Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK

Bern, Switzerland

Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK

Bern, Switzerland
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Regan M.M.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Regan M.M.,Harvard University | Neven P.,Catholic University of Leuven | Giobbie-Hurder A.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 17 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2011

Background: Postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer have persistent, long-term risk of breast-cancer recurrence and death. Therefore, trials assessing endocrine therapies for this patient population need extended follow-up. We present an update of efficacy outcomes in the Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 study at 8·1 years median follow-up. Methods: BIG 1-98 is a randomised, phase 3, double-blind trial of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer that compares 5 years of tamoxifen or letrozole monotherapy, or sequential treatment with 2 years of one of these drugs followed by 3 years of the other. Randomisation was done with permuted blocks, and stratified according to the two-arm or four-arm randomisation option, participating institution, and chemotherapy use. Patients, investigators, data managers, and medical reviewers were masked. The primary efficacy endpoint was disease-free survival (events were invasive breast cancer relapse, second primaries [contralateral breast and non-breast], or death without previous cancer event). Secondary endpoints were overall survival, distant recurrence-free interval (DRFI), and breast cancer-free interval (BCFI). The monotherapy comparison included patients randomly assigned to tamoxifen or letrozole for 5 years. In 2005, after a significant disease-free survival benefit was reported for letrozole as compared with tamoxifen, a protocol amendment facilitated the crossover to letrozole of patients who were still receiving tamoxifen alone; Cox models and Kaplan-Meier estimates with inverse probability of censoring weighting (IPCW) are used to account for selective crossover to letrozole of patients (n=619) in the tamoxifen arm. Comparison of sequential treatments to letrozole monotherapy included patients enrolled and randomly assigned to letrozole for 5 years, letrozole for 2 years followed by tamoxifen for 3 years, or tamoxifen for 2 years followed by letrozole for 3 years. Treatment has ended for all patients and detailed safety results for adverse events that occurred during the 5 years of treatment have been reported elsewhere. Follow-up is continuing for those enrolled in the four-arm option. BIG 1-98 is registered at clinicaltrials.gov NCT00004205. Findings: 8010 patients were included in the trial, with a median follow-up of 8·1 years (range 0-12·4). 2459 were randomly assigned to monotherapy with tamoxifen for 5 years and 2463 to monotherapy with letrozole for 5 years. In the four-arm option of the trial, 1546 were randomly assigned to letrozole for 5 years, 1548 to tamoxifen for 5 years, 1540 to letrozole for 2 years followed by tamoxifen for 3 years, and 1548 to tamoxifen for 2 years followed by letrozole for 3 years. At a median follow-up of 8·7 years from randomisation (range 0-12·4), letrozole monotherapy was significantly better than tamoxifen, whether by IPCW or intention-to-treat analysis (IPCW disease-free survival HR 0·82 [95% CI 0·74-0·92], overall survival HR 0·79 [0·69-0·90], DRFI HR 0·79 [0·68-0·92], BCFI HR 0·80 [0·70-0·92]; intention-to-treat disease-free survival HR 0·86 [0·78-0·96], overall survival HR 0·87 [0·77-0·999], DRFI HR 0·86 [0·74-0·998], BCFI HR 0·86 [0·76-0·98]). At a median follow-up of 8·0 years from randomisation (range 0-11·2) for the comparison of the sequential groups with letrozole monotherapy, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the four endpoints for either sequence. 8-year intention-to-treat estimates (each with SE ≤1·1%) for letrozole monotherapy, letrozole followed by tamoxifen, and tamoxifen followed by letrozole were 78·6%, 77·8%, 77·3% for disease-free survival; 87·5%, 87·7%, 85·9% for overall survival; 89·9%, 88·7%, 88·1% for DRFI; and 86·1%, 85·3%, 84·3% for BCFI. Interpretation: For postmenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer, a reduction in breast cancer recurrence and mortality is obtained by letrozole monotherapy when compared with tamoxifen montherapy. Sequential treatments involving tamoxifen and letrozole do not improve outcome compared with letrozole monotherapy, but might be useful strategies when considering an individual patient's risk of recurrence and treatment tolerability. Funding: Novartis, United States National Cancer Institute, International Breast Cancer Study Group. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Bec G.,University of Strasbourg | Meyer B.,University of Strasbourg | Gerard M.-A.,University of Strasbourg | Gerard M.-A.,Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK | And 8 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) is a heterodimeric enzyme that converts the genomic viral RNA into proviral DNA. Despite intensive biochemical and structural studies, direct thermodynamic data regarding RT interactions with its substrates are still lacking. Here we addressed the mechanism of action of RT and of non-nucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs) by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Using a new incremental-ITC approach, a step-by-step thermodynamic dissection of the RT polymerization activity showed that most of the driving force for DNA synthesis is provided by initial dNTP binding. Surprisingly, thermodynamic and kinetic data led to a reinterpretation of the mechanism of inhibition of NNRTIs. Binding of NNRTIs to preformed RT/DNA complexes is hindered by a kinetic barrier and NNRTIs mostly interact with free RT. Once formed, RT/NNRTI complexes bind DNA either in a seemingly polymerase-competent orientation or form high-affinity dead-end complexes, both RT/NNRTI/DNA complexes being unable to bind the incoming nucleotide substrate. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Pagani O.,Institute of Oncology of Southern Switzerland | Pagani O.,Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK | Gelber S.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Colleoni M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | And 2 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2013

