Publications by authors named "Akihiro Bessho"

51 Publications

A phase II study of S-1 and cisplatin with concurrent thoracic radiotherapy followed by durvalumab for unresectable, locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer in Japan (SAMURAI study).

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2021 27;13:1758835921998588. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Teikyo University School of Medicine, 2-11-1, Kaga, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8606, Japan.

Background: Based on the results of the PACIFIC study, chemoradiotherapy followed by 1-year consolidation therapy with durvalumab was established as the standard of care for unresectable, locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). However, some topics not foreseen in that design can be explored, including progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) after the start of chemoradiotherapy, the proportion of patients who proceeded to consolidation therapy with durvalumab, and the optimal chemotherapeutic regimens. In Japan, the combination regimen of S-1 + cisplatin (SP), for which the results of multiple clinical studies have suggested a good balance of efficacy and tolerability, is frequently selected in clinical settings. However, the efficacy and safety of consolidation therapy with durvalumab following this SP regimen have not been evaluated. We therefore planned a multicenter, prospective, single-arm, phase II study.

Methods: In treatment-naïve LA-NSCLC, two cycles of combination chemotherapy with S-1 (80-120 mg/body, Days 1-14) + cisplatin (60 mg/m, Day 1) will be administered at an interval of 4 weeks, with concurrent thoracic radiotherapy (60 Gy). Responders will then receive durvalumab every 2 weeks for up to 1 year. The primary endpoint is 1-year PFS rate.

Discussion: Compared with the conventional standard regimen in Japan, the SP regimen is expected to be associated with lower incidences of pneumonitis, esophagitis, and febrile neutropenia, which complicate the initiation of consolidation therapy with durvalumab, and have higher antitumor efficacy during chemoradiotherapy. Therefore, SP-based chemoradiotherapy is expected to be successfully followed by consolidation therapy with durvalumab in more patients, resulting in prolonged PFS and OS. Toxicity and efficacy results of the SP regimen in this study will also provide information important to the future establishment of the concurrent combination of chemoradiotherapy and durvalumab.

Trial Registration: Japan Registry of Clinical Trials, jRCTs031190127, registered 1 November 2019, https://jrct.niph.go.jp/latest-detail/jRCTs031190127.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758835921998588DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917867PMC
February 2021

Dacomitinib as a retreatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer patient with an uncommon EGFR mutation.

Thorac Cancer 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Japanese Red Cross Okayama Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), uncommon epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are mutations other than Ex19 deletion and Ex21 L858R, which are common mutations highly sensitive to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Afatinib, a second-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has been shown to be effective in patients with uncommon mutations. Dacomitinib, another second-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has not previously been shown to be effective in patients with uncommon mutations. Here, we report the efficacy of dacomitinib for uncommon EGFR mutations in a 71-year-old woman diagnosed with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma with uncommon EGFR mutation (Ex18 G719A). Afatinib was administered as the first-line treatment, and a remarkable antitumor effect was observed. However, the tumor grew after 14 months. Pemetrexed plus carboplatin followed by pemetrexed, docetaxel, atezolizumab and S-1 were performed in sequence. Although approximately four years had passed since the start of treatment, her physical condition was good. The patient started dacomitinib as the sixth-line treatment. Lesions were markedly reduced and treatment with dacomitinib was continued for 7.8 months. Dacomitinib is a possible treatment option for NSCLC with uncommon mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13897DOI Listing
March 2021

A randomized trial of sodium alginate prevention of esophagitis in LA-NSCLC receiving chemoradiotherapy: OLCSG1401.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Mar 1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Background: Radiation esophagitis is a critical adverse event that needs to be appropriately managed while administering thoracic irradiation. This trial aimed to investigate whether sodium alginate has preventative effects on esophagitis in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Methods: Patients with untreated stage III NSCLC who were eligible for concurrent CRT were randomly assigned at a 1:1:1 ratio to receive one of the following treatments: initial or late use of oral sodium alginate (arms A and B) or water as control (arm C). The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients developing G3 or worse esophagitis.

Results: Overall, 94 patients were randomly assigned between February 2014 and September 2018. The study was prematurely terminated because of slow accrual. The proportions of patients with G3 or worse esophagitis were 12.5%, 9.8%, and 19.4% in arms A, B, and C, respectively. Patients receiving sodium alginate had fewer onsets of G3 esophagitis; however, differences compared with arm C were not significant (A vs. C: p = 0.46; B vs. C: p = 0.28). The rates of grade 3 or worse non-hematologic toxicities besides esophagitis were 29%, 26%, and 43% in arms A, B, and C, respectively. Interestingly, compared with arm C, a low rate of febrile neutropenia was observed in arm A (3.1% vs. 19.4%: p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Sodium alginate did not show significant preventative effects on radiation-induced esophagitis in patients with NSCLC. The frequency of CRT-induced febrile neutropenia was lower in the early use sodium alginate arm.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier Registry number: UMIN000013133.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06092-1DOI Listing
March 2021

Sequential therapy of crizotinib followed by alectinib for non-small cell lung cancer harbouring anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement (WJOG9516L): A multicenter retrospective cohort study.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Mar 22;145:183-193. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Internal Medicine III, Wakayama Medical University, 811-1, Kimiidera, Wakayama, 641-8509, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: The data of sequential therapy of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in clinical practice have been limited.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical data of patients with ALK-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer who received crizotinib (CRZ) or alectinib (ALEC) between May 2012 and December 2016. Patients were divided into two groups based on the first-administered ALK-TKI, the CRZ or ALEC group. The combined time-to-treatment failure (TTF) was defined as the sum of the 'TTF of CRZ' plus the 'TTF of ALEC' if patients were treated with CRZ followed by ALEC in the CRZ group. The primary end-point is the comparison between the combined TTF and the TTF of ALEC in the ALEC group.

Results: Of 864 patients enrolled from 61 institutions, 840 patients were analysed. There were 535 of 305 patients in the CRZ/ALEC groups. The combined TTF in the CRZ group was significantly longer than TTF in the ALEC group (median, 34.4 versus 27.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.709; P = 0.0044). However, there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) between the patients who received ALEC after CRZ in the CRZ group and the patients in the ALEC group (median, 88.4 months versus. not reached; HR, 1.048; P = 0.7770). In the whole population, the CRZ group had a significantly shorter OS than the ALEC group (median, 53.6 months versus not reached; HR, 1.821, P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: The combined TTF in the CRZ group was significantly longer than the TTF in the ALEC group; however, OS benefit of sequential therapy against ALEC as the first ALK-TKI was not shown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.12.026DOI Listing
March 2021

Crizotinib for recurring non-small-cell lung cancer with EML4-ALK fusion genes previously treated with alectinib: A phase II trial.

