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We describe results from IMmotion150, a randomized phase 2 study of atezolizumab (anti-PD-L1) alone or combined with bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) versus sunitinib in 305 patients with treatment-naive metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Co-primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) in intent-to-treat and PD-L1+ populations. Intent-to-treat PFS hazard ratios for atezolizumab + bevacizumab or atezolizumab monotherapy versus sunitinib were 1.0 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.69-1.45) and 1.19 (95% CI, 0.82-1.71), respectively; PD-L1+ PFS hazard ratios were 0.64 (95% CI, 0.38-1.08) and 1.03 (95% CI, 0.63-1.67), respectively. Exploratory biomarker analyses indicated that tumor mutation and neoantigen burden were not associated with PFS. Angiogenesis, T-effector/IFN-γ response, and myeloid inflammatory gene expression signatures were strongly and differentially associated with PFS within and across the treatments. These molecular profiles suggest that prediction of outcomes with anti-VEGF and immunotherapy may be possible and offer mechanistic insights into how blocking VEGF may overcome resistance to immune checkpoint blockade.
OBJECTIVE - Homologous recombination (HR)-proficient ovarian tumors have poorer clinical outcomes and show resistance to poly ADP ribose polymerase inhibitors (PARPi). A subset of HR-proficient ovarian tumors show amplification in bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) genes such as BRD4. We aimed to test the hypothesis that BRD4 inhibition sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to PARPi by reducing HR efficiency and increasing DNA damage.
METHODS - HR-proficient ovarian cancer cell lines (OVCAR-3, OVCAR-4, SKOV-3, UWB1.289+BRCA1) were treated with BRD4-targeting siRNA, novel (INB054329, INCB057643) and established (JQ1) BET inhibitors (BETi) and PARPi (olaparib, rucaparib). Cell growth and viability were assessed by sulforhodamine B assays in vitro, and in SKOV-3 and ovarian cancer patient-derived xenografts in vivo. DNA damage and repair (pH2AX, RAD51 and BRCA1 foci formation, and DRGFP HR reporter activity), apoptosis markers (cleaved PARP, cleaved caspase-3, Bax) and proliferation markers (PCNA, Ki67) were assessed by immunofluorescence and western blot.
RESULTS - In cultured cells, inhibition of BRD4 by siRNA or INCB054329 reduced expression and function of BRCA1 and RAD51, reduced HR reporter activity, and sensitized the cells to olaparib-induced growth inhibition, DNA damage induction and apoptosis. Synergy was observed between all BETi tested and PARPi. INCB054329 and olaparib also co-operatively inhibited xenograft tumor growth, accompanied by reduced BRCA1 expression and proliferation, and increased apoptosis and DNA damage.
CONCLUSIONS - These results provide strong rationale for using BETi to extend therapeutic efficacy of PARPi to HR-proficient ovarian tumors and could benefit a substantial number of women diagnosed with this devastating disease.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have improved treatment options, including immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) and proteasome inhibitors (PIs). Despite their efficacy, increased rates of cardiovascular (CV) complications occur in patients exposed to some of these therapies. While previous research has focused on identifying the toxicities inherent to each specific agent, the CV side effects may be potentiated by the combination of PIs and IMiDs plus dexamethasone. We present a patient with MM with recurrent cardiotoxicity only when exposed to combination PI and IMiD-based therapy. We also review the literature in this context, and propose a potential algorithm for cardiotoxicity prevention in this population.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Antagonists of MDM2-p53 interaction are emerging anti-cancer drugs utilized in clinical trials for malignancies that rarely mutate p53, including melanoma. We discovered that MDM2-p53 antagonists protect DNA from drug-induced damage in melanoma cells and patient-derived xenografts. Among the tested DNA damaging drugs were various inhibitors of Aurora and Polo-like mitotic kinases, as well as traditional chemotherapy. Mitotic kinase inhibition causes mitotic slippage, DNA re-replication, and polyploidy. Here we show that re-replication of the polyploid genome generates replicative stress which leads to DNA damage. MDM2-p53 antagonists relieve replicative stress via the p53-dependent activation of p21 which inhibits DNA replication. Loss of p21 promoted drug-induced DNA damage in melanoma cells and enhanced anti-tumor activity of therapy combining MDM2 antagonist with mitotic kinase inhibitor in mice. In summary, MDM2 antagonists may reduce DNA damaging effects of anti-cancer drugs if they are administered together, while targeting p21 can improve the efficacy of such combinations.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
INTRODUCTION - Patients with SCLC have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Because access to longitudinal tumor samples is very limited in patients with this disease, we chose to focus our studies on the characterization of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for rapid, noninvasive monitoring of disease burden.
METHODS - We developed a liquid biopsy assay that quantifies somatic variants in cfDNA. The assay detects single nucleotide variants, copy number alterations, and insertions or deletions in 14 genes that are frequently mutated in SCLC, including tumor protein p53 gene (TP53), retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1), BRAF, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase gene (KIT), notch 1 gene (NOTCH1), notch 2 gene (NOTCH2), notch 3 gene (NOTCH3), notch 4 gene (NOTCH4), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha gene (PIK3CA), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 gene (FGFR1), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog gene (MYC), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene lung carcinoma derived homolog gene (MYCL1), and v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma derived homolog gene (MYCN).
RESULTS - Over the course of 26 months of peripheral blood collection, we examined 140 plasma samples from 27 patients. We detected disease-associated mutations in 85% of patient samples with mutant allele frequencies ranging from 0.1% to 87%. In our cohort, 59% of the patients had extensive-stage disease, and the most common mutations occurred in TP53 (70%) and RB1 (52%). In addition to mutations in TP53 and RB1, we detected alterations in 10 additional genes in our patient population (PTEN, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, MYC, MYCL1, PIK3CA, KIT, and BRAF). The observed allele frequencies and copy number alterations tracked closely with treatment responses. Notably, in several cases analysis of cfDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before conventional imaging.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that liquid biopsies are readily applicable in patients with SCLC and can potentially provide improved monitoring of disease burden, depth of response to treatment, and timely warning of disease relapse in patients with this disease.
