Publications by authors named "Amelia Insa"

32 Publications

Clinical and molecular parameters associated to pneumonitis development in non-small-cell lung cancer patients receiving chemoimmunotherapy from NADIM trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Aug;9(8)

Oncología Médica, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Puerta de Hierro-Segovia de Arana (IDIPHISA), Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain

Background: Pneumonitis (Pn) is one of the main immune-related adverse effects, having a special importance in lung cancer, since they share affected tissue. Despite its clinical relevance, Pn development remains an unpredictable treatment adverse effect, whose mechanisms are mainly unknown, being even more obscure when it is associated to chemoimmunotherapy.

Methods: In order to identify parameters associated to treatment related Pn, we analyzed clinical variables and molecular parameters from 46 patients with potentially resectable stage IIIA non-small-cell lung cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy included in the NADIM clinical trial (NCT03081689). Pn was defined as clinical or radiographic evidence of lung inflammation without alternative diagnoses, from treatment initiation to 180 days.

Results: Among 46 patients, 12 developed Pn (26.1%). Sex, age, smoking status, packs-year, histological subtype, clinical or pathological response, progression-free survival, overall survival and number of nivolumab cycles, were not associated to Pn development. Regarding molecular parameters at diagnosis, Pn development was not associated to programmed death ligand 1, TPS, T cell receptor repertoire parameters, or tumor mutational burden. However, patients who developed Pn had statistically significant lower blood median levels of platelet to monocyte ratio (p=0.012) and teratocarcinoma-derived growth factor 1 (p=0.013; area under the curve (AUC) 0.801), but higher median percentages of natural killers (NKs) (p=0.019; AUC 0.786), monocytes (p=0.017; AUC 0.791), MSP (p=0.006; AUC 0.838), PARN (p=0.017; AUC 0.790), and E-Cadherin (p=0.022; AUC 0.788). In addition, the immune scenario of Pn after neoadjuvant treatment involves: high levels of neutrophils and NK cells, but low levels of B and T cells in peripheral blood; increased clonality of intratumoral T cells; and elevated plasma levels of several growth factors (EGF, HGF, VEGF, ANG-1, PDGF, NGF, and NT4) and inflammatory cytokines (MIF, CCL16, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, BMP-4, and u-PAR).

Conclusions: Although statistically underpowered, our results shed light on the possible mechanisms behind Pn development, involving innate and adaptative immunity, and open the possibility to predict patients at high risk. If confirmed, this may allow the personalization of both, the surveillance strategy and the therapeutic approaches to manage Pn in patients receiving chemoimmunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8395363PMC
August 2021

Pre-treatment tissue TCR repertoire evenness is associated with complete pathological response in patients with NSCLC receiving neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Aug 10. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Medical Oncology, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: Characterization of the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire may be a promising source for predictive biomarkers of pathological response to immunotherapy in locally-advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Experimental Design: In this study, next-generation TCR sequencing was performed in peripheral blood and tissue samples of 40 NSCLC patients, before and after neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy (NADIM clinical trial, NCT03081689), considering their complete pathologic response (CPR) or non-CPR. Beyond TCR metrics, tissue clones were ranked by their frequency and spatiotemporal evolution of top 1% clones was determined.

Results: We have found a positive association between an uneven TCR repertoire in tissue samples at diagnosis and CPR at surgery. Moreover, TCR most frequent-ranked clones (top 1%) present in diagnostic biopsies occupied greater frequency in the total clonal space of CPR patients, achieving an AUC ROC to identify CPR patients of 0.967 (95% CI, 0.897 to 1.000; p=0.001), and improving the results of PD-L1 TPS (AUC 0.767; p=0.026) or TMB (AUC 0.550; p=0.687). Furthermore, tumors with high pre-treatment top 1% clonal space showed similar immune cell populations but a higher immune reactive gene expression profile. Finally, the selective expansion of pre-treatment tissue top 1% clones in peripheral blood of CPR patients suggests also a peripheral immunosurveillance, which could explain the high survival rate of these patients.

Conclusions: We have identified two parameters derived from TCR repertoire analysis that could outperform PD-L1 TPS and TMB as predictive biomarkers of CPR after neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy, and unraveled possible mechanisms of CPR involving enhanced tumor immunogenicity and peripheral immunosurveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-1200DOI Listing
August 2021

Blood biomarkers associated to complete pathological response on NSCLC patients treated with neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy included in NADIM clinical trial.

Clin Transl Med 2021 Jul;11(7):e491

Servicio de Oncología Médica, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Puerta de Hierro-Segovia de Arana (IDIPHISA), Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Immunotherapy is being tested in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and achieving higher rates of complete pathological responses (CPR) as compared to standard of care. Early identification of CPR patients has vital clinical implications. In this study, we focused on basal peripheral immune cells and their treatment-related changes to find biomarkers associated to CPR.

Methods: Blood from 29 stage IIIA NSCLC patients participating in the NADIM trial (NCT03081689) was collected at diagnosis and post neoadjuvant treatment. More than 400 parameters of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) phenotype and plasma soluble factors were analyzed.

Results: Neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy altered more than 150 immune parameters. At diagnosis, 11 biomarkers associated to CPR were described, with an area under the ROC curve >0.70 and p-value <.05. CPR patients had significantly higher levels of CD4 PD-1 cells, NKG2D, and CD56 expression on T CD56 cells, intensity of CD25 expression on CD4 CD25hi cells and CD69 expression on intermediate monocytes; but lower levels of CD3 CD56 CTLA-4 cells, CD14 CD16 CTLA-4 cells, CTLA-4 expression on T CD56 cells and lower levels of b-NGF, NT-3, and VEGF-D in plasma compared to non-CPR. Post treatment, CPR patients had significantly higher levels of CD19 expression on B cells, BCMA, 4-1BB, MCSF, and PARC and lower levels of MPIF-1 and Flt-3L in plasma compared to non-CPR.

Conclusions: Patients achieving CPR seem to have a distinctive peripheral blood immune status at diagnosis, even showing different immune response to treatment. These results reinforce the different biology behind CPR and non-CPR responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ctm2.491DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8288017PMC
July 2021

LungBEAM: A prospective multicenter study to monitor stage IV NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations using BEAMing technology.

Cancer Med 2021 Sep 23;10(17):5878-5888. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.

Objectives: The aim of LungBEAM was to determine the value of a novel epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation test in blood based on BEAMing technology to predict disease progression in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with first- or second-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs). Another goal was to monitor the dynamics of EGFR mutations, as well as to track EGFR exon 20 p.T790M (p.T790M) resistance during treatment, as critical indicators of therapeutic efficacy and patient survival.