Thorac Cancer 2021 03 20;12(5):643-649. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Background: The efficacy of crizotinib treatment for recurring EML4-ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with alectinib is unclear. Based on our preclinical findings regarding hepatocyte growth factor/mesenchymal epithelial transition (MET) pathway activation as a potential mechanism of acquired resistance to alectinib, we conducted a phase II trial of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase/MET inhibitor, crizotinib, in patients with alectinib-refractory, EML4-ALK-positive NSCLC.

Methods: Patients with ALK-rearranged tumors treated with alectinib immediately before enrolling in the trial received crizotinib monotherapy. The objective response rate was the primary outcome of interest.

Results: Nine (100%) patients achieved a partial response with alectinib therapy with a median treatment duration of 6.7 months. Crizotinib was administered with a median treatment interval of 50 (range, 20-433) days. The overall response rate was 33.3% (90% confidence interval [CI]: 9.8-65.5 and 95% CI: 7.5-70.1), which did not reach the predefined criteria of 50%. Two (22%) patients who achieved a partial response had brain metastases at baseline. Progression-free survival (median, 2.2 months) was not affected by the duration of treatment with alectinib. The median survival time was 24.1 months. The most common adverse events were an increased aspartate transaminase/alanine transaminase (AST/ALT) ratio (44%) and appetite loss (33%); one patient developed transient grade 4 AST/ALT elevation, resulting in treatment discontinuation. Other adverse events were consistent with those previously reported; no treatment-related deaths occurred.

Conclusions: Although the desired response rate was not achieved, crizotinib monotherapy following treatment with alectinib showed efficacy alongside previously described adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919114PMC
March 2021

Phase II study of amrubicin plus erlotinib in previously treated, advanced non-small cell lung cancer with wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor (TORG1320).

Invest New Drugs 2021 Apr 7;39(2):530-536. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1, Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara city, Kanagawa, 252-0375, Japan.

Background Amrubicin (AMR) is a completely synthetic 9-aminoanthracycline and clinically active against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We conducted a phase I study of AMR and erlotinib (ERL) combination therapy in previously treated patients with advanced NSCLC and have already reported the safety and effectiveness. Methods We conducted a multi-center, single-arm phase II trial to evaluate the efficacy of AMR and ERL combination therapy in patients with previously treated, advanced NSCLC harboring wild-type EGFR, PS 0-1 and < 75 years of age. Patients were treated at 3-week intervals with AMR plus ERL. The primary endpoint was the PFS, and the secondary endpoints were the response rate (RR), disease control rate (DCR), overall survival (OS) and toxicity. The trough ERL concentration (C) was measured as an exploratory study to analyze the relationship between the efficacy/safety and pharmacokinetics. Results From June 2013 to July 2016, 25 patients were enrolled in this trial. The PFS according to the central test was 3.6 months (95% confidence interval 2.1-5.1). The RR and DCR were 24.0% and 64.0%, respectively. We had no treatment-related deaths in this study. Conclusions The PFS of AMR and ERL combination therapy was superior to that of AMR monotherapy in the historical setting, but the primary endpoint was not met in this trial. In our study, the pharmacokinetic analysis showed that the C of ERL was elevated with combination therapy. This combination therapy might be a viable treatment for previously treated NSCLC patients without a driver oncogene mutation. Clinical trial information UMIN 000010582.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-020-01031-zDOI Listing
April 2021

Impact of HER2 expression on EGFR-TKI treatment outcomes in lung tumors harboring EGFR mutations: A HER2-CS study subset analysis.

Lung Cancer 2020 12 1;150:83-89. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Japan.

Objectives: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are standard treatment for EGFR-mutated non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC); however, a biomarker to predict their efficacy has not been established. Although human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) aberrations constitute a potential mechanism for acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, the impact of HER2 on EGFR-TKI treatment outcomes has not been systematically evaluated. In this post-hoc subgroup study, we examined the impact of HER2 on the effect of EGFR-TKIs in patients with NSCLC harboring EGFR mutations.

Materials And Methods: Of 1126 patients with NSCLC enrolled into a prospective cohort study (HER2-CS study), we analyzed data of 356 (32 %) patients with EGFR-mutant tumors. HER2 protein expression levels were determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with the gastric cancer criteria. Patients were divided either to an HER2-P group (HER2-IHC2+/3+) or an HER2-N group (HER2-IHC0/1+). We primarily assessed differences in the time-to-treatment failure (TTF) of EGFR-TKI between the groups.

Results: The HER2 scoring was as follows: IHC0 (n = 76, 21 %), IHC1+ (n = 199, 56 %), IHC2+ (n = 72, 20 %), and IHC3+ (n = 9, 3 %). The patients' demographics were similar in the HER2-P and HER2-N groups. The HER2-P group showed a significantly shorter EGFR-TKI TTF than the HER2-N group (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.657, 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 1.076-2.552; median: 13.3 vs. 19.1 months). The magnitude of the negative impact of TTF was especially dependent on performance status (PS). HER2 expression significantly deteriorated the TTF in the subgroup with PS 2 (HR: 5.497, 95 % CI: 1.510-20.02), but not in that with better PS (HR: 1.437, 95 % CI: 0.899-2.298) (p = 0.015).

Conclusion: In the current cohort, HER2 protein expression in EGFR-mutant NSCLC may have a negative impact on the effect of EGFR-TKIs, the effect of which was PS dependent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.09.024DOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of previous thoracsic radiation therapy on the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced non-smasll-cell lung cancer.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2021 Feb;51(2):279-286

Department of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Objectives: Studies investigating the association between radiation therapy and the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer have provided inconsistent results, likely due to relatively small cohort sizes. This study investigated the effect of previous thoracic radiation therapy on the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in a large non-small-cell lung cancer cohort.

Patients And Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using data from 531 non-small-cell lung cancer patients who received monotherapy with programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitors at nine institutions. The effects of thoracic radiation therapy on the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors were investigated.

