Publications by authors named "Sergio Bracarda"

118 Publications

Gastrectomy for stage IV gastric cancer: a comparison of different treatment strategies from the SEER database.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 30;11(1):7150. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Digestive Surgery, Azienda Ospedaliera Santa Maria, Via Tristano di Joannuccio 1, 05100, Terni, Italy.

In the West, more than one third of newly diagnosed subjects show metastatic disease in gastric cancer (mGC) with few care options available. Gastrectomy has recently become a subject of debate, with some evidence showing advantages in survival beyond the sole purpose of treatment tumor-related complications. We investigated the survival benefit of different strategies in mGC patients, focusing on the role and timing of gastrectomy. Data were extracted from the SEER database. Groups were determined according to whether patients received gastrectomy, chemotherapy, supportive care. Patients receiving a multimodality treatment were further divided according to timing of surgery, whether performed before (primary gastrectomy, PG) or after chemotherapy (secondary gastrectomy, SG). 16,596 patients were included. Median OS was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the SG (15 months) than in the PG (13 months), gastrectomy alone (6 months), and chemotherapy (7 months) groups. In the multivariate analysis, SG showed better OS (HR = 0.22, 95%CI = 0.18-0.26, p < 0.001) than PG (HR = 0.25, 95%CI = 0.23-0.28, p < 0.001), gastrectomy (HR = 0.40, 95%CI = 0.36-0.44, p < 0.001), and chemotherapy (HR = 0.42, 95%CI = 0.4-0.44, p < 0.001). The survival benefits persisted even after the PSM analysis. This study shows survival advantages of gastrectomy as multimodality strategy after chemotherapy. In selected patients, SG can be proposed to improve the management of stage IV disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86352-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010081PMC
March 2021

Post-progression outcomes of NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥ 50% receiving first-line single-agent pembrolizumab in a large multicentre real-world study.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Mar 12;148:24-35. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Medical Oncology, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy.

Background: Treatment sequencing with first-line immunotherapy, followed by second-line chemotherapy, is still a viable option for NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50%.

Methods: We evaluated post-progression treatment pathways in a large real-world cohort of metastatic NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥ 50% treated with first-line pembrolizumab monotherapy.

Results: Overall, 974 patients were included. With a median follow-up of 22.7 months (95%CI: 21.6-38.2), the median overall survival (OS) of the entire population was 15.8 months (95%CI: 13.5-17.5; 548 events). At the data cutoff, among the 678 patients who experienced disease progression, 379 (55.9%) had not received any further treatment, and 359 patients (52.9%) had died. Patients who did not receive post-progression therapies were older (p = 0.0011), with a worse ECOG-PS (p < 0.0001) and were on corticosteroids prior to pembrolizumab (p = 0.0024). At disease progression, 198 patients (29.2%) received a switched approach and 101 (14.9%) received pembrolizumab ByPD either alone (64 [9.4%]) or in combination with local ablative treatments (37 [5.5%]) (LATs). After a random-case control matching according to ECOG-PS, CNS metastases, bone metastases, and (previous) best response to pembrolizumab, patients receiving pembrolizumab ByPD plus LATs were confirmed to have a significantly longer post-progression OS compared to patients receiving pembrolizumab ByPD alone 13.9 months versus 7.8 months (p = 0.0179) 241 patients (35.5%) among the 678 who had experienced PD, received a second-line systemic treatment (regardless of previous treatment beyond PD). As compared to first-line treatment commencement, patients' features at the moment of second-line initiation showed a significantly higher proportion of patients aged under 70 years (p = 0.0244), with a poorer ECOG-PS (p < 0.0001) and having CNS (p = 0.0001), bone (p = 0.0266) and liver metastases (p = 0.0148).

Conclusions: In the real-world scenario NSCLC patients with PD-L1 expression ≥50% treated with first-line single-agent pembrolizumab achieve worse outcomes as compared to the Keynote-024 trial. Poor post-progression outcomes are major determinants of the global results that should be considered when counselling patients for first-line treatment choices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.005DOI Listing
March 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab Following Disease Progression on Atezolizumab or Sunitinib Monotherapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in IMmotion150: A Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 May 5;79(5):665-673. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors combined with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy as second-line treatment for metastatic clear cell renal cancer (mRCC) has not been evaluated prospectively.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of atezolizumab + bevacizumab following disease progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy in patients with mRCC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: IMmotion150 was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase 2 study of patients with untreated mRCC. Patients randomized to the atezolizumab or sunitinib arm who had investigator-assessed progression as per RECIST 1.1 could be treated with second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab.

Intervention: Patients received atezolizumab 1200 mg intravenously (IV) plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg IV every 3 wk following disease progression on either atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The secondary endpoints analyzed during the second-line part of IMmotion150 included objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and safety. PFS was examined using Kaplan-Meier methods.

Results And Limitations: Fifty-nine patients in the atezolizumab arm and 78 in the sunitinib arm were eligible, and 103 initiated second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab (atezolizumab arm, n = 44; sunitinib arm, n = 59). ORR (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 27% (19-37%). The median PFS (95% CI) from the start of second line was 8.7 (5.6-13.7) mo. The median event follow-up duration was 19.4 (12.9-21.9) mo among the 25 patients without a PFS event. Eighty-six (83%) patients had treatment-related adverse events; 31 of 103 (30%) had grade 3/4 events. Limitations were the small sample size and selection for progressors.

Conclusions: The atezolizumab + bevacizumab combination had activity and was tolerable in patients with progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib. Further studies are needed to investigate sequencing strategies in mRCC.

Patient Summary: Patients with advanced kidney cancer whose disease had worsened during treatment with atezolizumab or sunitinib began second-line treatment with atezolizumab + bevacizumab. Tumors shrank in more than one-quarter of patients treated with this combination, and side effects were manageable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.01.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Body Mass Index in Patients Treated with Cabozantinib for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: A New Prognostic Factor?

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jan 18;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Oncology Unit, Macerata Hospital, Via Santa Lucia 2, 62100 Macerata, Italy.

We analyzed the clinical and pathological features of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients treated with cabozantinib stratified by body mass index (BMI). We retrospectively collected data from 16 worldwide centers involved in the treatment of RCC. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox proportional models were used at univariate and multivariate analyses. We collected data from 224 patients with advanced RCC receiving cabozantinib as second- (113, 5%) or third-line (111, 5%) therapy. The median PFS was significantly higher in patients with BMI ≥ 25 (9.9 vs. 7.6 months, < 0.001). The median OS was higher in the BMI ≥ 25 subgroup (30.7 vs. 11.0 months, = 0.003). As third-line therapy, both median PFS (9.2 months vs. 3.9 months, = 0.029) and OS (39.4 months vs. 11.5 months, = 0.039) were longer in patients with BMI ≥ 25. BMI was a significant predictor for both PFS and OS at multivariate analysis. We showed that a BMI ≥ 25 correlates with longer survival in patients receiving cabozantinib. BMI can be easily assessed and should be included in current prognostic criteria for advanced RCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7831923PMC
January 2021

Health-related quality of life 24-month after prostate cancer diagnosis: an update from the Pros-IT CNR prospective observational study.

