Publications by authors named "Martin G McCabe"

39 Publications

Adolescents and Young Adults Living With an Uncertain or Poor Cancer Prognosis: The "New" Lost Tribe.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 03 2;19(3):240-246. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute.

Historically, adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer, diagnosed for the first time at age 15 through 39 years, have often been identified as a "lost tribe" without a medical "home"; neither pediatric nor adult oncology services were able to provide age-appropriate care to this specific group. Internationally, AYA care programs are being established to bridge the gap between the age-defined healthcare worlds and to address the specific needs of AYAs with cancer. However, AYA care programs mostly focus on improving cure rates and addressing survivorship issues, and direct less attention to the unique needs of those living with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis. Additionally, palliative care services are typically poorly equipped to address the age-specific needs of this group. Given that increasingly more AYAs with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis are gaining life years because of novel treatments, and sometimes even face the prospect of long-term disease control, AYA care programs should address the unique palliative care needs of this "new" lost tribe within AYA oncology. This report provides a definition and description of the AYA population living with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis in terms of epidemiologic, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics and challenges, and provides perspectives for future research and care initiatives. It also highlights the need to comprehensively examine the experience of AYAs who are living with uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis to adjust best care practices for this unique group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7696DOI Listing
March 2021

Disease course of Neurofibromatosis Type 2; a 30-year follow-up study of 353 patients seen at a single institution.

Neuro Oncol 2020 Dec 18. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Division of Evolution and Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester Universities NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Background: Limited data exists on the disease course of Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) to guide clinical trial design.

Methods: A prospective database of patients meeting NF2 diagnostic criteria, reviewed between 1990-2020, was evaluated. Follow-up to first vestibular schwannoma (VS) intervention and death was assessed by univariate analysis and stratified by age at onset, era referred and inheritance type. Interventions for NF2-related tumours were assessed. Cox regression was performed to determine the relationship between individual factors from time of diagnosis to NF2-related death.

Results: Three-hundred-and-fifty-three patients were evaluated. During 4643.1 follow-up years from diagnosis to censoring 60 patients (17.0%) died. The annual mean number of patients undergoing VS surgery or radiotherapy declined, from 4.66 and 1.65 respectively per 100 NF2 patients in 1990-1999 to 2.11 and 1.01 in 2010-2020, as the number receiving bevacizumab increased (2.51 per 100 NF2 patients in 2010-2020). Five patients stopped bevacizumab to remove growing meningioma or spinal schwannoma. 153/353 (43.3%) had at least one neurosurgical intervention/radiation treatment within 5 years of diagnosis. Patients asymptomatic at diagnosis had longer time to intervention and better survival compared to those presenting with symptoms. Those symptomatically presenting <16 and >40 years had poorer overall survival than those presenting at 26-39 years (P=0.03 and P=0.02 respectively) but those presenting between 16-39 had shorter time to VS intervention. Individuals with de novo constitutional variants had worse survival than those with de novo mosaic or inherited disease (P=0.004).

Conclusion: Understanding disease course improves prognostication, allowing for better informed decisions about care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa284DOI Listing
December 2020

Severity of COVID-19 in children with cancer: Report from the United Kingdom Paediatric Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project.

Br J Cancer 2021 02 10;124(4):754-759. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Paediatric Oncology, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6NH, UK.

Background: Children with cancer are frequently immunocompromised. While children are generally thought to be at less risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults, comprehensive population-based evidence for the risk in children with cancer is unavailable. We aimed to produce evidence of the incidence and outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 in children with cancer attending all hospitals treating this population across the UK.

Methods: Retrospective and prospective observational study of all children in the UK under 16 diagnosed with cancer through data collection from all hospitals providing cancer care to this population. Eligible patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The primary end-point was death, discharge or end of active care for COVID-19 for those remaining in hospital.

Results: Between 12 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, 54 cases were identified: 15 (28%) were asymptomatic, 34 (63%) had mild infections and 5 (10%) moderate, severe or critical infections. No patients died and only three patients required intensive care support due to COVID-19. Estimated incidence of hospital identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in children with cancer under 16 was 3%.

Conclusions: Children with cancer with SARS-CoV-2 infection do not appear at increased risk of severe infection compared to the general paediatric population. This is reassuring and supports the continued delivery of standard treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01181-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884399PMC
February 2021

Large Extracellular Vesicles Can be Characterised by Multiplex Labelling Using Imaging Flow Cytometry.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Nov 18;21(22). Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Children's Cancer Group, Division of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Oglesby Cancer Research Building, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Manchester M20 4GJ, UK.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are heterogeneous in size (30 nm-10 µm), content (lipid, RNA, DNA, protein), and potential function(s). Many isolation techniques routinely discard the large EVs at the early stages of small EV or exosome isolation protocols. We describe here a standardised method to isolate large EVs from medulloblastoma cells and examine EV marker expression and diameter using imaging flow cytometry. Our approach permits the characterisation of each large EVs as an individual event, decorated with multiple fluorescently conjugated markers with the added advantage of visualising each event to ensure robust gating strategies are applied.

Methods: We describe step-wise isolation and characterisation of a subset of large EVs from the medulloblastoma cell line UW228-2 assessed by fluorescent light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and tunable resistance pulse sensing (TRPS). Viability of parent cells was assessed by Annexin V exposure by flow cytometry. Imaging flow cytometry (Imagestream Mark II) identified EVs by direct fluorescent membrane labelling with Cell Mask Orange (CMO) in conjunction with EV markers. A stringent gating algorithm based on side scatter and fluorescence intensity was applied and expression of EV markers CD63, CD9 and LAMP 1 assessed.

Results: UW228-2 cells prolifically release EVs of up to 6 µm. We show that the Imagestream Mark II imaging flow cytometer allows robust and reproducible analysis of large EVs, including assessment of diameter. We also demonstrate a correlation between increasing EV size and co-expression of markers screened.

Conclusions: We have developed a labelling and stringent gating strategy which is able to explore EV marker expression (CD63, CD9, and LAMP1) on individual EVs within a widely heterogeneous population. Taken together, data presented here strongly support the value of exploring large EVs in clinical samples for potential biomarkers, useful in diagnostic screening and disease monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699300PMC
November 2020

EANO-EURACAN clinical practice guideline for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of post-pubertal and adult patients with medulloblastoma.

