Publications by authors named "Anne-Sophie Govaerts"

6 Publications

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A phase II study of monalizumab in patients with recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: The I1 cohort of the EORTC-HNCG-1559 UPSTREAM trial.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Oct 9;158:17-26. Epub 2021 Oct 9.

Service d'Oncologie Médicale, Institut Roi Albert II, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Institut de Recherche Clinique et Expérimentale, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Avenue Hippocrate 10, 1200 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

Purpose: Monalizumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting the inhibitory natural killer group 2A (NKG2A) receptor localised on natural killer (NK) and T cells. Its ligand, the human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E), is overexpressed in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). By targeting the HLA-E-NKG2A pathway, monalizumab may enhance NK and T cell activity.

Experimental Design: The UPSTREAM trial is a biomarker-driven umbrella trial studying targeted therapies and immunotherapies in patients with recurrent/metastatic (R/M) SCCHN progressing after platinum therapy. The immunotherapy 1 (I1) cohort was a phase II, single-arm substudy evaluating monalizumab (10 mg/kg intravenously on day 1 of a 14-day cycle). The primary end-point was the objective response (OR) rate (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours 1.1) over the first 16 weeks. A two-stage Simon design was used (H1 15%, H0 3%, α 8%, power 90%) with pre-planned interruption of accrual if no OR was observed after the first 25 patients.

Results: Twenty-six eligible patients were enrolled. Seventeen (65%) patients had received ≥2 previous lines of systemic treatment, and 15 (58%) patients were PD(-L)1 inhibitor pretreated. No OR was observed. Stable disease was observed in 6 patients (23%) with a median duration of 3.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.7-NE). The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 1.7 months (95% CI: 1.5-1.8) and 6.7 months (95% CI: 3.0-9.6), respectively. The most frequent treatment-related adverse event was grade I/II fatigue (19%).

Conclusions: Monalizumab monotherapy has limited activity in R/M SCCHN. The I1 cohort did not meet its primary objective. Monalizumab combined with durvalumab is under investigation within UPSTREAM.
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October 2021

Organ Preservation and Late Functional Outcome in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma: Rationale of EORTC 1420, the "Best of" Trial.

Front Oncol 2019 22;9:999. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

Service d'Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie - Chirurgie Cervico-Faciale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dysphagia represents one of the most serious adverse events after curative-intent treatments with a tremendous impact on quality of life in patients with head and neck cancers. Novel surgical and radiation therapy techniques have been developed to better preserve swallowing function, while not negatively influencing local control and/or overall survival. This review focuses on the current literature of swallowing outcomes after curative treatment strategies. Available results from recent studies relevant to this topic are presented, demonstrating the potential role of new treatment modalities for early- and intermediate-stage oropharyngeal cancers. Based on this, we present the rationale and design of the currently active EORTC 1420 "Best of" trial, and highlight the potential of this study to help prioritizing either surgery- or radiation-based treatment modalities for the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer in the future.
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October 2019

Pharmacologically directed strategies in academic anticancer drug discovery based on the European NCI compounds initiative.

Br J Cancer 2017 Jul 13;117(2):195-202. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Secretary EORTC-PAMM group, Laboratory Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Centre, Cancer Center Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands.

Background: The European NCI compounds programme, a joint initiative of the EORTC Research Branch, Cancer Research Campaign and the US National Cancer Institute, was initiated in 1993. The objective was to help the NCI in reducing the backlog of in vivo testing of potential anticancer compounds, synthesised in Europe that emerged from the NCI in vitro 60-cell screen.

Methods: Over a period of more than twenty years the EORTC-Cancer Research Campaign panel reviewed ∼2000 compounds of which 95 were selected for further evaluation. Selected compounds were stepwise developed with clear go/no go decision points using a pharmacologically directed programme.

Results: This approach eliminated quickly compounds with unsuitable pharmacological properties. A few compounds went into Phase I clinical evaluation. The lessons learned and many of the principles outlined in the paper can easily be applied to current and future drug discovery and development programmes.

Conclusions: Changes in the review panel, restrictions regarding numbers and types of compounds tested in the NCI in vitro screen and the appearance of targeted agents led to the discontinuation of the European NCI programme in 2017 and its transformation into an academic platform of excellence for anticancer drug discovery and development within the EORTC-PAMM group. This group remains open for advice and collaboration with interested parties in the field of cancer pharmacology.
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July 2017

New challenge of developing combined radio-drug therapy.

