Publications by authors named "Frank Gilberg"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy and safety of sildenafil added to pirfenidone in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and risk of pulmonary hypertension: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2b trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 01 18;9(1):85-95. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Interstitial Lung Disease Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.

Background: The benefit of sildenafil in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) at risk of poor outcomes from pulmonary hypertension, whether already present or likely to develop, is uncertain. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of sildenafil added to pirfenidone versus placebo added to pirfenidone for 52 weeks in patients with advanced IPF and at risk of group 3 pulmonary hypertension.

Methods: We did a multicentre, international, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2b study at 56 university clinics, research hospitals, and tertiary sites in Canada, Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey), Israel, and Africa (Egypt and South Africa). Eligible patients (aged 40-80 years) had advanced IPF (carbon monoxide diffusing capacity ≤40% predicted at screening), and were at risk of group 3 pulmonary hypertension (mean pulmonary artery pressure of ≥20 mm Hg with pulmonary artery wedge pressure of ≤15 mm Hg on previous right-heart catheterisation, or intermediate or high probability of group 3 pulmonary hypertension on echocardiography as defined by the 2015 European Society of Cardiology and European Respiratory Society guidelines). Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to oral sildenafil tablets (20 mg three times daily) or placebo, both in addition to oral pirfenidone capsules (801 mg three times daily), using a validated interactive voice-based or web-based response system with permuted block randomisation, stratified by previous right-heart catheterisation (yes or no) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s to forced vital capacity ratio (<0·8 or ≥0·8). The composite primary endpoint was disease progression, defined as either a relevant decline in 6-min walk distance, respiratory-related admission to hospital, or all-cause mortality, after 52 weeks and was assessed in the intention-to-treat population; safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02951429, and is no longer recruiting. The 11-month safety follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: Between Jan 13, 2017, and Aug 30, 2018, 247 patients were screened for eligibility, 177 of whom were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=88 sildenafil; n=89 placebo) and were assessed for the primary outcome. There was no difference in the proportion of patients with disease progression over 52 weeks between the sildenafil (64 [73%] of 88 patients) and placebo groups (62 [70%] of 89 patients; between-group difference 3·06% [95% CI -11·30 to 17·97]; p=0·65). Serious treatment-emergent adverse events were reported in 54 (61%) patients in the sildenafil group and 55 (62%) patients in the placebo group. Treatment-emergent adverse events leading to mortality occurred in 22 (25%) patients in the sildenafil group and 26 (29%) in the placebo group.

Interpretation: Addition of sildenafil to pirfenidone did not provide a treatment benefit versus pirfenidone plus placebo up to 52 weeks in patients with advanced IPF and risk of pulmonary hypertension. No new safety signals were identified with either treatment. Although the absence of a beneficial treatment effect suggests that sildenafil is not an appropriate treatment in the overall population, further research is required to establish if specific subgroups of patients with IPF might benefit from sildenafil.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30356-8DOI Listing
January 2021

Pirfenidone in patients with unclassifiable progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2020 02 29;8(2):147-157. Epub 2019 Sep 29.

National Reference Coordinating Center for Rare Pulmonary Diseases, Louis Pradel Hospital, Lyon, France; Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France.

Background: At present, no approved pharmacotherapies are available for unclassifiable interstitial lung disease (ILD), which is characterised by progressive fibrosis of the lung. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of pirfenidone in patients with progressive fibrosing unclassifiable ILD.

