Publications by authors named "Kaoru Kubota"

148 Publications

PD-L1 Expression Status Predicting Survival in Pulmonary Pleomorphic Carcinoma.

Anticancer Res 2021 May;41(5):2501-2509

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Background/aim: Pulmonary pleomorphic carcinoma (PPC) is a rare and aggressive tumor that is resistant to treatment. The expression and prognostic value of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and its association with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in PPC remains unclear.

Patients And Methods: The expression of PD-L1 and EMT markers, such as E-cadherin, vimentin, zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB-1), and cellular mesenchymal-epithelial transition (c-Met) was evaluated by immuno - histochemistry in 16 patients with PPC who underwent surgical resection.

Results: The expression of PD-L1 varied between carcinomatous and sarcomatous areas. Positive correlations between PD-L1 and vimentin expression in carcinomatous areas (r=0.668, p=0.005) and PD-L1 and ZEB-1 expression in sarcomatous areas (r=0.562, p=0.023) were found. High PD-L1 and ZEB-1 expression in sarcomatous areas predicted poor survival (p=0.045 and p=0.012, respectively).

Conclusion: PD-L1 expression associated with ZEB1 expression in the sarcomatoid component of patients with PPC may be useful for predicting patient prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.15028DOI Listing
May 2021

Randomized phase II trial of S-1 plus cisplatin or docetaxel plus cisplatin with concurrent thoracic radiotherapy for inoperable stage III non-small cell lung cancer.

Cancer Med 2021 01 14;10(2):626-633. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan.

Cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy is considered standard treatment for unresectable locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). This study examined two regimens of chemotherapy in concurrent chemoradiation. Eligible patients with unresectable, radically irradible LA-NSCLC were randomized to either the SP (S-1 and cisplatin) or DP (docetaxel and cisplatin) arms with concurrent thoracic radiotherapy of 60 Gy, comprising 2 Gy per daily fraction. The primary endpoint was the overall survival (OS) rate at 2 years (the 2-year OS rate). From May 2011 to August 2014, 110 patients were enrolled. Of 106 eligible patients, the 2-year OS rates were 79% (95% CI: 66%-88%) and 69% (95% CI: 55%-80%) the SP and DP arms, respectively. The median progression-free survival was 11.6 months for the SP arm and 19.9 months for the DP arm, while the median survival time was 55.2 months for the SP arm and 50.8 months for the DP arm. Grade 3/4 leukopenia were more frequent in DP arm. The incidences of febrile neutropenia and pneumonitis tended to be higher in DP arm. There were no treatment-related deaths in either arm. The primary endpoint was met in both arms. The SP arm as a future reference regimen will be chosen due to fewer toxicities and better OS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3641DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877366PMC
January 2021

Rictor-targeting exosomal microRNA-16 ameliorates lung fibrosis by inhibiting the mTORC2-SPARC axis.

Exp Cell Res 2021 01 9;398(2):112416. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, 113-8603, Japan.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive disorder of unknown etiology, is characterized by pathological lung fibroblast activation and proliferation resulting in abnormal deposition of extracellular matrix proteins within the lung parenchyma. The pathophysiological roles of exosomal microRNAs in pulmonary fibrosis remain unclear; therefore, we aimed to identify and characterize fibrosis-responsive exosomal microRNAs. We used microRNA array analysis and profiled the expression of exosome-derived miRNA in sera of C57BL/6 mice exhibiting bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The effect of microRNAs potentially involved in fibrosis was then evaluated in vivo and in vitro. The expression of exosomal microRNA-16 was increased by up to 8.0-fold on day 14 in bleomycin-treated mice, compared to vehicle-treated mice. MicroRNA-16 mimic administration on day 14 after bleomycin challenge ameliorated pulmonary fibrosis and suppressed lung and serum expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC). Pretreatment of human lung fibroblasts with the microRNA-16 mimic decreased the expression of rapamycin-insensitive companion of mTOR (Rictor) and TGF-β1-induced expression of SPARC. This is the first study reporting the anti-fibrotic properties of microRNA-16 and demonstrating that these effects occur via the mTORC2 pathway. These findings support that microRNA-16 may be a promising therapeutic target for IPF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.112416DOI Listing
January 2021

Successful Treatment with Afatinib after Osimertinib-induced Interstitial Lung Disease in a Patient with EGFR-mutant Non-small-cell Lung Cancer.

Intern Med 2021 Feb 30;60(4):591-594. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Japan.

Osimertinib is the standard treatment for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer. However, drug-induced interstitial lung disease (ILD) is recognized as a serious adverse event associated with EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). We herein report a 78-year-old woman with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma harboring an EGFR L858R mutation on exon 21 who received rechallenge treatment with afatinib after osimertinib-induced ILD with an organizing pneumonia pattern. This is the first report of successful rechallenge with afatinib after osimertinib-induced ILD. Treatment with other EGFR-TKIs after osimertinib-induced ILD may be an option for subsequent therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2169/internalmedicine.5435-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946498PMC
February 2021

A Phase 2 Study of Atezolizumab for Pretreated NSCLC With Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonitis.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 12 25;15(12):1935-1942. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Department of Respiratory Medicine and Medical Oncology, Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

Introduction: Interstitial pneumonia (IP) is one of the most common and poor prognostic comorbidities in patients with NSCLC and a known risk factor for pneumonitis. Atezolizumab monotherapy is an established treatment for recurrent NSCLC and reported to have a lower risk of pneumonitis than programmed cell death protein 1 inhibitors. This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of atezolizumab monotherapy in patients with pretreated advanced or recurrent NSCLC with idiopathic IP.

Methods: Patients with advanced or recurrent NSCLC with comorbid idiopathic, chronic fibrotic IP with % forced vital capacity of greater than 70% and no history of immune checkpoint inhibitors were enrolled. The patients received atezolizumab (1200 mg) every 3 weeks until the discontinuation criteria were met. The primary end point of this study was the 1-year survival rate. A sample size of 38 patients was set.

