Publications by authors named "Ian Chau"

228 Publications

Liver transplantation for non-resectable colorectal liver metastases: the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association consensus guidelines.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Sep 7. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Hepato Biliary Surgery, Cancer and Transplantation Unit, AP-HP Paul Brousse Hospital, University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Colorectal cancer is a prevalent disease worldwide, with more than 50% of patients developing metastases to the liver. Despite advances in improving resectability, most patients present with non-resectable colorectal liver metastases requiring palliative systemic therapy and locoregional disease control strategies. There is a growing interest in the use of liver transplantation to treat non-resectable colorectal liver metastases in well selected patients, leading to a surge in the number of studies and prospective trials worldwide, thereby fuelling the emerging field of transplant oncology. The interdisciplinary nature of this field requires domain-specific evidence and expertise to be drawn from multiple clinical specialities and the basic sciences. Importantly, the wider societal implication of liver transplantation for non-resectable colorectal liver metastases, such as the effect on the allocation of resources and national transplant waitlists, should be considered. To address the urgent need for a consensus approach, the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association commissioned the Liver Transplantation for Colorectal liver Metastases 2021 working group, consisting of international leaders in the areas of hepatobiliary surgery, colorectal oncology, liver transplantation, hepatology, and bioethics. The aim of this study was to standardise nomenclature and define management principles in five key domains: patient selection, evaluation of biological behaviour, graft selection, recipient considerations, and outcomes. An extensive literature review was done within the five domains identified. Between November, 2020, and January, 2021, a three-step modified Delphi consensus process was undertaken by the workgroup, who were further subgrouped into the Scientific Committee, Expert Panel, and Transplant Centre Representatives. A final consensus of 44 statements, standardised nomenclature, and a practical management algorithm is presented. Specific criteria for clinico-patho-radiological assessments with molecular profiling is crucial in this setting. After this, the careful evaluation of biological behaviour with bridging therapy to transplantation with an appropriate assessment of the response is required. The sequencing of treatment in synchronous metastatic disease requires special consideration and is highlighted here. Some ethical dilemmas within organ allocation for malignant indications are discussed and the role for extended criteria grafts, living donor transplantation, and machine perfusion technologies for non-resectable colorectal liver metastases are reviewed. Appropriate immunosuppressive regimens and strategies for the follow-up and treatment of recurrent disease are proposed. This consensus guideline provides a framework by which liver transplantation for non-resectable colorectal liver metastases might be safely instituted and is a meaningful step towards future evidenced-based practice for better patient selection and organ allocation to improve the survival for patients with this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00219-3DOI Listing
September 2021

Pembrolizumab versus paclitaxel for previously treated PD-L1-positive advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer: 2-year update of the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 trial.

Gastric Cancer 2021 Sep 1. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan.

Background: In the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 study (cutoff: 10/26/2017), pembrolizumab did not significantly prolong OS vs paclitaxel as second-line (2L) therapy in PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) ≥ 1 gastric/GEJ cancer. We present results in CPS ≥ 1, ≥ 5, and ≥ 10 populations after two additional years of follow-up (cutoff: 10/07/2019).

Methods: Patients were randomly allocated 1:1 to pembrolizumab 200 mg Q3W for ≤ 35 cycles or standard-dose paclitaxel. Primary endpoints: OS and PFS (CPS ≥ 1 population). HRs were calculated using stratified Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: 366/395 patients (92.7%) with CPS ≥ 1 died. Pembrolizumab demonstrated a trend toward improved OS vs paclitaxel in the CPS ≥ 1 population (HR, 0.81); 24-month OS rates: 19.9% vs 8.5%. Pembrolizumab incrementally increased the OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment (CPS ≥ 5: HR, 0.72, 24-month rate, 24.2% vs 8.8%; CPS ≥ 10: 0.69, 24-month rate, 32.1% vs 10.9%). There was no difference in median PFS among treatment groups (CPS ≥ 1: HR, 1.25; CPS ≥ 5: 0.98; CPS ≥ 10: 0.79). ORR (pembrolizumab vs paclitaxel) was 16.3% vs 13.6% (CPS ≥ 1), 20.0% vs 14.3% (CPS ≥ 5), and 24.5% vs 9.1% (CPS ≥ 10); median DOR was 19.1 months vs 5.2, 32.7 vs 4.8, and NR vs 6.9, respectively. Fewer treatment-related AEs (TRAEs) occurred with pembrolizumab than paclitaxel (53% vs 84%).

Conclusion: In this long-term analysis, 2L pembrolizumab did not significantly improve OS but was associated with higher 24-month OS rates than paclitaxel. Pembrolizumab also increased OS benefit with PD-L1 enrichment among patients with PD-L1-positive gastric/GEJ cancer and led to fewer TRAEs than paclitaxel.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02370498.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-021-01227-zDOI Listing
September 2021

A phase I/II study of thiotepa-based immunochemotherapy in relapsed/refractory primary CNS lymphoma: the TIER trial.

Blood Adv 2021 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

UCLH, London, United Kingdom.

Relapsed or refractory primary central nervous system lymphoma (rrPCNSL) confers a poor prognosis with no accepted standard of care. Very few prospective studies have been conducted in this patient group. This multicenter, phase I/II study investigated thiotepa in combination with ifosfamide, etoposide and rituximab (TIER), for the treatment of PCNSL relapsed or refractory to high-dose methotrexate-based chemotherapy. A 3+3 design investigated the recommended phase II dose of thiotepa for a single-stage phase II cohort, assessing activity of two cycles of TIER against rrPCNSL. The primary outcome was overall response rate. The dose-finding study demonstrated 50mg/m2 of thiotepa could be safely delivered within the TIER regimen. No dose-limiting toxicities were encountered in phase I, and TIER was well-tolerated by the 27 patients treated in phase II. The most common Grade 3/4 toxicities were neutropenia (56% of patients) and thrombocytopenia (39%). An overall response was confirmed in 14 (52%) patients, meeting the pre-specified threshold for clinically relevant activity. The median progression-free survival was 3 months (95% confidence interval 2 to 6 months) and overall survival 5 months (3 to 9 months). Exploratory analyses suggest a greater benefit for thiotepa-naïve patients. Six patients successfully completed autologous stem cell transplant consolidation (ASCT), with 4 experiencing durable remissions after median follow-up of 50 months. The TIER regimen can be safely delivered and is active against rrPCNSL, and followed by ASCT can provide durable remission and long-term survival. However, for the majority of patients, prognosis remains poor and novel treatment strategies are urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2021004779DOI Listing
August 2021

Clinical utility of clonal origin determination in managing recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma.

