Publications by authors named "Shukui Qin"

145 Publications

Camrelizumab plus oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy as first-line therapy for advanced biliary tract cancer: a multicenter, phase 2 trial.

Int J Cancer 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd, Shanghai, China.

Biliary tract cancer (BTC) is a highly malignant tumor with limited treatment options and poor prognosis. This study aimed to evaluate camrelizumab plus oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy as first-line therapy for advanced BTC. In this multicenter, open-label, phase 2 trial conducted in China (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03092895), untreated patients with advanced BTC were given camrelizumab (3 mg/kg iv gtt, every 2 weeks) plus typical FOLFOX4 (Cam-FOLFOX4 group; infusional 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin and oxaliplatin) or GEMOX (Cam-GEMOX group; infusional gemcitabine and oxaliplatin). The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). 92 patients were enrolled: 29 received Cam-FOLFOX4 and 63 received Cam-GEMOX. The confirmed ORR and disease control rate were 16.3% (95% CI: 9.4-25.5) and 75.0% (95% CI: 64.9-83.4) respectively. Median duration of response was 8.7 months (95% CI: 5.1-not reached). Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 5.3 months (95% CI: 3.7-5.7) and 12.4 months (95% CI: 8.9-16.1) respectively. Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred in 82.8% of patients receiving Cam-FOLFOX4 and in 68.3% receiving Cam-GEMOX, with no unexpected effects observed. Six (6.5%) patients discontinued treatment due to TRAE. Camrelizumab plus FOLFOX4 or GEMOX as first-line treatment was effective and tolerable for Chinese patients with advanced BTC, warranting phase 3 trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33751DOI Listing
July 2021

Safety, Efficacy, and Pharmacodynamics of Tremelimumab Plus Durvalumab for Patients With Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Randomized Expansion of a Phase I/II Study.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 22:JCO2003555. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: This phase I/II study evaluated tremelimumab (anticytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 monoclonal antibody) and durvalumab (antiprogrammed death ligand-1 monoclonal antibody) as monotherapies and in combination for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), including a novel regimen featuring a single, priming dose of tremelimumab (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02519348).

Patients And Methods: Patients with HCC who had progressed on, were intolerant to, or refused sorafenib were randomly assigned to receive T300 + D (tremelimumab 300 mg plus durvalumab 1,500 mg [one dose each during the first cycle] followed by durvalumab 1,500 mg once every 4 weeks), durvalumab monotherapy (1,500 mg once every 4 weeks), tremelimumab monotherapy (750 mg once every 4 weeks [seven doses] and then once every 12 weeks), or T75 + D (tremelimumab 75 mg once every 4 weeks plus durvalumab 1,500 mg once every 4 weeks [four doses] followed by durvalumab 1,500 mg once every 4 weeks). Safety was the primary end point. Secondary end points included objective response rate (ORR) by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.1 and overall survival; exploratory end points included circulating lymphocyte profiles.

Results: A total of 332 patients were enrolled (T300 + D, n = 75; durvalumab, n = 104; tremelimumab, n = 69; and T75 + D, n = 84). Tolerability was acceptable across arms, with grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events occurring in 37.8%, 20.8%, 43.5%, and 24.4%, respectively. Confirmed ORRs (95% CI) were 24.0% (14.9 to 35.3), 10.6% (5.4 to 18.1), 7.2% (2.4 to 16.1), and 9.5% (4.2 to 17.9), respectively. An early expansion of CD8+ lymphocytes was associated with response across arms, with highest proliferating CD8+ lymphocyte levels occurring in the T300 + D arm. The median (95% CI) overall survival was 18.7 (10.8 to 27.3), 13.6 (8.7 to 17.6), 15.1 (11.3 to 20.5), and 11.3 (8.4 to 15.0) months in the T300 + D, durvalumab, tremelimumab, and T75 + D arms, respectively.

Conclusion: All regimens were found to be tolerable and clinically active; however, the T300 + D regimen demonstrated the most encouraging benefit-risk profile. The unique pharmacodynamic activity and association with ORR of the T300 + D regimen further support its continued evaluation in HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03555DOI Listing
July 2021

Donafenib Versus Sorafenib in First-Line Treatment of Unresectable or Metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Randomized, Open-Label, Parallel-Controlled Phase II-III Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jun 29:JCO2100163. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.

Purpose: Donafenib, a novel multikinase inhibitor and a deuterated sorafenib derivative, has shown efficacy in phase Ia and Ib hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) studies. This study compared the efficacy and safety of donafenib versus sorafenib as first-line therapy for advanced HCC.

Patients And Methods: This open-label, randomized, parallel-controlled, multicenter phase II-III trial enrolled patients with unresectable or metastatic HCC, a Child-Pugh score ≤ 7, and no prior systemic therapy from 37 sites across China. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive oral donafenib (0.2 g) or sorafenib (0.4 g) twice daily until intolerable toxicity or disease progression. The primary end point was overall survival (OS), tested for noninferiority and superiority. Efficacy was primarily assessed in the full analysis set (FAS), and safety was assessed in all treated patients.

Results: Between March 21, 2016, and April 16, 2018, 668 patients (intention-to-treat) were randomly assigned to donafenib and sorafenib treatment arms; the FAS included 328 and 331 patients, respectively. Median OS was significantly longer with donafenib than sorafenib treatment (FAS; 12.1 10.3 months; hazard ratio, 0.831; 95% CI, 0.699 to 0.988; = .0245); donafenib also exhibited superior OS outcomes versus sorafenib in the intention-to-treat population. The median progression-free survival was 3.7 3.6 months ( .0570). The objective response rate was 4.6% 2.7% ( = .2448), and the disease control rate was 30.8% 28.7% (FAS; = .5532). Drug-related grade ≥ 3 adverse events occurred in significantly fewer patients receiving donafenib than sorafenib (125 [38%] 165 [50%]; .0018).

Conclusion: Donafenib showed superiority over sorafenib in improving OS and has favorable safety and tolerability in Chinese patients with advanced HCC, showing promise as a potential first-line monotherapy for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00163DOI Listing
June 2021

Prophylaxis of neutropenia with mecapegfilgrastim in patients with non-myeloid malignancies: a real-world study.

Ann Transl Med 2021 May;9(10):893

Qinhuai Medical Area, Eastern Theater General Hospital of PLA China, Nanjing, China.

Background: Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia is commonly encountered in clinical practice. The management of neutropenia has been evolving from short-acting granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSFs) to long-acting G-CSFs. However, an evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of long-acting G-CSFs in clinical practice is still lacking.

Methods: This multicenter, non-interventional study was aimed at exploring the safety and effectiveness of mecapegfilgrastim in different cancer patients in China. All patients provided written informed consent prior to the study and were treated according to routine clinical practice. Different prophylactic strategies (primary or secondary prophylaxis) were also compared.

Results: This study included 638 patients from May 2019 to November 2020. More than half of the participants were breast cancer patients. The mean age of all the patients was 56 years. White blood cell increase (6.2%) was the most frequently reported adverse event (AE) possibly related to the study drug. No unexpected AEs were reported. Grade ≥3 neutropenia in chemotherapy treatment cycle 1 was reported in 36 (5.6%) patients. Incidence of grade ≥3 neutropenia in cycle 1 in the primary and secondary prophylaxis subgroups were of 4.3% and 9.2%, respectively. A decreasing trend of severe neutropenia incidence was observed from cycle 1 to cycle 4.

