Publications by authors named "Elizabeth R Plimack"

156 Publications

Role of immunotherapy in localized muscle invasive urothelial cancer.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2021 22;13:17588359211045858. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.

The standard treatment for non-metastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) is cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy or trimodality therapy with chemoradiation in select patients. Pathologic complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a reliable predictor of overall and disease-specific survival in MIBC. A pCR rate of 35-40% is attained with neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy. With the approval of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer, these agents are now being studied in the neoadjuvant setting for MIBC. We describe the results from clinical trials using single agent ICI, ICI/ICI and ICI/chemotherapy combination therapies in the neoadjuvant setting for MIBC. These single-arm clinical trials have demonstrated safety and pCR comparable to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant ICI is a promising approach for cisplatin-ineligible patients, and the role of adding ICIs to cisplatin-based chemotherapy is also being investigated in randomized phase III clinical trials. Ongoing biomarker research to suggest a response to neoadjuvant ICIs will also guide appropriate treatment selection. We also describe the studies using ICIs for adjuvant therapy and in combination with chemoradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/17588359211045858DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8461126PMC
September 2021

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of urothelial cancer.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 07;9(7)

Department of Urology under Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

A number of immunotherapies have been developed and adopted for the treatment of urothelial cancer (encompassing cancers arising from the bladder, urethra, or renal pelvis). For these immunotherapies to positively impact patient outcomes, optimal selection of agents and treatment scheduling, especially in conjunction with existing treatment paradigms, is paramount. Immunotherapies also warrant specific and unique considerations regarding patient management, emphasizing both the prompt identification and treatment of potential toxicities. In order to address these issues, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a panel of experts in the field of immunotherapy for urothelial cancer. The expert panel developed this clinical practice guideline (CPG) to inform healthcare professionals on important aspects of immunotherapeutic treatment for urothelial cancer, including diagnostic testing, treatment planning, immune-related adverse events (irAEs), and patient quality of life (QOL) considerations. The evidence- and consensus-based recommendations in this CPG are intended to give guidance to cancer care providers treating patients with urothelial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8286774PMC
July 2021

Characterization and Management of Treatment-emergent Hepatic Toxicity in Patients with Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Receiving First-line Pembrolizumab plus Axitinib. Results from the KEYNOTE-426 Trial.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Barts Health and the Royal Free NHS Trusts, Barts Cancer Institute, and Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Background: Pembrolizumab plus axitinib improved efficacy over sunitinib in treatment-naive advanced renal cell carcinoma in the KEYNOTE-426 (NCT02853331) study. However, a relatively high incidence of grade 3/4 aminotransferase elevations was observed.

Objective: To further characterize treatment-emergent aminotransferase elevations in patients treated with pembrolizumab-axitinib.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients enrolled in KEYNOTE-426 were included in this study.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Three Standardized MedDRA Queries for potential hepatic disorders were used to identify patients for the hepatic event analysis subpopulation (HEAS). Alanine aminotransferase events were characterized for time to onset, time to recovery, corticosteroid use, and rechallenge with study treatment(s).

Results And Limitations: The HEAS comprised 189/429 (44%) pembrolizumab-axitinib patients and 128/425 (30%) sunitinib patients. Grade 3/4 hepatic adverse events were more common in the combination arm: 22% (94/429) versus 7% (29/425); 3% (13/429) discontinued the combination due to hepatic adverse events. In the pembrolizumab-axitinib arm, 125/426 patients (29%) had alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≥3× upper limit of normal (ULN), with median time to onset of 84 d (range, 7-840 d). Among patients with ALT ≥3× ULN, 120/125 (96%) recovered to <3× ULN following study treatment interruption/discontinuation, with a median time to recovery of 15 d (3-176 d): 68/120 (57%) received corticosteroids. One hundred patients were rechallenged with one or both study treatment(s): 45/100 (45%) had ALT ≥3× ULN recurrence, and all 45 recovered to ALT <3× ULN following study treatment interruption/discontinuation. No fatal hepatic events occurred.

Conclusions: A higher incidence of grade 3/4 aminotransferase elevations occurs with pembrolizumab-axitinib. These events should be carefully evaluated and managed with prompt study treatment interruption or discontinuation, with or without corticosteroid treatment. The decision to rechallenge with one or both drugs should be based on severity of event and thorough causality assessment.

Patient Summary: Renal cell carcinoma patients receiving pembrolizumab-axitinib are at a higher risk of liver enzyme elevations, which could be reversed with appropriate management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2021.05.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Randomized Phase III Trial of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin With Bevacizumab or Placebo in Patients With Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma: Results of CALGB 90601 (Alliance).

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 14;39(22):2486-2496. Epub 2021 May 14.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: The combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin (GC) is a standard therapy for metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Based on data that angiogenesis plays a role in urothelial carcinoma growth and progression, a randomized placebo-controlled trial was performed with the primary objective of testing whether patients treated with GC and bevacizumab (GCB) have superior overall survival (OS) than patients treated with GC and placebo (GCP).

Patients And Methods: Between July 2009 and December 2014, 506 patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma without prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease and no neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy within 12 months were randomly assigned to receive either GCB or GCP. The primary end point was OS, with secondary end points of progression-free survival, objective response, and toxicity.

Results: With a median follow-up of 76.3 months among alive patients, the median OS was 14.5 months for patients treated with GCB and 14.3 months for patients treated with GCP (hazard ratio for death = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.05; two-sided stratified log-rank = .14). The median progression-free survival was 8.0 months for GCB and 6.7 months for GCP (hazard ratio = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.95; = .016). The proportion of patients with grade 3 or greater adverse events did not differ significantly between both arms, although increased bevacizumab-related toxicities such as hypertension and proteinuria occurred in the bevacizumab-treated arm.

