Publications by authors named "Meriel Jenney"

46 Publications

Localised rhabdomyosarcoma in infants (<12 months) and young children (12-36 months of age) treated on the EpSSG RMS 2005 study.

Eur J Cancer 2022 01 2;160:206-214. Epub 2021 Dec 2.

Princess Máxima Center for Paediatric Oncology, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Infants (<12 months) with rhabdomyosarcoma have historically had poorer outcome than the older age groups. We present outcomes for infants and young children aged 12-36 months with localised rhabdomyosarcoma with a particular emphasis on infants.

Patients And Methods: All children less than 36 months of age enrolled on the EpSSG RMS 2005 study for localised disease are included. Treatment comprised chemotherapy, local surgery and/or radiation therapy adapted to risk group and age. Main outcome measures were event free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Outcome data were available for 485/490 patients aged less than 36 months, 110 were infants. Infants received chemotherapy according to the risk group with no toxic deaths. Radiotherapy was delivered to 33.6% of infants and 63.5% of 12-36 months old, with respectively 41.7% and 22.2% receiving brachytherapy. Radical surgery was performed in 62% of infants and 57.1% of 12-36 months old. Median follow up for patients who are alive (n = 393) was 72.7 months (range 6.9-158.2). Five-year OS for infants was 88.4% (95%CI 80.3-93.2), which is significantly better than the OS in 12-36 months old patients of 78.0% (95%CI 73.2-82.0; p = 0.0204). Five-year EFS for infants was 72.5% (95%CI 62.8-80.0) compared with 66.1% (95%CI 61.0-70.7; p = 0.2663) for 12-36 months old.

Conclusion: Infants treated on RMS 2005 achieved excellent EFS and OS. The EpSSG RMS 2005 chemotherapy regimen, combined with an increase in the application of adequate local therapy, improvements in imaging and supportive care and potentially favourable patients' characteristics may have contributed to these results.
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January 2022

Genomic Classification and Clinical Outcome in Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Report From an International Consortium.

J Clin Oncol 2021 09 24;39(26):2859-2871. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Purpose: Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma of childhood. Despite aggressive therapy, the 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic or recurrent disease remains poor, and beyond fusion status, no genomic markers are available for risk stratification. We present an international consortium study designed to determine the incidence of driver mutations and their association with clinical outcome.

Patients And Methods: Tumor samples collected from patients enrolled on Children's Oncology Group trials (1998-2017) and UK patients enrolled on malignant mesenchymal tumor and RMS2005 (1995-2016) trials were subjected to custom-capture sequencing. Mutations, indels, gene deletions, and amplifications were identified, and survival analysis was performed.

Results: DNA from 641 patients was suitable for analyses. A median of one mutation was found per tumor. In fusion-negative cases, mutation of any RAS pathway member was found in > 50% of cases, and 21% had no putative driver mutation identified. (15%), (15%), and (13%) mutations were found at a higher incidence than previously reported and mutations were associated with worse outcomes in both fusion-negative and fusion-positive cases. Interestingly, mutations in isoforms predominated in infants < 1 year (64% of cases). Mutation of was associated with histologic patterns beyond those previously described, older age, head and neck primary site, and a dismal survival. Finally, we provide a searchable companion database (ClinOmics), containing all genomic variants, and clinical annotation including survival data.

Conclusion: This is the largest genomic characterization of clinically annotated rhabdomyosarcoma tumors to date and provides prognostic genetic features that refine risk stratification and will be incorporated into prospective trials.
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September 2021

Non-parameningeal head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma in children, adolescents, and young adults: Experience of the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) - RMS2005 study.

Eur J Cancer 2021 07 7;151:84-93. Epub 2021 May 7.

SIREDO Oncology Center, Institute Curie, PSL University, Paris, France.

Background/objectives: The primary aim of this study was to analyse and evaluate the impact of different local treatments on the pattern of relapse in children with primary head and neck non-parameningeal (HNnPM) rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), treated in the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) RMS2005 study. The secondary aim was to assess whether current risk stratification is valid for this specific site.

Design/methods: This study includes all patients with localised HNnPM RMS enrolled in the RMS2005 study between 2005 and 2016. Treatment comprised chemotherapy adapted to risk group, with local surgery and/or radiation therapy. The main outcome measures were event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: A total of 165 patients were identified; the median age was 6.4 years (range, 0.1-25). The most common tumour sites were cheek/chin (22%) and nasal ala/nasolabial fold (20%). Histology was unfavourable for 40%, and regional nodal involvement present in 26%. Local therapy included surgery (58%) and/or radiotherapy (72%) to primary tumour and/or regional lymph nodes. After a median follow-up of 66 months (range, 6-158), 42 patients experienced an event, and 17 are still alive. Tumour events were frequent in oral primary (36%), parotid site (26%), cheek/chin (24%), and nasal ala/nasolabial fold (24%) and included locoregional failure in 84% of cases. The 5-year EFS and OS were 75% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 67.3-81.2) and 84.9% (95% CI: 77.5-89.7), respectively. Favourable histology was associated with a better EFS (82.3% versus 64.6%; p = 0.02) and nodal spread with a worse OS (88.6% versus 76.1%; p = 0.04). Different sublocations within the HNnPM primary did not have significant impact on outcome.

Conclusion: Locoregional relapse/progression is the main tumour failure event in this site. Despite frequent unfavourable risk factors, HNnPM RMS remains a favourable location in the context of a risk-adapted strategy.
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July 2021

Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma completely resected at diagnosis: The European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group RMS2005 experience.

Eur J Cancer 2021 03 7;146:21-29. Epub 2021 Feb 7.

Hematology Oncology Division, Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common form of soft tissue sarcoma in children. We report the results of the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) RMS 2005 study, which prospectively evaluated the reduction of chemotherapy in patients with embryonal RMS (ERMS) after initial surgery.

Methods: Between October 2005 and December 2016, all patients with localised ERMS with an initial microscopically complete resection (IRS group I) with lymph node-negative (N0) were prospectively enrolled in the low-risk (n = 70, subgroup A; age < 10 years and tumour size ≤ 5 cm) or standard-risk group (n = 108, subgroup B; age ≥ 10 years or tumour size > 5 cm. Subgroup A received 8 courses of vincristine and dactinomycin (VA) for 22 weeks; subgroup B received 4 courses of VA with ifosfamide (IVA) and 5 courses of VA for 25 weeks.

