Publications by authors named "Christelle De La Fouchardiere"

74 Publications

Open-Label, Single-Arm, Multicenter, Phase II Trial of Lenvatinib for the Treatment of Patients With Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 7:JCO2003093. Epub 2021 May 7.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Purpose: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), an aggressive malignancy, is associated with a poor prognosis and an unmet need for effective treatment, especially for patients without mutations or or fusions. Lenvatinib is US Food and Drug Administration-approved for radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and has previously demonstrated activity in a small study of patients with ATC (n = 17). We aimed to further evaluate lenvatinib in ATC.

Methods: This open-label, multicenter, international, phase II study enrolled patients with ATC, who had ≥ 1 measurable target lesion, to receive lenvatinib 24 mg once daily. The primary end points were objective response rate (ORR) by investigator assessment per RECIST v1.1 and safety. Responses were confirmed ≥ 4 weeks after the initial response. Additional end points included progression-free survival and overall survival (OS).

Results: The study was halted for futility as the minimum ORR threshold of 15% was not met upon interim analysis. The interim analysis set included the first 20 patients. The full analysis set includes all 34 enrolled and treated patients. In the full analysis set, one patient achieved a partial response (ORR, 2.9%; 95% CI, 0.1 to 15.3). More than half of the evaluable patients experienced tumor shrinkage; three patients experienced a > 30% tumor reduction. The median progression-free survival was 2.6 months (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.8); the median overall survival was 3.2 months (95% CI, 2.8 to 8.2). The most common treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were hypertension (56%), decreased appetite (29%), fatigue (29%), and stomatitis (29%). No major treatment-related bleeding events or grade 5 treatment-related AEs occurred.

Conclusion: The safety profile of lenvatinib in ATC was manageable, and many AEs were attributable to the progression of ATC. The results suggest that lenvatinib monotherapy may not be an effective treatment for ATC; further investigation may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03093DOI Listing
May 2021

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with FOLFIRINOX and preoperative chemoradiotherapy for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (UNICANCER-PRODIGE 23): a multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 05 13;22(5):702-715. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Hôpital Nord Franche-Comté, Montbéliard, France; University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France.

Background: Treatment of locally advanced rectal cancer with chemoradiotherapy, surgery, and adjuvant chemotherapy controls local disease, but distant metastases remain common. We aimed to assess whether administering neoadjuvant chemotherapy before preoperative chemoradiotherapy could reduce the risk of distant recurrences.

Methods: We did a phase 3, open-label, multicentre, randomised trial at 35 hospitals in France. Eligible patients were adults aged 18-75 years and had newly diagnosed, biopsy-proven, rectal adenocarcinoma staged cT3 or cT4 M0, with a WHO performance status of 0-1. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to either the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group or standard-of-care group, using an independent web-based system by minimisation method stratified by centre, extramural extension of the tumour into perirectal fat according to MRI, tumour location, and stage. Investigators and participants were not masked to treatment allocation. The neoadjuvant chemotherapy group received neoadjuvant chemotherapy with FOLFIRINOX (oxaliplatin 85 mg/m, irinotecan 180 mg/m, leucovorin 400 mg/m, and fluorouracil 2400 mg/m intravenously every 14 days for 6 cycles), chemoradiotherapy (50 Gy during 5 weeks and 800 mg/m concurrent oral capecitabine twice daily for 5 days per week), total mesorectal excision, and adjuvant chemotherapy (3 months of modified FOLFOX6 [intravenous oxaliplatin 85 mg/m and leucovorin 400 mg/m, followed by intravenous 400 mg/m fluorouracil bolus and then continuous infusion at a dose of 2400 mg/m over 46 h every 14 days for six cycles] or capecitabine [1250 mg/m orally twice daily on days 1-14 every 21 days]). The standard-of-care group received chemoradiotherapy, total mesorectal excision, and adjuvant chemotherapy (for 6 months). The primary endpoint was disease-free survival assessed in the intention-to-treat population at 3 years. Safety analyses were done on treated patients. This trial was registered with EudraCT (2011-004406-25) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01804790) and is now complete.

Findings: Between June 5, 2012, and June 26, 2017, 461 patients were randomly assigned to either the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (n=231) or the standard-of-care group (n=230). At a median follow-up of 46·5 months (IQR 35·4-61·6), 3-year disease-free survival rates were 76% (95% CI 69-81) in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group and 69% (62-74) in the standard-of-care group (stratified hazard ratio 0·69, 95% CI 0·49-0·97; p=0·034). During neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (38 [17%] of 225 patients) and diarrhoea (25 [11%] of 226). During chemoradiotherapy, the most common grade 3-4 adverse event was lymphopenia (59 [28%] of 212 in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group vs 67 [30%] of 226 patients in the standard-of-care group). During adjuvant chemotherapy, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were lymphopenia (18 [11%] of 161 in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group vs 42 [27%] of 155 in the standard-of-care group), neutropenia (nine [6%] of 161 vs 28 [18%] of 155), and peripheral sensory neuropathy (19 [12%] of 162 vs 32 [21%] of 155). Serious adverse events occurred in 63 (27%) of 231 participants in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group and 50 (22%) of 230 patients in the standard-of-care group (p=0·167), during the whole treatment period. During adjuvant therapy, serious adverse events occurred in 18 (11%) of 163 participants in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group and 36 (23%) of 158 patients in the standard-of-care group (p=0·0049). Treatment-related deaths occurred in one (<1%) of 226 patients in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (sudden death) and two (1%) of 227 patients in the standard-of-care group (one sudden death and one myocardial infarction).

Interpretation: Intensification of chemotherapy using FOLFIRINOX before preoperative chemoradiotherapy significantly improved outcomes compared with preoperative chemoradiotherapy in patients with cT3 or cT4 M0 rectal cancer. The significantly improved disease-free survival in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group and the decreased neurotoxicity indicates that the perioperative approach is more efficient and better tolerated than adjuvant chemotherapy. Therefore, the PRODIGE 23 results might change clinical practice.

Funding: Institut National du Cancer, Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer, and R&D Unicancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00079-6DOI Listing
May 2021

The Activity of Crizotinib in Chemo-Refractory MET-Amplified Esophageal and Gastric Adenocarcinomas: Results from the AcSé-Crizotinib Program.

Target Oncol 2021 May 13;16(3):381-388. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Background: The AcSé-crizotinib program provides extensive screening of crizotinib-targeted genomic alteration in several malignancies. We here report the results in patients with esogastric MET-amplified adenocarcinomas.

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of crizotinib in patients with pretreated esogastric MET-amplified adenocarcinoma who have no alternative treatment options.

Patients And Methods: MET expression was evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization in tumor samples with immunohistochemistry scores ≥ 2+. Patients with chemo-refractory tumors showing ≥ 6 MET copies were eligible for crizotinib 250 mg twice daily. The primary efficacy outcome was the objective response rate after two cycles of crizotinib.