Results: This study was terminated early owing to high incidence of pneumonitis. A total of 17 patients were enrolled, with a median age of 70 years. The median % forced vital capacity and % diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide at baseline were 85.4% and 54.4%, respectively. The incidence of pneumonitis was 29.4% (5 of 17) for all grades, 23.5% (4 of 17) for grade greater than or equal to 3, and 5.9% (1 of 17) for grade 5. A total of 57.1% patients (4 of 7) with honeycomb lung developed pneumonitis with a grade greater than or equal to 3, whereas only one patient (10%) without honeycomb lung (n = 10) with grade 1 pneumonitis was found.

Conclusions: Patients with NSCLC with comorbid IP as defined by the selection criteria for this study might have an increased risk of immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced pneumonitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.08.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7446731PMC
December 2020

Evaluation of a tool that enables cancer patients to participate in the decision-making process during treatment selection.

J Nippon Med Sch 2020 Jun 30. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School.

Background: The participation of patients in the decision-making process related to their treatment is strongly recommended. This study was conducted to develop and evaluate a support tool that can help patients make decisions related to their own treatment.

Methods: Twenty cancer patients who were hospitalized for first line treatment were enrolled on the study. Before hospitalization, a 'Check sheet on treatment selection', which contained 14 questions, was distributed to patients and/or their families. After hospitalization, the attending physician explained the treatment while referring to the written check sheet. Also, at the time of discharge, the patients's responses to the 'Questionnaire on check sheet and treatment selection' were collected in order to evaluate the utility of the check sheet. Finally, the 'Questionnaire of the check sheet' was handed to the attending physician to evaluate.

Results: Of the fourteen patients who responded to the questionnaire, all indicated that the check sheets were helpful for decision-making, and that using the sheets empowered them to ask their doctors questions. Only one person felt uncomfortable with compiling the check sheet.Physicians stated that the check sheet facilitated patient decision-making and improved communication with patients. However, there was an opinion that this activity increased the administrative burden of medical professionals.

Conclusion: Almost all patients stated that the check sheet used in this study was useful as a decision support tool, and also facilitated the communication between doctors and patients. Before incorporation into general clinical practice, this increased benefit should be weighed against the potential extra administrative workload imposed on clinicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1272/jnms.JNMS.2021_88-401DOI Listing
June 2020

Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer patients with malignant pleural effusion uncontrolled by tube drainage or pleurodesis: A phase II study North East Japan Study group trial NEJ013B.

Thorac Cancer 2020 07 18;11(7):1876-1884. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Pleurodesis is the standard of care for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with symptomatic malignant pleural effusion (MPE). However, there is no standard management for MPE uncontrolled by pleurodesis. Most patients with unsuccessful MPE control are unable to receive effective chemotherapy. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of MPE. This multicenter, phase II study investigated the effects of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in nonsquamous NSCLC patients with unsuccessful management of MPE.

Methods: Nonsquamous NSCLC patients with MPE following unsuccessful tube drainage or pleurodesis received bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) plus chemotherapy every three weeks. The primary endpoint was pleural effusion control rate (PECR), defined as the percentage of patients without reaccumulation of MPE at eight weeks. Secondary endpoints included pleural progression-free survival (PPFS), safety, and quality of life (QoL).

Results: A total of 20 patients (median age: 69 years; 14 males; 20 adenocarcinomas; six epidermal growth factor receptor mutations) were enrolled in nine centers. The PECR was 80% and the primary end point was met. The PPFS and the overall survival (OS) were 16.6 months and 19.6 months, respectively. Patients with high levels of VEGF in the MPE had shorter PPFS (P = 0.010) and OS (P = 0.002). Toxicities of grade ≥ 3 included neutropenia (50%), thrombocytopenia (10%), proteinuria (10%), and hypertension (2%). The cognitive QoL score improved after treatment.

Conclusions: Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy is highly effective with acceptable toxicities in nonsquamous NSCLC patients with uncontrolled MPE, and should be considered as a standard therapy in this setting.

Key Points: SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS OF THE STUDY: Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy is highly effective with acceptable toxicities in nonsquamous NSCLC patients with uncontrolled MPE.

What This Study Adds: Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy should be considered as a standard treatment option for patients with uncontrolled MPE.

Clinical Trial Registration: UMIN000006868 was a phase II study of efficacy of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy for the management of malignant pleural effusion (MPE) in nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer patients with MPE unsuccessfully controlled by tube drainage or pleurodesis (North East Japan Study Group Trial NEJ-013B) (http://umin.sc.jp/ctr/).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327672PMC
July 2020

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Thoracic Malignancies: Review of the Existing Evidence by an IASLC Expert Panel and Recommendations.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 06 14;15(6):914-947. Epub 2020 Mar 14.

Department of Oncology, University of Torino, AOU S. Luigi Gonzaga, Orbassano, Italy. Electronic address:

In the past 10 years, a deeper understanding of the immune landscape of cancers, including immune evasion processes, has allowed the development of a new class of agents. The reactivation of host antitumor immune response offers the potential for long-term survival benefit in a portion of patients with thoracic malignancies. The advent of programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death ligand-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), both as single agents and in combination with chemotherapy, and more recently, the combination of ICI, anti-programmed cell death protein 1, and anticytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 antibody, have led to breakthrough therapeutic advances for patients with advanced NSCLC, and to a lesser extent, patients with SCLC. Encouraging activity has recently emerged in pretreated patients with thymic carcinoma (TC). Conversely, in malignant pleural mesothelioma, pivotal positive signs of activity have not been fully confirmed in randomized trials. The additive effects of chemoradiation and immunotherapy suggested intriguing potential for therapeutic synergy with combination strategies. This has led to the introduction of ICI consolidation therapy in stage III NSCLC, creating a platform for future therapeutic developments in earlier-stage disease. Despite the definitive clinical benefit observed with ICI, primary and acquired resistance represent well-known biological phenomena, which may affect the therapeutic efficacy of these agents. The development of innovative strategies to overcome ICI resistance, standardization of new patterns of ICI progression, identification of predictive biomarkers of response, optimal treatment duration, and characterization of ICI efficacy in special populations, represent crucial issues to be adequately addressed, with the aim of improving the therapeutic benefit of ICI in patients with thoracic malignancies. In this article, an international panel of experts in the field of thoracic malignancies discussed these topics, evaluating currently available scientific evidence, with the final aim of providing clinical recommendations, which may guide oncologists in their current practice and elucidate future treatment strategies and research priorities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.03.006DOI Listing
June 2020

Illness Perceptions and Quality of Life in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A 3-Month Follow-Up Pilot Study.

