Publications by authors named "Lars Bastholt"

97 Publications

The use of patient-reported outcomes to detect adverse events in metastatic melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy: a randomized controlled pilot trial.

J Patient Rep Outcomes 2020 Oct 30;4(1):88. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: A randomized controlled pilot trial was conducted to assess if melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy had the number of grade 3 or 4 adverse events during treatment reduced by 50% using a tailored electronic patient-reported outcomes tool in addition to standard toxicity monitoring compared to standard monitoring alone. Secondary endpoints were: if more AEs were reported in the intervention group, if there was a difference between the two groups in the number of telephone consultations, extra out-patient visits, number of days in the hospital, days in steroid treatment and the time patients experienced grade 2 or higher toxicity.

Patients And Methods: Melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy at the Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Denmark participated. Standard care included assessment of AEs by a clinician before each treatment cycle using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. In addition, patients randomized to the intervention reported their AEs weekly by an electronic PRO-tool based on the PRO-CTCAE platform.

Results: One hundred forty-six melanoma patients were randomized. In this study, we did not detect a difference between the two groups in the number of grade 3 or 4 AEs (P = 0.983), in the overall number of AEs (P = 0.560) or in the time the patients in the two groups experienced grade 2 or higher toxicity (0.516). The number of phone contacts was significantly higher in the intervention group (P = 0.009) and there was a tendency towards patients in the intervention group having more extra visits (P = 0.156).

Conclusion: It has been examined if the number of severe AEs for melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy could be reduced by involving the patients in the reporting of symptoms. The results do not justify the expansion of the pilot study into a regular phase III study with this particular set-up. However, a significant difference in the number of phone contacts was found as patients in the intervention group called more frequently, indicating that their attention to AEs was increased. Even though the use of an electronic PRO tool could not reduce the number of severe AEs in this melanoma population, a positive impact on other endpoints such as QoL, communication, or treatment-planning, cannot be excluded.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03073031 Registered 8 March 2017, Retrospectively registered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41687-020-00255-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7599285PMC
October 2020

Improved Progression-Free Long-Term Survival of a Nation-Wide Patient Population with Metastatic Melanoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Sep 11;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Oncology, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Borgmester Ib Juuls Vej 1, 2730 Herlev, Denmark.

Approval of immune checkpoint-inhibitors (ICIs) and BRAF-inhibitors has revolutionized the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Although these drugs have improved overall survival (OS) in clinical trials, real-world evidence for improved long-term survival is still scarce. Clinical data were extracted from the Danish Metastatic Melanoma database. This nation-wide cohort contains data on all patients who received systemic treatment for metastatic melanoma between 2008 and 2016. Ipilimumab, the first approved ICI, was implemented as standard-of-care in Denmark in 2012. Hence, patients were divided in a pre-ICI (2008-2011) and an ICI (2012-2016) era. Patients were defined as long-term survivors if they were alive 3 years after initiation of systemic therapy. Data from 1754 patients were retrieved. Patients treated in the ICI era had an improved median OS (11.3 months, 95% confidence interval (CI) 10.3-12.3) compared with those in the pre-ICI era (median OS 8.3 months, 95% CI 7.4-9.5, < 0.0001). A higher proportion of long-term survivors was observed in the ICI era (survivors >3 years increased from 13% to 26% and survivors >5 years increased from 9% to 21%; both < 0.0001). For long-term survivors, known prognostic factors were equally distributed between the two periods, except that long-term survivors in the pre-ICI era were younger. For long-term survivors, 70% were without progression in the ICI era compared with 43% in the pre-ICI era ( < 0.0001). For all patients, the proportion without progression increased from 5% to 18% between the pre-ICI and the ICI era ( < 0.0001), respectively. Implementation of ICI has led to a significant increase in progression-free, long-term survival for real-life patients with metastatic melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12092591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564087PMC
September 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Vandetanib in Progressive and Symptomatic Medullary Thyroid Cancer: Post Hoc Analysis From the ZETA Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 08 25;38(24):2773-2781. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

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

Purpose: We conducted a post hoc analysis of the vandetanib phase III trial involving patients with advanced medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) to assess the efficacy and safety of vandetanib in patients with progressive and symptomatic MTC. The primary objective of the analysis was to determine progression-free survival (PFS) of these patients.

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients from the ZETA trial were divided into 4 disease severity subgroups: progression and symptoms, symptoms only, progression only, and no progression and no symptoms assessed at baseline. PFS, determined from objective tumor measurements performed by the local investigator, overall survival (OS), time to worsening of pain (TWP), and objective response rate (ORR) were evaluated.

Results: Of the 331 patients in this trial, 184 had symptomatic and progressive disease at baseline. In this subgroup, results were similar in magnitude to those observed in the overall trial for PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.64; < .0001), OS (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.61; = .71), and TWP (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.43 to 1.04; = .07), and the observed adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of vandetanib. In this subgroup, the ORR was 37% in the treatment arm versus 2% in the placebo arm.

Conclusion: Vandetanib demonstrated clinical benefit-specifically, increased PFS-in patients with symptomatic and progressive MTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.02790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430220PMC
August 2020

Overall survival at 5 years of follow-up in a phase III trial comparing ipilimumab 10 mg/kg with 3 mg/kg in patients with advanced melanoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 06;8(1)

Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Instituto Toscano Tumori, Siena, Italy.

Background: We have previously reported significantly longer overall survival (OS) with ipilimumab 10 mg/kg versus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg in patients with advanced melanoma, with higher incidences of adverse events (AEs) at 10 mg/kg. This follow-up analysis reports a 5-year update of OS and safety.