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Aug 18:1-9. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London, UK.

Introduction: Recurrence is the driving factor for reduced long-term survival in patients following resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Extensive research efforts have been conducted to understand the molecular processes precipitating disease recurrence. Modern genomic techniques have identified two distinct mechanisms for recurrent HCC (RHCC): Intrahepatic metastasis (IM-HCC); and multicentric origin (MO-HCC). Medline, EMBASE and Cochrane library were methodically searched for primary research articles in English with the aim of appraising existing literature on the identification of clonal origin of RHCC and its potential clinical utility.

Areas Covered: Molecular and next-generation sequencing techniques, when applied to clonal origin identification, yield superior accuracy than traditional clinicopathological criteria. Despite various treatment modalities, no optimal therapy has yet been identified for treating clonally differentiated RHCC. Patients with MO-HCC appear to experience improved long-term survival following re-treatment compared to their IM-HCC counterparts (91.7% vs 22.9% 5-year survival, p < 0.001). However, cautious interpretation is advised as heterogeneous classification criteria and small sample sizes restrict the generalizability of such findings.

Expert Opinion: Improved identification of clonal origin in RHCC may facilitate further research on RHCC treatment strategies and enable the development of novel therapeutic targets, potentially leading to individualized treatment approaches in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17474124.2021.1967144DOI Listing
August 2021

Whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI in lymphoma-comparison of global apparent diffusion coefficient histogram parameters for differentiation of diseased nodes of lymphoma patients from normal lymph nodes of healthy individuals.

Quant Imaging Med Surg 2021 Aug;11(8):3549-3561

Cancer Research UK Cancer Imaging Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton SM2 5NG, UK.

Background: Morphologic features yield low diagnostic accuracy to distinguish between diseased and normal lymph nodes. The purpose of this study was to compare diseased lymphomatous and normal lymph nodes using global apparent diffusion coefficient (gADC) histogram parameters derived from whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI (WB-DWI).

Methods: 1.5 Tesla WB-DWI of 23 lymphoma patients and 20 healthy volunteers performed between 09/2010 and 07/2015 were retrospectively reviewed. All diseased nodal groups in the lymphoma cohort and all nodes visible on b900 images in healthy volunteers were segmented from neck to groin to generate a total diffusion volume (tDV). A connected component-labelling algorithm separated spatially distinct nodes. Mean, median, skewness, kurtosis, minimum, maximum, interquartile range (IQR), standard deviation (SD), 10 and 90 centile of the gADC distribution were derived from the tDV of each patient/volunteer and from spatially distinct nodes. gADC and regional nodal ADC parameters were compared between malignant and normal nodes using -tests and ROC curve analyses. A P value ≤0.05 was deemed statistically significant.

Results: Mean, median, IQR, 10th and 90th centiles of gADC and regional nodal ADC values were significantly lower in diseased compared with normal lymph nodes. Skewness, kurtosis and tDV were significantly higher in lymphoma. The SD, min and max gADC showed no significant difference between the two groups (P>0.128). The diagnostic accuracies of gADC parameters by AUC from highest to lowest were: 10th centile, mean, median, 90th centile, skewness, kurtosis and IQR. A 10th centile gADC threshold of 0.68×10 mm/s identified diseased lymphomatous nodes with 91% sensitivity and 95% specificity.

Conclusions: WB-DWI derived gADC histogram parameters can distinguish between malignant lymph nodes of lymphoma patients and normal lymph nodes of healthy individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/qims-21-50DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245962PMC
August 2021

Targeting the Stroma in the Management of Pancreatic Cancer.

Front Oncol 2021 14;11:691185. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Pancreatic cancer (PC) presents extremely aggressive tumours and is associated with poor survival. This is attributed to the unique features of the tumour microenvironment (TME), which is known to create a dense stromal formation and poorly immunogenic condition. In particular, the TME of PC, including the stromal cells and extracellular matrix, plays an essential role in the progression and chemoresistance of PC. Consequently, several promising agents that target key components of the stroma have already been developed and are currently in multiple stages of clinical trials. Therefore, the authors review the latest available evidence on novel stroma-targeting approaches, highlighting the potential impact of the stroma as a key component of the TME in PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.691185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8316993PMC
July 2021

Harnessing biomarkers of response to improve therapy selection in esophago-gastric adenocarcinoma.

Pharmacogenomics 2021 Jul 14;22(11):703-726. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PT, UK.

Advanced esophago-gastric (OG) adenocarcinomas have a high mortality rate and new therapeutic options are urgently required. Despite recent advances in understanding the molecular characteristics of OG cancers, tumor heterogeneity poses a challenge in developing new therapeutics capable of improving patient outcomes. Consequently, chemotherapy remains the mainstay of systemic treatment, with the HER2 being the only predictive biomarker routinely targeted in clinical practice. Recent data indicate that immunotherapy will be incorporated into first-line chemotherapy, but further research is required to refine patient selection. This review will summarize the clinical strategies being evaluated to utilize our knowledge of predictive biomarkers with reference to novel therapeutics, and discuss the barriers to implementing precision oncology in OG adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pgs-2020-0090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8265282PMC
July 2021

Cytokine release syndrome in a patient with colorectal cancer after vaccination with BNT162b2.

