Publications by authors named "Dae Ho Lee"

282 Publications

Integrin αvβ3 Induces HSP90 Inhibitor Resistance via FAK Activation in KRAS-Mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Cancer Res Treat 2021 Sep 30. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Purpose: HSP90 remains an important cancer target because of its involvement in multiple oncogenic protein pathways and biologic processes. Although many HSP90 inhibitors have been tested in the treatment of KRAS-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), most, including AUY922, have failed due to toxic effects and resistance generation, even though a modest efficacy has been observed for these drugs in clinical trials. In our present study, we investigated the novel mechanism of resistance to AUY922 to explore possible avenues of overcoming and want to provide some insights that may assist with the future development of successful next-generation HSP90 inhibitors.

Materials And Methods: We established two AUY922-resistant KRAS-mutated NSCLC cells and conducted RNA sequencing to identify novel resistance biomarker.

Results: We identified novel two resistance biomarkers. We observed that both integrin Av (ITGAv) and β3 (ITGB3) induce AUY922-resistance via focal adhesion kinase (FAK) activation, as well as an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), in both in vitro and in vivo xenograft model. mRNAs of both ITGAv and ITGB3 were also found to be elevated in a patient who had shown acquired resistance in a clinical trial of AUY922. ITGAv was induced by miR-142 downregulation, and ITGB3 was increased by miR-150 downregulation during the development of AUY922-resistance. Therefore, miR-150 and miR-142 overexpression effectively inhibited ITGAvB3-dependent FAK activation, restoring sensitivity to AUY922.

Conclusion: The synergistic co-targeting of FAK and HSP90 attenuated the growth of ITGAvB3-induced AUY922-resistant KRAS-mutated NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that this combination may overcome acquired AUY922-resistance in KRAS-mutant NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4143/crt.2021.651DOI Listing
September 2021

Recurrence-associated gene signature in patients with stage I non-small-cell lung cancer.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 1;11(1):19596. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Department of Life and Nanopharmaceutical Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Recurrent gene mutations and fusions in cancer patients are likely to be associated with cancer progression or recurrence by Vogelstein et al. (Science (80-) 340, 1546-1558 (2013)). In this study, we investigated gene mutations and fusions that recurrently occurred in early-stage cancer patients with stage I non-small-cell cancer (NSCLC). Targeted exome sequencing was performed to profile the variants and confirmed their fidelity at the gene and pathway levels through comparison with data for stage I lung cancer patients, which was obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Next, we identified prognostic gene mutations (ATR, ERBB3, KDR, and MUC6), fusions (GOPC-ROS1 and NTRK1-SH2D2A), and VEGF signaling pathway associated with cancer recurrence. To infer the functional implication of the recurrent variants in early-stage cancers, the extent of their selection pattern was investigated, and they were shown to be under positive selection, implying a selective advantage for cancer progression. Specifically, high selection scores were observed in the variants with significantly high risks for recurrence. Taken together, the results of this study enabled us to identify recurrent gene mutations and fusions in a stage I NSCLC cohort and to demonstrate positive selection, which had implications regarding cancer recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99197-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8486871PMC
October 2021

The Law Changes Behaviors: Is It Just Enough?

Authors:
Dae Ho Lee

Cancer Res Treat 2021 Oct 23;53(4):895-896. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.4143/crt.2021.1025DOI Listing
October 2021

Meta-analysis of transanal versus laparoscopic total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer: a 'New Health Technology' assessment in South Korea.

Ann Surg Treat Res 2021 Sep 31;101(3):167-180. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

TaTME Assessment Committee, National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, Seoul, Korea.

Purpose: Under the South Korea's unique health insurance structure, any new surgical technology must be evaluated first by the government in order to consider whether that particular technology can be applied to patients for further clinical trials as categorized as 'New Health Technology,' then potentially covered by the insurance sometime later. The aim of this meta-analysis was to assess the safety and efficacy of transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME) for rectal cancer, activated by the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA) TaTME committee.

Methods: We systematically searched Ovid-MEDLINE, Ovid-Embase, Cochrane, and Korean databases (from their inception until August 31, 2019) for studies published that compare TaTME with laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (LaTME). End-points included perioperative and pathological outcomes.

Results: Sixteen cohort studies (7 for case-matched studies) were identified, comprising 1,923 patients (938 TaTMEs and 985 LaTMEs). Regarding perioperative outcomes, the conversion rate was significantly lower in TaTME (risk ratio, 0.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.34; P < 0.001); whereas other perioperative outcomes were similar to LaTME. There were no statistically significant differences in pathological results between the 2 procedures.

Conclusion: Our meta-analysis showed comparable results in preoperative and pathologic outcomes between TaTME and LaTME, and indicated the benefit of TaTME with low conversion. Extensive evaluations of well-designed, multicenter randomized controlled trials are required to come to unequivocal conclusions, but the results showed that TaTME is a potentially beneficial technique in some specific cases. This meta-analysis suggests that TaTME can be performed for rectal cancer patients as a 'New Health Technology' endorsed by NECA in South Korea.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4174/astr.2021.101.3.167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8424436PMC
September 2021

Dulaglutide improves muscle function by attenuating inflammation through OPA-1-TLR-9 signaling in aged mice.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Sep 19;13(18):21962-21974. Epub 2021 Sep 19.

College of Pharmacy and Gachon Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.

Dulaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, is widely used to treat diabetes. However, its effects on muscle wasting due to aging are poorly understood. In the current study, we investigated the therapeutic potential and underlying mechanism of dulaglutide in muscle wasting in aged mice. Dulaglutide improved muscle mass and strength in aged mice. Histological analysis revealed that the cross-sectional area of the tibialis anterior (TA) in the dulaglutide-treated group was thicker than that in the vehicle group. Moreover, dulaglutide increased the shift toward middle and large-sized fibers in both young and aged mice compared to the vehicle. Dulaglutide increased myofiber type I and type IIa in young (18.5% and 8.2%) and aged (1.8% and 19.7%) mice, respectively, compared to the vehicle group. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α), a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, decreased but increased by dulaglutide in aged mice. The expression of atrophic factors such as myostatin, atrogin-1, and muscle RING-finger protein-1 was decreased in aged mice, whereas that of the myogenic factor, MyoD, was increased in both young and aged mice following dulaglutide treatment. In aged mice, optic atrophy-1 (OPA-1) protein was decreased, whereas Toll-like receptor-9 (TLR-9) and its targeting inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF-α]) were elevated in the TA and quadriceps (QD) muscles. In contrast, dulaglutide administration reversed this expression pattern, thereby significantly attenuating the expression of inflammatory cytokines in aged mice. These data suggest that dulaglutide may exert beneficial effects in the treatment of muscle wasting due to aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.203546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8507261PMC
September 2021

Ensartinib vs Crizotinib for Patients With Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Sep 2. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital and Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China.

