Publications by authors named "Vieri Scotti"

65 Publications

The NIPRO Study: An Observational, Retrospective, Multicenter Study on the Safety of the Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy Combination for Advanced-Stage NSCLC.

Clin Lung Cancer 2021 Feb 16. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

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

Introduction: In this observational, retrospective, multicenter study, we aimed to assess the safety of the combination of local metastasis-directed radiotherapy (RT) and immunotherapy (IT) in a cohort of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) patients.

Material And Methods: We collected clinical data of aNSCLC patients who received concomitant RT and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors in seven Italian centers from September 2015 to June 2019. Concomitant RT was defined as delivered ≤4 weeks before or after the first or last administration of immunotherapy, or within two consecutive cycles of ICI. All adverse events apparently related to RT and/or IT were graded according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0, and reported in terms of incidence and severity as immune related or RT related, or combined.

Results: We analyzed the clinical charts of 187 patients. Median follow-up time was 23 months, and median overall survival was 16.5 months (range, 3-162). Thirteen patients developed pure RT-related side effects, and 43 patients (23.9%) developed immune-related side effects. No additive toxic effects were observed. A case of grade 5 pulmonary toxicity was recorded as a possible consequence of a combined effect.

Conclusion: This analysis suggests that the combination of concomitant RT and anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents is safe, and the two toxicity profiles are independent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2021.02.005DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of COVID-19 on workload burden of a complex radiotherapy facility.

Radiol Med 2021 May 1;126(5):717-721. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Department of Biomedical, Experimental and Clinical Sciences "Mario Serio", University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background And Purpose: COVID-19 constitutes a worldwide threat, prompting Italian Government to implement specific measures on March 8, 2020, to protect patients and health workers from disease transmission. The impact of preventive measures on daily activity of a radiotherapy facility may hamper the ability to fulfill normal workload burden. Thus, we assessed the number of delivered treatments in a specific observation period after the adoption of preventive measures (since March 11 to April 24, 2020) and compared it with the corresponding period of the year 2019.

Materials And Methods: Overall number of delivered fractions was related to actual time of platform daily activity and reported as a ratio between number of delivered fractions and activity hours (Fr/Hrs). Fr/Hrs were calculated and compared for two different periods of time, March 11-April 24, 2019 (Fr/Hrs1), and March 11-April 24, 2020 (Fr/Hrs2).

Results: Fr/Hrs1 and Fr/Hrs2 were 2.66 and 2.54 for year 2019 and 2020, respectively, for a Fr/Hrs of 1.07 (95% CI 1.03-1.12, p = 0.0005). Fr/Hrs1 was significantly higher than Fr/Hrs2 for Sli and Precise, with Fr/Hrs of 1.92 (95% CI 1.66-2.23, p < 0.0001) and 1.11 (95% CI 1.03-1.2, p = 0.003), respectively. No significant difference was reported for Synergy and Cyberknife with Fr/Hrs of 0.99 (95% CI 0.91-1.08, p = 0.8) and 0.9 (95% CI 0.77-1.06, p = 0.2), respectively. Fr/Hrs1 was significantly lower than Fr/Hrs2 for Tomotherapy, with Fr/Hrs of 0.88 (95% CI 0.8-0.96, p = 0.007).

Conclusion: Preventive measures did not influence workload burden performed. Automation in treatment delivery seems to compensate effectively for health workers number reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-021-01338-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7917169PMC
May 2021

The role of postoperative radiotherapy for thymomas: a multicentric retrospective evaluation from three Italian centers and review of the literature.

J Thorac Dis 2020 Dec;12(12):7518-7530

Department of Radiation Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background: Thymoma is a rare mediastinal neoplasia. Surgery is the backbone of the treatment, but the role of postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) remains controversial. We aimed to obtain data on survival and safety in patients treated with PORT in three different Italian institutions.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 183 consecutive patients who underwent surgery from 1981 to 2015. According to the Masaoka-Koga staging system, 39.3%, 32.7%, 18.6% and 9.8% patients were in stage I, II, III and IV of disease, respectively. PORT was indicated in 114 patients (62.3%), while 69 subjects underwent surgery alone. Complete resection was obtained in 68 patients who underwent PORT. Adverse events (AEs) were graded according to CTCAE v4.0. We analyzed the recent literature to describe the current reports on PORT for resected thymoma.

Results: Mean follow-up was 130 months (range, 3-417 months). Overall survival (OS) at 1-, 5- and 10-year from surgery was 98.3%, 90.2% and 69.7% respectively. One-, 5- and 10-year disease specific survival (DSS) was 98.9%, 92.3% and 89.8% respectively. Disease free survival (DFS) at 1, 5 and 10 years from surgery was 96.7%, 88.3% and 82.8% respectively. Univariate analysis showed that complete resection, cell histology A-AB-B1 and stages I-II were significant predictors of better DSS and DFS. Multivariate analysis showed that sex, R0 margins and WHO histology was independent prognostic factors. Among patients treated with PORT, a trend towards better OS was evident with Masaoka stage I-II (P=0.09). Patients with R0 margins treated with PORT showed better OS and DSS (P=0.05). No differences in DSS for performance status (P=0.70), WHO histology (P=0.19), paraneoplastic syndrome (P=0.23) and surgical procedure (P=0.53) were evident. Patients treated with PORT had a higher level of acute AEs compared to surgery alone, but none of these was graded ≥3.

Conclusions: Our results confirmed that patients with incompletely resected thymoma had the worst OS and DSS. High grade acute toxicity was not different between PORT and surgery alone. Other trials reported a significant benefit in OS, DSS and DFS in stage IIb-IV thymoma treated with PORT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-2019-thym-09DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797870PMC
December 2020

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

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

UOC Oncologia, Ospedale Monaldi, Azienda Ospedaliera Specialistica dei Colli, Napoli, Italy.