Methods: This randomized, multicenter, double-blind, phase III trial included patients with untreated or previously treated unresectable stage III or IV melanoma. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to ipilimumab 10 mg/kg or 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for 4 doses. The primary end point was OS.

Results: At a minimum follow-up of 61 months, median OS was 15.7 months (95% CI 11.6 to 17.8) at 10 mg/kg and 11.5 months (95% CI 9.9 to 13.3) at 3 mg/kg (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.99; p=0.04). In a subgroup analysis, median OS of patients with asymptomatic brain metastasis was 7.0 months (95% CI 4.0 to 12.8) in the 10 mg/kg group and 5.7 months (95% CI 4.2 to 7.0) in the 3 mg/kg group. In patients with wild-type or mutant tumors, median OS was 13.8 months (95% CI 10.2 to 17.0) and 33.2 months (95% CI 19.4 to 45.2) in the 10 mg/kg group, and 11.2 months (95% CI 9.2 to 13.8) and 19.7 months (95% CI 11.6 to 25.3) in the 3 mg/kg group, respectively. The incidence of grade 3/4 treatment-related AEs was 36% in the 10 mg/kg group vs 20% in the 3 mg/kg group, and deaths due to treatment-related AEs occurred in four (1%) and two patients (1%), respectively.

Conclusions: This 61-month follow-up of a phase III trial showed sustained long-term survival in patients with advanced melanoma who started metastatic treatment with ipilimumab monotherapy, and confirmed the significant benefit for those who received ipilimumab 10 mg/kg vs 3 mg/kg. These results suggest the emergence of a plateau in the OS curve, consistent with previous ipilimumab studies.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01515189.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7279645PMC
June 2020

Adjuvant therapy with pegylated interferon-alfa2b vs observation in stage II B/C patients with ulcerated primary: Results of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 18081 randomised trial.

Eur J Cancer 2020 07 26;133:94-103. Epub 2020 May 26.

Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Subgroup analyses of two large EORTC adjuvant interferon-alpha2b (IFNα-2b) vs observation randomised trials demonstrated that a treatment benefit was observed only in patients with an ulcerated melanoma without palpable nodes (hazard ratio [HR] for recurrence-free survival [RFS] was 0.69). This was confirmed by a meta-analysis of 15 adjuvant IFN trials (HR: 0.79).

Patients And Methods: In the EORTC 18081 trial, sentinel node-negative stage II patients with an ulcerated primary melanoma were 1:1 randomised between pegylated (PEG)-IFNα-2b at 3 μg/kg/week subcutaneously and observation, for 2 years, or until disease recurrence or unacceptable toxicity in spite of dose adjustments to maintain an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. Main end-point was RFS. Secondary end-points included distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), overall survival, and safety (EudraCT Number: 2009-010273-20).

Results: Between February 2013 and January 2017, only 112 patients were randomised, 56 in each arm. The trial was stopped early for lack of recruitment. At a 3.4-year median follow-up, the estimated HR for the PEG-IFNα-2b group compared with the observation group regarding RFS was 0.66 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.32-1.37), and the 3-year RFS rate was 80.0% (95% CI: 65.7-88.8%) and 72.9% (95% CI: 58.3-83.0%), respectively. DMFS was prolonged: HR: 0.39 (95% CI: 0.15-0.97), and the 3-year DMFS rate was 90.6% (95% CI: 78.9-96.0%) vs 76.4% (95% CI: 62.1-85.9%). One patient in the PEG-IFNα-2b group died compared with 4 in the observation group. Fifty-four patients started PEG-IFNα-2b treatment, 16 (29%) completed 2 years of treatment, 2 (4%) stopped due to recurrence, 23 (43%) due to toxicity and 14 (25%) due to other reasons.

Conclusions: The EORTC 18081 PEG-IFNα-2b randomised trial, observed a similar HR (0.69) for RFS as the previous EORTC trials (0.69). In countries without access to new drugs, adjuvant (PEG)-IFNα-2b treatment is an option for patients with ulcerated melanomas without palpable nodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.04.015DOI Listing
July 2020

Patient-Reported Outcomes During Immunotherapy for Metastatic Melanoma: Mixed Methods Study of Patients' and Clinicians' Experiences.

J Med Internet Res 2020 04 9;22(4):e14896. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

Background: The benefits of electronic patient reported outcomes (PRO) questionnaires have been demonstrated in many settings, including in hospitals and patient homes. However, it remains to be investigated how melanoma patients and their treating clinicians experience the electronic self-reporting of side effects and the derived communication.

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to examine patients' and clinicians' experiences with an eHealth intervention for weekly monitoring of side effects during treatment with immunotherapy.

Methods: An eHealth intervention based on questions from the PRO-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) library was used and tested in a randomized clinical trial with patients receiving immunotherapy for malignant melanoma and clinicians at a university hospital in Denmark. On a weekly basis, patients reported their symptoms from home during the treatment via a provided tablet. The electronic patient reports were available to clinicians in the outpatient clinic. A mixed methods approach was applied to investigate the patients' and clinicians' experiences with the intervention. Data from patient experiences were collected in a short survey, the Patient Feedback Form. Moreover, a subset of the patients participating in the survey was interviewed about their experience. Furthermore, one focus group interview with clinicians was carried out to elucidate their views.

Results: A total of 57 patients completed the Patient Feedback Form, and 14 patients were interviewed. The focus group interview included 5 clinicians. Overall, patients and clinicians were satisfied with the tool. They believed it enhanced patients' awareness of side effects and increased their feeling of involvement. The patients reported that it was easy to fill out the questionnaire and that it made sense to do so. However, a minority of the patients expressed in the interviews that they did not believe that the health care professionals had seen their reports when they came to the clinic, and that the reporting did not lead to increased contact with the department.