Minerva Urol Nefrol 2021 Jan 13. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Urology Unit, Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale Lariana, Sant'Anna Hospital, Como, Italy.

Background: This study analyzes patient health-related quality of life (QoL) 24-month after prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis within the PROState cancer monitoring in ITaly from the National Research Council (Pros-IT CNR) study.

Methods: Pros-IT CNR is an ongoing, longitudinal and observational study, considering a convenience sample of patients enrolled at PCa diagnosis and followed at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months from the diagnosis. Patients were grouped according to the treatment received: nerve sparing radical prostatectomy (NSRP), non-nerve sparing radical prostatectomy (NNSRP), radiotherapy (RT), radiotherapy plus androgen deprivation (RT plus ADT) and active surveillance (AS). QoL was measured through the Italian versions of SF-12 and UCLA-PCI questionnaires at diagnosis and at 6-12 and 24-month. The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) was defined as half a standard deviation of the baseline domain.

Results: Overall, 1 537 patients were included in the study. The decline in urinary function exceeded the MCID at each timepoint only in the NSRP and NNSRP groups (at 24 months -14.7, p<0.001 and - 19.7, p<0.001, respectively). The decline in bowel function exceeded the MCID only in the RT (-9.1, p=0.02) and RT plus ADT groups at 12 months (-10.3, p=0.001); after 24 months, most patients seem to recover their bowel complaints. The decline in sexual function exceeded the MCID at each timepoint in the NNSRP, NSRP and RT plus ADT groups (at 6 months -28.7, p<0.001, -37.8, p<0.001, -20.4, p<0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Although all the treatments were relatively well-tolerated over the 24 month period following PCa diagnosis, each had a different impact on QoL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0393-2249.20.04032-1DOI Listing
January 2021

Artificial Neural Networks as a Way to Predict Future Kidney Cancer Incidence in the United States.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2020 Nov 10. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Oncologia Medica, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

Introduction: The incidence of kidney cancer is increasing; it could be counteracted with new ways to predict and detect it. We aimed to implement an artificial neural network in order to predict new cases of renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) in the population using population rate, obesity, smoking incidence, uncontrolled hypertension, and life expectancy data in the United States.

Patients And Methods: Statistics were collected on US population numbers, life expectancy, obesity, smoking, and hypertension. We used MATLAB R2018 (MathWorks) software to implement an artificial neural network. Data were repeatedly and randomly divided into training (70%) and validation (30%) subsets.

Results: The number of new RCC cases will grow from 44,400 (2020) to 55,400 (2050), an increase of +24.7%. Our data show that preventing hypertension would have the greatest impact on reduction of the incidence, estimated at -775 and -575 cases per year in 2020 and in 2030, respectively. The prevention of obesity and smoking would have a more limited impact, estimated at -64 and -180 cases per year in 2020 and in 2030, respectively, for obesity, and -173 and -21 cases per year in 2020 and in 2030, respectively, for smoking.

Conclusions: Our predictions underline the need for accurate studies on RCC-related risk factors to reduce the incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.10.008DOI Listing
November 2020

Symptomatic COVID-19 in advanced-cancer patients treated with immune-checkpoint inhibitors: prospective analysis from a multicentre observational trial by FICOG.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2020 2;12:1758835920968463. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Medical Oncology Unit, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy.

Background: This prospective, multicentre, observational INVIDIa-2 study is investigating the clinical efficacy of influenza vaccination in advanced-cancer patients receiving immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), enrolled in 82 Italian centres, from October 2019 to January 2020. The primary endpoint was the incidence of influenza-like illness (ILI) until 30 April 2020. All the ILI episodes, laboratory tests, complications, hospitalizations and pneumonitis were recorded. Therefore, the study prospectively recorded all the COVID-19 ILI events.

Patients And Methods: Patients were included in this non-prespecified COVID-19 analysis, if alive on 31 January 2020, when the Italian government declared the national emergency. The prevalence of confirmed COVID-19 cases was detected as ILI episode with laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2. Cases with clinical-radiological diagnosis of COVID-19 (COVID-like ILIs), were also reported.

Results: Out of 1257 enrolled patients, 955 matched the inclusion criteria for this unplanned analysis. From 31 January to 30 April 2020, 66 patients had ILI: 9 of 955 cases were confirmed COVID-19 ILIs, with prevalence of 0.9% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.3-2.4], a hospitalization rate of 100% and a mortality rate of 77.8%. Including 5 COVID-like ILIs, the overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.5% (95% CI: 0.5-3.1), with 100% hospitalization and 64% mortality. The presence of elderly, males and comorbidities was significantly higher among patients vaccinated against influenza unvaccinated (0.009, 0.0001, 0.0001). Overall COVID-19 prevalence was 1.2% for vaccinated (six of 482 cases, all confirmed) and 1.7% for unvaccinated (8 of 473, 3 confirmed COVID-19 and 5 COVID-like), 0.52. The difference remained non-significant, considering confirmed COVID-19 only (0.33).

Conclusion: COVID-19 has a meaningful clinical impact on the cancer-patient population receiving ICIs, with high prevalence, hospitalization and an alarming mortality rate among symptomatic cases. Influenza vaccination does not protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758835920968463DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7649863PMC
November 2020

Effect of concomitant medications with immune-modulatory properties on the outcomes of patients with advanced cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors: development and validation of a novel prognostic index.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Jan 16;142:18-28. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Medical Oncology Unit, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy; Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Background: Concomitant medications are known to impact on clinical outcomes of patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). We aimed weighing the role of different concomitant baseline medications to create a drug-based prognostic score.

Methods: We evaluated concomitant baseline medications at immunotherapy initiation for their impact on objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in a single-institution cohort of patients with advanced cancer treated with ICIs (training cohort, N = 217), and a drug-based prognostic score with the drugs resulting significantly impacting the OS was computed. Secondly, we externally validated the score in a large multicenter external cohort (n = 1012).

