Gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine alone in advanced biliary tract cancer: a double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II AIO study with biomarker and serum programme
Markus Hermann Möhler
Carl C. Schimanski
Frank Thomas Kolligs
Matthias P. Ebert
Matthias Maximilian Dollinger
E. M. Duerr
Peter R. Galle
Marcus Alexander Wörns
- Background: Since sorafenib has shown activity in different tumour types and gemcitabine regimens improved the outcome for biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients, we evaluated first-line gemcitabine plus sorafenib in a double-blind phase II study.
Patients and methods: 102 unresectable or metastatic BTC patients with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of gallbladder or intrahepatic bile ducts, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0–2 were randomised to gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 once weekly, first 7-weeks + 1-week rest followed by once 3-weeks + 1-week rest) plus sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or placebo. Treatment continued until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Tumour samples were prospectively stained for sorafenib targets and potential biomarkers. Serum samples (first two cycles) were measured for vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1)α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Gemcitabine plus sorafenib was generally well tolerated. Four and three patients achieved partial responses in the sorafenib and placebo groups, respectively. There was no difference in the primary end-point, median progression-free survival (PFS) for gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine plus placebo (3.0 versus 4.9 months, P = 0.859), and no difference for median overall survival (OS) (8.4 versus 11.2 months, P = 0.775). Patients with liver metastasis after resection of primary BTC survived longer with sorafenib (P = 0.019) compared to placebo. Patients who developed hand-foot syndrome (HFS) showed longer PFS and OS than patients without HFS. Two sorafenib targets, VEGFR-2 and c-kit, were not expressed in BTC samples. VEGFR-3 and Hif1α were associated with lymph node metastases and T stage. Absence of PDGFRβ expression correlated with longer PFS.
Conclusion: The addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine did not demonstrate improved efficacy in advanced BTC patients. Biomarker subgroup analysis suggested that some patients might benefit from combined treatment.
Integrating retrogenesis theory to Alzheimer's disease pathology: insight from DTI-TBSS investigation of the white matter microstructural integrity
Gilberto Sousa Alves
Viola Oertel Knöchel
André Férrer Carvalho
- Microstructural abnormalities in white matter (WM) are often reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect primary or secondary circuitry degeneration (i.e., due to cortical atrophy). The interpretation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) eigenvectors, known as multiple indices, may provide new insights into the main pathological models supporting primary or secondary patterns of WM disruption in AD, the retrogenesis, and Wallerian degeneration models, respectively. The aim of this review is to analyze the current literature on the contribution of DTI multiple indices to the understanding of AD neuropathology, taking the retrogenesis model as a reference for discussion. A systematic review using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PUBMED was performed. Evidence suggests that AD evolves through distinct patterns of WM disruption, in which retrogenesis or, alternatively, the Wallerian degeneration may prevail. Distinct patterns of WM atrophy may be influenced by complex interactions which comprise disease status and progression, fiber localization, concurrent risk factors (i.e., vascular disease, gender), and cognitive reserve. The use of DTI multiple indices in addition to other standard multimodal methods in dementia research may help to determine the contribution of retrogenesis hypothesis to the understanding of neuropathological hallmarks that lead to AD.
The burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in children with underlying risk factors in North America and Europe
Markus A. Rose
Tin Tin Htar Myint
Iris de Schutter
- Background:Characterisation of risk groups who may benefit from pneumococcal vaccination is essential for the generation of recommendations and policy.
Methods: We reviewed the literature to provide information on the incidence and risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in at-risk children in Europe and North America. The PubMed database was searched using predefined search terms and inclusion/exclusion criteria for papers reporting European or North American data on the incidence or risk of IPD in children with underlying medical conditions.
Results: Eighteen references were identified, 11 from North America and 7 from Europe, with heterogeneous study methods, periods and populations. The highest incidence was seen in US children positive for human immunodeficiency virus infection, peaking at 4167 per 100,000 patient-years in 2000. Studies investigating changes in incidence over time reported decreases in the incidence of IPD between the late 1990s and early 2000s. The highest risk of IPD was observed in children with haematological cancers or immunosuppression. Overall, data on IPD in at-risk children were limited, lacking incidence data for a wide range of predisposing conditions. There was, however, a clear decrease in the incidence of IPD in at-risk children after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine into immunisation programmes, as previously demonstrated in the general population.
Conclusion: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies identified, the available data show a substantial incidence of IPD in at-risk children, particularly those who are immunocompromised. Further research is needed to determine the true risk of IPD in at-risk children, particularly in the post-PCV period, and to understand the benefits of vaccination and optimal vaccination schedules.
Social inequalities in patient-reported outcomes among older multimorbid patients - results of the MultiCare cohort study
Olaf von dem Knesebeck
Steffi Gerlinde Riedel-Heller
Hendrik van den Bussche
- Introduction: In this article three research questions are addressed: (1) Is there an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and patient-reported outcomes in a cohort of multimorbid patients? (2) Does the association vary according to SES indicator used (income, education, occupational position)? (3) Can the association between SES and patient-reported outcomes (self-rated health, health-related quality of life and functional status) be (partly) explained by burden of disease?