Conclusions: Overall, satisfaction with the eHealth intervention was high among patients and their treating clinicians. The tool was easy to use and contributed to greater symptom awareness and patient involvement. Thus, in terms of patient and clinician satisfaction with the tool, it makes sense to continue using the tool beyond the project period.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03073031; https://tinyurl.com/tjx3gtu.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/14896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7180512PMC
April 2020

European interdisciplinary guideline on invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin: Part 2. Treatment.

Eur J Cancer 2020 03 26;128:83-102. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Aix Marseille University, APHM Hospital, Marseille France.

In order to update recommendations on treatment, supportive care, education and follow-up of patients with invasive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), a multidisciplinary panel of experts from the European Dermatology Forum, the European Association of Dermato-Oncology and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer was formed. Recommendations were based on evidence-based literature review, guidelines and expert consensus. Treatment recommendations are presented for common primary cSCC (low risk, high risk), locally advanced cSCC, regional metastatic cSCC (operable or inoperable) and distant metastatic cSCC. For common primary cSCC (the most frequent cSCC type), first-line treatment is surgical excision with postoperative margin assessment or microscopically controlled sugery. Safety margins containing clinical normal-appearing tissue around the tumour during surgical excision and negative margins as reported in the pathology report are necessary to minimise the risk of local recurrence and metastasis. In case of positive margins, a re-excision shall be done, for operable cases. Lymph node dissection is recommended for cSCC with cytologically or histologically confirmed regional nodal involvement. Radiotherapy should be considered as curative treatment for inoperable cSCC, or for non-surgical candidates. Anti-PD-1 antibodies are the first-line systemic treatment for patients with metastatic or locally advanced cSCC who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation, with cemiplimab being the first approved systemic agent for advanced cSCC by the Food and Drug Administration/European Medicines Agency. Second-line systemic treatments for advanced cSCC include epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors (cetuximab) combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Multidisciplinary board decisions are mandatory for all patients with advanced disease who require more than surgery. Patients should be engaged with informed decisions on management and be provided with best supportive care to optimise symptom management and improve quality of life. Frequency of follow-up visits and investigations for subsequent new cSCC depend on underlying risk characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.01.008DOI Listing
March 2020

European interdisciplinary guideline on invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin: Part 1. epidemiology, diagnostics and prevention.

Eur J Cancer 2020 03 26;128:60-82. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Aix Marseille University, APHM Hospital, Marseille France.

Invasive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common cancers in the white populations, accounting for 20% of all cutaneous malignancies. Factors implicated in cSCC etiopathogenesis include ultraviolet radiation exposure and chronic photoaging, age, male sex, immunosuppression, smoking and genetic factors. A collaboration of multidisciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) and the European Organisation of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to update recommendations on cSCC classification, diagnosis, risk stratification, staging and prevention, based on current literature, staging systems and expert consensus. Common cSCCs are typically indolent tumors, and most have a good prognosis with 5-year cure rates of greater than 90%, and a low rate of metastases (<4%). Further risk stratification into low-risk or high-risk common primary cSCC is recommended based on proposed high-risk factors. Advanced cSCC is classified as locally advanced (lacSCC), and metastatic (mcSCC) including locoregional metastatic or distant metastatic cSCC. Current systems used for staging include the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 8th edition, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) 8th edition, and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) system. Physical examination for all cSCCs should include total body skin examination and clinical palpation of lymph nodes, especially of the draining basins. Radiologic imaging such as ultrasound of the regional lymph nodes, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) scans are recommended for staging of high-risk cSCC. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is currently not recommended. Nicotinamide, oral retinoids, and topical 5-FU have been used for the chemoprevention of subsequent cSCCs in high-risk patients but are not routinely recommended. Education about sun protection measures including reducing sun exposure, use of protective clothing, regular use of sunscreens and avoidance of artificial tanning, is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.01.007DOI Listing
March 2020

Tertiary lymphoid structures improve immunotherapy and survival in melanoma.

Nature 2020 01 15;577(7791):561-565. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Oncology and Pathology, Lund University Cancer Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Checkpoint blockade therapies that reactivate tumour-associated T cells can induce durable tumour control and result in the long-term survival of patients with advanced cancers. Current predictive biomarkers for therapy response include high levels of intratumour immunological activity, a high tumour mutational burden and specific characteristics of the gut microbiota. Although the role of T cells in antitumour responses has thoroughly been studied, other immune cells remain insufficiently explored. Here we use clinical samples of metastatic melanomas to investigate the role of B cells in antitumour responses, and find that the co-occurrence of tumour-associated CD8 T cells and CD20 B cells is associated with improved survival, independently of other clinical variables. Immunofluorescence staining of CXCR5 and CXCL13 in combination with CD20 reveals the formation of tertiary lymphoid structures in these CD8CD20 tumours. We derived a gene signature associated with tertiary lymphoid structures, which predicted clinical outcomes in cohorts of patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade. Furthermore, B-cell-rich tumours were accompanied by increased levels of TCF7 naive and/or memory T cells. This was corroborated by digital spatial-profiling data, in which T cells in tumours without tertiary lymphoid structures had a dysfunctional molecular phenotype. Our results indicate that tertiary lymphoid structures have a key role in the immune microenvironment in melanoma, by conferring distinct T cell phenotypes. Therapeutic strategies to induce the formation of tertiary lymphoid structures should be explored to improve responses to cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1914-8DOI Listing
January 2020

European consensus-based interdisciplinary guideline for melanoma. Part 1: Diagnostics - Update 2019.