Nat Med 2021 08 26;27(8):1362-1366. Epub 2021 May 26.

Gastrointestinal and Lymphoma Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, UK.

Patients with cancer are currently prioritized in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination programs globally, which includes administration of mRNA vaccines. Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) has not been reported with mRNA vaccines and is an extremely rare immune-related adverse event of immune checkpoint inhibitors. We present a case of CRS that occurred 5 d after vaccination with BTN162b2 (tozinameran)-the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine-in a patient with colorectal cancer on long-standing anti-PD-1 monotherapy. The CRS was evidenced by raised inflammatory markers, thrombocytopenia, elevated cytokine levels (IFN-γ/IL-2R/IL-18/IL-16/IL-10) and steroid responsiveness. The close temporal association of vaccination and diagnosis of CRS in this case suggests that CRS was a vaccine-related adverse event; with anti-PD1 blockade as a potential contributor. Overall, further prospective pharmacovigillence data are needed in patients with cancer, but the benefit-risk profile remains strongly in favor of COVID-19 vaccination in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01387-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8363501PMC
August 2021

Mutational signatures impact the evolution of anti-EGFR antibody resistance in colorectal cancer.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 07 20;5(7):1024-1032. Epub 2021 May 20.

Translational Oncogenomics Laboratory, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

Anti-EGFR antibodies such as cetuximab are active against KRAS/NRAS wild-type colorectal cancers (CRCs), but acquired resistance invariably evolves. It is unknown which mutational mechanisms enable resistance evolution and whether adaptive mutagenesis (a transient cetuximab-induced increase in mutation generation) contributes in patients. Here, we investigate these questions in exome sequencing data from 42 baseline and progression biopsies from cetuximab-treated CRCs. Mutation loads did not increase from baseline to progression, and evidence for a contribution of adaptive mutagenesis was limited. However, the chemotherapy-induced mutational signature SBS17b was the main contributor of specific KRAS/NRAS and EGFR driver mutations that are enriched at acquired resistance. Detectable SBS17b activity before treatment predicted shorter progression-free survival and the evolution of these specific mutations during subsequent cetuximab treatment. This result suggests that chemotherapy mutagenesis can accelerate resistance evolution. Mutational signatures may be a new class of cancer evolution predictor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01470-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611134PMC
July 2021

Trastuzumab deruxtecan: heralding biomarker-directed therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Authors:
Ian Chau

Lancet Oncol 2021 06 4;22(6):739-741. Epub 2021 May 4.

Department of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey, UK, SM2 5PT. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00186-8DOI Listing
June 2021

Assessment of Pembrolizumab Therapy for the Treatment of Microsatellite Instability-High Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Among Patients in the KEYNOTE-059, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-062 Clinical Trials.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Jun;7(6):895-902

David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.

Importance: Immunotherapy has been associated with improved outcomes among patients who have received previous treatment for microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) tumors.

Objective: To evaluate the antitumor activity of pembrolizumab therapy vs chemotherapy among patients with MSI-H advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (G/GEJ) cancer regardless of the line of therapy in which it was received.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This post hoc analysis of the phase 2 KEYNOTE-059 (third-line treatment or higher) single-arm trial and the phase 3 KEYNOTE-061 (second-line treatment) and KEYNOTE-062 (first-line treatment) randomized trials included patients with advanced G/GEJ cancer from 52 sites in 16 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-059, 148 sites in 30 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-061, and 200 sites in 29 countries enrolled in KEYNOTE-062. Patients were enrolled from March 2, 2015, to March 26, 2016, in KEYNOTE-059; from June 4, 2015, to July 26, 2016, in KEYNOTE-061; and from September 18, 2015, to May 26, 2017, in KEYNOTE-062, with data cutoff dates of August 8, 2018; October 26, 2017; and March 26, 2019; respectively.

Interventions: Pembrolizumab monotherapy in KEYNOTE-059, pembrolizumab monotherapy or chemotherapy (paclitaxel) in KEYNOTE-061, and pembrolizumab monotherapy, pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy (cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine), or chemotherapy alone in KEYNOTE-062.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Response was assessed centrally using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST), version 1.1; MSI-H status was determined centrally by polymerase chain reaction testing.

Results: At data cutoff, 7 of 174 patients (4.0%) in KEYNOTE-059, 27 of 514 patients (5.3%) in KEYNOTE-061, and 50 of 682 patients (7.3%) in KEYNOTE-062 had MSI-H tumors. Among those with MSI-H tumors, the median overall survival was not reached (NR) for pembrolizumab in KEYNOTE-059, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-062 or for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in KEYNOTE-062. The median progression-free survival (PFS) for pembrolizumab was NR (95% CI, 1.1 months to NR) in KEYNOTE-059 and 17.8 months (95% CI, 2.7 months to NR) in KEYNOTE-061 (vs 3.5 months [95% CI, 2.0-9.8 months] for chemotherapy). In KEYNOTE-062, the median PFS was 11.2 months (95% CI, 1.5 months to NR) for pembrolizumab, NR (95% CI, 3.6 months to NR) for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, and 6.6 months (95% CI, 4.4-8.3 months) for chemotherapy. The objective response rate (ORR) for pembrolizumab was 57.1% in KEYNOTE-059 and 46.7% (vs 16.7% for chemotherapy) in KEYNOTE-061. In KEYNOTE-062, the ORR was 57.1% for pembrolizumab , 64.7% for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy, and 36.8% for chemotherapy.

Conclusions And Relevance: Findings from this study indicate that MSI-H status may be a biomarker for pembrolizumab therapy among patients with advanced G/GEJ cancer regardless of the line of therapy in which it was received.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers: NCT02335411, NCT02370498, and NCT02494583.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.0275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017478PMC
June 2021

Analyses of PD-L1 and Inflammatory Gene Expression Association with Efficacy of Nivolumab ± Ipilimumab in Gastric Cancer/Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 29;27(14):3926-3935. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey.

