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PURPOSE - The multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor sorafenib is used for the treatment of advanced-stage renal cell carcinoma. However, the safety and efficacy of this agent have yet to be evaluated in the preoperative period, where there may be potential advantages including tumor downstaging. This prospective trial evaluates the safety and feasibility of sorafenib in the preoperative setting.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Thirty patients with clinical stage II or higher renal masses, selected based on their candidacy for nephrectomy, underwent preoperative treatment with sorafenib. Toxicities, surgical complications, and tumor responses were monitored.
RESULTS - Of the thirty patients enrolled, 17 patients had localized disease and 13 had metastatic disease. After a course of sorafenib therapy (median duration, 33 days), a decrease in primary tumor size (median, 9.6%) and radiographic evidence of loss of intratumoral enhancement, quantified using a methodology similar to Choi criteria (median, 13%), was also observed. According to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, of the 28 patients evaluable for response, two patients had a partial response and 26 had stable disease, with no patients progressing on therapy. Toxicities from sorafenib were similar to that expected with this class of medication. All patients were able to proceed with nephrectomy and no surgical complications related to sorafenib administration were observed.
CONCLUSION - The administration of preoperative sorafenib therapy can impact the size and density of the primary tumor and appears safe and feasible. Further studies are required to determine if preoperative systemic therapy improves outcomes in patients undergoing nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma.
OBJECTIVES - To characterize radiographic intratumoral contrast enhancement in the primary tumor of patients with renal cell carcinoma treated with either sorafenib or sunitinib, and to compare the relationship between primary tumor response and loss of enhancement. Use of the antiangiogenic multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors sorafenib and sunitinib in renal cell carcinoma often results in stabilization of tumor size based on measurement of external tumor diameter; however, internal tumor changes in enhancement have been occasionally noted.
METHODS - Thirty patients who received sunitinib or sorafenib therapy were evaluated for primary tumor response with contrast-enhanced computed tomography images before and after at least 1 cycle of treatment. Evaluation of intratumoral contrast enhancement was quantified using a workstation that allowed for three-dimensional renderings of the kidney and measurement of density in Hounsfield units (HU). The relationship between loss of intratumoral enhancement and other outcome variables was examined.
RESULTS - A loss of enhancement within the primary tumor, following therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was positively associated with primary tumor response (P = .0053). Additionally, the degree of post-treatment tumor enhancement was positively associated with tumor response to tyrosine kinase inhibition (P = .045).
CONCLUSIONS - Intratumoral changes in computed tomography enhancement after receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition correlate with primary tumor response, and may be a useful adjunct to the standard response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST criteria) in assessing response to therapy. Prospective studies evaluating antiangiogenic agents should explore intratumoral changes in contrast enhancement as part of response criteria, and examine the effect of intratumoral changes on survival-based outcomes.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The BRAFV600E mutation is common in human melanoma. This mutation enhances IkappaB kinase (IKK)/nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase/activator protein signaling cascades. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of targeting either B-Raf or IKKbeta in combination with the DNA alkylating agent temozolomide for treatment of advanced metastatic melanoma. Xenografts of Hs294T human metastatic melanoma cells exhibiting the BRAFV600E mutation were treated with inhibitors of IKKbeta (BMS-345541), B-Raf (BAY 54-9085), and/or temozolomide. Drug response was mechanistically analyzed in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we determined that the antitumor activity of all three drugs depends on inhibition of NF-kappaB. BMS-345541 inhibits IKKbeta-mediated phosphorylation of IkappaBalpha and thus blocks the nuclear localization of NF-kappaB, whereas BAY 54-9085 inhibits activation of NF-kappaB through a mechanism that does not involve stabilization of IkappaBalpha. Moreover, BMS-345541, but not BAY 54-9085, activates the death pathways of p53 and c-Jun-NH2-kinase, contributing to the killing of melanoma cells. Temozolomide inhibits both NF-kappaB and extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity, conferring effective in vivo antitumor activity. Thus, temozolomide, but not BAY 54-9085, has a synergistic in vivo antitumor effect with BMS-345541. We conclude that the efficacy of antimelanoma therapy depends on inhibition of expression of antiapoptotic genes transcriptionally regulated by NF-kappaB. In contrast, drug targeting of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway alone in melanoma cells is ineffective for melanoma therapy in cases where NF-kappaB is not also targeted.