Results: A total of 531 non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors were included in this study. The progression-free survival period was significantly longer in patients that had received thoracic radiation therapy before immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy compared to those without previous thoracic radiation therapy (median progression-free survival 5.0 vs. 3.0 months, P = 0.0013). A multivariate analysis showed that thoracic radiation therapy was an independent predictive factor of improved progression-free survival (hazard ratio of progression-free survival: 0.79, P = 0.049). In contrast, extra-thoracic radiation therapy was associated with inferior outcomes (median progression-free survival 3.0 vs. 4.2 months, P = 0.0008).

Conclusion: Previous thoracic radiation therapy, but not prior extra-thoracic radiation therapy, enhanced the efficacy of anti-programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 therapy in non-small-cell lung cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyaa180DOI Listing
February 2021

Open-label, multicenter, randomized phase II study on docetaxel plus bevacizumab or pemetrexed plus bevacizumab for treatment of elderly (aged ≥75 years) patients with previously untreated advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer: TORG1323.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2020 Jun;9(3):459-470

Department of Thoracic Oncology and Medicine, National Hospital Organization Shikoku Cancer Center, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan.

Background: The effectiveness of bevacizumab monotherapy in elderly patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is unclear. The efficacy of the combinations for elderly patients was explored.

Methods: Untreated patients (≥75 years; performance status 0-1) with stage IIIB, IV, or recurrent non-squamous NSCLC were included. Patients with epidermal growth factor receptor () mutation or anaplastic lymphoma kinase () gene rearrangements were eligible even if they received tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive docetaxel (50 mg/m) (DB) or pemetrexed (500 mg/m) (PB) with bevacizumab (15 m/kg). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Treatment was administered every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Results: Overall, 103 patients (DB: n=51; PB: n=52) were enrolled. In the DB and PB arms, median ages [range] were 78 [75-88] and 79 [75-94] years, respectively; median PFS were 6.1 and 4.6 months, respectively [hazard ratio (HR), 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.66-1.61]; and response rates were 43%, and 40%, respectively (P=0.840). Grade ≥3 leukopenia, neutropenia, and fatigue incidences were significantly higher in the DB arm. Febrile neutropenia incidence did not differ significantly (16% . 12%, P=0.578). One patient in the PB arm died from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. Quality of life (QoL) analysis revealed less deterioration in the PB arm.

Conclusions: In previously untreated elderly patients with non-squamous NSCLC, PB shows feasibility, better QoL, and promising efficacy in terms of PFS, and an objective response rate for further analysis (UMIN000012786).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr.2020.03.29DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7354128PMC
June 2020

A randomized phase 3 study of maintenance therapy with S-1 plus best supportive care versus best supportive care after induction therapy with carboplatin plus S-1 for advanced or relapsed squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (WJOG7512L).

Cancer 2020 Aug 2;126(16):3648-3656. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

Background: A randomized phase 3 study was performed to investigate the efficacy and safety of maintenance therapy with S-1 after induction therapy with carboplatin plus S-1 in patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: Chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced or relapsed squamous NSCLC were treated with carboplatin (area under the curve of 5 on day 1 every 3 weeks) plus S-1 (40 mg/m twice per day on days 1-14 every 3 weeks) as induction therapy. Patients who did not progress after 4 cycles of induction therapy were randomized to receive either S-1 plus best supportive care (BSC) or BSC alone. The primary objective of the study was to confirm the superiority of S-1 plus BSC in comparison with BSC alone with respect to progression-free survival.

Results: Of the 365 patients enrolled in the study, 347 participated in the induction phase, and 131 of these individuals were randomized to receive S-1 plus BSC (n = 67) or BSC alone (n = 64). The risk of disease progression was significantly lower for patients in the S-1 plus BSC arm than those in the BSC-alone arm (hazard ratio, 0.548; 95% confidence interval, 0.374-0.802; P = .0019). The most common toxicities during maintenance therapy with S-1 included anorexia, anemia, and fatigue, but most cases were not severe.

Conclusions: Continued maintenance with S-1 plus BSC is an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with advanced squamous NSCLC previously treated with carboplatin plus S-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32987DOI Listing
August 2020

Coronary artery calcification scoring system based on the coronary artery calcium data and reporting system (CAC-DRS) predicts major adverse cardiovascular events or all-cause death in patients with potentially curable lung cancer without a history of cardiovascular disease.

Heart Vessels 2020 Nov 22;35(11):1483-1493. Epub 2020 May 22.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Okayama, Japan.

The coronary artery calcium data and reporting system (CAC-DRS) is a novel reporting system based on CAC severity. Lung cancer patients have a high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), for which CAC severity may provide additional prognostic information. Using non-gated, non-contrast computed tomography (CT), we evaluated the CAC-DRS for predicting CVD and all-cause death in patients with potentially curable resected lung cancer. We retrospectively studied 309 consecutive patients without a history of CVD (mean age 67.4 ± 8.2 years, 61% male) who underwent curative surgery for non-small-cell lung cancer between May 2012 and March 2019 at the Japanese Red Cross Okayama Hospital. Time to incidence of major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) (non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke and cardiovascular death) and all-cause death was analyzed using Fine and Gray and Cox regression models. The CAC-DRS score was assessed using standard chest CT without electrocardiogram gating. During 52-months' median follow-up, 43 patients (13.4%) developed incident MACEs or died from any cause; the pathological cancer stages were Ia (n = 20), Ib (n = 8), IIa (n = 2), IIb (n = 2) and IIIa (n = 11). Patients had a graded increase in incidence of MACEs or all-cause death with increasing categories of CAC-DRS. The CAC-DRS score was significantly associated with incident MACEs or all-cause death after adjusting for confounding factors (hazard ratio 1.18; 95% confidence interval 1.10-1.25, p < 0.01). In conclusion, the CAC-DRS score on non-gated standard CT can predict incident MACEs and/or all-cause death in patients with potentially curable resected lung cancer. Lung cancer survivors with a greater CAC-DRS category may need more active management of cardiovascular risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00380-020-01624-xDOI Listing
November 2020

Low-Dose Erlotinib Treatment in Elderly or Frail Patients With EGFR Mutation-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Multicenter Phase 2 Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2020 07 9;6(7):e201250. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Medical Oncology, Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Yokohama, Japan.

