Publications by authors named "Emanuela Marchesi"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Trabectedin for Patients with Advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A Non-Interventional, Retrospective, Multicenter Study of the Italian Sarcoma Group.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 2;13(5). Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Chemotherapy Unit, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, 1 Via Pupilli, 40136 Bologna, Italy.

The Italian Sarcoma Group performed this retrospective analysis of patients with advanced soft tissue sarcoma, pretreated with ≥1 anthracycline-based treatment, and treated with trabectedin every three weeks. Primary endpoint was to describe real-life use of trabectedin across Italy. Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR) and safety. Overall, 512 patients from 20 Italian centers were evaluated. Leiomyosarcoma (37.7%)/liposarcoma (30.3%) were the most prevalent histological types (abbreviated as L-sarcoma). Patients received a median of four trabectedin cycles (range: 1-40), mostly as a second-line treatment (~60% of patients). The ORR was 13.7% superior ( < 0.0001) in patients with L-sarcoma compared with patients with non-L-sarcoma (16.6% vs. 9.0%). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.1 months, whereas median overall survival (OS) was 21.6 months. Significantly better PFS and OS were observed in patients with L-sarcoma, those with objective responses and/or disease stabilization, treated in an early line and treated with reduced dose. Bone marrow toxicity (61.4%) and transaminase increases (21.9%) were the most common grade 3/4 adverse events. The results of this real-life study suggest that trabectedin is an active treatment, which is mostly given as a second-line treatment to patients with a good performance status and high-grade, metastatic L-sarcoma (clinical trial information: NCT02793050).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13051053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7958606PMC
March 2021

High Dose Ifosfamide in Relapsed and Unresectable High-Grade Osteosarcoma Patients: A Retrospective Series.

Cells 2020 10 31;9(11). Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Chemotherapy Unit, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, 40136 Bologna, Italy.

: The evidence on high-dose ifosfamide (HD-IFO) use in patients with relapsed osteosarcoma is limited. We performed a retrospective study to analyze HD-IFO activity. : Patients with osteosarcoma relapsed after standard treatment [methotrexate, doxorubicin, cisplatin +/- ifosfamide (MAP+/-I)] with measurable disease according to RECIST1.1 were eligible to ifosfamide (3 g/m/day) continuous infusion (c.i.) days 1-5 q21d. RECIST1.1 overall response rate (ORR) (complete response (CR) + partial response (PR)), progression-free survival at 6-month (6m-PFS), duration of response (DOR), and 2-year overall survival (2y-OS) were assessed. PARP1 expression and gene mutations were tested by immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing. : 51 patients were included. ORR was 20% (1 CR + 9 PR). Median DOR was 5 months (95%CI 2-7). Median PFS, 6m-PFS, OS, and 2y-OS were 6 months (95%CI 4-9), 51%, 15 months (10-19), and 30%, respectively. A second surgical complete remission (CR2) was achieved in 26 (51%) patients. After multivariate analysis, previous use of ifosfamide (HR 2.007, = 0.034) and CR2 (HR 0.126, < 0.001) showed a significant correlation with PFS and OS, respectively. No significant correlation was found between outcomes and PARP1 or gene mutations. : HD-IFO should be considered as the standard first-line treatment option in relapsed osteosarcoma and control arm of future trial in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9112389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692098PMC
October 2020

Pharmacokinetics, safety, and activity of trabectedin as first-line treatment in elderly patients who are affected by advanced sarcoma and are unfit to receive standard chemotherapy: A phase 2 study (TR1US study) from the Italian Sarcoma Group.

Cancer 2020 11 4;126(21):4726-4734. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Division of Medical Oncology, Candiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCS, Candiolo, Italy.

Background: Although elderly patients (≥70 years) represent 30% of new diagnoses of soft tissue sarcoma (STS), they are underrepresented in clinical trials and are often unfit to receive standard anthracycline-based chemotherapy. Trabectedin is registered as a second-line treatment for advanced STS and is characterized by a favorable safety profile.