Importance: Ensartinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), has shown systemic and central nervous system efficacy for patients with ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Objective: To compare ensartinib with crizotinib among patients with advanced ALK-positive NSCLC who had not received prior treatment with an ALK inhibitor.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This open-label, multicenter, randomized, phase 3 trial conducted in 120 centers in 21 countries enrolled 290 patients between July 25, 2016, and November 12, 2018. Eligible patients were 18 years of age or older and had advanced, recurrent, or metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC.

Interventions: Patients were randomized (1:1) to ensartinib, 225 mg once daily, or crizotinib, 250 mg twice daily.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was blinded independent review committee-assessed progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points included systemic and intracranial response, time to central nervous system progression, and overall survival. Efficacy was evaluated in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population as well as a prespecified modified ITT (mITT) population consisting of patients with central laboratory-confirmed ALK-positive NSCLC.

Results: A total of 290 patients (149 men [51.4%]; median age, 54 years [range, 25-90 years]) were randomized. In the ITT population, the median PFS was significantly longer with ensartinib than with crizotinib (25.8 [range, 0.03-44.0 months] vs 12.7 months [range, 0.03-38.6 months]; hazard ratio, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.35-0.72]; log-rank P < .001), with a median follow-up of 23.8 months (range, 0-44 months) for the ensartinib group and 20.2 months (range, 0-38 months) for the crizotinib group. In the mITT population, the median PFS in the ensartinib group was not reached, and the median PFS in the crizotinib group was 12.7 months (95% CI, 8.9-16.6 months; hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.30-0.66; log-rank P < .001). The intracranial response rate confirmed by a blinded independent review committee was 63.6% (7 of 11) with ensartinib vs 21.1% (4 of 19) with crizotinib for patients with target brain metastases at baseline. Progression-free survival for patients without brain metastases was not reached with ensartinib vs 16.6 months with crizotinib as a result of a lower central nervous system progression rate (at 12 months: 4.2% with ensartinib vs 23.9% with crizotinib; cause-specific hazard ratio, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.16-0.63; P = .001). Frequencies of treatment-related serious adverse events (ensartinib: 11 [7.7%] vs crizotinib: 9 [6.1%]), dose reductions (ensartinib: 34 of 143 [23.8%] vs crizotinib: 29 of 146 [19.9%]), or drug discontinuations (ensartinib: 13 of 143 [9.1%] vs crizotinib: 10 of 146 [6.8%]) were similar, without any new safety signals.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, ensartinib showed superior efficacy to crizotinib in both systemic and intracranial disease. Ensartinib represents a new first-line option for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02767804.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.3523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8414368PMC
September 2021

Anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 monoclonal antibody quavonlimab in combination with pembrolizumab: Safety and efficacy from a phase I study in previously treated extensive-stage small cell lung cancer.

Lung Cancer 2021 09 18;159:162-170. Epub 2021 Jul 18.

Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer, Derech Sheba 2, Ramat Gan, Israel; Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Electronic address:

Objectives: This first-in-human phase I study (NCT03179436) investigated anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 monoclonal antibody quavonlimab and anti-programmed death 1 monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab in patients with advanced solid tumors. The study was conducted in two parts: dose-escalation (part 1) and dose-confirmation (part 2). First-line treatment with quavonlimab + pembrolizumab conferred encouraging antitumor activity (objective response rate [ORR], 28%-40%) and was generally well tolerated (grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events [TRAEs] were lowest with quavonlimab 25 mg every 6 weeks [Q6W] at 30% and highest with quavonlimab 75 mg Q3W at 57%) in non-small cell lung cancer. We present data from patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) receiving second-line or later therapy.

Materials And Methods: Patients with stage III/IV SCLC received quavonlimab 75 mg Q6W plus pembrolizumab 200 mg Q3W for ≤ 2 years. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability; ORRs as assessed by blinded independent central review per Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumorsv1.1 was a secondary endpoint. Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and the correlation of response with PD-L1 expression were exploratory endpoints.

Results: Forty patients with extensive-stage SCLC received treatment; median follow-up was 13 months. Dose-limiting toxicity occurred in 4 patients (10%). TRAEs occurred in 80% of patients; grade 3 events occurred in 33% of patients and no grade 4/5 events were reported. Confirmed ORRs (95% CI) were 18% (7-33) among all patients, 7% (<1-34) for PD-L1-positive tumors (n = 14), and 19% (5-42) for PD-L1-negative tumors (n = 21). Response duration ranged from 2.9 to 19.1+ months. Median PFS was 2.0 months; 6-month PFS rate was 26%. Median OS was 11.0 months; 6-month OS rate was 66%.

Conclusions: Encouraging antitumor activity was observed with quavonlimab + pembrolizumab in patients with extensive-stage SCLC; responses were observed in PD-L1-positive and PD-L1-negative tumors. The combination was tolerable with manageable toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.07.009DOI Listing
September 2021

Blood First Assay Screening Trial (BFAST) in Treatment-Naive Advanced or Metastatic NSCLC: Initial Results of the Phase 2 ALK-Positive Cohort.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 Jul 24. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Cancer Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan. Electronic address:

Introduction: The Blood First Assay Screening Trial is an ongoing open-label, multicohort study, prospectively evaluating the relationship between blood-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) detection of actionable genetic alterations and activity of targeted therapies or immunotherapy in treatment-naive advanced or metastatic NSCLC. We present data from the ALK-positive cohort.