Results: MET was prospectively analyzed in 570 esogastric adenocarcinomas. Amplifications were found in 35/570 adenocarcinomas (29/523 gastric and 6/47 esophageal). Nine patients were treated with crizotinib. The objective response rate after two cycles was 33.3% (95% CI 7.5-70), the best overall response rate was 55.6% (95% CI 21.2-86.3), with median progression-free survival of 3.2 months (95% CI 1.0-5.4), and overall survival of 8.1 months (95% CI 1.7-24.6). Safety was consistent with that previously reported for crizotinib.

Conclusions: Large-scale screening for MET-amplified esogastric adenocarcinomas is feasible. MET amplification was observed in 5.5% of gastric and 12.8% of esophageal adenocarcinomas. Crizotinib shows encouraging results in selected patients. Thus, c-MET inhibition for MET-amplified tumors deserves further evaluation.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02034981.

Date Of Registration: 14 January 2014.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-021-00811-8DOI Listing
May 2021

Health-related quality of life in patients with microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair deficient metastatic colorectal cancer treated with first-line pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy (KEYNOTE-177): an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 05 1;22(5):665-677. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: In the KEYNOTE-177 study, pembrolizumab monotherapy provided statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in progression-free survival versus chemotherapy as first-line treatment in patients with microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient metastatic colorectal cancer. To further support the efficacy and safety findings of the KEYNOTE-177 study, results of the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) analyses are reported here.

Methods: KEYNOTE-177 is an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial being done at 192 cancer centres in 23 countries, in patients aged 18 years and older with microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient metastatic colorectal cancer, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, and who had not received previous systemic therapy for metastatic disease. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) centrally by use of interactive voice response or integrated web response technology to receive pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks or investigator's choice chemotherapy (mFOLFOX6 [leucovorin, fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin] or FOLFIRI [leucovorin, fluorouracil, and irinotecan] intravenously every 2 weeks with or without intravenous bevacizumab or cetuximab). Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival (previously reported) and overall survival (data to be reported at the time of the final analysis). HRQOL outcomes were evaluated as prespecified exploratory endpoints. The analysis population comprised all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of study treatment and completed at least one HRQOL assessment. HRQOL outcomes were mean change from baseline to prespecified week 18 in European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire-Colorectal 29 (EORTC QLQ-CR29) scale and item scores, and in the EuroQoL 5 Dimensions 3 Levels (EQ-5D-3L) visual analogue scale and health utility scores; the proportion of patients with improved, stable, or deteriorated scores from baseline to prespecified week 18 in EORTC QLQ-C30 scales and items; and time to deterioration in EORTC QLQ-C30 global health status/quality of life (GHS/QOL), physical functioning, social functioning, and fatigue scores and EORTC QLQ-CR29 urinary incontinence scores. The threshold for a small and clinically meaningful mean difference in EORTC QLQ-C30 score was 5-8 points. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02563002 and is ongoing; recruitment is closed.

Findings: Between Feb 11, 2016, and Feb 19, 2018, 307 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive pembrolizumab (n=153) or chemotherapy (n=154). The HRQOL analysis population comprised 294 patients (152 receiving pembrolizumab and 142 receiving chemotherapy). As of Feb 19, 2020, median time from randomisation to data cutoff was 32·4 months (IQR 27·7-37·8). Least squares mean (LSM) change from baseline to prespecified week 18 showed a clinically meaningful improvement in EORTC QLQ-C30 GHS/QOL scores with pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy (between-group LSM difference 8·96 [95% CI 4·24-13·69]; two-sided nominal p=0·0002). Median time to deterioration was longer with pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy for GHS/QOL (hazard ratio 0·61 [95% CI 0·38-0·98]; one-sided nominal p=0·019), physical functioning (0·50 [95% CI 0·32-0·81]; one-sided nominal p=0·0016), social functioning (0·53 [95% CI 0·32-0·87]; one-sided nominal p=0·0050), and fatigue scores (0·48 [95% CI 0·33-0·69]; one-sided nominal p<0·0001).

Interpretation: Pembrolizumab monotherapy led to clinically meaningful improvements in HRQOL compared with chemotherapy in patients with previously untreated microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient metastatic colorectal cancer. These data, along with the previously reported clinical benefits, support pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment option for this population.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00064-4DOI Listing
May 2021

Role of FOLFIRINOX and chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced and borderline resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma: update of the AGEO cohort.

Br J Cancer 2021 Mar 26. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Department of Hepato-Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Oncology, Université de Paris, Paris Descartes University, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Background: FOLFIRINOX has shown promising results in locally advanced (LAPA) or borderline resectable (BRPA) pancreatic adenocarcinoma. We report here a cohort of patients treated with this regimen from the AGEO group.

Methods: This is a retrospective multicentre study. We included all consecutive patients with non-pre-treated LAPA or BRPA treated with FOLFIRINOX.

Results: We included 330 patients (57.9% male, 65.4% <65 years, 96.4% PS <2). Disease was classified as BRPA in 31.1% or LAPA in 68.9%. Objective response rate with FOLFIRINOX was 29.5% and stable disease 51%. Subsequent CRT was performed in 46.4% of patients and 23.9% had curative intent surgery. Resection rates were 42.1% for BRPA and 15.5% for LAPA. Main G3/4 toxicities were fatigue (15%), neutropenia (12%) and neuropathy (G2/3 35%). After a median follow-up of 26.7 months, median OS (mOS) and PFS were 21.4 and 12.4 months, respectively. For patients treated by FOLFIRINOX alone, or FOLFIRINOX followed by CRT, or FOLFIRINOX + /- CRT + surgery, mOS was 16.8 months, 21.8 months and not reached, respectively (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: FOLFIRINOX for LAPA and BRPA seems to be effective with a manageable toxicity profile. These promising results in "real-life" patients now have to be confirmed in a Phase 3 randomised trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01341-wDOI Listing
March 2021

Deciphering the role of intestinal crypt cell populations in resistance to chemotherapy.

Cancer Res 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Cancer Cell Plasticity, Cancer Research Center

Intestinal crypts are composed of heterogeneous and highly plastic cell populations. Lgr5high-stem cells (SC) are responsible for homeostatic renewal, but other cells can revert to an SC-like phenotype to maintain epithelial integrity. Despite their distinct roles in orchestrating homeostasis, both populations have been designated as the putative "cell-of-origin" of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, their respective involvement in the emergence of drug-resistant cancer-SCs (CSC), responsible for tumor relapse and associated with poor outcome of CRC, remains elusive. In this context, the intestinal SC/progenitor-marker Musashi1 (MSI1) is interesting as it plays important functions in intestinal homeostasis and is frequently overexpressed in human CRC. Therefore, our aims were: 1) to study the impact of chemotherapy on Lgr5-expressing and MSI1-expressing cell populations, 2) to explore the effect of increased MSI1 levels in response to treatment, and 3) to evaluate the relevance in human CRC. Engineered mouse models treated with the therapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil showed that upon increased MSI1 levels, Lgr5high-SCs remain sensitive while Lgr5low-progenitors reprogram to a drug-resistant phenotype. This resulted in the expansion of an MSI1-expressing cell subpopulation with improved resistance to DNA damage and increased detoxification, typical properties of dormant-CSCs that can reactivate after chemotherapy. Analysis in CRC patients revealed a correlation between MSI1 levels and tumor grading, CSC phenotype, and chemoresistance. Altogether, these results shed new light on the biology and plasticity of normal crypt and cancer cell populations and also open new perspectives to target MSI1 to improve chemotherapy outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2450DOI Listing
March 2021

Adrenal gland as a sanctuary site for immunotherapy in patients with microsatellite instability-high metastatic colorectal cancer.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Feb;9(2)

Sorbonne Université; Department of Medical Oncology, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, AP-HP, Paris, France.

Metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRC) harboring microsatellite instability (MSI) are sensitive to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), but the mechanisms of resistance to ICIs remain unclear. Dissociated responses in patients with ICI-treated cancer suggest that certain organs may serve as sanctuary sites due to the tumor microenvironment. This case series describes five patients with ICI-treated MSI mCRC with disease progression limited to the adrenal glands. At ICI initiation, three patients were free of metastasis in the adrenal glands. Four patients experienced objective response per RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) while treated with ICI. ICI treatment was discontinued due to progressive disease limited to the adrenal glands (n=3) or toxicity (n=2). The time between ICI initiation and progression in the adrenal glands ranged from 11 to 39 months. Adrenalectomy (n=3) and stereotactic body radiation therapy (n=2) were performed. At the last follow-up, all patients were alive and progression free. Molecular analyses were performed in one patient. A significant impairment of the antigen presentation pathway was observed in the ICI-resistant lesion of the adrenal gland, which could be explained by the presence of glucocorticoids in the adrenal gland microenvironment. We also detected an overexpression of , a glucocorticoid-target gene that functions as a mediator of anti-inflammation and immunosuppression. This case series suggests that the adrenal glands may be the sanctuary sites for ICI-treated MSI mCRC through the glucocorticoid-induced impairment of the antigen presentation machinery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7883858PMC
February 2021

Stromal Protein-Mediated Immune Regulation in Digestive Cancers.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 5;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Cancer Research Center of Lyon, UMR INSERM 1052, CNRS 5286, F-69373 Lyon, France.

The stromal tumor microenvironment (TME) consists of immune cells, vascular and neural structures, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), as well as extracellular matrix (ECM), and favors immune escape mechanisms promoting the initiation and progression of digestive cancers. Numerous ECM proteins released by stromal and tumor cells are crucial in providing physical rigidity to the TME, though they are also key regulators of the immune response against cancer cells by interacting directly with immune cells or engaging with immune regulatory molecules. Here, we discuss current knowledge of stromal proteins in digestive cancers including pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer, focusing on their functions in inhibiting tumor immunity and enabling drug resistance. Moreover, we will discuss the implication of stromal proteins as therapeutic targets to unleash efficient immunotherapy-based treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795083PMC
January 2021

MRI-Based Radiomics Input for Prediction of 2-Year Disease Recurrence in Anal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 7;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Radiation Oncology Department, Hôpital Haut-Lévêque, CHU Bordeaux, 33600 Pessac, France.

Purpose: Chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) is the standard treatment for non-metastatic anal squamous cell carcinomas (ASCC). Despite excellent results for T1-2 stages, relapses still occur in around 35% of locally advanced tumors. Recent strategies focus on treatment intensification, but could benefit from a better patient selection. Our goal was to assess the prognostic value of pre-therapeutic MRI radiomics on 2-year disease control (DC).

Methods: We retrospectively selected patients with non-metastatic ASCC treated at the CHU Bordeaux and in the French FFCD0904 multicentric trial. Radiomic features were extracted from T2-weighted pre-therapeutic MRI delineated sequences. After random division between training and testing sets on a 2:1 ratio, univariate and multivariate analysis were performed on the training cohort to select optimal features. The correlation with 2-year DC was assessed using logistic regression models, with AUC and accuracy as performance gauges, and the prediction of disease-free survival using Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis.

Results: A total of 82 patients were randomized in the training ( = 54) and testing sets ( = 28). At 2 years, 24 patients (29%) presented relapse. In the training set, two clinical (tumor size and CRT length) and two radiomic features (FirstOrder_Entropy and GLCM_JointEnergy) were associated with disease control in univariate analysis and included in the model. The clinical model was outperformed by the mixed (clinical and radiomic) model in both the training (AUC 0.758 versus 0.825, accuracy of 75.9% versus 87%) and testing (AUC 0.714 versus 0.898, accuracy of 78.6% versus 85.7%) sets, which led to distinctive high and low risk of disease relapse groups (HR 8.60, = 0.005).

Conclusion: A mixed model with two clinical and two radiomic features was predictive of 2-year disease control after CRT and could contribute to identify high risk patients amenable to treatment intensification with view of personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13020193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827348PMC
January 2021

Pooled analysis of 115 patients from updated data of Epitopes-HPV01 and Epitopes-HPV02 studies in first-line advanced anal squamous cell carcinoma.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2020 4;12:1758835920975356. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besançon, Besançon, France.

Aims: The addition of docetaxel to cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) has shown promising efficacy in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA). Preliminary results of Epitopes-HPV01 study showed a high rate of long-lasting complete response to DCF. The prospective, multicenter, Epitopes-HPV02 trial then confirmed the high efficacy of the modified DCF (mDCF) regimen in terms of complete response rate and long-term survival in metastatic or non-resectable locally advanced recurrent SCCA. Here, we present updated results of the Epitopes-HPV01 and Epitopes-HPV02 studies.

Patients & Methods: Epitopes-HPV01 is a prospective study performed by the regional cancer network of Franche-Comté, France. Epitopes-HPV02 is a phase II study supported by two French collaborative oncological groups, performed in 25 centers. Both studies included patients with metastatic, or with unresectable local recurrent SCCA, treated with DCF regimen.

Results: In Epitopes-HPV01, 51 patients were enrolled between September 2012 and January 2019, and 49 patients were included for analysis; while 69 patients were included between September 2014 and December 2016 in Epitopes-HPV02, and 66 patients for analysis. Pooled analysis of 115 patients showed a median progression-free survival of 12.2 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.6-16.1] [11.0 months (9.3-16.0) in -HPV02, and 15.6 months (11.2-34.5) in -HPV01, ( = 0.06)]. The median overall survival was 39.2 months (26.0-109.1) [36.3 in -HPV02 (25.2-NR), and 61.1 months (21.4-120.0) in -HPV01 ( = 0.62)]. Objective response rate was 87.7% (90.9% in -HPV02 and 83.3% in -HPV01) with 40.3% of complete response (45.5% in -HPV02 and 33.3% in -HPV01). No differences were observed between standard DCF ( = 54) and mDCF ( = 58) in terms of OS ( = 0.57) and PFS ( = 0.99). 5-years PFS and OS rates were 24.5% and 44.4%, respectively, in the whole population. No treatment-related death was observed.

