Publications by authors named "Kate Newbold"

78 Publications

On-treatment immune prognostic score for patients with relapsed and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated with immunotherapy.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jun;9(6)

Head and Neck Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK.

Background: Previous studies have suggested that inflammatory markers (neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and fibrinogen) are prognostic biomarkers in patients with a variety of solid cancers, including those treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). We aimed to develop a model that predicts response and survival in patients with relapsed and/or metastatic (R/M) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with immunotherapy.

Methods: Analysis of 100 consecutive patients with unresectable R/M HNSCC who were treated with ICI. Baseline and on-treatment (day 28) NLR, fibrinogen and LDH were calculated and correlated with response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) using univariate and multivariate analyses. The optimal cut-off values were derived using maximally selected log-rank statistics.

Results: Low baseline NLR and fibrinogen levels were associated with response. There was a statistically significant correlation between on-treatment NLR and fibrinogen and best overall response. On-treatment high NLR and raised fibrinogen were significantly associated with poorer outcome. In multivariate analysis, on-treatment NLR (≥4) and on-treatment fibrinogen (≥4 ng/mL) showed a significant negative correlation with OS and PFS. Using these cut-off points, we generated an on-treatment score for OS and PFS (0-2 points). The derived scoring system shows appropriate discrimination and suitability for OS (HR 2.4, 95% CI 1.7 to 3.4, p<0.0001, Harrell's C 0.67) and PFS (HR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.3, p<0.0001, Harrell's C 0.68). In the absence of an external validation cohort, results of fivefold cross-validation of the score and evaluation of median OS and PFS on the Kaplan-Meier survival distribution between trained and test data exhibited appropriate accuracy and concordance of the model.

Conclusions: NLR and fibrinogen levels are simple, inexpensive and readily available biomarkers that could be incorporated into an on-treatment scoring system and used to help predict survival and response to ICI in patients with R/M HNSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002718DOI Listing
June 2021

Open-Label, Single-Arm, Multicenter, Phase II Trial of Lenvatinib for the Treatment of Patients With Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2021 May 7:JCO2003093. Epub 2021 May 7.

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

Purpose: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), an aggressive malignancy, is associated with a poor prognosis and an unmet need for effective treatment, especially for patients without mutations or or fusions. Lenvatinib is US Food and Drug Administration-approved for radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and has previously demonstrated activity in a small study of patients with ATC (n = 17). We aimed to further evaluate lenvatinib in ATC.

Methods: This open-label, multicenter, international, phase II study enrolled patients with ATC, who had ≥ 1 measurable target lesion, to receive lenvatinib 24 mg once daily. The primary end points were objective response rate (ORR) by investigator assessment per RECIST v1.1 and safety. Responses were confirmed ≥ 4 weeks after the initial response. Additional end points included progression-free survival and overall survival (OS).

Results: The study was halted for futility as the minimum ORR threshold of 15% was not met upon interim analysis. The interim analysis set included the first 20 patients. The full analysis set includes all 34 enrolled and treated patients. In the full analysis set, one patient achieved a partial response (ORR, 2.9%; 95% CI, 0.1 to 15.3). More than half of the evaluable patients experienced tumor shrinkage; three patients experienced a > 30% tumor reduction. The median progression-free survival was 2.6 months (95% CI, 1.4 to 2.8); the median overall survival was 3.2 months (95% CI, 2.8 to 8.2). The most common treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were hypertension (56%), decreased appetite (29%), fatigue (29%), and stomatitis (29%). No major treatment-related bleeding events or grade 5 treatment-related AEs occurred.

Conclusion: The safety profile of lenvatinib in ATC was manageable, and many AEs were attributable to the progression of ATC. The results suggest that lenvatinib monotherapy may not be an effective treatment for ATC; further investigation may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03093DOI Listing
May 2021

Safety and Treatment Outcomes of Nivolumab for the Treatment of Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Retrospective Multicenter Cohort Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 19;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Guys Cancer Centre, Guy's and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Nivolumab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody currently used as immunotherapy for patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with evidence of disease progression after platinum-based chemotherapy. This study evaluates real-world safety and treatment outcomes of non-trial nivolumab use. A retrospective multicenter cohort study of patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC treated with nivolumab between January 2017 and March 2020 was performed. Overall, 123 patients were included. The median age was 64 years, the majority of patients were male (80.5%) and had a smoking history (69.9%). Primary outcomes included overall response rate (ORR) of 19.3%, median progression-free survival (PFS) of 3.9 months, 1-year PFS rate of 16.8%, a median overall survival (OS) of 6.5 months and 1-year OS rate of 28.6%. These results are comparable to the CHECKMATE-141 study. Of 27 patients who had PD-L1 status tested, positive PD-L1 status did not significantly affect PFS ( = 0.86) or OS ( = 0.84). Nivolumab was well tolerated with only 15.1% experiencing immune-related toxicities (IRT) and only 6.7% of patients stopping due to toxicity. The occurrence of IRT appeared to significantly affect PFS ( = 0.01) but not OS ( = 0.07). Nivolumab in recurrent/metastatic HNSCC is well tolerated and may be more efficacious in patients who develop IRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003537PMC
March 2021

Medullary Thyroid Cancer Patient's Assessment of Quality of Life Tools: Results from the QaLM Study.

Eur Thyroid J 2021 Mar 23;10(1):72-78. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Background: Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a neuroendocrine tumour and a rare variant of thyroid cancer with different aetiology, presentation and treatment to differentiated thyroid cancer. Currently available thyroid cancer-specific quality of life (QoL) tools focus on issues and treatments more relevant to patients with differentiated thyroid cancer and therefore may not address issues specific to a MTC diagnosis and cancer journey.

Method: This prospective multicentre randomised study involved 204 MTC patients completing four quality of life questionnaires (QOLQ) and stating their most and least preferred. The questionnaires were a general instrument, the EORTC QLQ-C30, two disease-specific tools, the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) thyroid module and the City of Hope Quality of Life Scale/THYROID (amended) and the neuroendocrine questionnaire, EORTC QLQ-GINET21. Patients were randomised to complete the four questionnaires in one of 24 possible orders and then answered questions about which tool they preferred. The primary outcome measure was patients' preferred QoL instrument for describing their concerns and for facilitating communication with their healthcare professional. Secondary analyses looked at differences between preferred QOLQs amongst patient subgroups (WHO performance status [0 and 1+], disease stage: early [T1-3, N0 or N1A], metastatic [T4, any T N1b] and advanced [any T any N M1], and type of MTC [sporadic and inherited]), identification of MTC patients' least preferred questionnaire and clinicians' views on the QoL tools in terms of their ability to highlight problems not otherwise ascertained by a standard clinical review.

