Publications by authors named "Linda Mileshkin"

140 Publications

ENhAncing Lifestyle Behaviors in EndometriaL CancEr (ENABLE): A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

Integr Cancer Ther 2022 Jan-Dec;21:15347354211069885

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Purpose: Endometrial cancer is associated with the highest comorbid disease burden of any cancer. The aim of this trial was to assess the feasibility and safety of an allied health intervention during adjuvant treatment.

Methods: A mixed-methods pilot randomized (2:1) controlled trial with concealed allocation and assessor-blinding. Eligibility criteria: adjuvant endometrial cancer treatment scheduled, disease stage I-IIIC1, ECOG 0-2 and able to perform unsupervised physical activity (PA). Participants received usual care and 8 sessions of weekly, individualized, lifestyle education (diet and PA) with behavior change and social support (intervention group), delivered predominantly by telehealth, or usual care alone. Feasibility outcomes: recruitment and consent rates, decline reasons, program acceptability, intervention adherence and retention.

Results: 22/44 eligible patients (50%, 95%CI: 36%, 64%) were recruited over 10 months (14 intervention, 8 usual care). The recruitment rate was 2.2 patients/month (95%CI: 1.4, 3.3). Patients who declined had too much going on (7/22, 32%) or were not interested (6/22, 27%). Mean (SD) age and BMI were 63.2 years (6.8) and 31.9 kg/m (6.7). A majority were FIGO stage I (15/22, 68%) and received vaginal brachytherapy (14/22, 64%). Adherence was high, 11/14 (79%, 95%CI: 52%, 92%) participants attended >70% of scheduled sessions. Retention was 100% (95%CI: 85%, 100%) at 9 weeks, however completion of objective measures was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Telehealth and online questionnaires enabled participation. No serious adverse events occurred.

Conclusion: The intervention was acceptable to participants with high levels of adherence and retention. Trial findings will be used to design a future RCT.

Trial Registration: The trial was registered on www.anzctr.org.au (ACTRN12619000631101) 29/04/2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/15347354211069885DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8785429PMC
January 2022

Cancer Diagnoses Following Abnormal Noninvasive Prenatal Testing: A Case Series, Literature Review, and Proposed Management Model.

JCO Precis Oncol 2021 Nov;5:1001-1012

Department of Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a screening test for fetal chromosomal aneuploidy using cell-free DNA derived from maternal blood. It has been rapidly accepted into obstetric practice because of its application from 10-weeks' gestation, and its high sensitivity and specificity. NIPT results can be influenced by several factors including placental or maternal mosaicism and co-twin demise; cell-free DNA from a maternal origin can also complicate interpretation, with evidence that NIPT can detect previously unsuspected malignancies. This study aimed to develop management guidelines for women with NIPT results suspicious of maternal malignancy. The Peter MacCallum Cancer Center's experience of seven cases where abnormal NIPT results led to investigation for maternal malignancy between 2016 and 2019 were reviewed, along with the published literature. Six of the seven women (86%) referred for investigation were diagnosed with advanced malignancies, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma. Based on our single-center experience, as well as the available literature, guidelines for the investigation of women with NIPT results suspicious of malignancy are proposed, including utilization of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography, which had a high concordance with other investigations and diagnoses. These guidelines include maternal and fetal investigations, as well as consideration of the complex medical, psychologic, social, and ethical needs of these patients and their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/PO.20.00429DOI Listing
November 2021

Pembrolizumab in Patients With Microsatellite Instability-High Advanced Endometrial Cancer: Results From the KEYNOTE-158 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2022 Jan 6:JCO2101874. Epub 2022 Jan 6.

Division of Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy, Center for Immuno-Oncology, Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab demonstrated durable antitumor activity in patients with previously treated, advanced microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient (MSI-H/dMMR) tumors, including endometrial cancer, in the nonrandomized, open-label, multicohort, phase II KEYNOTE-158 study (NCT02628067). We report efficacy and safety outcomes for patients with MSI-H/dMMR endometrial cancer enrolled in KEYNOTE-158.

Methods: Eligible patients from cohorts D (endometrial cancer, regardless of MSI-H/dMMR status) and K (any MSI-H/dMMR solid tumor, except colorectal) with previously treated, advanced MSI-H/dMMR endometrial cancer received pembrolizumab 200 mg once every 3 weeks for 35 cycles. The primary end point was objective response rate per RECIST version 1.1 by independent central radiologic review. Secondary end points included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival, and safety.

Results: As of October 5, 2020, 18 of 90 treated patients (20%) had completed 35 cycles of pembrolizumab and 52 (58%) had discontinued treatment. In the efficacy population (patients who received ≥ 1 dose of pembrolizumab and had ≥ 26 weeks of follow-up; N = 79), the median time from first dose to data cutoff was 42.6 (range, 6.4-56.1) months. The objective response rate was 48% (95% CI, 37 to 60), and median duration of response was not reached (2.9-49.7+ months). Median progression-free survival was 13.1 (95% CI, 4.3 to 34.4) months, and median overall survival was not reached (95% CI, 27.2 months to not reached). Among all treated patients, 76% had ≥ 1 treatment-related adverse event (grades 3-4, 12%). There were no fatal treatment-related events. Immune-mediated adverse events or infusion reactions occurred in 28% of patients (grades 3-4, 7%; no fatal events).

Conclusion: Pembrolizumab demonstrated robust and durable antitumor activity and encouraging survival outcomes with manageable toxicity in patients with previously treated, advanced MSI-H/dMMR endometrial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01874DOI Listing
January 2022

Phase 1A/1B dose-escalation and -expansion study to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, food effects and antitumor activity of pamiparib in advanced solid tumours.

Br J Cancer 2021 Nov 18. Epub 2021 Nov 18.

Linear Clinical Research & University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia.

Background: Pamiparib, a PARP1/2 inhibitor, demonstrated antitumor activity in preclinical models.

Methods: This Phase 1A/1B dose-escalation/dose-expansion study enrolled adults (≥18 years) with advanced/metastatic cancer. The dose-escalation phase evaluated the recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), and pharmacokinetics; the dose-expansion phase evaluated the antitumor activity and food effects.

Results: Patients (N = 101) were enrolled in dose-escalation (n = 64) and dose-expansion (n = 37). During BID dose-escalation, dose-limiting toxicities were Grade 2 nausea (n = 1, 40 mg; n = 1, 80 mg); Grade 2 nausea and Grade 2 anorexia (n = 1, 120 mg), Grade 2 nausea, Grade 3 fatigue and Grade 3 paraesthesia (n = 1, 120 mg); MTD was 80 mg BID and RP2D was 60 mg BID. Common adverse events (AEs) were nausea (69.3%), fatigue (48.5%) and anaemia (35.6%); the most common Grade ≥3 AE was anaemia (24.8%). There was a dose-proportional increase in pamiparib exposure; no food effects on pharmacokinetics were observed. In the efficacy-evaluable population (n = 77), objective response rate (ORR) was 27.3% (95% CI, 17.7-38.6%). Median duration of response was 14.9 months (95% CI, 8.7-26.3). In the epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC)-evaluable population (n = 51), ORR was 41.2% (95% CI, 27.6-55.8%).