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

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

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

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

Chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer patients after prior immunotherapy: The multicenter retrospective CLARITY study.

Lung Cancer 2020 12 22;150:123-131. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Oncologia Medica, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Roma, Italy.

Objectives: In the most of cases, for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who progressed to previous immune checkpoint inhibitors (CKI) administered as first- or as second-line therapy, chemotherapy (CT) remains the only viable options in the absence of "druggable" mutations. We aimed to explore the efficacy of salvage chemotherapy after immunotherapy (SCAI) in advanced NSCLC patients.

Materials And Methods: We designed a retrospective, multicenter study, involving 20 Italian centers, with the primary objective of describing the clinical outcome of advanced NSCLC patients treated with SCAI at the participating institutions from November 2013 to July 2019. The primary endpoint of the study was represented by overall survival (OS), defined as the time from CT initiation to death. Secondary outcome endpoints of the SCAI (progression free survival, PFS, objective response rate, ORR and toxicity) and explorative biomarkers (lactate dehydrogenase, LDH, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, NLR during immunotherapy) were also analyzed.

Results: In our study population of 342 NSCLC patients, SCAI obtained a median OS of 6.8 months (95 % confidence interval, CI 5.5-8.1), median PFS of 4.1 months (95 % CI 3.4-4.8) and ORR of 22.8 %. A "Post-CKI score" was constructed by combining significant predictors of OS at the multivariate analyses (sex, ECOG PS, disease control with prior immunotherapy), Harrell'C was 0.65, (95 % CI:0.59-0.71).

Conclusions: Despite the late-line settings, our findings support the hypothesis that previous immunotherapy might increase the sensitivity of the tumor to the subsequent chemotherapy. The "Post-CKI score" was clinically effective in successfully discriminating three distinct prognostic subgroups of patients after the failure of CKI, representing a possibly useful tool for the tailored decision-making process of advanced treatment-line settings in NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.10.008DOI Listing
December 2020

Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation Compared With Whole-Breast Irradiation for Early Breast Cancer: Long-Term Results of the Randomized Phase III APBI-IMRT-Florence Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 24;38(35):4175-4183. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: To report the long-term results of external-beam accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI) intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) Florence phase III trial comparing whole-breast irradiation (WBI) to APBI in early-stage breast cancer.

Patients And Methods: The primary end point was to determine the 5-year difference in ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR) between 30 Gy in 5 once-daily fractions (APBI arm) and 50 Gy in 25 fractions with a tumor bed boost (WBI arm) after breast-conserving surgery.

Results: Five hundred twenty patients, more than 90% of whom had characteristics associated with low recurrence risk, were randomly assigned (WBI, n = 260; APBI, n = 260) between 2005 and 2013. Median follow-up was 10.7 years. The 10-year cumulative incidence of IBTR was 2.5% (n = 6) in the WBI and 3.7% (n = 9) in the APBI arm (hazard ratio [HR], 1.56; 95% CI, 0.55 to 4.37; = .40). Overall survival at 10 years was 91.9% in both arms (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.50 to 1.79; = .86). Breast cancer-specific survival at 10 years was 96.7% in the WBI and 97.8% in the APBI arm (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.21 to 1.99; = .45). The APBI arm showed significantly less acute toxicity ( = .0001) and late toxicity ( = .0001) and improved cosmetic outcome as evaluated by both physician ( = .0001) and patient ( = .0001).

Conclusion: The 10-year cumulative IBTR incidence in early breast cancer treated with external APBI using IMRT technique in 5 once-daily fractions is low and not different from that after WBI. Acute and late treatment-related toxicity and cosmesis outcomes were significantly in favor of APBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00650DOI Listing
December 2020

COVID-19 in patients with thoracic malignancies (TERAVOLT): first results of an international, registry-based, cohort study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07 12;21(7):914-922. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Oncology Department, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne University, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Background: Early reports on patients with cancer and COVID-19 have suggested a high mortality rate compared with the general population. Patients with thoracic malignancies are thought to be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 given their older age, smoking habits, and pre-existing cardiopulmonary comorbidities, in addition to cancer treatments. We aimed to study the effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on patients with thoracic malignancies.

Methods: The Thoracic Cancers International COVID-19 Collaboration (TERAVOLT) registry is a multicentre observational study composed of a cross-sectional component and a longitudinal cohort component. Eligibility criteria were the presence of any thoracic cancer (non-small-cell lung cancer [NSCLC], small-cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, thymic epithelial tumours, and other pulmonary neuroendocrine neoplasms) and a COVID-19 diagnosis, either laboratory confirmed with RT-PCR, suspected with symptoms and contacts, or radiologically suspected cases with lung imaging features consistent with COVID-19 pneumonia and symptoms. Patients of any age, sex, histology, or stage were considered eligible, including those in active treatment and clinical follow-up. Clinical data were extracted from medical records of consecutive patients from Jan 1, 2020, and will be collected until the end of pandemic declared by WHO. Data on demographics, oncological history and comorbidities, COVID-19 diagnosis, and course of illness and clinical outcomes were collected. Associations between demographic or clinical characteristics and outcomes were measured with odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs using univariable and multivariable logistic regression, with sex, age, smoking status, hypertension, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease included in multivariable analysis. This is a preliminary analysis of the first 200 patients. The registry continues to accept new sites and patient data.

