Publications by authors named "Catherine Fortpied"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.09.003DOI Listing
October 2021

Prognostic factor analysis and long-term results of the TAX 323 (EORTC 24971) study in unresectable head and neck cancer patients.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Oct 20;156:109-118. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium; Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: In the TAX 323 (EORTC 24971) phase III trial enrolling patients with unresectable locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LA-SCCHN), the addition of docetaxel (T) to cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (PF)-based induction chemotherapy prior to definite radiotherapy significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Methods: The data were updated for PFS, OS and treatment-related long-term side-effects. Baseline clinical and laboratory data of 17 variables were collected and subjected to univariate and multivariate prognostic factor analyses for OS.

Results: All 358 patients randomised between 1999 and 2002 were included in the long-term analysis with a median follow-up of 8.6 years. The primary end-point of PFS remained significantly improved with TPF compared with PF (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% CI, 0.56-0.88, p = 0.002), translating into a persisting benefit in OS (adjusted HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60-0.95, p = 0.015). Long-term side-effects in the TPF/PF arms comprised tracheostomy (7%/5%), feeding tube dependency (3%/6%) and gastrostomy (11%/11%). Second malignancy occurred in 8%/3%, respectively. Out of 177 patients randomised to the TPF arm, 160 were included in the multivariate analysis. Grade 2 or more dysphagia (p = 0.002) and grade 2 or more pain (p = 0.004) at baseline were identified as independent negative prognostic factors. In addition, OS differed across primary tumour sites (p = 0.027) and was worse in patients with a higher N-stage (p = 0.025).

Conclusions: In LA-SCCHN patients treated with sequential chemoradiotherapy, TPF induction chemotherapy demonstrated long-lasting efficacy, superior to the PF regimen. Higher-grade dysphagia and pain are unfavourable prognosticators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.07.034DOI Listing
October 2021

Side Effects 15 Years After Lymph Node Irradiation in Breast Cancer: Randomized EORTC Trial 22922/10925.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Oct;113(10):1360-1368

Department of Radiation Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Uncertainty about the benefit-risk ratio of regional lymph node irradiation led to varying clinical protocols. We investigated long-term late side effects after internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph node irradiation to improve shared decision making.

Methods: The multicenter European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer trial (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00002851) randomly assigned stage I-III breast cancer patients with involved axillary nodes and/or a medially located primary tumor. We analyzed late side effects both longitudinally at every follow-up and cross-sectionally at 5-year intervals. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Between 1996 and 2004, 46 departments from 13 countries accrued 4004 patients. Median follow-up was 15.7 years. Longitudinal follow-up data showed cumulative incidence rates at 15 years of 2.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.2% to 3.8%) vs 5.7% (95% CI = 4.7% to 6.9%) (P < .001) for lung fibrosis, 1.1% (95% CI = 0.7% to 1.7%) vs 1.9% (95% CI = 1.3% to 2.6%) (P = .07) for cardiac fibrosis, and 9.4% (95% CI = 8.0% to 10.8%) vs 11.1% (95% CI = 9.6% to 12.7%) (P = .04) for any cardiac disease when treated without or with IM-MS lymph node irradiation. There was no evidence for differences between left- and right-sided breast cancer (Wald χ2 test of treatment by breast side interaction, P = .33 and P = .35, for cardiac fibrosis and for any cardiac disease, respectively). The cumulative incidence probabilities of cross-sectionally reported side effects with a score of 2 or greater at 15 years were 0.1% (95% CI = 0.0% to 0.5%) vs 0.8% (95% CI = 0.4% to 1.4%) for pulmonary (P = .02), 1.8% (95% CI = 1.1% to 2.8%) vs 2.6% (95% CI = 1.8% to 3.7%) for cardiac (P = .15), and 0.0% (95% CI not evaluated) vs 0.1% (95% CI = 0.0% to 0.4%) for esophageal (P = .16), respectively. No difference was observed in the incidence of second malignancies, contralateral breast cancer, or cardiovascular deaths.

Conclusions: The incidence of late pulmonary side effects was statistically significantly higher after IM-MS lymph node irradiation, as were some of the cardiac events, without a difference between left- and right-sided treatments. Absolute rates and differences were very low, without increased non-breast cancer-related mortality, even before introducing heart-sparing techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab113DOI Listing
October 2021

Treatment patterns in older patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Results from an EORTC led survey.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, San Paolo Hospital, Via Antonio di Rudinì, 8, 20142 Milano, Italy.

Objectives: We aimed to assess patterns of care delivered to older patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC), and to analyze the use of geriatric assessment (GA) and assessment of quality of life (QoL).

Materials And Methods: Members of the head and neck cancer group and the older task force of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), members the European Head and Neck Society and members of national groups in Europe were asked to complete a questionnaire about treatment delivered, use of GA, and QoL assessment in older patients with LA-HNSCC.

Results: Investigators from 111 centers replied, including 90 (81.1%) academic centers, 16 (14.4%) community hospitals, and 5 (4.5%) private clinics. Large differences in treatment patterns were found. For instance, for oropharyngeal carcinoma, one third of the centers indicated that they treat <5% of older patients with chemoradiation, while 18 centers (16.2%) treat >40% of older patients with chemoradiation. Fourteen centers (12.6%) routinely perform GA, while 43 centers (38.7%) never do, and 39 centers (35.1%) sometimes do. QoL is assessed on a routine basis in one fifth of the centers.

Conclusions: Large differences exist across institutions in the patterns of care delivered to older patients with LA-HNSCC. Prospective studies are required to learn how GA can guide treatment decisions, and how QoL and treatment outcome can be improved. For that, consensus on standard of care is essential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2021.05.007DOI Listing
May 2021

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy in locally advanced head and neck cancer: an individual patient data network meta-analysis.

Lancet Oncol 2021 05 13;22(5):727-736. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background: Randomised, controlled trials and meta-analyses have shown the survival benefit of concomitant chemoradiotherapy or hyperfractionated radiotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer. However, the relative efficacy of these treatments is unknown. We aimed to determine whether one treatment was superior to the other.

