Publications by authors named "Thierry Gorlia"

81 Publications

Impact of depatuxizumab mafodotin on health-related quality of life and neurological functioning in the phase II EORTC 1410/INTELLANCE 2 trial for EGFR-amplified recurrent glioblastoma.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Feb 15;147:1-12. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Neurology, Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: In the EORTC 1410/INTELLANCE 2 randomised, phase II study (NCT02343406), with the antibody-drug conjugate depatuxizumab mafodotin (Depatux-M, ABT-414) in patients with recurrent EGFR-amplified glioblastoma, the primary end-point (overall survival) was not met, and the drug had ocular dose-limiting toxicity. This study reports results from the prespecified health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and neurological deterioration-free survival (NDFS) exploratory analysis.

Patients And Methods: Patients (n = 260) were randomised 1:1:1 to receive either Depatux-M 1.25 mg/kg or 1.0 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks with oral temozolomide (TMZ) 150 mg/m, Depatux-M alone, or TMZ or oral lomustine (CCNU) 110 mg/m (TMZ/CCNU). HRQoL outcomes were recorded using the EORTC core Quality of Life QLQ-C30, and brain cancer-specific QLQ-BN20 questionnaires. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, weeks 8 and 16, and month 6, and changes from baseline to each time point were calculated. NDFS was defined as time to first deterioration in World Health Organisation performance status.

Results: Compliance with HRQoL was 88.1% at baseline and decreased to 37.9% at month 6. Differences from baseline between Depatux-M arms and TMZ/CCNU in global health/QoL status throughout treatment did not reach clinical relevance (≥10 points). Self-reported visual disorders deteriorated to a clinically relevant extent with Depatux-M arms versus TMZ/CCNU at all timepoints (mean differences range: 24.6-35.1 points). Changes from baseline for other HRQoL scales and NDFS were generally similar between treatment arms.

Conclusions: Depatux-M had no impact on HRQoL and NDFS in patients with EGFR-amplified recurrent glioblastoma, except for more visual disorders, an expected side-effect of the study drug.

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT02343406.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.01.010DOI Listing
February 2021

Calculating the net clinical benefit in neuro-oncology clinical trials using two methods: quality-adjusted survival effect sizes and joint modeling.

Neurooncol Adv 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):vdaa147. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Two methods combining survival and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data in glioma trials to calculate the "net clinical benefit" were evaluated: Quality-adjusted effect sizes (QASES) and joint modeling (JM).

Methods: The net clinical benefit in two trials was calculated as proof of concept for other trials. With the QASES method, effect sizes for differences in progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) and HRQoL between the experimental arm and standard treatment arm were calculated, while the relative emphasis placed on survival/HRQoL varied. JM allows simultaneous modeling of HRQoL and OS/PFS.

Results: In the EORTC 26951 trial, combined radiochemotherapy significantly prolonged OS (difference 11.7 months), but also resulted in more patients experiencing clinically relevant worsening (≥10 points) in appetite loss and nausea/vomiting shortly after treatment. Using QASES, the survival benefit of additional procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine (PCV) decreased from 42.3 months to 29.5 and 28.2 months when accounting for appetite loss and nausea/vomiting, respectively. JM analyses resulted in a loss of the beneficial effect of additional PCV between 13% and 24% when adjusting for different HRQoL parameters. The EORTC 22033 trial showed no significant PFS difference between radiotherapy or temozolomide alone (46 vs 39 months), nor clinically relevant differences in HRQoL. JM analyses also showed no significant association between PFS and HRQoL scales/items, whereas QASES showed that temozolomide alone was more favorable when considering symptom burden (47-49 instead of 39 months).

Conclusions: Both methods resulted in different outcomes, but adjusting for the impact of treatment on HRQoL resulted in theoretically reduced survival benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdaa147DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772555PMC
October 2020

Measuring change in health-related quality of life: the impact of different analytical methods on the interpretation of treatment effects in glioma patients.

Neurooncol Pract 2020 Dec 7;7(6):668-675. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Different analytical methods may lead to different conclusions about the impact of treatment on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aimed to examine 3 different methods to evaluate change in HRQoL and to study whether these methods result in different conclusions.

Methods: HRQoL data from 15 randomized clinical trials were combined (CODAGLIO project). Change in HRQoL scores, measured with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 and BN20 questionnaires, was analyzed in 3 ways: (1) at the group level, comparing mean changes in scale/item scores between treatment arms, (2) at the patient level per scale/item, calculating the percentage of patients that deteriorated, improved, or remained stable per scale/item, and (3) at the individual patient level, combining all scales/items.

Results: Baseline and first follow-up HRQoL data were available for 3727 patients. At the group scale/item level, only the item "hair loss" showed a significant and clinically relevant change (ie, ≥10 points) over time, whereas change scores on the other scales/items were statistically significant only (all  < .001; range in change score, 0.1-6.2). Although a large proportion of patients had stable HRQoL over time (range, 27%-84%) on the patient level per scale/item, many patients deteriorated (range, 6%-43%) or improved (range, 8%-32%) on a specific scale/item. At the individual patient level, the majority of patients (86%) showed both deterioration and improvement, whereas only 1% remained stable on all scales.

Conclusions: Different analytical methods of changes in HRQoL result in distinct conclusions of treatment effects, all of which may be relevant for informing clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nop/npaa033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7716184PMC
December 2020

Memory in low-grade glioma patients treated with radiotherapy or Temozolomide. A correlative analysis of EORTC study 22033-26033.

Neuro Oncol 2020 Nov 1. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology (MAASTRO), GROW - School for Oncology andDevelopmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background: EORTC study 22033-26033 showed no difference in progression-free survival between high-risk low-grade glioma receiving either radiotherapy (RT) or Temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy alone as primary treatment. Considering the potential long-term deleterious impact of radiotherapy on memory functioning, this study aims to determine whether TMZ is associated with less impaired memory functioning.

Methods: Using the Visual Verbal Learning Test (VVLT), memory functioning was evaluated at baseline and subsequently every 6 months. Minimal compliance for statistical analyses was set at 60%. Conventional indices of memory performance (VVLT Immediate Recall, Total Recall, Learning Capacity, and Delayed Recall) were used as outcome measures. Using a mixed linear model memory functioning was compared between treatment arms and over time.

Results: Neuropsychological assessment was performed in 98 patients ( 53 RT, 46 TMZ). At 12 months compliance had dropped to 66%, restricting analyses to baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. At baseline, patients in either treatment arm did not differ in memory functioning, gender, age, or educational level. Over time, patients in both arms showed improvement in Immediate Recall (p = 0.017) and total number of words recalled (Total Recall; p < 0.001, albeit with delayed improvement in radiotherapy patients (group by time; p = 0.011). Memory functioning was not associated with radiotherapy gross, clinical, or planned target volumes.

Conclusion: In patients with high-risk low-grade glioma there is no indication that in the first year after treatment radiotherapy has a deleterious effect on memory function when compared to TMZ chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa252DOI Listing
November 2020

Methylome analyses of three glioblastoma cohorts reveal chemotherapy sensitivity markers within DDR genes.

Cancer Med 2020 Nov 29;9(22):8373-8385. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Clinical Cooperation Unit Neurooncology, German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Gliomas evade current therapies through primary and acquired resistance and the effect of temozolomide is mainly restricted to methylguanin-O6-methyltransferase promoter (MGMT) promoter hypermethylated tumors. Further resistance markers are largely unknown and would help for better stratification.

Methods: Clinical data and methylation profiles from the NOA-08 (104, elderly glioblastoma) and the EORTC 26101 (297, glioblastoma) studies and 398 patients with glioblastoma from the Heidelberg Neuro-Oncology center have been analyzed focused on the predictive effect of DNA damage response (DDR) gene methylation. Candidate genes were validated in vitro.