Methods: Patients aged more than or equal to 18 years with stage IIIB or IV NSCLC and ALK rearrangements detected by blood-based NGS using hybrid capture technology (FoundationACT) received alectinib 600 mg twice daily. Asymptomatic or treated central nervous system (CNS) metastases were permitted. Primary end point was investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR; Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1). Secondary end points were independent review facility-assessed ORR, duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and safety. Exploratory end points were investigator-assessed ORR in patients with baseline CNS metastases and relationship between circulating biomarkers and response.

Results: In total, 2219 patients were screened and blood-based NGS yielded results in 98.6% of the cases. Of these, 119 patients (5.4%) had ALK-positive disease; 87 were enrolled and received alectinib. Median follow-up was 12.6 months (range: 2.6-18.7). Confirmed ORR was 87.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 78.5-93.5) by investigator and 92.0% (95% CI: 84.1-96.7) by independent review facility. Investigator-confirmed 12-month duration of response was 75.9% (95% CI: 63.6-88.2). In 35 patients (40%) with baseline CNS disease, investigator-assessed ORR was 91.4% (95% CI: 76.9-98.2). Median PFS was not reached; 12-month investigator-assessed PFS was 78.4% (95% CI: 69.1-87.7). Safety data were consistent with the known tolerability profile of alectinib.

Conclusions: These results reveal the clinical application of blood-based NGS as a method to inform clinical decision-making in ALK-positive NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.07.008DOI Listing
July 2021

Different prognostic implications of hepatic metastasis according to front-line treatment in non-small cell lung cancer: a real-world retrospective study.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Jun;10(6):2551-2561

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: Although liver metastasis occurs in approximately 15% of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with poor prognosis, its prognostic effect in patients who receive immunotherapy is unclear. This study aimed to verify the effects of liver metastasis on the prognosis of metastatic NSCLC patients according to their first-line treatment.

Methods: Patients who were initially diagnosed with stage 4 NSCLC from January 2015 to December 2019 were analyzed in this retrospective real-world data-based study. The patients were divided into three groups according to the type of first-line chemotherapy they received: cytotoxic, targeted, and immunotherapy. Prognosis was then compared depending on the presence of liver metastasis in each treatment group.

Results: Among the 1,470 patients, 723 (49.2%) received cytotoxic chemotherapy, 678 (46.1%) received targeted therapy, and 69 (4.7%) received immunotherapy as their first-line chemotherapy. A total of 234 (15.9%) patients had liver metastasis at the initial diagnosis. The mean patient age was 63.7 years, and 59.1% were male. There was no difference in overall survival (OS) in the immunotherapy group in patients with or without liver metastasis (11.7 13.0 months, P=0.968); however, patients with liver metastasis had worse outcomes in the cytotoxic and targeted therapy groups compared to patients without liver metastasis. Furthermore, in patients with liver metastasis, the immunotherapy group had a longer OS than the cytotoxic chemotherapy group (11.7 4.4 months, P<0.001). Liver metastasis was associated with poor outcomes (hazard ratio of 1.438), as were age, male sex, bone, adrenal gland, or soft tissue metastasis, and three or more metastatic sites; however, lymph node, brain, collateral lung, and pleura metastasis did not affect prognosis.

Conclusions: Although liver metastasis was associated with poor outcomes, it did not affect prognosis in patients who received immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-21-206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8264330PMC
June 2021

Optimizing palliative chemotherapy for advanced invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma of the lung.

BMC Cancer 2021 Jun 26;21(1):731. Epub 2021 Jun 26.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88, Olympic-Ro 43-Gil, Songpa-Gu, Seoul, 05505, Republic of Korea.

Background: A primary pulmonary invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (IMA) is a rare subtype of invasive adenocarcinoma of the lung. The prognosis of advanced IMA depending on chemotherapy regimen has not been fully investigated. Here, we compared the clinical outcomes of patients with advanced IMA treated with different palliative chemotherapies that included novel therapeutics.

Methods: This single-center retrospective study included a total of 79 patients diagnosed with IMA and treated with palliative chemotherapy. The primary outcome was the comparison of overall survival according to palliative chemotherapy type. Risk factors associated with death were evaluated as a secondary outcome.

Results: The study cohort of 79 patients comprised 27 progressive or recurrent cases and 52 initial metastatic patients. Thirteen patients (16.5%) received targeted therapy and 18 cases (22.8%) received immunotherapy. When we compared the survival outcomes of the different treatment regimens, patients with IMA treated by immunotherapy (undefined vs. non-immunotherapy 17.0 months, p < 0.001) had better overall survival rates. However, there was no difference in the prognosis between the cases treated with a targeted therapy (35.6 vs. non-targeted therapy 17.0 months, p = 0.211). None of the conventional regimens produced a better outcome. By multivariable analysis, immunotherapy (HR 0.28; 95% CI 0.11-0.74; P = 0.008) was found to be an independent prognostic factor for death.

Conclusions: This study suggests that immunotherapy for patients with advanced IMA may provide favorable outcomes than other chemotherapy options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08472-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8235206PMC
June 2021

Pralsetinib for RET fusion-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (ARROW): a multi-cohort, open-label, phase 1/2 study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 07 9;22(7):959-969. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Oncogenic alterations in RET have been identified in multiple tumour types, including 1-2% of non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and antitumour activity of pralsetinib, a highly potent, oral, selective RET inhibitor, in patients with RET fusion-positive NSCLC.

Methods: ARROW is a multi-cohort, open-label, phase 1/2 study done at 71 sites (community and academic cancer centres) in 13 countries (Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, and the USA). Patients aged 18 years or older with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumours, including RET fusion-positive NSCLC, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 (later limited to 0-1 in a protocol amendment) were enrolled. In phase 2, patients received 400 mg once-daily oral pralsetinib, and could continue treatment until disease progression, intolerance, withdrawal of consent, or investigator decision. Phase 2 primary endpoints were overall response rate (according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours version 1·1 and assessed by blinded independent central review) and safety. Tumour response was assessed in patients with RET fusion-positive NSCLC and centrally adjudicated baseline measurable disease who had received platinum-based chemotherapy or were treatment-naive because they were ineligible for standard therapy. This ongoing study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03037385, and enrolment of patients with treatment-naive RET fusion-positive NSCLC was ongoing at the time of this interim analysis.