Conclusions: Pamiparib was tolerated with manageable AEs, and antitumor activity was observed in patients with EOC. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT02361723.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01632-2DOI Listing
November 2021

Combination immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab in patients with rare gynecological malignancies: results of the CA209-538 clinical trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 11;9(11)

Department of Medical Oncology, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre, Austin Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Background: Patients with rare cancers represent 55% of all gynecological malignancies and have poor survival outcomes due to limited treatment options. Combination immunotherapy with the anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1) antibody nivolumab and the anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (anti-CTLA-4) antibody ipilimumab has demonstrated significant clinical efficacy across a range of common malignancies, justifying evaluation of this combination in rare gynecological cancers.

Methods: This multicenter phase II study enrolled 43 patients with advanced rare gynecological cancers. Patients received induction treatment with nivolumab and ipilimumab at a dose of 3 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg, respectively, every 3 weeks for four doses. Treatment was continued with nivolumab monotherapy at 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks until disease progression or a maximum of 2 years. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with disease control at week 12 (complete response, partial response or stable disease (SD) by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumor V.1.1). Exploratory evaluations correlated clinical outcomes with tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and tumor mutational burden (TMB).

Results: The objective response rate in the radiologically evaluable population was 36% (12/33 patients) and in the intention-to-treat population was 28% (12/43 patients), with additional 7 patients obtaining SD leading to a disease control rate of 58% and 44%, respectively. Durable responses were seen across a range of tumor histologies. Thirty-one (72%) patients experienced an immune-related adverse event (irAE) with a grade 3/4 irAE observed in seven (16%) patients. Response rate was higher among those patients with baseline PD-L1 expression (≥1% on tumor cells) but was independent of TMB.

Conclusions: Ipilimumab and nivolumab combination treatment has significant clinical activity with a favorable safety profile across a range of advanced rare gynecological malignancies and warrants further investigation in these tumor types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-003156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8593709PMC
November 2021

A phase III randomized clinical trial comparing sentinel node biopsy with no retroperitoneal node dissection in apparent early-stage endometrial cancer - ENDO-3: ANZGOG trial 1911/2020.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2021 12 2;31(12):1595-1601. Epub 2021 Nov 2.

Centre for Health Services Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Background: Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical technique to explore lymph nodes for surgical staging of endometrial cancer, which has replaced full retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. However, the effectiveness of sentinel node biopsy, its value to patients, and potential harms compared with no-node dissection have never been shown in a randomized trial.

Primary Objectives: Stage 1 will test recovery from surgery. Stage 2 will compare disease-free survival at 4.5 years between patients randomized to sentinel node biopsy versus no retroperitoneal node dissection.

Study Hypothesis: The primary hypothesis for stage 1 is that treatment with sentinel node biopsy will not cause detriment to patient outcomes (lymphedema, morbidity, loss of quality of life) and will not increase treatment-related morbidity or health services costs compared with patients treated without a retroperitoneal node dissection at 12 months after surgery. The primary hypothesis for stage 2 is that disease-free survival at 4.5 years after surgery in patients without retroperitoneal node dissection is not inferior to those receiving sentinel node biopsy.

Trial Design: This phase III, open-label, two-arm, multistage, randomized non-inferiority trial (ENDO-3) will determine the value of sentinel node biopsy for surgical management of endometrial cancer. Patients with endometrial cancer are randomized to receive: (1) laparoscopic/robotic hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with sentinel node biopsy or (2) laparoscopic/robotic hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy without retroperitoneal node dissection. In stage 1, 444 patients will be enrolled to demonstrate feasibility and quality of life. If this is demonstrated, we will enroll another 316 patients in stage 2.

Major Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria: Inclusion criteria include women aged 18 years or older with histologically confirmed endometrial cancer; clinical stage 1, who meet the criteria for laparoscopic or robotic total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Patients with uterine mesenchymal tumors are excluded.

Primary Endpoints: The endpoint for stage 1 is surgical recovery, with the proportion of patients returning to usual daily activities at 3 months post-surgery as measured with the EQ-5D. Stage 2 is disease-free survival at 4.5 years.

Sample Size: 760 participants (both stages).

Estimated Dates For Completing Accrual And Presenting Results: Stage 1 commenced in January 2021 and is planned to be completed in December 2024 when 444 participants have completed 12 months' follow-up. Stage 2 will enroll a further 316 participants for a total of 760 patients.

Trial Registration: NCT04073706.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2021-003029DOI Listing
December 2021

Radiation Therapy Techniques and Treatment-Related Toxicity in the PORTEC-3 Trial: Comparison of 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy Versus Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2022 Feb 2;112(2):390-399. Epub 2021 Oct 2.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Purpose: Radiation therapy techniques have developed from 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) to intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), with better sparing of the surrounding normal tissues. The current analysis aimed to investigate whether IMRT, compared to 3DCRT, resulted in fewer adverse events (AEs) and patient-reported symptoms in the randomized PORTEC-3 trial for high-risk endometrial cancer.

Methods And Materials: Data on AEs and patient-reported quality of life (QoL) of the PORTEC-3 trial were available for analysis. Physician-reported AEs were graded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0. QoL was assessed by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQC30, CX24, and OV28 questionnaires. Data were compared between 3DCRT and IMRT. A P value of ≤ .01 was considered statistically significant due to the risk of multiple testing. For QoL, combined scores 1 to 2 ("not at all" and "a little") versus 3 to 4 ("quite a bit" and "very much") were compared between the techniques.

Results: Of 658 evaluable patients, 559 received 3DCRT and 99 IMRT. Median follow-up was 74.6 months. During treatment no significant differences were observed, with a trend for more grade ≥3 AEs, mostly hematologic and gastrointestinal, after 3DCRT (37.7% vs 26.3%, P = .03). During follow-up, 15.4% (vs 4%) had grade ≥2 diarrhea, and 26.1% (vs 13.1%) had grade ≥2 hematologic AEs after 3DCRT (vs IMRT) (both P < .01). Among 574 (87%) patients evaluable for QoL, 494 received 3DCRT and 80 IMRT. During treatment, 37.5% (vs 28.6%) reported diarrhea after 3DCRT (vs IMRT) (P = .125); 22.1% (versus 10.0%) bowel urgency (P = 0039), and 18.2% and 8.6% abdominal cramps (P = .058). Other QoL scores showed no differences.

Conclusions: IMRT resulted in fewer grade ≥3 AEs during treatment and significantly lower rates of grade ≥2 diarrhea and hematologic AEs during follow-up. Trends toward fewer patient-reported bowel urgency and abdominal cramps were observed after IMRT compared to 3DCRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.09.042DOI Listing
February 2022

Getting the MOST out of follow-up: a randomized controlled trial comparing 3 monthly nurse led follow-up via telehealth, including monitoring CA125 and patient reported outcomes using the MOST (Measure of Ovarian Symptoms and Treatment concerns) with routine clinic based or telehealth follow-up, after completion of first line chemotherapy in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2021 Sep 22. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.