Importance: Although the efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors for EGFR gene mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer is well established, optimal dosing remains to be established, especially in elderly or frail patients.

Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of low-dose erlotinib in elderly or frail patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Single-arm phase 2 trial with the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) 2-stage design that enrolled frail patients from 21 Japanese institutions after meeting the inclusion criteria. Chemotherapy-naive patients with EGFR-activating mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer who were considered frail based on age, the Charlson Comorbidity Index, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status were eligible for the study.

Interventions: Patients were initially administered 50 mg/d erlotinib for 4 weeks, which was modified based on response or adverse events. Dose increase was permitted for patients with stable disease after 4 weeks.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was the independent review committee-confirmed objective response rate (ORR) at the dose of 50 mg/d. The study also evaluated the pharmacokinetics of low-dose erlotinib and influence of ABCB1 gene polymorphisms.

Results: Eighty patients were enrolled, with a median (range) age of 80 (49-90) years; 54 (68%) were men. An independent review committee confirmed a significant ORR of 60.0% (90% CI, 50.2%-69.2%). The disease control rate was 90.0% (90% CI, 82.7%-94.9%), median progression-free survival was 9.3 months (95% CI, 7.2-11.4 months), and median overall survival was 26.2 months (95% CI, 21.9-30.4 months). Mild adverse events were observed in some participants, with few patients exhibiting grade 3 or greater adverse events. Low-dose erlotinib treatment was temporarily suspended for 10 patients owing to adverse events. Five of 80 patients (6%) had their erlotinib dose reduced to 25 mg because of oral mucositis, paronychia, erythema multiforme, diarrhea, and anorexia. Two patients discontinued treatment because of adverse events (cutaneous ulcer and bone infection, and oral mucositis, respectively). There were no cases of interstitial lung disease or treatment-related deaths. The median (range) erlotinib plasma concentration was measured at 685 (153-1950) ng/mL. Seventy-three patients discontinued study treatment owing to disease progression (n = 60), death (n = 3), AEs (n = 4), and patient requests (n = 6). No clear association was observed between the pharmacokinetics of low-dose erlotinib and the treatment outcome.

Conclusions And Relevance: Low-dose erlotinib appears to be safe and effective in elderly or frail patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer and can be a valid treatment option.

Trial Registration: UMIN-CTR Identifier: UMIN000015949.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.1250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7226294PMC
July 2020

Survival Analysis for Patients with ALK Rearrangement-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and a Poor Performance Status Treated with Alectinib: Updated Results of Lung Oncology Group in Kyushu 1401.

Oncologist 2020 04 30;25(4):306-e618. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

Lessons Learned: Alectinib confers a pronounced survival benefit in patients with ALK rearrangement-positive non-small cell lung cancer and a poor performance status. Survival benefit of alectinib for patients with a poor performance status was consistent regardless of the presence of central nervous system metastases.

Background: We previously reported a marked objective response rate (ORR) and safety for alectinib treatment in patients with ALK rearrangement-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and a poor performance status (PS) in the Lung Oncology Group in Kyushu (LOGiK) 1401 study. It remained unclear, however, whether alectinib might also confer a long-term survival benefit in such patients.

Methods: Eighteen patients with ALK rearrangement-positive advanced NSCLC and a PS of 2, 3, or 4 (n = 12, 5, and 1, respectively) were enrolled in LOGiK1401 between September 2014 and December 2015 and received alectinib. We have now updated the survival data for the study.

Results: The median follow-up time for all patients was 27.3 months. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 16.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.1-30.8 months), and the median survival time (MST) and the 3-year overall survival rate were 30.3 months (95% CI, 11.5 months to not reached) and 43.8% (95% CI, 20.8-64.7%), respectively. This survival benefit was similarly manifest in patients with a PS of 2 (MST, 20.5 months) and those with a PS of ≥3 (MST, not reached). PFS did not differ between patients with or without central nervous system (CNS) metastases at baseline (median of 17.5 and 16.2 months, respectively, p = .886).

Conclusion: Alectinib showed a pronounced survival benefit for patients with ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a poor PS regardless of the presence of CNS metastases, a patient population for which chemotherapy is not indicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160311PMC
April 2020

A Prospective Cohort Study to Define the Clinical Features and Outcome of Lung Cancers Harboring HER2 Aberration in Japan (HER2-CS STUDY).

Chest 2019 08 6;156(2):357-366. Epub 2019 May 6.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Background: Human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) is a potential driver oncogene. Although HER2-targeted precision therapy has been tested in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the demographic characteristics of HER2-positive NSCLC have not been systematically defined.

Methods: Patients with pathologically confirmed stage IIIB/IV or recurrent NSCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2, were prospectively registered. HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays were performed to screen patients. HER2 mutations were identified by using direct gene sequencing. The aim of this study was to clarify the frequency, characteristics, and outcome of HER2-positive NSCLC. HER2 was defined as positive if the tumor harbored IHC3+, IHC2+/FISH+, or exon 20 insertion mutations.

Results: Of the 1,126 tumors screened, 34 (3.0%) were IHC3+, and 34 (3.0%) were IHC2+/FISH+. Among the 724 epidermal growth factor receptor wild-type tumors, 21 (2.9%) were HER2-mutant tumors, including A775-G776insYVMA (n = 15). Interestingly, the IHC3+ tumors and mutant tumors were entirely exclusive. Female patients had HER2-mutant tumors more frequently, whereas both IHC3+ and IHC2+/FISH+ tumors were detected more often in male subjects and smokers. Patients with an HER2-aberrant tumor had a significantly worse prognosis than those with epidermal growth factor receptor-positive and anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive tumors, possibly due to the low proportion that received HER2-targeted therapies (n = 15 [26%]) and low response rates of 0% and 14% in patients with HER2-overexpressing and HER2-mutant tumors, respectively.

Conclusions: This prospective large-scale cohort study is the first to show comprehensively the frequency and clinical demographic characteristics of those with HER2-positive advanced lung tumors in detail, providing critical historical data for future drug development against HER2-positive NSCLC. Future treatment strategies would be developed stratified according to the types of HER2 aberrations.