Purpose: In advanced gastric cancer/gastroesophageal junction cancer (GC/GEJC), there is a need to identify biomarkers of response to therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Patients And Methods: In exploratory analyses from CheckMate 032 (GC/GEJC cohort), we evaluated associations between nivolumab ± ipilimumab (NIVO ± IPI) efficacy and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, defined by tumor cells (% TC) or combined positive score (CPS; sum of PD-L1-staining TCs + immune cells, divided by total viable TCs, × 100) using the Dako PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx assay, or inflammatory gene expression.

Results: There was a trend toward increased efficacy (objective response and overall survival) when PD-L1 expression was determined by CPS compared with % TC at higher cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10 in the pooled analysis of all treatment regimens. In this analysis, 19% and 26% of patients with PD-L1-positive tumors at a CPS cutoff of ≥5 and ≥10, respectively, had an objective response compared with 8% and 9% of patients at the equivalent % TC cutoffs. Longer survival was demonstrated in patients with PD-L1-positive (defined by CPS cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10) versus PD-L1-negative status. Similar results were observed in the NIVO 1 mg/kg + IPI 3 mg/kg subgroup. Multiple inflammatory gene signatures/transcripts, including a signature consisting of four genes (, and ), showed associations with response to NIVO ± IPI.

Conclusions: This study suggests a greater association of PD-L1 expression by CPS with NIVO ± IPI efficacy compared with % TC PD-L1 expression in patients with GC/GEJC. Inflammatory signatures were also associated with NIVO ± IPI response, warranting further investigation..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2790DOI Listing
July 2021

Neoadjuvant and adjuvant multimodality therapies in resectable esophagogastric adenocarcinoma.

Expert Opin Pharmacother 2021 Aug 25;22(11):1429-1441. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

GI and Lymphoma Unit, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton and London, UK.

Gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma is a leading cause of cancer-related death globally. Surgery is the cornerstone modality for cure where feasible. Clinical studies over the past two decades have provided evidence for the use of perioperative chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy to improve patient outcomes. However, there remains no global consensus in the optimal use of these therapies. In this review, the authors summarize the latest evidence for perioperative multimodality therapy in resectable esophagogastric adenocarcinoma including the use of combination chemotherapy and targeted therapy containing regimens. In addition, the authors discuss some of the clinical and molecular biomarkers, such as PET imaging and microsatellite instability which can inform future practice and further clinical investigation. A multimodal approach has been proven to improve survival outcomes over surgery alone. Whilst there is no global standard of care for multi-modality therapies in resectable OG cancer, clinical trials are refining the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings. Further investigation is on-going to further optimize therapy and the integration of molecular targeted agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14656566.2021.1900823DOI Listing
August 2021

Clinical Performance of Abbreviated Liver MRI for the Follow-Up of Patients With Colorectal Liver Metastases.

AJR Am J Roentgenol 2021 03 27;216(3):669-676. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Downs Rd, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT, UK.

The objective of our study was to compare an abbreviated liver MRI protocol with a standard liver MRI protocol for the posttreatment follow-up of colorectal metastases in assessing disease presence, segmental involvement, and response to chemotherapy and for surgical planning. This retrospective single-center study reviewed consecutive chemotherapy-naïve patients with colorectal liver metastases (April 1, 2011-August 31, 2017) who underwent gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI on a 1.5-T unit before and 8-12 weeks after chemotherapy. Two radiologists blinded to outcomes independently reviewed images obtained using standard MRI sequences at baseline and after treatment. The standard MRI sequences were the following: axial T1-weighted, axial T2-weighted, axial DWI (b values = 0-750 s/mm), axial multiphase contrast-enhanced T1-weighted, and axial and coronal hepatobiliary phase (HBP) T1-weighted sequences. The standard sequences obtained at baseline and the abbreviated protocol sequences (i.e., HBP gadoxetate disodium-enhanced T1-weighted and DWI sequences) obtained after treatment were reviewed. For each image set, reviewers assessed disease presence and segmental involvement; in addition, for images obtained after therapy, treatment response according to RECIST 1.1 was recorded. One hundred thirteen patients (73 men and 40 women; mean age, 61.6 years) were evaluated. The total number of metastases showed high agreement between the standard protocol and abbreviated protocol (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.97). There was good agreement between the protocols for segmental involvement (weighted κ = 0.73-0.85), and the weighted kappa was 0.82 for all segments. Discrepancies in segmental involvement did not alter potential surgical planning. Categorization of RECIST 1.1 treatment response using the abbreviated protocol versus the standard protocol showed excellent agreement (weighted κ = 0.92). An abbreviated liver MRI protocol (i.e., HBP gadoxetate disodium-enhanced T1-weighted and DWI sequences) allows assessment after chemotherapy similar to a standard liver MRI protocol. Use of the abbreviated protocol can reduce imaging time without sacrificing diagnostic performance for the follow-up of colorectal liver metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2214/AJR.20.22854DOI Listing
March 2021

The Mutational Concordance of Fixed Formalin Paraffin Embedded and Fresh Frozen Gastro-Oesophageal Tumours Using Whole Exome Sequencing.

J Clin Med 2021 Jan 9;10(2). Epub 2021 Jan 9.

The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 203 Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, UK.

1.

Background: The application of massively parallel sequencing has led to the identification of aberrant druggable pathways and somatic mutations within therapeutically relevant genes in gastro-oesophageal cancer. Given the widespread use of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples in the study of this disease, it would be beneficial, especially for the purposes of biomarker evaluation, to assess the concordance between comprehensive exome-wide sequencing data from archival FFPE samples originating from a prospective clinical study and those derived from fresh-frozen material. 2.