Methods: Analyses are based on the MultiCare Cohort Study, a German multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of multimorbid patients from general practice. We analysed baseline data and data from the first follow-up after 15 months (N = 2,729). To assess burden of disease we used the patients’ morbidity data from standardized general practitioner (GP) interviews based on a list of 46 groups of chronic conditions including the GP’s severity rating of each chronic condition ranging from marginal to very severe.
Results: In the cross-sectional analyses SES was significantly associated with the patient-reported outcomes at baseline. Associations with income were more consistent and stronger than with education and occupational position. Associations were partly explained (17% to 44%) by burden of disease. In the longitudinal analyses only income (but not education and occupational position) was significantly related to the patient-reported outcomes at follow-up. Associations between income and the outcomes were reduced by 18% to 27% after adjustment for burden of disease.
Conclusions: Results indicate social inequalities in self-rated health, functional status and health related quality of life among older multimorbid patients. As associations with education and occupational position were inconsistent, these inequalities were mainly due to income. Inequalities were partly explained by burden of disease. However, even among patients with a similar disease burden, those with a low income were worse off in terms of the three patient-reported outcomes under study.
Variant rs1801157 in the 3'UTR of SDF-1ß Does Not Explain Variability of Healthy-Donor G-CSF Responsiveness
- The genetics responsible for the inter-individually variable G-CSF responsiveness remain elusive. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 3’UTR of CXCL12, rs1801157, was implicated in X4-tropic HiV susceptibility and later, in two small studies, in G-CSR responsiveness in patients and donors. The position of the SNP in the 3’UTR together with in-silico predictions suggested differential binding of micro-RNA941 as an underlying mechanism. In a cohort of 515 healthy stem cell donors we attempted to reproduce the correlation of the CXCL12 3’UTR SNP and mobilization responses and tested the role of miR941 in this context. The SNP was distributed with the expected frequency. Mobilization efficiency for CD34+ cells in WT, heterozygous and homozygous SNP individuals was indistinguishable, even after controlling for gender. miR941 expression in non-hematopoietic bone marrow cells was undetectable and miR941 did not interact with the 3’ UTR of CXCL12. Proposed effects of the SNP rs1801157 on G-CSF responsiveness cannot be confirmed in a larger cohort.
Massive analysis of cDNA Ends (MACE) and miRNA expression profiling identifies proatherogenic pathways in chronic kidney disease
Adam M. Zawada
Kyrill S. Rogacev
Gunnar H. Heine
- Epigenetic dysregulation contributes to the high cardiovascular disease burden in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Although microRNAs (miRNAs) are central epigenetic regulators, which substantially affect the development and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD), no data on miRNA dysregulation in CKD-associated CVD are available until now. We now performed high-throughput miRNA sequencing of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from ten clinically stable hemodialysis (HD) patients and ten healthy controls, which allowed us to identify 182 differentially expressed miRNAs (e.g., miR-21, miR-26b, miR-146b, miR-155). To test biological relevance, we aimed to connect miRNA dysregulation to differential gene expression. Genome-wide gene expression profiling by MACE (Massive Analysis of cDNA Ends) identified 80 genes to be differentially expressed between HD patients and controls, which could be linked to cardiovascular disease (e.g., KLF6, DUSP6, KLF4), to infection / immune disease (e.g., ZFP36, SOCS3, JUND), and to distinct proatherogenic pathways such as the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway (e.g., IL1B, MYD88, TICAM2), the MAPK signaling pathway (e.g., DUSP1, FOS, HSPA1A), and the chemokine signaling pathway (e.g., RHOA, PAK1, CXCL5). Formal interaction network analysis proved biological relevance of miRNA dysregulation, as 68 differentially expressed miRNAs could be connected to 47 reciprocally expressed target genes. Our study is the first comprehensive miRNA analysis in CKD that links dysregulated miRNA expression with differential expression of genes connected to inflammation and CVD. After recent animal data suggested that targeting miRNAs is beneficial in experimental CVD, our data may now spur further research in the field of CKD-associated human CVD.
IKKα promotes intestinal tumorigenesis by limiting recruitment of M1-like polarized myeloid cells
Serkan I. Göktuna
Alexander A. Fingerle
Michaela A. Diamanti
Arun K. Mankan
M. Mark Taketo
Melek C. Arkan
Florian R. Greten
- The recruitment of immune cells into solid tumors is an essential prerequisite of tumor development. Depending on the prevailing polarization profile of these infiltrating leucocytes, tumorigenesis is either promoted or blocked. Here, we identify IκB kinase α (IKKα) as a central regulator of a tumoricidal microenvironment during intestinal carcinogenesis. Mice deficient in IKKα kinase activity are largely protected from intestinal tumor development that is dependent on the enhanced recruitment of interferon γ (IFNγ)-expressing M1-like myeloid cells. In IKKα mutant mice, M1-like polarization is not controlled in a cell-autonomous manner but, rather, depends on the interplay of both IKKα mutant tumor epithelia and immune cells. Because therapies aiming at the tumor microenvironment rather than directly at the mutated cancer cell may circumvent resistance development, we suggest IKKα as a promising target for colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy.
