Recent Submissions

  • Anetumab ravtansine versus vinorelbine in patients with relapsed, mesothelin-positive malignant pleural mesothelioma (ARCS-M): a randomised, open-label phase 2 trial

    Fennell, Dean (2022-04)
    Background: Few treatment options exist for second-line treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. We aimed to assess the antibody-drug conjugate anetumab ravtansine versus vinorelbine in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease overexpressing mesothelin who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab. Methods: In this phase 2, randomised, open-label study, done at 76 hospitals in 14 countries, we enrolled adults (aged ≥18 years) with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1, and who had progressed on first-line platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy with or without bevacizumab. Participants were prospectively screened for mesothelin overexpression (defined as 2+ or 3+ mesothelin membrane staining intensity on at least 30% of viable tumour cells by immunohistochemistry) and were randomly assigned (2:1), using an interactive voice and web response system provided by the sponsor, to receive intravenous anetumab ravtansine (6·5 mg/kg on day 1 of each 21-day cycle) or intravenous vinorelbine (30 mg/m2 once every week) until progression, toxicity, or death. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival according to blinded central radiology review, assessed in the intention-to-treat population, with safety assessed in all participants who received any study treatment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02610140, and is now completed. Findings: Between Dec 3, 2015, and May 31, 2017, 589 patients were enrolled and 248 mesothelin-overexpressing patients were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups (166 patients were randomly assigned to receive anetumab ravtansine and 82 patients were randomly assigned to receive vinorelbine). 105 (63%) of 166 patients treated with anetumab ravtansine (median follow-up 4·0 months [IQR 1·4-5·5]) versus 43 (52%) of 82 patients treated with vinorelbine (3·9 months [1·4-5·4]) had disease progression or died (median progression-free survival 4·3 months [95% CI 4·1-5·2] vs 4·5 months [4·1-5·8]; hazard ratio 1·22 [0·85-1·74]; log-rank p=0·86). The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were neutropenia (one [1%] of 163 patients for anetumab ravtansine vs 28 [39%] of 72 patients for vinorelbine), pneumonia (seven [4%] vs five [7%]), neutrophil count decrease (two [1%] vs 12 [17%]), and dyspnoea (nine [6%] vs three [4%]). Serious drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events occurred in 12 (7%) patients treated with anetumab ravtansine and 11 (15%) patients treated with vinorelbine. Ten (6%) treatment-emergent deaths occurred with anetumab ravtansine: pneumonia (three [2%]), dyspnoea (two [1%]), sepsis (two [1%]), atrial fibrillation (one [1%]), physical deterioration (one [1%]), hepatic failure (one [1%]), mesothelioma (one [1%]), and renal failure (one [1%]; one patient had 3 events). One (1%) treatment-emergent death occurred in the vinorelbine group (pneumonia). Interpretation: Anetumab ravtansine showed a manageable safety profile and was not superior to vinorelbine. Further studies are needed to define active treatments in relapsed mesothelin-expressing malignant pleural mesothelioma. Funding: Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.
  • Results of a single-arm pilot study of 32 P microparticles in unresectable locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel or FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy

    Iwuji, Chinenye (2022-02)
    Background: Unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is generally managed with chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, but prognosis is poor with a median survival of ∼13 months (or up to 19 months in some studies). We assessed a novel brachytherapy device, using phosphorous-32 (32P) microparticles, combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy. Patients and methods: In this international, multicentre, single-arm, open-label pilot study, adult patients with histologically or cytologically proven unresectable LAPC received 32P microparticles, via endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle implantation, planned for week 4 of 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan and oxaliplatin (FOLFIRINOX) or gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel chemotherapy, per investigator's choice. The primary endpoint was safety and tolerability measured using Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0. The lead efficacy endpoint was local disease control rate at 16 weeks. Results: Fifty patients were enrolled and received chemotherapy [intention-to-treat (ITT) population]. Forty-two patients received 32P microparticle implantation [per protocol (PP) population]. A total of 1102 treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were reported in the ITT/safety population (956 PP), of which 167 (139 PP) were grade ≥3. In the PP population, 41 TEAEs in 16 (38.1%) patients were possibly or probably related to 32P microparticles or implantation procedure, including 8 grade ≥3 in 3 (7.1%) patients, compared with 609 TEAEs in 42 (100%) patients attributed to chemotherapy, including 67 grade ≥3 in 28 patients (66.7%). The local disease control rate at 16 weeks was 82.0% (95% confidence interval: 68.6% to 90.9%) (ITT) and 90.5% (95% confidence interval: 77.4% to 97.3%) (PP). Tumour volume, carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels, and metabolic tumour response at week 12 improved significantly. Ten patients (20.0% ITT; 23.8% PP) had surgical resection and median overall survival was 15.2 and 15.5 months for ITT and PP populations, respectively. Conclusions: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided 32P microparticle implantation has an acceptable safety profile. This study also suggests clinically relevant benefits of combining 32P microparticles with standard-of-care systemic chemotherapy for patients with unresectable LAPC.
  • A mutated prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) peptide-based vaccine induces PAP-specific CD8 + T cells with ex vivo cytotoxic capacities in HHDII/DR1 transgenic mice

    Khan, Masood (2022-04)
    Background: Current treatments for castrate (hormone)-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) remain limited and are not curative, with a median survival from diagnosis of 23 months. The PAP-specific Sipuleucel-T vaccine, which was approved by the FDA in 2010, increases the Overall Survival (OS) by 4 months, but is extremely expensive. We have previously shown that a 15 amino accid (AA) PAP sequence-derived peptide could induce strong immune responses and delay the growth of murine TRAMP-C1 prostate tumors. We have now substituted one amino acid and elongated the sequence to include epitopes predicted to bind to several additional HLA haplotypes. Herein, we present the immunological properties of this 42mer-mutated PAP-derived sequence (MutPAP42mer). Methods: The presence of PAP-135-143 epitope-specific CD8+ T cells in the blood of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) was assessed by flow cytometry using Dextramer™ technology. HHDII/DR1 transgenic mice were immunized with mutated and non-mutated PAP-derived 42mer peptides in the presence of CAF®09 or CpG ODN1826 (TLR-9 agonist) adjuvants. Vaccine-induced immune responses were measured by assessing the proportion and functionality of splenic PAP-specific T cells in vitro. Results: PAP-135-143 epitope-specific CD8+ T cells were detected in the blood of patients with PCa and stimulation of PBMCs from patients with PCa with mutPAP42mer enhanced their capacity to kill human LNCaP PCa target cells expressing PAP. The MutPAP42mer peptide was significantly more immunogenic in HHDII/DR1 mice than the wild type sequence, and immunogenicity was further enhanced when combined with the CAF®09 adjuvant. The vaccine induced secretory (IFNγ and TNFα) and cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and effector memory splenic T cells. Conclusions: The periphery of patients with PCa exhibits immune responsiveness to the MutPAP42mer peptide and immunization of mice induces/expands T cell-driven, wild-type PAP immunity, and therefore, has the potential to drive protective anti-tumor immunity in patients with PCa.
  • Comparison of the prognostic value of microscopically measured invasive width versus macroscopic width in cutaneous melanoma shows the superiority of microscopic invasive width measurement

    Bamford, Mark; Udensi, Louisa; O'Riordan, Marie; Saldanha, Gerald (2022-03)
    Background: Invasive width, the distance between the most peripheral invasive melanoma cells on the section where Breslow thickness (BT) was measured, was recently identified as a prognostic feature. It is unclear whether a routine measurement is justified, given that macroscopic width is already included in many melanoma histopathology reports and may itself be a prognostic feature. This study sought to investigate this. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 718 melanoma patients in which macroscopic width had been stated in the original histopathology report was used. Survival analysis was performed. Results: Macroscopic and invasive widths were positively correlated (p < 0.001). Invasive width was typically smaller than the paired macroscopic width (median difference 3.7 mm, p < 0.001), a difference seen across all T groups. Both macroscopic and invasive widths were significantly associated with melanoma survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis, including overall survival, but invasive width survival curves were more widely separated. Both were significantly associated with outcome after correction for BT in Cox proportional hazards regression, but the models containing invasive width had a substantially better fit. Conclusions: This study shows that both macroscopic and invasive widths have prognostic values, but confirms that the latter is superior. It supports further investigation of this feature's prognostic value.
  • The experience of living with mesothelioma: a meta-ethnographic review and synthesis of the qualitative literature