Results: No evidence of a difference was observed for most preferred QOLQ ( = 0.650). There was however evidence of a difference in least preferred questionnaire in the cohort of 128 patients who stated their least preferred questionnaire ( = 0.042), with 36% (46/128) of patients choosing the EORTC QLQ-GI.NET21 questionnaire. Subgroup analyses showed that there was no evidence of a difference in patients' most preferred questionnaire in sporadic MTC patients ( = 0.637), patients with WHO PS 0 or 1+ ( = 0.844 and = 0.423) nor when comparing patients with early, advanced local or metastatic disease ( = 0.132, = 0.463 and = 0.506, respectively). Similarly, subgroup analyses on patients' least preferred questionnaires showed no evidence of differences in sporadic MTC patients ( = 0.092), patients with WHO PS 0 or 1+ ( = 0.423 and = 0.276), nor in early or metastatic disease patients ( = 0.682 and = 0.345, respectively). There was however some evidence to suggest a difference in least preferred questionnaire in patients with advanced local stage disease ( = 0.059), with 43% (16/37) of these patients choosing the EORTC QLQ-GI.NET21 questionnaire.

Conclusions: MTC patients regardless of their performance status, disease aetiology and disease burden did not express a preference for any one particular questionnaire suggesting any of the tools studied could be utilized in this patient cohort. The least preferred questionnaire being a gastrointestinal NET specific tool suggests that diarrhoea was not a significant symptom and concern for the population studied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000509227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7983600PMC
March 2021

2021 American Thyroid Association Guidelines for Management of Patients with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.

Thyroid 2021 03;31(3):337-386

Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare but highly lethal form of thyroid cancer. Since the guidelines for the management of ATC by the American Thyroid Association were first published in 2012, significant clinical and scientific advances have occurred in the field. The aim of these guidelines is to inform clinicians, patients, and researchers on published evidence relating to the diagnosis and management of ATC. The specific clinical questions and topics addressed in these guidelines were based on prior versions of the guidelines, stakeholder input, and input of the Task Force members (authors of the guideline). Relevant literature was reviewed, including serial PubMed searches supplemented with additional articles. The American College of Physicians Guideline Grading System was used for critical appraisal of evidence and grading strength of recommendations. The guidelines include the diagnosis, initial evaluation, establishment of treatment goals, approaches to locoregional disease (surgery, radiotherapy, targeted/systemic therapy, supportive care during active therapy), approaches to advanced/metastatic disease, palliative care options, surveillance and long-term monitoring, and ethical issues, including end of life. The guidelines include 31 recommendations and 16 good practice statements. We have developed evidence-based recommendations to inform clinical decision-making in the management of ATC. While all care must be individualized, such recommendations provide, in our opinion, optimal care paradigms for patients with ATC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/thy.2020.0944DOI Listing
March 2021

Taste dysfunction following radiotherapy to the head and neck: A systematic review.

Radiother Oncol 2021 04 3;157:130-140. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Head and Neck Unit, The Royal Marsden London, London, UK; Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

Background: An intact sense of taste provides pleasure, supports sustenance and alerts the body to toxins. Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients who receive radiotherapy (RT) are high-risk for developing radiation-induced taste dysfunction. Advances in RT offer opportunities for taste-preserving strategies by reducing dose to the gustatory organs-at-risk.

Methods: PubMed, Medline and EMBASE were searched for publications reporting on taste, RT and HNC. Randomised trials, cohort studies and cross-sectional studies were included.

Results: 31 studies were included in this review. Meta-analysed prevalence of acute taste dysfunction following RT was approximately 96% (95% CI 64 to 100%) by objective measures and 79% (95% CI 65 to 88%) by subjective measures, with the majority of patients showing at least partial recovery. Long-term dysfunction was seen in ~25% of patients. Taste dysfunction was associated with sequalae including weight loss and reduced quality-of-life (QoL). Taste dysfunction was more common when the oral cavity, and specifically the anterior two-thirds of the tongue, was irradiated, suggesting a dose constraint for taste preservation might be feasible. Proton beam therapy and customised bite blocks reduced dose to the gustatory field and subsequent loss of taste.

Conclusions: Taste dysfunction following RT is common and negatively affects patients' nutritional status and QoL. Decisions about treatment strategies, including choice of RT modality, dose distribution across the gustatory field and the use of adjuncts like bite blocks may be beneficial. However, evidence is limited. There is a pressing need for randomised studies or large prospective cohort studies with sufficient adjustment for confounders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.01.021DOI Listing
April 2021

Combining BRAF inhibition with oncolytic herpes simplex virus enhances the immune-mediated antitumor therapy of BRAF-mutant thyroid cancer.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 08;8(2)

Translational Immunotherapy Team, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom

Background: The aggressive clinical behavior of poorly differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancers (PDTC and ATC) has proven challenging to treat, and survival beyond a few months from diagnosis is rare. Although 30%-60% of these tumors contain mutations in the gene, inhibitors designed specifically to target oncogenic BRAF have shown limited and only short-lasting therapeutic benefits as single agents, thus highlighting the need for improved treatment strategies, including novel combinations.

Methods: Using a BRAF-driven mouse model of ATC, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of the combination of BRAF inhibition and oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV). Analyses of samples from tumor-bearing mice were performed to immunologically characterize the effects of different treatments. These immune data were used to inform the incorporation of immune checkpoint inhibitors into triple combination therapies.

Results: We characterized the immune landscape in vivo following BRAF inhibitor treatment and detected only modest immune changes. We, therefore, hypothesized that the addition of oncolytic virotherapy to BRAF inhibition in thyroid cancer would create a more favorable tumor immune microenvironment, boost the inflammatory status of tumors and improve BRAF inhibitor therapy. First, we showed that thyroid cancer cells were susceptible to infection with oHSV and that this process was associated with activation of the immune tumor microenvironment in vivo. Next, we showed improved therapeutic responses when combining oHSV and BRAF inhibition in vivo, although no synergistic effects were seen in vitro, further confirming that the dominant effect of oHSV in this context was likely immune-mediated. Importantly, both gene and protein expression data revealed an increase in activation of T cells and natural killer (NK) cells in the tumor in combination-treated samples. The benefit of combination oHSV and BRAF inhibitor therapy was abrogated when T cells or NK cells were depleted in vivo. In addition, we showed upregulation of PD-L1 and CTLA-4 following combined treatment and demonstrated that blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis or CTLA-4 further improved combination therapy.

