Publications by authors named "Umberto Basso"

132 Publications

Prognostic Stratification of Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients Treated With Abiraterone and Enzalutamide Through an Integrated Analysis of Circulating Free microRNAs and Clinical Parameters.

Front Oncol 2021 16;11:626104. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Oncology 1 Unit, Department of Oncology, Veneto Institute of Oncology IOV - IRCCS, Padua, Italy.

Androgen Receptor-Targeted Agents (ARTA) have dramatically changed the therapeutic landscape of metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC), but 20-40% of these patients progress early after start of ARTA treatment. The present study investigated the potential utility of plasma cell-free microRNAs (cfmiRNAs) as prognostic markers by analyzing a prospective cohort of 31 mCRCP patients treated with abiraterone ( = 10) or enzalutamide ( = 21). Additional potential prognostic factors were extracted from clinical records and outcome was evaluated as overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). cfmiRNAs were measured in plasma samples using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Linear correlation among clinical factors and cfmiRNAs was assessed using the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. The association with survival was studied using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Continuous variables were dichotomized with the cut points corresponding to the most significant relation with the outcome. Univariate analysis indicated that plasma levels of miR-21-5p, miR-141-3p and miR-223-3p, time to development of castration-resistance (tCRPC), and blood hemoglobin (Hb) levels strongly correlated with both PFS and OS. Multivariate analysis revealed that low plasma levels of miR-21, shorter tCRPC, and lower Hb values were independent factors predicting reduced PFS and OS. These findings suggest that the integrated analysis of cfmiRNAs, tCRPC, and Hb may provide a promising, non-invasive tool for the prognostic stratification of mCRPC patients treated with ARTA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.626104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8009625PMC
March 2021

Nivolumab plus Cabozantinib versus Sunitinib for Advanced Renal-Cell Carcinoma.

N Engl J Med 2021 03;384(9):829-841

From the Department of Medical Oncology, Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston (T.K.C.); the Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Free National Health Service Trust, London (T.P.); the Bradford Hill Clinical Research Center, Santiago, Chile (M.B.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France (B.E.); the Department of Hemato-Oncology, Urologic Oncology Clinic, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City (M.T.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Centro Universitario contra el Cáncer, Hospital Universitario "Dr. José Eleuterio González," Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Nuevo León (V.M.O.J.), and the Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital H+ Querétaro, Querétaro (J.P.F.) - all in Mexico; the Department of Outpatient Chemotherapy, Professor Franciszek Lukaszczyk Oncology Center, Bydgoszcz (B.Z.), and the Department of Clinical Oncology and Hematology, Regional Specialist Hospital, Biała Podlaska (J. Żołnierek) - both in Poland; the Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (J.J.H.); Oncology Unit 1, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padua (U.B.), the Department of Medical Oncology, Ospedale San Donato, Istituto Toscano i, Arezzo (A.H.), the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia (C.P.), and the University of Bari "A. Moro," Bari (C.P.) - all in Italy; the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (A.Y.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, Barcelona (C.S.); the Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, QLD (J.C.G.), and Cabrini Monash University Department of Medical Oncology, Cabrini Health, Malvern, VIC (D.P.) - both in Australia; the Oncology Research Center, Hospital São Lucas, Porto Alegre, Brazil (C.B.); Fundacion Richardet Longo, Instituto Oncologico de Cordoba, Cordoba (M.R.), and Instituto Multidisciplinario de Oncología, Clínica Viedma, Viedma (R.K.) - both in Argentina; the Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora (E.R.K.); the Departments of Urology and Molecular Oncology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata (Y.T.), and the Department of Urology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo (R.M.) - both in Japan; the Department of Urology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany (J.B.); the Departments of Clinical Research (J. Zhang.), Clinical Oncology (M.A.M.), Biostatistics (B.S.), and Health Economics and Outcomes Research (F.E.), Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ; the Department of Clinical Oncology, Exelixis, Alameda, CA (G.M.S.); the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (A.B.A.); and the Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York (R.J.M.).

Background: The efficacy and safety of nivolumab plus cabozantinib as compared with those of sunitinib in the treatment of previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma are not known.

