Publications by authors named "Andrea Mambrini"

57 Publications

Role of next-generation genomic sequencing in targeted agents repositioning for pancreaticoduodenal cancer patients.

Pancreatology 2021 Apr 19. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Pancreatic Surgical Unit, Pederzoli Hospital, Peschiera Del Garda, Verona, Italy.

Background: Pancreaticoduodenal cancer (PDC) is a group of malignant tumors arising in the ampullary region, which lack approved targeted therapies for their treatment.

Methods: This retrospective, observational study is based on Secondary Data Use (SDU) previously collected during a multicenter collaboration, which were subsequently entered into a predefined database and analyzed. FoundationOne CDx or Liquid, a next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) service, was used to identify genomic alterations of patients who failed standard treatments. Detected alterations were described according to ESMO Scale of Clinical Actionability for molecular Targets (ESCAT).

Results: NGS analysis was performed in 68 patients affected by PDC. At least one alteration ranking tier I, II, III, or IV according to ESCAT classification was detected in 8, 1, 9, and 12 patients respectively (44.1%). Ten of them (33.3%) received a matched therapy. Patients with ESCAT tier I to IV were generally younger than the overall population (median = 54, range = 26-71 years), had an EGOG performance status score = 0 (83.3%), and an uncommon histological or clinical presentation. The most common mutations with clinical evidence of actionability (ESCAT tier I-III) involved genes of the RAF (10.3%), BRCA (5.9%) or FGFR pathways (5.9%). We present the activity of the RAF kinases inhibitor sorafenib in patients with RAF-mutated advanced PDC.

Conclusions: In advanced PDC, NGS is a feasible and valuable method for enabling precision oncology. This genomic profiling method might be considered after standard treatments failure, especially in young patients maintaining a good performance status, in order to detect potentially actionable mutations and offer molecularly targeted therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pan.2021.04.004DOI Listing
April 2021

Oxaliplatin plus fluoropyrimidines as adjuvant therapy for colon cancer in older patients: A subgroup analysis from the TOSCA trial.

Eur J Cancer 2021 May 18;148:190-201. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Cancer Center ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy.

Background: Previous studies on oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidines as adjuvant therapy in older patients with stage III colon cancer (CC) produced conflicting results.

Patients And Methods: We assessed the impact of age on time to tumour recurrence (TTR), disease-free survival (DFS), cancer-specific survival (CSS), and overall survival (OS) in 2360 patients with stage III CC (1667 aged <70 years and 693 ≥ 70 years) randomised to receive 3 or 6 months of FOLFOX or CAPOX within the frame of the phase III, TOSCA study.

Results: Older patients compared with younger ones presented more frequently an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status equal to 1 (10.5% vs 3.3%, p < 0.001), a greater number of right-sided tumours (40.9% vs 26.6%, p < 0.001), and were at higher clinical risk (37.2% vs 33.2%, p = 0.062). The treatments were almost identical in the two cohorts (p = 0.965). We found a greater proportion of dose reductions (46.7% vs 41.4%, p = 0.018), treatment interruptions (26.1% vs 19.3%, p < 0.001) and a higher proportion of recurrences (24.2% vs 20.3%, p = 0.033) in the older patients. The multivariable analysis of the TTR did not indicate a statistically significant effect of age (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98-1.44; p = 0.082). The HR comparing older with younger patients was 1.34 (95% CI: 1.12-1.59; p = 0.001) for DFS, 1.58 (95% CI: 1.26-1.99; p < 0.001) for OS, and 1.28 (95% CI: 0.96-1.70; p = 0.089) for CSS.

Conclusions: Worse prognostic factors and reduced treatment compliance have a negative impact on the efficacy of oxaliplatin-based adjuvant therapy in older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.051DOI Listing
May 2021

Onco-Esthetics Dilemma: Is There a Role for Electrocosmetic-Medical Devices?

Front Oncol 2020 29;10:528624. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of General Surgery and Surgical Specialties, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Medical School, Surgical Clinic, Modena, Italy.

Objective: The primary aim of this review is to verify whether the warning against the use of electromedical instruments in the cosmetic professional or medical cancer patient settings is consistent with evident oncological risks supported by experimental / studies or anecdotal clinical reports, or any other reasonable statement.

Methods: MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, AMED, Ovid, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and Google Scholar databases were electronically searched. Data relating to research design, sample population, type of electro-cosmetic devices used, were extracted.

Results: The search strategy identified 50 studies, 30 of which were potentially relevant.

Conclusions: Our research is in favor of moderate periodical use of cosmetic medical devices in patients bearing tumors, in any stage, like in healthy people. Special consideration is dedicated to massage, manipulation, and pressure delivery upon the cytoskeleton of cancer cells that has proven to be sensitive to mechanical stress at least in some specific locally relapsing cancers such as osteosarcoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.528624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879986PMC
January 2021

A three-component [3 + 2]-cycloaddition/elimination cascade for the synthesis of spirooxindole-pyrrolizines.

Org Biomol Chem 2021 01;19(3):667-676

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Group of Catalysis, Synthesis and Organic Green Chemistry), University of Perugia, Via del Liceo, 1 - 06123 Perugia, Italy.

A three-component synthesis of novel spirooxindole-tetrahydropyrrolizines from secondary α-aminoacids, isatins and vinyl selenones has been disclosed. Products were formed in good yields and high diastereoselectivity by 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of in situ generated azomethine ylides followed by spontaneous elimination of benzeneseleninic acid. Good regioselectivities with aryl substituted vinyl selenones were observed. The method showed good functional group tolerance, providing a direct approach to biologically relevant spirooxindoles under mild reaction conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0ob02321cDOI Listing
January 2021

Polygenic and multifactorial scores for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma risk prediction.

J Med Genet 2020 Jun 26. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Cancer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Most cases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) are asymptomatic in early stages, and the disease is typically diagnosed in advanced phases, resulting in very high mortality. Tools to identify individuals at high risk of developing PDAC would be useful to improve chances of early detection.

Objective: We generated a polygenic risk score (PRS) for PDAC risk prediction, combining the effect of known risk SNPs, and carried out an exploratory analysis of a multifactorial score.

Methods: We tested the associations of the individual known risk SNPs on up to 2851 PDAC cases and 4810 controls of European origin from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium. Thirty risk SNPs were included in a PRS, which was computed on the subset of subjects that had 100% call rate, consisting of 839 cases and 2040 controls in PANDoRA and 6420 cases and 4889 controls from the previously published Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium I-III and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium genome-wide association studies. Additional exploratory multifactorial scores were constructed by complementing the genetic score with smoking and diabetes.