Trial Registry: UMIN Registration No. 000017003; URL: https://upload.umin.ac.jp/cgi-open-bin/ctr_e/ctr_view.cgi?recptno=R000019691.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2019.01.011DOI Listing
August 2019

Clinical significance of monitoring EGFR mutation in plasma using multiplexed digital PCR in EGFR mutated patients treated with afatinib (West Japan Oncology Group 8114LTR study).

Lung Cancer 2019 05 22;131:128-133. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Kindai University, Osaka, Japan.

Background: Liquid biopsy has been approved as an optional method to detect epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the clinical significance of its utility for monitoring the disease remains elusive. WJOG8114LTR is a prospective, multi-institutional study of liquid biopsy in EGFR mutated patients with NSCLC.

Patients And Methods: Chemotherapy naïve, advanced NSCLC patients with EGFR -sensitizing mutation received afatinib 40 mg/body until progressive disease (PD). Plasma DNA was obtained from patients at baseline, weeks 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, and at PD. Three types of clinically relevant EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion, exon 20 T790 M and exon 21 L858R) will be analyzed using plasma DNA with multiplexed, digital PCR assay. This study was registered at UMIN 000015847.

Results: Fifty-seven patients were registered in the study. At baseline, 62.5% of patients were positive for EGFR mutation in plasma, and systemic spread of the tumor seemed to correlate with higher detection rate. After treatment, negative conversion of sensitive mutation within four weeks was observed among 87.5% of the patients. These patients demonstrated statistically significant longer progression-free survival than those who did not achieve negative conversion (13.6 months versus 5.1 months, p < 0.0001). Regarding progression, 35.7% of the patients showed recurrence in plasma DNA earlier than radiological progression. However, PFS curve based on plasma recurrence did not show significant difference than that based on RECIST.

Conclusion: To predict durable efficacy and progression, liquid biopsy was useful in a part of EGFR mutated NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2019.03.021DOI Listing
May 2019

A phase I/II trial of weekly nab-paclitaxel for pretreated non-small-cell lung cancer patients without epidermal growth factor receptor mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement.

Asia Pac J Clin Oncol 2019 Aug 1;15(4):250-256. Epub 2019 Apr 1.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Aim: We investigated the efficacy, safety and optimal schedule of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel monotherapy as second- or third-line treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer patients without epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement.

Methods: Patients with pretreated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer without epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement were included. The patients were administered 100 mg/m of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel on days 1, 8, 15 and 22 (level 0) or on days 1, 8 and 15 (level -1) every 4 weeks during phase I of the trial. The primary endpoint was objective response rate. The estimated objective response rate was 15% and the threshold was 5% with an α error of 0.05 and β error of 0.2 in phase II.

Results: The recommended schedule was determined as level -1 in phase I. The characteristics of the 55 patients enrolled in phase II were as follows: median age = 66 years, male/female = 40/15, second/third line = 34/21 and adenocarcinoma/squamous cell carcinoma/large cell carcinoma/others = 34/17/2/2. Objective response rate was 7.3% (95% confidence interval, 2.0-17.6%). Median progression-free survival was 3.4 months. Treatment-related grade 3 or 4 toxicities were neutropenia (36.4%), febrile neutropenia (5.5%) and pulmonary infection (3.6%). Three patients had grade 2 pneumonitis and one treatment-related death occurred due to adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Conclusion: This study failed to meet predefined primary endpoints for pretreated patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer without epidermal growth factor receptor mutation and anaplastic lymphoma kinase rearrangement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajco.13147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849786PMC
August 2019

Prospective exosome-focused translational research for afatinib study of non-small cell lung cancer patients expressing EGFR (EXTRA study).

Thorac Cancer 2019 02 8;10(2):395-400. Epub 2018 Dec 8.

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Patients with EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) exhibit resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) within 9-14 months of therapy. Recently, EGFR-mutated NSCLC has demonstrated the potential for heterogeneity; therefore, the manner of clonal heterogeneity may impact the duration of progression-free and overall survival and other parameters affecting EGFR-TKI treatment efficacy. However no predictive biomarker of these favorable treatment efficacies has been identified to date. The exosome-focused translational research for afatinib (EXTRA) study aims to identify a novel predictive biomarker and a resistance marker for afatinib by analyzing data from association studies of the clinical efficacy of afatinib and four "OMICs" (genomics, proteomics, epigenomics, and metabolomics) using peripheral blood from patients treated with afatinib. This study aims to: (i) conduct comprehensive multi-OMIC analyses in a prospective clinical trial, and (ii) focus on both sera/plasma and exosome as a source for OMIC analyses to identify a novel predictor of the efficacy of a specific drug. To eliminate the carryover bias of prior treatment, systemic treatment-naïve patients were enrolled. The candidates to be screened for biomarkers comprise a discovery cohort of 60 patients and an independent validation cohort of 40 patients. The EXTRA study is the first trial to screen novel biomarkers of longer treatment efficacy of EGFR-TKIs using four-OMICs analyses, focusing on both "naked or free" molecules and "capsulated" exosomal components in serially collected peripheral blood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.12923DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6360199PMC
February 2019

Phase 2 Study of Afatinib Alone or Combined With Bevacizumab in Chemonaive Patients With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Harboring EGFR Mutations: AfaBev-CS Study Protocol.

Clin Lung Cancer 2019 03 1;20(2):134-138. Epub 2018 Nov 1.

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Afatinib, a second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), has demonstrated a significant survival benefit over platinum-based chemotherapy in a first-line setting in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring EGFR exon 19 deletion. In addition, we and other groups have shown there to be favorable progression-free survival (PFS) outcomes, with acceptable toxicity profiles, with bevacizumab and first-generation EGFR-TKI combination therapy. On the basis of the above, we hypothesized that a combination of bevacizumab and afatinib could potentially improve efficacy. In our phase 1 study, a daily 30 mg dose of afatinib and 15 mg/kg intravenous bevacizumab every 3 weeks was well tolerated and was defined as the recommended dose. We have initiated a randomized phase 2 trial comparing afatinib (30 mg daily) and bevacizumab (15 mg/kg every 3 weeks) with afatinib (40 mg daily) alone for nonsquamous NSCLC harboring EGFR common mutations as a first-line therapy. A total of 100 patients will be enrolled onto this study and randomized in a 1:1 ratio. Patients will continue to receive treatment until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point is PFS, and the secondary end points are overall survival, tumor response, and time to treatment failure. The power is greater than 50% under the assumptions of a median PFS of 12 months for the afatinib group and a hazard ratio of 0.6 for the combination group (2-sided α = 0.05). We hypothesize that the combination therapy will be more efficacious than standard therapies for EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2018.10.008DOI Listing
March 2019

Statistical analysis of F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography ground-glass nodule findings.