Methods: The aim of this single-arm, phase 2 study was to investigate trabectedin (scheduled dose, 1.3-1.5 mg/m ) as a first-line treatment in elderly patients with advanced stage STS who are inoperable and are unfit to receive standard anthracycline-based chemotherapy. The coprimary endpoints were progression-free survival at 3 months (PFS3) and the rate of clinically limiting toxicities (CLTs). We also conducted an ancillary study on pharmacokinetics.

Results: Twenty-four patients (12 men and 12 women) with a median age of 79 years (interquartile range [IQR], 74-83 years) were enrolled. The histological subtype was leiomyosarcoma in 46%, liposarcoma in 33%, and other histotypes in 21%. The median number of trabectedin courses was 4 (IQR, 3-6), with 7 patients (29%) receiving ≥6 cycles. Eight patients (33%) required dose reductions. The most frequent grade 3/4 adverse events were neutropenia in 9 patients (38%), fatigue in 5 patients (21%), and aminotransferase elevation in 5 patients (21%). PFS3, median PFS, and overall survival were 71% (80% CI, 57%-81%), 4 months, and 12 months, respectively. Ten patients (42% [80% CI, 28%-57%]) experienced CLTs. Trabectedin C , half-life, clearance, and distribution volume were 1.28 ng/mL (standard deviation [SD], 0.58 ng/mL), 26.70 hours (SD, 9.09 hours), 39.98 L/h/m (SD, 14.08 L/h/m ), and 1460 L/m (SD, 561 L/m ), respectively.

Conclusion: Trabectedin can be administered safely to elderly patients with STS who are unfit to receive anthracyclines. Pharmacokinetics in the elderly population was superimposable to historical data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33120DOI Listing
November 2020

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in High-Risk Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Final Results of a Randomized Trial From Italian (ISG), Spanish (GEIS), French (FSG), and Polish (PSG) Sarcoma Groups.

J Clin Oncol 2020 07 18;38(19):2178-2186. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Cancer Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: To determine whether the administration of histology-tailored neoadjuvant chemotherapy (HT) was superior to the administration of standard anthracycline plus ifosfamide neoadjuvant chemotherapy (A+I) in high-risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of an extremity or the trunk wall.

Patients And Methods: This was a randomized, open-label, phase III trial. Patients had localized high-risk STS (grade 3; size, ≥ 5 cm) of an extremity or trunk wall, belonging to one of the following five histologic subtypes: high-grade myxoid liposarcoma (HG-MLPS); leiomyosarcoma (LMS), synovial sarcoma (SS), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST), and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS). Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive three cycles of A+I or HT. The HT regimens were as follows: trabectedin in HG-MLPS; gemcitabine plus dacarbazine in LMS; high-dose prolonged-infusion ifosfamide in SS; etoposide plus ifosfamide in MPNST; and gemcitabine plus docetaxel in UPS. Primary and secondary end points were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS), estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using Cox models adjusted for treatment and stratification factors. The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier NCT01710176).

Results: Between May 2011 and May 2016, 287 patients (UPS: n = 97 [33.8%]; HG-MLPS: n = 65 [22.6%]; SS: n = 70 [24.4%]; MPNST: n = 27 [9.4%]; and LMS: n = 28 [9.8%]) were randomly assigned to either A+I or HT. At the final analysis, with a median follow-up of 52 months, the projected DFS and OS probabilities were 0.55 and 0.47 (log-rank = .323) and 0.76 and 0.66 (log-rank = .018) at 60 months in the A+I arm and HT arm, respectively. No treatment-related deaths were observed.

Conclusion: In a population of patients with localized high-risk STS, HT was not associated with a better DFS or OS, suggesting that A+I should remain the regimen to choose whenever neoadjuvant chemotherapy is used in patients with high-risk STS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.03289DOI Listing
July 2020

Trabectedin and olaparib in patients with advanced and non-resectable bone and soft-tissue sarcomas (TOMAS): an open-label, phase 1b study from the Italian Sarcoma Group.

Lancet Oncol 2018 10 11;19(10):1360-1371. Epub 2018 Sep 11.

Medical Oncology-Sarcoma Unit, Istituto di Candiolo-Fondazione del Piemonte per l'Oncologia, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS), Candiolo, Italy; Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Regione Gonzole, Orbassano, Italy.

