- Thymostimulin versus placebo for palliative treatment of locally advanced or metastasised hepatocellular carcinoma: a phase III clinical trial (2010)
- Background: Thymostimulin is a thymic peptide fraction with immune-mediated cytotoxicity against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in vitro and palliative efficacy in advanced HCC in two independent phase II trials. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of thymostimulin in a phase III trial. Methods: The study was designed as a prospective randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical phase III trial. Between 10/2002 and 03/2005, 135 patients with locally advanced or metastasised HCC (Karnofsky [greater than or equal to]60% / Child-Pugh [less than or equal to]12) were randomised to receive thymostimulin 75 mg s.c. 5x/week or placebo stratified according to liver function. Primary endpoint was twelve-month survival, secondary endpoints overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP), tumor response, safety and quality of life. A subgroup analysis according to liver function, KPS and tumor stage (Okuda, CLIP and BCLC) formed part of the protocol. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN64487365. Results: Twelve-month survival was 28% [95%CI 17-41; treatment] and 32% [95%CI 19-44; control] with no significant differences in median OS (5.0 [95% CI 3.7-6.3] vs. 5.2 [95% CI 3.5-6.9] months; p=0.87, HR=1.04 [95% CI 0.7-1.6]) or TTP (5.3 [95%CI 2.0-8.6] vs. 2.9 [95%CI 2.6-3.1] months; p=0.60, HR=1.13 [95% CI 0.7-1.8]). Adjustment for liver function, Karnofsky status or tumor stage did not affect results. While quality of life was similar in both groups, fewer patients on thymostimulin suffered from accumulating ascites and renal failure. Conclusions: In our phase III trial, we found no evidence of any benefit to thymostimulin in the treatment of advanced HCC and there is therefore no justification for its use as single-agent treatment. The effect of thymostimulin on hepato-renal function requires further confirmation. trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN64487365
- Pancreatic resections for advanced M1-pancreatic carcinoma: the value of synchronous metastasectomy (2010)
- Background. For M1 pancreatic adenocarcinomas pancreatic resection is usually not indicated. However, in highly selected patients synchronous metastasectomy may be appropriate together with pancreatic resection when operative morbidity is low. Materials and Methods. From January 1, 2004 to December, 2007 a total of 20 patients with pancreatic malignancies were retrospectively evaluated who underwent pancreatic surgery with synchronous resection of hepatic, adjacent organ, or peritoneal metastases for proven UICC stage IV periampullary cancer of the pancreas. Perioperative as well as clinicopathological parameters were evaluated. Results. There were 20 patients (9 men, 11 women; mean age 58 years) identified. The primary tumor was located in the pancreatic head (n=9, 45%), in pancreatic tail (n=9, 45%), and in the papilla Vateri (n=2, 10%). Metastases were located in the liver (n=14, 70%), peritoneum (n=5, 25%), and omentum majus (n=2, 10%). Lymphnode metastases were present in 16 patients (80%). All patients received resection of their tumors together with metastasectomy. Pylorus preserving duodenopancreatectomy was performed in 8 patients, distal pancreatectomy in 8, duodenopancreatectomy in 2, and total pancreatectomy in 2. Morbidity was 45% and there was no perioperative mortality. Median postoperative survival was 10.7 months (2.6–37.7 months) which was not significantly different from a matched-pair group of patients who underwent pancreatic resection for UICC adenocarcinoma of the pancreas (median survival 15.6 months; =.1). Conclusion. Pancreatic resection for M1 periampullary cancer of the pancreas can be performed safely in well-selected patients. However, indication for surgery has to be made on an individual basis.