Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute

Bari, Italy

Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute

Bari, Italy
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Calvani N.,Sen Antonio Perrino Hospital Ss 7 | Morelli F.,Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital | Chiuri V.,Vito Fazzi Hospital | Gnoni A.,Vito Fazzi Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Medical Oncology | Year: 2013

We retrospectively analyzed metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients treated with 3 targeted agents. Patients started the sequence with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), sunitinib or sorafenib, and were divided into 2 groups based on the order in which they received the other reciprocal TKI and everolimus (EVE): TKI-TKI-EVE group (n = 19) and TKI-EVE-TKI group (n = 14). Median progression-free survival (PFS) with first TKI was 13 months in the TKI-TKI-EVE group and 10 months in the TKI-EVE-TKI group. PFS with the second agent showed a trend in favor of the TKI-TKI-EVE sequence, with a median of 11 versus 6.5 months, whereas median PFS with the third agent was 6 months in both groups. Total PFS also showed a trend in favor of the TKI-TKI-EVE sequence with a median of 31 versus 23 months. Median overall survival (OS) was 38 months in both groups, with more patients receiving subsequent treatment in the TKI-EVE-TKI group. The subgroup of patients no long-term responders (≤9 months) to first TKI showed similar outcomes irrespective of the sequence. The subgroup of long-term responders to first TKI (>9 months) who received the other TKI instead of EVE had better outcomes in terms of median PFS with the second agent (13 vs. 5.5 months; p = 0.0271), median total PFS (39.5 vs. 23.5 months; p = 0.0415), and median OS (46 vs. 38 months). In conclusion, no apparent advantage was observed with early use of EVE in advanced RCC, even in those patients who did not benefit long from first-line TKI, whereas long-term duration of first-line TKI seems to be predictor of second-line TKI efficacy. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Galetta D.,Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute | Pisconti S.,Sg Moscati Hospital | Cinieri S.,Sen Perrino Hospital | Pappagallo G.L.,Clinical Trials Office | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Lung Cancer | Year: 2011

In advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), substantial similarities in terms of treatment efficacy and survival have emerged over the years between the different systemic chemotherapy regimens used. More recently, other topics such as histotype, maintenance therapy and quality of life have been explored to ameliorate this plateau. We present the treatment rationale and study design of the ERACLE (induction pEmetrexed and cisplatin followed by maintenance pemetRexed versus cArboplatin-paCLitaxel and bEvacizumab followed by maintenance bevacizumab) trial. Patients enrolled in the ERACLE trial are randomized between combination treatment arms: (A) cisplatin 75 mg/m 2 day 1 and pemetrexed 500 mg/m 2 day 1, every 3 weeks for six cycles followed (in responders or with stable disease) by pemetrexed 500 mg/m 2 day 1, every 3 weeks until progression; and (B) carboplatin AUC 6 day 1, plus paclitaxel 200 mg/m 2 day 1 and plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg, every 3 weeks for six cycles followed (in responders or patients with stable disease) by bevacizumab 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks until progression. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the difference in terms of quality of life between treatment arms. together with co-primary endpoints represented by the EuroQoL group (EQ-5D) questionnaire total score and the EQ-5D visual analog scale. Secondary endpoints are the evaluation of treatment activity and exploratory evaluation of treatment efficacy. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Galetta D.,Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute | Gebbia V.,La Maddalena Hospital | Silvestris N.,Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute | Ferrau F.,Taormina Hospital | And 6 more authors.
Lung Cancer | Year: 2011

Background: More than 50% of brain metastases (BMs) occur in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Untreated patients with BMs have a poor prognosis with a median survival of 2 months. In most cases BMs are multiple and their optimal therapy is whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). The role of systemic therapies for these patients is still a matter for investigation due to concerns about the ability of these drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Cisplatin (CDDP) remains the backbone for medical treatment of NSCLC and fotemustine (FTM) is a nitrosurea able to cross the BBB. Methods: Patients with advanced NSCLC, ECOG performance status (PS) 0-1 and multiple BMs not amenable to surgery or stereotactic radiotherapy were treated with 2 cycles of FTM 80mg/m2 days 1, 8 and CDDP 80mg/m2 day 1, every 3 weeks followed by WBRT 30Gy (3Gy daily in 10 fractions). Radiological restaging was performed before WBRT to assess the role of chemotherapy both for cranial and extracranial disease. Patients with disease control (DC: complete response plus partial response) received 4 more cycles. To assess the basic activities of daily living (ADL), the Barthel ADL Index was used to score patients' performance every 2 cycles. The trial design provides a two-step evaluation according to the optimal two-stage design of Simon. In the first phase 29 patients were enrolled in order to verify if this schedule showed more than 25% response rate both for cranial and extracranial disease. If so, enrolment added up to a total of 81 patients. Results: After the first evaluation 4 out of 29 patients were excluded from the study (3 untreated/1 not included for administrative reasons). At the time of the planned interim analysis patient's characteristics were the following: median age 61 years (range 44-70), M/F. =16/9, adenocarcinoma 11, squamous 5, large cell 2, undefined NSCLC 7; PS 0/1 in 11/14 cases, median Barthel Index score was 20 [13-20]. Three (12%) partial responses were observed, 9 subjects (36%) with stable disease and 13 (52%) showing disease progression. These data did not satisfy the pre-planned hypothesis and the study was stopped. At the time of the first evaluation before WBRT 12/25 (48%) patients had a systemic DC in contrast with 15/25 (60%) patients with BMs DC. Chemotherapy was relatively well tolerated with a prevalence of asthenia as the most relevant specific toxicity while the haematological toxicity was mild. Conclusion: CDDP and FTM combined with WBRT do not represent a therapeutic option for patients with NSCLC. Therefore further studies to evaluate the combination of systemic treatments with WBRT are warranted. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Rossi A.,SG Moscati Hospital | Palazzolo G.,ULSS | Galetta D.,Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute
Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine | Year: 2012