Methods: Stage IV NSCLC patients with locally confirmed EGFR-TKI sensitizing mutations (ex19del and/or L858R) in biopsy tissue who were candidates to receive first- or second-generation EGFR-TKI as first-line therapy were included. Plasma samples were obtained at baseline and every 4 weeks during treatment until a progression-free survival (PFS) event or until study completion (72-week follow-up). The mutant allele fraction (MAF) was determined for each identified mutation using BEAMing.

Results: A total of 68 of the 110 (61.8%) patients experienced a PFS event. Twenty-six patients (23.6%) presented with an emergent p.T790M mutation in plasma at some point during follow-up, preceding radiologic progression with a median of 76 (interquartile ratio: 54-111) days. Disease progression correlated with the appearance of p.T790M in plasma with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48-2.54; p < 0.001). The HR for progression in patients showing increasing plasma sensitizing mutation levels (positive MAF slope) versus patients showing either decreasing or unchanged plasma mutation levels (negative or null MAF slopes) was 3.85 (95% CI, 2.01-7.36; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Detection and quantification of EGFR mutations in circulating tumor DNA using the highly sensitive BEAMing method should greatly assist in optimizing treatment decisions for advanced NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.4135DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8419773PMC
September 2021

Efficacy of nintedanib plus docetaxel in patients with refractory advanced epidermal growth factor receptor mutant lung adenocarcinoma.

Clin Transl Oncol 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital de La Santa Creu I Sant Pau, Sant Quintí, 89, 08041, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Anti-angiogenic agents are reported to exert clinical activity in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We evaluated the outcomes of the combination of docetaxel plus nintedanib in refractory NSCLC patients harboring EGFR mutations.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 19 patients with advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC who had progressed to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and platinum-based chemotherapy receiving docetaxel and nintedanib at 14 Spanish institutions from January 2013 to December 2019. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were used to evaluate progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Median age was 58.9 years (range 42.8-81), 73.7% were female. All patients were Caucasian, and 73.7% were never or light smokers. The baseline Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) was 0-1 in 94.7% of patients. All patients had adenocarcinoma. Brain and liver metastases were present in 47.4% and 31.6% of patients, respectively. The most common EGFR mutations were exon 19 deletion (52.6%) and exon 21 L858R mutation (36.8%); 47.4% patients presented the EGFR T790M. 94.8% of the patients had received 2-3 previous treatment lines. Docetaxel was administered at 75 mg/m/3 weeks to 16 patients, at 60 mg/m to 2 patients and at 45 mg/m to one patient. Nintedanib was given until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity at 200 mg twice daily except in 2 patients who received 150 mg twice daily and one patient who received 100 mg/12 h. With a median follow-up of 11.4 months (1-38), the median PFS was 6.1 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.9-7.3] and the median OS 10.1 months (95% CI 5.9-14.3). The objective response rate (ORR) was 44.4% (23.7-66.8%) and the disease control rate (DCR) 72.2% (49.4-88.5%). Efficacy tended to be greater in patients with the acquired T790M who had received osimertinib, with a median PFS of 6.3 (95% CI 2.1-10.5) versus (vs.) 4.8 (95% CI 3.5-6.1) and a median OS of 12.3 months (95% CI 8.6-16.0) vs. 6.7 months (95% CI 3.9-9.4), although this tendency was not statistically significant (p = 0.468 and p = 0.159, respectively). Sixteen patients (84.2%) had a total of 34 adverse events (AEs), with a median of two (0-6) AEs per patient. The most frequent AEs were asthenia (20.6%) and diarrhea (20.6%). One treatment-related death due to portal thrombosis was reported.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that the combination of docetaxel and nintedanib can be considered to be an effective treatment for EGFR TKI-resistant EGFR-mutant NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12094-021-02661-2DOI Listing
July 2021

Comprehensive cross-platform comparison of methods for non-invasive EGFR mutation testing: results of the RING observational trial.

Mol Oncol 2021 01 13;15(1):43-56. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Liquid Biopsy Laboratory, Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Several platforms for noninvasive EGFR testing are currently used in the clinical setting with sensitivities ranging from 30% to 100%. Prospective studies evaluating agreement and sources for discordant results remain lacking. Herein, seven methodologies including two next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based methods, three high-sensitivity PCR-based platforms, and two FDA-approved methods were compared using 72 plasma samples, from EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients progressing on a first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). NGS platforms as well as high-sensitivity PCR-based methodologies showed excellent agreement for EGFR-sensitizing mutations (K = 0.80-0.89) and substantial agreement for T790M testing (K = 0.77 and 0.68, respectively). Mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) obtained by different quantitative methods showed an excellent reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.86-0.98). Among other technical factors, discordant calls mostly occurred at mutant allele frequencies (MAFs) ≤ 0.5%. Agreement significantly improved when discarding samples with MAF ≤ 0.5%. EGFR mutations were detected at significantly lower MAFs in patients with brain metastases, suggesting that these patients risk for a false-positive result. Our results support the use of liquid biopsies for noninvasive EGFR testing and highlight the need to systematically report MAFs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12832DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782072PMC
January 2021

Combination of gefitinib and olaparib versus gefitinib alone in EGFR mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC): A multicenter, randomized phase II study (GOAL).

Lung Cancer 2020 12 3;150:62-69. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute and Hospital (IGTP), Badalona, Spain. Electronic address:

Objectives: Progression-free survival (PFS) and response rate to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) varies in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) driven byEGFR mutations, suggesting that other genetic alterations may influence oncogene addiction. Low BRCA1 mRNA levels correlate with longer PFS in erlotinib-treated EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients. Since the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, olaparib, may attenuate and/or prevent BRCA1 expression, the addition of olaparib to gefitinib could improve outcome in EGFR-mutant advanced NSCLC.

Materials And Methods: GOAL was a multicenter, randomized phase IB/II study performed in two countries, Spain and Mexico. Eligible patients were 18 years or older, treatment-naïve, pathologically confirmed stage IV NSCLC, with centrally confirmed EGFR mutations and measurable disease. Patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to receive gefitinib 250 mg daily or gefitinib 250 mg daily plus olaparib 200 mg three times daily in 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was PFS. Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), response rate, safety and tolerability.

