Publications by authors named "Diego Cortinovis"

109 Publications

The "digital biopsy" in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): a pilot study to predict the PD-L1 status from radiomics features of [18F]FDG PET/CT.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2022 Apr 11. Epub 2022 Apr 11.

School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milan-Bicocca, Monza, Lombardy, Italy.

Purpose: The present pilot study investigates the putative role of radiomics from [18F]FDG PET/CT scans to predict PD-L1 expression status in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

Methods: In a retrospective cohort of 265 patients with biopsy-proven NSCLC, 86 with available PD-L1 immunohistochemical (IHC) assessment and [18F]FDG PET/CT scans have been selected to find putative metabolic markers that predict PD-L1 status (< 1%, 1-49%, and ≥ 50% as per tumor proportion score, clone 22C3). Metabolic parameters have been extracted from three different PET/CT scanners (Discovery 600, Discovery IQ, and Discovery MI) and radiomics features were computed with IBSI compliant algorithms on the original image and on images filtered with LLL and HHH coif1 wavelet, obtaining 527 features per tumor. Univariate and multivariate analysis have been performed to compare PD-L1 expression status and selected radiomic features.

Results: Of the 86 analyzed cases, 46 (53%) were negative for PD-L1 IHC, 13 (15%) showed low PD-L1 expression (1-49%), and 27 (31%) were strong expressors (≥ 50%). Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) demonstrated a significant ability to discriminate strong expressor cases at univariate analysis (p = 0.032), but failed to discriminate PD-L1 positive patients (PD-L1 ≥ 1%). Three radiomics features appeared the ablest to discriminate strong expressors: (1) a feature representing the average high frequency lesion content in a spherical VOI (p = 0.009); (2) a feature assessing the correlation between adjacent voxels on the high frequency lesion content (p = 0.004); (3) a feature that emphasizes the presence of small zones with similar grey levels inside the lesion (p = 0.003). The tri-variate linear discriminant model combining the three features achieved a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 82% in the test. The ability of radiomics to predict PD-L1 positive patients was instead scarce.

Conclusions: Our data indicate a possible role of the [18F]FDG PET radiomics in predicting strong PD-L1 expression; these preliminary data need to be confirmed on larger or single-scanner series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-022-05783-zDOI Listing
April 2022

First-in-human, open-label, phase 1/2 study of the monoclonal antibody programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) inhibitor cetrelimab (JNJ-63723283) in patients with advanced cancers.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2022 04 17;89(4):499-514. Epub 2022 Mar 17.

Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal Medical Oncology Division, START Madrid-CIOCC, Sanchinarro University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.

Purpose: To assess the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and preliminary efficacy of cetrelimab (JNJ-63723283), a monoclonal antibody programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) inhibitor, in patients with advanced/refractory solid tumors in the phase 1/2 LUC1001 study.

Methods: In phase 1, patients with advanced solid tumors received intravenous cetrelimab 80, 240, 460, or 800 mg every 2 weeks (Q2W) or 480 mg Q4W. In phase 2, patients with melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H)/DNA mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancer (CRC) received cetrelimab 240 mg Q2W. Response was assessed Q8W until Week 24 and Q12W thereafter.

Results: In phase 1, 58 patients received cetrelimab. Two dose-limiting toxicities were reported and two recommended phase 2 doses (RP2D) were defined (240 mg Q2W or 480 mg Q4W). After a first dose, mean maximum serum concentrations (C) ranged from 24.7 to 227.0 µg/mL; median time to C ranged from 2.0 to 3.2 h. Pharmacodynamic effect was maintained throughout the dosing period across doses. In phase 2, 146 patients received cetrelimab 240 mg Q2W. Grade ≥ 3 adverse events (AEs) occurred in 53.9% of patients. Immune-related AEs (any grade) occurred in 35.3% of patients (grade ≥ 3 in 6.9%). Overall response rate was 18.6% across tumor types, 34.3% in NSCLC, 52.6% in programmed death ligand 1-high (≥ 50% by immunohistochemistry) NSCLC, 28.0% in melanoma, and 23.8% in centrally confirmed MSI-H CRC.

Conclusions: The RP2D for cetrelimab was established. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics, safety profile, and clinical activity of cetrelimab in immune-sensitive advanced cancers were consistent with known PD-1 inhibitors.

Trial Registrations: NCT02908906 at ClinicalTrials.gov, September 21, 2016; EudraCT 2016-002,017-22 at clinicaltrialsregister.eu, Jan 11, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-022-04414-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8956549PMC
April 2022

A primarily clinician's responsibility.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2022 Feb 23:e29612. Epub 2022 Feb 23.

San Gerardo Hospital, Medical Oncology, Monza, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.29612DOI Listing
February 2022

Host immune-inflammatory markers to unravel the heterogeneous outcome and assessment of patients with PD-L1 ≥50% metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and poor performance status receiving first-line immunotherapy.

Thorac Cancer 2022 02 22;13(3):483-488. Epub 2021 Dec 22.

Medical Oncology, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy.

Background: Patients with programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) ≥50% metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) and ECOG performance status (PS) of 2 treated with first-line immunotherapy have heterogeneous clinical assessment and outcomes.

Methods: To explore the role of immune-inflammatory surrogates by the validated lung immuno-oncology prognostic score (LIPS) score, including the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the pretreatment use of steroids, alongside other prognostic variables. A retrospective analysis of 128 patients with PS2 and PD-L1 ≥50% mNSCLC treated between April 2018 and September 2019 with first-line pembrolizumab in a real-world setting was performed.

Results: With a median follow-up of 15.3 months, the 1-year overall survival (OS) and median progression-free survival (PFS) were 32.3% (95% CI: 30.9-33.9) and 3.3 months (95% CI: 1.8-4.7), respectively. The NLR, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and pretreatment steroids results were the only significant prognostic factors on the univariate analysis and independent prognostic factors by the multivariate analysis on both OS and PFS. The LIPS score, including the NLR and pretreatment steroids, identified 29 (23%) favourable-risk patients, with 0 factors, 1-year OS of 67.6% and median PFS of 8.2 months; 57 (45%) intermediate-risk patients, with 1 factor, 1-year OS 32.1% and median PFS 2.7 months; 42 (33%) poor-risk patients, with both factors, 1-year OS of 10.7% and median PFS of 1.2 months.

