Publications by authors named "Marine Jary"

35 Publications

Feasibility of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) assessment for cancer patients using electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) in daily clinical practice.

Qual Life Res 2021 Jan 2. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Methodological and Quality of Life Unit in Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, 25000, Besançon, France.

Introduction: Routine Electronic Monitoring of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) (REMOQOL) in clinical care with real-time feedback to physicians could help to enhance patient-centered care. We evaluated the feasibility of REMOQOL in the French context in the QOLIBRY study. The primary objective was to assess the patients' compliance with REMOQOL.

Methods: The QOLIBRY study was a single-center, prospective study conducted in the University Hospital of Besançon (France). Eligible patients were those treated with systemic therapies for breast, lung or colorectal cancer at any stage. Patients were invited to complete the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire and cancer-site-specific modules before each visit on tablets and/or computers in the hospital or at home. During the consultation, physicians had real-time access to visual summaries of HRQoL scores. Compliance was assessed as adequate if at least 66% of HRQoL assessments were completed during the 4 months of follow-up.

Results: Between March 2016 and October 2018, 177 patients were included in the QOLIBRY study. Median age was 64 years (IQR 54-71). The proportion of patients with an adequate compliance rate was 95.5% (n = 63) in the breast cancer cohort, 98.2% (n = 55) in the colorectal cancer cohort, and 90.9% (n = 50) in the lung cancer cohort. The physicians checked the HRQoL results in 73.1% of visits and prescribed supportive care and adapted patient management in 8.3% and 5.2% of visits, respectively.

Conclusion & Perspectives: The results of QOLIBRY study suggest that REMOQOL is feasible in the French context. However, information about HRQoL monitoring, training of the physicians in the use of the software, and recommendations for using HRQoL results to guide care are essential and must be improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11136-020-02721-0DOI Listing
January 2021

Pooled analysis of 115 patients from updated data of Epitopes-HPV01 and Epitopes-HPV02 studies in first-line advanced anal squamous cell carcinoma.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2020 4;12:1758835920975356. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besançon, Besançon, France.

Aims: The addition of docetaxel to cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) has shown promising efficacy in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA). Preliminary results of Epitopes-HPV01 study showed a high rate of long-lasting complete response to DCF. The prospective, multicenter, Epitopes-HPV02 trial then confirmed the high efficacy of the modified DCF (mDCF) regimen in terms of complete response rate and long-term survival in metastatic or non-resectable locally advanced recurrent SCCA. Here, we present updated results of the Epitopes-HPV01 and Epitopes-HPV02 studies.

Patients & Methods: Epitopes-HPV01 is a prospective study performed by the regional cancer network of Franche-Comté, France. Epitopes-HPV02 is a phase II study supported by two French collaborative oncological groups, performed in 25 centers. Both studies included patients with metastatic, or with unresectable local recurrent SCCA, treated with DCF regimen.

Results: In Epitopes-HPV01, 51 patients were enrolled between September 2012 and January 2019, and 49 patients were included for analysis; while 69 patients were included between September 2014 and December 2016 in Epitopes-HPV02, and 66 patients for analysis. Pooled analysis of 115 patients showed a median progression-free survival of 12.2 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.6-16.1] [11.0 months (9.3-16.0) in -HPV02, and 15.6 months (11.2-34.5) in -HPV01, ( = 0.06)]. The median overall survival was 39.2 months (26.0-109.1) [36.3 in -HPV02 (25.2-NR), and 61.1 months (21.4-120.0) in -HPV01 ( = 0.62)]. Objective response rate was 87.7% (90.9% in -HPV02 and 83.3% in -HPV01) with 40.3% of complete response (45.5% in -HPV02 and 33.3% in -HPV01). No differences were observed between standard DCF ( = 54) and mDCF ( = 58) in terms of OS ( = 0.57) and PFS ( = 0.99). 5-years PFS and OS rates were 24.5% and 44.4%, respectively, in the whole population. No treatment-related death was observed.

Conclusion: Updated results of Epitopes-HPV01 and 02 studies, as well as the pooled analysis, confirm mDCF as a standard treatment in patients with advanced SCCA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758835920975356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7720302PMC
December 2020

Investigation of the prognostic value of CD4 T cell subsets expanded from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes of colorectal cancer liver metastases.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 11;8(2)

INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, RIGHT Interactions Greffon-Hôte-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25000 Besançon, France.

Background: The positive role of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) has been well described but the prognostic value of CD4 T cell subsets remained to be investigated. In this study, we expanded TIL from surgically resected liver metastases of patients with CRC and characterized the phenotype and the prognostic value of expanded-CD4 T cells.

Methods: Liver metastases were surgically resected from 23 patients with CRC. Tumors were enzymatically digested and cultured in high dose of interleukin-2 for up to 5 weeks. T cell phenotype and reactivity of cultured-T cells were measured by flow cytometry and correlated with patients' clinical outcomes.

Results: We successfully expanded 21 over 23 TIL from liver metastases of patients with CRC. Interestingly, we distinguished two subsets of expanded T cells based on T cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-containing protein 3 (TIM-3) expression. Medians fold expansion of expanded T cells after rapid expansion protocol was higher in CD3TIM-3 cultures. In an attempt to investigate the correlation between the phenotype of expanded CD4 T cells and clinical outcomes, we observed on one hand that the level of Tregs in culture as well as the expression of both PD1 and TIM-3 by expanded T cells was not correlated to the clinical outcomes. Interestingly, on the other hand, cultures containing high levels of Th17 cells were associated with a poor prognosis (p=0.0007).

Conclusions: Our data confirmed the presence of Th17 cells in expanded T cells from liver metastases. Among CD4 T cell characteristics investigated, TIM-3 but not programmed cell death protein 1 predicted the expansion capacity of TIL while only the Th17 phenotype showed correlation with patients' survival, suggesting a particular role of this T cell subset in CRC immune contexture.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02817178.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001478DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7684804PMC
November 2020

Exposure-response analysis of Raltitrexed assessing liver toxicity.

Br J Clin Pharmacol 2021 Mar 4;87(3):1327-1337. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

INSERM, EFS BFC, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, UMR1098, Interactions Hôte-Greffon-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, Besançon, F-25000, France.

Aim: Raltitrexed (RTX) is a thymidylate synthase inhibitor with large pharmacokinetics (PK) variability that can be administered in case of 5-fluorouracil (5FU) intolerance or dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency. While it is a more potent thymidylate synthase inhibitor than 5FU, RTX failed to replace this drug for colorectal cancer patients, mainly due to its toxicity at the recommended dose of 3 mg/m every 3 weeks. However, every 2 weeks administration at 2 mg/m demonstrated a favourable toxicity profile.

Method: We performed a randomized crossover comparative population PK study between every 2 weeks TOMOX (RTX 2 mg/m ) and every 3 weeks TOMOX (RTX 3 mg/m ).