Results: Between September 2013, and July 2016, 182 patients underwent randomization, 91 received gefitinib and 91 received gefitinib plus olaparib. There were no differences in gender, age, smoking status, performance status, presence of bone and brain metastases or type ofEGFR mutation. Median PFS was 10.9 months (95 % CI 9.3-13.3) in the gefitinib arm and 12.8 months (95 % CI 9.1-14.7) in the gefitinib plus olaparib arm (HR 1.38, 95 % CI 1.00-1.92; p = 0.124). The most common adverse events were anemia, 78 % in gefitinib plus olaparib group, 38 % in gefitinib arm, diarrhea, 65 % and 60 %, and fatigue, 40 % and 32 %, respectively.

Conclusions: The gefitinib plus olaparib combination did not provide significant benefit over gefitinib alone. The combination's safety profile showed an increase in hematological and gastrointestinal toxicity, compared to gefitinib alone, however, no relevant adverse events were noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.09.018DOI Listing
December 2020

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and nivolumab in resectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NADIM): an open-label, multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 24;21(11):1413-1422. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is terminal in most patients with locally advanced stage disease. We aimed to assess the antitumour activity and safety of neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy for resectable stage IIIA NSCLC.

Methods: This was an open-label, multicentre, single-arm phase 2 trial done at 18 hospitals in Spain. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically documented treatment-naive American Joint Committee on Cancer-defined stage IIIA NSCLC that was deemed locally to be surgically resectable by a multidisciplinary clinical team, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. Patients received neoadjuvant treatment with intravenous paclitaxel (200 mg/m) and carboplatin (area under curve 6; 6 mg/mL per min) plus nivolumab (360 mg) on day 1 of each 21-day cycle, for three cycles before surgical resection, followed by adjuvant intravenous nivolumab monotherapy for 1 year (240 mg every 2 weeks for 4 months, followed by 480 mg every 4 weeks for 8 months). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 24 months, assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population, which included all patients who received neoadjuvant treatment, and in the per-protocol population, which included all patients who had tumour resection and received at least one cycle of adjuvant treatment. Safety was assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03081689, and is ongoing but no longer recruiting patients.

Findings: Between April 26, 2017, and Aug 25, 2018, we screened 51 patients for eligibility, of whom 46 patients were enrolled and received neoadjuvant treatment. At the time of data cutoff (Jan 31, 2020), the median duration of follow-up was 24·0 months (IQR 21·4-28·1) and 35 of 41 patients who had tumour resection were progression free. At 24 months, progression-free survival was 77·1% (95% CI 59·9-87·7). 43 (93%) of 46 patients had treatment-related adverse events during neoadjuvant treatment, and 14 (30%) had treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse; however, none of the adverse events were associated with surgery delays or deaths. The most common grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were increased lipase (three [7%]) and febrile neutropenia (three [7%]).

Interpretation: Our results support the addition of neoadjuvant nivolumab to platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with resectable stage IIIA NSCLC. Neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy could change the perception of locally advanced lung cancer as a potentially lethal disease to one that is curable.

Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30453-8DOI Listing
November 2020

ASTRIS, a large real-world study to evaluate the efficacy of osimertinib in epidermal growth factor receptor T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients: Clinical characteristics and genotyping methods in a Spanish cohort.

Rev Esp Patol 2020 Jul - Sep;53(3):140-148. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Majadahonda, Spain. Electronic address:

Purpose: Osimertinib has proven efficacy in EGFR T790M mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients; however, its benefits have not been evaluated in a real-world setting.

Methods: ASTRIS is a single-arm, open-label, multinational study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of osimertinib for the treatment of EGFR T790M mutation-positive NSCLC. We present the study design and preliminary cut-off analysis results (as of October 2017) describing the baseline characteristics and methodology for T790M mutation detection in the Spanish cohort.

Results: The Spanish cohort included 131 patients from a total 3014 patients. Forty patients (28.1%) were still undergoing therapy at the time of cut-off; 68.7% were women and 97.7% were Caucasian, with a mean age of 64.8 (SD 11.7) years. The most common type of sample for evaluating T790M mutations was tissue (55.0%), and samples were obtained from the primary tumor in 61.1% of cases. Mutation analysis was performed by the local laboratory in 60.3% of cases and using the Roche Cobas® EGFR assay in 43.5% of cases.

Conclusions: ASTRIS is expected to confirm the benefits of osimertinib in a real-world setting. Data on real-world practices for the detection of the EGFR T790M mutation may provide additional information for the designing of guidelines for best practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.patol.2019.11.002DOI Listing
January 2020

In the literature: December 2019.

ESMO Open 2020 Jan;5(1)

Department of Medical Oncology, Biomedical Research institute INCLIVA, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7003377PMC
January 2020

Oral vinorelbine versus etoposide with cisplatin and chemo-radiation as treatment in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer: A randomized phase II (RENO study).

Lung Cancer 2019 09 1;135:161-168. Epub 2018 Dec 1.

Medical Oncology, University Hospital Puerta de Hierro, Majadahonda Medical Oncology. Spanish Lung Cancer Group (SLCG), Spain. Electronic address:

Objectives: Concomitant chemo-radiation is the standard treatment for unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). The aim of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of oral vinorelbine and cisplatin (OVP) compared with etoposide and cisplatin (EP), both in combination with radiotherapy, in this setting.

Material And Methods: An open-label, randomized phase II trial was undertaken including 23 hospitals in Spain. Adults with untreated unresectable stage III NSCLC were randomized1:1 to receive: oral vinorelbine (days 1 and 8 with cisplatin on day 1 in 3-week cycles; 2 cycles of induction, 2 cycles in concomitance) or etoposide (days 1-5 and 29-32 with cisplatin on days 1 and 8 in 4-week cycles; 2 cycles in concomitance). Both groups received concomitant radiotherapy 2 Gy/day (66 Gy). The primary endpoint was progression free survival (PFS).

Results: One hundred and forty patients were enrolled. Sixty-nine patients received OVP and 71 received EP. Globally adverse events grade 3/4 per cycle were fewer in the vinorelbine arm (19.4%) than in the etoposide arm (62.6%) (p < 0.001). One patient (1.5%) in the OVP arm and 12 pts (17.6%) in the EP arm presented esophagitis grade 3/4 (p = 0.002). Median PFS was similar in both groups (10.8 [95% CI 7.7-13.8] and 9.6 months [95% CI 4.4-14.8]; p = 0.457, respectively). Preliminary median overall survival was 30 months in the OVP arm and 31.9 months in the EP arm (p = 0.688).

Conclusions: Our findings show that OVP could be considered a standard combination with similar efficacy and better safety profile for the treatment of LA-NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2018.11.041DOI Listing
September 2019

Assessment of a New ROS1 Immunohistochemistry Clone (SP384) for the Identification of ROS1 Rearrangements in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma: the ROSING Study.