Results: In the training cohort (n = 217), the median age was 69 years (range: 32-89), and the primary tumours were non-small-cell lung cancer (70%), melanoma (14.7%), renal cell carcinoma (9.2%) and others (6%). Among baseline medications, corticosteroids (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.60-3.30), systemic antibiotics (HR = 2.07; 95% CI: 1.31-3.25) and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) (HR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.13-2.18) were significantly associated with OS. The prognostic score was calculated using these three drug classes, defining good, intermediate and poor prognosis patients. Within the training cohort, OS (p < 0.0001), PFS (p < 0.0001) and ORR (p = 0.0297) were significantly distinguished by the score stratification. The prognostic value of the score was also demonstrated in terms of OS (p < 0.0001), PFS (p < 0.0001) and ORR (p = 0.0006) within the external cohort.

Conclusion: Cumulative exposure to corticosteroids, antibiotics and PPIs (three likely microbiota-modulating drugs) leads to progressively worse outcomes after ICI therapy. We propose a simple score that can help stratifying patients in routine practice and clinical trials of ICIs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.09.033DOI Listing
January 2021

The waiting time for prostate cancer treatment in Italy: analysis from the Pros-IT CNR study.

Minerva Urol Nefrol 2020 Nov 17. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

National Research Council (CNR), Neuroscience Institute, Aging Branch, Padua, Italy.

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common neoplasm in male patients. To date, there's no certain indication about the maximum waiting time (WT) acceptable for treatment beginning and the impact on oncological and functional outcomes has not been well established.

Methods: Data from the National Research Council PCa monitoring multicenter project in Italy (Pros-IT CNR) were prospectively collected and analyzed. WT was defined as the time from the bioptical diagnosis of PCa to the first treatment received. Patients were divided in two groups, using a time frame of 90 days. Quality of life was measured through the Italian version of the University of California Los Angeles-Prostate Cancer Index (UCLA-PCI) and of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). The occurrence of upgrading, upstaging, presence of lymph node metastasis and positive surgical margins at the final histopathological diagnosis, and PSA at 12 months follow-up were evaluated.

Results: The overall median WT was 93 days. The logistic multivariable model confirmed that age, being resident in Southern regions of Italy and T staging at diagnosis were significantly associated with a WT >90 days. At 6 months from diagnosis the mean SF-12 score for the emotionalpsychological component was significantly lower in WT ≥ 90 days group (p=0.0428). Among patients treated with surgical approach, no significant differences in oncological outcomes were found in the two groups.

Conclusions: In our study age, clinical T stage and provenance from Southern regions of Italy are associated with a WT > 90 days. WT might have no impact on functional and oncological outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0393-2249.20.03925-9DOI Listing
November 2020

Integrated analysis of concomitant medications and oncological outcomes from PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors in clinical practice.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 11;8(2)

Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Development Therapeutics Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori IRCCS Fondazione "G. Pascale", Napoli, Italy.

Background: Concomitant medications, such as steroids, proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and antibiotics, might affect clinical outcomes with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter observational retrospective study aimed at evaluating the impact of concomitant medications on clinical outcomes, by weighing their associations with baseline clinical characteristics (including performance status, burden of disease and body mass index) and the underlying causes for their prescription. This analysis included consecutive stage IV patients with cancer, who underwent treatment with single agent antiprogrammed death-1/programmed death ligand-1 (PD-1/PD-L1) with standard doses and schedules at the medical oncology departments of 20 Italian institutions. Each medication taken at the immunotherapy initiation was screened and collected into key categories as follows: corticosteroids, antibiotics, gastric acid suppressants (including proton pump inhibitors - PPIs), statins and other lipid-lowering agents, aspirin, anticoagulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ACE inhibitors/Angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium antagonists, β-blockers, metformin and other oral antidiabetics, opioids.

Results: From June 2014 to March 2020, 1012 patients were included in the analysis. Primary tumors were: non-small cell lung cancer (52.2%), melanoma (26%), renal cell carcinoma (18.3%) and others (3.6%). Baseline statins (HR 1.60 (95% CI 1.14 to 2.25), p=0.0064), aspirin (HR 1.47 (95% CI 1.04 to 2.08, p=0.0267) and β-blockers (HR 1.76 (95% CI 1.16 to 2.69), p=0.0080) were confirmed to be independently related to an increased objective response rate. Patients receiving cancer-related steroids (HR 1.72 (95% CI 1.43 to 2.07), p<0.0001), prophylactic systemic antibiotics (HR 1.85 (95% CI 1.23 to 2.78), p=0.0030), prophylactic gastric acid suppressants (HR 1.29 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.53), p=0.0021), PPIs (HR 1.26 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.48), p=0.0050), anticoagulants (HR 1.43 (95% CI: 1.16 to 1.77), p=0.0007) and opioids (HR 1.71 (95% CI 1.28 to 2.28), p=0.0002) were confirmed to have a significantly higher risk of disease progression. Patients receiving cancer-related steroids (HR 2.16 (95% CI 1.76 to 2.65), p<0.0001), prophylactic systemic antibiotics (HR 1.93 (95% CI 1.25 to 2.98), p=0.0030), prophylactic gastric acid suppressants (HR 1.29 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.57), p=0.0091), PPI (HR 1.26 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.52), p=0.0172), anticoagulants (HR 1.45 (95% CI 1.14 to 1.84), p=0.0024) and opioids (HR 1.53 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.11), p=0.0098) were confirmed to have a significantly higher risk of death.

Conclusion: We confirmed the association between baseline steroids administered for cancer-related indication, systemic antibiotics, PPIs and worse clinical outcomes with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors, which can be assumed to have immune-modulating detrimental effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7646355PMC
November 2020

MDM2 gene amplification as selection tool for innovative targeted approaches in PD-L1 positive or negative muscle-invasive urothelial bladder carcinoma.

J Clin Pathol 2020 Nov 3. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Division of Urology, University and Hospital Trust of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Aims: According to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), around 9% of bladder carcinomas usually show abnormalities of the murine double minute 2 (MDM2) gene, but a few studies have been investigated them. We profiled MDM2 gene amplification in a series of urothelial carcinomas (UC) considering the molecular subtypes and expression of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1).

Methods: 117 patients with muscle-invasive UC (pT2-3) without (N0) or with (N+) lymph-node metastases were revised. Only cases with availability of in toto specimens and follow-up were studied. Tissue microarray was built. p53, ER, RB1, GATA-3, CK20, CK5/6, CD44 and PD-L1 (clone sp263) immunoexpression was evaluated. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation was assessed by using the HER-2/neu, FGFR-3, CDKN2A and MDM2 probes. True (ratio 12q/CEP12 >2) MDM2 gene amplification was distinguished from polyploidy/gains (ratio <2, absolute copy number of MDM-2 >2). MDM2 and PD-L1 values were correlated to the TCGA molecular phenotypes. Statistical analysis was performed.

