgical treatment. New therapeutic strategies are needed to improve survival for patients with ICC with temperature ≥38.6°C.
Zi-Jun Gong, Jian-Wen Cheng, Pin-Ting Gao, Ao Huang, Yun-Fan Sun, Kai-Qian Zhou, Bo Hu, Shuang-Jian Qiu, Jian Zhou, Jia Fan, Xin-Rong Yang

Prognostic Value and Association of Sarcopenia and Systemic Inflammation for Patients with Gastric Cancer Following Radical Gastrectomy

1 month ago
AbstractObjective.The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of preoperative sarcopenia and systemic inflammation for patients with resectable gastric cancer (GC) and develop a novel and powerful prognostic score based on these factors.Materials and Methods.Patients with GC who underwent radical gastrectomy between December 2009 and December 2013 were included. A multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to identify the prognostic factors. A novel prognostic score (SLMR) was developed based on preoperative sarcopenia and the lymphocyte‐monocyte ratio (LMR), and its prognostic value was evaluated.Results.In total, 1,167 patients with resectable GC were included in the study. On multivariate analysis, preoperative sarcopenia and the LMR were shown to be independent prognostic factors (both p < .001). A low LMR was an independent predictor from sarcopenia (p < .001). Based on preoperative sarcopenia and the LMR, we established the SLMR. An elevated SLMR was associated with older age, higher ASA scores, larger tumor size, advanced stages, and vascular invasion (all p < .05). Multivariate analysis revealed that the SLMR was a significant independent predictor (p < .001). We incorporated the SLMR into a prognostic model that included tumor size and TNM stage and generated a nomogram, which accurately predicted 3‐ and 5‐year survival for GC patients.Conclusion.Preoperative systemic inflammation is significantly associated with sarcopenia. The LMR combined with sarcopenia could enhance prognostication for patients with GC who underwent radical gastrectomy.Implications for Practice.Increasing evidence shows that sarcopenia and systemic inflammation are closely associated with the prognosis of malignant tumors, and it is essential for clinicians to understand the relationship and combined prognostic effects of these factors for gastric cancer (GC). Based on a large data set, this study found that preoperative systemic inflammation was significantly associated with sarcopenia in GC, and combining these two predictors could effectively predict the prognosis and complement the prognostic value of the TNM staging system. These findings may lead to the development of new therapeutic avenues to improve cancer outcomes.
Jian-Xian Lin, Jun-Peng Lin, Jian-Wei Xie, Jia-bin Wang, Jun Lu, Qi-Yue Chen, Long-long Cao, Mi Lin, Ruhong Tu, Chao-Hui Zheng, Chang-Ming Huang, Ping Li

Personalizing Precision Oncology Clinical Trials in Latin America: An Expert Panel on Challenges and Opportunities

1 month ago
AbstractThe participation of patients in precision oncology trials needs to fulfill molecular‐based selection criteria. This strongly limits accrual, and as a consequence, screening successes have decreased, costs have increased, and fewer subjects are enrolled. To achieve narrowed targets, studies have been forced to be multicenter and multinational to reach a larger pool of candidates. However, this globalization faces many challenges, as, for example, in the case of precision oncology trials. These trials have a complex structure that is dependent upon a high‐tech infrastructure and knowledge in a dynamic environment. Given the movement of precision clinical cancer research to regions other than Europe and the U.S., it is important to evaluate the feasibility of performing such trials in lower‐middle‐ and low‐income countries. Here we critically discuss the advantages of conducting precision oncology clinical trials in Latin America and make suggestions on how to overcome the main challenges involved.Implications for Practice.Precision clinical trials in oncology are studies that require candidates to have tumors with specific molecular alterations, which are considered the target for the trial experimental therapy. Because many molecular alterations are rare, fewer patients are enrolled. This has led to trials being forced to be multicenter and multinational, including trials in Latin America. This article discusses the challenges and opportunities to conduct precision oncology trials in Latin America, aiming to help sponsors and investigators to solve complex issues that ultimately lead to more of such trials being run in the region, potentially benefiting more Latin American patients with cancer.
Roberto Jun Arai, Rodrigo Santa Cruz Guindalini, Andrea Sabina Llera, Juan Manoel O'Connor, Bettina Muller, Mauricio Lema, Helano C. Freitas, Tannia Soria, Lucia Delgado, Denis Landaverde, Paola Montenegro, Rachel P. Riechelmann