Results: A three-compartment model and a proportional error model best describe the data. Creatinine clearance and sex, but not body surface area (BSA), were covariates of RTX clearance leading to decrease of its interindividual variability of 28%. Weight and body surface area were covariates of central and peripheral volumes of distribution, respectively, leading to decreases of interindividual variability of 34.6% and 100%, respectively. In contrast to the dose, AUC was a good predictor of liver toxicity (P = 0.006, OR = 3.91, 95%CI = [1.48-10.34]). Using covariates to compute individual clearance and a threshold AUC (1.639, determined in this study), a covariates-based dose was calculated, leading to less variability in AUC than observed with the actual BSA-based or fixed doses.

Conclusion: These results advocate for the use of creatinine clearance and sex to determine the RTX dose instead of BSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bcp.14519DOI Listing
March 2021

Atezolizumab plus modified docetaxel-cisplatin-5-fluorouracil (mDCF) regimen versus mDCF in patients with metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma: a randomized, non-comparative phase II SCARCE GERCOR trial.

BMC Cancer 2020 Apr 25;20(1):352. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, 3 Boulevard Alexander Flemingn, F-25030, Besançon, France.

Background: Modified docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (mDCF) regimen has become a new standard for the treatment of metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) after demonstrating improved efficacy (12-month PFS of 47%) in the Epitopes-HPV02 trial. Antibodies targeting the checkpoint inhibitor (CKI) programmed cell death protein-1 (PD1) have demonstrated the efficacy as monotherapies in second-line treatment of SCCA. The aim of this study is to evaluate the combination of atezolizumab and mDCF as first-line chemotherapy in a non-comparative multicentre randomized phase II study of advanced SCCA patients.

Methods: Patients with chemo-naive advanced histologically proven SCCA, metastatic or unresectable locally advanced recurrence, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-performance status (ECOG-PS) < 2 will be eligible. The primary endpoint is a 12-month PFS rate. Using one-arm non-parametric survival with unilateral alpha type I error of 5% and a statistical power of 80%, the upper critical value for the 12-month PFS rate is 47% to reject H0. Assuming 5% lost to follow-up, 99 patients will be randomized on a 2:1 basis, 66 to the experimental arm (arm A, mDCF plus atezolizumab) and 33 to the standard arm (arm B, mDCF). In both arms, 8 cycles of mDCF will be administered. In arm A, patients receive mDCF with a fixed dose of atezolizumab (800 mg every 2 weeks) and are followed up to 1 year. Secondary endpoints are overall survival, PFS, response rate, safety, health-related quality of life, and an extensive biomarker programme and its correlation with the treatment efficacy.

Discussion: Although the Epitopes-HPV02 trial has changed long-lasting prognosis of patients with SCCA in advanced stage disease, more than 50% of patients will progress at 12 months. The purpose of the SCARCE trial to establish the addition of atezolizumab to mDCF as a new standard in this rare disease. Associated biomarker studies and the control arm could contribute to better understanding of the potential synergic and tumour resistance mechanisms in SCCA.

Trial Registration: NCT03519295.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-06841-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7183720PMC
April 2020

Molecular description of ANGPT2 associated colorectal carcinoma.

Int J Cancer 2020 10 22;147(7):2007-2018. Epub 2020 May 22.

INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, RIGHT, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Interactions Greffon-Hôte-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaireet Génique, Besançon, France.

Angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2) is a prognostic factor in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). Nevertheless, it remains to be elucidated which molecular characteristics make up the ANGPT2-related poor-prognosis CRC subset. Public transcriptomic datasets were collected from Gene Expression Omnibus GEO and with the TCGAbiolinks R-package for the TCGA. After appropriate normalization, differential expression analysis was performed using Benjamini and Hochberg method for false discovery rate. Plasma from two prospective clinical trials were used to investigate the clinical impact of ANGPT2-related biomarkers. In the 935 samples included in four annotated platforms (GPL) and derived from localized CRC, ANGPT2 expression conferred a worst overall survival (HR = 1.20; p = 0.02). CRC stage, ANGPT2 expression but not Consortium Molecular Subtype (CMS) predict overall survival in multivariate analysis. ANGPT2 expression was not correlated with a specific CMS nor to RAS, RAF, MSI, p53, CIN, CIMP genomic alterations. Gene expression analysis revealed that ANGPT2 CRC subset is characterized by angiogenesis-related gene expression, presence of myeloid cells, stromal organization and resistance to chemotherapy. A prognostic model was proposed using seric levels of ANGPT2, STC1 and CD138 in 97 mCRC patients. Our results provide evidence that ANGPT2 is a prognostic factor in localized CRC and defined a specific CRC subset with potential clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32993DOI Listing
October 2020

FOLFOXIRI FOLFIRINOX as first-line chemotherapy in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer: A population-based cohort study.

World J Gastrointest Oncol 2020 Mar;12(3):332-346

University Bourgogne Franche-Comté, INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, Interactions Hôte-Greffon-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, Besançon F-25000, France.

Background: FOLFIRINOX regimen is the first-line reference chemotherapy (L1) in advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (aPDAC). FOLFOXIRI, a schedule with a lower dose of irinotecan and no bolus 5-fluorouracil, has demonstrated efficacy and feasibility in colorectal cancer.

Aim: To investigate the potential clinical value of FOLFOXIRI in patients with aPDAC in routine clinical practice.

Methods: Analyses were derived from all consecutive aPDAC patients treated in L1 between January 2011 and December 2017 in two French institutions, with either FOLFOXIRI ( = 165) or FOLFIRINOX ( = 124) regimens. FOLFOXIRI consisted of irinotecan (165 mg/m), oxaliplatin (85 mg/m), leucovorin (200 mg/m) and 5-fluorouracil (3200 mg/m as a 48-h continuous infusion) every 2 wk. Ninety-six pairs of patients were selected through propensity score matching, and clinical outcomes of the two treatment regimens were compared.

Results: Median overall survival was 11.1 mo in the FOLFOXIRI and 11.6 mo in the FOLFIRINOX cohorts, respectively. After propensity score matching, survival rates remained similar between the two regimens in terms of overall survival (hazard ratio = 1.22; = 0.219) and progression-free survival (hazard ratio = 1.27; = 0.120). The objective response rate was 37.1% in the FOLFOXIRI group 47.8% in the FOLFIRINOX group ( = 0.187). Grade 3/4 toxicities occurred in 28.7% of patients in the FOLFOXIRI cohort 19.5% in the FOLFIRINOX cohort ( = 0.079). FOLFOXIRI was associated with a higher incidence of grade 3/4 digestive adverse events. Hematopoietic growth factors were used after each chemotherapy cycle and the low hematological toxicity rates were below 5% with both regimens.

Conclusion: FOLFOXIRI is feasible in L1 in patients with aPDAC but does not confer any therapeutic benefit as compared with FOLFIRINOX. The low hematological toxicity rates strengthened the relevance of primary prophylaxis with hematopoietic growth factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4251/wjgo.v12.i3.332DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081111PMC
March 2020

[Localized MSI/dMMR gastric cancer patients, perioperative immunotherapy instead of chemotherapy: The GERCOR NEONIPIGA phase II study is opened to recruitment].