Results: Twenty-eight glioblastoma 5'-cytosine-phosphat-guanine-3' (CpGs) from 17 DDR genes negatively correlated with expression and were used together with telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutations in further analysis. CpG methylation of DDR genes shows highest association with the mesenchymal (MES) and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) II glioblastoma subgroup. MES tumors have lower tumor purity compared to RTK I and II subgroup tumors. CpG hypomethylation of DDR genes TP73 and PRPF19 correlated with worse patient survival in particular in MGMT promoter unmethylated tumors. TERT promoter mutation is most frequent in RTK I and II subtypes and associated with worse survival. Primary glioma cells show methylation patterns that resemble RTK I and II glioblastoma and long term established glioma cell lines do not match with glioblastoma subtypes. Silencing of selected resistance genes PRPF19 and TERT increase sensitivity to temozolomide in vitro.

Conclusion: Hypomethylation of DDR genes and TERT promoter mutations is associated with worse tumor prognosis, dependent on the methylation cluster and MGMT promoter methylation status in IDH wild-type glioblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666733PMC
November 2020

Noninvasive Characterization of Tumor Angiogenesis and Oxygenation in Bevacizumab-treated Recurrent Glioblastoma by Using Dynamic Susceptibility MRI: Secondary Analysis of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer 26101 Trial.

Radiology 2020 10 28;297(1):164-175. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

From the Department of Neuroradiology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany (P.K., G.B., I.P., M.S., M.F., U.N., S.H., M.B.); Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience and MINDLab, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark (M.B.H., L.Ø.); Neurology Clinic, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany (M.N., T.K., A.W., W.W.); Department of Neurology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria (M.N.); Medical Image Computing, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany (F.I., K.H.M.H.); Clinical Cooperation Unit Neurooncology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany (T.K., W.W.); Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany (F.S., A.v.D.); Clinical Cooperation Unit Neuropathology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany (F.S., A.v.D.); Department of Neurology, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (M.W.); Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, MCTN, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany (M.P.); Pattern Analysis and Learning Group, Department of Radiation Oncology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany (K.H.M.H.); Department of Neuroradiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark (L.Ø.); Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (M.J.v.d.B.); and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Brussels, Belgium (T.G.).

Background Relevance of antiangiogenic treatment with bevacizumab in patients with glioblastoma is controversial because progression-free survival benefit did not translate into an overall survival (OS) benefit in randomized phase III trials. Purpose To perform longitudinal characterization of intratumoral angiogenesis and oxygenation by using dynamic susceptibility contrast agent-enhanced (DSC) MRI and evaluate its potential for predicting outcome from administration of bevacizumab. Materials and Methods In this secondary analysis of the prospective randomized phase II/III European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer 26101 trial conducted between October 2011 and December 2015 in 596 patients with first recurrence of glioblastoma, the subset of patients with availability of anatomic MRI and DSC MRI at baseline and first follow-up was analyzed. Patients were allocated into those administered bevacizumab (hereafter, the BEV group; either bevacizumab monotherapy or bevacizumab with lomustine) and those not administered bevacizumab (hereafter, the non-BEV group with lomustine monotherapy). Contrast-enhanced tumor volume, noncontrast-enhanced T2 fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) signal abnormality volume, Gaussian-normalized relative cerebral blood volume (nrCBV), Gaussian-normalized relative blood flow (nrCBF), and tumor metabolic rate of oxygen (nTMRO) was quantified. The predictive ability of these imaging parameters was assessed with multivariable Cox regression and formal interaction testing. Results A total of 254 of 596 patients were evaluated (mean age, 57 years ± 11; 155 men; 161 in the BEV group and 93 in non-BEV group). Progression-free survival was longer in the BEV group (3.7 months; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.0, 4.2) compared with the non-BEV group (2.5 months; 95% CI: 1.5, 2.9; = .01), whereas OS was not different ( = .15). The nrCBV decreased for the BEV group (-16.3%; interquartile range [IQR], -39.5% to 12.0%; = .01), but not for the non-BEV group (1.2%; IQR, -17.9% to 23.3%; = .19) between baseline and first follow-up. An identical pattern was observed for both nrCBF and nTMRO values. Contrast-enhanced tumor and noncontrast-enhanced T2 FLAIR signal abnormality volumes decreased for the BEV group (-66% [IQR, -83% to -35%] and -33% [IQR, -71% to -5%], respectively; < .001 for both), whereas they increased for the non-BEV group (30% [IQR, -17% to 98%], = .001; and 10% [IQR, -13% to 82%], = .02, respectively) between baseline and first follow-up. None of the assessed MRI parameters were predictive for OS in the BEV group. Conclusion Bevacizumab treatment decreased tumor volumes, angiogenesis, and oxygenation, thereby reflecting its effectiveness for extending progression-free survival; however, these parameters were not predictive of overall survival (OS), which highlighted the challenges of identifying patients that derive an OS benefit from bevacizumab. © RSNA, 2020 See also the editorial by Dillon in this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2020200978DOI Listing
October 2020

EGFR mutations are associated with response to depatux-m in combination with temozolomide and result in a receptor that is hypersensitive to ligand.

Neurooncol Adv 2020 Jan-Dec;2(1):vdz051. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Departments of Neurology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: The randomized phase II INTELLANCE-2/EORTC_1410 trial on EGFR-amplified recurrent glioblastomas showed a trend towards improved overall survival when patients were treated with depatux-m plus temozolomide compared with the control arm of alkylating chemotherapy only. We here performed translational research on material derived from this clinical trial to identify patients that benefit from this treatment.

Methods: Targeted DNA-sequencing and whole transcriptome analysis was performed on clinical trial samples. High-throughput, high-content imaging analysis was done to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the survival benefit.

Results: We first define the tumor genomic landscape in this well-annotated patient population. We find that tumors harboring EGFR single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) have improved outcome in the depatux-m + TMZ combination arm. Such SNVs are common to the extracellular domain of the receptor and functionally result in a receptor that is hypersensitive to low-affinity EGFR ligands. These hypersensitizing SNVs and the ligand-independent EGFRvIII variant are inversely correlated, indicating two distinct modes of evolution to increase EGFR signaling in glioblastomas. Ligand hypersensitivity can explain the therapeutic efficacy of depatux-m as increased ligand-induced activation will result in increased exposure of the epitope to the antibody-drug conjugate. We also identified tumors harboring mutations sensitive to "classical" EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, providing a potential alternative treatment strategy.

Conclusions: These data can help guide treatment for recurrent glioblastoma patients and increase our understanding into the molecular mechanisms underlying EGFR signaling in these tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/noajnl/vdz051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212878PMC
December 2019

Validation of diffusion MRI phenotypes for predicting response to bevacizumab in recurrent glioblastoma: post-hoc analysis of the EORTC-26101 trial.

Neuro Oncol 2020 11;22(11):1667-1676

Department of Neuroradiology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: This study validated a previously described diffusion MRI phenotype as a potential predictive imaging biomarker in patients with recurrent glioblastoma receiving bevacizumab (BEV).

