Publications by authors named "Rosalba Miceli"

146 Publications

T-cell immune response after mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is frequently detected also in the absence of seroconversion in patients with lymphoid malignancies.

Br J Haematol 2021 Oct 14. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

School of Medicine, University of Milano, Italy.

Patients affected by lymphoid malignancies (LM) are frequently immune-compromised, suffering increased mortality from COVID-19. This prospective study evaluated serological and T-cell responses after complete mRNA vaccination in 263 patients affected by chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, B- and T-cell lymphomas and multiple myeloma. Results were compared with those of 167 healthy subjects matched for age and sex. Overall, patient seroconversion rate was 64·6%: serological response was lower in those receiving anti-cancer treatments in the 12 months before vaccination: 55% vs 81·9% (P < 0·001). Anti-CD20 antibody plus chemotherapy treatment was associated with the lowest seroconversion rate: 17·6% vs. 71·2% (P < 0·001). In the multivariate analysis conducted in the subgroup of patients on active treatment, independent predictors for seroconversion were: anti-CD20 treatment (P < 0·001), aggressive B-cell lymphoma diagnosis (P = 0·002), and immunoglobulin M levels <40 mg/dl (P = 0·030). The T-cell response was evaluated in 99 patients and detected in 85 of them (86%). Of note, 74% of seronegative patients had a T-cell response, but both cellular and humoral responses were absent in 13·1% of cases. Our findings raise some concerns about the protection that patients with LM, particularly those receiving anti-CD20 antibodies, may gain from vaccination. These patients should strictly maintain all the protective measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17877DOI Listing
October 2021

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk soft tissue sarcomas: A Sarculator-based risk stratification analysis of the ISG-STS 1001 randomized trial.

Cancer 2021 Oct 13. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

Department of Orthopedic Oncology, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy.

Background: The value of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is not completely understood. This study investigated the benefit of neoadjuvant chemotherapy according to prognostic stratification based on the Sarculator nomogram for STS.

Methods: This study analyzed data from ISG-STS 1001, a randomized study that tested 3 cycles of neoadjuvant anthracycline plus ifosfamide (AI) or histology-tailored (HT) chemotherapy in adult patients with STS. The 10-year predicted overall survival (pr-OS) was estimated with the Sarculator and was stratified into higher (10-year pr-OS < 60%) and lower risk subgroups (10-year pr-OS ≥ 60%).

Results: The median pr-OS was 0.63 (interquartile range [IQR], 0.51-0.72) for the entire study population, 0.62 (IQR, 0.51-0.70) for the AI arm, and 0.64 (IQR, 0.51-0.73) for the HT arm. Three- and 5-year overall survival (OS) were 0.86 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-0.93) and 0.81 (95% CI, 0.71-0.86) in lower risk patients and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.70-0.85) and 0.59 (95% CI, 0.51-0.72) in the higher risk patients (log-rank test, P = .004). In higher risk patients, the 3- and 5-year Sarculator-predicted and study-observed OS rates were 0.68 and 0.58, respectively, and 0.85 and 0.66, respectively, in the AI arm (P = .04); the corresponding figures in the HT arm were 0.69 and 0.60, respectively, and 0.69 and 0.55, respectively (P > .99). In lower risk patients, the 3- and 5-year Sarculator-predicted and study-observed OS rates were 0.85 and 0.80, respectively, and 0.89 and 0.82, respectively, in the AI arm (P = .507); the corresponding figures in the HT arm were 0.87 and 0.81, respectively, and 0.86 and 0.74, respectively (P = .105).

Conclusions: High-risk patients treated with AI performed better than predicted, and this adds to the evidence for the efficacy of neoadjuvant AI in STS.

Lay Summary: People affected by soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities and trunk wall are at some risk of developing metastasis after surgery. Preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy has been tested in clinical trials to reduce the chances of distant metastasis. However, study findings have not been conclusive. This study stratified the risk of metastasis for people affected by sarcomas who were included in a clinical trial testing neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Exploiting the prognostic nomogram Sarculator, it found a benefit for chemotherapy when the predicted risk, based on patient and tumor characteristics, was high.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33895DOI Listing
October 2021

Longitudinal prognostication in retroperitoneal sarcoma survivors: Development and external validation of two dynamic nomograms.

Eur J Cancer 2021 11 20;157:291-300. Epub 2021 Sep 20.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Purpose: The aim of this study was to create and validate dynamic nomograms to predict overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) at different time points during follow-up in patients who had undergone resection of primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS).

Methods: Patients with primary RPS operated upon between 2002 and 2017 at four and six referral centres comprised the development and external validation cohorts, respectively. Landmark analysis and multivariable Cox models were used to develop dynamic nomograms. Variables were selected using two backward procedures based on the Akaike information criterion. The prediction window was fixed at 5 years. Nomogram performances were tested in terms of calibration and discrimination on the development and validation cohorts.

Results: Development and validation cohorts totalled 1357 and 487 patients (OS analysis), and 1309 and 452 patients (DFS analysis), respectively. The final OS model included age, landmark time (T), tumour grade, completeness of resection and occurrence of local/distant recurrence. The final DFS model included T, histologic subtype, tumour size, tumour grade, multifocality and the interaction terms between T and size, grade and multifocality. For OS, Harrell C indices were higher than 0.7 in both cohorts, indicating very good discriminative capability. For DFS, Harrell C indices were between 0.64 and 0.72 in the development cohort and 0.62 and 0.68 in the validation cohort. Calibration plots showed good agreement between predicted and observed outcomes.

Conclusion: Validated nomograms are available to predict the 5-year OS and DFS probability at different time points throughout the first 5 years of follow-up in RPS survivors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.08.008DOI Listing
November 2021

Nomogram to predict the outcomes of patients with microsatellite instability-high metastatic colorectal cancer receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 08;9(8)

Unit of Clinical Epidemiology and Trial Organization, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: The efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in patients with microsatellite instability (MSI)-high metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is unprecedented. A relevant proportion of subjects achieving durable disease control may be considered potentially 'cured', as opposed to patients experiencing primary ICI refractoriness or short-term clinical benefit. We developed and externally validated a nomogram to estimate the progression-free survival (PFS) and the time-independent event-free probability (EFP) in patients with MSI-high mCRC receiving ICIs.

Methods: The PFS and EFP were estimated using a cure model fitted on a developing set of 163 patients and validated on a set of 146 patients with MSI-high mCRC receiving anti-programmed death (ligand)1 (PD-(L)1) ± anticytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) agents. A total of 23 putative prognostic factors were chosen and then selected using a random survival forest (RSF). The model performance in estimating PFS probability was evaluated by assessing calibration (internally-developing set and externally-validating set) and quantifying the discriminative ability (Harrell C index).