Results: The 5-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 90.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 85.0-94.4) and 95.7% (95% CI: 90.5-98.1), respectively (n = 178). The EFS and OS were 95.5% (95% CI: 86.8-98.5) and 100% (subgroupA), and 87.8% (95% CI: 79.3-93.0) and 93.0% (95% CI: 84.8-96.8)(subgroup B), respectively. Bearman stage 2 veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred in 4 very young patients.

Conclusion: VA treatment for 8 courses was effective and well tolerated by the subgroup of patients with low-risk ERMS (group A). Four courses of IVA and 5 courses of VA instead of 9 courses of IVA also has very good results. Careful monitoring for liver toxicity is important in very young patients. European union drug regulating authorities clinical trials EUDRACT No. 2005-000217-35.
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March 2021

Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma with regional nodal involvement: Results of a combined analysis from two cooperative groups.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 03 27;68(3):e28832. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Treatment of children and adolescents with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and regional nodal involvement (N1) have been approached differently by North American and European cooperative groups. In order to define a better therapeutic strategy, we analyzed two studies conducted between 2005 and 2016 by the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) and Children's Oncology Group (COG).

Methods: We retrospectively identified patients with ARMS N1 enrolled in either EpSSG RMS2005 or in COG ARST0531. Chemotherapy in RMS2005 comprised ifosfamide + vincristine + dactinomycin + doxorubicin (IVADo), IVA and maintenance (vinorelbine, cyclophosphamide); in ARST0531, it consisted of either vincristine + dactinomycin + cyclophosphamide (VAC) or VAC alternating with vincristine + irinotecan (VI). Local treatment was similar in both protocols.

Results: The analysis of the clinical characteristics of 239 patients showed some differences between study groups: in RMS2005, advanced Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group (IRS) and large tumors predominated. There were no differences in outcomes between the two groups: 5-year event-free survival (EFS), 49% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 39-59) and 44% (95% CI: 30-58), and overall survival (OS), 51% (95% CI: 41-61) and 53.6% (95% CI: 40-68) in RMS2005 and ARST0531, respectively. In RMS2005, EFS of patients with FOXO1-positive tumors was significantly inferior to those with FOXO1-negative (49.3% vs 73%, P = .034). In contrast, in ARST0531, EFS of patients with FOXO1-positive tumors was 45% compared with 43.8% for those with FOXO1-negative.

Conclusions: The outcome of patients with ARMS N1 was similar in both protocols. However, patients with FOXO1 fusion-negative tumors enrolled in RMS2005 showed a significantly better outcome, suggesting that different strategies of chemotherapy may have an impact in the outcome of this subgroup of patients.
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March 2021

Combined resistance and aerobic exercise intervention improves fitness, insulin resistance and quality of life in survivors of childhood haemopoietic stem cell transplantation with total body irradiation.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 12 12;67(12):e28687. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Level 6 UHBristol Education Centre, University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK.

Purpose: To investigate the effects of a supervised combined resistance and aerobic training programme on cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, insulin resistance and quality of life (QoL) in survivors of childhood haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with total body irradiation (TBI).

Participants: HSCT/TBI survivors (n = 20; 8 females). Mean (range) for age at study and time since HSCT/TBI was 16.7 (10.9-24.5) and 8.4 (2.3-16.0) years, respectively.

Methods: After a 6-month run-in, participants undertook supervised 45- to 60-minute resistance and aerobic training twice weekly for 6 months, with a 6-month follow-up. The following assessments were made at 0, 6 (start of exercise programme), 12 (end of exercise programme) and 18 months: Body composition via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), cardiorespiratory fitness (treadmill-based peak rate of oxygen uptake (VO peak) test), QoL questionnaires (36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Minneapolis-Manchester Quality of Life Instrument (MMQL).

Results: Results expressed as mean (standard deviation) or geometric mean (range). There were significant improvements in VO peak (35.7 (8.9) vs 41.7 (16.1) mL/min/kg, P = 0.05), fasted plasma insulin (16.56 (1.48-72.8) vs 12.62 (1.04-54.97) mIU/L, P = 0.03) and HOMA-IR (3.65 (0.30-17.26) vs 2.72 (0.22-12.89), P = 0.02) after the exercise intervention. There were also significant improvements in the SF-36 QoL general health domain (69.7 (14.3) vs 72.7 (16.0), P = 0.001) and the MMQL school domain (69.1 (25.2) vs (79.3 (21.6), P = 0.03) during the exercise intervention. No significant changes were observed in percentage body fat, fat mass or lean mass.

Conclusion: The supervised 6-month combined resistance and aerobic exercise programme significantly improved cardiorespiratory fitness, insulin resistance and QoL in childhood HSCT/TBI survivors, with no change in body composition, suggesting a metabolic training effect on muscle. These data support a role for targeted physical rehabilitation services in this group at high risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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December 2020

Local staging and treatment in extremity rhabdomyosarcoma. A report from the EpSSG-RMS2005 study.

Cancer Med 2020 10 1;9(20):7580-7589. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

Pediatric Solid Tumor Unit, Princess Maxima Center for pediatric Oncology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Rhabdomyosarcoma of the extremities present with two main challenges: correct evaluation of initial regional nodal involvement and define adequate local treatment.

Methods: Pediatric patients with localized rhabdomyosarcoma of the extremity included in the EpSSG-RMS2005 study between 2005 and 2014 were evaluated for staging, treatment, and survival. The outcome was compared to the preceding European SIOP-MMT studies.

Results: Of the 162 patients included, histology was unfavorable in 113 (70%), 124 (77%) were younger than 10 years, 128 (79%) were IRS III, and 47 (29%) were node-positive. A regional node biopsy was performed in 97 patients (60%) and modified the lymph node stage in 15/97 (16%). Primary and delayed surgery was performed in 155 (96%) and radiotherapy delivered in 118 (73%) patients. Relapse occurred in 61 cases (38%), local in 14 (23%), regional in 13 (21%), distant in 22 (36%), and combined relapse in 12 (20%) with five progressive diseases (8%) and four secondary tumors (7%). Five-year event free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 58.4% (95%CI, 50.3-65.7) and 71.7% (63.6-78.4), respectively. In the previous studies MMT89 and MMT95, tumor surgery was performed in 32/53 (60%) and 74/82(90%), respectively, and radiotherapy delivered in 13/53 (25%) and 26/82 (30%), respectively. Five-year EFS and OS were 35.6%, and 50.3% in MMT89 and 54.3% and 68.2% in the MMT95 study.

