Tumor Biology Center Freiburg

Freiburg, Germany

Tumor Biology Center Freiburg

Freiburg, Germany

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Rodel C.,University of Frankfurt and German Cancer Consortium partner site | Rodel C.,German Cancer Research Center | Graeven U.,Kliniken Maria Hilf GmbH Monchengladbach | Fietkau R.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | And 18 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2015

Background: Preoperative chemoradiotherapy with infusional fluorouracil, total mesorectal excision surgery, and postoperative chemotherapy with fluorouracil was established by the German CAO/ARO/AIO-94 trial as a standard combined modality treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer. Here we compare the previously established regimen with an investigational regimen in which oxaliplatin was added to both preoperative chemoradiotherapy and postoperative chemotherapy. Methods: In this multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 study we randomly assigned patients with rectal adenocarcinoma, clinically staged as cT3-4 or any node-positive disease, to two groups: a control group receiving standard fluorouracil-based combined modality treatment, consisting of preoperative radiotherapy of 50·4 Gy in 28 fractions plus infusional fluorouracil (1000 mg/m2 on days 1-5 and 29-33), followed by surgery and four cycles of bolus fluorouracil (500 mg/m2 on days 1-5 and 29); or to an investigational group receiving preoperative radiotherapy of 50·4 Gy in 28 fractions plus infusional fluorouracil (250 mg/m2 on days 1-14 and 22-35) and oxaliplatin (50 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, 22, and 29), followed by surgery and eight cycles of oxaliplatin (100 mg/m2 on days 1 and 15), leucovorin (400 mg/m2 on days 1 and 15), and infusional fluorouracil (2400 mg/m2 on days 1-2 and 15-16). Randomisation was done with computer-generated block-randomisation codes stratified by centre, clinical T category (cT1-3 vs cT4), and clinical N category (cN0 vs cN1-2) without masking. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival, defined as the time between randomisation and non-radical surgery of the primary tumour (R2 resection), locoregional recurrence after R0/1 resection, metastatic disease or progression, or death from any cause, whichever occurred first. Survival and cumulative incidence of recurrence analyses followed the intention-to-treat principle; toxicity analyses included all patients treated. Enrolment of patients in this trial is completed and follow-up is ongoing. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00349076. Findings: Of the 1265 patients initially enrolled, 1236 were assessable (613 in the investigational group and 623 in the control group). With a median follow-up of 50 months (IQR 38-61), disease-free survival at 3 years was 75·9% (95% CI 72·4-79·5) in the investigational group and 71·2% (95% CI 67·6-74·9) in the control group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·79, 95% CI 0·64-0·98; p=0·03). Preoperative grade 3-4 toxic effects occurred in 144 (24%) of 607 patients who actually received fluorouracil and oxaliplatin during chemoradiotherapy and in 128 (20%) of 625 patients who actually received fluorouracil chemoradiotherapy. Of 445 patients who actually received adjuvant fluorouracil and leucovorin and oxaliplatin, 158 (36%) had grade 3-4 toxic effects, as did 170 (36%) of 470 patients who actually received adjuvant fluorouracil. Late grade 3-4 adverse events in patients who received protocol-specified preoperative and postoperative treatment occurred in 112 (25%) of 445 patients in the investigational group, and in 100 (21%) of 470 patients in the control group. Interpretation: Adding oxaliplatin to fluorouracil-based neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy (at the doses and intensities used in this trial) significantly improved disease-free survival of patients with clinically staged cT3-4 or cN1-2 rectal cancer compared with our former fluorouracil-based combined modality regimen (based on CAO/ARO/AIO-94). The regimen established by CAO/ARO/AIO-04 can be deemed a new treatment option for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Funding: German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Dellas K.,University of Kiel | Dellas K.,University of Lübeck | Hohler T.,Prosper Hospital Recklinghausen | Reese T.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | And 4 more authors.
Radiation Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Preoperative radiochemotherapy (RCT) with 5-FU or capecitabine is the standard of care for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Preoperative RCT achieves pathological complete response rates (pCR) of 10-15%. We conducted a single arm phase II study to investigate the feasibility and efficacy of addition of bevacizumab and oxaliplatin to preoperative standard RCT with capecitabine. Methods: Eligible patients had LARC (cT3-4; N0/1/2, M0/1) and were treated with preoperative RCT prior to planned surgery. Patients received conventionally fractionated radiotherapy (50.4 Gy in 1.8 Gy fractions) and simultaneous chemotherapy with capecitabine 825 mg/m2 bid (d1-14, d22-35) and oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2 (d1, d8, d22, d29). Bevacizumab 5 mg/kg was added on days 1, 15, and 29. The primary study objective was the pCR rate.Results: 70 patients with LARC (cT3-4; N0/1, M0/1), ECOG < 2, were enrolled at 6 sites from 07/2008 through 02/2010 (median age 61 years [range 39-89], 68% male). At initial diagnosis, 84% of patients had clinical stage T3, 62% of patients had nodal involvement and 83% of patients were M0. Mean tumor distance from anal verge was 5.92 cm (± 3.68). 58 patients received the complete RCT (full dose RT and full dose of all chemotherapy). During preoperative treatment, grade 3 or 4 toxicities were experienced by 6 and 2 patients, respectively: grade 4 diarrhea and nausea in one patient (1.4%), respectively, grade 3 diarrhea in 2 patients (3%), grade 3 obstipation, anal abscess, anaphylactic reaction, leucopenia and neutropenia in one patient (1.4%), respectively. In total, 30 patients (46%) developed postoperative complications of any grade including one gastrointestinal perforation in one patient (2%), wound-healing problems in 7 patients (11%) and bleedings in 2 patients (3%). pCR was observed in 12/69 (17.4%) patients. Pathological downstaging (ypT < cT and ypN ≤ cN) was achieved in 31 of 69 patients (44.9%). All of the 66 operated patients had a R0 resection. 47 patients (68.1%) underwent sphincter preserving surgery.Conclusions: The addition of bevacizumab and oxaliplatin to RCT with capecitabine was well tolerated and did not increase perioperative morbidity or mortality. However, the pCR rate was not improved in comparison to other trials that used capecitabine or capecitabine/oxaliplatin in preoperative radiochemotherapy. © 2013 Dellas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Jantscheff P.,Tumor Biology Center Freiburg | Schlesinger M.,University of Bonn | Fritzsche J.,University of Bonn | Taylor L.A.,Tumor Biology Center Freiburg | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2011