Methods: In this phase 3, randomized, open-label trial, we randomly assigned adults with previously untreated clear-cell, advanced renal-cell carcinoma to receive either nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks) plus cabozantinib (40 mg once daily) or sunitinib (50 mg once daily for 4 weeks of each 6-week cycle). The primary end point was progression-free survival, as determined by blinded independent central review. Secondary end points included overall survival, objective response as determined by independent review, and safety. Health-related quality of life was an exploratory end point.

Results: Overall, 651 patients were assigned to receive nivolumab plus cabozantinib (323 patients) or sunitinib (328 patients). At a median follow-up of 18.1 months for overall survival, the median progression-free survival was 16.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.5 to 24.9) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 8.3 months (95% CI, 7.0 to 9.7) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.64; P<0.001). The probability of overall survival at 12 months was 85.7% (95% CI, 81.3 to 89.1) with nivolumab plus cabozantinib and 75.6% (95% CI, 70.5 to 80.0) with sunitinib (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 98.89% CI, 0.40 to 0.89; P = 0.001). An objective response occurred in 55.7% of the patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 27.1% of those receiving sunitinib (P<0.001). Efficacy benefits with nivolumab plus cabozantinib were consistent across subgroups. Adverse events of any cause of grade 3 or higher occurred in 75.3% of the 320 patients receiving nivolumab plus cabozantinib and in 70.6% of the 320 patients receiving sunitinib. Overall, 19.7% of the patients in the combination group discontinued at least one of the trial drugs owing to adverse events, and 5.6% discontinued both. Patients reported better health-related quality of life with nivolumab plus cabozantinib than with sunitinib.

Conclusions: Nivolumab plus cabozantinib had significant benefits over sunitinib with respect to progression-free survival, overall survival, and likelihood of response in patients with previously untreated advanced renal-cell carcinoma. (Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb and others; CheckMate 9ER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03141177.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2026982DOI Listing
March 2021

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

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

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

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

An Italian, multicenter, real-world, retrospective study of first-line pazopanib in unselected metastatic renal-cell carcinoma patients: the 'Pamerit' study.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar;51(3):484-491

Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, and Division of Translational Oncology, IRCCS Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, Pavia, Italy.

Objective: Despite the current immunotherapy era, VEGFR inhibitors maintain effectiveness in metastatic renal cell cancer. Real-world data concerning pazopanib are limited. The aim of this study is to add information about efficacy and safety of pazopanib as first-line treatment in metastatic renal cell cancer patients not enrolled into clinical trials.

Methods: Retrospective analysis (the PAMERIT study) of first-line pazopanib in real-world metastatic renal cell cancer patients among 39 Centers in Italy. Outcomes were progression-free survival, overall survival, objective response rate and treatment-related adverse events. Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank test and multivariable Cox's models were used and adjusted for age, histology, previous renal surgery, International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium score and pazopanib initial dose.

Results: Among 474 patients, 87.3% had clear cell metastatic renal cell cancer histology. Most of them (84.6%) had upfront renal surgery. Median progression-free survival and overall survival were 15.8 and 34.4 months, respectively, significantly correlating with International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium's good prognosis (P < 0.001), ECOG PS 0 (P < 0.001), age (<75 years, P = 0.005), surgery (P < 0.001) and response to pazopanib (P < 0.001). After 3 months of pazopanib, overall disease control rate have been observed in 76.6% patients. Among International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium's favorable group patients, 57/121 (47%) showed complete/partial response. No unexpected AEs emerged.

Conclusions: In this real-world study, metastatic renal cell cancer patients treated with first-line pazopanib reached greater progression-free survival and overall survival than in pivotal studies and had high response rates when belonging to International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium's favorable group, without new toxicities. Pazopanib has been confirmed a valid first-line option for International Metastatic RCC Database Consortium's good prognosis metastatic renal cell cancer patients who cannot be submitted to immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyaa193DOI Listing
March 2021

To Transplant or Not to Transplant During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic? That Is the Question.

Oncologist 2021 02 23;26(2):e336-e337. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Oncology, Medical Oncology Unit 1, Veneto Institute of Oncology (IOV), Istituto Ricerca Cura Carattere Scientifico, Padua, Italy.