Patient Relat Outcome Meas 2020 27;11:67-71. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Medical Psychology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Examine illness perceptions, functional health and quality of life of lung cancer patients throughout chemotherapy treatment.

Patients And Methods: Longitudinal design with baseline measure 12 days after the first chemotherapy and follow-up measure 3 months later, where illness perceptions (BIPQ), functional health, and quality of life (EORTC QLQ-C-30) were measured. A total of 21 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer took part. Non-parametric testing was performed given the pilot nature of the study and the associated relatively small sample size.

Results: Small to medium changes in illness perceptions and functional health between the two measurement points were detected, with both becoming more positive. More negative illness perceptions at the beginning of the treatment were associated with less functioning and lower quality of life at both beginning and end of treatment.

Conclusion: Addressing illness perceptions seems a clinically relevant approach in improving functioning and quality of life of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/PROM.S238009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7051802PMC
February 2020

Immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated interstitial lung diseases correlate with better prognosis in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Thorac Cancer 2020 04 25;11(4):1052-1060. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) induced by immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) is a potentially life-threatening adverse event. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the development of immune-related adverse events (irAEs), especially ILD, was associated with treatment efficacy and to research the features and risk factors of ILD in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: Between December 2015 and November 2018, 130 advanced NSCLC patients were treated with nivolumab, pembrolizumab or atezolizumab. The patients were categorized into two groups (irAEs group or non-irAEs group). Subsequently, we divided the irAEs group into two groups based on the incidence of ILD (ILD group and irAEs-non-ILD group). Treatment efficacy and the characteristics of ILD were evaluated.

Results: A total of 39 (30%) patients developed irAEs. ILD was observed in 16 (12%) patients. Patients with ILD had a higher objective response rate (ORR) compared with irAEs-non-ILD patients and non-irAEs patients (63%, 43% and 22%, respectively). Median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 15.9 months in ILD patients, 5.4 months in irAEs-non-ILD patients and 3.3 months in non-irAEs patients (log-rank test, P = 0.033). Pre-existing interstitial pneumonia (IP) was an independent risk factor for ILD-induced ICIs (odds ratio [OR] 14.7; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.16-99.6, P = 0.006).

Conclusions: ORR and PFS were significantly better in ILD patients than in irAEs-non-ILD and non-irAEs patients. Pre-existing history of IP was an independent risk factor for ILD-induced ICIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1759-7714.13364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113045PMC
April 2020

Randomized phase II trial of adjuvant chemotherapy with docetaxel plus cisplatin versus paclitaxel plus carboplatin in patients with completely resected non-small cell lung cancer: TORG 0503.

Lung Cancer 2020 03 29;141:32-36. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Yokohama Municipal Citizen's Hospital, Yokohama, Japan.

Objective: Adjuvant chemotherapy is standard of care for patients with completely resected stage IB, II and IIIA NSCLC. However, optimum chemotherapy regimen has not been determined. TORG0503 was undertaken to select a preferred platinum-based 3 generation regimen in this clinical setting.

Materials And Methods: Patients with completely resected stage IB, IIA, IIB or stage IIIA NSCLC were stratified by stage (IB/IIA vs. IIB/IIIA) and institutions, and randomized to receive 3 cycles of docetaxel (60 mg/m) plus cisplatin (80 mg/m) (arm A) or paclitaxel (200 mg/m) plus carboplatin (AUC 6) (arm B) on day 1, every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint of the study was 2-year relapse free survival, and the key secondary endpoints included overall survival, feasibility and toxicity.

Results: 111 patients were randomized, 58 patients to arm A and 53 to arm B. Patient demographics were balanced between the two arms. 93 % (54/58) of patients on the arm A and 92 % (49/53) patients on the arm B completed the planned 3 cycles of chemotherapy. There was no treatment-related death in both arms. The 2 and 5 year relapse free survival was 74.5 % (95 %CI: 68.6-80.4) and 61.6 % in the arm A, and 72.0 % (95 %CI: 65.7-78.3) and 46.0 % in the arm B. The overall 2, 5-year survival was 89.7 %, 73.9 % in the arm A and 86.9 %, 67.5 % in the arm B.

Conclusion: Both docetaxel plus cisplatin and paclitaxel plus carboplatin are safe and feasible regimens as adjuvant chemotherapy. We choose docetaxel plus cisplatin as the control regimen for the next clinical trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2019.11.009DOI Listing
March 2020

Validity and Reliability of the Japanese Version of the 10-Item Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions (PEPPI-10) Scale in Breast Cancer Outpatients.

Tohoku J Exp Med 2019 10;249(2):121-126

Teikyo University Graduate School of Public Health.

The 10-item Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions (PEPPI-10) questionnaire was used as an indirect measure of the patients' perception of the strength of their therapeutic connection with their physician. The English version of the PEPPI-10 could serve as a valuable research tool for analyzing the relationship between patient and physician. The incidence of breast cancer is amongst the highest in Japan, and Patient Reported Outcome is often used as an outcome measure for breast cancer. It is particularly important to establish a strong patient-physician interaction for patients with breast cancer, since these patients require long-term treatment. We designed the present study to assess the reliability and validity of the Japanese version of the PEPPI-10 in female Japanese breast cancer outpatients. A cross-sectional study was performed at the Saitama Cancer Center, Japan. From August 2014 to August 2015, the Japanese versions of the PEPPI-10 that measure patient-perceived self-efficacy and the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) that measure illness perception were used for 92 breast cancer patients who received outpatient chemotherapy (mean age: 52.9 years, Cancer Stage I or Stage II : 82.6%, receiving adjuvant chemotherapy: 69.6%). We found that the Japanese version of the PEPPI-10 scale had a high coefficient of internal consistency (Cronbach's α coefficient, 0.83) for reliability, and concurrent validity analysis indicated that the utility of PEPPI-10 was moderately correlated with that of the BIPQ. In conclusion, the Japanese version of the PEPPI-10 is a useful tool that can empower breast cancer outpatients during the course of their treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1620/tjem.249.121DOI Listing
October 2019

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase III Noninferiority Study of the Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Darbepoetin Alfa for Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia in Patients With Advanced NSCLC.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 02 16;15(2):190-202. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, California.

