Recent Submissions

  • Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma associated with hepatitis C genotype 3 infection: A systematic review

    Divall, Pip (2024-04-25)
    Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood-borne virus which globally affects around 79 million people and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Chronic infection leads to cirrhosis in a large proportion of patients and often causes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in people with cirrhosis. Of the 6 HCV genotypes (G1-G6), genotype-3 accounts for 17.9% of infections. HCV genotype-3 responds least well to directly-acting antivirals and patients with genotype-3 infection are at increased risk of HCC even if they do not have cirrhosis. Aim: To systematically review and critically appraise all risk factors for HCC secondary to HCV-G3 in all settings. Consequently, we studied possible risk factors for HCC due to HCV-G3 in the literature from 1946 to 2023. Methods: This systematic review aimed to synthesise existing and published studies of risk factors for HCC secondary to HCV genotype-3 and evaluate their strengths and limitations. We searched Web of Science, Medline, EMBASE, and CENTRAL for publications reporting risk factors for HCC due to HCV genotype-3 in all settings, 1946-2023. Results: Four thousand one hundred and forty-four records were identified from the four databases with 260 records removed as duplicates. Three thousand eight hundred and eighty-four records were screened with 3514 excluded. Three hundred and seventy-one full-texts were assessed for eligibility with seven studies included for analysis. Of the seven studies, three studies were retrospective case-control trials, two retrospective cohort studies, one a prospective cohort study and one a cross-sectional study design. All were based in hospital settings with four in Pakistan, two in South Korea and one in the United States. The total number of participants were 9621 of which 167 developed HCC (1.7%). All seven studies found cirrhosis to be a risk factor for HCC secondary to HCV genotype-3 followed by higher age (five-studies), with two studies each showing male sex, high alpha feto-protein, directly-acting antivirals treatment and achievement of sustained virologic response as risk factors for developing HCC. Conclusion: Although, studies have shown that HCV genotype-3 infection is an independent risk factor for end-stage liver disease, HCC, and liver-related death, there is a lack of evidence for specific risk factors for HCC secondary to HCV genotype-3. Only cirrhosis and age have demonstrated an association; however, the number of studies is very small, and more research is required to investigate risk factors for HCC secondary to HCV genotype-3.
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma arising from intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia: multicentre ADENO-IPMN study

    Bhardwaj, Neil (2024-04-03)
    Background: The clinical impact of adjuvant chemotherapy after resection for adenocarcinoma arising from intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia is unclear. The aim of this study was to identify factors related to receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy and its impact on recurrence and survival. Methods: This was a multicentre retrospective study of patients undergoing pancreatic resection for adenocarcinoma arising from intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia between January 2010 and December 2020 at 18 centres. Recurrence and survival outcomes for patients who did and did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy were compared using propensity score matching. Results: Of 459 patients who underwent pancreatic resection, 275 (59.9%) received adjuvant chemotherapy (gemcitabine 51.3%, gemcitabine-capecitabine 21.8%, FOLFIRINOX 8.0%, other 18.9%). Median follow-up was 78 months. The overall recurrence rate was 45.5% and the median time to recurrence was 33 months. In univariable analysis in the matched cohort, adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with reduced overall (P = 0.713), locoregional (P = 0.283) or systemic (P = 0.592) recurrence, disease-free survival (P = 0.284) or overall survival (P = 0.455). Adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with reduced site-specific recurrence. In multivariable analysis, there was no association between adjuvant chemotherapy and overall recurrence (HR 0.89, 95% c.i. 0.57 to 1.40), disease-free survival (HR 0.86, 0.59 to 1.30) or overall survival (HR 0.77, 0.50 to 1.20). Adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with reduced recurrence in any high-risk subgroup (for example, lymph node-positive, higher AJCC stage, poor differentiation). No particular chemotherapy regimen resulted in superior outcomes. Conclusion: Chemotherapy following resection of adenocarcinoma arising from intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia does not appear to influence recurrence rates, recurrence patterns or survival.
  • The use of pembrolizumab monotherapy for the management of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in the UK