Results: RFS selected five variables: ICI type (anti-PD-(L)1 monotherapy vs anti-CTLA-4 combo), ECOG PS (0 vs >0), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (≤3 vs >3), platelet count, and prior treatment lines. As both in the developing and validation series most PFS events occurred within 12 months, this was chosen as cut-point for PFS prediction. The combination of the selected variables allowed estimation of the 12-month PFS (focused on patients with low chance of being cured) and the EFP (focused on patients likely to be event-free at a certain point of their follow-up). ICI type was significantly associated with disease control, as patients receiving the anti-CTLA-4-combination experienced the best outcomes. The calibration of PFS predictions was good both in the developing and validating sets. The median value of the EFP (46%) allowed segregation of two prognostic groups in both the developing (PFS HR=3.73, 95% CI 2.25 to 6.18; p<0.0001) and validating (PFS HR=1.86, 95% CI 1.07 to 3.23; p=0.0269) sets.

Conclusions: A nomogram based on five easily assessable variables including ICI treatment was built to estimate the outcomes of patients with MSI-high mCRC, with the potential to assist clinicians in their clinical practice. The web-based system 'MSI mCRC Cure' was released.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-003370DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386222PMC
August 2021

Survival in Patients With Sentinel Node-Positive Melanoma With Extranodal Extension.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 Jul 26;19(10):1165-1173. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

1Melanoma and Sarcoma Surgical Unit.

Background: Prognostic parameters in sentinel node (SN)-positive melanoma are important indicators to identify patients at high risk of recurrence who should be candidates for adjuvant therapy. We aimed to evaluate the presence of melanoma cells beyond the SN capsule-extranodal extension (ENE)-as a prognostic factor in patients with positive SNs.

Methods: Data from 1,047 patients with melanoma and positive SNs treated from 2001 to 2020 at the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milano, Italy, were retrospectively investigated. Kaplan-Meier survival and crude cumulative incidence of recurrence curves were estimated. A multivariable logistic model was used to investigate the association between ENE and selected predictive factors. Cox models estimated the effect of the selected predictors on survival endpoints.

Results: Median follow-up was 69 months. The 5-year overall survival rate was 62.5% and 71.7% for patients with positive SNs with and without ENE, respectively. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 54.0% and 64.0% for patients with positive SNs with and without ENE, respectively. The multivariable logistic model showed that age, size of the main metastatic focus in the SN, and numbers of metastatic non-SNs were associated with ENE (all P<.0001). The multivariable Cox regression models showed the estimated prognostic effects of ENE associated with age, ulceration, size of the main metastatic focus in the SN, and number of metastatic non-SNs (all P<.0001) on disease-free survival and overall survival.

Conclusions: ENE was a significant prognostic factor in patients with positive-SN melanoma. This parameter may be useful in clinical practice as a selection criterion for adjuvant treatment in patients with stage IIIA disease with a tumor burden <1 mm in the SN. We recommend its inclusion as an independent prognostic determinant in future updates of melanoma guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7693DOI Listing
July 2021

Dose-Adjusted Epoch and Rituximab for the treatment of double expressor and double hit diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: impact of TP53 mutations on clinical outcome.

Haematologica 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Hematology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano; Chair of Hematology University of Milano.

Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous disease, including one-third of cases overexpressing MYC and BCL2 proteins (Double Expressor Lymphoma, DEL) and 5-10% of patients with chromosomal rearrangements of MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL-6 (Double/Triple-Hit Lymphomas, DH/TH). TP53 mutations are detected in 20-25% of DEL. We report the efficacy of dose-adjusted EPOCH and rituximab (DA-EPOCH-R) in a series of 122 consecutive patients, including DEL (n=81, 66%), DEL-MYC (n=9, 7%), DEL-BCL2 (n=13, 11%), or High-Grade Lymphomas (DH/TH) (n=19, 16%). Central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis included intravenous methotrexate (n=66), intrathecal chemotherapy (IT) (n=40) or no prophylaxis (n=16). Sixty-seven pts (55%) had high-intermediate or high International Prognostic Index (IPI) and 30 (25%) had high CNS-IPI. The 2-year progressionfree survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for the entire study population were 74% and 84%, respectively. There was a trend for inferior OS for DH/TH (2-year OS: 66%, p=0.058) as compared to all the others. The outcome was significantly better for the IPI 0-2 versus IPI 3-5 (OS: 98% vs. 72%, p=0.002). DA-EPOCH-R did not overcome the negative prognostic value of TP53 mutations: 2-year OS of 62% versus 88% (p=0.036) were observed for mutated as compared to wild-type cases, respectively. Systemic CNS prophylaxis conferred a better 2-year OS (94%) as compared to IT or no prophylaxis (76% and 65%, respectively; p= 0.008). DA-EPOCH-R treatment resulted in a favorable outcome in patients with DEL and DEL with single rearrangement, whereas those with multiple genetic alterations such as DEL-DH/TH and TP53 mutated cases still have an inferior outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2021.278638DOI Listing
July 2021

Severe COVID-19 in Hospitalized Carriers of Single Pathogenic Variants.

J Pers Med 2021 Jun 15;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Independent Researcher, 20145 Milan, Italy.

The clinical presentation of COVID-19 is extremely heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic to severely ill patients. Thus, host genetic factors may be involved in determining disease presentation and progression. Given that carriers of single cystic fibrosis (CF)-causing variants of the gene-CF-carriers-are more susceptible to respiratory tract infections, our aim was to determine their likelihood of undergoing severe COVID-19. We implemented a cohort study of 874 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, during the first pandemic wave in Italy. Whole exome sequencing was performed and validated CF-causing variants were identified. Forty subjects (16 females and 24 males) were found to be CF-carriers. Among mechanically ventilated patients, CF-carriers were more represented (8.7%) and they were significantly ( < 0.05) younger (mean age 51 years) compared to noncarriers (mean age 61.42 years). Furthermore, in the whole cohort, the age of male CF-carriers was lower, compared to noncarriers ( < 0.05). CF-carriers had a relative risk of presenting an abnormal inflammatory response (CRP ≥ 20 mg/dL) of 1.69 ( < 0.05) and their hazard ratio of death at day 14 was 3.10 ( < 0.05) in a multivariate regression model, adjusted for age, sex and comorbidities. In conclusion, CF-carriers are more susceptible to the severe form of COVID-19, showing also higher risk of 14-day death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm11060558DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232773PMC
June 2021

Immunotherapy for the prevention of high-risk oral disorders malignant transformation: the IMPEDE trial.

BMC Cancer 2021 May 17;21(1):561. Epub 2021 May 17.

Medical Oncology Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialities, Radiological Sciences and Public Health University of Brescia, ASST-Spedali Civili, Piazzale Spedali Civili 1, 25123, Brescia, Italy.

Background: Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders (OPMD) have a non-negligible malignant transformation rate of up to 8%. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in critical chromosomal loci has proven to be the most effective marker in defining the risk of transformation and it is found in about 28% of OPMD and may therefore identify patients carrying higher risk. To date, clinical management of OPMD is limited to surgical excision and clinical surveillance, which however do not fully prevent oral cancer development. Immune system has been shown to play a key role in transformation surveillance mechanism and an immunosuppressive imbalance may be responsible for progression to cancer. Given all these considerations, we designed a clinical trial with the aim to prevent OPMD neoplastic transformation and revert the LOH status.