Introduction: This study evaluated noninferiority of darbepoetin alfa versus placebo for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in anemic patients with NSCLC treated to a 12.0-g/dL hemoglobin (Hb) ceiling.

Methods: Adults with stage IV NSCLC expected to receive two or more cycles of myelosuppressive chemotherapy and Hb less than or equal to 11.0 g/dL were randomized 2:1 to blinded 500 μg darbepoetin alfa or placebo every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was OS; a stratified Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate noninferiority (upper confidence limit for hazard ratio [HR] < 1.15). Secondary endpoints were PFS and incidence of transfusions or Hb less than or equal to 8.0 g/dL from week 5 to end of the efficacy treatment period.

Results: The primary analysis set included 2516 patients: 1680 were randomized to darbepoetin alfa; 836 to placebo. The study was stopped early per independent Data Monitoring Committee recommendation after the primary endpoint was met with no new safety concerns. Darbepoetin alfa was noninferior to placebo for OS (stratified HR = 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83‒1.01) and PFS (stratified HR = 0.95; 95% CI: 0.87‒1.04). Darbepoetin alfa was superior to placebo for transfusion or Hb less than or equal to 8.0 g/dL from week 5 to end of the efficacy treatment period (stratified odds ratio = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.57‒0.86; p < 0.001). Objective tumor response was similar between the groups (darbepoetin alfa, 36.4%; placebo, 32.6%). Incidence of serious adverse events was 31.1% in both groups. No unexpected adverse events were observed.

Conclusions: Darbepoetin alfa dosed to a 12.0-g/dL Hb ceiling was noninferior to placebo for OS and PFS and significantly reduced odds of transfusion or Hb less than or equal to 8.0 g/dL in anemic patients with NSCLC receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.10.005DOI Listing
February 2020

Equatorial Pacific seawater pCO variability since the last glacial period.

Sci Rep 2019 09 25;9(1):13814. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.

The ocean may have played a central role in the atmospheric pCO rise during the last deglaciation. However, evidence on where carbon was exchanged between the ocean and the atmosphere in this period is still lacking, hampering our understanding of global carbon cycle on glacial-interglacial timescales. Here we report a new surface seawater pCO reconstruction for the western equatorial Pacific Ocean based on boron isotope analysis-a seawater pCO proxy-using two species of near-surface dwelling foraminifera from the same marine sediment core. The results indicate that the region remained a modest CO sink throughout the last deglaciation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49739-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761199PMC
September 2019

Multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study of fosnetupitant in combination with palonosetron for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Cancer 2019 Nov 5;125(22):4076-4083. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Thoracic Center, St. Luke's International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: The current randomized, double-blind, phase 2 study assessed the efficacy and safety profile of a single intravenous administration of fosnetupitant, a neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist prodrug, for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in Japanese patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

Methods: Patients scheduled to receive cisplatin (at a dose of ≥70 mg/m )-based regimens were randomly assigned to receive fosnetupitant at a dose of 81 mg or 235 mg or placebo in combination with palonosetron at a dose of 0.75 mg and dexamethasone. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR; no vomiting and no rescue medication) during the overall phase (0-120 hours). The overall CR rate was compared between each dose of fosnetupitant and the placebo group adjusting for the stratification factors of sex and age class (age <55 years vs age ≥55 years). Safety was assessed, with special attention given to events that potentially were suggestive of infusion site reactions.

Results: A total of 594 patients were randomized. Of these, 194 patients, 195 patients, and 195 patients, respectively, in the placebo and fosnetupitant 81-mg and 235-mg dose groups were evaluable for efficacy. The overall CR rate was 54.7% for the placebo group, 63.8% for the fosnetupitant 81-mg dose group (adjusted difference, 9.1%; 95% CI, -0.4% to 18.6% [P = .061]), and 76.8% for the fosnetupitant 235-mg dose group (adjusted difference, 22.0%; 97.5% CI, 11.7% to 32.3% [P < .001]). Safety profiles were comparable between the 3 groups. The incidence of infusion site reactions related to fosnetupitant was ≤1% in each dose group.

Conclusions: Fosnetupitant at a dose of 235 mg provided superior prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting among patients receiving cisplatin-based chemotherapy compared with the control group, and with a satisfactory safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900104PMC
November 2019

Impact of clinical features on the efficacy of osimertinib therapy in patients with T790M-positive non-small cell lung cancer and acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

J Thorac Dis 2019 Jun;11(6):2350-2360

Department of Thoracic Oncology and Respiratory Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Diseases Centre, Komagome Hospital, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Osimertinib exhibits good efficacy in patients with T790M-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Compared with the clinical trials, in real-world clinical practice, osimertinib must be administered to older patients and those with poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG-PS). Therefore, we investigated the association between osimertinib efficacy/safety and PS score, age, and other clinical features in patients with T790M-positive NSCLC.

Methods: We reviewed all patients with T790M-positive NSCLC and acquired resistance to initial EGFR-TKIs who were administered osimertinib between March 2016 and January 2018 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Diseases Center in Komagome Hospital, Japan.

Results: In total, 31 patients, including 8 young (<65 years) and 23 elderly (≥65 years) patients, were included in the study. Of these, 10 (32.3%) patients had poor PS scores. The progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly shorter in young patients was than elderly patients [3.5 6.4 months, P=0.041; hazard ratio (HR), 2.41]. The overall survival (OS) of the young patients tended to be shorter than that of the elderly patients (5.3 19.4 months, P=0.067; HR, 2.58). The PFS (9.1 5.5 months; P=0.071; HR, 0.38) and the OS (not reached 6.6 months, P=0.061; HR, 0.39) were shorter in patients with poor ECOG-PS than those with good ECOG-PS. The toxic effects of osimertinib were manageable. By multivariate analysis, both age and ECOG-PS were independent predictors of osimertinib efficacy.