Lancet Oncol 2019 12;20(12):e715-e728

Wilhelm Sander-NeuroOncology Unit and Department of Neurology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:

The European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) and EUropean RAre CANcer (EURACAN) guideline provides recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of post-pubertal and adult patients with medulloblastoma. The guideline is based on the 2016 WHO classification of tumours of the CNS and on scientific developments published since 1980. It aims to provide direction for diagnostic and management decisions, and for limiting unnecessary treatments and cost. In view of the scarcity of data in adults with medulloblastoma, we base our recommendations on adult data when possible, but also include recommendations derived from paediatric data if justified. Our recommendations are a resource for professionals involved in the management of post-pubertal and adult patients with medulloblastoma, for patients and caregivers, and for health-care providers in Europe. The implementation of this guideline requires multidisciplinary structures of care, and defined processes of diagnosis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30669-2DOI Listing
December 2019

EORTC SPECTA-AYA: A unique molecular profiling platform for adolescents and young adults with cancer in Europe.

Int J Cancer 2020 08 14;147(4):1180-1184. Epub 2019 Sep 14.

Division of Cancer Sciences, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

For most adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers, age-specific molecular features are poorly understood. EORTC-SPECTA, an academic translational research infrastructure for biomaterial collection, will explicitly recruit AYA patients and will therefore collect empirical data to bridge the molecular gap between pediatric and adult oncology. The initial pilot study, activated in February 2019 across Europe, will recruit 100 AYA patients (aged 12-29 years) with newly diagnosed or relapsed high-grade gliomas and high-grade bone and soft tissue sarcomas. The primary objective of the pilot is to determine feasibility and recruitment rates. Formalin-fixed tumor tissue and whole blood from study participants will be prospectively collected with clinical data and stored centrally at the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg. Whole exome sequencing of matched tumor and blood, and tumor RNA sequencing and DNA methylation profiling will be performed at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. Virtual central pathology review of scanned diagnostic slides will be undertaken by an international expert panel, and diagnostic material returned to the participating centers. A multidisciplinary molecular tumor board will release a clinically validated report to referring clinicians within 4-6 weeks after biopsy. SPECTA-AYA constitutes a major opportunity to gain knowledge about the tumor biology of this unique age group. It incorporates notable innovative aspects: AYA specificity, pan-European academic collaboration, centralized biobanking, comprehensive molecular profiling and virtual central pathology review, among others. SPECTA-AYA will help untangle the tumor particularities of AYAs with cancer and aims to improve their access to novel drugs and personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32651DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7383917PMC
August 2020

Description of the BRIGHTLIGHT cohort: the evaluation of teenage and young adult cancer services in England.

BMJ Open 2019 04 20;9(4):e027797. Epub 2019 Apr 20.

Department of Oncology, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Objective: International recognition of the unique needs of young people with cancer is growing. Many countries have developed specialist age-appropriate cancer services believing them to be of value. In England, 13 specialist principal treatment centres (PTCs) deliver cancer care to young people. Despite this expansion of specialist care, systematic investigation of associated outcomes and costs has, to date, been lacking. The aim of this paper is to describe recruitment and baseline characteristics of the BRIGHTLIGHT cohort and the development of the bespoke measures of levels of care and disease severity, which will inform the evaluation of cancer services in England.

Design: Prospective, longitudinal, observational study.

Setting: Ninety-seven National Health Service hospitals in England.

Participants: A total of 1114 participants were recruited and diagnosed between July 2012 and December 2014: 55% (n=618) were men, mean age was 20.1 years (SD=3.3), most (86%) were white and most common diagnoses were lymphoma (31%), germ cell tumour (19%) and leukaemia (13%).

Results: At diagnosis, median quality of life score was significantly lower than a published control threshold (69.7 points); 40% had borderline to severe anxiety, and 21% had borderline to severe depression. There was minimal variation in other patient-reported outcomes according to age, diagnosis or severity of illness. Survival was lower in the cohort than for young people diagnosed during the same period who were not recruited (cumulative survival probability 4 years after diagnosis: 88% vs 92%).

Conclusions: Data collection was completed in March 2018. Longitudinal comparisons will determine outcomes and costs associated with access/exposure to PTCs. Findings will inform international intervention and policy initiatives to improve outcomes for young people with cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500338PMC
April 2019

Risk of subsequent primary neoplasms in survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer (Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study): a population-based, cohort study.

Lancet Oncol 2019 04 21;20(4):531-545. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Few studies have investigated the risks of subsequent primary neoplasms after adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer. We investigated the risks of specific subsequent primary neoplasms after each of 16 types of AYA cancer.

Methods: The Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study is a population-based cohort of 200 945 survivors of cancer diagnosed when aged 15-39 years in England and Wales from Jan 1, 1971, to Dec 31, 2006. The cohort was established using cancer registrations from the Office for National Statistics and the Welsh Cancer registry. Follow-up was from 5-year survival until the first occurrence of death, emigration, or study end date (Dec 31, 2012). In this analysis, we focus on the risk of specific subsequent primary neoplasms after 16 types of AYA cancer: breast; cervical; testicular; Hodgkin lymphoma (female); Hodgkin lymphoma (male); melanoma; CNS (intracranial); colorectal; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; thyroid; soft-tissue sarcoma; ovarian; bladder; other female genital; leukaemia; and head and neck cancer. We report absolute excess risks (AERs; per 10 000 person-years) and cumulative incidence of specific types of subsequent primary neoplasm after each type of AYA cancer.

Findings: During the 2 631 326 person-years of follow-up (median follow-up 16·8 years, IQR 10·5-25·2), 12 321 subsequent primary neoplasms were diagnosed in 11 565 survivors, most frequently among survivors of breast cancer, cervical cancer, testicular cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma. AERs of any subsequent primary neoplasms were 19·5 per 10 000 person-years (95% CI 17·4-21·5) in survivors of breast cancer, 10·2 (8·0-12·4) in survivors of cervical cancer, 18·9 (16·6-21·1) in survivors of testicular cancer, 55·7 (50·4-61·1) in female survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, and 29·9 (26·3-33·6) in male survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma. The cumulative incidence of all subsequent primary neoplasms 35 years after diagnosis was 11·9% (95% CI 11·3-12·6) in survivors of breast cancer, 15·8% (14·8-16·7) in survivors of cervical cancer, 20·2% (18·9-21·5) in survivors of testicular cancer, 26·6% (24·7-28·6) in female survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, and 16·5% (15·2-18·0) in male survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma. In patients who had survived at least 30 years from diagnosis of cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma in women, breast cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma in men, we identified a small number of specific subsequent primary neoplasms that account for 82%, 61%, 58%, 45%, and 41% of the total excess number of neoplasms, respectively. Lung cancer accounted for a notable proportion of the excess number of neoplasms across all AYA groups investigated.