Background: Trabectedin is an alkylating drug with a unique mechanism of action causing single-strand and double-strand DNA breaks that activate DNA damage-response pathways. Based on our preclinical data, we hypothesised that poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) inhibitors might be an ideal partner of trabectedin and aimed to assess the safety, identify the recommended phase 2 dose, and explore preliminary signs of activity of trabectedin and olaparib combination treatment in patients with bone and soft-tissue sarcoma.

Methods: We did an open-label, multicentre, phase 1b study, recruiting patients from the national Italian sarcoma network aged 18 years and older with histologically confirmed bone and soft-tissue sarcoma progressing after standard treatments with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 or less. In a classic 3 + 3 design, patients received a 24 h infusion of trabectedin on day 1 and olaparib orally twice a day in 21-day cycles across six dose levels (trabectedin 0·675-1·3 mg/m every 3 weeks; olaparib 100-300 mg twice a day from day 1 to 21). Intermediate dose levels were permitted to improve safety and tolerability. The primary endpoint was determination of the recommended phase 2 dose (the maximum tolerated dose). Safety and antitumour activity were assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drugs. We report the results of the dose-escalation and dose-expansion cohorts. The trial is still active but closed to enrolment, and follow-up for patients who completed treatment is ongoing. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02398058.

Findings: Between Nov 17, 2014, and Jan 30, 2017, of 54 patients assessed for eligibility, we enrolled 50 patients: 28 patients in the dose-escalation cohort and 22 patients in the dose-expansion cohort. Patients received a median of four cycles of treatment (IQR 2-6; range 1-17 [the patients who received the highest number of cycles are still on treatment]) with a median follow-up of 10 months (IQR 5-23). Considering all dose levels, the most common grade 3-4 adverse events were lymphopenia (32 [64%] of 50 patients), neutropenia (31 [62%]), thrombocytopenia (14 [28%]), anaemia (13 [26%]), hypophosphataemia (20 [40%]), and alanine aminotransferase concentration increase (9 [18%]). No treatment-related life-threatening adverse events or deaths occurred. One (2%) patient interrupted treatment without progression without reporting any specific toxicity. Observed dose-limiting toxicities were thrombocytopenia, neutropenia for more than 7 days, and febrile neutropenia. We selected intermediate dose level 4b (trabectedin 1·1 mg/m every 3 weeks plus olaparib 150 mg twice a day) as the recommended phase 2 dose. Seven (14%; 95% CI 6-27) of 50 patients achieved a partial response according to Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors 1.1.

Interpretation: Trabectedin and olaparib in combination showed manageable toxicities at active dose levels for both drugs. Preliminary data on antitumour activity are encouraging. Two dedicated phase 2 studies are planned to assess activity of this combination in both ovarian cancer (EudraCT2018-000230-35) and soft-tissue sarcomas.

Funding: Italian Association for Cancer Research, Italian Sarcoma Group, Foundation for Research on Musculoskeletal and Rare Tumors, and Italian Ministry of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30438-8DOI Listing
October 2018

New requirements for phase I trials: a challenge for Italian clinical research.

Tumori 2018 Jan-Feb;104(1):15-21

4 Clinical Research Office, Candiolo Cancer Institute-Piemonte Foundation for Oncology, Scientific Institutes for Research and Care, Candiolo (Turin) - Italy.

Background: In 2015, the Italian Medicines Agency (Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco; AIFA) issued the Determination 809/2015 with new requirements for phase I clinical trials. Before it came into force, we explored the extent to which several Italian oncology centers were working to implement it.

Methods: A survey was conducted among 80 Italian centers involved in clinical trials. Investigators and research coordinators were surveyed.

Results: Answers from 42 institutions were collected: among them 88.1% were involved in oncology research. In the last 5 years, 55% had conducted from 1 to 5 phase I trials, and only 16.7% more than 5. A third were involved in not-first-in-human research and none with healthy volunteers. The majority (57.1%) of the centers did not run any projects and trials are non-commercial, and about 35%, no more than 2. While 9.5% already met the standards for self-certification, 71.4% were working to achieve them. Standard operating procedures dedicated to research and the required good clinical practice training had been established by 57.1% and 76.2%, respectively. Fifty percent of laboratories were almost compliant with the Determination. After 10 months from its coming into force, 98 sites had applied for certification, of which 34 were oncology units.