Agents targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling have been advocated as frontline therapy for advanced renal cancer. The role of interleukin 2 (IL-2) therapy after resistance to VEGF-targeted therapy remains unexplored. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the tolerability and efficacy of IL-2 therapy in patients who had previously received VEGF-targeted therapy. Twenty-three consecutive patients who received salvage IL-2 therapy were analyzed. Fifteen patients had received prior tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) (sorafenib or sunitinib), whereas 8 patients had received bevacizumab alone. Six of 23 patients did not receive week 2 of cycle 1 of treatment. All 6 of these patients had received prior TKIs. The incidence of severe cardiac toxicities, including 1 sudden cardiac death, in patients receiving prior TKI was 40% (95% confidence interval, 16.3-67.7%), significantly higher than what is expected from historical experience. Only 1 of 23 patients proceeded to receive a second cycle of IL-2. No patients achieved a partial or complete response to therapy. This retrospective analysis highlights unexpected and severe cardiac toxicities in patients receiving IL-2 after VEGF-targeted TKI therapy. The assumption that IL-2 therapy can be safely administered after TKI therapy may not be valid. Further examination of the safety of this sequential approach is necessary and more cautious patient selection seems warranted.
OBJECTIVES - Since the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has undergone dramatic changes. However, the use of TKI therapy in adjunctive settings remains to be defined. We present a single-institution experience of patients who received preoperative TKI before nephrectomy for metastatic or unresectable disease.
METHODS - The records of 9 patients with locally advanced or metastatic RCC treated with TKI therapy before nephrectomy at the University of North Carolina were reviewed. All procedures and radiographic images were performed at 1 institution. The cases were surveyed for the effect of TKI on tumor burden and surgical approach and timing.
RESULTS - The patients received systemic therapy with either sorafenib or sunitinib before proceeding to nephrectomy on clinical trials for metastatic disease or as the standard of care. The surgery was well tolerated by all patients, without an apparent effect from TKI therapy on the surgical technique or complications. Responses were observed in the primary tumor, as well as in the metastatic sites.
CONCLUSIONS - Neoadjuvant TKI therapy can induce responses in the primary tumor and has the potential advantage of cytoreduction when administered before nephrectomy for RCC. This setting also potentially provides an opportunity to evaluate the TKI responsiveness of patients with metastatic disease. However, prospective trials evaluating adjunctive surgical approaches to locally advanced and metastatic RCC are needed to determine the significant benefits of TKI therapy and to define the optimal agent, timing of therapy, and disease stage to derive benefit for preoperative therapy.
PURPOSE - This phase II study evaluated the efficacy and safety of sorafenib plus dacarbazine in patients with advanced melanoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study enrolled chemotherapy-naive patients with stage III (unresectable) or IV melanoma. A total of 101 patients received placebo plus dacarbazine (n = 50) or sorafenib plus dacarbazine (n = 51). On day 1 of a 21-day cycle, patients received intravenous dacarbazine 1,000 mg/m(2) for a maximum of 16 cycles. Oral sorafenib 400 mg or placebo was administered twice a day continuously. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) by independent assessment. Secondary and tertiary end points included time to progression (TTP), response rate, and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS - Median PFS in the sorafenib plus dacarbazine arm was 21.1 weeks versus 11.7 weeks in the placebo plus dacarbazine arm (hazard ratio [HR], 0.665; P = .068). There were statistically significant improvements in PFS rates at 6 and 9 months, and in TTP (median, 21.1 v 11.7 weeks; HR, 0.619) in favor of the sorafenib plus dacarbazine arm. No difference in OS was observed (median, 51.3 v 45.6 weeks in the placebo plus dacarbazine and sorafenib plus dacarbazine arms, respectively; HR, 1.022). The regimen was well tolerated and had a manageable toxicity profile.