Conclusion: Updated results of Epitopes-HPV01 and 02 studies, as well as the pooled analysis, confirm mDCF as a standard treatment in patients with advanced SCCA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758835920975356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7720302PMC
December 2020

Pembrolizumab in Microsatellite-Instability-High Advanced Colorectal Cancer.

N Engl J Med 2020 12;383(23):2207-2218

From Sorbonne Université and Hôpital Saint Antoine, Paris (T.A.), Bordeaux University Hospital, Bordeaux (D.S.), and Léon Bérard Center, Lyon (C.F.) - all in France; University College Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, London (K.-K.S.); Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, Seoul, South Korea (T.W.K.); Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Herlev (B.V.J.), and University Hospital of Southern Denmark, Vejle (L.H.J.) - both in Denmark; Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam (C.P.); Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Imas12, Madrid (R.G.-C.), Hospital Regional Universitario, Malaga (M.B.), Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla, Santander (F.R.), and Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona (E.E.) - all in Spain; Western Health, St. Albans, VIC, Australia (P.G.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute-Tennessee Oncology, Nashville (J.B.); Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore (D.T.L.); National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan (T.Y.); University Hospital Gasthuisberg and KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (E.V.C.); MSD China, Beijing (P.Y.); Merck, Kenilworth, NJ (M.Z.H.F., P.M.); and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (L.A.D.).

Background: Programmed death 1 (PD-1) blockade has clinical benefit in microsatellite-instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch-repair-deficient (dMMR) tumors after previous therapy. The efficacy of PD-1 blockade as compared with chemotherapy as first-line therapy for MSI-H-dMMR advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer is unknown.

Methods: In this phase 3, open-label trial, 307 patients with metastatic MSI-H-dMMR colorectal cancer who had not previously received treatment were randomly assigned, in a 1:1 ratio, to receive pembrolizumab at a dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks or chemotherapy (5-fluorouracil-based therapy with or without bevacizumab or cetuximab) every 2 weeks. Patients receiving chemotherapy could cross over to pembrolizumab therapy after disease progression. The two primary end points were progression-free survival and overall survival.

Results: At the second interim analysis, after a median follow-up (from randomization to data cutoff) of 32.4 months (range, 24.0 to 48.3), pembrolizumab was superior to chemotherapy with respect to progression-free survival (median, 16.5 vs. 8.2 months; hazard ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45 to 0.80; P = 0.0002). The estimated restricted mean survival after 24 months of follow-up was 13.7 months (range, 12.0 to 15.4) as compared with 10.8 months (range, 9.4 to 12.2). As of the data cutoff date, 56 patients in the pembrolizumab group and 69 in the chemotherapy group had died. Data on overall survival were still evolving (66% of required events had occurred) and remain blinded until the final analysis. An overall response (complete or partial response), as evaluated with Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), version 1.1, was observed in 43.8% of the patients in the pembrolizumab group and 33.1% in the chemotherapy group. Among patients with an overall response, 83% in the pembrolizumab group, as compared with 35% of patients in the chemotherapy group, had ongoing responses at 24 months. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 22% of the patients in the pembrolizumab group, as compared with 66% (including one patient who died) in the chemotherapy group.

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab led to significantly longer progression-free survival than chemotherapy when received as first-line therapy for MSI-H-dMMR metastatic colorectal cancer, with fewer treatment-related adverse events. (Funded by Merck Sharp and Dohme and by Stand Up to Cancer; KEYNOTE-177 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02563002.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2017699DOI Listing
December 2020

RECIST and iRECIST criteria for the evaluation of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with microsatellite instability-high/mismatch repair-deficient metastatic colorectal cancer: the GERCOR NIPICOL phase II study.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 11;8(2)

Sorbonne University, Department of Medical Oncology, Saint-Antoine Hospital, APHP, Paris, France

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are highly effective in patients with microsatellite instability/mismatch repair-deficient (MSI/dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.1 criteria may underestimate response to ICIs due to the pseudoprogression phenomenon. The GERCOR NIPICOL phase II study aimed to evaluate the frequency of pseudoprogressions in patients with MSI/dMMR mCRC treated with nivolumab and ipilimumab.

Methods: Patients with MSI/dMMR mCRC previously treated with fluoropyrimidines, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan with/without targeted therapies received nivolumab 3 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 3 weeks for four cycles then nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks until progression or a maximum of 20 cycles. Computed tomography scan tumor assessments were done every 6 weeks for 24 weeks and then every 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was disease control rate at 12 weeks according to RECIST 1.1 and iRECIST by central review.

Results: Of 57 patients included between December 2017 and November 2018, 48.0% received ≥3 prior lines of chemotherapy, 18.0% had mutation, and 56.0% had Lynch syndrome-related cancer. Seven patients (12.0%) discontinued treatment due to adverse events; one died due to a treatment-related adverse event. The disease control rate (DCR) at 12 weeks was 86.0% with RECIST 1.1% and 87.7% with iRECIST. Two pseudoprogressions (3.5%) were observed, at week 6 and at week 36, representing 18% of patients with disease progression per RECIST 1.1 criteria. With a median follow-up of 18.4 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were not reached. The 12-month PFS rate was 72.9% with RECIST 1.1% and 76.5% with iRECIST. The 12-month OS rate was 84%. Overall response rate was 59.7% with both criteria. / status, sidedness, Lynch syndrome, and other baseline parameters were not associated with PFS.

Conclusion: Pseudoprogression is rare in patients with MSI/dMMR mCRC treated with nivolumab and ipilimumab. This combined ICI therapy confirms impressive DCR and survival outcomes in these patients.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03350126.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001499DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7640587PMC
November 2020

Randomized Phase III KEYNOTE-181 Study of Pembrolizumab Versus Chemotherapy in Advanced Esophageal Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 7;38(35):4138-4148. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

CHU Brest - Institut de Cancerologie et d'Hematologie, Arpego Network, Brest, France.

Purpose: Patients with advanced esophageal cancer have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options after first-line chemotherapy.

Patients And Methods: In this open-label, phase III study, we randomly assigned (1:1) 628 patients with advanced/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, that progressed after one prior therapy, to pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks for up to 2 years or chemotherapy (investigator's choice of paclitaxel, docetaxel, or irinotecan). Primary end points were overall survival (OS) in patients with programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 10, in patients with squamous cell carcinoma, and in all patients (one-sided α 0.9%, 0.8%, and 0.8%, respectively).

Results: At final analysis, conducted 16 months after the last patient was randomly assigned, OS was prolonged with pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy for patients with CPS ≥ 10 (median, 9.3 6.7 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.69 [95% CI, 0.52 to 0.93]; = .0074). Estimated 12-month OS rate was 43% (95% CI, 33.5% to 52.1%) with pembrolizumab versus 20% (95% CI, 13.5% to 28.3%) with chemotherapy. Median OS was 8.2 months versus 7.1 months (HR, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.63 to 0.96]; = .0095) in patients with squamous cell carcinoma and 7.1 months versus 7.1 months (HR, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.05]; = .0560) in all patients. Grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 18.2% of patients with pembrolizumab versus 40.9% in those who underwent chemotherapy.