    Darlison, Liz (2022)
    Objective: Mesothelioma is a life limiting cancer caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Due to the continued use of asbestos products internationally, the condition presents an increasing risk to global health with case numbers peaking in industrially developed nations. With the cancer reducing patient well-being, this study aimed to synthesizes the qualitative findings of studies exploring the experiences of patients living with mesothelioma to generate new conceptual insights and guide therapeutic care. Method: Thirteen databases were systematically searched: Academic Search Premier, BioMed Central, British Nursing Database, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Library, Europe PubMed Central, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Scopus, Social Care Online, and Web of Science, between August and September 2020. Included articles were subject to quality appraisal using CASP checklists, and their respective findings analyzed using a metaethnographic form of qualitative data synthesis. Results: Twenty-two articles met the inclusion criteria, and the data synthesis produced three themes: (1) "complex trauma"; (2) "psycho-behavioral coping strategies"; and (3) "external sources of support." Combined, these themes form a novel conceptual framework and awareness of the patient experience that presents the lived trauma of disease alongside a patients coping processes and support pathways. Conclusion: Robust therapeutic support is needed to address the psychosocial and existential burden shouldered by people with mesothelioma. Therapies that promote sentiments of acceptance, hope, and benefit finding are proposed alongside initiatives that foster patient empowerment and meaning, and further promote patient choice in deciding end-of-life care. Recommendations for future research are also made.
  • The importance of the early appropriate management of foot and ankle soft tissue sarcomas - experiences of a regional sarcoma service

    Kheiran, Amin; Eastley, Nicholas; Hanson, Josephine; McCulloch, Thomas; Allen, Patricia; Ashford, Robert (2022)
    Introduction: Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a group of rare malignant tumours that can occur at almost any anatomical location in patients of any age, which often present to health care professional working outside a recognised sarcoma service. A review of foot and ankle STSs was conducted, reporting on patient and tumour characteristics, and patient outcome following surgery performed within and outside our sarcoma service. Patients and methods: A retrospective review of all foot and ankle STSs managed by our sarcoma service over a 14 year period was performed. Patient demographics, tumour characteristics, management and patient outcomes including recurrence rates and survival were analysed. Results: Twenty-six patients were analysed (16F:10M) with a mean age of 57.7 years (range 17-87). The mean follow-up was 6.3 years (range 1-16). Sixteen tumours involved the foot, nine the ankle, and one spanned the foot and ankle. Mean tumour size was 4.3 cm (range 0.8-15), although 61% of cases were smaller than 4 cm, and almost one third of cases smaller than 1 cm. Seven of 26 (27%) cases were diagnosed after an unplanned excision performed by non sarcoma surgeons. These patients were more likely to undergo an incomplete tumour excision (p < 0.001), suffer local recurrence (p = 0.001), and eventually undergo a secondary amputation (p = 0.034) than those patients managed exclusively by a sarcoma service. Overall, 12 (46%) patients died of their disease during follow up, equating to a five-year survival rate of 69%. Conclusion: Our data shows that unplanned excisions continue to be performed on foot and ankle STSs, and that these have detrimental effects on patients. Despite this, our results also show that these complex patients can be managed successfully when referred appropriately to a sarcoma service, prior to any surgical treatment. This highlights the importance of vigilance amongst all health care professionals managing any foot or ankle lumps, regardless of their size.
  • VinCaP: a phase II trial of vinflunine in locally advanced and metastatic squamous carcinoma of the penis