Conclusions: The new AIFA Determination imposes a certified organizational model on units and laboratories involved in phase I trials. Our results showed that great efforts were made to qualify for phase I research suggesting that other oncology units will apply for certification in the near future. Predictably, Italy will set the pace as a highly qualified country in which to conduct early-phase research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/tj.5000668DOI Listing
May 2018

Histotype-tailored neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus standard chemotherapy in patients with high-risk soft-tissue sarcomas (ISG-STS 1001): an international, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3, multicentre trial.

Lancet Oncol 2017 06 9;18(6):812-822. Epub 2017 May 9.

Department of Cancer Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Background: Previous trials from our group suggested an overall survival benefit with five cycles of adjuvant full-dose epirubicin plus ifosfamide in localised high-risk soft-tissue sarcoma of the extremities or trunk wall, and no difference in overall survival benefit between three cycles versus five cycles of the same neoadjuvant regimen. We aimed to show the superiority of the neoadjuvant administration of histotype-tailored regimen to standard chemotherapy.

Methods: For this international, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3, multicentre trial, patients were enrolled from 32 hospitals in Italy, Spain, France, and Poland. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with localised, high-risk (high malignancy grade, 5 cm or longer in diameter, and deeply located according to the investing fascia), soft-tissue sarcoma of the extremities or trunk wall and belonging to one of five histological subtypes: high-grade myxoid liposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour, and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive three cycles of full-dose standard chemotherapy (epirubicin 60 mg/m per day [short infusion, days 1 and 2] plus ifosfamide 3 g/m per day [days 1, 2, and 3], repeated every 21 days) or histotype-tailored chemotherapy: for high-grade myxoid liposarcoma, trabectedin 1·3 mg/m via 24-h continuous infusion, repeated every 21 days; for leiomyosarcoma, gemcitabine 1800 mg/m on day 1 intravenously over 180 min plus dacarbazine 500 mg/m on day 1 intravenously over 20 min, repeated every 14 days; for synovial sarcoma, high-dose ifosfamide 14 g/m, given over 14 days via an external infusion pump, every 28 days; for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour, intravenous etoposide 150 mg/m per day (days 1, 2, and 3) plus intravenous ifosfamide 3 g/m per day (days 1, 2, and 3), repeated every 21 days; and for undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, gemcitabine 900 mg/m on days 1 and 8 intravenously over 90 min plus docetaxel 75 mg/m on day 8 intravenously over 1 h, repeated every 21 days. Randomisation was stratified by administration of preoperative radiotherapy and by country of enrolment. Computer-generated random lists were prepared by use of permuted balanced blocks of size 4 and 6 in random sequence. An internet-based randomisation system ensured concealment of the treatment assignment until the patient had been registered into the system. No masking of treatment assignments was done. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival. The primary and safety analyses were planned in the intention-to-treat population. We did yearly futility analyses on an intention-to-treat basis. The study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01710176, and with the European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials, number EUDRACT 2010-023484-17, and is closed to patient entry.

Findings: Between May 19, 2011, and May 13, 2016, 287 patients were randomly assigned to a group (145 to standard chemotherapy and 142 to histotype-tailored chemotherapy), all of whom, except one patient assigned to standard chemotherapy, were included in the efficacy analysis (97 [34%] with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma; 64 [22%] with high-grade myxoid liposarcoma; 70 [24%] with synovial sarcoma; 27 [9%] with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour; and 28 [10%] with leiomyosarcoma). At the third futility analysis, with a median follow-up of 12·3 months (IQR 2·75-28·20), the projected disease-free survival at 46 months was 62% (95% CI 48-77) in the standard chemotherapy group and 38% (22-55) in the histotype-tailored chemotherapy group (stratified log-rank p=0·004; hazard ratio 2·00, 95% CI 1·22-3·26; p=0·006). The most common grade 3 or higher adverse events in the standard chemotherapy group (n=125) were neutropenia (107 [86%]), anaemia (24 [19%]), and thrombocytopenia (21 [17%]); the most common grade 3 or higher adverse event in the histotype-tailored chemotherapy group (n=114) was neutropenia (30 [26%]). No treatment-related deaths were reported in both groups. In agreement with the Independent Data Monitoring Committee, the study was closed to patient entry after the third futility analysis.