Results: The scores were associated with increased PDAC risk and reached high statistical significance (OR=2.70, 95% CI 1.99 to 3.68, p=2.54×10 highest vs lowest quintile of the weighted PRS, and OR=14.37, 95% CI 5.57 to 37.09, p=3.64×10, highest vs lowest quintile of the weighted multifactorial score).

Conclusion: We found a highly significant association between a PRS and PDAC risk, which explains more than individual SNPs and is a step forward in the direction of the construction of a tool for risk stratification in the population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-106961DOI Listing
June 2020

Upfront FOLFOXIRI plus bevacizumab and reintroduction after progression versus mFOLFOX6 plus bevacizumab followed by FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (TRIBE2): a multicentre, open-label, phase 3, randomised, controlled trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 04 9;21(4):497-507. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Oncological Department, Azienda UnitàSanitaria Locale, Toscana Nord Ovest, Oncological Unit of Massa Carrara, Carrara, Italy.

Background: The triplet FOLFOXIRI (fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan) plus bevacizumab showed improved outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, compared with FOLFIRI (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan) plus bevacizumab. However, the actual benefit of the upfront exposure to the three cytotoxic drugs compared with a preplanned sequential strategy of doublets was not clear, and neither was the feasibility or efficacy of therapies after disease progression. We aimed to compare a preplanned strategy of upfront FOLFOXIRI followed by the reintroduction of the same regimen after disease progression versus a sequence of mFOLFOX6 (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) and FOLFIRI doublets, in combination with bevacizumab.

Methods: TRIBE2 was an open-label, phase 3, randomised study of patients aged 18-75 years with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 2, with unresectable, previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer, recruited from 58 Italian oncology units. Patients were stratified according to centre, ECOG performance status, primary tumour location, and previous adjuvant chemotherapy. A randomisation system incorporating a minimisation algorithm was used to randomly assign patients (1:1) via a masked web-based allocation procedure to two different treatment strategies. In the control group, patients received first-line mFOLFOX6 (85 mg/m of intravenous oxaliplatin concurrently with 200 mg/m of leucovorin over 120 min; 400 mg/m intravenous bolus of fluorouracil; 2400 mg/m continuous infusion of fluorouracil for 48 h) plus bevacizumab (5 mg/kg intravenously over 30 min) followed by FOLFIRI (180 mg/m of intravenous irinotecan over 120 min concurrently with 200 mg/m of leucovorin; 400 mg/m intravenous bolus of fluorouracil; 2400 mg/m continuous infusion of fluorouracil for 48 h) plus bevacizumab after disease progression. In the experimental group, patients received FOLFOXIRI (165 mg/m of intravenous irinotecan over 60 min; 85 mg/m intravenous oxaliplatin concurrently with 200 mg/m of leucovorin over 120 min; 3200 mg/m continuous infusion of fluorouracil for 48 h) plus bevacizumab followed by the reintroduction of the same regimen after disease progression. Combination treatments were repeated every 14 days for up to eight cycles followed by fluorouracil and leucovorin (at the same dose administered at the last induction cycle) plus bevacizumab maintenance until disease progression, unacceptable adverse events, or consent withdrawal. Patients and investigators were not masked. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival 2, defined as the time from randomisation to disease progression on any treatment given after first disease progression, or death, analysed by intention to treat. Safety was assessed in patients who received at least one dose of their assigned treatment. Study recruitment is complete and follow-up is ongoing. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02339116.

Findings: Between Feb 26, 2015, and May 15, 2017, 679 patients were randomly assigned and received treatment (340 in the control group and 339 in the experimental group). At data cut-off (July 30, 2019) median follow-up was 35·9 months (IQR 30·1-41·4). Median progression-free survival 2 was 19·2 months (95% CI 17·3-21·4) in the experimental group and 16·4 months (15·1-17·5) in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·74, 95% CI 0·63-0·88; p=0·0005). During the first-line treatment, the most frequent of all-cause grade 3-4 events were diarrhoea (57 [17%] vs 18 [5%]), neutropenia (168 [50%] vs 71 [21%]), and arterial hypertension (25 [7%] vs 35 [10%]) in the experimental group compared with the control group. Serious adverse events occurred in 84 (25%) patients in the experimental group and in 56 (17%) patients in the control group. Eight treatment-related deaths were reported in the experimental group (two intestinal occlusions, two intestinal perforations, two sepsis, one myocardial infarction, and one bleeding) and four in the control group (two occlusions, one perforation, and one pulmonary embolism). After first disease progression, no substantial differences in the incidence of grade 3 or 4 adverse events were reported between the control and experimental groups, with the exception of neurotoxicity, which was only reported in the experimental group (six [5%] of 132 patients). Serious adverse events after disease progression occurred in 20 (15%) patients in the experimental group and 25 (12%) in the control group. Three treatment-related deaths after first disease progression were reported in the experimental group (two intestinal occlusions and one sepsis) and four in the control group (one intestinal occlusion, one intestinal perforation, one cerebrovascular event, and one sepsis).

Interpretation: Upfront FOLFOXIRI plus bevacizumab followed by the reintroduction of the same regimen after disease progression seems to be a preferable therapeutic strategy to sequential administration of chemotherapy doublets, in combination with bevacizumab, for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer selected according to the study criteria.

Funding: The GONO Cooperative Group, the ARCO Foundation, and F Hoffmann-La Roche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30862-9DOI Listing
April 2020

Assessment of Duration and Effects of 3 vs 6 Months of Adjuvant Chemotherapy in High-Risk Stage II Colorectal Cancer: A Subgroup Analysis of the TOSCA Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2020 04;6(4):547-551

Medical Oncology Unit, IRCCS San Martino-IST, Genova, Italy.

Importance: The addition of oxaliplatin to the standard 6-month fluorouracil-based adjuvant chemotherapy in stage II colorectal cancer has been reported to reduce the risk of relapse although it does not increase survival. The Three or Six Colon Adjuvant (TOSCA) trial compared 3 months with 6 months of adjuvant fluoropyrimidine and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with stage III colon cancer. The utility remains unknown.

