SciCombinator

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Concept: Non-small cell lung carcinoma

251

Background Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against programmed death 1 (PD-1) that has antitumor activity in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with increased activity in tumors that express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1). Methods In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned 305 patients who had previously untreated advanced NSCLC with PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells and no sensitizing mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor gene or translocation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene to receive either pembrolizumab (at a fixed dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks) or the investigator’s choice of platinum-based chemotherapy. Crossover from the chemotherapy group to the pembrolizumab group was permitted in the event of disease progression. The primary end point, progression-free survival, was assessed by means of blinded, independent, central radiologic review. Secondary end points were overall survival, objective response rate, and safety. Results Median progression-free survival was 10.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.7 to not reached) in the pembrolizumab group versus 6.0 months (95% CI, 4.2 to 6.2) in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.68; P<0.001). The estimated rate of overall survival at 6 months was 80.2% in the pembrolizumab group versus 72.4% in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio for death, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.89; P=0.005). The response rate was higher in the pembrolizumab group than in the chemotherapy group (44.8% vs. 27.8%), the median duration of response was longer (not reached [range, 1.9+ to 14.5+ months] vs. 6.3 months [range, 2.1+ to 12.6+]), and treatment-related adverse events of any grade were less frequent (occurring in 73.4% vs. 90.0% of patients), as were grade 3, 4, or 5 treatment-related adverse events (26.6% vs. 53.3%). Conclusions In patients with advanced NSCLC and PD-L1 expression on at least 50% of tumor cells, pembrolizumab was associated with significantly longer progression-free and overall survival and with fewer adverse events than was platinum-based chemotherapy. (Funded by Merck; KEYNOTE-024 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02142738 .).

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Monoclonal antibodies

175

Systemic chemotherapy using two-drug platinum-based regimens for the treatment of advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has largely reached a plateau of effectiveness. Accordingly, efforts to improve survival and quality of life outcomes have more recently focused on the use of molecularly targeted agents, either alone or in combination with standard of care therapies such as taxanes. The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) represents an attractive candidate for therapeutic intervention, as its inhibition results in the simultaneous blockade of multiple oncogenic signaling cascades. Ganetespib is a non-ansamycin inhibitor of Hsp90 currently under clinical evaluation in a number of human malignancies, including NSCLC. Here we show that ganetespib potentiates the cytotoxic activity of the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel in NSCLC models. The combination of ganetespib with paclitaxel, docetaxel or another microtubule-targeted agent vincristine resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effects in the H1975 cell line in vitro. These benefits translated to improved efficacy in H1975 xenografts in vivo, with significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibition observed in combination with paclitaxel and tumor regressions seen with docetaxel. Notably, concurrent exposure to ganetespib and docetaxel improved antitumor activity in 5 of 6 NSCLC xenograft models examined. Our data suggest that the improved therapeutic indices are likely to be mechanistically multifactorial, including loss of pro-survival signaling and direct cell cycle effects resulting from Hsp90 modulation by ganetespib. Taken together, these findings provide preclinical evidence for the use of this combination to treat patients with advanced NSCLC.

Concepts: Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Cancer staging, Chemotherapy, Chaperone, Heat shock protein, Paclitaxel

168

The aim of this study was to assess the role of skin rash in predicting the efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) and the prognosis of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Signal transduction, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Epidermal growth factor, Protein kinase inhibitor

167

The cellular retinoic acid-binding protein II (CRABPII) and epidermal fatty acid-binding protein (E-FABP) both serving as the transport protein of retinoic acid (RA), through RA signal transduction pathway, commit the cell to opposite fate, apoptosis or survival. The aim of this study is to investigate the expression of CRABPII and E-FABP and significance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and their lymph node metastases with tissue microarray technique.