Conclusions: Mecapegfilgrastim was generally well tolerated, and no unexpected AEs were observed in this study. Primary administration of mecapegfilgrastim led to a lower incidence of neutropenia than did secondary administration. Continuous administration of mecapegfilgrastim could keep the incidence of neutropenia to a relatively low level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-2449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184427PMC
May 2021

Subcutaneous envafolimab monotherapy in patients with advanced defective mismatch repair/microsatellite instability high solid tumors.

J Hematol Oncol 2021 Jun 21;14(1):95. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing, China.

Background: Monoclonal antibodies targeting programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) signaling currently approved for defective mismatch repair (dMMR)/microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) tumors must be delivered by intravenous infusion. Envafolimab, a humanized single-domain anti-PD-L1 antibody fused to an Fc fragment, represents a potential advance because it can be conveniently administered subcutaneously.

Methods: This open-label, single-arm, phase 2 study evaluated the efficacy and safety of envafolimab in patients with previously treated advanced dMMR/MSI-H tumors from 25 clinical sites across China. Adults with histologically confirmed locally advanced or metastatic malignant dMMR/MSI-H solid tumors received weekly 150 mg subcutaneous envafolimab injections in a 28-day treatment cycle. The primary efficacy endpoint was the objective response rate (assessed by a blinded independent review committee). Secondary efficacy outcomes were disease control rate, duration of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: One hundred and three patients (65 with colorectal cancer, 18 with gastric cancer, and 20 with other solid tumors) were enrolled. Median follow-up was 11.5 months. The objective response rate was 42.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 33.0-52.8), and the disease control rate was 66.0% (95% CI 56.0-75.1). Median duration of response was not reached; the duration of response rate at 12 months was 92.2% (95% CI 77.5-97.4). Median progression-free survival was 11.1 months (95% CI 5.5 to not evaluable). Overall survival at 12 months was 74.6% (95% CI 64.7-82.1). Sixteen patients (16%) had at least one grade 3 or 4 related treatment-emergent adverse event. No grade 5 treatment-emergent adverse events related to envafolimab were reported. Injection site reactions, all grade 1-2, were reported in nine patients (9%), but there were no infusion reactions. Eight patients (8%) had grade 3 or 4 immune-related adverse events.

Conclusions: This is the first pivotal phase 2 study to examine the efficacy and safety of a single-domain immune checkpoint antibody in the treatment of cancer. Envafolimab was effective and had acceptable safety in the treatment of previously treated advanced dMMR/MSI-H solid tumors. As the first single-domain PD-L1-targeting antibody administered by rapid subcutaneous injection, envafolimab has the potential to be a significant advance in the treatment of cancer. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03667170. Registered 10 September 2018-Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03667170 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-021-01095-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8218452PMC
June 2021

Ginsenoside-Rg3 inhibits the proliferation and invasion of hepatoma carcinoma cells via regulating long non-coding RNA HOX antisense intergenic.

Bioengineered 2021 Dec;12(1):2398-2409

Department of Oncology, Bayi Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.

Ginsenoside Rg3, a natural compound, has been reported to function as an anticancer agent for hepatoma carcinoma, while the mechanisms underlying the anticancer effects are not clear. Therefore, the objective of our study was to explore the impact of RG3 on cell migration and invasion by regulating the lncRNA HOX antisense intergenic (HOTAIR) expression involving PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. qRT-PCR was utilized to measure the mRNA expression of HOTAIR. Furthermore, HOTAIR overexpression plasmids were transfected to SMMC-7721 and SK-Hep-1 cells. Additionally, MTT assay was used to evaluate the proliferation of transfected cells. The scratch and transwell assays were used to determine the migration and invasion ability of the cell. The protein levels were determined with Western blot. lncRNA HOTAIR was overexpressed in SMMC-7721 and SK-Hep-1 cells. Ginsenoside-Rg3 reduced the level of lncRNA HOTAIR. Overexpressed lncRNA HOTAIR offset ginsenoside-Rg3 inhibited proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells. Furthermore, ginsenoside-Rg3 decreased the expression of p-AKT, p-PI3K, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9), which was reversed after the treatment of HOTAIR. LncRNA HOTAIR was overexpressed in SMMC-7721 cells. Ginsenoside-Rg3 could reduce the expression of lncRNA HOTAIR, resulting in the inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Furthermore, ginsenoside-Rg3 inhibited cell proliferation and invasion ability through the PI3k/AKT pathway. Thus, ginsenoside-Rg3 might be a potential and effective treatment for HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21655979.2021.1932211DOI Listing
December 2021

Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers Predictive of Survival Benefit with Lenvatinib in Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma: From the Phase III REFLECT Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Purpose: In REFLECT, lenvatinib demonstrated an effect on overall survival (OS) by confirmation of noninferiority to sorafenib in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. This analysis assessed correlations between serum or tissue biomarkers and efficacy outcomes from REFLECT.

Experimental Design: Serum biomarkers (VEGF, ANG2, FGF19, FGF21, and FGF23) were measured by ELISA. Gene expression in tumor tissues was measured by the nCounter PanCancer Pathways Panel. Pharmacodynamic changes in serum biomarker levels from baseline, and associations of clinical outcomes with baseline biomarker levels, were evaluated.

Results: Four hundred and seven patients were included in the serum analysis set (lenvatinib = 279, sorafenib = 128); 58 patients were included in the gene-expression analysis set (lenvatinib = 34, sorafenib = 24). Both treatments were associated with increases in VEGF; only lenvatinib was associated with increases in FGF19 and FGF23 at all time points. Lenvatinib-treated responders had greater increases in FGF19 and FGF23 versus nonresponders at cycle 4, day 1 (FGF19: 55.2% vs. 18.3%, = 0.014; FGF23: 48.4% vs. 16.4%, = 0.0022, respectively). Higher baseline VEGF, ANG2, and FGF21 correlated with shorter OS in both treatment groups. OS was longer for lenvatinib than sorafenib [median, 10.9 vs. 6.8 months, respectively; HR, 0.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.33-0.85; interaction = 0.0397] with higher baseline FGF21. In tumor tissue biomarker analysis, VEGF/FGF-enriched groups showed improved OS with lenvatinib versus the intermediate VEGF/FGF group (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16-0.91; = 0.0253).

Conclusions: Higher baseline levels of VEGF, FGF21, and ANG2 may be prognostic for shorter OS. Higher baseline FGF21 may be predictive for longer OS with lenvatinib compared with sorafenib, but this needs confirmation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4219DOI Listing
June 2021

Lenvatinib versus sorafenib for first-line treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: patient-reported outcomes from a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Aug 2;6(8):649-658. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

FSBSI N N Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Preservation of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during treatment is an important therapeutic goal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of treatment with lenvatinib versus sorafenib on HRQOL.