Conclusions: The assessment of pre-existing imbalance of the host immune response by combined blood and clinical immune-inflammatory markers may represent a way to unravel the heterogeneous outcome and assessment of patients with mNSCLC and poor PS in the immune-oncology setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.14256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8807213PMC
February 2022

Anti PD-L1 antibody: is there a histologic-oriented efficacy? Focus on atezolizumab in squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer.

Front Biosci (Schol Ed) 2021 12;13(2):190-201

Oncology Unit, ASST-Monza, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, 20900 Monza-Brianza, Italy.

Squamous cell lung cancer (SqCLC) is the second most common histotype of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and is characterized by severe prognosis and lack of specific target agents. Atezolizumab is the first anti Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PDL-1) inhibitor approved for NSCLC patients of both histology in case of disease progression after first or further lines of therapy. Numerous studies are investigating the potential role of atezolizumab in different therapeutic setting, including SqCLC subtype. We searched for published clinical trials in Pubmed database, using the terms "atezolizumab", "squamous cell lung cancer", "NSCLC" and "non-small cell lung cancer". We also searched for recently concluded and not yet published or ongoing trials in clinicaltrials.gov and in data from the latest international congresses. The aim of this review is to summarize current evidence on atezolizumab in SqCLC, from first line setting to novel potential indications from ongoing trials. Strengths and weaknesses of atezolizumab treatment were highlighted to speculate the role of this immune checkpoint inhibitor in novel future clinical scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.52586/S562DOI Listing
December 2021

Vanishing bile duct syndrome following pembrolizumab infusion: case report and review of the literature.

Immunotherapy 2022 03 7;14(4):175-181. Epub 2021 Dec 7.

Oncology Unit, ASST Monza San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, 20900, Italy.

PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors demonstrate high efficacy in non-small-cell lung cancer and are now routinely used in clinical practice. Severe immune-related adverse events are reported in about 5% of patients, requiring hospitalization and possibly leading to death. We present a rare case of vanishing bile duct syndrome that arose a few days after the first pembrolizumab infusion. Laboratory tests and radiological imaging studies were performed to orient diagnosis and monitor the disease, while the evidence of ductal loss on the histological sample was pathognomonic for vanishing bile duct syndrome. High-dose steroid therapy and immunosuppressors were administered, resulting in scarce efficacy. Prompt recognition and management of similar conditions is crucial to avoid fatal events. Further studies are needed to investigate new drugs for steroid-refractory conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/imt-2021-0078DOI Listing
March 2022

Epidermal growth factor receptor exon 20 insertion variants in non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2022 Jan 18;169:103536. Epub 2021 Nov 18.

Department of Oncology, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano, Italy. Electronic address:

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertions occur rarely among different cancer types, with the highest frequency reported among non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, particularly adenocarcinomas (ADCs). Exon 20 insertions fall back in the tyrosine kinase domain, and can be clustered into two principal groups represented by in frame insertions and three to 21 bp (corresponding to 1-7 amino acids) duplications within amino acids 762 and 774. The identification of these alterations is key for an adequate management of NSCLC patients due to the possibility to treat these patients with specific targeted therapies. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, able to detect several hotspot gene mutations for different patients simultaneously, is the best detection approach due to its higher sensitivity and specificity compared to other techniques. Here we reviewed the principal biological characteristics, the main detection technologies and treatment options for NSCLC patients harbouring EGFR exon 20 insertions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2021.103536DOI Listing
January 2022

The Association between Vitamin D and Gut Microbiota: A Systematic Review of Human Studies.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 26;13(10). Epub 2021 Sep 26.

Department of Experimental Oncology, IEO European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, 20141 Milan, Italy.

Recent evidence has shown a number of extra-skeletal functions of Vitamin D (VD), primarily involving the immune system. One of these functions is mediated by the modulation of gut microbiota, whose alterations are linked to many diseases. Our purpose is to contribute to the understanding of existing evidence on the association between VD and gastrointestinal microbiota alterations. A systematic review of studies with human subjects has been conducted up to January 2021. We included publications reporting the association between gut microbiota and VD, including VD supplementation, dietary VD intake and/or level of 25(OH)D. We identified 25 studies: 14 were interventional and 11, observational. VD supplementation was found to be associated with a significant change in microbiome composition, in particular of , and phyla. Furthermore, were found to be correlated with serum VD. Concerning alpha and beta diversity, a high nutritional intake of VD seems to induce a shift in bacterial composition and/or affects the species' richness. and families, in the phylum, more frequently decreased with both increasing levels of 25(OH)D and vitamin D supplementation. We found evidence of an association, even though the studies are substantially heterogeneous and have some limitations, resulting sometimes in conflicting results. To further understand the role of VD on the modulation of the gastrointestinal microbiota, future research should be geared toward well-designed animal-based studies or larger randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13103378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8540279PMC
September 2021

New Advances in Liquid Biopsy Technologies for Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK)-Positive Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Oct 14;13(20). Epub 2021 Oct 14.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy.

Cancer cells are characterized by high genetic instability, that favors tumor relapse. The identification of the genetic causes of relapse can direct next-line therapeutic choices. As tumor tissue rebiopsy at disease progression is not always feasible, noninvasive alternative methods are being explored. Liquid biopsy is emerging as a non-invasive, easy and repeatable tool to identify specific molecular alterations and monitor disease response during treatment. The dynamic follow-up provided by this analysis can provide useful predictive information and allow prompt therapeutic actions, tailored to the genetic profile of the recurring disease, several months before radiographic relapse. Oncogenic fusion genes are particularly suited for this type of analysis. Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) is the dominant driver oncogene in several tumors, including Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and others. Here we review recent findings in liquid biopsy technologies, including ctDNA, CTCs, exosomes, and other markers that can be investigated from plasma samples, in ALK-positive cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13205149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8534237PMC
October 2021

Vitamin D Supplementation and Cancer Mortality: Narrative Review of Observational Studies and Clinical Trials.