Conclusion: Pembrolizumab prolonged OS versus chemotherapy as second-line therapy for advanced esophageal cancer in patients with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 10, with fewer treatment-related adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01888DOI Listing
December 2020

Efficacy of Selpercatinib in -Altered Thyroid Cancers.

N Engl J Med 2020 08;383(9):825-835

From Massachusetts General Hospital (L.J.W.) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (J. Lorch), Boston; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (E.S., A.D.); Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Leonards, NSW (B.R.), and Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, VIC (B.S.) - both in Australia; University of California, San Francisco-Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco (H.K.), David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles (J.W.G.), and Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California Irvine, Orange (V.W.Z.) - all in California; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (F.W.), and START Midwest, Grand Rapids (N.L.) - both in Michigan; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (M.B.); University of Chicago, Chicago (J.P.); Gustave Roussy, Villejuif (S.L.), Institut Bergonié, Bordeaux (Y.G.), Aix Marseille University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, INSERM, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, Early Phase Cancer Trial Center CLIP2, Hospital La Timone, Marseille (F.B.), Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon (C.D.L.F.), and Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, Faculté de Médecine Paris-Descartes, Paris (J.M.) - all in France; Mayo Clinic-Rochester, Rochester, MN (J.C.M.); Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta (T.K.O.); National Cancer Center Singapore, Singapore (D.S.W.T.); University of Bern, Bern, and Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne, Lucerne - both in Switzerland (O.G.); University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill (J.W.); University of Wisconsin-Carbone Cancer Center, Madison (M.E.B.); British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada (J. Laskin); Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (M.H.T.); Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Würzburg, Germany (M.K.); Sarah Cannon Research Institute-Tennessee Oncology, Nashville (T.M.B.); Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Washington, DC (B.L.); Fundación Jimenez Diaz, START-Madrid, Madrid (V.M.); Loxo Oncology, Stamford, CT (K.E., M.N., D.H., E.Y.Z., X.H., L.Y., J.K., S.M.R.); University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (V.S., M.E.C.); and Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus (M.H.S.).

Background: mutations occur in 70% of medullary thyroid cancers, and fusions occur rarely in other thyroid cancers. In patients with -altered thyroid cancers, the efficacy and safety of selective RET inhibition are unknown.

Methods: We enrolled patients with -mutant medullary thyroid cancer with or without previous vandetanib or cabozantinib treatment, as well as those with previously treated fusion-positive thyroid cancer, in a phase 1-2 trial of selpercatinib. The primary end point was an objective response (a complete or partial response), as determined by an independent review committee. Secondary end points included the duration of response, progression-free survival, and safety.

Results: In the first 55 consecutively enrolled patients with -mutant medullary thyroid cancer who had previously received vandetanib, cabozantinib, or both, the percentage who had a response was 69% (95% confidence interval [CI], 55 to 81), and 1-year progression-free survival was 82% (95% CI, 69 to 90). In 88 patients with -mutant medullary thyroid cancer who had not previously received vandetanib or cabozantinib, the percentage who had a response was 73% (95% CI, 62 to 82), and 1-year progression-free survival was 92% (95% CI, 82 to 97). In 19 patients with previously treated fusion-positive thyroid cancer, the percentage who had a response was 79% (95% CI, 54 to 94), and 1-year progression-free survival was 64% (95% CI, 37 to 82). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or higher were hypertension (in 21% of the patients), increased alanine aminotransferase level (in 11%), increased aspartate aminotransferase level (in 9%), hyponatremia (in 8%), and diarrhea (in 6%). Of all 531 patients treated, 12 (2%) discontinued selpercatinib owing to drug-related adverse events.

Conclusions: In this phase 1-2 trial, selpercatinib showed durable efficacy with mainly low-grade toxic effects in patients with medullary thyroid cancer with and without previous vandetanib or cabozantinib treatment. (Funded by Loxo Oncology and others; LIBRETTO-001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03157128.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2005651DOI Listing
August 2020

Sorafenib Plus Irinotecan Combination in Patients With RAS-mutated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Refractory To Standard Combined Chemotherapies: A Multicenter, Randomized Phase 2 Trial (NEXIRI-2/PRODIGE 27).

Clin Colorectal Cancer 2020 12 15;19(4):301-310.e1. Epub 2020 May 15.

Medical Oncology Departement, Institut du Cancer de Montpellier (ICM), Univ. Montpellier, Montpellier, France; Institut régional du Cancer de Montpellier (IRCM), INSERM, Univ. Montpellier, ICM, Montpellier.

Background: No treatment option was available for patients with RAS-mutated (RASmt) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who progress after standard combined chemotherapies at the time of the study. After promising results in phase II, the aim of the present NEXIRI-2/PRODIGE 27 trial was to assess the 2-month non-progression rate for sorafenib (NEX) plus irinotecan (IRI), that is, NEXIRI, treatment.

Methods: Patients with RASmt mCRC after failure of oxaliplatin, IRI, fluoropyrimidines, and bevacizumab were randomized between NEXIRI (IRI 120-180 mg/m intravenous, D1 = D15 plus oral NEX 400 mg twice a day) versus IRI (180 mg/m) versus NEX. Primary endpoint was the 2-month non-progression rate. Secondary endpoints included progression-free and overall survival (PFS and OS), safety, and germline cyclin D1 (CCND1) rs9344 polymorphisms analyses.

Results: A total of 173 patients were included, 59 in NEXIRI, 57 in IRI, and 57 in NEX arms. The 2-month non-progression rate was 52.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 39%-66%), 21.4% (10%-33%), and 19.3% (9%-30%) for NEXIRI, IRI, and NEX. Median PFS was 3.6 (95% CI: 2-4.2), 1.7 (1.7-1.8), and 2 (1.8-2.3) months and the median OS was 7.2 (5.8-9.4), 6.3 (4.8-8), and 5.6 (3.9-7.7) months for NEXIRI, IRI, and NEX, respectively. For NEXIRI rs9344CCND1 A/A genotype patients, OS was 19.6 months (95% CI: 4.8-not reached). Main grade 3 toxicities included neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome, and hypertension.

Conclusions: In patients with RASmt mCRC who progressed after standard combined chemotherapies, the results of 2-month non-progression rate and median PFS in the NEXIRI arm were in favor of an increase of the time before progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2020.04.008DOI Listing
December 2020

Randomized Phase III Trial of Pegvorhyaluronidase Alfa With Nab-Paclitaxel Plus Gemcitabine for Patients With Hyaluronan-High Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.

J Clin Oncol 2020 09 24;38(27):3185-3194. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of pegvorhyaluronidase alfa (PEGPH20) plus nab-paclitaxel/gemcitabine (AG) in patients with hyaluronan-high metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).

Patients And Methods: HALO 109-301 was a phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Patients ≥ 18 years of age with untreated, metastatic, hyaluronan-high PDA were randomly assigned 2:1 to PEGPH20 plus AG or placebo plus AG. Treatment was administered intravenously in 4-week cycles (3 weeks on, 1 week off) until progression or intolerable adverse events: PEGPH20 3.0 µg/kg twice per week for cycle 1 and once per week thereafter; nab-paclitaxel 125 mg/m once per week; and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m once per week. The primary end point was overall survival (OS); secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and safety. Response was independently assessed per RECIST v1.1.