Background: Physical symptoms, anxiety, depression, fear of recurrence, sexual dysfunction, and social withdrawal are common in women after treatment for ovarian cancer. Most patients would like and need help dealing with these symptoms. The traditional model of follow-up care is unstructured and largely focused on diagnosing recurrent disease, and most oncologists lack skills to identify and manage psychosocial issues. No high quality prospective clinical trials have been conducted to determine the optimal follow-up regimen or the cost effectiveness of ovarian cancer surveillance strategies.

Primary Objectives: To assess emotional wellbeing, acceptability, safety, and cost effectiveness of nurse led follow-up via telehealth for women with ovarian cancer following completion of primary treatment.

Study Hypothesis: We hypothesize that compared with routine clinic based follow-up, nurse led follow-up via telehealth, including serum CA125 monitoring and completion of a patient reported outcome instrument, the Measure of Ovarian Symptoms and Treatment concerns-Surveillance (MOST-S26), will improve emotional wellbeing in women with ovarian cancer; be feasible, safe, acceptable, and not delay the time to diagnosis of recurrent disease; will result in greater patient satisfaction; will identify more patients with psychological distress, lead to better care, and improved psychological outcomes; and be cost-effective.

Trial Design: Phase II multicenter randomized trial comparing 3 monthly nurse led telehealth consultations that include serum CA125 monitoring and completion of the MOST-S26, with routine clinic based follow-up. The allocation ratio will be 1:1.

Major Inclusion/exclusion Criteria: Eligible patients will be women with high grade epithelial ovarian cancer who have normalized serum CA125 (to <35 kU/L) at completion of first line chemotherapy.

Primary Endpoints: Emotional wellbeing at 12 months.

Sample Size: 150 patients.

Estimated Dates For Completing Accrual And Presenting Results: July 2023. Results expected in 2025, 24 months after the last participant is enrolled.

Trial Registration: ACTRN12620000332921.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2021-002999DOI Listing
September 2021

Supporting cancer care clinicians to 'hold' their patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: a role for reflective ethics discussions.

Intern Med J 2021 Jul;51(7):1143-1145

Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an overwhelming burden on healthcare delivery globally. This paper examines how COVID-19 has affected cancer care clinicians' capacity to deliver cancer care in the Australian context. We use the lens of 'holding patients' (drawing from attachment theory, psychology and from Australian Indigenous knowledge) to conceptualise cancer clinicians' processes of care and therapeutic relationships with patients. These notions of 'holding' resonate with the deep responsibility cancer care clinicians feel towards their patients. They enrich ethical language beyond duties to benefit, avoid harm, respect patients' autonomy and provide just treatment. We consider the disruptive effects of COVID-19 on care delivery and on clinicians themselves. We then show how models of clinical ethics and other similar reflective discussion approaches are a relevant support mechanism to assist clinicians to process and make sense of COVID-19's disruptions to their professional ethical role of holding patients during and beyond the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.15375DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8447295PMC
July 2021

Phase I study of daily and weekly regimens of the orally administered MDM2 antagonist idasanutlin in patients with advanced tumors.

Invest New Drugs 2021 12 28;39(6):1587-1597. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Aim The oral MDM2 antagonist idasanutlin inhibits the p53-MDM2 interaction, enabling p53 activation, tumor growth inhibition, and increased survival in xenograft models. Methods We conducted a Phase I study of idasanutlin (microprecipitate bulk powder formulation) to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, food effect, and clinical activity in patients with advanced malignancies. Schedules investigated were once weekly for 3 weeks (QW × 3), once daily for 3 days (QD × 3), or QD × 5 every 28 days. We also analyzed p53 activation and the anti-proliferative effects of idasanutlin. Results The dose-escalation phase included 85 patients (QW × 3, n = 36; QD × 3, n = 15; QD × 5, n = 34). Daily MTD was 3200 mg (QW × 3), 1000 mg (QD × 3), and 500 mg (QD × 5). Most common adverse events were diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, decreased appetite, and thrombocytopenia. Dose-limiting toxicities were nausea/vomiting and myelosuppression; myelosuppression was more frequent with QD dosing and associated with pharmacokinetic exposure. Idasanutlin exposure was approximately dose proportional at low doses, but less than dose proportional at > 600 mg. Although inter-patient variability in exposure was high with all regimens, cumulative idasanutlin exposure over the whole 28-day cycle was greatest with a QD × 5 regimen. No major food effect on pharmacokinetic exposure occurred. MIC-1 levels were higher with QD dosing, increasing in an exposure-dependent manner. Best response was stable disease in 30.6% of patients, prolonged (> 600 days) in 2 patients with sarcoma. Conclusions Idasanutlin demonstrated dose- and schedule-dependent p53 activation with durable disease stabilization in some patients. Based on these findings, the QD × 5 schedule was selected for further development. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01462175 (ClinicalTrials.gov), October 31, 2011.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-021-01141-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8541972PMC
December 2021

Clinical activity of durvalumab for patients with advanced mismatch repair-deficient and repair-proficient endometrial cancer. A nonrandomized phase 2 clinical trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 06;9(6)

Department of Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Background: In this study, we assessed the activity of durvalumab, an antibody to programmed death ligand-1, in two cohorts of women with advanced endometrial cancers (AEC)-mismatch repair proficient (pMMR) and mismatch repair deficient (dMMR).

Methods: A multicenter phase two study was performed in women with AEC with pMMR tumor progressing after one to three lines of chemotherapy and women with AEC with dMMR tumor progressing after zero to three lines of chemotherapy. Mismatch repair status was based on immunohistochemistry expression. All women received durvalumab 1500 mg given every 4 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was objective tumor response by RECIST V.1.1 modified for immune-based therapeutics.

Results: Seventy-one women were recruited: 35 dMMR and 36 pMMR. Median follow-up was 19 vs 21 months in dMMR versus pMMR, respectively. Median age was 67 years. Histology in dMMR versus pMMR included endometrioid (94% vs 57%) and serous (0% vs 31%) and was high grade in 26% vs 74%. The objective tumor response rate (OTRR) in the dMMR cohort was 47% (17/36, 95% CI 32 to 63), including 6 complete responses and 11 partial responses (PRs)) vs 3% in the pMMR cohort (1/35, 95% CI 1 to 15, PR). In the dMMR cohort, durvalumab was the first-line therapy in 58% (OTRR 57%) and the second-line therapy in 39% (OTRR 38%). Median progression-free survival was 8.3 months in the dMMR cohort vs 1.8 months in the pMMR cohort. The 12-month overall survival (OS) rate was 71% in dMMR vs 51% in pMMR, with median OS not reached for dMMR vs 12 months for pMMR. Immune-related adverse events occurred in 14 women, mostly grades 1-2.