Methods: We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial at 70 centres in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Eligible patients (aged ≥18-85 years) had progressive fibrosing unclassifiable ILD, a percent predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) of 45% or higher and percent predicted carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLco) of 30% or higher, more than 10% fibrosis on high-resolution CT, and a high-resolution CT from the previous 12 months. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to 2403 mg oral pirfenidone daily or placebo using a central validated interactive voice or web-based response system, stratified by concomitant mycophenolate mofetil use and presence or absence of interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features. Investigators, site personnel, and patients were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was mean predicted change in FVC from baseline over 24 weeks, measured by daily home spirometry. Secondary endpoints were change in FVC measured by site spirometry, proportion of patients who had a more than 5% or more than 10% absolute or relative decline in percent predicted FVC measured by clinic-based spirometry, change in percent predicted DLco, change in 6-min walk distance (6MWD), change in University of California San Diego-Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (UCSD-SOBQ) score, change in Leicester Cough Questionnaire score, change in cough visual analogue scale, and changes in total and subscores of the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), all of which were compared with baseline. Additional secondary endpoints included proportion of patients who had non-elective hospitalisation (respiratory and all-cause) and acute exacerbations, and progression-free survival. Efficacy was analysed in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population, which included all randomly assigned patients. Safety was assessed in the safety analysis set, which included all randomly assigned patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03099187, and is no longer recruiting.

Findings: Between May 15, 2017, and June 5, 2018, 253 patients were randomly assigned to receive 2403 mg pirfenidone (n=127) or placebo (n=126) and were included in the ITT analysis set. Analysis of the primary endpoint was affected by intraindividual variability in home spirometry values, which prevented application of the prespecified statistical model. Over 24 weeks, predicted median change in FVC measured by home spirometry was -87·7 mL (Q1-Q3 -338·1 to 148·6) in the pirfenidone group versus -157·1 mL (-370·9 to 70·1) in the placebo group. Over 24 weeks, predicted mean change in FVC measured by site spirometry was lower in patients given pirfenidone than placebo (treatment difference 95·3 mL [95% CI 35·9 to 154·6], p=0·002). Compared with the placebo group, patients in the pirfenidone group were less likely to have a decline in FVC of more than 5% (odds ratio [OR] 0·42 [95% CI 0·25 to 0·69], p=0·001) or more than 10% (OR 0·44 [0·23 to 0·84], p=0·011). At week 24, mean change in DLco from baseline was -0·7% (SD 7·1) for the pirfenidone group and -2·5% (8·8) for the placebo group, and mean change in 6MWD from baseline was -2·0 m (68·1) for the pirfenidone group and -26·7 m (79·3) for the placebo group. Changes from baseline in UCSD-SOBQ, Leicester Cough Questionnaire score, cough visual analogue scale, and SGRQ scores were similar between the pirfenidone and placebo groups at week 24. Analysis of acute exacerbations, hospital admissions, and time to death from respiratory causes during the study yielded no meaningful results due to a small number of events. No differences in progression-free survival were identified between the pirfenidone and placebo groups, irrespective of the definition of progression-free survival used. Treatment-emergent adverse events were reported in 120 (94%) of 127 patients in the pirfenidone group and 101 (81%) of 124 patients in the placebo group. Serious treatment-emergent adverse events were reported in 18 (14%) patients in the pirfenidone group and 20 (16%) patients in the placebo group. The most common treatment-related treatment-emergent adverse events were gastrointestinal disorders (60 [47%] in the pirfenidone group vs 32 [26%] in the placebo group), fatigue (16 [13%] vs 12 [10%]), and rash (13 [10%] vs nine [7%]).

Interpretation: Although the planned statistical model could not be applied to the primary endpoint data, analysis of key secondary endpoints suggests that patients with progressive fibrosing unclassifiable ILD could benefit from pirfenidone treatment, which has an acceptable safety and tolerability profile. These findings support further investigation of pirfenidone as an effective treatment for patients with progressive fibrotic unclassifiable ILD.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30341-8DOI Listing
February 2020

Effect of pirfenidone in patients with more advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Respir Res 2019 Mar 12;20(1):55. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90048, USA.