Methods: We did a frequentist network meta-analysis based on individual patient data of meta-analyses evaluating the role of chemotherapy (Meta-Analysis of Chemotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer [MACH-NC]) and of altered fractionation radiotherapy (Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Carcinomas of Head and Neck [MARCH]). Randomised, controlled trials that enrolled patients with non-metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer between Jan 1, 1980, and Dec 31, 2016, were included. We used a two-step random-effects approach, and the log-rank test, stratified by trial to compare treatments, with locoregional therapy as the reference. Overall survival was the primary endpoint. The global Cochran Q statistic was used to assess homogeneity and consistency and P score to rank treatments (higher scores indicate more effective therapies).

Findings: 115 randomised, controlled trials, which enrolled patients between Jan 1, 1980, and April 30, 2012, yielded 154 comparisons (28 978 patients with 19 253 deaths and 20 579 progression events). Treatments were grouped into 16 modalities, for which 35 types of direct comparisons were available. Median follow-up based on all trials was 6·6 years (IQR 5·0-9·4). Hyperfractionated radiotherapy with concomitant chemotherapy (HFCRT) was ranked as the best treatment for overall survival (P score 97%; hazard ratio 0·63 [95% CI 0·51-0·77] compared with locoregional therapy). The hazard ratio of HFCRT compared with locoregional therapy with concomitant chemoradiotherapy with platinum-based chemotherapy (CLRT) was 0·82 (95% CI 0·66-1·01) for overall survival. The superiority of HFCRT was robust to sensitivity analyses. Three other modalities of treatment had a better P score, but not a significantly better HR, for overall survival than CLRT (P score 78%): induction chemotherapy with taxane, cisplatin, and fluorouracil followed by locoregional therapy (IC-LRT; 89%), accelerated radiotherapy with concomitant chemotherapy (82%), and IC followed by CLRT (80%).

Interpretation: The results of this network meta-analysis suggest that further intensifying chemoradiotherapy, using HFCRT or IC-CLRT, could improve outcomes over chemoradiotherapy for the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer.

Fundings: French Institut National du Cancer, French Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, and Fondation ARC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00076-0DOI Listing
May 2021

Reference values for the EORTC QLQ-C30 in patients with advanced stage Hodgkin lymphoma and in Hodgkin lymphoma survivors.

Eur J Haematol 2021 May 28;106(5):697-707. Epub 2021 Feb 28.

EORTC, Brussels, Belgium.

Objectives: To provide reference values for the European Organisation for Treatment and Research of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30) in advanced-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients and 5-year HL survivors. The QLQ-C30 is the most widely used cancer-specific questionnaire to assess Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL).

Methods: The EORTC database was searched to identify HL RCTs in which patients' and survivors' HRQoL was assessed by the QLQ-C30. HRQoL mean scores were calculated and stratified by age and gender. Minimal important differences were used to assess the clinical relevance of the findings. Data from one RCT with HRQoL scores available at baseline (n = 343) and four RCTs with HRQoL scores available at follow-up (n = 1665) were analyzed.

Results: Patients reported worse HRQoL scores than survivors across most functioning scales and symptoms' scales. These scores varied as a function of gender but not age. Survivors' HRQoL reports were comparable to the ones of the general population.

Conclusions: These values provide an assessment framework for the comparison and interpretation of QLQ-C30 scores in advanced-stage HL. Our findings suggest that although HL patients' HRQoL scores are worse than the general population, HRQoL scores may normalize over long-term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13601DOI Listing
May 2021

Meta-analysis of chemotherapy in head and neck cancer (MACH-NC): An update on 107 randomized trials and 19,805 patients, on behalf of MACH-NC Group.

Radiother Oncol 2021 03 27;156:281-293. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

University of Chicago, IL, USA.

Background And Purpose: The Meta-Analysis of Chemotherapy in squamous cell Head and Neck Cancer (MACH-NC) demonstrated that concomitant chemotherapy (CT) improved overall survival (OS) in patients without distant metastasis. We report the updated results.

Materials And Methods: Published or unpublished randomized trials including patients with non-metastatic carcinoma randomized between 1965 and 2016 and comparing curative loco-regional treatment (LRT) to LRT + CT or adding another timing of CT to LRT + CT (main question), or comparing induction CT + radiotherapy to radiotherapy + concomitant (or alternating) CT (secondary question) were eligible. Individual patient data were collected and combined using a fixed-effect model. OS was the main endpoint.

Results: For the main question, 101 trials (18951 patients, median follow-up of 6.5 years) were analyzed. For both questions, there were 16 new (2767 patients) and 11 updated trials. Around 90% of the patients had stage III or IV disease. Interaction between treatment effect on OS and the timing of CT was significant (p < 0.0001), the benefit being limited to concomitant CT (HR: 0.83, 95%CI [0.79; 0.86]; 5(10)-year absolute benefit of 6.5% (3.6%)). Efficacy decreased as patients age increased (p_trend = 0.03). OS was not increased by the addition of induction (HR = 0.96 [0.90; 1.01]) or adjuvant CT (1.02 [0.92; 1.13]). Efficacy of induction CT decreased with poorer performance status (p_trend = 0.03). For the secondary question, eight trials (1214 patients) confirmed the superiority of concomitant CT on OS (HR = 0.84 [0.74; 0.95], p = 0.005).

Conclusion: The update of MACH-NC confirms the benefit and superiority of the addition of concomitant CT for non-metastatic head and neck cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.01.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386522PMC
March 2021

Internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph node chain irradiation in stage I-III breast cancer (EORTC 22922/10925): 15-year results of a randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 12 2;21(12):1602-1610. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

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

Background: 10-year results from several studies showed improved disease-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival, reduced breast cancer-related mortality, and variable effects on overall survival with the addition of partial or comprehensive regional lymph node irradiation after surgery in patients with breast cancer. We present the scheduled 15-year analysis of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 22922/10925 trial, which aims to investigate the impact on overall survival of elective internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) irradiation.