Concepts: Protein, Cancer, Metastasis, Signal transduction, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Lymph node, Hormone

166

The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor and is expressed in alveolar type II cells, alveolar macrophages and Clara cells in the lung. Although decrease or absence of C/EBPα expression in human non-small cell lung cancer suggests a possible role of C/EBPα as a lung tumor suppressor, there is no direct proof for this hypothesis. In this study, we investigated, for the first time, the role of C/EBPα in lung tumors in vivo using transgenic mice with lung epithelial specific conditional deletion of Cebpa (Cebpα(Δ/Δ) mice) and a urethane-induced lung tumor model. C/EBPα expression in the lung was dispensable, and its deletion was not oncogenic under unstressed conditions. However, at 28 wk after urethane injection, the number and size of tumors and the tumor burden were significantly higher in Cebpα(Δ/Δ) mice than in littermate control mice. Urethane-injected Cebpα(Δ/Δ) mice showed highly proliferative adenomas and adenocarcinomas in the lung, and survival time after urethane-injection was significantly shorter than that in control mice. In control mice, C/EBPα was strongly induced in the tumor tissues at 28 weeks after urethane-injection, but became weakened or absent as tumors progressed after long-term observation for over 1 year. Using intraperitoneal injection of p38 inhibitor (SB203580), we demonstrated that the induction of C/EBPα is strongly regulated by the p38 MAP kinase in murine alveolar epithelial cells. A high correlation was demonstrated between the expression of C/EBPα and p38α MAP kinase in tumor cells, suggesting that C/EBPα silencing in tumor cells is caused by down-regulation of p38α MAP kinase. In conclusion, the role of C/EBPα as a lung tumor suppressor was demonstrated for the first time in the present study, and the extinguished C/EBPα expression through p38α inactivation leads tumor promotion and progression.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Cancer, Oncology, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Tumor

166

We introduce a novel computational framework to enable automated identification of texture and shape features of lesions on (18)F-FDG-PET images through a graph-based image segmentation method. The proposed framework predicts future morphological changes of lesions with high accuracy. The presented methodology has several benefits over conventional qualitative and semi-quantitative methods, due to its fully quantitative nature and high accuracy in each step of (i) detection, (ii) segmentation, and (iii) feature extraction. To evaluate our proposed computational framework, thirty patients received 2 (18)F-FDG-PET scans (60 scans total), at two different time points. Metastatic papillary renal cell carcinoma, cerebellar hemongioblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer, neurofibroma, lymphomatoid granulomatosis, lung neoplasm, neuroendocrine tumor, soft tissue thoracic mass, nonnecrotizing granulomatous inflammation, renal cell carcinoma with papillary and cystic features, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, metastatic alveolar soft part sarcoma, and small cell lung cancer were included in this analysis. The radiotracer accumulation in patients' scans was automatically detected and segmented by the proposed segmentation algorithm. Delineated regions were used to extract shape and textural features, with the proposed adaptive feature extraction framework, as well as standardized uptake values (SUV) of uptake regions, to conduct a broad quantitative analysis. Evaluation of segmentation results indicates that our proposed segmentation algorithm has a mean dice similarity coefficient of 85.75±1.75%. We found that 28 of 68 extracted imaging features were correlated well with SUV(max) (p<0.05), and some of the textural features (such as entropy and maximum probability) were superior in predicting morphological changes of radiotracer uptake regions longitudinally, compared to single intensity feature such as SUV(max). We also found that integrating textural features with SUV measurements significantly improves the prediction accuracy of morphological changes (Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.8715, p<2e-16).