Interpretation: In a population of patients with high-risk soft-tissue sarcoma, we did not show any benefit of a neoadjuvant histotype-tailored chemotherapy regimen over the standard chemotherapy regimen. The benefit seen with the standard chemotherapy regimen suggests that this benefit might be the added value of neoadjuvant chemotherapy itself in patients with high-risk soft-tissue sarcoma.

Funding: European Union grant (Eurosarc FP7 278472).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30334-0DOI Listing
June 2017

Erratum to: Osteosarcoma follow-up: chest X-ray or computed tomography?

Clin Sarcoma Res 2017 3;7. Epub 2017 May 3.

Chemotherapy Unit, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, via Pupilli, 1, 40136 Bologna, Italy.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1186/s13569-017-0067-5.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-017-0073-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5415725PMC
May 2017

How a Clinical Trial Unit can improve independent clinical research in rare tumors: the Italian Sarcoma Group experience.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2017 28;7. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

Laboratory of Experimental Oncology, Orthopedic Rizzoli Institute, Bologna, Italy.

Background: The Italian Sarcoma Group (ISG) is a nonprofit group of professionals established in 1997 aimed to improve the quality of care and promote the independent research in sarcomas. The increased regulatory requirements, the chance to increase the number of trials with other cooperative groups and an interest from pharmaceutical companies in supporting independent research, generated the need of an internal service for research management.

Methods And Results: In 2010, ISG implemented in its organization a Clinical Trial Unit (CTU). The CTU was appointed to fully manage Clinical Trial Operations, to guarantee regulation compliance and provide a central support to the investigators, fostering a collaboration both at national and international level. In 2016 ISG promoted 25 studies in about 120 centers, with a fivefold increase in the last 5 years: 68% were interventional and 32% observational. Nine of the 17 interventional studies (52%) were supported by pharmaceutical companies, while 4 (24%) were funded by European Commission within specific projects on sarcomas and 4 (24%) were supported by the ISG itself.

Conclusion: The contribution of ISG researchers to the international community was striking from the earliest years of the ISG creation. The challenges of the regulatory clinical research scenario, which imposes solid and hard-fast methodology with deep knowledge and expertise, highlighted the need to identify qualified and dedicated experts able to run and follow the multifaceted aspects of trials. Our analysis demonstrated how this model has led to a growth in competitiveness of the group. The collaboration between clinicians and CTU made possible to support the research with high scientific and ethical standards and to increase the number of trials, sites and overall enrolled patients. The reduced time for approvals, the continuous support to sites, the increased speed in data collection and analysis make the ISG research attractive for pharmaceutical industries, despite the problems that have characterized the independent research in the last years. The ability to fully manage and oversight Clinical Operations and the high quality of delivered services, have led the ISG to be recognized as a reliable partner and coordinator within the international sarcoma networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-017-0068-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5329913PMC
February 2017

Osteosarcoma follow-up: chest X-ray or computed tomography?

Clin Sarcoma Res 2017 14;7. Epub 2017 Feb 14.

Chemotherapy Unit, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, via Pupilli, 1, 40136 Bologna, Italy.

Background: In patients with relapsed osteosarcoma, the surgical excision of all metastases, defined as second complete remission (CR-2), is the factor that mainly influences post-relapse survival (PRS). Currently a validated follow-up policy for osteosarcoma is not available, both chest X-ray and computed tomography (CT) are suggested for lung surveillance. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether the type of imaging technique used for chest surveillance, chest X-ray or CT, influenced the rate of CR-2 and prognosis in patients with recurrent osteosarcoma.

Methods: Patients up to 40 years with extremity osteosarcoma enrolled in consecutive clinical trials and treated at the Rizzoli Institute from 1986 to 2009 were identified. Only patients who had lung metastases alone as first pattern of recurrence were considered for the analysis. The rate of CR-2, overall survival (OS) and PRS were the end-points of the study.