    Morgan, Bruno (2022)
    Background: We investigated the first-line activity of vinflunine in patients with penis cancer. Cisplatin-based combinations are commonly used, but survival is not prolonged; many patients are unfit for such treatment or experience toxicity that outweighs clinical benefit. Methods: Twenty-five patients with inoperable squamous carcinoma of the penis were recruited to a single-arm, Fleming-A'Hern exact phase II trial. Treatment comprised 4 cycles of vinflunine 320 mg/m2, given every 21 days. Primary endpoint was clinical benefit rate (CBR: objective responses plus stable disease) assessed after 4 cycles. Seven or more objective responses or disease stabilisations observed in 22 evaluable participants would exclude a CBR of <15%, with a true CBR of >40% being probable. Results: Twenty-two participants were evaluable. Ten objective responses or disease stabilisations were confirmed. CBR was 45.5%, meeting the primary endpoint; partial response rate was 27.3%. Seven patients received >4 cycles of vinflunine. Dose reduction or treatment delay was required for 20% of cycles. In all, 68% of patients experienced at least one grade 3 adverse event. Two deaths on treatment were not caused by disease progression. Conclusions: Pre-specified clinical activity threshold was exceeded. Toxicity was in keeping with experience in other tumours. Vinflunine merits further study in this disease. Trial registration: NCT02057913.
  • DNMT1-induced miR-378a-3p silencing promotes angiogenesis via the NF-κB signaling pathway by targeting TRAF1 in hepatocellular carcinoma

    Chung, Wen Yuan (2021)
    Background: Angiogenesis plays an important role in the occurrence, development and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to previous studies, miR-378a participates in tumorigenesis and tumor metastasis, but its exact role in HCC angiogenesis remains poorly understood. Methods: qRT-PCR was used to investigate the expression of miR-378a-3p in HCC tissues and cell lines. The effects of miR-378a-3p on HCC in vitro and in vivo were examined by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), Transwell, tube formation and Matrigel plug assays, RNA sequencing, bioinformatics, luciferase reporter, immunofluorescence and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays were used to detect the molecular mechanism by which miR-378a-3p inhibits angiogenesis. Results: We confirmed that miR-378a-3p expression was significantly downregulated and associated with higher microvascular density (MVD) in HCC; miR-378a-3p downregulation indicated a short survival time in HCC patients. miR-378a-3p knockdown led to a significant increase in angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. We found that miR-378a-3p directly targeted TNF receptor associated factor 1 (TRAF1) to attenuate NF-κB signaling, and then downregulated secreted vascular endothelial growth factor. DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1)-mediated hypermethylation of miR-378a-3p was responsible for downregulating miR-378a-3p. Moreover, a series of investigations indicated that p65 initiated a positive feedback loop that could upregulate DNMT1 to promote hypermethylation of the miR-378a-3p promoter. Conclusion: Our study indicates a novel DNMT1/miR-378a-3p/TRAF1/NF-κB positive feedback loop in HCC cells, which may become a potential therapeutic target for HCC.
  • Abemaciclib in patients with p16ink4A-deficient mesothelioma (MiST2): a single-arm, open-label, phase 2 trial