Methods: REFLECT was a previously published multicentre, randomised, open-label, non-inferiority phase 3 study comparing the efficacy and safety of lenvatinib versus sorafenib as a first-line systemic treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and one or more measurable target lesion per modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage B or C categorisation, Child-Pugh class A, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 1 or lower, and adequate organ function. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) via an interactive voice-web response system; stratification factors for treatment allocation included region; macroscopic portal vein invasion, extrahepatic spread, or both; ECOG performance status; and bodyweight. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs), collected at baseline, on day 1 of each subsequent cycle, and at the end of treatment, were evaluated in post-hoc analyses of secondary and exploratory endpoints in the analysis population, which was the subpopulation of patients with a PRO assessment at baseline. A linear mixed-effects model evaluated change from baseline in PROs, including European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and hepatocellular carcinoma-specific QLQ-HCC18 scales (both secondary endpoints of the REFLECT trial). Time-to-definitive-deterioration analyses were done based on established thresholds for minimum differences for worsening in PROs. Responder analyses explored associations between HRQOL and clinical response. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01761266.

Findings: Of 954 eligible patients randomly assigned to lenvatinib (n=478) or sorafenib (n=476) between March 14, 2013, and July 30, 2015, 931 patients (n=468 for lenvatinib; n=463 for sorafenib) were included in this analysis. Baseline PRO scores reflected impaired HRQOL and functioning and considerable symptom burden relative to full HRQOL. Differences in overall mean change from baseline estimates in most PRO scales generally favoured the lenvatinib over the sorafenib group, although the differences were not nominally statistically or clinically significant. Patients treated with lenvatinib experienced nominally statistically significant delays in definitive, meaningful deterioration on the QLQ-C30 fatigue (hazard ratio [HR] 0·83, 95% CI 0·69-0·99), pain (0·80, 0·66-0·96), and diarrhoea (0·52, 0·42-0·65) domains versus patients treated with sorafenib. Significant differences in time to definitive deterioration were not observed for other QLQ-C30 domains, and there was no difference in time to definitive deterioration on the global health status/QOL score (0·89, 0·73-1·09). For most PRO scales, differences in overall mean change from baseline estimates favoured responders versus non-responders. Across all scales, HRs for time to definitive deterioration were in favour of responders; median time to definitive deterioration for responders exceeded those for non-responders by a range of 4·8 to 14·6 months.

Interpretation: HRQOL for patients undergoing treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma is an important therapeutic consideration. The evidence of HRQOL benefits in clinically relevant domains support the use of lenvatinib compared with sorafenib to delay functional deterioration in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Funding: Eisai and Merck Sharp & Dohme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00110-2DOI Listing
August 2021

Patient-reported outcomes with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sorafenib in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (IMbrave150): an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 07 27;22(7):991-1001. Epub 2021 May 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Background: Understanding patients' experience of cancer treatment is important. We aimed to evaluate patient-reported outcomes (PROs) with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in the IMbrave150 trial, which has already shown significant overall survival and progression-free survival benefits with this combination therapy.

Methods: We did an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial in 111 hospitals and cancer centres across 17 countries or regions. We included patients aged 18 years or older with systemic, treatment-naive, histologically, cytologically, or clinically confirmed unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1, with disease that was not amenable to curative surgical or locoregional therapies, or progressive disease after surgical or locoregional therapies. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1; using permuted block randomisation [blocks of six], stratified by geographical region; macrovascular invasion, extrahepatic spread, or both; baseline alpha-fetoprotein concentration; and ECOG performance status) to receive 1200 mg atezolizumab plus 15 mg/kg bevacizumab intravenously once every 3 weeks or 400 mg sorafenib orally twice a day, until loss of clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity. The independent review facility for tumour assessment was masked to the treatment allocation. Previously reported coprimary endpoints were overall survival and independently assessed progression-free survival per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1.1. Prespecified secondary and exploratory analyses descriptively evaluated treatment effects on patient-reported quality of life, functioning, and disease symptoms per the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality-of-life questionnaire for cancer (QLQ-C30) and quality-of-life questionnaire for hepatocellular carcinoma (QLQ-HCC18). Time to confirmed deterioration of PROs was analysed in the intention-to-treat population; all other analyses were done in the PRO-evaluable population (patients who had a baseline PRO assessment and at least one assessment after baseline). The trial is ongoing; enrolment is closed. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03434379.

Findings: Between March 15, 2018, and Jan 30, 2019, 725 patients were screened and 501 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (n=336) or sorafenib (n=165). 309 patients in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group and 145 patients in the sorafenib group were included in the PRO-evaluable population. At data cutoff (Aug 29, 2019) the median follow-up was 8·6 months (IQR 6·2-10·8). EORTC QLQ-C30 completion rates were 90% or greater for 23 of 24 treatment cycles in both groups (range 88-100% in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group and 80-100% in the sorafenib group). EORTC QLQ-HCC18 completion rates were 90% or greater for 20 of 24 cycles in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab group (range 88-100%) and 21 of 24 cycles in the sorafenib group (range 89-100%). Compared with sorafenib, atezolizumab plus bevacizumab reduced the risk of deterioration on all EORTC QLQ-C30 generic cancer symptom scales that were prespecified for analysis (appetite loss [hazard ratio (HR) 0·57, 95% CI 0·40-0·81], diarrhoea [0·23, 0·16-0·34], fatigue [0·61, 0·46-0·81], pain [0·46, 0·34-0·62]), and two of three EORTC QLQ-HCC18 disease-specific symptom scales that were prespecified for analysis (fatigue [0·60, 0·45-0·80] and pain [0·65, 0·46-0·92], but not jaundice [0·76, 0·55-1·07]). At day 1 of treatment cycle five (after which attrition in the sorafenib group was more than 50%), the mean EORTC QLQ-C30 score changes from baseline in the atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sorafenib groups were: -3·29 (SD 17·56) versus -5·83 (20·63) for quality of life, -4·02 (19·42) versus -9·76 (21·33) for role functioning, and -3·77 (12·82) versus -7·60 (15·54) for physical functioning.

Interpretation: Prespecified analyses of PRO data showed clinically meaningful benefits in terms of patient-reported quality of life, functioning, and disease symptoms with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab compared with sorafenib, strengthening the combination therapy's positive benefit-risk profile versus that of sorafenib in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche and Genentech.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00151-0DOI Listing
July 2021

Efficacy, Safety, and Immunogenicity of HLX04 Versus Reference Bevacizumab in Combination with XELOX or mFOLFOX6 as First-Line Treatment for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Results of a Randomized, Double-Blind Phase III Study.

BioDrugs 2021 Jul 20;35(4):445-458. Epub 2021 May 20.

Shanghai Henlius Biotech, Inc., Shanghai, China.

Background: HLX04 is a proposed biosimilar of bevacizumab.

Objective: This phase III study aimed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of HLX04 compared with reference bevacizumab in combination with XELOX or mFOLFOX6 as first-line treatment for recurrent/metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: In this double-blind, parallel-group study, patients were randomized 1:1 to receive HLX04 or bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks when combined with XELOX; 5 mg/kg every 2 weeks when combined with mFOLFOX6). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival rate at week 36 (PFSR) per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST v1.1). Prespecified equivalence margins of PFSR were set as - 11 to 15% (rate difference) and 0.8 to 1.25 (rate ratio). Secondary endpoints included efficacy, safety, immunogenicity, and pharmacokinetics.