    Walter, Harriet (2024-04-29)
    Pembrolizumab has received approval in the UK as first-line monotherapy for recurrent and/or metastatic HNSCC (R/M HNSCC) following the results of the KEYNOTE-048 trial, which demonstrated a longer overall survival (OS) in comparison to the EXTREME chemotherapy regimen in patients with a combined positive score (CPS) ≥1. In this article, we provide retrospective real-world data on the role of pembrolizumab monotherapy as first-line systemic therapy for HNSCC across 18 centers in the UK from March 20, 2020 to May 31, 2021. 211 patients were included, and in the efficacy analysis, the objective response rate (ORR) was 24.7%, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.6-6.1), and the median OS was 10.8 months (95% CI 9.0-12.5). Pembrolizumab monotherapy was well tolerated, with 18 patients having to stop treatment owing to immune-related adverse events (irAEs). 53 patients proceeded to second-line treatment with a median PFS2 of 10.2 months (95% CI: 8.8-11.5). Moreover, patients with documented irAEs had a statistically significant longer median PFS (11.3 vs. 3.3 months; log-rank p value = <.001) and median OS (18.8 vs. 8.9 months; log-rank p value <.001). The efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab first-line monotherapy for HNSCC has been validated using real-world data.
  • Leveraging the pleural space for anticancer therapies in pleural mesothelioma

    Darlison, Liz; Fennell, Dean (2024-05-10)
    Most patients with pleural mesothelioma (PM) present with symptomatic pleural effusion. In some patients, PM is only detectable on the pleural surfaces, providing a strong rationale for intrapleural anticancer therapy. In modern prospective studies involving expert radiological staging and specialist multidisciplinary teams, the population incidence of stage I PM (an approximate surrogate of pleura-only PM) is higher than in historical retrospective series. In this Viewpoint, we advocate for the expansion of intrapleural trials to serve these patients, given the paucity of data supporting licensed systemic therapies in this setting and the uncertainties involved in surgical therapy. We begin by reviewing the unique anatomical and physiological features of the PM-bearing pleural space, before critically appraising the evidence for systemic therapies in stage I PM and previous intrapleural PM trials. We conclude with a summary of key challenges and potential solutions, including optimal trial designs, repurposing of indwelling pleural catheters, and new technologies. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.
  • Extended pleurectomy decortication and chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone for pleural mesothelioma (MARS 2): a phase 3 randomised controlled trial

    Fennell, Dean; Nelson, Louise (2024-05-10)
    Background: Extended pleurectomy decortication for complete macroscopic resection for pleural mesothelioma has never been evaluated in a randomised trial. The aim of this study was to compare outcomes after extended pleurectomy decortication plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone. Methods: MARS 2 was a phase 3, national, multicentre, open-label, parallel two-group, pragmatic, superiority randomised controlled trial conducted in the UK. The trial took place across 26 hospitals (21 recruiting only, one surgical only, and four recruiting and surgical). Following two cycles of chemotherapy, eligible participants with pleural mesothelioma were randomly assigned (1:1) to surgery and chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone using a secure web-based system. Individuals aged 16 years or older with resectable pleural mesothelioma and adequate organ and lung function were eligible for inclusion. Participants in the chemotherapy only group received two to four further cycles of chemotherapy, and participants in the surgery and chemotherapy group received pleurectomy decortication or extended pleurectomy decortication, followed by two to four further cycles of chemotherapy. It was not possible to mask allocation because the intervention was a major surgical procedure. The primary outcome was overall survival, defined as time from randomisation to death from any cause. Analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population for all outcomes, unless specified. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02040272, and is closed to new participants. Findings: Between June 19, 2015, and Jan 21, 2021, of 1030 assessed for eligibility, 335 participants were randomly assigned (169 to surgery and chemotherapy, and 166 to chemotherapy alone). 291 (87%) participants were men and 44 (13%) women, and 288 (86%) were diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma. At a median follow-up of 22·4 months (IQR 11·3-30·8), median survival was shorter in the surgery and chemotherapy group (19·3 months [IQR 10·0-33·7]) than in the chemotherapy alone group (24·8 months [IQR 12·6-37·4]), and the difference in restricted mean survival time at 2 years was -1·9 months (95% CI -3·4 to -0·3, p=0·019). There were 318 serious adverse events (grade ≥3) in the surgery group and 169 in the chemotherapy group (incidence rate ratio 3·6 [95% CI 2·3 to 5·5], p<0·0001), with increased incidence of cardiac (30 vs 12; 3·01 [1·13 to 8·02]) and respiratory (84 vs 34; 2·62 [1·58 to 4·33]) disorders, infection (124 vs 53; 2·13 [1·36 to 3·33]), and additional surgical or medical procedures (15 vs eight; 2·41 [1·04 to 5·57]) in the surgery group. Interpretation: Extended pleurectomy decortication was associated with worse survival to 2 years, and more serious adverse events for individuals with resectable pleural mesothelioma, compared with chemotherapy alone. Funding: National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme (15/188/31), Cancer Research UK Feasibility Studies Project Grant (A15895). Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
  • Serial postoperative circulating tumor DNA assessment has strong prognostic value during long-term follow-up in patients with breast cancer