    Fennell, Dean; King, Amy; Anthony, Sarah; Poile, Charlotte; Scotland, Molly; Bhundia, Vina; Darlison, Liz; Dawson, Alan; Gaba, Aarti; Hutka, Margaret; et al. (2022)
    Background: Genetically stratified therapy for malignant mesothelioma is unavailable. Mesotheliomas frequently harbour loss of the chromosome 9p21.3 locus (CDKN2A-MTAP), which is associated with shorter overall survival due to loss of the tumour suppressor p16ink4A, an endogenous suppressor of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4 and CDK6. Genetic restoration of p16ink4A suppresses mesothelioma in preclinical models, underpinning the rationale for targeting CDK4 and CDK6 in p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma. We developed a multicentre, stratified, phase 2 trial to test this hypothesis. Methods: The MiST2 study was a single-arm, open-label, phase 2 clinical trial done two UK centres. Patients older than 18 years with any histologically confirmed subtype of mesothelioma (pleural or peritoneal) with radiological progression after at least one course of platinum-based chemotherapy were molecularly screened by immunohistochemistry for p16ink4A. Patients with p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma were eligible for inclusion in the study. Patients were required to have measurable disease by modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours version 1.1 for malignant mesothelioma, a predicted life expectancy of at least 12 weeks, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0-1. Patients received oral abemaciclib 200 mg twice daily, administered in 28-day cycles for 24 weeks. The primary endpoint was the disease control rate (patients with complete responses, partial responses, or stable disease) at 12 weeks. The null hypothesis could be rejected if at least 11 patients had disease control. The efficacy and safety populations were defined as all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03654833, and is ongoing (but MiST2 is now closed). Findings: Between Sept 31, 2019, and March 2, 2020, 27 eligible patients consented to molecular screening. The median follow-up was 18·4 weeks (IQR 6·7-23·9). One patient was excluded before treatment because of a serious adverse event before study drug allocation. 26 (100%) of 26 treated patients were p16ink4A deficient and received at least one dose of abemaciclib. Disease control at 12 weeks was reported in 14 (54%) of 26 patients (95% CI 36-71). Grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events (of any cause) occurred in eight (27%) of 26 patients (diarrhoea, dyspnoea, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, urinary tract infection, increased alanine aminotransferase, ascites, chest infection or suspected chest infection, neutropenic sepsis, alopecia, blood clot left calf, fall [broken neck and collar bone], haemoptysis, lower respiratory tract infection, and pulmonary embolism). Grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events occurred in three (12%) of 26 patients (diarrhoea, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, increased alanine aminotransferase, and pulmonary embolism). Serious adverse events occurred in six (23%) of 26 patients, leading to treatment discontinuation in one (4%) patient (diarrhoea, urinary tract infection, chest infection, neutropenic sepsis, fall [broken neck and collar bone], haemoptysis, lower respiratory tract infection, and pulmonary embolism). One patient had a serious adverse event related to abemaciclib (diarrhoea). One (4%) of 26 patients died from an adverse event (neutropenic sepsis). Interpretation: This study met its primary endpoint, showing promising clinical activity of abemaciclib in patients with p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma who were previously treated with chemotherapy, and warrants its further investigation in a randomised study as a targeted stratified therapy.
  • A qualitative exploration of physical and psychosocial well-being in the short and long term after treatments for cervical cancer

    Moss, Esther (2022)
    Objective: Cervical cancer is predominantly a cancer of younger women, and improvements in oncological outcomes have led to an increase in cervical cancer survivors living with the long-term effects of treatment. Understanding the recovery process after treatment is essential to increase awareness of the short- and long-term needs of survivors. The aim of this study was to qualitatively explore the recovery process and return to daily activity of cervical cancers survivors from a biopsychosocial perspective. Methods: Participants were 21 women treated for cervical cancer between the ages of 18 and 60 years, living in the United Kingdom. Interviews were undertaken face to face and via the telephone using a semi-structured interview schedule. Results: Data analysis revealed themes which represented participants' experience and perceptions of treatment as a paradox; emotional needs after treatment; and a journey of adversarial growth. A key finding from this analysis was the nuanced experiences between treatment modalities, with physical changes perceived to be more disruptive following radical treatments, whilst psychological repercussions were significant regardless of treatment type. Conclusion: This study provides novel insight into the varied recovery experiences of those treated with surgery and/or chemoradiotherapy for cervical cancer, which can be used to improve the survivorship experience.
  • Understanding the experiences of end of life care for patients with mesothelioma from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers in the UK: a qualitative analysis