Objective: To assess the noninferiority and toxic effects of 3 vs 6 months of FOLFOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) or CAPOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin) adjunct chemotherapy among patients with high-risk stage II resected colorectal cancer enrolled in the TOSCA trial.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The TOSCA study was a noninferiority phase 3 randomized clinical trial conducted from June 2007 to March 2013 in 130 Italian centers. Included patients had resected colorectal cancer located 12 cm from the anal verge by endoscopy or above the peritoneal reflection at surgery. In this preplanned study assessing the per-protocol population, 5-year relapse-free survival was evaluated in 1254 patients with high-risk stage II resected colorectal cancer who had received adjuvant FOLFOX (fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) or CAPOX (capecitabine plus oxaliplatin).

Interventions: Patients were originally randomized (1:1) in the TOSCA trial to receive 3 months (experimental group) or 6 months (control) of standard doses of FOLFOX or CAPOX at the discretion of the treating physician.

Main Outcome And Measures: A hazard ratio of at least 1.2 between the 3-month and 6-month chemotherapy groups was set to reject the null hypothesis of noninferiority.

Results: Overall, 1254 patients (mean [SD] age, 62.4 [9.8] years; 565 women [45.1%]) with clinical high-risk stage II resected colorectal cancer were analyzed at a median follow-up of 62 months (interquartile range, 53-71) months. Of them, 301 patients (24.0%) had pT4N0M0 tumors, and the remaining 953 patients (76.0%) had high-risk pT3N0M0 tumors; 776 patients (61.9%) received FOLFOX and 478 (38.1%) received CAPOX. The 5-year relapse-free survival was 82.2% for the 3-month arm and 88.2% for the 6-month arm, with an estimated hazard ratio of 1.41 (95% CI, 1.05-1.89; P = .86 for noninferiority). For CAPOX, the 5-year relapse-free survival was similar in the 2 arms (difference, 0.76% favoring the 6-month arm; 95% CI, -6.28% to 7.80%), whereas for FOLFOX, the difference was pronounced: 8.56% in favor of the longer-duration arm (95% CI, 3.45%-13.67%). Nevertheless, the test for an interaction between duration and regimen was not statistically significant. Neurotoxicity was approximately 5 times lower in the shorter duration arm than in the longer duration arm.

Conclusions And Relevance: In the 3-month arm, the treatment was significantly less toxic than in the 6-month arm. Noninferiority was not shown for 5-year relapse-free survival. However, a possible regimen effect was observed, suggesting that either 3 months of CAPOX or 6 months of FOLFOX therapy can be used whenever an oxaliplatin doublet is indicated for treatment of patients with stage II colorectal cancer.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0064660.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.6486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042800PMC
April 2020

Modulated Electro-Hyperthermia as Palliative Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer: A Retrospective Observational Study on 106 Patients.

Integr Cancer Ther 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735419878505

University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma has a poor prognosis, resulting in a <10% survival rate at 5 years. Modulated electro-hyperthermia (mEHT) has been increasingly used for pancreatic cancer palliative care and therapy. To monitor the efficacy and safety of mEHT for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. We collected data retrospectively on 106 patients affected by stage III-IV pancreatic adenocarcinoma. They were divided into 2 groups: patients who did not receive mEHT (no-mEHT) and patients who were treated with mEHT. We performed mEHT applying a power of 60 to 150 W for 40 to 90 minutes. The mEHT treatment was associated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy for 33 (84.6%) patients, whereas 6 (15.4%) patients received mEHT alone. The patients of the no-mEHT group received chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in 55.2% of cases. Median age of the sample was 65.3 years (range = 31-80 years). After 3 months of therapy, the mEHT group had partial response in 22/34 patients (64.7%), stable disease in 10/34 patients (29.4%), and progressive disease in 2/34 patients (8.3%). The no-mEHT group had partial response in 3/36 patients (8.3%), stable disease in 10/36 patients (27.8%), and progressive disease in 23/36 patients (34.3%). The median overall survival of the mEHT group was 18.0 months (range = 1.5-68.0 months) and 10.9 months (range = 0.4-55.4 months) for the non-mEHT group. mEHT may improve tumor response and survival of pancreatic cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534735419878505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767725PMC
March 2020

Multidisciplinary palliation for unresectable recurrent rectal cancer: hypoxic pelvic perfusion with mitomycin C and oxaliplatin in patients progressing after systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy, a retrospective cohort study.

Oncotarget 2019 Jun 11;10(39):1-13. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Background: Innovative systemic treatments and loco-regional chemotherapy by hypoxic pelvic perfusion (HPP) have been proposed for unresectable recurrent rectal cancer (URRC). Regorafenib and trifluridine-tipiracil reported significantly increased PFS 1.9-2.0 months, OS 6.4-7.1 months vs placebo, respectively. Present study evaluated safety and efficacy of mitomycin/oxaliplatin HPP associated to intravenous cetuximab, and of third line systemic therapy in clinical practice.

Methods: HPP consisted of: isolation, perfusion, chemofiltration. Patients received mitomycin 25 mg/m and oxaliplatin 80 mg/m during HPP; from days 21 to 28, cetuximab 250 mg/m/week. In case of partial response or stable disease, HPPs were repeated every 8 weeks. In control group, systemic third and further lines of therapy were defined in clinical practice according to clinical (age, comorbidities, performance status), biological parameters (, , genotype).

Results: From 2005 to 2018, 49 URRC patients were enrolled; 33 in HPP/target-therapy, 16 in systemic therapy control group. No HPP related complications were reported. Most common adverse events were skin, bone marrow toxicities. In HPP/target-therapy group, ORR and DCR were 36.4 and 100%; in systemic therapy control group, 18.7 and 31.25%, respectively. In HPP/target-therapy compared with systemic therapy group, respectively, DCR seemed significantly favourable ( = 0.001), as PFS 8 vs 4 months ( = 0.018), and OS 15 vs 8 months ( = 0.044).

Conclusions: Present data showed that integration of HPP/target-therapy may be effective in local control, and efficacy as third line treatment of URCC patients. This therapeutic strategy deserves further prospective randomized trials to be compared to conventional systemic treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6570475PMC
June 2019

Modulated Electrohyperthermia in Integrative Cancer Treatment for Relapsed Malignant Glioblastoma and Astrocytoma: Retrospective Multicenter Controlled Study.

Integr Cancer Ther 2019 Jan-Dec;18:1534735418812691. Epub 2018 Dec 22.

5 University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy.

Background: There are interesting studies on glioma therapy with modulated electrohyperthermia (mEHT), which combines heat therapy with an electric field. Clinical researchers not only found the mEHT method feasible for palliation but also reported evidence of therapeutic response.

