Lung Cancer Unit

Kfar Saba, Israel

Lung Cancer Unit

Kfar Saba, Israel
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Favoni R.E.,University of Genoa | Alama A.,Lung Cancer Unit
Drug Discovery Today | Year: 2013

Over the past decades, a plethora of cytotoxic agents, administered alone or in combinations, have been prescribed for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) but improvements regarding patient outcome remain disappointing. Therefore, additional therapeutic strategies are urgently required to increase response rate and survival. By the time researchers had begun to understand the processes involved in NSCLC development, the genetic aetiology of lung cancer had been progressively defined. The constitutive activation of receptor tyrosine kinases and their downstream signalling pathways has opened encouraging avenues of investigation for NSCLC treatment. Several new targeted compounds have evolved from preclinical to clinical settings to affect growth factor pathways of NSCLC, and their therapeutic implications will be reviewed and discussed here. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Reck M.,Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf | Reck M.,German Center for Lung Research | Kaiser R.,Boehringer Ingelheim | Mellemgaard A.,Herlev University Hospital | And 11 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: The phase 3 LUME-Lung 1 study assessed the efficacy and safety of docetaxel plus nintedanib as second-line therapy for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: Patients from 211 centres in 27 countries with stage IIIB/IV recurrent NSCLC progressing after first-line chemotherapy, stratified by ECOG performance status, previous bevacizumab treatment, histology, and presence of brain metastases, were allocated (by computer-generated sequence through an interactive third-party system, in 1:1 ratio), to receive docetaxel 75 mg/m2 by intravenous infusion on day 1 plus either nintedanib 200 mg orally twice daily or matching placebo on days 2-21, every 3 weeks until unacceptable adverse events or disease progression. Investigators and patients were masked to assignment. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) by independent central review, analysed by intention to treat after 714 events in all patients. The key secondary endpoint was overall survival, analysed by intention to treat after 1121 events had occurred, in a prespecified stepwise order: first in patients with adenocarcinoma who progressed within 9 months after start of first-line therapy, then in all patients with adenocarcinoma, then in all patients. This trial is registered with, number NCT00805194. Findings: Between Dec 23, 2008, and Feb 9, 2011, 655 patients were randomly assigned to receive docetaxel plus nintedanib and 659 to receive docetaxel plus placebo. The primary analysis was done after a median follow-up of 7·1 months (IQR 3·8-11·0). PFS was significantly improved in the docetaxel plus nintedanib group compared with the docetaxel plus placebo group (median 3·4 months [95% CI 2·9-3·9] vs 2·7 months [2·6-2·8]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·79 [95% CI 0·68-0·92], p=0·0019). After a median follow-up of 31·7 months (IQR 27·8-36·1), overall survival was significantly improved for patients with adenocarcinoma histology who progressed within 9 months after start of first-line treatment in the docetaxel plus nintedanib group (206 patients) compared with those in the docetaxel plus placebo group (199 patients; median 10·9 months [95% CI 8·5-12·6] vs 7·9 months [6·7-9·1]; HR 0·75 [95% CI 0·60-0·92], p=0·0073). Similar results were noted for all patients with adenocarcinoma histology (322 patients in the docetaxel plus nintedanib group and 336 in the docetaxel plus placebo group; median overall survival 12·6 months [95% CI 10·6-15·1] vs 10·3 months [95% CI 8·6-12·2]; HR 0·83 [95% CI 0·70-0·99], p=0·0359), but not in the total study population (median 10·1 months [95% CI 8·8-11·2] vs 9·1 months [8·4-10·4]; HR 0·94, 95% CI 0·83-1·05, p=0·2720). Grade 3 or worse adverse events that were more common in the docetaxel plus nintedanib group than in the docetaxel plus placebo group were diarrhoea (43 [6·6%] of 652 vs 17 [2·6%] of 655), reversible increases in alanine aminotransferase (51 [7·8%] vs six [0·9%]), and reversible increases in aspartate aminotransferase (22 [3·4%] vs three [0·5%]). 35 patients in the docetaxel plus nintedanib group and 25 in the docetaxel plus placebo group died of adverse events possibly unrelated to disease progression; the most common of these events were sepsis (five with docetaxel plus nintedanib vs one with docetaxel plus placebo), pneumonia (two vs seven), respiratory failure (four vs none), and pulmonary embolism (none vs three). Interpretation: Nintedanib in combination with docetaxel is an effective second-line option for patients with advanced NSCLC previously treated with one line of platinum-based therapy, especially for patients with adenocarcinoma. Funding: Boehringer Ingelheim. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | Airway Research Center North, General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Leningrad Regional Clinical Hospital, Pneumology Clinic and 7 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) | Year: 2015