Results: At data cutoff, 494 patients were randomly assigned, with 492 (327 for PEGPH20 and 165 for placebo) included in intention-to-treat analyses. Baseline characteristics were balanced for PEGPH20 plus AG versus placebo plus AG. There were 330 deaths, with a median OS of 11.2 months for PEGPH20 plus AG versus 11.5 months for placebo plus AG (hazard ratio [HR], 1.00; 95% CI, 0.80 to 1.27; = .97); median PFS was 7.1 months versus 7.1 months (HR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.75 to 1.26]); ORR was 47% versus 36% (ORR ratio, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.03 to 1.63]). Grade ≥ 3 adverse events with a ≥ 2% higher rate with PEGPH20 plus AG than with placebo plus AG included fatigue (16.0% 9.6%), muscle spasms (6.5% 0.6%), and hyponatremia (8.0% 3.8%).

Conclusion: The addition of PEGPH20 to AG increased the ORR but did not improve OS or PFS. The safety profile of PEGPH20 plus AG was consistent with that found in previous studies. These results do not support additional development of PEGPH20 in metastatic PDA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499614PMC
September 2020

[BRAF V600E-mutant colorectal cancers: Where are we?]

Bull Cancer 2020 Sep 14;107(9):881-895. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Centre hospitalier Lyon Sud, Lyon, France.

The BRAF mutation, observed in 8 % of colorectal cancers (CRC), introduces a particular phenotype and a poor prognosis at the localized or metastatic stage. BRAF mutant CRCs are more often localized in the right colon, poorly differentiated and mucinous. They affect an older population (more often female) and are associated with a more frequent metastatic lymph node and peritoneal evolution. The BRAF mutation is associated with a sporadic microsatellite instability (MSI) status in 20 to 40% of cases. In localized colon cancer, it does not imply any modification of the adjuvant treatment. In metastatic CRC, the first action must be the systematic search for an MSI phenotype, given its frequent association with the presence of a BRAF mutation, in order to propose immunotherapy that has been demonstrated to be very effective in MSI metastatic CRC. In non-MSI CRC, a first-line trichimiotherapy associated with bevacizumab is an option to be favored in patients in good general condition but the association with an anti-EGFR can be discussed, especially when the objective is tumor response. At the same time, surgical resection must be systematically discussed in the case of resectable hepatic metastases since the presence of a BRAF mutation is not a risk factor for recurrence and that prolonged survival may be observed after surgery. In the second or third line, the triplet encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab, as well as the doublet encorafenib and cetuximab are superior to the association of irinotecan plus cetuximab in terms of response and survival (phase III study BEACON) and represent a new therapeutic standard. Their use on the front line is under study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2020.04.017DOI Listing
September 2020

High mortality rate in cancer patients with symptoms of COVID-19 with or without detectable SARS-COV-2 on RT-PCR.

Eur J Cancer 2020 08 7;135:251-259. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Centre Léon Bérard, 28 Rue Laënnec, 69373, Lyon Cedex 08, France; Université Claude Bernard Lyon I, France; Unicancer, Paris, France.

Background: Cancer patients presenting with COVID-19 have a high risk of death. In this work, predictive factors for survival in cancer patients with suspected SARS-COV-2 infection were investigated.

Methods: PRE-COVID-19 is a retrospective study of all 302 cancer patients presenting to this institute with a suspicion of COVID-19 from March 1st to April 25th 2020. Data were collected using a web-based tool within electronic patient record approved by the Institutional Review Board. Patient characteristics symptoms and survival were collected and compared in SARS-COV-2 real-time or reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR)-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients.

Results: Fifty-five of the 302 (18.2%) patients with suspected COVID-19 had detectable SARS-COV-2 with RT-PCR in nasopharyngeal samples. RT-PCR-positive patients were older, had more frequently haematological malignancies, respiratory symptoms and suspected COVID-19 pneumonia of computed tomography (CT) scan. However, respectively, 38% and 20% of SARS-COV-2 RT-PCR-negative patients presented similar respiratory symptoms and CT scan images. Thirty of the 302 (9.9%) patients died during the observation period, including 24 (80%) with advanced disease. At the median follow-up of 25 days after the first symptoms, the death rate in RT-PCR-positive and RT-PCR-negative patients were 21% and 10%, respectively. In both groups, independent risk factors for death were male gender, Karnofsky performance status <60, cancer in relapse and respiratory symptoms. Detection of SARS-COV-2 on RT-PCR was not associated with an increased death rate (p = 0.10). None of the treatment given in the previous month (including cytotoxics, PD1 Ab, anti-CD20, VEGFR2…) correlated with survival. The survival of RT-PCR-positive and -negative patients with respiratory symptoms and/or COVID-19 type pneumonia on CT scan was similar with a 18.4% and 19.7% death rate at day 25. Most (22/30, 73%) cancer patients dying during this period were RT-PCR negative.

Conclusion: The 30-day death rate of cancer patients with or without documented SARS-COV-2 infection is poor, but the majority of deaths occur in RT-PCR-negative patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.05.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275994PMC
August 2020

Intra-arterial hepatic beads loaded with irinotecan (DEBIRI) with mFOLFOX6 in unresectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer: a Phase 2 study.

Br J Cancer 2020 08 8;123(4):518-524. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Département de Gastroentérologie et d'Oncologie Digestive, Hôpital Européen George Pompidou, Paris, France.

Background: Chemo-embolisation with drug-eluting beads loaded with irinotecan (DEBIRI) increased survival as compared with intravenous irinotecan in chemorefractory patients with liver-dominant metastases from colorectal cancer (LMCRC). First-line DEBIRI with systemic chemotherapy may increase survival and secondary resection.

Methods: In the FFCD-1201 single-arm Phase 2 study, patients with untreated, non-resectable LMCRC received DEBIRI plus mFOLFOX6. Four courses of DEBIRI were performed alternating right and left lobe or two sessions with both lobes treated during the same session.

Results: Fifty-seven patients were enrolled. Grade 3-5 toxicities were more frequent when both lobes were treated during the same session (90.5% versus 52.8%). Nine-month PFS rate was 53.6% (95% CI, 41.8-65.1%). The objective response rate (RECIST 1.1) was 73.2%, and the secondary R0 surgery was 33%. With a median follow-up of 38.3 months, median OS was 37.4 months (95% CI, 25.7-45.8), and median PFS 10.8 months (95% CI, 8.2-12.3).

Conclusions: Front-line DEBIRI + mFOLFOX6 should not be recommended as the hypothesised 9-month PFS was not met. However, high response rate, deep responses, and prolonged OS encourage further evaluation in strategies integrating biologic agent, in particular in patients with secondary surgery as the main goal.

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT01839877.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-0917-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7435188PMC
August 2020

Towards greater clarity in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.