Findings: Of 233 patients with RET fusion-positive NSCLC enrolled between March 17, 2017, and May 22, 2020 (data cutoff), 92 with previous platinum-based chemotherapy and 29 who were treatment-naive received pralsetinib before July 11, 2019 (efficacy enrolment cutoff); 87 previously treated patients and 27 treatment-naive patients had centrally adjudicated baseline measurable disease. Overall responses were recorded in 53 (61%; 95% CI 50-71) of 87 patients with previous platinum-based chemotherapy, including five (6%) patients with a complete response; and 19 (70%; 50-86) of 27 treatment-naive patients, including three (11%) with a complete response. In 233 patients with RET fusion-positive NSCLC, common grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were neutropenia (43 patients [18%]), hypertension (26 [11%]), and anaemia (24 [10%]); there were no treatment-related deaths in this population.

Interpretation: Pralsetinib is a new, well-tolerated, promising, once-daily oral treatment option for patients with RET fusion-positive NSCLC.

Funding: Blueprint Medicines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00247-3DOI Listing
July 2021

Real-world utility of next-generation sequencing for targeted gene analysis and its application to treatment in lung adenocarcinoma.

Cancer Med 2021 05 7;10(10):3197-3204. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Purpose: This study investigated the clinical utility of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for detection of genetic alterations and its implications on treatment of lung adenocarcinoma in real-world practice.

Patients And Methods: Data were reviewed for 391 patients with lung adenocarcinoma who underwent NGS between March 2017 and October 2018. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival samples were used for performing NGS targeting 382 genes, including all exons of 199 genes, 184 hotspots, and the partial introns of 8 genes often rearranged in cancer. Survival analysis was performed for stage IV disease.

Results: Among the 391 patients, at least one actionable mutation was identified in 294 patients (75.2%). The most commonly mutated gene was EGFR (n = 130, 33.2%), involving EGFR exon 19 deletion (n = 48, 12.3%), L858R (n = 47, 12%), and others (n = 35, 9%), followed by KRAS (n = 48, 12.3%), ALK (n = 40, 10.2%), RET (6%), MET (3%), ROS-1 (3%), and BRAF (2%) mutations. TP53 (46.9%) and CDKN2A (12.6%) mutations were common co-mutations in patients with AMs. With a median follow-up duration of 16.8 months, median overall survival was 36.8 months in patients with stage IV disease. Patients treated with the corresponding targeted therapy for AMs based on NGS reports lived significantly longer than those not treated with such therapy (p < 0.001). After multivariate analysis, targeted therapy for AM was a significantly favorable factor for survival (AM without targeted therapy vs. AM with targeted therapy, hazard ratio 2.58, 95% confidence interval 1.57-4.25; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: This study revealed that AMs could be comparably detected using NGS. Based on these NGS results, a suitable targeted therapy can be selected, which may improve survival in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. This NGS-based approach is useful in real-world practice to provide guidance when selecting targeted therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124124PMC
May 2021

Exploring the resistance mechanisms of second-line osimertinib and their prognostic implications using next-generation sequencing in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2021 05 18;148:202-210. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Introduction: Although osimertinib overcomes the T790M mutation acquired after traditional epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment, resistance to osimertinib eventually occurs. We explored resistance mechanisms of second-line osimertinib and their clinical implications by comparing next-generation sequencing (NGS) results before and after resistance acquisition.

Methods: We enrolled 34 patients with advanced EGFR-mutant adenocarcinoma whose biopsied tumour tissues were subjected to targeted NGS at the time of progression on osimertinib. For comparison, NGS was also performed on archived tumour tissues from each patient excised before osimertinib initiation.

Results: The tumours of three patients' were observed to have transformed to small-cell carcinoma and those of two patients to squamous cell carcinoma. Among the remaining 29 patients, T790M mutations were maintained in seven patients (24.1%), including four patients (13.8%) acquiring C797S mutations and one with MET amplification. Among the 22 patients (75.9%) with T790M loss, a variety of novel mutations were identified, including KRAS mutations, PIK3CA mutations, and RET fusion, but MET amplifications (n = 4, 18.2%) were most frequently identified variations. Progression-free survival (PFS) on osimertinib was shorter among patients with T790M loss than among those who maintained T790M (5.36 versus 13.81 months, p = 0.009), and MET-amplified patients were found to have much worse PFS among patients with T790M loss (2.10 versus 6.35 months, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Loss of the T790M mutation was associated with early resistance to osimertinib, and this was exacerbated by MET amplification. Further work is needed to fully understand the implications of each resistance mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.052DOI Listing
May 2021

Estimating Baseline Incidence of Conditions Potentially Associated with Vaccine Adverse Events: a Call for Surveillance System Using the Korean National Health Insurance Claims Data.

J Korean Med Sci 2021 Mar 8;36(9):e67. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Artificial Intelligence and Big-Data Convergence Center, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Background: Vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are raising concerns about vaccine safety, particularly in the context of large-scale immunization. To address public concerns, we measured the baseline incidence rates of major conditions potentially related to vaccine-related adverse events (VAEs). We aimed to provide a basis for evaluating VAEs and verifying causality.

Methods: Conditions of interest were selected from the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System Table of Reportable Events and a recent report from a European consortium on vaccine surveillance. We used the National Health Insurance Service database in Korea to identify the monthly numbers of cases with these conditions. Data from January 2006 to June 2020 were included. Prediction models were constructed from the observed incidences using an autoregressive integrated moving average. We predicted the incidences of the conditions and their respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for January through December 2021. In addition, subgroup analysis for the expected vaccination population was conducted.

Results: Mean values (95% CIs) of the predicted monthly incidence of vasovagal syncope, anaphylaxis, brachial neuritis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, Bell's palsy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, encephalopathy, optic neuritis, transverse myelitis, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, and systemic lupus erythematosus in 2021 were 23.89 (19.81-27.98), 4.72 (3.83-5.61), 57.62 (51.37-63.88), 0.03 (0.01-0.04), 8.58 (7.90-9.26), 0.26 (0.18-0.34), 2.13 (1.42-2.83), 1.65 (1.17-2.13), 0.19 (0.14-0.25), 0.75 (0.61-0.90), and 3.40 (2.79-4.01) cases per 100,000 respectively. The majority of the conditions showed an increasing trend with seasonal variations in their incidences.