The prognostic impact of epidermal growth factor receptor in patients with metastatic gastric cancer
- Background: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a potential target of anticancer therapy in gastric cancer. However, its prognostic role in metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GE) cancer has not been established yet.
Methods: EGFR status was analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in paraffin-embedded samples from 357 patients who received chemotherapy in 4 first-line trials. Automated RNA extraction from paraffin and RT-quantitative PCR were additionally used to evaluate EGFR mRNA expression in 130 patients.
Results: EGFR protein expression (any grade) and overexpression (3+) were observed in 43% and 11% of patients, respectively. EGFR positivity correlated with intestinal type histology (p = 0.05), but not with other clinicopathologic characteristics. Median follow-up was 18.2 months. Median overall survival (OS) was similar in patients with EGFR positive vs. those with EGFR negative tumors, regardless whether positivity was defined as ≥1+ (10.6 vs. 10.9 months, p = 0.463) or as 3+ (8.6 vs. 10.8 months, p = 0.377). The multivariate analysis indicated that EGFR status is not an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio 0.85, 0.56 to 1.12, p = 0.247). There were also no significant differences in overall survival when patients were categorized according to median (p = 0.116) or quartile (p = 0.767) distribution of EGFR mRNA gene expression. Similar distributions of progression-free survival according to EGFR status were observed.
Conclusions: Unlike different cancer types where EGFR-positive disease is associated with an adverse prognostic value, EGFR positivity is not prognostic of patient outcome in metastatic gastric or GE cancer.
A certified plasmid reference material for the standardisation of BCR–ABL1 mRNA quantification by real-time quantitative PCR
Hakim El Housni
Katerina Machova Polakova
Pauline A. Merle
Josep F. Nomdedéu
Dag A. Nymoen
Elisabeth Oppliger Leibundgut
Vincent H. J. Van der Velden
Martin C. Müller
Nicholas C. P. Cross
- Serial quantification of BCR–ABL1 mRNA is an important therapeutic indicator in chronic myeloid leukaemia, but there is a substantial variation in results reported by different laboratories. To improve comparability, an internationally accepted plasmid certified reference material (CRM) was developed according to ISO Guide 34:2009. Fragments of BCR–ABL1 (e14a2 mRNA fusion), BCR and GUSB transcripts were amplified and cloned into pUC18 to yield plasmid pIRMM0099. Six different linearised plasmid solutions were produced with the following copy number concentrations, assigned by digital PCR, and expanded uncertainties: 1.08±0.13 × 106, 1.08±0.11 × 105, 1.03±0.10 × 104, 1.02±0.09 × 103, 1.04±0.10 × 102 and 10.0±1.5 copies/μl. The certification of the material for the number of specific DNA fragments per plasmid, copy number concentration of the plasmid solutions and the assessment of inter-unit heterogeneity and stability were performed according to ISO Guide 35:2006. Two suitability studies performed by 63 BCR–ABL1 testing laboratories demonstrated that this set of 6 plasmid CRMs can help to standardise a number of measured transcripts of e14a2 BCR–ABL1 and three control genes (ABL1, BCR and GUSB). The set of six plasmid CRMs is distributed worldwide by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (Belgium) and its authorised distributors (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/reference-materials/catalogue/; CRM code ERM-AD623a-f).
Myelodysplasia is in the niche: novel concepts and emerging therapies
Lorenz C. Hofbauer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) represent clonal disorders mainly of the elderly that are characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and an increased risk of transformation into acute myeloid leukemia. The pathogenesis of MDS is thought to evolve from accumulation and selection of specific genetic or epigenetic events. Emerging evidence indicates that MDS is not solely a hematopoietic disease but rather affects the entire bone marrow microenvironment, including bone metabolism. Many of these cells, in particular mesenchymal stem and progenitor cells (MSPCs) and osteoblasts, express a number of adhesion molecules and secreted factors that regulate blood regeneration throughout life by contributing to hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) maintenance, self-renewal and differentiation. Several endocrine factors, such as erythropoietin, parathyroid hormone and estrogens, as well as deranged iron metabolism modulate these processes. Thus, interactions between MSPC and HSPC contribute to the pathogenesis of MDS and associated pathologies. A detailed understanding of these mechanisms may help to define novel targets for diagnosis and possibly therapy. In this review, we will discuss the scientific rationale of 'osteohematology' as an emerging research field in MDS and outline clinical implications.