Conclusions: Even if the lymph node staging was not always complete according to the RMS2005 protocol, node sampling changed lymph node status in a significant number of patients. Despite the higher rate of patients treated with locoregional radiotherapy, survival in RMS2005 did not improve compared to the previous European SIOP-MMT95 study.
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October 2020

Paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma-Impact of locoregional approach on patient outcome: A report from the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG).

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 09 23;67(9):e28479. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Paediatric Surgery, Bicêtre Hospital, Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicetre, France.

Background: Paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma (PT RMS) is rare compared to benign scrotal pathology. Inappropriate first surgery (InFS) required supplementary treatment to maintain excellent outcomes. Initial staging of regional lymph nodes is important. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent the quality of locoregional approach impacted on patient morbidity and survival.

Design/methods: Analysis was performed on all nonmetastatic PT RMS patients enrolled in the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) RMS 2005 protocol. Aspects assessed were adherence to surgical guidelines and impact of protocol violations, relapse analysis, and survival outcomes.

Results: Analysis was performed on 237 patients, with median follow up of 67.1 months. Median age was 9.0 years. InFS occurred in 75 of 237 (32%) patients. InFS required intensified chemotherapy (10) and local therapy. After InFS, 61 required primary reexcision and five delayed surgery. Of 26 recurrences, the risk of relapse was higher in patients ≥10 years (21/26) and was mainly locoregional in 16 of 26 recurrences (± metastatic). Sixteen of 26 died with 14 of 16 patients ≥10 years. Nodal relapse neither occurred when N1 nodes were identified at diagnosis, nor after surgical staging. Five-year overall survival (OS) at age <10 years versus ≥10 years was 98.1 and 86.7%, respectively (P = .0013). Event-free survival (EFS) at age <10 years versus ≥10 years was 95.8 and 79.6%, respectively (P = .0004). OS and EFS did not highlight a significant difference in patients undergoing appropriate versus InFS (P = .8479, P = .2780, respectively).

Conclusions: InFS required intensified therapy to maintain excellent OS and EFS, so better anticipation of malignancy is required. Surgical staging of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes should be performed in patients ≥10 years old.
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September 2020

A new standard of care for patients with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma? - Authors' reply.

Lancet Oncol 2020 01;21(1):e3

Department of Paediatric Oncology, Children's Hospital for Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK.

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January 2020

Quality of Life of Patients With Osteosarcoma in the European American Osteosarcoma Study-1 (EURAMOS-1): Development and Implementation of a Questionnaire Substudy.

JMIR Res Protoc 2019 Sep 26;8(8):e14406. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, United States.

Background: The quality of life (QoL) of patients with osteosarcoma (OS) may be adversely affected by the disease or its treatment. Therefore, it is important to understand the QoL of patients undergoing treatment for OS to improve the QoL. We report on the first prospective international QoL study that was embedded within a large randomized clinical trial from 4 national study groups.

Objective: This paper aimed to describe the QoL study development, methodology, accrual details, and characteristics of the QoL cohort.

Methods: A total of 2260 patients registered in the EURopean AMerican Osteosarcoma Study-1 (EURAMOS-1), of whom 97.92% (2213/2260) were eligible for the optional QoL assessment and could participate in terms of questionnaire availability. Overall, 61.86% (1369/2213) of patients and/or proxies completed the QoL evaluation at the first assessment time point (E1) after the start of preoperative treatment. The QoL measures used (self- and/or proxy reports) depending on the patient's age and national study group. Participants and nonparticipants in the ancillary QoL study were compared regarding relevant demographic and disease-related characteristics at registration in the trial.

Results: The participation rate at time point E1 did not differ with regard to age, gender, the occurrence of pathological fracture, or the presence of any metastases at diagnosis. No differences were found regarding the primary tumor site. Only the national study group affiliation had an influence on participation. Participation decreased linearly with trial progress up to 20% at the final time point of QoL assessment.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the feasibility of international cooperation for the purpose of assessing and understanding the QoL of pediatric and adolescent/young adult patients with cancer. Future outcomes of this QoL substudy will help to adapt interventions to improve QoL.
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September 2019

Vinorelbine and continuous low-dose cyclophosphamide as maintenance chemotherapy in patients with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS 2005): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 11 24;20(11):1566-1575. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Paediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: For more than three decades, standard treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma in Europe has included 6 months of chemotherapy. The European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) aimed to investigate whether prolonging treatment with maintenance chemotherapy would improve survival in patients with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma.

Methods: RMS 2005 was a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial done at 102 hospitals in 14 countries. We included patients aged 6 months to 21 years with rhabdomyosarcoma who were considered to be at high risk of relapse: those with non-metastatic incompletely resected embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma occurring at unfavourable sites with unfavourable age (≥10 years) or tumour size (>5 cm), or both; those with any non-metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma with nodal involvement; and those with non-metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma but without nodal involvement. Patients in remission after standard treatment (nine cycles of ifosfamide, vincristine, dactinomycin with or without doxorubicin, and surgery or radiotherapy, or both) were randomly assigned (1:1) to stop treatment or continue maintenance chemotherapy (six cycles of intravenous vinorelbine 25 mg/m on days 1, 8, and 15, and daily oral cyclophosphamide 25 mg/m, on days 1-28). Randomisation was done by use of a web-based system and was stratified (block size of four) by enrolling country and risk subgroup. Neither investigators nor patients were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was disease-free survival in the intention-to-treat population. Secondary outcomes were overall survival and toxicity. This trial is registered with EudraCT, number 2005-000217-35, and, number NCT00339118, and follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: Between April 20, 2006, and Dec 21, 2016, 371 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the two groups: 186 to stop treatment and 185 to receive maintenance chemotherapy. Median follow-up was 60·3 months (IQR 32·4-89·4). In the intention-to-treat population, 5-year disease-free survival was 77·6% (95% CI 70·6-83·2) with maintenance chemotherapy versus 69·8% (62·2-76·2) without maintenance chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] 0·68 [95% CI 0·45-1·02]; p=0·061), and 5-year overall survival was 86·5% (95% CI 80·2-90·9) with maintenance chemotherapy versus 73·7% (65·8-80·1) without (HR 0·52 [95% CI 0·32-0·86]; p=0·0097). Toxicity was manageable in patients who received maintenance chemotherapy: 136 (75%) of 181 patients had grade 3-4 leucopenia, 148 (82%) had grade 3-4 neutropenia, 19 (10%) had anaemia, two (1%) had thrombocytopenia, and 56 (31%) had an infection. One (1%) patient had a grade 4 non-haematological toxicity (neurotoxicity). Two treatment-related serious adverse events occurred: one case of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion and one of a severe steppage gait with limb pain, both of which resolved.