Conclusions: The combination of oHSV and BRAF inhibition significantly improved survival in a mouse model of ATC by enhancing immune-mediated antitumor effects, and triple combination therapies, including either PD-1 or CTLA-4 blockade, further improved therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445339PMC
August 2020

The impact of restricted length of treatment field and anthropometric factors on selection of head and neck cancer patients for treatment on the MR-Linac.

Br J Radiol 2020 Jul 21;93(1111):20200023. Epub 2020 May 21.

The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Head and Neck Radiotherapy and Imaging, Sutton, United Kingdom.

Objective: This study investigates the impact of a restricted craniocaudal (CC) field length of <20 cm on the selection of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients who can be treated on the MR-Linac using a single isocentre technique. We also assess the effects of anthropometric factors and the neck position on the CC field length.

Methods: 110 HNC patients who underwent radical primary or adjuvant radiotherapy were retrospectively analysed. We assessed the proportion of treatment fields with a CC length of <20 cm and the effects of gender, height, hyo-sternal neck length (distance from superior surface of hyoid to sternal notch measured on the coronal reconstruction of the planning CT) and neck position on CC length.

Results: 95% of HNC patients had a CC field length <20 cm. Female patients showed a significantly shorter median CC length than male patients in both extended ( = 0.0003) and neutral ( = 0.008) neck positions. Neck position influenced the median CC length with neutral neck being significantly shorter than extended neck ( = 0.0119). Patient height and hyo-sternal neck length showed positive correlation with the CC length, with neck length in neutral position having the strongest correlation ( = 0.65, = 0.0001 and = 0.63, < 0.0001, respectively for extended neck; = 0.55, = 0.0070 and = 0.80, < 0.0001, respectively for neutral neck). A hyo-sternal neck length of <14.6 cm predicted a CC length of <20 cm in neutral neck position.

Conclusion: The majority of patients with HNC at the Royal Marsden Hospital have anthropometric features compatible with their being treated on the MR-Linac using a single isocentre technique. The absolute CC field size may vary according to primary tumour site, patient factors and neck position. A hyo-sternal neck length cut-off of 14.6 cm in the neutral neck position can be used as a surrogate marker for suitability of treatment on MR-Linac.

Advances In Knowledge: This paper highlights the potential impact of a restricted CC field in HNC patient selection for the MR-Linac treatment. This is the first report to suggest the use of neck length as a surrogate marker for suitability of treatment on the MR-Linac.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20200023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336067PMC
July 2020

Impact of antibiotic use during curative treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancers with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Eur J Cancer 2020 05 2;131:9-15. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Head and Neck Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, United Kingdom; Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Pre-clinical evidence suggests reduced efficacy of anticancer treatment in patients exposed to broad-spectrum antibiotics. It is hypothesised that this phenomenon may be explained by the effects of antibiotics on the composition of the microbiota. To assess this in a clinical setting, we analysed the impact of antibiotics in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (LAHNC) treated with curative intent with chemotherapy and radiotherapy (RT).

Material And Methods: Retrospective data for LAHNC patients treated with curative intent (245 induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation [CRT], 17 surgery followed by post-operative CRT, six CRT, three RT alone and one RT with concurrent cetuximab) were analysed. We evaluated the impact of antibiotics prescribed during primary anti-cancer treatment on progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) rates by multivariate Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.

Results: Among 272 patients, those receiving antibiotics between within 1 week before and 2 weeks after treatment (N = 124) progressed significantly earlier and had lower OS and DSS rates. In the multivariate analysis, administration of antibiotics was independently associated with reduced PFS (hazards ratio [HR] 1.98, P = 0.001), OS (HR 1.85, P = 0.001) and DSS (HR 1.95, P = 0.004). This effect was maintained with independence of reason for prescription, type and time of antibiotic prescription. The negative impact was greater for patients who received two or more courses of antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment was correlated with increased risk of locoregional relapse.

Conclusions: Our data suggest a negative impact of antibiotic therapy on treatment outcomes following CRT with curative intent in patients with LAHNC. This potential harm should be considered when prescribing broad-spectrum and prophylactic antibiotics for such patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.047DOI Listing
May 2020

2019 European Thyroid Association Guidelines for the Treatment and Follow-Up of Advanced Radioiodine-Refractory Thyroid Cancer.

Eur Thyroid J 2019 Oct 28;8(5):227-245. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The vast majority of thyroid cancers of follicular origin (TC) have a very favourable outcome, but 5-10% of cases will develop metastatic disease. Around 60-70% of this subset, hence less than 5% of all patients with TC, will become radioiodine refractory (RAI-R), with a significant negative impact on prognosis and a mean life expectancy of 3-5 years. Since no European expert consensus or guidance for this challenging condition is currently available, a task force of TC experts was nominated by the European Thyroid Association (ETA) to prepare this document based on the principles of clinical evidence. The task force started to work in September 2018 and after several revision rounds, prepared a list of recommendations to support the treatment and follow-up of patients with advanced TC. Criteria for advanced RAI-R TC were proposed, and the most appropriate diagnostic tools and the local, systemic and palliative treatments are described. Systemic therapy with multikinase inhibitors is fully discussed, including recommendations on how to start it and at which dosage, on the duration of treatment, and on the management of side effects. The appropriate relationship between the specialist and the patient/family as well as ethical issues are covered. Based on the available studies and on personal experience, the experts provided 39 recommendations aimed to improve the management of advanced RAI-R TCs. Above all of them is the indication to treat and follow these patients in a specialized setting which allows the interaction between several specialists in a multidisciplinary team.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000502229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6873012PMC
October 2019

Investigating the potential clinical benefit of Selumetinib in resensitising advanced iodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer to radioiodine therapy (SEL-I-METRY): protocol for a multicentre UK single arm phase II trial.

BMC Cancer 2019 Jun 14;19(1):582. Epub 2019 Jun 14.

Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, S10 2SJ, UK.

Background: Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy. Some advanced disease is, or becomes, resistant to radioactive iodine therapy (refractory disease); this holds poor prognosis of 10% 10-year overall survival. Whilst Sorafenib and Lenvatinib are now licenced for the treatment of progressive iodine refractory thyroid cancer, these treatments require continuing treatment and can be associated with significant toxicity. Evidence from a pilot study has demonstrated feasibility of Selumetinib to allow the reintroduction of I-131 therapy; this larger, multicentre study is required to demonstrate the broader clinical impact of this approach before progression to a confirmatory trial.