J Thorac Oncol 2019 12 23;14(12):2120-2132. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Alvaro Cunqueiro Hospital, Vigo, Spain.

Introduction: The ROS1 gene rearrangement has become an important biomarker in NSCLC. The College of American Pathologists/International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer/Association for Molecular Pathology testing guidelines support the use of ROS1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) as a screening test, followed by confirmation with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) or a molecular test in all positive results. We have evaluated a novel anti-ROS1 IHC antibody (SP384) in a large multicenter series to obtain real-world data.

Methods: A total of 43 ROS1 FISH-positive and 193 ROS1 FISH-negative NSCLC samples were studied. All specimens were screened by using two antibodies (clone D4D6 from Cell Signaling Technology and clone SP384 from Ventana Medical Systems), and the different interpretation criteria were compared with break-apart FISH (Vysis). FISH-positive samples were also analyzed with next-generation sequencing (Oncomine Dx Target Test Panel, Thermo Fisher Scientific).

Results: An H-score of 150 or higher or the presence of at least 70% of tumor cells with an intensity of staining of 2+ or higher by the SP384 clone was the optimal cutoff value (both with 93% sensitivity and 100% specificity). The D4D6 clone showed similar results, with an H-score of at least 100 (91% sensitivity and 100% specificity). ROS1 expression in normal lung was more frequent with use of the SP384 clone (p < 0.0001). The ezrin gene (EZR)-ROS1 variant was associated with membranous staining and an isolated green signal FISH pattern (p = 0.001 and p = 0.017, respectively).

Conclusions: The new SP384 ROS1 IHC clone showed excellent sensitivity without compromising specificity, so it is another excellent analytical option for the proposed testing algorithm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.07.005DOI Listing
December 2019

CXCR7 Reactivates ERK Signaling to Promote Resistance to EGFR Kinase Inhibitors in NSCLC.

Cancer Res 2019 09 4;79(17):4439-4452. Epub 2019 Jul 4.

Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Although EGFR mutant-selective tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are clinically effective, acquired resistance can occur by reactivating ERK. We show using models of acquired EGFR TKI resistance with a mesenchymal phenotype that CXCR7, an atypical G protein-coupled receptor, activates the MAPK-ERK pathway via β-arrestin. Depletion of CXCR7 inhibited the MAPK pathway, significantly attenuated EGFR TKI resistance, and resulted in mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. CXCR7 overexpression was essential in reactivation of ERK1/2 for the generation of EGFR TKI-resistant persister cells. Many patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an EGFR kinase domain mutation, who progressed on EGFR inhibitors, demonstrated increased CXCR7 expression. These data suggest that CXCR7 inhibition could considerably delay and prevent the emergence of acquired EGFR TKI resistance in EGFR-mutant NSCLC. SIGNIFICANCE: Increased expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 constitutes a mechanism of resistance to EGFR TKI in patients with non-small cell lung cancer through reactivation of ERK signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6746175PMC
September 2019

Safety and Efficacy of Crizotinib in Patients With Advanced or Metastatic ROS1-Rearranged Lung Cancer (EUCROSS): A European Phase II Clinical Trial.

J Thorac Oncol 2019 07 9;14(7):1266-1276. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Department of Thoracic Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Introduction: ROS1 rearrangements are found in 1% of lung cancer patients. Therapeutic efficacy of crizotinib in this subset has been shown in early phase trials in the United States and East Asia. Here we present data on efficacy and safety of a prospective phase II trial evaluating crizotinib in European ROS1-positive patients (EUCROSS).

Patients And Methods: The trial was a multicenter, single-arm phase II trial (Clinicaltrial.gov identifier: NCT02183870). Key eligibility criteria included patients who were 18 years of age or older with advanced/metastatic lung cancer and centrally confirmed ROS1-rearranged lung cancer (fluorescence-in situ hybridization). Treatment included 250 mg crizotinib twice daily. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR) (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1). Key secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, efficacy by independent radiologic review, safety, health-related quality of life, and molecular characterization of tumor tissue.

Results: Thirty-four patients received treatment. Four patients were excluded from efficacy analysis. Investigator ORR was 70% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 51-85; 21 of 30 patients) and median PFS was 20.0 months (95% CI: 10.1-not reached). Two patients with ROS1 wild-type sequences assessed by DNA sequencing had progression as best response. CD74-ROS1-positive patients had a trend towards a higher ORR and longer median PFS. TP53-co-mutant patients had a significantly shorter median PFS than wild-type patients (7.0 months, 95% CI: 1.7-20.0 versus 24.1 months, 95% CI: 10.1-not reached; p = 0.022). Treatment-related adverse events were documented in 33 of 34 patients (97%).

Conclusions: Crizotinib is highly effective and safe in patients with ROS1-rearranged lung cancer. ROS1-/TP53-co-aberrant patients had a significantly worse outcome compared to TP53 wild-type patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.03.020DOI Listing
July 2019

In the literature: February 2019.

ESMO Open 2019 13;4(1):e000490. Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Department of Medical Oncology, Biomedical Research Institute INCLIVA, University of Valencia, CIBERONC, Valencia, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6435238PMC
February 2019

A phase Ib trial of continuous once-daily oral afatinib plus sirolimus in patients with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer and/or disease progression following prior erlotinib or gefitinib.

Lung Cancer 2017 06 22;108:154-160. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

Cancer Biology & Precision Medicine Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Institute and Hospital, Badalona, Spain; Dr. Rosell Oncology Institute, Quirón Dexeus University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain; Molecular Oncology Research Foundation (MORe), Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Campus Can Ruti, Carretera de Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Objectives: Dysregulation of the downstream PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway is a proposed mechanism of resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs). We investigated safety and antitumor activity of afatinib plus sirolimus as a potential combination to reverse acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs in a phase IB trial in patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (EGFR mut NSCLC) and/or disease progression following prior erlotinib/gefitinib.

Materials And Methods: Patients with EGFR mut NSCLC and/or disease progression following at least prior erlotinib/gefitinib were included in the trial. The primary endpoint was incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). Four initial dose cohorts were proposed to evaluate DLTs. Other endpoints included tumor response, safety, progression-free survival (PFS) and pharmacokinetics.