Interpretation: Adding maintenance chemotherapy seems to improve survival for patients with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma. This approach will be the new standard of care for patients with high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma in future EpSSG trials.

Funding: Fondazione Città della Speranza, Association Léon Berard Enfant Cancéreux, Clinical Research Hospital Program (French Ministry of Health), and Cancer Research UK.
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November 2019

Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules at Diagnosis in Rhabdomyosarcoma: Are They Clinically Significant? A Report From the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group.

J Clin Oncol 2019 03 31;37(9):723-730. Epub 2019 Jan 31.

1 University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Purpose: To evaluate the clinical significance of indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis (defined as ≤ 4 pulmonary nodules < 5 mm or 1 nodule measuring ≥ 5 and < 10 mm) in patients with pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS).

Patients And Methods: We selected patients with supposed nonmetastatic RMS treated in large pediatric oncology centers in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, who were enrolled in the European Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (E pSSG) RMS 2005 study. Patients included in the current study received a diagnosis between September 2005 and December 2013, and had chest computed tomography scans available for review that were done at time of diagnosis. Local radiologists were asked to review the chest computed tomography scans for the presence of pulmonary nodules and to record their findings on a standardized case report form. In the E pSSG RMS 2005 Study, patients with indeterminate pulmonary nodules were treated identically to patients without pulmonary nodules, enabling us to compare event-free survival and overall survival between groups by log-rank test.

Results: In total, 316 patients were included; 67 patients (21.2%) had indeterminate pulmonary nodules on imaging and 249 patients (78.8%) had no pulmonary nodules evident at diagnosis. Median follow-up for survivors (n = 258) was 75.1 months; respective 5-year event-free survival and overall survival rates (95% CI) were 77.0% (64.8% to 85.5%) and 82.0% (69.7% to 89.6%) for patients with indeterminate nodules and 73.2% (67.1% to 78.3%) and 80.8% (75.1% to 85.3%) for patients without nodules at diagnosis ( P = .68 and .76, respectively).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis do not affect outcome in patients with otherwise localized RMS. There is no need to biopsy or upstage patients with RMS who have indeterminate pulmonary nodules at diagnosis.
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March 2019

Long-term survivors of childhood cancer: cure and care-the Erice Statement (2006) revised after 10 years (2016).

J Cancer Surviv 2018 10 26;12(5):647-650. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Klinik für Kinder und Jugendmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

Purpose: The number of persons who have successfully completed treatment for a cancer diagnosed during childhood and who have entered adulthood is increasing over time, and former patients will become aging citizens.

Methods: Ten years ago, an expert panel met in Erice, Italy, to produce a set of principles concerning the cure and care of survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer. The result was the Erice Statement (Haupt et al. Eur J Cancer 43(12):1778-80, 2007) that was translated into nine languages. Ten years on, it was timely to review, and possibly revise, the Erice Statement in view of the changes in paediatric oncology and the number and results of international follow-up studies conducted during the intervening years.

Results: The long-term goal of the cure and care of a child with cancer is that he/she becomes a resilient and autonomous adult with optimal health-related quality of life, accepted in society at the same level as his/her age peers. "Cure" refers to cure from the original cancer, regardless of any potential for, or presence of, remaining disabilities or side effects of treatment. The care of a child with cancer should include complete and honest information for parents and the child.

Conclusions And Implication For Cancer Survivors: Some members of the previous expert panel, as well as new invited experts, met again in Erice to review the Erice Statement, producing a revised version including update and integration of each of the ten points. In addition, a declaration has been prepared, by the Childhood Cancer International Survivors Network in Dublin on October 2016 (see Annex 1).
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October 2018

Addition of dose-intensified doxorubicin to standard chemotherapy for rhabdomyosarcoma (EpSSG RMS 2005): a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 08 22;19(8):1061-1071. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Clinical Trials and Biostatistics Unit, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV-IRCCS, Padova, Italy.

Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma is an aggressive tumour that can develop in almost any part of the body. Doxorubicin is an effective drug against rhabdomyosarcoma, but its role in combination with an established multidrug regimen remains controversial. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the possible benefit of early dose intensification with doxorubicin in patients with non-metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma.

Methods: We did a multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled, phase 3 trial involving 108 hospitals from 14 countries. We included patients older than 6 months but younger than 21 years with a pathologically proven diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. We assigned each patient to a specific subgroup according to the EpSSG stratification system. Those with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma incompletely resected and localised at unfavourable sites with or without nodal involvement, or those with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma without nodal involvement were considered at high risk of relapse. These high-risk patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either nine cycles of IVA (ifosfamide 3 g/m given as a 3-h intravenous infusion on days 1 and 2, vincristine 1·5 mg/m weekly during the first 7 weeks then only on day 1 of each cycle [given as a single intravenous injection], and dactinomycin 1·5 mg/m on day 1 given as a single intravenous injection) or four cycles of IVA with doxorubicin 30 mg/m given as a 4-h intravenous infusion on days 1 and 2 followed by five cycles of IVA. The interval between cycles was 3 weeks. Randomisation was done using a web-based system and was stratified (block sizes of four) by enrolling country and risk subgroup. Neither investigators nor patients were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was 3-year event-free survival assessed by the investigator at each centre in the intention-to-treat population. Patients who received at least one dose of study treatment were considered in the safety analysis. In agreement with the independent data monitoring committee, the study was closed to patient entry on Dec 16, 2013, after futility analysis. This trial is registered with EudraCT, number 2005-000217-35, and is currently in follow-up.