The degree of adherence to oral anticancer agents may influence treatment efficacy. Tamoxifen and toremifene usage data from two International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG) studies were used to evaluate the impact of treatment adherence on the efficacy of these two selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). Between 1993 and 1999, IBCSG Trial 13-93 randomized premenopausal women with node-positive disease to tamoxifen or no endocrine therapy and IBCSG Trial 14-93 compared tamoxifen and toremifene in postmenopausal women with node-positive disease. 690 women with estrogen-receptor positive enrolled in these two trials were alive and disease-free 4 years after the start of SERM. The median follow up for this analysis was 9.0 years. Using a Kaplan-Meier landmark analysis at 4 years, the 609 women completing at least 4 years of SERM had improved 10-year disease-free survival (DFS) (71 %) compared with the 81 women taking less than 4 years (64 %), but these differences did not reach statistical significance [DFS hazard ratio (<4 year/4+ year) 1.31, 95 % CI 0.86-1.98), p value = 0.20]. Women who completed less than 4 years of SERM treatment (12 %) appeared not to have achieved the full benefit from their therapy. These results suggest that more effort should be made to educate women regarding the benefits of a full course of treatment. This is especially important in light of the results of the recently reported ATLAS and aTTom trials which suggest a benefit of 10 years of tamoxifen. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Aebi S.,Luzerner Kantonsspital | Aebi S.,University of Bern | Aebi S.,Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK | Gelber S.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | And 23 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Patients with isolated locoregional recurrences (ILRR) of breast cancer have a high risk of distant metastasis and death from breast cancer. We aimed to establish whether adjuvant chemotherapy improves the outcome of such patients. Methods: The CALOR trial was a pragmatic, open-label, randomised trial that accrued patients with histologically proven and completely excised ILRR after unilateral breast cancer who had undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy with clear surgical margins. Eligible patients were enrolled from hospitals worldwide and were centrally randomised (1:1) to chemotherapy (type selected by the investigator; multidrug for at least four courses recommended) or no chemotherapy, using permuted blocks, and stratified by previous chemotherapy, oestrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor status, and location of ILRR. Patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive ILRR received adjuvant endocrine therapy, radiation therapy was mandated for patients with microscopically involved surgical margins, and anti-. HER2 therapy was optional. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival. All analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00074152. Findings: From Aug 22, 2003, to Jan 31, 2010, 85 patients were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy and 77 were assigned to no chemotherapy. At a median follow-up of 4·9 years (IQR 3·6-6 ·0), 24 (28%) patients had disease-free survival events in the chemotherapy group compared with 34 (44%) in the no chemotherapy group. 5-year disease-free survival was 69% (95% CI 56-79) with chemotherapy versus 57% (44-67) without chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0·59 [95% CI 0·35-0·99]; p=0·046). Adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly more effective for women with oestrogen-receptor-negative ILRR (pinteraction=0·046), but analyses of disease-free survival according to the oestrogen-receptor status of the primary tumour were not statistically significant (pinteraction=0·43). Of the 81 patients who received chemotherapy, 12 (15%) had serious adverse events. The most common adverse events were neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and intestinal infection. Interpretation: Adjuvant chemotherapy should be recommended for patients with completely resected ILRR of breast cancer, especially if the recurrence is oestrogen-receptor negative. Funding: US Department of Health and Human Services, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation, Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, Swedish Cancer Society, Oncosuisse, Cancer Association of South Africa, Foundation for Clinical Research of Eastern Switzerland (OSKK), Grupo Español de Investigación en Cáncer de Mama (GEICAM), and the Dutch Breast Cancer Trialists' Group (BOOG). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Attard G.,Institute of Cancer Research | Attard G.,Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust | Sydes M.R.,University College London | Mason M.D.,University of Cardiff | And 18 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Take Home Message There are compelling reasons to study the addition of both enzalutamide and abiraterone, in combination, to standard-of-care for hormone-naïve prostate cancer. Through a protocol amendment, this will be assessed in the STAMPEDE trial, with overall survival as primary outcome measure. © 2014 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Engert A.,University of Cologne | Haverkamp H.,University of Cologne | Kobe C.,University of Cologne | Markova J.,Charles University | And 26 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2012