Conclusions: Poor ECOG-PS and younger age were associated with lower efficacy of osimertinib in T790M-positive NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd.2019.06.03DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6626778PMC
June 2019

Weekly paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer complicated by idiopathic interstitial pneumonias: a single-arm phase II study.

Int J Clin Oncol 2019 Dec 27;24(12):1543-1548. Epub 2019 Jul 27.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8603, Japan.

Background: Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) are associated with increased risk of lung cancer. In Japan, acute exaberation of IIPs induced by anticancer treatment is a critical issue. For this reason, there is limited available evidence regarding the optimal treatment approach for lung cancer patients complicated with IIPs. Our previous prospective pilot study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of weekly paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with IIPs. The current study was conducted to confirm the results of the same combination therapy used in a larger patient population.

Methods: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced stage or post-operative recurrent NSCLC patients complicated by IIPs were enrolled. Patients received paclitaxel (100 mg/m) on days 1, 8, and 15, and carboplatin (AUC 5.0) once every 4 weeks.

Results: Thirty-three of 35 enrolled patients were evaluable for analysis and received a median of four treatment cycles (range 1-6). Four patients (12.1%; 95% confidence interval 3.4-28.2%) had acute exacerbation (AEx)-related IIPs to the study treatment. However, no fatalities due to AEx were observed. The overall response was 69.7%. The median progression-free survival, median survival time, and 1-year survival were 6.3 months, 19.8 months, and 55.4%, respectively.

Conclusions: The efficacy of carboplatin plus weekly paclitaxel treatment for advanced NSCLC patients with IIPs was comparable to that of conventional chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC patients without IIPs. Moreover, the primary endpoint was set to the frequency of treatment-related acute exacerbation, and the primary endpoint was met. These results suggest that patients with advanced NSCLC complicated by IIPs may benefit from this combination chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10147-019-01516-9DOI Listing
December 2019

Determination of the geographical origin of marine mussels (Mytilus spp.) using Nd/Nd ratios.

Mar Environ Res 2019 Jun 3;148:12-18. Epub 2019 May 3.

Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Chiba, 277-8564, Japan.

Geographical traceability of marine bivalves is critical to guarantee their quality and safeguard the interest of both consumers and producers. The neodymium isotopic ratio (Nd/Nd) of the coastal water mainly reflects the geology of its neighboring watershed, displaying the distinct and systematic variability at high level of geographical detail and thereby shedding light on its potential as a geochemical tracer. For the first time, the present study investigated the utility and robustness of Nd/Nd archived in mytilid mussel shells for geographical traceability purposes. The reproducibility of Nd/Nd ratios maintained in mussels shells from the same cohort demonstrates that the Nd isotopic ratio meets the major requirement for an ideal geochemical tracer, i.e., the biologically induced variation should be rather minimal. The distribution and variability of mussel shell Nd/Nd patterns were subsequently mapped along the Japanese and Chinese coastal waters. Neodymium isotopes of mussel shells record Nd/Nd variations among local regions and between the two countries, which are rather compatible with the ages and lithology of the continental bedrocks. These findings highlight the great potential of Nd/Nd for tracing the geographical origin of marine bivalves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.05.002DOI Listing
June 2019

Phase II trial of S-1 plus cisplatin combined with bevacizumab for advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (TCOG LC-1202).

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2019 Aug;49(8):749-754

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo.

Background: S-1 plus cisplatin is a standard chemotherapy regimen for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The addition of bevacizumab has been shown to significantly improve overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced non-squamous (NSq) NSCLC who received carboplatin plus paclitaxel, however, failed to show an OS advantage in patients who received cisplatin plus gemcitabine.

Methods: Chemotherapy-naive patients with Stage IIIB, IV or recurrent non-SQ NSCLC were treated with a 3-week cycle of S-1 80 mg/m2 on days 1-14, cisplatin 60 mg/m2 on day 8 and bevacizumab 15 mg/kg on day 8 for 4-6 cycles. Patients without progressive disease (PD) received maintenance bevacizumab 15 mg/kg on day 1 with a 3-week cycle and S-1 80 mg/m2 every other day. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR), OS, toxicity profile and Quality of life (QOL).

Results: From June 2013 to January 2015, 39 eligible patients were enrolled from eight institutions. Thirty-one patients (79%) completed four cycles of induction chemotherapy, and maintenance chemotherapy was initiated in 23 patients (59%). Median PFS, OS and ORR were 7.3 months (95% CI: 5.9-8.7), 21.4 months (95% CI: 14.7-not reached) and 64%, respectively. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were leukopenia (12.8%), neutropenia (23.0%) and hypertension (28.2%). QOL analyses showed detrimental effects after initiation of the regimen.

Conclusions: S-1 plus cisplatin in combination with bevacizumab met the primary endpoint in patients with advanced NSq-NSCLC. RR was anticipated to be high with acceptable toxicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyz064DOI Listing
August 2019

Pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy for previously untreated, PD-L1-expressing, locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (KEYNOTE-042): a randomised, open-label, controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2019 05 4;393(10183):1819-1830. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

Department of Medical Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.

Background: First-line pembrolizumab monotherapy improves overall and progression-free survival in patients with untreated metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer with a programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) tumour proportion score (TPS) of 50% or greater. We investigated overall survival after treatment with pembrolizumab monotherapy in patients with a PD-L1 TPS of 1% or greater.

Methods: This randomised, open-label, phase 3 study was done in 213 medical centres in 32 countries. Eligible patients were adults (≥18 years) with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer without a sensitising EGFR mutation or ALK translocation and with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status score of 0 or 1, life expectancy 3 months or longer, and a PD-L1 TPS of 1% or greater. Randomisation was computer generated, accessed via an interactive voice-response and integrated web-response system, and stratified by region of enrolment (east Asia vs rest of world), ECOG performance status score (0 vs 1), histology (squamous vs non-squamous), and PD-L1 TPS (≥50% vs 1-49%). Enrolled patients were randomly assigned 1:1 in blocks of four per stratum to receive pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles or the investigator's choice of platinum-based chemotherapy for four to six cycles. Primary endpoints were overall survival in patients with a TPS of 50% or greater, 20% or greater, and 1% or greater (one-sided significance thresholds, p=0·0122, p=0·0120, and p=0·0124, respectively) in the intention-to-treat population, assessed sequentially if the previous findings were significant. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02220894.