Bull Cancer 2020 Apr 10;107(4):438-446. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

AP-HP, Sorbonne Université, hôpital Saint-Antoine, department of medical oncology, 75012 Paris, France.

Introduction: Perioperative chemotherapy is the standard strategy for localized gastric cancers. Nevertheless, this strategy seems to be inefficient, if not deleterious, for patients with tumors harboring microsatellite instability (MSI) and/or mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR), a tumor phenotype predictive for the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICKi).

Aim: The GERCOR NEONIPIGA single-arm phase II study (NCT04006262; EUDRACT 2018-004712-22) aims at evaluating the efficacy of a peri-operative strategy with nivolumab and ipilimumab in neoadjuvant setting, then nivolumab alone after surgery for patients with resectable MSI/dMMR gastric cancer.

Material And Methods: Main inclusion criteria are: gastric and oesogastric junction adenocarcinoma (GOA), T2-T4, all N stage and M0, MSI/dMMR. Patients will be treated with nivolumab 240mg Q2W, 6 infusions, and ipilimumab 1mg/kg Q6W, 2 infusions in neoadjuvant setting. Following surgery, patients with TRG 1-2-3 (Mandard tumor regression grade), acceptable tolerance of neoadjuvant treatment and postoperative ECOG performance status 0-1, will be treated with adjuvant nivolumab 480mg Q4W, 9 infusions.

Results: The primary endpoint is pathological complete response rate (pCR-R). Based on a Fleming design, with α=5% and β=20%, 27 patients have to be evaluated (H0=5%; H1=20%). Secondary endpoints include disease-free survival, overall survival and safety.

Conclusion: This study is planned to include 32 patients to evaluate the pCR-R with the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab in neoadjuvant setting for MSI/dMMR localized GOA. The MSI/MMR status should be systematically assessed on diagnostic biopsies of all GOA. If it meets its primary endpoint, the GERCOR NEONIPIGA study might mark a turning point in the management of localized MSI/dMMR GOA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2019.11.016DOI Listing
April 2020

Immunoregulation and Clinical Implications of ANGPT2/TIE2 M-MDSC Signature in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Cancer Immunol Res 2020 02 23;8(2):268-279. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, INSERM, EFS, BFC, UMR1098, RIGHT, Besançon, France.

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) promote immunosuppression and are a target in the field of immuno-oncology. Accumulation of MDSCs is associated with poor prognosis and resistance to immunotherapy for several cancers. Here, we describe an accumulation of a subset of circulating monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSC) overexpressing TIE2, the receptor for angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2), in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Greater numbers of circulating TIE2 M-MDSCs were detected in patients with NSCLC compared with healthy subjects, and this accumulation correlated with ANGPT2 concentration in blood. The presence of an ANGPT2-rich environment was associated with impairment of preexisting T-cell responses against tumor-associated antigens (TAA) in patients with NSCLC. We demonstrated that ANGPT2 sensitizes TIE2 M-MDSCs such that these cells suppress TAA-specific T cells. In patients with NSCLC, upregulation of the ANGPT2/TIE2 M-MDSC signature in blood was associated with a poor prognosis. Our results identify the ANGPT2/TIE2 M-MDSC axis as a participant in tumor immune evasion that should be taken into account in future cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-19-0326DOI Listing
February 2020

[Radiologic response assessment in metastatic colorectal cancers].

Bull Cancer 2019 Nov 27;106(11):1029-1038. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

University Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, 25000 Besançon, France; University of Franche-Comté, Unit 1098, Inserm, 25000 Besançon, France. Electronic address:

The increasing indications of cytostatic biotherapies and the improvement in metastatic surgery have profoundly changed the management of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients. Then the development of prognostic and predictive scores would be useful to stratify the treatments. Tumor radiological measurement is crucial to estimate treatment efficacy, and to predict pathological response and survival, and this parameter is included when a prognostic score is developed. But the standard size-based radiologic criteria, the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), was designed ten years ago to assess tumor volume reduction after cytotoxic chemotherapy only. Nowadays, this method may be insufficient for mCRC patients. The aim of this review is to describe the different radiological assessments evaluated in mCRC, and to underline their correlations with patient's survival and pathologic response. A better knowledge of these radiological measurements would help to better integrate them in prospective trials, and in the prognostic and predictive scores. The choice of radiological measurement could be discussed regarding patient's situation, combining different approaches, and assessing tumoral mass quantification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2019.08.013DOI Listing
November 2019

Peripheral Innate Lymphoid Cells Are Increased in First Line Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma Patients: A Negative Correlation With Th1 Immune Responses.

Front Immunol 2019 6;10:2121. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Department of Oncology UNIL CHUV, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Several distinct innate lymphoid cell (ILC) populations have been recently identified and shown to play a critical role in the immediate immune defense. In the context of tumors, there is evidence to support a dual role for ILCs with pro- or antitumor effects, depending on the ILC subset and the type of cancer. This ambivalent role has been particularly well-described in colorectal cancer models (CRC), but the presence and the evolution of ILCs in the peripheral blood of metastatic CRC (mCRC) patients have not yet been explored. Here, we investigated the distribution of ILC subsets in 96 mCRC patients who were prospectively included in the "Epitopes-CRC02" trial. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were analyzed by flow cytometry at metastatic diagnosis and after 3-months of treatment. The treatments consisted of Oxaliplatin-based chemotherapies for 76% of the patients or Folfiri (5FU, Irinotecan) chemotherapies for 14% of patients. Compared to healthy donors, the frequency of total ILCs was dramatically increased at metastatic diagnosis. CD56 ILC1-like cells were expanded, whereas ILC2, NCR ILCP and NCR ILCP subsets were decreased. Combined analysis with the systemic anti-telomerase hTERT Th1 CD4 response revealed that patients with low anti-TERT Th1 CD4 responses had the highest frequencies of total ILCs at diagnosis. Of those, 91% had synchronous metastases, and their median progression-free survival was 7.43 months (vs. 9.17 months for the other patients). In these patients, ILC1 and ILC2 were significantly decreased, whereas CD56 ILC1-like cells were significantly increased compared to patients with low frequency of total ILCs and high anti-TERT responses. After treatment, the NCR ILCP were further decreased irrespective of the chemotherapy regimen, whereas the balance between ILC1 and CD56 ILC1-like cells was modulated mainly by the Folfiri regimen in favor of ILC1. Altogether our results describe the effects of different chemotherapies on ILCs in mCRC patients. We also establish for the first time a link between frequency of ILCs and anti-tumor CD4 T cell responses in cancer patients. Thus, our study supports an interest in monitoring ILCs during cancer therapy to possibly identify predictive biomarkers in mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6742701PMC
October 2020

CD4 T cells target colorectal cancer antigens upregulated by oxaliplatin.