Eur J Cancer 2020 02 9;126:141-158. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Princess Máxima Center, 3584 CS, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is potentially the most dangerous form of skin tumor and causes 90% of skin cancer mortality. A unique collaboration of multidisciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to make recommendations on CM diagnosis and treatment, based on systematic literature reviews and the experts' experience. The diagnosis of melanoma can be made clinically and shall always be confirmed through dermatoscopy. If a melanoma is suspected, a histopathological examination is required. Sequential digital dermatoscopy and full-body photography can be used in risk persons to detect the development of melanomas at an earlier stage. Where available, confocal reflectance microscopy can improve clinical diagnosis in special cases. Melanoma shall be classified according to the 8th version of the AJCC classification. Thin melanomas up to 0.8 mm tumor thickness does not require further imaging diagnostics. From stage IB onwards, examinations with lymph node sonography are recommended, but no further imaging examinations. From stage IIC whole-body examinations with CT or PET-CT in combination with brain MRI are recommended. From stage III and higher, mutation testing is recommended, particularly for BRAF V600 mutation. It is important to provide a structured follow-up to detect relapses and secondary primary melanomas as early as possible. There is no evidence to support the frequency and extent of examinations. A stage-based follow-up scheme is proposed, which, according to the experience of the guideline group, covers the minimum requirements; further studies may be considered. This guideline is valid until the end of 2021.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.11.014DOI Listing
February 2020

European consensus-based interdisciplinary guideline for melanoma. Part 2: Treatment - Update 2019.

Eur J Cancer 2020 02 19;126:159-177. Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Princess Máxima Center, 3584, CS Utrecht, the Netherlands.

A unique collaboration of multidisciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum, the European Association of Dermato-Oncology and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to make recommendations on cutaneous melanoma diagnosis and treatment, based on systematic literature reviews and the experts' experience. Cutaneous melanomas are excised with 1- to 2-cm safety margins. Sentinel lymph node dissection shall be performed as a staging procedure in patients with tumour thickness ≥1.0 mm or ≥0.8 mm with additional histological risk factors, although there is as yet no clear survival benefit for this approach. Therapeutic decisions in stage III/IV patients should be primarily made by an interdisciplinary oncology team ("Tumor Board"). Adjuvant therapies in stage III/IV patients are primarily anti-PD-1, independent of mutational status, or dabrafenib plus trametinib for BRAF-mutant patients. In distant metastasis, either resected or not, systemic treatment is indicated. For first-line treatment, particularly in BRAF wild-type patients, immunotherapy with PD-1 antibodies alone or in combination with CTLA-4 antibodies shall be considered. In particular scenarios for patients with stage IV melanoma and a BRAF-V600 E/K mutation, first-line therapy with BRAF/MEK inhibitors can be offered as an alternative to immunotherapy. In patients with primary resistance to immunotherapy and harbouring a BRAF-V600 E/K mutation, this therapy shall be offered in second-line. Systemic therapy in stage III/IV melanoma is a rapidly changing landscape, and it is likely that these recommendations may change in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.11.015DOI Listing
February 2020

Real-World Impact of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Oct 3;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Department of Oncology, National Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, 2730 Herlev, Denmark.

Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common intraocular malignancy in adults and shows a high rate of metastatic spread. As randomized clinical trials with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have not been performed in patients with metastatic UM, we analyzed the real-world outcomes in a nationwide population-based study. Clinical data of patients with UM were extracted from the Danish Metastatic Melanoma database, a nationwide database containing unselected records of patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in Denmark. Survival before (pre-ICI, = 32) and after (post-ICI, = 94) the approval of first-line treatment with ICI was analyzed. A partial response to first-line treatment was observed in 7% of patients treated with anti-programmed cell death protein (PD)-1 monotherapy and in 21% with combined anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4 plus anti-PD-1 therapy. Median progression-free survival was 2.5 months for patients treated in the pre-ICI era compared to 3.5 months in the post-ICI era (hazard ratio (HR) 0.43; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.28-0.67; < 0.001). The estimated one-year overall survival rate increased from 25.0% to 41.9% and the median overall survival improved from 7.8 months to 10.0 months, respectively (HR 0.52; 95% CI 0.34-0.79; = 0.003). Thus, the introduction of ICI as first-line treatment appears to have significantly improved the real-world survival of patients with metastatic UM, despite relatively low response rates compared to cutaneous melanoma. With the lack of therapies proven effective in randomized trials, these data support the current treatment with ICI in patients with metastatic UM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826482PMC
October 2019

Measured and genetically predicted plasma YKL-40 levels and melanoma mortality.

Eur J Cancer 2019 11;121:74-84

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, The Copenhagen General Population Study, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark; Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Copenhagen City Heart Study, Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. Electronic address:

Purpose: High plasma levels of YKL-40 might be associated with mortality in patients with melanoma, and it is unknown if YKL-40 is causally related to mortality.

Experimental Design: We studied two cohorts: 2618 patients with melanoma from hospital clinics and 1413 general population patients with melanoma, totalling 4031 patients followed up for mortality end-points for up to 20 years. All were genotyped for CHI3L1 rs4950928, highly predictive of lifelong plasma YKL-40, and plasma YKL-40 levels were measured in 2165 patients. We tested the hypotheses that measured and genetically predicted high plasma YKL-40 are associated with increased mortality in patients with melanoma.