Nutrients 2021 Sep 21;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Experimental Oncology, IEO, European Institute of Oncology IRCCS, 20141 Milan, Italy.

Several studies have investigated the beneficial effects of vitamin D on survival of cancer patients. Overall evidence has been accumulating with contrasting results. This paper aims at narratively reviewing the existing articles examining the link between vitamin D supplementation and cancer mortality. We performed two distinct searches to identify observational (ObS) studies and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of vitamin D supplementation (VDS) in cancer patients and cohorts of general population, which included cancer mortality as an outcome. Published reports were gathered until March 2021. We identified 25 papers published between 2003 and 2020, including n. 8 RCTs on cancer patients, n. 8 population RCTs and n. 9 ObS studies. There was some evidence that the use of VDS in cancer patients could improve cancer survival, but no significant effect was found in population RCTs. Some ObS studies reported evidence that VDS was associated with a longer survival among cancer patients, and only one study found an opposite effect. The findings do not allow conclusive answers. VDS may have the potential as treatment to improve survival in cancer patients, but further investigations are warranted. We strongly support investment in well-designed and sufficiently powered RCTs to fully evaluate this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13093285DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8466115PMC
September 2021

Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer: a literature review.

Transl Lung Cancer Res 2021 Jul;10(7):3385-3400

Marlene and Stewart Greenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Objective: This review aims to summarize the possibilities of recently discovered molecular diagnostic techniques in lung cancer, by evaluating their impact on diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis in oligometastatic disease.

Background: Oligometastatic non-small cell lung cancer (OM-NSCLC) is currently defined based on morphological rather than biological features. Major advances in the detection of molecular biomarkers in cell-free tumoral DNA and the models of oncogene addiction make as feasible an early diagnosis and guide the therapeutic decision-making progress to improve the prognosis.

Methods: This narrative review EXAMINES current approaches of diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of OM-NSCLC and describes the fast-evolving therapeutic scenario of this disease. We provide an overview of the powerful capability of liquid biopsy techniques applied to blood and fluid and we focus on the technological advancement of circulant biomolecular factors in OM NSCLC pathology, starting from apparently simpler models such as oncogene addicted tumors to evaluate themselves in the light of treatment with immune-checkpoint inhibitors.

Conclusions: A better understanding of spatial and temporal evolution of oligometastatic diseases would contribute to a more accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment. Data from prospective clinical trials in the early stage of disease, coupled with knowledge of genetic characteristics of lung tumors, are warranted. These efforts would lead to improving the possibility to eradicate the residual disease in these low burden tumoral settings, thus enhancing the definitive cure perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tlcr-20-1067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8350105PMC
July 2021

Treatment Patterns, Clinical Outcomes and Healthcare Costs of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Real-World Evaluation in Italy.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jul 29;13(15). Epub 2021 Jul 29.

National Centre for Healthcare Research and Pharmacoepidemiology, 20126 Milan, Italy.

We aimed at describing treatment pathways, clinical outcomes and healthcare costs of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Lombardy Region, Italy. Using healthcare administrative data, 37,562 patients with a new diagnosis of lung cancer between 2012 and 2019 were identified. Among these, patients who started a first-line treatment for advanced NSCLC with either pembrolizumab ( = 660) or tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKI) ( = 1245) before 30 June 2020 were included in the study cohort and followed-up until 31 December 2020. Among pembrolizumab users, median time-to-treatment failure (TTF) and median overall survival (OS) were 3.2 months and 13.6 months, respectively. About one third (34.1%) switched to second-line treatment (chemotherapy for all of them). Among TKI users, median TTF and median OS were 9.3 months and 18.4 months, respectively, and 37.1% of patients started second-line treatment (17.8% with TKI and 19.2% with chemotherapy). Average per-patient cumulative healthcare costs during the first year after first-line treatment start were 51,735 € and 30,708 €, respectively, in pembrolizumab and TKI first-line users. These results are coherent with those reported from other real--world studies and may help both clinicians and health decision makers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13153809DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345176PMC
July 2021

Dexamethasone-Sparing Regimens with Oral Netupitant and Palonosetron for the Prevention of Emesis Caused by High-Dose Cisplatin: A Randomized Noninferiority Study.

Oncologist 2021 10 18;26(10):e1854-e1861. Epub 2021 Jun 18.

Medical Oncology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

Background: To reduce the overall exposure to dexamethasone (DEX) in patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy, we evaluated the noninferiority of DEX on day 1, with or without low-dose DEX on days 2 and 3, combined with an oral fixed-dose combination of netupitant and palonosetron (NEPA), compared with the guideline-consistent use of 4-day DEX.

Patients And Methods: In this open-label, multicenter study, chemotherapy-naïve patients undergoing high-dose cisplatin (≥70 mg/m ), were given NEPA and DEX (12 mg) on day 1 and randomized (1:1:1 ratio) to receive either (a) no further DEX (DEX1), (b) oral DEX (4 mg daily) on days 2-3 (DEX3), or (c) DEX (4 mg twice daily) on days 2-4 (DEX4). The primary efficacy endpoint was complete response (CR: no emesis and no rescue medication) during the 5-day overall phase. The noninferiority margin was set at -15% difference (DEX1 or DEX3 minus DEX4). Secondary efficacy endpoints included complete protection (CP: CR and none or mild nausea).

Results: Two-hundred twenty-eight patients, 76 in each arm, were assessable. Noninferiority was met for both DEX-sparing regimens and the reference arm, with overall phase CR rates of 76.3% in each of the DEX1 and DEX3 arms and 75.0% in the DEX4 arm (95% confidence interval, -12.3% to 15% for each comparison). During the overall phase, CP rates were similar between groups.

Conclusion: A simplified regimen of NEPA plus single-dose DEX offers comparable chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting prevention throughout 5 days post-chemotherapy with the advantage of sparing patients additional doses of DEX in the high-emetic-risk setting of cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

Implications For Practice: Dexamethasone (DEX) has traditionally played an integral role in the management of chemotherapy-induced emesis. Although generally considered safe, even short-term DEX use is associated with various side effects, and some evidence suggests that concurrent steroids may reduce the efficacy of immunotherapies. This study demonstrates comparable antiemetic control during the 5 days post-chemotherapy with a simplified regimen of netupitant/palonosetron plus single-dose DEX versus the standard 4-day DEX reference treatment in high-dose cisplatin. This represents a clinically relevant achievement as it not only simplifies antiemetic prophylaxis but also offers an opportunity to appropriately use in patients where caution with corticosteroid use is advised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488764PMC
October 2021

Predictive ability of a drug-based score in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer receiving first-line immunotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2021 06 3;150:224-231. Epub 2021 May 3.