Conclusion: We measured the incidence of a total of 11 conditions that could potentially be associated with VAEs to predict the monthly incidence in 2021. In Korea, conditions that could potentially be related to VAEs occur on a regular basis, and an increasing trend is observed with seasonality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e67DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940120PMC
March 2021

Overweight and Obesity are Risk Factors for Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Propensity Score-Matched Case-Control Study.

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 2021 02 24;36(1):196-200. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Artificial Intelligence and Big-Data Convergence Center, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Although obesity is a risk factor for infection, whether it has the same effect on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) need confirming. We conducted a retrospective propensity score matched case-control study to examine the association between obesity and COVID-19. This study included data from the Nationwide COVID-19 Registry and the Biennial Health Checkup database, until May 30, 2020. We identified 2,231 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 10-fold-matched negative test controls. Overweight (body mass index [BMI] 23 to 24.9 kg/m2; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1.03 to 1.30) and class 1 obesity (BMI 25 to 29.9 kg/m2; aOR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.42) had significantly increased COVID-19 risk, while classes 2 and 3 obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) showed similar but non-significant trend. Females and those <50 years had more robust association pattern. Overweight and obesity are possible risk factors of COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2020.856DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937843PMC
February 2021

A Flounder Fish Peptide Shows Anti-Hypertensive Effects by Suppressing the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System and Endothelin-1.

Protein Pept Lett 2021 ;28(7):831-840

Department of Health Sciences and Technology, GAIHST, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.

Background: Many fishes have been known for their good nutritional effects especially in the cardiovascular aspect. Some specific fish peptides have anti-hypertensive effects.

Objective: In the present study, we hypothesized that the hexapeptide (MEVFVP) from flounder fish muscle can be a potent antihypertensive peptide, therefore, decided to perform this experiment.

Methods: The peptide MEVFVP from flounder fish muscle (40 mg/kg) and vehicle were administered per os to spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) (SHR-M and SHR-C, respectively). Additionally, plasma MEVFVP was measured serially before and after its oral administration to Sprague Dawley rats.

Results: Blood pressures (BPs), especially systolic BP, in SHR rats were decreased around 3-6 hours after MEVFVP administration. Compared with SHR-C rats, endothelin-1 (ET-1) mRNA expression in multiple tissues, and plasma levels of ET-1, angiotensin II, and aldosterone were lower in SHR-M rats, whereas the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was increased in the kidney of SHR-M rats. The administered peptide was not detected in rat plasma, while ex vivo incubation of the peptide in rat plasma caused its rapid degradation within minutes.

Conclusion: Our results show that the MEVFVP has an antihypertensive effect by regulating renin- angiotensin-aldosterone system, ET-1 and AMPK despite its limited bioavailability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/0929866528666210211142105DOI Listing
September 2021

Pembrolizumab Plus Ipilimumab or Placebo for Metastatic Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer With PD-L1 Tumor Proportion Score ≥ 50%: Randomized, Double-Blind Phase III KEYNOTE-598 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 29;39(21):2327-2338. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

LungenClinic, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf, Germany.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab monotherapy is standard first-line therapy for metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumor proportion score (TPS) ≥ 50% without actionable driver mutations. It is not known whether adding ipilimumab to pembrolizumab improves efficacy over pembrolizumab alone in this population.

Methods: In the randomized, double-blind, phase III KEYNOTE-598 trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03302234), eligible patients with previously untreated metastatic NSCLC with PD-L1 TPS ≥ 50% and no sensitizing or aberrations were randomly allocated 1:1 to ipilimumab 1 mg/kg or placebo every 6 weeks for up to 18 doses; all participants received pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks for up to 35 doses. Primary end points were overall survival and progression-free survival.

Results: Of the 568 participants, 284 were randomly allocated to each group. Median overall survival was 21.4 months for pembrolizumab-ipilimumab versus 21.9 months for pembrolizumab-placebo (hazard ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.85 to 1.37; = .74). Median progression-free survival was 8.2 months for pembrolizumab-ipilimumab versus 8.4 months for pembrolizumab-placebo (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.30; = .72). Grade 3-5 adverse events occurred in 62.4% of pembrolizumab-ipilimumab recipients versus 50.2% of pembrolizumab-placebo recipients and led to death in 13.1% versus 7.5%. The external data and safety monitoring committee recommended that the study be stopped for futility and that participants discontinue ipilimumab and placebo.

Conclusion: Adding ipilimumab to pembrolizumab does not improve efficacy and is associated with greater toxicity than pembrolizumab monotherapy as first-line treatment for metastatic NSCLC with PD-L1 TPS ≥ 50% and no targetable or aberrations. These data do not support use of pembrolizumab-ipilimumab in place of pembrolizumab monotherapy in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03579DOI Listing
July 2021

Olmutinib in T790M-positive non-small cell lung cancer after failure of first-line epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy: A global, phase 2 study.

Cancer 2021 May 12;127(9):1407-1416. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Hanmi Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: In this open-label, international phase 2 study, the authors assessed the efficacy and safety of olmutinib in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had a confirmed T790M mutation and disease progression on previous epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.

Methods: Patients aged ≥20 years received once-daily oral olmutinib 800 mg continuously in 21-day cycles. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate (patients who had a confirmed best overall response of a complete or partial response), assessed by central review. Secondary endpoints included the disease control rate, the duration of objective response, progression-free survival, and overall survival. Adverse events were graded according to the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (version 4.03).

Results: Overall, 162 patients (median age, 63 years; women, >60%) were enrolled from 68 sites in 9 countries. At the time of database cutoff, 23.5% of enrolled patients remained on treatment. The median treatment duration was 6.5 months (range, 0.03-21.68 months). Overall, 46.3% of patients (95% CI, 38.4%-54.3%) had a confirmed objective response (all partial responses). The best overall response (the objective response rate regardless of confirmation) was 51.9% (84 patients; 95% CI, 43.9%-59.8%). The confirmed disease control rate for all patients was 86.4% (95% CI, 80.2%-91.3%). The median duration of objective response was 12.7 months (95% CI, 8.3-15.4 months). Estimated median progression-free survival was 9.4 months (95% CI, 6.9-12.3 months), and estimated median overall survival was 19.7 months (95% CI, 15.1 months to not reached). All patients experienced treatment-emergent adverse events, and 71.6% of patients had grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events.