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. All drugs available for the treatment of lung cancer reached the market after reporting positive results from pivotal clinical studies. However, in these trials not all patient subgroups are adequately represented, with some discrepancies reported in patients' accrual especially concerning age, gender and ethnicity. Hence, a new drug entering the market for the treatment of all patients may have been investigated only in certain patient subgroups, while the reported results have been generalized for the therapy of all patients. The impact of certain characteristics such as gender, ethnicity and age of patients enrolled in randomized trials on the final results has been examined and discussed in this article. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.


In advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), substantial similarities in terms of treatment efficacy and survival have emerged over the years between the different systemic chemotherapy regimens used. More recently, other topics such as histotype, maintenance therapy and quality of life have been explored to ameliorate this plateau. We present the treatment rationale and study design of the ERACLE (induction pEmetrexed and cisplatin followed by maintenance pemetRexed versus cArboplatin-paCLitaxel and bEvacizumab followed by maintenance bevacizumab) trial. Patients enrolled in the ERACLE trial are randomized between combination treatment arms: (A) cisplatin 75 mg/m(2) day 1 and pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) day 1, every 3 weeks for six cycles followed (in responders or with stable disease) by pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) day 1, every 3 weeks until progression; and (B) carboplatin AUC 6 day 1, plus paclitaxel 200 mg/m(2) day 1 and plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg, every 3 weeks for six cycles followed (in responders or patients with stable disease) by bevacizumab 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks until progression. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the difference in terms of quality of life between treatment arms. together with co-primary endpoints represented by the EuroQoL group (EQ-5D) questionnaire total score and the EQ-5D visual analog scale. Secondary endpoints are the evaluation of treatment activity and exploratory evaluation of treatment efficacy.


PubMed | Giovanni Paolo II Oncology Institute
Type: | Journal: Expert opinion on therapeutic targets | Year: 2012

Most NSCLC patients are diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease. Recently, chemotherapeutic agents have reached a plateau of effectiveness. Increased understanding of cancer biology has revealed several potential therapeutic strategies that have led to marketing of new biologic agents. The echinoderm microtubule-associated protein like-4-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (EML4-ALK) fusion oncogene represents one of the newest molecular targets in NSCLC, identifying a subset of NSCLC patients characterized by distinct clinicopathological features.The available results concerning ALK inhibitors for the treatment of advanced NSCLC patients. An electronic search was used to retrieve the articles addressing this topic.In a pivotal Phase I clinical trial, crizotinib (PF-02341066), a small-molecule ALK inhibitor, demonstrated impressive antitumor activity in the majority of NSCLC patients with ALK fusions. Phase III randomized trials investigating crizotinib in this subgroup of patients are ongoing. If the results from these large international trials confirm the efficacy of crizotinib in the subset of patients, the next few years could see the treatment of advanced NSCLC patients with ALK fusions. Specific inhibitors would realize the so called personalized medicine in subsets of this disease.


More than 50% of brain metastases (BMs) occur in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Untreated patients with BMs have a poor prognosis with a median survival of 2 months. In most cases BMs are multiple and their optimal therapy is whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT). The role of systemic therapies for these patients is still a matter for investigation due to concerns about the ability of these drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Cisplatin (CDDP) remains the backbone for medical treatment of NSCLC and fotemustine (FTM) is a nitrosurea able to cross the BBB.Patients with advanced NSCLC, ECOG performance status (PS) 0-1 and multiple BMs not amenable to surgery or stereotactic radiotherapy were treated with 2 cycles of FTM 80 mg/m(2) days 1, 8 and CDDP 80 mg/m(2) day 1, every 3 weeks followed by WBRT 30 Gy (3 Gy daily in 10 fractions). Radiological restaging was performed before WBRT to assess the role of chemotherapy both for cranial and extracranial disease. Patients with disease control (DC: complete response plus partial response) received 4 more cycles. To assess the basic activities of daily living (ADL), the Barthel ADL Index was used to score patients performance every 2 cycles. The trial design provides a two-step evaluation according to the optimal two-stage design of Simon. In the first phase 29 patients were enrolled in order to verify if this schedule showed more than 25% response rate both for cranial and extracranial disease. If so, enrollment added up to a total of 81 patients.After the first evaluation 4 out of 29 patients were excluded from the study (3 untreated/1 not included for administrative reasons). At the time of the planned interim analysis patients characteristics were the following: median age 61 years (range 44-70), M/F = 16/9, adenocarcinoma 11, squamous 5, large cell 2, undefined NSCLC 7; PS 0/1 in 11/14 cases, median Barthel Index score was 20 [13-20]. Three (12%) partial responses were observed, 9 subjects (36%) with stable disease and 13 (52%) showing disease progression. These data did not satisfy the pre-planned hypothesis and the study was stopped. At the time of the first evaluation before WBRT 12/25 (48%) patients had a systemic DC in contrast with 15/25 (60%) patients with BMs DC. Chemotherapy was relatively well tolerated with a prevalence of asthenia as the most relevant specific toxicity while the haematological toxicity was mild.CDDP and FTM combined with WBRT do not represent a therapeutic option for patients with NSCLC. Therefore further studies to evaluate the combination of systemic treatments with WBRT are warranted.

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