Medical Oncology, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy.

Background: We previously demonstrated the cumulative poor prognostic role of concomitant medications on the clinical outcome of patients with advanced cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, creating and validating a drug-based prognostic score to be calculated before immunotherapy initiation in patients with advanced solid tumours. This 'drug score' was calculated assigning score 1 for each between proton-pump inhibitor and antibiotic administration until a month before cancer therapy initiation and score 2 in case of corticosteroid intake. The good risk group included patients with score 0, intermediate risk with score 1-2 and poor risk with score 3-4.

Methods: Aiming at validating the prognostic and putative predictive ability depending on the anticancer therapy, we performed the present comparative analysis in two cohorts of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), respectively, receiving first-line pembrolizumab or chemotherapy through a random case-control matching and through a pooled multivariable analysis including the interaction between the computed score and the therapeutic modality (pembrolizumab vs chemotherapy).

Results: Nine hundred fifty and 595 patients were included in the pembrolizumab and chemotherapy cohorts, respectively. After the case-control random matching, 589 patients from the pembrolizumab cohort and 589 from the chemotherapy cohort were paired, with no statistically significant differences between the characteristics of the matched subjects. Among the pembrolizumab-treated group, good, intermediate and poor risk evaluable patients achieved an objective response rate (ORR) of 50.0%, 37.7% and 23.4%, respectively, (p < 0.0001), whereas among the chemotherapy-treated group, patients achieved an ORR of 37.0%, 40.0% and 32.4%, respectively (p = 0.4346). The median progression-free survival (PFS) of good, intermediate and poor risk groups was 13.9 months, 6.3 months and 2.8 months, respectively, within the pembrolizumab cohort (p < 0.0001), and 6.2 months, 6.2 months and 4.3 months, respectively, within the chemotherapy cohort (p = 0.0280). Among the pembrolizumab-treated patients, the median overall survival (OS) for good, intermediate and poor risk patients was 31.4 months, 14.5 months and 5.8 months, respectively, (p < 0.0001), whereas among the chemotherapy-treated patients, it was 18.3 months, 16.8 months and 10.6 months, respectively (p = 0.0003). A similar trend was reported considering the two entire populations. At the pooled analysis, the interaction term between the score and the therapeutic modality was statistically significant with respect to ORR (p = 0.0052), PFS (p = 0.0003) and OS (p < 0.0001), confirming the significantly different effect of the score within the two cohorts.

Conclusion: Our 'drug score' showed a predictive ability with respect to ORR in the immunotherapy cohort only, suggesting it might be a useful tool for identifying patients unlikely to benefit from first-line single-agent pembrolizumab. In addition, the prognostic stratification in terms of PFS and OS was significantly more pronounced among the pembrolizumab-treated patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.03.041DOI Listing
June 2021

Metabolic Parameters as Biomarkers of Response to Immunotherapy and Prognosis in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): A Real World Experience.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 1;13(7). Epub 2021 Apr 1.

School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, 20900 Monza, Italy.

Immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been proven to have great efficacy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as single agents or in combination therapy, being capable to induce deep and durable remission. However, severe adverse events may occur and about 40% of patients do not benefit from the treatment. Predictive factors of response to ICIs are needed in order to customize treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the correlation between quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) parameters defined before starting ICI therapy and responses to treatment and patient outcome. We retrospectively analyzed 92 NSCLC patients treated with nivolumab, pembrolizumab or atezolizumab. Basal PET/computed tomography (CT) scan parameters (whole-body metabolic tumor volume-wMTV, total lesion glycolysis-wTLG, higher standardized uptake volume maximum and mean-SUVmax and SUVmean) were calculated for each patient and correlated with outcomes. Patients who achieved disease control (complete response + partial response + stable disease) had significantly lower MTV median values than patients who had not (progressive disease) (77 vs. 160.2, = 0.039). Furthermore, patients with MTV and TLG values lower than the median values had improved OS compared to patients with higher MTV and TLG ( = 0.03 and 0.05, respectively). No relation was found between the other parameters and outcome. In conclusion, baseline metabolic tumor burden, measured with MTV, might be an independent predictor of treatment response to ICI and a prognostic biomarker in NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13071634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037395PMC
April 2021

Differential influence of antibiotic therapy and other medications on oncological outcomes of patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with first-line pembrolizumab versus cytotoxic chemotherapy.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 04;9(4)

Pneumo-Oncology Unit, Ospedali dei Colli Monaldi Cotugno CTO, Napoli, Italy.

Background: Some concomitant medications including antibiotics (ATB) have been reproducibly associated with worse survival following immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in unselected patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (according to programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and treatment line). Whether such relationship is causative or associative is matter of debate.

Methods: We present the outcomes analysis according to concomitant baseline medications (prior to ICI initiation) with putative immune-modulatory effects in a large cohort of patients with metastatic NSCLC with a PD-L1 expression ≥50%, receiving first-line pembrolizumab monotherapy. We also evaluated a control cohort of patients with metastatic NSCLC treated with first-line chemotherapy. The interaction between key medications and therapeutic modality (pembrolizumab vs chemotherapy) was validated in pooled multivariable analyses.