    Ahmed, Samreen; Richards, Cathy (2024-04)
    Purpose: Here, we report the sensitivity of a personalized, tumor-informed circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) assay (Signatera) for detection of molecular relapse during long-term follow-up of patients with breast cancer. Methods: A total of 156 patients with primary breast cancer were monitored clinically for up to 12 years after surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. Semiannual blood samples were prospectively collected, and analyzed retrospectively to detect residual disease by ultradeep sequencing using ctDNA assays, developed from primary tumor whole-exome sequencing data. Results: Personalized Signatera assays detected ctDNA ahead of clinical or radiologic relapse in 30 of the 34 patients who relapsed (patient-level sensitivity of 88.2%). Relapse was predicted with a lead interval of up to 38 months (median, 10.5 months; range, 0-38 months), and ctDNA positivity was associated with shorter relapse-free survival (P < .0001) and overall survival (P < .0001). All relapsing triple-negative patients (n = 7/23) had a ctDNA-positive test within a median of 8 months (range, 0-19 months), while the 16 nonrelapsed patients with triple-negative breast cancer remained ctDNA-negative during a median follow-up of 58 months (range, 8-99 months). The four patients who had negative tests before relapse all had hormone receptor-positive (HR+) disease and conversely, five of the 122 nonrelapsed patients (all HR+) had an occasional positive test. Conclusion: Serial postoperative ctDNA assessment has strong prognostic value, provides a potential window for earlier therapeutic intervention, and may enable more effective monitoring than current clinical tests such as cancer antigen 15-3. Our study provides evidence that those with serially negative ctDNA tests have superior clinical outcomes, providing reassurance to patients with breast cancer. For select cases with HR+ disease, decisions about treatment management might require serial monitoring despite the ctDNA-positive result.
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 studies predicting diagnostic accuracy of CT, MRI, PET, and USG in detecting extracapsular spread in head and neck cancers

    Ameerally, Phil; Conboy, Peter; Mair, Manish; Oladejo, Olaleye; Salha, Rami; Vaidhyanath, Ram (2024-04-10)
    Background: Extracapsular spread (ECS) is the extension of cancer cells beyond the lymph node capsule and is a significant prognostic factor in head and neck cancers. This meta-analysis compared the diagnostic accuracy of CT, MRI, PET, and USG in detecting ECS in head and neck cancers. Methodology: The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that compared the diagnostic accuracy of CT, MRI, PET, and USG in detecting ECS in head and neck cancers. They included studies that were published between 1990 and December 2023 and that used histopathology as the reference standard for ECS. Results: The pooled sensitivity and specificity of CT scan were 0.63 (95% CI = 0.53-0.73) and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.74-0.91), respectively. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of MRI were 0.83 (95% CI = 0.71-0.90) and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.73-0.92), respectively. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of PET were 0.80 (95% CI = 0.74-0.85) and 0.93 (95% CI = 0.92-0.94), respectively. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of USG were 0.80 (95% CI = 0.68-0.88) and 0.84 (95% CI = 0.74-0.91), respectively. MRI had significantly higher sensitivity than CT scan (p-0.05). The specificity of CT and MRI was not significantly different (p-0.99). PET scan had the highest specificity among all imaging modalities. Conclusion: MRI is the most accurate imaging modality for detecting ECS in head and neck cancers. CT scan is a reasonable alternative, but PET scan may be considered when high specificity is required. USG may not add any further benefit in detecting ECS.
  • Quality improvement: treatment escalation plans in oncology