Findings: From Dec 19, 2014, to March 6, 2017, 1274 patients (902 men, 372 women, median age 63 years [IQR 57-69]) with a PD-L1 TPS of 1% or greater were allocated to pembrolizumab (n=637) or chemotherapy (n=637) and included in the intention-to-treat population. 599 (47%) had a TPS of 50% or greater and 818 patients (64%) had a TPS of 20% or greater. As of Feb 26, 2018, median follow-up was 12·8 months. Overall survival was significantly longer in the pembrolizumab group than in the chemotherapy group in all three TPS populations (≥50% hazard ratio 0·69, 95% CI 0·56-0·85, p=0·0003; ≥20% 0·77, 0·64-0·92, p=0·0020, and ≥1% 0·81, 0·71-0·93, p=0·0018). The median surival values by TPS population were 20·0 months (95% CI 15·4-24·9) for pembrolizumab versus 12·2 months (10·4-14·2) for chemotherapy, 17·7 months (15·3-22·1) versus 13·0 months (11·6-15·3), and 16·7 months (13·9-19·7) versus 12·1 months (11·3-13·3), respectively. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse occurred in 113 (18%) of 636 treated patients in the pembrolizumab group and in 252 (41%) of 615 in the chemotherapy group and led to death in 13 (2%) and 14 (2%) patients, respectively.

Interpretation: The benefit-to-risk profile suggests that pembrolizumab monotherapy can be extended as first-line therapy to patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer without sensitising EGFR or ALK alterations and with low PD-L1 TPS.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32409-7DOI Listing
May 2019

Organizing Pneumonia after Nivolumab Treatment in a Patient with Pathologically Proven Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

J Nippon Med Sch 2019 ;86(1):43-47

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School.

Acute exacerbation of pre-existing interstitial lung disease (ILD) associated with systemic anticancer therapy is recognized as a life-threatening adverse event of lung cancer treatment. Programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors, such as nivolumab, often induce pneumonitis in patients with cancer; however, the tolerance and safety of nivolumab for advanced lung cancer with ILD are unclear. We report a 72-year-old patient with lung cancer with pathologically proven idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who was treated with nivolumab. She demonstrated pneumonitis with an organized pneumonia (OP) pattern, but no acute exacerbation of ILD featuring a diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) pattern. She was successfully treated with corticosteroid therapy, and maintained good disease control after the discontinuation of nivolumab. She also showed pseudoprogression of the primary tumor, implying infiltration of T-cells into the lung. These findings suggest that T-cell activation by nivolumab treatment might not be directly associated with acute ILD exacerbation, and that treatable OP might be a major pulmonary complication of nivolumab in patients with pre-existing ILD, similar to patients without underlying ILD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1272/jnms.JNMS.2019_86-8DOI Listing
April 2019

A 10-Year History of Anti-Smoking Campaigns and Enlightenment Activities for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for Citizens at the Plaza in Ebina City.

J Nippon Med Sch 2019 ;86(1):32-37

Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School.

Background: The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is 8.6% in Japan and 10% worldwide. Unfortunately, many patients with COPD are not correctly identified and appropriately educated regarding the condition. In this paper, we demonstrate that some citizens of Ebina City with symptoms suspicious for COPD, such as cough, sputum production, and shortness of breath, have undiagnosed COPD. We describe our activities to raise awareness of COPD through a 10-year campaign.

Methods: From 2006 to 2015, we developed activities to raise awareness of COPD, including public lectures, utilization of pulmonary function tests, and questionnaires on subjective symptoms and knowledge of COPD.

Results: Among 1,206 participants aged>40 years, COPD was suspected in 5.6%, as indicated by airway obstruction (i.e. forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity ratio (FVC) <0.70). However, most of these participants were not diagnosed with COPD. Furthermore, half of these participants had not consulted a medical institution despite demonstrating symptoms. Results of the COPD awareness questionnaire, which was administered to 1,055 people, indicated that 65% of survey respondents were unaware of COPD.

Conclusions: There are individuals with symptoms suspicious for COPD who are unaware of the disease at the Plaza in Ebina City. Clinicians have a responsibility to raise public awareness of COPD and to reduce the prevalence of COPD and its associated mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1272/jnms.JNMS.2019_86-6DOI Listing
April 2019

Intralymphatic histiocytosis in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma treated with pembrolizumab: a case report.

J Immunother Cancer 2019 02 27;7(1):59. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8603, Japan.

Background: Pembrolizumab, an anti-programmed cell death-1 protein monoclonal antibody, is effective for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab induce various immune-related adverse events, involving the lung, liver, gastrointestinal, endocrine system, and skin. Intralymphatic histiocytosis (ILH) is a rare, chronic cutaneous disorder with a reactive inflammatory component, which often occurs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Case Presentation: We present a 67-year-old man with lung adenocarcinoma who developed ILH associated with pembrolizumab treatment. He was treated with palliative thoracic radiotherapy for superior vena cava syndrome. Subsequently, he received four cycles of pembrolizumab. Approximately 2.5 months after the initiation of pembrolizumab, he developed erythema on the trunk of his body. Based on findings of skin biopsies, he was diagnosed with pembrolizumab-induced ILH. Moreover, the upregulation of tumor necrosis factor-α was observed during pembrolizumab therapy.

Conclusions: This is the first report of ILH induced by pembrolizumab in a patient with lung adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40425-019-0534-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6391791PMC
February 2019

Phase I study of TAS-121, a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer harboring EGFR mutations.

Invest New Drugs 2019 12 21;37(6):1207-1217. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Thoracic Center, St. Luke's International Hospital, 9-1 Akashicho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045, Japan.

