Publications by authors named "Carlo Morosi"

70 Publications

Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcomas: Three-Dimensional Radiological Assessments after Induction Chemotherapy Predict Survival Better than One-Dimensional and Two-Dimensional Measurements.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 17;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Radiology Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Padova, 35121 Padova, Italy.

Radiological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is currently used to assess the efficacy of treatment in pediatric patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), but the association between early tumor response on imaging and survival is still controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of assessing radiological response after induction therapy in pediatric RMS, comparing four different methods. This retrospective, two-center study was conducted on 66 non-metastatic RMS patients. Two radiologists measured tumor size on pre- and post-treatment magnetic resonance (MR) or computed tomography (CT) images using four methods: considering maximal diameter with the 1D-RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors); multiplying the two maximal diameters with the 2D-WHO (World Health Organization); multiplying the three maximal diameters with the 3D-EpSSG (European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group); obtaining a software-assisted volume assessment with the 3D-Osirix. Each patient was classified as a responder or non-responder based on the proposed thresholds for each method. Tumor response was compared with survival using Kaplan-Meier plots, the log-rank test, and Cox's regression. Agreement between methods and observers (weighted-κ) was also calculated. The 5-year event-free survival (5yr-EFS) calculated with the Kaplan-Meier plots was significantly longer for responders than for non-responders with all the methods, but the 3D assessments differentiated between the two groups better than the 1D-RECIST or 2D-WHO ( = 0.018, = 0.007, and < 0.0001). Comparing the 5yr-EFS of responders and non-responders also produced adjusted hazard ratios of 3.57 ( = 0.0158) for the 1D-RECIST, 5.05 for the 2D-WHO ( = 0.0042), 14.40 for the 3D-EpSSG ( < 0.0001) and 11.60 for the 3D-Osirix ( < 0.0001), indicating that the volumetric measurements were significantly more strongly associated with EFS. Inter-method agreement was excellent between the 3D-EpSSG and the 3D-Osirix (κ = 0.98), and moderate for the other comparisons (0.5 < κ < 0.8). The 1D-RECIST and the 2D-WHO tended to underestimate response to treatment. Inter-observer agreement was excellent with all methods (κ > 0.8) except for the 2D-WHO (κ = 0.7). In conclusion, early tumor response was confirmed as a significant prognostic factor in RMS, and the 3D-EpSSG and 3D-Osirix methods predicted response to treatment better than the 1D-RECIST or 2D-WHO measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12123808DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766999PMC
December 2020

Activity of sirolimus in patients with progressive epithelioid hemangioendothelioma: A case-series analysis within the Italian Rare Cancer Network.

Cancer 2021 Feb 27;127(4):569-576. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, IRCCS Foundation National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy.

Background: The objective of this study was to report on a retrospective series of patients with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) who received treatment with sirolimus within the Italian Rare Cancer Network.

Methods: From January 2005, 38 adult patients with advanced EHE received continuous-dosing sirolimus, 5 mg daily, until they developed either toxicity or disease progression. Disease progression in the 6 months before the start of treatment was required. Each pathologic diagnosis was reviewed. The daily dose of sirolimus was adjusted based on plasma levels. Response was retrospectively assessed by local investigators using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1 (RECIST). Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: All 38 patients (WW Domain Containing Transcription Regulator 1 [WWTR1]-positive, n = 37; transcription factor E3 [TFE3]-positive, n = 1) had disease progression before starting sirolimus (at baseline, 13 of 38 patients had the presence of serosal effusions and systemic symptoms). Thirty-seven patients were evaluable for response (there was 1 early interruption). The best RECIST responses were a partial response in 4 patients (10.8%), stable disease in 28 patients (75.7%), and disease progression in 5 patients (13.5%). At a 41.5-month median follow-up (interquartile range [IQR], 23.9-56.8 months), the median PFS was 13 months (95% CI, 3.7 months to not estimated [NE]), and the median OS was 18.8 months (95% CI, 10.6 months to NE). In patients who had serosal effusions at baseline, the median PFS was 4.8 months (IQR, 3.5-11.7 months), and the median OS was 10.6 months (IQR, 5.1-13.0 months), compared with 47.8 months (IQR, 11.4 months to NE) and 47.8 months (IQR, 15.7 months to NE), respectively, in patients without serosal effusions. Overall, sirolimus was fairly well tolerated, with 10 patients reporting irregular menstruation/ovary disfunction.

Conclusions: The current results confirm that sirolimus is active in EHE, leading to prolonged stabilization in most patients who present without serosal effusions. Serosal effusions are confirmed as an unfavorable prognostic sign associated with short survival, and sirolimus displays limited activity in this subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33247DOI Listing
February 2021

Extraskeletal Myxoid Chondrosarcoma: State of the Art and Current Research on Biology and Clinical Management.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Sep 21;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Unit of Oncogenetics and Functional Oncogenomics, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico di Aviano (CRO) IRCCS, National Cancer Institute, 33081 Aviano, Italy.

Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is an ultra-rare mesenchymal neoplasm with uncertain differentiation, which arises mostly in the deep soft tissue of proximal extremities and limb girdles. EMC is marked by a translocation involving the gene, which can be fused in-frame with different partners, most often or . Although EMC biology is still poorly defined, recent studies have started shedding light on the specific contribution of NR4A3 chimeric proteins to EMC pathogenesis and clinical outcome. Standard treatment for localized disease is surgery, plus or minus radiation therapy with an expected prolonged survival even though the risk of relapse is about 50%. In advanced cases, besides the standard chemotherapy currently used for soft tissue sarcoma, antiangiogenic agents have recently shown promising activity. The aim of this review is to provide the state of the art of treatment for localized and advanced disease, with a focus on pharmacological treatments available for EMC. The biological basis of current research and future perspectives will be also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563993PMC
September 2020

Anthracycline-based and gemcitabine-based chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting for stage I uterine leiomyosarcoma: a retrospective analysis at two reference centers.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2020 28;10:17. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori Di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Radically resected early uterine leiomyosarcoma (eULMS) is still marked by a poor prognosis. Adjuvant strategies investigated up to now have not been corroborated by controlled studies. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical outcome of eULMS patients treated with adjuvant anthracycline-based or gemcitabine-based chemotherapy at two Italian reference centers.

Methods: In this explorative, retrospective, cohort analysis, we included all the consecutive patients with radically resected eULMS treated at two centers between 1997 and 2017.