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 has grown to be a global public health emergency. The rapid spread of the infection has raised many questions in the oncohematological scientific community regarding the appropriateness of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). We here report two cases of patients who received ASCT at our Institute during the epidemic in Italy, affected with Hodgkin lymphoma and germ cell tumor, respectively. The two patients underwent a nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on hospital admittance and during the period of bone marrow aplasia. They were attended to exclusively by dedicated health care staff who followed specifically implemented protocols for bedside nursing and care. They completed the procedure without unexpected side effect. Our experience demonstrates how ASCT can be performed safely if procedures are reorganized ad hoc to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675713PMC
February 2021

Comprehensive geriatric assessment is an independent prognostic factor in older patients with metastatic renal cell cancer treated with first-line Sunitinib or Pazopanib: a single center experience.

J Geriatr Oncol 2021 Mar 21;12(2):290-297. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Medical Oncology 1 Unit, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV IRCCS, Padova, Italy.

Background: There is poor data on the prognostic role of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) in older patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated with first line Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs).

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical charts of mRCC patients older than 70 years treated at our Institute with first-line Sunitinib or Pazopanib for at least 6 months. Every patient received a CGA at baseline and was identified as fit, vulnerable or frail according to Balducci's Criteria. We then assessed the impact of CGA category on survival, disease control and tolerability of TKIs.

Results: We identified 86 eligible patients. Median age: 74.5 years, 56% males; 45.4% were fit, 37.2% vulnerable and 17.4% frail at CGA. There were no significant differences in the rate of Grade (G)1-2 and G3-4 toxicities, dose reduction rates, PFS and OS between Sunitinib and Pazopanib. Fit, vulnerable and frail patients achieved significantly different median PFS (18.9 vs 11.2 vs 5.1 months; p < 0.001) and OS (35.5 vs 14.6 vs 10.9 months; p < 0.001). Patients categorized as fit had higher chance of receiving a second-line treatment (66.6% vs 28.9% in vulnerable/frail; p = 0.002). The incidence of G3/4 events was significantly lower in the fit subgroup (19% vs 45% in vulnerable/frail; p = 0.0025).

Conclusions: In our retrospective single-center experience, CGA could accurately discriminate patients with higher risk of experiencing G3/4 toxicities, shorter PFS, and lower chance of receiving a second line treatment. CGA strongly impacted on OS, independently from International mRCC Database Consortium (IMDC) classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2020.09.009DOI Listing
March 2021

Fatal hyperprogression induced by nivolumab in metastatic renal cell carcinoma with sarcomatoid features: a case report.

Anticancer Drugs 2021 02;32(2):222-225

Oncology Unit 1, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV IRCCS, Padua.

In the past few years, the immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) nivolumab has become standard of care in the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) progressing after antiangiogenic agents. To date, neither expression of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) nor any other biomarker can be used to predict responses to ICIs, although intermediate-poor International Metastatic Database of Renal Carcinoma (IMDC) risk patients and those with sarcomatoid tumors appear to achieve superior benefit from immunotherapy. Paradoxically, ICIs may sometimes increase the speed of tumor growth. This rare phenomenon, called hyperprogression, has first been described in patients with melanoma and lung cancer treated with ICIs and is associated with poor survival. Here, we present the case of a patient affected by an intermediate IMDC risk mRCC with diffuse sarcomatoid features who achieved long disease control with first-line sunitinib and then started a second-line treatment with nivolumab. Unexpectedly, he experienced a dramatic acceleration of tumor growth and died soon after the third infusion of nivolumab. Then, we review the frequency of hyperprogression in mRCC and discuss the biological peculiarity of sarcomatoid RCC in terms of different responses to ICIs and antiangiogenic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CAD.0000000000000991DOI Listing
February 2021

A simple method for detecting oncofetal chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans in bladder cancer urine.

Cell Death Discov 2020 27;6:65. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada.