Data from controlled clinical studies in patients with more advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) could inform clinical practice, but they are limited, since this sub-population is usually excluded from clinical trials. These exploratory post-hoc analyses of the open-label, long-term extension study RECAP (NCT00662038) aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of pirfenidone in patients with more advanced IPF. Patients were categorised according to the extent of lung function impairment at baseline: more advanced (percent predicted FVC <50% and/or DLco <35%) and less advanced (percent predicted FVC ≥50% and DLco ≥35%).Overall, 596 patients with baseline FVC and/or DLco values available were included in the analyses; 187 patients had more advanced disease, and 409 patients had less advanced disease. Mean percent predicted FVC declined throughout 180 weeks of treatment in both more and less advanced disease subgroups. Both subgroups exhibited a similar pattern of adverse events; however, adverse events related to IPF progression were experienced by a higher proportion of patients with more advanced versus less advanced disease. Discontinuation rates due to any reason, adverse events related to IPF progression, or deaths were each higher in the more advanced versus the less advanced disease subgroup.These analyses found that longer-term pirfenidone treatment resulted in a similar rate of lung function decline and safety profile in patients with more advanced versus less advanced IPF, and the data suggest that pirfenidone is efficacious, well tolerated, and a feasible treatment option in patients with more advanced IPF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12931-019-1021-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6416878PMC
March 2019

Design of a Study Assessing Disease Behaviour During the Peri-Diagnostic Period in Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease: The STARLINER Study.

Adv Ther 2019 01 30;36(1):232-243. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Regional Referral Centre for Rare Lung Diseases, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital "Policlinico G. Rodolico", University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Background/objectives: This study will aim to characterise disease behaviour during the peri-diagnostic period in patients with suspected interstitial lung disease (ILD), including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), using daily home spirometry and accelerometry. Additionally, this study will aim to increase collaboration between secondary and tertiary centres using a digital collaboration platform.

Methods: The STARLINER study (NCT03261037) will enrol approximately 180 symptomatic patients aged 50 years or more with radiological evidence of ILD/IPF from community and tertiary centres in Canada and Europe. Approximately two-thirds of sites will be community centres. Patients will be followed during pre-diagnosis (inclusion to diagnosis; up to a maximum of 12 months) and post-diagnosis (diagnosis to treatment initiation; up to a maximum of 6 months). The study will be facilitated by a digital ecosystem consisting of the devices used for home-based assessments and a digital collaboration platform enabling communication between community and tertiary centres, and between clinicians and patients.

Planned Outcomes: The primary endpoint will be time-adjusted semi-annual change in forced vital capacity (FVC; in millilitres) during the peri-diagnostic period. Physical functional capacity and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) will also be assessed. FVC and physical functional capacity will be measured using daily home spirometry and accelerometry, and at site visits using spirometry and the 6-min walk test. PROs will be assessed prior to, or during, site visits and will always be completed in the same order.

Conclusions: Findings from this study may help to facilitate the early and accurate diagnosis of ILDs by increasing knowledge about disease progression, enabling collaboration between community and tertiary centres and improving communication between clinicians and patients.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03261037.

Funding: F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd., Basel, Switzerland. Plain language summary available for this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-018-0845-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6318228PMC
January 2019

Dose modification and dose intensity during treatment with pirfenidone: analysis of pooled data from three multinational phase III trials.

BMJ Open Respir Res 2018 2;5(1):e000323. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Introduction: Temporary dose modifications, such as reductions or interruptions, may allow patients to better manage adverse events (AEs) associated with pirfenidone use and continue treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). However, the impact of such dosing adjustments on efficacy and safety is uncertain.

Methods: Patients randomised to receive treatment with pirfenidone 2403 mg/day or placebo in the Clinical Studies Assessing Pirfenidone in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Research of Efficacy and Safety Outcomes (CAPACITY (Study 004 (NCT00287716)) and Study 006 (NCT00287729))) and Assessment of Pirfenidone to Confirm Efficacy and Safety in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (ASCEND (Study 016 (NCT01366209)) trials were included in the analysis (n=1247). Descriptive statistics and a linear mixed-effects model (slope analysis) for annual rate of decline in forced vital capacity (FVC) by dose intensity were performed. Treatment-emergent AEs (TEAEs) were summarised and grouped by dose intensity or body size.