Conclusion: The addition of bevacizumab to GC did not result in improved OS. The observed median OS of about 14 months is consistent with prior phase III trials of cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462587PMC
August 2021

Systemic Therapy for Advanced Non-clear-Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Slow but Definite Progress.

Eur Urol 2021 08 7;80(2):171-173. Epub 2021 May 7.

Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.04.031DOI Listing
August 2021

Inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor-2α in renal cell carcinoma with belzutifan: a phase 1 trial and biomarker analysis.

Nat Med 2021 05 22;27(5):802-805. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

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

Hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) is a transcription factor that frequently accumulates in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), resulting in constitutive activation of genes involved in carcinogenesis. Belzutifan (MK-6482, previously known as PT2977) is a potent, selective small molecule inhibitor of HIF-2α. Maximum tolerated dose, safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and anti-tumor activity of belzutifan were evaluated in this first-in-human phase 1 study (NCT02974738). Patients had advanced solid tumors (dose-escalation cohort) or previously treated advanced ccRCC (dose-expansion cohort). Belzutifan was administered orally using a 3 + 3 dose-escalation design, followed by expansion at the recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) in patients with ccRCC. In the dose-escalation cohort (n = 43), no dose-limiting toxicities occurred at doses up to 160 mg once daily, and the maximum tolerated dose was not reached; the RP2D was 120 mg once daily. Plasma erythropoietin reductions were observed at all doses; erythropoietin concentrations correlated with plasma concentrations of belzutifan. In patients with ccRCC who received 120 mg once daily (n = 55), the confirmed objective response rate was 25% (all partial responses), and the median progression-free survival was 14.5 months. The most common grade ≥3 adverse events were anemia (27%) and hypoxia (16%). Belzutifan was well tolerated and demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity in heavily pre-treated patients, suggesting that HIF-2α inhibition might offer an effective treatment for ccRCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01324-7DOI Listing
May 2021

Safety of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer and malignant ureteric obstruction.

BJU Int 2021 Mar 29. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Objectives: To determine whether patients with carcinoma invading bladder muscle (MIBC) and ureteric obstruction can safely receive cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (C-NAC), and to determine whether such patients require relief of obstruction with a ureteric stent or percutaneous nephrostomy prior to beginning C-NAC.

Patients And Methods: We performed a single-institution retrospective analysis of MIBC patients receiving C-NAC and falling into three groups: no ureteric obstruction (NO); relieved ureteric obstruction (RO); and unrelieved ureteric obstruction (URO). To address whether patients with obstruction can safely receive C-NAC, we compared patients with NO to those with RO, with the primary outcome of premature chemotherapy discontinuation. To investigate whether patients with obstruction should have the obstruction relieved prior to NAC, we compared RO to URO patients using a primary composite outcome of grade ≥ 3 adverse events, premature chemotherapy discontinuation, dose reduction, or dose interruption. The primary outcomes were compared using multivariable logistic regression. Sensitivity analyses were performed for the RO vs URO comparison, in which patients with only mild degrees of obstruction were excluded from the URO group.

Results: A total of 193 patients with NO, 49 with RO, and 35 with URO were analysed. There were no statistically significant differences between those with NO and those with RO in chemotherapy discontinuation (15% vs 22%; P = 0.3) or any secondary outcome. There was no statistically significant difference between those with RO and URO in the primary composite outcome (51% vs 53%; P = 1) or any secondary outcome.

Conclusion: Patients with ureteric obstruction can safely receive C-NAC. Relief of obstruction was not associated with increased safety of C-NAC delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15410DOI Listing
March 2021

Axitinib plus pembrolizumab in patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma: Long-term efficacy and safety from a phase Ib trial.

Eur J Cancer 2021 03 4;145:1-10. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Axitinib plus pembrolizumab showed superior overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) versus sunitinib in a randomised phase III trial in patients with advanced renal-cell carcinoma (RCC). We report long-term efficacy and safety of the axitinib/pembrolizumab from the phase I trial (NCT02133742), after 46-55 months from study initiation (data cut-off date, 23rd July 2019).

Methods: Fifty-two treatment-naïve patients with advanced RCC were treated with oral axitinib 5 mg twice daily and intravenous pembrolizumab 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. PFS, duration of response (DoR) and OS were summarised using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: At a median follow-up of 42.7 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 41.1-44.1), median OS was not reached; 38 (73.1%) patients were alive. The probability of being alive at 4 years was 66.8% (95% CI: 49.1-79.5). Median PFS in the overall population was 23.5 months (95% CI: 15.4-30.4). ORR was 73.1%; five patients had complete response. Median DoR was 22.1 months (95% CI: 15.1-34.5). Grade III/IV adverse events (AEs) were reported in 38 (73.1%) patients and 20 (38.5%) discontinued treatment because of AEs: 17 (32.7%) discontinued axitinib, 13 (25.0%) discontinued pembrolizumab, and 10 (19.2%) discontinued both drugs. Common AEs included diarrhoea (84.6%), fatigue (80.8%), hypertension (53.8%), cough (48.1%) and dysphonia (48.1%). There were no new AE terms reported and no treatment-related deaths.

Conclusions: In patients with advanced RCC with ~4 years of follow-up, combination axitinib/pembrolizumab continued to demonstrate clinical benefit, with no new safety signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.12.009DOI Listing
March 2021

Treatment of Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma After Previous Cisplatin-based Chemotherapy for Localized Disease: A Retrospective Comparison of Different Chemotherapy Regimens.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2021 04 12;19(2):125-134. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA. Electronic address:

Background: Optimal chemotherapy for patients who received cisplatin for localized urothelial carcinoma (UC) and develop metastatic disease is unclear. We compared the efficacy of platinum-based (PBC) versus non-platinum-based (NPBC) first-line chemotherapy for metastasis.