Methods: We analysed whole-exome sequencing data to define the mutational concordance of 16 matched fresh-frozen and FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumours ( = 32) from a prospective clinical study. We assessed DNA integrity prior to sequencing and then identified coding mutations in genes that have previously been implicated in other cancers. In addition, we calculated the mutant-allele heterogeneity (MATH) for these samples. 3.

Results: Although there was increased degradation of DNA in FFPE samples compared with frozen samples, sequencing data from only two FFPE samples failed to reach an adequate mapping quality threshold. Using a filtering threshold of mutant read counts of at least ten and a minimum of 5% variant allele frequency (VAF) we found that there was a high median mutational concordance of 97% (range 80.1-98.68%) between fresh-frozen and FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumour-derived exomes. However, the majority of FFPE tumours had higher mutant-allele heterogeneity (MATH) scores when compared with corresponding frozen tumours ( < 0.001), suggesting that FFPE-based exome sequencing is likely to over-represent tumour heterogeneity in FFPE samples compared to fresh-frozen samples. Furthermore, we identified coding mutations in 120 cancer-related genes, including those associated with chromatin remodelling and Wnt/β-catenin and Receptor Tyrosine Kinase signalling. 4.

Conclusions: These data suggest that comprehensive genomic data can be generated from exome sequencing of selected DNA samples extracted from archival FFPE gastro-oesophageal tumour tissues within the context of prospective clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826535PMC
January 2021

A Comparison of Real-World Treatment Patterns and Clinical Outcomes in Patients Receiving First-Line Therapy for Unresectable Advanced Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer Versus Esophageal Adenocarcinomas.

Adv Ther 2021 01 26;38(1):707-720. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Gastrointestinal and Lymphoma Unit, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, UK.

Introduction: Management of locally advanced, unresectable, or metastatic (adv/met) esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) follows clinical guidance for gastric cancer (GC) and gastroesophageal junction cancer (GEJC). However, evidence for these guidelines is based largely on patients with adv/met GC/GEJC, and generally excludes patients with EAC. It is currently unclear whether patients with adv/met GC/GEJC and adv/met EAC have similar demographics and clinical outcomes in real-world practice.

Methods: Adult patients diagnosed with adv/met GC/GEJC and adv/met EAC between January 1, 2011 and November 30, 2018 were identified (Flatiron Health database); patients with confirmed human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive tumors were excluded, and index was date of adv/met diagnosis. Median overall survival (OS) from start of first-line therapy until death/censoring was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariable analysis (Cox proportional hazards) was conducted to identify factors associated with OS.

Results: In total, 3052 patients were identified (adv/met GC/GEJC, n = 2083; adv/met EAC, n = 969). Patients with EAC were more likely to be male, have a history of smoking, have a higher body weight and body mass index, and were less likely to be Hispanic/Latino or Medicaid enrollees than patients with GC/GEJC. A similar proportion of patients with adv/met GC/GEJC (75%; n = 2326) and adv/met EAC (77%; n = 1573) received first-line therapy. Fluoropyrimidine plus platinum combinations were the most frequent first-line regimen in both groups (36%). Median OS was similar for patients with adv/met GC/GEJC and adv/met EAC (9.7 vs. 9.1 months, respectively; hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 0.96 [0.87-1.06]; p = 0.4320).

Conclusion: Despite minor differences in baseline demographics, clinical outcomes for patients with adv/met GC/GEJC and EAC are similar. This supports the inclusion of patients with adv/met EAC in clinical trials assessing adv/med GC/GEJC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01567-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7854438PMC
January 2021

EGFR amplification and outcome in a randomised phase III trial of chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy plus panitumumab for advanced gastro-oesophageal cancers.

Gut 2021 Sep 16;70(9):1632-1641. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Centre for Evolution and Cancer, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK.

Objective: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition may be effective in biomarker-selected populations of advanced gastro-oesophageal adenocarcinoma (aGEA) patients. Here, we tested the association between outcome and copy number (CN) in pretreatment tissue and plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of patients enrolled in a randomised first-line phase III clinical trial of chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody panitumumab in aGEA (NCT00824785).

Design: CN by either fluorescence in situ hybridisation (n=114) or digital-droplet PCR in tissues (n=250) and plasma cfDNAs (n=354) was available for 474 (86%) patients in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population. Tissue and plasma low-pass whole-genome sequencing was used to screen for coamplifications in receptor tyrosine kinases. Interaction between chemotherapy and EGFR inhibitors was modelled in patient-derived organoids (PDOs) from aGEA patients.

Results: amplification in cfDNA correlated with poor survival in the ITT population and similar trends were observed when the analysis was conducted in tissue and plasma by treatment arm. EGFR inhibition in combination with chemotherapy did not correlate with improved survival, even in patients with significant CN gains. Addition of anti-EGFR inhibitors to the chemotherapy agent epirubicin in PDOs, resulted in a paradoxical increase in viability and accelerated progression through the cell cycle, associated with p21 and cyclin B1 downregulation and cyclin E1 upregulation, selectively in organoids from -amplified aGEA.