Results: 6/50 (12%) cases (5 N0 and 1 N+) were amplified for MDM2 without matching to molecular phenotypes. Of 50, 14 (37%) cases expressed PD-L1 at 1% cut-off; 3/50 (9%) at >50% cut-off; of these, 2 cases on side of neoplasia among inflammatory cells. Only one out of six (17%) cases amplified for MDM2 showed expression (>50% cut-off) of PD-L1. MDM2 amplification was independent to all documented profiles (k test=0.3) and was prevalent in recurrent UC.

Conclusion: MDM2 amplification has been seen in both PD-L1 positive and negative muscle-invasive bladder UC independently from the TCGA molecular phenotypes. MDM2 and PD-L1 might be assessed in order to predict a better response to combo/single targeted therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2020-207089DOI Listing
November 2020

How radical prostatectomy procedures have changed over the last 10 years in Italy: a comparative analysis based on more than 1500 patients participating in the MIRROR-SIU/LUNA and the Pros-IT CNR study.

World J Urol 2020 Aug 1. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Aging Branch, National Research Council (CNR), Neuroscience Institute, Padua, Italy.

Purpose: Therapeutic strategies for prostate cancer (PCa) have been evolving dramatically worldwide. The current article reports on the evolution of surgical management strategies for PCa in Italy.

Methods: The data from two independent Italian multicenter projects, the MIRROR-SIU/LUNA (started in 2007, holding data of 890 patients) and the Pros-IT-CNR project (started in 2014, with data of 692 patients), were compared. Differences in patients' characteristics were evaluated. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify characteristics associated with robot-assisted (RA) procedure, nerve sparing (NS) approach, and lymph node dissection (LND).

Results: The two cohorts did not differ in terms of age and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels at biopsy. Patients enrolled in the Pros-IT-CNR project more frequently were submitted to RA (58.8% vs 27.6%, p < 0.001) and NS prostatectomy (58.4% vs. 52.9%, p = 0.04), but received LND less frequently (47.7% vs. 76.7%, p < 0.001), as compared to the MIRROR-SIU/LUNA patients. At multivariate logistic models, Lower Gleason Scores (GS) and PSA levels were significantly associated with RA prostatectomy in both cohorts. As for the MIRROR-SIU/LUNA data, clinical T-stage was a predictor for NS (OR = 0.07 for T3, T4) and LND (OR = 2.41 for T2) procedures. As for Pros-IT CNR data, GS ≥ (4 + 3) and positive cancer cores ≥ 50% were decisive factors both for NS (OR 0.29 and 0.30) and LND (OR 7.53 and 2.31) strategies.

Conclusions: PCa management has changed over the last decade in Italian centers: RA and NS procedures without LND have become the methods of choice to treat newly medium-high risk diagnosed PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-020-03350-5DOI Listing
August 2020

Correlation Between Immune-related Adverse Event (IRAE) Occurrence and Clinical Outcome in Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma (mRCC) Treated With Nivolumab: IRAENE Trial, an Italian Multi-institutional Retrospective Study.

Clin Genitourin Cancer 2020 Dec 20;18(6):477-488. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Oncology and Hematology, University Hospital of Modena, Modena, Italy.

Background: Immunotherapy has brought clinical benefits to patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC). Most patients tolerate immunotherapy but serious immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have been reported. Some studies indicate a correlation between irAEs and clinical response in other cancer types (eg, lung cancer and melanoma). For patients with mRCC, the impact of irAE on clinical outcome is unknown.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective review of 167 patients with mRCC treated with nivolumab as standard of care between March 2017 and January 2018 in 16 Italian centers was performed. irAEs were assessed using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v.4.0.

Results: Any grade and grade 3/4 irAEs occurred in 46% and 8.9% of patients, respectively. The median time to appearance of irAEs was 10 weeks; 38.8% of patients required steroid treatment. The most common irAEs were cutaneous (33.7%) and gastrointestinal (23.3%). The median overall survival and progression-free survival were 20.13 and 7.86 months, respectively. Patients with irAEs showed a greater overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.23-0.63) and progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.29-0.66) benefit as well as better overall response rate (27.3% vs. 13.7%; odds ratio, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.03-5.44) and disease control rate (68.8% vs. 48%; odds ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.23-4.67) if compared with those without irAEs. No correlation was found between steroid use and clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: Our analysis revealed that the appearance of irAEs was associated with better outcomes in patients treated with nivolumab. This data may be limited by sample size and the retrospective nature of the study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clgc.2020.05.010DOI Listing
December 2020

Patients with sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma - re-defining the first-line of treatment: A meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Eur J Cancer 2020 09 23;136:195-203. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Medical Oncology Unit, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Largo Agostino Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Background: Sarcomatoid renal cell carcinoma (sRCC) represents a rare form of renal cell carcinoma marked by an aggressive biology, poor prognosis and little benefit from anti-angiogenic targeted therapy. More promising results come from the recent therapeutic strategy based on immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) combinations.

Materials And Methods: For this meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE/PubMed, the Cochrane Library and American Society of Medical Oncology (ASCO) Meeting abstracts for phase II or III randomised clinical trials. Data extraction was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis statement. The hazard ratios (HRs) for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with the relative 95% confidence intervals were extracted from studies. Summary HRs were calculated using random- or fixed-effects models, depending on the heterogeneity of the included studies.

Results: Four studies were selected for final analysis, including 467 patients (226 treated in with ICI combinations and 241 received sunitinib in the control arms). ICI-based combinations were associated with an improved PFS and OS compared with sunitinib, with a reduction of more than 40% of progression (HR = 0.56; p < 0.0001) and mortality (HR = 0.56; p = 0.001) risk. Moreover, ICI-based combinations are associated with a objective response rate (ORR) of more than 50% (versus 20% with sunitinib), corresponding to a doubled risk of achieving an ORR compared with controls (relative risk [RR] = 2.15; p < 0.00001). Finally, immunotherapy significantly increased the possibility to obtain complete responses (RR = 8.15, p = 0.0002) with an incidence of 11%.

Conclusion: Our data support the efficacy of ICI-based combinations for sRCC therapy, redefining the first-line treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.06.008DOI Listing
September 2020

Cabozantinib After a Previous Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Retrospective Multi-Institutional Analysis.

Target Oncol 2020 08;15(4):495-501

Genitourinary Cancer Unit, Dipartimento di Oncologia Medica, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Angiogenesis has been recognized as the most important factor for tumor invasion, proliferation, and progression in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). However, few clinical data are available regarding the efficacy of cabozantinib following immunotherapy.

Objective: To describe the outcome of cabozantinib in patients previously treated with immunotherapy.

Patients And Methods: Patients with mRCC who received cabozantinib immediately after nivolumab were included. The primary endpoint was to assess the outcome in terms of efficacy and activity.