Proteoglycans in bladder tumors are modified with a distinct oncofetal chondroitin sulfate (ofCS) glycosaminoglycan that is normally restricted to placental trophoblast cells. This ofCS-modification can be detected in bladder tumors by the malarial VAR2CSA protein, which in malaria pathogenesis mediates adherence of parasite-infected erythrocytes within the placenta. In bladder cancer, proteoglycans are constantly shed into the urine, and therefore have the potential to be used for detection of disease. In this study we investigated whether recombinant VAR2CSA (rVAR2) protein could be used to detect ofCS-modified proteoglycans (ofCSPGs) in the urine of bladder cancer patients as an indication of disease presence. We show that ofCSPGs in bladder cancer urine can be immobilized on cationic nitrocellulose membranes and subsequently probed for ofCS content by rVAR2 protein in a custom-made dot-blot assay. Patients with high-grade bladder tumors displayed a marked increase in urinary ofCSPGs as compared to healthy individuals. Urine ofCSPGs decreased significantly after complete tumor resection compared to matched urine collected preoperatively from patients with bladder cancer. Moreover, ofCSPGs in urine correlated with tumor size of bladder cancer patients. These findings demonstrate that rVAR2 can be utilized in a simple biochemical assay to detect cancer-specific ofCS-modifications in the urine of bladder cancer patients, which may be further developed as a noninvasive approach to detect and monitor the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41420-020-00304-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385127PMC
July 2020

Management of Germ Cell Tumors During the Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus Disease-19 Pandemic: A Survey of International Expertise Centers.

Oncologist 2020 10 18;25(10):e1509-e1515. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples "Federico II,", Naples, Italy.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a public health emergency affecting frail populations, including patients with cancer. This poses the question of whether cancer treatments can be postponed or modified without compromising their efficacy, especially for highly curable cancers such as germ cell tumors (GCTs).

Materials And Methods: To depict the state-of-the-art management of GCTs during the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey including 26 questions was circulated by e-mail among the physicians belonging to three cooperative groups: (a) Italian Germ Cell Cancer Group; (b) European Reference Network-Rare Adult Solid Cancers, Domain G3 (rare male genitourinary cancers); and (c) Genitourinary Medical Oncologists of Canada. Percentages of agreement between Italian respondents (I) versus Canadian respondents (C), I versus European respondents (E), and E versus C were compared by using Fisher's exact tests for dichotomous answers and chi square test for trends for the questions with three or more options.

Results: Fifty-three GCT experts responded to the survey: 20 Italian, 6 in other European countries, and 27 from Canada. Telemedicine was broadly used; there was high consensus to interrupt chemotherapy in COVID-19-positive patients (I = 75%, C = 55%, and E = 83.3%) and for use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor primary prophylaxis for neutropenia (I = 65%, C = 62.9%, and E = 50%). The main differences emerged regarding the management of stage I and stage IIA disease, likely because of cultural and geographical differences.

Conclusion: Our study highlights the common efforts of GCT experts in Europe and Canada to maintain high standards of treatment for patients with GCT with few changes in their management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Implications For Practice: Despite the chaos, disruptions, and fears fomented by the COVID-19 illness, oncology care teams in Italy, other European countries, and Canada are delivering the enormous promise of curative management strategies for patients with testicular cancer and other germ cell tumors. At the same time, these teams are applying safe and innovative solutions and sharing best practices to minimize frequency and intensity of patient contacts with thinly stretched health care capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2020-0420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543332PMC
October 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adherence to abiraterone or enzalutamide in elderly metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Support Care Cancer 2020 Oct 20;28(10):4687-4695. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Cannizzaro Hospital, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

Purpose: To evaluate adherence to abiraterone or enzalutamide for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Methods: In an observational prospective cohort study, we monitored patients with mCRPC for their adherence to abiraterone or enzalutamide in the pre- or post-chemotherapy setting.

Results: Fifty-eight patients with median age of 76 years (range 56-94), age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity score of 10 (range, 4-15), and geriatric G8 score of 14 (range, 6-17) were enrolled. Twenty-two (38%) patients were treated with abiraterone and 36 (62%) with enzalutamide, while forty-two (72%) were in the pre-chemotherapy setting. Forty-seven patients (81%) had a caregiver. Based on the pill counting, a non-adherence rate of 4.8% and 6.2% was observed for the whole period and the first 3 months, respectively, without a statistically significant difference between abiraterone and enzalutamide cohorts. A lower non-adherence rate (1.3%) was reported by patients during the whole period, mainly due to a misperception (77%) and forgetfulness (19%). Non-adherence rate to the fulfilling of the clinical diary was 38% for the whole period. Non-adherence in the whole period was related to the radiological response (p = 0.03) and geriatric G8 score (p = 0.005). By the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve based on the radiological response, non-adherence cut-off was 1.87% (p = 0.04). By this non-adherence cut-off, the G8 cut-off was 14.75 (p = 0.0003).