Results: Thirty-nine patients received afatinib and sirolimus. Additional dose cohorts were added since the second cohort (afatinib 40mg/day and sirolimus 5mg/day) was considered to have excessive toxicity. All patients experienced adverse events (AE) [grade 3: 66.7%; serious AE: 56.4%]. The most frequent AEs were diarrhea (94.9%), mucosal inflammation (64.1%), asthenia (53.8%) and rash (53.8%). Discontinuations and dose reduction due to AEs occurred in 23.1% and 25.6% of patients. MTD was determined as afatinib 30mg and sirolimus 1mg. Responses were observed in 5 patients (12.8%) [2 (5.1%) with confirmed partial response (PR); 3 (7.7%) with unconfirmed PR], and stable disease in 18 patients (46.2%). Four of the 5 responses were at doses above MTD. PFS at 6 months was estimated in 33.3% (median PFS 3.4 months). Pharmacokinetic parameters of afatinib and sirolimus were similar after single administration or in combination.

Conclusion: The combination of afatinib and sirolimus showed lower responses than expected. Together with increased AEs and poor tolerability, this precludes clinical use and further clinical development of this combination. No pharmacokinetic interactions were observed. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT00993499.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2017.03.009DOI Listing
June 2017

Coexistence of EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA Mutations and ALK Rearrangement in a Comprehensive Cohort of 326 Consecutive Spanish Nonsquamous NSCLC Patients.

Clin Lung Cancer 2017 11 27;18(6):e395-e402. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Introduction: Molecular screening is crucial for the care of nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. The coexistence of mutations could have important consequences regarding treatment. We described the mutational patterns and coexistence among patients and their outcomes after targeted treatment.

Materials And Methods: Data from consecutive patients with newly diagnosed nonsquamous NSCLC were prospectively collected. Next-generation sequencing analysis of mutational hotspots in the EGFR, KRAS, PIK3CA, and BRAF genes and analysis of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement were performed.

Results: A total of 326 patients with nonsquamous NSCLC were identified. Of the 326 patients, 240 (73.6%) had EGFR, 141 (43.3%) KRAS, 137 (42.0%) BRAF, 130 (39.9%) PIK3CA mutation and 148 (45.4%) ALK rearrangement determined. Of the 240 with EGFR determination, 24.1% harbored EGFR mutations. Of these, 16.3% were activating mutations (43.6%, exon 19 deletion; 46.1%, exon 21; and 10.3%, exon 18) and 7.9% were nonsensitizing EGFR mutations. Furthermore, 39.0% had KRAS mutations, 2.9% BRAF mutations, 10.0% PIK3CA mutations, and 8.8% ALK rearrangements. Of the 154 stage IV patients with ≥ 1 mutations, analysis showed 19 coexisting cases (12.3%). Of 8 patients receiving targeted treatment, 6 had no response. Both responders to targeted treatment had coexistent PIK3CA mutations.

Conclusion: Driver mutations can coexist in nonsquamous NSCLC. In our cohort, 12.3% of cases with stage IV disease had multiple mutations. Targeted treatment might not be as effective in patients with coexisting mutations; however, coexistence with PIK3CA might not preclude a response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2017.04.006DOI Listing
November 2017

Randomized Phase III Trial of Erlotinib versus Docetaxel in Patients with Advanced Squamous Cell Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Failing First-Line Platinum-Based Doublet Chemotherapy Stratified by VeriStrat Good versus VeriStrat Poor. The European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP) EMPHASIS-lung Trial.

J Thorac Oncol 2017 04 23;12(4):752-762. Epub 2016 Dec 23.

Wilhelmina Hospital, Assen, The Netherlands.

Introduction: Docetaxel and erlotinib are registered second-line treatments for wild-type EGFR NSCLC. Previous studies suggested a predictive value of the VeriStrat test in second-line therapy of NSCLC, classifying patients as either VeriStrat good or VeriStrat poor. EMPHASIS-lung aimed at exploring this predictive effect in patients with squamous cell NSCLC. The trial closed prematurely because of low accrual and results from other trials. Our analysis includes an exploratory combined analysis with results from the PROSE trial.

Methods: EMPHASIS-lung was a randomized phase III multicenter trial exploring the differential effect of second-line erlotinib versus docetaxel on progression-free survival (PFS) in VeriStrat good versus VeriStrat poor patients with squamous cell NSCLC.

Results: A total of 80 patients were randomized, with 72.5% categorized as VeriStrat good. Patient characteristics were balanced between VeriStrat status and treatment groups. The median PFS times with docetaxel and erlotinib treatment in the VeriStrat good cohort were 4.1 and 1.6 months, respectively, versus 1.9 and 2.1 months, respectively, in the VeriStrat poor cohort. The median overall survival (OS) times with docetaxel and erlotinib treatment in the VeriStrat good cohort were 7.8 and 8.4 months, respectively, and 4.4 and 5.2 months, respectively, in the VeriStrat poor cohort. An additional exploratory analysis was performed; in it, 47 patients from the squamous cell subgroup of PROSE were included in a combined analysis, contributing with 45 PFS and 41 OS events.

Conclusions: The final analysis of EMPHASIS-lung did not show a differential effect on PFS for erlotinib versus docetaxel stratified by VeriStrat status. Similarly, in the combined analysis, no significant treatment by VeriStrat status interaction was observed (interaction p = 0.24 for PFS and 0.45 for OS, stratified by study).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2016.12.017DOI Listing
April 2017

Correlation of DNA Repair Gene Polymorphisms With Clinical Outcome in Patients With Locally Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Receiving Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Surgery.

Clin Lung Cancer 2017 03 9;18(2):178-188.e4. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Cancer Biology and Precision Medicine Program, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Badalona, Spain; Dr Rosell Oncology Institute, Quirón Dexeus University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain; Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Institute and Hospital, Campus Can Ruti, Badalona, Spain.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether xeroderma pigmentosum group D (XPD) and ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1) polymorphisms influenced clinical outcome in patients with stage IIIA-B non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with neoadjuvant gemcitabine/cisplatin/docetaxel followed by surgery.

Materials And Methods: A total of 109 patients with stage IIIA and IIIB NSCLC were prospectively genotyped to examine a potential association between XPD 312 (aspartic acid [Asp]/asparagine [Asn]), XPD 751 (lysine [Lys]/glutamine [Gln]), and RRM1 (-37 C/A) polymorphisms with response and survival.

Results: The median survival was 32.14 months for carriers of XPD 312 Asp/Asp and 12.04 months for those with the variant Asn allele (P = .05). In addition, event-free survival was longer for patients with the XPD 312 Asp/Asp genotype compared with patients with Asp/Asn or Asn/Asn (P = .03). A similar but nonsignificant trend was observed for the XPD 751 genotype. In a multivariate analysis, complete resection and age emerged as prognostic factors for overall survival; in patients with incomplete resection or exploratory thoracotomy, XPD 312 was the most significant prognostic factor (P = .03).