Results: 950 and 595 patients were included in the pembrolizumab and chemotherapy cohorts, respectively. Corticosteroid and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy but not ATB therapy was associated with poorer performance status at baseline in both the cohorts. No association with clinical outcomes was found according to baseline statin, aspirin, β-blocker and metformin within the pembrolizumab cohort. On the multivariable analysis, ATB emerged as a strong predictor of worse overall survival (OS) (HR=1.42 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.79); p=0.0024), and progression free survival (PFS) (HR=1.29 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.59); p=0.0192) in the pembrolizumab but not in the chemotherapy cohort. Corticosteroids were associated with shorter PFS (HR=1.69 (95% CI 1.42 to 2.03); p<0.0001), and OS (HR=1.93 (95% CI 1.59 to 2.35); p<0.0001) following pembrolizumab, and shorter PFS (HR=1.30 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.56), p=0.0046) and OS (HR=1.58 (95% CI 1.29 to 1.94), p<0.0001), following chemotherapy. PPIs were associated with worse OS (HR=1.49 (95% CI 1.26 to 1.77); p<0.0001) with pembrolizumab and shorter OS (HR=1.12 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.24), p=0.0139), with chemotherapy. At the pooled analysis, there was a statistically significant interaction with treatment (pembrolizumab vs chemotherapy) for corticosteroids (p=0.0020) and PPIs (p=0.0460) with respect to OS, for corticosteroids (p<0.0001), ATB (p=0.0290), and PPIs (p=0.0487) with respect to PFS, and only corticosteroids (p=0.0033) with respect to objective response rate.

Conclusion: In this study, we validate the significant negative impact of ATB on pembrolizumab monotherapy but not chemotherapy outcomes in NSCLC, producing further evidence about their underlying immune-modulatory effect. Even though the magnitude of the impact of corticosteroids and PPIs is significantly different across the cohorts, their effects might be driven by adverse disease features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002421DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8031700PMC
April 2021

Novel Cytotoxic Chemotherapies in Small Cell Lung Carcinoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 8;13(5). Epub 2021 Mar 8.

SC Oncologia Medica Toraco-Polmonare, IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Fondazione Pascale, 80100 Napoli, Italy.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is one of the deadliest thoracic neoplasms, in part due to its fast doubling time and early metastatic spread. Historically, cytotoxic chemotherapy consisting of platinum-etoposide or anthracycline-based regimens has demonstrated a high response rate, but early chemoresistance leads to a poor prognosis in advanced SCLC. Only a fraction of patients with limited-disease can be cured by chemo-radiotherapy. Given the disappointing survival rates in advanced SCLC, new cytotoxic agents are eagerly awaited. Unfortunately, few novel chemotherapy drugs have been developed in the latest decades. This review describes the results and potential application in the clinical practice of novel chemotherapy agents for SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962524PMC
March 2021

Post-progression outcomes of NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥ 50% receiving first-line single-agent pembrolizumab in a large multicentre real-world study.

Eur J Cancer 2021 05 12;148:24-35. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Medical Oncology, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy.

Background: Treatment sequencing with first-line immunotherapy, followed by second-line chemotherapy, is still a viable option for NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50%.

Methods: We evaluated post-progression treatment pathways in a large real-world cohort of metastatic NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥ 50% treated with first-line pembrolizumab monotherapy.

Results: Overall, 974 patients were included. With a median follow-up of 22.7 months (95%CI: 21.6-38.2), the median overall survival (OS) of the entire population was 15.8 months (95%CI: 13.5-17.5; 548 events). At the data cutoff, among the 678 patients who experienced disease progression, 379 (55.9%) had not received any further treatment, and 359 patients (52.9%) had died. Patients who did not receive post-progression therapies were older (p = 0.0011), with a worse ECOG-PS (p < 0.0001) and were on corticosteroids prior to pembrolizumab (p = 0.0024). At disease progression, 198 patients (29.2%) received a switched approach and 101 (14.9%) received pembrolizumab ByPD either alone (64 [9.4%]) or in combination with local ablative treatments (37 [5.5%]) (LATs). After a random-case control matching according to ECOG-PS, CNS metastases, bone metastases, and (previous) best response to pembrolizumab, patients receiving pembrolizumab ByPD plus LATs were confirmed to have a significantly longer post-progression OS compared to patients receiving pembrolizumab ByPD alone 13.9 months versus 7.8 months (p = 0.0179) 241 patients (35.5%) among the 678 who had experienced PD, received a second-line systemic treatment (regardless of previous treatment beyond PD). As compared to first-line treatment commencement, patients' features at the moment of second-line initiation showed a significantly higher proportion of patients aged under 70 years (p = 0.0244), with a poorer ECOG-PS (p < 0.0001) and having CNS (p = 0.0001), bone (p = 0.0266) and liver metastases (p = 0.0148).

Conclusions: In the real-world scenario NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50% treated with first-line single-agent pembrolizumab achieve worse outcomes as compared to the Keynote-024 trial. Poor post-progression outcomes are major determinants of the global results that should be considered when counselling patients for first-line treatment choices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.005DOI Listing
May 2021

RAS as a positive predictive biomarker: focus on lung and colorectal cancer patients.

Eur J Cancer 2021 03 12;146:74-83. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Oncology, San Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, University of Turin, Orbassano, Italy.

Rat sarcoma (RAS) oncogenes have intensively been investigated during the last decades. Taking into account all human tumours, Kirsten Rat Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (KRAS) gene is the most frequently mutated (about 22%) among the three isoforms, followed by Neuroblastoma RAS Viral Oncogene Homolog (NRAS) (8%) and Harvey Rat Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (HRAS) (3%). In the last years, careful attention has been paid on KRAS and NRAS gene mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) patients because of their prognostic and predictive roles. In particular, a large body of literature data has been generated investigating clinical outcomes of targeted treatments in NSCLC and CRC KRAS- and NRAS-mutated patients. The latest evidences are here reviewed, providing also an overview of the real-world RAS mutation testing practice across different Italian laboratories. On this basis, we propose a knowledge-based system, www.rasatlas.com, to support the healthcare personnel in the management of patients featuring RAS gene mutations in the landscape of precision oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.015DOI Listing
March 2021

Smoking status during first-line immunotherapy and chemotherapy in NSCLC patients: A case-control matched analysis from a large multicenter study.

Thorac Cancer 2021 03 1;12(6):880-889. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Thoracic Oncology Unit, Clinical Cancer Center IRCCS Istituto Tumori "Giovanni Paolo II", Bari, Italy.

Background: Improved outcome in tobacco smoking patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following immunotherapy has previously been reported. However, little is known regarding this association during first-line immunotherapy in patients with high PD-L1 expression. In this study we compared clinical outcomes according to the smoking status of two large multicenter cohorts.