Conclusion: CN can be accurately measured in tissue and liquid biopsies and may be used for the selection of aGEA patients. EGFR inhibitors may antagonise the antitumour effect of anthracyclines with important implications for the design of future combinatorial trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-322658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8355876PMC
September 2021

Ramucirumab in Combination with Pembrolizumab in Treatment-Naïve Advanced Gastric or GEJ Adenocarcinoma: Safety and Antitumor Activity from the Phase 1a/b JVDF Trial.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Oct 15;12(10). Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Ramucirumab (anti-VEGFR2) plus pembrolizumab (anti-PD1) demonstrated promising antitumor activity and tolerability among patients with previously treated advanced cancers, supporting growing evidence that combination therapies modulating the tumor microenvironment may expand the spectrum of patients who respond to checkpoint inhibitors. Here we present the results of this combination in first-line patients with metastatic G/GEJ cancer. Twenty-eight patients (≥18 years) with no prior systemic chemotherapy in the advanced/metastatic setting received ramucirumab (8 mg/kg days 1 and 8) plus pembrolizumab (200 mg day 1) every 3 weeks as part of JVDF phase 1a/b study. The primary endpoint was safety. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and overall survival (OS). Tumors were PD-L1-positive (combined positive score ≥ 1) in 19 and -negative in 6 patients. Eighteen patients experienced grade 3 treatment-related adverse events, most commonly hypertension (14%) and elevated alanine/aspartate aminotransferase (11% each), with no grade 4 or 5 reported. The ORR was 25% (PD-L1-positive, 32%; PD-L1-negative, 17%) with duration of response not reached. PFS was 5.6 months (PD-L1-positive, 8.6 months; PD-L1-negative, 4.3 months), and OS 14.6 months (PD-L1-positive, 17.3 months; PD-L1-negative, 11.3 months). Acknowledging study design limitations, ramucirumab plus pembrolizumab had encouraging durable clinical activity with no unexpected toxicities in treatment-naïve biomarker-unselected metastatic G/GEJ cancer, and improved outcomes in patients with PD-L1-positive tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12102985DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602637PMC
October 2020

Phase 1 Expansion Cohort of Ramucirumab Plus Pembrolizumab in Advanced Treatment-Naive NSCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 02 15;16(2):289-298. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

CNIO-H12o Lung Cancer Unit, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense & CIBERONC, Madrid, Spain.

Introduction: Data of first-line ramucirumab plus pembrolizumab treatment of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive NSCLC (cohort E) are reported (NCT02443324).

Methods: In this multicenter, open-label phase 1a/b trial, patients received ramucirumab 10 mg/kg and pembrolizumab 200 mg every 21 days for up to 35 cycles. PD-L1 positivity was defined as tumor proportion score (TPS) greater than or equal to 1%. Exploratory NanoString biomarker analyses included three T-cell signatures (T-cell-inflamed, Gajewski, and effector T cells) and CD274 gene expression.

Results: Cohort E included 26 patients. Treatment-related adverse events of any grade occurred in 22 patients (84.6%). Treatment-related adverse events of grade greater than or equal to 3 were reported in 11 patients (42.3%); the most frequent was hypertension (n = 4, 15.4%). Objective response rate was 42.3% in the treated population and 56.3% and 22.2% for patients with high (TPS ≥ 50%) and lower levels (TPS 1%-49%) of PD-L1 expression, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) in the treated population was 9.3 months, and 12-month and 18-month PFS rates were 45% each. Median PFS was not reached in patients with PD-L1 TPS greater than or equal to 50% and was 4.2 months in patients with PD-L1 TPS 1% to 49%. Median overall survival was not reached in the treated population, and 12-month and 18-month overall survival rates were 73% and 64%, respectively. Biomarker data suggested a positive association among clinical response, three T-cell signatures, CD274 gene expression, and PD-L1 immunohistochemistry.

Conclusions: First-line therapy with ramucirumab plus pembrolizumab has a manageable safety profile in patients with NSCLC, and the efficacy signal seems to be strongest in tumors with high PD-L1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.10.004DOI Listing
February 2021

Diagnostic Accuracy and Safety of Coaxial System in Oncology Patients Treated in a Specialist Cancer Center With Prospective Validation Within Clinical Trial Data.

Front Oncol 2020 4;10:1634. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Cancer Research UK Cancer Imaging Centre, Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Image-guided tissue biopsies are critically important in the diagnosis and management of cancer patients. High-yield samples are also vital for biomarker and resistance mechanism discovery through molecular/genomic analyses.

Patients And Methods: All consecutive patients who underwent plugged image-guided biopsy at Royal Marsden from June 2013 until September 2016 were included in the analysis. In the next step, a second cohort of patients prospectively treated within two clinical trials (PROSPECT-C and PROSPECT-R) were assessed for the DNA yield from biopsies assessed for complex genomic analysis.

Results: A total of 522 plugged core biopsies were performed in 457 patients [men, 52%; median age, 63 years (range, 17-93)]. Histological diagnosis was achieved in 501 of 522 (96%) performed biopsies. Age, gender, modality, metastatic site, and seniority of the interventionist were not found to be significant factors associated with odds of failure on a logistic regression. Seventeen (3.3%) were admitted due to biopsy-related complications; nine, three, two, one, one, and one were admitted for grade I/II pain control, sepsis, vasovagal syncope, thrombosis, hematuria, and deranged liver functions, respectively; two patients with right upper quadrant pain after liver biopsy were found to have radiologically confirmed subcapsular hematoma requiring conservative treatment. One patient (0.2%) developed grade III hemorrhage following biopsy of a gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Overall molecular analysis was successful in 89% (197/222 biopsies). Prospective validation in 62 biopsies gave success rates of 92.06 and 79.03% for DNA extraction of >1 μm and tmour content of >20%, respectively.

Conclusion: The probability of diagnostic success for complex molecular analysis is increased with plugged large coaxial needle biopsy technique, which also minimizes complications and reduces hospital stay. High-yield DNA acquisition allows genomic molecular characterization for personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.01634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500492PMC
September 2020

Molecular target: pan-AKT in gastric cancer.

ESMO Open 2020 09;5(5):e000728

Department of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, London and Surrey, UK. Electronic address:

The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway is involved in multiple cellular processes, including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, metabolism and cytoskeletal reorganisation. The downstream effectors of this PI3K pathway are also essential for maintaining physiologic homeostasis, commonly dysregulated in most solid tumours. AKT is the key regulator in PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling, interacting with multiple intracellular molecules. AKT activation subsequently leads to a number of potential downstream effects, and its aberrant activation results in the pathogenesis of cancer. Accordingly, as an attractive therapeutic target for cancer treatment, several AKT inhibitors are currently under development and in multiple stages of clinical trials for various types of malignancy, including gastric cancer (GC). Therefore, the authors review the significance of AKT and recent studies on AKT inhibitors in GC, focusing on the scientific background with the potential to improve treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-000728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7511610PMC
September 2020

MRI-Diagnosed Tumour Deposits and EMVI Status Have Superior Prognostic Accuracy to Current Clinical TNM Staging in Rectal Cancer.