Background: The intensity of chemotherapy and need for additional radiotherapy in patients with advanced stage Hodgkin's lymphoma has been unclear. We did a prospective randomised clinical trial comparing two reduced-intensity chemotherapy variants with our previous standard regimen. Chemotherapy was followed by PET-guided radiotherapy. Methods: In this parallel group, open-label, multicentre, non-inferiority trial (HD15), 2182 patients with newly diagnosed advanced stage Hodgkin's lymphoma aged 18-60 years were randomly assigned to receive either eight cycles of BEACOPP escalated (8×B esc group), six cycles of BEACOPP escalated (6×B esc group), or eight cycles of BEACOPP 14 (8×B 14 group). Randomisation (1:1:1) was done centrally by stratified minimisation. Non-inferiority of the primary endpoint, freedom from treatment failure, was assessed using repeated CIs for the hazard ratio (HR) according to the intention-to-treat principle. Patients with a persistent mass after chemotherapy measuring 2·5 cm or larger and positive on PET scan received additional radiotherapy with 30 Gy; the negative predictive value for tumour recurrence of PET at 12 months was an independent endpoint. This trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials, number ISRCTN32443041. Findings: Of the 2182 patients enrolled in the study, 2126 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis set, 705 in the 8×B esc group, 711 in the 6×B esc group, and 710 in the 8×B 14 group. Freedom from treatment failure was sequentially non-inferior for the 6×B esc and 8×B 14 groups as compared with 8×B esc. 5-year freedom from treatment failure rates were 84·4% (97·5% CI 81·0-87·7) for the 8×B esc group, 89·3% (86·5-92·1) for 6×B esc group, and 85·4% (82·1-88·7) for the 8×B 14 group (97·5% CI for difference between 6×B esc and 8×B esc was 0·5-9·3). Overall survival in the three groups was 91·9%, 95·3%, and 94·5% respectively, and was significantly better with 6×B esc than with 8×B esc (97·5% CI 0·2-6·5). The 8×B esc group showed a higher mortality (7·5%) than the 6×B esc (4·6%) and 8×B 14 (5·2%) groups, mainly due to differences in treatment-related events (2·1%, 0·8%, and 0·8%, respectively) and secondary malignancies (1·8%, 0·7%, and 1·1%, respectively). The negative predictive value for PET at 12 months was 94·1% (95% CI 92·1-96·1); and 225 (11%) of 2126 patients received additional radiotherapy. Interpretation: Treatment with six cycles of BEACOPP escalated followed by PET-guided radiotherapy was more effective in terms of freedom from treatment failure and less toxic than eight cycles of the same chemotherapy regimen. Thus, six cycles of BEACOPP escalated should be the treatment of choice for advanced stage Hodgkin's lymphoma. PET done after chemotherapy can guide the need for additional radiotherapy in this setting.


Budinska E.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Budinska E.,Masaryk University | Popovici V.,Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics | Popovici V.,Masaryk University | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Pathology | Year: 2013