Lysophosphatidylcholine (LysoPC) is an important intermediate in degradation and biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine (PC). Reduced plasma LysoPC levels observed in patients with advanced cancer indicate a deregulation of LysoPC metabolism in metastasis. Recent data showed strong antimetastatic effects of liposomes consisting of saturated PC in a murine pancreatic metastasis model. LysoPC, generated from saturated PC after accumulation of the liposomes in tumor tissue, might be contributing to these effects. Examining effects of high local concentrations of saturated LysoPC and investigating potential molecular mechanisms, fast removal of saturated LysoPC from medium by murine B16.F10 melanoma cells and radical shifts in tumor cell membrane fatty acid (FA) composition toward saturated FAs were observed in vitro. Scanning electron microscopy revealed remarkable morphologic surface changes of LysoPC-treated tumor cells, probably causing their impaired migratory ability on fibronectin. A LysoPC concentration exceeding a threshold of about 400 μmol/L, slightly above physiologic levels, strongly reduced VLA-4-mediated binding of B16.F10 cells to VCAM-1 as well as P-selectin-dependent interaction with activated platelets, although expression levels were not altered. These findings were reflected in a syngenic intravenous lung invasion model using repeatedly ex vivo LysoPC-treated (450 μmol/L) B16.F10 cells, resulting in significantly reduced lung metastasis-like lesions (-48.3%, P = 0.006). Prior application of 50 IU unfractionated heparin further reduced lung invasion (-81.6%, P = 0.043). Our work shows for the first time that saturated LysoPC in high concentrations reduces melanoma cell adhesion in vitro and hematogeneous dissemination in vivo by direct ex vivo tumor cell targeting. ©2011 AACR.


Dellas K.,University of Kiel | Buller J.,Paul Gerhard Stiftung | Gortz G.J.,Paul Gerhard Stiftung | Richter M.,Coordination Center for Clinical Trials | And 6 more authors.
Annals of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2014

Background. Preoperative radiochemotherapy (RCT) is a standard of care for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC; stages II and III). Results of our phase II study (BevXelOx-RT) have shown that this regimen is feasible but without a significant improvement of pathological complete response. Whether preoperatively administered bevacizumab, due to its specific toxicity profile, leads to increased rates of surgical complications is currently a subject for debate. This analysis focusses on the surgery-associated spectrum of complications. Methods. Data from 62 patients with rectal cancer (uT3-4; N0/1, M0) of the phase II trial were analyzed. Patients received radiotherapy (50.4/1.8 Gy fractions), simultaneous bevacizumab 5 mg/kg (d1, d15, d29), and capecitabine 825 mg/m2 twice daily (d1-14, d22-35), oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2 (d1, d8, d22, d29). Four to six weeks after RCT, surgical resection was performed. Results. Overall, 69/69 patients underwent surgery, and 66 (95.7 %) patients had R0 resection. Surgery was mainly conducted (in 66 %) by highly experienced surgeons (>20 resections of rectal cancer/year) with differences between the institutions due to the operative procedures but without effects on the rate of R0 resection or complications. The average duration of surgery was 239 min (±10). Frequency of multivisceral resections (11 %), intraoperative (8 %) and postoperative (43 %) complications were all in the expected range. In particular, we did not observe an increased rate of postoperative bleedings (3 %). The postoperative mortality rate was 0 %. Conclusions. Quantity and the kind of surgery-associated spectrum of complications followed by a preoperative bevacizumab-containing RCT regimen in patients with LARC were in line with comparable trials of bevacizumab-based approaches. © 2013 Society of Surgical Oncology.