Findings: Between Oct 1, 2005, and Dec 16, 2013, 484 patients were randomly assigned to receive each chemotherapy regimen (242 in the IVA group and 242 in the IVA plus doxorubicin group). Median follow-up was 63·9 months (IQR 44·6-78·9). The 3-year event-free survival was 67·5% (95% CI 61·2-73·1) in the IVA plus doxorubicin group and 63·3% (56·8-69·0) in the IVA group (hazard ratio 0·87, 95% CI 0·65-1·16; p=0·33). Grade 3-4 leucopenia (232 [93%] of 249 patients in the IVA plus doxorubicin group vs 194 [85%] of 227 in the IVA group; p=0·0061), anaemia (195 [78%] vs 111 [49%]; p<0·0001), thrombocytopenia (168 [67%] vs 59 [26%]; p<0.0001), and gastrointestinal adverse events (78 [31%] vs 19 [8%]; p<0·0001) were significantly more common in the IVA plus doxorubicin group than in the IVA group. Grade 3-5 infections (198 [79%] vs 128 [56%]; p<0·0001) were also significantly more common in the IVA plus doxorubicin group than in the IVA group, in which one patient had grade 5 infection. Two treatment-related deaths were reported (one patient developed septic shock and one affected by Goldenhar syndrome developed intractable seizures) in the IVA plus doxorubicin group, both occurring after the first cycle of treatment, and none were reported in the IVA group.

Interpretations: The addition of dose-intensified doxorubicin to standard IVA chemotherapy did not show a significant improvement in the outcome of patients with high-risk non-metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma. Therefore, the IVA chemotherapy regimen should remain the standard of care for patients with localised rhabdomyosarcoma in Europe.

Funding: Fondazione Città della Speranza, Italy, and the Association Léon Berard Enfant Cancéreux, France.
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August 2018

Fusion status in patients with lymph node-positive (N1) alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a powerful predictor of prognosis: Experience of the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG).

Cancer 2018 08 24;124(15):3201-3209. Epub 2018 May 24.

Padova University Hospital, Padova, Italy.

Background: Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) with lymph node involvement (N1 classification) accounts for up to 10% of all cases of RMS. The prognosis is poor, and is comparable to that of distant metastatic disease. In the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) RMS2005 protocol, patients with a histologic diagnosis of aRMS/N1 received intensified chemotherapy with systematic locoregional treatment.

Methods: Patients with aRMS/N1 were enrolled prospectively after primary surgery/biopsy and fusion status was assessed in tumor samples. All patients received 9 cycles of induction chemotherapy and 6 months of maintenance therapy. Local treatment included radiotherapy to the primary site and lymph nodes with or without secondary surgical resection.

Results: A total of 103 patients were enrolled. The clinical characteristics of the patients were predominantly unfavorable: 90% had macroscopic residual disease after initial surgery/biopsy, 63% had locally invasive tumors, 77% had a tumor measuring >5 cm, and 81% had disease at unfavorable sites. Fusion genes involving forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) were detected in 56 of 84 patients. Events occurred in 52 patients: 43 developed disease recurrence, 7 had disease that was refractory to treatment, and 2 patients developed second neoplasms. On univariate analysis, unfavorable disease site, tumor invasiveness, Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study group III, and fusion-positive status correlated with worse prognosis. The 5-year event-free survival rate of patients with fusion-positive tumors was 43% compared with 74% in patients with fusion-negative tumors (P = .01). On multivariate analysis, fusion positivity and tumor invasiveness proved to be unfavorable prognostic markers.

Conclusions: Fusion status and tumor invasiveness appear to have a strong impact on prognosis in patients with aRMS/N1. Fusion status will be used to stratify these patients in the next EpSSG RMS study, and treatment will be intensified in patients with fusion-positive tumors. Cancer 2018. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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August 2018

Localized vaginal/uterine rhabdomyosarcoma-results of a pooled analysis from four international cooperative groups.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2018 09 21;65(9):e27096. Epub 2018 May 21.

Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Background: Vaginal/uterine rhabdomyosarcoma (VU RMS) is one of the most favorable RMS sites. To determine the optimal therapy, the experience of four cooperative groups (Children's Oncology Group [COG], International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor Group [MMT], Italian Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Group [ICG], and European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group [EpSSG]) was analyzed.

Procedure: From 1981 to 2009, 237 patients were identified. Median age (years) at diagnosis differed by tumor location; it was 1.9 for vagina (n = 160), 2.7 for uterus corpus (n = 26), and 13.5 for uterus cervix (n = 51). Twenty-eight percent of patients received radiation therapy (RT) as part of primary therapy (23% COG, 27% MMT, 46% ICG, and 42% EpSSG), with significant differences in the use of brachytherapy between the cooperative groups (23% COG, 76% MMT, 64% ICG, and 88% EpSSG).

Results: Ten-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 74% (95% CI, 67-79%) and 92% (95% CI, 88-96%), respectively. In univariate analysis, OS was inferior for patients with uterine RMS and for those with regional lymph node involvement. Although EFS was slightly lower in patients without initial RT (71% without RT vs. 81% with RT; P = 0.08), there was no difference in OS (94% without RT vs. 89% with RT; P = 0.18). Local control using brachytherapy was excellent (93%). Fifty-one (51.5%) of the 99 survivors with known primary therapy and treatment for relapse were cured with chemotherapy with or without conservative surgery.

Conclusions: About half of all patients with VU RMS can be cured without systematic RT or radical surgery. When RT is indicated, modalities that limit sequelae should be considered, such as brachytherapy.
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September 2018

Respiratory mortality of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.

Thorax 2018 10 10;73(10):959-968. Epub 2018 May 10.

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

Background: Exposure to radiation and/or chemotherapy during cancer treatment can compromise respiratory function. We investigated the risk of long-term respiratory mortality among 5-year cancer survivors diagnosed before age 40 years using the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (BCCSS) and Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Survivor Study (TYACSS).

Methods: The BCCSS comprises 34 489 cancer survivors diagnosed before 15 years from 1940 to 2006 in Great Britain. The TYACSS includes 200 945 cancer survivors diagnosed between 15 years and 39 years from 1971 to 2006 in England and Wales. Standardised mortality ratios and absolute excess risks were used.

