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Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have now been approved in numerous and diverse cancer types and combination regimens. Effective recognition and treatment of ICI toxicities, which might occur acutely, affect any organ system, and produce many distinct clinical syndromes, have emerged as essential goals of ICI management. Thus, developing robust diagnostic and management approaches for ICI toxicity across the health-care system is an urgent and unmet clinical need. In this Personal View, we describe barriers to high-quality care that have constrained the most effective management of patients with cancer receiving ICI treatment. We review education initiatives to enhance patient and physician awareness, which is necessary given the broad spectrum of ICI toxicities often experienced by patients, and assess various systems-based approaches that maximise the chances of appropriate management. In addition, we describe research pipelines that broaden evidence-based approaches and the pathobiology of these novel events. Developing effective, systematic approaches for the recognition and treatment of ICI toxicities will continue to grow in importance as these agents proliferate in cancer care.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
COVID-19 infections are characterized by inflammation of the lungs and other organs that ranges from mild and asymptomatic to fulminant and fatal. Patients who are immunocompromised and those with cardiopulmonary comorbidities appear to be particularly afflicted by this illness. During pandemic conditions, many aspects of cancer care have been impacted. One important clinical question is how to manage patients who need anticancer therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) during these conditions. Herein, we consider diagnostic and therapeutic implications of using ICI during this unprecedented period of COVID-19 infections. In particular, we consider the impact of ICI on COVID-19 severity, decisions surrounding continuing or interrupting therapy, diagnostic measures in patients with symptoms or manifestations potentially consistent with either COVID-19 or ICI toxicity, and resumption of therapy in infected patients. While more robust data are needed to guide clinicians on management of patients with cancer who may be affected by COVID-19, we hope this commentary provides useful insights for the clinical community.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
BACKGROUND - The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and American Society of Clinical Oncology recommend consideration of the use of echocardiography 6 to 12 months after completion of anthracycline-based chemotherapy in at-risk populations. Assessment of BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) has also been suggested by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/Heart Failure Society of America for the identification of Stage A (at risk) heart failure patients. The real-world frequency of the use of these tests in patients after receipt of anthracycline therapy, however, has not been studied previously.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In this retrospective study, using administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse, we identified 31 447 breast cancer and lymphoma patients (age ≥18 years) who were treated with an anthracycline in the United States between January 1, 2008 and January 31, 2018. Continuous medical and pharmacy coverage was required for at least 6 months before the initial anthracycline dose and 12 months after the final dose. Only 36.1% of patients had any type of cardiac surveillance (echocardiography, BNP, or cardiac imaging) in the year following completion of anthracycline therapy (29.7% echocardiography). Surveillance rate increased from 37.5% in 2008 to 42.7% in 2018 (25.6% in 2008 to 40.5% echocardiography in 2018). Lymphoma patients had a lower likelihood of any surveillance compared with patients with breast cancer (odds ratio, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.74-0.85]; <0.001). Patients with preexisting diagnoses of coronary artery disease and arrhythmia had the highest likelihood of cardiac surveillance (odds ratio, 1.54 [95% CI, 1.39-1.69] and odds ratio, 1.42 [95% CI, 1.3-1.53]; <0.001 for both), although no single comorbidity was associated with a >50% rate of surveillance.
CONCLUSIONS - The majority of survivors of breast cancer and lymphoma who have received anthracycline-based chemotherapy do not undergo cardiac surveillance after treatment, including those with a history of cardiovascular comorbidities, such as heart failure.
Current laboratory models of lymphatic metastasis generally require either genetically modified animals or are technically challenging. Herein, we have developed a robust protocol for the induction of intralymphatic metastasis in wild-type mice with reproducible outcomes. To determine an optimal injection quantity and timeline for tumorigenesis, C57Bl/6 mice were injected directly into the mesenteric lymph duct (MLD) with varying numbers of syngeneic murine colon cancer cells (MC38) or gastric cancer cells (YTN16) expressing GFP/luciferase and monitored over 2-4 weeks. Tumor growth was tracked via whole-animal in vivo bioluminescence imaging (IVIS). Our data indicate that the injection of tumor cells into the MLD is a viable model for lymphatic metastasis as necropsies revealed large tumor burdens and metastasis in regional lymph nodes. This protocol enables a closer study of the role of lymphatics in cancer metastasis and opens a window for the development of novel approaches for treatment of metastatic diseases.
Androgen deprivation therapy is a cornerstone of prostate cancer treatment. Pharmacological androgen deprivation includes gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonism and antagonism, androgen receptor inhibition, and CYP17 (cytochrome P450 17A1) inhibition. Studies in the past decade have raised concerns about the potential for androgen deprivation therapy to increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular mortality, possibly by exacerbating cardiovascular risk factors. In this review, we summarize existing data on the cardiovascular effects of androgen deprivation therapy. Among the therapies, abiraterone stands out for increasing risk of cardiac events in meta-analyses of both randomized controlled trials and observational studies. We find a divergence between observational studies, which show consistent positive associations between androgen deprivation therapy use and cardiovascular disease, and randomized controlled trials, which do not show these associations reproducibly.
Proton minibeam therapy (PMBT) is a form of spatially fractionated radiotherapy wherein broad beam radiation is replaced with segmented minibeams-either parallel, planar minibeam arrays generated by a multislit collimator or scanned pencil beams that converge laterally at depth to create a uniform dose layer at the tumor. By doing so, the spatial pattern of entrance dose is considerably modified while still maintaining tumor dose and efficacy. Recent studies using computational modeling, phantom experiments, and preclinical models, and early clinical feasibility assessments suggest that unique physical and biological attributes of PMBT can be exploited for future clinical benefit. We outline some of the guiding principle of PMBT in this concise overview of this emerging area of preclinical and clinical research inquiry.
Combination therapies consisting of multiple short therapeutic RNAs, such as small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA), have enormous potential in cancer treatment as they can precisely silence a specific set of oncogenes and target multiple disease-related pathways. However, clinical use of siRNA/miRNA combinations is limited by the availability of safe and efficient systemic delivery systems with sufficient tumor penetrating and endosomal escaping capabilities. This study reports on the development of multifunctional tumor-penetrating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (iMSNs) for simultaneous delivery of siRNA (siPlk1) and miRNA (miR-200c), using encapsulation of a photosensitizer indocyanine green (ICG) to facilitate endosomal escape and surface conjugation of the iRGD peptide to enable deep tumor penetration. Increased cell uptake of the nanoparticles was observed in both 3D tumor spheroids in vitro and in orthotopic MDA-MB-231 breast tumors in vivo. Using a galectin-8 recruitment assay, we showed that reactive oxygen species generated by ICG upon light irradiation functioned as an endosomolytic stimulus that caused release of the siRNA/miRNA combination from endosomes. Co-delivery of the therapeutic RNAs displayed combined cell killing activity in cancer cells. Systemic intravenous treatment of metastatic breast cancer with the iMSNs loaded with siPlk1 and miR-200c resulted in a significant suppression of the primary tumor growth and in marked reduction of metastasis upon short light irradiation of the primary tumor. This work demonstrates that siRNA-miRNA combination assisted by the photodynamic effect and tumor penetrating delivery system may provide a promising approach for metastatic cancer treatment.