Methods: This is a phase II, open label, single arm, multicentric trial involving Italian referral centres and expected to enrol 80 patients out of a total of 175 screened. Patients who meet all inclusion criteria and test positive for LOH after an incisional biopsy of the OPMD will undergo a short course of immunotherapy with 4 administration of avelumab. After 6 months since treatment start, resection of the entire OPMD will be performed and LOH assessment will be repeated. The follow-up for malignant transformation and safety assessment will last 30 months from the end of treatment, for a total planned study duration of approximately 5.5 years.

Discussion: Restoring the activity of immune system through checkpoint inhibitor may play a crucial role against malignant transformation of OPMD by reverting the balance in favour of immune control and preventing cancer occurrence.

Trial Registration: This trial was prospectively registered in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT04504552 on 7th August 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-021-08297-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8130439PMC
May 2021

Analysis of Differentiation Changes and Outcomes at Time of First Recurrence of Retroperitoneal Liposarcoma by Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG).

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Nov 27;28(12):7854-7863. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Background: Local recurrence following resection of retroperitoneal liposarcoma (RLPS) is common. Well-differentiated (WD) and dedifferentiated (DD) RLPS are distinct entities with differing outcomes. A few reports suggest that WDLPS can recur as DDLPS and that DDLPS can recur as WDLPS. This study evaluates whether this change in differentiation from the primary tumor to the first local recurrence impacts long-term outcomes.

Methods: Retrospective review from 22 sarcoma centers identified consecutive patients who underwent resection for a first locally recurrent RLPS from January 2002 to December 2011. Outcomes measured included overall survival, local recurrence, and distant metastasis.

Results: A total of 421 RPLS patients were identified. Of the 230 patients with primary DDLPS, 34 (15%) presented WDLPS upon recurrence (DD → WD); and of the 191 patients with primary WDLPS, 54 (28%) presented DDLPS upon recurrence (WD → DD). The 6-year overall survival probabilities (95% CI) for DD → DD, DD → WD, WD → WD, and WD → DD were 40% (32-48%), 73% (58-92%), 76% (68-85%), and 56% (43-73%) (p < 0.001), respectively. The 6-year second local recurrence incidence was 66% (59-73%), 63% (48-82%), 66% (57-76%), and 77% (66-90%), respectively. The 6-year distant metastasis incidence was 13% (9-19%), 3% (0.4-22%), 5% (2-11%), and 4% (1-16%), respectively. On multivariable analysis, DD → WD was associated with improved overall survival when compared with DD → DD (p < 0.001). Moreover, WD → DD was associated with a higher risk of LR (p = 0.025) CONCLUSION: A change in RLPS differentiation from primary tumor to first local recurrence appears to impact survival. These findings may be useful in counseling patients on their prognosis and subsequent management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10024-yDOI Listing
November 2021

Unplanned Excision of Extremity and Trunk Wall Soft Tissue Sarcoma: To Re-resect or Not to Re-resect?

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Aug 28;28(8):4706-4717. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: The need for systematic reexcision in patients who underwent unplanned excision (UE) for extremity and superficial trunk soft tissue sarcoma (ESTSTS) has been questioned. We investigated the outcome of patients who underwent reexcision for ESTSTS compared with primarily resected at our institution and the prognostic impact of microscopic residual disease (MR) in the reexcision specimen.

Methods: Primary ESTSTS patients surgically treated at our institution between 1997 and 2017 were divided in three groups: primarily resected (A), reexcised after macroscopically complete UE (B), and incomplete UE (C). Weighted overall survival (OS), crude cumulative incidence of local relapse (CCI-LR), and distant metastasis (CCI-DM) were calculated and compared. In group B, multivariable models were performed to assess factors associated with the outcomes.

Results: A total of 1962 patients were identified: 1076, 697 and 189 in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Overall median follow-up was 85 months. Seven-year weighted-OS was 73.8%, 84.1%, and 80.7% (p < 0.001) for groups A, B, and C respectively. Seven-year CCI-LR and DM were 5.0% and 25.3%, 12.1% and 15.8%, and 13.6% and 29.4% (both p < 0.001) for groups A, B, and C, respectively. At multivariable analysis, the presence MR was associated with LR (p < 0.001) but not with OS nor CCI-DM.

Conclusions: UE and the presence of MR at pathology in reexcision specimen are associated to a higher risk of LR but not to a higher risk of DM or lower OS. After macroscopic complete UE, postponing reexcision until a LR occurs may be considered on an individualized basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09564-6DOI Listing
August 2021

Postoperative Morbidity After Resection of Recurrent Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: A Report from the Transatlantic Australasian RPS Working Group (TARPSWG).

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 May 2;28(5):2705-2714. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Surgery, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Background: This study aimed to evaluate perioperative morbidity after surgery for first locally recurrent (LR1) retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Data concerning the safety of resecting recurrent RPS are lacking.

Methods: Data were collected on all patients undergoing resection of RPS-LR1 at 22 Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) centers from 2002 to 2011. Uni- and multivariable logistic models were fitted to study the association between major (Clavien-Dindo grade ≥ 3) complications and patient/surgery characteristics as well as outcome. The resected organ score, a method of standardizing the number of organs resected, as previously described by the TARPSWG, was used.

Results: The 681 patients in this study had a median age of 59 years, and 51.8% were female. The most common histologic subtype was de-differentiated liposarcoma (43%), the median resected organ score was 1, and 83.3% of the patients achieved an R0 or R1 resection. Major complications occurred for 16% of the patients, and the 90-day mortality rate was 0.4%. In the multivariable analysis, a transfusion requirement was found to be a significant predictor of major complications (p < 0.001) and worse overall survival (OS) (p = 0.010). However, having a major complication was not associated with a worse OS or a higher incidence of local recurrence or distant metastasis.

Conclusions: A surgical approach to recurrent RPS is relatively safe and comparable with primary RPS in terms of complications and postoperative mortality when performed at specialized sarcoma centers. Because alternative effective therapies still are lacking, when indicated, resection of a recurrent RPS is a reasonable option. Every effort should be made to minimize the need for blood transfusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09445-yDOI Listing
May 2021

A Prospective Observational Study of Multivisceral Resection for Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: Clinical and Patient-Reported Outcomes 1 Year After Surgery.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jul 11;28(7):3904-3916. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) may require multivisceral resection (MVR). Clinical outcome (morbidity and renal function) and quality of life (QoL) are not as well reported as the oncologic outcome.