Methods: We compared clinical outcomes according to the smoking status (never smokers vs. current/former smokers) of two retrospective multicenter cohorts of metastatic NSCLC patients, treated with first-line pembrolizumab and platinum-based chemotherapy.

Results: A total of 962 NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50% who received first-line pembrolizumab and 462 NSCLC patients who received first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were included in the study. Never smokers were confirmed to have a significantly higher risk of disease progression (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.49 [95% CI: 1.15-1.92], p = 0.0022) and death (HR = 1.38 [95% CI: 1.02-1.87], p = 0.0348) within the pembrolizumab cohort. On the contrary, a nonsignificant trend towards a reduced risk of disease progression (HR = 0.74 [95% CI: 0.52-1.05], p = 0.1003) and death (HR = 0.67 [95% CI: 0.45-1.01], p = 0.0593) were reported for never smokers within the chemotherapy cohort. After a random case-control matching, 424 patients from both cohorts were paired. Within the matched pembrolizumab cohort, never smokers had a significantly shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (HR = 1.68 [95% CI: 1.17-2.40], p = 0.0045) and a nonsignificant trend towards a shortened overall survival (OS) (HR = 1.32 [95% CI: 0.84-2.07], p = 0.2205). On the contrary, never smokers had a significantly longer PFS (HR = 0.68 [95% CI: 0.49-0.95], p = 0.0255) and OS (HR = 0.66 [95% CI: 0.45-0.97], p = 0,0356) compared to current/former smoker patients within the matched chemotherapy cohort. On pooled multivariable analysis, the interaction term between smoking status and treatment modality was concordantly statistically significant with respect to ORR (p = 0.0074), PFS (p = 0.0001) and OS (p = 0.0020), confirming the significantly different impact of smoking status across the two cohorts.

Conclusions: Among metastatic NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50% receiving first-line pembrolizumab, current/former smokers experienced improved PFS and OS. On the contrary, worse outcomes were reported among current/former smokers receiving first-line chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952794PMC
March 2021

RNA-Based Assay for Next-Generation Sequencing of Clinically Relevant Gene Fusions in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 4;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Gene fusions represent novel predictive biomarkers for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we validated a narrow NGS gene panel able to cover therapeutically-relevant gene fusions and splicing events in advanced-stage NSCLC patients. To this aim, we first assessed minimal complementary DNA (cDNA) input and the limit of detection (LoD) in different cell lines. Then, to evaluate the feasibility of applying our panel to routine clinical samples, we retrospectively selected archived lung adenocarcinoma histological and cytological (cell blocks) samples. Overall, our SiRe RNA fusion panel was able to detect all fusions and a splicing event harbored in a RNA pool diluted up to 2 ng/µL. It also successfully analyzed 46 (95.8%) out of 48 samples. Among these, 43 (93.5%) out of 46 samples reproduced the same results as those obtained with conventional techniques. Intriguingly, the three discordant results were confirmed by a CE-IVD automated real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis (Easy PGX platform, Diatech Pharmacogenetics, Jesi, Italy). Based on these findings, we conclude that our new SiRe RNA fusion panel is a valid and robust tool for the detection of clinically relevant gene fusions and splicing events in advanced NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796105PMC
January 2021

High Prevalence and Early Occurrence of Skeletal Complications in EGFR Mutated NSCLC Patients With Bone Metastases.

Front Oncol 2020 12;10:588862. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Medical Oncology, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health University of Brescia, ASST-Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy.

Objectives: The prevalence of Skeletal Related Adverse Events (SREs) in EGFR mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with bone metastases, treated with modern tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), has been scarcely investigated.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the data of EGFR mutated NSCLC patients with bone metastases treated with TKIs in 12 Italian centers from 2014 to 2019, with the primary aim to explore type and frequency of SREs.

Results: Seventy-seven out of 274 patients enrolled (28%) developed at least one major SRE: 55/274 (20%) bone fractures, 30/274 (11%) spinal cord compression, 5/274 (2%) hypercalcemia. Median time to the onset of SRE was 3.63 months. Nine patients (3%) underwent bone surgery and 150 (55%) radiation therapy on bone. SREs were more frequently observed within the 12 months from TKI start than afterwards (71 29%, p 0.000). Patient Performance Status and liver metastases where independently associated with the risk of developing SREs. Median TKI exposure and overall survival were 11 and 28 months, respectively. Bone resorption inhibitors were associated with a lower risk of death (HR 0.722, 95% CI: 0.504-1.033, p = 0.075) although not statistically significant at multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Bone metastatic NSCLC patients with EGFR mutated disease, treated with EGFR TKIs, have a relatively long survival expectancy and are at high risk to develop SREs. The early SRE occurrence after the TKI start provides the rationale to administer bone resorption inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.588862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689017PMC
November 2020

Atezolizumab Versus Docetaxel in Pretreated Patients With NSCLC: Final Results From the Randomized Phase 2 POPLAR and Phase 3 OAK Clinical Trials.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 01 6;16(1):140-150. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Introduction: The phase 2 POPLAR and phase 3 OAK studies of the anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) immunotherapy atezolizumab in patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC revealed significant improvements in survival versus docetaxel (p = 0.04 and 0.0003, respectively). Longer follow-up permits evaluation of continued benefit of atezolizumab. This study reports the final overall survival (OS) and safety findings from both trials.

Methods: POPLAR randomized 287 patients (atezolizumab, 144; docetaxel, 143) and OAK randomized 1225 patients (atezolizumab, 613; docetaxel, 612). The patients received atezolizumab (1200 mg fixed dose) or docetaxel (75 mg/m) every 3 weeks. Efficacy and safety outcomes were evaluated.