Conclusion: Durvalumab monotherapy showed promising activity and acceptable safety in AEC with dMMR regardless of prior lines of chemotherapy, but activity was limited in AEC with pMMR.

Trial Registration Numbers: ANZGOG1601, ACTRN12617000106336, and NCT03015129.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-002255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190057PMC
June 2021

Developing clinical indicators for oncology: the inaugural cancer care indicator set for the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

Med J Aust 2021 06 30;214(11):528-531. Epub 2021 May 30.

Icon Group, Brisbane, QLD.

Introduction: The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) sponsored an expert-led, consensus-driven, four-stage process, based on a modified Delphi methodology, to determine a set of clinical indicators as quality measures of cancer service provision in Australia. This was done in response to requests from institutional health care providers seeking accreditation, which were additional and complementary to the existing radiation oncology set. The steering group members comprised multidisciplinary key opinion leaders and a consumer representative. Five additional participants constituted the stakeholder group, who deliberated on the final indicator set.

Methods And Recommendations: An initial meeting of the steering group scoped the high level nature of the desired set. In stage 2, 65 candidate indicators were identified by a literature review and a search of international metrics. These were ranked by survey, based on ease of data accessibility and collectability and clinical relevance. The top 27 candidates were debated by the stakeholder group and culled to a final set of 16 indicators. A user manual was created with indicators mapped to clinical codes. The indicator set was ratified by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia and is now available for use by health care organisations participating in the ACHS Clinical Indicator Program. This inaugural cancer clinical indicator set covers high level assessment of various critical processes in cancer service provision in Australia. Regular reviews and updates will ensure usability.

Changes In Management As A Result Of This Statement: This is the inaugural indicator set for cancer care for use across Australia and internationally under the ACHS Clinical Indicator Program. Multidisciplinary involvement through a modified Delphi process selected indicators representing both generic and specific aspects of care across the cancer journey pathway and will provide a functional tool to compare health care delivery across multiple settings. It is anticipated that this will drive continual improvement in cancer care provision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.51087DOI Listing
June 2021

Living with and beyond metastatic non-small cell lung cancer: the survivorship experience for people treated with immunotherapy or targeted therapy.

J Cancer Surviv 2021 06 31;15(3):392-397. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Purpose: Immunotherapy (IT) and targeted therapy (TT) have improved survival for some patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Their lived experience is under-studied. We conducted a single centre, qualitative study to understand concerns and unmet needs amongst this novel survivor population.

Methods: Eligible participants had metastatic NSCLC, aged >18, English-speaking and >6 months post initiation of IT/TT without progressive disease. Semi-structured interviews focused on physical, psychological, social and functional impacts of diagnosis, therapy and prognosis. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were analysed via qualitative thematic analysis.

Results: Between May and December 2019, 20 participants were interviewed: median age 62 (range 34-83), 13 (65%) female; median time since diagnosis of metastatic NSCLC 27 months (range 10-108). Twelve out of 20 (60%) participants had a targetable mutation (EGFR/ALK/BRAF); 6 were receiving IT, 11 TT, 2 IT + chemotherapy and 1 IT + TT. Four main themes were identified: living long-term on IT and TT (chronic toxicities), psychological concerns (living with uncertainty, fear of cancer progression, scan-related anxiety), support with practical issues (finances, employment amidst prognostic uncertainty, challenges with trial participation) and wanting information pertinent to NSCLC subtype.

Conclusions: Longer-term survivors of metastatic NSCLC experience significant physical, psychological and functional concerns and unmet needs. Results will inform a broader cross-sectional survey and resources to address the needs of this growing survivor group.

Implications For Cancer Survivors: A 'one-size-fits-all' approach to NSCLC survivorship is no longer appropriate. Survivors of metastatic NSCLC treated with novel therapies may benefit from specific information regarding long-term toxicities and psychological supports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11764-021-01024-8DOI Listing
June 2021

Prevalence and Prognosis of Lynch Syndrome and Sporadic Mismatch Repair Deficiency in Endometrial Cancer.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Sep;113(9):1212-1220

Department of Radiation Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Standard screening of endometrial cancer (EC) for Lynch syndrome (LS) is gaining traction; however, the prognostic impact of an underlying hereditary etiology is unknown. We established the prevalence, prognosis, and subsequent primary cancer incidence of patients with LS-associated EC in relation to sporadic mismatch repair deficient (MMRd)-EC in the large combined Post Operative Radiation Therapy in Endometrial Carcinoma-1, -2, and -3 trial cohort.

Methods: After MMR-immunohistochemistry, MLH1-promoter methylation testing, and next-generation sequencing, tumors were classified into 3 groups according to the molecular cause of their MMRd-EC. Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox model were used for survival analysis. Competing risk analysis was used to estimate the subsequent cancer probability. All statistical tests were 2-sided.

Results: Among the 1336 ECs, 410 (30.7%) were MMRd. A total of 380 (92.7%) were fully triaged: 275 (72.4%) were MLH1-hypermethylated MMRd-ECs; 36 (9.5%) LS MMRd-ECs, and 69 (18.2%) MMRd-ECs due to other causes. Limiting screening of EC patients to 60 years or younger or to 70 years or younger would have resulted in missing 18 (50.0%) and 6 (16.7%) LS diagnoses, respectively. Five-year recurrence-free survival was 91.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 83.1% to 100%; hazard ratio = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.16 to 1.24, P = .12) for LS, 95.5% (95% CI = 90.7% to 100%; hazard ratio = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.55, P = .003) for "other" vs 78.6% (95% CI = 73.8% to 83.7%) for MLH1-hypermethylated MMRd-EC. The probability of subsequent LS-associated cancer at 10 years was 11.6% (95% CI = 0.0% to 24.7%), 1.5% (95% CI = 0.0% to 4.3%), and 7.0% (95% CI = 3.0% to 10.9%) within the LS, "other," and MLH1-hypermethylated MMRd-EC groups, respectively.

Conclusions: The LS prevalence in the Post Operative Radiation Therapy in Endometrial Carcinoma trial population was 2.8% and among MMRd-ECs was 9.5%. Patients with LS-associated ECs showed a trend towards better recurrence-free survival and higher risk for second cancers compared with patients with MLH1-hypermethylated MMRd-EC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8418420PMC
September 2021

A Challenging Task: Identifying Patients with Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) According to ESMO Guidelines: The CUPISCO Trial Experience.

Oncologist 2021 05 25;26(5):e769-e779. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Haematology/Oncology, German Cancer Research Center and Department of Internal Medicine V, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: CUPISCO is an ongoing randomized phase II trial (NCT03498521) comparing molecularly guided therapy versus platinum-based chemotherapy in patients newly diagnosed with "unfavorable" cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

Materials And Methods: Patients with an unfavorable CUP diagnosis, as defined by the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and available cancer tissue for molecular sequencing are generally eligible. Potential patients with CUP entering screening undergo a review involving reference histopathology and clinical work-up by a central eligibility review team (ERT). Patients with "favorable" CUP, a strongly suspected primary site of origin, lack of tissue, or unmet inclusion criteria are excluded.