Lancet Oncol 2020 06 13;21(6):738-739. Epub 2020 May 13.

Medical Oncology Department, Centre Léon Bérard, 69008 Lyon, France. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30214-XDOI Listing
June 2020

Efficacy of Anti-EGFR in Microsatellite Instability Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Depending on Sporadic or Familial Origin.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Apr;113(4):496-500

Gastroenterology Department, Poitiers University Hospital and University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France.

Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) efficacy in patients with microsatellite instability (MSI) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) according to sporadic vs familial origin is unknown. We retrospectively analyzed 128 patients with MSI mCRC treated with first-line chemotherapy ± anti-EGFR. Among them, 61 and 67 patients were respectively categorized as familial and sporadic based on mismatch repair protein immunostaining, BRAF mutational status, and MLH1 promoter methylation status. We observed that addition of anti-EGFR to chemotherapy was associated with a statistically significant improvement of progression-free survival for familial (median = 5.0 vs 10.2 months, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.23 to 0.94; P = .03) but not for sporadic (median = 4.4 vs 5.4 months, HR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.39 to 1.60; P = .52) MSI mCRC patients. In multivariate analysis, the survival benefit of adding anti-EGFR to chemotherapy remained statistically significant for familial MSI cases (P = .04). These findings deserve to be confirmed in a prospective study and could help decision making in MSI mCRC without access or resistant to immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djaa072DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023852PMC
April 2021

Atezolizumab plus modified docetaxel-cisplatin-5-fluorouracil (mDCF) regimen versus mDCF in patients with metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma: a randomized, non-comparative phase II SCARCE GERCOR trial.

BMC Cancer 2020 Apr 25;20(1):352. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, 3 Boulevard Alexander Flemingn, F-25030, Besançon, France.

Background: Modified docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (mDCF) regimen has become a new standard for the treatment of metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) after demonstrating improved efficacy (12-month PFS of 47%) in the Epitopes-HPV02 trial. Antibodies targeting the checkpoint inhibitor (CKI) programmed cell death protein-1 (PD1) have demonstrated the efficacy as monotherapies in second-line treatment of SCCA. The aim of this study is to evaluate the combination of atezolizumab and mDCF as first-line chemotherapy in a non-comparative multicentre randomized phase II study of advanced SCCA patients.

Methods: Patients with chemo-naive advanced histologically proven SCCA, metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrence, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-performance status (ECOG-PS) < 2 will be eligible. The primary endpoint is a 12-month PFS rate. Using one-arm non-parametric survival with unilateral alpha type I error of 5% and a statistical power of 80%, the upper critical value for the 12-month PFS rate is 47% to reject H0. Assuming 5% lost to follow-up, 99 patients will be randomized on a 2:1 basis, 66 to the experimental arm (arm A, mDCF plus atezolizumab) and 33 to the standard arm (arm B, mDCF). In both arms, 8 cycles of mDCF will be administered. In arm A, patients receive mDCF with a fixed dose of atezolizumab (800 mg every 2 weeks) and are followed up to 1 year. Secondary endpoints are overall survival, PFS, response rate, safety, health-related quality of life, and an extensive biomarker programme and its correlation with the treatment efficacy.

Discussion: Although the Epitopes-HPV02 trial has changed long-lasting prognosis of patients with SCCA in advanced stage disease, more than 50% of patients will progress at 12 months. The purpose of the SCARCE trial to establish the addition of atezolizumab to mDCF as a new standard in this rare disease. Associated biomarker studies and the control arm could contribute to better understanding of the potential synergic and tumour resistance mechanisms in SCCA.

Trial Registration: NCT03519295.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-06841-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7183720PMC
April 2020

Treating BRAFV600E metastatic colorectal patients in 2019: a BEACON of hope?

Ann Transl Med 2019 Nov;7(21):601

Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Léon Bérard, Lyon, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm.2019.08.110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7011598PMC
November 2019

Prognosis and chemosensitivity of deficient MMR phenotype in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: An AGEO retrospective multicenter study.

Int J Cancer 2020 07 13;147(1):285-296. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Sorbonne University and Medical Oncology Department, Saint Antoine Hospital, Paris, France.

Mismatch repair-deficient (dMMR) and/or microsatellite instability-high (MSI) colorectal cancers (CRC) represent about 5% of metastatic CRC (mCRC). Prognosis and chemosensitivity of dMMR/MSI mCRC remain unclear. This multicenter study included consecutive patients with dMMR/MSI mCRC from 2007 to 2017. The primary endpoint was the progression-free survival (PFS) in a population receiving first-line chemotherapy. Associations between chemotherapy regimen and survival were evaluated using a Cox regression model and inverse of probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) methodology in order to limit potential biases. Overall, 342 patients with dMMR/MSI mCRC were included. Median PFS and overall survival (OS) on first-line chemotherapy were 6.0 and 26.3 months, respectively. For second-line chemotherapy, median PFS and OS were 4.4 and 21.6 months. Longer PFS (8.1 vs. 5.4 months, p = 0.0405) and OS (35.1 vs. 24.4 months, p = 0.0747) were observed for irinotecan-based chemotherapy compared to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. The association was no longer statistically significant using IPTW methodology. In multivariable analysis, anti-VEGF as compared to anti-EGFR was associated with a trend to longer OS (HR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.00-3.19, p = 0.0518), whatever the backbone chemotherapy used. Our study shows that dMMR/MSI mCRC patients experienced short PFS with first-line chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy. OS was not different according to the chemotherapy regimen used, but a trend to better OS was observed with anti-VEGF. Our study provides some historical results concerning chemotherapy in dMMR/MSI mCRC in light of the recent nonrandomized trials with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32879DOI Listing
July 2020

Erythrocyte-encapsulated asparaginase (eryaspase) combined with chemotherapy in second-line treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer: An open-label, randomized Phase IIb trial.

Eur J Cancer 2020 01 21;124:91-101. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

ERYTECH, One Main Street, Suite 1150, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Purpose: This Phase IIb (NCT02195180) open-label study evaluated erythrocyte-encapsulated asparaginase (eryaspase) in combination with chemotherapy in second-line advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Methods: Eligible patients were randomized 2:1 to either eryaspase in combination with gemcitabine or mFOLFOX6 (eryaspase arm), or to gemcitabine or mFOLFOX6 alone (control arm). Co-primary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with low asparagine synthetase (ASNS) expression. Secondary endpoints included OS and PFS in the entire population.

Results: 141 patients were randomized (eryaspase arm, n = 95; control arm, n = 46). Median OS and PFS in patients with low ASNS expression were 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.1-8.8) in the eryaspase arm versus 4.9 months (3.1-7.1) in the control arm (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.39-1.01; P = 0.056) and 2.0 months (95% CI, 1.8-3.4) in the eryaspase arm versus 1.8 months (1.4-3.8) in the control arm (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.40-1.12; P = 0.127), respectively. In the entire population, median OS and PFS for the eryaspase arm versus control were 6.0 months versus 4.4 months (HR, 0.60; P = 0.008) and 2.0 months versus 1.6 months (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.84; P = 0.005), respectively. The combination of eryaspase and chemotherapy was well tolerated. The most frequent Grade 3/4 adverse events in the eryaspase arm (n = 93) were gamma-glutamyltransferase increase (16 [17.2%]), neutropenia (12 [12.9%]), and physical health deterioration (12 [12.9%]).