Conclusion: Non-adherence to abiraterone or enzalutamide for mCRPC may have an impact on disease response and be related to patients' frailty, suggesting their geriatric assessment and clinical interventions to monitor and increase their adherence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05311-5DOI Listing
October 2020

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

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

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

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

Targeted therapies for advanced bladder cancer: new strategies with FGFR inhibitors.

Ther Adv Med Oncol 2019 25;11:1758835919890285. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Department of Medical Oncology, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Via Maroncelli 40, Meldola, 47014, Italy.

Inhibitors of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) represent an outstanding treatment approach for selected patients with urothelial cancer (UC). These agents are changing the clinical approach to a subgroup of UC, the luminal-papillary subtype, characterized by FGFR mutations, fusions, or amplification. In this review, we provide an overview of the results of recent clinical trials on FGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) currently in clinical development for the treatment of UC: erdafitinib, rogaratinib, infigratinib, and the monoclonal antibody vofatamab. The Food and Drug Administration recently granted accelerated approval to erdafitinib for patients with advanced UC with alterations of FGFR2 or FGFR3 after progression on platinum-based chemotherapy. We also look at future therapeutic options of combination regimens with immune-checkpoint inhibitors as strategies for improving the antitumor effects of this class of drug, and for preventing or delaying the development of resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1758835919890285DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6878604PMC
November 2019

Clinical progression is associated with poor prognosis whatever the treatment line in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer: The CATS international database.

Eur J Cancer 2020 01 29;125:153-163. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

European Georges Pompidou Hospital, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Aim Of The Study: Our goal was to evaluate the impact of progression type (prostate-specific antigen [PSA] only, radiological or clinical) at initiation of first-, second- and third life-extending therapy (LET) on treatment outcomes in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients, by performing a post-hoc analysis using data from the CATS international registry.

Methods: The 669 consecutive mCRPC patients of the CATS registry were classified according to their type of progression at initiation of each LET: PSA only (PSA-p), radiological (±PSA) (Radio-p); or clinical (±PSA, ±radiological) progression (Clin-p). Overall survival (OS), the primary endpoint, was calculated from initiation of the first-, second- and third-LET to death for each sequence.

Results: Median OS was shorter in the Clin-p group compared with the PSA-p group (14-month difference in first line; around 7-month difference in second- and third line). Shorter progression-free survival (PFS) was also observed in Clin-p patients, whatever the treatment is. Clinical progression seemed to be associated with a shorter duration of therapy with androgen receptor-targeted therapy (ART) compared with taxanes.

Conclusions: Clinical progression at initiation of a LET is associated with poor outcomes including shorter PFS and OS as well as clinical and biological features of aggressive disease. Stratifying patients in clinical trials according to disease progression type may prevent selection bias and data heterogeneity. In daily practice, first signs of clinical progression may prompt physicians to consider starting a new LET, independently of PSA levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.10.030DOI Listing
January 2020

Immunotherapy and urothelial carcinoma: An overview and future prospectives.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2019 Nov 26;143:46-55. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Medical Oncology 1 Unit, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV IRCSS, Padua, Italy.

Background: Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is a common malignancy with a high mortality rate when metastatic. Traditionally, systemic therapy consisted in platinum-based regimens as first-line, with Taxanes or Vinflunine as further lines. Recently, checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) immunotherapy has emerged as a new therapeutic option.

Methods: We searched in Medline, Pubmed and ClinicalTrial.gov databases for the relevant literature, reviewing the results of published trials and the design of ongoing studies involving CPIs in UC.

Result: Strong evidence supports the use of CPIs after failure of Cisplatin-based chemotherapy, although no predictive parameter is available so far. Expression of Programmed-Death-1-Ligand has given conflicting results, and is currently indicated only for the selection of Cisplatin-ineligible patients who should receive CPIs.

Conclusion: The therapeutic landscape of UC is rapidly changing due to the availability of CPIs. Neoadjuvant trials with CPIs and trials combining two CPIs are promising and will further expand the use of immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2019.08.005DOI Listing
November 2019

Second line therapy with axitinib after only prior sunitinib in metastatic renal cell cancer: Italian multicenter real world SAX study final results.