Methods: EORTC 22922/10925, a randomised, phase 3 trial done across 46 radiation oncology departments from 13 countries, included women up to 75 years of age with unilateral, histologically confirmed, stage I-III breast adenocarcinoma with involved axillary nodes or a central or medially located primary tumour. Surgery consisted of mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and axillary staging. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) centrally using minimisation to receive IM-MS irradiation at 50 Gy in 25 fractions (IM-MS irradiation group) or no IM-MS irradiation (control group). Stratification was done for institution, menopausal status, site of the primary tumour within the breast, type of breast and axillary surgery, and pathological T and N stage. Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was overall survival analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Secondary endpoints were disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival, breast cancer mortality, any breast cancer recurrence, and cause of death. Follow-up is ongoing for 20 years after randomisation. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00002851.

Findings: Between Aug 5, 1996, and Jan 13, 2004, we enrolled 4004 patients, of whom 2002 were randomly assigned to the IM-MS irradiation group and 2002 to the no IM-MS irradiation group. At a median follow-up of 15·7 years (IQR 14·0-17·6), 554 (27·7%) patients in the IM-MS irradiation group and 569 (28·4%) patients in the control group had died. Overall survival was 73·1% (95% CI 71·0-75·2) in the IM-MS irradiation group and 70·9% (68·6-72·9) in the control group (HR 0·95 [95% CI 0·84-1·06], p=0·36). Any breast cancer recurrence (24·5% [95% CI 22·5-26·6] vs 27·1% [25·1-29·2]; HR 0·87 [95% CI 0·77-0·98], p=0·024) and breast cancer mortality (16·0% [14·3-17·7] vs 19·8% [18·0-21·7]; 0·81 [0·70-0·94], p=0·0055) were lower in the IM-MS irradiation group than in the control group. No significant differences in the IM-MS irradiation group versus the control group were seen for disease-free survival (60·8% [95% CI 58·4-63·2] vs 59·9% [57·5-62·2]; HR 0·93 [95% CI 0·84-1·03], p=0·18), or distant metastasis-free survival (70·0% [67·7-72·2] vs 68·2% [65·9-70·3]; 0·93 [0·83-1·04], p=0·18). Causes of death between groups were similar.

Interpretation: The 15-year results show a significant reduction of breast cancer mortality and any breast cancer recurrence by IM-MS irradiation in stage I-III breast cancer. However, this is not converted to improved overall survival.

Funding: US National Cancer Institute, Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer, and KWF Kankerbestrijding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30472-1DOI Listing
December 2020

Predictive classifier for intensive treatment of head and neck cancer.

Cancer 2020 12 5;126(24):5263-5273. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Background: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the effectiveness of intensive treatment for locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer (LAHNC) depends on the proportion of patients' overall event risk attributable to cancer.

Methods: This study analyzed 22,339 patients with LAHNC treated in 81 randomized trials testing altered fractionation (AFX; Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck [MARCH] data set) or chemotherapy (Meta-Analysis of Chemotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer [MACH-NC] data set). Generalized competing event regression was applied to the control arms in MARCH, and patients were stratified by tertile according to the ω score, which quantified the relative hazard for cancer versus competing events. The classifier was externally validated on the MACH-NC data set. The study tested for interactions between the ω score and treatment effects on overall survival (OS).

Results: Factors associated with a higher ω score were a younger age, a better performance status, an oral cavity site, higher T and N categories, and a p16-negative/unknown status. The effect of AFX on OS was greater in patients with high ω scores (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-0.99) and medium ω scores (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84-0.98) versus low ω scores (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.90-1.05; P for interaction = .086). The effect of chemotherapy on OS was significantly greater in patients with high ω scores (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.75-0.88) and medium ω scores (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78-0.93) versus low ω scores (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.86-1.08; P for interaction = .011).

Conclusions: LAHNC patients with a higher risk of cancer progression relative to competing mortality, as reflected by a higher ω score, selectively benefit from more intensive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33212DOI Listing
December 2020

Long-term overall survival and toxicities of ABVD vs BEACOPP in advanced Hodgkin lymphoma: A pooled analysis of four randomized trials.

Cancer Med 2020 09 25;9(18):6565-6575. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Department of Onco-Haematology, Archet Hospital, Nice, France.

Purpose: We explored the potential overall survival (OS) benefit of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, vincristine (Oncovin), procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP) over doxorubicin (Adriamycin), bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) in a pooled analysis of four randomized trials.

Patients And Methods: Primary objective was to evaluate the OS impact of BEACOPP using individual patient data. Secondary objectives were progression-free survival (PFS), secondary cancers, and use of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Results: About 1227 patients were included. The 7-year OS was 84.3% (95% CI 80.8-87.2) for ABVD vs 87.7% (95% CI 84.5-90.2) for BEACOPP. Two follow-up periods were identified based on survival curves and hazard ratio (HR) over time. For the first 18 months, there was no difference. For the second period of ≥18 months, ABVD patients had a higher death risk (HR  = 1.59; 95% CI 1.09-2.33). A Cox model stratified by trial and evaluating the effect of treatment and International Prognostic Index (IPI) score as fixed effects showed that both were statistically significant (treatment, P = .0185; IPI score, P = .0107). The 7-year PFS was 71.1% (95% CI 67.1-74.6) for ABVD vs 81.1% (95% CI 77.5-84.2) for BEACOPP (P < .001). After ABVD, 25 secondary cancers (4.0%) were reported with no myelodysplasia (MDS)/acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared to 36 (6.5%) after BEACOPP, which included 13 patients with MDS/AML. Following ABVD, 86 patients (13.8%) received ASCT vs 39 (6.4%) for BEACOPP.