Methods: SEL-I-METRY is a UK, single-arm, multi-centre, two-stage phase II trial. Participants with locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer with at least one measureable lesion and iodine refractory disease will be recruited from eight NHS Hospitals and treated with four-weeks of oral Selumetinib and assessed for sufficient I-123 uptake (defined as any uptake in a lesion with no previous uptake or 30% or greater increase in uptake). Those with sufficient uptake will be treated with I-131 and followed for clinical outcomes. Radiation absorbed doses will be predicted from I-123 SPECT/CT and verified from scans following the therapy. Sixty patients will be recruited to assess the primary objective of whether the treatment schedule leads to increased progression-free survival compared to historical control data.

Discussion: The SEL-I-METRY trial will investigate the effect of Selumetinib followed by I-131 therapy on progression-free survival in radioiodine refractory patients with differentiated thyroid cancer showing increased radioiodine uptake following initial treatment with Selumetinib. In addition, information on toxicity and dosimetry will be collected. This study presents an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the role of lesional dosimetry in molecular radiotherapy, leading to greater personalisation of therapy. To date this has been a neglected area of research. The findings of this trial will be useful to healthcare professionals and patients alike to determine whether further study of this agent is warranted. It is hoped that the development of the infrastructure to deliver a multicentre trial involving molecular radiotherapy dosimetry will lead to further trials in this field.

Trial Registration: SEL-I-METRY is registered under ISRCTN17468602 , 02/12/2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-5541-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567392PMC
June 2019

Recurrence after low-dose radioiodine ablation and recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone for differentiated thyroid cancer (HiLo): long-term results of an open-label, non-inferiority randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2019 01 27;7(1):44-51. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, UCL Cancer Institute, University College London, London, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Two large randomised trials of patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer reported in 2012 (HiLo and ESTIMABL1) found similar post-ablation success rates at 6-9 months between a low administered radioactive iodine (I) dose (1·1 GBq) and the standard high dose (3·7 GBq). However, recurrence rates following radioactive iodine ablation have previously only been reported in observational studies, and recently in ESTIMABL1. We aimed to compare recurrence rates between radioactive iodine doses in HiLo.

Methods: HiLo was a non-inferiority, parallel, open-label, randomised controlled factorial trial done at 29 centres in the UK. Eligible patients were aged 16-80 years with histological confirmation of differentiated thyroid cancer requiring radioactive iodine ablation (performance status 0-2, tumour stage T1-T3 with the possibility of lymph-node involvement but no distant metastasis and no microscopic residual disease, and one-stage or two-stage total thyroidectomy). Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) to 1·1 GBq or 3·7 GBq ablation, each prepared with either recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) or thyroid hormone withdrawal. Patients were followed up at annual clinic visits. Recurrences were diagnosed at each hospital with a combination of established methods according to national standards. We used Kaplan-Meier curves and hazard ratios (HRs) for time to first recurrence, which was a pre-planned secondary outcome. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00415233.

Results: Between Jan 16, 2007, and July 1, 2010, 438 patients were randomly assigned. At the end of the follow-up period in Dec 31, 2017, median follow-up was 6·5 years (IQR 4·5-7·6) in 434 patients (217 in the low-dose group and 217 in the high-dose group). Confirmed recurrences were seen in 21 patients: 11 who had 1·1 GBq ablation and ten who had 3·7 GBq ablation. Four of these (two in each group) were considered to be persistent disease. Cumulative recurrence rates were similar between low-dose and high-dose radioactive iodine groups (3 years, 1·5% vs 2·1%; 5 years, 2·1% vs 2·7%; and 7 years, 5·9% vs 7·3%; HR 1·10 [95% CI 0·47-2·59]; p=0·83). No material difference in risk was seen for T3 or N1 disease. Recurrence rates were also similar among patients who were prepared for ablation with rhTSH and those prepared with thyroid hormone withdrawal (3 years, 1·5% vs 2·1%; 5 years, 2·1% vs 2·7%; and 7 years, 8·3% vs 5·0%; HR 1·62 [95% CI 0·67-3·91]; p=0·28). Data on adverse events were not collected during follow-up.

Interpretation: The recurrence rate among patients who had 1·1 GBq radioactive iodine ablation was not higher than that for 3·7 GBq, consistent with data from large, recent observational studies. These findings provide further evidence in favour of using low-dose radioactive iodine for treatment of patients with low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer. Our data also indicate that recurrence risk was not affected by use of rhTSH.

Funding: Cancer Research UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(18)30306-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6299255PMC
January 2019

European Perspective on 2015 American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Adult Patients with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: Proceedings of an Interactive International Symposium.

Thyroid 2019 01 7;29(1):7-26. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

18 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Endocrine Tumor Center at WTZ, Essen University Hospital, Essen, Germany.

Background: The American Thyroid Association (ATA) management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) are highly influential practice recommendations. The latest revision appeared in 2015 ("ATA 2015"). These guidelines were developed predominantly by North American experts. European experts frequently have different perspectives, given epidemiological, technological/methodological, practice organization, and medicolegal differences between the respective regions.

Summary: Divergent viewpoints were the focus of an invited symposium organized by the European Association of Nuclear Medicine involving 17 European thyroidologists, four ATA Guidelines Taskforce members, and an audience of 200 international experts. The group discussed the preoperative assessment of thyroid nodules, surgery and the role of pathology, radioiodine (RAI) therapy (RAIT), the assessment of initial therapy and dynamic risk stratification, and the treatment of persistent disease, recurrences, and advanced thyroid cancer. The dialogue resulted in this position paper contrasting European and ATA 2015 perspectives on key issues. One difference pertains to the permissiveness of ATA 2015 regarding lobectomy for primary tumors ≤4 cm. European panelists cited preclusion of RAIT, potential need for completion thyroidectomy, frequent inability to avoid chronic thyroid hormone replacement, and limitations of supportive evidence as arguments against widely applying lobectomy. Significant divergence involved ATA 2015's guidance regarding RAIT. European panelists favored wider use of postoperative RAIT than does ATA 2015. Rationales included the modality's association with favorable patient outcomes and generally limited toxicity, and lack of high-quality evidence supporting withholding RAIT. Additionally, European panelists favored recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) in more settings than does ATA 2015, citing avoidance of hypothyroid morbidity and quality-of-life impairment, without apparent sacrifice in oncologic outcomes. Based on clinical evidence plus theoretical advantages, European experts advocated dosimetric versus fixed-activity RAIT approaches for advanced DTC. European panelists noted that the ATA 2015 risk-stratification system requires information sometimes unavailable in everyday practice. ATA 2015 recommendations regarding RAI-refractory DTC should consider potential palliative benefits of RAIT in patients who also have RAI-susceptible lesions.