Results: A total of 109 consecutive patients were included. Sixty-six (60%) received an anthracycline-based regimen, whereas 43 (40%) received a gemcitabine-based regimen. Median disease-free survival (DFS) was 41.3 months with anthracycline-based regimens compared to 20.9 months with gemcitabine-based regimens (HR: 0.49; 95% CI: 0.30-0.80;  = 0.004). In the multivariable model, anthracycline-based regimens were independently associated with a better DFS. No difference in terms of overall survival was observed.

Conclusions: DFS was not the same by using an anthracycline-based or a gemcitabine-based adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with radically resected eULMS. The results of our study are in line with recent prospective controlled evidence in limb and superficial trunk soft tissue sarcomas. The role of anthracycline-based adjuvant chemotherapy should still be viewed as a research issue in eULMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-020-00139-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456084PMC
August 2020

Long-term results of suppressing thyroid-stimulating hormone during radiotherapy to prevent primary hypothyroidism in medulloblastoma/PNET and Hodgkin lymphoma: a prospective cohort study.

Front Med 2021 Feb 13;15(1):101-107. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, 20146, Italy.

Primary hypothyroidism commonly occurs after radiotherapy (RT), and coincides with increased circulating thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.We tested therefore the protective effect of suppressing TSH with L-thyroxine during RT for medulloblastoma/PNET and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in a prospective cohort study. From1998 to 2001, a total of 37 euthyroid children with medulloblastoma/PNET plus 14 with HL, scheduled for craniospinal irradiation and mediastinum/neck radiotherapy, respectively, underwent thyroid ultrasound and free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), and TSH evaluation at the beginning and end of craniospinal iiradiation. From 14 days before and up to the end of radiotherapy, patients were administered L-thyroxine checking every 3 days TSH to ensure a value < 0.3 μIU/mL. During follow-up, blood tests and ultrasound were repeated; primary hypothyroidism was considered an increased TSH level greater than normal range. Twenty-two/37 patients with medulloblastoma/PNET and all the 14 patients with HL were alive after a median 231 months from radiotherapy with 7/22 and 8/14 having correctly reached TSH levels < 0.3 μIU/mL and well matched for other variables. Twenty years on, hypothyroidism-free survival rates differed significantly, being 60% ± 15% and 15.6% ± 8.2% in TSH-suppressed vs. not-TSH suppressed patients, respectively (P = 0.001). These findings suggest that hypothyroidism could be durably prevented in two populations at risk of late RT sequelae, but it should be confirmed in a larger cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11684-020-0752-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Rechallenge of denosumab in jaw osteonecrosis of patients with unresectable giant cell tumour of bone: a case series analysis and literature review.

ESMO Open 2020 07;5(4)

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Lombardia, Italy

Objectives: Giant cell tumour of bone (GCTB) is a rare tumour, generally managed with surgery. Treatment of the very rare unresectable advanced/metastatic GCTB is challenging and denosumab is the only current available medical option, an anti-RANKL monoclonal antibody inhibiting osteolysis. An uncommon but severe and treatment-limiting adverse event of denosumab is the osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The clinical management of GCTB patients stopping denosumab for medication-related (MR)-ONJ and the possible reintroduction of denosumab after MR-ONJ resolution is matter of debate. We performed a retrospective study to describe the incidence, clinical features and outcome of MR-ONJ in unresectable GCTB patients treated with denosumab at our Institution.

Design And Setting: Retrospective, single-institutional study.

Participants: Adult patients receiving denosumab as antineoplastic therapy for GCTB and experiencing MR-ONJ at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan between January 2008 and July 2019.

Main Outcome Measures: Incidence, time of onset and clinical features of MR-ONJ.

Results: 29 patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic GCTB treated with denosumab were identified. At a median follow-up of 70 months (range 1-125), 4 (13.8%) patients experienced MR-ONJ while on treatment, after 125, 119, 85 and 41 months of denosumab, respectively. All patients showed an ongoing tumour stabilisation with denosumab at the MR-ONJ onset and in all cases denosumab was stopped. All four patients were treated with ozone therapy. Two are waiting for surgery, two were already operated on. Both of them experienced disease progression and were thus rechallenged with denosumab. One is still on therapy after 25 months. The other had an MR-ONJ relapse after 39 months and was treated again with ozone therapy and surgery. She is under surveillance, GCTB being currently stable.

Conclusion: A clinical algorithm of denosumab rechallenge after complete resolution of MR-ONJ in progressing GCTB patients should be prospectively validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359187PMC
July 2020

Inoperable Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcomas: Clinical Characteristics and Reasons Against Resection at a Single Referral Institution.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Feb 6;28(2):1151-1157. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: The outcome of patients with retroperitoneal sarcomas (RPS) depends mainly on tumor biology and completeness of surgical resection. However, some patients are deemed not resectable for various reasons. This study analyzed a series of primary RPS patients to describe rate and reasons of primary inoperability at a large referral center.

Methods: All consecutive patients affected by primary localized RPS referred for surgical treatment at our institution between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017 were analyzed. Patients were split in two groups: those who underwent surgical resection with curative intent, and those who were not resected.

Results: A total of 322 patients were available for the current analysis: 285 (88.5%) underwent resection with curative intent, and 37 (11.5%) did not. Twenty of 322 (6.2%) patients who did not undergo resection had a technically unresectable tumor, whereas the remaining 18 of 322 (5.6%) were not amenable to a major surgical procedure due to comorbidities/poor performance status. The dominant technical reason was involvement of the celiaco-mesenteric vessels. At a median follow-up from the diagnosis of 34 months, 24 of 37 (64.9%) nonoperated and 48 of 285 (16.8%) operated patients died. The corresponding 4-year overall survival were 10.3% and 83.4%, respectively (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Roughly, 10% of patients who presented with localized primary RPS at a large referral institution were not resected. An attempt to standardize the definition of resectability for primary localized RPS should be made considering anatomic, biologic, and patient-related factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-08789-9DOI Listing
February 2021

Addition of Antiestrogen Treatment in Patients with Malignant PEComa Progressing to mTOR Inhibitors.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 Oct 30;26(20):5534-5538. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Perivascular epithelioid cell tumors (PEComa) are rare mesenchymal neoplasms. mTOR inhibitors are the most active agents in PEComa and in patients progressing to mTOR inhibitors, other available therapies have limited benefit. Preclinical evidences showed a cross-talk between the mTOR pathway and estrogen receptor signaling. This provided a rationale for adding an antiestrogen treatment in female patients becoming resistant to mTOR inhibitors.