    Adat, Rehaan (2024-04-18)
    Treatment escalation plans (TEPs) are increasingly appreciated tools in modern hospital medicine. It records and advises on the appropriate escalation of care for our patients, often when those of us who know them best are not available. It is of value in all specialties, though notably in oncology where an oncologist would be best placed at advising on the care of their patients.A baseline study in September 2021 found only 22% of patients admitted under oncology at Northampton General Hospital had TEP forms completed within 72 hours of admission. This quality improvement project aimed to significantly and sustainably improve this. Education and increasing the understanding of the medical and nursing teams about the importance of timely TEP form completion was essential. We also made TEPs a part of every multidisciplinary team discussion regarding a patient. Though, most significantly was the recognition that one of the responsibilities of the admitting registrar was to fill out a TEP form once the decision to admit had been made. Our ensuing study found an increase in our completion rate to 83% in February 2022.A fall in performance after introduction of new medical staff was swiftly remedied by re-education and encouragement to join daily board rounds. We sustained and improved the team's rate of TEP completion, within 72 hours of admission, to 80% in February 2023 and 91% in May 2023.
  • The paradox of haemodialysis: the lived experience of the clocked treatment of chronic illness

    Burton, James O; Hull, Katherine L (2024-03)
    Studies exploring the relationship between time and chronic illness have generally focused on measurable aspects of time, also known as linear time. Linear time follows a predictable, sequential order of past, present and future; measured using a clock and predicated on normative assumptions. Sociological concepts addressing lifecourse disruption following diagnosis of chronic illness have served to enhance the understanding of lived experience. To understand the nuanced relationship between time and chronic illness, however, requires further exploration. Here, we show how the implicit assumptions of linear time meet in tension with the lived experience of chronic illness. We draw on interviews and photovoice work with people with end-stage kidney disease in receipt of in-centre-daytime haemodialysis to show how the clocked treatment of chronic illness disrupts experiences of time. Drawing on concepts of 'crip' and 'chronic' time we argue that clocked treatment and the lived experience of chronic illness converge at a paradox whereby clocked treatment allows for the continuation of linear time yet limits freedom. We use the concept of 'crip time' to challenge the normative assumptions implicit within linear concepts of time and argue that the understanding of chronic illness and its treatment would benefit from a 'cripped' starting point.
  • Safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity from a phase I study of simlukafusp alfa (FAP-IL2v) in advanced/metastatic solid tumors

    Ahmed, Samreen (2024-04-17)
    Purpose: Simlukafusp alfa (FAP-IL2v), a tumor-targeted immunocytokine, comprising an interleukin-2 variant moiety with abolished CD25 binding fused to human immunoglobulin G1, is directed against fibroblast activation protein-α. This phase I, open-label, multicenter, dose-escalation and extension study (NCT02627274) evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity of FAP-IL2v in patients with advanced/metastatic solid tumors. Methods: Participants received FAP-IL2v intravenously once weekly. Dose escalation started at 5 mg; flat dosing (≤25 mg) and intra-participant up-titration regimens (15/20 mg, 20/25 mg, 20/20/35 mg, 20/35/35 mg) were evaluated. Primary objectives were dose-limiting toxicities (DLT), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), recommended expansion dose, and pharmacokinetics. Results: Sixty-one participants were enrolled. DLTs included fatigue (flat dose 20 mg: n = 1), asthenia (25 mg: n = 1), drug-induced liver injury (up-titration regimen 20/25 mg: n = 1), transaminase increase (20/25 mg: n = 1), and pneumonia (20/35/35 mg: n = 1). Up-titration regimen 15/20 mg was the MTD and was selected as the recommended expansion dose. Increases in peripheral blood absolute immune cell counts were seen for all tested doses (natural killer cells, 13-fold; CD4+ T cells [including Tregs], 2-fold; CD8+ T cells, 3.5-fold), but without any percentage change in Tregs. Clinical activity was observed from 5 mg (objective response rate, 5.1% [n = 3]; disease control rate, 27.1% [n = 16]). Responses were durable (n = 3; 2.8 [censored], 6.3, and 43.4 months). Conclusions: FAP-IL2v had a manageable safety profile and showed initial signs of antitumor activity in advanced/metastatic solid tumors.
  • Oral cavity cancers: ethnic differences in radiotherapy outcomes in a majority South Asian Leicester community