Methods: Patients with primary RPS who underwent surgery between 2014 and 2016 were prospectively enrolled in an observational longitudinal study. At baseline, then at 4 and 12 months, the study measured Clavien-Dindo morbidity, estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR), EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-CR29, DN4 (neuropathic pain [NP]), lower-extremity functional scale (LEFS), and the brief pain inventory. The primary end point was the difference in global health status (GHS/QoL). The secondary end points were EGFR changes, difference in other QLQ-C30 scales, pain intensity, NP, and LEFS. The study is registered at ClinTrials.gov (NCT03480399).

Results: Of 74 patients, 58 were evaluable. Morbidity grade 3 or higher was 24.1%, and mortality was 1.3%. After nephrectomy, the mean 1-year EGFR change was -33.9%. The GHS/QoL at baseline was 58.6 and had increased of 6.9 points at 1 year, comparable with that of the general population. A transient worsening in pain and diarrhea had recovered at 12 months. Average pain was mild and did not differ at 12 months. However, NP was found in 41.4% of the patients and was significantly associated with resection of the psoas muscle. At baseline, LEFS was already lower than the normative value, and worsening after surgery was not clinically relevant.

Conclusion: A QoL measure after MVR in primary RPS is complex and requires multiple tools. Whereas overall MVR is safe and associated with an improvement in GHS/QoL, chronic NP is frequent and deserves specific attention. Pre-surgery rehabilitation tracks may help to prevent or reduce chronic NP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09307-7DOI Listing
July 2021

Has the Outcome for Patients Who Undergo Resection of Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Changed Over Time? A Study of Time Trends During the Past 15 years.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 18;28(3):1700-1709. Epub 2020 Oct 18.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

Background: This study aimed to investigate changes in treatment strategy and outcome for patients with primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) undergoing resection at referral centers during a recent period.

Methods: The study enrolled consecutive adult patients with primary non-metastatic RPS who underwent resection with curative intent between 2002 and 2017 at 10 referral centers. The patients were grouped into three periods according to date of surgery: t1 (2002-2006), t2 (2007-2011), and t3 (2012-2017). Five-year overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and crude cumulative incidence (CCI) of local recurrence (LR) and distant metastasis (DM) were calculated. Multivariable analyses for OS and DSS were performed.

Results: The study included 1942 patients. The median follow-up period after resection varied from 130 months (interquartile range [IQR], 124-141 months) in t1 to 37 months (IQR, 35-39 months) in t3. The 5-year OS was 61.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 56.4-66.3%) in t1, 67.0% (95 CI, 63.2-71.0%) in t2, and 71.9% (95% CI, 67.7-76.1%) in t3. The rate of macroscopically incomplete resection (R2) was 7.1% in t1 versus 4.7% in t3 (p = 0.066). The median number of resected organs increased over time (p < 0.001). In the multivariable analysis resection during t3 was associated with better OS and DSS. The 90-day postoperative mortality improved over time (4.3% in t1 to 2.3% in t3; p = 0.031). The 5-year CCI of LR and DM did not change significantly over time.

Conclusions: The long-term survival of patients who underwent resection for primary RPS has increased during the past 15 years. This increased survival is attributable to better patient selection for resection, quality of surgery, and perioperative patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09065-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Sentinel Node Biopsy alone or with Axillary Dissection in Breast Cancer Patients after Primary Chemotherapy: Long-term Results of a Prospective Interventional Study.

Ann Surg 2020 Oct 15. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Breast Unit, Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Objective: To ascertain, in cN0/1 breast cancer patients given primary chemotherapy followed by sentinel node biopsy (SNB), whether SNB alone is adequate axillary treatment if the sentinel nodes (SNs) are clear (pN0).

Summary Background Data: 2020 guidelines do not recommend SNB in most cN1 patients with clear SNs after primary chemotherapy because the high SNB false negative rate might lead to poorer outcomes.

Methods: We prospectively assigned SNB after primary chemotherapy to 353 consecutive cT2 cN0/1 patients, median age 47 years (range 22-76) treated from 2007 to 2015. If the SNs were pN0, patients generally received no further axillary treatment (SNB only); if the SNs were pN1, completion AD (SNB + AD) was usually performed. Primary outcomes were overall (OS) and disease-free (DFS) survival in SNB only vs SNB + AD patients, assessed by Kaplan-Meier and compared using log-rank test, with use of propensity scores to account for bias due to non-random assignment to SNB vs SNB + AD.

Results: Median follow-up was 108 months, interquartile range 66-136. OS and DFS did not differ significantly between the groups by propensity score-weighted comparison: 10-year OS 89% (95%CI: 81-99%) in SNB only patients vs 86% (95%CI: 78-95%) in SNB + AD patients; 10-year DFS 79% (95%CI: 68-92%) vs 69% (95%CI: 58-81%). No SNB-only patient developed axillary failure.

Conclusions: cT2 cN0/1 patients whose SNs are disease-free (pN0) after primary chemotherapy can be offered SNB (with no further axillary treatment if the SNs are negative), irrespective of axillary status beforehand, without affecting OS or DFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004562DOI Listing
October 2020

Analysis of Sentinel Node Biopsy and Clinicopathologic Features as Prognostic Factors in Patients With Atypical Melanocytic Tumors.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 10 1;18(10):1327-1336. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Pathology.

Background: Atypical melanocytic tumors (AMTs) include a wide spectrum of melanocytic neoplasms that represent a challenge for clinicians due to the lack of a definitive diagnosis and the related uncertainty about their management. This study analyzed clinicopathologic features and sentinel node status as potential prognostic factors in patients with AMTs.

Patients And Methods: Clinicopathologic and follow-up data of 238 children, adolescents, and adults with histologically proved AMTs consecutively treated at 12 European centers from 2000 through 2010 were retrieved from prospectively maintained databases. The binary association between all investigated covariates was studied by evaluating the Spearman correlation coefficients, and the association between progression-free survival and all investigated covariates was evaluated using univariable Cox models. The overall survival and progression-free survival curves were established using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Median follow-up was 126 months (interquartile range, 104-157 months). All patients received an initial diagnostic biopsy followed by wide (1 cm) excision. Sentinel node biopsy was performed in 139 patients (58.4%), 37 (26.6%) of whom had sentinel node positivity. There were 4 local recurrences, 43 regional relapses, and 8 distant metastases as first events. Six patients (2.5%) died of disease progression. Five patients who were sentinel node-negative and 3 patients who were sentinel node-positive developed distant metastases. Ten-year overall and progression-free survival rates were 97% (95% CI, 94.9%-99.2%) and 82.2% (95% CI, 77.3%-87.3%), respectively. Age, mitotic rate/mm2, mitoses at the base of the lesion, lymphovascular invasion, and 9p21 loss were factors affecting prognosis in the whole series and the sentinel node biopsy subgroup.

Conclusions: Age >20 years, mitotic rate >4/mm2, mitoses at the base of the lesion, lymphovascular invasion, and 9p21 loss proved to be worse prognostic factors in patients with ATMs. Sentinel node status was not a clear prognostic predictor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7582DOI Listing
October 2020

Validation of the Colon Life nomogram in patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer enrolled in the RECOURSE trial.