Conclusions: This analysis showed a slight improvement in OS for BEACOPP and confirmed a PFS benefit. Frontline use of BEACOPP instead of ABVD increased secondary leukemia incidence but halved the requirement for ASCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7520354PMC
September 2020

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00999DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817682PMC
October 2019

The Statistical Evaluation of Treatment and Outcomes in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Clinical Trials.

Front Oncol 2019 12;9:634. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

EORTC Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.

The purpose of this article is two-fold: to help statisticians confronted with the design, implementation and analysis of clinical trials and new to the field of head and neck cancer; but also to sensitize research physicians with the role, the tasks and the challenges faced by the medical statisticians. These two purposes altogether will hopefully encourage and enable fluid communication between the research physician and the medical statistician and the understanding of each other's field and concerns. In particular, the methodological challenges resulting from the heterogeneity of the head and neck cancer, the complexity of the treatments and the associated comorbidities are presented with examples borrowed from medical literature and from the practical experience of the authors in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6640189PMC
July 2019

Role of chemotherapy in 5000 patients with head and neck cancer treated by curative surgery: A subgroup analysis of the meta-analysis of chemotherapy in head and neck cancer.

Oral Oncol 2019 08 15;95:106-114. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Meta-Analysis Unit, Service de Biostatistique et d'Epidémiologie, Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, INSERM U1018, CESP, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of chemotherapy added to a surgical locoregional treatment (LRT) for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Materials And Methods: We studied the sub-group of trials with surgical LRT included in the meta-analysis on chemotherapy in head and neck cancer (MACH-NC). Data from published and unpublished randomized trials comparing the addition of chemotherapy to LRT in HNSCC patients were sought using electronic database searching for the period 1965-2000, hand searching and by contacting experts in the field. Trials with less than 60 patients, or preoperative radiotherapy or where the type of LRT could not be individually determined were excluded. All individual patient data were checked for internal consistency, compared with published reports, and validated with trialists. Data were pooled using a fixed-effect model. Heterogeneity was assessed using Cochrane test and I statistic.

Results: Twenty-four trials were eligible (5000 patients). Chemotherapy improved overall survival (HR = 0.92 [95%CI: 0.85-0.99] p = 0.02). There was a significant interaction between treatment effect and timing of chemotherapy (p = 0.08 at pre-specified threshold of 0.10) with a greater effect for concomitant chemotherapy (HR = 0.79, 95%CI: 0.69-0.92). The benefit of chemotherapy was greater in women (HR = 0.63, 95%CI: 0.50-0.80) compared to men (HR = 0.96, 95%CI: 0.89-1.04; p for interaction = 0.001).

Conclusions: This analysis confirmed the benefit of concomitant chemotherapy added to surgical LRT. The role of induction therapy as yet to be determined as it did not improve OS. Women may benefit more than men from chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7029787PMC
August 2019

Prognostic value of baseline metabolic tumor volume in early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma in the standard arm of the H10 trial.

Blood 2018 03 1;131(13):1456-1463. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Lymphoma Study Association Imaging, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France; and.

We tested baseline positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) as a measure of total tumor burden to better identify high-risk patients with early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Patients with stage I-II HL enrolled in the standard arm (combined modality treatment) of the H10 trial (NCT00433433) with available baseline PET and interim PET (iPET2) after 2 cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine were included. Total metabolic tumor volume (TMTV) was measured on baseline PET. iPET2 findings were reported negative (DS1-3) or positive (DS4-5) with the Deauville scale (DS). The prognostic value of TMTV was evaluated and compared with baseline characteristics, staging classifications, and iPET2. A total of 258 patients were eligible: 101 favorable and 157 unfavorable. The median follow-up was 55 months, with 27 progression-free survival (PFS) and 12 overall survival (OS) events. TMTV was a prognosticator of PFS ( < .0001) and OS ( = .0001), with 86% and 84% specificity, respectively. Five-year PFS and OS were 71% and 83% in the high-TMTV (>147 cm) group (n = 46), respectively, vs 92% and 98% in the low-TMTV group (≤147 cm). In multivariable analysis including iPET2, TMTV was the only baseline prognosticator compared with the current staging systems proposed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte, German Hodgkin Study Group, or National Comprehensive Cancer Network. TMTV and iPET2 were independently prognostic and, combined, identified 4 risk groups: low (TMTV≤147+DS1-3; 5-year PFS, 95%), low-intermediate (TMTV>147+DS1-3; 5-year PFS, 81.6%), high-intermediate (TMTV≤147+DS4-5; 5-year PFS, 50%), and high (TMTV>147+DS4-5; 5-year PFS, 25%). TMTV improves baseline risk stratification of patients with early-stage HL compared with current staging systems and the predictive value of early PET response as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2017-07-795476DOI Listing
March 2018

Secondary malignant neoplasms, progression-free survival and overall survival in patients treated for Hodgkin lymphoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

Haematologica 2017 10 14;102(10):1748-1757. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Institute of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Epidemiology, University of Cologne, Germany

Treatment intensification to maximize disease control and reduced intensity approaches to minimize the risk of late sequelae have been evaluated in newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma. The influence of these interventions on the risk of secondary malignant neoplasms, progression-free survival and overall survival is reported in the meta-analysis herein, based on individual patient data from 9498 patients treated within 16 randomized controlled trials for newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma between 1984 and 2007. Secondary malignant neoplasms were meta-analyzed using Peto's method as time-to-event outcomes. For progression-free and overall survival, hazard ratios derived from each trial using Cox regression were combined by inverse-variance weighting. Five study questions (combined-modality treatment chemotherapy alone; more extended involved-field radiotherapy; radiation at higher doses radiation at 20 Gy; more fewer cycles of the same chemotherapy protocol; standard-dose chemotherapy intensified chemotherapy) were investigated. After a median follow-up of 7.4 years, dose-intensified chemotherapy resulted in better progression-free survival rates (=0.007) as compared with standard-dose chemotherapy, but was associated with an increased risk of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndromes (=0.0028). No progression-free or overall survival differences were observed between combined-modality treatment and chemotherapy alone, but more secondary malignant neoplasms were seen after combined-modality treatment (=0.010). For the remaining three study questions, outcomes and secondary malignancy rates did not differ significantly between treatment strategies. The results of this meta-analysis help to weigh up efficacy and secondary malignancy risk for the choice of first-line treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma patients. However, final conclusions regarding secondary solid tumors require longer follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2017.167478DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622859PMC
October 2017

Reply to J.A. Vargo et al, H.J.A. Adams et al, E. Hindié et al, and S. Kothari et al.