Results: Dose reductions and interruptions occurred in 76.9% (95% CI 73.4% to 80.1%) and 46.5% (95% CI 42.6% to 50.6%) of patients receiving pirfenidone vs 72.0% (95% CI 68.3% to 75.4%) and 31.1% (95% CI 27.5% to 34.9%) of patients receiving placebo, respectively. Dose interruptions tended to occur during the first 6 months of treatment, whereas dose reductions exhibited more variability. Less FVC decline from baseline was observed in patients receiving pirfenidone versus placebo at >90% dose intensity (p<0.001) or ≤90% dose intensity (p=0.0191), showing treatment benefit in both subgroups of dose intensity. No meaningful relationship between weight and TEAEs was observed.

Conclusion: Dose interruptions, which may be required to manage TEAEs, mostly occurred during the first 6 months of treatment. Despite dose reductions and interruptions, most patients with IPF maintained relatively high dose intensity on pirfenidone, without compromising its treatment effect compared with placebo.

Trial Registration Numbers: NCT00287729, NCT00287716, NCT01366209.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjresp-2018-000323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089326PMC
August 2018

Safety of nintedanib added to pirfenidone treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Eur Respir J 2018 08 2;52(2). Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Dept of Respiratory Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

We assessed safety and tolerability of treatment with pirfenidone (1602-2403 mg·day) and nintedanib (200-300 mg·day) in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).This 24-week, single-arm, open-label, phase IV study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02598193) enrolled patients with IPF with forced vital capacity % pred ≥50% and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide % pred ≥30%. Before initiating nintedanib, patients had received pirfenidone for ≥16 weeks and tolerated a stable dose of ≥1602 mg·day for ≥28 days. The primary end-point was the proportion of patients who completed 24 weeks of combination treatment on pirfenidone (1602-2403 mg·day) and nintedanib (200-300 mg·day). Investigators recorded treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), attributing them to pirfenidone, nintedanib, both or neither.89 patients were enrolled; 73 completed 24 weeks of treatment (69 meeting the primary end-point) and 16 discontinued treatment prematurely (13 due to TEAEs). 74 patients had 418 treatment-related TEAEs, of which diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting were the most common. Two patients had serious treatment-related TEAEs.Combined pirfenidone and nintedanib use for 24 weeks was tolerated by the majority of patients with IPF and associated with a similar pattern of TEAEs expected for either treatment alone. These results encourage further study of combination treatment with pirfenidone and nintedanib in patients with IPF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00230-2018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6092682PMC
August 2018

Sildenafil added to pirfenidone in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and risk of pulmonary hypertension: A Phase IIb, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Rationale and study design.

Respir Med 2018 05 16;138:13-20. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

Interstitial Lung Disease Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.

Background: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is commonly observed in patients with advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Despite the availability of therapies for both IPF and PH, none are approved for PH treatment in the context of significant pulmonary disease. This study will investigate the use of sildenafil added to pirfenidone in patients with advanced IPF and risk of PH, who represent a group with a high unmet medical need.

Methods: This Phase IIb, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is actively enrolling patients and will study the efficacy, safety and tolerability of sildenafil or placebo in patients with advanced IPF and intermediate or high probability of Group 3 PH who are receiving a stable dose of pirfenidone. Patients with advanced IPF (diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide ≤40% predicted) and risk of Group 3 PH (defined as mean pulmonary arterial pressure ≥20 mm Hg with pulmonary arterial wedge pressure ≤15 mm Hg on a previous right-heart catheterisation [RHC], or intermediate/high probability of Group 3 PH as defined by the 2015 European Society of Cardiology/European Respiratory Society guidelines) are eligible. In the absence of a previous RHC, patients with an echocardiogram showing a peak tricuspid valve regurgitation velocity ≥2.9 m/s can enrol if all other criteria are met. The primary efficacy endpoint is the proportion of patients with disease progression over a 52-week treatment period. Safety will be evaluated descriptively.