    Darlison, Liz (2022)
    Objectives: Mesothelioma is a rare, progressive cancer with a short trajectory from diagnosis to the end of life. This study explores the experiences of palliative and end of life care for patients with mesothelioma from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive approach was adopted comprising face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with bereaved caregivers of patients with mesothelioma in the UK. An inductive, thematic analysis was conducted using the 'Framework' approach. Results: Nine bereaved caregivers participated. Four themes emerged: understanding what lies ahead; carer support; care co-ordination; managing after death: practicalities, inquests and abandonment. Caregivers need to understand what lies ahead in order to emotionally and practically prepare themselves for supporting the patient at the end of life. Information and support needs of caregivers were often distinct from those of patients, including the importance of information about the coroner's involvement. The importance of care co-ordination was emphasised, with caregivers valuing on-going relationships and a named individual taking responsibility for co-ordinating the patients care. Feelings of abandonment arose when there was no contact with healthcare professionals following the death of the patient. Conclusions: Greater opportunity for open, one-to-one communication between family caregivers and healthcare professionals is vital to enable the caregiver to prepare for what lies ahead at the end of life and prevent feelings of abandonment after the death of the patient. Improved care co-ordination and partnership working are essential for supporting both patient and caregiver at the end of life.
  • Increased mitochondrial proline metabolism sustains proliferation and survival of colorectal cancer cells

    Burke, Lynsey; West, Kevin; Howells, Lynne; Thomas, Anne (2022)
    Research into the metabolism of the non-essential amino acid (NEAA) proline in cancer has gained traction in recent years. The last step in the proline biosynthesis pathway is catalyzed by pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase (PYCR) enzymes. There are three PYCR enzymes: mitochondrial PYCR1 and 2 and cytosolic PYCR3 encoded by separate genes. The expression of the PYCR1 gene is increased in numerous malignancies and correlates with poor prognosis. PYCR1 expression sustains cancer cells' proliferation and survival and several mechanisms have been implicated to explain its oncogenic role. It has been suggested that the biosynthesis of proline is key to sustain protein synthesis, support mitochondrial function and nucleotide biosynthesis. However, the links between proline metabolism and cancer remain ill-defined and are likely to be tissue specific. Here we use a combination of human dataset, human tissue and mouse models to show that the expression levels of the proline biosynthesis enzymes are significantly increased during colorectal tumorigenesis. Functionally, the expression of mitochondrial PYCRs is necessary for cancer cells' survival and proliferation. However, the phenotypic consequences of PYCRs depletion could not be rescued by external supplementation with either proline or nucleotides. Overall, our data suggest that, despite the mechanisms underlying the role of proline metabolism in colorectal tumorigenesis remain elusive, targeting the proline biosynthesis pathway is a suitable approach for the development of novel anti-cancer therapies.
  • MNK inhibition sensitizes KRAS-mutant colorectal cancer to mTORC1 inhibition by reducing eIF4E phosphorylation and c-MYC expression

    Le Quesne, John (2021)
    KRAS-mutant colorectal cancers are resistant to therapeutics, presenting a significant problem for ∼40% of cases. Rapalogs, which inhibit mTORC1 and thus protein synthesis, are significantly less potent in KRAS-mutant colorectal cancer. Using Kras-mutant mouse models and mouse- and patient-derived organoids, we demonstrate that KRAS with G12D mutation fundamentally rewires translation to increase both bulk and mRNA-specific translation initiation. This occurs via the MNK/eIF4E pathway culminating in sustained expression of c-MYC. By genetic and small-molecule targeting of this pathway, we acutely sensitize KRASG12D models to rapamycin via suppression of c-MYC. We show that 45% of colorectal cancers have high signaling through mTORC1 and the MNKs, with this signature correlating with a 3.5-year shorter cancer-specific survival in a subset of patients. This work provides a c-MYC-dependent cotargeting strategy with remarkable potency in multiple Kras-mutant mouse models and metastatic human organoids and identifies a patient population that may benefit from its clinical application. SIGNIFICANCE: KRAS mutation and elevated c-MYC are widespread in many tumors but remain predominantly untargetable. We find that mutant KRAS modulates translation, culminating in increased expression of c-MYC. We describe an effective strategy targeting mTORC1 and MNK in KRAS-mutant mouse and human models, pathways that are also commonly co-upregulated in colorectal cancer.
  • Trifluridine/Tipiracil in metastatic colorectal cancer: a UK multicenter real-world analysis on efficacy, safety, predictive and prognostic factors