Int J Cancer 2019 12 31;145(11):3112-3125. Epub 2019 Aug 31.

Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, Interactions Hôte-Greffon-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, Besançon, France.

Immune checkpoint blockade has proven its efficacy in hypermutated subtypes of metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRC). Immunogenic potential can also be observed with conventional chemotherapies, but this property has never been explored thoroughly in CRC patients. The CRC therapeutic arsenal includes oxaliplatin, a well-characterized platinum drug already described as immunogenic. Here, we investigated the impact of the oxaliplatin-based treatment on mCRC immunopeptidome. We demonstrated that oxaliplatin-resistant CRC cell lines overexpressed telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), colorectal-associated-tumor antigen-1 (COA-1) and mesothelin tumor-associated antigens. We identified new HLA class-II-restricted and promiscuous peptides derived from COA-1 and mesothelin. The two naturally processed peptides COA-1 and Meso appear to be the most immunogenic in mCRC patients. A prospective cohort of 162 mCRC patients enabled us to explore the impact of oxaliplatin exposure on the antitumor-specific immune response. Interestingly, chemotherapy-naive mCRC patients present high immune CD4 T-cell responses directed against TERT, COA-1 and mesothelin-derived peptides. These antitumor T-cell responses were maintained after 3 months of oxaliplatin-based treatment. Altogether, these findings highlight the interest of immunostimulatory agents to improve the management of chemoresistant mCRC patients. Finally, the high frequency of immune responses targeting the new immunogenic peptides derived from COA-1 and mesothelin support their use in immunomonitoring strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32620DOI Listing
December 2019

Clinical Validity of HPV Circulating Tumor DNA in Advanced Anal Carcinoma: An Ancillary Study to the Epitopes-HPV02 Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 Apr 30;25(7):2109-2115. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Groupe Coopérateur Multidisciplinaire en Oncologie (GERCOR) Oncology Multidisciplinary Group, Paris, France.

Purpose: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in 90% of squamous cell carcinomas of the anal canal (SCCA). We investigated the clinical validity of HPV circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection in patients enrolled in the Epitopes-HPV02 trial that demonstrated the efficacy of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-FU as first-line chemotherapy in advanced SCCA.

Experimental Design: According to the protocol, serum samples were collected before chemotherapy and on completion of chemotherapy. HPV16 ctDNA was quantified by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and correlated with prospectively registered patient characteristics and outcomes. A landmark was set at the time of chemotherapy completion for postchemotherapy progression-free survival (PFS) analyses.

Results: Among 57 patients with HPV16-related advanced SCCA, HPV ctDNA was detected in 91.1% (95% confidence interval, 81.1-96.2) of baseline samples. Baseline HPV ctDNA levels were not associated with any patient characteristics; baseline ctDNA level below the cutoff obtained by AUC (area under the curve) was associated with a longer PFS (HR = 2.1; = 0.04). Among the 36 patients who completed 5 months of chemotherapy, residual HPV ctDNA was detected after chemotherapy in 38.9% of patients. Residual HPV ctDNA detected at chemotherapy completion was associated with shorter postchemotherapy PFS (median PFS 3.4 months vs. not reached; HR = 5.5; < 0.001) and a reduction of 1-year overall survival rate (OR = 7.0; = 0.02).

Conclusions: This prospective study in advanced SCCA demonstrated a significant prognostic impact of HPV ctDNA level before first-line chemotherapy and HPV ctDNA negativity after chemotherapy completion. With a limited cost and short turnaround, this assay is a promising tool to optimize the therapeutic management of SCCA..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-2984DOI Listing
April 2019

Personalized identification of tumor-associated immunogenic neoepitopes in hepatocellular carcinoma in complete remission after sorafenib treatment.

Oncotarget 2018 Oct 23;9(83):35394-35407. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

University Bourgogne Franche-Comté, INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, Interactions Hôte-Greffon-Tumeur/Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, Besançon F-25000, France.

Sorafenib, a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor, is the current standard systemic treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Sorafenib has anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative properties and is also known to favor anti-tumor T cell responses by reducing the population of immunosuppressive cells such as Treg and MDSC. Anti-tumor immune responses, especially mediated by CD4+ T-cells, are critical for tumor cells eradication and therapies modulating those responses are appealing in a growing number of cancers. Here, we report and investigate the case of a patient diagnosed with an advanced HCC treated by sorafenib who experienced a complete histological response. We aimed to identify immunogenic peptides derived from tumor mutated proteins that stimulated CD4+ T cells responses thus favoring the exceptional recovery process of this patient. Tumor neoantigens were identified using whole exome sequencing of normal and tumor tissue and peptide MHC binding prediction algorithms. Among 442 tumor-specific somatic variants, 50 missense mutations and 20 neoepitopes predicted to bind MHC-II were identified. Candidate neoepitopes immunogenicity was assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot after culture of patient's PBMCs in presence of synthetic neopeptides. CD4+ memory T cell responses were detected against a mutated IL-1β peptide and two additional neoepitopes from HELZ2 and MLL2 suggesting that efficient anti-tumor immune response occurred in this patient. These results showed that T cells can recognize neoantigens and may lead to the cancer elimination after immunomodulation in the tumor-microenvironment induced by sorafenib. This observation indicates that other immunotherapies in combination with sorafenib could potentially increase the response rate in HCC at advanced stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6226040PMC
October 2018

Docetaxel, cisplatin, and fluorouracil chemotherapy for metastatic or unresectable locally recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma (Epitopes-HPV02): a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 study.

Lancet Oncol 2018 08 2;19(8):1094-1106. Epub 2018 Jul 2.

Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Besancon, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besançon, Besançon, France; Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Hôpital Nord Franche Comté, Montbéliard, France; Clinical Investigational Center, CIC-1431, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France; INSERM, Unit 1098, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon, France; Groupe Coopérateur Multidisciplinaire en Oncologie (GERCOR) Oncology Multidisciplinary Group, Paris, France; Fédération Francophone de Cancérologie Digestive (FFCD), Dijon, France.

Background: The incidence of anal squamous cell carcinoma has been increasing markedly in the past few decades. Currently, there is no validated treatment for advanced-stage anal squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore, we aimed to validate the clinical activity and safety of docetaxel, cisplatin, and fluorouracil (DCF) chemotherapy in patients with metastatic or unresectable locally recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma.