Purpose: To study the efficacy and safety of mEHT for the treatment of relapsed malignant glioma and astrocytoma versus best supportive care (BSC).

Methods: We collected data retrospectively on 149 patients affected by malignant glioma and astrocytoma. Inclusion criteria were informed consent signed; >18 years old; histological diagnosis of malignant glioma or astrocytoma; relapsed after surgery, adjuvant temozolomide-based chemotherapy, and radiotherapy; and indication for treatment with mEHT in palliative setting. mEHT was performed with capacitive coupling technique keeping the skin surface at 26°C and the tumor temperature at 40°C to 42.5°C for > 90% of treatment duration (20-60 minutes). The applied power was 40 to 150 W using a step-up heating protocol. Results from patients treated with mEHT were compared with those treated with BSC.

Results: A total of 149 consecutive patients were enrolled in the study, 111 (74%) had glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and 38 (26%) had astrocytoma (AST). mEHT was performed for 28 (25%) of GBM and 24 (63%) of AST patients. Tumor response at the 3-month follow-up was observed in 29% and 48% of GBM and AST patients after mEHT, and in 4% and 10% of GBM and AST patients after BSC, respectively. The survival rate at first and second year in the mEHT group was 77.3% and 40.9% for AST, and 61% and 29% for GBM, respectively. The 5-year overall survival of AST was 83% after mEHT versus 25% after BSC and 3.5% after mEHT versus 1.2% after BSC for GBM. The median overall survival of mEHT was 14 months (range 2-108 months) for GBM and 16.5 months (range 3-156 months) for the AST group. We observed 4 long-term survivors in the AST and 2 in the GBM group. Two of the long survivors in AST and 1 in GBM group were treated by mEHT.

Conclusions: mEHT in integrative therapy may have a promising role in the treatment and palliation of relapsed GBM and AST.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1534735418812691DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7240877PMC
December 2019

Genetic determinants of telomere length and risk of pancreatic cancer: A PANDoRA study.

Int J Cancer 2019 03 12;144(6):1275-1283. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Digestive and Liver Disease Unit, S. Andrea Hospital, 'Sapienza' University, Rome, Italy.

Telomere deregulation is a hallmark of cancer. Telomere length measured in lymphocytes (LTL) has been shown to be a risk marker for several cancers. For pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) consensus is lacking whether risk is associated with long or short telomeres. Mendelian randomization approaches have shown that a score built from SNPs associated with LTL could be used as a robust risk marker. We explored this approach in a large scale study within the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium. We analyzed 10 SNPs (ZNF676-rs409627, TERT-rs2736100, CTC1-rs3027234, DHX35-rs6028466, PXK-rs6772228, NAF1-rs7675998, ZNF208-rs8105767, OBFC1-rs9420907, ACYP2-rs11125529 and TERC-rs10936599) alone and combined in a LTL genetic score ("teloscore", which explains 2.2% of the telomere variability) in relation to PDAC risk in 2,374 cases and 4,326 controls. We identified several associations with PDAC risk, among which the strongest were with the TERT-rs2736100 SNP (OR = 1.54; 95%CI 1.35-1.76; p = 1.54 × 10 ) and a novel one with the NAF1-rs7675998 SNP (OR = 0.80; 95%CI 0.73-0.88; p = 1.87 × 10 , p = 3.27 × 10 ). The association of short LTL, measured by the teloscore, with PDAC risk reached genome-wide significance (p = 2.98 × 10 for highest vs. lowest quintile; p = 1.82 × 10 as a continuous variable). In conclusion, we present a novel genome-wide candidate SNP for PDAC risk (TERT-rs2736100), a completely new signal (NAF1-rs7675998) approaching genome-wide significance and we report a strong association between the teloscore and risk of pancreatic cancer, suggesting that telomeres are a potential risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31928DOI Listing
March 2019

Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies five new susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer.

Nat Commun 2018 02 8;9(1):556. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Digestive and Liver Disease Unit, 'Sapienza' University of Rome, 00185, Rome, Italy.

In 2020, 146,063 deaths due to pancreatic cancer are estimated to occur in Europe and the United States combined. To identify common susceptibility alleles, we performed the largest pancreatic cancer GWAS to date, including 9040 patients and 12,496 controls of European ancestry from the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (PanScan) and the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4). Here, we find significant evidence of a novel association at rs78417682 (7p12/TNS3, P = 4.35 × 10). Replication of 10 promising signals in up to 2737 patients and 4752 controls from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium yields new genome-wide significant loci: rs13303010 at 1p36.33 (NOC2L, P = 8.36 × 10), rs2941471 at 8q21.11 (HNF4G, P = 6.60 × 10), rs4795218 at 17q12 (HNF1B, P = 1.32 × 10), and rs1517037 at 18q21.32 (GRP, P = 3.28 × 10). rs78417682 is not statistically significantly associated with pancreatic cancer in PANDoRA. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis in three independent pancreatic data sets provides molecular support of NOC2L as a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-02942-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805680PMC
February 2018

Do pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis share the same genetic risk factors? A PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium investigation.

Int J Cancer 2018 01 16;142(2):290-296. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Biomedical Center, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University in Prague, Pilsen, Czech Republic.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a very aggressive tumor with a five-year survival of less than 6%. Chronic pancreatitis (CP), an inflammatory process in of the pancreas, is a strong risk factor for PDAC. Several genetic polymorphisms have been discovered as susceptibility loci for both CP and PDAC. Since CP and PDAC share a consistent number of epidemiologic risk factors, the aim of this study was to investigate whether specific CP risk loci also contribute to PDAC susceptibility. We selected five common SNPs (rs11988997, rs379742, rs10273639, rs2995271 and rs12688220) that were identified as susceptibility markers for CP and analyzed them in 2,914 PDAC cases, 356 CP cases and 5,596 controls retrospectively collected in the context of the international PANDoRA consortium. We found a weak association between the minor allele of the PRSS1-PRSS2-rs10273639 and an increased risk of developing PDAC (OR  = 1.19, 95% CI 1.02-1.38, p = 0.023). Additionally all the SNPs confirmed statistically significant associations with risk of developing CP, the strongest being PRSS1-PRSS2-rs10273639 (OR  = 0.51, 95% CI 0.39-0.67, p = 1.10 × 10 ) and MORC4-rs 12837024 (OR  = 2.07 (1.55-2.77, p  = 0.7 × 10 ). Taken together, the results from our study do not support variants rs11988997, rs379742, rs10273639, rs2995271 and rs12688220 as strong predictors of PDAC risk, but further support the role of these SNPs in CP susceptibility. Our study suggests that CP and PDAC probably do not share genetic susceptibility, at least in terms of high frequency variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31047DOI Listing
January 2018

Mitomycin C hypoxic pelvic perfusion for unresectable recurrent rectal cancer: pharmacokinetic comparison of surgical and percutaneous techniques.

