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Concept: Antineoplastic drugs


The RAISE phase 3 clinical trial demonstrated that ramucirumab+FOLFIRI improved overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio [HR]=0.844, p=0.0219) and progression-free survival (PFS) (HR=0.793, p<0.0005) compared to placebo+FOLFIRI for second-line metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) patients previously treated with first-line bevacizumab, oxaliplatin, and a fluoropyrimidine. Since some patient or disease characteristics could be associated with differential efficacy or safety, prespecified subgroup analyses were undertaken. This report focuses on three of the most relevant ones: KRAS status (wild type versus mutant), age (<65 versus ≥65 years), and time to progression (TTP) on first-line therapy (<6 versus ≥6 months).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Cancer, Medical statistics, Colorectal cancer, Clinical research, Placebo, Antineoplastic drugs


One third of patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) achieve pathologic complete response (pCR) with standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). CALGB 40603 (Alliance), a 2 × 2 factorial, open-label, randomized phase II trial, evaluated the impact of adding carboplatin and/or bevacizumab.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Chemotherapy, Doxorubicin, Antineoplastic drugs


In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of rituximab in combination with standard doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (RABVD) in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). In this phase 2 study, patients with chemotherapy-naive, advanced-stage cHL were treated with rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly for 6 weeks and standard ABVD for 6 cycles. The primary outcome was event-free survival (EFS) at 5 years. Eighty-five patients were enrolled, of whom 78 were eligible. With a median follow-up duration of 68 months (range, 26-110), and based on an intent-to-treat analysis, the 5-year EFS and overall survival rates were 83% and 96%, respectively. The 5-year EFS for patients with stage III/IV cHL was 82%. Furthermore, the 5-year EFS for patients with an International Prognostic Score of 0-2 was 88% and for those with a score of > 2, it was 73%. The most frequent treatment-related grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (23%), fatigue (9%), and nausea (8%). Our results demonstrate that the addition of rituximab to ABVD is safe and has a promising clinical activity in patients with advanced-stage cHL. These data are currently being confirmed in a multicenter randomized trial.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Chemotherapy, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Doxorubicin, ABVD, Antineoplastic drugs, Vinblastine


There is a lack of contemporary prospective data examining the adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine (ABVD) and Stanford V (SV; doxorubicin, vinblastine, mechlorethamine, vincristine, bleomycin, etoposide, prednisone) regimens in older Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients. Forty-four advanced-stage, older HL patients (aged ≥60 years) were treated on the randomized study, E2496. Toxicities were mostly similar between chemotherapy regimens, although 24% of older patients developed bleomycin lung toxicity (BLT), which occurred mainly with ABVD (91%). Further, the BLT-related mortality rate was 18%. The overall treatment-related mortality for older HL patients was 9% vs. 0·3% for patients aged <60 years (P < 0·001). Among older patients, there were no survival differences between ABVD and SV. According to age, outcomes were significantly inferior for older versus younger patients (5-year failure-free survival: 48% vs. 74%, respectively, P = 0·002; 5-year overall survival: 58% and 90%, respectively, P < 0·0001), although time-to-progression (TTP) was not significantly different (5-year TTP: 68% vs. 78%, respectively, P = 0·37). Furthermore, considering progression and death without progression as competing risks, the risk of progression was not different between older and younger HL patients (5 years: 30% and 23%, respectively, P = 0·30); however, the incidence of death without progression was significantly increased for older HL patients (22% vs. 9%, respectively, P < 0·0001). Altogether, the marked HL age-dependent survival differences appeared attributable primarily to non-HL events.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Chemotherapy regimens, Vincristine, Doxorubicin, ABVD, Antineoplastic drugs, Stanford V


The H97-I trial (1997-2004) for Hodgkin lymphoma at intermediate stage (HL-I) included 269 patients who were randomized to receive three or four cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine (ABVD). The 197 patients who reached complete remission (CR) (73.2%, p = 0.41 between arms) received radiotherapy (RT); their 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate was 87.7 ± 3.0%, similar to that of the 180 patients of a historical control group (HCG) in CR after three ABVD cycles before RT. The 59 patients who reached post-ABVD partial remission (PR) received one course of intensive chemotherapy (i.v., mg/m(2), vindesine 5, adriamycin 90, BCNU 140, etoposide 600, methylprednisolone 600) before RT. In spite of this additional intensive chemotherapy, their PFS rate (78.4 ± 6.3%) remained significantly lower (p = 0.03) than that of the 197 patients who reached post-ABVD CR, and was similar to that of the 60 patients of the HCG in PR after three ABVD cycles who did not receive additional chemotherapy before RT.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Lymphoma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Doxorubicin, CYP3A4, ABVD, Antineoplastic drugs, Vinblastine


The treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia has improved considerably after recognition of the effectiveness of all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), anthracycline-based chemotherapy, and arsenic trioxide (ATO). Here we report the use of all 3 agents in combination in an APML4 phase 2 protocol. For induction, ATO was superimposed on an ATRA and idarubicin backbone, with scheduling designed to exploit antileukemic synergy while minimizing cardiotoxicity and the severity of differentiation syndrome. Consolidation comprised 2 cycles of ATRA and ATO without chemotherapy, followed by 2 years of maintenance with ATRA, oral methotrexate, and 6-mercaptopurine. Of 124 evaluable patients, there were 4 (3.2%) early deaths, 118 (95%) hematologic complete remissions, and all 112 patients who commenced consolidation attained molecular complete remission. The 2-year rate for freedom from relapse is 97.5%, failure-free survival 88.1%, and overall survival 93.2%. These outcomes were not influenced by FLT3 mutation status, whereas failure-free survival was correlated with Sanz risk stratification (P[trend] = .03). Compared with our previously reported ATRA/idarubicin-based protocol (APML3), APML4 patients had statistically significantly improved freedom from relapse (P = .006) and failure-free survival (P = .01). In conclusion, the use of ATO in both induction and consolidation achieved excellent outcomes despite a substantial reduction in anthracycline exposure. This trial was registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( as ACTRN12605000070639.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Leukemia, Blood disorders, Acute promyelocytic leukemia, Anthracycline, Arsenic trioxide, Antineoplastic drugs, Retinoic acid syndrome


A 9-month-old boy with life-threatening multiresistant pure red cell anemia/autoimmune hemolytic anemia within the frame of a possible, undiagnosed immune-mediated disease was initially treated with prednisone. Further-line therapies of the following 7 relapses included immunoglobulins, rituximab, cyclophosphamide, and alentuzumab followed by other maintenance treatments as cyclosporine, methotrexate, and mycophenolate. After all the administered therapies failed, the patient was successfully treated by splenectomy followed by fludarabine and then sirolimus as maintenance treatment. Relapses might have been caused by the lack of a complete debulking of triggering cells and/or ineffective maintenance therapy. Splenectomy and sirolimus may have played a complementary role in the management of both situations.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Bacteria, Red blood cell, Rheumatoid arthritis, Anemia, Hemolytic anemia, Leukemia, Antineoplastic drugs


Fixed-dose rate gemcitabine plus docetaxel achieves objective response in 35% of patients with uterine leiomyosarcoma (uLMS). This study aimed to determine whether the addition of bevacizumab to gemcitabine-docetaxel increases progression-free survival (PFS) in uLMS.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Lung cancer, Chemotherapy, Phase, Antineoplastic drugs, Uterine sarcoma


Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare and aggressive CD20-negative lymphoma. Despite improvements of the biology behind PBL, it still represents a challenge from the diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives for pathologists and clinicians. PBL is characterized by high rates of relapse and short median survival with standard approaches. Here, we report the use of the combination of bortezomib and infusional etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin (V-EPOCH) in three patients with PBL; two were HIV-positive and one was HIV-negative. All three patients obtained a durable complete response to V-EPOCH with survival times of 24, 18 and 12 months respectively.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Hodgkin's lymphoma, Antineoplastic drugs


Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare and confers an unfavorable prognosis in advanced stages. Other than combination chemotherapy with cisplatin, etoposide, doxorubicin, and mitotane, the second- and third-line regimens are not well-established. Gemcitabine (GEM)-based chemotherapy was suggested in a phase 2 clinical trial with 28 patients. In other solid tumors, human equilibrative nucleoside transporter type 1 (hENT1) and/or ribonucleotide reductase catalytic subunit M1 (RRM1) expression have been associated with resistance to GEM.

Concepts: DNA, Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer, Chemotherapy, Antineoplastic drugs, Adrenocortical carcinoma, Ribonucleotide reductase