Results: As of April 30, 2020, 628 patients had entered screening and 346 (55.1%) were screen failed. Screen fails were due to technical reasons (n = 89), failure to meet inclusion and exclusion criteria not directly related to CUP diagnosis (n = 89), and other reasons (n = 33). A total of 124 (35.8%) patients were excluded because unfavorable adeno- or poorly differentiated CUP could not be confirmed by the ERT. These cases were classified into three groups ineligible because of (a) histologic subtype, such as squamous and neuroendocrine, or favorable CUP; (b) evidence of a possible primary tumor; or (c) noncarcinoma histology.

Conclusion: Experience with CUPISCO has highlighted challenges with standardized screening in an international clinical trial and the difficulties in diagnosing unfavorable CUP. Reconfirmation of unfavorable CUP by an ERT in a clinical trial can result in many reasons for screen failures. By sharing this experience, we aim to foster understanding of diagnostic challenges and improve diagnostic pathology and clinical CUP algorithms.

Implications For Practice: A high unmet need exists for improved treatment of cancer of unknown primary (CUP); however, study in a trial setting is faced with the significant challenge of definitively distinguishing CUP from other cancer types. This article reports the authors' experience of this challenge so far in the ongoing CUPISCO trial, which compares treatments guided by patients' unique genetic signatures versus standard chemotherapy. The data presented will aid future decision-making regarding diagnosing true CUP cases; this will have far-reaching implications in the design, execution, and interpretation of not only CUPISCO but also future clinical studies aiming to find much-needed treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8100559PMC
May 2021

REZOLVE (ANZGOG-1101): A phase 2 trial of intraperitoneal bevacizumab to treat symptomatic ascites in patients with chemotherapy-resistant, epithelial ovarian cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 05 23;161(2):374-381. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Background: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of intraperitoneal bevacizumab (IP-bev) in delaying re-accumulation of malignant ascites in women with chemotherapy-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer (CR-EOC) who have ceased chemotherapy. Secondary outcomes were safety and quality of life.

Methods: Women with CR-EOC and malignant ascites that reaccumulated within 28 days of their last paracentesis (P-1) were administered IP-bev 5 mg/kg following their first therapeutic paracentesis on study (P0). Additional doses of IP-bev were allowed at each subsequent paracentesis (P1, P2, etc) provided the interval from the last dose was 42 days or greater (median time from first to second therapeutic ascitic drainage).

Results: 24 participants (median age 67 years [range 38-86]; median 4.5 lines prior systemic treatment [range 1-12]; ECOG performance status of 0 in 1, 1 in 8, and 2-3 in 15) were recruited. The doses of IP-bev administered were 1 in 13 participants, 2 in 5, 3 in 2, 4 in 1, and 5 in 1. The proportion with a TTP of >42 days using competing risk analysis was 77% (95% CI 58-92). Median time from P0 to P1 or death was 48 days (range 8-248). Median paracentesis-free interval (P0-P1 or death) was 4.29-fold (95% CI 2.4-5.8) higher following a first dose of IP-bev compared with the time between paracenteses prior to study entry (P-1-P0).

Conclusion: IP-bev was safe, active, and warrants further study as a palliative intervention for recurrent ascites in CR-EOC patients receiving best supportive care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.02.002DOI Listing
May 2021

HER2 Status in High-Risk Endometrial Cancers (PORTEC-3): Relationship with Histotype, Molecular Classification, and Clinical Outcomes.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Dec 25;13(1). Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

HER2 status has not been investigated in the context of the molecular endometrial cancer (EC) classification. Here, we aimed to determine the clinicopathological features and prognostic significance of the HER2 status in the molecularly classified PORTEC-3 trial population of patients with high-risk EC (HREC). HER2 testing was performed on tumor tissues of 407 molecularly classified HREC. HER2 status was determined by HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC; all cases) and subsequent HER2 dual in situ hybridization for cases with any (in) complete moderate to strong membranous HER2 IHC expression. The Χ test and Spearman's Rho correlation coefficient were used to compare clinicopathological and molecular features. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazards models were used for survival analysis. We identified 24 (5.9%) HER2-positive EC of various histological subtypes including serous ( = 9, 37.5%), endometrioid ( = 6, 25.0%), and clear cell ( = 5, 20.8%). HER2 positivity was highly associated with the p53-abnormal subgroup (p53abn, 23/24 cases; < 0.0001). The correlation between p53abn and the HER2 status (ρ = 0.438; < 0.0001) was significantly stronger ( < 0.0001) than between serous histology and the HER2 status (ρ = 0.154; = 0.002). HER2 status did not have independent prognostic value for survival after correction for the molecular classification. Our study strongly suggests that molecular subclass-directed HER2 testing is superior to histotype-directed testing. This insight will be relevant for future trials targeting HER2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7795222PMC
December 2020

FAPI PET/CT: Will It End the Hegemony of F-FDG in Oncology?

J Nucl Med 2021 03 4;62(3):296-302. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

For over 40 years, F-FDG has been the dominant PET tracer in neurology, cardiology, inflammatory diseases, and, most particularly, oncology. Combined with the ability to perform whole-body scanning, F-FDG has revolutionized the evaluation of cancer and has stifled the adoption of other tracers, except in situations where low avidity or high background activity limits diagnostic performance. The strength of F-FDG has generally been its ability to detect disease in the absence of structural abnormality, thereby enhancing diagnostic sensitivity, but its simultaneous weakness has been a lack of specificity due to diverse pathologies with enhanced glycolysis. Radiotracers that leverage other hallmarks of cancer or specific cell-surface targets are gradually finding a niche in the diagnostic armamentarium. However, none have had sufficient sensitivity to realistically compete with F-FDG for evaluation of the broad spectrum of malignancies. Perhaps, this situation is about to change with development of a class of tracers targeting fibroblast activation protein that have low uptake in almost all normal tissues but high uptake in most cancer types. In this review, the development and exciting preliminary clinical data relating to various fibroblast activation protein-specific small-molecule inhibitor tracers in oncology will be discussed along with potential nononcologic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.120.256271DOI Listing
March 2021

Impact of COVID-19 on cancer service delivery: results from an international survey of oncology clinicians.

ESMO Open 2020 12;5(6):e001090

Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:

Objectives: To report clinician-perceived changes to cancer service delivery in response to COVID-19.

Design: Multidisciplinary Australasian cancer clinician survey in collaboration with the European Society of Medical Oncology.

Setting: Between May and June 2020 clinicians from 70 countries were surveyed; majority from Europe (n=196; 39%) with 1846 COVID-19 cases per million people, Australia (AUS)/New Zealand (NZ) (n=188; 38%) with 267/236 per million and Asia (n=75; 15%) with 121 per million at time of survey distribution.

Participants: Medical oncologists (n=372; 74%), radiation oncologists (n=91; 18%) and surgical oncologists (n=38; 8%).