Experimental Design: Since April 2018, female patients with advanced/metastatic PEComa progressing to mTOR inhibitors were treated with a combination of sirolimus and exemestane with or without LHRH analogue (based on menopausal status). This case series was retrospectively reviewed. Survival analyses were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A total of seven consecutive patients treated with the combination of sirolimus and antiestrogen treatment were retrospectively reviewed. Six (86%) received a combination of sirolimus and exemestane, whereas one patient (14%) received a combination of sirolimus, exemestane, and triptorelin since in premenopausal status. After a median follow-up of 13.1 months, three patients (43%) experienced a partial response, three patients (43%) experienced a stabilization of disease, and one patient (14%) had disease progression with an overall response rate of 43% and a disease control rate of 86%.

Conclusions: In this small retrospective case series, the addition of antiestrogen treatment in female patients with advanced PEComa progressing to mTOR inhibitors resulted in a remarkable clinical benefit in a setting where no other options are available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1191DOI Listing
October 2020

The Activity of Chemotherapy in Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumors: A Multicenter, European Retrospective Case Series Analysis.

Oncologist 2020 11 12;25(11):e1777-e1784. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: This study aimed to review the activity of cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) treated at nine European sarcoma reference centers.

Materials And Methods: Patients of any age, with histologically proven IMT, treated with anthracycline-based methotrexate plus/minus vinorelbine/vinblastine (MTX-V) or other chemotherapeutic regimens between 1996 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Diagnosis was confirmed at the local level by an expert pathologist. Response was retrospectively assessed by local investigators by RECIST v1.1. Progression-free survival (PFS), relapse-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS) were computed by Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Thirty-eight patients were included. Twenty-five patients (8 localized, 17 advanced disease) received an anthracycline-based regimen; 21 were evaluable for response. Overall response rate (ORR) was 10/21 (47.6%). At a 70.8-month median follow-up (FU), median RFS and median OS were not reached (NR) in patients with localized disease; median PFS and median OS were 6.3 (interquartile range [IQR]: 1.9-13.4) and 21.2 (IQR: 7.7-40.7) months in patients with advanced disease. Thirteen patients received MTX-V (4 localized, 9 advanced disease), all evaluable for response. ORR was 7/13 (53.8%). At a 56.6-month median FU, median RFS and median OS were 42.5 (IQR: 12.9-61.2) months and NR (no death events) in patients with localized disease, and NR (IQR: 24.9 to NR) and 83.4 months (IQR: 83.4 to NR) in patients with advanced disease. In the "other-regimens group," responses were seen in 3/4 patients treated with oral cyclophosphamide and 1/2 with docetaxel/gemcitabine.

Conclusion: Anthracycline-based and MTX-V regimens are very effective in IMT, with a similar ORR in both groups. MTX-V achieved a prolonged disease control. Responses were also seen with oral cyclophosphamide and docetaxel/gemcitabine, but few patients were treated with these schedules.

Implications For Practice: Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is an ultrarare sarcoma with known sensitivity to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors in ALK-fused cases, although ALK inhibitors are not licensed in the disease. The current knowledge on the activity of cytotoxic chemotherapy is limited. This multi-institutional retrospective study on pediatric and adult patients with IMT shows that cytotoxic chemotherapy, and in particular anthracycline-based and methotrexate plus/minus vinorelbine/vinblastine regimens, represents a treatment option and can be considered in IMT patients irrespectively from ALK status. This study provides a benchmark for future studies on new medical therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2020-0352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7648357PMC
November 2020

Reduced-dose craniospinal irradiation is feasible for standard-risk adult medulloblastoma patients.

J Neurooncol 2020 Jul 21;148(3):619-628. Epub 2020 Jun 21.

Neuro-Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Introduction: Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children, but accounts for only 1% of brain cancers in adults. For standard-risk pediatric medulloblastoma, current therapy includes craniospinal irradiation (CSI) at reduced doses (23.4 Gy) associated with chemotherapy. Whereas most same-stage adult patients are still given CSI at 36 Gy, with or without chemotherapy, we report here on our use of reduced-dose CSI associated with chemotherapy for older patients.

Methods: We gathered non-metastatic patients over 18 years old (median age 28 years, range 18-48) with minimal or no residual disease after surgery, no negative histological subtypes, treated between 1996-2018 at the Centre Léon Bérard (Lyon) and the INT (Milano). A series of 54 children with similar tumors treated in Milano was used for comparison.

Results: Forty-four adults were considered (median follow-up 101 months): 36 had 23.4 Gy of CSI, and 8 had 30.6 Gy, plus a boost to the posterior fossa/tumor bed; 43 had chemotherapy as all 54 children, who had a median 83-month follow-up. The PFS and OS were 82.2 ± 6.1% and 89 ± 5.2% at 5 years, and 78.5 ± 6.9% and 75.2 ± 7.8% at ten, not significantly different from those of the children. CSI doses higher than 23.4 Gy did not influence PFS. Female adult patients tended to have a better outcome than males.

Conclusion: The results obtained in our combined series are comparable with, or even better than those obtained after high CSI doses, underscoring the need to reconsider this treatment in adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03564-yDOI Listing
July 2020

Precocious pseudopuberty, a paraneoplastic manifestation: a report of 2 cases.

Tumori 2020 Dec 28;106(6):NP14-NP17. Epub 2020 May 28.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Peripheral precocious puberty (PPP) may be a paraneoplastic manifestation, associated with beta human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG)-secreting tumors. We describe 2 young children with β-hCG-secreting tumors presenting with signs of pubertal activation. In the first patient, a 16-month-old boy with hepatoblastoma, only initial signs of PPP at presentation were identifiable, with concomitant high levels of β-hCG. Although the tumor had good response to therapy, β-hCG levels were fluctuant until the tumor was resected surgically. The second patient, an 18-month-old boy with intracranial germ cell tumor, presented with clear signs of pubertal activation and genitalia enlargement with no initial alteration of sex hormones. In both cases, the oncologic response to therapy was good. In the first case, full remission of the pubertal signs was observed; in the second, pubertal signs were still visible 20 months after the end of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300891620925532DOI Listing
December 2020

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in High-Risk Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Final Results of a Randomized Trial From Italian (ISG), Spanish (GEIS), French (FSG), and Polish (PSG) Sarcoma Groups.