Conclusions: European panelists suggested modifications to approximately one-third of ATA 2015 recommendations. Varying European and ATA 2015 perspectives can stimulate analysis and discussion of the literature and performance of primary research to resolve discrepant recommendations and potentially improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/thy.2017.0129DOI Listing
January 2019

Patritumab with Cetuximab plus Platinum-Containing Therapy in Recurrent or Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: An Open-Label, Phase Ib Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 01 16;25(2):487-495. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute of Cancer Research, National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Center, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: Patritumab plus cetuximab with platinum as first-line therapy for patients with recurrent and/or metastatic (R/M) squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) was evaluated for safety and to determine the recommended phase II combination dose.

Patients And Methods: Patients aged ≥18 years with confirmed R/M SCCHN received intravenous patritumab (18 mg/kg loading dose; 9 mg/kg maintenance dose every 3 weeks) + cetuximab (400 mg/m loading dose; 250 mg/m maintenance dose weekly) + cisplatin (100 mg/m every 3 weeks) or carboplatin (AUC of 5) for six cycles or until toxicity, disease progression, or withdrawal. Primary endpoints were dose-limiting toxicities [DLT; grade ≥3 (21-day observation period)] and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAE). Pharmacokinetics, human antihuman antibodies (HAHA), tumor response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were assessed.

Results: Fifteen patients completed a median (range) of 8.7 (2.0-20.7) patritumab cycles. No DLTs were reported. Serious adverse events were reported in 9 patients (patritumab-related = 4). TEAEs ( = 15 patients) led to patritumab interruption in 7 patients. Patritumab-related dose reductions were reported in 1 patient. Patritumab (18 mg/kg) pharmacokinetics ( = 15) showed mean (SD) AUC of 2,619 (560) μg/day/mL and maximum concentration of 499.9 (90.4) μg/mL. All patients were HAHA-negative at study end (single, transient low titer in 1 patient). Tumor response rate (complete plus partial response; = 15) was 47%. Median (95% confidence interval) PFS and OS ( = 15) were 7.9 (3.7-9.7) and 13.5 (6.6-17.5) months, respectively.

Conclusions: Patritumab (18 mg/kg loading dose, 9 mg/kg maintenance dose) plus cetuximab/platinum was tolerable, active in SCCHN, and selected as the phase II dose regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1539DOI Listing
January 2019

Results of a multicentre randomised controlled trial of cochlear-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy versus conventional radiotherapy in patients with parotid cancer (COSTAR; CRUK/08/004).

Eur J Cancer 2018 11 1;103:249-258. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

The Institute of Cancer Research Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: About 40-60% of patients treated with post-operative radiotherapy for parotid cancer experience ipsilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can reduce radiation dose to the cochlea. COSTAR, a phase III trial, investigated the role of cochlear-sparing IMRT (CS-IMRT) in reducing hearing loss.

Methods: Patients (pT1-4 N0-3 M0) were randomly assigned (1:1) to 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) or CS-IMRT by minimisation, balancing for centre and radiation dose of 60Gy or 65Gy in 30 daily fractions. The primary end-point was proportion of patients with sensorineural hearing loss in the ipsilateral cochlea of ≥10 dB bone conduction at 4000 Hz 12 months after radiotherapy compared using Fisher's exact test. Secondary end-points included hearing loss at 6 and 24 months, balance assessment, acute and late toxicity, patient-reported quality of life, time to recurrence and survival.

Results: From Aug 2008 to Feb 2013, 110 patients (54 3DCRT; 56 CS-IMRT) were enrolled from 22 UK centres. Median doses to the ipsilateral cochlea were 3DCRT: 56.2Gy and CS-IMRT: 35.7Gy (p < 0.0001). 67/110 (61%) patients were evaluable for the primary end-point; main reasons for non-evaluability were non-attendance at follow-up or incomplete audiology assessment. At 12 months, 14/36 (39%) 3DCRT and 11/31 (36%) CS-IMRT patients had ≥10 dB loss (p = 0.81). No statistically significant differences were observed in hearing loss at 6 or 24 months or in other secondary end-points including patient-reported hearing outcomes.

Conclusion: CS-IMRT reduced the radiation dose below the accepted tolerance of the cochlea, but this did not lead to a reduction in the proportion of patients with clinically relevant hearing loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.08.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6202674PMC
November 2018

Optimisation of treatment with lenvatinib in radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer.

Cancer Treat Rev 2018 Sep 2;69:164-176. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

Medical Oncology Department, MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid, Spain.

Lenvatinib has been approved for the treatment of advanced differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) refractory to radioactive iodine (RAI) following the results of the SELECT trial which demonstrated a significant increase in progression-free survival and a high response rates. The data reported for lenvatinib in RAI-refractory DTC (RAI-R DTC) are the most significant to date in this patient population, with a RECIST objective response rate above 60% and almost 80% reduction in the risk of disease progression. Because the first indication in oncology for lenvatinib is specifically in RAI-R DTC, a period of familiarisation with its safety and efficacy profile is required. This review includes a series of specific recommendations for optimising the management of RAI-R DTC with lenvatinib, as well as specific guidelines for minimising the incidence and severity of adverse events (AEs), which enable dose intensity to be increased and this way maximise the benefits of the drug in the patient population treated. These recommendations were defined at a meeting of experts of different specialities, reviewing available scientific evidence on the drug, as well as their own direct personal experience in daily clinical practice. For toxicity to be properly managed, a multidisciplinary approach is required in which the different medical services, nursing staff and the patient and their careers are all involved. It is essential to assess the suitability of patients who are candidates for lenvatinib, as well as their clinical and physiological status prior to treatment. They must then be closely monitored to prevent and detect possible AEs. The main objective should be to maintain the dose that obtains the maximum therapeutic effect, discontinuing the treatment only if the toxicity becomes unmanageable or there is no clinical benefit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2018.06.019DOI Listing
September 2018

Treatment-emergent hypertension and efficacy in the phase 3 Study of (E7080) lenvatinib in differentiated cancer of the thyroid (SELECT).

Cancer 2018 06 14;124(11):2365-2372. Epub 2018 Apr 14.