Methods: A total of 396/596 patients (66%) from the prospective randomized phase II/III EORTC-26101 trial (with n = 242 in the BEV and n = 154 in the non-BEV arm) met the inclusion criteria with availability of anatomical and diffusion MRI sequences at baseline prior treatment. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) histograms from the contrast-enhancing tumor volume were fitted to a double Gaussian distribution and the mean of the lower curve (ADClow) was used for further analysis. The predictive ability of ADClow was assessed with biomarker threshold models and multivariable Cox regression for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: ADClow was associated with PFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.625, P = 0.007) and OS (HR = 0.656, P = 0.031). However, no (predictive) interaction between ADClow and the treatment arm was present (P = 0.865 for PFS, P = 0.722 for OS). Independent (prognostic) significance of ADClow was retained after adjusting for epidemiological, clinical, and molecular characteristics (P ≤ 0.02 for OS, P ≤ 0.01 PFS). The biomarker threshold model revealed an optimal ADClow cutoff of 1241*10-6 mm2/s for OS. Thereby, median OS for BEV-patients with ADClow ≥ 1241 was 10.39 months versus 8.09 months for those with ADClow < 1241 (P = 0.004). Similarly, median OS for non-BEV patients with ADClow ≥ 1241 was 9.80 months versus 7.79 months for those with ADClow < 1241 (P = 0.054).

Conclusions: ADClow is an independent prognostic parameter for stratifying OS and PFS in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Consequently, the previously suggested role of ADClow as predictive imaging biomarker could not be confirmed within this phase II/III trial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690360PMC
November 2020

INTELLANCE 2/EORTC 1410 randomized phase II study of Depatux-M alone and with temozolomide vs temozolomide or lomustine in recurrent EGFR amplified glioblastoma.

Neuro Oncol 2020 05;22(5):684-693

EORTC Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Depatuxizumab mafodotin (Depatux-M) is a tumor-specific antibody-drug conjugate consisting of an antibody (ABT-806) directed against activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the toxin monomethylauristatin-F. We investigated Depatux-M in combination with temozolomide or as a single agent in a randomized controlled phase II trial in recurrent EGFR amplified glioblastoma.

Methods: Eligible were patients with centrally confirmed EGFR amplified glioblastoma at first recurrence after chemo-irradiation with temozolomide. Patients were randomized to either Depatux-M 1.25 mg/kg every 2 weeks intravenously, or this treatment combined with temozolomide 150-200 mg/m2 day 1-5 every 4 weeks, or either lomustine or temozolomide. The primary endpoint of the study was overall survival.

Results: Two hundred sixty patients were randomized. In the primary efficacy analysis with 199 events (median follow-up 15.0 mo), the hazard ratio (HR) for the combination arm compared with the control arm was 0.71 (95% CI = 0.50, 1.02; P = 0.062). The efficacy of Depatux-M monotherapy was comparable to that of the control arm (HR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.73, 1.48; P = 0.83). The most frequent toxicity in Depatux-M treated patients was a reversible corneal epitheliopathy, occurring as grades 3-4 adverse events in 25-30% of patients. In the long-term follow-up analysis with median follow-up of 28.7 months, the HR for the comparison of the combination arm versus the control arm was 0.66 (95% CI = 0.48, 0.93).

Conclusion: This trial suggests a possible role for the use of Depatux-M in combination with temozolomide in EGFR amplified recurrent glioblastoma, especially in patients relapsing well after the end of first-line adjuvant temozolomide treatment. (NCT02343406).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7229258PMC
May 2020

Molecular Evolution of Wild-Type Glioblastomas Treated With Standard of Care Affects Survival and Design of Precision Medicine Trials: A Report From the EORTC 1542 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2020 01 19;38(1):81-99. Epub 2019 Nov 19.

Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Purpose: Precision medicine trials in glioblastoma (GBM) are often conducted at tumor recurrence. However, second surgeries for recurrent GBM are not routinely performed, and therefore, molecular data for trial inclusion are predominantly derived from the primary sample. This study aims to establish whether molecular targets change during tumor progression and, if so, whether this affects precision medicine trial design.

Materials And Methods: We collected 186 pairs of primary-recurrent GBM samples from patients receiving chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide and sequenced approximately 300 cancer genes. , , and status was individually determined.

Results: The molecular profile of our cohort was identical to that of other GBM cohorts ( wild-type [WT], 95%; amplified, approximately 50%), indicating that patients amenable to second surgery do not represent a specific molecular subtype. Molecular events in WT GBMs were stable in approximately 80% of events, but changes in mutation status were observed for all examined genes (range, approximately 90% and 60% for and mutations, respectively), and such changes strongly affected targeted trial size and design. A similar pattern of GBM driver instability was observed within promoter-methylated tumors. promoter methylation status remained prognostic at tumor recurrence. The observation that hypermutation at GBM recurrence was rare (8%) and not correlated with outcome was relevant for immunotherapy-based treatments.

Conclusion: This large cohort of matched primary and recurrent WT tumors establishes the frequency of GBM driver instability after chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide. This allows per gene or pathway calculation of trial size at tumor recurrence, using molecular data of the primary tumor only. We also identify genes for which repeat surgery is necessary because of low mutation retention rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00367DOI Listing
January 2020

Symptom clusters in newly diagnosed glioma patients: which symptom clusters are independently associated with functioning and global health status?

Neuro Oncol 2019 11;21(11):1447-1457

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Background: Symptom management in glioma patients remains challenging, as patients suffer from various concurrently occurring symptoms. This study aimed to identify symptom clusters and examine the association between these symptom clusters and patients' functioning.

Methods: Data of the CODAGLIO project was used, including individual patient data from previously published international randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in glioma patients. Symptom prevalence and level of functioning were assessed with European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) quality of life QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BN20 self-report questionnaires. Associations between symptoms were examined with Spearman correlation coefficients and partial correlation networks. Hierarchical cluster analyses were performed to identify symptom clusters. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to determine independent associations between the symptom clusters and functioning, adjusted for possible confounders.

Results: Included in the analysis were 4307 newly diagnosed glioma patients from 11 RCTs who completed the EORTC questionnaires before randomization. Many patients (44%) suffered from 5-10 symptoms simultaneously. Four symptom clusters were identified: a motor cluster, a fatigue cluster, a pain cluster, and a gastrointestinal/seizures/bladder control cluster. Having symptoms in the motor cluster was associated with decreased (≥10 points difference) physical, role, and social functioning (betas ranged from -11.3 to -15.9, all P < 0.001), independent of other factors. Similarly, having symptoms in the fatigue cluster was found to negatively influence role functioning (beta of -12.3, P < 0.001), independent of other factors.

Conclusions: Two symptom clusters, the fatigue and motor cluster, were frequently affected in glioma patients and were found to independently have a negative association with certain aspects of patients' functioning as measured with a self-report questionnaire.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827824PMC
November 2019

Temporal muscle thickness is an independent prognostic marker in patients with progressive glioblastoma: translational imaging analysis of the EORTC 26101 trial.

Neuro Oncol 2019 12;21(12):1587-1594

Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Temporal muscle thickness (TMT) was described as a surrogate marker of skeletal muscle mass. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic relevance of TMT in patients with progressive glioblastoma.

Methods: TMT was analyzed on cranial MR images of 596 patients with progression of glioblastoma after radiochemotherapy enrolled in the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 26101 trial. An optimal TMT cutoff for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was defined in the training cohort (n = 260, phase II). Patients were grouped as "below" or "above" the TMT cutoff and associations with OS and PFS were tested using the Cox model adjusted for important risk factors. Findings were validated in a test cohort (n = 308, phase III).

Results: An optimal baseline TMT cutoff of 7.2 mm was obtained in the training cohort for both OS and PFS (area under the curve = 0.64). Univariate analyses estimated a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.42, 0.70; P < 0.0001) for OS and an HR of 0.49 (95% CI: 0.38, 0.64; P < 0.0001) for PFS for the comparison of training cohort patients above versus below the TMT cutoff. Similar results were obtained in Cox models adjusted for important risk factors with relevance in the trial for OS (HR, 0.54; 95% CI: 0.41, 0.70; P < 0.0001) and PFS (HR, 0.47; 95% CI: 0.36, 0.61; P < 0.0001). Results were confirmed in the validation cohort.