Results: A longer OS was observed in patients receiving atezolizumab versus docetaxel in POPLAR (median OS = 12.6 mo versus 9.7 mo; hazard ratio = 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.58-1.00) and OAK (median OS = 13.3 versus 9.8 mo; hazard ratio = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.68-0.89). The 4-year OS rates in POPLAR were 14.8% (8.7-20.8) and 8.1% (3.2-13.0) and those in OAK were 15.5% (12.4-18.7) and 8.7% (6.2-11.3) for atezolizumab and docetaxel, respectively. Atezolizumab had improved OS benefit compared with docetaxel across all PD-L1 expression and histology groups. Most 4-year survivors in the docetaxel arms received subsequent immunotherapy (POPLAR, 50%; OAK, 65%). Of the 4-year survivors, most had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 and nonsquamous histological classification and approximately half were responders (POPLAR: atezolizumab, seven of 15; docetaxel, three of four; OAK: atezolizumab, 24 of 43; docetaxel, 11 of 26). Treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events occurred in 27% and 16% of atezolizumab 4-year survivors in POPLAR and OAK, respectively.

Conclusions: Long-term follow-up suggests a consistent survival benefit with atezolizumab versus docetaxel in patients with previously treated NSCLC regardless of PD-L1 expression, histology, or subsequent immunotherapy. Atezolizumab had no new safety signals, and the safety profile was similar to that in previous studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.09.022DOI Listing
January 2021

Chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer patients after prior immunotherapy: The multicenter retrospective CLARITY study.

Lung Cancer 2020 12 22;150:123-131. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Oncologia Medica, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy.

Objectives: In the most of cases, for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who progressed to previous immune checkpoint inhibitors (CKI) administered as first- or as second-line therapy, chemotherapy (CT) remains the only viable options in the absence of "druggable" mutations. We aimed to explore the efficacy of salvage chemotherapy after immunotherapy (SCAI) in advanced NSCLC patients.

Materials And Methods: We designed a retrospective, multicenter study, involving 20 Italian centers, with the primary objective of describing the clinical outcome of advanced NSCLC patients treated with SCAI at the participating institutions from November 2013 to July 2019. The primary endpoint of the study was represented by overall survival (OS), defined as the time from CT initiation to death. Secondary outcome endpoints of the SCAI (progression free survival, PFS, objective response rate, ORR and toxicity) and explorative biomarkers (lactate dehydrogenase, LDH, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, NLR during immunotherapy) were also analyzed.

Results: In our study population of 342 NSCLC patients, SCAI obtained a median OS of 6.8 months (95 % confidence interval, CI 5.5-8.1), median PFS of 4.1 months (95 % CI 3.4-4.8) and ORR of 22.8 %. A "Post-CKI score" was constructed by combining significant predictors of OS at the multivariate analyses (sex, ECOG PS, disease control with prior immunotherapy), Harrell'C was 0.65, (95 % CI:0.59-0.71).

Conclusions: Despite the late-line settings, our findings support the hypothesis that previous immunotherapy might increase the sensitivity of the tumor to the subsequent chemotherapy. The "Post-CKI score" was clinically effective in successfully discriminating three distinct prognostic subgroups of patients after the failure of CKI, representing a possibly useful tool for the tailored decision-making process of advanced treatment-line settings in NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.10.008DOI Listing
December 2020

Baseline BMI and BMI variation during first line pembrolizumab in NSCLC patients with a PD-L1 expression ≥ 50%: a multicenter study with external validation.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Medical Oncology Unit, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Roma, Lazio, Italy.

Background: The association between obesity and outcomes in patients receiving programmed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors has already been confirmed in pre-treated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, regardless of PD-L1 tumor expression.

Methods: We present the outcomes analysis according to baseline body mass index (BMI) and BMI variation in a large cohort of metastatic NSCLC patients with a PD-L1 expression ≥50%, receiving first line pembrolizumab. We also evaluated a control cohort of metastatic NSCLC patients treated with first line platinum-based chemotherapy. Normal weight was set as control group.

Results: 962 patients and 426 patients were included in the pembrolizumab and chemotherapy cohorts, respectively. Obese patients had a significantly higher objective response rate (ORR) (OR=1.61 (95% CI: 1.04-2.50)) in the pembrolizumab cohort, while overweight patients had a significantly lower ORR (OR=0.59 (95% CI: 0.37-0.92)) within the chemotherapy cohort. Obese patients had a significantly longer progression-free survival (PFS) (HR=0.61 (95% CI: 0.45-0.82)) in the pembrolizumab cohort. Conversely, they had a significantly shorter PFS in the chemotherapy cohort (HR=1.27 (95% CI: 1.01-1.60)). Obese patients had a significantly longer overall survival (OS) within the pembrolizumab cohort (HR=0.70 (95% CI: 0.49-0.99)), while no significant differences according to baseline BMI were found in the chemotherapy cohort. BMI variation significantly affected ORR, PFS and OS in both the pembrolizumab and the chemotherapy cohorts.

Conclusions: Baseline obesity is associated to significantly improved ORR, PFS and OS in metastatic NSCLC patients with a PD-L1 expression of ≥50%, receiving first line pembrolizumab, but not among patients treated with chemotherapy. BMI variation is also significantly related to clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001403DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7574933PMC
October 2020

Validation of the Italian version of the full and abbreviated Trust in Oncologist Scale.

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl) 2021 Jan 5;30(1):e13334. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano - Bicocca, Milano, Italy.

Introduction: The Trust in Oncologist Scale (TiOS) is an 18-item questionnaire aimed to assess the cancer patients' trust in their oncologist and has been validated in Dutch and English language. This study aims to validate the Italian version of the TiOS (IT-TiOS) and the TiOS-Short Form (IT-TiOS-SF).

Methods: The IT-TiOS was administered to 194 patients recruited in an Italian oncology department from April to December 2018. Data collected included socio-demographic data, health and clinical information, satisfaction with the most recent oncology visit and trust in the regional healthcare system. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, convergent and the structural validity of both the full and short form were tested.

Results: Factor analyses indicated that neither four-factor nor one-factor models of the full scale were acceptable. However, confirmatory factor analysis supported the one-dimensionality of the IT-TiOS-SF, and internal consistency assessed with Cronbach's alpha was 0.88. Mean scores on the IT-TiOS-SF correlated with satisfaction with the oncologist (rs = 0.64) and willingness to recommend the oncologist to others (rs = 0.67), confirming good construct validity.

Conclusion: The IT-TiOS-SF demonstrates good psychometric properties and can be used to assess trust for both clinical and research purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13334DOI Listing
January 2021

Targeted Therapies in Early Stage NSCLC: Hype or Hope?

