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Ciuleanu T.,Institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta | Ciuleanu T.,University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca | Tsai C.-M.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Tsao C.-J.,Chi Mei Medical Center | And 12 more authors.
Lung Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Molecularly targeted agents for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) can provide similar efficacy to chemotherapy without chemotherapy-associated toxicities. Combining two agents with different modes of action could further increase the efficacy of these therapies. The TASK study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib in combination with the anti-angiogenic agent bevacizumab as first-line therapy in unselected, advanced non-squamous NSCLC patients. Methods: Patients were recruited from December 2007 to September 2008. Planned sample size was 200 patients, a total of 124 patients were randomized. Patients were randomized using a minimization algorithm 1:1 to receive bevacizumab (iv 15. mg/kg day 1 of each 21-day cycle) plus chemotherapy (gemcitabine/cisplatin or carboplatin/paclitaxel standard doses, 4-6 cycles) (BC arm) or bevacizumab plus erlotinib (p.o. 150. mg/day; BE arm) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). If the hazard ratio (HR) of PFS for BE relative to BC was above 1.25 at the pre-planned interim analysis in favor of BC, the study would be re-evaluated. Secondary endpoints included overall survival, response rate and safety. Results: All randomized patients (n= 63 BE; n= 61 BC) were evaluated for the efficacy analyses. At the updated interim analysis, median PFS was 18.4 weeks (95% confidence interval [CI] 17.0-25.1) versus 25.0 weeks (95% CI 20.6-[not reached]) for BE versus BC, respectively (HR for death or disease progression, BE relative to BC, 2.05, p= 0.0183). The incidence of death was 19% for BE treatment compared with 11.5% for BC treatment. The HR for PFS at the updated interim analysis was above 1.25, therefore patients on the BE arm were permitted to change arms or switch to another drug and the study was terminated. Adverse events reported were as expected. Conclusions: The TASK study did not show a benefit in terms of PFS for the combination of erlotinib with bevacizumab in unselected first-line advanced non-squamous NSCLC compared with chemotherapy plus bevacizumab. © 2013 The Authors.


Osarogiagbon R.U.,Baptist Cancer Center | Cappuzzo F.,Instituto Toscano Tumori | Ciuleanu T.,Institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta | Leon L.,Genentech | Klughammer B.,Hoffmann-La Roche
Translational Lung Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Background: The clinical benefit of erlotinib in treating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) wildtype non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been questioned. We examined the impact of erlotinib in confirmed EGFR wildtype patients in two placebo-controlled phase III trials: The National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group BR.21 (BR.21) and Sequential Tarceva in Unresectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (SATURN) trials. Methods: Combined re-analysis of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with known wildtype EGFR, estimated by Kaplan-Meier curves and compared by two-sided log-rank test. Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) adjusted for potential confounders. Additional analyses assessed comparability of patients with known and unknown EGFR mutation status to determine generalizability of the two study populations. Results: Mutation status was known in 25% (n=184 of 731) of the BR.21, and 49% (n=437 of 889) of the SATURN populations, of which 82% (n=150) and 89% (n=388) respectively had wildtype EGFR. HR for PFS was 0.71 (95% CI, 0.59-0.85; P < 0.01) and for OS was 0.72 (95% CI, 0.59-0.88; P < 0.01). Baseline characteristics and outcome (PFS and OS) distributions were similar for patients with known and unknown EGFR status, suggesting generalizability of the EGFR wildtype data. Erlotinib benefit was sustained in all clinical subsets. Conclusions: Erlotinib provided a consistent and significant improvement in survival for patients with EGFR wildtype NSCLC in both studies, individually and in combination. The benefit of erlotinib does not appear to be limited to patients with activating mutations of EGFR. © Translational lung cancer research. All rights reserved.