Findings: Overall, 164 and 1079 respiratory deaths were observed in the BCCSS and TYACSS cohorts respectively, which was 6.8 (95% CI 5.8 to 7.9) and 1.7 (95% CI 1.6 to 1.8) times that expected, but the risks varied substantially by type of respiratory death. Greatest excess numbers of deaths were experienced after central nervous system (CNS) tumours in the BCCSS and after lung cancer, leukaemia, head and neck cancer and CNS tumours in the TYACSS. The excess number of respiratory deaths increased with increasing attained age, with seven (95% CI 2.4 to 11.3) excess deaths observed among those aged 50+ years in the BCCSS and three (95% CI 1.4 to 4.2) excess deaths observed among those aged 60+ years in the TYACSS. It was reassuring to see a decline in the excess number of respiratory deaths among those diagnosed more recently in both cohorts.

Conclusions: Prior to this study, there was almost nothing known about the risks of respiratory death after cancer diagnosed in young adulthood, and this study addresses this gap. These new findings will be useful for both survivors and those involved in their clinical management and follow-up.
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October 2018

Prognostic relevance of early radiologic response to induction chemotherapy in pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor 95 study.

Cancer 2018 03 6;124(5):1016-1024. Epub 2017 Dec 6.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Emma Children's Hospital/Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Early response to induction chemotherapy is used in current European guidelines to evaluate the efficacy of chemotherapy and subsequently to adapt treatment in pediatric patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). However, existing literature on the prognostic value of early radiologic response on survival is contradictory; here the prognostic value is analyzed with data from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor 95 (MMT-95) study.

Methods: This study examined 432 Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Grouping III (macroscopic residue) patients enrolled in the SIOP MMT-95 study with a response assessment after 3 courses of chemotherapy (a 2-dimensional assessment). Patients with progressive disease (PD) after 3 courses of chemotherapy were excluded (n = 7). Failure-free survival (FFS) and overall survival (OS), calculated with the Kaplan-Meier method, were compared for 3 groups (complete response [CR]/partial response [PR], objective response [OR], and no response [NR]). The prognostic impact of early response was assessed through the calculation of Cox proportional hazards.

Results: After 3 courses of chemotherapy, 85.2% of the patients had CR/PR, 8.6% had OR, and 6.3% had NR. For all patients, the 5-year FFS and OS rates were 60% (95% confidence interval [CI], 56%-65%) and 74% (95% CI, 70%-78%), respectively. However, a Cox proportional hazards regression analysis revealed no significant difference in FFS or OS between the response groups. The adjusted hazard ratios for an OR and NR were 1.09 (95% CI, 0.63-1.88) and 0.81 (95% CI, 0.39-1.67), respectively, for FFS and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.47-1.76) and 1.27 (95% CI, 0.61-2.64), respectively, for OS.

Conclusions: No evidence was found for the idea that early radiologic response to chemotherapy is prognostic for survival for patients with RMS. Treatment adaptation based on early response (except for patients with PD) should, therefore, no longer be incorporated into future studies. Cancer 2018;124:1016-24. © 2017 American Cancer Society.
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March 2018

Paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma in children and adolescents-Outcome and patterns of relapse when utilizing a nonsurgical strategy for lymph node staging: Report from the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Malignant Mesenchymal Tumour 89 and 95 studies.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 Sep 16;64(9). Epub 2017 Feb 16.

Chirurgie Pédiatrique Hôpital Bicêtre, Université Paris XI, Orsay, France.

Purpose: To report the results from International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors studies (MMT 89 and 95) of males with nonmetastatic paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma.

Methods: From 1989 to 2003, 159 patients were included. Radical inguinal orchidectomy was recommended, but retroperitoneal lymph node (LN) assessment was based on imaging alone. The treatment was stratified by stage (SIOP tumor-node-metastasis staging system) and histology.

Results: Median age at presentation was 5.6 years (range 0.3-17.6) and 120 patients were of <10 years (75%). Patients ≥10 years had tumors of >5 cm more frequently compared to patients of <10 years (54% vs. 22%, P = 0.0004). The 5- year overall and progression-free survivals were 94% and 83%, respectively. Seventy-eight percent of relapses occurred in the retroperitoneal LN. Thirty-one percent of stage N0 patients of age ≥10 years developed node relapse, compared with 8% of N0 patients aged <10 years (P = 0.0005).

Conclusions: Older patients with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma have a significant risk of LN relapse. These results support a surgical approach to LN staging in this subgroup of patients.
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September 2017

Access to clinical trials for adolescents with soft tissue sarcomas: Enrollment in European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) protocols.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017 06 24;64(6). Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Division, Padova University, Padova, Italy.

Background: Adolescents with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials at far lower rates than children. This report compares the number of adolescents (15-19-year-olds) and children (0-14-year-olds) enrolled in the protocols of the European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) with the number of cases expected to occur.

Methods: The observed-to-expected (O/E) ratio was detected in the EpSSG countries contributing most of the cases, that is, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The observed cases included patients enrolled in any of the EpSSG protocols from October 2008 to October 2015, when all EpSSG protocols were open in these countries. The number of expected cases was calculated from the incidence rates estimated throughout the RARECAREnet database in the countries' population-based cancer registries.

Results: In the countries considered, 2,118 cases aged 0-19 years were enrolled in the EpSSG trials from 2008 to 2015: 82.8% were children and 17.2% were adolescents. The O/E ratio was 0.30 among patients 15-19 years old, as opposed to 0.64 for those 0-14 years old. The O/E ratio differed for the different subtypes: in adolescents, it was 0.64 and 0.18 for rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS), respectively; in children, it was 0.77 and 0.50, respectively. The O/E ratios differed across the countries considered.

Conclusions: Adolescents were less well represented than children on the EpSSG protocols, with better enrolment for RMS than for NRSTS for all age groups.
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June 2017

Nonparameningeal head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma in children and adolescents: Lessons from the consecutive International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor studies.

Head Neck 2017 01 26;39(1):24-31. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Background: This article reports risk factors and long-term outcome in localized nonparameningeal head and neck rhabdomyosarcomas in children and adolescents from a combined dataset from 3 consecutive international trials.

Methods: Data from 140 children (9.3% of total) prospectively enrolled in the International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumor (SIOP-MMT)-84/89/95 studies were analyzed.