Methods: We did a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 study. We recruited patients from 25 academic hospitals, cancer research centres, and community hospitals in France who were aged 18 years or older with histologically confirmed anal squamous cell carcinoma, with metastatic disease or with unresectable local recurrence; an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1; and with at least one evaluable lesion according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (version 1.1). Chemotherapy-naive patients received either six cycles of standard DCF (75 mg/m docetaxel and 75 mg/m cisplatin on day 1 and 750 mg/m per day of fluorouracil for 5 days, every 3 weeks) or eight cycles of modified DCF (40 mg/m docetaxel and 40 mg/m cisplatin on day 1 and 1200 mg/m per day of fluorouracil for 2 days, every 2 weeks), which were administered intravenously. The choice between the standard versus modified regimens was recommended based on, but not limited to, age (≤75 years vs >75 years) and ECOG performance status (0 vs 1). The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival at 12 months from the first DCF cycle; for the primary endpoint to be met, at least 11 (17%) of 66 enrolled patients had to be alive without disease progression at 12 months. Efficacy and safety analyses were done in a modified intention-to-treat population, defined as all patients who were evaluable for progression at 12 months who received at least one cycle of DCF. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02402842, and the final results are presented here.

Findings: Between Sept 17, 2014, and Dec 7, 2016, we enrolled 69 patients. Of these patients, three did not receive DCF. Of the 66 patients who received treatment, 36 received the standard DCF regimen and 30 received modified DCF. The primary endpoint was met: 31 (47%) of 66 patients were alive and progression free at 12 months. 22 (61%) of 36 patients who received the standard DCF regimen and 18 (60%) of 30 patients who received the modified DCF regimen had disease progression at data cutoff. 46 (70%) of 66 patients had at least one grade 3-4 adverse event (30 [83%] of 36 in the standard DCF regimen and 16 [53%] of 30 in the modified DCF regimen). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (15 [23%]; eight [22%] for standard DCF vs seven [23%] for modified DCF), diarrhoea (12 [18%]; nine [25%] vs three [10%]), asthenia (ten [15%]; eight [22%] vs two [7%]), anaemia (ten [15%]; six [17%] vs four [13%]), lymphopenia (eight [12%]; three [8%] vs five [17%]), mucositis (seven [11%]; seven [19%] vs none), and vomiting (seven [11%]; five [14%] vs two [7%]). No grade 4 non-haematological adverse events and febrile neutropenia were observed with modified DCF, whereas three (8%) grade 4 non-haematological adverse events and five (14%) cases of febrile neutropenia were reported with standard DCF. 97 serious adverse events were reported (69 in patients who received the standard DCF regimen [61 drug-related] and 28 in those given the modified DCF regimen [14 drug-related]). No treatment-related deaths were recorded.

Interpretation: Compared with standard DCF, modified DCF provided long-lasting response with good tolerability in patients with metastatic or unresectable locally recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma with ECOG performance status of 0-1 in the first-line setting, and therefore could be considered as a new standard of care for these patients. Regarding the elevated risk of high-grade and serious adverse events and febrile neutropenia, standard DCF cannot be recommended in this situation.

Funding: Besançon University Hospital and Ligue contre le cancer Grand-Est.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30321-8DOI Listing
August 2018

SALL4 oncogene is an immunogenic antigen presented in various HLA-DR contexts.

Oncoimmunology 2018;7(4):e1412030. Epub 2018 Jan 17.

University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), INSERM, EFS BFC, UMR1098, Interactions hôte-greffon-tumeur - Ingénierie Cellulaire et Génique, Besançon, France.

: To investigate the immunoprevalence of SALL4-derived peptides in healthy volunteers and cancer patients. : A multistep approach including prediction algorithms was used to design SALL4-derived peptides theoretically able to bind on common HLA-DR and HLA-A/B molecules. The presence of T-cell responses after a long term T-cell assay (28 days) against SALL4 was monitored in 14 healthy donors and the presence of T-cell responses after a short term T-cell assay (10 days) was monitored in 67 cancer patients using IFN-γ ELISPOT assay. A T-cell clone specific for the immunoprevalent A18 K-derived peptide was isolated, characterized and used as a tool to characterize the natural processing of A18 K. : A SALL4 specific T-cell repertoire was present in healthy donors (8/14) and cancer patients (29/67) after short term T-cell assay. We further identified two immunoprevalant SALL4-derived peptides, R18 A and A18 K, which bind MHC-class II. In parallel, an A18 K specific Th1 clone recognized monocyte derived Dendritic Cell (moDC) loaded with SALL4 containing cell lysate. The level of IFN-γ secreted by specific T-cell clone was greater in presence of moDC loaded with SALL4 containing cell lysate (49.23 ± 14.02%) than with moDC alone (18.03 ± 3.072%) (p = 0.0477) : These results show for the first time immunogenicity of SALL4 oncogenic protein-derived peptides, especially A18 K and R18 A peptides and make them potential targets for personalized medicine. Thus, SALL4 possess major characteristics of a tumor antigen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2017.1412030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889287PMC
January 2018

A systematic review of economic evaluation in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Eur J Cancer 2017 11 9;86:207-216. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Department of Pharmacy, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France; INSERM UMR 1098, University of Bourgogne - Franche-Comté, Besançon, France. Electronic address:

Objectives: The economic evaluation (EE) of healthcare interventions has become a necessity. However, high quality needs to be ensured in order to achieve validated results and help making informed decisions. Thus, the objective of the present study was to systematically identify and review published pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma-related EEs and to assess their quality.

Methods: Systematic literature research was conducted in PubMed and Cochrane to identify published EEs between 2000 and 2015. The quality of each selected EE was assessed by two independent reviewers, using the Drummond's checklist.

Results: Our systematic review was based on 32 EEs and showed a wide variety of methodological approaches, including different perspectives, time horizon, and cost effectiveness analyses. Nearly two-thirds of EEs are full EEs (n = 21), and about one-third of EEs had a Drummond score ≥7, synonymous with 'high quality'. Close to 50% of full EEs had a Drummond score ≥7, whereas all of partial EEs had a Drummond score <7 (n = 11).

Conclusions: Over the past 15 years, a lot of interest has been evinced over the EE of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and its direct impact on therapeutic advances in PDAC. To provide a framework for health care decision-making, to facilitate transferability and to lend credibility to health EEs, their quality must be improved. For the last 4 years, a tendency towards a quality improvement of these studies has been observed, probably coupled with a context of rational decision-making in health care, a better and wider spread of recommendations and thus, medical practitioners' full endorsement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.08.035DOI Listing
November 2017

Docetaxel, Cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) chemotherapy in the treatment of metastatic or unresectable locally recurrent anal squamous cell carcinoma: a phase II study of French interdisciplinary GERCOR and FFCD groups (Epitopes-HPV02 study).

BMC Cancer 2017 Aug 25;17(1):574. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besançon, Besançon, France.

Background: The squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) is a rare disease, but its incidence is markedly increasing. About 15% of patients are diagnosed at metastatic stage, and more than 20% with a localized disease treated by chemoradiotherapy (CRT) will recur. In advanced SCCA, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (CF) combination is the standard option but complete response is a rare event and the prognosis remains poor with most disease progression occurring within the first 12 months. We have previously published the potential role of the addition of docetaxel (D). Among 8 consecutive patients with advanced recurrent SCCA after CRT, the DCF regimen induced a complete response in 4 patients, including 3 pathological complete responses. Then, the Epitopes-HPV02 study was designed to confirm the interest of DCF regimen in SCCA patients.