LUME-Lung 1 was a randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase III trial investigating nintedanib+docetaxel versus placebo+docetaxel in patients with advanced NSCLC progressing after first-line chemotherapy. Progression-free survival was significantly improved with nintedanib+docetaxel in the overall population and overall survival was significantly improved in the pre-specified analysis of patients with adenocarcinoma. We evaluated the frequency of characteristic adverse events (AEs) commonly seen with existing anti-angiogenic agents.The incidence and intensity of AEs were evaluated in all patients who received at least one dose of study medication (N=1307) and for the two main histologies: adenocarcinoma (n=653) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC; n=553). AEs of special interest were analyzed by category, preferred term, and worst CTCAE grade and included perforation, hypertension, bleeding, thromboembolic events, and skin disorders.The incidence of patients with all-grade gastrointestinal (GI) perforations was low and balanced between arms (0.5% in both) and across histologies; the incidence of non-GI perforations was 1.2% with nintedanib+docetaxel versus 0.2% with placebo+docetaxel. The incidence of some events was higher with nintedanib+docetaxel versus placebo+docetaxel; hypertension (3.5% vs 0.9%), rash (11.0% vs 8.1%), and cutaneous adverse reactions (13.0% vs 10.7%). Rash and cutaneous adverse reactions were predominantly Grade 1-2 with both treatments. The incidence of all-grade bleeding was also slightly higher in nintedanib+docetaxel-treated patients (14.1% vs 11.6%) driven by between-treatment differences in the SCC subpopulation; most events were Grade 1-2. The proportion of patients with a thromboembolic event was low and comparable between arms for all grades (5.1% vs 4.6%) and Grade 3 (2.1% vs 3.1%). Safety evaluation of the LUME-Lung 1 study showed that the frequency of AEs commonly associated with other anti-angiogenic agents was lower with nintedanib+docetaxel. Survival benefits from addition of nintedanib to docetaxel in patients with adenocarcinoma after first-line therapy can be achieved alongside a manageable safety profile.

PubMed | University of Turin, Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Shandong Provincial Chest Hospital, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2017

LBA8011 Background: Nintedanib (N) inhibits VEGFRs, PDGFRs, and FGFRs. LUME Lung 1 is a placebo (P) controlled phase III trial of N + docetaxel (D) in patients (pts) with locally advanced/metastatic NSCLC progressing after first-line therapy.Stage IIIB/IV or recurrent NSCLC pts (stratified by histology, ECOG PS, prior bevacizumab, and brain metastases) were randomized to N 200 mg bid + D 75 mg/mPt characteristics were balanced between the arms. N + D significantly prolonged PFS vs P + D (HR 0.79; CI: 0.68, 0.92; p=0.0019; median 3.4 vs 2.7 mo) regardless of histology (squamous HR 0.77, p=0.02; adeno HR 0.77, p=0.02). OS was significantly prolonged in all adeno pts (HR 0.83; p=0.0359; median 12.6 vs 10.3 mo) with the greatest improvement seen in T<9mo adeno pts (HR 0.75; p=0.0073; median 10.9 vs 7.9 mo). A trend for improved OS was seen in all pts (HR 0.94; p=0.272; median 10.1 vs 9.1). When adjusted for SLD, a significant OS benefit was seen in all pts (HR 0.88; CI: 0.78, 0.99; p=0.0365). Disease control rates were significantly improved with N + D in all adeno pts (odds ratio [OR] 1.93; p<0.0001), T<9mo adeno pts (OR 2.90; p<0.0001) and all pts (OR 1.68; p<0.0001). The most common AEs were diarrhea (any: 42.3 vs 21.8%; Gr 3: 6.6 vs 2.6%) and ALT elevations (any: 28.5 vs 8.4%; Gr 3: 7.8 vs 0.9%). Incidence of CTCAE Gr 3 AEs was 71.3 vs 64.3%. Withdrawals due to AEs (22.7 vs 21.7%) were similar in both arms, as were Gr 3 hypertension, bleeding or thrombosis.N + D significantly improved PFS independent of histology, and prolonged OS for adeno pts. AEs were generally manageable with dose reductions and symptomatic treatment.NCT00805194.