Results: For the hospital melanoma cohort, age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratios for death in individuals with measured plasma YKL-40 in the 96-100th percentile versus 1-95th percentile and per 10-percentile increase were 1.52 (95% confidence interval, 1.07-2.16) and 1.07 (1.02-1.11), respectively, most pronounced for patients with localised melanomas. Each C-allele of the CHI3L1 rs4950928 genotype was associated with plasma YKL-40 level increases of 32% in the hospital melanoma cohort (p = 6 × 10) and 43% in the general population melanoma cohort (p = 7 × 10). Multifactorially adjusted ratios for these increases in the combined cohorts were 1.04 (1.00-1.09) observationally for measured plasma YKL-40 and 0.98 (0.86-1.12) for the genetically predicted plasma YKL-40.

Conclusion: Measured, but not genetically predicted, increasing plasma YKL-40 was associated with increased mortality in patients with melanoma. Plasma YKL-40 is a marker but less likely to be a cause of increased mortality in patients with melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.08.025DOI Listing
November 2019

Five-Year Survival with Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab in Advanced Melanoma.

N Engl J Med 2019 10 28;381(16):1535-1546. Epub 2019 Sep 28.

From the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London (J.L.), and the College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea (J.W.) - both in the United Kingdom; the Oncology Institute of Veneto IRCCS, Padua (V.C.-S.), the European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milan (P.F.F.), Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione Pascale, Naples (P.A.A.), the Immunotherapy and Somatic Cell Therapy Unit, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Meldola (M.G.), and the Center for Immuno-Oncology, Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy, University Hospital, Siena (M.M.) - all in Italy; the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora (R.G.); Aix-Marseille University, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille Hôpital Timone, Marseille (J.-J.G.), and Université de Paris, INSERM Unité 976, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris Dermatology and Centres d'Investigation Clinique, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris (C.L.) - both in France; the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute-Oncology Center, Warsaw, Poland (P.R.); the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (C.D.L.); Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Dallas (C.L.C.); the Department of Dermatology, University of Essen, Essen, and the German Cancer Consortium, Heidelberg - both in Germany (D.S.); Universitäts Spital, Zurich, Switzerland (R.D.); Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB (M.S.), and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (D.H.) - both in Canada; Tasman Oncology Research, Southport, QLD (A.H.), the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW (M.S.C., G.V.L.), and the Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals (G.V.L.), Sydney, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC (G.M.) - all in Australia; General University Hospital Gregorio Marañon and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Oncología, Madrid (I.M.-R.); the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (J.H.); the Leuven Cancer Institute, Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (P.S.); University of California San Diego Health-La Jolla Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla (G.A.D.); the Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark (L.B.); Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ (J.I.R., A.B., A.M.); Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (F.S.H.); and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (J.D.W.).

Background: Nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone resulted in longer progression-free and overall survival than ipilimumab alone in a trial involving patients with advanced melanoma. We now report 5-year outcomes in the trial.

Methods: We randomly assigned patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma to receive one of the following regimens: nivolumab (at a dose of 1 mg per kilogram of body weight) plus ipilimumab (3 mg per kilogram) every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by nivolumab (3 mg per kilogram every 2 weeks); nivolumab (3 mg per kilogram every 2 weeks) plus ipilimumab-matched placebo; or ipilimumab (3 mg per kilogram every 3 weeks for four doses) plus nivolumab-matched placebo. The two primary end points were progression-free survival and overall survival in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and in the nivolumab group, as compared with the ipilimumab group.

Results: At a minimum follow-up of 60 months, the median overall survival was more than 60.0 months (median not reached) in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and 36.9 months in the nivolumab group, as compared with 19.9 months in the ipilimumab group (hazard ratio for death with nivolumab plus ipilimumab vs. ipilimumab, 0.52; hazard ratio for death with nivolumab vs. ipilimumab, 0.63). Overall survival at 5 years was 52% in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and 44% in the nivolumab group, as compared with 26% in the ipilimumab group. No sustained deterioration of health-related quality of life was observed during or after treatment with nivolumab plus ipilimumab or with nivolumab alone. No new late toxic effects were noted.

Conclusions: Among patients with advanced melanoma, sustained long-term overall survival at 5 years was observed in a greater percentage of patients who received nivolumab plus ipilimumab or nivolumab alone than in those who received ipilimumab alone, with no apparent loss of quality of life in the patients who received regimens containing nivolumab. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 067 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01844505.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1910836DOI Listing
October 2019

Age favoured overall survival in a large population-based Danish patient cohort treated with anti-PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitor for metastatic melanoma.

Eur J Cancer 2019 09 20;119:122-131. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Background And Patients: Age-related immune dysfunction (ARID) describes age-associated changes in immunity that may affect the efficacy of immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. We evaluated the efficacy of treatment with ipilimumab (530 patients) or pembrolizumab (562 patients) in a Danish national cohort of metastatic melanoma patients.

Results: We confirmed known prognostic biomarkers related to treatment with ipilimumab and found no impact of age on survival or progression-free survival. In patients treated with pembrolizumab, we also confirmed known prognostic biomarkers. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival was significantly higher in patients aged between 70 and 80 years compared with younger patients. In multivariate analysis with OS as end-point, age was shown to be an independent good prognostic biomarker in these patients. Survival in patients aged above 80 years was not better than in younger patients, probably because of increase in significant comorbidity.

Conclusions: Our analyses have revealed a higher survival rate when using drugs targeting PD1 in metastatic melanoma patients between the age of 70 and 80 years. ARID does not seem to negatively impact the efficacy of treatment with checkpoint inhibitors in metastatic melanoma patients. Despite these encouraging data for elderly patients, clinicians still need to carefully consider the higher risk of more serious outcomes of the immune-related adverse events in the elderly patient population, before deciding to treat old patients with checkpoint inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.06.022DOI Listing
September 2019

The real-world outcome of metastatic melanoma: Unknown primary vs. known cutaneous.