Conclusion: Reduced TMT is an independent negative prognostic parameter in patients with progressive glioblastoma and may help to facilitate patient management by supporting patient stratification for therapeutic interventions or clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6917403PMC
December 2019

The added value of health-related quality of life as a prognostic indicator of overall survival and progression-free survival in glioma patients: a meta-analysis based on individual patient data from randomised controlled trials.

Eur J Cancer 2019 07 13;116:190-198. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology, Haaglanden Medical Center, Den Haag, the Netherlands.

Objective: Prognostic value of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) data may be important to inform patients in clinical practice and to guide clinical decision-making. Our study investigated the added prognostic value of HRQoL for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in a large heterogeneous sample of glioma patients, besides known prognostic factors.

Methods: We included individual baseline data from previously published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in glioma patients in which HRQoL was assessed through the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BN20 questionnaires. Multivariable Cox regression models (stratified for newly diagnosed versus recurrent disease) were constructed, first with clinical variables (age, sex, tumour type, performance status, allocated treatment and extent of resection) only and subsequently with HRQoL variables added, separately for OS and PFS. The added prognostic value of HRQoL was calculated using C-indices.

Results: Baseline HRQoL and clinical data from 15 RCTs were included, comprising 5217 patients. In the model including both clinical and HRQoL variables, better cognitive and role functioning and less motor dysfunction were independently associated with longer OS, whereas better role and cognitive functioning, less nausea and vomiting and more appetite loss were independently associated with prolonged PFS. However, C-indices indicated only a small prognostic improvement of the models for OS and PFS when adding HRQoL to the clinical prognostic variables (+1.1% for OS and +.7% for PFS).

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that several baseline HRQoL variables are independently prognostic for OS and PFS, yet the added value of HRQoL to the known clinical prognostic variables was small.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.05.012DOI Listing
July 2019

Defining EGFR amplification status for clinical trial inclusion.

Neuro Oncol 2019 10;21(10):1263-1272

Department of Neurology, Erasmus Medical Center Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Background: Precision medicine trials targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in glioblastoma patients require selection for EGFR-amplified tumors. However, there is currently no gold standard in determining the amplification status of EGFR or variant III (EGFRvIII) expression. Here, we aimed to determine which technique and which cutoffs are suitable to determine EGFR amplification status.

Methods: We compared fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and real-time quantitative (RT-q)PCR data from patients screened for trial inclusion into the Intellance 2 clinical trial, with data from a panel-based next generation sequencing (NGS) platform (both DNA and RNA).

Results: By using data from >1000 samples, we show that at least 50% of EGFR amplified nuclei should be present to define EGFR gene amplification by FISH. Gene amplification (as determined by FISH) correlates with EGFR expression levels (as determined by RT-qPCR) with receiver operating characteristics analysis showing an area under the curve of up to 0.902. EGFR expression as assessed by RT-qPCR therefore may function as a surrogate marker for EGFR amplification. Our NGS data show that EGFR copy numbers can strongly vary between tumors, with levels ranging from 2 to more than 100 copies per cell. Levels exceeding 5 gene copies can be used to define EGFR-amplification by NGS; below this level, FISH detects very few (if any) EGFR amplified nuclei and none of the samples express EGFRvIII.

Conclusion: Our data from central laboratories and diagnostic sequencing facilities, using material from patients eligible for clinical trial inclusion, help define the optimal cutoff for various techniques to determine EGFR amplification for diagnostic purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6784284PMC
October 2019

Imaging necrosis during treatment is associated with worse survival in EORTC 26101 study.

Neurology 2019 06 10;92(24):e2754-e2763. Epub 2019 May 10.

From the University Medical Center & German Cancer Research Center (M.N., F.S., I.H., P.K., M.P., M.B., W.W.), Heidelberg, Germany; EORTC Headquarters (T.G., V.G.), Brussels, Belgium; Brain Tumor Center at Erasmus MC Cancer Institute (J.E.C.B., W.T., M.J.v.d.B.), Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Medical Oncology Department (A.A.B.), AUSL-Bologna-IRCCS Scienze Neurologiche, Bologna, Italy; Haaglanden Medical Center (M.J.B.T.), the Hague; Leiden University Medical Center (M.J.B.T.), the Netherlands; Institut Gustave Roussy (J.D.), Villejuif; Sorbonne Université (A.I.), Inserm, CNRS, UMR S 1127, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, ICM, AP-HP, Hôpitaux Universitaires La Pitié Salpêtrière-Charles Foix, Service de Neurologie 2-Mazarin, Paris; Institut de Cancerologie de l'Ouest (ICO)-Centre Rene Gauducheau (M.C.), Saint-Herblain, France; Leuven Cancer Institute-KU Leuven (P.M.C.), Belgium; Department of Neurology and Brain Tumor Center (M.W.), University Hospital and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Institut Régional du Cancer Montpellier (M.F.); University of Lille (E.L.R.), U-1192, Inserm; CHU Lille (E.L.R.), General and Stereotaxic Neurosurgery Service; Oscar Lambret Center (E.L.R.), Neurology, Lille, France; Department of Neurology (M.P.), Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany; and Department of Neurology (M.N.), Medical University Innsbruck, Austria.

Objective: Imaging necrosis on MRI scans was assessed and compared to outcome measures of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer 26101 phase III trial that compared single-agent lomustine with lomustine plus bevacizumab in patients with progressive glioblastoma.

Methods: MRI in this post hoc analysis was available for 359 patients (lomustine = 127, lomustine + bevacizumab = 232). First, imaging necrosis at baseline being formally measurable (>10 × 10 mm, given 2 slices) was assessed. At weeks 6 and 12 of treatment, it was analyzed whether this necrosis remained stable or increased >25% calculated by 2 perpendicular diameters or whether necrosis developed de novo. Univariate and multivariate associations of baseline necrosis with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were tested by log-rank test. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence interval were calculated by Cox model.

Results: Imaging necrosis at baseline was detected in 191 patients (53.2%) and was associated with worse OS and PFS in univariate, but not in multivariate analysis. Baseline necrosis was predictive for OS in the lomustine-only group (HR 1.46, = 0.018). At weeks 6 and 12 of treatment, increase of baseline necrosis and de novo necrosis were strongly associated with worse OS and PFS in univariate and multivariate analysis (PFS both < 0.001, OS univariate < 0.001, multivariate = 0.0046).

Conclusion: Increase of and new development of imaging necrosis during treatment is a negative prognostic factor for patients with progressive glioblastoma. These data call for consideration of integrating the assessment of imaging necrosis as a separate item into the MRI response assessment criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000007643DOI Listing
June 2019

Use of metformin and outcome of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma: Pooled analysis.

Int J Cancer 2020 02 29;146(3):803-809. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

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

Metformin has been linked to improve survival of patients with various cancers. There is little information on survival of glioblastoma patients after use of metformin. We assessed the association between metformin use and survival in a pooled analysis of patient data from 1,731 individuals from the randomized AVAglio, CENTRIC and CORE trials. We performed multivariate Cox analyses for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) comparing patients' use of metformin at baseline and/or during concomitant radiochemotherapy (TMZ/RT). Further exploratory analyses investigated the effect of metformin with a history of diabetes and nonfasting glucose levels in relation to OS or PFS of glioblastoma patients. Metformin alone or in any combination was not significantly associated with OS or PFS (at baseline, hazard ratio [HR] for OS = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.65-1.16; HR for PFS = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.64-1.10; during TMZ/RT HR for OS = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.68-1.38; HR for PFS = 1.02; 95% CI = 0.74-1.41). We found a statistically nonsignificant association of metformin monotherapy with glioblastoma survival at baseline (HR for OS = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.42-1.10; HR for PFS = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.36-0.91), but not during the TMZ/RT period (HR for OS = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.51-1.56; HR for PFS = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.64-1.73). Diabetes mellitus or increased nonfasting glucose levels were not associated with a difference in OS or PFS in our selected study population. Metformin did not prolong survival of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma in our analysis. Additional studies may identify patients with specific tumor characteristics that are associated with potential benefit from treatment with metformin, possibly due to metabolic vulnerabilities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32337DOI Listing
February 2020

Automated quantitative tumour response assessment of MRI in neuro-oncology with artificial neural networks: a multicentre, retrospective study.