Masecchia S.,University of Genoa | Coco S.,Lung Cancer Unit | Barla A.,University of Genoa | Verri A.,University of Genoa | Tonini G.P.,University of Padua
BMC Medical Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: Metastatic neuroblastoma (NB) occurs in pediatric patients as stage 4S or stage 4 and it is characterized by heterogeneous clinical behavior associated with diverse genotypes. Tumors of stage 4 contain several structural copy number aberrations (CNAs) rarely found in stage 4S. To date, the NB tumorigenesis is not still elucidated, although it is evident that genomic instability plays a critical role in the genesis of the tumor. Here we propose a mathematical approach to decipher genomic data and we provide a new model of NB metastatic tumorigenesis. Method: We elucidate NB tumorigenesis using Enhanced Fused Lasso Latent Feature Model (E-FLLat) modeling the array comparative chromosome hybridization (aCGH) data of 190 metastatic NBs (63 stage 4S and 127 stage 4). This model for aCGH segmentation, based on the minimization of functional dictionary learning (DL), combines several penalties tailored to the specificities of aCGH data. In DL, the original signal is approximated by a linear weighted combination of atoms: the elements of the learned dictionary. Results: The hierarchical structures for stage 4S shows at the first level of the oncogenetic tree several whole chromosome gains except to the unbalanced gains of 17q, 2p and 2q. Conversely, the high CNA complexity found in stage 4 tumors, requires two different trees. Both stage 4 oncogenetic trees are marked diverged, up to five sublevels and the 17q gain is the most common event at the first level (2/3 nodes). Moreover the 11q deletion, one of the major unfavorable marker of disease progression, occurs before 3p loss indicating that critical chromosome aberrations appear at early stages of tumorigenesis. Finally, we also observed a significant (p∈=∈0.025) association between patient age and chromosome loss in stage 4 cases. Conclusion: These results led us to propose a genome instability progressive model in which NB cells initiate with a DNA synthesis uncoupled from cell division, that leads to stage 4S tumors, primarily characterized by numerical aberrations, or stage 4 tumors with high levels of genome instability resulting in complex chromosome rearrangements associated with high tumor aggressiveness and rapid disease progression. © 2015 Masecchia et al.

Nisman B.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Nechushtan H.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Biran H.,Lung Cancer Unit | Gantz-Sorotsky H.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2014

Introduction: Thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) is a metabolic enzyme involved in DNA synthesis. Most standard treatment protocols for lung cancer (LC) include cytotoxic agents, which are potential modulators of TK1. We aimed to assess the prognostic significance of serum TK1 activity and its role in monitoring chemotherapy in LC patients. Methods: TK1 activity was measured using the DiviTum (Biovica) assay in sera from 233 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 91 with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), and 90 with benign lung disease. Results: TK1 activity was significantly associated with age, performance status, and stage in NSCLC and with stage and weight loss in SCLC. In multivariate analysis, pretreatment TK1 activity, adjusted for performance status, stage, and weight loss, independently affected survival in NSCLC (relative risk =1.45, p = 0.031) and SCLC (relative risk = 2.49, p = 0.001). In NSCLC patients, adjusted elevated TK1 activity (>100 Du/L) at pretreatment was a significant predictor of treatment failure (odds ratio = 2.55, p = 0.01). A small (less than twofold) increase in TK1 activity after the first and second cycle of chemotherapy was significantly associated with treatment failure and poor overall survival. Conclusions: Elevated pretreatment serum TK1 activity was an independent, adverse prognostic factor, based on survival, in the two main histological types of LC. A small (less than twofold) increase in TK1 activity after the first and second cycle of chemotherapy was associated with treatment failure and poor overall survival. Copyright © 2014 by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Salvi S.,IRCCS A.O.U. San Martino IST | Fontana V.,Unit of Epidemiology | Boccardo S.,IRCCS A.O.U. San Martino IST | Merlo D.F.,Unit of Epidemiology | And 10 more authors.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy | Year: 2012

The role of CTLA-4 in negative regulation of T-cell mediated immune response is particularly well established. Much less is known about its expression and function in tumour cells, and to our knowledge, no data are available on its possible impact on prognosis of NSCLC patients. We investigated CTLA-4 expression and prognostic role in 81 patients with radically resected stage I-III NSCLC. The analysis was performed by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry, and the median H-score of 20 was used as a threshold to deWne CTLA-4 overexpressing tumours. Correlation with standard prognostic factors was performed by using absolute and relative fold change indexes. Hazard ratios (HR) and corresponding 95% conWdence limits (95% CL) were computed through the Cox model. A higher frequency of CTLA-4 overexpression (>20) was found in non-squamous than in squamous NSCLC (52.8 vs. 35.7%) and in Ki67 ≤ 15 expressing tumours, as compared to those with Ki67 > 15 (51.5 vs. 38.7%). A reduced death rate was found in CTLA-4 overexpressing tumours (HR = 0.60, 95% CL = 0.28/1.23), and a further decrease was observed when considering tumours with CTLA-4 > 20 and Ki67 ≤ 15, in comparison with tumours with CTLA-4 ≤ 20 and Ki67 > 15 (HR = 0.41; 95% CL = 0.15/1.13). Our observational and exploratory study provides a Wrst and promising indication for an independent prognostic eVect of CTLA-4 overexpression in radically resected NSCLC. We presume that this eVect relies on modulation of the interaction of microscopic disease with CTLA-4-ligands expressing cells leading to NSCLC cell death. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