J Clin Oncol 2017 08 6;35(24):2853-2854. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Marc P.E. André, Université Catholique de Louvain, CHU UCL Namur, Yvoir, Belgium; Massimo Federico, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; Catherine Fortpied, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium; Théodore Girinsky, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; Michel Meignan, Henri Mondor University Hospitals, Créteil, France; and John Raemaekers, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2017.74.0068DOI Listing
August 2017

Rituximab maintenance improves overall survival of patients with follicular lymphoma-Individual patient data meta-analysis.

Eur J Cancer 2017 05 21;76:216-225. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Assuta Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: Randomised trials of rituximab maintenance (MR) for patients with follicular lymphoma support improved progression-free survival (PFS), but the effect on overall survival has been inconclusive. To evaluate the effect of MR on overall survival according to patient and disease characteristics, and to explore certain adverse events, we performed an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis.

Methods: All investigators of randomised controlled trials that compared MR therapy with observation or treatment only at relapse (no MR) for patients with follicular lymphoma were invited to participate in an IPD meta-analysis. We obtained baseline patient and disease characteristics and time to progression and death for each patient. All analyses took into account the trial and original randomised treatment group. We analysed data in two ways: a two-stage analysis and a multivariate model including patient and disease characteristics.

Findings: Seven trials including 2315 patients were analysed. Overall survival of patients improved with MR compared with no MR (hazard ratio [HR] 0.79, 95% CI 0.66-0.96). We could not detect any patient or disease characteristics that were associated with a survival benefit with MR. In all of the models, MR had a beneficial effect on overall survival compared with observation for all types of patients, which was not shown in a particular subgroup in which the patient had already received rituximab in the induction phase and received first-line therapy. MR improved PFS compared with observation (HR 0.57, 95% CI 0.51-0.64). The risk of adverse events was higher with MR, specifically infection of any grade and grade 3-4 infections.

Interpretation: Based on IPD from randomised controlled trials, MR improves overall survival consistently in all patients, regardless of patient and disease characteristics when compared with observation, and should be prescribed after a successful induction with R-CVP or R-CHOP for patients with follicular lymphoma. It is still uncertain if that holds when the patient has already received rituximab in his/hers first induction. The effect of MR after bendamustine-rituximab induction compared with rituximab at progression should be further explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.01.021DOI Listing
May 2017

Early Positron Emission Tomography Response-Adapted Treatment in Stage I and II Hodgkin Lymphoma: Final Results of the Randomized EORTC/LYSA/FIL H10 Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Jun 14;35(16):1786-1794. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Marc P.E. André, Université Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir; Catherine Fortpied, Valeria Fiaccadori, and Tiana Raveloarivahy, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Brussels, Belgium; Théodore Girinsky and Christophe Fermé, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif; Oumédaly Reman, Institut d'Hématologie de Basse Normandie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Caen; Pauline Brice, Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Paris Hôpital Saint-Louis; Richard Delarue, Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Paris Hôpital Universitaire Necker-Enfants Maladies, Paris; Olivier Casasnovas, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire le Bocage and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Dijon; Véronique Edeline, Hôpital René Hugenin-Institut Curie, Saint Cloud; Réda Bouabdallah, Institut Paoli Calmette, Marseille; Catherine Sebban, Hematology Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon; Aspasia Stamatoullas, Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen; Michel Meignan, Henri Mondor University Hospitals, Créteil, France; Massimo Federico and Monica Bellei, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena; Manuel Gotti, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia; Alessandro Re, Spedali Civili Hospital, Brescia; Francesco Merli and Annibale Versari, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Richard van der Maazen and John Raemaekers, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen; Gustaaf van Imhoff, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; and Lena Specht and Martin Hutchings, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Purpose Patients who receive combined modality treatment for stage I and II Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) have an excellent outcome. Early response evaluation with positron emission tomography (PET) scan may improve selection of patients who need reduced or more intensive treatments. Methods We performed a randomized trial to evaluate treatment adaptation on the basis of early PET (ePET) after two cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) in previously untreated-according to European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer criteria favorable (F) and unfavorable (U)-stage I and II HL. The standard arm consisted of ABVD followed by involved-node radiotherapy (INRT), regardless of ePET result. In the experimental arm, ePET-negative patients received ABVD only (noninferiority design), whereas ePET-positive patients switched to two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPPesc) and INRT (superiority design). Primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Results Of 1,950 randomly assigned patients, 1,925 received an ePET-361 patients (18.8%) were positive. In ePET-positive patients, 5-year PFS improved from 77.4% for standard ABVD + INRT to 90.6% for intensification to BEACOPPesc + INRT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.42; 95% CI, 0.23 to 0.74; P = .002). In ePET-negative patients, 5-year PFS rates in the F group were 99.0% versus 87.1% (HR, 15.8; 95% CI, 3.8 to 66.1) in favor of ABVD + INRT; the U group, 92.1% versus 89.6% (HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.8 to 2.5) in favor of ABVD + INRT. For both F and U groups, noninferiority of ABVD only compared with combined modality treatment could not be demonstrated. Conclusion In stage I and II HL, PET response after two cycles of ABVD allows for early treatment adaptation. When ePET is positive after two cycles of ABVD, switching to BEACOPPesc + INRT significantly improved 5-year PFS. In ePET-negative patients, noninferiority of ABVD only could not be demonstrated: risk of relapse is increased when INRT is omitted, especially in patients in the F group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.68.6394DOI Listing
June 2017

Eight Cycles of ABVD Versus Four Cycles of BEACOPPescalated Plus Four Cycles of BEACOPPbaseline in Stage III to IV, International Prognostic Score ≥ 3, High-Risk Hodgkin Lymphoma: First Results of the Phase III EORTC 20012 Intergroup Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2016 06 25;34(17):2028-36. Epub 2016 Apr 25.