Results: Eighty-nine per cent of clinicians reported altering clinical practices; more commonly among those with versus without patients diagnosed with COVID-19 (n=142; 93% vs n=225; 86%, p=0.03) but regardless of community transmission levels (p=0.26). More European clinicians (n=111; 66.1%) had treated patients diagnosed with COVID-19 compared with Asia (n=20; 27.8%) and AUS/NZ (n=8; 4.8%), p<0.001. Many clinicians (n=307; 71.4%) reported concerns that reduced access to standard treatments during the pandemic would negatively impact patient survival. The reported proportion of consultations using telehealth increased by 7.7-fold, with 25.1% (n=108) of clinicians concerned that patient survival would be worse due to this increase. Clinicians reviewed a median of 10 fewer outpatients/week (including non-face to face) compared with prior to the pandemic, translating to 5010 fewer specialist oncology visits per week among the surveyed group. Mental health was negatively impacted for 52.6% (n=190) of clinicians.

Conclusion: Clinicians reported widespread changes to oncology services, in regions of both high and low COVID-19 case numbers. Clinician concerns of potential negative impacts on patient outcomes warrant objective assessment, with system and policy implications for healthcare delivery at large.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2020-001090DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709494PMC
December 2020

Comprehensive Genomic Profiling of Carcinoma of Unknown Primary Origin: Retrospective Molecular Classification Considering the CUPISCO Study Design.

Oncologist 2021 03 14;26(3):e394-e402. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Carcinoma of unknown primary origin (CUP) accounts for 2%-5% of newly diagnosed advanced malignancies, with chemotherapy as the standard of care. CUPISCO (NCT03498521) is an ongoing randomized trial using comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) to assign patients with CUP to targeted or immunotherapy treatment arms based on genomic profiling. We performed a retrospective analysis of CUP cases referred for CGP to determine how many were potentially eligible for enrollment into an experimental CUPISCO arm.

Materials And Methods: Centrally reviewed adenocarcinoma and undifferentiated CUP specimens in the FoundationCore database were analyzed using the hybrid capture-based FoundationOne CDx assay (mean coverage, >600×). Presence of genomic alterations, microsatellite instability (MSI), tumor mutational burden (TMB), genomic loss of heterozygosity (gLOH), and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) positivity were determined.

Results: A total of 96 of 303 patients (31.7%) could be matched to an experimental CUPISCO arm. Key genomic alterations included ERBB2 (7.3%), PIK3CA (6.3%), NF1 (5.6%), NF2 (4.6%), BRAF (4.3%), IDH1 (3.3%), PTEN, FGFR2, EGFR (3.6% each), MET (4.3%), CDK6 (3.0%), FBXW7, CDK4 (2.3% each), IDH2, RET, ROS1, NTRK (1.0% each), and ALK (0.7%). Median TMB was 3.75 mutations per megabase of DNA; 34 patients (11.6%) had a TMB ≥16 mutations per megabase. Three patients (1%) had high MSI, and 42 (14%) displayed high PD-L1 expression (tumor proportion score ≥50%). gLOH could be assessed in 199 of 303 specimens; 19.6% had a score of >16%.

Conclusions: Thirty-two percent of patients would have been eligible for targeted therapy in CUPISCO. Future studies, including additional biomarkers such as PD-L1 positivity and gLOH, may identify a greater proportion potentially benefiting from CGP-informed treatment. Clinical trial identification number. NCT03498521 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The findings of this retrospective analysis of carcinoma of unknown primary origin (CUP) cases validate the experimental treatment arms being used in the CUPISCO study (NCT03498521), an ongoing randomized trial using comprehensive genomic profiling to assign patients with CUP to targeted or immunotherapy treatment arms based on the presence of pathogenic genomic alterations. The findings also suggest that future studies including additional biomarkers and treatment arms, such as programmed death-ligand 1 positivity and genomic loss of heterozygosity, may identify a greater proportion of patients with CUP potentially benefiting from comprehensive genomic profiling-informed treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13597DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7930409PMC
March 2021

Long-Term Toxicity and Health-Related Quality of Life After Adjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy or Radiation Therapy Alone for High-Risk Endometrial Cancer in the Randomized PORTEC-3 Trial.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2021 03 28;109(4):975-986. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Medical Statistics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Purpose: The survival results of the PORTEC-3 trial showed a significant improvement in both overall and failure-free survival with chemoradiation therapy versus pelvic radiation therapy alone. The present analysis was performed to compare long-term adverse events (AE) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

Methods And Materials: In the study, 660 women with high-risk endometrial cancer were randomly assigned to receive chemoradiation therapy (2 concurrent cycles of cisplatin followed by 4 cycles of carboplatin/paclitaxel) or radiation therapy alone. Toxicity was graded using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 3.0. HRQOL was measured using EORTC QLQ-C30 and CX24/OV28 subscales and compared with normative data. An as-treated analysis was performed.

Results: Median follow-up was 74.6 months; 574 (87%) patients were evaluable for HRQOL. At 5 years, grade ≥2 AE were scored for 78 (38%) patients who had received chemoradiation therapy versus 46 (24%) who had received radiation therapy alone (P = .008). Grade 3 AE did not differ significantly between the groups (8% vs 5%, P = .18) at 5 years, and only one new late grade 4 toxicity had been reported. At 3 and 5 years, sensory neuropathy toxicity grade ≥2 persisted after chemoradiation therapy in 6% (vs 0% after radiation therapy, P < .001) and more patients reported significant tingling or numbness at HRQOL (27% vs 8%, P < .001 at 3 years; 24% vs 9%, P = .002 at 5 years). Up to 3 years, more patients who had chemoradiation therapy reported limb weakness (21% vs 5%, P < .001) and lower physical (79 vs 87, P < .001) and role functioning (78 vs 88, P < .001) scores. Both treatment groups reported similar long-term global health/quality of life scores, which were better than those of the normative population.

Conclusions: This study shows a long-lasting, clinically relevant, negative impact of chemoradiation therapy on toxicity and HRQOL, most importantly persistent peripheral sensory neuropathy. Physical and role functioning impairments were seen until 3 years. These long-term data are essential for patient information and shared decision-making regarding adjuvant chemotherapy for high-risk endometrial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.10.030DOI Listing
March 2021

ICON 9-an international phase III randomized study to evaluate the efficacy of maintenance therapy with olaparib and cediranib or olaparib alone in patients with relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer following a response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2021 01 23;31(1):134-138. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK.

Background: Two novel biological agents-cediranib targeting angiogenesis, and olaparib targeting DNA repair processes-have individually led to an improvement in ovarian cancer control. The aim of ICON9 is to investigate the combination of cediranib and olaparib maintenance in recurrent ovarian cancer following platinum-based therapy.

Primary Objective: To assess the efficacy of maintenance treatment with olaparib in combination with cediranib compared with olaparib alone following a response to platinum-based chemotherapy in women with platinum-sensitive ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer during first relapse.