Lancet Oncol 2019 05 2;20(5):728-740. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Medical Image Computing, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: The Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria and requirements for a uniform protocol have been introduced to standardise assessment of MRI scans in both clinical trials and clinical practice. However, these criteria mainly rely on manual two-dimensional measurements of contrast-enhancing (CE) target lesions and thus restrict both reliability and accurate assessment of tumour burden and treatment response. We aimed to develop a framework relying on artificial neural networks (ANNs) for fully automated quantitative analysis of MRI in neuro-oncology to overcome the inherent limitations of manual assessment of tumour burden.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we compiled a single-institution dataset of MRI data from patients with brain tumours being treated at Heidelberg University Hospital (Heidelberg, Germany; Heidelberg training dataset) to develop and train an ANN for automated identification and volumetric segmentation of CE tumours and non-enhancing T2-signal abnormalities (NEs) on MRI. Independent testing and large-scale application of the ANN for tumour segmentation was done in a single-institution longitudinal testing dataset from the Heidelberg University Hospital and in a multi-institutional longitudinal testing dataset from the prospective randomised phase 2 and 3 European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)-26101 trial (NCT01290939), acquired at 38 institutions across Europe. In both longitudinal datasets, spatial and temporal tumour volume dynamics were automatically quantified to calculate time to progression, which was compared with time to progression determined by RANO, both in terms of reliability and as a surrogate endpoint for predicting overall survival. We integrated this approach for fully automated quantitative analysis of MRI in neuro-oncology within an application-ready software infrastructure and applied it in a simulated clinical environment of patients with brain tumours from the Heidelberg University Hospital (Heidelberg simulation dataset).

Findings: For training of the ANN, MRI data were collected from 455 patients with brain tumours (one MRI per patient) being treated at Heidelberg hospital between July 29, 2009, and March 17, 2017 (Heidelberg training dataset). For independent testing of the ANN, an independent longitudinal dataset of 40 patients, with data from 239 MRI scans, was collected at Heidelberg University Hospital in parallel with the training dataset (Heidelberg test dataset), and 2034 MRI scans from 532 patients at 34 institutions collected between Oct 26, 2011, and Dec 3, 2015, in the EORTC-26101 study were of sufficient quality to be included in the EORTC-26101 test dataset. The ANN yielded excellent performance for accurate detection and segmentation of CE tumours and NE volumes in both longitudinal test datasets (median DICE coefficient for CE tumours 0·89 [95% CI 0·86-0·90], and for NEs 0·93 [0·92-0·94] in the Heidelberg test dataset; CE tumours 0·91 [0·90-0·92], NEs 0·93 [0·93-0·94] in the EORTC-26101 test dataset). Time to progression from quantitative ANN-based assessment of tumour response was a significantly better surrogate endpoint than central RANO assessment for predicting overall survival in the EORTC-26101 test dataset (hazard ratios ANN 2·59 [95% CI 1·86-3·60] vs central RANO 2·07 [1·46-2·92]; p<0·0001) and also yielded a 36% margin over RANO (p<0·0001) when comparing reliability values (ie, agreement in the quantitative volumetrically defined time to progression [based on radiologist ground truth vs automated assessment with ANN] of 87% [266 of 306 with sufficient data] compared with 51% [155 of 306] with local vs independent central RANO assessment). In the Heidelberg simulation dataset, which comprised 466 patients with brain tumours, with 595 MRI scans obtained between April 27, and Sept 17, 2018, automated on-demand processing of MRI scans and quantitative tumour response assessment within the simulated clinical environment required 10 min of computation time (average per scan).

Interpretation: Overall, we found that ANN enabled objective and automated assessment of tumour response in neuro-oncology at high throughput and could ultimately serve as a blueprint for the application of ANN in radiology to improve clinical decision making. Future research should focus on prospective validation within clinical trials and application for automated high-throughput imaging biomarker discovery and extension to other diseases.

Funding: Medical Faculty Heidelberg Postdoc-Program, Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30098-1DOI Listing
May 2019

The RANO Leptomeningeal Metastasis Group proposal to assess response to treatment: lack of feasibility and clinical utility and a revised proposal.

Neuro Oncol 2019 05;21(5):648-658

Department of Neurology & Brain Tumor Center, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: A scorecard to evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings during the course of leptomeningeal metastases (LM) has been proposed by the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) group.

Methods: To explore the feasibility of the Leptomeningeal Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (LANO) scorecard, cerebrospinal MRIs of 22 patients with LM from solid tumors were scored by 10 neuro-oncologists and 9 neuroradiologists at baseline and at follow-up after treatment. Raters were blinded for clinical data including treatment. Agreement between raters of single items was evaluated using a Krippendorff alpha coefficient. Agreement between numerical parameters such as scores for changes between baseline and follow-up and total scores was evaluated by determining the intraclass coefficient of correlation.

Results: Most raters experienced problems with the instructions of the scorecard. No acceptable alpha concordance coefficient was obtained for the rating of single items at baseline or follow-up. The most concordant ratings were obtained for spinal nodules. The concordances were worst for brain linear leptomeningeal enhancement and cranial nerve enhancement. Discordance was less prominent among neuroradiologists than among neuro-oncologists. High variability was also observed for evaluating changes between baseline and follow-up and for total scores.

Conclusions: Assessing response of LM by MRI remains challenging. Central imaging review is therefore indispensable for clinical trials. Based on the present results, we propose a new, simplified scorecard that will require validation using a similar approach as pursued here. The main challenges are to define measurable versus nonmeasurable (target) lesions and measures of change that allow assessment of response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noz024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6502503PMC
May 2019

Promoter Methylation Cutoff with Safety Margin for Selecting Glioblastoma Patients into Trials Omitting Temozolomide: A Pooled Analysis of Four Clinical Trials.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 03 4;25(6):1809-1816. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Purpose: The methylation status of the O-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase () gene promoter is predictive for benefit from temozolomide in glioblastoma (GBM). A clinically optimized cutoff was sought allowing patient selection for therapy without temozolomide, while avoiding to withhold it from patients who may potentially benefit. Quantitative methylation-specific PCR data were obtained for newly diagnosed patients with GBM screened or treated with standard radiotherapy and temozolomide in four randomized trials. The pooled dataset was randomly split into a training and test dataset. The unsupervised cutoff was obtained at a 50% probability to be (un)methylated. ROC analysis identified an optimal cutoff supervised by overall survival (OS).

Results: For 4,041 patients valid results were obtained, whereof 1,725 were randomized. The unsupervised cutoff in the training dataset was 1.27 (log[1,000 × (+1)/]), separating unmethylated and methylated patients. The optimal supervised cutoff for unmethylated patients was -0.28 (AUC = 0.61), classifying "truly unmethylated" (≤-0.28) and "gray zone" patients (>-0.28, ≤1.27), the latter comprising approximately 10% of cases. In contrast, for patients with methylation (>1.27) more methylation was not related to better outcome. Both methylated and gray zone patients performed significantly better for OS than truly unmethylated patients [HR = 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.27-0.45, < 0.0001; HR = 0.58, 95% CI, 0.43-0.78, < 0.001], validated in the test dataset. The MGMT assay was highly reproducible upon retesting of 218 paired samples ( = 0.94).