Tumori 2021 Aug 6;107(4):353-359. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Clinical Epidemiology and Trial Organization, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: The RECOURSE trial (Study of TAS-102 in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Refractory to Standard Chemotherapies) demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit of trifluridine/tipiracil (FTD/TPI) vs placebo in refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Given the limited benefit of later line treatments, we developed the Colon Life nomogram to assess the 12-week death probability in the refractory setting.

Methods: This post hoc analysis of RECOURSE included patients with available data to calculate the nomogram score: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status, primary tumor resection, lactate dehydrogenase, and peritoneal metastases. The nomogram calibration was assessed by calibration plots and C-index. The nomogram prognostic and predictive ability was assessed by Cox model analyses and the nomogram score predictive value was explored according to the cutoff identified at maximum value of the Youden index in time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Results: Overall, 251 trial patients were evaluable: 90 in the placebo arm and 161 in the FTD/TPI arm. The calibration was optimal in the placebo arm (C-index 0.807) and suboptimal in the FTD/TPI arm (0.657). The cutoff of the nomogram score of 23 showed the best discriminative ability for 12-week OS (hazard ratio 3.46, 95% confidence interval 2.17-5.51 for scores 40 vs 15) and had maximum value of the Youden index (0.381). Median OS and 3-month PFS were 9.0 vs 7.5 months and 39.3% vs 5.2%, respectively, for FTD/TPI vs placebo in the low-risk group (score <23) and 4.8 vs 3.4 months and 22.3% vs 9.8% in the high-risk group (score ⩾23) (interaction NS).

Conclusion: The Colon Life nomogram is an accurate tool for estimating life expectancy in refractory mCRC. The benefit of FTD/TPI was independent of the predicted risk of early death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300891620960808DOI Listing
August 2021

Aromatase Inhibitors in Postmenopausal Women with Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer: Profiles of Psychological Symptoms and Quality of Life in Different Patient Clusters.

Oncology 2021 29;99(2):84-95. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Breast Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as adjuvant therapy after breast cancer (BC) surgery have demonstrated to reduce the risk of disease recurrence, to lower the risk of contralateral BC, and to improve survival when compared to tamoxifen in patients with limited-stage hormone receptor-positive (HR+) BC. However, AIs are associated with adverse events that can have a significant impact on patient quality of life (QoL).

Aim: This study aimed to identify profiles of psychological symptoms and QoL in HR+ BC patients undergoing AI therapy.

Method: Data were collected with questionnaires administered at three time points: AI initiation (t0); 3 months after AI initiation (t1); and 6 months after AI initiation (t2). The FACT-G, FACT-B, and FACT-ES questionnaires were used to assess QoL; psychological symptoms were assessed using the SCL-90-R.

Results: 43 women were enrolled in the study (t0), and 37 completed the t1 evaluation and 29 the t2 evaluation. We found (1) a progressive decrease over time in FACT-G and FACT-ES scores, in particular in the Physical, Emotional, and Endocrine subscales, and an increase in the SOM (somatization) subscale of the SCL-90-R; (2) the presence of 4 clusters related to different psychological symptoms and QoL evolution over time; (3) that patients belonging to the cluster characterized by worsening symptoms and QoL during time differed from the others in the Emotional subscale of the FACT-B and in the GSI (Global Score), OCD (obsessive-compulsive), DEP (depression), ANX (anxiety), and SLP (sleep disorders) dimensions of the SCL-90-R and had significantly higher BMI levels; and (4) that 3 items from the SCL-90-R and 2 items from FACT Emotional Well-Being subscale were predictive of the "worst" cluster.

Conclusions: Although larger studies are needed to confirm these results, our data open up new ways of investigation into the effects of AIs on QoL in HR+ BC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000509651DOI Listing
February 2021

Patterns of recurrence and survival probability after second recurrence of retroperitoneal sarcoma: A study from TARPSWG.

Cancer 2020 11 14;126(22):4917-4925. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Division of General Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: In this series from the Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG), the authors examined longitudinal outcomes of patients with a second recurrence of retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) after complete resection of a first local recurrence (LR).

Methods: Data from patients undergoing resection of a first LR from January 2002 to December 2011were collected from 22 sarcoma centers. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS) after second recurrence.

Results: Second recurrences occurred in 400 of 567 patients (70.5%) after an R0/R1 resection of a first locally recurrent RPS. Patterns of disease recurrence were LR in 323 patients (80.75%), distant metastases (DM) in 55 patients (13.75%), and both LR and DM in 22 patients (5.5%). The main subtype among the LR group was liposarcoma (77%), whereas DM mainly were leiomyosarcomas (43.6%). In patients with a second LR only, a total of 200 patients underwent re-resection (61.9%). The 5-year OS rate varied significantly based on the pattern of failure (P < .001): 45.6% for the LR group, 25.5% for the DM group, and 0% for the group with LR and DM. The only factors found to be associated with improved OS on multivariable analysis were both time between second surgery and the development of the second recurrence (32 months vs 8 months: hazard ratio, 0.44 [P < .001]) and surgery for second recurrence (yes vs no: hazard ratio, 3.25 [P < .001]). The 5-year OS rate for patients undergoing surgery for a second LR was 59% versus 18% in the patients not deemed suitable for surgical resection.

Conclusions: Survival rates after second recurrence of RPS varied based on patterns of disease recurrence and treatment. Durable disease-free survivors were identified after surgery for second LR in patients selected for this intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33139DOI Listing
November 2020

Commentary: SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Patients With Cancer at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Wuhan, China.

Front Oncol 2020 10;10:1223. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Clinical Epidemiology and Trial Organization Unit, Department of Applied Research and Technological Development, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.01223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365943PMC
July 2020

Reply to E. Hindié.