Patients And Methods: Data were collected from the Retrospective International Study of Cancers of the Urothelial Tract (RISC), a database of 3024 patients from 28 international academic centers from 2005 to 2012. Patient inclusion criteria included: (1) predominant UC; (2) any primary tumor site; (3) cT2-4, cN0-N2, cM0; (4) prior receipt of perioperative/radiation cisplatin-containing chemotherapy; and (5) receipt of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the first-line metastatic setting. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to show progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) from the first day of chemotherapy for metastatic disease to date of censor.

Results: Eligibility criteria was met by 132 patients (n = 74 PBC; n = 58 NPBC). The median OS was 8.13 months (interquartile range, 4.87-16.64 months) and 8.77 months (interquartile range, 4.01-13.49 months) for PBC and NPBC, respectively. Neither OS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64-1.69; P = .87) nor PFS (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.56-1.31; P = .48) differed for PBC versus NPBC. However, for patients who received chemotherapy more than a year after perioperative/radiation chemotherapy, OS was superior for PBC over NPBC (HR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.10-0.92; P = .03).

Conclusions: There is no significant outcome difference between PBC and NPBC in patients with metastatic UC who previously received cisplatin-based chemotherapy for localized disease. However, if over a year has elapsed, return to PBC is associated with superior OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.10.006DOI Listing
April 2021

Pembrolizumab plus axitinib versus sunitinib monotherapy as first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (KEYNOTE-426): extended follow-up from a randomised, open-label, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 12 23;21(12):1563-1573. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: The first interim analysis of the KEYNOTE-426 study showed superior efficacy of pembrolizumab plus axitinib over sunitinib monotherapy in treatment-naive, advanced renal cell carcinoma. The exploratory analysis with extended follow-up reported here aims to assess long-term efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab plus axitinib versus sunitinib monotherapy in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Methods: In the ongoing, randomised, open-label, phase 3 KEYNOTE-426 study, adults (≥18 years old) with treatment-naive, advanced renal cell carcinoma with clear cell histology were enrolled in 129 sites (hospitals and cancer centres) across 16 countries. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 200 mg pembrolizumab intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles plus 5 mg axitinib orally twice daily or 50 mg sunitinib monotherapy orally once daily for 4 weeks per 6-week cycle. Randomisation was done using an interactive voice response system or integrated web response system, and was stratified by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium risk status and geographical region. Primary endpoints were overall survival and progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. Since the primary endpoints were met at the first interim analysis, updated data are reported with nominal p values. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02853331.

Findings: Between Oct 24, 2016, and Jan 24, 2018, 861 patients were randomly assigned to receive pembrolizumab plus axitinib (n=432) or sunitinib monotherapy (n=429). With a median follow-up of 30·6 months (IQR 27·2-34·2), continued clinical benefit was observed with pembrolizumab plus axitinib over sunitinib in terms of overall survival (median not reached with pembrolizumab and axitinib vs 35·7 months [95% CI 33·3-not reached] with sunitinib); hazard ratio [HR] 0·68 [95% CI 0·55-0·85], p=0·0003) and progression-free survival (median 15·4 months [12·7-18·9] vs 11·1 months [9·1-12·5]; 0·71 [0·60-0·84], p<0·0001). The most frequent (≥10% patients in either group) treatment-related grade 3 or worse adverse events were hypertension (95 [22%] of 429 patients in the pembrolizumab plus axitinib group vs 84 [20%] of 425 patients in the sunitinib group), alanine aminotransferase increase (54 [13%] vs 11 [3%]), and diarrhoea (46 [11%] vs 23 [5%]). No new treatment-related deaths were reported since the first interim analysis.

Interpretation: With extended study follow-up, results from KEYNOTE-426 show that pembrolizumab plus axitinib continues to have superior clinical outcomes over sunitinib. These results continue to support the first-line treatment with pembrolizumab plus axitinib as the standard of care of advanced renal cell carcinoma.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30436-8DOI Listing
December 2020

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib for first-line treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma: extended 4-year follow-up of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial.

ESMO Open 2020 11;5(6):e001079

Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.

Purpose: To report updated analyses of the phase III CheckMate 214 trial with extended minimum follow-up assessing long-term outcomes with first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab (NIVO+IPI) versus (vs) sunitinib (SUN) in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC).

Methods: Patients with aRCC with a clear cell component were stratified by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium risk and randomised to NIVO (3 mg/kg) plus IPI (1 mg/kg) every three weeks ×4 doses, followed by NIVO (3 mg/kg) every two weeks; or SUN (50 mg) once per day ×4 weeks (6-week cycle). Efficacy endpoints included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and objective response rate (ORR) per independent radiology review committee in patients with intermediate/poor-risk disease (I/P; primary), intent-to-treat patients (ITT; secondary) and in patients with favourable-risk disease (FAV; exploratory).

Results: Overall, 1096 patients were randomised (ITT: NIVO+IPI, n=550, SUN, n=546; I/P: NIVO+IPI, n=425, SUN, n=422; FAV: NIVO+IPI, n=125, SUN, n=124). After 4 years minimum follow-up, OS (HR; 95% CI) remained superior with NIVO+IPI vs SUN in ITT (0.69; 0.59 to 0.81) and I/P patients (0.65; 0.54 to 0.78). Four-year PFS probabilities were 31.0% vs 17.3% (ITT) and 32.7% vs 12.3% (I/P), with NIVO+IPI vs SUN. ORR remained higher with NIVO+IPI vs SUN in ITT (39.1% vs 32.4%) and I/P (41.9% vs 26.8%) patients. In FAV patients, the HRs (95% CI) for OS and PFS were 0.93 (0.62 to 1.40) and 1.84 (1.29 to 2.62); ORR was lower with NIVO+IPI vs SUN. However, more patients in all risk groups achieved complete responses with NIVO+IPI: ITT (10.7% vs 2.6%), I/P (10.4% vs 1.4%) and FAV (12.0% vs 6.5%). Probability (95% CI) of response ≥4 years was higher with NIVO+IPI vs SUN (ITT, 59% (0.51 to 0.66) vs 30% (0.21 to 0.39); I/P, 59% (0.50 to 0.67) vs 24% (0.14 to 0.36); and FAV, 60% (0.41 to 0.75) vs 38% (0.22 to 0.54)) regardless of risk category. Safety remained favourable with NIVO+IPI vs SUN.