J Transl Med 2019 08 29;17(1):296. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Division of Medical Oncology, AORN Dei Colli "Ospedali Monaldi-Cotugno-CTO", Napoli, Italy.

Background: This multi-institutional retrospective real life study was conducted in 22 Italian Oncology Centers and evaluated the role of Axitinib in second line treatment in not selected mRCC patients.

Methods: 148 mRCC patients were evaluated. According to Heng score 15.5%, 60.1% and 24.4% of patients were at poor risk, intermediate and favorable risk, respectively.

Results: PFS, OS, DCR and ORR were 7.14 months, 15.5 months, 70.6% and 16.6%, respectively. The duration of prior sunitinib treatment correlated with a longer significant mPFS, 8.8 vs 6.3 months, respectively. Axitinib therapy was safe, without grade 4 adverse events. The most frequent toxicities of all grades were: fatigue (50%), hypertension (26%), and hypothyroidism (18%). G3 blood pressure elevation significantly correlated with longer mPFS and mOS compared to G1-G2 or no toxicity. Dose titration (DT) to 7 mg and 10 mg bid was feasible in 24% with no statistically significant differences in mPFS and mOS. The sunitinib-axitinib sequence was safe and effective, the mOS was 41.15 months. At multivariate analysis, gender, DCR to axitinib and to previous sunitinib correlated significantly with PFS; whereas DCR to axitinib, nephrectomy and Heng score independently affected overall survival.

Conclusions: Axitinib was effective and safe in a not selected real life mRCC population. Trial registration INT - Napoli - 11/16 oss. Registered 20 April 2016. http://www.istitutotumori.na.it.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-019-2047-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6716812PMC
August 2019

Trabectedin Drug Holiday and Rechallenge in Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Report of 4 Cases and Literature Review.

Front Oncol 2019 9;9:553. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Medical Oncology 1 Unit, Department of Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IOV IRCCS, Padova, Italy.

Soft tissue sarcomas are rare neoplasms, with a high mortality rate. Few drugs are available for the treatment of patients affected by metastatic sarcomas, who still have a 5-years survival rate lower than 20%. However, some of the more recent therapies can obtain long lasting responses in a portion of patients, such as Trabectedin. We analyzed four such cases treated at our Institute after progression to an anthracycline based regimen. In each case a therapeutic pause was proposed after at least 6 months of therapy with Trabectedin and in three out of four patients a re-challenge was proposed at progression, achieving again disease control or response. In two cases oligo-progressive sites were treated with localized therapies as stereotactic radiotherapy, delaying the systemic treatment re-start. In this article the reports of the patients involved are presented with a concise review of the relevant literature. Our findings support the favorable safety profile of Trabectedin and the feasibility of drug holidays, which should be at least discussed with the patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00553DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6629888PMC
July 2019

Plasma AR status and cabazitaxel in heavily treated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2019 07 11;116:158-168. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per Io Studio e La Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy.

Background: Plasma androgen receptor (AR) copy number status has been identified as a potential biomarker of response in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) receiving docetaxel or the AR-targeted therapies abiraterone or enzalutamide. However, the relevance of plasma AR status in the context of cabazitaxel therapy is unknown.

Patients And Methods: Between September 2011 and January 2018, pretherapy plasma samples were collected from 155 patients treated with second- or third-line cabazitaxel at standard or reduced dose in different biomarker protocols. Droplet digital polymerase chain reaction was used to identify plasma AR gain and normal samples. The primary objective was to evaluate associations of plasma AR status with treatment outcome. In an exploratory analysis, a comparison between plasma AR and treatment type was investigated by incorporating updated data from our prior study of 85 post-docetaxel patients receiving abiraterone or enzalutamide.