Findings: Between March 26 and April 12, 2020, 200 patients with COVID-19 and thoracic cancers from eight countries were identified and included in the TERAVOLT registry; median age was 68·0 years (61·8-75·0) and the majority had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1 (142 [72%] of 196 patients), were current or former smokers (159 [81%] of 196), had non-small-cell lung cancer (151 [76%] of 200), and were on therapy at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis (147 [74%] of 199), with 112 (57%) of 197 on first-line treatment. 152 (76%) patients were hospitalised and 66 (33%) died. 13 (10%) of 134 patients who met criteria for ICU admission were admitted to ICU; the remaining 121 were hospitalised, but were not admitted to ICU. Univariable analyses revealed that being older than 65 years (OR 1·88, 95% 1·00-3·62), being a current or former smoker (4·24, 1·70-12·95), receiving treatment with chemotherapy alone (2·54, 1·09-6·11), and the presence of any comorbidities (2·65, 1·09-7·46) were associated with increased risk of death. However, in multivariable analysis, only smoking history (OR 3·18, 95% CI 1·11-9·06) was associated with increased risk of death.

Interpretation: With an ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, our data suggest high mortality and low admission to intensive care in patients with thoracic cancer. Whether mortality could be reduced with treatment in intensive care remains to be determined. With improved cancer therapeutic options, access to intensive care should be discussed in a multidisciplinary setting based on cancer specific mortality and patients' preference.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30314-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292610PMC
July 2020

Re-irradiation for oligoprogression under Nivolumab in recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: A case report.

Clin Transl Radiat Oncol 2020 Jul 17;23:16-19. Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Radiation Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) represent a recently introduced class of agents active in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). For a subgroup of patients with recurrent or metastatic disease, long-term benefit can be achieved: maintaining a sustained response to immunotherapy is therefore a critical factor for its efficacy at an individual level. In analogy to targeted agents, a limited pattern of progression, or "oligoprogression", can occur. For locally recurrent HNSCC, the potential biologic interplay between the efficacy of ICIs and the design of radiation fields chosen for primary treatment is currently unknown. Here, we report on a patient who presented two subsequent oligoprogressions successfully treated with re-irradiation without interrupting Nivolumab. Both oligoprogressive lesions developed in previously unirradiated areas. We hypothesize the existence of a synergistic effect with optimal spatial cooperation between ICIs and re-irradiation for oligoprogressive disease under immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctro.2020.04.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7186263PMC
July 2020

Current radiotherapy techniques in NSCLC: challenges and potential solutions.

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 2020 05 13;20(5):387-402. Epub 2020 May 13.

Advanced Radiation Oncology Department, IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital, Negrar di Valpolicella, Italy.

: Radiotherapy is an important therapeutic strategy in the management of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In recent decades, technological implementations and the introduction of image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) have significantly increased the accuracy and tolerability of radiation therapy.: In this review, we provide an overview of technological opportunities and future prospects in NSCLC management.: Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is now considered the standard approach in patients ineligible for surgery, while in operable cases, it is still under debate. Additionally, in combination with systemic treatment, SBRT is an innovative option for managing oligometastatic patients and features encouraging initial results in clinical outcomes. To date, in inoperable locally advanced NSCLC, the radical dose prescription has not changed (60 Gy in 30 fractions), despite the median overall survival progressively increasing. These results arise from technological improvements in precisely hitting target treatment volumes and organ at risk sparing, which are associated with better treatment qualities. Finally, for the management of NSCLC, proton and carbon ion therapies and the recent development of MR-Linac are new, intriguing technological approaches under investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14737140.2020.1760094DOI Listing
May 2020

First-line pembrolizumab in advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with poor performance status.

Eur J Cancer 2020 05 25;130:155-167. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Niguarda Cancer Center, Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda, Milano, Italy; Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, Università Degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Background: Pembrolizumab is the first-line standard of care for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a PD-L1 tumour proportion score (TPS) ≥ 50%. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (PS) 2 patients may receive pembrolizumab, despite the absence of sustaining evidence.

Patients And Methods: GOIRC-2018-01 is a multicentre, retrospective, observational study. PS 2 NSCLC patients with a PD-L1 TPS ≥50% receiving first-line pembrolizumab from June 2017 to December 2018 at 21 Italian institutions were included. Clinical-pathological characteristics were correlated with disease response and survival outcomes; adverse events were recorded. The primary objective was 6-months progression-free rate (6-months PFR).

Results: One hundred fifty-three patients (median age 70 years) were enrolled. At a median follow-up of 18.2 months, median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.4 (95% confidence interval, 95% CI, 1.6-2.5) and 3.0 months (95% CI 2.4-3.5), respectively. 6-months PFR was 27% (95% CI 21-35%). Patients with a PS 2 determined by comorbidities (n = 41) had significantly better outcomes compared with disease burden-induced PS 2 (n = 112). Indeed, 6-months PFR was 49% versus 19%, median PFS 5.6 versus 1.8 months and OS 11.8 versus 2.8 months, respectively. Additional potential prognostic factors (radiotherapy, antibiotics, steroids received before pembrolizumab) correlated with clinical outcomes. The determinant of PS 2 resulted the only factor independently impacting on both PFS and OS. No toxicity issues emerged.

Conclusions: Outcomes of PS 2 NSCLC patients with PD-L1 TPS ≥50% receiving first-line pembrolizumab were globally dismal but strongly dependent on the reason conditioning the poor PS itself.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.02.023DOI Listing
May 2020

Be-TeaM: An Italian real-world observational study on second-line therapy for EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients.

Lung Cancer 2020 02 16;140:71-79. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, Viale Cappuccini, 1, 71013, San Giovanni Rotondo, FG, Italy. Electronic address:

Objectives: Molecular diagnostics and care of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are continuously evolving. Few data document the current strategies to manage advanced NSCLC patients beyond progression in clinical practice.