Conclusion: After long-term follow-up, NIVO+IPI continues to demonstrate durable efficacy benefits vs SUN, with manageable safety.

Trial Registration Details: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02231749.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-001079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7703447PMC
November 2020

Identification of a Synthetic Lethal Relationship between Nucleotide Excision Repair Deficiency and Irofulven Sensitivity in Urothelial Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Apr 18;27(7):2011-2022. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Purpose: Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is a first-line treatment for muscle-invasive and metastatic urothelial cancer. Approximately 10% of bladder urothelial tumors have a somatic missense mutation in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) gene, , which confers increased sensitivity to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. However, a significant subset of patients is ineligible to receive cisplatin-based therapy due to medical contraindications, and no NER-targeted approaches are available for platinum-ineligible or platinum-refractory -mutant cases.

Experimental Design: We used a series of NER-proficient and NER-deficient preclinical tumor models to test sensitivity to irofulven, an abandoned anticancer agent. In addition, we used available clinical and sequencing data from multiple urothelial tumor cohorts to develop and validate a composite mutational signature of deficiency and cisplatin sensitivity.

Results: We identified a novel synthetic lethal relationship between tumor NER deficiency and sensitivity to irofulven. Irofulven specifically targets cells with inactivation of the transcription-coupled NER (TC-NER) pathway and leads to robust responses and , including in models with acquired cisplatin resistance, while having minimal effect on cells with intact NER. We also found that a composite mutational signature of deficiency was strongly associated with cisplatin response in patients and was also associated with cisplatin and irofulven sensitivity in preclinical models.

Conclusions: Tumor NER deficiency confers sensitivity to irofulven, a previously abandoned anticancer agent, with minimal activity in NER-proficient cells. A composite mutational signature of NER deficiency may be useful in identifying patients likely to respond to NER-targeting agents, including cisplatin and irofulven..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026514PMC
April 2021

NCCN Guidelines Insights: Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2021.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 09;18(9):1160-1170

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The NCCN Guidelines for Kidney Cancer provide multidisciplinary recommendations for diagnostic workup, staging, and treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates to the guidelines, including changes to certain systemic therapy recommendations for patients with relapsed or stage IV RCC. They also discuss the addition of a new section to the guidelines that identifies and describes the most common hereditary RCC syndromes and provides recommendations for genetic testing, surveillance, and/or treatment options for patients who are suspected or confirmed to have one of these syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.0043DOI Listing
September 2020

Angiogenic and Immune-Related Biomarkers and Outcomes Following Axitinib/Pembrolizumab Treatment in Patients with Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 11 18;26(21):5598-5608. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC.

Purpose: Combined axitinib/pembrolizumab is approved for advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC). This exploratory analysis examined associations between angiogenic and immune-related biomarkers and outcomes following axitinib/pembrolizumab treatment.

Patients And Methods: Prospectively defined retrospective correlative exploratory analyses tested biospecimens from 52 treatment-naïve patients receiving axitinib and pembrolizumab (starting doses 5 mg twice daily and 2 mg/kg respectively, every 3 weeks). Tumor tissue, serum, and whole blood samples were collected at baseline, at cycle 2 day 1 (C2D1), and end of treatment (EOT) for blood-based samples. Clinical outcomes were objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: Higher baseline tumor levels of CD8 showed a trend toward longer PFS (HR 0.4; = 0.091). Higher baseline serum levels of CXCL10 ( = 0.0197) and CEACAM1 ( = 0.085) showed a trend toward better ORR and longer PFS, respectively. Patients for whom IL6 was not detected at baseline had longer PFS versus patients for whom it was detected (HR 0.4; = 0.028). At C2D1 and/or EOT, mainly immune-related biomarkers showed any association with better outcomes. The genes ( = 0.084), ( = 0.064), and ( = 0.073) showed trending associations with ORR, and ( = 0.0145), ( = 0.0726), ( = 0.0666), (; = 0.0267), and ( = 0.0287) with PFS.

Conclusions: With combined axitinib/pembrolizumab treatment in patients with aRCC, mostly immune-related biomarkers are associated with better treatment outcomes. This exploratory analysis has identified some candidate biomarkers to consider in future prospective testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1408DOI Listing
November 2020

Patterns of Cancer Progression of Metastatic Hormone-sensitive Prostate Cancer in the ECOG3805 CHAARTED Trial.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 12 15;3(6):717-724. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Virginia Cancer Center, USA.

Background: ECOG3805 is a randomized trial of testosterone suppression with or without docetaxel for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). Deeper prostate-specific antigen (PSA) suppression is prognostic for outcome. However, the concordance of PSA rise and radiographic progression has not been examined previously in mHSPC, whereas this has been reported in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Objective: To determine the patterns of progression by PSA and radiographic parameters in patients in ECOG3805.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients in ECOG3805. Patients were classified according to the PSA level at progression (whether PSA level was below 2.0 ng/mL or not) and the type of progression event in the study (either PSA progression as defined by the study with or without clinical progression, or clinical progression alone). Baseline demographics, clinical outcomes, and patterns of progression were compared between the groups.

Results And Limitations: One in eight patients had clinical progression below a PSA level of 2 ng/mL, and approximately 25% developed clinical progression in the absence of confirmed PSA progression. Overall survival from randomization was shorter in patients with clinical progression without confirmed PSA progression than in patients with PSA progression alone as the first progression. Patient demographics at study entry were not predictive of the pattern of progression. Study limitations include its retrospective and post hoc nature.