Ciuleanu T.,Institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta | Stelmakh L.,St. Petersburg State Medical University | Cicenas S.,Vilnius University | Miliauskas S.,Lithuanian University of Health Sciences | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: Erlotinib, docetaxel, and pemetrexed are approved for the second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but no head-to-head data from large clinical trials are available. We undertook the Tarceva In Treatment of Advanced NSCLC (TITAN) study to assess the efficacy and tolerability of second-line erlotinib versus chemotherapy in patients with refractory NSCLC. Methods: TITAN was an international, randomised multicentre, open-label, phase 3 study that was done at 77 sites in 24 countries. Chemotherapy-naive patients with locally advanced, recurrent, or metastatic NSCLC received up to four cycles of first-line platinum doublet chemotherapy, after which patients with disease progression during or immediately after chemotherapy were offered enrolment into TITAN. Enrolled patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by a minimisation method to ensure balanced stratification, to receive erlotinib 150 mg/day or chemotherapy (standard docetaxel or pemetrexed regimens, at the treating investigators' discretion), until unacceptable toxicity, disease progression, or death. Patients were stratified by disease stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, smoking history, and region of residence. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. TITAN was halted prematurely because of slow recruitment. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00556322. Findings: Between April 10, 2006, and Feb 24, 2010, 2590 chemotherapy-naive patients were treated with first-line platinum doublet chemotherapy, of whom 424 had disease progression and were enrolled into TITAN. 203 patients were randomly assigned to receive erlotinib and 221 were assigned to receive chemotherapy. Median follow-up was 27·9 months (IQR 11·0-36·0) in the erlotinib group and 24·8 months (12·1-41·6) in the chemotherapy group. Median overall survival was 5·3 months (95% CI 4·0-6·0) with erlotinib and 5·5 months (4·4-7·1) with chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR] 0·96, 95% CI 0·78-1·19; log-rank p=0·73). The adverse-event profile of each group was in line with previous studies. Rash (98/196 [50%] in the erlotinib group vs 10/213 [5%] in the chemotherapy group for all grades; nine [5%] vs none for grade 3 or 4) and diarrhoea (36 [18%] vs four [2%] for all grades; five [3%] vs none for grade 3 or 4) were the most common treatment-related adverse events with erlotinib, whereas alopecia (none vs 23 [11%] for all grades; none vs one [<1%] for grade 3/4) was the most common treatment-related adverse event with chemotherapy. Interpretation: No significant differences in efficacy were noted between patients treated with erlotinib and those treated with docetaxel or pemetrexed. Since the toxicity profiles of erlotinib and chemotherapy differ, second-line treatment decisions should take into account patient preference and specific toxicity risk profiles. Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Negru S.,Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara | Papadopoulou E.,GENEKOR | Apessos A.,GENEKOR | Stanculeanu D.L.,Institute of Oncology | And 11 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2014

Objectives: Treatment decision-making in colorectal cancer is often guided by tumour tissue molecular analysis. The aim of this study was the development and validation of a high-resolution melting (HRM) method for the detection of KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutations in Greek and Romanian patients with colorectal cancer and determination of the frequency of these mutations in the respective populations. Setting: Diagnostic molecular laboratory located in Athens, Greece. Participants: 2425 patients with colorectal cancer participated in the study. Primary and secondary outcome measures: 2071 patients with colorectal cancer (1699 of Greek and 372 of Romanian origin) were analysed for KRAS exon 2 mutations. In addition, 354 tumours from consecutive patients (196 Greek and 161 Romanian) were subjected to full KRAS (exons 2, 3 and 4), NRAS (exons 2, 3 and 4) and BRAF (exon 15) analysis. KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutation detection was performed by a newly designed HRM analysis protocol, followed by Sanger sequencing. Results: KRAS exon 2 mutations (codons 12/13) were detected in 702 of the 1699 Greek patients with colorectal carcinoma analysed (41.3%) and in 39.2% (146/372) of the Romanian patients. Among the 354 patients who were subjected to full KRAS, NRAS and BRAF analysis, 40.96% had KRAS exon 2 mutations (codons 12/13). Among the KRAS exon 2 wild-type patients 15.31% harboured additional RAS mutations and 12.44% BRAF mutations. The newly designed HRM method used showed a higher sensitivity compared with the sequencing method. Conclusions: The HRM method developed was shown to be a reliable method for KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutation detection. Furthermore, no difference in the mutation frequency of KRAS, NRAS and BRAF was observed between Greek and Romanian patients with colorectal cancer.