Copyright © 2017 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) with activating EGFR mutations generally involve development of acquired secondary or tertiary EGFR mutations, such as T790M or C797S. However, case reports have demonstrated that actionable receptor tyrosine kinase fusions such as EML4-ALK, CCDC6-RET, and FGFR3-TACC3 can potentially confer resistance to EGFR TKIs. We seeked to identify the prevalence of FGFR3-TACC3 fusion transcripts as resistance mechanism to EGFR TKIs. Hybrid-capture based genomic profiling was performed on FFPE tissue samples and circulating tumor DNA isolated from peripheral whole blood in the course of clinical care. We performed a comprehensive survey of 17,319 clinical NSCLC samples (14,170 adenocarcinomas and 3149 NSCLC not otherwise specified (NOS)) and identified 5 cases of FGFR3-TACC3 containing the intact kinase domain of FGFR3 and the coiled-coil domain of TACC3 emerging after treatment with EGFR TKIs, including one previously reported index case. Of the 4 novel cases of FGFR3-TACC3, one emerged after erlotinib, one after afatinib, one after osimertinib, and one after ASP8273. These 5 cases of FGFR3-TACC3 fusions acquired post-EGFR TKI, while rare, indicate that FGFR3-TACC3 is a recurrent resistance mechanism, which can bypass EGFR blockade by all generations of EGFR TKIs in NSCLC. Routine re-biopsy and genomic profiling using platforms capable of detecting kinase fusions has the potential to inform new therapeutic strategies for patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC progressing on TKIs.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - We review current management strategies for patients with relapsed and refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs), defined as relapsed or persistent disease following at least one line of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Additionally, we discuss future directions in the management of these patients.
RECENT FINDINGS - Recent studies involving targeted therapies have been disappointing. Nevertheless, studies of the management of refractory germ cell cancer are ongoing, with a focus on optimal utilization of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant, as well as the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors in refractory germ cell tumors. Studies aiming to identify those patients who may benefit from more intensive treatment up front to prevent the development of refractory disease are also in progress. Testicular germ cell tumors are among the most curable of all solid tumor malignancies, with cure being possible even in the refractory, metastatic setting. Treatment of refractory disease remains a challenging clinical scenario, but potentially practice changing studies are ongoing.
Background - The optimal chemotherapy regimen administered currently with radiation in patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains unclear. A multicenter phase III trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of concurrent thoracic radiation therapy with either etoposide/cisplatin (EP) or carboplatin/paclitaxel (PC) in patients with stage III NSCLC.
Patients and methods - Patients were randomly received 60-66 Gy of thoracic radiation therapy concurrent with either etoposide 50 mg/m2 on days 1-5 and cisplatin 50 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 every 4 weeks for two cycles (EP arm), or paclitaxel 45 mg/m2 and carboplatin (AUC 2) on day 1 weekly (PC arm). The primary end point was overall survival (OS). The study was designed with 80% power to detect a 17% superiority in 3-year OS with a type I error rate of 0.05.
Results - A total of 200 patients were randomized and 191 patients were treated (95 in the EP arm and 96 in the PC arm). With a median follow-up time of 73 months, the 3-year OS was significantly higher in the EP arm than that of the PC arm. The estimated difference was 15.0% (95% CI 2.0%-28.0%) and P value of 0.024. Median survival times were 23.3 months in the EP arm and 20.7 months in the PC arm (log-rank test P = 0.095, HR 0.76, 95%CI 0.55-1.05). The incidence of Grade ≥2 radiation pneumonitis was higher in the PC arm (33.3% versus 18.9%, P = 0.036), while the incidence of Grade ≥3 esophagitis was higher in the EP arm (20.0% versus 6.3%, P = 0.009).
Conclusion - EP might be superior to weekly PC in terms of OS in the setting of concurrent chemoradiation for unresectable stage III NSCLC.
Trial registration ID - NCT01494558.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) has been used increasingly for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation to minimize transplant-related mortality while maintaining the graft-versus-tumor effect. In B cell lymphoid malignancies, reduced-intensity regimens containing rituximab, an antiCD20 antibody, have been associated with favorable survival; however, the long-term outcomes of rituximab-containing versus nonrituximab-containing regimens for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in B cell lymphoid malignancies remain to be determined. We retrospectively analyzed 94 patients who received an allogeneic transplant for a B cell lymphoid malignancy. Of these, 33 received RIC with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (FCR) and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mini-methotrexate, and 61 received RIC with fludarabine and busulfan (FluBu) and GVHD prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mycophenolate mofetil. The 2-year overall survival was superior in patients who received FCR versus FluBu (72.7% versus 54.1%, P = .031), and in multivariable analysis adjusted for Disease Risk Index and donor type, only the conditioning regimen (FluBu versus FCR: HR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.04 to 4.08; P = .037) and Disease Risk Index (low versus intermediate/high: HR, .38; 95% CI, .17 to .86; P = .02) were independent predictors of overall survival. The 2-year cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was lower in patients who received FCR versus FluBu (24.2% versus 51.7%, P = .01). There was no difference in rate of relapse/progression or acute GVHD. Our results demonstrate that the use of RIC with FCR and GVHD prophylaxis with a calcineurin inhibitor and mini-methotrexate is associated with decreased chronic GVHD and improved overall survival.
Copyright © 2016 The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.