Results: We observed a shorter median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) in AR-gained compared to AR-normal patients (OS 10.5 versus 14.1 months, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.98-2.13, P = 0.064 and PFS 4.0 versus 5.0 months, HR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.05-2.07, P = 0.024). In patients with mCRPC receiving second-line therapies, a significant treatment interaction was observed between plasma AR and cabazitaxel versus AR-directed therapies for OS (P = 0.041) but not PFS (P = 0.244). In an exploratory analysis, AR-gained patients treated with initial reduced dose of cabazitaxel had a significantly shorter median OS (7.3 versus 11.5 months, HR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.13-3.38, P = 0.016) and PFS (2.7 versus 5.0 months, HR = 2.27, 95% CI 1.39-3.71, P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Plasma AR status has a potential clinical utility in patients being considered for cabazitaxel. Validation of these findings in prospective trials is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2019.05.007DOI Listing
July 2019

Sequencing of Taxanes and New Androgen-targeted Therapies in Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer: Results of the International Multicentre Retrospective CATS Database.

Eur Urol Oncol 2018 12 8;1(6):467-475. Epub 2018 Jun 8.

European Georges Pompidou Hospital, Paris, France. Electronic address:

Background: The optimal sequence of life-extending therapies in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) is unknown.

Objective: To evaluate outcomes among mCRPC patients treated with docetaxel (DOC), cabazitaxel (CABA), and a novel androgen receptor-targeted agent (ART; abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide) according to three different sequences.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Data from 669 consecutive mCRPC patients were retrospectively collected between November 2012 and October 2016.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The primary endpoint was the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response (decrease ≥50% from baseline) to each therapy. Secondary endpoints included best clinical benefit, time to PSA progression, radiological progression-free survival (rPFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity.

Results And Limitations: A total of 158 patients received DOC→CABA→ART (group 1), 456 received DOC→ART→CABA (group 2), and 55 received ART→DOC→CABA (group 3). At baseline, PSA progression only and Gleason <8 were more common in group 3. PSA response on DOC was lower in group 3 than in other groups (p=0.02) and PSA response on CABA was higher in the second than in the third line (p=0.001). In Group 3, rPFS on ART (6.6 mo) and DOC (9.2 mo) was also shorter than in the other groups. OS calculated from the first life-extending therapy reached 34.8, 35.8, and 28.9 mo in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively (p=0.007). Toxicity was comparable between the arms. The main limitations of the trial are its retrospective design and the low number of patients in group 3.

Conclusions: In this retrospective trial, sequencing of DOC, CABA, and one ART, was associated with median OS of up to 35.8 mo. CABA seemed to retain its activity regardless of treatment sequence. DOC activity after ART appeared to be reduced, but the data are insufficient to conclude that cross-resistance occurs.

Patient Summary: The order of drugs administered to patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer could impact their efficacy, with cabazitaxel appearing to retain its activity whatever the therapeutic sequence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.05.009DOI Listing
December 2018

Nivolumab Alone and With Ipilimumab in Previously Treated Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma: CheckMate 032 Nivolumab 1 mg/kg Plus Ipilimumab 3 mg/kg Expansion Cohort Results.

J Clin Oncol 2019 07 17;37(19):1608-1616. Epub 2019 May 17.

14 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: CheckMate 032 is an open-label, multicohort study that includes patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) treated with nivolumab 3 mg/kg monotherapy every 2 weeks (NIVO3), nivolumab 3 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 1 mg/kg every 3 weeks for four doses followed by nivolumab monotherapy 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks (NIVO3+IPI1), or nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for four doses followed by nivolumab monotherapy 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks (NIVO1+IPI3). We report on the expanded NIVO1+IPI3 cohort and extended follow-up for the NIVO3 and NIVO3+IPI1 cohorts.

Methods: Patients with platinum-pretreated mUC were enrolled in this phase I/II multicenter study to receive NIVO3, NIVO3+IPI1, or NIVO1+IPI3 until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Primary end point was investigator-assessed objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1, including duration of response.

Results: Seventy-eight patients were treated with NIVO3 (minimum follow-up, 37.7 months), 104 with NIVO3+IPI1 (minimum follow-up, 38.8 months), and 92 with NIVO1+IPI3 (minimum follow-up, 7.9 months). Objective response rate was 25.6%, 26.9%, and 38.0% in the NIVO3, NIVO3+IPI1, and NIVO1+IPI3 arms, respectively. Median duration of response was more than 22 months in all arms. Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 21 (26.9%), 32 (30.8%), and 36 (39.1%) patients treated with NIVO3, NIVO3+IPI1, and NIVO1+IPI3, respectively. Grade 5 treatment-related pneumonitis occurred in one patient each in the NIVO3 and NIVO3+IPI1 arms.