Methods: This multicentre phase II trial assesses the DCF regimen in advanced SCCA patients. Main eligibility criteria are: histologically proven SCCA, unresectable locally advanced recurrent or metastatic disease, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-performance status (ECOG-PS) <2, and being eligible for DCF. Patients receive either 6 cycles of standard DCF or 8 cycles of modified DCF depending on age (> vs. ≤ 75 years-old) and ECOG-PS (0 vs. 1). The trial was set up based on a Simon's optimal two-stage design for phase II trials, allowing an early futility interim analysis. The primary endpoint is the observed progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 12 months from the first DCF cycle. A PFS rate below 10% is considered uninteresting, while a PFS rate above 25% is expected. With a unilateral alpha error of 5% and a statistical power of 90%, 66 evaluable patients should be included. Main secondary endpoints are overall survival, PFS, response rate, safety, health-related quality of life, and the correlation of biomarkers with treatment efficacy.

Discussion: Since the recommended CF regimen is based in a small retrospective analysis and generates a low rate of complete responses, the Epitopes-HPV02 study will establish a new standard in case of a positive result. Associated biomarker studies will contribute to understand the underlying mechanism of resistance and the role of immunity in SCCA.

Trial Registration: NCT02402842 , EudraCT: 2014-001789-81.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-017-3566-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574110PMC
August 2017

A simple and fast LC-MS/MS method with a very high sensitivity for the measurement of raltitrexed in human plasma.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2017 Aug 13;1060:240-246. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

INSERM, Unit 1098, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, F-25020 Besançon, France; CHU Besançon, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, F-25030 Besançon Cedex, France. Electronic address:

Raltitrexed is a thymidylate synthase inhibitor that can be administered safely to patients with cardiovascular disease or dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency, as opposed to 5FU. The recommended dose of 3mg/m every 3 weeks often leads to toxicity. Interestingly, the 2mg/m every 2 weeks dose appears to be less toxic. A pharmacokinetic trial was then performed by our team to investigate such phenomenon. However, there are currently, two main methods for RTX measurement described in the literature: a radioimmunoassay (RIA) and chromatographic-based methods with either UV or mass spectrometry detections. The RIA methods: display a low limit of quantification (below 1μg/L), but also a low extent of linearity for the calibration curve. The chromatographic-based methods: include high level of calibrators, but have poor sensitivity (>2μg/mL). If a high sensitivity is essential to satisfactorily describe the elimination of RTX, high concentrations in the calibration curve are also needed to avoid bias linked to the dilutions of the samples. A new LC-MS/MS method was then developed that allows to simultaneously measure very low (0.1μg/L) and very high (3000μg/L) concentrations in the same run. Moreover, the extraction steps are very simple and fast with mainly a precipitation and a filtration steps. This method was validated following the EMA recommendations. In view of the extent of the calibration curve, the carry-over effect was more deeply investigated. With this method, it was possible to measure RTX in samples taken 3 weeks after the administration. Taken together, this method allows to simply and quickly measure RTX in plasma of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2017.06.021DOI Listing
August 2017

A new anti-mesothelin antibody targets selectively the membrane-associated form.

MAbs 2017 04;9(3):567-577

a University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comte , Besançon Cedex , France.

Mesothelin is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein that shows promise as a target for antibody-directed cancer therapy. High levels of soluble forms of the antigen represent a barrier to directing therapy to cellular targets. The ability to develop antibodies that can selectively discriminate between membrane-bound and soluble conformations of a specific protein, and thus target only the membrane-associated antigen, is a substantive issue. We show that use of a tolerance protocol provides a route to such discrimination. Mice were tolerized with soluble mesothelin and a second round of immunizations was performed using mesothelin transfected P815 cells. RNA extracted from splenocytes was used in phage display to obtain mesothelin-specific antigen-binding fragments (Fabs) that were subsequently screened by flow cytometry and ELISA. This approach generated 147 different Fabs in 34 VH-CDR3 families. Utilizing competition assays with soluble protein and mesothelin-containing serum obtained from metastatic cancer patients, 10 of these 34 VH-CDR3 families were found to bind exclusively to the membrane-associated form of mesothelin. Epitope mapping performed for the 1H7 clone showed that it does not recognize GPI anchor. VH-CDR3 sequence analysis of all Fabs showed significant differences between Fabs selective for the membrane-associated form of the antigen and those that recognize both membrane bound and soluble forms. This work demonstrates the potential to generate an antibody specific to the membrane-bound form of mesothelin. 1H7 offers potential for therapeutic application against mesothelin-bearing tumors, which would be largely unaffected by the presence of the soluble antigen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420862.2017.1288770DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5384705PMC
April 2017

Additive value of pre-operative and one-month post-operative lymphocyte count for death-risk stratification in patients with resectable pancreatic cancer: a multicentric study.

BMC Cancer 2016 10 26;16(1):823. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France.

Background: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) incidence is increasing worldwide. Several studies have shown that lymphopenia was correlated with a poor prognosis but the potential interest to measure lymphopenia in the pre and post-operative setting as well as its added value among conventional prognostic factors was never investigated.

Methods: Data from two independent cohorts in whom patients underwent resection for pancreatic carcinoma were retrospectively recorded. We examined the association between perioperative findings, pre and post-operative lymphocyte counts and overall survival (OS) in univariate and multivariate analyses. Performance assessment and internal validation of the final model were evaluated with Harrell's C-index, calibration plot and bootstrap sample procedures.

Results: Three hundred ninety patients were included in the analysis between 2000 and 2011. Pre and post-operative lymphocyte counts were independent prognostic factors associated with OS in multivariate analysis (p = 0.0128 and p = 0.0764, respectively). The addition of lymphocyte count variable to the conventional parameters identified in multivariate analysis (metastatic lymph node ratio, veinous emboli and adjuvant chemotherapy) significantly improved the model discrimination capacity (bootstrap mean difference = 0.04; 95 % CI, 0.01-0.06). The use of a threshold and combining the categorical (≥1000; <1000) information in pre and post lymphocyte counts permitted the identification of 4 subgroups of patients with different prognosis (p < 0.0001). Finally, the description of patients in long-term remission showed that only 3 of 65 (4.6 %) patients with post-operative lymphocyte count under 1000/mm were alive 4 years after surgery contrary to 54 of 236 (22.8 %) patients with a post-operative lymphocyte count above 1000/mm.

Conclusion: Pre and post-operative lymphopenia are independent prognostic factors for OS and they have an additive value regarding conventional prognostic factors for death-risk stratification and to predict long-term survival. Lymphopenia should be included as stratification factors in future clinical trial assessing overall survival in pancreatic cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-016-2860-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5080693PMC
October 2016

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors for Patients with Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors.

Clin Drug Investig 2017 Jan;37(1):85-94

Department of Pharmacy, University Hospital, Boulevard Fleming, 25030, Besançon Cedex, France.