Coudert B.,Center Georges Francois Leclerc | Ciuleanu T.,Institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta | Park K.,Sungkyunkwan University | Wu Y.-L.,Guangdong General Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

Background: In the placebo-controlled phase III SATURN study, maintenance erlotinib after first-line chemotherapy demonstrated significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in the overall study population of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: After four cycles of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy, patients without progressive disease (PD) were randomised to erlotinib (150 mg/day) or placebo until PD or unacceptable toxicity. In this pre-planned analysis, data are assessed according to response to first-line chemotherapy (complete/partial response [CR/PR] or stable disease [SD]). Results: Following first-line chemotherapy, 889 non-PD patients were included in the intention-to-treat population (55% SD; 44% CR/PR; <1% unknown response). Erlotinib maintenance therapy significantly prolonged PFS in both the SD (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.68; P < 0.0001) and CR/PR (HR = 0.74; P = 0.0059) groups, while OS was significantly prolonged in the SD group only (HR = 0.72; P = 0.0019). The erlotinib-related OS benefit in the SD group remained significant across subgroups, irrespective of tumour histology and/or EGFR mutation status. The incidence of adverse events was similar in the SD group and the overall population, and erlotinib treatment did not negatively impact quality of life. Conclusions: Patients with advanced NSCLC and SD following first-line platinum-based doublet chemotherapy derive a significant OS benefit from maintenance erlotinib therapy. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.


Cappuzzo F.,Ospedale Civile di Livorno | Ciuleanu T.,Institute of Oncology Ion Chiricuta | Stelmakh L.,St. Petersburg State Medical University | Cicenas S.,Vilnius University | And 9 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2010

Background: First-line chemotherapy for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is usually limited to four to six cycles. Maintenance therapy can delay progression and prolong survival. The oral epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine-kinase inhibitor erlotinib has proven efficacy and tolerability in second-line NSCLC. We designed the phase 3, placebo-controlled Sequential Tarceva in Unresectable NSCLC (SATURN; BO18192) study to assess use of erlotinib as maintenance therapy in patients with non-progressive disease following first-line platinum-doublet chemotherapy. Methods: Between December, 2005, and May, 2008, 1949 patients were included in the run-in phase (four cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy). At the end of the run-in phase, 889 patients who did not have progressive disease were entered into the main study, and were randomly allocated using a 1:1 adaptive randomisation method through a third-party interactive voice response system to receive erlotinib (150 mg/day; n=438) or placebo (n=451) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients were stratified by EGFR immunohistochemistry status, stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, chemotherapy regimen, smoking history, and region. Co-primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) in all analysable patients irrespective of EGFR status, and PFS in patients whose tumours had EGFR protein overexpression, as determined by immunohistochemistry. This study is registered with www.ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00556712. Findings: 884 patients were analysable for PFS; 437 in the erlotinib group and 447 in the placebo group. After a median follow-up of 11·4 months for the erlotinib group and 11·5 months for the placebo group, median PFS was significantly longer with erlotinib than with placebo: 12·3 weeks for patients in the erlotinib group versus 11·1 weeks for those in the placebo group (HR 0·71, 95% CI 0·62-0·82; p<0·0001). PFS was also significantly longer in patients with EGFR-positive immunohistochemistry who were treated with erlotinib (n=307) compared with EGFR-positive patients given placebo (n=311; median PFS 12·3 weeks in the erlotinib group vs 11·1 weeks in the placebo group; HR 0·69, 0·58-0·82; p<0·0001). The most common grade 3 or higher adverse events were rash (37 [9%] of 443 patients in the erlotinib group vs none of 445 in the placebo group) and diarrhoea (seven [2%] of 443 patients vs none of 445). Serious adverse events were reported in 47 patients (11%) on erlotinib compared with 34 patients (8%) on placebo. The most common serious adverse event was pneumonia (seven cases [2%] with erlotinib and four [<1%] with placebo). Interpretation: Maintenance therapy with erlotinib for patients with NSCLC is well tolerated and significantly prolongs PFS compared with placebo. First-line maintenance with erlotinib could be considered in patients who do not progress after four cycles of chemotherapy. Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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