    Khan, Sam; Chauhan, Meera; Thomas, Anne (2021)
    Background: The orally administered combination trifluridine/tipiracil has been approved as third line treatment in mCRC, demonstrating survival benefit and acceptable toxicity profile in the phase III RECOURSE study. Patient and methods: We performed a multicenter retrospective real-world analysis of patients with mCRC receiving trifluridine/tipiracil between 2016 and 2019 in eight cancer centers across the United Kingdom. Results: A total of 236 patients were included with median age of 69 years. All patients had received at least 2 lines of fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy doublet with oxaliplatin or irinotecan. About 10% of patients had ECOG ≥ 2. Median duration of trifluridine/tipiracil treatment was 3 months with an ORR of 2.1% and disease control rate of 21.6%. Median OS was 7.6 and median PFS 3.3 months. A dose reduction was required in 27% of patients, while 7.6% discontinued treatment due to toxicity. The most common grade 3 toxicities were neutropenia (34%), fatigue (10%), anemia (9%) and febrile neutropenia (5%). Baseline NLR <5 and CEA <200 had favorable prognostic (HR: 0.52 and 0.39, P≤ .001) and predictive value (OR: 4.1 and 6.7, P< .05). Development of grade 3 neutropenia predicted treatment response (OR: 0.32, P< .001). Following treatment with trifluridine/tipiracil 41% were referred for phase I trial or rechallenged with chemotherapy. Conclusion: Trifluridine/tipiracil is well tolerated in refractory mCRC patients with comparable efficacy and toxicity profile to that of the phase III RECOURSE. Pretreatment NLR and CEA could serve as potential markers for patient selection, while treatment-induced grade 3 neutropenia predicted response. Prospective validation is needed.
  • FGFR pathway inhibition in gastric cancer: the golden era of an old target?

    Hussain, Sadaqat (2022)
    Gastric cancer (GC) is the third leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide. The majority of patients are diagnosed at an advanced/metastatic stage of disease due to a lack of specific symptoms and lack of screening programs, especially in Western countries. Thus, despite the improvement in GC therapeutic opportunities, the survival is disappointing, and the definition of the optimal treatment is still an unmet need. Novel diagnostic techniques were developed in clinical trials in order to characterize the genetic profile of GCs and new potential molecular pathways, such as the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) pathway, were identified in order to improve patient's survival by using target therapies. The aim of this review is to summarize the role and the impact of FGFR signaling in GC and to provide an overview regarding the potential effectiveness of anti-FGFR agents in GC treatment in the context of precision medicine.
  • NUT carcinoma arising from the parotid gland: a case report and review of the literature

    Da Forno, Philip (2021)
    NUT carcinoma is an aggressive carcinoma with an overall poor survival outcome. The mediastinum and head and neck area, especially the sinonasal region, are among the common sites of disease. Histopathological diagnosis of NUT carcinoma is often very challenging due to its overlapping features with other poorly differentiated carcinomas. We report a case of NUT carcinoma arising from the parotid gland of a young female patient. Primary NUT carcinoma of salivary gland is very rare, with only 15 such cases reported in the literature to date. Our case highlights the diagnostic challenges associated with such lesions.
  • Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors: radiological aspects and suggested imaging pathway

    Hussein, Mohsin; Rennie, Winston (2021)
    Phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors (PMTs) are rare mesenchymal neoplasms of soft tissue or bone origin that can give rise to a challenge in diagnostic imaging. These tumors are frequently associated with tumor-induced osteomalacia, also called oncogenic osteomalacia, which is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome characterized by ectopic secretion of fibroblast growth factor 23, a hormone that regulates serum phosphate level. PMTs show polymorphic features on both radiological findings and histological examination, causing problems in diagnosis owing to their similarity with other mesenchymal tumors. Thus, this paper aims to describe radiological aspects of PMTs and suggest an imaging pathway for accurate diagnosis throughout the evidence from the literature review.