CONCLUSION - Sorafenib plus dacarbazine was well tolerated in patients with advanced melanoma and yielded an encouraging improvement in PFS. Based on these findings, additional studies with the combination are warranted in this patient population.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - The recent contributions to renal cell carcinoma in the fields of molecular biology and the expanded use of molecularly targeted agents will be reviewed. This study is intended to update prognostic and therapeutic decision-making data and provide perspective on advances in understanding the molecular biology of this disease.
RECENT FINDINGS - Updates to the currently used prognostic algorithms for renal cell carcinoma are needed, and recently verified prognostic nomograms will be discussed. This comes in the wake of numerous advances in the use of molecularly targeted drugs, which will be reviewed. Finally, advancements in understanding the biology of renal cell carcinoma include the discovery of von Hippel-Lindau associated mechanisms involved in renal cyst formation and renewed appreciation for the influence of this pathway on the tumor cell glucose utilization profile.
SUMMARY - Renal cell carcinoma continues to evolve swiftly with the approval of new agents and the maturation of clinical trials to provide relevant structure to treatment decisions. This study will give an overview of the latest concepts in the epidemiology and biology of renal cell carcinoma and provide current surgical and systemic updates for managing renal cell carcinoma.
PURPOSE - We undertook this study to determine the activity and tolerability of sorafenib administered with interferon alfa-2b (IFN-alpha-2b) as first- or second-line therapy in metastatic renal cell cancer (RCC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Between November 2004 and October 2006, 40 patients at two sites were enrolled onto a phase II trial of sorafenib plus IFN-alpha-2b. Treatment consisted of 8-week cycles of sorafenib 400 mg orally bid plus IFN-alpha-2b 10 million U subcutaneously three times a week followed by a 2-week break. Patients were eligible to receive additional cycles of therapy until disease progression. Dose reduction of both drugs by 50% was permitted once for toxicity.
RESULTS - The response rate was 33% (95% CI, 19% to 49%; 13 of 40 patients), including 28% partial responses (n = 11) and 5% complete responses (n = 2). Responses were seen in treatment-naïve and interleukin-2 (IL-2) -treated patients within the first two cycles. The median duration of response was 12 months. With a median follow-up time of 14 months, median progression-free survival time was 10 months (95% CI, 8 to 18 months), and median overall survival time has not yet been reached. Fatigue, anorexia, anemia, diarrhea, hypophosphatemia, rash, nausea, and weight loss were the most common toxicities. Grade 3 toxicities were uncommon but included hypophosphatemia, neutropenia, rash, fatigue, and anemia. Dose reductions were required in 65% of patients.
CONCLUSION - The combination of sorafenib and IFN-alpha-2b has substantial activity in treatment-naïve and IL-2-treated patients with RCC. The toxicity exceeded that of either drug alone, but dose reductions and breaks between cycles allowed for chronic therapy. A larger, randomized trial would determine whether there is any advantage to this regimen compared with sorafenib alone.
ABT-737 is a subnanomolar inhibitor of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L) and Bcl-w. Although ABT-737 triggers extensive cell death in many small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cell lines, some of the SCLC cell lines and the majority of the cancer cell lines derived from other solid tumors were found to be resistant to ABT-737. To better understand the mechanism of resistance to ABT-737, we screened a short interfering RNA library consisting of short interfering RNA against 4000 'druggable' targets in an SCLC-derived cell line, NCI-H196. By comparing the knockdowns with phenotypes, all of the three top 'hits' from the screen were found to result from off-target gene silencing. Interestingly, the three off-target siRNAs were found to knock down an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family protein Mcl-1 owing to the complementation between their seed regions with the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of Mcl-1. Furthermore, reducing the level of Mcl-1 using siRNAs or the small-molecule compounds Bay43-9006 and Seliciclib was sufficient to overcome the resistance to ABT-737 in the resistant SCLC cell line and cancer cell lines derived from other solid tumors. These results provide further evidence that Mcl-1 is the major factor that causes resistance to ABT-737 in cancer cells derived from diverse solid tumors, and the combination of Mcl-1 downregulating agents with ABT-737 could be potent therapeutic regimens for patient with ABT-737-resistant SCLC and many other types of solid tumors.