Discussion: Combination treatment with sildenafil and pirfenidone may warrant investigation of the treatment of patients with advanced IPF and pulmonary vascular involvement leading to PH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2018.03.019DOI Listing
May 2018

Two intermittent vismodegib dosing regimens in patients with multiple basal-cell carcinomas (MIKIE): a randomised, regimen-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2017 03 8;18(3):404-412. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Klinik für Dermatologie, Venereologie und Allergologie, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Essen, Germany.

Background: Vismodegib, a first-in-class Hedgehog-pathway inhibitor, is approved for use in adults with advanced basal-cell carcinoma. Patients with multiple basal-cell carcinomas, including those with basal-cell nevus (Gorlin) syndrome, need extended treatment. We assessed the safety and activity of two long-term intermittent vismodegib dosing regimens in patients with multiple basal-cell carcinomas.

Methods: In this randomised, regimen-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial, we enrolled adult patients with multiple basal-cell carcinomas, including those with basal-cell nevus syndrome, who had one or more histopathologically confirmed and at least six clinically evident basal-cell carcinomas. From a centralised randomisation schedule accessed via an interactive voice or web-based response system, patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to treatment group A (150 mg oral vismodegib per day for 12 weeks, then three rounds of 8 weeks of placebo daily followed by 12 weeks of 150 mg vismodegib daily) or treatment group B (150 mg oral vismodegib per day for 24 weeks, then three rounds of 8 weeks of placebo daily followed by 8 weeks of 150 mg vismodegib daily). Treatment assignment was stratified by diagnosis of basal-cell nevus syndrome, geographical region, and immunosuppression status. The primary endpoint was percentage reduction from baseline in the number of clinically evident basal-cell carcinomas at week 73. The primary analysis was by intention to treat. The safety population included all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01815840, and the study is ongoing.

Findings: Between April 30, 2013, and April 9, 2014, 229 patients were randomly assigned treatment, 116 in treatment group A and 113 in treatment group B. The mean number of basal-cell carcinoma lesions at week 73 was reduced from baseline by 62·7% (95% CI 53·0-72·3) in treatment group A and 54·0% (43·6-64·4) in treatment group B. 216 (95%) of 227 patients included in the safety analysis had at least one treatment-emergent adverse event deemed to be related to study treatment (107 [94%] of 114 in treatment group A and 109 [97%] of 113 in treatment group B). The most common grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were muscle spasms (four [4%] patients in treatment group A vs 12 [11%] in treatment group B), increased blood creatine phosphokinase (one [1%] vs four [4%]), and hypophosphataemia (zero vs three [3%]). Serious treatment-emergent events were noted in 22 (19%) patients in treatment group A and 19 (17%) patients in treatment group B. Four (2%) patients died from adverse events; one (pulmonary embolism in treatment group A) was possibly related to treatment.

Interpretation: Both intermittent dosing schedules of vismodegib seemed to show good activity in long-term regimens in patients with multiple basal-cell carcinomas. Further study is warranted.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(17)30072-4DOI Listing
March 2017

Capecitabine plus oxaliplatin compared with fluorouracil and folinic acid as adjuvant therapy for stage III colon cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2011 Apr 7;29(11):1465-71. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Purpose: This multicenter, randomized trial compared capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) with bolus fluorouracil (FU) and folinic acid (FA) as adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III colon cancer.

Patients And Methods: Patients who had undergone curative resection were randomly assigned to XELOX (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) on day 1 plus capecitabine 1,000 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1 to 14 every 3 weeks for 24 weeks) or a standard bolus FU/FA adjuvant regimen (Mayo Clinic for 24 weeks or Roswell Park for 32 weeks). The primary study end point was disease-free survival (DFS).