Results: Eighty-four mRCC patients met the criteria to be included in the final analysis. After a median follow-up of 9.4 months, median overall survival was 17.3 months. According to the IMDC criteria, the rates of patients alive at 12 months in the good, intermediate, and poor prognostic groups were 100%, 74%, and 33%, respectively (p < 0.001). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 11.5 months (95% CI 8.3-14.7); no difference was found based on duration of previous first-line therapy or nivolumab PFS. The overall response rate was 52%, stable disease was found as the best response in 25.3% and progressive disease in 22.7% of patients. Among the 35 patients with progressive disease on nivolumab, 26 (74.3%) patients showed complete/partial response or stable disease with cabozantinib as best response after nivolumab. The major limitations of this study are the retrospective nature and the short follow-up.

Conclusions: Cabozantinib was shown to be effective and active in patients previously receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, cabozantinib can be considered a valid therapeutic option for previously treated mRCC patients, irrespective of the type and duration of prior therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-020-00732-yDOI Listing
August 2020

Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab Versus Sunitinib for Patients with Untreated Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma and Sarcomatoid Features: A Prespecified Subgroup Analysis of the IMmotion151 Clinical Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 May 9;79(5):659-662. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid features (sRCC) have a poor prognosis and have shown limited responsiveness to inhibition of the VEGF pathway. We conducted a prespecified analysis of the randomised, phase 3 IMmotion151 trial in previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic RCC to assess the effectiveness of atezolizumab + bevacizumab versus sunitinib in a subgroup of patients with sarcomatoid features. Patients whose tumour had any component of sarcomatoid features were included and received atezolizumab + bevacizumab (n = 68) or sunitinib (n = 74). Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the group receiving atezolizumab + bevacizumab overall (8.3 vs 5.3 mo; hazard ratio [HR] 0.52 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-0.79) and in the subset of patients with PD-L1-positive tumours (8.6 vs 5.6 mo; HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.26-0.77). More patients receiving atezolizumab + bevacizumab achieved an objective response (49% vs 14%), including complete responses (10% vs 3%), and reported greater symptom improvements versus sunitinib. Safety was consistent with the known profiles of each drug and with that reported in the overall safety-evaluable population of IMmotion151. This analysis supports enhanced activity of atezolizumab + bevacizumab in patients with sRCC. PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report, we looked at patients with a specific type of kidney cancer (tumours with sarcomatoid features) that has been hard to treat. A treatment with two drugs (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) appeared to help patients live longer without the disease getting worse than another drug (sunitinib) that is often used. Patients who took the two drugs also said they were better able to carry out their everyday activities than patients who took sunitinib. The combination of these two drugs may work better in patients with this type of advanced kidney cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2020.06.021DOI Listing
May 2021

Late immune-related adverse events in long-term responders to PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors: A multicentre study.

Eur J Cancer 2020 07 23;134:19-28. Epub 2020 May 23.

Department of Dermatology, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy; Medical Oncology, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy.

Background: Data on spectrum and grade of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) in long-term responders to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are lacking.

Methods: We performed a retrospective multicenter study to characterized irAEs occurring after a 12-months minimum treatment period with PD-(L)1 ICIs in patients with advanced cancer. IrAEs were categorized into 'early' (≤12 months) and 'late' (>12 months).

Results: From September 2013 to October 2019, 436 consecutive patients were evaluated. Two hundred twenty-three experienced any grade early-irAEs (51.1%), whereas 132 experienced any grade late-irAEs (30.3%) (p < 0.0001). Among the latter, 29 (22%) experienced a recurrence of an early-irAEs, whereas 103 (78%) experienced de novo late-irAEs involving different system/organ. Among patients with late-irAEs, 21 experienced GIII/GIV irAEs (4.8%). Median time to onset of early-irAEs was 3.4 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.8-4.2), whereas the median time to onset of late-irAEs was 16.6 months (95% CI: 15.8-17.6). Cumulative time-adjusted risk of disease progression according to both the early-irAEs (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.63 [95% CI: 0.30-1.29], p = 0.204) and late-irAEs occurrence revealed no statistically significant differences (HR = 0.75 [95% CI: 0.37-1.56], p = 0.452). In addition, the time-adjusted cumulative risk of death in accordance with both early-irAEs (HR = 0.79 [95% CI: 0.34-1.86], p = 0.598) and late-irAEs (HR = 0.92 [95% CI: 0.49-1.74], p = 0.811) did not show statistically significant differences.

Conclusion: Although less frequent than early-irAEs, late-irAEs are quite common in long responders to PD-(L)1 ICIs and are different in terms of spectrum and grade. Time-adjusted analysis revealed that the cumulative risk of disease progression and death were not significantly reduced in patients who experienced late-irAEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.04.025DOI Listing
July 2020

Patient-reported outcomes in a phase 2 study comparing atezolizumab alone or with bevacizumab vs sunitinib in previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

BJU Int 2020 07 24;126(1):73-82. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

Barts Cancer Institute, Royal Free Hospital, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Objective: To evaluate patient-reported outcome (PRO) data from the IMmotion150 study. The phase 2 IMmotion150 study showed improved progression-free survival with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab vs sunitinib in patients with programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)+ tumours and suggested activity of atezolizumab monotherapy in previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Patients And Methods: Patients with previously untreated mRCC were randomised to atezolizumab 1200 mg intravenously (i.v.) every 3 weeks (n = 103), the atezolizumab regimen plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg i.v. every 3 weeks (n = 101), or sunitinib 50 mg orally daily (4 weeks on, 2 weeks off; n = 101). The MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI) and Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) were administered on days 1 and 22 of each 6-week cycle. Time to deterioration (TTD), change from baseline in MDASI core and RCC symptom severity, interference with daily life, and BFI fatigue severity and interference scores were reported for all comers. The TTD was the first ≥2-point score increase over baseline. Absolute effect size ≥0.2 suggested a clinically important difference with checkpoint inhibitor therapy vs sunitinib.

Results: Completion rates were >90% at baseline and ≥80% at most visits. Delayed TTD in core and RCC symptoms, symptom interference, fatigue, and fatigue-related interference was observed with atezolizumab (both alone and in combination) vs sunitinib. Improved TTD (hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]) was more pronounced with atezolizumab monotherapy: core symptoms, 0.39 (0.22-0.71); RCC symptoms, 0.22 (0.12-0.41); and symptom interference, 0.36 (0.22-0.58). Change from baseline by visit, evaluated by the MDASI, also showed a trend favouring atezolizumab monotherapy vs sunitinib. Small sample sizes may have limited the ability to draw definitive conclusions.