Updates Surg 2017 Sep 8;69(3):403-410. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Section of General Surgery, Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of L'Aquila, via Vetoio, 67100, L'Aquila, Italy.

Patients with unresectable recurrent rectal cancer that progresses after standard and multi-modular treatments are candidates for hypoxic pelvic perfusion. Hypoxic pelvic perfusion can be performed using a surgical or percutaneous approach. The aim of this study was to examine whether the surgical and percutaneous approaches are comparable with respect to tumor drug exposure in the pelvis. A pharmacokinetic study was performed in 18 patients. Both the surgical and percutaneous procedures were performed using mitomycin C (MMC) at a dose of 25 mg/m. The main parameter that was used to evaluate pelvic tumor drug exposure was the ratio of the areas under the MMC plasma concentration curves in the pelvis and the systemic compartment during the perfusion time (AUC). The mean values ± SD for the ratios between the MMC AUC in the pelvic and systemic compartments were 14.38 ± 4.31 and 13.15 ± 4.26 for the surgical and percutaneous techniques, respectively (p = 0.53). This pharmacokinetic study demonstrated that the percutaneous approach for hypoxic pelvic perfusion did not statistically differ from the surgical approach. When perfusion must be repeated several times in the same patient, the percutaneous and surgical methods may be adopted interchangeably. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT01891552.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13304-017-0480-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5591364PMC
September 2017

Multidisciplinary approach of colorectal cancer liver metastases.

World J Clin Oncol 2017 Jun;8(3):190-202

Giammaria Fiorentini, Donatella Sarti, Onco-Ematology Department, Azienda Ospedaliera "Ospedali Riuniti Marche Nord", 61122 Pesaro, Italy.

Large bowel cancer is a worldwide public health challenge. More than one third of patients present an advanced stage of disease at diagnosis and the liver is the most common site of metastases. Selection criteria for early diagnosis, chemotherapy and surgery have been recently expanded. The definition of resectability remains unclear. The presence of metastases is the most significant prognostic factor. For this reason the surgical resection of hepatic metastases is the leading treatment. The most appropriate resection approach remains to be defined. The two step and simultaneous resection processes of both primary and metastases have comparable survival long-term outcomes. The advent of targeted biological chemotherapeutic agents and the development of loco-regional therapies (chemoembolization, thermal ablation, arterial infusion chemotherapy) contribute to extend favorable results. Standardized evidence-based protocols are missing, hence optimal management of hepatic metastases should be single patient tailored and decided by a multidisciplinary team. This article reviews the outcomes of resection, systemic and loco-regional therapies of liver metastases originating from large bowel cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5306/wjco.v8.i3.190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465009PMC
June 2017

Hepatic intra-arterial and systemic chemotherapy followed by maintenance therapy for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.

Hepat Oncol 2017 Apr 31;4(2):45-53. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology, Section of General Surgery, University of L'Aquila, via Vetoio 67100 L'Aquila, Italy.

Aim: The aim is to report clinical outcomes of hepatic intra-arterial (IACHT) and systemic chemotherapy (SCHT), followed by gemcitabine-based maintenance therapy (maintenance), for the treatment of relapsed or unresectable cholangiocarcinoma.

Patients & Methods: In this retrospective observational study, 145 cholangiocarcinoma patients were treated with Epirubicin-Cisplatin as IACHT associated with Capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil as SCHT. Maintenance was performed with gemcitabine-based schedule. Toxicity was assessed with NCI-CTCAE and tumor response with RECIST 1.1.

Results: Tumor response was complete in 1%, partial in 20%, stable disease in 48% and progression in 31% of patients (3 months after therapy). The most frequent adverse events were: anemia (24%), nausea and vomiting (33%), alopecia (60%).

Conclusion: Cholangiocarcinoma patients may benefit from IAHCT-SCHT. Maintenance may prolong clinical benefits. ClinicalTrials.gov registry Identifier: NCT01920503.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/hep-2017-0001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6095148PMC
April 2017

Live music intervention for cancer inpatients: The Music Givers format.

Palliat Support Care 2018 12 28;16(6):777-784. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Department of Oncology, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale (AUSL) 1,Massa Carrara,Tuscany,Italy.

ABSTRACTObjective:The present study intended to evaluate the impact of a standardized format-called the "Music Givers," based on a single session of music intervention followed by a buffet-on the psychological burden and well-being of hospitalized cancer patients.

Method: The Distress Thermometer (DT), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and self-reported visual analogue scales (score range = 1-10) to assess pain, fatigue, and five areas of well-being (i.e., physical, psychological, relational, spiritual, and overall well-being) were administered to 242 cancer patients upon admission to and at discharge from the hospital. Among them, 103 were hospitalized during which time a live concert took place (intervention group), whereas 139 patients were hospitalized when it did not (control group).

Results: Compared to the control group, patients in the intervention group demonstrated less distress at discharge according to the DT (adjusted estimate of difference = -0.8, p = 0.001), lower HADS-Anxiety (-1.7, p < 0.001) and HADS-Depression scores (-1.3, p = 0.001), and higher scores on all the well-being scales, with the exception of spiritual well-being. In addition, no between-group differences were found in terms of pain and fatigue scores at discharge.

Significance Of Results: The one-session format of the Music Givers intervention is an effective, standardized, easy-to-replicate, and low-cost intervention that reduces psychological burden and improves the well-being of hospitalized cancer patients. Listening to live music and the opportunity to establish better relationships between patients and staff could explain these results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1478951517000165DOI Listing
December 2018

SLC22A3 polymorphisms do not modify pancreatic cancer risk, but may influence overall patient survival.