Conclusions: Clinical progression prior to PSA rise or at low PSA levels is a relatively frequent phenomenon in mHSPC and is associated with poorer overall survival. Further biological and clinical studies of these patients are warranted.

Patient Summary: Reliance on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) alone is an inadequate strategy to monitor patients undergoing treatment for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can get worse on scans even with low PSA and/or no or small changes in PSA. Imaging should be added to PSA testing to monitor patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.07.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738423PMC
December 2020

Assessing Contemporary Trends in Female Speakership within Urologic Oncology.

Urology 2021 Apr 13;150:41-46. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Department of Urology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Objective: To evaluate multidisciplinary female representation at urologic oncology conferences, we reviewed speakership trends at contemporary Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) and American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Symposium (GU-ASCO) annual meetings.

Methods: Meeting programs from SUO and GU-ASCO from 2015 to 2019 were analyzed. Biographical information was determined by querying institutional websites and social/professional media platforms. Statistical analyses were performed to assess for differences and relationships between male and female authorship based on gender, specialty, professional, and educational factors.

Results: We identified 1102 speakers at genitourinary oncology conferences. Overall, 222 (20%) were female. There was no significant difference between female speakership rates at SUO and GU-ASCO. The overall proportion of female speakers increased over time, but not when analyzing each individual subspecialty conference separately. Several professional and educational differences were noted between genders. Female speakers were more likely to be medical oncologists (P <.001), have more recent years of graduation (2001 vs 1996, P <.001), hold an additional advanced degree (OR 2.09, P = .005), and speak in sessions where other women served as chair (OR 1.42, P = .044). Conversely, female speakers had lower odds of delivering a plenary or keynote address (OR 0.28, P = .015).

Conclusion: We identified a significantly positive trend towards increased female representation within contemporary genitourinary conferences over time; these trends did not remain significant when analyzing each meeting separately. Several important disparities between men and women speakers were identified. Our data suggests that inclusion of women in planning committees may help reduce gender bias and promote diversity within urologic oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2020.08.006DOI Listing
April 2021

Nivolumab versus everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: Updated results with long-term follow-up of the randomized, open-label, phase 3 CheckMate 025 trial.

Cancer 2020 09 16;126(18):4156-4167. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical Trials, Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey.

Background: CheckMate 025 has shown superior efficacy for nivolumab over everolimus in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) along with improved safety and tolerability. This analysis assesses the long-term clinical benefits of nivolumab versus everolimus.

Methods: The randomized, open-label, phase 3 CheckMate 025 trial (NCT01668784) included patients with clear cell aRCC previously treated with 1 or 2 antiangiogenic regimens. Patients were randomized to nivolumab (3 mg/kg every 2 weeks) or everolimus (10 mg once a day) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The secondary endpoints were the confirmed objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), safety, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

Results: Eight hundred twenty-one patients were randomized to nivolumab (n = 410) or everolimus (n = 411); 803 patients were treated (406 with nivolumab and 397 with everolimus). With a minimum follow-up of 64 months (median, 72 months), nivolumab maintained an OS benefit in comparison with everolimus (median, 25.8 months [95% CI, 22.2-29.8 months] vs 19.7 months [95% CI, 17.6-22.1 months]; hazard ratio [HR], 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62-0.85) with 5-year OS probabilities of 26% and 18%, respectively. ORR was higher with nivolumab (94 of 410 [23%] vs 17 of 411 [4%]; P < .001). PFS also favored nivolumab (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99; P = .0331). The most common treatment-related adverse events of any grade were fatigue (34.7%) and pruritus (15.5%) with nivolumab and fatigue (34.5%) and stomatitis (29.5%) with everolimus. HRQOL improved from baseline with nivolumab but remained the same or deteriorated with everolimus.

Conclusions: The superior efficacy of nivolumab over everolimus is maintained after extended follow-up with no new safety signals, and this supports the long-term benefits of nivolumab monotherapy in patients with previously treated aRCC.

Lay Summary: CheckMate 025 compared the effects of nivolumab (a novel immunotherapy) with those of everolimus (an older standard-of-care therapy) for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer in patients who had progressed on antiangiogenic therapy. After 5 years of study, nivolumab continues to be better than everolimus in extending the lives of patients, providing a long-lasting response to treatment, and improving quality of life with a manageable safety profile. The results demonstrate that the clinical benefits of nivolumab versus everolimus in previously treated patients with advanced kidney cancer continue in the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8415096PMC
September 2020

Survival outcomes and independent response assessment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma: 42-month follow-up of a randomized phase 3 clinical trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 07;8(2)

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: The extent to which response and survival benefits with immunotherapy-based regimens persist informs optimal first-line treatment options. We provide long-term follow-up in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (aRCC) receiving first-line nivolumab plus ipilimumab (NIVO+IPI) versus sunitinib (SUN) in the phase 3 CheckMate 214 trial. Survival, response, and safety outcomes with NIVO+IPI versus SUN were assessed after a minimum of 42 months of follow-up.

Methods: Patients with aRCC were enrolled from October 16, 2014, through February 23, 2016. Patients stratified by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) risk and region were randomized to nivolumab (3 mg/kg) plus ipilimumab (1 mg/kg) every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by nivolumab (3 mg/kg) every 2 weeks; or SUN (50 mg) once per day for 4 weeks (6-week cycle). Primary endpoints: overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and objective response rate (ORR) per independent radiology review committee in IMDC intermediate-risk/poor-risk patients. Secondary endpoints: OS, PFS, and ORR in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population and safety. Favorable-risk patient outcomes were exploratory.