Interpretation: Our finding that a small number of specific subsequent primary neoplasms account for a large percentage of the total excess number of neoplasms in long-term survivors of cervical, breast, and testicular cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma provides an evidence base to inform priorities for clinical long-term follow-up. The prominence of lung cancer after each of these AYA cancers indicates the need for further work aimed at preventing and reducing the burden of this cancer in future survivors of AYA cancer.

Funding: Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, and Children with Cancer UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30903-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494975PMC
April 2019

Discussing factors associated with quality of life in cancer follow-up appointments: a preliminary test of a pragmatic model for clinical practice.

Clin Rehabil 2019 Apr 24;33(4):762-772. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

6 School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Objective:: The aim of this study is to perform a preliminary test of a practical, evidence-based model to enable discussions around quality of life-related concerns during cancer follow-up appointments.

Design:: Cross-sectional study measuring quality of life, illness perceptions, emotional distress, fatigue, and subjective cognitive complaints.

Setting:: Cancer outpatient follow-up clinics in four National Health Services in the United Kingdom.

Participants:: Working-age post-treatment cancer patients, treated with curative intent.

Interventions:: Not applicable.

Main Measures:: European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer - Quality of Life Questionnaire - Core 30, Illness Perceptions Questionnaire - Revised, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Chalder Fatigue Scale, and Cognitive Failures Questionnaire.

Results:: Fifty-seven cancer patients, with a mean age of 36 years and on average 2.75 years post treatment, returned the completed questionnaires. Anxiety partially mediated the association between subjective cognitive complaints and illness identity (60%) and timeline (25%). Cognitive complaints mediated the relationships between quality of life and anxiety (45%), depression (30%), and fatigue (62%). Depression mediated the relationships between quality of life and illness identity (48%) and timeline (40%).

Conclusion:: Our study provides a preliminary test of an evidence-based model to help elicit quality of life-related concerns during cancer follow-up appointments. Illness perceptions are associated with quality of life through the mediation of other cancer-relevant factors. Discussing the type, origin, and expected duration of symptoms may elicit other concerns, such as emotional distress, fatigue, or cognitive complaints, which explained a significant amount of the relationship between illness perceptions and quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269215518820093DOI Listing
April 2019

Transitioning adolescent and young adult cancer care research out of its adolescence.

Eur J Cancer Care (Engl) 2018 Nov;27(6):e12962

Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, CNMR, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecc.12962DOI Listing
November 2018

Is the cancer survival improvement in European and American adolescent and young adults still lagging behind that in children?

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 01 19;66(1):e27407. Epub 2018 Aug 19.

Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Improvements during 1978 to 2006 in the 5-year survival rate of adolescents and young adults (AYAs, age 15-39) and children with cancers common to both age groups were evaluated for 1978 to 2006 in Europe and the USA. AYAs had absolute survival increases of 25% and 15% in Europe and the USA, respectively, but in both cases, AYA 5-year survival was, as of 2006, 4% lower than those in children. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) explained most of the survival difference between AYAs and children on both the continents. In the USA, 20- to 39-year-olds with ALL have had less survival improvement than those in Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27407DOI Listing
January 2019

Cohort profile: prescriptions dispensed in the community linked to the national cancer registry in England.

BMJ Open 2018 07 10;8(7):e020980. Epub 2018 Jul 10.

National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Public Health England, London, UK.

Purpose: The linked prescriptions cancer registry data resource was set up to extend our understanding of the pathway for patients with cancer past secondary care into the community, to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Participants: The linked prescriptions cancer registry data resource is currently available for April to July 2015, for all patients diagnosed with cancer in England with a dispensed prescription in that time frame.The dispensed prescriptions data are collected by National Health Service (NHS) Prescription Services, and the cancer registry data are processed by Public Health England. All data are routine healthcare data, used for secondary purposes, linked using a pseudonymised version of the patient's NHS number and date of birth.Detailed demographic and clinical information on the type of cancer diagnosed and treatment is collected by the cancer registry. The dispensed prescriptions data contain basic demographic information, geography measures of the dispensed prescription, drug information (quantity, strength and presentation), cost of the drug and the date that the dispensed prescription was submitted to NHS Business Services Authority.

Findings To Date: Findings include a study of end of life prescribing in the community among patients with cancer, an investigation of repeat prescriptions to derive measures of prior morbidity status in patients with cancer and studies of prescription activity surrounding the date of cancer diagnosis.

Future Plans: This English linked resource could be used for cancer epidemiological studies of diagnostic pathways, health outcomes and inequalities; to establish primary care comorbidity indices and for guideline concordance studies of treatment, particularly hormonal therapy, as a major treatment modality for breast and prostate cancer which has been largely delivered in the community setting for a number of years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082455PMC
July 2018

Brain tumor research in the United Kingdom: current perspective and future challenges. A strategy document from the NCRI Brain Tumor CSG.

Neurooncol Pract 2018 Mar 30;5(1):10-17. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Cambridge, UK.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a partnership of charity and government research funders whose purpose is to improve health and quality of life by accelerating progress in cancer-related research through collaboration. Under this umbrella, the NCRI Brain Tumor Clinical Studies Group is focused on improving clinical outcomes for adult patients with brain and central nervous system tumors, including those with brain metastasis from other primary sites. This document discusses the current state of clinical brain tumor research in the United Kingdom and the challenges to increasing study and trial opportunities for patients. The clinical research priorities are defined along with a strategy to strengthen the existing brain tumor research network, improve access to tissue and imaging and to develop the future leadership for brain tumor research in the United Kingdom. This strategy document may serve as a framework for other organizations and countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npx022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6655398PMC
March 2018

Interventions for preventing oral mucositis in patients with cancer receiving treatment: cytokines and growth factors.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 11 28;11:CD011990. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Cochrane Oral Health, Division of Dentistry, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, JR Moore Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9PL.

Background: Oral mucositis is a side effect of chemotherapy, head and neck radiotherapy, and targeted therapy, affecting over 75% of high-risk patients. Ulceration can lead to severe pain and difficulty with eating and drinking, which may necessitate opioid analgesics, hospitalisation and supplemental nutrition. These complications may disrupt cancer therapy, which may reduce survival. There is also a risk of death from sepsis if pathogens enter the ulcers of immunocompromised patients. Ulcerative oral mucositis can be costly to healthcare systems, yet there are few preventive interventions proven to be beneficial. Cytokines and growth factors may help the regeneration of cells lining of the mouth, thus preventing or reducing oral mucositis and its negative effects.