Conclusions: Olmutinib has meaningful clinical activity and a manageable safety profile in patients with T790M-positive non-small cell lung cancer who received previous epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33385DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8247868PMC
May 2021

Update of early phase clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy.

Authors:
Dae Ho Lee

BMB Rep 2021 Jan;54(1):70-88

Department of Oncology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul 05505, Korea.

Immunotherapy has revolutionized the landscape of cancer treatment and become a standard pillar of the treatment. The two main drivers, immune checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T cells, contributed to this unprecedented success. However, despite the striking clinical improvements, most patients still suffer from disease progression because of the evolution of primary or acquired resistance. This mini-review summarizes new treatment options including novel targets and interesting combinational approaches to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of the action of and resistance to immunotherapy, to expand our knowledge of advances in biomarker and therapeutics development, and to help to find the most appropriate option or a way of overcoming the resistance for cancer patients. [BMB Reports 2021; 54(1): 70-88].
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7851447PMC
January 2021

Magnetic Resonance-Based Assessments Better Capture Pathophysiologic Profiles and Progression in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Diabetes Metab J 2021 09 28;45(5):739-752. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Background: Several noninvasive tools are available for the assessment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) including clinical and blood biomarkers, transient elastography (TE), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, such as proton density fat fraction (MRI-PDFF) and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). In the present study, we aimed to evaluate whether magnetic resonance (MR)-based examinations better discriminate the pathophysiologic features and fibrosis progression in NAFLD than other noninvasive methods.

Methods: A total of 133 subjects (31 healthy volunteers and 102 patients with NAFLD) were subjected to clinical and noninvasive NAFLD evaluation, with additional liver biopsy in some patients (n=54).

Results: MRI-PDFF correlated far better with hepatic fat measured by MR spectroscopy (r=0.978, P<0.001) than with the TE controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) (r=0.727, P<0.001). In addition, MRI-PDFF showed stronger correlations with various pathophysiologic parameters for cellular injury, glucose and lipid metabolism, and inflammation, than the TE-CAP. The MRI-PDFF and TE-CAP cutoff levels associated with abnormal elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase were 9.9% and 270 dB/m, respectively. The MRE liver stiffness measurement (LSM) showed stronger correlations with liver enzymes, platelets, complement component 3, several clinical fibrosis scores, and the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) score than the TE-LSM. In an analysis of only biopsied patients, MRE performed better in discriminating advanced fibrosis with a cutoff value of 3.9 kPa than the TE (cutoff 8.1 kPa) and ELF test (cutoff 9.2 kPa).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that MRI-based assessment of NAFLD is the best non-invasive tool that captures the histologic, pathophysiologic and metabolic features of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2020.0137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8497935PMC
September 2021

Impact of obesity, fasting plasma glucose level, blood pressure, and renal function on the severity of COVID-19: A matter of sexual dimorphism?

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2020 Dec 21;170:108515. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Artificial Intelligence and Big-Data Convergence Center, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, South Korea; Department of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, South Korea. Electronic address:

Aims: This study aimed to assess whether body mass index (BMI), fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels, blood pressure (BP), and kidney function were associated with the risk of severe disease or death in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: Data on candidate risk factors were extracted from patients' last checkup records. Propensity score-matched cohorts were constructed, and logistic regression models were used to adjust for age, sex, and comorbidities. The primary outcome was death or severe COVID-19, defined as requiring supplementary oxygen or higher ventilatory support.

Results: Among 7,649 patients with confirmed COVID-19, 2,231 (29.2%) received checkups and severe COVID-19 occurred in 307 patients (13.8%). A BMI of 25.0-29.9 was associated with the outcome among women (aOR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.41-3.73) and patients aged 50-69 years (aOR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.06-2.54). An FPG ≥ 126 mg/dL was associated with poor outcomes in women (aOR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.13-3.77) but not in men. Similarly, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 60 ml/min/1.73 m was a risk factor in women (aOR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.71-7.01) and patients aged < 70 years.

Conclusions: The effects of BMI, FPG, and eGFR on outcomes associated with COVID-19 were prominent in women but not in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108515DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7575440PMC
December 2020

Statin suppresses sirtuin 6 through miR-495, increasing FoxO1-dependent hepatic gluconeogenesis.

Theranostics 2020 15;10(25):11416-11427. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

College of Pharmacy, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk 54896, Republic of Korea.

Statin, the most widely used medication in lowering cholesterol, is also associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but its molecular basis remains unclear. Mice were injected intraperitoneally with statins alone or in combination with sirtuin (Sirt) 6 activator, and blood glucose levels were measured. Liver tissues from patients with statin use were analyzed for the expression of Sirt6. Statin treatment up-regulated the hepatic expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phosphatase, which was prevented by Sirt6 overexpression. Mechanistically, statin directly repressed Sirt6 expression by induction of microRNA (miR)-495, a novel inhibitor of Sirt6. Pathway analysis for predicted target genes of miR-495 recognized forkhead box protein (Fox)O1 as a key downstream signaling of Sirt6. Statin treatment increased the acetylation and protein stability of FoxO1, which was suppressed by Sirt6 overexpression. Inhibiting miR-495 recovered Sirt6 levels, blocking the ability of statin to increase FoxO1 mediated gluconeogenesis, and thus confirming the role of the miR-495/Sirt6/FoxO1 pathway in controlling gluconeogenesis. Moreover, the Sirt6 activator MDL801 prevented gluconeogenesis and hyperglycemia induced by statin in mice. Equally noteworthy was that human liver tissues obtained from statin users showed a significant decrease in Sirt6 protein levels compared to those of non-users. Statin induces miR-495 to suppress Sirt6 expression, which leads to enhancement of FoxO1-mediated hepatic gluconeogenesis. Thus, Sirt6 activation may offer a promising strategy for preventing statin-induced hyperglycemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.49770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7545997PMC
June 2021

Phase I Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Ramucirumab in Combination with Osimertinib in Advanced T790M-positive -mutant Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 02 12;27(4):992-1002. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Thoracic Unit, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: We report the final analysis of JVDL (NCT02789345), which examined the combination of the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) osimertinib plus the VEGFR2-directed antibody ramucirumab in patients with T790M-positive -mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Patients And Methods: This open-label, single-arm phase I study enrolled patients with T790M-positive NSCLC, who had progressed following EGFR TKI but were third-generation EGFR TKI-naïve. A dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) period with as-needed dose deescalation was followed by an expansion cohort. Patients received daily oral osimertinib and intravenous ramucirumab every 2 weeks until progression or discontinuation.