Results: The median follow-up was 47 months (1-300), 215 patients were eligible. Lung metastases were detected by chest X-ray in 100 (47%) patients, by CT in 112 (52%) and by symptoms in 3 (1%). CR-2 rate was 60% for patients followed by X-rays and 88% for those followed by CT (p < .0001). 5-year PRS was 30% (95% CI 21-39) in the X-ray group and 49% (95% CI 39-59) in the CT group (p = .0004). 5-year OS was 35% (95% CI 26-44) in the X-ray group and 60% (95% CI 51-70) in the CT group (p = .004).

Conclusions: A follow-up strategy with chest CT leads to a higher rate of CR-2 and significantly improves PRS and OS in osteosarcoma, compared to chest X-ray.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-017-0067-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5307808PMC
February 2017

The role of FDG PET/CT in patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for localized bone sarcomas.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2017 Feb 20;44(2):215-223. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Chemotherapy, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Via Pupilli 1, 40136, Bologna, Italy.

Purpose: The histological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an important prognostic factor in patients with osteosarcoma (OS) and Ewing sarcoma (EWS). The aim of this study was to assess baseline primary tumour FDG uptake on PET/CT, and serum values of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), to establish whether these factors are correlated with tumour necrosis and prognosis.

Methods: Patients treated between 2009 and 2014 for localized EWS and OS, who underwent FDG PET/CT as part of their staging work-up, were included. The relationships between primary tumour SUVmax at baseline (SUV1), SUVmax after induction chemotherapy (SUV2), metabolic response calculated as [(SUV1 - SUV2)/SUV1)] × 100, LDH and ALP and tumour response/survival were analysed. A good response (GR) was defined as tumour necrosis >90 % in patients with OS, and grade II-III Picci necrosis (persitence of microscopic foci only or no viable tumor) in patients with Ewing sarcoma.

Results: The study included 77 patients, 45 with EWS and 32 with OS. A good histological response was achieved in 53 % of EWS patients, and 41 % of OS patients. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) was 57 % in EWS patients and 48 % OS patients. The median SUV1 was 5.6 (range 0 - 17) in EWS patients and 7.9 (range 0 - 24) in OS patients (p = 0.006). In EWS patients the GR rate was 30 % in those with a high SUV1 (≥6) and 72 % in those with a lower SUV1 (p = 0.0004), and in OS patients the GR rate was 29 % in those with SUV1 ≥6 and 64 % in those with a lower SUV1 (p = 0.05). In the univariate analysis the 3-year EFS was significantly better in patients with a low ALP level (59 %) than in those with a high ALP level (22 %, p = 0.02) and in patients with a low LDH level (62 %) than in those with a high LDH level (37 %, p = 0.004). In EWS patients the 3-year EFS was 37 % in those with a high SUV1 and 75 % in those with a low SUV1 (p = 0.004), and in OS patients the 3-year EFS was 32 % in those with a high SUV1 and 66 % in those with a low SUV1 (p = 0.1). Histology, age and gender were not associated with survival. In the multivariate analysis, SUV1 was the only independent pretreatment prognostic factor to retain statistical significance (p = 0.017). SUV2 was assessed in 25 EWS patients: the median SUV2 was 1.9 (range 1 - 8). The GR rate was 20 % in patients with a high SUV2, and 67 % in those with a low SUV2 (p = 0.02). A good metabolic response (SUV reduction of ≥55 %) was associated with a 3-year EFS of 80 % and a poor metabolic response with a 3-year EFS of 20 % (p = 0.05). In the OS patients the median SUV2 was 2.7 (range 0 - 4.5). Neither SUV2 nor the metabolic response was associated with outcome in OS patients.

Conclusion: FDG PET/CT is a useful and noninvasive tool for identifying patients who are more likely to be resistant to chemotherapy. If this finding is confirmed in a larger series, SUV1, SUV2 and metabolic response could be proposed as factors for stratifying EWS patients to identify those with high-grade localized bone EWS who would benefit from risk-adapted induction chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-016-3509-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5215266PMC
February 2017

High-grade focal areas in low-grade central osteosarcoma: high-grade or still low-grade osteosarcoma?