Results: A total of 677 patients were randomized (HLX04 n = 340; bevacizumab n = 337) between April 2018 and April 2020. PFSR was 46.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 41.1-51.8) with HLX04 and 50.7% (95% CI 45.4-56.1) with bevacizumab. The rate difference (- 4.2%; 90% CI - 10.6 to 2.1) and rate ratio (0.92; 90% CI 0.80-1.05) both fell within the prespecified equivalence margins. No notable differences were observed between treatment groups in any efficacy endpoints or their subgroup analyses. Safety, immunogenicity, and pharmacokinetic profiles were comparable between the two treatment groups.

Conclusions: HLX04 demonstrated equivalent efficacy with similar safety and immunogenicity profiles to reference bevacizumab among patients with recurrent/metastatic CRC, thus offering an alternative treatment option to patients.

Trial Registration: Chinadrugtrials.org.cn, CTR20171503 (18 March 2018); ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03511963 (30 April 2018).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40259-021-00484-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8295119PMC
July 2021

Treatment patterns and outcomes in Chinese gastric cancer patients by HER2 status: a non-interventional registry study (EVIDENCE).

Oncologist 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing, China.

Background: Real-world safety and effectiveness data for trastuzumab plus chemotherapy treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive metastatic gastric cancer (mGC) patients in China are lacking.

Patients And Methods: EVIDENCE was a prospective, multicenter, non-interventional registry study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of trastuzumab in five cohorts of Chinese GC patients, stratified by HER2 status and trastuzumab treatment. Effectiveness was analyzed for Cohorts I (HER2-positive, trastuzumab treated), II (HER2-positive, trastuzumab untreated), and IV (HER2-negative, trastuzumab untreated); trastuzumab-related adverse events (AEs) were analyzed for Cohort I.

Results: Cohorts I, II, and IV included 174, 113, and 422 patients, respectively. Most patients received first-line chemotherapy (87.6%). Median overall survival (OS1) for first-line treatment was 22.3, 17.2, and 17.4 months in Cohorts I, II, and IV, respectively. After excluding patients who had surgery, respective median OS1 was 19.9, 15.3 and 12.9 months. Respective first-line progression-free survival (PFS1) was 8.2, 6.9, and 6.2 months; and respective first-line response rates (RR) were 51.7%, 18.4%, and 32.8%. Cohort I was significantly favored over Cohort II for propensity score matched first-line median OS1 (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.61), PFS1 (HR: 0.64), and RR (odds ratio: 4.93). Trastuzumab-related AEs, grade 3-5 AEs, serious AEs, and AEs with a fatal outcome occurred in 23.6%, 3.4%, 2.3%, and 0.6% of Cohort I patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Safety profiles were consistent with those known for trastuzumab and chemotherapy; trastuzumab treatment improved outcomes. Our study provides real-world data supporting first-line trastuzumab plus chemotherapy in Chinese HER2-positive mGC patients.

Trial Registration: NCT01839500 (ClinicalTrials.gov) IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This prospective, non-interventional registry study aimed to provide safety and effectiveness data for the use of trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy in Chinese patients with HER2-positive mGC from the real-world clinical setting. Trastuzumab plus first-line chemotherapy was shown to be safe and to improve outcomes when compared with patients treated with chemotherapy alone. Trastuzumab was effective within a range of treatment regimens; subgroup analysis showed that trastuzumab paired most effectively with the XELOX regimen. This study provides real-world clinical safety and effectiveness data supporting the use of trastuzumab in the treatment of Chinese patients with HER2-positive mGC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13826DOI Listing
May 2021

Camrelizumab Combined with FOLFOX4 Regimen as First-Line Therapy for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinomas: A Sub-Cohort of a Multicenter Phase Ib/II Study.

Drug Des Devel Ther 2021 3;15:1873-1882. Epub 2021 May 3.

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors and chemotherapy can synergistically increase efficacy in a variety of malignancies. We conducted this phase Ib/II study to assess the safety and efficacy of anti-PD-1 antibody camrelizumab in combination with FOLFOX4 for treatment-naive advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (aHCC).

Methods: This open-label, multicenter phase Ib/II study (NCT03092895) enrolled patients with aHCC and without prior systemic treatment for treatment with camrelizumab (3 mg/kg) and FOLFOX4 every two weeks. First, six patients were enrolled, followed by an additional 28 patients after dose-limiting toxicity cases were determined to be <33% of patients. The primary endpoint was tolerability and safety of treatment.

Results: A total of 34 aHCC patients were enrolled and received study treatment. No dose-limiting toxicity were observed in the first six patients enrolled. Twenty-nine (85.3%) of the total 34 patients had grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs), with the most common ones being decreased neutrophil count (55.9%) and decreased white blood cell count (38.2%). No TRAEs-related deaths occurred. The objective response and disease control rate were 29.4% (95% CI, 15.1-47.5) and 79.4% (95% CI, 62.1-91.3), respectively. The median duration of response, progression-free survival, and overall survival was 6.9 months (range, 3.3-11.5), 7.4 months (95% CI, 3.9-9.2), and 11.7 months (95% CI, 8.2-22.0), respectively.

Conclusion: Camrelizumab combined with FOLFOX4 for first-line treatment of patients with aHCC showed good safety and tolerability, with promising preliminary antitumor activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S304857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106453PMC
May 2021

Randomised Phase 1b/2 trial of tepotinib vs sorafenib in Asian patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with MET overexpression.

Br J Cancer 2021 Jul 10;125(2):200-208. Epub 2021 May 10.

Medical Oncology Department, PLA Cancer Center, Nanjing Bayi Hospital, Nanjing, China.

Background: This open-label, Phase 1b/2 study evaluated the highly selective MET inhibitor tepotinib in systemic anticancer treatment (SACT)-naive Asian patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (aHCC) with MET overexpression.

Methods: In Phase 2b, tepotinib was orally administered once daily (300, 500 or 1,000 mg) to Asian adults with aHCC. The primary endpoints were dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and adverse events (AEs). Phase 2 randomised SACT-naive Asian adults with aHCC with MET overexpression to tepotinib (recommended Phase 2 dose [RP2D]) or sorafenib 400 mg twice daily. The primary endpoint was independently assessed time to progression (TTP).

Results: In Phase 1b (n = 27), no DLTs occurred; the RP2D was 500 mg. In Phase 2 (n = 90, 45 patients per arm), the primary endpoint was met: independently assessed TTP was significantly longer with tepotinib versus sorafenib (median 2.9 versus 1.4 months, HR = 0.42, 90% confidence interval: 0.26-0.70, P = 0.0043). Progression-free survival and objective response also favoured tepotinib. Treatment-related Grade ≥3 AE rates were 28.9% with tepotinib and 45.5% with sorafenib.