Mol Clin Oncol 2018 Sep 16;9(3):279-282. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

Okayama Diagnostic Imaging Center, Okayama, Okayama 700-0913, Japan.

F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (F-FDG-PET/CT) is important in lung cancer diagnosis; false negatives are often caused by ground-glass nodules (GGNs). PET/CT utility in GGN diagnosis is unknown. The associations between GGN CT findings (size, properties), the pathological diagnosis and maximum standardized uptake value (SUV) were explored. Sixty-six patients with pathological stage IA1-IIA lung adenocarcinoma underwent surgical resection and PET/CT between January 2010 and December 2014. Clinical characteristics, CT findings, pathological diagnoses and PET/CT findings were retrospectively examined. The age range was 47-86 years (median, 69 years), the female/male ratio was 38:28 and the pathological stage was IA1, IA2, IA3, IB and IIA in 5, 30, 21, 9 and 1, respectively. Total and solid-part lesion diameters ranged from 7.00-41.13 mm (median, 19.43 mm) and 0.00-23.23 mm (median, 4.55 mm), respectively; the solid-part ratio (solid-part diameter/total diameter) was 0-77% (median, 20%). SUV ranged from a value too low for evaluation to 3.9 (median, 1.0). Pathological diagnoses were adenocarcinoma (AIS), minimally invasive adenocarcinoma (MIA), lepidic-predominant adenocarcinoma (LPA) and papillary predominant adenocarcinoma (PPA) in 17, 15, 32 and 2, respectively. Correlation coefficients for each factor and SUV for total and solid-part diameters were 0.513 (p<0.0001) and 0.461 (p<0.0001), respectively. All pure GGNs showed clinically unimportant SUV<2.5, even though some large GGNs were included (maximum, 40.0 mm). A total diameter ≥20 mm was significantly associated with FDG uptake (p<0.0001). SUV were <2.5 when the solid-part diameter was <4.55 mm. The AIS-MIA group showed significantly lower SUV than the LPA-PPA group (p=0.0008). There was no clinically important SUV with diagnostic value for pure or small part-solid GGNs. There were medium correlations for GGN total diameter, solid-part diameter, and SUV. We should note PET/CT's limitations in GGN diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mco.2018.1670DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109674PMC
September 2018

Pulmonary Tumor Thrombotic Microangiopathy Induced by Prostate Cancer.

Acta Med Okayama 2018 Jun;72(3):309-313

Department of Urology, St.Mary's Hospital, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0801, Japan.

Pulmonary tumor thrombotic microangiopathy (PTTM) is a fatal, malignancy-related respiratory complication; we herein report a PTTM case induced by metastatic prostate cancer. An 81-year-old Japanese man developed dyspnea. High-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) revealed ground-glass opacities spread across bilateral lung fields. Pulmonary microvascular aspiration cytology detected prostate cancer cells. As PTTM was highly suspected, docetaxel chemotherapy was performed immediately. His respiratory condition and HRCT findings improved temporarily, but he died approx. 6 weeks after admission. Autopsy showed fibrocellular intimal proliferation of small pulmonary arterioles, which confirmed the diagnosis of PTTM induced by prostate cancer. As in the present case, it is often difficult to confirm the presence of not only tumor embolization but also fibrocellular intimal proliferation before the patient's death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18926/AMO/56078DOI Listing
June 2018

Successful Long-term Management of Two Cases of Moderate Hemoptysis Due to Chronic Cavitary Pulmonary Aspergillosis with Bronchial Occlusion Using Silicone Spigots.

Intern Med 2018 Aug 30;57(16):2389-2393. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Japanese Red Cross Okayama Hospital, Japan.

Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is a major cause of life-threatening hemoptysis. In symptomatic patients with simple aspergillomas, surgery is the main therapeutic method for preventing or treating life-threatening hemoptysis. However, the risks of both death and complications are higher in chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis than in simple aspergilloma. We herein report two patients with persistent moderate hemoptysis due to chronic cavitary pulmonary aspergillosis who were not indicated for surgery, but were able to undergo successful long-term management with bronchial occlusion using silicone spigots. In diseases with a high recurrence rate of hemoptysis, the continuous placement of silicone spigots might therefore be effective to prevent rebleeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2169/internalmedicine.0553-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6148162PMC
August 2018

A phase I trial of afatinib and bevacizumab in chemo-naïve patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer harboring EGFR mutations: Okayama Lung Cancer Study Group Trial 1404.

Lung Cancer 2018 01 28;115:103-108. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Okayama University Hospital, 2-5-1, Shikata-cho, Okayama, Japan.

Objective: In advanced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), treatment with afatinib, a second-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), confers a significant survival benefit over platinum-based chemotherapy. The first-generation EGFR-TKIs gefitinib and erlotinib in combination with bevacizumab have improved progression-free survival. We hypothesized that the combination of afatinib with bevacizumab would further improve efficacy, and conducted a phase I trial to test this hypothesis.

Materials And Methods: Untreated patients with advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC were enrolled. The primary endpoint was safety. Two doses of afatinib, 40mg/day (level 0) and 30mg/day (level -1), were evaluated in combination with 15mg/kg bevacizumab every 3 weeks. Optimal dosing was determined by dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), with the concentration at which ≤4 of 12 patients experienced toxicity considered the recommended dose.

Results: Nineteen patients were enrolled (level 0:5, level -1:14). Three of the five patients at level 0 experienced a DLT, which indicated that this dose was unfeasible. Three patients at level -1 developed a DLT of grade 3 non-hematological toxicity, which was soon resolved. Grade 3 or worse adverse events were experienced by all five patients at dose level 0 (diarrhea in 2, skin rash in 1, hypoxia in 1, and paronychia in 1), and by three patients at level -1 (diarrhea in 2 and anorexia in 1). Among 16 evaluable patients, 1 had a complete response, 12 had partial responses, and 0 had progressive disease.