J Clin Oncol 2020 09 23;38(27):3238-3240. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Andrea Maurichi, MD, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Rosalba Miceli, PhD, Medical Statistics, Biometry and Bioinformatics Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Hanna Eriksson, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology, Theme Cancer, Karolinska University Hospital, and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Julia Newton-Bishop, MD, FRCP; Jérémie Nsengimana, PhD; and May Chan, PGD, Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom; Andrew J. Hayes, MA, MBBS, MD, PhD and Kara Heelan, MB, BCH, BAO, MRCPI, MD, Sarcoma and Melanoma Units and Skin Unit, The Royal Marsden National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom; David Adams, PhD, Experimental Cancer Genetics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom; Roberto Patuzzo, MD, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Francesco Barretta, MS, PhD, Medical Statistics, Biometry and Bioinformatics Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Gianfranco Gallino, MD, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Catherine Harwood, MA, MD, PhD, FRCP and Daniele Bergamaschi, PhD, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom; Dorothy Bennett, FMedSci, PhD, Molecular and Clinical Sciences Research Institute, St George's, University of London, London, United Kingdom; Konstantinos Lasithiotakis, MD, PhD, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, York, United Kingdom and Department of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Paola Ghiorzo, MD, PhD and Bruna Dalmasso, MD, University Hospital of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; Ausilia Manganoni, MD and Francesca Consoli, MD, University Hospital of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; Ilaria Mattavelli, MD; Consuelo Barbieri, MD; and Andrea Leva, MD, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Umberto Cortinovis, MD, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Vittoria Espeli, MD and Cristina Mangas, MD, PhD, Istituto Oncologico Svizzera Italiana, Ospedale Regionale Bellinzona e Valli, Bellinzona, Switzerland; Pietro Quaglino, MD; Simone Ribero, MD, PhD; and Paolo Broganelli, MD, University Hospital of Turin, Turin, Italy; Giovanni Pellacani, MD, University Hospital of Modena, Modena, Italy; Caterina Longo, MD, Arcispedale S. Maria Nuova, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Corrado Del Forno, MD, University Hospital of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; Lorenzo Borgognoni, MD and Serena Sestini, MD, Ospedale S. Maria Annunziata, Tuscan Cancer Institute, Florence, Italy; Nicola Pimpinelli, MD, PhD and Sara Fortunato, MD, Division of Dermatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; Alessandra Chiarugi, MD and Paolo Nardini, MD, Institute for Cancer Research and Prevention, Florence, Italy; Elena Morittu, PhD and Antonio Florita, PhD, Scientific Director's Office, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Mara Cossa, MD, PhD; Barbara Valeri, MD; Massimo Milione, MD, PhD; and Giancarlo Pruneri, MD, Department of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; Odysseas Zoras, MD, PhD, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Greece; Andrea Anichini, PhD and Roberta Mortarini, PhD, Immunobiology of Human Cancers Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy; and Mario Santinami, MD, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7499609PMC
September 2020

Liver transplantation in hepatocellular carcinoma after tumour downstaging (XXL): a randomised, controlled, phase 2b/3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07;21(7):947-956

HPB Surgery, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Indications for liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma are evolving and so-called expanded criteria remain debated. Locoregional therapies are able to downstage hepatocellular carcinoma from beyond to within the Milan criteria. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of liver transplantation after successful hepatocellular carcinoma downstaging.

Methods: We did an open-label, multicentre, randomised, controlled trial designed in two phases, 2b and 3, at nine Italian tertiary care and transplantation centres. Patients aged 18-65 years with hepatocellular carcinoma beyond the Milan criteria, absence of macrovascular invasion or extrahepatic spread, 5-year estimated post-transplantation survival of at least 50%, and good liver function (Child-Pugh A-B7) were recruited and underwent tumour downstaging with locoregional, surgical, or systemic therapies according to multidisciplinary decision. After an observation period of 3 months, during which sorafenib was allowed, patients with partial or complete responses according to modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors were randomly assigned (1:1) by an interactive web-response system to liver transplantation or non-transplantation therapies (control group). A block randomisation (block size of 2), stratified by centre and compliance to sorafenib treatment, was applied. Liver transplantation was done with whole or split organs procured from brain-dead donors. The control group received sequences of locoregional and systemic treatment at the time of demonstrated tumour progression. The primary outcomes were 5-year tumour event-free survival for phase 2b and overall survival for phase 3. Analyses were by intention to treat. Organ allocation policy changed during the course of the study and restricted patient accrual to 4 years. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01387503.

Findings: Between March 1, 2011, and March 31, 2015, 74 patients were enrolled. Median duration of downstaging was 6 months (IQR 4-11). 29 patients dropped out before randomisation and 45 were randomly assigned: 23 to the transplantation group versus 22 to the control group. At data cutoff on July 31, 2019, median follow-up was 71 months (IQR 60-85). 5-year tumour event-free survival was 76·8% (95% CI 60·8-96·9) in the transplantation group versus 18·3% (7·1-47·0) in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·20, 95% CI 0·07-0·57; p=0·003). 5-year overall survival was 77·5% (95% CI 61·9-97·1) in the transplantation group versus 31·2% (16·6-58·5) in the control group (HR 0·32, 95% CI 0·11-0·92; p=0·035). The most common registered grade 3-4 serious adverse events were hepatitis C virus recurrence (three [13%] of 23 patients) and acute transplant rejection (two [9%]) in the transplantation group, and post-embolisation syndrome (two [9%] of 22 patients) in the control group. Treatment-related deaths occurred in four patients: two (8%) of 23 patients in the transplantation group (myocardial infarction and multi-organ failure) versus two (9%) of 22 patients in the control group (liver decompensation).

Interpretation: Although results must be interpreted with caution owing to the early closing of the trial, after effective and sustained downstaging of eligible hepatocellular carcinomas beyond the Milan criteria, liver transplantation improved tumour event-free survival and overall survival compared with non-transplantation therapies Post-downstaging tumour response could contribute to the expansion of hepatocellular carcinoma transplantation criteria.

Funding: Italian Ministry of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30224-2DOI Listing
July 2020

Immune checkpoint inhibitors: a physiology-driven approach to the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019.

Eur J Cancer 2020 08 4;135:62-65. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Medica Scientia Innovation Research (MedSIR), Ridgewood, NJ, USA and Barcelona, Spain; IOB Institute of Oncology, Quironsalud Group, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain; Vall D´Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

While confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have exceeded 4.7 million globally, scientists are pushing forward with efforts to develop vaccines and treatments in an attempt to slow the pandemic and lessen the disease's damage. Although no proven effective therapies for treating patients with COVID-19 or for managing their complications currently exist, the rapidly expanding knowledge regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and its interplay with hosts provides a significant number of potential drug targets and the potential to repurpose drugs already tested in other diseases. Herein, we report the biological rationale of immune-activating drugs and a brief summary of literature data on the potential therapeutic value of immune checkpoint inhibitors that have been recently tested beyond cancer treatment for their potential to restore cellular immunocompetence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.05.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7269953PMC
August 2020

Association of high TUBB3 with resistance to adjuvant docetaxel-based chemotherapy in gastric cancer: translational study of ITACA-S.

Tumori 2021 Apr 11;107(2):150-159. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: No predictive markers for chemotherapy activity have been validated in gastric cancer (GC). The potential value of class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) as biomarker for prognosis and resistance to taxane-based therapy was reported.

Methods: We analyzed GC samples of patients enrolled in the Intergroup Trial of Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Adenocarcinoma of the Stomach (ITACA-S), a randomized adjuvant study comparing 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV) and docetaxel-based sequential chemotherapy. TUBB3 was quantitated by selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry and patients were stratified using a threshold of 750 attomoles per microgram (amol/µg). Cox proportional modeling and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were used to assess the impact of TUBB3 expression on overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival.

Results: Patients with TUBB3 protein levels >750 and <750 amol/µg were 21.9% and 78.1%, respectively, and were well-balanced between treatment arms. TUBB3 protein levels were not prognostic. Whereas no survival differences according to the 2 arms were observed in the subgroup with low TUBB3 expression (5-year OS 47% vs 40%; = 0.44), patients with high TUBB3 had a clinically meaningful poorer OS when receiving docetaxel-based versus 5-FU/LV chemotherapy (5-year OS 31% vs 54%; = 0.09), with a statistically significant interaction between TUBB3 and treatment ( = 0.049).