Conclusions: Low methylation (gray zone) may confer some sensitivity to temozolomide treatment, hence the lower safety margin should be considered for selecting patients with unmethylated GBM into trials omitting temozolomide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-3181DOI Listing
March 2019

Bevacizumab and temozolomide in patients with first recurrence of WHO grade II and III glioma, without 1p/19q co-deletion (TAVAREC): a randomised controlled phase 2 EORTC trial.

Lancet Oncol 2018 09 13;19(9):1170-1179. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

The Brain and Spine Institute (ICM), Sorbonne Université, The National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Public Assistance-Paris Hospitals (AP-HP), Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

Background: Bevacizumab is frequently used in the treatment of recurrent WHO grade II and III glioma, but without supporting evidence from randomised trials. Therefore, we assessed the use of bevacizumab in patients with first recurrence of grade II or III glioma who did not have 1p/19q co-deletion.

Methods: The TAVAREC trial was a randomised, open-label phase 2 trial done at 32 centres across Europe in patients with locally diagnosed grade II or III glioma without 1p/19q co-deletion, with a first and contrast-enhancing recurrence after initial radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or both. Previous chemotherapy must have been stopped at least 6 months before enrolment and radiotherapy must have been stopped at least 3 months before enrolment. Random group assignment was done electronically through the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer web-based system, stratified by a minimisation procedure using institution, initial histology (WHO grade II vs III), WHO performance status (0 or 1 vs 2), and previous treatment (radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or both). Patients were assigned to receive either temozolomide (150-200 mg/m, orally) monotherapy on days 1-5 every 4 weeks for a maximum of 12 cycles, or the same temozolomide regimen in combination with bevacizumab (10 mg/kg, intravenously) every 2 weeks until progression. The primary endpoint was overall survival at 12 months in the per-protocol population. Safety analyses were done in all patients who started their allocated treatment. The study is registered at EudraCT (2009-017422-39) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01164189), and is complete.

Findings: Between Feb 8, 2011, and July 31, 2015, 155 patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive either monotherapy (n=77) or combination therapy (n=78). Overall survival in the per-protocol population at 12 months was achieved by 44 (61% [80% CI 53-69]) of 72 patients in the temozolomide group and 38 (55% [47-69]) of 69 in the combination group. The most frequent toxicity was haematological: 17 (23%) of 75 patients in the monotherapy group and 25 (33%) of 76 in the combination group developed grade 3 or 4 haematological toxicity. Other than haematological toxicities, the most common adverse events were nervous system disorders (59 [79%] of 75 patients in the monotherapy group vs 65 [86%] of 76 in the combination group), fatigue (53 [70%] vs 61 [80%]), and nausea (39 [52%] vs 43 [56%]). Infections were more frequently reported in the combination group (29 [38%] of 76 patients) than in the monotherapy group (17 [23%] of 75). One treatment-related death was reported in the combination group (infection after intratumoral haemorrhage during a treatment-related grade 4 thrombocytopenia).

Interpretation: We found no evidence of improved overall survival with bevacizumab and temozolomide combination treatment versus temozolomide monotherapy. The findings from this study provide no support for further phase 3 studies on the role of bevacizumab in this disease.

Funding: Roche Pharmaceuticals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(18)30362-0DOI Listing
September 2018

Associations of anticoagulant use with outcome in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Eur J Cancer 2018 09 20;101:95-104. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Department of Neurology & Brain Tumor Center, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: To test the hypothesis that despite bleeding risk, anticoagulants improve the outcome in glioblastoma because of reduced incidence of venous thromboembolic events and modulation of angiogenesis, infiltration and invasion.

Methods: We assessed survival associations of anticoagulant use from baseline up to the start of temozolomide chemoradiotherapy (TMZ/RT) (period I) and from there to the start of maintenance TMZ chemotherapy (period II) by pooling data of three randomised clinical trials in newly diagnosed glioblastoma including 1273 patients. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared between patients with anticoagulant use versus no use; therapeutic versus prophylactic versus no use; different durations of anticoagulant use versus no use; anticoagulant use versus use of anti-platelet agents versus neither anticoagulant nor anti-platelet agent use. Cox regression models were stratified by trial and adjusted for baseline prognostic factors.

Results: Anticoagulant use was documented in 75 patients (5.9%) in period I and in 104 patients (10.2%) in period II. Anticoagulant use during period II, but not period I, was associated with inferior OS than no use on multivariate analysis (p = 0.001, hazard ratio [HR] = 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.18-1.95). No decrease in OS became apparent when only patients with prophylactic anticoagulant use were considered. No survival association was established for anti-platelet agent use.

Conclusions: Anticoagulant use was not associated with improved OS. Anticoagulants may not exert relevant anti-tumour properties in glioblastoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.06.029DOI Listing
September 2018

Novel, improved grading system(s) for IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 07 23;136(1):153-166. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Department of Neuropathology, Institute of Pathology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

According to the 2016 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System (2016 CNS WHO), IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas comprised WHO grade II diffuse astrocytoma, IDH-mutant (AII), WHO grade III anaplastic astrocytoma, IDH-mutant (AAIII), and WHO grade IV glioblastoma, IDH-mutant (GBM). Notably, IDH gene status has been made the major criterion for classification while the manner of grading has remained unchanged: it is based on histological criteria that arose from studies which antedated knowledge of the importance of IDH status in diffuse astrocytic tumor prognostic assessment. Several studies have now demonstrated that the anticipated differences in survival between the newly defined AII and AAIII have lost their significance. In contrast, GBM still exhibits a significantly worse outcome than its lower grade IDH-mutant counterparts. To address the problem of establishing prognostically significant grading for IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas in the IDH era, we undertook a comprehensive study that included assessment of histological and genetic approaches to prognosis in these tumors. A discovery cohort of 211 IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas with an extended observation was subjected to histological review, image analysis, and DNA methylation studies. Tumor group-specific methylation profiles and copy number variation (CNV) profiles were established for all gliomas. Algorithms for automated CNV analysis were developed. All tumors exhibiting 1p/19q codeletion were excluded from the series. We developed algorithms for grading, based on molecular, morphological and clinical data. Performance of these algorithms was compared with that of WHO grading. Three independent cohorts of 108, 154 and 224 IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas were used to validate this approach. In the discovery cohort several molecular and clinical parameters were of prognostic relevance. Most relevant for overall survival (OS) was CDKN2A/B homozygous deletion. Other parameters with major influence were necrosis and the total number of CNV. Proliferation as assessed by mitotic count, which is a key parameter in 2016 CNS WHO grading, was of only minor influence. Employing the parameters most relevant for OS in our discovery set, we developed two models for grading these tumors. These models performed significantly better than WHO grading in both the discovery and the validation sets. Our novel algorithms for grading IDH-mutant astrocytic gliomas overcome the challenges caused by introduction of IDH status into the WHO classification of diffuse astrocytic tumors. We propose that these revised approaches be used for grading of these tumors and incorporated into future WHO criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1849-4DOI Listing
July 2018

Do statins, ACE inhibitors or sartans improve outcome in primary glioblastoma?