Study Hypothesis: Maintenance therapy with cediranib and olaparib in combination is associated with improved patient outcomes compared with olaparib alone.

Trial Design: International phase III randomized controlled trial. Following a response to platinum-based chemotherapy patients are randomized 1:1 to either oral olaparib and cediranib (intervention arm) or oral olaparib alone (control arm).

Major Inclusion Criteria: Patients with a known diagnosis of high grade serous or endometrioid carcinoma of the ovary, fallopian tube or peritoneum, progressing more than 6 months after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, who have responded to second-line platinum-based chemotherapy.

Primary Endpoints: Progression-free and overall survival. Co-primary endpoints to be assessed using a fixed-sequence gatekeeping approach: (1) progression-free survival, all patients; (2) progression-free survival, BRCA wild type; (3) overall survival, all patients; (4) overall survival, BRCA wild type.

Sample Size: 618 patients will be recruited.

Estimated Dates For Completing Accrual And Presenting Results: Accrual is expected to be completed in 2024 with presentation of results in 2025.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03278717.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2020-002073DOI Listing
January 2021

First clinical study of a pegylated diabody I-labeled PEG-AVP0458 in patients with tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 positive cancers.

Theranostics 2020 15;10(25):11404-11415. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Avipep Pty Ltd and the Victorian Cancer Biologics Consortium, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

Through protein engineering and a novel pegylation strategy, a diabody specific to tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 (TAG-72) (PEG-AVP0458) has been created to optimize pharmacokinetics and bioavailability to tumor. We report the preclinical and clinical translation of PEG-AVP0458 to a first-in-human clinical trial of a diabody. Clinical translation followed characterization of PEG-AVP0458 drug product and preclinical biodistribution and imaging assessments of Iodine-124 trace labeled PEG-AVP0458 (I-PEG-AVP0458). The primary study objective of the first-in-human study was the safety of a single protein dose of 1.0 or 10 mg/mI-PEG-AVP0458 in patients with TAG-72 positive relapsed/ metastatic prostate or ovarian cancer. Secondary study objectives were evaluation of the biodistribution, tumor uptake, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity. Patients were infused with a single-dose of I labeled PEG-AVP0458 (3-5 mCi (111-185 MBq) for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, performed sequentially over a one-week period. Safety, pharmacokinetics, biodistribution, and immunogenicity were assessed up to 28 days after infusion. PEG-AVP0458 was radiolabeled with I and shown to retain high TAG-72 affinity and excellent targeting of TAG-72 positive xenografts by biodistribution analysis and PET imaging. In the first-in-human trial, no adverse events or toxicity attributable to I-PEG-AVP0458 were observed. Imaging was evaluable in 5 patients, with rapid and highly specific targeting of tumor and minimal normal organ uptake, leading to high tumor:blood ratios. Serum concentration values of I-PEG-AVP0458 showed consistent values between patients, and there was no significant difference in T½α and T½β between dose levels with mean (± SD) results of T½α = 5.10 ± 4.58 hours, T½β = 46.19 ± 13.06 hours. These data demonstrates the safety and feasibility of using pegylated diabodies for selective tumor imaging and potential delivery of therapeutic payloads in cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.49422DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7545991PMC
June 2021

Molecular Classification of the PORTEC-3 Trial for High-Risk Endometrial Cancer: Impact on Prognosis and Benefit From Adjuvant Therapy.

J Clin Oncol 2020 10 4;38(29):3388-3397. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Purpose: The randomized Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Versus Radiotherapy Alone in Women With High-Risk Endometrial Cancer (PORTEC-3) trial investigated the benefit of combined adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy (CTRT) versus radiotherapy alone (RT) for women with high-risk endometrial cancer (EC). Because The Cancer Genome Atlas defined an EC molecular classification with strong prognostic value, we investigated prognosis and impact of chemotherapy for each molecular subgroup using tissue samples from PORTEC-3 trial participants.

Methods: Paraffin-embedded tissues of 423 consenting patients were collected. Immunohistochemistry for p53 and mismatch repair (MMR) proteins, and DNA sequencing for exonuclease domain were done to classify tumors as p53 abnormal (p53abn), ultramutated (mut), MMR-deficient (MMRd), or no specific molecular profile (NSMP). The primary end point was recurrence-free survival (RFS). Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox model were used for analysis.

Results: Molecular analysis was successful in 410 high-risk EC (97%), identifying the 4 subgroups: p53abn EC (n = 93; 23%), mut (n = 51; 12%), MMRd (n = 137; 33%), and NSMP (n = 129; 32%). Five-year RFS was 48% for patients with p53abn EC, 98% for mut EC, 72% for MMRd EC, and 74% for NSMP EC ( < .001). The 5-year RFS with CTRT versus RT for p53abn EC was 59% versus 36% ( = .019); 100% versus 97% for patients with mut EC ( = .637); 68% versus 76% ( = .428) for MMRd EC; and 80% versus 68% ( = .243) for NSMP EC.

Conclusion: Molecular classification has strong prognostic value in high-risk EC, with significantly improved RFS with adjuvant CTRT for p53abn tumors, regardless of histologic type. Patients with mut EC had an excellent RFS in both trial arms. EC molecular classification should be incorporated in the risk stratification of these patients as well as in future trials to target specific subgroups of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7527156PMC
October 2020

CX-5461 activates the DNA damage response and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Nat Commun 2020 05 26;11(1):2641. Epub 2020 May 26.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, 305 Grattan St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia.

Acquired resistance to PARP inhibitors (PARPi) is a major challenge for the clinical management of high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Here, we demonstrate CX-5461, the first-in-class inhibitor of RNA polymerase I transcription of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA), induces replication stress and activates the DNA damage response. CX-5461 co-operates with PARPi in exacerbating replication stress and enhances therapeutic efficacy against homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair-deficient HGSOC-patient-derived xenograft (PDX) in vivo. We demonstrate CX-5461 has a different sensitivity spectrum to PARPi involving MRE11-dependent degradation of replication forks. Importantly, CX-5461 exhibits in vivo single agent efficacy in a HGSOC-PDX with reduced sensitivity to PARPi by overcoming replication fork protection. Further, we identify CX-5461-sensitivity gene expression signatures in primary and relapsed HGSOC. We propose CX-5461 is a promising therapy in combination with PARPi in HR-deficient HGSOC and also as a single agent for the treatment of relapsed disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16393-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251123PMC
May 2020

Understanding and information needs of cancer patients regarding treatment-focused genomic testing: A systematic review.

Psychooncology 2020 04 16;29(4):632-638. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia.

Objective: To systematically review literature exploring experiences of cancer patients regarding their understanding of treatment-focused genomic testing as well as their information needs and related themes.

Methods: Six databases were searched for the original studies published in English language that explored patients' understanding of the information related to the genomic testing and its implications for treatment of cancer. The Mixed-Method Assessement Tool was used to examine the methodological quality of selected articles.