Conclusion: PROs suggested that atezolizumab alone or with bevacizumab maintained daily function compared with sunitinib. Notably, symptoms were least severe with atezolizumab alone vs sunitinib (IMmotion150; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01984242).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15058DOI Listing
July 2020

Bone health management in the continuum of prostate cancer disease: a review of the evidence with an expert panel opinion.

ESMO Open 2020 03;5(2)

Department of Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Bone health impairment is a frequent detrimental consequence of the high bone tropism of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. It is further worsened by administration of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), the current standard of care in the management of advanced PCa, through a rapid and dramatic increase in bone turnover and body mass changes. As a result, patients may experience substantial pain and poor quality of life (QoL) and have an increased risk of death. Notwithstanding the importance of this issue, however, bone health preservation is not yet a widespread clinical goal in daily practice.To address this urgent unmet need, following a thorough discussion of available data and sharing of their clinical practice experience, a panel of Italian experts in the field of bone health and metabolism formulated a number of practical advices for optimising the monitoring and treatment of bone health in men undergoing ADT during all phases of the disease. The rationale behind the venture was to raise awareness on the importance of bone preservation in this complex setting, while providing an instrument to support physicians and facilitate the management of bone health.Current evidence regarding the effects on bone health of ADT, of novel hormone therapies (which improve progression delay, pain control and QoL while consistently carrying the risk of non-pathological fractures in both non-metastatic and metastatic PCa) and of bone turnover inhibitors (whose use is frequently suboptimal) is reviewed. Finally, the expert opinion to optimise bone health preservation is given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2019-000652DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174015PMC
March 2020

Patient-Reported Outcomes from the Phase III Randomized IMmotion151 Trial: Atezolizumab Bevacizumab versus Sunitinib in Treatment-Naïve Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 06 3;26(11):2506-2514. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: Patient-reported outcomes (PRO) were evaluated in the phase III IMmotion151 trial (NCT02420821) to inform overall treatment/disease burden of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib in patients with previously untreated metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC).

Patients And Methods: Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive atezolizumab 1,200 mg intravenous (i.v.) infusions every 3 weeks (q3w) plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg i.v. q3w or sunitinib 50 mg per day orally 4 weeks on/2 weeks off. Patients completed the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI), National Comprehensive Cancer Network Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Kidney Symptom Index (FKSI-19), and Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) at baseline, q3w during treatment, at end of treatment, and during survival follow-up. Longitudinal and time to deterioration (TTD) analyses for core and RCC symptoms and their interference with daily life, treatment side-effect bother, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were evaluated.

Results: The intent-to-treat population included 454 and 461 patients in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab and sunitinib arms, respectively. Completion rates for each instrument were 83% to 86% at baseline and ≥ 70% through week 54. Milder symptoms, less symptom interference and treatment side-effect bother, and better HRQOL at most visits were reported with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sunitinib. The TTD HR (95% CI) favored atezolizumab plus bevacizumab for core (HR, 0.50; 0.40-0.62) and RCC symptoms (HR, 0.45; 0.37-0.55), symptom interference (HR, 0.56; 0.46-0.68), and HRQOL (HR, 0.68; 0.58-0.81).

Conclusions: PROs in IMmotion151 suggest lower overall treatment burden with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab compared with sunitinib in patients with treatment-naïve mRCC and provide further evidence for clinical benefit of this regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2838DOI Listing
June 2020

Another side of the association between body mass index (BMI) and clinical outcomes of cancer patients receiving programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1)/ Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors: A multicentre analysis of immune-related adverse events.

Eur J Cancer 2020 03 5;128:17-26. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Development Therapeutics Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori-IRCCS Fondazione "G. Pascale", Naples, Italy.

Background: Several studies have found an association between higher body mass index (BMI) and improved clinical outcomes in cancer patients receiving programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors. In a previous study, we found that overweight/obese patients were significantly more likely to experience any grade immune-related adverse events (irAEs) compared to non-overweight patients.

Patients And Methods: We conducted a 'real-life', multi centre, retrospective observational study aimed at comparing the incidence of irAEs among cancer patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors according to baseline BMI.

Results: One thousand and seventy advanced cancer patients were evaluated. The median age was 68 years (range: 21-92), male/female ratio was 724/346. Primary tumours were: non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) (653 patients), melanoma (233 patients), renal cell carcinoma (RCC) (152 patients) and others (29 patients). Median BMI was 25 (13.6-46.6); according to World Health Organisation (WHO) classification, 44 patients (4.1%) were defined as underweight, 480 patients (44.9%) as having a normal weight, 416 patients (38.9%) as overweight and 130 patients (12.1%) as obese. Higher BMI was significantly related to higher occurrence of any grade immune-related adverse events [irAEs] (p < 0.0001), G3/G4 irAEs (p < 0.0001) and irAEs leading to discontinuation (LTD) (p < 0.0001). Overweight and obesity were confirmed predictors for irAEs of any grade at both univariate and multivariate analysis. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (compared to normal-weight) were 10.6; 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 7.5-14.9 for overweight, and 16.6 (95%CI: 10.3-26.7) for obese patients. Obesity was the only factor significantly related to a higher incidence of G3/G4 irAEs (OR = 11.9 [95%CI: 6.4-22.3], p < 0.0001) and LTD irAEs (OR = 8.8 [95%CI: 4.3-18.2], p < 0.0001). Overweight and obese patients experienced a significantly higher occurrence of cutaneous, endocrine, gastro-intestinal (GI), hepatic and 'others' irAEs, compared to normal-weight patients. Only obese patients experienced a significantly higher occurrence of pulmonary and rheumatic irAEs, compared to normal-weight patients.

Conclusions: Considering the previously evidenced association between higher BMI and better outcome, the current finding about the relationship between BMI and irAEs occurrence can contribute to consideration of these findings as the upside of the downside, which underlies an 'immunogenic phenotype'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.12.031DOI Listing
March 2020

Evaluating the role of FAMIly history of cancer and diagnosis of multiple neoplasms in cancer patients receiving PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors: the multicenter FAMI-L1 study.

Oncoimmunology 2020 7;9(1):1710389. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Medical Oncology, St. Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy.