Conclusion: The XPD 312 single nucleotide polymorphism is a prognostic factor for survival in patients with locally advanced NSCLC receiving induction chemotherapy followed by surgery. The Asn allele is associated with unfavorable outcome and could be used for better stratification of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2016.08.007DOI Listing
March 2017

Association of EGFR L858R Mutation in Circulating Free DNA With Survival in the EURTAC Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2015 May;1(2):149-57

Instituto Oncológico Dr Rosell, Quiron-Dexeus University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain3Catalan Institute of Oncology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain22MORe Foundation, Barcelona, Spain23Cancer Therapeutic Innovation Group, New York, New York.

Importance: The EURTAC trial demonstrated the greater efficacy of erlotinib compared with chemotherapy for the first-line treatment of European patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (exon 19 deletion or L858R mutation in exon 21) in tumor tissue.

Objective: To assess the feasibility of using circulating free DNA (cfDNA) from blood samples as a surrogate for tumor biopsy for determining EGFR mutation status and to correlate EGFR mutations in cfDNA with outcome.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prespecified analysis was a secondary objective of the EURTAC trial using patients included in the EURTAC trial from 2007 to 2011 with available baseline serum or plasma samples. Patients had advanced NSCLC, oncogenic EGFR mutations in the tumor, and no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease and were treated with erlotinib or chemotherapy. EGFR mutations were examined in cfDNA isolated from 97 baseline blood samples by our novel peptide nucleic acid-mediated 5´ nuclease real-time polymerase chain reaction (TaqMan) assay.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and response to therapy were correlated with type of EGFR mutations in cfDNA.

Results: In samples from 76 of 97 (78%) patients with usable blood samples, EGFR mutations in cfDNA were detected. Median OS was shorter in patients with the L858R mutation in cfDNA than in those with the exon 19 deletion (13.7 [95% CI, 7.1-17.7] vs 30.0 [95% CI, 19.3-37.7] months; P < .001). Univariate analyses of patients with EGFR mutations in cfDNA identified the L858R mutation in tumor tissue or in cfDNA as a marker of shorter OS (hazard ratio [HR], 2.70 [95% CI, 1.60-4.56]; P < .001) and PFS (HR, 2.04 [95% CI, 1.20-3.48]; P = .008). For patients with the L858R mutation in tissue, median OS was 13.7 (95% CI, 7.1-17.7) months for patients with the L858R mutation in cfDNA and 27.7 (95% CI, 16.1-46.2) months for those in whom the mutation was not detected in cfDNA (HR, 2.22 [95% CI, 1.09-4.52]; P = .03). In the multivariate analysis of the 76 patients with EGFR mutations in cfDNA, only erlotinib treatment remained an independent predictor of longer PFS (HR, 0.41 [95% CI, 0.23-0.74]; P = .003).

Conclusions And Relevance: The peptide nucleic acid-mediated 5´ nuclease real-time polymerase chain reaction (TaqMan) assay used in this study can be used to efficiently assess EGFR mutations in cfDNA. The L858R mutation in cfDNA may be a novel surrogate prognostic marker.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00446225.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2014.257DOI Listing
May 2015

Activity of dalotuzumab, a selective anti-IGF1R antibody, in combination with erlotinib in unselected patients with Non-small-cell lung cancer: a phase I/II randomized trial.

Exp Hematol Oncol 2014 7;3(1):26. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

UT Southwestern University, Dallas, TX USA.

Background: We investigated the safety and antitumor activity of dalotuzumab, a selective anti-insulin growth factor 1 receptor monoclonal antibody (IGF1R MoAb), plus erlotinib in a sequential phase I/II trial in unselected patients with refractory advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).The phase I trial determined the recommended dose and safety of erlotinib plus dalotuzumab at 5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg weekly in 20 patients. The phase II trial compared outcomes to erlotinib alone and erlotinib plus dalotuzumab at the mg/kg established in the phase I trial.

Results: Erlotinib at 150 mg plus dalotuzumab at 10 mg/kg was safe. The phase II trial included 37 patients in the erlotinib arm and 38 patients in the erlotinib plus dalotuzumab arm. Progression-free survival was 1.6 versus 2.5 months, overall survival was 10.2 and 6.6 months, and the objective response rate was 7.9% and 2.7%, respectively, with no significant differences between the two arms. Grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 11 (28.9%) versus 13 (35.1%) patients, respectively. The most frequent adverse events were asthenia (36.8% vs. 37.8%), dehydration (5.3% vs. 2.7%), diarrhea (71% vs. 81.1%), hyperglycemia (13.1% vs.18.9%), and skin-related toxicities (92.1% vs. 86.4%).

Conclusion: The addition of dalotuzumab to erlotinib did not improve efficacy outcome in patients with refractory advanced NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2162-3619-3-26DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4237770PMC
November 2014

Phase I/II trial of vorinostat (SAHA) and erlotinib for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations after erlotinib progression.

Lung Cancer 2014 May 2;84(2):161-7. Epub 2014 Mar 2.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Germans Trías i Pujol, Institut Català d'Oncologia-ICO, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain; Pangaea Biotech, Hospital Universitario Quirón, Dexeus, Barcelona, Spain.

Objectives: Vorinostat or suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is a novel histone deacetylase inhibitor with demonstrated antiproliferative effects due to drug-induced accumulation of acetylated proteins, including the heat shock protein 90. We prospectively studied the activity of vorinostat plus erlotinib in EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients with progression to tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Patients And Methods: We conducted this prospective, non-randomized, multicenter, phase I/II trial to evaluate the maximum tolerated dose, toxicity profile and efficacy of erlotinib and vorinostat. Patients with advanced NSCLC harboring EGFR mutations and progressive disease after a minimum of 12 weeks on erlotinib were included. The maximum tolerated dose of vorinostat plus erlotinib was used as recommended dose for the phase II (RDP2) to assess the efficacy of the combination. The primary end point was progression-free-survival rate at 12 weeks (PFSR12w). Pre-treatment plasma samples were required to assess T790M resistant mutation.

Results: A total of 33 patients were enrolled in the phase I-II trial. The maximum tolerated dose was erlotinib 150 mg p.o., QD, and 400mg p.o., QD, on days 1-7 and 15-21 in a 28-day cycle. Among the 25 patients treated at the RDP2, the most common toxicities included anemia, fatigue and diarrhea. No responses were observed. PFSR12w was 28% (IC 95%: 18.0-37.2); median progression-free survival (PFS) was 8 weeks (IC 95%: 7.43-8.45) and overall survival (OS) 10.3 months (95% CI: 2.4-18.1).