Objectives: To assess the effects of cytokines and growth factors for preventing oral mucositis in patients with cancer who are receiving treatment.

Search Methods: Cochrane Oral Health's Information Specialist searched the following databases: Cochrane Oral Health's Trials Register (searched 10 May 2017); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2017, Issue 4) in the Cochrane Library (searched 10 May 2017); MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 10 May 2017); Embase Ovid (7 December 2015 to 10 May 2017); CINAHL EBSCO (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; 1937 to 10 May 2017); and CANCERLIT PubMed (1950 to 10 May 2017). The US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register (ClinicalTrials.gov) and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were searched for ongoing trials.

Selection Criteria: We included parallel-design randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of cytokines and growth factors in patients with cancer receiving treatment.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently screened the results of electronic searches, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. For dichotomous outcomes, we reported risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). For continuous outcomes, we reported mean differences (MD) and 95% CIs. We pooled similar studies in random-effects meta-analyses. We reported adverse effects in a narrative format.

Main Results: We included 35 RCTs analysing 3102 participants. Thirteen studies were at low risk of bias, 12 studies were at unclear risk of bias, and 10 studies were at high risk of bias.Our main findings were regarding keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and are summarised as follows.There might be a reduction in the risk of moderate to severe oral mucositis in adults receiving bone marrow/stem cell transplantation after conditioning therapy for haematological cancers (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.99; 6 studies; 852 participants; low-quality evidence). We would need to treat 11 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 6 to 112). There might be a reduction in the risk of severe oral mucositis in this population, but there is also some possibility of an increase in risk (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.11; 6 studies; 852 participants; low-quality evidence). We would need to treat 10 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 5 to prevent the outcome to 14 to cause the outcome).There is probably a reduction in the risk of moderate to severe oral mucositis in adults receiving radiotherapy to the head and neck with cisplatin or fluorouracil (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.00; 3 studies; 471 participants; moderate-quality evidence). We would need to treat 12 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 7 to infinity). It is very likely that there is a reduction in the risk of severe oral mucositis in this population (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.90; 3 studies; 471 participants; high-quality evidence). We would need to treat 7 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 5 to 15).It is likely that there is a reduction in the risk of moderate to severe oral mucositis in adults receiving chemotherapy alone for mixed solid and haematological cancers (RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.70; 4 studies; 344 participants; moderate-quality evidence). We would need to treat 4 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 3 to 6). There might be a reduction in the risk of severe oral mucositis in this population (RR 0.30, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.65; 3 studies; 263 participants; low -quality evidence). We would need to treat 10 adults with KGF in order to prevent one additional adult from developing this outcome (95% CI 8 to 19).Due to the low volume of evidence, single-study comparisons and insufficient sample sizes, we found no compelling evidence of a benefit for any other cytokines or growth factors and there was no evidence on children. There did not appear to be any serious adverse effects of any of the interventions assessed in this review.

Authors' Conclusions: We are confident that KGF is beneficial in the prevention of oral mucositis in adults who are receiving: a) radiotherapy to the head and neck with cisplatin or fluorouracil; or b) chemotherapy alone for mixed solid and haematological cancers. We are less confident about a benefit for KGF in adults receiving bone marrow/stem cell transplant after conditioning therapy for haematological cancers because of multiple factors involved in that population, such as whether or not they received total body irradiation (TBI) and whether the transplant was autologous (the patients' own cells) or allogeneic (cells from a donor). KGF appears to be a relatively safe intervention.Due to limited research, we are not confident that there are any beneficial effects of other cytokines and growth factors. There is currently insufficient evidence to draw any conclusions about the use of cytokines and growth factors in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011990.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6486203PMC
November 2017

An update on the diagnosis and treatment of vestibular schwannoma.

Expert Rev Neurother 2018 Jan 7;18(1):29-39. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

c Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, MAHSC, Division of Evolution and Genomic Science , University of Manchester , Manchester , UK.

Introduction: Vestibular schwannomas (VS) account for approximately 85% of tumors in the cerebello-pontine angle, with a lifetime incidence of approximately 1 in 1000. Most are sporadic, with approximately 5% related to the tumor predisposition syndrome Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). The mainstays of management strategies are: observation, surgery, radiosurgery/radiotherapy and, for patients with NF2 and rapidly growing tumors or deteriorating neurologic function the targeted therapy bevacizumab. While morbidity and mortality rates related to treatment of VS have improved dramatically over the last decades, there are still significant improvements that could be made, in particular with regards to long-term facial nerve and hearing outcomes. Areas covered: The epidemiology and diagnosis of VS are discussed, followed by the different management strategies and outcomes of those for both sporadic and NF2 related tumors. An extensive literature review has been performed to inform this review article using PubMed and Google Scholar. Expert commentary: The future direction of VS management lies in obtaining longer-term follow-up data for patients with treated VS, and in improved understanding of cellular pathways and targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737175.2018.1399795DOI Listing
January 2018

Are survival and mortality rates associated with recruitment to clinical trials in teenage and young adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia? A retrospective observational analysis in England.

BMJ Open 2017 Oct 5;7(10):e017052. Epub 2017 Oct 5.

Division of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.

Objective: Participation rates in clinical trials are low in teenagers and young adults (TYA) with cancer. Whilst the importance of clinical trials in informing best practice is well established, data regarding individual patient benefit are scarce. We have investigated the association between overall survival and trial recruitment in TYA patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Design: Retrospective.

Setting: National (England) TYA patients treated for ALL.

Participants: 511 patients aged 15-24 years diagnosed with ALL between 2004 and 2010 inclusive, of whom 239 (46.7%) participated in the UKALL2003 trial.

Outcome Measures: Patients were identified using National Clinical Trial (UKALL2003) and Cancer Registry (National Cancer Data Repository, English National Cancer Online Registration Environment) Databases. Relative survival rates were calculated for trial and non-trial patients and observed differences were modelled using a multiple regression approach. The numbers and percentages of deaths in those patients included in the survival analysis were determined for each 3-month period, p values were calculated using the two-tailed z-test for difference between proportions and 95% CIs for percentage deaths were derived using the binomial distribution based on the Wilson Score method.

Results: Patients treated on the trial had a 17.9% better 2-year survival (85.4% vs 67.5%, p<0.001) and 8.9% better 1-year survival (90.8% vs 81.9%, p=0.004) than those not on the trial. 35 (14.6%) patients recruited to the trial died in the 2 years following diagnosis compared with 86 (32.6%) of those not recruited (p<0.001).