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Aug 31;21(17). Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Thoracic Oncology Department and Early Phase Clinical Trials Section, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 20742, USA.

Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents roughly 85% of lung cancers, with an incidence that increases yearly across the world. The introduction in clinical practice of several new and more effective molecules has led to a consistent improvement in survival and quality of life in locally advanced and metastatic NSCLC. In particular, oncogenic drivers have indeed transformed the therapeutic algorithm for NSCLC. Nearly 25% of patients are diagnosed in an early stage when NSCLC is still amenable to radical surgery. In spite of this, five-year survival rates for fully resected early stage remains rather disappointing. Adjuvant chemotherapy has shown a modest survival benefit depending on the stage, but more than half of patients relapse. Given this need for improvement, over the last years different targeted therapies have been evaluated in early-stage NSCLC with no survival benefit in unselected patients. However, the identification of reliable predictive biomarkers to these agents in the metastatic setting, the design of molecularly-oriented studies, and the availability of novel potent and less toxic agents opened the way for a novel era in early stage NSCLC treatment. In this review, we will discuss the current landscape of targeted therapeutic options in early NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504271PMC
August 2020

Trabectedin in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Results From the Multicentre, Single Arm, Phase II ATREUS Study.

Clin Lung Cancer 2021 07 3;22(4):361-370.e3. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Oncology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri IRCCS, Milan, Italy.

Introduction: New therapeutic approaches in unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) are eagerly awaited. Trabectedin is an antitumor agent with an effect on cancer cell proliferation and a modulating action on tumor microenvironment. The ATREUS study explored the activity and safety of trabectedin in patients with unresectable MPM.

Methods: Epithelioid patients with MPM received trabectedin as second-line while biphasic/sarcomatoid patients with MPM as first- or second-line therapy. Treatment was given intravenously at an initially planned dose of 1.3 mg/m every 3 weeks, until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival rate at 12 weeks (PFS).

Results: Overall, 78 patients (54%) had epithelioid and 67 (46%) nonepithelioid MPM. PFS in 62 evaluable patients with epithelioid MPM was 43.5% (80% confidence interval 34.9%-52.5%); median progression-free and overall survival were 2.4 and 9.0 months, respectively. PFS in 52 evaluable patients with nonepithelioid MPM was 30.8% (90% confidence interval 20.3%-42.9%); median progression-free and overall survival were 1.7 and 5.4 months. Trabectedin starting dose was amended due to excess of liver toxicity. Eighty-four (64%) and 48 (36%) patients received 1.3 mg/m and 1.1. mg/m, respectively. The most common grade 3-4 toxicities were hepatotoxicity, leukopenia/neutropenia, and fatigue. Grade 3-4 hepatotoxicity was reported in 59 (70%) patients treated at 1.3 mg/m, and in 19 (40%) treated at 1.1 mg/m.

Conclusions: Trabectedin showed modest clinical activity, at the expense of relevant liver toxicity. Further development of this drug in MPM at full doses is not warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2020.06.028DOI Listing
July 2021

Immune-related Adverse Events of Pembrolizumab in a Large Real-world Cohort of Patients With NSCLC With a PD-L1 Expression ≥ 50% and Their Relationship With Clinical Outcomes.

Clin Lung Cancer 2020 11 21;21(6):498-508.e2. Epub 2020 Jun 21.

Department of Oncology, Macerata Hospital, Macerata, Italy.

Background: The role of immune-related adverse events (irAEs), as a surrogate predictor of the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors, has not yet been described in the setting of first-line, single-agent pembrolizumab for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung-cancer (NSCLC) with a programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression of ≥ 50%.

Patients And Methods: We previously conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis in patients with treatment-naive metastatic NSCLC and a PD-L1 expression of ≥ 50% receiving first-line pembrolizumab. Here, we report the results of the irAE analysis and the potential correlation between irAEs and clinical outcomes.

Results: A total of 1010 patients were included in this analysis; after a 6-week landmark selection, 877 (86.8%) patients were included in the efficacy analysis. Any grade irAEs (P < .0001), grade 3/4 irAEs (P = .0025), leading to discontinuation irAEs (P = .0144), multiple-site and single-site irAEs (P < .0001), cutaneous irAEs (P = .0001), endocrine irAEs (P = .0227), pulmonary irAEs (P = .0479), and rheumatologic irAEs (P = .0018) were significantly related to a higher objective response rate. Any grade irAEs (P < .0001), single-site irAEs (P < .0001), multiple-site irAEs (P = .0005), cutaneous irAEs (P = .0042), endocrine irAEs (P < .0001), gastrointestinal irAEs (P = .0391), and rheumatologic irAEs (P = .0086) were significantly related to progression-free survival. Any grade irAEs (P < .0001), single-site irAEs (P < .0001), multiple-site irAEs (P = .0003), cutaneous irAEs (P = .0002), endocrine irAEs (P = .0001), and rheumatologic irAEs (P = .0214) were significantly related to overall survival.

Conclusions: This study confirms the feasibility and the safety of first-line, single-agent pembrolizumab, in a large, real-world cohort of patients with NSCLC with PD-L1 expression ≥ 50%. The occurrence of irAEs may be a surrogate of clinical activity and improved outcomes in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2020.06.010DOI Listing
November 2020

[ALK determination: liquid and tissue biopsy. Comparing techniques and effectiveness of alectinib in a controversial clinical case.]

Recenti Prog Med 2020 Jul-Aug;111(7):17e-20e

ASST Ospedale San Gerardo, Monza.

The next generation sequencing (NGS) applied to liquid biopsy is useful to determine the biomolecular identity of the prevalent neoplastic cell population. The sensitivity of ALK detection in liquid biopsy is comparable to that showed by the gold standard tissue biopsy and its usefulness is demonstrated in clinical practice by the similar efficacy of ALK TKIs to obtain prolonged disease control. ALK ve+ lung cancer today presents a large number of therapeutic opportunities leading to a long/term survival. Correct evaluation of ALK translocation is a paramount in order to guide the correct therapeutic strategy as illustrated in the present clinical case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1701/3407.33930DOI Listing
April 2022
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