Conclusion: Full dose of continuous erlotinib with vorinostat 400mg p.o., QD on alternative weeks can be safely administered. Still, the combination has no meaningful activity in EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients after TKI progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.02.011DOI Listing
May 2014

Erlotinib versus standard chemotherapy as first-line treatment for European patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (EURTAC): a multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2012 Mar 26;13(3):239-46. Epub 2012 Jan 26.

Catalan Institute of Oncology, Badalona, Spain.

Background: Erlotinib has been shown to improve progression-free survival compared with chemotherapy when given as first-line treatment for Asian patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating EGFR mutations. We aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of erlotinib compared with standard chemotherapy for first-line treatment of European patients with advanced EGFR-mutation positive NSCLC.

Methods: We undertook the open-label, randomised phase 3 EURTAC trial at 42 hospitals in France, Italy, and Spain. Eligible participants were adults (> 18 years) with NSCLC and EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion or L858R mutation in exon 21) with no history of chemotherapy for metastatic disease (neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy ending ≥ 6 months before study entry was allowed). We randomly allocated participants (1:1) according to a computer-generated allocation schedule to receive oral erlotinib 150 mg per day or 3 week cycles of standard intravenous chemotherapy of cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus docetaxel (75 mg/m(2) on day 1) or gemcitabine (1250 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8). Carboplatin (AUC 6 with docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) or AUC 5 with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2)) was allowed in patients unable to have cisplatin. Patients were stratified by EGFR mutation type and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (0 vs 1 vs 2). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population. We assessed safety in all patients who received study drug (≥ 1 dose). This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00446225.

Findings: Between Feb 15, 2007, and Jan 4, 2011, 174 patients with EGFR mutations were enrolled. One patient received treatment before randomisation and was thus withdrawn from the study; of the remaining patients, 86 were randomly assigned to receive erlotinib and 87 to receive standard chemotherapy. The preplanned interim analysis showed that the study met its primary endpoint; enrolment was halted, and full evaluation of the results was recommended. At data cutoff (Jan 26, 2011), median PFS was 9·7 months (95% CI 8·4-12·3) in the erlotinib group, compared with 5·2 months (4·5-5·8) in the standard chemotherapy group (hazard ratio 0·37, 95% CI 0·25-0·54; p < 0·0001). Main grade 3 or 4 toxicities were rash (11 [13%] of 84 patients given erlotinib vs none of 82 patients in the chemotherapy group), neutropenia (none vs 18 [22%]), anaemia (one [1%] vs three [4%]), and increased amino-transferase concentrations (two [2%] vs 0). Five (6%) patients on erlotinib had treatment-related severe adverse events compared with 16 patients (20%) on chemotherapy. One patient in the erlotinib group and two in the standard chemotherapy group died from treatment-related causes.

Interpretation: Our findings strengthen the rationale for routine baseline tissue-based assessment of EGFR mutations in patients with NSCLC and for treatment of mutation-positive patients with EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors.

Funding: Spanish Lung Cancer Group, Roche Farma, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Red Temática de Investigacion Cooperativa en Cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(11)70393-XDOI Listing
March 2012

Pretreatment EGFR T790M mutation and BRCA1 mRNA expression in erlotinib-treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with EGFR mutations.

Clin Cancer Res 2011 Mar 13;17(5):1160-8. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Catalan Institute of Oncology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.

Purpose: Advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (deletion in exon 19 or L858R) show an impressive progression-free survival of 14 months when treated with erlotinib. However, the presence of EGFR mutations can only imperfectly predict outcome. We hypothesized that progression-free survival could be influenced both by the pretreatment EGFR T790M mutation and by components of DNA repair pathways.

Experimental Design: We assessed the T790M mutation in pretreatment diagnostic specimens from 129 erlotinib-treated advanced NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations. The expression of eight genes and two proteins involved in DNA repair and four receptor tyrosine kinases was also examined.

Results: The EGFR T790M mutation was observed in 45 of 129 patients (35%). Progression-free survival was 12 months in patients with and 18 months in patients without the T790M mutation (P = 0.05). Progression-free survival was 27 months in patients with low BRCA1 mRNA levels, 18 months in those with intermediate levels, and 10 months in those with high levels (P = 0.02). In the multivariate analysis, the presence of the T790M mutation (HR, 4.35; P = 0.001), intermediate BRCA1 levels (HR, 8.19; P < 0.0001), and high BRCA1 levels (HR, 8.46; P < 0.0001) emerged as markers of shorter progression-free survival.

Conclusions: Low BRCA1 levels neutralized the negative effect of the T790M mutation and were associated with longer progression-free survival to erlotinib. We advocate baseline assessment of the T790M mutation and BRCA1 expression to predict outcome and provide alternative individualized treatment to patients based on T790M mutations and BRCA1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-2158DOI Listing
March 2011

Choroidal metastases from lung adenocarcinoma.

Clin Transl Oncol 2009 Oct;11(10):694-7

Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Valencia, Spain.

A 32-year-old woman presented with an unknown visual deficit. Fundus examination revealed a lesion compatible with a metastatic focus. Diagnostic workup revealed a lung mass and the biopsy was compatible with lung adenocarcinoma. The intraocular lesion was the only metastatic site at the time of diagnosis. She received local choroidal treatment and further systemic therapy. A pneumonectomy was performed. Five months later she progressed systemically and has since then received several lines of chemotherapy. Choroidal metastases are an infrequent site of systemic dissemination and associated with a poor prognosis, with a median survival of around 2 months if it is the first manifestation of a lung neoplasm. Here we review the literature on choroidal metastases, their treatment options and epidemiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12094-009-0426-7DOI Listing
October 2009

Screening for epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in lung cancer.

N Engl J Med 2009 Sep 19;361(10):958-67. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Catalan Institute of Oncology and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor gene (EGFR) confer hypersensitivity to the tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. We evaluated the feasibility of large-scale screening for EGFR mutations in such patients and analyzed the association between the mutations and the outcome of erlotinib treatment.

Methods: From April 2005 through November 2008, lung cancers from 2105 patients in 129 institutions in Spain were screened for EGFR mutations. The analysis was performed in a central laboratory. Patients with tumors carrying EGFR mutations were eligible for erlotinib treatment.