Conclusions: Tepotinib improved TTP versus sorafenib and was generally well tolerated in SACT-naive Asian patients with aHCC with MET overexpression.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01988493.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01380-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8292411PMC
July 2021

Apatinib as second-line or later therapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (AHELP): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Jul 8;6(7):559-568. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Intervention, Fujian Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, China.

Background: Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) has shown antitumour activity in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, but few studies of VEGFR inhibitors have been done in populations with a high prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of apatinib in patients with pretreated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Methods: AHELP was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial done at 31 hospitals in China, in patients (aged ≥18 years) with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who had previously been refractory or intolerant to at least one line of systemic chemotherapy or targeted therapy. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive apatinib 750 mg or placebo orally once daily in 28-day treatment cycles. Group allocation was done with a central randomisation system, with a block size of six, and was stratified by Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, previous sorafenib treatment, and presence of vascular invasion or extrahepatic metastasis. The primary endpoint was overall survival, which was defined as time from randomisation to death from any cause, and was analysed in patients who were randomly assigned and received at least one dose of the study drug. Safety analyses were done in patients who received at least one dose of the study treatment and had post-dose safety assessments. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02329860.

Findings: Between April 1, 2014, and May 3, 2017, 400 eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive apatinib (n=267) or placebo (n=133). Seven patients (six in the apatinib group and one in the placebo group) did not receive study treatment and were excluded from efficacy analyses. Overall survival was significantly improved in the apatinib group compared with the placebo group (median 8·7 months [95% CI 7·5‒9·8] vs 6·8 months [5·7‒9·1]; hazard ratio 0·785 [95% CI 0·617‒0·998], p=0·048). 387 patients (257 in the apatinib group and 130 in the placebo group) had a safety assessment after study treatment and were included in safety analyses. The most common treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were hypertension (71 [28%] patients in the apatinib group vs three [2%] in the placebo group), hand-foot syndrome (46 [18%] vs none), and decreased platelet count (34 [13%] vs one [1%]). 24 (9%) patients in the apatinib group and 13 (10%) in the placebo group died due to adverse events, but none of these deaths were deemed to be related to treatment by investigators.

Interpretation: Apatinib significantly improved overall survival in patients with pretreated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma compared with placebo, with a manageable safety profile.

Funding: Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(21)00109-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Safety and efficacy of lenvatinib by starting dose based on body weight in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma in REFLECT.

J Gastroenterol 2021 Jun 4;56(6):570-580. Epub 2021 May 4.

Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: REFLECT was an open-label, phase 3 study comparing the efficacy and safety of lenvatinib versus sorafenib in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC). Based on phase 2 study (Study 202) results, body weight-based dosing for lenvatinib was used in REFLECT to minimize dose disruptions and modifications needed to address dose-related adverse events. This post hoc analysis of REFLECT data assessed lenvatinib efficacy and safety by body weight group.

Methods: The study randomly administered lenvatinib (n = 476) or sorafenib (n = 475) to patients with untreated (no prior systemic therapy) uHCC. Lenvatinib starting-dose data were stratified by body weight: patients weighing < 60 kg received 8 mg/day; patients weighing ≥ 60 kg received 12 mg/day. Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate, and safety were assessed.

Results: Survival outcomes and safety profiles appeared similar between the two body-weight-based lenvatinib starting-dose groups. Median OS for patients in the < 60 kg body weight group (n = 153) was 13.4 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.5-15.7] compared to 13.7 months (95% CI 12.0-15.6) in the ≥ 60 kg body weight group (n = 325). In both lenvatinib groups, PFS was 7.4 months (< 60 kg group: 95% CI 5.4-9.2; ≥ 60 kg group: 95% CI 6.9-9.0). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) required dose modifications in 43.0% in the < 60 kg body weight group and 57.5% in the ≥ 60 kg body weight group.

Conclusions: This exploratory analysis of data from REFLECT indicated that body weight-based lenvatinib dosing in patients with uHCC was successful in maintaining efficacy, with comparable rates of TEAEs and dose modifications in the two body weight groups.

Clinincal Trial: Trial registration ID: ClinicalTrials.gov # NCT01761266.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00535-021-01785-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137475PMC
June 2021

[Chinese Experts Consensus on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors 
for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (2020 Version)].

Zhongguo Fei Ai Za Zhi 2021 Apr 26;24(4):217-235. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Cancer Center, Eastern Theater General Hospital of the Chinese PLA, Nanjing 210002, China.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common pathological type of lung cancer. The systemic antitumor therapy of advanced NSCLC has undergone renovations of chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy, which results in greatly improved survival for patients with advanced NSCLC. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), especially targeting programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), has changed the treatment paradigm of NSCLC. ICIs have become the standard treatment for advanced NSCLC without epidermal growth factor receptor(EGFR) mutation or anaplastic lymphomakinase(ALK) translocation in the first- or second-line setting, and for locally advanced NSCLC following concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. ICIs are also promising in adjuvant/neoadjuvant therapy. More and more ICIs have been approved domestically for the treatment of NSCLC. Led by the NSCLC expert committee of Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO), this consensus was developed and updated based on thoroughly reviewing domestic and foreign literatures, clinical trial data, systematic reviews, experts' discussion and the consensus(2019 version). This consensus will aid domestic clinicians in the treatment of NSCLC with ICIs.
.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3779/j.issn.1009-3419.2021.101.13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105610PMC
April 2021

Camrelizumab in combination with apatinib in second-line or above therapy for advanced primary liver cancer: cohort A report in a multicenter phase Ib/II trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Mar;9(3)

Department of Clinical Development, Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd, Shanghai, China.

Background: Emerging clinical data suggest that an immune checkpoint inhibitor in combination with an antiangiogenic agent is a reasonable strategy for multiple malignancies. We assessed the combination of camrelizumab with apatinib in pretreated advanced primary liver cancer (PLC, cohort A) from a multicohort phase Ib/II trial.

Methods: Patients with PLC after prior systemic treatment(s) were administered camrelizumab (3 mg/kg, once every 2 weeks) plus apatinib (125, 250, 375, or 500 mg; once per day) in a 3+3 dose-escalation stage and subsequent expansion stage. The primary endpoints were tolerability and safety of study treatment.

Results: From April 2017 to July 2019, 28 patients (21 with hepatocellular carcinoma and 7 with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma) received camrelizumab plus apatinib. Two dose-limiting toxicities (both grade 3 diarrhea) were reported in the 500 mg cohort. Therefore, the 375 mg cohort was expanded. Of the 19 patients in the 375 mg cohort, dose reduction to 250 mg occurred in 8 patients within 2 months after treatment initiation. Of the 28 patients with PLC, 26 had grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events, with hypertension being the most common (9/28). One treatment-related death occurred. The objective response rate was 10.7% (95% CI 2.3% to 28.2%). Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 3.7 months (95% CI 2.0 to 5.8) and 13.2 months (95% CI 8.9 to not reached), respectively.

Conclusion: The combination of camrelizumab with apatinib had a manageable toxicity and promising antitumor activity in patients with advanced PLC. Apatinib at a dose of 250 mg is recommended as a combination therapy for further studies of advanced PLC treatment.