    Patil, N (2024-05)
    Aims: Squamous cell carcinoma oral cavity cancers (SCCOCCs) have a higher reported incidence in South Asian countries. We sought to compare presenting stage and outcome by ethnicity in patients with SCCOCC treated with radical radiotherapy in a single centre in the UK. Materials and methods: All patients with SCCOCC treated with radical radiotherapy at an oncology department in Leicester (UK) between 2011 and 2017 were identified. Baseline demographic, clinical data and 2-year treatment outcomes were reported. Results: Of the 109 patients included, 40 were South Asian and 59 were non-South Asian. South Asians had significantly poorer 2-year disease-free survival compared with non-South Asians (54.6% versus 73%, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Our analysis suggests that South Asians with SCCOCC have poorer outcomes despite a younger age and similar disease characteristics. Environmental, social factors and differing biology of disease may be responsible and further research is required to inform targeted interventions.
  • Current evidences in poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma: a systematic review and subsection meta-analysis for clinical decision making

    Mair, Manish (2024-03-19)
    Background: Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) is a distinct entity with intermediate prognosis between indolent follicular thyroid cancers and anaplastic carcinoma. The management guidelines are not standardized for these cancers due its low prevalence and limited available literature. Therefore, we did this systematic review with emphasis on current evidence on diagnosis, imaging, molecular markers, and management of these carcinomas. Materials and methods: We searched four databases, PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, and Emcare to identify studies published till October 2023. All studies reporting diagnostic tests, imaging, molecular marker expression and management of PDTC were included in the review. The meta-analysis was conducted on expression of molecular markers in these cancers following recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Random-effects meta-analysis was used to calculate pooled estimated prevalence with 95% confidence intervals. Based on the inclusion criteria, 62 articles were selected to be incorporated for the review. Differences in pathological diagnostic criteria of PDTC was noted in literature which was addressed in WHO 2022 diagnostic terminologies with expansion of the definition. Surgical management is uniformly recommended for early stage PDTC. However, literature is divided and anecdotal for recommendations on radioactive iodine (RAI), extent of neck dissection and adjuvant treatment in PDTC. Evidence for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), novel theragnostic approaches, immunotherapy targets are evolving. Based on the subset analysis for expression of molecular markers, we found the most common markers expressed were TERT (41%), BRAF (28%) and P 53 (25%). Conclusion: Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas have a high case fatality rate (up to 31%). Eighty-five % of the patients who succumb to the disease have distant metastasis. Even though under-represented in literature, evidence-based management of these aggressive tumors can help personalize the treatment for optimal outcomes.
  • Ibrutinib as first-line therapy for mantle cell lymphoma: a multicenter, real-world UK study

    Walter, Harriet (2024-03-12)
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, ibrutinib with or without rituximab was approved in England for initial treatment of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) instead of immunochemotherapy. Because limited data are available in this setting, we conducted an observational cohort study evaluating safety and efficacy. Adults receiving ibrutinib with or without rituximab for untreated MCL were evaluated for treatment toxicity, response, and survival, including outcomes in high-risk MCL (TP53 mutation/deletion/p53 overexpression, blastoid/pleomorphic, or Ki67 ≥ 30%). A total of 149 patients from 43 participating centers were enrolled: 74.1% male, median age 75 years, 75.2% Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group status of 0 to 1, 36.2% high-risk, and 8.9% autologous transplant candidates. All patients received ≥1 cycle ibrutinib (median, 8 cycles), 39.0% with rituximab. Grade ≥3 toxicity occurred in 20.3%, and 33.8% required dose reductions/delays. At 15.6-month median follow-up, 41.6% discontinued ibrutinib, 8.1% due to toxicity. Of 104 response-assessed patients, overall (ORR) and complete response (CR) rates were 71.2% and 20.2%, respectively. ORR was 77.3% (low risk) vs 59.0% (high risk) (P = .05) and 78.7% (ibrutinib-rituximab) vs 64.9% (ibrutinib; P = .13). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 26.0 months (all patients); 13.7 months (high risk) vs not reached (NR) (low risk; hazard ratio [HR], 2.19; P = .004). Median overall survival was NR (all); 14.8 months (high risk) vs NR (low risk; HR, 2.36; P = .005). Median post-ibrutinib survival was 1.4 months, longer in 41.9% patients receiving subsequent treatment (median, 8.6 vs 0.6 months; HR, 0.36; P = .002). Ibrutinib with or without rituximab was effective and well tolerated as first-line treatment of MCL, including older and transplant-ineligible patients. PFS and OS were significantly inferior in one-third of patients with high-risk disease and those unsuitable for post-ibrutinib treatment, highlighting the need for novel approaches in these groups.
  • Evidence for molecular subtyping in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a systematic review