: We investigate the role of family history of cancer (FHC) and diagnosis of metachronous and/or synchronous multiple neoplasms (MN), during anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy. : This was a multicenter retrospective study of advanced cancer patients treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy. FHC was collected in lineal and collateral lines, and patients were categorized as follows: FHC-high (in case of cancer diagnoses in both the lineal and collateral family lines), FHC-low (in case of cancer diagnoses in only one family line), and FHC-negative. Patients were also categorized according to the diagnosis of MN as follows: MN-high (>2 malignancies), MN-low (two malignancies), and MN-negative. Objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and incidence of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) of any grade were evaluated. : 822 consecutive patients were evaluated. 458 patients (55.7%) were FHC-negative, 289 (35.2%) were FHC-low, and 75 (9.1%) FHC-high, respectively. 29 (3.5%) had a diagnosis of synchronous MN and 94 (11.4%) of metachronous MN. 108 (13.2%) and 15 (1.8%) patients were MN-low and MN-high, respectively. The median follow-up was 15.6 months. No significant differences were found regarding ORR among subgroups. FHC-high patients had a significantly longer PFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.69 [95% CI: 0.48-0.97], = .0379) and OS (HR = 0.61 [95% CI: 0.39-0.93], = .0210), when compared to FHC-negative patients. FHC-high was confirmed as an independent predictor for PFS and OS at multivariate analysis. No significant differences were found according to MN categories. FHC-high patients had a significantly higher incidence of irAEs of any grade, compared to FHC-negative patients ( = .0012). : FHC-high patients seem to benefit more than FHC-negative patients from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2162402X.2019.1710389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959456PMC
January 2020

Overview of potential determinants of radical prostatectomy versus radiation therapy in management of clinically localized prostate cancer: results from an Italian, prospective, observational study (the Pros-IT CNR study).

Minerva Urol Nefrol 2020 Oct 7;72(5):595-604. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Aging Branch, Neuroscience Institute, Section of Padua, National Research Council of Italy, Padua, Italy.

Background: We assessed patients and tumor characteristics, as well as health-related quality of life (HRQoL) items, associated with curative intent treatment decision-making in clinically localized prostate cancer (PCa) patients.

Methods: Clinically localized PCa treated with either radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiation therapy (RT) within 12 months from diagnosis were abstracted from The PROState cancer monitoring in ITaly, from the National Research Council (Pros-IT CNR) database. Multivariable logistic regression (MLR) models predicting RT vs. RP were fitted, after adjustment for HRQoL items, patients and tumor characteristics.

Results: Of 1041 patients, 631 (60.2%) were treated with RP and 410 (39.8%) with RT. Relative to RT, RP patients were younger age (mean age 64.5±6.6 vs. 71.4±4.9, P<0.001) and had higher rates of D'Amico low-intermediate risk groups (31.8 vs. 21.9% low, 46.3% vs. 43.5% intermediate and 21.9% vs. 34.6% high risk, P<0.001). Overall, 93.2% of RP patients were enrolled by urologists and 82.7% of RT patients by radiation oncologists. RP patients had generally higher means values of HRQoL items. In MLR models, higher RT rates were independently associated with more advanced age (odds ratio [OR] 6.14, P<0.001) and BMI≥30 kg/m2 (OR 1.78, P<0.001). Conversely, lower rates of RT were independently associated with married (OR 0.55, P=0.01) and worker status (OR 0.52, P=0.004), enrollment in academic centers (OR 0.59, P=0.005) and higher physical composite score (OR 0.88, P=0.03) and baseline sexual function items (OR 0.92, P<0.001).

Conclusions: Most patients with clinically localized prostate cancer undergoing definitive treatment at Italian institutions receive RP instead of RT. Moreover, those who are younger, married, working, as well as those with better physical and sexual function are more likely to undergo surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0393-2249.19.03637-3DOI Listing
October 2020

Real-World Data on Cabozantinib in Previously Treated Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Focus on Sequences and Prognostic Factors.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Dec 30;12(1). Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Oncology Unit, Macerata Hospital, via Santa Lucia 2, 62100 Macerata, Italy.

Cabozantinib is approved for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). However, prognostic factors are still lacking in this context. The aim of this study was to evaluate prognostic factors in RCC patients treated with second- or third-line cabozantinib. A multicenter retrospective real-world study was conducted, involving 32 worldwide centers. A total of 237 patients with histologically confirmed clear-cell and non-clear-cell RCC who received cabozantinib as second- or third-line therapy for metastatic disease were included. We analyzed overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and time-to-strategy failure (TTSF) using Kaplan-Meier curves. Cox proportional models were used at univariate and multivariate analyses.The median PFS and OS of cabozantinib were 7.76 months (95% CI 6.51-10.88) and 11.57 months (95% CI 10.90-not reached (NR)) as second-line and 11.38 months (95% CI 5.79-NR) and NR (95% CI 11.51-NR) as third-line therapy. The median TTSF and OS were 11.57 and 15.52 months with the sequence of cabozantinib-nivolumab and 25.64 months and NR with nivolumab-cabozantinib, respectively. The difference between these two sequences was statistically significant only in good-risk patients. In the second-line setting, hemoglobin (Hb) levels (HR= 2.39; 95% CI 1.24-4.60, = 0.009) and IMDC (International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium) group (HR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.04-2.87, = 0.037) were associated with PFS while ECOG-PS (HR = 2.33; 95%CI, 1.16-4.69, = 0.018) and Hb levels (HR = 3.12; 95%CI 1.18-8.26, = 0.023) correlated with OS at multivariate analysis, while in the third-line setting, only Hb levels (HR = 2.72; 95%CI 1.04-7.09, = 0.042) were associated with OS. Results are limited by the retrospective nature of the study.This real-world study provides evidence on the presence of prognostic factors in RCC patients receiving cabozantinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7016527PMC
December 2019

Monitoring Patients with Metastatic Hormone-Sensitive and Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: A Multidisciplinary Consensus Document.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Dec 1;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 1.

Urology Unit, Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale Lariana, Sant'Anna Hospital, 22042 Como, Italy.

Background: The availability of a number of agents that are efficacious in patients with metastatic prostate cancer (mPC) has led to them being used sequentially, and this has prolonged patient survival. However, in order to maximize their efficacy, clinicians need to be able to obtain a reliable picture of disease evolution by means of monitoring procedures.

Methods: As the intensive monitoring protocols used in pivotal trials cannot be adopted in everyday clinical practice and there is no agreement among the available guidelines, a multidisciplinary panel of Italian experts met to develop recommendations for monitoring mPC patients using a modified Delphi method.

Results: The consensus project considered methods of clinically, radiographically, and biochemically monitoring patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive and metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer undergoing chemotherapy and/or hormonal treatment. The panelists also considered the methods and timing of monitoring castration levels, bone health, and the metabolic syndrome during androgen deprivation therapy.

Conclusions: The recommendations, which were drawn up by experts following a formal and validated consensus procedure, will help clinicians face the everyday challenges of monitoring metastatic prostate cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers11121908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6966424PMC
December 2019

Adverse events related to abiraterone and enzalutamide treatment: analysis of the EudraVigilance database and meta-analysis of registrational phase III studies.

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2020 06 4;23(2):199-206. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Department of Urology, Ospedale Sant'Andrea, Rome, Italy.

