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Molassiotis A.,University of Manchester | Molassiotis A.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Bardy J.,University of Manchester | Finnegan-John J.,Kings College London | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Maintenance acupuncture is advocated by clinicians after successful clinic-based acupuncture. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of maintenance acupuncture in the management of cancer-related fatigue (CRF); treatment delivered by therapists or self-acupuncture/self-needling was compared with no maintenance treatment. Methods: Breast cancer patients who participated in a randomized trial of acupuncture for CRF management (reported elsewhere) were re-randomized to receive an additional four acupuncturist-delivered weekly sessions; four self-administered weekly acupuncture sessions (self-needling); or no acupuncture. Primary outcome was general fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory). Mood, quality of life and safety were also assessed. Results: In total, 197 patients were re-randomized, with 65 to therapist-delivered sessions, 67 to self-acupuncture/ self-needling and 65 to no further acupuncture. Primary outcome scores were equivalent between the therapistdelivered acupuncture and self-acupuncture (P > 0.05). A non-significant trend in improving fatigue was observed at the end of 4 weeks in the combined acupuncture arms (P = 0.07). There was no impact on mood or quality of life of the further acupuncture sessions at 18 weeks beyond the improvement observed in initial trial. Conclusion: Self-acupuncture is an acceptable, feasible and safe maintenance treatment for patients with CRF. However, overall, maintenance acupuncture did not yield important improvements beyond those observed after an initial clinic-based course of acupuncture. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Guckenberger M.,University of Wurzburg | Hawkins M.,The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust | Flentje M.,University of Wurzburg | Sweeney R.A.,University of Wurzburg
BMC Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: One third of all cancer patients will develop bone metastases and the vertebral column is involved in approximately 70% of these patients. Conventional radiotherapy with of 1-10 fractions and total doses of 8-30 Gy is the current standard for painful vertebral metastases; however, the median pain response is short with 3-6 months and local tumor control is limited with these rather low irradiation doses. Recent advances in radiotherapy technology - intensity modulated radiotherapy for generation of highly conformal dose distributions and image-guidance for precise treatment delivery - have made dose-escalated radiosurgery of spinal metastases possible and early results of pain and local tumor control are promising. The current study will investigate efficacy and safety of radiosurgery for painful vertebral metastases and three characteristics will distinguish this study. 1) A prognostic score for overall survival will be used for selection of patients with longer life expectancy to allow for analysis of long-term efficacy and safety. 2) Fractionated radiosurgery will be performed with the number of treatment fractions adjusted to either good (10 fractions) or intermediate (5 fractions) life expectancy. Fractionation will allow inclusion of tumors immediately abutting the spinal cord due to higher biological effective doses at the tumor - spinal cord interface compared to single fraction treatment. 3) Dose intensification will be performed in the involved parts of the vertebrae only, while uninvolved parts are treated with conventional doses using the simultaneous integrated boost concept.Methods / Design: It is the study hypothesis that hypo-fractionated image-guided radiosurgery significantly improves pain relief compared to historic data of conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. Primary endpoint is pain response 3 months after radiosurgery, which is defined as pain reduction of ≥ 2 points at the treated vertebral site on the 0 to 10 Visual Analogue Scale. 60 patients will be included into this two-centre phase II trial.Conclusions: Results of this study will refine the methods of patient selection, target volume definition, treatment planning and delivery as well as quality assurance for radiosurgery. It is the intention of this study to form the basis for a future randomized controlled trial comparing conventional radiotherapy with fractionated radiosurgery for palliation of painful vertebral metastases.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01594892. © 2012 Guckenberger et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Kelly D.,University of Cardiff | Forbat L.,Australian Catholic University | Marshall-Lucette S.,St Georges, University of London | White I.,The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Translational Andrology and Urology | Year: 2015

Background: Men are likely to experience deterioration in sexual functioning as a consequence of treatment for prostate cancer. Indeed, sexual difficulties are common across all treatment modalities. Objective: To determine the impact of treatment for prostate cancer on intimacy and sexual expression/relationships from the perspective of couples. Methods: An observational study was conducted including in-depth interviews with 18 people affected by prostate cancer; comprising eight couples and two individual men. Results: Four categories were identified that illustrated the impact of prostate cancer on intimacy and sexual recovery. These related to social influences and language used to describe the loss or recovery of sexual activities; difficulties in discussing sexual activity with clinicians; the clash of individual impact of prostate cancer recovery versus the impact on the couple, and the re-integration of sexual activities into the relationship. Conclusions: Though only one person in a partnership experiences cancer, these data indicated the extent to which prostate cancer treatment also impacts on partners. The study indicates that adjustment to erectile dysfunction (ED) takes time, but is a highly significant event in couples' lives and its importance should not be under-estimated. Consequently, we suggest that relational models of care should be considered, whereby side-effects are recognised as impacting on both members of the partnership (for example ED, or lack or ejaculate). Supportive care in this context, therefore, may best be based on a relational approach using language and interventions that are appropriate to the patient and their situation. © Translational Andrology and Urology.