Patients And Methods: Be-TeaM is an Italian multi-center observational study conducted on consecutive EGFR-mutated stage IV NSCLC patients, progressed during/after a first-line EGFR-TKI. It consists of a retrospective phase, from first-line EGFR-TKI therapy start until study entry (i.e. beginning of the diagnostic process), and a prospective phase, until treatment choice or for 3 months if no therapy was prescribed. Primary objective was to describe the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches adopted after progression in a real-world setting.

Results: Of 308 patients enrolled in 63 centers from July 2017 to June 2018, 289 were included in the analysis. In first line, 53.3 % received gefitinib, 32.5 % afatinib and 14.2 % erlotinib. The testing rate (i.e. rate of all patients undergone any biopsy -liquid and/or tissue- for the T790 M detection) was 90.7 %, with liquid biopsy being the most frequently executed. Of 262 biopsied patients, 64.5 % underwent only 1 liquid biopsy, 10.7 % only 1 tissue biopsy and 18.3 % >1 biopsy, both liquid and solid in 85.4 %. The T790M positivity rate was 45.3 %; of 166 patients undergone only a liquid biopsy and tested for the mutation, 39.8 % were T790M+ and 60.2 % T790M-/undetermined. By the observation end, 87.9 % patients had a post-progression treatment chosen, osimertinib being the most frequent among the T790M+.

Conclusion: Be-TeaM provides the first snapshot of current practices for the management of NSCLC patients beyond progression in Italy; in clinical practice, assessing the T790M status is not always feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2019.12.006DOI Listing
February 2020

Immune-related adverse events correlate with clinical outcomes in NSCLC patients treated with nivolumab: The Italian NSCLC expanded access program.

Lung Cancer 2020 02 20;140:59-64. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Biostatistical Unit, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Objectives: The incidence of any and of severe-grade immune-related adverse events (irAEs) with second-line nivolumab monotherapy is 31-65 % and 2-5 % respectively. While potentially serious and even fatal, in the absence of an appropriate therapy, such events might be indicators of the activation of the immune system and, potentially, of efficacy.

Materials And Methods: We collected the records of 1959 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with nivolumab in the Italian expanded access program, and we registered the appearance of any and of severe grade irAEs. We retrospectively searched for correlations between toxicity and efficacy parameters by using Cox's regression analysis.

Results: Overall, 342 (17.8%) patients developed an irAE of any grade. We observed that patients developing irAE of any grade achieved a significantly higher response rate (RR 27.2% vs 15.2%; p < 0.0001), disease control rate (DCR 60.5% vs 40.2%; p < 0.0001), median progression-free survival (mPFS 6.0 months [95% CI 4.9-7.1] vs 3.0 [95% CI: 2.8-3.2], p < 0.0001) and median overall survival (mOS 16.7 months [95% CI: 13.5-19.9] vs 9.4 [95% CI: 8.4-10.4], p < 0.00001) compared to patients who did not. At multivariate analysis the development of an irAE remained an independent indicator of nivolumab efficacy (HR 1.44 [95% CI: 1.22-1.71] p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: This report, performed in Caucasian NSCLC patients, showed that the appearance of irAEs correlated with outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2019.12.014DOI Listing
February 2020

A rare case of non-small cell lung cancer choroidal metastasis responding to ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Anticancer Drugs 2020 01;31(1):90-94

Radiation Oncology Unit.

Choroidal localization from non-small cell lung cancer is rare and when it occurs may cause visual alterations. Targeted therapy against actionable gene mutations represents the standard of care in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. We report the case of a 53-year-old woman affected by metastatic anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-rearranged non-small cell lung cancer who received ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors, from January 2017. The patient had a complete response of choroidal metastasis after therapy with ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors. She recovered a complete visus and actually she still continue therapy with alectinib. The patient had a complete recovery of visus in addiction to a long response on treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CAD.0000000000000848DOI Listing
January 2020

Management of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the modern era: A national Italian survey on diagnosis, treatment and multidisciplinary approach.

PLoS One 2019 13;14(11):e0224027. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Radiation Therapy Unit, Department of Oncology, Careggi University Hospital, Firenze, Italy.

Concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy (cCRT) is considered the standard treatment of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC). Unfortunately, management is still heterogeneous across different specialists. A multidisciplinary approach is needed in this setting due to recent, promising results obtained by consolidative immunotherapy. The aim of this survey is to assess current LA-NSCLC management in Italy. From January to April 2018, a 15-question survey focusing on diagnostic/therapeutic LA-NSCLC management was sent to 1,478 e-mail addresses that belonged to pneumologists, thoracic surgeons, and radiation and medical oncologists. 421 answers were analyzed: 176 radiation oncologists, 86 medical oncologists, 92 pneumologists, 64 thoracic surgeons and 3 other specialists. More than a half of the respondents had been practicing for >10 years after completing residency training. Some discrepancies were observed in clinical LA-NSCLC management: the lack of a regularly planned multidisciplinary tumor board, the use of upfront surgery in multistation stage IIIA, and territorial diffusion of cCRT in unresectable LA-NSCLC. Our analysis demonstrated good compliance with international guidelines in the diagnostic workup of LA-NSCLC. We observed a relationship between high clinical experience and good clinical practice. A multidisciplinary approach is mandatory for managing LA-NSCLC.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0224027PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6853329PMC
March 2020

Is multidisciplinary management possible in the treatment of lung cancer? A report from three Italian meetings.

Radiol Med 2020 Feb 11;125(2):214-219. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Department of Oncology, Radiation Therapy Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: To report criticisms and barriers to the "real-life" application of international guidelines and recent developments in the management of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Italy.

Methods: Three 2-day courses were organized. During the first day, experts in different fields of thoracic oncology gave their lecture on diagnosis and therapy for locally advanced NSCLC. During the second day, all participants were divided into four groups to discuss on a clinical case as a multidisciplinary team (MDT). The aim was to stimulate the discussion on practical issues in the management of NSCLC patients in the real-life practice.