Background: Data from clinical trials do not always provide adequate information to judge the impact of new treatments when used in a real-world setting. The aim of our study was to analyze adverse events (AEs) associated with enzalutamide (ENZ) and abiraterone (ABI) using real-life data from the EudraVigilance (EV) database.

Methods: The EV database is the system for managing and analyzing information on suspected adverse reactions to medicines, which have been authorized or are being studied in clinical trials in the European Economic Area. We recorded the number of AEs for ABI and ENZ per category and severity from January 2013 to January 2019. In addition, we recorded AEs per age group. A meta-analysis of AEs reported in registrational phase III studies (AFFIRM, PREVAIL, COU-AA) was performed.

Results: The number of individual cases identified in EV database was 13,562 for ABI and 40,599 for ENZ. Over 90% of the reported AEs were defined as serious for both drugs. Older patients (>85 years and 65-85 years) treated with ABI or ENZ are at increased risk of cardiac, infectious, metabolic, and respiratory disorders when compared with younger patients (<65). According to registrational phase III studies, the most frequent AEs in patients treated with ABI are hepatobiliary disorders, while the most frequent AEs in patients treated with ENZ are psychiatric and vascular disorders. Several AEs present in the EV database are not reported in the registrational phase III studies. It is important to note that we have no information on the number of patients under treatment in the EV database.

Conclusions: The EV database highlights several AEs that are not reported in registrational phase III studies as well as different AEs profiles according to age. Clinicians should consider these data when treating patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer with ABI or ENZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41391-019-0182-xDOI Listing
June 2020

Nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in first-line treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma: extended follow-up of efficacy and safety results from a randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2019 10 16;20(10):1370-1385. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: In the ongoing phase 3 CheckMate 214 trial, nivolumab plus ipilimumab showed superior efficacy over sunitinib in patients with previously untreated intermediate-risk or poor-risk advanced renal cell carcinoma, with a manageable safety profile. In this study, we aimed to assess efficacy and safety after extended follow-up to inform the long-term clinical benefit of nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus sunitinib in this setting.

Methods: In the phase 3, randomised, controlled CheckMate 214 trial, patients aged 18 years and older with previously untreated, advanced, or metastatic histologically confirmed renal cell carcinoma with a clear-cell component were recruited from 175 hospitals and cancer centres in 28 countries. Patients were categorised by International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium risk status into favourable-risk, intermediate-risk, and poor-risk subgroups and randomly assigned (1:1) to open-label nivolumab (3 mg/kg intravenously) plus ipilimumab (1 mg/kg intravenously) every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by nivolumab (3 mg/kg intravenously) every 2 weeks; or sunitinib (50 mg orally) once daily for 4 weeks (6-week cycle). Randomisation was done through an interactive voice response system, with a block size of four and stratified by risk status and geographical region. The co-primary endpoints for the trial were overall survival, progression-free survival per independent radiology review committee (IRRC), and objective responses per IRRC in intermediate-risk or poor-risk patients. Secondary endpoints were overall survival, progression-free survival per IRRC, and objective responses per IRRC in the intention-to-treat population, and adverse events in all treated patients. In this Article, we report overall survival, investigator-assessed progression-free survival, investigator-assessed objective response, characterisation of response, and safety after extended follow-up. Efficacy outcomes were assessed in all randomly assigned patients; safety was assessed in all treated patients. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02231749, and is ongoing but now closed to recruitment.

Findings: Between Oct 16, 2014, and Feb 23, 2016, of 1390 patients screened, 1096 (79%) eligible patients were randomly assigned to nivolumab plus ipilimumab or sunitinib (550 vs 546 in the intention-to-treat population; 425 vs 422 intermediate-risk or poor-risk patients, and 125 vs 124 favourable-risk patients). With extended follow-up (median follow-up 32·4 months [IQR 13·4-36·3]), in intermediate-risk or poor-risk patients, results for the three co-primary efficacy endpoints showed that nivolumab plus ipilimumab continued to be superior to sunitinib in terms of overall survival (median not reached [95% CI 35·6-not estimable] vs 26·6 months [22·1-33·4]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·66 [95% CI 0·54-0·80], p<0·0001), progression-free survival (median 8·2 months [95% CI 6·9-10·0] vs 8·3 months [7·0-8·8]; HR 0·77 [95% CI 0·65-0·90], p=0·0014), and the proportion of patients achieving an objective response (178 [42%] of 425 vs 124 [29%] of 422; p=0·0001). Similarly, in intention-to-treat patients, nivolumab and ipilimumab showed improved efficacy compared with sunitinib in terms of overall survival (median not reached [95% CI not estimable] vs 37·9 months [32·2-not estimable]; HR 0·71 [95% CI 0·59-0·86], p=0·0003), progression-free survival (median 9·7 months [95% CI 8·1-11·1] vs 9·7 months [8·3-11·1]; HR 0·85 [95% CI 0·73-0·98], p=0·027), and the proportion of patients achieving an objective response (227 [41%] of 550 vs 186 [34%] of 546 p=0·015). In all treated patients, the most common grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events in the nivolumab and ipilimumab group were increased lipase (57 [10%] of 547), increased amylase (31 [6%]), and increased alanine aminotransferase (28 [5%]), whereas in the sunitinib group they were hypertension (90 [17%] of 535), fatigue (51 [10%]), and palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia (49 [9%]). Eight deaths in the nivolumab plus ipilimumab group and four deaths in the sunitinib group were reported as treatment-related.

Interpretation: The results suggest that the superior efficacy of nivolumab plus ipilimumab over sunitinib was maintained in intermediate-risk or poor-risk and intention-to-treat patients with extended follow-up, and show the long-term benefits of nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma across all risk categories.

Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb and ONO Pharmaceutical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30413-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7497870PMC
October 2019

Toward a genome-based treatment landscape for renal cell carcinoma.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2019 Oct 2;142:141-152. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Medical Oncology, Dept. of Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliera S.Maria, Terni, Italy.

Knowledge about molecular mechanisms driving development and progression of renal cell carcinoma has been elucidated by different studies. In few years we discovered a large difference between genomic landscapes of clear cell and non-clear cell carcinoma. Moreover, tumor heterogeneity and different acquisition of gene mutations during tumor progression are issues of particular interest. In this review we focalized our attention on principal genomic alterations identified among RCC subtypes. Acquired gene mutations may be an adaptive response to several external pressure including metabolic, treatment, genomic and immune-related external pressure. Thus we correlated and discussed principal genomic alterations adopted by tumor to escape from each external pressures. The aim of the present work is to summarize current knowledge about genomic alterations in RCC with special interest of treatment strategies tailored on the basis of disease mutations assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2019.07.020DOI Listing
October 2019