Results: Primary site was: superficial face in 46%; oral cavity (21%); neck (19%); and salivary glands (14%). Local control was achieved in 96%, but 49% relapsed (locoregionally 91%). At median follow-up of 10 years, 5-year overall survival (OS) was 74.7% (67.4% to 81.9%) and event-free survival 48.9% (40.6% to 57.2%), although this improved with successive studies. Radiotherapy (RT) as first-line treatment was independently prognostic for event-free survival (relative risk [RR] = 0.4 [range, 0.2-0.7]; p < .01) even if it did not impact OS (RR = 1 [range, 0.5-2]).

Conclusion: High rates of locoregional relapse were seen in head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma that should be prevented by more frequent use of RT in this primary. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 24-31, 2017.
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January 2017

Conservative strategy in infantile fibrosarcoma is possible: The European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group experience.

Eur J Cancer 2016 Apr 2;57:1-9. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.

Background: Infantile fibrosarcoma (IFS) is a very rare disease occurring in young infants characterised by a high local aggressiveness but overall with a favourable survival. To try to reduce the total burden of therapy, the European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group has developed conservative therapeutic recommendations according to initial resectability.

Material And Methods: Between 2005 and 2012, children with localised IFS were prospectively registered. Initial surgery was suggested only if possible without mutilation. Patients with initial complete (IRS-group I/R0) or microscopic incomplete (group II/R1) resection had no further therapy. Patients with initial inoperable tumour (group III/R2) received first-line vincristine-actinomycin-D chemotherapy (VA). Delayed conservative surgery was planned after tumour reduction. Aggressive local therapy (mutilating surgery or external radiotherapy) was discouraged.

Results: A total of 50 infants (median age 1.4 months), were included in the study. ETV6-NTRK3 transcript was present in 87.2% of patients where investigation was performed. According to initial surgery, 11 patients were classified as group I, 8 as group II and 31 as group III. VA chemotherapy was first delivered to 25 children with IRS-III/R2 and one with IRS-II/R1 disease. Response rate to VA was 68.0%. Mutilating surgery was only performed in three cases. After a median follow-up of 4.7 years (range 1.9-9.0), 3-year event-free survival and overall survival were respectively 84.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 70.5-91.7) and 94.0% (95% CI 82.5-98.0).

Conclusions: Conservative therapy is possible in IFS as only three children required mutilating surgery, and alkylating or anthracycline based chemotherapy was avoided in 71.0% of patients needing chemotherapy. VA regimen should be first line therapy in order to reduce long term effects.
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April 2016

An emerging evidence base for PET-CT in the management of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma: systematic review.

BMJ Open 2015 Jan 8;5(1):e006030. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, North Yorkshire, UK.

Introduction: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) management depends on risk stratification at diagnosis and treatment response. Assessment methods include CT, MRI, bone scintigraphy, histological analysis and bone marrow biopsy. Advanced functional imaging (FI) has potential to improve staging accuracy and management strategies.

Methods And Analysis: We conducted a systematic review (PROSPERO 2013:CRD42013006128) of diagnostic accuracy and clinical effectiveness of FI in histologically proven paediatric RMS. PRISMA guidance was followed. We searched 10 databases to November 2013. Studies with ≥10 patients with RMS which compared positron emission tomography (PET), PET-CT or diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) MRI to conventional imaging at any treatment stage were included. Study quality was assessed. Limited, heterogeneous effectiveness data required narrative synthesis, illustrated by plotting sensitivity and specificity in receiver operating curve (ROC) space.

Results: Eight studies (six PET-CT, two PET) with 272 RMS patients in total were included. No DWI-MRI studies met inclusion criteria. Pooled estimates were not calculated due to sparseness of data. Limited evidence indicated initial PET-CT results were predictive of survival. PET-CT changed management of 7/40 patients. Nodal involvement PET-CT: sensitivity ranged from 80% to 100%; specificity from 89% to 100%. Distant metastatic involvement: PET-CT sensitivity ranged from 95% to 100%; specificity from 80% to100%. Data on metastases in different sites were sparse. Limited data were found on outcome prediction by PET-CT response.

Dissemination And Ethics: PET/PET-CT may increase initial staging accuracy in paediatric RMS, specifically in the detection of nodal involvement and distant metastatic spread. There is a need to further assess PET-CT for this population, ideally in a representative, unbiased and transparently selected cohort of patients.
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January 2015

Acute myeloid leukaemia after treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in girl with Bloom syndrome.

J Genet Syndr Gene Ther 2013 Sep;4(8)

Stem Cell and Leukaemia Proteomics Laboratory; School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre ; Department of Paediatric Onclogy, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital ; Paediatric and Adolescent Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Bloom syndrome (BS) is an inherited genomic instability disorder caused by disruption of the BLM helicase and confers an extreme cancer predisposition. Here we report on a girl with BS who developed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) at age nine, and treatment-related acute myeloid leukaemia (t-AML) aged 12. She was compound heterozygous for the novel BLM frameshift deletion c.1624delG and the previously described c.3415C>T nonsense mutation. Two haematological malignancies in a child with BS imply a fundamental role for BLM for normal haematopoiesis, in particular in the presence of genotoxic stress.
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September 2013

Conservative approach in localised rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder and prostate: results from International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) studies: malignant mesenchymal tumour (MMT) 84, 89 and 95.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014 Feb 29;61(2):217-22. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Children's Hospital for Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Background: The three sequential SIOP MMT studies provide the largest dataset available to date, to define the patient and tumour characteristics, treatment modalities and event-free and overall survival for children with non metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) of the bladder and/or prostate (BP).

Procedure: The combined dataset of 172 patients with BP RMS treated on the SIOP MMT 84, 89 and 95 studies was reviewed to determine tumour characteristics, details of treatment and outcome.

Results: Median age at diagnosis was 2.5 years (range 2 months-17.8 years) and 138 (79%) were males. Median follow-up was 11.4 years (range 3 months-22 years). The 5-year overall survival of the combined cohort was 77% (CI 70-83%). The 5-year event-free survival was 63% and included 7 patients (4%) who did not achieve complete remission (CR), and 57 (33%) who relapsed. Age ≥ 10 years (RR 3.7) and alveolar pathology (RR 3.3) were identified as independent prognostic factors on multivariate analysis. Fifty-nine (50%) of the 119 survivors were cured without significant local therapy, improving from 31% in MMT84 study to 61% in MMT95 study.