Results: Twenty-five patients were enrolled. No DLTs were observed. Median follow-up time was 25.0 months. Common grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events (TRAE) were hypertension (8%) and platelet count decreased (16%); grade 5 TRAE (subdural hemorrhage) occurred in 1 patient. Patients with ( = 10) and without central nervous system (CNS) metastasis ( = 15) had similar safety outcomes. Five patients remain on treatment. Objective response rate (ORR) was 76%. Median duration of response was 13.4 months [90% confidence interval (CI): 9.6-21.2]. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11.0 months (90% CI: 5.5-19.3). Efficacy was observed in patients with and without CNS metastasis (ORR 60% and 87%; median PFS 10.9 and 14.7 months, respectively). Exploratory biomarker analyses in circulating tumor DNA suggested that on-treatment loss of EGFR Exon 19 deletion or L858R mutations, detectable at baseline, correlated with longer PFS, but on-treatment loss of T790M did not. Emergent genetic alterations postprogression included C797S, MET amplification, and EGFR amplification.

Conclusions: Ramucirumab plus osimertinib demonstrated encouraging safety and antitumor activity in T790M-positive -mutant NSCLC..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1690DOI Listing
February 2021

Blockade of CCL2 expression overcomes intrinsic PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor-resistance in transglutaminase 2-induced PD-L1 positive triple negative breast cancer.

Am J Cancer Res 2020 1;10(9):2878-2894. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine Seoul 05505, Republic of Korea.

Anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy, as a treatment for many tumors, has shown good efficacy. However, responses to immunotherapy did not always occur or last long., i.e. primary or acquired resistance, even tumors were PD-L1 positive. Several oncogenic pathways, including PI3K/AKT activation by PTEN loss and NF-κB activation, induce PD-L1 expression and PD-L1 inhibitor-resistance. They also induce expression of CCL2, an inhibitory chemokine that blocks T cell tracking into the tumor by binding to CCR2 on the T cell surface. In this study, we showed that transglutaminase 2 (TG2), a post-translational modification enzyme, induced ubiquitin-proteasome dependent degradation of tumor suppressors including PTEN and IκBα by peptide cross-linking, inducing CCL2 as well as PD-L1 expression via PI3K/AKT and NF-κB activation. It also induced PD-L1 inhibitor-resistance because CCL2 was expressed despite increased PD-L1, which was blocked by PD-L1 inhibitor. We also revealed that inhibition of TG2, instead of PD-L1, restored T cell-dependent killing effect by blocking expression of both PD-L1 and CCL2 in PD-L1(+) triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. In addition, the TG2-expressing TNBC patient group showed higher PD-L1 expression incidence than did the TG2-negative TNBC patient group. In conclusion, TG2 induces primary PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor-resistance by inducing CCL2 expression. TG2 blockade can be utilized as an excellent therapeutic strategy to overcome PD-L1 inhibitor-resistance in PD-L1(+) TNBC patients. Our study suggested that PD-L1 expression alone might not always be a predictive biomarker for PD-L1(+) TNBC, but TG2 could be a useful predictive marker to select PD-L1 inhibitor-resistant TNBC patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539780PMC
September 2020

Development of a novel dual reproductive organ on a chip: recapitulating bidirectional endocrine crosstalk between the uterine endometrium and the ovary.

Biofabrication 2020 10 16;13(1). Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Health Sciences and Technology, GAIHST, Gachon University, Incheon 21999, Republic of Korea.

Conventional 2D or even 3Dculture models for human reproductive organs cannot properly recapitulate the bidirectional endocrine crosstalk between the uterine endometrium and the ovary. This crosstalk is essential for maintaining the various physiological features and functions of each tissue. Moreover, mostmodels for the female reproductive tract also fail to mimic its multicellular structure. We therefore developed a novel 'dual reproductive organ on a chip' that reflects the bidirectional endocrine cross-talk and the complex multicellular structures by integrating various cellular components of both the human uterine endometrium and the ovary with several biodegradable natural polymers. Indeed, the bidirectional endocrine crosstalk between these two tissues is achieved through media sharing between channels, and it can markedly improve the viability of loaded cells within each chamber of the chip platform. In addition, we also identified a reliable reproductive toxicity marker, SERPINB2, which is significantly increased in response to various toxic exposures in both endometrial and ovarian follicular cells. Based on these findings, we next established a SERPINB2 luciferase reporter system that was specifically designed for detecting and quantifying the toxicity of certain substances. By introducing this SERPINB2 luciferase reporter system into the loaded cells within the chip platform, we ultimately developed an effective 'dual reproductive organ-on-chip' that was successfully used to predict the reproductive toxicity of various hazardous materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1758-5090/abbd29DOI Listing
October 2020

Impact of pseudoprogression and treatment beyond progression on outcome in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Oncoimmunology 2020 06 19;9(1):1776058. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, Asan Image Metrics, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have become an important treatment option for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to evaluate the clinical impact of pseudoprogression (PsP) and treatment beyond RECIST1.1-defined progressive disease (TBP) on outcome in NSCLC patients treated with ICI.