J Clin Oncol 2020 07 18;38(19):2178-2186. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Cancer Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: To determine whether the administration of histology-tailored neoadjuvant chemotherapy (HT) was superior to the administration of standard anthracycline plus ifosfamide neoadjuvant chemotherapy (A+I) in high-risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of an extremity or the trunk wall.

Patients And Methods: This was a randomized, open-label, phase III trial. Patients had localized high-risk STS (grade 3; size, ≥ 5 cm) of an extremity or trunk wall, belonging to one of the following five histologic subtypes: high-grade myxoid liposarcoma (HG-MLPS); leiomyosarcoma (LMS), synovial sarcoma (SS), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS). Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive three cycles of A+I or HT. The HT regimens were as follows: trabectedin in HG-MLPS; gemcitabine plus dacarbazine in LMS; high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide in SS; etoposide plus ifosfamide in MPNST; and gemcitabine plus docetaxel in UPS. Primary and secondary end points were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS), estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using Cox models adjusted for treatment and stratification factors. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier NCT01710176).

Results: Between May 2011 and May 2016, 287 patients (UPS: n = 97 [33.8%]; HG-MLPS: n = 65 [22.6%]; SS: n = 70 [24.4%]; MPNST: n = 27 [9.4%]; and LMS: n = 28 [9.8%]) were randomly assigned to either A+I or HT. At the final analysis, with a median follow-up of 52 months, the projected DFS and OS probabilities were 0.55 and 0.47 (log-rank = .323) and 0.76 and 0.66 (log-rank = .018) at 60 months in the A+I arm and HT arm, respectively. No treatment-related deaths were observed.

Conclusion: In a population of patients with localized high-risk STS, HT was not associated with a better DFS or OS, suggesting that A+I should remain the regimen to choose whenever neoadjuvant chemotherapy is used in patients with high-risk STS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03289DOI Listing
July 2020

Improved Biopsy Accuracy in Retroperitoneal Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma.

Ann Surg Oncol 2020 Oct 4;27(11):4574-4581. Epub 2020 May 4.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Biopsy sensitivity in retroperitoneal dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS) is variable. Patients with grade 3 DDLPS face a significant risk of metastatic disease and may potentially benefit from neoadjuvant therapy, making highly accurate pretherapy diagnosis essential. Our study aimed to establish whether diagnostic sensitivity could be improved by targeting solid areas of tumor on percutaneous biopsy.

Methods: Between 2016 and 2019, data on patients with suspected primary retroperitoneal sarcoma who underwent a biopsy were collected, and diagnostic accuracy was calculated. These data were compared with our previously reported series from 2005 to 2016. For DDLPS tumors, comparisons were then made between biopsies that targeted the solid component and those that did not.

Results: Data were available for 121 patients in the current series and 238 from the previous study. The proportion of biopsies returning a histological subtype concordant with postoperative pathology was 83% in the current series, marking a significant improvement over our previous study (67%, p = 0.001). For diagnosis of DDLPS, biopsy sensitivity improved from 40 to 74% (p < 0.001), with an increase from 13 to 50% (p = 0.006) where grade 3 DDLPS was treated as a separate disease. Within the current series, targeted biopsy yielded a sensitivity of 100% for identifying DDLPS, compared with 10% in nontargeted biopsy (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Systematic targeting of solid areas of tumor within suspected retroperitoneal liposarcoma has improved sensitivity for detection of both DDLPS and grade 3 DDLPS on biopsy. This approach minimizes the risk of underdiagnosis of patients with DDLPS who could benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-08519-1DOI Listing
October 2020

Assessment of Safety and Efficacy of Combined Trabectedin and Low-Dose Radiotherapy for Patients With Metastatic Soft-Tissue Sarcomas: A Nonrandomized Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2020 04;6(4):535-541

TERABIS Group, IBiS (Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla), Sevilla, Spain.

Importance: Active therapeutic combinations, such as trabectedin and radiotherapy, offer potentially higher dimensional response in second-line treatment of advanced soft-tissue sarcomas. Dimensional response can be relevant both for symptom relief and for survival.

Objective: To assess the combined use of trabectedin and radiotherapy in treating patients with progressing metastatic soft-tissue sarcomas.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Phase 1 of this nonrandomized clinical trial followed the classic 3 + 3 design, with planned radiotherapy at a fixed dose of 30 Gy (3 Gy/d for 10 days) and infusion of trabectedin at 1.3 mg/m2 as the starting dose, 1.5 mg/m2 as dose level +1, and 1.1 mg/m2 as dose level -1. Phase 2 followed the Simon optimal 2-stage design. Allowing for type I and II errors of 10%, treatment success was defined as an overall response rate of 35%. This study was conducted in 9 sarcoma referral centers in Spain, France, and Italy from April 13, 2015, to November 20, 2018. Adult patients with progressing metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma and having undergone at least 1 previous line of systemic therapy were enrolled. In phase 2, patients fitting inclusion criteria and receiving at least 1 cycle of trabectedin and the radiotherapy regimen constituted the per-protocol population; those receiving at least 1 cycle of trabectedin, the safety population.

Interventions: Trabectedin was administered every 3 weeks in a 24-hour infusion. Radiotherapy was required to start within 1 hour after completion of the first trabectedin infusion (cycle 1, day 2).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The dose-limiting toxic effects of trabectedin (phase 1) and the overall response rate (phase 2) with use of trabectedin plus irradiation in metastatic soft-tissue sarcomas.

Results: Eighteen patients (11 of whom were male) were enrolled in phase 1, and 27 other patients (14 of whom were female) were enrolled in phase 2. The median ages of those enrolled in phases 1 and 2 were 42 (range, 23-74) years and 51 (range, 27-73) years, respectively. In phase 1, dose-limiting toxic effects included grade 4 neutropenia lasting more than 5 days in 1 patient at the starting dose level and a grade 4 alanine aminotransferase level increase in 1 of 6 patients at the +1 dose level. In phase 2, among 25 patients with evaluable data, the overall response rate was 72% (95% CI, 53%-91%) for local assessment and 60% (95% CI, 39%-81%) for central assessment.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of this study suggest that the recommended dose of trabectedin for use in combination with this irradiation regimen is 1.5 mg/m2. The trial met its primary end point, with a high overall response rate that indicates the potential of this combination therapy for achieving substantial tumor shrinkage beyond first-line systemic therapy in patients with metastatic, progressing soft-tissue sarcomas.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02275286.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.6584DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042948PMC
April 2020

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound-Guided Percutaneous Biopsy of the Peritoneum: A Series of 3 Cases.