Sci Rep 2017 03 8;7:43812. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Division of Gastroenterology and Research Laboratory, IRCCS Scientific Institute and Regional General Hospital "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

Expression of the solute carrier (SLC) transporter SLC22A3 gene is associated with overall survival of pancreatic cancer patients. This study tested whether genetic variability in SLC22A3 associates with pancreatic cancer risk and prognosis. Twenty four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging the SLC22A3 gene sequence and regulatory elements were selected for analysis. Of these, 22 were successfully evaluated in the discovery phase while six significant or suggestive variants entered the validation phase, comprising a total study number of 1,518 cases and 3,908 controls. In the discovery phase, rs2504938, rs9364554, and rs2457571 SNPs were significantly associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Moreover, rs7758229 associated with the presence of distant metastases, while rs512077 and rs2504956 correlated with overall survival of patients. Although replicated, the association for rs9364554 did not pass multiple testing corrections in the validation phase. Contrary to the discovery stage, rs2504938 associated with survival in the validation cohort, which was more pronounced in stage IV patients. In conclusion, common variation in the SLC22A3 gene is unlikely to significantly contribute to pancreatic cancer risk. The rs2504938 SNP in SLC22A3 significantly associates with an unfavorable prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients. Further investigation of this SNP effect on the molecular and clinical phenotype is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep43812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5341046PMC
March 2017

Three new pancreatic cancer susceptibility signals identified on chromosomes 1q32.1, 5p15.33 and 8q24.21.

Oncotarget 2016 Oct;7(41):66328-66343

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common pancreatic cancer susceptibility variants at 13 chromosomal loci in individuals of European descent. To identify new susceptibility variants, we performed imputation based on 1000 Genomes (1000G) Project data and association analysis using 5,107 case and 8,845 control subjects from 27 cohort and case-control studies that participated in the PanScan I-III GWAS. This analysis, in combination with a two-staged replication in an additional 6,076 case and 7,555 control subjects from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) and Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control (PanC4) Consortia uncovered 3 new pancreatic cancer risk signals marked by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2816938 at chromosome 1q32.1 (per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, P = 4.88x10 -15), rs10094872 at 8q24.21 (OR = 1.15, P = 3.22x10 -9) and rs35226131 at 5p15.33 (OR = 0.71, P = 1.70x10 -8). These SNPs represent independent risk variants at previously identified pancreatic cancer risk loci on chr1q32.1 ( NR5A2), chr8q24.21 ( MYC) and chr5p15.33 ( CLPTM1L- TERT) as per analyses conditioned on previously reported susceptibility variants. We assessed expression of candidate genes at the three risk loci in histologically normal ( n = 10) and tumor ( n = 8) derived pancreatic tissue samples and observed a marked reduction of NR5A2 expression (chr1q32.1) in the tumors (fold change -7.6, P = 5.7x10 -8). This finding was validated in a second set of paired ( n = 20) histologically normal and tumor derived pancreatic tissue samples (average fold change for three NR5A2 isoforms -31.3 to -95.7, P = 7.5x10 -4-2.0x10 -3). Our study has identified new susceptibility variants independently conferring pancreatic cancer risk that merit functional follow-up to identify target genes and explain the underlying biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5340084PMC
October 2016

Association of genetic polymorphisms with survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients.

Carcinogenesis 2016 10 5;37(10):957-64. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

Genomic Epidemiology Group, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany,

Germline genetic variability might contribute, at least partially, to the survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. Two recently performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on PDAC overall survival (OS) suggested (P < 10(-5)) the association between 30 genomic regions and PDAC OS. With the aim to highlight the true associations within these regions, we analyzed 44 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 30 candidate regions in 1722 PDAC patients within the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium. We observed statistically significant associations for five of the selected regions. One association in the CTNNA2 gene on chromosome 2p12 [rs1567532, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19-2.58, P = 0.005 for homozygotes for the minor allele] and one in the last intron of the RUNX2 gene on chromosome 6p21 (rs12209785, HR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.98, P = 0.014 for heterozygotes) are of particular relevance. These loci do not coincide with those that showed the strongest associations in the previous GWAS. In silico analysis strongly suggested a possible mechanistic link between these two SNPs and pancreatic cancer survival. Functional studies are warranted to confirm the link between these genes (or other genes mapping in those regions) and PDAC prognosis in order to understand whether these variants may have the potential to impact treatment decisions and design of clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgw080DOI Listing
October 2016

Functional single nucleotide polymorphisms within the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A/2B region affect pancreatic cancer risk.

Oncotarget 2016 08;7(35):57011-57020

Division of Gastroenterology and Research Laboratory, IRCCS Scientific Institute and Regional General Hospital "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.

The CDKN2A (p16) gene plays a key role in pancreatic cancer etiology. It is one of the most commonly somatically mutated genes in pancreatic cancer, rare germline mutations have been found to be associated with increased risk of developing familiar pancreatic cancer and CDKN2A promoter hyper-methylation has been suggested to play a critical role both in pancreatic cancer onset and prognosis. In addition several unrelated SNPs in the 9p21.3 region, that includes the CDNK2A, CDNK2B and the CDNK2B-AS1 genes, are associated with the development of cancer in various organs. However, association between the common genetic variability in this region and pancreatic cancer risk is not clearly understood. We sought to fill this gap in a case-control study genotyping 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 2,857 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients and 6,111 controls in the context of the Pancreatic Disease Research (PANDoRA) consortium. We found that the A allele of the rs3217992 SNP was associated with an increased pancreatic cancer risk (ORhet=1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.27, p=0.026, ORhom=1.30, 95% CI 1.12-1.51, p=0.00049). This pleiotropic variant is reported to be a mir-SNP that, by changing the binding site of one or more miRNAs, could influence the normal cell cycle progression and in turn increase PDAC risk. In conclusion, we observed a novel association in a pleiotropic region that has been found to be of key relevance in the susceptibility to various types of cancer and diabetes suggesting that the CDKN2A/B locus could represent a genetic link between diabetes and pancreatic cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5302969PMC
August 2016

Common variation at 2p13.3, 3q29, 7p13 and 17q25.1 associated with susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.

Nat Genet 2015 Aug 22;47(8):911-6. Epub 2015 Jun 22.

Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the developed world. Both inherited high-penetrance mutations in BRCA2 (ref. 2), ATM, PALB2 (ref. 4), BRCA1 (ref. 5), STK11 (ref. 6), CDKN2A and mismatch-repair genes and low-penetrance loci are associated with increased risk. To identify new risk loci, we performed a genome-wide association study on 9,925 pancreatic cancer cases and 11,569 controls, including 4,164 newly genotyped cases and 3,792 controls in 9 studies from North America, Central Europe and Australia. We identified three newly associated regions: 17q25.1 (LINC00673, rs11655237, odds ratio (OR) = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.19-1.34, P = 1.42 × 10(-14)), 7p13 (SUGCT, rs17688601, OR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.84-0.92, P = 1.41 × 10(-8)) and 3q29 (TP63, rs9854771, OR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.85-0.93, P = 2.35 × 10(-8)). We detected significant association at 2p13.3 (ETAA1, rs1486134, OR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.09-1.19, P = 3.36 × 10(-9)), a region with previous suggestive evidence in Han Chinese. We replicated previously reported associations at 9q34.2 (ABO), 13q22.1 (KLF5), 5p15.33 (TERT and CLPTM1), 13q12.2 (PDX1), 1q32.1 (NR5A2), 7q32.3 (LINC-PINT), 16q23.1 (BCAR1) and 22q12.1 (ZNRF3). Our study identifies new loci associated with pancreatic cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4520746PMC
August 2015

Locoregional therapy and systemic cetuximab to treat colorectal liver metastases.

World J Gastrointest Oncol 2015 Jun;7(6):47-54

Giammaria Fiorentini, Donatella Sarti, Paolo Giordani, Francesco Graziano, Vincenzo Catalano, Oncology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera "Ospedali Riuniti Marche Nord", San Salvatore Hospital, 61122 Pesaro, Italy.

Aim: To investigate efficacy and safety of second-line treatment with irinotecan-loaded drug-eluting beads (DEBIRI) and cetuximab (DEBIRITUX) of unresectable colorectal liver metastases.

Methods: Patients with the following characteristics were included in the study: unresectable hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma (CRC-LM), progression after first line chemotherapy (any type of chemotherapeutic drug and combination was allowed), second line treatment (mandatory), which included for each patient (unregarding the KRas status) two cycles of DEBIRI (using 100-300 μm beads loaded with irinotecan at a total dose 200 mg) followed by 12 cycles of cetuximab that was administered weekly at a first dose of 400 mg/m(2) and then 250 mg/m(2); good performance status (0-2) and liver functionality (alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase not exceeding three times the upper limit of normal, total bilirubin not exceeding 2.5 mg/mL). Data were collected retrospectively and included: tumor response (evaluated monthly for 6 mo then every 3 mo), overall response rate (ORR), KRas status, type and intensity of adverse events (G according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0, CTCAE), overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS).

Results: Forty consecutive cases of CRC hepatic metastases were included in the study. Median duration of DEBIRITUX was 4.4 mo (range, 4.0-6.5). Sixteen patients (40%) received the planned 2 cycles of DEBIRI and an average of 10 cetuximab cycles. ORR of the whole sample was 50%, in particular 4 patients were complete responders (10%) and 16 (40%) partial responders. The most observed side effects (G2) were: post-embolization syndrome (30%), diarrhea (25%), skin rushes (38%) and asthenia (35%). The retrospective evaluation of KRas status (24 wild type, 16 mutated) showed that the group of patients with wild type KRas had ORR significantly higher than mutant KRas. Median follow-up was 29 mo (8-48 range); median PFS was 9.8 mo and OS was 20.4 mo. Future randomized trials are required in this setting to establish a role for DEBIRITUX compared with systemic chemotherapy.

Conclusion: DEBIRITUX seems to be efficacious after first line chemotherapy for the treatment of unresectable CRC-LM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4251/wjgo.v7.i6.47DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4468842PMC
June 2015

Design and Analysis of Schemes for Adapting Migration Intervals in Parallel Evolutionary Algorithms.

Evol Comput 2015 12;23(4):559-82. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DP, UK.

The migration interval is one of the fundamental parameters governing the dynamic behaviour of island models. Yet, there is little understanding on how this parameter affects performance, and how to optimally set it given a problem in hand. We propose schemes for adapting the migration interval according to whether fitness improvements have been found. As long as no improvement is found, the migration interval is increased to minimise communication. Once the best fitness has improved, the migration interval is decreased to spread new best solutions more quickly. We provide a method for obtaining upper bounds on the expected running time and the communication effort, defined as the expected number of migrants sent. Example applications of this method to common example functions show that our adaptive schemes are able to compete with, or even outperform, the optimal fixed choice of the migration interval, with regard to running time and communication effort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/EVCO_a_00153DOI Listing
September 2016

TERT gene harbors multiple variants associated with pancreatic cancer susceptibility.

Int J Cancer 2015 Nov 19;137(9):2175-83. Epub 2015 Jun 19.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

A small number of common susceptibility loci have been identified for pancreatic cancer, one of which is marked by rs401681 in the TERT-CLPTM1L gene region on chromosome 5p15.33. Because this region is characterized by low linkage disequilibrium, we sought to identify whether additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be related to pancreatic cancer risk, independently of rs401681. We performed an in-depth analysis of genetic variability of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and the telomerase RNA component (TERC) genes, in 5,550 subjects with pancreatic cancer and 7,585 controls from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) and the PanScan consortia. We identified a significant association between a variant in TERT and pancreatic cancer risk (rs2853677, odds ratio = 0.85; 95% confidence interval = 0.80-0.90, p = 8.3 × 10(-8)). Additional analysis adjusting rs2853677 for rs401681 indicated that the two SNPs are independently associated with pancreatic cancer risk, as suggested by the low linkage disequilibrium between them (r(2) = 0.07, D' = 0.28). Three additional SNPs in TERT reached statistical significance after correction for multiple testing: rs2736100 (p = 3.0 × 10(-5) ), rs4583925 (p = 4.0 × 10(-5) ) and rs2735948 (p = 5.0 × 10(-5) ). In conclusion, we confirmed that the TERT locus is associated with pancreatic cancer risk, possibly through several independent variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.29590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4548797PMC
November 2015

Chemotherapy in the last 30 days of life of advanced cancer patients.

Support Care Cancer 2015 Nov 22;23(11):3277-80. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Oncological department, Poma Hospital, Mantova, Italy.

Purpose: Chemotherapy near the end of life is an issue frequently discussed nowadays, but literature is generally poor. We analyzed patients with cancer who received chemotherapy in their last month of life.

Methods: The study involved all patients treated in our oncological department between 2010 and 2012; our attention focused on patients receiving chemotherapy in their last month of life. The hematologic malignancies are excluded.

Results: During the covered period, 2164 pts received chemotherapy, 162 received chemotherapy in their last month of life (24.3 %). The median age of this subgroup was 67.8 years, and median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status was 2. One hundred and five patients (64.8 %) were males. All patients presented a metastatic disease. Causes of death are as follows: 64.8 % progressive disease, sudden death in 4.9 %, toxicity in 3.1 %, and not available in 27.2 %.