Conclusion: With longer follow-up, NIVO3 demonstrated sustained antitumor activity alone and in combination with ipilimumab. NIVO1+IPI3 provided the greatest antitumor activity of all regimens, with a manageable safety profile. This result not only supports additional study of NIVO1+IPI3 in mUC, but demonstrates the potential benefit of immunotherapy combinations in this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6879315PMC
July 2019

Recommendations for surveillance and follow-up of men with testicular germ cell tumors: a multidisciplinary consensus conference by the Italian Germ cell cancer Group and the Associazione Italiana di Oncologia Medica.

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 2019 May 20;137:154-164. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

IGG Italian Germ cell cancer Group, Italy; AIOM - Associazione Italiana di Oncologia Medica, Italy.

Background: No compelling evidence is available about surveillance and follow-up of patients with testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT).

Methods: In the light of the best clinical evidence, the Italian Germ cell cancer Group (IGG) and the Associazione Italiana di Oncologia Medica (AIOM) set up a multidisciplinary national consensus conference, involving 42 leading experts and 3 TGCT survivors. A minimum of 50% of votes was required in order to achieve a consensus recommendation on 29 questions.

Results: Recommendations have been summarized in three tables, divided by stage I seminoma, stage I nonseminoma and the advanced disease, which may be useful for clinicians to appropriately choose the clinical investigation and its timing during the surveillance and follow-up of TGCT patients based on an accurate estimation of their risk of disease relapse.

Conclusions: The IGG-AIOM consensus recommendations may help clinicians to choose appropriate clinical investigations for the surveillance and follow-up of TGCT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2019.03.006DOI Listing
May 2019

Association of Systemic Inflammation Index and Body Mass Index with Survival in Patients with Renal Cell Cancer Treated with Nivolumab.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 07 9;25(13):3839-3846. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York.

Purpose: Inflammation indexes and body mass index (BMI) are easily evaluated, predict survival, and are potentially modifiable. We evaluated the potential association of inflammatory indexes and BMI with the clinical outcome of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) undergoing immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Experimental Design: A prospective cohort of patients with metastatic RCC treated with nivolumab enrolled in the Italian Expanded Access Program from July 2015 through April 2016 was examined. Reference measures of inflammation were identified for neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR)
Results: Among 313 evaluable patients, 235 (75.1%) were male, and median age was 65 years (range, 40-84 years), with 105 (33.69%) ≥70 years. In univariate analysis, age, performance status, BMI, SII, NLR, and PLR were able to predict outcome. In multivariate analyses, SII ≥1,375, BMI <25 kg/m, and age ≥70 years independently predicted overall survival [OS; HR = 2.96, 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.05-4.27; HR = 1.59, 95% CI, 1.10-2.30; and HR = 1.65, 95% CI, 1.07-2.55, respectively). A patient with both SII ≥1,375 and BMI <25 kg/m was estimated to have much worse OS (HR, 3.37; 95% CI, 2.29-4.95; <0.0001) than a patient with neither or only one risk factor. SII changes at 3 months predicted OS ( <0.0001).

Conclusions: Normal BMI combined with inflammation tripled the risk of death, suggesting that these biomarkers are critical prognostic factors for OS in patients with RCC treated with nivolumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-3661DOI Listing
July 2019

Activity and safety of metronomic cyclophosphamide in the modern era of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Future Oncol 2019 04 19;15(10):1115-1123. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Medical Oncology Department, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, 47014 Meldola, Italy.

Aim: To evaluate activity of metronomic cyclophosphamide (mCTX) in heavily pretreated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) patients.

Patients & Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a consecutive series of 74 mCRPC patients treated with at least one new agent after docetaxel failure, who received once-daily oral mCTX treatment at a fixed dose of 50 mg.

Results: The treatment was well tolerated. Sixteen percent of the patients experienced a major biochemical response. Median progression-free survival was 4.0 months, and median overall survival was 8.1 months.

Conclusions: In the modern context of mCRPC, mCTX may represent a valuable and inexpensive alternative to new agents, which have shown similar activity in heavily pretreated patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2018-0715DOI Listing
April 2019