Conclusions: The quantification of TUBB3 might be considered as a negative predictive biomarker of benefit from taxane-based therapy in GC. Studies are needed to evaluate its role in the neoadjuvant setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300891620930803DOI Listing
April 2021

Factors Affecting Sentinel Node Metastasis in Thin (T1) Cutaneous Melanomas: Development and External Validation of a Predictive Nomogram.

J Clin Oncol 2020 05 13;38(14):1591-1601. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

University Hospital of Modena, Modena, Italy.

Purpose: Thin melanomas (T1; ≤ 1 mm) constitute 70% of newly diagnosed cutaneous melanomas. Regional node metastasis determined by sentinel node biopsy (SNB) is an important prognostic factor for T1 melanoma. However, current melanoma guidelines do not provide clear indications on when to perform SNB in T1 disease and stress an individualized approach to SNB that considers all clinicopathologic risk factors. We aimed to identify determinants of sentinel node (SN) status for incorporation into an externally validated nomogram to better select patients with T1 disease for SNB.

Patients And Methods: The development cohort comprised 3,666 patients with T1 disease consecutively treated at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori (Milan, Italy) between 2001 and 2018; 4,227 patients with T1 disease treated at 13 other European centers over the same period formed the validation cohort. A random forest procedure was applied to the development data set to select characteristics associated with SN status for inclusion in a multiple binary logistic model from which a nomogram was elaborated. Decision curve analyses assessed the clinical utility of the nomogram.

Results: Of patients in the development cohort, 1,635 underwent SNB; 108 patients (6.6%) were SN positive. By univariable analysis, age, growth phase, Breslow thickness, ulceration, mitotic rate, regression, and lymphovascular invasion were significantly associated with SN status. The random forest procedure selected 6 variables (not growth phase) for inclusion in the logistic model and nomogram. The nomogram proved well calibrated and had good discriminative ability in both cohorts. Decision curve analyses revealed the superior net benefit of the nomogram compared with each individual variable included in it as well as with variables suggested by current guidelines.

Conclusion: We propose the nomogram as a decision aid in all patients with T1 melanoma being considered for SNB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01902DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7213590PMC
May 2020

Prognostic and Predictive Value of Microsatellite Instability, Inflammatory Reaction and PD-L1 in Gastric Cancer Patients Treated with Either Adjuvant 5-FU/LV or Sequential FOLFIRI Followed by Cisplatin and Docetaxel: A Translational Analysis from the ITACA-S Trial.

Oncologist 2020 03 25;25(3):e460-e468. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Patients with high microsatellite instability (MSI) gastric cancer (GC) show improved survival and no benefit or harm from adjuvant and/or perioperative chemotherapy. The role of immune microenvironment in GC is largely unknown.

Materials And Methods: In the present study, 256 tumor tissue blocks were centrally collected from patients enrolled in ITACA-S, a randomized adjuvant trial of 5-FU/LV versus sequential FOLFIRI and cisplatin-docetaxel. MSI status was assessed by multiplex PCR, inflammatory reaction by H&E morphological assessment, and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Overall, 9% patients had MSI-high tumors, 23% had high inflammatory reaction, 11% had tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1%, and 11% had stromal PD-L1 ≥ 1%. A significant association with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) was found for MSI-high (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; p = .02; HR, 0.40; p = .02) and high inflammatory reaction (HR, 0.55; p = .010; HR, 0.53; p = .008) but not for PD-L1. At multivariable analysis, only MSI showed an independent association with both DFS (p = .02) and OS (p = .01), whereas inflammatory reaction showed an independent association only with OS (p = .04). Patients with tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1% had a significantly longer DFS in sequential chemotherapy than in than 5-FU/LV arm (interaction p = .04) and a trend for OS (interaction p = .12).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that MSI status could be a useful prognostic biomarker in patients with radically resected stage II-III GC and should be used as stratification factor in future trials. Tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1% should be further investigated as a potential predictor of benefit from intensive chemotherapy.

Implications For Practice: In this post hoc analysis of patients with radically resected gastric cancer randomized to an intensive sequential chemotherapy regimen versus 5-FU/LV monotherapy as adjuvant treatment in the ITACA-S trial, MSI-high status was independently associated with better disease-free survival and overall survival (OS) and inflammatory reaction was independently associated with better OS. Moreover, tumor PD-L1 expression ≥1% was associated with greater benefit from intensive sequential chemotherapy compared with 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin (5-FU/LV), whereas PD-L1 expression <1% was not, conditioning a statistically significant interaction between such biomarker and treatment arms. The meta-analysis of individual patients' data from available studies could yield data on the role of MSI status that could inform clinical decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7066701PMC
March 2020

Development and external validation of a dynamic prognostic nomogram for primary extremity soft tissue sarcoma survivors.

EClinicalMedicine 2019 Dec 22;17:100215. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan 20133 , Italy.

Background: Prognostic nomograms for patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma (eSTS) typically predict survival or the occurrence of local recurrence or distant metastasis at time of surgery. Our aim was to develop and externally validate a dynamic prognostic nomogram for overall survival in eSTS survivors for use during follow-up.

Methods: All primary eSTS patients operated with curative intent between 1994 and 2013 at three European and one Canadian sarcoma centers formed the development cohort. Patients with Fédération Française des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer (FNCLCC) grade II and grade III eSTS operated between 2000 and 2016 at seven other European reference centers formed the external validation cohort. We used a landmark analysis approach and a multivariable Cox model to create a dynamic nomogram; the prediction window was fixed at five years. A backward procedure based on the Akaike Information Criterion was adopted for variable selection. We tested the nomogram performance in terms of calibration and discrimination.

Findings: The development and validation cohorts included 3740 and 893 patients, respectively. The variables selected applying the backward procedure were patient's age, tumor size and its interaction with landmark time, tumor FNCLCC grade and its interaction with landmark time, histology, and both local recurrence and distant metastasis (as first event) indicator variables. The nomogram showed good calibration and discrimination. Harrell C indexes at different landmark times were between 0.776 (0.761-0.790) and 0.845 (0.823-0.862) in the development series and between 0.675 (0.643-0.704) and 0.810 (0.775-0.844) in the validation series.

Interpretation: A new dynamic nomogram is available to predict 5-year overall survival at different times during the first three years of follow-up in patients operated for primary eSTS. This nomogram allows physicians to update the individual survival prediction during follow-up on the basis of baseline variables, time elapsed from surgery and first-event history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.11.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6933187PMC
December 2019

Prognostic and Predictive Value of Microsatellite Instability, Inflammatory Reaction and PD-L1 in Gastric Cancer Patients Treated with Either Adjuvant 5-FU/LV or Sequential FOLFIRI Followed by Cisplatin and Docetaxel: A Translational Analysis from the ITACA-S Trial.

