- High survivin expression as a risk factor in patients with anal carcinoma treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (2012)
- Purpose: To investigate the prognostic value of survivin expression in pretreatment specimens from patients with anal cancer treated with concurrent 5-FU and mitomycin C-based chemoradiation (CRT). Material and methods: Immunohistochemical staining for survivin was performed in pretreatment biopsies of 62 patients with anal carcinoma. Survivin expression was correlated with clinical and histopathological characteristics as well as local failure free- (LFFS), distant metastases free- (DMFS), cancer specific- (CSS), and overall survival (OS). Results: Survivin staining intensity was weak in 10%, intermediate in 48% and intense in 42% of the patients. No association between survivin expression and clinicopathologic factors (tumor stage, age and HIV status) could be shown. In univariate analysis, the level of survivin staining was significantly correlated with DMFS (low survivin vs. high survivin: 94% vs. 74%, p=0.04). T-stage, N-stage and the tumor grading were significantly associated with OS and CSS and with DMFS and LFFS, respectively. In multivariate analysis, survivin was confirmed as independent prognostic parameter for DMFS (RR, 0.04; p=0.02) and for OS (RR, 0.27; p=0.04). Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that the level of pretreatment survivin is correlated with the clinical outcome in patients with anal carcinoma treated with concurrent CRT. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the complex role of survivin for the oncologic treatment and to exploit the protein as a therapeutic target in combined modality treatment of anal cancer.
- Immunomodulatory properties and molecular effects in inflammatory diseases of low-dose X-irradiation (2012)
- Inflammatory diseases are the result of complex and pathologically unbalanced multicellular interactions. For decades, low-dose X-irradiation therapy (LD-RT) has been clinically documented to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on benign diseases and chronic degenerative disorders. By contrast, experimental studies to confirm the effectiveness and to reveal underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are still at their early stages. During the last decade, however, the modulation of a multitude of immunological processes by LD-RT has been explored in vitro and in vivo. These include leukocyte/endothelial cell adhesion, adhesion molecule and cytokine/chemokine expression, apoptosis induction, and mononuclear/polymorphonuclear cell metabolism and activity. Interestingly, these mechanisms display comparable dose dependences and dose-effect relationships with a maximum effect in the range between 0.3 and 0.7 Gy, already empirically identified to be most effective in the clinical routine. This review summarizes data and models exploring the mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory properties of LD-RT that may serve as a prerequisite for further systematic analyses to optimize low-dose irradiation procedures in future clinical practice.
- Prospective, open, multi-centre phase I/II trial to assess safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy with docetaxel and oxaliplatin in patients with adenocarcinoma of the oesophagogastric junction (2013)
- Background: This phase I/II-trial assessed the dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) with docetaxel and oxaliplatin in patients with locally advanced adenocarcinoma of the oesophagogastric junction. Methods: Patients received neoadjuvant radiotherapy (50.4 Gy) together with weekly docetaxel (20 mg/m2 at dose level (DL) 1 and 2, 25 mg/m2 at DL 3) and oxaliplatin (40 mg/m2 at DL 1, 50 mg/m2 at DL 2 and 3) over 5 weeks. The primary endpoint was the DLT and the MTD of the RCT regimen. Secondary endpoints included overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS). Results: A total of 24 patients were included. Four patients were treated at DL 1, 13 patients at DL 2 and 7 patients at DL 3. The MTD of the RCT was considered DL 2 with docetaxel 20 mg/m2 and oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2. Objective response (CR/PR) was observed in 32% (7/22) of patients. Eighteen patients (75%) underwent surgery after RCT. The median PFS for all patients (n = 24) was 6.5 months. The median overall survival for all patients (n = 24) was 16.3 months. Patients treated at DL 2 had a median overall survival of 29.5 months. Conclusion: Neoadjuvant RCT with docetaxel 20 mg/m2 and oxaliplatin 50 mg/m2 was effective and showed a good toxicity profile. Future studies should consider the addition of targeted therapies to current neoadjuvant therapy regimens to further improve the outcome of patients with advanced cancer of the oesophagogastric junction. Trial Registration: NCT00374985
- Radiotherapy and "new" drugs - new side effects? (2011)
- Background and Purpose: Targeted drugs have augmented the cancer treatment armamentarium. Based on the molecular specificity, it was initially believed that these drugs had significantly less side effects. However, currently it is accepted that all of these agents have their specific side effects. Based on the given multimodal approach, special emphasis has to be placed on putative interactions of conventional cytostatic drugs, targeted agents and other modalities. The interaction of targeted drugs with radiation harbours special risks, since the awareness for interactions and even synergistic toxicities is lacking. At present, only limited is data available regarding combinations of targeted drugs and radiotherapy. This review gives an overview on the current knowledge on such combined treatments. Material and methods Using the following MESH headings and combinations of these terms pubmed database was searched: Radiotherapy AND cetuximab / trastuzumab / panitumumab / nimotuzumab, bevacizumab, sunitinib / sorafenib / lapatinib / gefitinib / erlotinib / sirolimus, thalidomide / lenalidomide as well as erythropoietin. For citation crosscheck the ISI web of science database was used employing the same search terms. Results Several classes of targeted substances may be distinguished: Small molecules including kinase inhibitors and specific inhibitors, antibodies, and anti-angiogenic agents. Combination of these agents with radiotherapy may lead to specific toxicities or negatively influence the efficacy of RT. Though there is only little information on the interaction of molecular targeted radiation and radiotherapy in clinical settings, several critical incidents are reported. Conclusions The addition of molecular targeted drugs to conventional radiotherapy outside of approved regimens or clinical trials warrants a careful consideration especially when used in conjunction in hypo-fractionated regimens. Clinical trials are urgently needed in order to address the open question in regard to efficacy, early and late toxicity.