Clin Sarcoma Res 2015 29;5:23. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Department of Oncology, Rizzoli Institute, Bologna, Italy.

Background: High-grade foci (grade 3 according to Broder's grading system) are sometimes detected in low-grade (grade 1 and 2) central osteosarcoma. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the clinical outcome in patients upgraded to high grade (grade 3) after a first diagnosis of low-grade osteosarcoma, following the detection of high-grade areas (grade 3) in the resected specimen.

Methods: Of the 132 patients with a diagnosis of low-grade central osteosarcoma at surgical biopsy at our Institute, 33 patients were considered eligible for the study.

Results: Median age was 37 (range 13-58 years). Location was in an extremity in 29 patients (88 %). Post-operative chemotherapy was given in 22 (67 %) patients. Follow-up data were available for all patients, with a median observation time of 115 months (range 4-322 months). After histological revision, areas of high-grade (grade 3) osteosarcoma accounting for less than 50 % of the tumor were found in 20 (61 %) patients, whereas the majority of the tumor was composed of a high-grade (grade 3) component in 13 (39 %) patients. In the 20 cases of low-grade osteosarcoma with high-grade foci (grade 3) in less than 50 % of the tumor, 9 patients did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy; only one of them died, of unrelated causes. In the adjuvant chemotherapy group (11 out of 20 patients), one patient developed multiple lung metastases and died of disease 39 months after the first diagnosis. In the other 13 cases of low-grade osteosarcoma with high-grade foci (grade 3) in more than 50 % of the tumor, 12 patients received adjuvant chemotherapy: 2 had recurrence, 4 developed multiple lung metastases and 3 died of disease. The only patient who did not receive chemotherapy is alive without disease 232 months after complete surgical remission.

Conclusion: Our data indicate that patients with a diagnosis of low-grade osteosarcoma where the high-grade (grade 3) component is lower than 50 % of the resected specimen, may not require chemotherapy, achieving high survival rates by means of complete surgical resection only.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-015-0038-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4627618PMC
November 2015

Sorafenib and everolimus for patients with unresectable high-grade osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment: a non-randomised phase 2 clinical trial.

Lancet Oncol 2015 Jan 11;16(1):98-107. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Medical Oncology, Candiolo Cancer Institute-FPO, IRCCS, Candiolo, Italy; Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Turin, Italy.

Background: Results of previous study showed promising but short-lived activity of sorafenib in the treatment of patients with unresectable advanced and metastatic osteosarcoma. This treatment failure has been attributed to the mTOR pathway and might therefore be overcome with the addition of mTOR inhibitors. We aimed to investigate the activity of sorafenib in combination with everolimus in patients with inoperable high-grade osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment.

Methods: We did this non-randomised phase 2 trial in three Italian Sarcoma Group centres. We enrolled adults (≥18 years) with relapsed or unresectable osteosarcoma progressing after standard treatment (methotrexate, cisplatin, and doxorubicin, with or without ifosfamide). Patients received 800 mg sorafenib plus 5 mg everolimus once a day until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects. The primary endpoint was 6 month progression-free survival (PFS). All analyses were intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01804374.

Findings: We enrolled 38 patients between June 16, 2011, and June 4, 2013. 17 (45%; 95% CI 28-61) of 38 patients were progression free at 6 months. Toxic effects led to dose reductions, or short interruptions, or both in 25 (66%) of 38 patients and permanent discontinuation for two (5%) patients. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were lymphopenia and hypophosphataemia each in six (16%) patients, hand and foot syndrome in five (13%), thrombocytopenia in four (11%), and fatigue, oral mucositis, diarrhoea, and anaemia each in two (5%). One patient (3%) had a grade 3 pneumothorax that required trans-thoracic drainage, and that recurred at the time of disease progression. This was reported as a serious adverse event related to the study drugs in both instances. No other serious adverse events were reported during the trial. There were no treatment-related deaths.

Interpretation: Although the combination of sorafenib and everolimus showed activity as a further-line treatment for patients with advanced or unresectable osteosarcoma, it did not attain the prespecified target of 6 month PFS of 50% or greater.