Results: The intention-to-treat population comprised 1,886 patients; 944 patients were randomly assigned to XELOX and 942 to FU/FA (Mayo Clinic, n = 664; Roswell Park, n = 278). After 57 months of follow-up for the primary analysis, 295 patients (31.3%) in the XELOX group had relapsed, developed a new primary colon cancer, or died compared with 353 patients (37.5%) in the FU/FA group (hazard ratio [HR] for DFS, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.93; P = .0045). The 3-year DFS rate was 70.9% with XELOX and 66.5% with FU/FA. The HR for overall survival (OS) for XELOX compared to FU/FA was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.05; P = .1486). The 5-year OS for XELOX and FU/FA were 77.6% and 74.2%, respectively. Follow-up is ongoing. Preplanned multivariate and subgroup analyses supported the robustness of these findings.

Conclusion: The addition of oxaliplatin to capecitabine improves DFS in patients with stage III colon cancer. XELOX is an additional adjuvant treatment option for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2010.33.6297DOI Listing
April 2011

Potential regional differences for the tolerability profiles of fluoropyrimidines.

J Clin Oncol 2008 May;26(13):2118-23

Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Purpose: We conducted a retrospective analysis of safety data from randomized, single-agent fluoropyrimidine clinical trials (bolus fluorouracil/leucovorin [FU/LV] and capecitabine) to test the hypothesis that there are regional differences in fluoropyrimidine tolerability.

Methods: Treatment-related safety data from three phase III clinical studies were analyzed by multivariate analysis: two comparing capecitabine with bolus FU/LV in metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC) and one comparing capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (XELOX) with bolus FU/LV as adjuvant treatment for colon cancer. The United States (US) was compared with non-US countries (all three studies) and with the rest of the world and East Asia (adjuvant study).

Results: In the MCRC studies (n = 1,189), more grade 3/4 adverse events (AEs; relative risk [RR], 1.77), dose reductions (RR, 1.72), and discontinuations (RR, 1.83) were reported in US versus non-US patients. Likewise, in the adjuvant colon cancer study (n = 1,864), more grade 3/4 AEs (RR, 1.47) and discontinuations (RR, 2.09) were reported in US versus non-US patients. After further dividing non-US patients into those in East Asia and the rest of the world, differential RRs for related grade 3/4 AEs, grade 4 AEs, and serious AEs were again observed, with East Asian patients having the lowest and US patients the highest RR.

Conclusion: Regional differences exist in the tolerability profiles of fluoropyrimidines. More treatment-related toxicity was reported in the US compared with the rest of the world for bolus FU/LV and capecitabine in first-line MCRC and adjuvant colon cancer. In the adjuvant setting, a range of fluoropyrimidine tolerability was observed, with East Asian patients having the lowest, and US patients the highest, RR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2007.15.2090DOI Listing
May 2008

Early treatment with erythropoietin beta ameliorates anemia and reduces transfusion requirements in infants with birth weights below 1000 g.

J Pediatr 2002 Jul;141(1):8-15

Objective: To investigate whether recombinant erythropoietin (rhEPO) reduces the need for transfusion in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants (birth weight 500-999 g) and to determine the optimal time for treatment.

Methods: In a blinded multicenter trial, 219 ELBW infants were randomized on day 3 to one of 3 groups: early rhEPO group (rhEPO from the first week for 9 weeks, n = 74), late rhEPO group (rhEPO from the fourth week for 6 weeks, n = 74), or control group (no rhEPO, n = 71). All infants received enteral iron (3-9 mg/kg/day) from the first week. The rhEPO beta dose was 750 IU/kg/week. Success was defined as no transfusion and hematocrit levels never below 30%.

Results: Success rate was 13% in the early rhEPO group, 11% in the late rhEPO group, and 4% in the control group (P =.026 for early rhEPO versus control group). Median transfusion volume was 0.4 versus 0.5 versus 0.7 mL/kg/day (P =.02) and median donor exposure was 1.0 versus 1.0 versus 2.0 (P =.05) in the early rhEPO group, the late rhEPO group, and the control group, respectively. Infection risk was not increased and weight gain was not delayed with rhEPO beta.

Conclusion: Early rhEPO beta treatment effectively reduces the need for transfusion in ELBW infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1067/mpd.2002.124309DOI Listing
July 2002