J Neurooncol 2018 May 8;138(1):163-171. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Glioblastomas are malignant brain tumors with poor prognosis. Lately, data from clinical studies assessing the role of co-medications in different cancer types suggested reduced mortality and potential anti-tumor activity for statins, angiotensin-I converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (sartans). Here, we analysed the association of co-treatment with statins, ACEI or sartans with outcome in a cohort of 810 patients enrolled in the phase III CENTRIC and phase II CORE trials on the role of the integrin antagonist, cilengitide, in newly diagnosed glioblastoma with or without O-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analysed for each medication in the pooled patient group. No association was found for co-medication with either drug for PFS or OS. Median OS was 22.1 (statins) versus 22.2 (control) months (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.81-1.39, p = 0.69), 20.4 (ACEI) versus 22.6 (control) months (HR 1.25, 95% CI 0.96-1.62, p = 0.10), and 21.7 (sartans) versus 22.3 (control) months (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.61-1.21, p = 0.38). None of the comparisons showed a signal for different PFS or OS when analyses were controlled for MGMT promoter methylation or treatment group (TMZ/RT → TMZ vs. RT + CIL + TMZ → TMZ + CIL). This secondary analysis of two large glioblastoma trials thus was unable to detect evidence for an association of the use of statins, ACEI or sartans with outcome in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. These data challenge the rationale for prospective studies on the possible role of these non-tumor-specific drugs within the concept of drug repurposing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-2786-8DOI Listing
May 2018

The DNA methylome of DDR genes and benefit from RT or TMZ in IDH mutant low-grade glioma treated in EORTC 22033.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 04 24;135(4):601-615. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Laboratory of Brain Tumor Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience Research Center, Lausanne University Hospital, Chemin des Boveresses 155, CLE-C306, 1066 Epalinges, Lausanne, Switzerland.

The optimal treatment for patients with low-grade glioma (LGG) WHO grade II remains controversial. Overall survival ranges from 2 to over 15 years depending on molecular and clinical factors. Hence, risk-adjusted treatments are required for optimizing outcome and quality of life. We aim at identifying mechanisms and associated molecular markers predictive for benefit from radiotherapy (RT) or temozolomide (TMZ) in LGG patients treated in the randomized phase III trial EORTC 22033. As candidate biomarkers for these genotoxic treatments, we considered the DNA methylome of 410 DNA damage response (DDR) genes. We first identified 62 functionally relevant CpG sites located in the promoters of 24 DDR genes, using the LGG data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Then we tested their association with outcome [progression-free survival (PFS)] depending on treatment in 120 LGG patients of EORTC 22033, whose tumors were mutant for isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDHmt), the molecular hallmark of LGG. The results suggested that seven CpGs of four DDR genes may be predictive for longer PFS in one of the treatment arms that comprised MGMT, MLH3, RAD21, and SMC4. Most interestingly, the two CpGs identified for MGMT are the same, previously selected for the MGMT-STP27 score that is used to determine the methylation status of the MGMT gene. This score was higher in the LGG with 1p/19q codeletion, in this and other independent LGG datasets. It was predictive for PFS in the TMZ, but not in the RT arm of EORTC 22033. The results support the hypothesis that a high score predicts benefit from TMZ treatment for patients with IDHmt LGG, regardless of the 1p/19q status. This MGMT methylation score may identify patients who benefit from first-line treatment with TMZ, to defer RT for long-term preservation of cognitive function and quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1810-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5978935PMC
April 2018

Farewell to monomodality treatment in patients with WHO lower grade glioma?

Eur J Cancer 2018 01 24;88:109-114. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

EORTC Headquarters, Brain Tumor Group, Avenue Emmanuel Mounier 83/11, 1200 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.10.019DOI Listing
January 2018

Lomustine and Bevacizumab in Progressive Glioblastoma.

N Engl J Med 2017 11;377(20):1954-1963

From the University Medical Center and German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany (W.W., M.B., F.S., I.H., A.D., M.P.); the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Brussels (T.G., V.G.), and Leuven Cancer Institute-KU Leuven, Leuven (P.M.C.) - both in Belgium; Haaglanden Medical Center, The Hague (M.T.), Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam (W.T., J.C.B., M.J.B.), and VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam (M.K.) - all in the Netherlands; the Medical Oncology Department, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Bologna-IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche, Bologna, Italy (A.A.B.); Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif (J.D.), Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpitaux Universitaires La Pitié Salpêtrière-Charles Foix, Service de Neurologie 2-Mazarin, INSERM Unité 1127, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR) 7225, Sorbonne Universités, University Pierre and Marie Curie 06 UMR S1127, and Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Paris (A.I.), Institut de Cancerologie de l'Ouest-Centre Rene Gauducheau, Saint-Herblain (M.C.), Institut Régional du Cancer Montpellier, Montpellier (M.F.), and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, Lille (E.L.R., F.D.) - all in France; and the Departments of Oncology and Neurology, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (R.S., M.W.).

Background: Bevacizumab is approved for the treatment of patients with progressive glioblastoma on the basis of uncontrolled data. Data from a phase 2 trial suggested that the addition of bevacizumab to lomustine might improve overall survival as compared with monotherapies. We sought to determine whether the combination would result in longer overall survival than lomustine alone among patients at first progression of glioblastoma.

Methods: We randomly assigned patients with progression after chemoradiation in a 2:1 ratio to receive lomustine plus bevacizumab (combination group, 288 patients) or lomustine alone (monotherapy group, 149 patients). The methylation status of the promoter of O-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) was assessed. Health-related quality of life and neurocognitive function were evaluated at baseline and every 12 weeks. The primary end point of the trial was overall survival.

Results: A total of 437 patients underwent randomization. The median number of 6-week treatment cycles was three in the combination group and one in the monotherapy group. With 329 overall survival events (75.3%), the combination therapy did not provide a survival advantage; the median overall survival was 9.1 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.1 to 10.1) in the combination group and 8.6 months (95% CI, 7.6 to 10.4) in the monotherapy group (hazard ratio for death, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.21; P=0.65). Locally assessed progression-free survival was 2.7 months longer in the combination group than in the monotherapy group: 4.2 months versus 1.5 months (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.61; P<0.001). Grade 3 to 5 adverse events occurred in 63.6% of the patients in the combination group and 38.1% of the patients in the monotherapy group. The addition of bevacizumab to lomustine affected neither health-related quality of life nor neurocognitive function. The MGMT status was prognostic.

Conclusions: Despite somewhat prolonged progression-free survival, treatment with lomustine plus bevacizumab did not confer a survival advantage over treatment with lomustine alone in patients with progressive glioblastoma. (Funded by an unrestricted educational grant from F. Hoffmann-La Roche and by the EORTC Cancer Research Fund; EORTC 26101 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01290939 ; Eudra-CT number, 2010-023218-30 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1707358DOI Listing
November 2017

Interim results from the CATNON trial (EORTC study 26053-22054) of treatment with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide for 1p/19q non-co-deleted anaplastic glioma: a phase 3, randomised, open-label intergroup study.

Lancet 2017 Oct 8;390(10103):1645-1653. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Department of Pathology, Brain Tumour Centre at Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Background: The role of temozolomide chemotherapy in newly diagnosed 1p/19q non-co-deleted anaplastic gliomas, which are associated with lower sensitivity to chemotherapy and worse prognosis than 1p/19q co-deleted tumours, is unclear. We assessed the use of radiotherapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide in adults with non-co-deleted anaplastic gliomas.

Methods: This was a phase 3, randomised, open-label study with a 2 × 2 factorial design. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older and had newly diagnosed non-co-deleted anaplastic glioma with WHO performance status scores of 0-2. The randomisation schedule was generated with the electronic EORTC web-based ORTA system. Patients were assigned in equal numbers (1:1:1:1), using the minimisation technique, to receive radiotherapy (59·4 Gy in 33 fractions of 1·8 Gy) alone or with adjuvant temozolomide (12 4-week cycles of 150-200 mg/m temozolomide given on days 1-5); or to receive radiotherapy with concurrent temozolomide 75 mg/m per day, with or without adjuvant temozolomide. The primary endpoint was overall survival adjusted for performance status score, age, 1p loss of heterozygosity, presence of oligodendroglial elements, and MGMT promoter methylation status, analysed by intention to treat. We did a planned interim analysis after 219 (41%) deaths had occurred to test the null hypothesis of no efficacy (threshold for rejection p<0·0084). This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00626990.