Results: Among ITT patients, 550 were randomized to NIVO+IPI (425 intermediate/poor risk; 125 favorable risk) and 546 to SUN (422 intermediate/poor risk; 124 favorable risk). Among intermediate-risk/poor-risk patients, OS (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.55-0.80) and PFS (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62-0.90) benefits were observed, and ORR was higher (42.1% vs 26.3%) with NIVO+IPI versus SUN. In ITT patients, both OS benefits (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61-0.86) and higher ORR (39.1% vs 32.6%) were observed with NIVO+IPI versus SUN. In favorable-risk patients, HR for death was 1.19 (95% CI, 0.77-1.85) and ORR was 28.8% with NIVO+IPI versus 54.0% with SUN. Duration of response was longer (HR, 0.46-0.54), and more patients achieved complete response (10.1%-12.8% vs 1.4%-5.6%) with NIVO+IPI versus SUN regardless of risk group. The incidence of treatment-related adverse events was consistent with previous reports.

Conclusions: NIVO+IPI led to improved efficacy outcomes versus SUN in both intermediate-risk/poor-risk and ITT patients that were maintained through 42 months' minimum follow-up. A complete response rate >10% was achieved with NIVO+IPI regardless of risk category, with no new safety signals detected in either arm. These results support NIVO+IPI as a first-line treatment option with the potential for durable response.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02231749.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359377PMC
July 2020

Impact of timing of adjuvant chemotherapy following radical cystectomy for bladder cancer on patient survival.

Urol Oncol 2020 12 10;38(12):934.e1-934.e9. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Department of Urology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Background: Trials of adjuvant chemotherapy following radical cystectomy generally require chemotherapy to start within 90 days postoperatively. However, it is unclear, whether the interval between surgery and start of adjuvant therapy (S-AC-interval) impacts the oncological outcome.

Methods: Using the Retrospective International Study of Invasive/Advanced Cancer of the Urothelium (RISC) data base, we identified patients who underwent radical cystectomy for muscle invasive bladder cancer and subsequent adjuvant chemotherapy. Univariate analysis of patient characteristics, surgical factors and tumor characteristics regarding their impact on S-AC-interval was performed using Kruskal-Wallis testing and Fisher's exact test. Analysis of progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) (follow-up time beginning with the start date of adjuvant chemotherapy) was analyzed in relation to S-AC-interval (continuous and dichotomous with a cut-off at 90 days) using Kaplan-Meier method and COX regression analysis.

Results: We identified 238 eligible patients (83.5% male, mean age: 63.4 years, 76.1% T3/T4, 66.4% pN+, 14.7% R+, 70.6% urothelial carcinoma, 71% cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy). The majority of patients (n = 207, 87%) started chemotherapy within 90 days after surgery. Median S-AC-interval was 57 days (interquartile range 32.8). S-AC-interval did not have consistent association with any patient/tumor characteristics or surgery related factors (type of surgery, urinary diversion). Survival analysis using continuous S-AC-interval revealed a trend toward an impact of S-AC-interval on OS (hazard ratio 1.004, 95% confidence ratio 0.9997-1.0084, P = 0.071). With regards to PFS, that impact was shown to be statistically significant (hazard ratio 1.004, 95% confidence ratio 1.0003-1.0075, P = 0.032). In multivariate analysis, however, S-AC-interval was negated by tumor and patient related factors (pathological T-stage, N-stage, ECOG performance status). Accounting for eligibility criteria defined in some clinical trials, we extended our analysis dividing S-AC-interval in ≤90 and >90 days. Although we could confirm the trend toward better outcome in patients with a shorter S-AC interval in dichotomous analysis, neither differences in OS nor in PFS reached statistical significance (P = 0.438 and P = 0.056).

Conclusions: In a large multi-institutional experience, 87% of patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy received it within the guideline recommended window of 90 days. While it was not possible to determine whether this is the optimal cut-off, early start of adjuvant chemotherapy seems to be reasonable. Regarding prognosis, tumor-related pathological factors abrogated the importance of the S-AC-interval in our analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.06.008DOI Listing
December 2020

Long-Term Outcomes in KEYNOTE-052: Phase II Study Investigating First-Line Pembrolizumab in Cisplatin-Ineligible Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Urothelial Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 08 17;38(23):2658-2666. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Purpose: The phase II single-arm KEYNOTE-052 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of first-line pembrolizumab for patients with locally advanced or metastatic cisplatin-ineligible urothelial carcinoma (UC).

Patients And Methods: Three hundred seventy patients received pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 24 months. Positive tumor programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression was defined as combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 10. Response was assessed by independent central review every 9 weeks per RECIST v1.1. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR).

Results: At data cutoff (September 26, 2018), the minimum follow-up was 2 years since the last patient enrolled. ORR was 28.6% (95% CI, 24.1% to 33.5%); 33 patients (8.9%) and 73 patients (19.7%) achieved complete and partial response, respectively. The median duration of response was 30.1 months (95% CI, 18.1 months to not reached [NR]); responses lasted ≥ 12 and ≥ 24 months in 67% and 52% of patients, respectively. Forty patients with complete or partial response completed 2 years of study treatment, and 32 had ongoing response at completion. Median overall survival (OS) was 11.3 months (95% CI, 9.7 to 13.1 months), and 12- and 24-month OS rates were 46.9% and 31.2%, respectively. In patients with CPS ≥ 10, ORR was 47.3% (95% CI, 37.7% to 57.0%) and median OS was 18.5 months (95% CI, 12.2 to 28.5 months). In patients with lymph node-only disease, ORR was 49.0% (95% CI, 34.8% to 63.4%), and median OS was 27.0 months (12.4 months to NR). There were no new safety signals.

Conclusion: First-line pembrolizumab confers meaningful and durable clinical response in cisplatin-ineligible patients with advanced UC and is associated with prolonged OS, particularly with PD-L1 CPS ≥ 10 and lymph node-only disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01213DOI Listing
August 2020

Pembrolizumab as First-line Therapy in Cisplatin-ineligible Advanced Urothelial Cancer (KEYNOTE-052): Outcomes in Older Patients by Age and Performance Status.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 06 16;3(3):351-359. Epub 2020 May 16.