Purpose We investigated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy of TAS-121, a novel, potent, and highly selective third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) in Japanese patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) previously treated with EGFR-TKI. Methods This was an open-label, non-randomized, multi-center, dose escalation, phase I study conducted in three phases (dose escalation, expansion, and extension phases). TAS-121 was administered orally once daily (QD) or twice daily (BID) under fasting conditions in a 21-day treatment cycle. The primary endpoint was dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) during Cycle 1 of the dose escalation phase. Results In total, 134 patients received treatment. Five and three patients presented a DLT with the QD and BID regimens, respectively. The DLTs were drug-induced liver injury, platelet count decreased, urticaria, interstitial lung disease, and left ventricular failure. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was 10 mg/day QD and 8 mg/day BID in the dose escalation phase. The most common adverse drug reactions (ADRs) were dermatological toxicity (89.6%), platelet count decreased (67.2%), and pyrexia (44%) among all patients. Rate of discontinuations due to ADRs at the MTD level were 11.1% with TAS-121 10 mg/day QD and 7.9% with TAS-121 8 mg/day BID. Among 86 T790M-positive patients (confirmed by blood serum sampling in most patients), the objective response rate (ORR) was 28% and highest at 8 mg/day BID (39%). Among 16 T790M-negative patients, the ORR was 19%. Conclusions TAS-121 was well tolerated up to the MTD and demonstrated antitumor activity in Japanese T790M-positive NSCLC patients. Clinical trial registration: JapicCTI-142651.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-019-00732-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856039PMC
December 2019

Tenascin XB Is a Novel Diagnostic Marker for Malignant Mesothelioma.

Anticancer Res 2019 Feb;39(2):627-633

Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Background/aim: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive tumor with poor prognosis. The establishment of a new diagnostic and therapeutic approach for MM is expected. This study investigated the diagnostic significance of tenascin XB (TNXB) for MM.

Materials And Methods: TNXB gene expression was found to be significantly higher in MM tumor tissues compared to paired normal tissues, as assessed by the Gene Expression Omnibus database. The inhibition of TNXB using small interfering RNAs suppressed the proliferation and colony formation of MM cells. Expression of TNXB and calretinin, a current diagnostic marker of MM, was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of TNXB for MM were 80.0% and 69.5%, respectively. When the detection of TNXB was combined with that of calretinin, 83.3% of MM cases were detected.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that TNXB is a novel diagnostic biomarker for MM. A combination of detecting TNXB and calretinin may be useful for the differential diagnosis of MM from lung adenocarcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.13156DOI Listing
February 2019

A dose-finding randomized Phase II study of oral netupitant in combination with palonosetron .75 mg intravenous for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in Japanese patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2019 Feb;49(2):121-129

Department of Breast Oncology, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, Saitama.

Objective: Netupitant is a novel, selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist used for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, a distressing side effect of chemotherapy. This double-blind, randomized, Phase II study investigated the dose-response of oral netupitant in Japanese patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Methods: Chemotherapy-naïve patients were randomized (1:1:1) to a single oral netupitant 30-, 100- or 300-mg dose before chemotherapy initiation. Patients received concomitant palonosetron (0.75 mg intravenously [i.v.] Day 1) and dexamethasone (9.9 mg i.v. Day 1, 8 mg orally Days 2-4).

Results: Overall, 402 patients (30 mg: 134; 100 mg: 135; 300 mg: 133) were treated and evaluable for efficacy and safety. The primary endpoint of overall (0-120 h after chemotherapy administration) complete response (CR) rate (no emesis, no rescue medication) was 64.2%, 60.0% and 54.9% in the 30-, 100- and 300-mg arms, respectively, without statistical significance for dose-response. The safety profile of netupitant was comparable in the three arms. The plasma concentrations of netupitant and its metabolites increased with the dose increase from 30 mg to 300 mg.

Conclusions: No dose-response relationship of netupitant in terms of overall CR rate was observed in this study. Netupitant was well tolerated at all doses without clinically harmful safety signals observed.

Clinical Trial Registration: JapicCTI-142 483.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyy161DOI Listing
February 2019

Interstitial lung disease associated with nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel treatment in patients with lung cancer.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2019 Feb;49(2):165-173

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel is indicated for the treatment of patients with lung cancer. It can induce interstitial lung disease, but the incidence of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel-associated interstitial lung disease in clinical practice has not been determined. We investigated the incidence of interstitial lung disease in patients with lung cancer who had received nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel therapy at our institution.

Methods: We reviewed clinical data for patients with advanced lung cancer who received nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel with or without carboplatin or bevacizumab therapy at the Nippon Medical School Main Hospital between April 2013 and September 2017. Interstitial lung disease was diagnosed based on clinical symptoms, radiographic findings and exclusion of other diseases.

Results: A total of 110 advanced lung cancer patients received nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel, and nine of them (8.2%) developed interstitial lung disease. Of those who developed interstitial lung disease, eight were treated with corticosteroids and three received cyclophosphamide pulse therapy. High-resolution computed tomography images demonstrated diffuse alveolar damage pattern pneumonitis in seven patients and organized pneumonia pattern pneumonitis in two patients. Six of the patients with diffuse alveolar damage pattern pneumonitis died from respiratory failure. The two patients with organized pneumonia pattern pneumonitis recovered. The incidence of interstitial lung disease was 19.0% (8/42) among patients with preexisting interstitial pneumonia and 1.5% (1/68) among those without preexisting interstitial pneumonia. Six patients with preexisting interstitial pneumonia met the criteria for acute exacerbation of interstitial pneumonia (14.3%).

Conclusion: Nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel-associated interstitial lung disease was a severe and potentially fatal adverse event. We found it demonstrated diffuse alveolar damage or organized pneumonia pattern pneumonitis, and preexisting interstitial pneumonia was associated with higher rate of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel-associated interstitial lung disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyy180DOI Listing
February 2019

Pembrolizumab-induced agranulocytosis in a pulmonary pleomorphic carcinoma patient who developed interstitial lung disease and ocular myasthenia gravis.

Oxf Med Case Reports 2018 Nov 22;2018(11):omy094. Epub 2018 Oct 22.

Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5, Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

An 82-year-old man with a recurrence of pulmonary pleomorphic carcinoma was treated with pembrolizumab. He achieved partial response after three cycles of pembrolizumab. However, he developed febrile neutropenia. A bone marrow aspiration sample revealed a decrease of mature neutrophils, and anti-neutrophil antibody was detected in blood. Computed tomography scans revealed consolidation in the right lung. Pathological findings in lung biopsy tissue revealed organizing pneumonia. Pembrolizumab-induced agranulocytosis and interstitial lung disease (ILD) were diagnosed. We initiated antibacterial therapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). The neutrophil count immediately increased, and the fever decreased. The improvement of ILD was achieved without using systemic steroids. Moreover, the patient developed ocular myasthenia gravis induced by pembrolizumab. This is the first case report of pembrolizumab-induced agranulocytosis. Agranulocytosis was improved by administration of G-CSF without using systemic steroids. However, further studies are needed to determine the optimal treatment for patients with anti-neutrophil antibody whose tumor has progressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/omcr/omy094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196766PMC
November 2018

Ankyrin Repeat Domain 1 Overexpression is Associated with Common Resistance to Afatinib and Osimertinib in EGFR-mutant Lung Cancer.

Sci Rep 2018 10 5;8(1):14896. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Division of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Overcoming acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) is critical in combating EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We tried to construct a novel therapeutic strategy to conquer the resistance to second-and third-generation EGFR-TKIs in EGFR-positive NSCLC patients. We established afatinib- and osimertinib-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Exome sequencing, cDNA array and miRNA microarray were performed using the established cell lines to discover novel therapeutic targets associated with the resistance to second-and third-generation EGFR-TKIs. We found that ANKRD1 which is associated with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenomenon and anti-apoptosis, was overexpressed in the second-and third-generation EGFR-TKIs-resistant cells at the mRNA and protein expression levels. When ANKRD1 was silenced in the EGFR-TKIs-resistant cell lines, afatinib and osimertinib could induce apoptosis of the cell lines. Imatinib could inhibit ANKRD1 expression, resulting in restoration of the sensitivity to afatinib and osimertinib of EGFR-TKI-resistant cells. In EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients, ANKRD1 was overexpressed in the tumor after the failure of EGFR-TKI therapy, especially after long-duration EGFR-TKI treatments. ANKRD1 overexpression which was associated with EMT features and anti-apoptosis, was commonly involved in resistance to second-and third-generation EGFR-TKIs. ANKRD1 inhibition could be a promising therapeutic strategy in EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33190-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6173712PMC
October 2018

Overall Survival with Durvalumab after Chemoradiotherapy in Stage III NSCLC.

N Engl J Med 2018 12 25;379(24):2342-2350. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

From the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa (S.J.A., A.C., J.E.G.), Cancer Specialists of North Florida, Jacksonville (A.V.), Florida Cancer Specialists, Fleming Island (A.V.), and Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, Orlando (T.M.) - all in Florida; Tennessee Oncology, Chattanooga (D.D.), and Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville (D.D., D.R.S.) - both in Tennessee; Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Seville (D.V.), and Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, CiberOnc, Universidad Complutense and Spanish National Cancer Research Center (L.P.-A.), and Hospital Universitario La Paz (J.C.C.), Madrid - all in Spain; Kanagawa Cancer Center, Yokohama (S.M.), Kansai Medical University Hospital, Hirakata (T.K.), Kurume University Hospital, Kurume (T.T.), and Nippon Medical School Hospital, Tokyo (K.K.) - all in Japan; Westmead Hospital and the University of Sydney, Sydney (R.H.), and Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA (C.S.K.) - all in Australia; Chungbuk National University Hospital, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, Cheongju (K.H.L.), Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul (B.C.C.), and Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju (Y.-C.K.) - all in South Korea; Vivantes Klinikum Neukoelln, Berlin (M.W.), and the Lung Clinic, Airway Research Center North, German Center for Lung Research, Grosshansdorf (M.R.) - both in Germany; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège, Liège (M.B.), and University Hospitals KU Leuven, Leuven (J.V.) - both in Belgium; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montpellier and Institut du Cancer de Montpellier Val d'Aurelle, Montpellier (X.Q.), Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif (D.P.), and Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest-site René Gauducheau, Saint Herblain (S.H.) - all in France; National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary (G.O.); the University of Manchester and the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester (C.F.-F.), AstraZeneca, Alderley Park (C.W.), and AstraZeneca, Cambridge (M.T.) - all in the United Kingdom; AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD (G.M., P.A.D.); and Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey (M.Ö.).

Background: An earlier analysis in this phase 3 trial showed that durvalumab significantly prolonged progression-free survival, as compared with placebo, among patients with stage III, unresectable non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who did not have disease progression after concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Here we report the results for the second primary end point of overall survival.

Methods: We randomly assigned patients, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive durvalumab intravenously, at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram of body weight, or matching placebo every 2 weeks for up to 12 months. Randomization occurred 1 to 42 days after the patients had received chemoradiotherapy and was stratified according to age, sex, and smoking history. The primary end points were progression-free survival (as assessed by blinded independent central review) and overall survival. Secondary end points included the time to death or distant metastasis, the time to second progression, and safety.

Results: Of the 713 patients who underwent randomization, 709 received the assigned intervention (473 patients received durvalumab and 236 received placebo). As of March 22, 2018, the median follow-up was 25.2 months. The 24-month overall survival rate was 66.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 61.7 to 70.4) in the durvalumab group, as compared with 55.6% (95% CI, 48.9 to 61.8) in the placebo group (two-sided P=0.005). Durvalumab significantly prolonged overall survival, as compared with placebo (stratified hazard ratio for death, 0.68; 99.73% CI, 0.47 to 0.997; P=0.0025). Updated analyses regarding progression-free survival were similar to those previously reported, with a median duration of 17.2 months in the durvalumab group and 5.6 months in the placebo group (stratified hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.63). The median time to death or distant metastasis was 28.3 months in the durvalumab group and 16.2 months in the placebo group (stratified hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.68). A total of 30.5% of the patients in the durvalumab group and 26.1% of those in the placebo group had grade 3 or 4 adverse events of any cause; 15.4% and 9.8% of the patients, respectively, discontinued the trial regimen because of adverse events.

Conclusions: Durvalumab therapy resulted in significantly longer overall survival than placebo. No new safety signals were identified. (Funded by AstraZeneca; PACIFIC ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02125461 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1809697DOI Listing
December 2018