Patrice Carde and Christophe Ferme, Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus, Villejuif; Pauline Brice, Hopital St. Louis, Paris; Olivier Casasnovas and Denis Caillot, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Dijon, Dijon; Isabelle Gaillard, CHU Henri Mondor, Creteil; Serge Bologna, Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire (CHR) de Nancy, Nancy; Frank Morschhauser, CHR de Lille, Lille; Bertrand Coiffier, CHU de Lyon, Lyon; Nicolas Mounier, Hopital de L'Archet, Nice, France; Matthias Karrasch and Catherine Fortpied, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium; Hussein Khaled, National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Pieternella Johanna Lugtenburg, Erasmus Medical Center Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Igor Aurer, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; Ralph Meyer, Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, Ontario; Matthew Seftel, Cancer Care Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Max Wolf, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Bengt Glimelius, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; and Anna Sureda, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: To compare patients with high-risk stage III to IV Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in the phase III European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 20012 Intergroup trial (Comparison of Two Combination Chemotherapy Regimens in Treating Patients With Stage III or Stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma) who were randomly assigned to either doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) or to bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP).

Patients And Methods: Patients with clinical stage III or IV HL, International Prognostic Score of 3 or higher, and age 60 years or younger received ABVD for eight cycles (ABVD8) or escalated-dose BEACOPP (BEACOPPescalated) for four cycles followed by baseline BEACOPP (BEACOPPbaseline) for four cycles (BEACOPP4+4) without radiotherapy. Primary end points were event-free survival (EFS), treatment discontinuation, no complete response (CR) or unconfirmed complete response (CRu) after eight cycles, progression, relapse, or death. Secondary end points were CR rate, overall survival (OS), quality of life, secondary malignancies, and disease-free survival in CR/CRu patients.

Results: Between 2002 and 2010, 549 patients were randomly assigned to ABVD8 (n = 275) or BEACOPP4+4 (n = 274). Other characteristics included median age, 35 years; male, 75%; stage IV, 74%; "B" symptoms, 81%; and International Prognostic Score ≥ 4, 59%. WHO performance status was 0 (34%), 1 (48%), or 2 (17%). Median follow-up was 3.6 years. CR/CRu was 82.5% in both arms. At 4 years, EFS was 63.7% for ABVD8 versus 69.3% for BEACOPP4+4 (hazard ratio [HR], 0.86; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.15; P = .312); disease-free survival was 85.8% versus 91.0% (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.33 to 1.06; P = .076), and OS was 86.7% versus 90.3% (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.42 to 1.21; P = .208). Death as a result of toxicity occurred in six and five patients, early discontinuation (before cycle 5) in 12 and 26 patients, treatment crossovers in five and 10 patients, and secondary malignancies in eight and 10 patients in the ABVD8 and BEACOPP4+4 arms, respectively.

Conclusion: ABVD8 and BEACOPP4+4 resulted in similar EFS and OS in patients with high-risk advanced-stage HL. Because BEACOPP4+4 did not demonstrate a favorable effectiveness or toxicity ratio compared with ABVD8, treatment burden, immediate and late toxicities, and associated costs must be considered before selecting one of these regimens on which to build future treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2015.64.5648DOI Listing
June 2016

Cardiovascular disease after treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma: an analysis of nine collaborative EORTC-LYSA trials.

Lancet Haematol 2015 Nov 22;2(11):e492-502. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Department of Oncology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Hematology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Cardiovascular disease after treatment is an important concern in cancer survivors. However, knowledge of cardiotoxicity is limited by the retrospective nature of data, which often does not contain details of treatment exposure. To facilitate individual risk counselling of patients, we aimed to quantify the effect of anthracyclines, vinca-alkaloids, and radiotherapy on the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Methods: In 2009-10, a Life Situation Questionnaire (LSQ) was distributed to patients by mail to assess late-onset effects of Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment in patients who were included in nine successive European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte (GELA, now renamed LYSA) randomised trials between 1964 and 2004. We reconstructed the mean radiation doses to the heart and carotid arteries and the cumulative doses of anthracyclines and vinca-alkaloids for all patients. Incidence of cardiovascular disease was reported during follow-up and updated through the LSQ. We applied Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to quantify the effect of chemotherapy and radiation on the risk of a first cardiovascular disease event.

Findings: Information of primary treatment was complete for 6039 patients (median age at diagnosis 30 years [IQR 23-40]; median length of follow-up 9 years [6-14]). 1919 patients responded to the LSQ. 1238 first cardiovascular events were recorded in 703 patients, most were ischaemic heart disease (132 [19%]), congestive heart failure (85 [12%]), arrhythmia (110 [16%]), and valvular disease (77 [11%]). The mean heart radiation dose per 1 Gy increase (HR 1·015 [95% CI 1·006-1·024], p=0·0014) and the dose of anthracyclines per 50 mg/m(2) increase in cumulative dose (1·077 [1·021-1·137], p=0·0064) were significant predictors of cardiovascular disease. Cumulative dose of vinblastine (unadjusted model p=0·77), vincristine (p=0·36), and mean radiation dose to the left (p=0·41) or right (p=0·70) internal carotid artery did not predict for cardiovascular events.

Interpretation: Quantification of the increased cardiovascular risk with specific doses of radiation and anthracycline exposure will enable a quantitative assessment of the optimum combination of systemic therapy and radiation, which will help clinicians to balance the risks and benefits of different regimens for individual patients.