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.

Background: Patients with treatment-naive advanced urothelial cancer (UC) ineligible for cisplatin-based chemotherapy are typically older and have comorbidities, representing a difficult-to-treat population.

Objective: To evaluate the safety and antitumor activity of first-line pembrolizumab in subgroups of cisplatin-ineligible older patients (aged ≥65 and ≥75 yr) with advanced UC in KEYNOTE-052 (NCT02335424), including those with poor performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score 2 [ECOG PS2]).

Design, Setting, And Participants: Patients were cisplatin ineligible, had treatment-naive, histologically/cytologically confirmed, locally advanced/metastatic UC with measurable disease (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 [RECIST v1.1]), and had ECOG PS0-2. Patient subgroups analyzed were aged ≥65yr (n = 302), ≥75 yr (n = 179), ≥65yr with ECOG PS2 (≥65yr+ECOG PS2; n = 119), and ≥75 yr+ECOG PS2 (n = 78).

Intervention: All patients received pembrolizumab 200mg intravenously every 3 wk until confirmed progression, intolerable toxicity, patient withdrawal, or 24 mo of therapy.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) as per RECIST v1.1. The key secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), duration of response (DOR), and safety.

Results And Limitations: ORRs for the ≥65yr, ≥75 yr, ≥65yr+ECOG PS2, and ≥75 yr+ECOG PS2 subgroups were 29%, 27%, 29%, and 31%, respectively; rates of complete and partial responses were similar across subgroups (9%, 5%, 6%, and 6%, and 20%, 22%, 23%, and 24%, respectively). Median DOR and OS were also consistent across the ≥65yr and ≥65yr+ECOG PS2 subgroups and the ≥75 yr and ≥75 yr+ECOG PS2 subgroups. Study limitations included open-label design, lack of a comparator group, and nature of post hoc exploratory analysis.

Conclusions: The clinical benefit of pembrolizumab in advanced UC appeared to be consistent regardless of age and/or poor performance status.

Patient Summary: This study looked at whether older age and poorer performance status affect how well patients with previously untreated advanced urothelial cancer ineligible for standard-of-care treatment respond to pembrolizumab. Outcomes with pembrolizumab were not affected by older age or poorer performance status, making it an effective option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.02.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246631PMC
June 2020

Sporadic Angiomyolipomas Growth Kinetics While on Everolimus: Results of a Phase II Trial.

J Urol 2020 Sep 6;204(3):531-537. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: Everolimus decreases tumor volume of renal angiomyolipomas in patients with tuberous sclerosis. No prospective data are available regarding the effect of everolimus on the growth kinetics in patients with sporadic angiomyolipomas. We sought to determine the safety and efficacy of everolimus in the volumetric reduction of sporadic angiomyolipomas.

Materials And Methods: This multi-institutional, prospective, phase II trial, enrolled patients with 3 cm or larger sporadic angiomyolipomas who were candidates for surgical resection or percutaneous angioembolization. Patients received 10 mg everolimus daily for 4 planned 28-day cycles. Response was defined as a 25% or greater volumetric reduction of patient angiomyolipoma. Baseline, 4, 6 and 12-month volumetric analyses were performed using magnetic resonance imaging. Everolimus was discontinued in those with less than 25% volumetric reduction after 4 cycles. Those with 25% or greater volumetric reduction received 2 additional cycles. The primary outcomes were the efficacy of everolimus in the volumetric reduction of angiomyolipomas by 25% or more, and the safety and tolerability of everolimus.

Results: Overall 20 patients were enrolled at 5 centers. Of these patients 11 (55%) completed 4 cycles and 7 (35%) completed 6 cycles. Efficacy was demonstrated, with 10 of 18 (55.6%) patients exhibiting a 25% or greater reduction in tumor volume at 4 months (median 58.5%) and 10 of 14 (71.4%) patients exhibiting a 25% or greater reduction in tumor volume at 6 months (median 58.2%). Four (20%) patients were withdrawn due to protocol defined toxicities and 8 (40%) self-withdrew from the study due to side effects.

Conclusions: Everolimus was effective in causing volumetric reduction of angiomyolipomas by 25% or greater in most patients but was associated with a high rate of treatment discontinuation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695484PMC
September 2020

Defects in DNA Repair Genes Confer Improved Long-term Survival after Cisplatin-based Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 08 10;3(4):544-547. Epub 2020 Mar 10.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) has demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). However, only a subset of patients (25-50%) have a pathologic complete response at cystectomy. Using a cohort of 58 patients from two phase 2 trials, our group previously reported that mutations in the ATM, RB1, and FANCC genes correlate with complete response to cisplatin-based NAC, and consequently improve OS and disease-specific survival (DSS). These trials enrolled patients with T2-4 (N0 or N1) MIBC and treated them with accelerated/dose-dense NAC with methotrexate, vinblastine, adriamycin, and cisplatin, or gemcitabine and cisplatin, with a plan for curative cystectomy. Updated long-term follow-up (median 74 mo) shows that significantly greater OS and DSS was maintained for patients with ATM, RB1, or FANCC mutations. The 5-yr survival rate for patients with at least one mutation was 85%, compared to 45% for patients without a mutation. On the basis of the associations with response and long-term OS and DSS, we propose that these alterations may be useful as predictive biomarkers to allow clinicians to prioritize patients who are most likely to benefit from NAC before radical cystectomy. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report we looked at outcomes for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy before surgery (neoadjuvant) who had mutations in a set of DNA damage repair genes (ATM, RB1, FANCC) compared to those who did not. We found that patients who had at least one mutation in one of these genes survived longer after receiving cisplatin chemotherapy before surgery than patients who did not.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2020.02.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689684PMC
August 2020

Integration of Immunotherapy Into the Treatment of Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 03;18(3):355-361

Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Five new PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC): pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, durvalumab, nivolumab, and avelumab. Although cisplatin-based chemotherapy remains the recommended frontline option for cisplatin-eligible patients with metastatic UC, immunotherapy is now an available option in the second-line setting as well as the frontline setting for selected cisplatin-ineligible patients who are either unable to tolerate chemotherapy or PD-L1-positive. This review describes the updated clinical efficacy of these checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of advanced UC and suggests how they can be sequenced in the context of available chemotherapeutic options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7539DOI Listing
March 2020

Bladder Cancer, Version 3.2020, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 03;18(3):329-354

Moffitt Cancer Center.