    Robertson, Francis (2024-02-10)
    Background: Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients exhibit varied responses to multimodal therapy. RNA gene sequencing has unravelled distinct tumour biology subtypes, forming the focus of this review exploring its impact on survival outcomes. Methods: A systematic search across PubMed, Medline, Embase, and CINAHL databases targeted studies assessing long-term overall and disease-free survival in PDAC patients with molecular subtyping. Results: Fifteen studies including 2731 patients were identified. Molecular subtyping was performed by RNA sequencing and Immunohistochemistry in 14 studies and by Mass Spectrometry in 1 study. Two main tumour subtypes were identified (classical and basal-like or squamous) with basal like associated with poorer outcomes. Further subtypes were identified in individual studies. Superior survival was seen with classical subtype in all other analyses that compared the classical and basal subtypes. High risk stromal subtypes were identified on further analysis of the stroma and were associated with a worse survival independent of the tumour subtype. Conclusion: Molecular subtyping of PDAC specimens can identify patients with high-risk tumour biology and poor survival outcomes. Routine subtyping is limited by the cost of RNA sequencing and the volume of raw data generated which has made its translation into routine clinical practice difficult.
  • Oral cavity cancers: ethnic differences in radiotherapy outcomes in a majority South Asian Leicester community

    Patil, N; Mair, M; Nazareth, Joshua; Sim, A; Reynolds, C; Freeman, N; Chauhan, M; Ahmad, S; Sridhar, T; Walter, H (2024-02-15)
    Aims: Squamous cell carcinoma oral cavity cancers (SCCOCCs) have a higher reported incidence in South Asian countries. We sought to compare presenting stage and outcome by ethnicity in patients with SCCOCC treated with radical radiotherapy in a single centre in the UK. Materials and methods: All patients with SCCOCC treated with radical radiotherapy at an oncology department in Leicester (UK) between 2011 and 2017 were identified. Baseline demographic, clinical data and 2-year treatment outcomes were reported. Results: Of the 109 patients included, 40 were South Asian and 59 were non-South Asian. South Asians had significantly poorer 2-year disease-free survival compared with non-South Asians (54.6% versus 73%, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Our analysis suggests that South Asians with SCCOCC have poorer outcomes despite a younger age and similar disease characteristics. Environmental, social factors and differing biology of disease may be responsible and further research is required to inform targeted interventions.
  • Exploring the perspectives of underrepresented voices: Perceptions and experiences of uterine cancer for black African, Caribbean, black British, and mixed-black women in the UK to develop strategies for early symptom presentation