Int J Cancer 2019 12 3;145(11):3173-3174. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Department of Oncology, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32631DOI Listing
December 2019

Diagnosis and treatment of basal cell carcinoma: European consensus-based interdisciplinary guidelines.

Eur J Cancer 2019 09 6;118:10-34. Epub 2019 Jul 6.

University Department of Dermatology, Marseille, France.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common malignant tumour in white populations. Multidisciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum, the European Association of Dermato-Oncology and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer collaborated to develop recommendations on diagnosis and treatment of BCC. A new classification into 'easy-to-treat (common) BCC and 'difficult-to-treat' BCC is proposed. Diagnosis is based on clinicodermatoscopic features for 'easy-to-treat' BCCs. Histopathological confirmation is mandatory in ambiguous lesions and in BCCs located in high-risk areas. The first-line treatment of 'easy-to-treat' BCC is complete surgery. Microscopically controlled surgery shall be offered for high-risk BCC, recurrent BCC and BCC in critical anatomical sites. Topical therapies (5% imiquimod, 5% fluorouracil) and destructive approaches (curettage, electrocautery, cryotherapy, laser ablation) should be considered in patients with low-risk superficial BCC. Photodynamic therapy is an effective treatment for superficial BCC and thin nodular BCC. The therapy for a 'difficult-to-treat' BCC should preferentially be discussed by a multidisciplinary tumour board. Hedgehog inhibitors, vismodegib or sonidegib, should be offered to patients with locally advanced and metastatic BCCs. Immunotherapy with anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibodies is a promising therapeutic option, currently being investigated in clinical trials. Radiotherapy represents a valid alternative to surgery for BCC on the face, especially in elderly patients. In patients with naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), close surveillance and regular skin examinations are required to diagnose and treat BCCs at early stage. Long-term follow-up is recommended in patients with high-risk BCC subtypes, high-risk sites, multiple BCCs and NBCCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.06.003DOI Listing
September 2019

[Immunotherapy for patients with malignant melanoma and brain metastases].

Ugeskr Laeger 2019 Jun;181(24)

Melanoma has a high propensity to form brain metastases, and in this review, we discuss the treatment options for brain metastases. These have previously been sparse, but with the introduction of targeted therapy and checkpoint inhibitors, studies including patients with brain metastases have been published. Recent studies investigating combination of either dabrafenib and trametinib or ipilimumab and nivolumab have proved promising. Based on phase II studies, the most effective treatment for patients with asymptomatic brain metastases seems to be ipilimumab and nivolumab. Symptomatic brain metastases are presently being further investigated.
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June 2019

High-dose interleukin-2 and interferon as first-line immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma: long-term follow-up in a large unselected Danish patient cohort.

Eur J Cancer 2019 07 17;115:61-67. Epub 2019 May 17.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Background And Patients: Between January 2007 and April 2014, 464 Danish patients received high-dose (HD) interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon (IFN) as first-line treatment for metastatic melanoma. Our data represent the largest cohort of patients with metastatic melanoma worldwide, with relevant data on all patients and no patients lost to follow-up. Data have been gathered in a national database on the treatment of metastatic melanoma established since 2011.

Results: One hundred eighteen patients (25%) obtained an objective response rate (ORR) to treatment with a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 3.4 months and a median overall survival (OS) of 14.2 months. Furthermore, 2-, 3- and 5-year survival was 32.0%, 23.2% and 16.6%, respectively. Ipilimumab as second-line therapy has been used since July 2010. We divided patients in two subgroups before and after this date to evaluate the effects of new treatment strategies. Patient characteristics, ORR and PFS were comparable in the two subgroups. Survival was significantly improved after 2010, with an increase in median OS from 12.2 to 16.0 months and in 5-year OS from 12.5% to 20.7%.

Conclusions: Our data confirm that HD IL-2/IFN as first-line therapy in metastatic melanoma leads to long-term survival in a subset of treated patients. Potentially, IL-2/IFN might represent a treatment option in patients with active melanoma after established initial treatment with checkpoint inhibitors and BRAF/MEK-targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.03.023DOI Listing
July 2019

Selection of patient reported outcomes questions reflecting symptoms for patients with metastatic melanoma receiving immunotherapy.

J Patient Rep Outcomes 2019 Mar 21;3(1):19. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Oncology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Context: Toxicity-monitoring plays an important role in all cancer treatment, however, early recognition is vital for detecting and treating immune-related symptoms. Preparing a Patient Reported Outcomes tool and including melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy in the reporting of symptoms, may optimize toxicity-monitoring.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to identify the symptoms and their equivalent questions to include from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) library for melanoma patients, receiving immunotherapy and, further, to evaluate if all relevant symptoms are covered by this tool.

Methods: To establish the relevant symptoms, three measures were taken. First, a literature search was carried out in three databases. Second, a chart audit was performed including medical records from melanoma patients receiving immunotherapy. Finally, the product information for the relevant immunotherapies was studied.

Results: Ten articles were included as a result of the literature search. As for the chart audit, a total of 37 patients (48 treatments with immunotherapy) were included. Overall, the reported symptoms from the literature review aligned with those identified in the chart audit. The examination of the product information supported the findings from review and chart audit, revealing only one additional symptom. In total, 28 PRO-CTCAE symptoms were selected comprising of 56 PRO-questions plus an additional question on blood in stool.