Trial Registration Numbers: NCT03092895.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-002191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986650PMC
March 2021

Atezolizumab and bevacizumab for hepatocellular carcinoma: mechanism, pharmacokinetics and future treatment strategies.

Future Oncol 2021 Jun 5;17(17):2243-2256. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Medical Oncology, Bayi Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Chinese Medical University, Nanjing, 210002, China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer globally and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Although early-stage disease may be curable by resection, liver transplantation or ablation, many patients present with unresectable disease and have a poor prognosis. Combination treatment with atezolizumab (targeting PD-L1) and bevacizumab (targeting VEGF) in the recent IMbrave150 study was shown to be effective with an acceptable safety profile in patients with unresectable HCC. Herein, we discuss this novel combination in the context of the liver immune environment, summarize the mechanism and pharmacokinetics of atezolizumab and bevacizumab, and examine recent data on other immune checkpoint inhibitor combination strategies as well as future directions in the treatment of patients with advanced HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-1290DOI Listing
June 2021

Pyrotinib plus capecitabine versus lapatinib plus capecitabine for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (PHOEBE): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03 11;22(3):351-360. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Shandong Tumor Hospital, Jinan, China.

Background: Despite therapeutic advances in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, resistance to trastuzumab inevitably develops. In the PHOEBE study, we aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of pyrotinib (an irreversible pan-HER inhibitor) plus capecitabine after previous trastuzumab.

Methods: This is an open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3 trial done at 29 hospitals in China. Patients with pathologically confirmed HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, aged 18-70 years, who had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, and had been previously treated with trastuzumab and taxanes were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive oral pyrotinib 400 mg or lapatinib 1250 mg once daily plus oral capecitabine 1000 mg/m twice daily on days 1-14 of each 21-day cycle. Randomisation was done via a centralised interactive web-response system with a block size of four or six and stratified by hormone receptor status and previous lines of chemotherapy for metastatic disease. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival according to masked independent central review. Efficacy and safety were assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of the study drugs. Results presented here are from a prespecified interim analysis. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03080805.

Findings: Between July 31, 2017, and Oct 30, 2018, 267 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned. 134 patients received pyrotinib plus capecitabine and 132 received lapatinib plus capecitabine. At data cutoff of the interim analysis on March 31, 2019, median progression-free survival was significantly longer with pyrotinib plus capecitabine (12·5 months [95% CI 9·7-not reached]) than with lapatinib plus capecitabine (6·8 months [5·4-8·1]; hazard ratio 0·39 [95% CI 0·27-0·56]; one-sided p<0·0001). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were diarrhoea (41 [31%] in the pyrotinib group vs 11 [8%] in the lapatinib group) and hand-foot syndrome (22 [16%] vs 20 [15%]). Serious adverse events were reported for 14 (10%) patients in the pyrotinib group and 11 (8%) patients in the lapatinib group. No treatment-related deaths were reported in the pyrotinib group and one sudden death in the lapatinib group was considered treatment related.

Interpretation: Pyrotinib plus capecitabine significantly improved progression-free survival compared with that for lapatinib plus capecitabine, with manageable toxicity, and can be considered an alternative treatment option for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer after trastuzumab and chemotherapy.

Funding: Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine and National Key R&D Program of China.

Translations: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30702-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Quality-adjusted survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with fruquintinib in the FRESCO trial.

Future Oncol 2021 May 10;17(15):1923-1931. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis & Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, 100048, China.

To assess whether the survival benefit of fruquintinib is quality-adjusted. Data of 416 metastatic colorectal cancer patients from the Phase III FRESCO trial were used. The Quality-adjusted Time Without Symptoms or Toxicity (Q-TWiST) analysis assessed the quality-adjusted survival benefit of fruquintinib versus placebo, accounting for freedom from symptomatic disease and from severe side effects of treatment. Fruquintinib significantly improved patients' Q-TWiST (difference: 2.23 [1.41, 3.04] months) versus placebo. The Q-TWiST gain was 28.3% in the base case and ranged from 16.7 to 39.9% in the threshold analysis, favoring fruquintinib. The Q-TWiST benefit was observed in fruquintinib-treated patients regardless of prior targeted therapy. Fruquintinib provides a clinically meaningful quality-adjusted survival benefit versus placebo as a third-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-1215DOI Listing
May 2021

The Evolving Landscape of Checkpoint Inhibitor Combination Therapy in the Treatment of Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Target Oncol 2021 03 2;16(2):153-163. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biomaterials and Devices, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210009, China.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers and a main cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. Even with the successful launch of sorafenib for the clinical treatment of HCC in 2007, the long-term survival for patients with HCC is still suboptimal, largely due to the occurrence of primary or acquired drug resistance. With an improved understanding of the molecular pathophysiology and tumor heterogeneity of HCC, therapeutic options have been evolving rapidly in recent years. While lenvatinib, cabozantinib, regorafenib, and the monoclonal antibody ramucirumab, as well as the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) atezolizumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab, have all shown promise in clinical trials, ICIs, especially when administered in combination with molecular-targeted drugs or cytotoxic drugs, have drawn increased attention. Recently, ample relevant clinical studies have surfaced, particularly related to the use of ICIs and exploring the therapeutic potential of ICI combination strategies. A more thorough knowledge of novel treatment strategies should help in decision making for advanced HCC therapy. The present review summarizes the mechanisms of HCC tumorigenesis, relevant trial results for approved HCC therapies, future perspectives, and major challenges for the overall treatment of HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11523-020-00787-xDOI Listing
March 2021

Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (2019 Edition).

Liver Cancer 2020 Dec 11;9(6):682-720. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.

Background: Primary liver cancer, around 90% are hepatocellular carcinoma in China, is the fourth most common malignancy and the second leading cause of tumor-related death, thereby posing a significant threat to the life and health of the Chinese people.

Summary: Since the publication of in 2018, additional high-quality evidence has emerged with relevance to the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of liver cancer in and outside China that requires the guidelines to be updated. The new edition was written by more than 70 experts in the field of liver cancer in China. They reflect the real-world situation in China regarding diagnosing and treating liver cancer in recent years.

Key Messages: Most importantly, the new guidelines were endorsed and promulgated by the Bureau of Medical Administration of the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China in December 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000509424DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768108PMC
December 2020

Subgroup analysis by prior anti-VEGF or anti-EGFR target therapy in FRESCO, a randomized, double-blind, Phase III trial.

Future Oncol 2021 Apr 16;17(11):1339-1350. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Eli Lilly and Company, Shanghai, 200041, China.

FRESCO study demonstrated efficacy and safety of fruquintinib in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Impact of prior targeted therapy (PTT) on efficacy and safety of fruquintinib was evaluated. In this subgroup analysis of FRESCO trial, patients were divided into PTT and non-PTT subgroups, and efficacy and safety of fruquintinib were assessed, respectively. In non-PTT subgroup, fruquintinib significantly prolonged overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients compared with placebo. In PTT subgroup, the median OS and PFS of patients in fruquintinib arm was significantly higher than those in placebo. Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) rates were similar in both subgroups. Fruquintinib demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement in OS, PFS, objective response rate, and disease control rate with manageable TEAEs in both subgroups. Clinical trial registration: NCT02314819 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0875DOI Listing
April 2021

Surufatinib in advanced extrapancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (SANET-ep): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 20;21(11):1500-1512. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Department of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs, Hutchison MediPharma, Shanghai, China.