Introduction: The management of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) has been modified considerably by the availability of costly tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs); however, the best therapeutic sequence in terms of cost and effectiveness remains unknown.

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare four potential strategies (reflecting the potential daily practice), each including imatinib 400 mg/day, as first-line treatment: S1 (imatinib/best supportive care [BSC]); S2 (imatinib/imatinib/BSC); S3 (imatinib/sunitinib/BSC); and S4 (imatinib/imatinib/sunitinib/BSC).

Methods: A Markov model was developed with a hypothetical cohort of patients and a lifetime horizon. Transition probabilities were estimated from the results of clinical trials. The analysis was performed from the French payer perspective, and only direct medical costs were included. Clinical and economic parameters were discounted, and the robustness of results was assessed.

Results: The least costly and effective strategy was S1, at a cost of €65,744 for 32.9 life months (reference). S3 was the most cost-effective strategy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €48,277/life-year saved (LYS). S2 was dominated, and S4 yielded an ICER of €363,320/LYS compared with S3. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of these results; however, when taking into account a price reduction of 80 % for imatinib, S2 and S4 become the most cost-effective strategies.

Conclusion: Our approach is innovative to the extent that our analysis takes into account the sequential application of TKIs. The results suggest that the S1 strategy is the best cost-effective strategy, but a price reduction of imatinib impacts on the results. This approach must continue, including new drugs and their impact on the quality of life of patients with advanced GISTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40261-016-0463-2DOI Listing
January 2017

Complete Response to Aflibercept-FOLFIRI in One Patient With Colorectal Cancer Refractory to Bevacizumab-FOLFOX: A Possible Autocrine Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2-Related Mechanism.

Clin Colorectal Cancer 2016 12 9;15(4):e229-e234. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France; Clinical Investigational Center, CIC-1431, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France; INSERM, Unit 1098, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2016.07.015DOI Listing
December 2016

Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans Promote Telomerase Internalization and MHC Class II Presentation on Dendritic Cells.

J Immunol 2016 09 1;197(5):1597-608. Epub 2016 Aug 1.

INSERM, UMR 1098, 25000 Besançon, France; University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 25000 Besançon, France; Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, 25030 Besançon, France; and

Telomerase is a prototype-shared tumor Ag and represents an attractive target for anticancer immunotherapy. We have previously described promiscuous and immunogenic HLA-DR-restricted peptides derived from human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) and referred as universal cancer peptide (UCP). In nonsmall cell lung cancer, the presence of spontaneous UCP-specific CD4 T cell responses increases the survival of chemotherapy-responding patients. However, the precise mechanisms of hTERT's uptake, processing, and presentation on MHC-II molecules to stimulate CD4 T cells are poorly understood. In this work, by using well-characterized UCP-specific CD4 T cell clones, we showed that hTERT processing and presentation on MHC-II involve both classical endolysosomal and nonclassical cytosolic pathways. Furthermore, to our knowledge, we demonstrated for the first time that hTERT's internalization by dendritic cells requires its interaction with surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Altogether, our findings provide a novel mechanism of tumor-specific CD4 T cell activation and will be useful for the development of novel cancer immunotherapies that harness CD4 T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1502633DOI Listing
September 2016

Prognostic value of baseline seric Syndecan-1 in initially unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer patients: a simple biological score.

Int J Cancer 2016 11 13;139(10):2325-35. Epub 2016 Aug 13.

INSERM, Unit 1098, University of Bourgogne- Franche Comté, Besançon, France.

In first-line metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), baseline prognostic factors allowing death risk and treatment strategy stratification are lacking. Syndecan-1 (CD138) soluble form was never described as a prognostic biomarker in mCRC. We investigated its additional prognostic value for overall survival (OS). mCRC patients with unresectable disease at diagnosis were treated with bevacizumab-based chemotherapy in two independent prospective clinical trials (development set: n = 126, validation set: n = 51, study NCT00489697 and study NCT00544011, respectively). Serums were collected at baseline for CD138 measurement. OS determinants were assessed and, based on the final multivariate model, a prognostic score was proposed. Two independent OS prognostic factors were identified: Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) high level (p = 0.0066) and log-CD138 high level (p = 0.0190). The determination of CD138 binary information (cutoff: 75 ng/mL) allowed the assessment of a biological prognostic score with CD138 and LDH values, identifying three risk groups for death (median OS= 38.9, 30.1 and 19.8 months for the low, intermediate and high risk groups, respectively; p < 0.0001). This score had a good discrimination ability (C-index = 0.63). These results were externally confirmed in the validation set. Our study provides robust evidence in favor of the additional baseline soluble CD138 prognostic value for OS, in mCRC patients. A simple biological scoring system is proposed including LDH and CD138 binary status values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.30367DOI Listing
November 2016

Efficacy, Safety and Cost of Regorafenib in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in French Clinical Practice.

Clin Med Insights Oncol 2016 4;10:59-66. Epub 2016 Jul 4.

INSERM, UMR 1098, Besançon, France.; University of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, UMR 1098, SFR IBCT, Besançon, France.; Pharmacy Department, Besançon University Hospital, Besançon, France.

Background: Regorafenib is an orally administered multikinase inhibitor that has been approved for patients with chemotherapy-refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Even though regorafenib significantly improved survival in two international phase 3 trials (CORRECT and CONCUR), a high rate of treatment-related toxic effects and dose modifications were observed with a modest benefit. The aim of this study was to provide information concerning the efficacy, safety, and cost of regorafenib in patients with mCRC in clinical practice.

Material And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients treated with regorafenib monotherapy for unresectable mCRC in five Franche-Comté cancer hospitals (France). The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points were safety and descriptive cost analyses of patients treated with regorafenib in clinical practice. Another aim of this study was to assess the impact of regorafenib prescription on the risk of hospitalization in real-life practice.

Results: From January 2014 to August 2014, 29 consecutive patients were enrolled. Patients were heavily pretreated and were refractory to standard chemotherapies. The primary tumor sites were the colon and the rectum for 55% and 45% of patients, respectively. Fifteen patients (51%) harbored an RAS mutation. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group - Performance Status (PS) was 0-1 for 86% of patients and 2 for 14% of patients. Nineteen patients (66%) initially received reduced doses of 120 or 80 mg/day. The median duration of treatment was 2.5 months (range, 0.13-11.4 months). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 86% of patients. The most frequent adverse events of any grade were fatigue (35%), diarrhea (20%), and hand-foot skin reaction (20%). Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 10 patients (35%). Three patients (10%) were admitted to hospital due to drug-related severe adverse events. The mean cost of patient management with regorafenib for the duration of treatment was 9908 ± 8191€, and median cost was 7917€ (Interquartile range (IQR) 4469-13,042). The median overall survival was six months (95% confidence interval, five to eight months).