Conclusions: TYA patients recruited to the clinical trial UKALL 2003 in England had a lower risk of mortality and a higher overall survival than contemporaneous non-trial patients. These data underline the potential for individual patient benefit in participating in a clinical trial and the importance of international efforts to increase trial participation in the TYA age group.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN07355119.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5639992PMC
October 2017

Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors are not a Feature of Neurofibromatosis Type 2 in the Unirradiated Patient.

Neurosurgery 2018 07;83(1):38-42

Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Background: The published literature suggests that malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) occur at increased frequency in neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). A recent review based on incidence data in North America showed that 1 per 1000 cerebellopontine angle nerve sheath tumors were malignant.

Objective: To determine whether MPNST occurred spontaneously in NF2 by reviewing our NF2 database.

Methods: The prospective database consists of 1253 patients with NF2. One thousand and nine are known to be alive at last follow-up. The presence and laterality/pathology of vestibular schwannoma at diagnosis and last follow-up was sought.

Results: There were no cases of spontaneous MPNST with 2114 proven (n = 1150) and presumed benign (n = 964) vestibular schwannomas found. Two patients had developed MPNST (1 presumed) after having previously undergone stereotactic radiosurgery for a vestibular schwannoma.

Conclusion: In this series, and from the literature, malignant transformation of a vestibular schwannoma was not a feature of NF2 in the unirradiated patient. NF2 patients should not be told that they have an increased risk of malignant change in a vestibular schwannoma unless they undergo radiation treatment. However, very much larger datasets are required before it can be determined whether there is any association between NF2 and MPNST in the unirradiated patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyx368DOI Listing
July 2018

Association of Genetic Predisposition With Solitary Schwannoma or Meningioma in Children and Young Adults.

JAMA Neurol 2017 09;74(9):1123-1129

Division of Evolution and Genomic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, England.

Importance: Meningiomas and schwannomas are usually sporadic, isolated tumors occurring in adults older than 60 years and are rare in children and young adults. Multiple schwannomas and/or meningiomas are more frequently associated with a tumor suppressor syndrome and, accordingly, trigger genetic testing, whereas solitary tumors do not. Nevertheless, apparently sporadic tumors in young patients may herald a genetic syndrome.

Objective: To determine the frequency of the known heritable meningioma- or schwannoma-predisposing mutations in children and young adults presenting with a solitary meningioma or schwannoma.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Using the database of the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, this cohort study analyzed lymphocyte DNA from young individuals prospectively referred to the clinic for genetic testing between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2016, on presentation with a single meningioma (n = 42) or schwannoma (n = 135) before age 25 years. Sequencing data were also examined from an additional 39 patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 who were retrospectively identified as having a solitary tumor before age 25 years. Patients with schwannoma were screened for NF2, SMARCB1, and LZTR1 gene mutations, while patients with meningioma were screened for NF2, SMARCB1, SMARCE1, and SUFU.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The type of underlying genetic mutation, or lack of a predisposing mutation, was associated with the presenting tumor type and subsequent development of additional tumors or other features of known schwannoma- and meningioma-predisposing syndromes.

Results: In 2 cohorts of patients who presented with an isolated meningioma (n = 42; median [range] age, 11 [1-24] years; 22 female) or schwannoma (n = 135; median [range] age, 18 [0.2-24] years; 60 female) before age 25 years, 16 of 42 patients (38%) had a predisposing mutation to meningioma and 27 of 135 patients (20%) to schwannoma, respectively. In the solitary meningioma cohort, 34 of 63 patients (54%) had a constitutional mutation in a known meningioma predisposition gene. Twenty-five of 63 patients (40%) had a constitutional NF2 mutation, and 9 (14%) had a constitutional SMARCE1 mutation. In the cohort of those who developed a solitary schwannoma before age 25 years, 44 of 153 patients (29%) had an identifiable genetic predisposition. Twenty-four patients (55%) with a spinal schwannoma had a constitutional mutation, while only 20 (18%) with a cranial schwannoma had a constitutional predisposition (P < .001). Of 109 cranial schwannomas, 106 (97.2%) were vestibular. Four of 106 people (3.8%) with a cranial schwannoma had an LZTR1 mutation (3 were vestibular schwannomas and 1 was a nonvestibular schwannoma), and 9 (8.5%) had an NF2 mutation.

Conclusions And Relevance: A significant proportion of young people with an apparently sporadic solitary meningioma or schwannoma had a causative predisposition mutation. This finding has important clinical implications because of the risk of additional tumors and the possibility of familial disease. Young patients presenting with a solitary meningioma or schwannoma should be referred for genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710179PMC
September 2017

Cancer-Related Fatigue in Adolescents and Young Adults After Cancer Treatment: Persistent and Poorly Managed.

J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 2017 Sep 17;6(3):489-493. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

2 University of Cambridge , Cambridge, United Kingdom .

Cancer-related fatigue is the most prevalent and distressing symptom experienced by adolescents and young adults (AYAs). An electronic survey was undertaken to ascertain current fatigue management and perceptions of its effectiveness. Eighty-five percent of responders (68/80) experienced fatigue, and it was worse more than 1 year after cancer treatment ended, compared to <1 year (p = 0.007). Forty-one percent received no fatigue management. Although advice to exercise was the most frequent intervention, the greatest impact of fatigue was on the ability to exercise and most did not find exercise advice helpful. Early intervention is warranted, supporting AYAs to persevere with increasing activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jayao.2017.0037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649403PMC
September 2017

Acute memory deficits in chemotherapy-treated adults.

Memory 2017 11 13;25(10):1327-1339. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

a Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological Sciences , University of Manchester , Manchester , UK.

Data from research on amnesia and epilepsy are equivocal with regards to the dissociation, shown in animal models, between rapid and slow long-term memory consolidation. Cancer treatments have lasting disruptive effects on memory and on brain structures associated with memory, but their acute effects on synaptic consolidation are unknown. We investigated the hypothesis that cancer treatment selectively impairs slow synaptic consolidation. Cancer patients and their matched controls were administered a novel list-learning task modelled on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Learning, forgetting, and retrieval were tested before, and one day after patients' first chemotherapy treatment. Due to difficulties recruiting cancer patients at that sensitive time, we were only able to study 10 patients and their matched controls. Patients exhibited treatment-dependent accelerated forgetting over 24 hours compared to their own pre-treatment performance and to the performance of control participants, in agreement with our hypothesis. The number of intrusions increased after treatment, suggesting retrieval deficits. Future research with larger samples should adapt our methods to distinguish between consolidation and retrieval causes for treatment-dependent accelerated forgetting. The presence of significant accelerated forgetting in our small sample is indicative of a potentially large acute effect of chemotherapy treatment on forgetting, with potentially clinically relevant implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2017.1300667DOI Listing
November 2017

Bevacizumab in neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) related vestibular schwannomas: a nationally coordinated approach to delivery and prospective evaluation.