Conclusion: When preparing a Patient Reported Outcomes tool it is important that the preparatory work of selecting questions is done properly. By going through the literature, performing a chart audit, and examining the product information, the most important and relevant symptoms have been uncovered, facilitating the design of a PROquestionnaire, based on PRO-CTCAE, that fits the patient population under investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41687-019-0111-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515745PMC
March 2019

The real-world impact of modern treatments on the survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Eur J Cancer 2019 02 31;108:25-32. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Department of Hematology, Herlev Hospital, Herlev, Denmark; Department of Oncology, Herlev Hospital, Herlev, Denmark. Electronic address:

Between 2010 and 2015, pivotal trials with strict enrolment criteria led to the approval of several new treatments for metastatic melanoma (MM). We sought to determine the impact of these treatments in the 'real world'. We took advantage of the Danish MM database (DAMMED), which contains data on the entire, unselected population diagnosed with MM within Denmark. All MM cases (excluding ocular MM, n = 837) diagnosed in three non-consecutive years marked by major changes in the first-line treatments (2012: interleukin-2 and BRAF inhibitors; 2014: anti-CTLA-4: Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 and 2016: anti-PD-1: programmed cell death protein 1 and MEK inhibitors) were retrieved. Patients were grouped into 'trial-like' and 'trial-excluded' based on the common trial eligibility criteria. In the 'trial-like' population (39% of all MM), the median overall survival (OS) was not reached in 2016 versus 18.8 months in 2014 (hazard ratio [HR] 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35-0.75; p = 0.0005) and 16.5 months in 2012 (HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.27-0.63; p < 0.0001). In the 'trial-excluded' population (61% of all MM), 75% had brain metastases and/or (performance status) PS ≥ 2. Here, the median OS improved to 6.9 months in 2016 versus 5.2 months in 2014 (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.52-0.84; p = 0.0008) and 4.2 months in 2012 (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.52-0.84; p = 0.0007). Subgroup analysis of the BRAF wild-type population showed an improved 1-year survival rate in 2016 versus 2014 (35.9% vs 18.8%, p = 0.0153). In conclusion, the introduction of modern treatments has led to an improved survival of real-world patients with MM, regardless of their eligibility to clinical trials and the BRAF status. These data support the application of modern treatments to patient populations which are not represented in pivotal trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.12.002DOI Listing
February 2019

The impact of patient characteristics and disease-specific factors on first-line treatment decisions for BRAF-mutated melanoma: results from a European expert panel study.

Melanoma Res 2018 08;28(4):333-340

PRMA Consulting Ltd, Fleet, UK.

Treatment decisions for advanced melanoma are increasingly complex and guidelines provide limited advice on how to choose between immunotherapy and targeted therapy for first-line treatment. A Delphi study was carried out to understand which patient characteristics and disease-related factors inform clinicians' choices of first-line treatment for BRAF-mutated melanoma. Twelve European melanoma specialists experienced in using immunotherapies and targeted agents participated in a double-blind two-phase Delphi study. In phase 1, participants completed a questionnaire developed after reviewing patient characteristics and disease-related factors reported in trials, clinical guidelines, and health technology assessments. Phase 2 was an expert panel meeting to explore outstanding issues from phase 1 and seek consensus, defined as 80% agreement. Twenty patient-related and disease-related characteristics were considered. There was consensus that tumor burden (83% of clinicians) and disease tempo (83%) are very or extremely important factors when selecting first-line treatment. Several components were deemed important when assessing tumor burden: brain metastases (82% of clinicians) and location of metastases (89%). There was consensus that disease tempo can be quantified in clinical practice, but not on a formal classification applicable to all patients. Lactate dehydrogenase level is a component of both tumor burden and disease tempo; all clinicians considered lactate dehydrogenase important when choosing first-line treatment. The majority (92%) did not routinely test programmed death ligand-1 status in patients with melanoma. Clinicians agreed that choosing a first-line treatment for advanced melanoma is a complex, multifactorial process and that clinical judgment remains the most important element of decision-making until research can provide clinicians with better scientific parameters and tools for first-line decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000455DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6039416PMC
August 2018

Development of anti-drug antibodies is associated with shortened survival in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with ipilimumab.

Oncoimmunology 2018;7(5):e1424674. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Institute for Inflammation Research, Center for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Checkpoint inhibitors, including the CTLA-4 blocking antibody ipilimumab, have become the new standard therapy for many metastatic cancers. Development of anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) after treatment with other biopharmaceuticals has been thoroughly described, but the induction of ADAs after treatment with checkpoint inhibitors has been inadequately investigated. In this retrospective study, we relate ipilimumab serum levels and anti-ipilimumab antibody levels to clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma (MM). Serum samples from 31 patients with MM were analyzed for serum levels of ipilimumab and ADAs to ipilimumab at baseline, and before the 2 and 4 infusion using an in-house bead-based assay. The results were correlated with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Low serum levels of ipilimumab before the 2 infusion correlated significantly with a shorter OS (p = 0.01) and PFS (p = 0.02). Eight patients (26%) were ADA-positive at either timepoint. ADA positivity correlated significantly with a shorter OS (p = 0.03) with a hazard ratio (HR) of 3.0 (95% CI: 1.2-7.8). Four of 8 ADA-positive patients (50%) discontinued therapy before the 4 infusion due to disease progression, compared to three of 23 (13%) ADA-negative patients. We confirm that low serum levels of ipilimumab are associated with a shortened OS, and we show for the first time that ADAs to ipilimumab are associated with shorter OS in patients with MM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2018.1424674DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5927482PMC
February 2018

Danish translation, cultural adaption and initial psychometric evaluation of the patient feedback form.

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2018 Apr 27;16(1):77. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.

Aim: No suitable Danish questionnaire exists to evaluate patient satisfaction with various patient reported outcome measures. Thus, the aim of this research project was to conduct a study on the translation and cultural adaption of an American patient reported experience measures questionnaire, "Patient Feedback Form", among Danish patients, and to examine selected psychometric properties within reliability.