Conclusion: Eryaspase in combination with chemotherapy is associated with improvements in OS and PFS, irrespective of ASNS expression in second-line advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. A Phase III trial is underway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.10.020DOI Listing
January 2020

Infiltrating and peripheral immune cell analysis in advanced gastric cancer according to the Lauren classification and its prognostic significance.

Gastric Cancer 2020 01 2;23(1):73-81. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Université de Paris, PARCC, INSERM, 75015, Paris, France.

Background: The correlation between immune cells and the Lauren classification subtypes and their prognostic impact in advanced gastric cancer (AGC) are unknown.

Methods: Circulating natural killer (NK) cells, CD4 and CD8 T cells, regulatory T cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) were quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 67 patients with untreated AGC enrolled in the PRODIGE 17-ACCORD 20 trial. CD56 cells (NK), CD8, and FoxP3 (Treg) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were assessed in tumor samples.

Results: Circulating NK and Treg proportions were significantly lower in patients with diffuse/mixed-type AGC (n = 27) than those with intestinal type (n = 40; median 6.3% vs 11.5%; p = 0.02 and median 3.3% vs 5.2%; p = 0.03, respectively). Proportions of circulating MDSC, CD4 and CD8 T cells were not associated with one pathological type. Among tumor-infiltrating cells, CD8 T cells, but not NK or FoxP3 cells, were significantly lower in diffuse/mixed-type AGC (median 21 vs 59 cells/field; p = 0.009). Patients with high circulating NK cell counts (> 17%) had a better overall survival than those with < 17% (HR 0.40; 95% CI [0.15-1.06]; p = 0.04). Patients with high CD8 TIL counts (> 31 cells/field) had significantly longer overall survival (HR 0.44; 95% CI [0.21-0.92]; p = 0.02). The prognostic value of CD8 TILs was maintained after adjustment for confounding factors, including the Lauren classification (HR = 0.42; 95% CI [0.18-0.96]; p = 0.039).

Conclusion: Diffuse/mixed-type AGC has lower rates of CD8 TILs and circulating NK cells and Tregs than the intestinal type. This "cold tumor" phenotype may be associated with a worse outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-019-00983-3DOI Listing
January 2020

The medical treatment of radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancers in 2019. A TUTHYREF network review.

Bull Cancer 2019 Sep 11;106(9):812-819. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of nuclear medicine and endocrine tumors, Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Patients with radioiodine-refractory (RAIR) differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) represent a challenging subgroup of DTC because they are at higher risk of cancer-related death. Multidisciplinary discussions can assess the role and the nature of local treatments, but also determine the optimal timing for first-line antiangiogenic therapy as some of these patients can be followed for several months or years without any treatment. In this review, we will examine the definition of RAIR-DTC, the different treatment options and finally some of the most recent cancer research breakthroughs for RAIR-DTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2019.04.012DOI Listing
September 2019

Long-Term Survivors in Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: A Retrospective and Matched Pair Analysis.

Oncologist 2019 12 4;24(12):1543-1548. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Medical Oncology, Centre Leon Bérard, Lyon, France.

Background: Metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (mPDAC) is an aggressive malignancy with a median overall survival (OS) of between 8 and 11 months. However, a significant number of patients experience a longer survival, more than 18 months. The aim of this study was to describe the "long-term survivor" population and to evaluate clinical and pathological factors that might affect survival.

Materials And Methods: All patients with mPDAC diagnosed in the Centre Leon Bérard (Lyon, France) between January 2010 and June 2015 and who survived more than 18 months were identified. They were compared with a control cohort matched on age, sex, performance status, stage at diagnosis, primary tumor localization, treatment, and liver metastasis. Their clinical features, treatment modalities, and outcomes were analyzed.

Results: A total of 94 patients were included, 47 in each cohort. Both cohorts had identical characteristics as follows: women (51%), performance status ≤1 (95.7%), median age at diagnosis (60 years), and metastasis at diagnosis (83%). Median OS was 26.87 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 23-31.08) in the long-term survivor group (LS group) and 9.79 months (95% CI 5.75-11.86) in the control group (C group). Potential factors of long-term survival were explored with a logistic model (LS group vs. C group). Three factors were identified as significant prognostic factors in the univariate analysis: lymphopenia (odds ratio [OR] = 0.26), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR; OR = 0.31), and peritoneal carcinomatosis (OR = 0.40). NLR was the only remaining factor in our backward selection procedure.

Conclusion: A significant subset of patients with mPDAC can achieve long-term survival (≥18 months) in 2018. We identified low NLR as a significant prognostic factor associated with long-term survival in mPDAC.

Implications For Practice: Metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (mPDAC) is one of the most lethal types of cancer. A subset of patients with mPDAC can achieve long-term survival (≥18 months) with a modern chemotherapy regimen, such as FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel. We identified low neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a significant prognostic factor associated with long-term survival in mPDAC. Prognostic factors such as NLR might allow accurate selection of patients with mPDAC in order to consider individual therapeutic approaches. NLR should be used as a stratification factor in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6975934PMC
December 2019

Characteristics of Mutant, Deficient Mismatch Repair/Proficient Mismatch Repair, Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Multicenter Series of 287 Patients.

Oncologist 2019 12 31;24(12):e1331-e1340. Epub 2019 May 31.

Department of Gastroenterology, Poitiers University Hospital, Poitiers, France.

Background: mutations occurring in about 10% of metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRCs) are usually associated with a poor outcome. However, their prognostic factors are unknown.

Materials And Methods: We built a multicenter clinico-biological database gathering data from patients with -mutant mCRC treated in one of the 16 French centers from 2006 to 2017. The primary endpoint was to identify prognostic factors using a Cox model.

Results: We included 287 patients (median age, 67 years [28-95]; female, 57%). Their median overall survival was 20.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.97-27.04), and median progression-free survival in the first-line setting was 4.34 months (95% CI, 3.81-5.03). Chemotherapy regimen and biological agents (antiangiogenic or anti-epidermal growth factor receptor) were not associated with overall and progression-free survival. Stage IV disease (synchronous metastases) and absence of curative-intent surgery were statistically associated with poor overall survival. Among the 194 patients with mismatch repair (MMR) status available, overall survival was significantly longer in patients with deficient MMR tumors compared with those with proficient MMR tumors (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.56; = .009).

Conclusion: Despite that -mutant mCRCs are associated with poor overall and progression-free-survival, patients with deficient MMR tumors and/or resectable disease experienced a longer survival. These results highlight the importance of MMR testing and resectability discussion in patients with mCRC in day-to-day practice.

Implications For Practice: Mismatch repair (MMR) testing and resectability discussion in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) should be performed in day-to-day practice to steer treatment decision making in patients with -mutant mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6975964PMC
December 2019