J Ultrasound Med 2020 Jul 27;39(7):1441-1446. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Radiology Department, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

In the presence of peritoneal disease, patients often should undergo biopsy of the peritoneum for acquiring a specific pathologic diagnosis. Ultrasound is ideal for guiding peritoneal biopsy, although in some situations, it can be technically challenging. The addition of a contrast agent can improve the visualization of lesions and adjacent organs, providing radiologists increased confidence. A contrast agent can identify perfused areas within the target lesion, improving diagnostic accuracy. We present 3 cases of contrast-enhanced ultrasound-guided peritoneal biopsy. In all cases, we gained a specific diagnosis. No immediate or delayed complications occurred. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound-guided biopsy proved to be a simple, safe, and accurate diagnostic method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jum.15230DOI Listing
July 2020

Wilms tumor, medulloblastoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma in adult patients: lessons learned from the pediatric experience.

Cancer Metastasis Rev 2019 12;38(4):683-694

Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via G. Venezian 1, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Wilms tumor (or nephroblastoma), rhabdomyosarcoma, and medulloblastoma, common embryonal tumors in children, can occasionally occur in adults, for whom survival is significantly inferior than pediatric patients. Available data on adults with Wilms tumor consist of case or case series reports. Among other factors, the unfamiliarity of adult oncologists and pathologists with nephroblastoma and consequent delays in initiating the appropriate risk-adapted chemotherapy may negatively influence outcomes. The survival decrement in adults with rhabdomyosarcoma has been attributed to the lack of centralized care, the inconsistent use of standard protocol-driven multimodal therapy, and lower chemotherapy tolerance in adult patients. In children with medulloblastoma, evidence from randomized clinical trials has led to risk-tailored therapies tuned on histology, extent of initial disease, and biological features. Such refinements are still missing for adults due to the lack of similar trials and studies that might provide the same or a different understanding regarding patients' individual prognosis, treatment morbidity, and quality of life. Recent experiences have suggested that applying or adjusting pediatric protocols to adult patients with these tumors is feasible and can improve survival. Here, we provide an evaluation of the current evidence for the management of Wilms tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, and medulloblastoma arising in adults. This review aims to promote the referral of adolescents and adults with pediatric tumors to pediatric centers for inclusion into pediatric protocols, or into protocols and studies specifically designed for that age group with the cooperation between pediatric and adult oncologists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10555-019-09831-3DOI Listing
December 2019

Is surveillance imaging in pediatric patients treated for localized rhabdomyosarcoma useful? The European experience.

Cancer 2020 02 21;126(4):823-831. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: After the completion of therapy, patients with localized rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) are subjected to intensive radiological tumor surveillance. However, the clinical benefit of this surveillance is unclear. This study retrospectively analyzed the value of off-therapy surveillance by comparing the survival of patients in whom relapse was detected by routine imaging (the imaging group) and patients in whom relapse was first suspected by symptoms (the symptom group).

Methods: This study included patients with relapsed RMS after the completion of therapy for localized RMS who were treated in large pediatric oncology hospitals in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands and who were enrolled in the International Society of Paediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor 95 (1995-2004) study, the Italian Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee Rhabdomyosarcoma 96 (1996-2004) study, or the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group Rhabdomyosarcoma 2005 (2005-2013) study. The survival times after relapse were compared with a log-rank test between patients in the imaging group and patients in the symptom group.

Results: In total, 199 patients with relapsed RMS were included: 78 patients (39.2%) in the imaging group and 121 patients (60.8%) in the symptom group. The median follow-up time after relapse was 7.4 years (interquartile range, 3.9-11.5 years) for survivors (n = 86); the 3-year postrelapse survival rate was 50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 38%-61%) for the imaging group and 46% (95% CI, 37%-55%) for the symptom group (P = .7).

Conclusions: Although systematic routine imaging is the standard of care after RMS therapy, the majority of relapses were detected as a result of clinical symptoms. This study found no survival advantage for patients whose relapse was detected before the emergence of clinical symptoms. These results show that the value of off-therapy surveillance is controversial, particularly because repeated imaging may also entail potential harm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32603DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027831PMC
February 2020

Pazopanib for treatment of advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma: a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 09 19;20(9):1252-1262. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital Virgen del Rocio, Seville, Spain; Institute of Biomedicine of Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain.

Background: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma is a rare sarcoma with low sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Retrospective evidence suggests that antiangiogenic drugs could be a treatment option. We aimed to investigate the activity of pazopanib, an antiangiogenic drug, in patients with advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma.

Methods: In this single-arm, open-label phase 2 trial, three parallel independent cohorts of different histotypes of advanced sarcomas were recruited (extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, typical solitary fibrous tumour, and malignant-dedifferentiated solitary fibrous tumour). In each cohort, patients received pazopanib. In this Article, we report the results of the cohort of patients with advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma. Separate reporting of the three cohorts was prespecified in the study protocol. In this cohort, adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with a diagnosis of NR4A3-translocated, metastatic, or unresectable extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, who had Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) progression in the previous 6 months, and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, were enrolled at 11 study sites of the Spanish, Italian, and French sarcoma groups. Patients received oral pazopanib (800 mg/day) continuously, until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, death, non-compliance, patient refusal, or investigator's decision. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving an objective response according to RECIST 1·1 in the modified intention-to-treat population (patients who provided consent and had a central molecularly confirmed diagnosis of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma). The safety analysis included all patients who received at least one dose of pazopanib. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02066285.

Findings: Between June 24, 2014, and Jan 17, 2017, 26 patients entered the study and started pazopanib. Of these, 23 met the eligibility criteria for the modified intention-to-treat analysis. Median follow-up was 27 months (IQR 18-30). 22 patients (one patient died before the primary analysis) were evaluable for the primary endpoint: four (18% [95% CI 1-36]) had a RECIST objective response. No deaths or grade 4 adverse events occurred. The most frequent grade 3 adverse events were hypertension (nine [35%] of 26 patients), increased concentration of alanine aminotransferase (six [23%]), and increased aspartate aminotransferase (five [19%]).

Interpretation: Pazopanib had clinically meaningful antitumour activity in patients with progressive and advanced extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, and could be considered a suitable option after failure to respond to first-line anthracycline-based chemotherapy in these patients.