Oncologist 2019 Nov 25. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Department of Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Patients with high microsatellite instability (MSI) gastric cancer (GC) show improved survival and no benefit or harm from adjuvant and/or perioperative chemotherapy. The role of immune microenvironment in GC is largely unknown.

Materials And Methods: In the present study, 256 tumor tissue blocks were centrally collected from patients enrolled in ITACA-S, a randomized adjuvant trial of 5-FU/LV versus sequential FOLFIRI and cisplatin-docetaxel. MSI status was assessed by multiplex PCR, inflammatory reaction by H&E morphological assessment, and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Overall, 9% patients had MSI-high tumors, 23% had high inflammatory reaction, 11% had tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1%, and 11% had stromal PD-L1 ≥ 1%. A significant association with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) was found for MSI-high (hazard ratio [HR], 0.43; = .02; HR, 0.40; = .02) and high inflammatory reaction (HR, 0.55; = .010; HR, 0.53; = .008) but not for PD-L1. At multivariable analysis, only MSI showed an independent association with both DFS ( = .02) and OS ( = .01), whereas inflammatory reaction showed an independent association only with OS ( = .04). Patients with tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1% had a significantly longer DFS in sequential chemotherapy than in than 5-FU/LV arm (interaction = .04) and a trend for OS (interaction = .12).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that MSI status could be a useful prognostic biomarker in patients with radically resected stage II-III GC and should be used as stratification factor in future trials. Tumor PD-L1 ≥ 1% should be further investigated as a potential predictor of benefit from intensive chemotherapy.

Implications For Practice: In this post hoc analysis of patients with radically resected gastric cancer randomized to an intensive sequential chemotherapy regimen versus 5-FU/LV monotherapy as adjuvant treatment in the ITACA-S trial, MSI-high status was independently associated with better disease-free survival and overall survival (OS) and inflammatory reaction was independently associated with better OS. Moreover, tumor PD-L1 expression ≥1% was associated with greater benefit from intensive sequential chemotherapy compared with 5-fluorouracil plus leucovorin (5-FU/LV), whereas PD-L1 expression <1% was not, conditioning a statistically significant interaction between such biomarker and treatment arms. The meta-analysis of individual patients' data from available studies could yield data on the role of MSI status that could inform clinical decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0471DOI Listing
November 2019

Sorafenib Versus Observation Following Radical Metastasectomy for Clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: Results from the Phase 2 Randomized Open-label RESORT Study.

Eur Urol Oncol 2019 11 19;2(6):699-707. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: In selected metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) patients, radical metastasectomy followed by observation is a potential strategy. It is still to be defined whether systemic therapy should be administered following metastasectomy.

Objective: To assess the potential benefit of postoperative treatment with sorafenib compared with observation alone after radical metastasectomy in mRCC patients.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The RESORT trial was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase 2 study conducted between November 2012 and November 2017 in Italy. Patients with clear-cell mRCC pretreated with nephrectomy and undergoing radical metastasectomy (three or fewer lesions) were eligible for the study. Patients were randomized (1:1) within 12 wk from metastasectomy to sorafenib (standard dose 400 mg twice daily) or observation for a maximum of 52 wk. Stratification factors were interval from nephrectomy, site, and number of lesions. Overall, 76 patients were screened and 69 were randomized: 33 were assigned to sorafenib and 36 to observation. The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival (RFS). Secondary endpoints were overall survival and the safety profile.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: RFS curves were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test was used to statistically compare the curves.

Results And Limitations: At a median follow-up of 38 mo, median RFS was 37 mo (95% confidence interval [CI] 20-not available [NA]) in the observation arm versus 21 mo (95% CI 11-NA) in the sorafenib arm (log-rank test p = 0.404), with 12-, 24-, and 36-mo RFS probability of 74% versus 63%, 59% versus 49%, and 50% versus 41%, respectively, in the observation versus the sorafenib arm. Any-grade adverse event (AE) rates were 84% in the sorafenib arm and 31% in the observation arm; grade ≥3 AE rates were 22% and 3% in the sorafenib and the observation arm, respectively, with a rate of treatment discontinuation for AEs of 19% in the sorafenib arm.

Conclusions: This prospective study showed that systemic treatment with sorafenib did not increase RFS as compared with observation in mRCC patients following radical metastasectomy.

Patient Summary: This article reports the clinical outcome of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sorafenib or managed with an observation-alone strategy after the radical surgery of metastases. We found that sorafenib did not improve the patient outcome in terms of relapse-free survival in this selected population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2019.08.011DOI Listing
November 2019

Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis of the Value of Microsatellite Instability As a Biomarker in Gastric Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2019 12 12;37(35):3392-3400. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Purpose: In the CLASSIC and MAGIC trials, microsatellite instability (MSI)-high status was a favorable prognostic and potential negative predictive factor for neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy in resectable gastric cancer (GC). Given the low prevalence of MSI-high status in GC and its association with other positive prognostic variables, large data sets are needed to draw robust evidence of its prognostic/predictive value.

Patients And Methods: We performed a multinational, individual-patient-data meta-analysis of the prognostic/predictive role of MSI in patients with resectable GC enrolled in the MAGIC, CLASSIC, ARTIST, and ITACA-S trials. Prognostic analyses used multivariable Cox models (MVM). The predictive role of MSI was assessed both in an all-comer population and in MAGIC and CLASSIC trials by MVM testing of the interaction of treatment (chemotherapy plus surgery surgery) with MSI.

Results: MSI status was available for 1,556 patients: 121 (7.8%) had MSI-high status; 576 were European, and 980 were Asian. In MSI-high versus MSI-low/microsatellite stable (MSS) comparisons, the 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) was 71.8% (95% CI, 63.8% to 80.7%) versus 52.3% (95% CI, 49.7% to 55.1%); the 5-year overall survival (OS) was 77.5% (95% CI, 70.0% to 85.8%) versus 59.3% (95% CI, 56.6% to 62.1%). In MVM, MSI was associated with longer DFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.88; 95% CI, 1.28 to 2.76; < .001) and OS (HR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.17 to 2.73; = .008), as were pT, pN, ethnicity, and treatment. Patients with MSI-low/MSS GC benefitted from chemotherapy plus surgery: the 5-year DFS compared with surgery only was 57% versus 41% (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.79), and the 5-year OS was 62% versus 53% (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.94). Conversely, those with MSI-high GC did not: the 5-year DFS was 70% versus 77% (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.53 to 3.04), and the 5-year OS was 75% versus 83% (HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 0.55 to 4.12).

Conclusion: In patients with resectable primary GC, MSI is a robust prognostic marker that should be adopted as a stratification factor by clinical trials. Chemotherapy omission and/or immune checkpoint blockade should be investigated prospectively in MSI-high GCs according to clinically and pathologically defined risk of relapse.
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December 2019
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