Neurooncol Pract 2016 Dec 7;3(4):281-289. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Nuffield Department of Neurosciences, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK (K.A.M., A.P.); University of New South Wales, St Vincent's Clinical School, Darlinghurst, Australia (K.A.M.); University of Westminster, London, UK (J.F.G.); Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK (J.F.G., R.E.F.); Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK (P.R.A.); Department of Neurology, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK (S.A., R.E.F.); Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK (D.H., C.B., A.P., P.M.P.); Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK (R.J.); Genomic Medicine, Institute of Human Development, MAHSC, University of Manchester, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK (D.G.E.); Centre for Paediatric, Teenage and Young Adult Cancer, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK (M.G.M.).

Background: NF2 patients develop multiple nervous system tumors including bilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS). The tumors and their surgical treatment are associated with deafness, neurological disability, and mortality.Medical treatment with bevacizumab has been reported to reduce VS growth and to improve hearing. In addition to evaluating these effects, this study also aimed to determine other important consequences of treatment including patient-reported quality of life and the impact of treatment on surgical VS rates.

Methods: Patients treated with bevacizumab underwent serial prospective MRI, audiology, clinical, CTCAE-4.0 adverse events, and NFTI-QOL quality-of-life assessments. Tumor volumetrics were classified according to the REiNs criteria and annual VS surgical rates reviewed.

Results: Sixty-one patients (59% male), median age 25 years (range, 10-57), were reviewed. Median follow-up was 23 months (range, 3-53). Partial volumetric tumor response (all tumors) was seen in 39% and 51% had stabilization of previously growing tumors. Age and pretreatment growth rate were predictors of response. Hearing was maintained or improved in 86% of assessable patients. Mean NFTI-QOL scores improved from 12.0 to 10.7 ( < .05). Hypertension was observed in 30% and proteinuria in 16%. Twelve treatment breaks occurred due to adverse events. The rates of VS surgery decreased after the introduction of bevacizumab.

Conclusion: Treatment with bevacizumab in this large, UK-wide cohort decreased VS growth rates and improved hearing and quality of life. The potential risk of surgical iatrogenic damage was also reduced due to an associated reduction in VS surgical rates. Ongoing follow-up of this cohort will determine the long-term benefits and risks of bevacizumab treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npv065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5909937PMC
December 2016

Cardiac Mortality Among 200 000 Five-Year Survivors of Cancer Diagnosed at 15 to 39 Years of Age: The Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study.

Circulation 2016 Nov 7;134(20):1519-1531. Epub 2016 Nov 7.

From Clinical Trial Service Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, United Kingdom (K.E.H., D.J.C., S.C.D.); Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, United Kingdom (K.E.H., R.C.R., D.L.W., C.J.B., M.M.F., C.F., J.G., K.F.W., J.K., M.M.H.); Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (A.B.E.); Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (M.C.M.); National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, United Kingdom (J.W.); and British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence (D.J.C, S.C.D).

Background: Survivors of teenage and young adult cancer are acknowledged as understudied. Little is known about their long-term adverse health risks, particularly of cardiac disease that is increased in other cancer populations where cardiotoxic treatments have been used.

Methods: The Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study cohort comprises 200 945 5-year survivors of cancer diagnosed at 15 to 39 years of age in England and Wales from 1971 to 2006, and followed to 2014. Standardized mortality ratios, absolute excess risks, and cumulative risks were calculated.

Results: Two thousand sixteen survivors died of cardiac disease. For all cancers combined, the standardized mortality ratios for all cardiac diseases combined was greatest for individuals diagnosed at 15 to 19 years of age (4.2; 95% confidence interval, 3.4-5.2) decreasing to 1.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-1.3) for individuals aged 35 to 39 years (2P for trend <0.0001). Similar patterns were observed for both standardized mortality ratios and absolute excess risks for ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, and cardiomyopathy. Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, acute myeloid leukaemia, genitourinary cancers other than bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung cancer, leukaemia other than acute myeloid, central nervous system tumour, cervical cancer, and breast cancer experienced 3.8, 2.7, 2.0, 1.7, 1.7, 1.6, 1.4, 1.3 and 1.2 times the number of cardiac deaths expected from the general population, respectively. Among survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma aged over 60 years, almost 30% of the total excess number of deaths observed were due to heart disease.

Conclusions: This study of over 200 000 cancer survivors shows that age at cancer diagnosis was critical in determining subsequent cardiac mortality risk. For the first time, risk estimates of cardiac death after each cancer diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39 years have been derived from a large population-based cohort with prolonged follow-up. The evidence here provides an initial basis for developing evidence-based follow-up guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.022514DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5106083PMC
November 2016

Toxicity profile of bevacizumab in the UK Neurofibromatosis type 2 cohort.

J Neurooncol 2017 01 28;131(1):117-124. Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Department of Neurology, Neurofibromatosis Service, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9RT, UK.

Bevacizumab is considered an established part of the treatment strategies available for schwannomas in patients with Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). In the UK, it is available through NHS National Specialized Commissioning to NF2 patients with a rapidly growing target schwannoma. Regrowth of the tumour on suspension of treatment is often observed resulting in prolonged periods of exposure to bevacizumab to control the disease. Hypertension and proteinuria are common events with bevacizumab use and there are concerns with regards to the long-term risks of prolonged treatment. Dosing, demographic and adverse event (CTCAE 4.03) data from the UK NF2 bevacizumab cohort are reviewed with particular consideration of renal and cardiovascular complications. Eighty patients (48 male:32 female), median age 24.5 years (range 11-66 years), were followed for a median of 32.7 months (range 12.0-60.2 months). The most common adverse events were fatigue, hypertension and infection. A total of 19/80 patients (24 %) had either a grade 2 or grade 3 hypertension event and 14/80 patients (17.5 %) had proteinuria. Of 36 patients followed for 36 months, 78 % were free from hypertension and 86 % were free of proteinuria. Logistic regression modeling identified age and induction dosing regime to be independent predictors of development of hypertension with dose of 7.5 mg/kg 3 weekly and age >30years having higher rates of hypertension. Proteinuria persisted in one of three patients after cessation of bevacizumab. One patient developed congestive heart failure and the details of this case are described. Further work is needed to determine optimal dosing regimes to limit toxicity without impacting on efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-016-2276-9DOI Listing
January 2017

Pediatric Cancers and Brain Tumors in Adolescents and Young Adults.