Background: Therapeutic options for advanced neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are limited. We investigated the efficacy and safety of surufatinib (HMPL-012, sulfatinib) in patients with extrapancreatic NETs.

Methods: SANET-ep was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial undertaken at 24 hospitals across China. Patients (aged 18 years or older) with unresectable or metastatic, well differentiated, extrapancreatic NETs, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, and progression on no more than two types of previous systemic regimens were enrolled. Patients were centrally randomly assigned (2:1) using stratified block randomisation (block size 3) via an interactive web response system to receive oral surufatinib at 300 mg per day or matching placebo. Randomisation was stratified by tumour origin, pathological grade, and previous treatment. Patients, investigators, research staff and the sponsor study team were masked to treatment allocation. Crossover to the surufatinib group was allowed for patients in the placebo group at disease progression. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival, which was analysed in the intention-to-treat population. A preplanned interim analysis was done at 70% of predicted progression-free survival events. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02588170. Follow-up is ongoing.

Findings: Between Dec 9, 2015, and March 31, 2019, 198 patients were randomly assigned to surufatinib (n=129) or placebo (n=69). Median follow-up was 13·8 months (95% CI 11·1-16·7) in the surufatinib group and 16·6 months (9·2-not calculable) in the placebo group. Investigator-assessed median progression-free survival was 9·2 months (95% CI 7·4-11·1) in the surufatinib group versus 3·8 months (3·7-5·7) in the placebo group (hazard ratio 0·33; 95% CI 0·22-0·50; p<0·0001). As the trial met the predefined criteria for early discontinuation of the study at the interim analysis, the study was terminated early, as recommended by the independent data monitoring committee. The most common treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse were hypertension (47 [36%] of 129 patients in the surufatinib group vs nine [13%] of 68 patients in the placebo group) and proteinuria (25 [19%] vs zero). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in 32 (25%) of 129 patients in the surufatinib group and nine (13%) of 68 patients in the placebo group. Treatment-related deaths occurred in three patients in the surufatinib group (disseminated intravascular coagulation and hepatic encephalopathy, liver injury, and death with unknown reason) and one patient in the placebo group (cachexia and respiratory failure).

Interpretation: Progression-free survival was significantly longer in patients given surufatinib compared with patients given placebo, and surufatinib has a favourable benefit-to-risk profile in patients with progressive, advanced, well differentiated extrapancreatic NETs. Our results suggest that surufatinib might be a new treatment option for this population.

Funding: Hutchison MediPharma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30496-4DOI Listing
November 2020

Surufatinib in advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (SANET-p): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 11 20;21(11):1489-1499. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Department of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Hutchison MediPharma, Shanghai, China.

Background: Surufatinib showed superior efficacy in extrapancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) in the phase 3 SANET-ep study. In SANET-p, we aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of surufatinib in patients with advanced pancreatic NETs.

Methods: SANET-p was a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 study, done in 21 hospitals across China. Eligible patients were adults (aged 18 years or older) with progressive, advanced, well differentiated pancreatic NETs, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1, and progression on up to two kinds of previous systemic regimens for advanced disease. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) via an interactive web response system to receive 300 mg of surufatinib or placebo, taken orally once per day in consecutive 4-week treatment cycles until disease progression, intolerable toxicity, withdrawal of consent, poor compliance, use of other antitumour medication, pregnancy, loss to follow-up, or if the investigator deemed discontinuation in the patient's best interest. Randomisation was done centrally using stratified block randomisation (block size three), stratified by pathological grade, previous systemic antitumour treatment, and ECOG performance status score. Patients, investigators, research staff, and the sponsor study team were masked to treatment allocation. Crossover to surufatinib was permitted for patients in the placebo group with disease progression. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population, which included all patients in randomisation. A pre-planned interim analysis was done at 70% of the predicted progression-free survival events. This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02589821.

Findings: Between Feb 18, 2016, and Nov 11, 2019, of 264 patients who were screened, 172 (65%) patients were randomly assigned to receive surufatinib (n=113) or placebo (n=59). The median follow-up was 19·3 months (95% CI 9·3-19·4) in the surufatinib group and 11·1 months (5·7-35·9) in the placebo group. The median investigator-assessed progression-free survival was 10·9 months (7·5-13·8) for surufatinib versus 3·7 months (2·8-5·6) for placebo (hazard ratio 0·49, 95% CI 0·32-0·76; p=0·0011). The trial met the early stopping criteria at the interim analysis and was terminated on recommendation from the independent data monitoring committee. The most common grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were hypertension (43 [38%] of 113 with surufatinib vs four [7%] of 59 with placebo), proteinuria (11 [10%] vs one [2%]), and hypertriglyceridaemia (eight [7%] vs none). Treatment-related serious adverse events were reported in 25 (22%) patients in the surufatinib group and four (7%) patients in the placebo group. There were three on-treatment deaths in the surufatinib group, including two deaths due to adverse events (gastrointestinal haemorrhage [possibly treatment-related] and cerebral haemorrhage [unlikely to be treatment-related]), and one death attributed to disease progression. One on-treatment death in the placebo group was attributed to disease progression.

Interpretation: Surufatinib significantly improves progression-free survival and has an acceptable safety profile in patients with progressive, advanced pancreatic NETs, and could be a potential treatment option in this patient population.

Funding: Hutchison MediPharma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30493-9DOI Listing
November 2020

Safety Profile and Adverse Events of Special Interest for Fruquintinib in Chinese Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Analysis of the Phase 3 FRESCO Trial.

Adv Ther 2020 11 8;37(11):4585-4598. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Lilly China, Drug Development and Medical Affairs Center, Shanghai, China.

Introduction: In FRESCO (Fruquintinib Efficacy and Safety in 3+ Line Colorectal Cancer Patients) trial, fruquintinib demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival benefit in Chinese patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, its safety profile, including adverse events of special interest (AESIs) and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) by age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), is not well known. The present analysis evaluated the safety profile and AESIs for fruquintinib in the FRESCO trial.

Methods: In FRESCO, eligible Chinese patients were randomized (2:1) to receive fruquintinib (5 mg once daily for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week off in 28-day cycles) or placebo plus best supportive care. Treatment-related AESIs and time to first occurrence of AESIs were summarized. Treatment-related TEAEs by age, sex, and BMI were also summarized.

Results: A total of 266 patients (95.7%) in the fruquintinib group and 97 (70.8%) in the placebo group had at least one treatment-related TEAE; the mean relative dose intensity was 92% and 98%, respectively. In the fruquintinib group, the most common (in > 40% of patients) treatment-related AESIs were hypertension (55.4%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome [known as hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR)] (49.3%), and proteinuria (42.1%). The most common treatment-related grade ≥ 3 AESIs (≥ 3% of patients) were hypertension (21.2%), HFSR (10.8%), and proteinuria (3.2%); the median time to onset of these events was 10, 21, and 20 days, respectively. Subgroup analysis by age, sex, and BMI revealed that the frequencies of treatment-related TEAEs were similar across all subgroups, and were consistent with the overall safety profile of fruquintinib.