This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Bladder Cancer focuses on the clinical presentation and workup of suspected bladder cancer, treatment of non-muscle-invasive urothelial bladder cancer, and treatment of metastatic urothelial bladder cancer because important updates have recently been made to these sections. Some important updates include recommendations for optimal treatment of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer in the event of a bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) shortage and details about biomarker testing for advanced or metastatic disease. The systemic therapy recommendations for second-line or subsequent therapies have also been revised. Treatment and management of muscle-invasive, nonmetastatic disease is covered in the complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Bladder Cancer available at NCCN.org. Additional topics covered in the complete version include treatment of nonurothelial histologies and recommendations for nonbladder urinary tract cancers such as upper tract urothelial carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma of the prostate, and primary carcinoma of the urethra.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.0011DOI Listing
March 2020

EV-101: A Phase I Study of Single-Agent Enfortumab Vedotin in Patients With Nectin-4-Positive Solid Tumors, Including Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma.

J Clin Oncol 2020 04 7;38(10):1041-1049. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Purpose: To assess the safety/tolerability and antitumor activity of enfortumab vedotin (EV), a novel investigational antibody-drug conjugate that delivers the microtubule-disrupting agent, monomethyl auristatin E, to cells that express Nectin-4.

Methods: EV-101 is a phase I dose escalation/expansion study that enrolled patients with Nectin-4-expressing solid tumors (eg, metastatic urothelial carcinoma [mUC]) who progressed on ≥ 1 prior chemotherapy regimen and/or programmed death-1 receptor/programmed death ligand-1 [PD-(L)1] inhibitor, including a cohort of patients with mUC who received prior anti-PD-(L)1 therapy. Patients received escalating doses of EV up to 1.25 mg/kg on days 1, 8, and 15 of every 28-day cycle. Primary objectives were evaluation of safety/tolerability and pharmacokinetics; antitumor activity was a secondary objective.

Results: Enrolled patients with mUC (n = 155) were heavily pretreated, with 96% having prior platinum-based chemotherapy and 29% receiving ≥ 3 lines of prior treatment. Maximum tolerated dose of EV was not established; however, the recommended phase II dose was identified as 1.25 mg/kg. Rash, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, alopecia, and nausea were the most common treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs); the most common TRAEs were grade 1-2 in severity. Among the 112 patients with mUC treated with single-agent EV 1.25 mg/kg, the investigator-assessed confirmed objective response rate (ORR) was 43%, and duration of response was 7.4 months. Median overall survival (OS) was 12.3 months, and the OS rate at 1 year was 51.8%. Similar ORR and estimated median OS were observed in patients ≥ 75 years of age with and without prior anti-PD-(L)1 treatment, liver metastases, or upper-tract disease.

Conclusion: Single-agent EV was generally well tolerated and provided clinically meaningful and durable responses in patients with mUC; survival data are encouraging. A pivotal phase II and a confirmatory phase III study are ongoing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.02044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106979PMC
April 2020

Reply by Authors.

J Urol 2020 04 22;203(4):697-698. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000000644.02DOI Listing
April 2020

Eligibility and Radiologic Assessment for Adjuvant Clinical Trials in Kidney Cancer.

JAMA Oncol 2020 Jan;6(1):133-141

Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Purpose: To harmonize the eligibility criteria and radiologic disease assessment definitions in clinical trials of adjuvant therapy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Method: On November 28, 2017, US-based experts in RCC clinical trials, including medical oncologists, urologic oncologists, regulators, biostatisticians, radiologists, and patient advocates, convened at a public workshop to discuss eligibility for trial entry and radiologic criteria for assessing disease recurrence in adjuvant trials in RCC. Multiple virtual meetings were conducted to address the issues identified at the workshop.

Results: The key workshop conclusions for adjuvant RCC therapy clinical trials were as follows. First, patients with non-clear cell RCC could be routinely included, preferably in an independent cohort. Second, patients with T3-4, N+M0, and microscopic R1 RCC tumors may gain the greatest advantages from adjuvant therapy. Third, trials of agents not excreted by the kidney should not exclude patients with severe renal insufficiency. Fourth, therapy can begin 4 to 16 weeks after the surgical procedure. Fifth, patients undergoing radical or partial nephrectomy should be equally eligible. Sixth, patients with microscopically positive soft tissue or vascular margins without gross residual or radiologic disease may be included in trials. Seventh, all suspicious regional lymph nodes should be fully resected. Eighth, computed tomography should be performed within 4 weeks before trial enrollment; for patients with renal insufficiency who cannot undergo computed tomography with contrast, noncontrast chest computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen and pelvis with gadolinium should be performed. Ninth, when feasible, biopsy should be undertaken to identify any malignant disease. Tenth, when biopsy is not feasible, a uniform approach should be used to evaluate indeterminate radiologic findings to identify what constitutes no evidence of disease at trial entry and what constitutes radiologic evidence of disease. Eleventh, a uniform approach for establishing the date of recurrence should be included in any trial design. Twelfth, patient perspectives on the use of placebo, conditions for unblinding, and research biopsies should be considered carefully during the conduct of an adjuvant trial.

Conclusions And Relevance: The discussions suggested that a uniform approach to eligibility criteria and radiologic disease assessment will lead to more consistently interpretable trial results in the adjuvant RCC therapy setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.4117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127869PMC
January 2020
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