Results: A total of 196 physicians were involved in the courses as learners. Invasive diagnosis of nodal disease for staging purposes, a priori definition of "surgical resectability" and a regular MDT with all crucial participants available were the three main key points identified for a good management of these patients. The main barriers to the clinical application of a good diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the patient were the absence of a regular and complete MDT in the South and Centre of Italy, while in the North of Italy, time for discussion of clinical cases in the MDT and waiting lists for staging and therapeutic interventions were deemed as the major concerns.

Conclusion: The meetings showed that diagnosis and treatment of locally advanced NSCLC are still extremely variable between different Italian regions. Logistic issues, waiting lists, paucity of well-trained staff and expertise seem to be the main barriers to international guidelines application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-019-01094-wDOI Listing
February 2020

Final results of the SENECA (SEcond line NintEdanib in non-small cell lung CAncer) trial.

Lung Cancer 2019 08 27;134:210-217. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Department of Oncology, University of Turin, AOU San Luigi, Orbassano, Italy.

Objectives: Despite the scant docetaxel's tolerability, second-line association with nintedanib still represents a standard-of-care for non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC), giving to rapidly-progressing patients the greatest survival advantage. The SENECA trial is a phase IIb, open-label, study evaluating whether nintedanib/docetaxel can be equally effective and safe regardless docetaxel schedule.

Materials And Methods: Recurrent nsNSCLC patients were stratified into cohort 1 and 2, according to relapse-time (within or over 3 months) from end of first-line chemotherapy. They were treated with docetaxel (T1: 33 mg/mq on days 1 and 8 in a 21-days cycle; T2: 75 mg/mq q3wks) plus nintedanib, allowing maintenance in case of disease-control. Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) by investigator's assessment; secondary endpoints: overall survival (OS), safety and quality-of-life.

Results: Between January 2016-April 2018, 212 patients were evaluated: 30 resulted screening-failures, 12 were excluded for lack of compliance. According to investigator's choice, 85 patients received T1 docetaxel and 85 T2; 138 (81.2%) were stratified in C1, 32 (18.8%) in C2, with a median relapse-time of 0.54 and 9.29 months, respectively. Baseline characteristics were balanced between groups. After 35.5 months follow-up, no survival differences appear between cohorts and treatments; toxicity seems to be slightly higher in T2, especially for chemotherapy-related events. Perception of quality-of-life remains stable and docetaxel schedule doesn't modify patients' load.

Conclusion: The SENECA trial confirms efficacy of second-line nintedanib/docetaxel for nsNSCLC, regardless time of recurrence and docetaxel schedule; higher toxicities for q3wks docetaxel, without alterations in quality-of-life, have been described, underling the possibility, adopting the weekly schedule, to maintain efficacy with better tolerability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lungcan.2019.06.028DOI Listing
August 2019

Response to Letter to the Editor Titled "Surgery or Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Early Stage Lung Cancer: What is the Current Evidence?"

Clin Lung Cancer 2020 01 19;21(1):e35-e36. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Radiation Therapy Unit, Department of Oncology, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2019.06.016DOI Listing
January 2020

Patients Selection for Immunotherapy in Solid Tumors: Overcome the Naïve Vision of a Single Biomarker.

Biomed Res Int 2019 24;2019:9056417. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Department of Public Health, University of Naples "Federico II", via Sergio Pansini 5, 80131, Naples, Italy.

Immunotherapy, and in particular immune-checkpoints blockade therapy (ICB), represents a new pillar in cancer therapy. Antibodies targeting Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and Programmed Death 1 (PD-1)/Programmed Death Ligand-1 (PD-L1) demonstrated a relevant clinical value in a large number of solid tumors, leading to an improvement of progression free survival and overall survival in comparison to standard chemotherapy. However, across different solid malignancies, the immune-checkpoints inhibitors efficacy is limited to a relative small number of patients and, for this reason, the identification of positive or negative predictive biomarkers represents an urgent need. Despite the expression of PD-L1 was largely investigated in various malignancies, (i.e., melanoma, head and neck malignancies, urothelial and renal carcinoma, metastatic colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer) as a biomarker for ICB treatment-patients selection, it showed an important, but still imperfect, role as positive predictor of response only in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Importantly, other tumor and/or microenvironments related characteristics are currently under clinical evaluation, in combination or in substitution of PD-L1 expression. In particular, tumor-infiltrating immune cells, gene expression analysis, mismatch- repair deficiency, and tumor mutational landscape may play a central role in predicting clinical benefits of CTLA-4 and/or PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. In this review, we will focus on the clinical evaluation of emerging biomarkers and how these may improve the naïve vision of a single- feature patients-based selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/9056417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6507101PMC
November 2019

Extra-pleural pneumonectomy in the era of image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy.

Radiol Med 2019 Sep 8;124(9):854-859. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Largo Brambilla, 3, 50134, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: To assess the outcome of malignant pleural mesothelioma patients treated with extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and adjuvant radiotherapy (RT), using the most advanced radiotherapeutic techniques, namely image-guided intensity-modulated RT (IG-IMRT).

Methods And Materials: Fifty-four patients were analyzed. Minimum radiation dose was 50 Gy (2 Gy/fr). Planning target volume encompassed the entire hemithorax, including the ipsilateral mediastinum if interested by disease, the pericardium and diaphragm, and any drain sites. The study endpoints included loco-regional control (LRC), distant metastases free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS), as well as radiation-related toxicity.