Conclusion: The clinical strategy of the MMT studies aims to minimise the burden of therapy whilst maintaining survival rates. Overall survival is comparable to that of other international groups, despite the lower use of radiotherapy and or radical surgery, although number of events experienced is higher. Further assessment of the late effects of therapy is required to confirm whether this approach results in lower morbidity in the long-term.
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February 2014

Randomized comparison of intensified six-drug versus standard three-drug chemotherapy for high-risk nonmetastatic rhabdomyosarcoma and other chemotherapy-sensitive childhood soft tissue sarcomas: long-term results from the International Society of Pediatric Oncology MMT95 study.

J Clin Oncol 2012 Jul 4;30(20):2457-65. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Institut Gustave- Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: MMT95 was the fourth of a series of International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) collaborations for children with high-risk nonmetastatic soft tissue sarcoma (STS). The principal objective was to explore survival advantage for an intensified chemotherapy strategy in a randomized trial.

Patients And Methods: From July 1995 to June 2003, 457 previously untreated patients with incompletely resected embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), undifferentiated sarcoma, and soft tissue primitive neuroectodermal tumor at all sites except paratesticular, vagina, and uterus, or with alveolar RMS were randomly assigned to receive either ifosfamide, vincristine, and dactinomycin (IVA) or a six-drug combination (IVA plus carboplatin, epirubicin, and etoposide) both delivered over 27 weeks. Cumulative doses were as follows: ifosfamide 54 g/m(2) (both arms), epirubicin 450 mg/m(2), etoposide 1,350 mg/m(2) (six-drug regimen). Poor responders after three courses of IVA were to be switched to the other arm. Delivery of radiotherapy was determined according to site and/or response to chemotherapy with or without surgery.

Results: Overall survival (OS) for all patients was 81% (95% CI, 77% to 84%) at 3 years. No significant difference in outcome in either OS or event-free survival was noted between the two arms (3-year OS: 82% [95% CI, 76% to 86%] for IVA and 80% [95% CI, 74% to 85%] for the six-drug arm). Toxicity was significantly greater (infection, myelosuppression, and mucositis) in the six-drug arm. Overall burden of local therapy was consistent with data from previous SIOP studies and showed no difference between the two chemotherapy regimens.

Conclusion: Intensification of chemotherapy for nonmetastatic RMS and other chemotherapy-sensitive STS provides no survival advantage or reduction in the intensity of local therapy and adds toxicity.
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July 2012

Long-term cause-specific mortality among survivors of childhood cancer.

JAMA 2010 Jul;304(2):172-9

Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies, School of Health and Population Sciences, Public Health Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England.

Context: Survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk of premature mortality compared with the general population, but little is known about the long-term risks of specific causes of death, particularly beyond 25 years from diagnosis at ages when background mortality in the general population starts to increase substantially.

Objective: To investigate long-term cause-specific mortality among 5-year survivors of childhood cancer in a large-scale population-based cohort.

Design, Setting, And Patients: British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a population-based cohort of 17,981 5-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed with cancer before age 15 years between 1940 and 1991 in Britain and followed up until the end of 2006.

Main Outcome Measures: Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and absolute excess risks (AERs).

Results: Overall, 3049 deaths were observed, which was 11 times the number expected (SMR, 10.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.3-11.1). The SMR declined with follow-up but was still 3-fold higher than expected (95% CI, 2.5-3.9) 45 years from diagnosis. The AER for deaths from recurrence declined from 97 extra deaths (95% CI, 92-101) per 10,000 person-years at 5 to 14 years from diagnosis, to 8 extra deaths (95% CI, 3-22) beyond 45 years from diagnosis. In contrast, during the same periods of follow-up, the AER for deaths from second primary cancers and circulatory causes increased from 8 extra deaths (95% CI, 7-10) and 2 extra deaths (95% CI, 2-3) to 58 extra deaths (95% CI, 38-90) and 29 extra deaths (95% CI, 16-56), respectively. Beyond 45 years from diagnosis, recurrence accounted for 7% of the excess number of deaths observed while second primary cancers and circulatory deaths together accounted for 77%.

Conclusion: Among a cohort of British survivors of childhood cancer, excess mortality from second primary cancers and circulatory diseases continued to occur beyond 25 years from diagnosis.
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July 2010

Comparison of outcomes based on treatment algorithms for rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder/prostate: combined results from the Children's Oncology Group, German Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study, Italian Cooperative Group, and International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors Committee.

Int J Cancer 2011 Mar;128(5):1232-9

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The purpose of this study was to determine patient characteristics and outcomes for bladder/prostate (BP) rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) using an international cohort of prospectively treated patients comparing different treatment algorithms. Data were collected from 379 patients (1979-1998) treated on protocol; Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study, IRS-IV (n = 239 patients), International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors (MMT) Committee MMT-84 and -89 (n = 74), Italian Cooperative Group, RMS-79 and RMS-88 Studies (n = 37) or German Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study CWS-91 protocols (n = 29). A total of 322 (85%) patients had localized embryonal RMS (ERMS) and 27 had metastatic disease. Thirty patients (21 local disease; 9 metastatic) had nonembryonal BP RMS. Patients with localized ERMS had large tumors (64% >5 cm) that were invasive (54%) with uninvolved regional lymph nodes (N0, 93%). The 5-year failure-free survival (FFS) was 75% and the overall survival (OS) was 84%, with 89% of deaths attributed to disease. Treatment failures were usually local disease recurrence (60%). Predictors of FFS included T-stage (invasiveness), size, and histology. FFS was decreased for patients not receiving initial radiotherapy but this did not translate into a decreased OS. The 21 patients with localized nonembryonal BP RMS had a FFS and OS of 47%. The 36 patients with metastatic disease were more likely to be older and had large tumors that were invasive with alveolar histology and regional lymph node involvement. The 5-year FFS and OS were 41 and 44%, respectively. In conclusion, the majority of BP RMS patients had localized ERMS with a resultant good prognosis using current treatment algorithms. There were differences in FFS between treatment protocols but this did not result in an altered OS.
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March 2011

Survivors of childhood cancer.

BMJ 2009 Dec 8;339:b4691. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

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December 2009