Zismanov V.,Lung Cancer Research Laboratory | Zismanov V.,Tel Aviv University | Drucker L.,Meir Medical Center | Drucker L.,Tel Aviv University | And 3 more authors.
Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer-related death in the world for which novel systemic treatments are urgently needed. Protein homeostasis that regulates protein levels and their fold is critical for cancer cell proliferation and survival. A complex network of cellular organelles and signaling cascades is involved in control of protein homeostasis including endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Thus, proteins in control of ER homeostasis are increasingly recognized as potential therapeutic targets. Molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) play an important role in ER homeostasis. Previous studies demonstrate that Hsp90 and HDAC inhibitors are individually functional against lung cancer. In this work we suggested that combined Hsp90 and HDAC inhibitors may elevate ER stress thereby enhancing the anti non small lung cancer (NSCLC) activity. Methods and results: Using an in vitro cell line model we demonstrated that 17-DMAG (HSP90 inhibitor) co-administration with PTACH (HDAC inhibitor) caused elevated ER stress (immunoblotting) (more than 110%↑, p < 0.05) accompanied by apoptotic cell death (Annexin V) (7-21%↑, p < 0.05). Moreover, 17-DMAG/PTACH treated cells lost the ability to migrate (scratch test) (57-85%↓ of scratch closure, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our findings provide proof-of-concept that targeting ER homeostasis is therapeutically beneficial in lung cancer cell lines. Indeed, the elevated ER stress caused by 17-DMAG/PTACH combined treatment leads to increased cell death of NSCLC cell lines compared to the application of the drugs separately. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | Lung Cancer Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current drug targets | Year: 2015

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Based on the patients stage of disease, treatment options include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy remains the main therapeutic approach for advanced NSCLC, targeted therapy represents a good chance of treatment for this subgroup of patients. Currently this approach is based on previous evaluation of clinically relevant mutations and the Sanger sequencing is the main approach to assign mutational status and to guide the appropriate treatment; however this tool is characterized by a low sensitivity. Recently, the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has dramatically revolutionized the molecular knowledge of cancer by increasing the feasibility and possibility to sequence DNA ranging from large scale studies to targeted regions. This review reports an overview of different applications of the NGS as novel approach to study NSCLC, thereby providing information about mutational spectrum of this cancer in order to identify novel targetable mutations and to predict the emergence of drug resistance. All studies demonstrated several advantages of this approach over the traditional tools. In particular the NGS was also able to reveal mutations in low percentage, and to screen the mutational status of different critical samples such as biopsies, cytological samples and circulating plasma DNA, offering innovative diagnostic opportunities. Despite several problems have to be overcome toward the personalized therapy, the NGS represents a highly attractive system to identify mutations improving the outcome of patients with this deadly disease.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling is one of the most deregulated pathways in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Recently, the development of novel irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), such as afatinib, has significantly improved the survival of advanced NSCLC patients harbouring activated EGFR mutations. However, treatment with TKI is not always curative due to the development of resistance. In the present study, we investigated the sensitivity to afatinib in two NSCLC EGFR mutated cell lines (NCI-H1650 and NCI-H1975) by expression profile analysis of 92 genes involved in the EGF pathway. Thereafter, the established afatinib resistant clones were evaluated at different biological levels: genomic, by array comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) and deep sequencing; transcriptomic, by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and proteomic, by Western blot and immunofluorescence. The baseline gene expression of the two cell lines revealed that NCI-H1650, the less afatinib-responsive cell, showed activation of two main EGFR downstream pathways such as PI3K/AKT and PLC/PKC axes. Analysis of the afatinib-resistant cells showed PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways activation together with a biological switch from an epithelial-to-mesenchymal phenotype might confer afatinib-resistant properties to this cell line. Our data suggest that the activation of EGFR-dependent downstream pathways might be involved in the occurrence of resistance to afatinib assuming that the EGFR mutational status should not be exclusively considered when selecting TKI treatments. In particular, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition might provide a new basis for understanding afatinib resistance.

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