Conclusion: Afatinib plus bevacizumab (level -1) was well tolerated and showed evidence of favorable disease control. This combination therapy may represent a potent therapeutic option for patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.11.025DOI Listing
January 2018

A phase II trial of carboplatin plus S-1 for elderly patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer with wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor: The Okayama Lung Cancer Study Group Trial 1202.

Lung Cancer 2017 10 12;112:188-194. Epub 2017 Aug 12.

Department of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Introduction: S-1 is an oral fluoropyrimidine-based combination of tegafur, gimeracil, and oteracil potassium. Although the combination of S-1 with carboplatin is a first-line chemotherapy regimen for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the efficacy and safety of the regimen in the elderly remain unknown.

Methods: The patient inclusion criteria were previously untreated advanced NSCLC, wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor, aged 70 years or more, and a performance status (PS) of 0-2. The patients received oral S-1 (40mg/m, twice daily) for 2 weeks and carboplatin (area under the curve: 5) on day 1 every 4 weeks as induction treatment. After four induction cycles, S-1 alone (40mg/m, twice daily) was administered for 2 weeks every 4 weeks as a maintenance therapy until disease progression. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR), which was expected to exceed 20%, and the secondary endpoints included the disease control rate (DCR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and the toxicity profile. The associations between clinical outcomes and expression of genes such as thymidylate synthase and thymidine phosphorylase in the tumors were evaluated.

Results: Thirty-three patients were enrolled between March 2013 and June 2015. The median age was 78 (range 70-89) years, and 51.5% had a PS of 0. The ORR was 30.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 14.6-46.0) and the DCR 57.6% (95% CI: 40.7-74.4). Grade 3/4 toxicities included thrombocytopenia (42.4%), neutropenia (33.3%), and anemia (27.3%). There was one treatment-related death due to aspiration pneumonia following febrile neutropenia. The median PFS and OS were 134days (95% CI: 79-173) and 479days (95% CI: 250-571), respectively. Low thymidine phosphorylase expression was associated with the DCR (P<0.01).

Conclusion: This study met the predesigned primary endpoint, and the regimen seems to be a favorable treatment option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.08.010DOI Listing
October 2017

Alectinib for Patients with ALK Rearrangement-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and a Poor Performance Status (Lung Oncology Group in Kyushu 1401).

J Thorac Oncol 2017 07 24;12(7):1161-1166. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

Research Institute for Diseases of the Chest, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. Electronic address:

Introduction: Alectinib has shown marked efficacy and safety in patients with anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase gene (ALK) rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a good performance status (PS). It has remained unclear whether alectinib might also be beneficial for such patients with a poor PS.

Methods: Eligible patients with advanced ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a PS of 2 to 4 received alectinib orally at 300 mg twice daily. The primary end point of the study was objective response rate (ORR), and the most informative secondary end point was rate of PS improvement.

Results: Between September 2014 and December 2015, 18 patients were enrolled in this phase II study. Of those patients, 12, five, and one had a PS of 2, 3, or 4, respectively, whereas four patients had received prior crizotinib treatment. The ORR was 72.2% (90% confidence interval: 52.9-85.8%). The ORR did not differ significantly between patients with a PS of 2 and those with a PS of 3 or higher (58.3% and 100%, respectively [p = 0.114]). The PS improvement rate was 83.3% (90% confidence interval: 64.8-93.1%, p < 0.0001), with the frequency of improvement to a PS of 0 or 1 being 72.2%. The median progression-free survival was 10.1 months. Toxicity was mild, with the frequency of adverse events of grade 3 or higher being low. Neither dose reduction nor withdrawal of alectinib because of toxicity was necessary.

Conclusions: Alectinib is a treatment option for patients with ALK rearrangement-positive NSCLC and a poor PS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2017.02.012DOI Listing
July 2017

Three-Arm Randomized Trial of Sodium Alginate for Preventing Radiation-Induced Esophagitis in Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy: The OLCSG1401 Study Protocol.

Clin Lung Cancer 2017 03 19;18(2):245-249. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Department of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the standard of care for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). However, this intensive therapy often causes severe esophagitis, which could deteriorate a patient's quality of life (QOL), leading to poor treatment compliance. Sodium alginate, approved in Japan for gastritis, is sufficiently highly viscous to remain in the esophageal mucosa, providing a protective effect in the esophagus. To investigate whether this compound has a preventive effect against severe esophagitis in patients receiving concurrent CRT, we plan a 3-arm randomized trial of sodium alginate with 2 different schedules versus water. The primary endpoint is set as the proportion of patients with grade ≥ 3 esophagitis using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. With stratification by institute, performance status, and percentage of the esophageal volume receiving >35 Gy, the patients will be randomly assigned to 1 of the following groups: sodium alginate initiated concomitantly with CRT (group A), sodium alginate initiated soon after the development of extremely mild esophagitis during CRT (group B), or water administered throughout CRT (group C). Assuming that the proportion of grade ≥ 3 esophagitis would be 8% in groups A and B and 27% in group C, the required sample size would be 200 patients, with 70% power and 5% α. The secondary endpoints include QOL, the frequency of additional prescriptions of analgesics, treatment response, and survival. The results of the present study will clarify whether sodium alginate can prevent esophagitis in patients with LA-NSCLC undergoing CRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2016.08.001DOI Listing
March 2017

A phase II study of topotecan and cisplatin with sequential thoracic radiotherapy in elderly patients with small-cell lung cancer: Okayama Lung Cancer Study Group 0102.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2016 Oct 20;78(4):769-74. Epub 2016 Aug 20.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Purpose: The treatment outcome in elderly patients with limited-disease small-cell lung cancer (LD-SCLC) remains poor. We carried out a phase II trial of split topotecan and cisplatin (TP) therapy and sequential thoracic radiotherapy for elderly LD-SCLC patients as a follow-up to our previous phase I trial.

Methods: In total, 30 patients aged 76 years or older, with untreated LD-SCLC were enrolled. Four courses of topotecan (1.0 mg/m(2), days 1-3) and cisplatin (20 mg/m(2), days 1-3) were administered, followed by thoracic radiotherapy (1.8 Gy/day, total of 45 Gy). The primary end point was the overall response rate (ORR).