Results: There were 14 studies (5 qualitative and 9 quantitative) that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. The majority of studies revealed that a considerable proportion of cancer patients lacked good undertstanding of treatment-focused genomic testing and wanted to be better informed. Some of the factors associated with poor knowledge about genomic testing were low education, older age, low income, and unemployment. The majority of people with cancer preferred face-to-face communication with their oncologists to discuss and ask questions about genomic testing and treatment. Most also wanted to receive simple, easy to understand written information about treatment-focused genomic testing.

Conclusions: Genomic testing and its implications for treatment emerge as an important aspect of health care across different types of cancer. The evidence indicates that cancer patients want to understand and be well informed about treatment-focused genomic testing in order to be part of decision-making process. Further studies addressing ways to improve cancer patients' understanding and knowledge of genomic testing are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.5351DOI Listing
April 2020

PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors for advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2019 Oct 7;10:CD012160. Epub 2019 Oct 7.

Medical Oncology, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Level 6, 119-143 Missenden Road, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia, 2050.

Background: Endometrial cancer is one of the most common gynaecological cancers in developed countries. Treatment of advanced endometrial cancer usually involves radiotherapy, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy or a combination of these. However, survival outcomes are poor in advanced or metastatic disease. Better systemic treatment options are needed to improve survival and safety outcomes for these women. The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is a frequently altered signalling pathway in endometrial cancer. Single-arm studies have reported some encouraging results of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibition in advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitor-containing regimens in women with locally-advanced, metastatic or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Search Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE and Embase to 16 January 2019; and the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) and ClinicalTrials.gov in July 2018. We also reviewed reference lists from included studies and endometrial cancer guidelines.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing a regimen with a PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitor (either alone or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy) versus a comparator regimen without a PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitor. There were no restrictions on which comparator(s) were included.

Data Collection And Analysis: We extracted data independently, and assessed risks of bias and the certainty of the evidence. The primary outcome measures were progression-free survival and toxicity (grade 3/4 where available). We derived hazard ratios (HRs) for time-to-event outcomes and risk ratios (RRs) for dichotomous outcomes. Secondary outcomes included overall survival, objective tumour response rate, quality of life and treatment-related death. We used GRADEproGDT to assess the certainty of the evidence for the most important outcomes (by first-line and second/third-line therapy for progression-free survival and overall survival).

Main Results: We included two RCTs involving 361 women. One study assessed the effects of the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus, in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel versus carboplatin/paclitaxel and bevacizumab in treatment-naïve women with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. The second study compared the mTOR inhibitor ridaforolimus alone versus progestin or investigator choice of chemotherapy in women who had received prior treatment for metastatic or recurrent endometrial cancer. We identified five ongoing studies on the effects of PI3K and AKT inhibitors, metformin and dual mTOR inhibitors.For first-line therapy, an mTOR inhibitor-containing regimen may worsen progression-free survival (HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.93; 1 study, 231 participants; low-certainty evidence), while for second/third-line therapy, an mTOR inhibitor probably improves progression-free survival compared to chemotherapy or endocrine therapy (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.31 to 0.91; 1 study, 95 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Data on toxicity were available from both studies: administering an mTOR inhibitor regimen may increase the risk of grade 3/4 mucositis (RR 10.42, 95% CI 1.34 to 80.74; 2 studies, 357 participants; low-certainty evidence), but may result in little to no difference in risk of anaemia or interstitial pneumonitis (low-certainty evidence for both toxicities). Overall, event rates were low. For first-line therapy, an mTOR inhibitor-containing regimen may result in little to no difference in overall survival compared to chemotherapy (HR 1.32, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.781 study, 231 participants; low-certainty evidence). The finding was similar for second/third-line therapy (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.61; 1 study, 130 participants; low-certainty evidence). Administering mTOR inhibitor-containing regimens may result in little to no difference in tumour response compared to chemotherapy or hormonal therapy in first-line or second/third-line therapy (first line: RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.17; 1 study, 231 participants; second/third line: RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.01 to 4.40; 1 study, 61 participants; low-certainty evidence).Neither study collected or reported quality-of-life data.

Authors' Conclusions: Two RCTs have been reported to date, with low certainty of evidence. In a recurrent disease setting, mTOR inhibitors may result in improved progression-free survival, but we found no clear benefit in overall survival or tumour response rate. We await the publication of at least five ongoing studies investigating the role of PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors in advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer before any conclusions can be drawn on their use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012160.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953296PMC
October 2019

The molecular origin and taxonomy of mucinous ovarian carcinoma.

Nat Commun 2019 09 2;10(1):3935. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Mucinous ovarian carcinoma (MOC) is a unique subtype of ovarian cancer with an uncertain etiology, including whether it genuinely arises at the ovary or is metastatic disease from other organs. In addition, the molecular drivers of invasive progression, high-grade and metastatic disease are poorly defined. We perform genetic analysis of MOC across all histological grades, including benign and borderline mucinous ovarian tumors, and compare these to tumors from other potential extra-ovarian sites of origin. Here we show that MOC is distinct from tumors from other sites and supports a progressive model of evolution from borderline precursors to high-grade invasive MOC. Key drivers of progression identified are TP53 mutation and copy number aberrations, including a notable amplicon on 9p13. High copy number aberration burden is associated with worse prognosis in MOC. Our data conclusively demonstrate that MOC arise from benign and borderline precursors at the ovary and are not extra-ovarian metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11862-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6718426PMC
September 2019

OVQUEST - Life after the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer - An international survey of symptoms and concerns in ovarian cancer survivors.

Gynecol Oncol 2019 10 13;155(1):126-134. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Prince of Wales Clinical School UNSW, and Department of Medical Oncology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Objectives: Our aim was to investigate the prevalence and potential risk factors for persistent and troublesome physical and psychological symptoms following treatment for ovarian cancer (OC).

Methods: OvQuest is an international, internet-based, cross-sectional questionnaire which explored symptom burden and quality of life (QOL) after treatment for OC. Eligible women were aged 18 and over, diagnosed with OC at least 6 months previously and had received chemotherapy. Self-report data were collected including demographics, diagnosis and treatment, and standardised instruments for treatment-related toxicities, QOL, physical activity (PA) and supportive care needs.

Results: The survey included 1360 patients, of whom 421 (31%) had been treated for recurrent OC. 78% reported symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, 60% significant fatigue, 48% mood disturbance and 59% moderate-severe insomnia. Rates of fatigue, mood disorders, neuropathy and insomnia did not differ between women with or without recurrence. The majority of respondents were overweight or obese (high BMI, 59%) and 35% reported low PA. Low PA and high BMI were associated with poorer QOL scores and higher symptom burden across a range of domains.

Conclusion: Women living after a diagnosis of OC report a substantial and ongoing symptom burden which impacts significantly on their quality of life across multiple domains. The reported associations between obesity, physical inactivity and poor QOL warrant prospective evaluation of lifestyle interventions to improve QOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.08.009DOI Listing
October 2019
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