Ann Surg 2020 Sep 15. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background Data: MRI assessment of rectal cancer not only assesses tumour depth and surgical resectability but also extramural disease which affects prognosis. We have observed that non-nodal tumour nodules (tumour deposits; mrTDs) have a distinct MRI appearance compared to lymph node metastases (mrLNMs).

Objective: We aimed to assess whether mrTDs and mrLNMs have different prognostic implications and compare these to other known prognostic markers.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 233 patients undergoing resection for rectal cancer from January 2007-October 2015. Data were obtained from electronic records and MRIs blindly re-reported. Survival was determined using Kaplan-Meier method. Prognostic markers were evaluated using Cox regression and competing risks analysis. Inter-observer agreement for mrTD was measured using Cohen's Kappa.

Results: On multivariable analysis, baseline mrTD/mrEMVI (extramural venous invasion) status was the only significant MRI factor for adverse survival (HR 2.36 (1.54-3.61) for OS, 2.37 (1.47-3.80) for DFS (both p < 0.001), superseding T and N categories. mrLNMs were associated with good prognosis (HR 0.50 (0.31-0.80)p= 0.004 for OS, 0.60 (0.40-0.90)p = 0.014 for DFS). On multivariable analysis, mrTDs/mrEMVI were strongly associated with distant recurrence (HR 6.53 (2.52-16.91) p = < 0.001) whereas T and N category were not. In a subgroup analysis of post-treatment MRIs in post-chemoradiotherapy (CRT) patients, mrTD/mrEMVI status was again the only significant prognostic factor; furthermore those who showed a good treatment response had a prognosis similar to patients who were negative at baseline. Inter-observer agreement for detection of mrTDs was κ0.77 and κ0.83.

Conclusion: Current MRI staging predicting T and N status does not adequately predict prognosis. Positive mrTD/mrEMVI status has greater prognostic accuracy and would be superior in determining treatment and follow-up protocols. CRT may be a highly effective treatment strategy in mrTD/mrEMVI positive patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004499DOI Listing
September 2020

Immune landscape, evolution, hypoxia-mediated viral mimicry pathways and therapeutic potential in molecular subtypes of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Gut 2021 Oct 3;70(10):1904-1913. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Division of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK

Objective: A comprehensive analysis of the immune landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PanNETs) was performed according to clinicopathological parameters and previously defined molecular subtypes to identify potential therapeutic vulnerabilities in this disease.

Design: Differential expression analysis of 600 immune-related genes was performed on 207 PanNET samples, comprising a training cohort (n=72) and two validation cohorts (n=135) from multiple transcriptome profiling platforms. Different immune-related and subtype-related phenotypes, cell types and pathways were investigated using different in silico methods and were further validated using spatial multiplex immunofluorescence.

Results: The study identified an immune signature of 132 genes segregating PanNETs (n=207) according to four previously defined molecular subtypes: metastasis-like primary (MLP)-1 and MLP-2, insulinoma-like and intermediate. The MLP-1 subtype (26%-31% samples across three cohorts) was strongly associated with elevated levels of immune-related genes, poor prognosis and a cascade of tumour evolutionary events: larger hypoxic and necroptotic tumours leading to increased damage-associated molecular patterns (viral mimicry), stimulator of interferon gene pathway, T cell-inflamed genes, immune checkpoint targets, and T cell-mediated and M1 macrophage-mediated immune escape mechanisms. Multiplex spatial profiling validated significantly increased macrophages in the MLP-1 subtype.

Conclusion: This study provides novel data on the immune microenvironment of PanNETs and identifies MLP-1 subtype as an immune-high phenotype featuring a broad and robust activation of immune-related genes. This study, with further refinement, paves the way for future precision immunotherapy studies in PanNETs to potentially select a subset of MLP-1 patients who may be more likely to respond.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gutjnl-2020-321016DOI Listing
October 2021

Current status and future potential of predictive biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibitors in gastric cancer.

ESMO Open 2020 08;5(4)

Department of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, London and Surrey, UK

Immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment and has already emerged as standard treatment for patients with recurrent or metastatic gastric cancer (GC). Recent research has been focused on identifying robust predictive biomarkers for GC treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). The expression of programmed cell death protein-ligand-1 (PD-L1) is considered a manifestation of immune response evasion, and several studies have already reported the potential of PD-L1 expression as a predictive parameter for various human malignancies. Meanwhile, based on comprehensive molecular characterisation of GC, testing for Epstein-Barr virus and microsatellite instability is a potential predictive biomarker. Culminating evidence suggests that novel biomarkers, such as the tumour mutational burden and gene expression signature, could indicate the success of treatment with ICIs. However, the exact roles of these biomarkers in GC treated with ICIs remain unclear. Therefore, this study reviews recent scientific data on current and emerging biomarkers for ICIs in GC, which have potential to improve treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-000791DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7440716PMC
August 2020

Ramucirumab in the second-line for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and elevated alpha-fetoprotein: patient-reported outcomes across two randomised clinical trials.

ESMO Open 2020 08;5(4)

Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kindai University, Osaka, Japan.

Background: Symptoms of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represent a substantial burden for the patient and are important endpoints to assess when evaluating treatment. Patient-reported outcomes were evaluated in subjects with advanced HCC and baseline alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) ≥400 ng/mL treated with second-line ramucirumab.