    Moss, E L; Usman, A (2024-01)
    Objectives: The uterine cancer (UC) mortality rate in the UK is significantly higher for women who belong to a Black ethnic group compared to those from other ethnic groups. This study aimed to understand the views and experiences of UC amongst Black ethnic minority women in the UK, with a focus on awareness and presentation of red-flag symptoms. Methods: Women of Black African, Caribbean, Black British and Mixed-Black ethnicity were purposefully recruited to participate in focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews. Results: Twenty women from different regions in England participated in the study. Reflexive thematic analysis of the data led to the identification of three main themes: 1) Healthcare inequities; 2) Support and sense making with other Black women; and 3) Knowledge dissemination, mobilisation, and empowerment. Perceptions of inequitable healthcare provision and distrust influenced how participants, and their peer networks, approached seeking assistance from healthcare professionals. Concerns were also raised about culturally insensitive information resources, including issues of language, literacy, and representation, all of which served as potential barriers for women within Black ethnic minority groups. Conclusions: The deficiency of targeted knowledge mobilisation and specific UC information aimed at Black ethnicity women living in the UK, reportedly contributes to the dissemination of misconceptions and an atmosphere of apprehension around a UC diagnosis. The insights from this study highlight the significance of designing culturally sensitive strategies to promote informed decision-making and empower the dissemination of accurate health knowledge amongst Black women.
  • A multicentre prospective evaluation of health-related quality of life and patient related outcomes in pancreatic and peripancreatic cancer: PROMCAN study

    Robertson, Francis (2024-02-01)
    Background: The temporal evolution of HRQoL and the importance of other PROs to patients, following resection for pancreatic and peripancreatic malignancy remains unexplored. Methods: Patients undergoing pancreatic resection between 2021 and 2022 were enrolled from 2 UK HPB centres. Patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-PAN26 tools and rated 56 PROs preoperatively (T1), at discharge (T2), 6-weeks (T3), 3-months (T4) and 6-months (T5) postoperatively. ANOVA followed by post-hoc analysis was used to examine patterns in HRQoL through time. Multivariable ANOVA was used to identify impact of clinical factors on HRQoL. Results: 63 patients were recruited [median age, 72 (IQR 41-85); 39/63 male]. Physical functioning declined from 70.4 (26.2) at T1 to 53.5 (20.9) at T2 (p = 0.016). Global QoL score increased significantly from 41.0 (23.0) at T2 to 60.0 (26.1) at T5 (p = 0.007), as did role functioning [21.1 (27.9) at T2 to 59.4 (32.8) at T5, p < 0.001]. Chemotherapy status and the postoperative complications did not significantly change HRQoL. General QoL and health were the only PROs rated as 'very important' (scores 7-9) by more than 80 % of participants at five time-points. Conclusion: Recuperation of HRQoL measures is seen at 6-months postoperative and was not affected by chemotherapy or postoperative complications. Notably, PROs important to patients varied over time.
  • Redox modulation of oxidatively-induced DNA damage by ascorbate enhances both in vitro and ex-vivo DNA damage formation and cell death in melanoma cells

    Brown, Karen; Saldanha, Gerald; Sanusi, Timi (2024-03)
    Elevated genomic instability in cancer cells suggests a possible model-scenario for their selective killing via the therapeutic delivery of well-defined levels of further DNA damage. To examine this scenario, this study investigated the potential for redox modulation of oxidatively-induced DNA damage by ascorbate in malignant melanoma (MM) cancer cells, to selectively enhance both DNA damage and MM cell killing. DNA damage was assessed by Comet and ɣH2AX assays, intracellular oxidising species by dichlorofluorescein fluorescence, a key antioxidant enzymatic defence by assessment of catalase activity and cell survival was determined by clonogenic assay. Comet revealed that MM cells had higher endogenous DNA damage levels than normal keratinocytes (HaCaT cells); this correlated MM cells having higher intracellular oxidising species and lower catalase activity, and ranked with MM cell melanin pigmentation. Comet also showed MM cells more sensitive towards the DNA damaging effects of exogenous H2O2, and that ascorbate further enhanced this H2O2-induced damage in MM cells; again, with MM cell sensitivity to induced damage ranking with degree of cell pigmentation. Furthermore, cell survival data indicated that ascorbate enhanced H2O2-induced clonogenic cell death selectively in MM cells whilst protecting HaCaT cells. Finally, we show that ascorbate serves to enhance the oxidising effects of the MM therapeutic drug Elesclomol in both established MM cells in vitro and primary cell cultures ex vivo. Together, these results suggest that ascorbate selectively enhances DNA damage and cell-killing in MM cells. This raises the option of incorporating ascorbate into clinical oxidative therapies to treat MM.
  • Pegargiminase plus first-line chemotherapy in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma: the ATOMIC-meso randomized clinical trial