Concepts: Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, Types of cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma, Correlation and dependence, Small cell carcinoma

154

The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement is a driver gene of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Positive expression of ALK gene rearrangement has been considered a molecular subtype of NSCLC, that there are special pathological characteristics and clinical prognosis. Furthermore, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor has demonstrated high effective in treating ALK positive NSCLC patients. Thus making molecular diagnostic testing for ALK expression is an important step in the process of pathological diagnosis. Currently, many detecting ALK expression assays are available or in development, clinical pathologists focus on how to choose the best method for routine diagnosis of lung cancer. There are many domestic and international authoritative guidelines recommend ALK detecting assays, technological process and relative standard. In the current review, we summarize the diagnostic tests available and the special sample types that could be used to identify patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

Concepts: Gene expression, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Pathology, Prognosis, Medical test, Anaplastic large cell lymphoma

123

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have a great potential as indicators of metastatic disease that may help physicians improve cancer prognostication, treatment and patient outcomes. Heterogeneous marker expression as well as the complexity of current antibody-based isolation and analysis systems highlights the need for alternative methods. In this work, we use a microfluidic Vortex device that can selectively isolate potential tumor cells from blood independent of cell surface expression. This system was adapted to interface with three protein-marker-free analysis techniques: (i) an in-flow automated image processing system to enumerate cells released, (ii) cytological analysis using Papanicolaou (Pap) staining and (iii) fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) targeting the ALK rearrangement. In-flow counting enables a rapid assessment of the cancer-associated large circulating cells in a sample within minutes to determine whether standard downstream assays such as cytological and cytogenetic analyses that are more time consuming and costly are warranted. Using our platform integrated with these workflows, we analyzed 32 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 22 breast cancer patient samples, yielding 60 to 100% of the cancer patients with a cell count over the healthy threshold, depending on the detection method used: respectively 77.8% for automated, 60-100% for cytology, and 80% for immunostaining based enumeration.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Fluorescent in situ hybridization, Cytogenetics

122

Afatinib 40 mg/day is approved for first-line treatment of EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the case of drug-related grade ≥3 or selected prolonged grade 2 adverse events (AEs), the dose can be reduced by 10 mg decrements to a minimum of 20 mg. Here, we evaluate the influence of afatinib dose reduction on AEs, pharmacokinetics and progression-free survival (PFS) in the phase III LUX-Lung 3 and 6 (LL3/6) trials.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Cancer staging, Epidermal growth factor receptor, Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma

120

Background Nivolumab, a fully human IgG4 programmed death 1 (PD-1) immune-checkpoint-inhibitor antibody, disrupts PD-1-mediated signaling and may restore antitumor immunity. Methods In this randomized, open-label, international phase 3 study, we assigned patients with nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that had progressed during or after platinum-based doublet chemotherapy to receive nivolumab at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight every 2 weeks or docetaxel at a dose of 75 mg per square meter of body-surface area every 3 weeks. The primary end point was overall survival. Results Overall survival was longer with nivolumab than with docetaxel. The median overall survival was 12.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.7 to 15.0) among 292 patients in the nivolumab group and 9.4 months (95% CI, 8.1 to 10.7) among 290 patients in the docetaxel group (hazard ratio for death, 0.73; 96% CI, 0.59 to 0.89; P=0.002). At 1 year, the overall survival rate was 51% (95% CI, 45 to 56) with nivolumab versus 39% (95% CI, 33 to 45) with docetaxel. With additional follow-up, the overall survival rate at 18 months was 39% (95% CI, 34 to 45) with nivolumab versus 23% (95% CI, 19 to 28) with docetaxel. The response rate was 19% with nivolumab versus 12% with docetaxel (P=0.02). Although progression-free survival did not favor nivolumab over docetaxel (median, 2.3 months and 4.2 months, respectively), the rate of progression-free survival at 1 year was higher with nivolumab than with docetaxel (19% and 8%, respectively). Nivolumab was associated with even greater efficacy than docetaxel across all end points in subgroups defined according to prespecified levels of tumor-membrane expression (≥1%, ≥5%, and ≥10%) of the PD-1 ligand. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were reported in 10% of the patients in the nivolumab group, as compared with 54% of those in the docetaxel group. Conclusions Among patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC that had progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy, overall survival was longer with nivolumab than with docetaxel. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 057 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01673867 .).

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Chemotherapy, Adenocarcinoma, Paclitaxel, Bristol-Myers Squibb