Funding: Italian Sarcoma Group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(14)71136-2DOI Listing
January 2015

Chemotherapy-related toxicity in patients with non-metastatic Ewing sarcoma: influence of sex and age.

J Chemother 2014 Feb 6;26(1):49-56. Epub 2013 Dec 6.

Influence of age and sex on chemotherapy-related toxicity was evaluated in children (3-9 years), adolescents (10-17 years), and adults (up to 40 years) with localized Ewing sarcoma (ES) enrolled in the ISG/SSG III protocol. Treatment was based on vincristine, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, dactinomycin, and etoposide. High-dose chemotherapy with busulfan and melphalan was given in poor responder patients. The analysis was based on 2191 courses of standard chemotherapy and 230 patients. A lower risk of G4 leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, hospitalization, febrile neutropenia, and red blood cell (RBC) transfusions was observed in males. Use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was more frequent in adults, while children more often received RBC transfusions. A significant correlation between sex and chemotherapy-related toxicity was observed in the study, whereas no significant differences in terms of bone marrow toxicity can be expected according to patient age. Further studies should analyse the role of pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenomics, and clinical characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1973947813Y.0000000103DOI Listing
February 2014

Primary angiosarcoma of bone: a retrospective analysis of 60 patients from 2 institutions.

Am J Clin Oncol 2014 Dec;37(6):528-34

Departments of *Chemotherapy ‡Orthopaedic Surgery §Surgical Pathology ¶Research Laboratory, Musculoskeletal Oncology Department, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy Departments of †Medicine ∥Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Background: Angiosarcoma of bone is a rare high-grade malignant vascular tumor. The literature regarding treatment and outcome of patients with this tumor is limited.We performed a 2 institutional retrospective study to analyze treatment and survival of patients with angiosarcoma of bone.

Patients And Methods: We reviewed patients with the histologic diagnosis of primary angiosarcoma of bone treated from 1980 to 2009. Demographic details, histology, treatment, and survival were reviewed.

Results: A total of 38 men and 22 women (median age, 54 y) were recruited. Most lesions occurred in the femur and the pelvis. Metastatic disease at presentation was diagnosed in 24 patients (40%). Forty-three patients underwent surgery, with 30 of them achieving surgical complete remission (SCR). Radiotherapy was applied to 17 patients, and chemotherapy to 13/35 and 15/22 patients with localized and metastatic disease, respectively.The 5-year overall survival (OS) was 20%: 33% for patients with localized disease and 0% for metastatic patients. Higher 5-year OS was reported for patients who achieved SCR (46%) than for those who did not (0%). In nonmetastatic patients, a trend toward improved survival was observed after SCR and adjuvant chemotherapy based on cisplatin, doxorubicin, and ifosfamide.Fifteen patients received chemotherapy for metastases. Two RECIST partial responses of 13 evaluable patients were documented (paclitaxel [n=1] and doxorubicin [n=1]). Stable disease was observed in 2 patients.

Conclusions: Complete surgical resection is essential for outcome. Survival of patients with metastatic or unresectable disease is very poor. Activity of taxanes and anthracycline was observed in the metastatic setting and merits further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0b013e31827defa1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3681918PMC
December 2014

Taking EPR "snapshots" of the oxidative stress status in human blood.

Free Radic Res 2003 May;37(5):503-8

Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, via Irnerio 48, 1-40126, Bologna, Italy.

Assessment of oxidative stress status (OSS) in human tissues is still troublesome. Using an innovative EPR-radical-probe we successfully measured the instantaneous concentration of ROS directly in peripheral blood of athletes and normally active workers during 60 min controlled exercise. The probe employed was bis(1-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-piperidinyl)decandioate, which quantitatively and instantaneously reacts with oxygen-centered radicals (including superoxide) to yield the parent nitroxide, which is sufficiently persistent to be measured by EPR. Our measurements suggest that while at rest normally active individuals may benefit more from antioxidant supplementation than athletes; conversely, during exercise athletes may benefit more from supplementation. Our method allows reliable, quick, and non-invasive quantitative determination of OSS in human peripheral blood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1071576031000076240DOI Listing
May 2003