Results: Major patients and treatment characteristics were the following: median age 62 years, epithelioid histology in 51 (94%) cases, locally advanced disease in 41 (90%) cases, and metastatic mediastinal lymph nodes in 27 patients (50%). Only 7 patients (13%) had gross residual disease after surgery. Chemotherapy was administered in 38 patients (70%). Median follow-up was 16 months (range 0-73 months). Median and 2-year OS were 21 months and was 43.8%, respectively. The predominant pattern of failure was distant: 34 patients (62.9%) developed some component of distant failure, and only 5 patients (9.2%) developed an isolated loco-regional recurrence. The estimates of LRC and DMFS at 2 years were 63.4% and 43.4%, respectively. Three fatal pneumonitis were documented. Other major toxicities included: Grade 2 and 3 pneumonitis in 1 and 2 cases, respectively, 1 case of bronchial fistula, pleural empyema, and Grade 3 esophagitis, respectively.

Conclusions: Although executed in the era of high-technology radiotherapy (IG-IMRT), EPP should not be routinely performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-019-01030-yDOI Listing
September 2019

Concomitant radiotherapy and TKI in metastatic EGFR- or ALK-mutated non-small cell lung cancer: a multicentric analysis on behalf of AIRO lung cancer study group.

Radiol Med 2019 Jul 15;124(7):662-670. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Department of Oncology Radiation Therapy Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Purpose: To investigate the role of radiotherapy (RT) in the management of EGFR- or ALK-mutated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with TKI.

Materials And Methods: Clinical data of 106 patients (pts) from five Institutions treated with RT concomitant to TKI were retrospectively revised. Overall survival (OS) and toxicities were analyzed as endpoints of the study.

Results: Median age of pts was 65 years. TKIs were given for EGFR (81%)- or ALK (19%)-mutated metastatic NSCLC. Stereotactic RT (SRT) was delivered to 49 pts (46%). Patients with four or less metastasis were defined as oligometastatic/oligoprogressive (OM/OP); sites of RT were brain, bone, lung or others in 46%, 27%, 14% and 13%, respectively. Median OS was 23 months. At univariate analysis SRT, ECOG PS 0-1, OM/OP disease, lung sites and a TKI duration longer than median favorably affected OS (all p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed SRT (HR 0.355, CI 95% 0.212-0.595; p < 0.001) and median duration of TKI > 14 months (HR 0.17, 95% CI 0.10-0.30; p < 0.001) as independent factors related to better OS. Toxicities were rare.

Conclusions: SRT seems to positively affect OS with limited toxicity in selected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-019-00999-wDOI Listing
July 2019

Phase 2 placebo-controlled, single-blind trial to evaluate the impact of oral ibandronate on bone mineral density in osteopenic breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant aromatase inhibitors: 5-year results of the single-centre BONADIUV trial.

Eur J Cancer 2019 02 14;108:100-110. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Radiation Oncology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, Department of Biomedical, Experimental, and Clinical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy. Electronic address:

Aim: We present the final results of the BONADIUV trial, a single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 2 study to evaluate the impact of ibandronate treatment on bone mineral density (BMD) in osteopenic women taking aromatase inhibitors (AI).

Patients And Methods: Between 2011 and 2014, 171 osteopenic patients were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive either placebo or oral monthly ibandronate (150 mg). Treatment duration was 2 years, with 6-month evaluation. Primary end-point was the 2-year lumbar spine (LS) and total hip (TH) T-score mean differences as measure of BMD variation. Secondary analyses of survival outcomes have been performed at a 5-year median follow-up. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov Identifier: NCT02616744.

Results: Median age of study population was 60.2 years (range 44-75). At the database cut-off time, the median follow-up was 63.3 months (range 2.7-87.3). No difference in terms of T-score was shown at baseline between arms both for TH (P = 0.61) and LS (P = 0.96). At 2-year follow up, the mean change was statistically significant in favour of ibandronate arm both at TH (P = 0.0002) and LS (P < 0.0001). No significant difference in terms of adverse events was observed between arms. At a median follow-up of 63.3 months (range 2.7-87.3), the overall survival (OS) rate was 97.5% in the placebo group and 93.0% in the ibandronate arm (P = 0.19). The invasive disease-free survival (iDFS) rates did not differ between groups (P = 0.42).

Conclusions: Ibandronate compared to placebo improved BMD change in osteopenic women treated with adjuvant AI. Five-year survival analyses showed no difference between arms in terms of OS and iDFS rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.12.005DOI Listing
February 2019

External accelerated partial breast irradiation for ductal carcinoma in situ: long-term follow-up from a phase 3 randomized trial.

Tumori 2019 Jun 26;105(3):205-209. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

5 Medical Physics Unit, Oncology Department, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Introduction: For a long time, accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) effectiveness for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has been debated, due to conflicting published results. Recent encouraging data from phase 3 trials reopened new perspectives for this radiation approach. The aim of the present study was to analyze the long-term efficacy and safety results of the series of patients with DCIS enrolled in the APBI arm of the APBI-IMRT-Florence phase 3 trial (NCT02104895).

Methods: Patients were treated in a phase 3 randomized trial comparing whole breast irradiation (50 Gy in 25 fractions to the whole breast, plus 10 Gy in 5 fractions to the tumor bed) to APBI (30 Gy in 5 nonconsecutive fractions) using the intensity-modulated radiotherapy technique.

Results: Overall, 22 patients were treated in the APBI arm. Median age was 62 years (mean 59; range 42-75 years). At a median follow-up of 9.2 years (mean 8.8; range 3.8-12.1 years), no contralateral invasive/DCIS occurrence, distant metastasis, or breast cancer-related death were recorded. The 5- and 10-year local recurrence, distant metastasis-free survival, and breast cancer-specific survival were 100%. The 10-year overall survival rate was 90.9%. No late toxicity at 5 and 10 years was recorded.