Anlotinib Versus Sunitinib as First‐Line Treatment for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Randomized Phase II Clinical Trial

1 month ago
AbstractBackground.Anlotinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor inhibiting angiogenesis. This multicenter, randomized phase II trial aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of anlotinib in comparison with sunitinib as first‐line treatment for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).Materials and Methods.Patients with mRCC from 13 clinical centers were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive anlotinib (n = 90) or sunitinib (n = 43). Anlotinib was given orally at a dose of 12 mg once daily (2 weeks on/1 week off), and sunitinib was given orally at 50 mg once daily (4 weeks on/2 weeks off). The primary endpoint was progression‐free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), and safety.Results.The median PFS was similar with anlotinib and sunitinib (17.5 vs. 16.6 months, p > .05). The median OS (30.9 vs. 30.5 months, p > .05), ORR (30.3% vs. 27.9%), and 6‐week DCR (97.8% vs. 93.0%) were similar in the two groups. Adverse events (AEs) of grade 3 or 4 were significantly less frequent with anlotinib than with sunitinib (28.9% vs. 55.8%, p < .01), especially in terms of thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. AEs occurring at a lower frequency with anlotinib were hand‐foot syndrome, eyelid edema, hair depigmentation, skin yellowing, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. The incidence of serious AEs was lower with anlotinib than with sunitinib.Conclusion.The clinical efficacy of anlotinib was similar to that of sunitinib as the first‐line treatment for mRCC, but with a more favorable safety profile.Implications for Practice.This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of anlotinib for the first‐line treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Anlotinib, which was developed independently in China, is a new tyrosine kinase inhibitor inhibiting multiple kinases involved in angiogenesis and tumor proliferation. Results indicated that the efficacy of anlotinib is comparable to and the safety is better than that of sunitinib.
Ai-Ping Zhou, Yuxian Bai, Yan Song, Hong Luo, Xiu-Bao Ren, Xiuwen Wang, Benkang Shi, Cheng Fu, Ying Cheng, Jiyan Liu, Shukui Qin, Jun Li, Hanzhong Li, Xianzhong Bai, Dingwei Ye, Jinwan Wang, Jianhui Ma

Genomic Signature of Driver Genes Identified by Target Next‐Generation Sequencing in Chinese Non‐Small Cell Lung Cancer

1 month ago
AbstractBackground.Non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most common human malignancies and the leading cause of cancer‐related death. Over the past few decades, genomic alterations of cancer driver genes have been identified in NSCLC, and molecular testing and targeted therapies have become standard care for lung cancer patients. Here we studied the unique genomic profile of driver genes in Chinese patients with NSCLC by next‐generation sequencing (NGS) assay.Materials and Methods.A total of 1,200 Chinese patients with NSCLC were enrolled in this study. The median age was 60 years (range: 26–89), and 83% cases were adenocarcinoma. NGS‐based genomic profiling of major lung cancer‐related genes was performed on formalin‐fixed paraffin‐embedded tumor samples and matched blood.Results.Approximately 73.9% of patients with NSCLC harbored at least one actionable alteration recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), ALK, ERBB2, MET, BRAF, RET, and ROS1. Twenty‐seven patients (2.2%) harbored inherited germline mutations of cancer susceptibility genes. The frequencies of EGFR genomic alterations (both mutations and amplification) and ALK rearrangement were identified as 50.1% and 7.8% in Chinese NSCLC populations, respectively, and significantly higher than the Western population. Fifty‐six distinct uncommon EGFR mutations other than L858R, exon19del, exon20ins, or T790M were identified in 18.9% of patients with EGFR‐mutant NSCLC. About 7.4% of patients harbored both sensitizing and uncommon mutations, and 11.6% of patients harbored only uncommon EGFR mutations. The uncommon EGFR mutations more frequently combined with the genomic alterations of ALK, CDKN2A, NTRK3, TSC2, and KRAS. In patients <40 years of age, the ALK‐positive percentage was up to 28.2%. Moreover, 3.2% of ALK‐positive patients harbored multi ALK rearrangements, and seven new partner genes were identified.Conclusion.More unique features of cancer driver genes in Chinese NSCLC were identified by next‐generation sequencing. These findings highlighted that NGS technology is more feasible and necessary than other molecular testing methods, and suggested that the special strategies are needed for drug development and targeted therapy for Chinese patients with NSCLC.Implications for Practice.Molecular targeted therapy is now the standard first‐line treatment for patients with advanced non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Samples of 1,200 Chinese patients with NSCLC were analyzed through next‐generation sequencing to characterize the unique feature of uncommon EGFR mutations and ALK fusion. The results showed that 7.4% of EGFR‐mutant patients harbored both sensitizing and uncommon mutations and 11.6% harbored only uncommon mutations. Uncommon EGFR mutations more frequently combined with the genomic alterations of ALK, CDKN2A, NTRK3, TSC2, and KRAS. ALK fusion was more common in younger patients, and the frequency decreased monotonically with age. 3.2% of ALK‐positive patients harbored multi ALK rearrangement, and seven new partner genes were identified.
Shiwang Wen, Lei Dai, Lei Wang, Wen&#x0237;ian Wang, Duoguang Wu, Kefeng Wang, Zhanghai He, Aodi Wang, Hui Chen, Peng Zhang, Xiaowei Dong, Yu-An Dong, Kai Wang, Ming Yao, Minghui Wang

