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Milano, Italy

Alrifai D.,Medical Oncology | Pettengell R.,Haemato Oncology
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2014

Introduction: Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCL) are a diverse group of rare non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) that carry a poor prognosis and are in need of effective therapies. A greater understanding of how these tumours proliferate as well as how best to exploit these processes should lead to more durable tumour regression and better clinical outcomes for patients. New approaches include the histone deacetylase inhibitors, antifolates, fusion proteins, nucleoside analogues and agents targeting the immune system, which are being investigated either as single agents or as a combination.Areas covered: The authors review the evidence for the orally administered aurora A kinase inhibitor MLN8237 (alisertib) in T-cell lymphoma. No significant association between clinical response and AAK expression has been observed but inhibition of this enzyme in a Phase II study has demonstrated tumour regression in 27% of heavily pretreated B- and T-cell NHL, with 50% of PTCL patients responding and 3 of 4 patients achieving durable responses.Expert opinion: A Phase III trial in relapsed PTCL is recruiting patients comparing MLN8237 against single agent comparators. With regards to the data; the response rate of MLN8237 in refractory NHL is promising. The authors believe that further preclinical work identifying the best combinations to take through into clinical trials is important, particularly as this agent is used in earlier lines of therapy. © Informa UK, Ltd.

Fakih M.,Medical Oncology
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy | Year: 2013

Therapies that target angiogenesis and the VEGF pathway are a component of treatment for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to VEGFA. Chemotherapy plus bevacizumab has led to improved outcomes for mCRC patients. Despite these benefits, progressive disease invariably ensues. Multiple members of the VEGF family can potentially contribute to tumor angiogenesis and/or evasion of antiangiogenic therapy if one pathway should be inhibited. Aflibercept, a new biological agent, is a multiple angiogenic factor trap that prevents not only VEGFA, but also VEGFB and PlGF from activating their native receptors. Key clinical data for bevacizumab and aflibercept for treatment of mCRC, clinical evidence for use of these agents beyond progression, and the search for angiogenic biomarkers to better define patients most likely to benefit from these interventions will be reviewed. © 2013 2013 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Pless M.,Medical Oncology | Pless M.,Tumor Center | Weinberg U.,Novocure Ltd.
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2011

Introduction: Local control is fundamental, both for the curative as well as the palliative treatment of cancer. Tumor treating fields (TTFields) are low intensity (1 2 V/cm), intermediate frequency (100 200 kHz) alternating electric fields administered using insulated electrodes placed on the skin surrounding the region of a malignant tumor. TTFields were shown to destroy cells within the process of mitosis via apoptosis, thereby inhibiting tumor growth. TTFields have no effect on non-dividing cells. Areas covered: This article reviews in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies, demonstrating the activity of TTFields both as a monotherapy as well as in combination with several cytotoxic agents. Furthermore, it summarizes the clinical experience with TTFields, mainly in two indications: one in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme: in a large prospective randomized Phase III trial TTFields was compared with best standard care (including chemotherapy): TTFields significantly improved median overall survival (OS) compared with standard therapy (7.8 vs 6.1 months) for the patients treated per protocol. Importantly, quality of life was also better in the TTFields group. The second indication was a Phase II study in second-line non-small cell lung cancer, where TTFields was administered concomitantly with pemetrexed. This combination resulted in an excellent median OS of 13.8 months. Interestingly, the progression-free survival (PFS) within the area of the TTFields was 28, however, outside the TTFields the PFS was only 22 weeks. Expert opinion: The proof of concept of TTFields has been well demonstrated in the preclinical setting, and the clinical data seem promising in various tumor types. The side effects of TTFields were minimal and in general consisted of skin reaction to the electrodes. There are a number of ways in which TTFields could be further evaluated, for example, in combination with chemotherapy, as a maintenance treatment, or as a salvage therapy if radiotherapy or surgery is not possible. While more clinical data are clearly needed, TTFields is an emerging and promising novel treatment concept. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.

Ajabnoor G.M.A.,King Abdulaziz University | Ajabnoor G.M.A.,University of Surrey | Crook T.,Medical Oncology | Coley H.M.,University of Surrey
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2012

Taxanes remain first line chemotherapy in management of metastatic breast cancer and have a key role in epithelial ovarian cancer, with increasingly common use of weekly paclitaxel dosing regimens. However, their clinical utility is limited by the development of chemoresistance. To address this, we modelled in vitro paclitaxel resistance in MCF-7 cells. We show that at clinically relevant drug doses, emerging paclitaxel resistance is associated with profound changes in cell death responses and a switch from apoptosis to autophagy as the principal mechanism of drug-induced cytotoxicity. This was characterised by a complete absence of caspase-mediated apoptotic cell death (using the pan-caspase-inhibitor Z-VAD) in paclitaxel-resistant MCF-7TaxR cells, compared with parent MCF-7 or MDA-MB-231 cell lines on paclitaxel challenge, downregulation of caspase-7, caspase-9 and BCl2-interacting mediator of cell death (BIM) expression. Silencing with small interfering RNA to BIM in MCF-7 parental cells was sufficient to confer paclitaxel resistance, inferring the significance in downregulation of this protein in contributing to the resistant phenotype of the MCF-7TaxR cell line. Conversely, there was an increased autophagic response in the MCF-7TaxR cell line with reduced phospho-mTOR and relative resistance to the mTOR inhibitors rapamycin and RAD001. In conclusion, we show for the first time that paclitaxel resistance is associated with profound changes in cell death response with deletion of multiple apoptotic factors balanced by upregulation of the autophagic pathway and collateral sensitivity to platinum. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Spagnolo F.,Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery | Queirolo P.,Medical Oncology
Archives of Dermatological Research | Year: 2012

Prognosis for advanced and metastatic melanoma is poor, with a 5-year survival of 78, 59 and 40% for patients with stage IIIA, IIIB and IIIC, respectively, and a 1-year survival of 62% for M1a, 53% for M1b and 33% for M1c. The unsatisfactory results of actual standard therapies for metastatic melanoma highlight the need for effective new therapeutic strategies. Several drugs, including BRAF, KIT and MEK inhibitors, are currently being evaluated after promising data from Phase I and Phase II studies; Vemurafenib, a BRAF-inhibitor agent, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with the BRAF V600E mutation after a significant impact on both progression-free and overall survival was demonstrated compared with dacarbazine in a Phase III trial. Ipilimumab, an immunotherapeutic drug, has proven to be capable of inducing long-lasting responses and was approved for patients with advanced melanoma in first- and second-line treatment by the FDA and in second-line treatment by the European Medicines Agency. Furthermore, a significant survival benefit of the combination of ipilimumab with dacarbazine compared with dacarbazine alone for first-line treatment was reported. In the near future, patients with BRAF mutations could have the chance to benefit from treatment with BRAF inhibitors; patients harboring BRAF or NRAS mutations could be treated with MEK inhibitors; finally, the subgroup of patients with acral, mucosal or chronic sun-damaged melanoma harboring a KIT mutation could benefit from KIT inhibitors. Ipilimumab could become a standard treatment for metastatic melanoma, both as a single agent and in combination; its efficacy has been proven, and researchers should now address their efforts to understanding the predictive variables of response to treatment. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

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