Conclusions: Waiting for pending studies and mature follow-up, we confirmed the efficacy and safety of APBI for low-risk DCIS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300891618811278DOI Listing
June 2019

Hypofractionated radiation therapy in the management of locally advanced NSCLC: a narrative review of the literature on behalf of the Italian Association of Radiation Oncology (AIRO)-Lung Working Group.

Radiol Med 2019 Feb 27;124(2):136-144. Epub 2018 Oct 27.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Integrata UD, P.le Santa Maria della Misericordia 15, 33100, Udine, Italy.

A systematic literature was performed to assess the benefit in terms of effectiveness and feasibility of hypofractionated radiotherapy (HypoRT), with or without chemotherapy (CT), in the treatment of locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We have identified all studies, published from 2007 onwards, on patients with locally advanced NSCLC treated with HypoRT with radical intent, with a minimal dose per fraction of 2.4 Gy, with or without concurrent chemotherapy. Twenty-nine studies were identified, for a total of 2614 patients. Patients were divided in the concurrent chemo-radiation therapy group (CT-RT) and radiotherapy alone (RT). In RT group, the delivered dose ranged from 45 to 85.5 Gy, with a dose/fraction from 2.4 to 4 Gy. Actuarial 2-year PFS ranged from 13 to 57.8%, and 1, 2- and 3-year overall survival (OS) ranged from 51.3 to 95%, from 22 to 68.7%, and from 7 to 32%, respectively. Acute Grade ≥ 3 esophagitis occurred in 0-15%, while late esophageal toxicity was 0-16%. Acute pneumonitis occured in 0-44%, whereas late pneumonitis occured in 0-47%, most commonly grade ≤ G3. In CT-RT group, the delivered dose ranged from 52.5 to 75 Gy, with a dose/fraction ranging from 2.4 to 3.5 Gy. Actuarial 2-year PFS ranged from 19 to 57.8%, and OS at 1, 2 and 3 years ranged from 28 to 95%, 38.6 to 68.7%, and 31 to 44%, respectively. Acute Grade 2 and 3 esophagitis occurred in 3-41.7%, while late esophageal toxicity occurred in 0-8.3%. Acute pneumonitis ranged from 0 to 23%, whereas late pneumonitis occured 0-47%. HypoRT seems to be safe in patients with locally advanced NSCLC. The encouraging survival results of several studies analyzed suggest that hypofractionated radiation schemes should be further investigated in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0950-zDOI Listing
February 2019

Best practices for the management of thymic epithelial tumors: A position paper by the Italian collaborative group for ThYmic MalignanciEs (TYME).

Cancer Treat Rev 2018 Dec 5;71:76-87. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Rare Tumors Reference Center, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Thymic epithelial tumors (TETs) are a heterogenous group of rare tumors, with a complex histopatological classification. Furthermore, the recent introduction of the first TNM staging system, that is scheduled to replace the Masaoka-Koga system, may create further difficulties in TET management, that remains challenging. Several guidelines for treatment of TETs are available and provide recommendations based mainly on non randomized trials and retrospective or limited series. Often the lack of evidence leads to formulation of indications based on expert opinions. As for other rare cancers it is crucial to create networks to coordinate the work among centres involved in treatment of these diseases in order to offer the best diagnostic and therapeutic tools. For this purpose, in 2014 a network named TYME (ThYmic MalignanciEs), was founded in Italy with the aim of improving care and research in TETs. In September 2017 a panel of multidisciplinary experts from TYME network and from other Italian centres strongly involved in TET diagnosis and treatment convened a first Italian Expert meeting together with representatives of association for patients affected by rare thoracic cancers Tu.To.R, to explore how these tumors are managed in the different centres of Italy compared to ESMO guidelines. In this paper we summarize the issues discussed during that meeting and we propose recommandations based on Masaoka Koga and the new TNM staging system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2018.10.001DOI Listing
December 2018

Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy as an Alternative to Lobectomy in Patients With Medically Operable Stage I NSCLC: A Retrospective, Multicenter Analysis.

Clin Lung Cancer 2019 01 8;20(1):e53-e61. Epub 2018 Sep 8.

Department of Oncology, Radiation Therapy Unit, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Background: Stereotactic ablative body radiation therapy (SBRT) has evolved as the standard treatment for patients with inoperable stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We report the results of a retrospective analysis conducted on a large, well-controlled cohort of patients with stage I to II NSCLC who underwent lobectomy (LOB) or SBRT.

Materials And Methods: One hundred eighty-seven patients with clinical-stage T1a-T2bNoMO NSCLC were treated in 2 academic hospitals between August 2008 and May 2015. Patients underwent LOB or SBRT; those undergoing SBRT were sub-classified as surgical candidates and nonsurgical candidates, according to the presence of surgical contraindications or comorbidities.

Results: In univariate analysis, no significant difference was found in local control between patients who underwent SBRT and LOB, with a trend in favor of surgery (hazard ratio [HR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07-1.01; P < .053). Univariate analysis showed that overall survival (OS) was significantly better in patients who underwent LOB (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.23-0.85) with a 3-year OS of 73.4% versus 65.2% for surgery and radiation therapy patients, respectively (P < .01). However, no difference in OS was observed between operable patients undergoing SBRT and patients who underwent LOB (HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 0.72-3.90). Progression-free survival was comparable between patients who underwent LOB and SBRT (HR, 0.61; P = .09).

Conclusion: SBRT is a valid therapeutic approach in early-stage NSCLC. Furthermore, SBRT seems to be very well-tolerated and might lead to the same optimal locoregional control provided by surgery for patients with either operable or inoperable early-stage NSCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cllc.2018.09.003DOI Listing
January 2019

Ribociclib plus letrozole and concomitant palliative radiotherapy for metastatic breast cancer.