Funding: Spanish Group for Research on Sarcomas, Italian Sarcoma Group, French Sarcoma Group, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30319-5DOI Listing
September 2019

Trabectedin and RAdiotherapy in Soft Tissue Sarcoma (TRASTS): Results of a Phase I Study in Myxoid Liposarcoma from Spanish (GEIS), Italian (ISG), French (FSG) Sarcoma Groups.

EClinicalMedicine 2019 Mar 11;9:35-43. Epub 2019 Mar 11.

Biomedicine Institute of Seville (IBIS), Spain.

Background: Myxoid liposarcoma (ML) exhibits a special sensitivity to trabectedin (T) and radiation therapy (RT). Preclinical data suggest a synergistic effect. We aimed to study safety, feasibility and activity of the administration of pre-operative concurrent T and RT in patients affected by localized resectable ML.

Methods: Patients received 3 cycles (C) of T in combination with RT (45 Gy) in 25 fractions (1.8 Gy/fraction). Dose Levels for T were: - 1 (1.1 mg/m2), 0 (1.3 mg/m2) and 1 (1.5 mg/m2). Primary endpoint was safety; antitumor activity was assessed by RECIST and Choi criteria. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02275286. The phase 1 part of the study is complete and phase 2 is ongoing.

Findings: From February 2015 to May 2016, 14 patients (M/F 7/7), median age 36 years (range 24-70) and median tumor size 12.5 cm (range 7-17 cm), were enrolled. One dose limiting toxicity (G3 transaminitis) occurred at Level 0 and one (sepsis due to catheter infection) at Level 1. All patients completed RT. Five patients achieved PR (36%), 8 SD (57%), 1 distant PD (7%) by RECIST, while 12 achieved PR (86%), 1 SD (7%) and 1 distant PD (7%) by Choi criteria. Twelve patients underwent surgery. Median viable residual tumor was 5% (0-60).

Interpretation: T in combination with RT showed a favorable safety profile and antitumor activity in localized ML. T dose of 1.5 mg/m2 is the recommended dose for the phase 2 study, which is ongoing.

Funding: This study was partially supported by Pharmamar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.03.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6510725PMC
March 2019

Rhabdomyosarcoma in adults: analysis of treatment modalities in a prospective single-center series.

Med Oncol 2019 May 18;36(7):59. Epub 2019 May 18.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Medical Oncology and Hematology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via G. Venezian 1, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is rare in adults and it is generally characterized by poor outcome. In a previous retrospective study, we demonstrated a better prognosis in adults treated with multimodality approach resembling pediatric protocols. Thereafter, we developed specific recommendations based on the principles adopted in pediatric oncology. The present analysis reports the results in a subsequent prospective series. The study included 95 consecutive patients (age 18-77 years) treated from 2002 to 2015 for embryonal and alveolar RMS. As in the previous series, patients were stratified by the appropriateness of their treatment according to therapeutic guidelines for childhood RMS. The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 33.6% and 40.3%, respectively. The 5-year EFS was 40.8% for patients with the highest treatment score, and 15% for those with lower score, while OS was 44.4% and 24.5%, respectively. The developing of specific recommendations enabled an increase in the number of patients treated with intensive multimodal treatment resembling pediatric strategy (69.7% vs. 39.1% in the retrospective series). This study reinforced the idea that adherence to the principles of pediatric protocols, improves adult RMS outcomes. However, treating adults with pediatric-type strategy is not enough to achieve the results obtained in children. Issues in compliance and a more aggressive biology of adult RMS might have a role in the different outcome according to age. Improving the collaboration between pediatric and adult oncologists in promoting specific clinical and biological research is crucial to improve the outcome for this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-019-1282-0DOI Listing
May 2019

Management of complicated tumor response to tyrosine-kinase inhibitors in gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

J Surg Oncol 2019 Aug 7;120(2):256-261. Epub 2019 May 7.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: The aim was to describe complicated tumor response (CTR) to tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKI) in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) patients.

Methods: From 2001 to 2017, data from patients with metastatic (group A) or locally advanced (group B) GIST who received TKI at our institution were collected. We defined CTR as bleeding, abscess, or perforation as surgical complications of TKI. Patients who had progressive disease were excluded. Clinical characteristics were assessed, and time of occurrence and mortality rate recorded.

Results: Among 470 patients, 30 developed CTR (6.4%), 26 in group A (6.8%) and four in group B (4.5%) (P = 0.43). Bleeding, abscess, and perforation, respectively, were observed in 17 (56.7%), 8 (26.7%), and 5 (16.7%) patients. A conservative approach was possible in 17 (56.7%) cases; four (13.3%) patients received percutaneous drainage, while nine (30%) underwent emergency surgery. The overall rate of mortality was 13.3%. CTR occurred after 1.6 months (median time) from the imatinib mesylate onset in group B and 14 months in group A.

Conclusions: While the risk of CTR in early metastatic patients is virtually nil, patients with locally advanced disease should be monitored carefully. CTR as a consequence of TKI therapy do not prevent patients receiving a potentially curative surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.25491DOI Listing
August 2019

Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules at Diagnosis in Rhabdomyosarcoma: Are They Clinically Significant? A Report From the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group.

J Clin Oncol 2019 03 31;37(9):723-730. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

1 University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Purpose: To evaluate the clinical significance of indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis (defined as ≤ 4 pulmonary nodules < 5 mm or 1 nodule measuring ≥ 5 and < 10 mm) in patients with pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).

Patients And Methods: We selected patients with supposed nonmetastatic RMS treated in large pediatric oncology centers in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, who were enrolled in the European Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (E pSSG) RMS 2005 study. Patients included in the current study received a diagnosis between September 2005 and December 2013, and had chest computed tomography scans available for review that were done at time of diagnosis. Local radiologists were asked to review the chest computed tomography scans for the presence of pulmonary nodules and to record their findings on a standardized case report form. In the E pSSG RMS 2005 Study, patients with indeterminate pulmonary nodules were treated identically to patients without pulmonary nodules, enabling us to compare event-free survival and overall survival between groups by log-rank test.