Prog Tumor Res 2016 5;43:74-86. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

Embryonal tumors classically occur in young children, some principally within the first year of life. Prospective national and international clinical trials during recent decades have brought about progressive improvements in survival, and associated biological studies have advanced our understanding of tumor biology, in some cases allowing biological tumor characteristics to be harnessed for therapeutic benefit. Embryonal tumors continue to occur, albeit less commonly, during childhood, adolescence and throughout adulthood. These tumors are less well understood, usually not managed according to standardized protocols and rarely included in clinical trials. Survival outcomes are generally poorer than their childhood equivalents. We present here a summary of the published literature on embryonal tumors that present ectopically during adolescence and adulthood. We show that for some tumors protocol-driven treatment, supported by accurate and complete diagnostics and staging, can result in equivalent outcomes to those seen during childhood. We make the case that clinical trial eligibility criteria should be disease-based rather than age-based, and support improvements in dialogue between children's and adults' cancer clinicians to improve outcomes for these rare tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000447075DOI Listing
April 2017

Oral Cryotherapy for Preventing Oral Mucositis in Patients Receiving Cancer Treatment.

JAMA Oncol 2016 Oct;2(10):1365-1366

Cochrane Oral Health Group, School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Clinical Question: In patients receiving treatment for cancer, does oral cryotherapy prevent oral mucositis?

Bottom Line: Oral cryotherapy is effective for the prevention of oral mucositis in adults receiving fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for solid cancers, and for the prevention of severe oral mucositis in adults receiving high-dose melphalan-based chemotherapy before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2680DOI Listing
October 2016

The ENCCA-WP7/EuroSarc/EEC/PROVABES/EURAMOS 3rd European Bone Sarcoma Networking Meeting/Joint Workshop of EU Bone Sarcoma Translational Research Networks; Vienna, Austria, September 24-25, 2015. Workshop Report.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2016 16;6. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Munster, Germany.

This report summarizes the results of the 3rd Joint ENCCA-WP7, EuroSarc, EEC, PROVABES, and EURAMOS European Bone Sarcoma Network Meeting, which was held at the Children's Cancer Research Institute in Vienna, Austria on September 24-25, 2015. The joint bone sarcoma network meetings bring together European bone sarcoma researchers to present and discuss current knowledge on bone sarcoma biology, genetics, immunology, as well as results from preclinical investigations and clinical trials, to generate novel hypotheses for collaborative biological and clinical investigations. The ultimate goal is to further improve therapy and outcome in patients with bone sarcomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-016-0043-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4794847PMC
June 2016

Interventions for preventing oral mucositis in patients with cancer receiving treatment: oral cryotherapy.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Dec 23(12):CD011552. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Cochrane Oral Health Group, School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester, JR Moore Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M13 9PL.

Background: Oral mucositis is a side effect of chemotherapy, head and neck radiotherapy, and targeted therapy, affecting over 75% of high risk patients. Ulceration can lead to severe pain and difficulty eating and drinking, which may necessitate opioid analgesics, hospitalisation and nasogastric or intravenous nutrition. These complications may lead to interruptions or alterations to cancer therapy, which may reduce survival. There is also a risk of death from sepsis if pathogens enter the ulcers of immunocompromised patients. Ulcerative oral mucositis can be costly to healthcare systems, yet there are few preventive interventions proven to be beneficial. Oral cryotherapy is a low-cost, simple intervention which is unlikely to cause side-effects. It has shown promise in clinical trials and warrants an up-to-date Cochrane review to assess and summarise the international evidence.

Objectives: To assess the effects of oral cryotherapy for preventing oral mucositis in patients with cancer who are receiving treatment.

Search Methods: We searched the following databases: the Cochrane Oral Health Group Trials Register (to 17 June 2015), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 5), MEDLINE via Ovid (1946 to 17 June 2015), EMBASE via Ovid (1980 to 17 June 2015), CANCERLIT via PubMed (1950 to 17 June 2015) and CINAHL via EBSCO (1937 to 17 June 2015). We searched the US National Institutes of Health Trials Registry, and the WHO Clinical Trials Registry Platform for ongoing trials. No restrictions were placed on the language or date of publication when searching databases.

Selection Criteria: We included parallel-design randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effects of oral cryotherapy in patients with cancer receiving treatment. We used outcomes from a published core outcome set registered on the COMET website.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently screened the results of electronic searches, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. We contacted study authors for information where feasible. For dichotomous outcomes, we reported risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). For continuous outcomes, we reported mean differences (MD) and 95% CIs. We pooled similar studies in random-effects meta-analyses. We reported adverse effects in a narrative format.

Main Results: We included 14 RCTs analysing 1280 participants. The vast majority of participants did not receive radiotherapy to the head and neck, so this review primarily assesses prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. All studies were at high risk of bias. The following results are for the main comparison: oral cryotherapy versus control (standard care or no treatment). Adults receiving fluorouracil-based (5FU) chemotherapy for solid cancersOral cryotherapy probably reduces oral mucositis of any severity (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.72, 5 studies, 444 analysed, moderate quality evidence). In a population where 728 per 1000 would develop oral mucositis, oral cryotherapy would reduce this to 444 (95% CI 379 to 524). The number needed to treat to benefit one additional person (NNTB), i.e. to prevent them from developing oral mucositis, is 4 people (95% CI 3 to 5).The results were similar for moderate to severe oral mucositis (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.65, 5 studies, 444 analysed, moderate quality evidence). NNTB 4 (95% CI 4 to 6).Severe oral mucositis is probably reduced (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.61, 5 studies, 444 analysed, moderate quality evidence). Where 300 per 1000 would develop severe oral mucositis, oral cryotherapy would reduce this to 120 (95% CI 81 to 183), NNTB 6 (95% CI 5 to 9). Adults receiving high-dose melphalan-based chemotherapy before haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT)Oral cryotherapy may reduce oral mucositis of any severity (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.01, 5 studies, 270 analysed, low quality evidence). Where 824 per 1000 would develop oral mucositis, oral cryotherapy would reduce this to 486 (95% CI reduced to 289 to increased to 833). The NNTB is 3, although the uncertainty surrounding the effect estimate means that the 95% CI ranges from 2 NNTB, to 111 NNTH (number needed to treat in order to harm one additional person, i.e. for one additional person to develop oral mucositis).The results were similar for moderate to severe oral mucositis (RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.17 to 1.09, 5 studies, 270 analysed, low quality evidence). NNTB 3 (95% CI 2 NNTB to 17 NNTH).Severe oral mucositis is probably reduced (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.72, 5 studies, 270 analysed, moderate quality evidence). Where 427 per 1000 would develop severe oral mucositis, oral cryotherapy would reduce this to 162 (95% CI 85 to 308), NNTB 4 (95% CI 3 to 9).Oral cryotherapy was shown to be safe, with very low rates of minor adverse effects, such as headaches, chills, numbness/taste disturbance, and tooth pain. This appears to contribute to the high rates of compliance seen in the included studies.There was limited or no evidence on the secondary outcomes of this review, or on patients undergoing other chemotherapies, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, or on comparisons of oral cryotherapy with other interventions or different oral cryotherapy regimens. Therefore no further robust conclusions can be made. There was also no evidence on the effects of oral cryotherapy in children undergoing cancer treatment.