Patients And Methods: Patients with AFP≥400 ng/mL enrolled in the REACH or REACH-2 phase 3 studies were used in this analysis. Eligible patients had advanced HCC, Child-Pugh A, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0/1 and prior sorafenib. Patients received ramucirumab 8 mg/kg or placebo once every 2 weeks. Disease-related symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were assessed with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Hepatobiliary Symptom Index (FHSI)-8 and EuroQoL-5-Dimensions (EQ-5D) instruments, respectively. Time to deterioration (TTD) (≥3-point decrease in FHSI-8 total score;≥0.06-point decrease in EQ-5D score, from randomisation to first date of deterioration) was determined using Kaplan-Meier estimation and the Cox proportional hazards model. Both separate and pooled analyses for REACH AFP≥400 ng/mL and REACH-2 patients were conducted.

Results: In the pooled population with AFP ≥400 ng/mL (n=542; ramucirumab, n=316; placebo, n=226), median TTD in FHSI-8 total score was prolonged with ramucirumab relative to placebo (3.3 vs 1.9 months; HR 0.725; (95% CI 0.559 to 0.941); p=0.0152), including significant differences in back pain (0.668; (0.497 to 0.899); p=0.0044), weight loss (0.699; (0.505 to 0.969); p=0.0231) and pain (0.769; (0.588 to 1.005); p=0.0248) symptoms. TTD in EQ-5D score was not significantly different between ramucirumab and placebo groups (median 2.9 vs 1.9 months). Results in the individual trials were consistent with these findings.

Conclusions: Ramucirumab in second-line treatment of advanced HCC demonstrates consistent benefit in the delay of deterioration in disease-related symptoms with no worsening of HRQoL. Taken with previously demonstrated ramucirumab-driven survival benefits in this setting, these data may inform patient-clinician discussions about the benefit-risk profile of this therapy.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01140347; NCT02435433, NCT02435433.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-000797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7437873PMC
August 2020

Impact of sex and age on chemotherapy efficacy, toxicity and survival in localised oesophagogastric cancer: A pooled analysis of 3265 individual patient data from four large randomised trials (OE02, OE05, MAGIC and ST03).

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 31;137:45-56. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Gastrointestinal and Lymphoma Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PT, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: There is a lack of large-scale randomised data evaluating the impact of sex and age in patients undergoing chemotherapy followed by potentially curative surgery for oesophagogastric cancer.

Patients And Methods: Individual patient data from four prospective randomised controlled trials were pooled using a two-stage meta-analysis. For survival analysis, hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated for patients aged <70 and ≥ 70 years, as well as between males and females. Mandard tumour regression grade (TRG) and, ≥grade III toxicities were compared using logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios. All analyses were adjusted for the type of chemotherapy received.

Results: 3265 patients were included for survival analysis (2668 [82%] male, 597 [18%] female; 2627 (80%) <70 years, 638 (20%) ≥70 years). A significant improvement in overall survival (OS) (HR: 0.78; p < 0.001) and disease-specific survival (DSS) (HR: 0.78; p < 0.001) was observed in females compared with males. No significant differences in OS (HR: 1.11; p = 0.045) or DSS (HR: 1.01; p = 0.821) were observed in older patients compared with younger patients. For patients who underwent resection, older patients (15% vs 10%; p = 0.03) and female patients (14% vs 10%, p = 0.10) were more likely to achieve favourable Mandard TRG scores. Females experienced significantly more ≥grade III nausea (10% vs 5%; p≤0.001), vomiting (10% vs 4%; p≤0.001) and diarrhoea (9% vs 4%; p≤0.001) than males.

Conclusions: In this large pooled analysis using prospective randomised trial data, females had significantly improved survival while experiencing more gastrointestinal toxicities. Older patients achieved comparable survival to younger patients and thus, dependent on fitness, should be offered the same treatment paradigm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.005DOI Listing
September 2020

The FOCCUS study: a prospective evaluation of the frequency, severity and treatable causes of gastrointestinal symptoms during and after chemotherapy.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Mar 16;29(3):1443-1453. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Royal Marsden Clinical Trials Unit Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, UK.

Background: The underlying mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are poorly researched. This study characterised the nature, frequency, severity and treatable causes for GI symptoms prospectively in patients undergoing chemotherapy for GI malignancy.

Methods: Patients receiving chemotherapy for a GI malignancy were assessed pre-chemotherapy, then monthly for 1 year using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale, a validated patient-reported outcome measure. Patients with new, troublesome GI symptoms were offered investigations to diagnose the cause(s). Their oncologist was alerted when investigations were abnormal.

Results: A total of 241 patients, 60% male, median age 63 years (range 30-88), were enrolled; 122 patients were withdrawn, 93%, because of progressive disease or death. During the study, > 20% patients reported chronic faecal incontinence and > 10% reported moderate or severe problems with taste, dysphagia, belching, heartburn, early satiety, appetite, nausea, abdominal cramps, peri-rectal pain, rectal flatulence, borborygmi, urgency of defecation or tenesmus. Thirty percent reported continuing passage of hard stools and 30% on-going diarrhoea. Moderate or severe fatigue affected 40% participants at its peak and persisted in 15% at 1 year. Toxicity dictated change in chemotherapy for 13-29% patients/month. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events underestimated gastrointestinal morbidity. Pre-chemotherapy screening identified previously undiagnosed pathology: exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (9%), vitamin B deficiency (12%) and thyroid dysfunction (20%). Patients often refused investigations to diagnose their chemotherapy-induced symptoms; however, for every three investigations performed, one treatable cause was diagnosed: particularly small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (54%), bile acid malabsorption (43%), previously not described after chemotherapy, and unsuspected urinary tract infection (17%).

Conclusions: Patients undergoing chemotherapy for GI malignancy commonly have difficult GI symptoms requiring active management which does not occur routinely. The underlying causes for these symptoms are often treatable or curable. Randomised trials are urgently needed to show whether timely investigation and treatment of symptoms improve quality of life and survival.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02121626.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05610-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843552PMC
March 2021
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