Conclusions: The most common treatment-related grade ≥ 3 AEs were hypertension, HFSR, and proteinuria. The treatment-related TEAE profile of fruquintinib in Chinese patents with mCRC was comparable among different subgroups and consistent with that reported in the overall population.

Trial Registration: Clinical Trials identifier NCT02314819.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12325-020-01477-wDOI Listing
November 2020

A Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of fruquintinib in Chinese patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer - The FALUCA study.

Lung Cancer 2020 08 20;146:252-262. Epub 2020 Jun 20.

The Fifth People's Hospital of Shanghai, China.

Objectives: Fruquintinib is an orally active kinase inhibitor that selectively targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor. A Phase II trial has demonstrated a significant benefit in progression-free survival (PFS) for fruquintinib-treated patients with locally advanced/metastatic nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have progressed after second-line chemotherapy. This Phase III trial is a randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial to confirm fruquintinib's efficacy in the same patient population.

Materials And Methods: From December 2015 to February 2018, 730 patients were screened, of whom 527 were enrolled into the study. Participants were randomized 2:1 to receive fruquintinib (n = 354) or placebo (n = 173) once daily for 3 weeks on-treatment, and 1 week off-treatment. Patients were stratified according to epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status and prior use of VEGF inhibitors. Primary endpoint was overall survival (OS).

Results: Median OS was 8.9 months for the fruquintinib group and 10.4 months for placebo group (hazard ratio [HR] 1.02; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 0.82-1.28; P = 0.841), with median PFS of 3.7 months and 1.0 months, respectively (HR 0.34; 95 % CI, 0.28-0.43; P < 0.001). Objective response rate and disease control rate were 13.8 % and 66.7 % for fruquintinib, and 0.6 % and 24.9 % for placebo, respectively (P < 0.001). Hypertension was the most frequent treatment-emergent adverse event (≥grade 3) observed in fruquintinib-treated patients (21.0 %). Post hoc analysis revealed that fruquintinib prolonged the median OS for patients who did not receive subsequent antitumor therapy: 7.0 months versus 5.1 months for placebo (HR 0.65; 95 % CI, 0.46-0.91; P = 0.012). Patients receiving fruquintinib also reported improvements in quality of life for most functional scales measured by EORTC QLQ-C30 and LC13 questionnaires.

Conclusion: Although the study did not meet its primary endpoint, fruquintinib could be effective in combination with other agents for the treatment of patients with NSCLC who have failed second-line chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.06.016DOI Listing
August 2020

Effectiveness of anti-PD-1 for hepatocellular carcinoma - Authors' reply.

Lancet Oncol 2020 06;21(6):e294

Department of Intervention, Hunan Cancer Hospital, Changsha, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30285-0DOI Listing
June 2020

Anlotinib for Patients With Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Previously Treated With One Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor: A Phase 2 Trial.

Front Oncol 2020 7;10:664. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Sequential therapy with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (VEGFR-TKIs) is effective in some patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) progressed from or were intolerant to a prior TKIs. Anlotinib is a multi-kinase inhibitor targeting VEGFR1/2/3, PDGFR and FGFR, which has demonstrated efficacy and safety in first-line treatment of mRCC. This study assessed the potential of anloitnib as second-line treatment for patients with mRCC after prior one VEGFR-TKI. This is a single-arm, open-label, phase 2 study. Patients progressed after or were intolerant to sorafenib or sunitinib were enrolled. Anlotinib was administrated orally 12 mg once daily for 14 days every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), safety and quality of life (QoL). Forty three patients were enrolled and 42 received anlotinib, of whom 32 progressed after and 10 were intolerant to sorafenib or sunitinib. Median PFS were 14.0 months (95% CI 8.3-20.3) and 8.5 months (95% CI 5.6-16.6) for overall population and patients progressed after a previous VEGFR-TKI, respectively. Median OS was 21.4 months (95% CI 16.0-34.5), confirmed ORR and DCR were 16.7 and 83.3% in overall population. The most common adverse events included diarrhea (47.6%), hypertension (45.2%), hand and foot syndrome (42.9%), and fatigue (40.5%). Grade 3 hematological adverse events occurred in four cases, while no grade 4 hematological adverse events was observed. Anlotinib showed promising efficacy as well as favorable safety as second-line treatment for patients with mRCC. www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier: NCT02072044.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.00664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7221023PMC
May 2020

Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab in Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

N Engl J Med 2020 05;382(20):1894-1905

From the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles (R.S.F.), the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and Beckman Research Institute, Duarte (D.L.), and Genentech, South San Francisco (W.V., S.H., Y.W.) - all in California; the People's Liberation Army Cancer Center, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing (S.Q.), and Roche Product Development (D.-Z.X., J.L., C.H.) and Jiahui International Cancer Center, Jiahui Health (A.X.Z.), Shanghai - all in China; National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa (M.I.), and Kindai University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka (M.K.) - both in Japan; University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany (P.R.G.); Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, Paris-Saclay University, Villejuif (M.D.), and University Hospital La Croix-Rousse, Lyon (P.M.) - both in France; Seoul National University College of Medicine (T.-Y.K.) and Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (H.Y.L.) - both in Seoul, South Korea; N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, Moscow (V.B.); the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (A.O.K.); Hoffmann-La Roche, Mississauga, ON, Canada (S.M.); Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston (A.X.Z.); and the National Taiwan University Cancer Center and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei (A.-L.C.).

Background: The combination of atezolizumab and bevacizumab showed encouraging antitumor activity and safety in a phase 1b trial involving patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

Methods: In a global, open-label, phase 3 trial, patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who had not previously received systemic treatment were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either atezolizumab plus bevacizumab or sorafenib until unacceptable toxic effects occurred or there was a loss of clinical benefit. The coprimary end points were overall survival and progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population, as assessed at an independent review facility according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1 (RECIST 1.1).

Results: The intention-to-treat population included 336 patients in the atezolizumab-bevacizumab group and 165 patients in the sorafenib group. At the time of the primary analysis (August 29, 2019), the hazard ratio for death with atezolizumab-bevacizumab as compared with sorafenib was 0.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.79; P<0.001). Overall survival at 12 months was 67.2% (95% CI, 61.3 to 73.1) with atezolizumab-bevacizumab and 54.6% (95% CI, 45.2 to 64.0) with sorafenib. Median progression-free survival was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.7 to 8.3) and 4.3 months (95% CI, 4.0 to 5.6) in the respective groups (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.76; P<0.001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 56.5% of 329 patients who received at least one dose of atezolizumab-bevacizumab and in 55.1% of 156 patients who received at least one dose of sorafenib. Grade 3 or 4 hypertension occurred in 15.2% of patients in the atezolizumab-bevacizumab group; however, other high-grade toxic effects were infrequent.

Conclusions: In patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, atezolizumab combined with bevacizumab resulted in better overall and progression-free survival outcomes than sorafenib. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03434379.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1915745DOI Listing
May 2020
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