Results: The trial was terminated early with 22 patients because of slow accrual. Their median age was 79 years. The median number of courses of chemotherapy administered was three, and the actual completion rate of the entire treatment course was 41 %. The ORR was 68 % with a 95 % confidence interval of 47-89 % (15/22 cases). The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 9.1 and 22.2 months, respectively. The main toxicity was myelosuppression, with grades 3-4 neutropenia (96 %), thrombocytopenia (50 %), and febrile neutropenia (32 %).

Conclusions: This regimen produced a favorable survival outcome, despite moderate-to-severe toxicity profiles. Further efforts are necessary to define an optimal regimen for elderly patients with limited SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-016-3135-2DOI Listing
October 2016

Detection of the T790M mutation of EGFR in plasma of advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (West Japan oncology group 8014LTR study).

Oncotarget 2016 Sep;7(36):58492-58499

Department of Genome Biology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.

Introduction: Next-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been developed to overcome resistance to earlier generations of such drugs mediated by a secondary T790M mutation of EGFR, but the performance of a second tumor biopsy to assess T790M mutation status can be problematic.

Methods: We developed and evaluated liquid biopsy assays for detection of TKI-sensitizing and T790M mutations of EGFR by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) in EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with acquired EGFR-TKI resistance.

Results: A total of 260 patients was enrolled between November 2014 and March 2015 at 29 centers for this West Japan Oncology Group (WJOG 8014LTR) study. Plasma specimens from all subjects as well as tumor tissue or malignant pleural effusion or ascites fluid from 41 patients were collected after the development of EGFR-TKI resistance. All plasma samples were genotyped successfully and the results were reported to physicians within 14 days. TKI-sensitizing and T790M mutations were detected in plasma of 120 (46.2%) and 75 (28.8%) patients, respectively. T790M was detected in 56.7% of patients with plasma positive for TKI-sensitizing mutations. For the 41 patients with paired samples obtained after acquisition of EGFR-TKI resistance, the concordance for mutation detection by ddPCR in plasma compared with tumor tissue or malignant fluid specimens was 78.0% for TKI-sensitizing mutations and 65.9% for T790M.

Conclusions: Noninvasive genotyping by ddPCR with cell-free DNA extracted from plasma is a promising approach to the detection of gene mutations during targeted treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295446PMC
September 2016

Development of a skin rash within the first week and the therapeutic effect in afatinib monotherapy for EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Okayama Lung Cancer Study Group experience.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2016 05 31;77(5):1005-9. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan.

Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are now key agents in treating EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The efficacy of gefitinib or erlotinib monotherapy can be predicted by the development of a skin rash. However, it has not been fully evaluated if this is the case with afatinib monotherapy.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 49 consecutive patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC who received afatinib therapy between 2009 and 2015. The relationship of several toxicities with tumor response was examined.

Results: Grade 2, or more severe, common adverse events (AEs) included skin rash in 17 patients (35 %), diarrhea in 19 (39 %) and mucositis in 15 (31 %). Of these, the number of patients who developed ≥Grade 2 AEs during the first week after the initiation of afatinib therapy was: five patients had skin rash (10 %), 12 patients had diarrhea (25 %) and four patients had mucositis (8 %). As for an objective response, 21 (43 %) of the 49 had a partial response. Associating the AEs with the antitumor effect, those who had a ≥Grade 2 skin rash within the first week tended to have a greater tumor response compared with those without a rash (80 vs. 39 %; p = 0.077).

Conclusion: Our small study demonstrated that the early development of a skin rash might be associated with the response to afatinib monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-015-2910-9DOI Listing
May 2016

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells Acquire Resistance to the ALK Inhibitor Alectinib by Activating Alternative Receptor Tyrosine Kinases.

Cancer Res 2016 Mar 30;76(6):1506-16. Epub 2015 Dec 30.

Department of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama City, Okayama, Japan.

Crizotinib is the standard of care for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion gene, but resistance invariably develops. Unlike crizotinib, alectinib is a selective ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) with more potent antitumor effects and a favorable toxicity profile, even in crizotinib-resistant cases. However, acquired resistance to alectinib, as for other TKIs, remains a limitation of its efficacy. Therefore, we investigated the mechanisms by which human NSCLC cells acquire resistance to alectinib. We established two alectinib-resistant cell lines that did not harbor the secondary ALK mutations frequently occurring in crizotinib-resistant cells. One cell line lost the EML4-ALK fusion gene, but exhibited increased activation of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (HER3), and overexpressed the HER3 ligand neuregulin 1. Accordingly, pharmacologic inhibition of IGF1R and HER3 signaling overcame resistance to alectinib in this cell line. The second alectinib-resistant cell line displayed stimulated HGF autocrine signaling that promoted MET activation and remained sensitive to crizotinib treatment. Taken together, our findings reveal two novel mechanisms underlying alectinib resistance that are caused by the activation of alternative tyrosine kinase receptors rather than by secondary ALK mutations. These studies may guide the development of comprehensive treatment strategies that take into consideration the various approaches ALK-positive lung tumors use to withstand therapeutic insult.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-1010DOI Listing
March 2016

Gefitinib Combined With Standard Chemoradiotherapy in EGFR-Mutant Locally Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: The LOGIK0902/OLCSG0905 Intergroup Study Protocol.

Clin Lung Cancer 2016 Jan 18;17(1):75-9. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Clinical Research Institute, National Kyushu Cancer Center, Fukuoka, Japan.

Herein, we describe an ongoing phase II trial in patients with locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Patients with chemotherapy-naive locally advanced disease with active EGFR mutations will receive the induction treatment, specified as gefitinib monotherapy (250 mg/body) for 8 weeks. Patients whose disease has not progressed during the induction therapy will receive cisplatin and docetaxel (40 mg/m(2)) on days 1, 8, 29, and 36, and concurrent 3-dimensional conformal thoracic radiotherapy with a single daily fraction of 2 Gy, for 5 consecutive days each week to provide a total dose of 60 Gy. The primary end point is overall survival at 24 months. A target sample size of 21 evaluable patients is considered sufficient to validate an expected rate of 85%, and 60% would be the lower limit of interest, with 80% power and a 1-sided α of 5%. Secondary end points include toxicity, response rate, and overall survival. This study will clarify whether tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeted to EGFR can produce a maximal effect in selected NSCLC patients with the relevant driver mutation, even in the locally advanced setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2015.08.004DOI Listing
January 2016