    Fennell, Dean A (2024-02-15)
    Importance: Arginine deprivation using ADI-PEG20 (pegargiminase) combined with chemotherapy is untested in a randomized study among patients with cancer. ATOMIC-Meso (ADI-PEG20 Targeting of Malignancies Induces Cytotoxicity-Mesothelioma) is a pivotal trial comparing standard first-line chemotherapy plus pegargiminase or placebo in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma. Objective: To determine the effect of pegargiminase-based chemotherapy on survival in nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma, an arginine-auxotrophic tumor. Design, setting, and participants: This was a phase 2-3, double-blind randomized clinical trial conducted at 43 centers in 5 countries that included patients with chemotherapy-naive nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma from August 1, 2017, to August 15, 2021, with at least 12 months' follow-up. Final follow-up was on August 15, 2022. Data analysis was performed from March 2018 to June 2023. Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive weekly intramuscular pegargiminase (36.8 mg/m2) or placebo. All patients received intravenous pemetrexed (500 mg/m2) and platinum (75-mg/m2 cisplatin or carboplatin area under the curve 5) chemotherapy every 3 weeks up to 6 cycles. Pegargiminase or placebo was continued until progression, toxicity, or 24 months. Main outcomes and measures: The primary end point was overall survival, and secondary end points were progression-free survival and safety. Response rate by blinded independent central review was assessed in the phase 2 portion only. Results: Among 249 randomized patients (mean [SD] age, 69.5 [7.9] years; 43 female individuals [17.3%] and 206 male individuals [82.7%]), all were included in the analysis. The median overall survival was 9.3 months (95% CI, 7.9-11.8 months) with pegargiminase-chemotherapy as compared with 7.7 months (95% CI, 6.1-9.5 months) with placebo-chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] for death, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.55-0.93; P = .02). The median progression-free survival was 6.2 months (95% CI, 5.8-7.4 months) with pegargiminase-chemotherapy as compared with 5.6 months (95% CI, 4.1-5.9 months) with placebo-chemotherapy (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.46-0.90; P = .02). Grade 3 to 4 adverse events with pegargiminase occurred in 36 patients (28.8%) and with placebo in 21 patients (16.9%); drug hypersensitivity and skin reactions occurred in the experimental arm in 3 patients (2.4%) and 2 patients (1.6%), respectively, and none in the placebo arm. Rates of poststudy treatments were comparable in both arms (57 patients [45.6%] with pegargiminase vs 58 patients [46.8%] with placebo). Conclusions and relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of arginine depletion with pegargiminase plus chemotherapy, survival was extended beyond standard chemotherapy with a favorable safety profile in patients with nonepithelioid pleural mesothelioma. Pegargiminase-based chemotherapy as a novel antimetabolite strategy for mesothelioma validates wider clinical testing in oncology.
  • Resveratrol for the management of human health: how far have we come? A systematic review of resveratrol clinical trials to highlight gaps and opportunities

    Brown, Karen; Pepper, Coral (2024-01-06)
    Resveratrol has long been proposed as being beneficial to human health across multiple morbidities, yet there is currently no conclusive clinical evidence to advocate its recommendation in any healthcare setting. A large cohort with high-quality clinical data and clearly defined biomarkers or endpoints are required to draw meaningful conclusions. This systematic review compiles every clinical trial conducted using a defined dose of resveratrol in a purified form across multiple morbidities to highlight the current 'state-of-play' and knowledge gaps, informing future trial designs to facilitate the realisation of resveratrol's potential benefits to human health. Over the last 20 years, there have been almost 200 studies evaluating resveratrol across at least 24 indications, including cancer, menopause symptoms, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. There are currently no consensus treatment regimens for any given condition or endpoint, beyond the fact that resveratrol is generally well-tolerated at a dose of up to 1 g/day. Additionally, resveratrol consistently reduces inflammatory markers and improves aspects of a dysregulated metabolism. In conclusion, over the last 20 years, the increasing weight of clinical evidence suggests resveratrol can benefit human health, but more large, high-quality clinical trials are required to transition this intriguing compound from health food shops to the clinic.

View more