Conclusions: The safety and efficacy of regorafenib in heavily pretreated mCRC patients was comparable, in our study, to prospective and retrospective trials. Toxic effects were mostly manageable in an outpatient setting. Regorafenib itself represented the most important (93%) part of supported costs. Even though most side effects were manageable in an outpatient setting, severe adverse events occurred from hospitalization in 10% of patients. These data should be confirmed in a larger real-life-based cohort. Identification of predictive biomarkers is needed for mCRC patient selection for regorafenib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/CMO.S38335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4933532PMC
July 2016

Gemcitabine-Induced Pulmonary Toxicity: A Case Report of Pulmonary Veno-Occlusive Disease.

Clin Med Insights Oncol 2015 1;9:75-9. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France. ; INSERM, Unit 1098, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.

Introduction: Gemcitabine is a chemotherapeutic agent frequently used by for the treatment of several malignancies both in the adjuvant and metastatic setting. Although myelosuppression is the most adverse event of this therapy, gemcitabine might induce severe pulmonary toxicities. We describe a case of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) related to gemcitabine.

Case Presentation: The patient was an 83-year-old man with a metastatic pancreatic cancer who was treated by gemcitabine as first-line therapy. He was in good health and received no other chemotherapy. A dose of 1000 mg/m(2) of gemcitabine was administered over a 30-minute intravenous infusion on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. After a period of 6 months, a complete response was observed. Nevertheless, the patient developed a severe dyspnea, with arterial hypoxemia and very low lung diffusion for carbon monoxide. A CT scan showed diffuse ground glass opacities with septal lines, bilateral pleural effusion, and lymph node enlargement. On echocardiography, there was a suspicion of pulmonary hypertension with elevated systolic pulmonary artery pressure and normal left ventricular pressures. Right heart catheterization confirmed pulmonary hypertension and normal pulmonary artery occlusion pressure. Diagnosis of PVOD was made, and a gemcitabine-induced toxicity was suspected. A symptomatic treatment was started. At last follow-up, patient was in functional class I with near-normal of CT scan, arterial blood gases, and echocardiography. A gemcitabine-induced PVOD is the more likely diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/CMO.S26537DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559186PMC
September 2015

Primary Linitis Plastica of the Rectum: Focus on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Patterns and Treatment Options.

Am J Case Rep 2015 Aug 31;16:581-5. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Department of Radiotherapy, University Hospital of Besançon, Besançon, France.

Background: Rectal linitis plastica (RLP) is a rare disease with poor outcome. It is often accompanied by a delayed histopathological diagnosis, primarily due to submucosal disease. A concentric ring pattern or "target sign" on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been proposed as being characteristic for early suspicion. Even though RLP is more aggressive and has poorer survival than other rectal adenocarcinomas, no specific treatment is recommended. In this case report of 3 patients, we challenge the sensitivity of the characteristic radiological pattern, and we review the existing data for a treatment strategy.

Case Report: One patient presented classic clinical characteristics of RLP with young age and advanced stage at diagnosis, with chemo-refractory disease and rapid fatal evolution. Biopsies confirmed the RLP with the presence of signet-ring cells (SRC) in a strong desmoplastic stromal reaction. However, the characteristic concentric ring pattern was absent. Instead, he had a large vegetative lesion with important tumor infiltration in mesorectum and pelvic organs, with major lymph node involvement. The 2 other patients presented resectable locally advanced disease with characteristic concentric ring pattern. No clinical and radiological responses were observed to neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT), including 1 patient with non-resectable disease at surgery and another with upstaged disease at pathological specimen after resection. However, data suggest 2 types of RLP: about half of patients are extremely sensitive to CRT with pathological complete response, and the other half are highly resistant with no response to CRT. Current data are insufficient to distinguish between these 2 populations.

Conclusions: The absence of a concentric ring pattern should not eliminate the suspicion of RLP, especially in young patients with aggressive clinical presentation. There are probably 2 types of RLP in terms of chemoradiosensitivity, and neoadjuvant CRT could delay the curative-intent surgery in refractory patients. Future molecular analysis of the tumor and its environment are required to characterize the 2 different forms of RLP to develop more personalized treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/AJCR.893830DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4559009PMC
August 2015

[Anti-angiogenic treatments in metastatic colorectal cancer: Does a continuous angiogenic blockade make sense?].

Bull Cancer 2015 Sep 29;102(9):758-71. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Institut de cancérologie de l'Ouest, Nantes-Angers, 44805 Nantes, France.

Ten years after the approval of bevacizumab in colorectal cancer patients, results from ML18147 and CORRECT studies have recently demonstrated the possibility to target angiogenesis in patients previously exposed to anti-VEGF. An increasing number of anti-angiogenic treatments are now available, however, no biomarker has yet succeeded in rationalizing our therapeutic strategies. Nevertheless, several lessons have been learned from preclinical and pivotal clinical studies. The first clinical trials demonstrated a survival benefit, adding VEGFA targeting monoclonal antibodies to chemotherapy in metastatic colorectal cancer patients (AVF2107, ECOG 3200). Many phase III clinical trials confirmed the interest of this strategy, in combination with chemotherapies containing irinotecan, oxaliplatin, or with 5-fluorouracil in monotherapy. To date, such results have not been reproduced with tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting the angiogenesis pathways, with an increasing rate of chemotherapy related toxicities. Clinical trials performed in the adjuvant setting (AVANT, NSABPC08) failed to demonstrate any efficacy of the anti-VEGFA treatments on the micrometastatic disease, encouraging its prescription in the unresectable cases. On the other hand, a continuous inhibition of angiogenesis during the course of the metastatic disease was shown to be feasible and to extend colon cancer patient's survival in two recent randomized trials. For these patients, the continuation of bevacizumab beyond progression in first line improves overall survival. Lastly, results achieved by the CORRECT and CONCUR studies demonstrated that anti-angiogenics might be effective in colorectal cancers resistant to chemotherapy. This review presents the main results of preclinical and clinical studies sustaining the prescription of anti-angiogenics in metastatic colorectal cancers. The future challenge is to promote the development of biomarkers to enable the stratification of the different therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bulcan.2015.05.002DOI Listing
September 2015

The impact of taxane-based preoperative chemotherapy in gastroesophageal signet ring cell adenocarcinomas.

J Hematol Oncol 2015 May 15;8:52. Epub 2015 May 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Besancon, 3 Boulevard Alexander Fleming, Besancon, F-25030, France.

The benefit of preoperative chemotherapy in resectable gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas was not observed in signet ring cell subtype. However, the potential interest of taxane-based preoperative chemotherapy on this subtype is still an unresolved issue. Nineteen patients with localized signet ring cell adenocarcinomas received taxane-based regimens, and 17 patients underwent surgery. Complete resection was achieved in 80 %, and median overall survival was 40.8 months (95 % confidence interval (CI), 20.2-not reached). Even though one patient achieved a complete pathological response, seven patients had an upstaging of their tumors at surgery. The potential benefits of taxane-based chemotherapy seem to be limited to a reduced number of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-015-0148-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440289PMC
May 2015