The recognition that colorectal cancer (CRC) is a heterogeneous disease in terms of clinical behaviour and response to therapy translates into an urgent need for robust molecular disease subclassifiers that can explain this heterogeneity beyond current parameters (MSI, KRAS, BRAF ). Attempts to fill this gap are emerging. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TGCA) reported two main CRC groups, based on the incidence and spectrum of mutated genes, and another paper reported an EMT expression signature defined subgroup. We performed a prior free analysis of CRC heterogeneity on 1113 CRC gene expression profiles and confronted our findings to established molecular determinants and clinical, histopathological and survival data. Unsupervised clustering based on gene modules allowed us to distinguish at least five different gene expression CRC subtypes, which we call surface crypt-like, lower crypt-like, CIMP-H-like, mesenchymal and mixed. A gene set enrichment analysis combined with literature search of gene module members identified distinct biological motifs in different subtypes. The subtypes, which were not derived based on outcome, nonetheless showed differences in prognosis. Known gene copy number variations and mutations in key cancer-associated genes differed between subtypes, but the subtypes provided molecular information beyond that contained in these variables. Morphological features significantly differed between subtypes. The objective existence of the subtypes and their clinical and molecular characteristics were validated in an independent set of 720 CRC expression profiles. Our subtypes provide a novel perspective on the heterogeneity of CRC. The proposed subtypes should be further explored retrospectively on existing clinical trial datasets and, when sufficiently robust, be prospectively assessed for clinical relevance in terms of prognosis and treatment response predictive capacity. Original microarray data were uploaded to the ArrayExpress database (http://www.ebi.ac. uk/arrayexpress/) under Accession Nos E-MTAB-990 and E-MTAB-1026. 2013 Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Franzini A.,Cantonal Hospital St Gallen | Baty F.,Cantonal Hospital St Gallen | Macovei I.I.,Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara | Durr O.,ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Purpose:We aimed to identify gene expression signatures associated with angiogenesis andhypoxia pathways with predictive value for treatment response to bevacizumab/erlotinib (BE) of nonsquamous advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Experimental Design: Whole-genome gene expression profiling was performed on 42 biopsy samples (from SAKK 19/05 trial) using Affymetrix exon arrays, and associations with the following endpoints: time-to-progression (TTP) under therapy, tumorshrinkage (TS), and overall survival (OS) were investigated. Next, we performed gene set enrichment analyses using genes associated with the angiogenic process and hypoxia response to evaluate their predictive value for patients' outcome. Results: Our analysis revealed that both the angiogenic and hypoxia response signatures were enriched within the genes predictive of BE response, TS, and OS. Higher gene expression levels (GEL) of the 10-gene angiogenesis-associated signature and lower levels of the 10-gene hypoxia response signature predicted improved TTP under BE, 7.1 months versus 2.1 months for low versus high-risk patients (P=0.005), andmedian TTP 6.9months versus 2.9 months (P= 0.016), respectively. The hypoxia response signature associated with higher TS at 12 weeks and improved OS (17.8 months vs. 9.9 months for low vs. high-risk patients, P = 0.001). Conclusions: We were able to identify gene expression signatures derived from the angiogenesis and hypoxia response pathways with predictive value for clinical outcome in advanced nonsquamous NSCLC patients. This could lead to the identification of clinically relevant biomarkers, which will allow for selecting the subset of patients who benefit from the treatment and predict drug response. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.


Templeton A.J.,Breast Center | Thurlimann B.,Breast Center | Baumann M.,Breast Center | Mark M.,Breast Center | And 4 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Besides conventional adjuvant therapies, many breast cancer survivors engage in various activities like exercise, diet and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in order to improve their prognosis. Little is known about specific interests and willingness to participate in institutional programs (e.g. exercise classes).Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in patients with early breast cancer assessing current physical activity (PA, e.g. 30 minutes brisk walking), attention to eating habits (" diet" ), use of CAM, and interest in learning more about these fields. Patients indicating interest in PA counselling received a voucher for a free instruction by a certified physiotherapist. Data were analysed for factors predictive for engagement in the three fields using a stepwise multivariate logistic approach.Results: Of 342 consecutive patients, 232 (69%) reported to be physically active more than once per week, 299 (87%) paying special attention to nutrition (in most cases fruits, " balanced diet" , low fat), and 159 (46%) use of CAM (vitamins, special teas, homeopathy, herbal medicine, mistletoe). Factors predictive for PA were use of CAM, higher age, and fewer worries about the future. Swiss nationality at birth, physical activity and higher education were predictive for diet; whereas physical activity, higher education and lower age were predictive for use of CAM. No associations between any of the above variables and breast cancer characteristics were found. Around half of the patients reported interest in receiving more information and willingness to attend special counselling. Of 166 vouchers, only 7 (4%) were eventually utilized.Conclusions: A high proportion of breast cancer survivors report PA, following a specific diet and use of CAM. There were no disease related factors associated with such pursuits, but an association between patient related factors and these fields was observed suggesting general health awareness in some patients. Around half of the patients were interested in more information and indicated willingness to participate in institutional programs. Impact on disease specific and general health including health economic aspects warrants further research. © 2013 Templeton et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Matter-Walstra K.W.,University of Basel | Matter-Walstra K.W.,Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research SAKK | Dedes K.J.,University of Zürich | Schwenkglenks M.,University of Basel | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2010

Background: The continuation of trastuzumab beyond progression in combination with capecitabine as secondary chemotherapy for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) prolongs progression-free survival without a substantial increase in toxicity. Patients and methods: A Markov cohort simulation was used to follow the clinical course of typical patients with MBC. Information on response rates and major adverse effects was derived, and transition probabilities were estimated, based on the results of the Breast International Group 03-05 clinical trial. Direct costs were assessed from the perspective of the Swiss health care system. Results: The addition of trastuzumab to capecitabine is estimated to cost on average an additional of €33 980 and to yield a gain of 0.35 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €98329/QALYs gained. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed that the willingness-to-pay threshold of €60000/QALY was reached in 12% of cases. Conclusion: The addition of trastuzumab to capecitabine in MBC patients is more expensive than what is typically regarded as cost-effective but falls within the value ranges found for established regimens in the treatment of MBC. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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