Chin Clin Oncol 2014 Jun;3(2):18

Radiation Oncology Department, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

Combined modality treatment can be used to improve control of the local disease at the expense of increased toxicity. Several randomized trials have demonstrated that this combined modality therapy is better than radiotherapy alone or chemotherapy alone in the treatment of locally advanced diseases. Several new targets as well as potential new radio-sensitizers have been identified. To speed-up the process of developing new combined modality treatments, good preclinical models for optimization of the ratio between efficacy and toxicity and a well established methodology within a network of advanced high-tech laboratories and clinical departments devoted to early phase trials, are mandatory. The Synergy of Targeted Agents and Radiation Therapy (STAR) platform of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) is gathering these tools.
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June 2014

Phase I study of lonafarnib (SCH66336) in combination with trastuzumab plus paclitaxel in Her2/neu overexpressing breast cancer: EORTC study 16023.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2013 Jan 29;71(1):53-62. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Purpose: This phase I study was performed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicities (DLT), safety profile, recommended dose for phase II studies, the pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of the combination of lonafarnib (farnesyl transferase inhibitor), trastuzumab, and paclitaxel in Her2-positive advanced breast cancer.

Methods: Twenty-three patients with Her2-overexpressing breast cancer received in the first cycle paclitaxel and trastuzumab and from cycle 2 onwards lonafarnib which was added to the combination. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was determined during the second cycle.

Results: The MTD and the recommended dose for phase II trials are lonafarnib: 250 mg/day [125 mg/bi-daily (BID)] continuously, paclitaxel: 175 mg/m² 3-h infusion every 3 weeks, and trastuzumab: 4 mg/kg loading dose and 2 mg/kg/week thereafter. The most frequently observed adverse events starting from cycle 1 onwards were alopecia, myalgia, sensory neuropathy, fatigue, arthralgia, leukocytopenia, and neutropenia. From cycle 2 onwards, additional adverse events appeared, such as diarrhea, nausea, dyspepsia, vomiting, and allergy. The mean systemic exposures of both lonafarnib and paclitaxel through all dose levels were higher in the regimen with all three study medications but with no statistically significant difference. Preliminary antitumor activity (CR + PR) was observed in 58% of all patients.

Conclusion: Lonafarnib can be safely combined and tolerated with full doses of paclitaxel and trastuzumab in Her2-positive advanced breast cancer patients. Promising preliminary antitumor activity warrants further evaluation of lonafarnib in combination with paclitaxel and trastuzumab in Her2-positive breast cancer.
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January 2013

Phase I clinical and magnetic resonance imaging study of the vascular agent NGR-hTNF in patients with advanced cancers (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Study 16041).

Clin Cancer Res 2010 Feb 9;16(4):1315-23. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Purpose: This phase I trial investigating the vascular targeting agent NGR-hTNF aimed to determine the (a) dose-limiting toxicities, (b) maximum tolerated dose (MTD), (c) pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, (d) vascular response by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), and (e) preliminary clinical activity in solid tumors.

Experimental Design: NGR-hTNF was administered once every 3 weeks by a 20- to 60-minute i.v. infusion to cohorts of three to six patients with solid tumors in escalating doses. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses in blood were done during the first four cycles. DCE-MRI was done in cycle 1 at baseline and 2 hours after the start of the infusion.

Results: Sixty-nine patients received a total of 201 cycles of NGR-hTNF (0.2-60 microg/m(2)). Rigors and fever were the most frequently observed toxicities. Four dose-limiting toxicities were observed (at doses of 1.3, 8.1, and 60 microg/m(2)), of which three were infusion related. The MTD was 45 microg/m(2). The mean apparent terminal half-life ranged from 0.963 to 2.08 hours. DCE-MRI results of tumors showed a vascular response to NGR-hTNF. No objective responses were observed, but 27 patients showed stable disease with a median duration of 12 weeks.

Conclusions: NGR-hTNF was well tolerated. The MTD was 45 microg/m(2) administered in 1 hour once every 3 weeks. DCE-MRI results showed the antivascular effect of NGR-hTNF. These findings call for further research for defining the optimal biological dose and clinical activity of NGR-hTNF as a single agent or in combination with cytotoxic drugs.
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February 2010