Publications by authors named "A Prat"

700 Publications

Determinants of enhanced vulnerability to coronavirus disease 2019 in UK patients with cancer: a European study.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Apr 6;150:190-202. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Policlinico Universitario Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy.

Background: Despite high contagiousness and rapid spread, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to heterogeneous outcomes across affected nations. Within Europe (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) is the most severely affected country, with a death toll in excess of 100,000 as of January 2021. We aimed to compare the national impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the risk of death in UK patients with cancer versus those in continental EU.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of the OnCovid study database, a European registry of patients with cancer consecutively diagnosed with COVID-19 in 27 centres from 27th February to 10th September 2020. We analysed case fatality rates and risk of death at 30 days and 6 months stratified by region of origin (UK versus EU). We compared patient characteristics at baseline including oncological and COVID-19-specific therapy across UK and EU cohorts and evaluated the association of these factors with the risk of adverse outcomes in multivariable Cox regression models.

Findings: Compared with EU (n = 924), UK patients (n = 468) were characterised by higher case fatality rates (40.38% versus 26.5%, p < 0.0001) and higher risk of death at 30 days (hazard ratio [HR], 1.64 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.36-1.99]) and 6 months after COVID-19 diagnosis (47.64% versus 33.33%; p < 0.0001; HR, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.33-1.88]). UK patients were more often men, were of older age and have more comorbidities than EU counterparts (p < 0.01). Receipt of anticancer therapy was lower in UK than in EU patients (p < 0.001). Despite equal proportions of complicated COVID-19, rates of intensive care admission and use of mechanical ventilation, UK patients with cancer were less likely to receive anti-COVID-19 therapies including corticosteroids, antivirals and interleukin-6 antagonists (p < 0.0001). Multivariable analyses adjusted for imbalanced prognostic factors confirmed the UK cohort to be characterised by worse risk of death at 30 days and 6 months, independent of the patient's age, gender, tumour stage and status; number of comorbidities; COVID-19 severity and receipt of anticancer and anti-COVID-19 therapy. Rates of permanent cessation of anticancer therapy after COVID-19 were similar in the UK and EU cohorts.

Interpretation: UK patients with cancer have been more severely impacted by the unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic despite societal risk mitigation factors and rapid deferral of anticancer therapy. The increased frailty of UK patients with cancer highlights high-risk groups that should be prioritised for anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Continued evaluation of long-term outcomes is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.03.035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023206PMC
April 2021

Barcoded viral tracing of single-cell interactions in central nervous system inflammation.

Science 2021 04;372(6540)

Neuroimmunology Research Laboratory, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), Montreal, QC H2X 0A9, Canada.

Cell-cell interactions control the physiology and pathology of the central nervous system (CNS). To study astrocyte cell interactions in vivo, we developed rabies barcode interaction detection followed by sequencing (RABID-seq), which combines barcoded viral tracing and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Using RABID-seq, we identified axon guidance molecules as candidate mediators of microglia-astrocyte interactions that promote CNS pathology in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and, potentially, multiple sclerosis (MS). In vivo cell-specific genetic perturbation EAE studies, in vitro systems, and the analysis of MS scRNA-seq datasets and CNS tissue established that Sema4D and Ephrin-B3 expressed in microglia control astrocyte responses via PlexinB2 and EphB3, respectively. Furthermore, a CNS-penetrant EphB3 inhibitor suppressed astrocyte and microglia proinflammatory responses and ameliorated EAE. In summary, RABID-seq identified microglia-astrocyte interactions and candidate therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abf1230DOI Listing
April 2021

Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors in solid tumours: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Apr 13;149:134-152. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Medical, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy; Breast Cancer Unit, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale di Cremona, Cremona, Italy.

Background: Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-inhibitors (PARPis) showed antitumour activity in BRCA1/2-mutated cancers, with more heterogeneous outcomes in tumours harbouring mutations that impair other genes involved in the DNA homologous recombination repair (HRR) or wild-type (wt).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to better assess the role of PARPis in the treatment of metastatic solid tumours, with and without BRCA1/2 mutations. The primary end-point was progression-free survival (PFS). The secondary end-points were overall response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS). A random-effects model was applied.