Funding: Rigshospitalet Research Committee, the EORTC Cancer Research Fund, and the Sally Snowman Survivorship Fellowship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3026(15)00153-2DOI Listing
November 2015

Efficacy and Safety of Cladribine: Subcutaneous versus Intravenous Administration in Hairy Cell Leukemia Patients.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2015 16;7(1):e2015058. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

Cladribine induces durable complete remission (CR) in approximately 85% of hairy cell leukemia (HCL) patients. In Egypt, cladribine is mainly used as IV continuous infusion at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg/day for 7 days and as SC bolus injection at a dose of 0.14 mg/kg/day for 5 days. We aimed to compare the outcome and toxicity between these two regimens. We retrospectively collected data from HCL patients treated at the National Cancer Institute and its affiliated center, Nasser Institute, Cairo, Egypt. Forty-nine patients were identified, 18 treated with the IV regimen (IV group) and 31 with the SC regimen (SC group). Forty-one patients were newly diagnosed. Patient characteristics were balanced across the two groups. The CR rates in the IV and the SC group were 94% and 97%, respectively. The main complications in the IV group and the SC were neutropenia G3-4 (67% vs. 87%), mucositis mainly G1-2 (67% vs 32%) and infections (mainly viral, 78% vs 34%). In the IV group, five patients died, three of progression and infection, one of unknown cause and one of late heart failure. In the SC group, one patient died of disease progression and one of second cancer. After 33.5 months, median follow-up, the 3-year event free survival was 60% and 96%, respectively (p=0.104). The 3-year overall survival was 81% and 100%, respectively (p=0.277). In conclusion, SC cladribine is an excellent alternative to the IV regimen for the treatment of HCL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4084/MJHID.2015.058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621169PMC
November 2015

Clinical trial designs for rare diseases: studies developed and discussed by the International Rare Cancers Initiative.

Eur J Cancer 2015 Feb 24;51(3):271-81. Epub 2014 Dec 24.

The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Background: The past three decades have seen rapid improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of most cancers and the most important contributor has been research. Progress in rare cancers has been slower, not least because of the challenges of undertaking research.

Settings: The International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) is a partnership which aims to stimulate and facilitate the development of international clinical trials for patients with rare cancers. It is focused on interventional--usually randomized--clinical trials with the clear goal of improving outcomes for patients. The key challenges are organisational and methodological. A multi-disciplinary workshop to review the methods used in ICRI portfolio trials was held in Amsterdam in September 2013. Other as-yet unrealised methods were also discussed.

Results: The IRCI trials are each presented to exemplify possible approaches to designing credible trials in rare cancers. Researchers may consider these for use in future trials and understand the choices made for each design.

Interpretation: Trials can be designed using a wide array of possibilities. There is no 'one size fits all' solution. In order to make progress in the rare diseases, decisions to change practice will have to be based on less direct evidence from clinical trials than in more common diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2014.10.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4639696PMC
February 2015

Omitting radiotherapy in early positron emission tomography-negative stage I/II Hodgkin lymphoma is associated with an increased risk of early relapse: Clinical results of the preplanned interim analysis of the randomized EORTC/LYSA/FIL H10 trial.

J Clin Oncol 2014 Apr 17;32(12):1188-94. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

John M.M. Raemaekers and Richard van der Maazen, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen; Pieternella J. Lugtenburg, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam; Gustaaf van Imhoff, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; Marc P.E. André and Thierry van der Borght, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) L'Université Catholique de Louvain Mont Godinne, Yvoir; Yolande Lievens, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent; Tiana Raveloarivahy and Catherine Fortpied, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Brussels, Belgium; Massimo Federico and Monica Bellei, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena; Ercole Brusamolino, Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Milan; Manuel Gotti, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia; Allessandro Re, Spedali Civili Hospital, Brescia; Elisabetta Abruzzese, San Eugenio Hospital, Tor Vergata University, Rome; Annibale Versari, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Theodore Girinsky and Christophe Fermé, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif; Reman Oumedaly, CHU Caen; Stephane Bardet, Centre Francois Baclesse, Caen; Pauline Brice, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris; Reda Bouabdallah, Institut Paoli Calmette, Marseille; Catherine J. Sebban, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon; Aspasia Stamatoullas, Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen; Frank Morschhauser, CHU de Lille, Lille; Pierre Olivier, CHU Nancy, Nancy; Rene-Olivier Casasnovas, CHU de Dijon, Dijon; Michel Meignan, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Creteil, France; and Martin Hutchings, Rigshospitalet, Kopenhagen, Denmark.

Purpose: Combined-modality treatment is standard treatment for patients with clinical stage I/II Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). We hypothesized that an early positron emission tomography (PET) scan could be used to adapt treatment. Therefore, we started the randomized EORTC/LYSA/FIL Intergroup H10 trial evaluating whether involved-node radiotherapy (IN-RT) could be omitted without compromising progression-free survival in patients attaining a negative early PET scan after two cycles of ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine) as compared with standard combined-modality treatment.

Patients And Methods: Patients age 15 to 70 years with untreated clinical stage I/II HL were eligible. Here we report the clinical outcome of the preplanned interim futility analysis scheduled to occur after documentation of 34 events in the early PET-negative group. Because testing for futility in this noninferiority trial corresponds to testing the hypothesis of no difference, a one-sided superiority test was conducted.

Results: The analysis included 1,137 patients. In the favorable subgroup, 85.8% had a negative early PET scan (standard arm, one event v experimental arm, nine events). In the unfavorable subgroup, 74.8% had a negative early PET scan (standard arm, seven events v experimental arm, 16 events). The independent data monitoring committee concluded it was unlikely that we would show noninferiority in the final results for the experimental arm and advised stopping random assignment for early PET-negative patients.

Conclusion: On the basis of this analysis, combined-modality treatment resulted in fewer early progressions in clinical stage I/II HL, although early outcome was excellent in both arms. The final analysis will reveal whether this finding is maintained over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2013.51.9298DOI Listing
April 2014

Protocol of the Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event Endpoints in CANcer trials (DATECAN) project: formal consensus method for the development of guidelines for standardised time-to-event endpoints' definitions in cancer clinical trials.