Results: In total, 316 patients were included; 67 patients (21.2%) had indeterminate pulmonary nodules on imaging and 249 patients (78.8%) had no pulmonary nodules evident at diagnosis. Median follow-up for survivors (n = 258) was 75.1 months; respective 5-year event-free survival and overall survival rates (95% CI) were 77.0% (64.8% to 85.5%) and 82.0% (69.7% to 89.6%) for patients with indeterminate nodules and 73.2% (67.1% to 78.3%) and 80.8% (75.1% to 85.3%) for patients without nodules at diagnosis ( P = .68 and .76, respectively).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis do not affect outcome in patients with otherwise localized RMS. There is no need to biopsy or upstage patients with RMS who have indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.01535DOI Listing
March 2019

Completion surgery of residual disease after primary inadequate surgery of retroperitoneal sarcomas can salvage a selected subgroup of patients-A propensity score analysis.

J Surg Oncol 2019 Mar 16;119(3):318-323. Epub 2018 Dec 16.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPSs) who undergo primary inadequate surgery before referral to specialized sarcoma centers may be considered for completion surgery (CS). We wanted to compare the outcome of these patients to those who underwent primary adequate surgery (PAS) at a single referral institution.

Methods: We identified 34 patients who were referred for CS after primary inadequate surgery. Using a propensity score based on validated RPS outcome risk factors, we managed to match 28 patients to patients with PAS.

Results: Median time lag between the first and second operation in CS patients was 5 months (2-15). Surgical extent was similar among groups (median number of organs resected = 3; P = 0.08), and macroscopically complete excision was achieved in all patients. The rate of severe complications did not differ between the groups (1 of 28 vs 3 of 28, respectively; P = 0.35) and no perioperative mortality was documented. Median follow-up was 43.5 months. Patients in the CS group had similar local recurrence-free survival (mean, 92.1 ± 9.7 vs 99.8 ± 12.4; P = 0.85) and relapse-free survival (mean, 88.7 ± 9.8 vs 80.9 ± 12.3; P = 0.3) to those with PAS.

Conclusions: CS has short- and long-term outcomes comparable to PAS. While primary surgery should always be carried out at a referral institution, some of the patients who undergo an initial incomplete resection at a non specialist center can still be offered a salvage procedure at a referral institution with comparable results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.25337DOI Listing
March 2019

Imatinib and everolimus in patients with progressing advanced chordoma: A phase 2 clinical study.

Cancer 2018 10 14;124(20):4056-4063. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazione dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: We present the results of an academic phase 2 study on imatinib plus everolimus in patients who have progressive advanced chordoma.

Methods: In January 2011, 43 adult chordoma patients were enrolled in the study and received imatinib 400 mg/day and everolimus 2.5 mg/day until progression or limiting toxicity. Eligible patients had progressed in the 6 months before study entry. PDGFRB, S6, and 4EBP1 expression and phosphorylation were evaluated by way of immunohistochemistry and/or western blotting. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate (ORR) according to Choi criteria. Secondary endpoints were RECIST 1.1 response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), correlation between S6/4EBP1 phosphorylation and response.

Results: Thirteen of 43 patients were pretreated with imatinib. Among 40 of the 43 patients who were evaluable by Choi criteria, the best responses were 9 with partial response (ORR, 20.9%), 24 with stable disease (SD) (ORR, 55.8%), and 7 with progressive disease (ORR, 16.3%). Forty-two patients were evaluable by RECIST criteria, with 1 partial response (ORR, 2.3%), 37 stable disease (ORR, 86%), and 4 progressive disease (ORR, 9.3%). The median PFS according to Choi criteria was 11.5 months (range, 4.6-17.6 months), and 58.8% and 48.1% of patients were progression-free at 9 and 12 months, respectively. The median PFS by RECIST criteria was 14 months; the median OS was 47.1 months. When assessable, S6/4EBP1 was phosphorylated in a high and moderate/low proportion of tumor cells in responsive and nonresponsive patients, respectively. Toxicity caused a temporary and definitive treatment discontinuation in 60.5% and 30.2% of patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Imatinib plus everolimus showed a limited activity in progressing advanced chordoma. Interestingly, the amount of tumor cells activated for mammalian target of rapamycin effectors correlated with the response. Toxicity was not negligible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31685DOI Listing
October 2018

Prolonged activity and toxicity of sirolimus in a patient with metastatic renal perivascular epithelioid cell tumor: a case report and literature review.

Anticancer Drugs 2018 07;29(6):589-595

Departments of Medicine, Adult Mesenchymal and Rare Tumor Medical Oncology Unit.

Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) is a family of mesenchymal tumors. Conventional chemotherapy has little activity in this disease, but case reports are available on the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (e.g. sirolimus and temsirolimus). Pharmacokinetic assays of sirolimus are available as this drug has a precise therapeutic window and blood levels might be influenced by CYP3A4 polymorphisms and drug interactions. We report on a case of a patient with metastatic, progressive PEComa who started sirolimus at a dose of 5 mg/day with evidence of grade (G) 3 mucositis, G2 thrombocytopenia, and G1 leucopenia 10 days after the treatment started, in absence of concomitant medications or prohibited food assumption. Elevated sirolimus blood levels were detected (156.8 ng/ml). Sirolimus was stopped, and toxicity resolved in 5 weeks. Computed tomography scan 2 months after the treatment started showed a partial response (RECIST). After toxicity resolution, the patient restarted sirolimus at a dose of 1 mg/day, with blood levels in the range of 10-20 ng/ml. Tumor response was confirmed and maintained, and the patient is still under treatment 18 months later, with no additional adverse effects. Genetic analysis of five selected polymorphisms (rs2740574, rs776746, rs1128503, rs2032582, and rs1045642) in drug metabolism enzymes and transporters did not provide a clear explanation of the observed unusual pharmacokinetic. This case confirms the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors in PEComa and strengthens the importance of pharmacokinetic drug blood levels monitoring in patients treated with sirolimus. In our patient, after dose adjustment, sirolimus could be restarted with a prolonged clinical benefit and no additional toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CAD.0000000000000634DOI Listing
July 2018

Development of a prognostic score to predict response to Yttrium-90 radioembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein invasion.

J Hepatol 2018 04 10;68(4):724-732. Epub 2018 Jan 10.

Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; University of Milan, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization (TARE) has shown promising efficacy in the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), associated with portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). The aim of this study is to identify prognostic factors for survival in patients with HCC and PVTT undergoing TARE, and build a prognostic classification for these patients.

Methods: This is a single center retrospective study conducted over six years (2010-2015), on consecutive patients undergoing TARE. Patients were included if they met the following criteria: presence of at least one measurable HCC, presence of PVTT not occluding the main portal trunk, absence of extrahepatic metastases, Child-Pugh score within B7, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1. Uni- and multivariable analysis was used to explore the variables that showed an independent relationship with survival. A prognostic score was then derived, and three prognostic categories were identified.