Methods: NSCLC patients treated with ICI between Mar 2016 and July 2018 were recruited in a consecutive manner. Response was assessed every 8-12 weeks using RECIST1.1 and iRECIST. Based on iRECIST, PsP was defined as progressive disease (PD) on RECIST1.1 subsequently reset to non-PD categories. Using log-rank test, progression-free survival (PFS) was compared between patients with and without PsP, and overall survival (OS) was compared between patients treated with and without TBP. The impact of TBP on OS was evaluated through multivariate Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: Of the 189 patients, seven (3.7%) experienced PsP which mostly occurred approximately 3 months after baseline. The median PFS was significantly longer in patients with PsP (not reached) than those without PsP (3.8 months, .02). Among patients who demonstrated PD according to RECIST1.1, median OS was significantly longer in patients with TBP (17.2 months) than those without TBP (7.4 months, < .001). On multivariate analysis adjusting other covariates, TBP (HR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.7) remained as a significant protective factor for mortality.

Conclusion: PsP occurred in 3.7% of NSCLC patients under ICI treatment. Based on iRECIST scheme, PsP and TBP may be associated with survival benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2020.1776058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7458612PMC
June 2020

Mycosis fungoides development after combined immune checkpoint blockade therapy in a patient with malignant melanoma: a case report.

Melanoma Res 2020 10;30(5):515-518

Departments of Pathology.

Immune checkpoint blockade therapy can induce immune-related toxicity, but cutaneous lymphoma development has not been reported. A 56-year-old woman presented with two well-demarcated erythematous macules on the right sole and vitiligo on her extremities. Her facial melanoma had been treated with combination therapy (ipilimumab and pembrolizumab), followed by pembrolizumab monotherapy, a year prior. Microscopy revealed small-to-medium-sized lymphocytes permeating along with the basal epidermal layer. These were immuno-positive for CD2, CD3, and CD5, and showed complete CD7 loss; CD30, TCR-beta F1, and PD-1 were also detected. They exclusively expressed CD8, not CD4, and had a Ki-67 labeling index of 30-40%. Epstein-Barr virus in-situ hybridization was negative. Clonal T-cell receptor beta and gamma chain gene rearrangements were detected. Hence, the lesions were diagnosed as mycosis fungoides. This is the first report of mycosis fungoides development after anti-melanoma immunotherapy. The patient is currently on steroid ointments and phototherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000664DOI Listing
October 2020

Gliclazide monotherapy increases risks of all-cause mortality and has similar risk of acute myocardial infarction and stroke with glimepiride monotherapy in Korean type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Jul;99(29):e21236

Department of Internal Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Sulphonylureas (SUs) subclasses have different risks of all-cause mortality, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and stroke. Therefore, we assessed these risks in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus administered gliclazide, glimepiride, or metformin monotherapy with retrospective cohort study design. Total 195,235 subjects were included in the study who were ≥20 years' old and prescribed monotherapy for at least 1 year as a first-line therapy for incident diabetes from January 01, 2009 to December 31, 2013 in the National Health Insurance Service Claim data. Incidence and hazard ratios (HRs) of all-cause mortality, AMI, and stroke were compared with glimepiride monotherapy as a reference. Gliclazide monotherapy increased all-cause mortality compared with glimepiride monotherapy. However, the gliclazide and glimepiride groups showed no difference in AMI and stroke incidences. In line with previous studies, metformin monotherapy showed significant clinical benefits in reducing risks of all-cause mortality, AMI, and stroke compared with glimepiride. This population-based cohort study suggested that gliclazide increases risks of all-cause mortality and has similar risk of AMI and stroke with gliclazide monotherapy in Korean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000021236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373575PMC
July 2020

Noninvasive Evaluation of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

Authors:
Dae Ho Lee

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 2020 06 24;35(2):243-259. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent liver diseases and can progress to advanced fibrosis and end-stage liver disease. Thus, intensive research has been performed to develop noninvasive methods for the diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis. Currently, no single noninvasive tool covers all of the stages of pathologies and conditions of NAFLD, and the cost and feasibility of known techniques are also important issues. Blood biomarkers for NAFLD may be useful to select subjects who need ultrasonography (US) screening for NAFLD, and noninvasive tools for assessing fibrosis may be helpful to exclude the probability of significant fibrosis and to predict advanced fibrosis, thus guiding the decision of whether to perform liver biopsy in patients with NAFLD. Among various methods, magnetic resonance-based methods have been shown to perform better than other methods in assessing steatosis as well as in detecting hepatic fibrosis. Many genetic markers are associated with the development and progression of NAFLD. Further well-designed studies are needed to determine which biomarker panels, imaging studies, genetic marker panels, or combinations thereof perform well for diagnosing NAFLD, differentiating NASH and fibrosis, and following-up NAFLD, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2020.35.2.243DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7386127PMC
June 2020

Clinical outcomes of nivolumab in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in real-world practice, with an emphasis on hyper-progressive disease.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020 Nov 24;146(11):3025-3036. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul, 05505, Korea.

Purpose: Although immune checkpoint inhibitors have been shown to be effective in many clinical trials, real-world data remain limited. We investigated the outcomes of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who received nivolumab, with an emphasis on hyper-progressive disease (HPD).

Methods: This retrospective study enrolled stage IV NSCLC patients who received nivolumab after progression on prior chemotherapy between July 2016 and June 2018 at a single center in Korea. HPD was defined by response evaluation criteria in solid tumors as progression at the first evaluation, with a ≥ two-fold increase in the tumor growth rate during nivolumab treatment.

Results: A total of 83 patients with a median age of 60 years were enrolled [squamous, 25(30%) and non-squamous, 58(70%)]. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.6 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82-4.31] and 8.6 months (95% CI 5.56-11.59), respectively. HPD developed in 16 (19.2%). The median OS of HPD patients was 2.2 months (95% CI 0.92-3.75) compared with 4.1 months for progressive disease (PD) patients without HPD (95% CI 1.54-6.67). Among patients with pleura or pericardium metastasis, increased effusion was seen more frequently in HPD patients compared with PD patients without HPD [90% (9/10) vs. 28.6% (4/14); p = 0.005]. HPD patients also showed a significant decrease in circulating albumin after treatment with nivolumab (p = 0.030).

Conclusion: Although the efficacy of nivolumab in real-world patients was comparable to that seen in clinical trials, clinicians should be aware of HPD because it is not uncommon and represents a worse prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-020-03293-9DOI Listing
November 2020
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