Results: Twenty-nine studies (8,839 patients) were included. PFS was significantly improved (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.51-0.68, p < 0.001), without being affected by BRCA mutational status (p = 0.65). Significant subgroup differences were observed with regard to the tumour site (p = 0.001), line of therapy (p = 0.002), control arm (p < 0.001), type of PARPi (p < 0.001) and trials' phase (p = 0.006). PARPis were associated with ORR (relative risk: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.16-1.56, p < 0.001), with significant subgroup differences observed with regard to treatment line (p = 0.03), control arm (p = 0.04) and PARPis (p < 0.001) and independent of mutational status (p = 0.44), tumour site (p = 0.86) and trials' phase (p = 0.09). OS was significantly improved by PARPis (HR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.80-0.92, p < 0.001), regardless of mutational status (p = 0.57), tumour site (p = 0.82), treatment line (p = 0.22), control arm (p = 0.21), PARPis (p = 0.30) and trials' phase (p = 0.26). Finally, an exploratory subgroup analysis showed a significant PFS improvement (HR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.43-0.60, p < 0.001) with PARPis in BRCA-wt/HRR-deficient tumours.

Conclusion: Our results confirm the efficacy of already approved PARPi-based treatments in BRCA1/2-mutant solid tumours, support their role also in BRCA-independent HRR-deficient tumours and suggest a potentially broader efficacy in some wt tumours, perhaps with appropriate therapeutic partners. Prospective studies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.035DOI Listing
April 2021

Identification of cell surface targets for CAR-T cell therapies and antibody-drug conjugates in breast cancer.

ESMO Open 2021 Apr 7;6(3):100102. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Hematology, Hospital Clinic, August Pi I Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Two promising therapeutic strategies in oncology are chimeric antigen receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapies and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). To be effective and safe, these immunotherapies require surface antigens to be sufficiently expressed in tumors and less or not expressed in normal tissues. To identify new targets for ADCs and CAR-T specifically targeting breast cancer (BC) molecular and pathology-based subtypes, we propose a novel in silico strategy based on multiple publicly available datasets and provide a comprehensive explanation of the workflow for a further implementation.

Methods: We carried out differential gene expression analyses on The Cancer Genome Atlas BC RNA-sequencing data to identify BC subtype-specific upregulated genes. To fully explain the proposed target-discovering methodology, as proof of concept, we selected the 200 most upregulated genes for each subtype and undertook a comprehensive analysis of their protein expression in BC and normal tissues through several publicly available databases to identify the potentially safest and viable targets.

Results: We identified 36 potentially suitable and subtype-specific tumor surface antigens (TSAs), including fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4), carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6), GDNF family receptor alpha 1 (GFRA1), integrin beta-6 (ITGB6) and ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1). We also identified 63 potential TSA pairs that might be appropriate for co-targeting strategies. Finally, we validated subtype specificity in a cohort of our patients, multiple BC cell lines and the METABRIC database.

Conclusions: Overall, our in silico analysis provides a framework to identify novel and specific TSAs for the development of new CAR-T and antibody-based therapies in BC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esmoop.2021.100102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038941PMC
April 2021

Endocrine-Based Treatments in Clinically-Relevant Subgroups of Hormone Receptor-Positive/HER2-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 22;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Medical, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, 34127 Trieste, Italy.

A precise assessment of the efficacy of first-/second-line endocrine therapies (ET) ± target therapies (TT) in clinically-relevant subgroups of hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC) has not yet been conducted. To improve our current knowledge and support clinical decision-making, we thus conducted a systematic literature search to identify all first-/second-line phase II/III randomized clinical trials (RCT) of currently approved or most promising ET ± TT. Then, we performed a meta-analysis to assess progression-free (PFS) and/or overall survival (OS) benefit in several clinically-relevant prespecified subgroups. Thirty-five RCT were included (17,595 patients). Pooled results show significant reductions in the risk of relapse or death of 26-41% and 12-27%, respectively, depending on the clinical subgroup. Combination strategies proved to be more effective than single-agent ET (PFS hazard ratio (HR) range for combinations: 0.60-0.65 vs. HR range for single agent ET: 0.59-1.37; OS HR range for combinations: 0.74-0.87 vs. HR range for single agent ET: 0.68-0.98), with CDK4/6-inhibitors(i) + ET being the most effective regimen. Single agent ET showed comparable efficacy with ET+TT combinations in non-visceral ( = 0.63) and endocrine sensitive disease ( = 0.79), while mTORi-based combinations proved to be a valid therapeutic option in endocrine-resistant tumors, as well as PI3Ki + ET in PIK3CA-mutant tumors. These results strengthen international treatment guidelines and can aid therapeutic decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061458DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004645PMC
March 2021