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Endocrine Oncology, Gustave Roussy and University Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Background: Hypertension (HTN) is an established class effect of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibition. In the phase 3 Study of (E7080) Lenvatinib in Differentiated Cancer of the Thyroid (SELECT) trial, HTN was the most frequent adverse event of lenvatinib, an inhibitor of VEGFR1, VEGFR2, VEGFR3, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), FGFR2, FGFR3, FGFR4, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα), ret proto-oncogene (RET), and stem cell factor receptor (KIT). This exploratory analysis examined treatment-emergent hypertension (TE-HTN) and its relation with lenvatinib efficacy and safety in SELECT.

Methods: In the multicenter, double-blind SELECT trial, 392 patients with progressive radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RR-DTC) were randomized 2:1 to lenvatinib (24 mg/d on a 28-day cycle) or placebo. Survival endpoints were assessed with Kaplan-Meier estimates and log-rank tests. The influence of TE-HTN on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was analyzed with univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Overall, 73% of lenvatinib-treated patients and 15% of placebo-treated patients experienced TE-HTN. The median PFS for lenvatinib-treated patients with (n = 190) and without TE-HTN (n = 71) was 18.8 and 12.9 months, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39-0.88; P = .0085). For lenvatinib-treated patients, the objective response rate was 69% with TE-HTN and 56% without TE-HTN (odds ratio, 1.72; 95% CI, 0.98-3.01). The median change in tumor size for patients with and without TE-HTN was -45% and -40%, respectively (P = .2). The median OS was not reached for patients with TE-HTN; for those without TE-HTN, it was 21.7 months (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.27-0.69; P = .0003).

Conclusions: Although HTN is a clinically significant adverse event that warrants monitoring and management, TE-HTN was significantly correlated with improved outcomes in patients with RR-DTC, indicating that HTN may be predictive for lenvatinib efficacy in this population. Cancer 2018;124:2365-72. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.31344DOI Listing
June 2018

Incorporating spatial dose metrics in machine learning-based normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) models of severe acute dysphagia resulting from head and neck radiotherapy.

Clin Transl Radiat Oncol 2018 Jan 21;8:27-39. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Joint Department of Physics at the Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London SM2 5NG, UK.

Severe acute dysphagia commonly results from head and neck radiotherapy (RT). A model enabling prediction of severity of acute dysphagia for individual patients could guide clinical decision-making. Statistical associations between RT dose distributions and dysphagia could inform RT planning protocols aiming to reduce the incidence of severe dysphagia. We aimed to establish such a model and associations incorporating spatial dose metrics. Models of severe acute dysphagia were developed using pharyngeal mucosa (PM) RT dose (dose-volume and spatial dose metrics) and clinical data. Penalized logistic regression (PLR), support vector classification and random forest classification (RFC) models were generated and internally (173 patients) and externally (90 patients) validated. These were compared using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) to assess performance. Associations between treatment features and dysphagia were explored using RFC models. The PLR model using dose-volume metrics (PLR) performed as well as the more complex models and had very good discrimination (AUC = 0.82) on external validation. The features with the highest RFC importance values were the volume, length and circumference of PM receiving 1 Gy/fraction and higher. The volumes of PM receiving 1 Gy/fraction or higher should be minimized to reduce the incidence of severe acute dysphagia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2017.11.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796681PMC
January 2018

Practice patterns for the radical treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer by head and neck oncologists in the United Kingdom.

Br J Radiol 2018 May 13;91(1085):20170590. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

1 Head and Neck Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust , London , UK.

Objective: Advances in radiation delivery, imaging techniques, and chemotherapy have significantly improved treatment options for non-metastatic nasopharyngeal cancers (NPC). However, their impact on the practice in the United Kingdom (UK), where this tumour is rare, is unknown. This study examined the current attitudes of UK head and neck oncologists to the treatment of NPC.

Methods: UK head and neck oncologists representing 19/23 cancer networks were sent an invitation email with a personalised link to a web-based survey designed to identify the influence of tumour and nodal staging on current NPC management practices.

Results: 26/42 (61%) of clinicians responded. Induction chemotherapy followed by concomitant chemoradiation was the treatment of choice for Stage III (69%) and IVa/b (96%), with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil combination being the most commonly used induction chemotherapy regimen (88%). 16 centres (61%) used a geometric approach, adding variable margins of 0-10 mm to the gross tumour volume to define their therapeutic dose clinical target volume. 54% of respondents used 3 radiotherapy (RT) prescription doses to treat NPC. Retropharyngeal nodal region irradiation policy was inconsistent, with nearly one-quarter treating the entire group to a radical dose.

Conclusion: Significant heterogeneity currently exists in the RT practice of NPC in the UK. A consensus regarding the optimal curative, function-sparing treatment paradigm for NPC is necessary to ensure cancer survivors have satisfactory long-term health-related quality of life. Advances in knowledge: This is the first study to highlight the significant variation in RT practice of NPC in the UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20170590DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6190791PMC
May 2018

MRI-based Assessment of 3D Intrafractional Motion of Head and Neck Cancer for Radiation Therapy.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 02 16;100(2):306-316. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Department of Clinical Oncology, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Purpose: To determine the 3-dimensional (3D) intrafractional motion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Methods And Materials: Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance images from 56 patients with HNSCC in the treatment position were analyzed. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging consisted of 3D images acquired every 2.9 seconds for 4 minutes 50 seconds. Intrafractional tumor motion was studied in the 3 minutes 43 seconds of images obtained after initial contrast enhancement. To assess tumor motion, rigid registration (translations only) was performed using a region of interest (ROI) mask around the tumor. The results were compared with bulk body motion from registration to all voxels. Motion was split into systematic motion and random motion. Correlations between the tumor site and random motion were tested. The within-subject coefficient of variation was determined from 8 patients with repeated baseline measures. Random motion was also assessed at the end of the first week (38 patients) and second week (25 patients) of radiation therapy to investigate trends of motion.

Results: Tumors showed irregular occasional rapid motion (eg, swallowing or coughing), periodic intermediate motion (respiration), and slower systematic drifts throughout treatment. For 95% of the patients, displacements due to systematic and random motion were <1.4 mm and <2.1 mm, respectively, 95% of the time. The motion without an ROI mask was significantly (P<.0001, Wilcoxon signed rank test) less than the motion with an ROI mask, indicating that tumors can move independently from the bony anatomy. Tumor motion was significantly (P=.005, Mann-Whitney U test) larger in the hypopharynx and larynx than in the oropharynx. The within-subject coefficient of variation for random motion was 0.33. The average random tumor motion did not increase notably during the first 2 weeks of treatment.