Breast 2018 Dec 9;42:1-2. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

Radiation Oncology Unit, Oncology Department, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Ribociclib is a CDK4-6 inhibitor recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The pivotal trial showed a significant improvement in progression-free survival when compared to endocrine therapy alone. However, having a challenging toxicity profile in comparison with exclusive endocrine therapy, safety may be a concern when combined to radiotherapy (RT) with palliative approach. There are no available published data regarding the combination of ribociclib and palliative RT. We reported our preliminary experience on the first five patients treated at the Radiation Oncology Unit of the Florence University (Florence, Italy) giving palliative RT concomitant to ribociclib plus letrozole as first-line treatment for MBC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2018.08.096DOI Listing
December 2018

Fibrotic lung toxicity induced by cytotoxic drugs, radiation and immunotherapy in patients treated for lung cancer.

Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2018 Jun 21;88(2):917. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

University Hospital Careggi, Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences.

Patients treated for lung cancer may develop lung toxicity induced by chemotherapy (DILD), radiation or combined radiation recall pneumonitis. In the literature, some cases of immune-mediated pneumonitis have been reported associated with immunotherapy. The clinical and radiologic features of interstitial lung toxicity are unspecific, dyspnoea and dry cough are the most common symptoms while the most frequent radiological pattern is the cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP). Why only some individuals treated with these drugs develop interstitial lung toxicity is unclear.In the last few years some studies have reported the utility of KL 6 for the evaluation of DILD. The treatment is based on high doses of systemic steroids or immune suppressor. In this study we report severe interstitial lung damage in patients treated with different anti-blastic, immune and radiation therapies. Treated with surgery, chemotherapy, immuno and radiotherapy for lung cancer, they unfortunately died of severe DILD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2018.917DOI Listing
June 2018

Afatinib with subsequent surgery in stage III NSCLC with EGFR mutation: Lessons learned from two clinical experiences.

Tumori 2018 Dec 13;104(6):NP5-NP9. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

4 Thoracic Surgery Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Afatinib, a second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is effective as first-line treatment in patients with EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We report 2 cases of EGFR-mutated locally advanced NSCLC treated in neoadjuvant setting with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor at University of Florence/Careggi Hospital. In both cases, afatinib was used for up to 3 months, until 1 week before surgery. Both patients achieved significant reduction (downstaging) of the pulmonary mass and lymphadenopathies and after surgery, it was decided for both cases to restore afatinib treatment up to a further 4 months. Both patients experienced local and distant disease relapses after 9 and 10 months, respectively, and then we restored the afatinib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300891618775204DOI Listing
December 2018

Radiation therapy in small cell lung cancer: a national Italian survey.

Radiol Med 2018 Jul 13;123(7):554-560. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Radiation Oncology Department, CRO Aviano, Aviano, Italy.

Introduction: Radiation therapy plays an important role in the management of SCLC both in curative and palliative setting, however, conflicting data from clinical trials incite debate over the appropriate use of radiation therapy regarding prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) and/or thoracic consolidative in extensive-stage SCLC (ES-SCLC). This survey is conducted to evaluate the current pattern of care among Italian radiation oncologists.

Methods: In June 2016, all Italian radiation oncologists were invited to a web-based survey. The survey contained 34 questions regarding the role of RT in SCLC. Questions pertaining the role of RT in the clinical management of both limited-stage (LS) and ES-SCLC were included.

Results: We received 48 responses from Italian radiation oncologists. More than half of respondents had been practicing for more than 10 years after completing residency training and 55% are subspecialists in lung cancer. Preferred management of LS-SCLC favored primary concurrent chemoradiotherapy (89%), even if the 36.9% usually delivered RT during or after the cycle 3 of chemotherapy, due to organizational issues. The most common dose and fractionation schedule in this setting was 60 Gy in 30 once-daily fractions. Furthermore, almost all respondents recommended PCI in patients with LS-SCLC. For ES-SCLC scenario, chemotherapy was defined the standard treatment by all respondents. PCI was recommended in ES-SCLC patients with thoracic complete remission (63% of respondents), with thoracic partial response (45%) and with thoracic stable disease (17%) after first-line chemotherapy. Lastly, the thoracic consolidative RT was recommended by 51% of respondents in patients with ES-SCLC in good response after first-line chemotherapy and a great variability was shown in clinical target volume definition, doses and fractionation schedules.

Conclusions: Our analysis showed a high adherence to current guidelines among the respondents in regard to chemoradiation approach in LS-SCLC patients and to PCI indications and doses. The great variability in radiation therapy doses and volumes in the thoracic consolidative radiotherapy in ES-SCLC is concerning. Future clinical trials are needed to standardize these treatment approaches to improve treatment outcomes among patients with ES-SCLC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11547-018-0868-5DOI Listing
July 2018

Ceritinib compassionate use for patients with crizotinib-refractory, anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

Future Oncol 2018 Feb 14;14(4):353-361. Epub 2017 Nov 14.

Medical Oncology, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, AOU di Perugia, Perugia, Italy.

Aim: Ceritinib was evaluated within a compassionate use program of Italian patients.

Patients & Methods: 70 patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive crizotinib-refractory advanced non-small-cell lung cancer received ceritinib.

Results: Overall response was 40.6%, median progression-free survival was 8.2 months and median survival was 15.5 months. Dose reduction due to treatment-related adverse events occurred in 50.8% of patients starting at 750 mg/day. No significantly different progression-free survival was observed between patients who underwent any time dose reduction (n = 38) versus those who remained on the recommended dose of 750 mg/day (n = 32; p = 0.07).

Conclusion: The efficacy of ceritinib compassionate use program resembled that of clinical trials. Dose reductions and adjustments did not appear to negatively affect clinical outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2017-0441DOI Listing
February 2018