PubMed | Tumor Biology Center Freiburg, University of Hamburg and Germany Hospitals Cancer Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Therapeutic advances in medical oncology | Year: 2016

Treatment of patients with severe liver dysfunction including hyperbilirubinemia secondary to liver metastases of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is challenging. Regimen of oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidine (FP)/folinic acid (FA) a monoclonal antibody (moAb), represents a feasible option considering the pharmacokinetics. Clinical data on the respective dosage and tolerability are limited and no recommendations are available.Consecutive patients with severe hyperbilirubinemia [>2 upper limit of the normal range (ULN) and >2.4 mg/dl] due to liver metastases of GI cancer without options for drainage receiving oxaliplatin, FP/FA moAb were analyzed. To collect further data a review of the literature was performed.A total of 12 patients were identified between 2011 and 2015. At treatment start, median bilirubin level was 6.1 mg/dl (>5 ULN, range 2.7-13.6). The majority of patients (n = 11) received dose-reduced regimen with oxaliplatin (60-76%) and FP/FA (0-77%), rapidly escalating to full dose regimen. During treatment, bilirubin levels dropped more than 50% within 8 weeks or normalized within 12 weeks in 6 patients (responders). Median overall survival was 5.75 months (range 1.0-16.0 months) but was significantly prolonged in responders compared to nonresponders [9.7 and 3.0 months, p = 0.026 (two-sided test); 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10-10.22]. In addition, case reports or series comprising a further 26 patients could be identified. Based on the obtained data a treatment algorithm was developed.Treatment with oxaliplatin, FP/FA moAb is feasible and may derive relevant benefits in patients with severe liver dysfunction caused by GI cancer liver metastases without further options of drainage.


Quidde J.,University of Hamburg | Azemar M.,Tumor Biology Center Freiburg | Bokemeyer C.,University of Hamburg | Arnold D.,Tumor Biology Center Freiburg | And 2 more authors.
Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology | Year: 2016

Background: Treatment of patients with severe liver dysfunction including hyperbilirubinemia secondary to liver metastases of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is challenging. Regimen of oxaliplatin and fluoropyrimidine (FP)/folinic acid (FA) ± a monoclonal antibody (moAb), represents a feasible option considering the pharmacokinetics. Clinical data on the respective dosage and tolerability are limited and no recommendations are available. Methods: Consecutive patients with severe hyperbilirubinemia [>2 × upper limit of the normal range (ULN) and >2.4 mg/dl] due to liver metastases of GI cancer without options for drainage receiving oxaliplatin, FP/FA ± moAb were analyzed. To collect further data a review of the literature was performed. Results: A total of 12 patients were identified between 2011 and 2015. At treatment start, median bilirubin level was 6.1 mg/dl (>5 × ULN, range 2.7-13.6). The majority of patients (n = 11) received dose-reduced regimen with oxaliplatin (60-76%) and FP/FA (0-77%), rapidly escalating to full dose regimen. During treatment, bilirubin levels dropped more than 50% within 8 weeks or normalized within 12 weeks in 6 patients (responders). Median overall survival was 5.75 months (range 1.0-16.0 months) but was significantly prolonged in responders compared to nonresponders [9.7 and 3.0 months, p = 0.026 (two-sided test); 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10-10.22]. In addition, case reports or series comprising a further 26 patients could be identified. Based on the obtained data a treatment algorithm was developed. Conclusion: Treatment with oxaliplatin, FP/FA ± moAb is feasible and may derive relevant benefits in patients with severe liver dysfunction caused by GI cancer liver metastases without further options of drainage. © The Author(s), 2016.