Conclusions: The 3D intrafractional tumor motion of HNSCC is small, with systematic motion <1.4 mm and random motion <2.1 mm 95% of the time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.10.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777665PMC
February 2018

Updates on the Management of Advanced, Metastatic, and Radioiodine Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2017 20;8:312. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

Clinical Oncology, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) accounts for 95% of all thyroid cancers and is generally an indolent tumor, treated effectively with surgery, radioactive iodine, and thyroid-stimulating hormone suppressive therapy. However, 5-10% of patients have advanced disease, with aerodigestive tract invasion, distant metastases, or radioiodine refractory disease, with poor prognosis. This review focuses on the approaches for treating advanced DTC, including management of gross extra-thyroidal extension, recurrent loco-regional or distant metastatic disease, the role of external beam radiation therapy and systemic treatment. Locally ablative treatment modalities, including surgery, radiation therapy, and thermal ablation are evolving and can be used in selected patients. In recent years, new therapeutic agents with molecular targets have become available and two multi-kinase inhibitors, Sorafenib and Lenvatinib, have been licensed for iodine refractory DTC showing an advantage in terms of progression-free survival, although an impact on overall survival has not been proven yet. Management of advanced thyroid cancer can be challenging but a multidisciplinary approach can significantly improve outcomes for this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2017.00312DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5702018PMC
November 2017

Changes in multimodality functional imaging parameters early during chemoradiation predict treatment response in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer.

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2018 05 21;45(5):759-767. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Head and Neck Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Downs Road, Sutton, SM2 5PT, UK.

Objective: To assess the optimal timing and predictive value of early intra-treatment changes in multimodality functional and molecular imaging (FMI) parameters as biomarkers for clinical remission in patients receiving chemoradiation for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

Methods: Thirty-five patients with stage III-IVb (AJCC 7th edition) HNSCC prospectively underwent F-FDG-PET/CT, and diffusion-weighted (DW), dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and susceptibility-weighted MRI at baseline, week 1 and week 2 of chemoradiation. Patients with evidence of persistent or recurrent disease during follow-up were classed as non-responders. Changes in FMI parameters at week 1 and week 2 were compared between responders and non-responders with the Mann-Whitney U test. The significance threshold was set at a p value of <0.05.

Results: There were 27 responders and 8 non-responders. Responders showed a greater reduction in PET-derived tumor total lesion glycolysis (TLG; p = 0.007) and maximum standardized uptake value (SUV; p = 0.034) after week 1 than non-responders but these differences were absent by week 2. In contrast, it was not until week 2 that MRI-derived parameters were able to discriminate between the two groups: larger fractional increases in primary tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC; p < 0.001), volume transfer constant (K; p = 0.012) and interstitial space volume fraction (V; p = 0.047) were observed in responders versus non-responders. ADC was the most powerful predictor (∆ >17%, AUC 0.937).

Conclusion: Early intra-treatment changes in FDG-PET, DW and DCE MRI-derived parameters are predictive of ultimate response to chemoradiation in HNSCC. However, the optimal timing for assessment with FDG-PET parameters (week 1) differed from MRI parameters (week 2). This highlighted the importance of scanning time points for the design of FMI risk-stratified interventional studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00259-017-3890-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5978912PMC
May 2018

Survey on Paediatric Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Care in Europe.

Horm Res Paediatr 2018 17;89(1):58-62. Epub 2017 Nov 17.

Department of Endocrinology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Background/aims: Thyroid cancer among children is a very rare disease. Although survival is favourable, morbidity caused by the treatment remains considerable, so there is a great need to optimize management by international cooperation. For this reason, the 2016 European Thyroid Association-Cancer Research Network (ETA-CRN) meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, paid considerable attention to this topic and aimed to give an overview of the care for this paediatric patient group in different European countries.

Methods: An inventory of data on thyroid cancer treatment among children in Europe was generated by questionnaires focused on treatment and organization of care.

Results: The treatment of paediatric thyroid cancer appears to be scattered in each European country with limited centralization of care, and different European countries use different treatment and follow-up protocols.

Conclusion: Collaboration in a European network to optimize treatment and minimize long-term consequences for paediatric thyroid cancer survivors is necessary. During this meeting, the ETA-CRN has endorsed the initiative to collaborate on this rare endocrine cancer within a European network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000484170DOI Listing
October 2018

Effect of Age on the Efficacy and Safety of Lenvatinib in Radioiodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer in the Phase III SELECT Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2017 Aug 14;35(23):2692-2699. Epub 2017 Jun 14.

Marcia S. Brose, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Francis P. Worden, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI; Kate L. Newbold, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK; Matthew Guo, Eisai, Woodcliff Lake, NJ; Arti Hurria, City of Hope, Duarte, CA.

Purpose In the Study of (E7080) Lenvatinib in Differentiated Cancer of the Thyroid (SELECT), lenvatinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) versus placebo in patients with radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RR-DTC). This prespecified subanalysis investigated the effect of age on the efficacy and safety of lenvatinib. Patients and Methods This randomized, double-blind, phase III study enrolled patients with histologically confirmed RR-DTC stratified by age (≤ 65 or > 65 years). Patients (N = 392) received lenvatinib 24 mg/day (n = 261) or placebo (n = 131). The primary end point was PFS; secondary end points included overall survival (OS), objective response rate, and safety. Results In both treatment arms, median ages were 56 (younger group) and 71 years (older group). PFS benefit was maintained with lenvatinib versus placebo in the younger and older age groups, with median PFS of 20.2 versus 3.2 months (hazard ratio [HR], 0.19; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.27; P < .001) and 16.7 versus 3.7 months (HR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.43; P < .001), respectively. PFS did not differ with age in either treatment arm. OS was improved in older lenvatinib-treated patients versus placebo (HR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.91; P = .020). Younger lenvatinib-treated patients showed significantly higher ORR (72% v 55%; P = .0038), longer time to first dose reduction (3.7 v 1.5 months), and lower proportion of grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events (67% v 89%; P < .001) compared with older patients. Conclusion This subanalysis demonstrated improved PFS with lenvatinib treatment versus placebo in both age groups, although higher toxicity was observed in older patients. Despite the allowance of crossover after disease progression, the OS benefit was observed in older patients, suggesting that lenvatinib should be considered for treatment of patients of any age with RR-DTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.71.6472DOI Listing
August 2017

Noninvasive Imaging of Cycling Hypoxia in Head and Neck Cancer Using Intrinsic Susceptibility MRI.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Aug 17;23(15):4233-4241. Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