Findings: At the time of the interim analysis, 745 (99%) of the planned 748 patients had been enrolled. The hazard ratio for overall survival with use of adjuvant temozolomide was 0·65 (99·145% CI 0·45-0·93). Overall survival at 5 years was 55·9% (95% CI 47·2-63·8) with and 44·1% (36·3-51·6) without adjuvant temozolomide. Grade 3-4 adverse events were seen in 8-12% of 549 patients assigned temozolomide, and were mainly haematological and reversible.

Interpretation: Adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy was associated with a significant survival benefit in patients with newly diagnosed non-co-deleted anaplastic glioma. Further analysis of the role of concurrent temozolomide treatment and molecular factors is needed.

Funding: Schering Plough and MSD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31442-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806535PMC
October 2017

Is more better? The impact of extended adjuvant temozolomide in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a secondary analysis of EORTC and NRG Oncology/RTOG.

Neuro Oncol 2017 Aug;19(8):1119-1126

Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv University; European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Brussels (EORTC); National Institutes of Health (M.R.M.); University of Alabama at Birmingham; Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto; Lausanne University Hospital; NRG Oncology Statistics and Data Management Center; Odette Cancer Centre and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto; Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine; Edinburgh Cancer Centre; Mayo Clinic; Robert-Janker Clinic at the University of Bonn Medical Centre, and MAASTRO clinic, GROW School for Oncology, Maastricht University Medical Centre; Miami Cancer Institute; Erasmus University Hospital; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; University of Zurich.

Background: Radiation with concurrent and adjuvant (6 cycles) temozolomide (TMZ) is the established standard of postsurgical care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). This regimen has been adopted with variations, including extending TMZ beyond 6 cycles. The optimal duration of maintenance therapy remains controversial.

Methods: We performed pooled analysis of individual patient data from 4 randomized trials for newly diagnosed GBM. All patients who were progression free 28 days after cycle 6 were included. The decision to continue TMZ was per local practice and standards, and at the discretion of the treating physician. Patients were grouped into those treated with 6 cycles and those who continued beyond 6 cycles. Progression-free and overall survival were compared, adjusted by age, performance status, resection extent, and MGMT methylation.

Results: A total of 2214 GBM patients were included in the 4 trials. Of these, 624 qualified for analysis 291 continued maintenance TMZ until progression or up to 12 cycles, while 333 discontinued TMZ after 6 cycles. Adjusted for prognostic factors, treatment with more than 6 cycles of TMZ was associated with a somewhat improved progression-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0.80 [0.65-0.98], P = .03), in particular for patients with methylated MGMT (n = 342, HR 0.65 [0.50-0.85], P < .01). However, overall survival was not affected by the number of TMZ cycles (HR = 0.92 [0.71-1.19], P = .52), including the MGMT methylated subgroup (HR = 0.89 [0.63-1.26], P = .51).

Conclusions: Continuing TMZ beyond 6 cycles was not shown to increase overall survival for newly diagnosed GBM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nox025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570239PMC
August 2017

Temozolomide chemotherapy versus radiotherapy in high-risk low-grade glioma (EORTC 22033-26033): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 intergroup study.

Lancet Oncol 2016 Nov 27;17(11):1521-1532. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland; University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Outcome of low-grade glioma (WHO grade II) is highly variable, reflecting molecular heterogeneity of the disease. We compared two different, single-modality treatment strategies of standard radiotherapy versus primary temozolomide chemotherapy in patients with low-grade glioma, and assessed progression-free survival outcomes and identified predictive molecular factors.

Methods: For this randomised, open-label, phase 3 intergroup study (EORTC 22033-26033), undertaken in 78 clinical centres in 19 countries, we included patients aged 18 years or older who had a low-grade (WHO grade II) glioma (astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma, or oligodendroglioma) with at least one high-risk feature (aged >40 years, progressive disease, tumour size >5 cm, tumour crossing the midline, or neurological symptoms), and without known HIV infection, chronic hepatitis B or C virus infection, or any condition that could interfere with oral drug administration. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either conformal radiotherapy (up to 50·4 Gy; 28 doses of 1·8 Gy once daily, 5 days per week for up to 6·5 weeks) or dose-dense oral temozolomide (75 mg/m once daily for 21 days, repeated every 28 days [one cycle], for a maximum of 12 cycles). Random treatment allocation was done online by a minimisation technique with prospective stratification by institution, 1p deletion (absent vs present vs undetermined), contrast enhancement (yes vs no), age (<40 vs ≥40 years), and WHO performance status (0 vs ≥1). Patients, treating physicians, and researchers were aware of the assigned intervention. A planned analysis was done after 216 progression events occurred. Our primary clinical endpoint was progression-free survival, analysed by intention-to-treat; secondary outcomes were overall survival, adverse events, neurocognitive function (will be reported separately), health-related quality of life and neurological function (reported separately), and correlative analyses of progression-free survival by molecular markers (1p/19q co-deletion, MGMT promoter methylation status, and IDH1/IDH2 mutations). This trial is closed to accrual but continuing for follow-up, and is registered at the European Trials Registry, EudraCT 2004-002714-11, and at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00182819.

Findings: Between Sept 23, 2005, and March 26, 2010, 707 patients were registered for the study. Between Dec 6, 2005, and Dec 21, 2012, we randomly assigned 477 patients to receive either radiotherapy (n=240) or temozolomide chemotherapy (n=237). At a median follow-up of 48 months (IQR 31-56), median progression-free survival was 39 months (95% CI 35-44) in the temozolomide group and 46 months (40-56) in the radiotherapy group (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1·16, 95% CI 0·9-1·5, p=0·22). Median overall survival has not been reached. Exploratory analyses in 318 molecularly-defined patients confirmed the significantly different prognosis for progression-free survival in the three recently defined molecular low-grade glioma subgroups (IDHmt, with or without 1p/19q co-deletion [IDHmt/codel], or IDH wild type [IDHwt]; p=0·013). Patients with IDHmt/non-codel tumours treated with radiotherapy had a longer progression-free survival than those treated with temozolomide (HR 1·86 [95% CI 1·21-2·87], log-rank p=0·0043), whereas there were no significant treatment-dependent differences in progression-free survival for patients with IDHmt/codel and IDHwt tumours. Grade 3-4 haematological adverse events occurred in 32 (14%) of 236 patients treated with temozolomide and in one (<1%) of 228 patients treated with radiotherapy, and grade 3-4 infections occurred in eight (3%) of 236 patients treated with temozolomide and in two (1%) of 228 patients treated with radiotherapy. Moderate to severe fatigue was recorded in eight (3%) patients in the radiotherapy group (grade 2) and 16 (7%) in the temozolomide group. 119 (25%) of all 477 patients had died at database lock. Four patients died due to treatment-related causes: two in the temozolomide group and two in the radiotherapy group.

Interpretation: Overall, there was no significant difference in progression-free survival in patients with low-grade glioma when treated with either radiotherapy alone or temozolomide chemotherapy alone. Further data maturation is needed for overall survival analyses and evaluation of the full predictive effects of different molecular subtypes for future individualised treatment choices.

Funding: Merck Sharpe & Dohme-Merck & Co, Canadian Cancer Society, Swiss Cancer League, UK National Institutes of Health, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, US National Cancer Institute, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Cancer Research Fund.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30313-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5124485PMC
November 2016