Conclusions: Twenty-four percent of patients treated with chemotherapy received their last regimen within 1 month of death. Percentage is in line with existing results. It is commonly acknowledged that age, performance status, tumor sensitivity, survival prognosis, and comorbidities should be considered in every chemotherapy decision-making; nevertheless, some studies show that age is not a crucial factor. At present, individual clinician is the only predictor for continuing chemotherapy in the last 4 weeks of life. Although appropriateness criteria were applied, patients were submitted to chemotherapy within 1 month of life; we hope that development of simultaneous care could help in end-life decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-015-2733-6DOI Listing
November 2015

AKT1 and SELP polymorphisms predict the risk of developing cachexia in pancreatic cancer patients.

PLoS One 2014 19;9(9):e108057. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Start-Up Unit, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients have the highest risk of developing cachexia, which is a direct cause of reduced quality of life and shorter survival. Novel biomarkers to identify patients at risk of cachexia are needed and might have a substantial impact on clinical management. Here we investigated the prognostic value and association of SELP-rs6136, IL6-rs1800796 and AKT1-rs1130233 polymorphisms with cachexia in PDAC. Genotyping was performed in DNA from blood samples of a test and validation cohorts of 151 and 152 chemo-naive locally-advanced/metastatic PDAC patients, respectively. The association of SELP-rs6136, IL6-rs1800796 and AKT1-rs1130233 polymorphisms with cachexia as well as the correlation between cachexia and the candidate polymorphisms and overall survival were analyzed. Akt expression and phosphorylation in muscle biopsies were evaluated by specific ELISA assays. SELP-rs6136-AA and AKT1-rs1130233-AA/GA genotypes were associated with increased risk of developing cachexia in both cohorts (SELP: p = 0.011 and p = 0.045; AKT1: p = 0.004 and p = 0.019 for the first and second cohorts, respectively), while patients carrying AKT1-rs1130233-GG survived significantly longer (p = 0.002 and p = 0.004 for the first and second cohorts, respectively). In the multivariate analysis AKT1-rs1130233-AA/GA genotypes were significant predictors for shorter survival, with an increased risk of death of 1.7 (p = 0.002) and 1.6 (p = 0.004), in the first and second cohorts, respectively. This might be explained by the reduced phosphorylation of Akt1 in muscle biopsies from patients harboring AKT1-rs1130233-AA/GA (p = 0.003), favoring apoptosis induction. In conclusion, SELP and AKT1 polymorphisms may play a role in the risk of cachexia and death in PDAC patients, and should be further evaluated in larger prospective studies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0108057PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4169595PMC
November 2015

Genome-wide association study identifies multiple susceptibility loci for pancreatic cancer.

Nat Genet 2014 Sep 3;46(9):994-1000. Epub 2014 Aug 3.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

We performed a multistage genome-wide association study including 7,683 individuals with pancreatic cancer and 14,397 controls of European descent. Four new loci reached genome-wide significance: rs6971499 at 7q32.3 (LINC-PINT, per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-0.84, P = 3.0 × 10(-12)), rs7190458 at 16q23.1 (BCAR1/CTRB1/CTRB2, OR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.30-1.65, P = 1.1 × 10(-10)), rs9581943 at 13q12.2 (PDX1, OR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.10-1.20, P = 2.4 × 10(-9)) and rs16986825 at 22q12.1 (ZNRF3, OR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.12-1.25, P = 1.2 × 10(-8)). We identified an independent signal in exon 2 of TERT at the established region 5p15.33 (rs2736098, OR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.76-0.85, P = 9.8 × 10(-14)). We also identified a locus at 8q24.21 (rs1561927, P = 1.3 × 10(-7)) that approached genome-wide significance located 455 kb telomeric of PVT1. Our study identified multiple new susceptibility alleles for pancreatic cancer that are worthy of follow-up studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191666PMC
September 2014

A polymorphism in the promoter is associated with EZH2 expression but not with outcome in advanced pancreatic cancer patients.

Pharmacogenomics 2014 Apr;15(5):609-18

Department of Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, Cancer Center Amsterdam, CCA room 1.52, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Aim: EZH2 expression is a prognostic marker in radically resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. Here we investigated its role in locally advanced/metastatic patients, as well as candidate polymorphisms.

Materials & Methods: EZH2 expression and polymorphisms were evaluated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR in 32 laser microdissected tumors, while polymorphisms were also studied in blood samples from two additional cohorts treated with gemcitabine monotherapy (n = 93) or polychemotherapeutic regimens (n = 247).

Results: EZH2 expression correlated with survival and with the rs6958683 polymorphism in the first cohort of patients, but this polymorphism was not associated with survival in our larger cohorts.

Conclusion: EZH2 is a prognostic factor for locally advanced/metastatic PDACs, while candidate polymorphisms cannot predict clinical outcome. Other factors involved in EZH2 regulation, such as miR-101, should be investigated in accessible samples in order to improve the clinical management of advanced PDAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pgs.13.225DOI Listing
April 2014

A single nucleotide polymorphism in EZH2 predicts overall survival rate in patients with cholangiocarcinoma.

Oncol Lett 2013 Nov 2;6(5):1487-1491. Epub 2013 Sep 2.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pharmacology, University of Pisa, Pisa I-56126, Italy.

Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a deadly disease arising from the malignant transformation of cholangiocytes. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is overexpressed in poorly differentiated CCA. Functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in this gene may affect the role of EZH2 in cholangiocarcinogenesis and chemoresistance. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the correlation between EZH2 SNPs and clinical outcome. Using PROMO3.0, GeneCard and MicroSNiper, 4 EZH2 SNPs with functional relevance in CCA were selected . These SNPs were studied in genomic DNA extracted from the blood samples of 75 patients with advanced CCA, who were treated with epirubicin-cisplatin-xeloda (ECX regimen). SNP genotyping was performed with specific PCR assays. The rs887569 TT genotype was correlated with a significantly longer overall survival (OS; TT vs. CT-CC, P=0.026). Moreover, the TT genotype revealed a trend toward a significant association with a reduced risk of mortality (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.33-1.05; P=0.075), by multivariate analysis. These results support future studies on the role of rs887569 EZH2 SNP as a possible predictive marker of OS in advanced CCA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2013.1559DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813671PMC
November 2013