Material And Methods: In the first phase of the study, the Patient Feedback Form was forward and backward translated following the methodology of existing guidelines. Subsequently, cognitive interviewing was performed with seven cancer patients and seven healthy persons (19-86 years old/6 men and 8 women) to ensure that questions were easy to understand and made sense to Danish interviewees. In the second phase, phone interviews were carried out with 95 prostate cancer patients after they had responded to the same Patient Feedback Form. Missing data was imputed using the Expectation-Maximization technique. To examine the structure of the questionnaire, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted. Cronbach's alpha was calculated to investigate internal consistency.

Results: There were only minor disagreements in the translation process, and the reconciliation went smoothly (phase 1). With regard to one item, however, it was difficult to reach a consensus. Through the qualitative validation process, the right solution was found. The results from the psychometric testing (phase 2) showed that four factors had an Eigen value > 1, but only one factor was extracted as the Scree plot had a clear "elbow", showing a one factor structure that explained 46.1% of the variance. The internal consistency was high as Cronbach's alpha was 0.89.

Conclusion: The translated, culturally adapted, and validated version of the Patient Feedback Form seems to be suitable for measuring satisfaction with patient reported outcome measures in a Danish setting. While the results should be treated with caution due to the small sample size, psychometric testing indicates that the questionnaire is a valid instrument. However, additional psychometric testing such as hypotheses testing, responsiveness, and test-retest on a larger and more diverse sample size is required to further verify the validity of the instrument.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-018-0900-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5921302PMC
April 2018

Pazopanib-Induced Hypertension in Patients With Renal Cell Carcinoma Is Associated With Low Urine Excretion of NO Metabolites.

Hypertension 2018 03 8;71(3):473-480. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

From the Department of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (A.R.T., C.B., B.L.J., K.M.); and Department of Oncology (N.V.J., L.B.) and Department of Pathology (K.M.), Odense University Hospital, Denmark.

Drugs targeting VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) are often associated with rapid development of hypertension by a yet not fully understood mechanism. VEGF is expressed in renal epithelial cells and stimulates NO production. In the renal medulla, inhibition of NO formation by local L-NAME or by impaired endothelin-1 leads to hypertension. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that VEGF receptor inhibitor treatment leads to hypertension through decreased renal medullary formation of NO and endothelin-1. With a single-center prospective observational design, patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (n=27) treated with the receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor pazopanib were included in the study. Home blood pressure was measured, and plasma and urine samples were collected at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. After 4 weeks, systolic and diastolic blood pressures increased, whereas heart rate decreased significantly; urine protein/creatinine ratio increased significantly, whereas estimated glomerular filtration rate was unchanged. Urine nitrite/nitrate (NOx) and cGMP/creatinine ratios decreased significantly, whereas urine endothelin-1/creatinine ratio and FE were unchanged. In plasma, NOx, cGMP, and brain natriuretic peptide decreased significantly, whereas endothelin-1 was significantly elevated. Blood leukocyte count decreased significantly with unchanged CRP (C-reactive protein). In summary, pazopanib treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma is associated with hypertension, proteinuria, myelosuppression, and decreased urine and plasma NO metabolites. Results are compatible with a significant role of reduced renal medullary NO bioavailability in VEGF inhibitor-induced hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.117.10225DOI Listing
March 2018

[Immune checkpoint inhibitors and endocrinological side effects].

Ugeskr Laeger 2017 Dec;179(49)

Immune checkpoint inhibitors including anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 and anti-programmed cell death-1 have revolutionized cancer therapy but have also induced serious immune-related adverse events including hormonal dysfunction. The objective of this review is to characterize the incidence, clinical presentation, management and prognosis of the endocrine-related adverse events including hypophysitis, thyroid dysfunction and diabetes mellitus. Combination therapy is associated with an increased risk of adverse events. We recommend close monitoring of the hormone levels and glycaemic status during and a year after treatment.
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December 2017

Total Thyroidectomy for Thyroid Cancer Followed by Thyroid Storm due to Thyrotropin Receptor Antibody Stimulation of Metastatic Thyroid Tissue.

Eur Thyroid J 2017 Sep 3;6(5):276-280. Epub 2017 Aug 3.

Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.

Background: Graves disease (GD) is an autoimmune condition characterized by the presence of antibodies against the thyrotropin receptor (TRAB), which stimulate the thyroid gland to produce excess thyroid hormone. Theoretically, TRAB could stimulate highly differentiated thyroid cancer tissue and/or metastases to produce thyroid hormone.

Case: A 68-year-old male, with weight loss and palpitations, was diagnosed with thyrotoxicosis. A later MRI, due to persistent shoulder pain, revealed multiple bone metastases. A biopsy was diagnostic for follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma, and total thyroidectomy was performed. One week after thyroidectomy the patient was admitted with severe hyperthyroidism. TRAB was >40 IU/mL (normal <0.7 IU/mL). High-dose antithyroid drug treatment was followed by high-dose radioactive iodine-131 (RAI) and local radiotherapy covering the right shoulder. Antithyroid drug treatment continued until after the fourth RAI dose. Hypothyroidism did not occur until following the fifth RAI treatment.

Summary And Conclusions: We present a patient initially diagnosed with thyrotoxicosis and subsequently with metastatic follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer. It is suggested that TRAB stimulated the highly differentiated extrathyroidal metastatic thyroid tissue to produce excessive amounts of thyroid hormone, delayed diagnosis, and potential aggravation of the course of thyroid cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000479061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649237PMC
September 2017