Diagnosis and Management of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor‐Associated Renal Toxicity: Illustrative Case and Review

1 month ago
AbstractImmune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are monoclonal antibodies directed at negative regulatory components on T cells, such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte‐associated antigen 4, programmed cell death‐1 (PD‐1), and its ligand, programmed cell death ligand‐1. ICIs initate antitumor immunity; however, these agents are associated with immune‐related adverse events (irAEs) that may affect a variety of organs. Renal irAEs most commonly present with asymptomatic acute kidney injury (AKI), which is often detected by routine laboratory testing. The severity of AKI associated with irAEs ranges from mild (grade 1–2) to severe (grade 3–4). It is often challenging to diagnose because this group of patients often have multiple reasons to have AKI (dehydration, sepsis, or nephrotoxic medication exposure). We present an illustrative case of a 60‐year‐old man with metastatic melanoma who presented with AKI during treatment with nivolumab and review the literature to address frequently asked questions concerning the diagnosis and management of renal irAEs in patients with advanced cancer. Importantly, most patients will recover completely, and some may tolerate a rechallenge of ICI therapy, with prompt and effective treatment.Key Points. Renal immune‐related adverse events (irAEs) are less frequently reported than other irAEs; however, it is possible that available data underestimate their true incidence because of missed diagnoses and under‐reporting. Although severe renal irAEs are more easily detected, smaller rises in creatinine may not be appreciated or may be attributed to other causes, because the differential diagnosis of acute kidney injury (AKI) in patients with cancer is broad.Baseline creatinine should be established prior to beginning immune checkpoint inhibitorss (ICIs), and it should be monitored with every cycle. If a patient develops AKI, the ICI should be held while the evaluation is pursued. A thorough workup of suspected renal irAEs must exclude other potential causes of AKI such as infection, dehydration, urinary tract obstruction, and nephrotoxin exposure.Acute kidney injury after ICI therapy does not appear to be more common in patients with baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL per min per 1.73 m. One particular concern, however, is that those with baseline renal disease have less “renal reserve,” and repeated AKI events may push a patient closer to end‐stage renal disease. Thus, clinicians must exert caution when rechallenging patients with pre‐existing renal disease with ICI therapy in the event of a prior AKI from ICI‐related allergic interstitial nephritis.
Meghan E. Sise, Harish Seethapathy, Kerry L. Reynolds

Cutaneous Toxicity after Chemoradiotherapy and PD‐L1 Inhibition in Two Patients with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: More than Meets the Eye

1 month ago
AbstractDermatological adverse events have frequently been reported after immune checkpoint inhibition. When an adverse event occurs during combination of immune checkpoint inhibition with chemotherapy, the question arises which agent is responsible. Unnecessary withdrawal of either chemotherapy or immunotherapy could lead to suboptimal treatment outcomes. Here we report on two patients who developed a cutaneous drug reaction with fever during treatment with paclitaxel, carboplatin, radiotherapy, and PD‐L1 inhibition (atezolizumab) for resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma. In the first case atezolizumab was suspected, and in the second paclitaxel. We discuss the clinical manifestation, treatment, and pathophysiology underlying both cases.
Tom van den Ende, Stef P. Menting, Carmen A. Ambarus, Martijn G.H. van Oijen, Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven
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