Kanefendt F.,University of Bonn | Lindauer A.,University of Bonn | Mross K.,Tumor Biology Center Freiburg | Fuhr U.,University of Cologne | Jaehde U.,University of Bonn
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2012

Soluble VEGFR-3 (sVEGFR-3) is a potential biomarker for the anti-angiogenic activity of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The aim of this investigation was the validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure sVEGFR-3 in human plasma and the investigation of its applicability in clinical trials as first step of the biomarker validation process. General validation criteria were assessed based on current guidelines and recommendations for immunoassays. The ELISA was applied in two clinical trials including healthy volunteers and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients receiving 50 or 37.5. mg sunitinib per day, respectively. SVEGFR-3 was measured at predefined time points. Undiluted, inactivated fetal calf serum was identified as surrogate matrix to substitute for human plasma. Dilutional linearity and parallelism could be successfully confirmed. The analyte was measured in the study matrix with intra- and inter-run precision and accuracy. ≤ 20% Stability was proven over a period of at least 15 months as well as upon three freeze-thaw cycles. SVEGFR-3 concentrations decreased in response to sunitinib to 57% (IQR 50-88%) and 58% (IQR 47-80%) of the respective baseline concentrations in healthy volunteers and mCRC patients, respectively, with subsequent increase after stop of treatment. The ELISA for the quantification of sVEGFR-3 in human plasma was successfully validated. The applicability of the assay was demonstrated in two clinical trials. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Ehlken C.,University Hospital Freiburg | Martin G.,University Hospital Freiburg | Lange C.,University Hospital Freiburg | Gogaki E.G.,University Hospital Freiburg | And 5 more authors.
Acta Ophthalmologica | Year: 2011

Purpose: To investigate whether EphrinB2 (EfnB2) or EphB4 influence retinal angiogenesis under physiological or pathological conditions. Methods: Using the mouse model of oxygen-induced proliferative retinopathy (OIR), the expression of EfnB2, EphB4, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 was quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and localized in EfnB2- and EphB4-lacZ mice. Angioproliferative retinopathy was manipulated by intravitreal injection of dimeric EfnB2 and monomeric or dimeric EphB4. Results: Dimeric EphB4 (EphB4-Fc) and EfnB2 (EfnB2-Fc) enhanced hypoxia-induced angioproliferative retinopathy but not physiological angiogenesis. Monomeric EphB4 (sEphB4) reduced angiogenesis. The messenger RNA (mRNA) level of EfnB2 increased significantly in the hyperoxic phase (P7-P12), while EphB4, VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 showed a significant - up to fivefold - increased expression at P14, the start of morphologically visible vasoproliferation caused by relative hypoxia. Conclusion: The ephrin/Eph system is involved in angioproliferative retinopathy. Stimulation of EphB4 and EfnB2 signalling using EfnB2-Fc and EphB4-Fc, respectively, enhanced hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. In contrast, sEphB4 inhibited hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. Therefore, angiogenesis is enhanced by signalling through both EphB4 (forward) and EfnB2 (reverse). The distinction in the expression kinetics of EphB4 and EfnB2 indicates that they govern two different signalling pathways and are regulated in diverse ways. sEphB4 might be a useful drug for antiangiogenic therapy. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Acta Ophthalmol.


Current guidelines recommend treatment with capecitabine and bevacizumab for patients (pts) with non-resectable metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), although clinical data in this particular patient group are lacking.Previously untreated patients with non-resectable mCRC were to receive capecitabine (1,250mg/sqm bid d1-14 oral) and bevacizumab (7.5mg/kg i.v.) every 3weeks. Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints include overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR) and toxicity.82 pts were included: 40 female, median age 70 (range 50-86). ECOG PS 0/1/2 was 38/52/10%, respectively. Synchronous metastases were present in 58 pts. 16 pts had primary tumor in situ. Median treatment duration was 4.1months (6cycles). Toxicity was generally mild. ORR was 38%, with 5 complete and 23 partial responses. Median PFS was 7.0months [95% CI (5.0-9.1)] and OS 17.9months [95% CI (14.6-21.6)]. Second- and third-line systemic therapy was given to 57% and 33% of pts, respectively.Besides the favourable tolerability, PFS and OS were shorter than reported by other trials. Careful patient selection for upfront capecitabine and bevacizumab is essential.


PubMed | Tumor Biology Center Freiburg
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Drugs | Year: 2013

In this review article we discuss the evolution of second-line treatment options for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The benefits of second-line chemotherapy have been established for some time, but in the last decade a number of trials have evaluated combinations of irinotecan- and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy with molecular-targeted agents; e.g., vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeting agents (bevacizumab, aflibercept), epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies (cetuximab, panitumumab), and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (vatalanib). Recent developments include the availability of the new VEGF-targeted agent aflibercept and the new concept of continuing bevacizumab after failure of first-line bevacizumab, which is likely to become a new treatment option in the second-line setting. Choosing the most appropriate second-line treatment regimen for mCRC patients remains a complex issue. All of the currently available molecular-targeted agents seem to be active even after patients have received a bevacizumab-based first-line regimen. Overall, the selection of second-line treatment for mCRC depends on several variables and should be determined taking into account the patients performance and disease status.

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