Results: A total of 120 patients were included in the study. Median overall survival (OS) was 14.1 months (95% CI 10.7-17.5) and median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6.5 months (95% CI 3.8-9.2). The only variables independently correlated with OS were bilirubin, extension of PVTT and tumor burden. Three prognostic categories were identified: favourable prognosis (0 points), intermediate prognosis (2-3 points) and dismal prognosis (>3 points). Median OS in the three categories was 32.2 months, 14.9 months and 7.8 months respectively (p <0.0001). PFS (p = 0.045) and the risk of liver decompensation (p <0.0001) also significantly differed along the same prognostic categories.

Conclusions: Radioembolization with Yttrium-90 is an effective therapy for patients with HCC and PVTT. The proposed prognostic stratification may help to better identify good candidates for the treatment, and those for whom TARE may be futile.

Lay Summary: Yttrium-90 transarterial radioembolization (TARE) is a microembolic procedure that minimizes alterations to hepatic arterial flow, and thus can be safely performed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT). In this study, we retrospectively evaluated the independent predictors of long-term outcomes in patients with HCC and PVTT treated with TARE. Bilirubin level, extension of PVTT and tumor burden were independently related to post-treatment survival: the combination of these factors allowed us to build a prognostic stratification that may help to better identify good candidates for the treatment, and those for whom TARE may be futile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2017.12.026DOI Listing
April 2018

Imaging in retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma.

J Surg Oncol 2018 Jan 28;117(1):25-32. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Department of Radiology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori Milan, Milan, Italy.

Patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma can present to a variety of clinicians with non-specific symptoms and retroperitoneal sarcomas can be incidental findings. Failure to recognize retroperitoneal sarcomas on imaging can lead to inappropriate management in non-specialist centers. Therefore it is critical that the possibility of retroperitoneal sarcoma should be considered with prompt referral to a soft tissue sarcoma unit. This review guides clinicians through a diagnostic pathway, introduces concepts in response assessment and new imaging developments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.24891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5836919PMC
January 2018

Primary metastatic osteosarcoma: results of a prospective study in children given chemotherapy and interleukin-2.

Med Oncol 2017 Nov 1;34(12):191. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via G. Venezian, 20133, Milan, MI, Italy.

To improve the poor prognosis for children with metastatic osteosarcoma (OS), interleukin-2 (IL-2) was added to the standard treatment due to its capacity to activate lymphocytes and differentiate lymphocyte subsets into lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells that are capable of recognizing and killing various tumor cells. This study concerns a cohort of unselected patients aged < 18 years with metastatic OS, who were treated with IL-2, high-dose methotrexate, doxorubicin, cisplatin, ifosfamide, LAK reinfusion, and surgery, between 1995 and 2010. Thirty-five patients aged 4-17 years were involved. Thirty-two of the 35 patients underwent surgery on their primary tumor, and 25 had surgery on lung metastases too. Twenty-seven patients received IL-2 plus LAK reinfusion. The median follow-up was 130 months (77-228), and the 3-year event-free and overall survival rates were 34.3 and 45.0%, respectively. Eleven patients remained alive, all of whom achieved a complete surgical removal of the primary tumor and lung metastases (1 patient did not receive lung resections due to complete lung metastases remission). Patients who had a complete surgical remission of the primary and metastatic sites and who responded well to chemotherapy had a better event-free survival. These results confirm the importance of complete surgical remission and point to a noteworthy (though still be ameliorate) survival rate in our series of patients, underling a potential role for immunotherapy with IL-2 and LAK/NK cell activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-017-1052-9DOI Listing
November 2017

High-Dose Ifosfamide Chemotherapy in a Series of Patients Affected by Myxoid Liposarcoma.

Sarcoma 2017 30;2017:3739159. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: To report on the activity of high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide (HDIFX) chemotherapy in a retrospective series of patients affected by myxoid liposarcoma treated at Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy.

Patients And Methods: Patients with an advanced myxoid liposarcoma treated with HDIFX (14 g/sqm, i.v., prolonged infusion of 14 days every 28 days) as a single agent between May 2002 and April 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. All pathologic diagnoses were centrally reviewed and molecularly confirmed. Response was evaluated by RECIST, and survival functions were computed by the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Eleven patients with advanced myxoid liposarcoma were treated with HDIFX (male/female = 9/2, median age 33 years, range 31-75). Among these, 1/11 received HDIFX in first line, 5/11 in second line, 3/11 in third line, and 2/11 in fourth line for a median course number of 3 (range 2-7). No RECIST objective responses were observed. Overall median progression-free survival was 1,9 months. Median overall survival was 37 months. At a median follow-up of 115 months, 1 patient is alive.

Conclusions: In this series of patients affected by advanced myxoid liposarcoma, chemotherapy with HDIFX was essentially inactive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/3739159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5602616PMC
August 2017

Activity of anthracycline- and ifosfamide-based chemotherapy in a series of patients affected by advanced myxofibrosarcoma.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2017 22;7:16. Epub 2017 Aug 22.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Background: We report on the activity of anthracycline-based and high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide chemotherapy in a retrospective series of patients affected by advanced myxofibrosarcoma treated at Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, Italy, and within the Italian Rare Cancer Network (RTR).

Methods: Advanced myxofibrosarcoma patients treated with anthracycline + ifosfamide and high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide as a single agent from November 2001 to December 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. All pathological diagnosis were centrally reviewed by at least two expert pathologists. Response was evaluated by RECIST, and survival functions were computed.

Results: Among 34 advanced myxofibrosarcoma patients, 13 were treated with front-line anthracycline + ifosfamide chemotherapy (male/female = 6/7, median age 54 years, range 33-72). Overall best response was: 4 partial responses, 3 stable diseases and 6 progressive diseases, with a median progression-free survival of 4 months. Twenty-eight patients received second/further line high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide (male/female = 17/11, median age 55 years, range 27-75 years). We observed 10 partial responses, 4 stable diseases and 14 progressive diseases, with a median progression-free survival of 4 months. Median overall survival was 12 months.

Conclusions: This retrospective analysis suggests that the combination of anthracyclines and ifosfamide is active in myxofibrosarcoma. In patients already treated with a combination of anthracyclines and ifosfamide, high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide showed activity as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-017-0082-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5568720PMC
August 2017