Results: EGFR mutations were found in 350 of 2105 patients (16.6%). Mutations were more frequent in women (69.7%), in patients who had never smoked (66.6%), and in those with adenocarcinomas (80.9%) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). The mutations were deletions in exon 19 (62.2%) and L858R (37.8%). Median progression-free survival and overall survival for 217 patients who received erlotinib were 14 months and 27 months, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios for the duration of progression-free survival were 2.94 for men (P<0.001); 1.92 for the presence of the L858R mutation, as compared with a deletion in exon 19 (P=0.02); and 1.68 for the presence of the L858R mutation in paired serum DNA, as compared with the absence of the mutation (P=0.02). The most common adverse events were mild rashes and diarrhea; grade 3 cutaneous toxic effects were recorded in 16 patients (7.4%) and grade 3 diarrhea in 8 patients (3.7%).

Conclusions: Large-scale screening of patients with lung cancer for EGFR mutations is feasible and can have a role in decisions about treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa0904554DOI Listing
September 2009

Germline mutations in CDKN2A are infrequent in female patients with melanoma and breast cancer.

Melanoma Res 2009 Aug;19(4):211-4

Department of Dermatology, Instituto Valenciano de Oncologia, C/ Profesor Beltran Baguena, 8, Valencia 46009, Spain.

Carriers of mutations in the melanoma susceptibility gene, CDKN2A, exhibit a higher than expected risk of breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to determine mutations in the CDKN2A gene in patients with melanoma and additional breast cancer. Thirty-one women with histologically confirmed melanoma and breast cancer were studied for CDKN2A/ARF gene mutations by direct sequencing analysis. We identified four CDKN2A germline mutations. Two patients harbored the A148T polymorphism, one of them with family history of breast cancer. Another patient, with a melanoma diagnosed at 77 years, a breast cancer diagnosed at 66 and a family history of melanoma, had the V59G mutation. The fourth patient had a melanoma diagnosed at 54 years, a breast cancer at 46, and a strong family history of breast cancer (mother and grandmother), and presented the A85T mutation. The epidemiologic link between cutaneous melanoma and breast cancer is not mainly related to CDKN2A mutations. However, some mutations might have a role in this association or even in familial breast cancer, as it could be inferred from the patient with the A85T mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0b013e3283281057DOI Listing
August 2009

Optimal delivery of anthracycline-based chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting improves outcome of breast cancer patients.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2009 Apr 8;114(3):479-84. Epub 2008 May 8.

Medical Oncology Service, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez, 17, 46011 Valencia, Spain.

To evaluate the dose-response effect of an adjuvant anthracycline-based non-taxane chemotherapy in early breast cancer patients. This was a retrospective database analysis. Selection criteria included patients treated for early breast cancer from years 1980 to 2000 with an adjuvant anthracycline-based non-taxane chemotherapy. The delivery of chemotherapy was assessed through the number of delayed cycles, the number of delayed days and the relative dose intensity (RDI) administered (>or= 85%, <85%). Seven hundred and ninety-three breast cancer patients were included. The Kaplan-Meier disease-free survival (DFS) was affected by the number of delayed cycles (P<0.0001), the number of delayed days (P<0.0001) and the RDI (P=0.0029). The Kaplan-Meier overall survival (OS) was also affected by the number of delayed cycles (P=0.0008) and days (P=0.0115), as well as the RDI (P=0.0055). The Cox regression models showed that, when the number of nodes affected and the hormonal receptor status were controlled, all the study variables maintained their significance on DFS, but not on OS. The dose-response effect is a crucial factor in the administration of anthracycline-based non-taxane schedules for the adjuvant treatment of early breast cancer. Delays and/or reductions of chemotherapy should be avoided if possible to achieve the maximal benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-008-0018-1DOI Listing
April 2009

Long-term survival associated with complete resection after induction chemotherapy in stage IIIA (N2) and IIIB (T4N0-1) non small-cell lung cancer patients: the Spanish Lung Cancer Group Trial 9901.

J Clin Oncol 2007 Oct;25(30):4736-42

Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: To assess the activity of induction chemotherapy followed by surgery in stage IIIA and selected stage IIIB non-small-cell lung cancer patients.

Patients And Methods: Mediastinoscopy proof of either positive N2 (IIIA) or T4N0-1 (IIIB) disease was required. Induction therapy was three cycles of cisplatin/gemcitabine/docetaxel, followed by surgery.

Results: From December 1999 to March 2003, 136 patients were entered onto the study; the clinical response rate in 129 assessable patients was 56%. The overall complete resection rate was 68.9% of patients eligible for surgery (72% of stage IIIA patients and 66% of stage IIIB patients) and 48% of all assessable patients. Eight (12.9%) of 62 completely resected patients had a pathologic complete response. Seven patients (7.8%) died during the postoperative period. The median overall survival time was 15.9 months, 3-year survival rate was 36.8%, and 5-year survival rate was 21.1%, with no significant differences in survival between stage IIIA and stage IIIB patients. Median survival time was 48.5 months for 62 completely resected patients, 12.9 months for 13 incompletely resected patients, and 16.8 months for 15 nonresected patients (P = .005). Three- and 5-year survival rates were 60.1% and 41.4% for completely resected patients, 23.1% and 11.5% for incompletely resected patients, and 31.1% and 0% for nonresected patients, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, complete resection (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.35; P < .0001), clinical response (HR = 0.32; P < .0001), and age younger than 60 years (HR = 0.64; P = .027) were the most powerful prognostic factors.

Conclusion: Induction chemotherapy followed by surgery is effective in stage IIIA and in selected stage IIIB patients attaining complete resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2007.12.0014DOI Listing
October 2007

[Neoadjuvant therapy for operable breast-cancer].

Med Clin (Barc) 2006 Mar;126(8):295-303

Servicio de Hematología y Oncología Médica, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

Preoperative or neoadjuvant systemic treatment refers to either the first postdiagnosis systemic treatment that a patient receives or indicates that additional subsequent therapy is intended. Randomized controlled clinical trials have shown that preoperative systemic treatment offers the same disease free survival and overall survival benefits as does adjuvant systemic treatment. Neoadjuvant therapy has been found to increase the breast-conserving surgery rate. This therapy also allows to evaluate the primary tumor response to chemotherapy. Additionally, on the basis of the biologic characteristics of a tumor and differences in the response to systemic treatment, primary systemic treatment should be regarded as a tool that can be used to individualize systemic treatment for patients with breast cancer. However, some issues remain to be resolved, such as the markers that should be assessed before this therapy, as well as the optimal surgical and radiotherapy treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1157/13085484DOI Listing
March 2006
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