To evaluate intrinsic susceptibility (IS) MRI for the identification of cycling hypoxia, and the assessment of its extent and spatial distribution, in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) xenografts and patients. Quantitation of the transverse relaxation rate, R*, which is sensitive to paramagnetic deoxyhemoglobin, using serial IS-MRI acquisitions, was used to monitor temporal oscillations in levels of paramagnetic deoxyhemoglobin in human CAL xenografts and patients with HNSCC at 3T. Autocovariance and power spectrum analysis of variations in R* was performed for each imaged voxel, to assess statistical significance and frequencies of cycling changes in tumor blood oxygenation. Pathologic correlates with tumor perfusion (Hoechst 33342), hypoxia (pimonidazole), and vascular density (CD31) were sought in the xenografts, and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI was used to assess patient tumor vascularization. The prevalence of fluctuations within patient tumors, DCE parameters, and treatment outcome were reported. Spontaneous R* fluctuations with a median periodicity of 15 minutes were detected in both xenografts and patient tumors. Spatially, these fluctuations were predominantly associated with regions of heterogeneous perfusion and hypoxia in the CAL xenografts. In patients, R* fluctuations spatially correlated with regions of lymph nodes with low K values, typically in the vicinity of necrotic cores. IS-MRI can be used to monitor variations in levels of paramagnetic deoxyhemoglobin, associated with cycling hypoxia. The presence of such fluctuations may be linked with impaired tumor vasculature, the presence of which may impact treatment outcome. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-1209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5516915PMC
August 2017

SELIMETRY-a multicentre I-131 dosimetry trial: a clinical perspective.

Br J Radiol 2017 May 14;90(1073):20160637. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

5 CTRU, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Treatment options for patients with thyroid cancer that is no longer sensitive to iodine therapy are limited. Those treatments which currently exist are associated with significant toxicity. The SELIMETRY trial (EudraCT No 2015-002269-47) aims to investigate the role of the MEK inhibitor Selumetinib in resensitizing advanced iodine refractory differentiated thyroid cancer to radioiodine therapy. Patients deemed to have sufficient iodine uptake in previously iodine refractory lesions after 4 weeks of Selumetinib therapy will be given an empirical activity of 5.5 GBq I-131, and response to therapy will be assessed. The trial presents an opportunity to investigate the dosimetric aspects of radioiodine therapy for advanced thyroid cancer. Patients will undergo serial I-123 single-photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT scans following Selumetinib therapy to determine whether there has been a change in the degree of iodine uptake to justify further I-131 therapy, and to allow dosimetric calculations to predict absorbed dose to target lesions following therapy. Patients receiving I-131 therapy will undergo a further series of post-therapy SPECT/CT scans to allow dosimetric calculations. We describe the challenges in setting up a multicentre trial in a relatively underinvestigated field, describing the work that has been carried out to calibrate and validate measurements to ensure that standardized image data are collected at each site. We hope that this trial will lead to individualization and optimization of therapy for patients with advanced thyroid cancer and that the ground work carried out in setting up a network of centres capable of standardized molecular radiotherapy dosimetry will lead to further clinical trials in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20160637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605100PMC
May 2017

HSP90 inhibition sensitizes head and neck cancer to platin-based chemoradiotherapy by modulation of the DNA damage response resulting in chromosomal fragmentation.

BMC Cancer 2017 01 31;17(1):86. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Targeted Therapy Team, The Institute of Cancer Research, Chester Beatty Laboratories, 237 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6JB, UK.

Background: Concurrent cisplatin radiotherapy (CCRT) is a current standard-of-care for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, CCRT is frequently ineffective in patients with advanced disease. It has previously been shown that HSP90 inhibitors act as radiosensitizers, but these studies have not focused on CCRT in HNSCC. Here, we evaluated the HSP90 inhibitor, AUY922, combined with CCRT.

Methods: The ability of AUY922 to sensitize to CCRT was assessed in p53 mutant head and neck cell lines by clonogenic assay. Modulation of the CCRT induced DNA damage response (DDR) by AUY922 was characterized by confocal image analysis of RAD51, BRCA1, 53BP1, ATM and mutant p53 signaling. The role of FANCA depletion by AUY922 was examined using shRNA. Cell cycle checkpoint abrogation and chromosomal fragmentation was assessed by western blot, FACS and confocal. The role of ATM was also assessed by shRNA. AUY922 in combination with CCRT was assessed in vivo.

Results: The combination of AUY922 with cisplatin, radiation and CCRT was found to be synergistic in p53 mutant HNSCC. AUY922 leads to significant alterations to the DDR induced by CCRT. This comprises inhibition of homologous recombination through decreased RAD51 and pS1524 BRCA1 with a corresponding increase in 53BP1 foci, activation of ATM and signaling into mutant p53. A shift to more error prone repair combined with a loss of checkpoint function leads to fragmentation of chromosomal material. The degree of disruption to DDR signalling correlated to chromosomal fragmentation and loss of clonogenicity. ATM shRNA indicated a possible rationale for the combination of AUY922 and CCRT in cells lacking ATM function.

Conclusions: This study supports future clinical studies combining AUY922 and CCRT in p53 mutant HNSCC. Modulation of the DDR and chromosomal fragmentation are likely to be analytical points of interest in such trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-017-3084-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5282703PMC
January 2017

Radiosensitization by the ATR Inhibitor AZD6738 through Generation of Acentric Micronuclei.

Mol Cancer Ther 2017 01 9;16(1):25-34. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Targeted Therapy Team, Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.

AZD6738 is an orally active ATR inhibitor (ATRi) currently in phase I clinical trials. We found in vitro growth inhibitory activity of this ATRi in a panel of human cancer cell lines. We demonstrated radiosensitization by AZD6738 to single radiation fractions in multiple cancer cell lines independent of both p53 and BRCA2 status by the clonogenic assay. Radiosensitization by AZD6738 to clinically relevant doses of fractionated radiation was demonstrated in vitro using a 3D tumor spheroid model and, in vivo, AZD6738 radiosensitized by abrogating the radiation-induced G cell-cycle checkpoint and inhibiting homologous recombination. Mitosis with damaged DNA resulted in mitotic catastrophe as measured by micronucleus formation by live-cell fluorescent-ubiquitination cell-cycle imaging of cell-cycle progression and nuclear morphology. Induction of micronuclei was significantly more prominent for AZD6738 compared with inhibition of the downstream kinase CHK1 alone at isoeffective doses. Micronuclei were characterized as acentric chromosomal fragments, which displayed characteristics of increased DNA damage and cell-cycle dyssynchrony when compared with the primary nucleus. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(1); 25-34. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5302142PMC
January 2017