Primrose J.,University of Southampton | Falk S.,University of Bristol | Finch-Jones M.,University of Bristol | Valle J.,University of Manchester | And 17 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2014

Background: Surgery for colorectal liver metastases results in an overall survival of about 40% at 5 years. Progression-free survival is increased with the addition of oxaliplatin and fluorouracil chemotherapy. The addition of cetuximab to these chemotherapy regimens results in an overall survival advantage in patients with advanced disease who have the KRAS exon 2 wild-type tumour genotype. We aimed to assess the benefit of addition of cetuximab to standard chemotherapy in patients with resectable colorectal liver metastasis. Methods: Patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type resectable or suboptimally resectable colorectal liver metastases were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to receive chemotherapy with or without cetuximab before and after liver resection. Randomisation was done using minimisation with factors of surgical centre, poor prognostic tumour (one or more of: ≥4 metastases, N2 disease, or poor differentiation of primary tumour), and previous adjuvant treatment with oxaliplatin. Chemotherapy consisted of oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 intravenously over 2 h and fluorouracil bolus 400 mg/m2 intravenously over 5 min, followed by a 46 h infusion of fluorouracil 2400 mg/m2 repeated every 2 weeks (regimen one) or oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 intravenously over 2 h and oral capecitabine 1000 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1-14 repeated every 3 weeks (regimen two). Patients who had received adjuvant oxaliplatin could receive irinotecan 180 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 min with fluorouracil instead of oxaliplatin (regimen three). Cetuximab was given as an intravenous dose of 500 mg/m2 every 2 weeks with regimen one and three or a loading dose of 400 mg/m2 followed by a weekly infusion of 250 mg/m2 with regimen two. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival. This is an interim analysis, up to Nov 1, 2012, when the trial was closed, having met protocol-defined futility criteria. This trial is registered, ISRCTN22944367. Findings: 128 KRAS exon 2 wild-type patients were randomised to chemotherapy alone and 129 to chemotherapy with cetuximab between Feb 26, 2007, and Nov 1, 2012. 117 patients in the chemotherapy alone group and 119 in the chemotherapy plus cetuximab group were included in the primary analysis. The median follow-up was 21·1 months (95% CI 12·6-33·8) in the chemotherapy alone group and 19·8 months (12·2-28·7) in the chemotherapy plus cetuximab group. With an overall median follow-up of 20·7 months (95% CI 17·9-25·6) and 123 (58%) of 212 required events observed, progression-free survival was significantly shorter in the chemotherapy plus cetuximab group than in the chemotherapy alone group (14·1 months [95% CI 11·8-15·9] vs 20·5 months [95% CI 16·8-26·7], hazard ratio 1·48, 95% CI 1·04-2·12, p=0·030). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were low neutrophil count (15 [11%] preoperatively in the chemotherapy alone group vs six [4%] in the chemotherapy plus cetuximab group; four [4%] vs eight [8%] postoperatively), embolic events (six [4%] vs eight [6%] preoperatively; two [2%] vs three [3%] postoperatively), peripheral neuropathy (six [4%] vs one [1%] preoperatively; two [2%] vs four [4%] postoperatively), nausea or vomiting (four [3%] vs six [4%] preoperatively; four [4%] vs two [2%] postoperatively), and skin rash (two [1%] vs 21 [15%] preoperatively; 0 vs eight [8%] postoperatively). There were three deaths in the chemotherapy plus cetuximab group (one interstitial lung disease and pulmonary embolism, one bronchopneumonia, and one pulmonary embolism) and one in the chemotherapy alone group (heart failure) that might have been treatment related. Interpretation: Addition of cetuximab to chemotherapy and surgery for operable colorectal liver metastases in KRAS exon 2 wild-type patients results in shorter progression-free survival. Translational investigations to explore the molecular basis for this unexpected interaction are needed but at present the use of cetuximab in this setting cannot be recommended. Funding: Cancer Research UK. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Crosby T.,Velindre Cancer Center | Hurt C.N.,University of Cardiff | Falk S.,Bristol Haematology and Oncology Center | Gollins S.,North Wales Cancer Treatment Center | And 11 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is an alternative to surgery for the curative treatment of oesophageal carcinoma. The SCOPE1 trial aimed to investigate the addition of cetuximab to cisplatin and fluoropyrimidine-based definitive CRT in patients with localised oesophageal squamous-cell cancer and adenocarcinomas to assess activity, safety, and feasibility of use. Methods: In this multicentre, randomised, open-label, phase 2/3 trial, we recruited patients aged 18 years and older from UK radiotherapy centres who had non-metastatic, histologically confirmed carcinoma of the oesophagus (adenocarcinoma, squamous-cell, or undifferentiated; WHO status 0-1; stage I-III disease) and been selected to receive definitive CRT. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) via a central computerised system using stratified minimisation (with an 80:20 random element) to receive CRT alone or CRT with cetuximab (400 mg/m2 on day 1 followed by 250 mg/m2 weekly), stratified by recruiting hospital, primary reason for not having surgery, tumour histology, and tumour stage. CRT consisted of cisplatin 60 mg/m2 (day 1) and capecitabine 625 mg/m2 twice daily (days 1-21) for four cycles; cycles three and four were given concurrently with 50 Gy in 25 fractions of radiotherapy. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who were treatment failure free at week 24 for the phase 2 trial and overall survival for the phase 3 trial, both measured from randomisation. We analysed data by intention to treat. This trial is an International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number 47718479. Findings: 258 patients (129 assigned to each treatment group) from 36 UK centres were recruited between Feb 7, 2008, and Feb 22, 2012. Recruitment was stopped without continuation to phase 3 because the trial met criteria for futility, but we continued to follow-up recruited patients until all had reached at least 24-week follow-up (median follow-up of patients who survived was 16·8 months [IQR 11·2-24·5]). Fewer patients were treatment failure free at 24 weeks in the CRT plus cetuximab group (79 of 119 patients [66·4%, 90% CI 58·6-73·6]) than in the CRT only group (93 of 121 patients [76·9%, 69·7-83·0]). The CRT plus cetuximab group also had shorter median overall survival (22·1 months [95% CI 15·1-24·5] vs 25·4 months [20·5-37·9]; adjusted HR 1·53 [95% CI 1·03-2·27]; p=0·035). Patients who received CRT plus cetuximab had more non-haematological grade 3 or 4 toxicities (102 [79%] of 129 patients vs 81 [63%] of 129 patients; p=0·004). The most common grade 3 or 4 toxicities were low white blood cell count (14 [11%] in the CRT plus cetuximab group vs 21 [16%] in the CRT only group), low absolute neutrophil count (15 [12%] vs 24 [19%]), fatigue (26 [20%] vs 25 [19%]), and dysphagia (35 [27%] vs 37 [29%]). Interpretation: The addition of cetuximab to standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy cannot be recommended for patients with oesophageal cancer suitable for definitive CRT. Funding: Cancer Research UK. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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