Authors' Conclusions: We are confident that oral cryotherapy leads to large reductions in oral mucositis of all severities in adults receiving 5FU for solid cancers. We are less confident in the ability of oral cryotherapy to reduce oral mucositis in adults receiving high-dose melphalan before HSCT. Evidence suggests that it does reduce oral mucositis in these adults, but we are less certain about the size of the reduction, which could be large or small. However, we are confident that there is an appreciable reduction in severe oral mucositis in these adults.This Cochrane review includes some very recent and currently unpublished data, and strengthens international guideline statements for adults receiving the above cancer treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011552.pub2DOI Listing
December 2015

Multiple synchronous sites of origin of vestibular schwannomas in neurofibromatosis Type 2.

J Med Genet 2015 Aug 23;52(8):557-62. Epub 2015 Jun 23.

Department of Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.

Background: Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) is a dominantly inherited tumour syndrome with a phenotype which includes bilateral vestibular (eighth cranial nerve) schwannomas. Conventional thinking suggests that these tumours originate at a single point along the superior division of the eighth nerve.

Methods: High resolution MRI was performed in children genetically proven to have NF2. The superior vestibular nerve (SVN) and inferior vestibular nerve (IVN) were visualised along their course with points of tumour origin calculated as a percentage relative to the length of the nerve.

Results: Out of 41 patients assessed, 7 patients had no identifiable eighth cranial nerve disease. In 16 patients there was complete filling of the internal auditory meatus by a tumour mass such that its specific neural origin could not be determined. In the remaining 18 cases, 86 discrete separate foci of tumour origin on the SVN or IVN could be identified including 23 tumours on the right SVN, 26 tumours on the right IVN, 18 tumours on the left SVN and 19 tumours on the left IVN.

Discussion: This study, examining the origins of vestibular schwannomas in NF2, refutes their origin as being from a single site on the transition zone of the superior division of the vestibular nerve. We hypothesise a relationship between the number of tumour foci, tumour biology and aggressiveness of disease. The development of targeted drug therapies in addition to bevacizumab are therefore essential to improve prognosis and quality of life in patients with NF2 given the shortcomings of surgery and radiation treatments when dealing with the multifocality of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4518745PMC
August 2015

Germline mutations in SUFU cause Gorlin syndrome-associated childhood medulloblastoma and redefine the risk associated with PTCH1 mutations.

J Clin Oncol 2014 Dec 17;32(36):4155-61. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Miriam J. Smith, Simon G. Williams, Sanjeev S. Bhaskar, James O'Sullivan, Beverley Anderson, Sarah B. Daly, Jill E. Urquhart, Zaynab Bholah, William G. Newman, and D. Gareth R. Evans, Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, and Central Manchester University Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust; Deemesh Oudit, Christie NHS Foundation Trust; Edmund Cheesman and Anna Kelsey, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital; Martin G. McCabe, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom; and Christian Beetz, Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsdiagnostik Universitätsklinikum Jena, Jena, Germany.

Purpose: Heterozygous germline PTCH1 mutations are causative of Gorlin syndrome (naevoid basal cell carcinoma), but detection rates > 70% have rarely been reported. We aimed to define the causative mutations in individuals with Gorlin syndrome without PTCH1 mutations.

Methods: We undertook exome sequencing on lymphocyte DNA from four unrelated individuals from families with Gorlin syndrome with no PTCH1 mutations found by Sanger sequencing, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), or RNA analysis.

Results: A germline heterozygous nonsense mutation in SUFU was identified in one of four exomes. Sanger sequencing of SUFU in 23 additional PTCH1-negative Gorlin syndrome families identified a SUFU mutation in a second family. Copy-number analysis of SUFU by MLPA revealed a large heterozygous deletion in a third family. All three SUFU-positive families fulfilled diagnostic criteria for Gorlin syndrome, although none had odontogenic jaw keratocysts. Each SUFU-positive family included a single case of medulloblastoma, whereas only two (1.7%) of 115 individuals with Gorlin syndrome and a PTCH1 mutation developed medulloblastoma.

Conclusion: We demonstrate convincing evidence that SUFU mutations can cause classical Gorlin syndrome. Our study redefines the risk of medulloblastoma in Gorlin syndrome, dependent on the underlying causative gene. Previous reports have found a 5% risk of medulloblastoma in Gorlin syndrome. We found a < 2% risk in PTCH1 mutation-positive individuals, with a risk up to 20× higher in SUFU mutation-positive individuals. Our data suggest childhood brain magnetic resonance imaging surveillance is justified in SUFU-related, but not PTCH1-related, Gorlin syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2014.58.2569DOI Listing
December 2014

Genome sequencing of SHH medulloblastoma predicts genotype-related response to smoothened inhibition.

Cancer Cell 2014 Mar;25(3):393-405

Division of Pediatric Neurooncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69121 Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Immunology, University Hospital Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Smoothened (SMO) inhibitors recently entered clinical trials for sonic-hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma (SHH-MB). Clinical response is highly variable. To understand the mechanism(s) of primary resistance and identify pathways cooperating with aberrant SHH signaling, we sequenced and profiled a large cohort of SHH-MBs (n = 133). SHH pathway mutations involved PTCH1 (across all age groups), SUFU (infants, including germline), and SMO (adults). Children >3 years old harbored an excess of downstream MYCN and GLI2 amplifications and frequent TP53 mutations, often in the germline, all of which were rare in infants and adults. Functional assays in different SHH-MB xenograft models demonstrated that SHH-MBs harboring a PTCH1 mutation were responsive to SMO inhibition, whereas tumors harboring an SUFU mutation or MYCN amplification were primarily resistant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2014.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493053PMC
March 2014