Eur J Cancer 2013 Mar 2;49(4):769-81. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Clinical and Epidemiological Research Unit, Institut Bergonié, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Bordeaux, France.

Introduction: In randomised phase III cancer clinical trials, the most objectively defined and only validated time-to-event endpoint is overall survival (OS). The appearance of new types of treatments and the multiplication of lines of treatment have resulted in the use of surrogate endpoints for overall survival such as progression-free survival (PFS), or time-to-treatment failure. Their development is strongly influenced by the necessity of reducing clinical trial duration, cost and number of patients. However, while these endpoints are frequently used, they are often poorly defined and definitions can differ between trials which may limit their use as primary endpoints. Moreover, this variability of definitions can impact on the trial's results by affecting estimation of treatments' effects. The aim of the Definition for the Assessment of Time-to-event Endpoints in CANcer trials (DATECAN) project is to provide recommendations for standardised definitions of time-to-event endpoints in randomised cancer clinical trials.

Methods: We will use a formal consensus methodology based on experts' opinions which will be obtained in a systematic manner.

Results: Definitions will be independently developed for several cancer sites, including pancreatic, breast, head and neck and colon cancer, as well as sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).

Discussion: The DATECAN project should lead to the elaboration of recommendations that can then be used as guidelines by researchers participating in clinical trials. This process should lead to a standardisation of the definitions of commonly used time-to-event endpoints, enabling appropriate comparisons of future trials' results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2012.09.035DOI Listing
March 2013

EORTC 24051: unexpected side effects in a phase I study of TPF induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation with lapatinib, a dual EGFR/ErbB2 inhibitor, in patients with locally advanced resectable larynx and hypopharynx squamous cell carcinoma.

Radiother Oncol 2012 Nov 16;105(2):238-40. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: In this phase I/II study, the addition of lapatinib (LAP) was investigated in combination with the sequential use of both approaches TPF induction chemotherapy (ICT) followed by chemoradiation (CRT) in locally advanced larynx or hypopharynx squamous cell carcinoma.

Patients And Methods: Objectives were to assess maximum tolerated dose, dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) and to recommend a safe dose of LAP when administered with 4 cycles of TPF followed by CRT.

Results: Seven male patients were included. Three patients were included in the first cohort, at dose level 1 (LAP 500 mg daily plus TPF). Renal toxicity was observed among these three patients (grade 3 [n=1], grade 2 [n=1] and grade 1 [n=1]), with 1 DLT, leading to treatment interruption in this group. Nephrotoxicity was reversible after stopping LAP and hydration of the patients. In a second cohort of four patients administering docetaxel from the second cycle, 3 more DLTs were observed (grade 2 renal toxicity and grade 3 diarrhea, grade 3 anorexia and grade 3 stomatitis, and grade 4 neutropenia). Based on the occurrence of 4 DLTs at the first dose level of LAP, patient recruitment was closed.

Conclusion: These data indicate that LAP cannot be combined safely with full dose TPF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2012.08.006DOI Listing
November 2012

Design issues in head and neck clinical trials: a statistician's perspective.

Anticancer Drugs 2011 Aug;22(7):682-7

EORTC Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.

The purpose of this article is to present some of the challenges the trial statistician meets when designing a clinical trial of the head and neck cancer. In recent years, the field of head and neck cancer has been facing some exciting evolutions, such as the arrival of newly targeted therapies and findings of disease causality and prognosis. These evolutions are accompanied by challenges in trial methodology that continue even today, and will most likely grow in importance in the future. This article focuses essentially on the design of phase III trials and discusses three major topics: should the trial be designed for a broad or a targeted population? Is there a concern for lack of equipoise and if so, how will it affect the trial results? What are the key elements that need to be taken into consideration when choosing, defining, and measuring the primary endpoint?
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CAD.0b013e3283417a0dDOI Listing
August 2011

Gem-(R)CHOP versus (R)CHOP: a randomized phase II study of gemcitabine combined with (R)CHOP in untreated aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma--EORTC lymphoma group protocol 20021 (EudraCT number 2004-004635-54).

Eur J Haematol 2011 Feb 22;86(2):111-6. Epub 2010 Dec 22.

Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kispaticeva 12, Zagreb, Croatia.

Background:   Despite recent improvements, many patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) ultimately succumb to their disease. Therefore, improvements in front-line chemotherapy of aggressive NHL are needed. Gemcitabine is active in lymphoma.

Methods: We performed a randomized phase II trial of the addition of gemcitabine to standard CHOP chemotherapy with or without rituximab [(R)CHOP]. The trial was also designed to determine the maximal tolerated dose (MTD) of gemcitabine in this combination. Patients with previously untreated aggressive NHL were randomized to receive either eight cycles of (R)CHOP given every 3 wk or (R)CHOP combined with gemcitabine [Gem-(R)CHOP].

Results: Twenty-five patients were enrolled in the trial before early closure. Twelve were randomized to Gem-(R)CHOP and 13 to (R)CHOP. MTD of gemcitabine was 800 mg/m(2) given on days 1 and 8; dose-limiting toxicity was hematologic. Five patients (42%) treated with Gem-(R)CHOP achieved complete response in comparison with 10 (77%) treated with (R)CHOP. Median time to treatment failure was 1.5 yr for Gem-(R)CHOP and 3.1 yr for (R)CHOP. Three patients receiving Gem-(R)CHOP had serious pulmonary toxicity, when compared to none receiving (R)CHOP. One patient died of pneumonitis.

Conclusions: In this group of patients, addition of gemcitabine did not seem to improve outcomes. Gem-(R)CHOP in previously untreated patients with aggressive NHL occasionally results in severe, potentially fatal, pulmonary toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0609.2010.01540.xDOI Listing
February 2011
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