Novinky z X/Twitteru - výběr zajímavých recentních publikací a výsledků studií 1/24 - 4/24

  • (LF MU a FN Brno, Interní hematologická a onkologická klinika)

Novinky z X/Twitteru - výběr zajímavých recentních publikací a výsledků studií 1/24 - 4/24

Sekce mladých onkologů pravidelně zpřístupňuje pro své členy výsledky z nových studií, novinky či zajímavé přehledové články napříč diagnózami na sociální síti X, dříve Twitter. Pro ty, co nemají přístup na tuto sociální síť, zveřejňujeme v pravidelných intervalech nejzajímavější informace přímo zde. Dnes novinky z Twitteru za období leden až duben 2024.

Checkpoint inhibitor hepatotoxicity: pathogenesis and management


  • Immunotherapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy, has been a paradigm shift in cancer therapeutics, producing durable cancer responses across a range of primary malignancies. ICI drugs increase immune activity against tumor cells, but may also reduce immune tolerance to self-antigens, resulting in immune-mediated tissue damage. ICI-associated hepatotoxicity usually manifests as hepatocellular enzyme elevation and may occur in 2%–25% of ICI-treated patients. Although ICI-associated hepatotoxicity is clinically and pathologically distinct from idiopathic autoimmune hepatitis, our understanding of its pathogenesis continues to evolve. Pending greater understanding of the pathophysiology, mainstay of management remains through treatment with high-dose corticosteroids. This approach works for many patients, but up to 30% of patients with high-grade hepatotoxicity may not respond to corticosteroids alone. Furthermore, atypical cholestatic presentations are increasingly recognized, and rare cases of fulminant hepatitis due to ICI hepatotoxicity have been reported. Optimal management for these challenging patients remains uncertain. Herein, we review the current understanding of pathogenesis of ICI-associated toxicities, with a focus on hepatotoxicity. Based on the existing literature, we propose evolving management approaches to incorporate strategies to limit excess corticosteroid exposure, and address rare but important presentations of cholestatic hepatitis and fulminant liver failure. Finally, as ICI hepatotoxicity frequently occurs in the context of treatment for advanced malignancy, we review the impact of hepatotoxicity and its treatment on cancer outcomes, and the overall safety of re-challenge with ICI, for patients who may have limited treatment options.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation, Weight Gain, and Poor Appetite in Patients With Cancer: Many Questions and Fewer Answers


  • Patients with cancer or with a history of cancer often seek nutritional advice. In turn, cancer health care providers are often asked questions related to nutrition and cancer. Should I take high-dose vitamins or other high-dose supplements? Should I take a regular-dose vitamin or other regular-dose nutritional supplements? Will I experience weight loss during postoperative chemotherapy? What should be my weight goals during and after adjuvant therapy? In the setting of advanced cancer, what should I do to keep my appetite and weight up? This review attempts to provide data-driven answers to some of these commonly posed questions

A Phase 2 Study of Sitravatinib in Combination with Nivolumab in Patients with Advanced or Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma


  • Combining sitravatinib, a multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor of TYRO3, AXL, and MERTK (TAM) receptors and VEGFR2, with CPI may improve antitumor responses. Our objective was to assess the efficacy and safety of sitravatinib plus nivolumab in patients with advanced/metastatic UC.
  • The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR; RECIST v1.1). The secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS) and safety. The Predictive probability design and confidence interval methods were used. Among patients previously treated with PBC, ORR, and median PFS were 32.1% and 3.9 mo in CPI-naïve patients (n= 53), 14.9% and 3.9 mo in CPI-refractory patients (n = 67), and 5.4% and 3.7 mo in CPI- and ADC-refractory patients (n = 56), respectively. Across all cohorts, grade 3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) occurred in 51.2% patients and grade 4 in 3.3%, with one treatment-related death (cardiac failure). Immune-related adverse events occurred in 50.4% patients. TRAEs led to sitravatinib/nivolumab discontinuation in 6.1% patients.
  • Sitravatinib plus nivolumab demonstrated a manageable safety profile but did not result in clinically meaningful ORRs in patients with advanced/metastatic UC in the eight cohorts studied.

Neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX versus upfront surgery for resectable pancreatic head cancer (NORPACT-1): a multicentre, randomised, phase 2 trial


  • Between Feb 8, 2017, and April 21, 2021, 77 patients were randomly assigned to receive neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX and 63 to undergo upfront surgery. All patients were included in the ITT analysis. For the per-protocol analysis, 17 (22%) patients were excluded from the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group (ten did not receive neoadjuvant therapy, four did not have pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and three received another neoadjuvant regimen), and eight (13%) were excluded from the upfront surgery group (seven did not have pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and one did not undergo surgical exploration). 61 (79%) of 77 patients in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group received neoadjuvant therapy. The proportion of patients alive at 18 months by ITT was 60% (95% CI 49–71) in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group versus 73% (62–84) in the upfront surgery group (p=0·032), and median overall survival by ITT was 25·1 months (95% CI 17·2–34·9) versus 38·5 months (27·6–not reached; hazard ratio [HR] 1·52 [95% CI 1·00–2·33], log-rank p=0·050). The proportion of patients alive at 18 months in per-protocol analysis was 57% (95% CI 46–67) in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group versus 70% (55–83) in the upfront surgery group (p=0·14), and median overall survival in per-protocol population was 23·0 months (95% CI 16·2–34·9) versus 34·4 months (19·4–not reached; HR 1·46 [95% CI 0·99–2·17], log-rank p=0·058). In the safety population, 42 (58%) of 73 patients in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group and 19 (40%) of 47 patients in the upfront surgery group had at least one grade 3 or worse adverse event. 63 (82%) of 77 patients in the neoadjuvant group and 56 (89%) of 63 patients in the upfront surgery group had resection (p=0·24). One sudden death of unknown cause and one COVID-19-related death occurred after the first cycle of neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX. Adjuvant chemotherapy was initiated in 51 (86%) of 59 patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group and 44 (90%) of 49 patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in the upfront surgery group (p=0·56). Adjuvant modified FOLFIRINOX was given to 13 (25%) patients in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group and 19 (43%) patients in the upfront surgery group. During adjuvant chemotherapy, neutropenia (11 [22%] patients in the neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX group and five [11%] in the upfront surgery group) was the most common grade 3 or worse adverse event.
  • This phase 2 trial did not show a survival benefit from neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX in resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma compared with upfront surgery. Implementation of neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX was challenging. Future trials on treatment sequencing in resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma should be biomarker driven.

Quantifying the Expanding Landscape of Clinical Actionability for Patients with Cancer


  • There is a continuing debate about the proportion of cancer patients that benefit from precision oncology, attributable in part to conflicting views as to which molecular alterations are clinically actionable. To quantify the expansion of clinical actionability since 2017, we annotated 47,271 solid tumors sequenced with the MSK-IMPACT clinical assay using two temporally distinct versions of the OncoKB knowledge base deployed 5 years apart. Between 2017 and 2022, we observed an increase from 8.9% to 31.6% in the fraction of tumors harboring a standard care (level 1 or 2) predictive biomarker of therapy response and an almost halving of tumors carrying nonactionable drivers (44.2% to 22.8%). In tumors with limited or no clinical actionability,TP53 (43.2%), KRAS(19.2%), and CDKN2A (12.2%) were the most frequently altered genes.
  • Although clear progress has been made in expanding the availability of precision oncology-based treatment paradigms, our results suggest a continued unmet need for innovative therapeutic strategies, particularly for cancers with currently undruggable oncogenic drivers.

Cancer statistics, 2024


  • Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in the United States and compiles the most recent data on population-based cancer occurrence and outcomes using incidence data collected by central cancer registries (through 2020) and mortality data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics (through 2021). In 2024, 2,001,140 new cancer cases and 611,720 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Cancer mortality continued to decline through 2021, averting over 4 million deaths since 1991 because of reductions in smoking, earlier detection for some cancers, and improved treatment options in both the adjuvant and metastatic settings. However, these gains are threatened by increasing incidence for 6 of the top 10 cancers. Incidence rates increased during 2015–2019 by 0.6%–1% annually for breast, pancreas, and uterine corpus cancers and by 2%–3% annually for prostate, liver (female), kidney, and human papillomavirus-associated oral cancers and for melanoma. Incidence rates also increased by 1%–2% annually for cervical (ages 30–44 years) and colorectal cancers (ages <55 years) in young adults. Colorectal cancer was the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in both men and women younger than 50 years in the late-1990s but is now first in men and second in women. Progress is also hampered by wide persistent cancer disparities; compared to White people, mortality rates are two-fold higher for prostate, stomach and uterine corpus cancers in Black people and for liver, stomach, and kidney cancers in Native American people. Continued national progress will require increased investment in cancer prevention and access to equitable treatment, especially among American Indian and Alaska Native and Black individuals.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy for primary renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review and practice guideline from the International Society of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (ISRS)


  • Surgery is the standard of care for patients with primary renal cell carcinoma. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is a novel alternative for patients who are medically inoperable, technically high risk, or who decline surgery. Evidence for using SBRT in the primary renal cell carcinoma setting is growing, including several rigorously conducted prospective clinical trials. This systematic review was performed to assess the safety and efficacy of SBRT for primary renal cell carcinoma. Review results then formed the basis for the practice guidelines described, on behalf of the International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society. 3972 publications were screened and 36 studies (822 patients) were included in the analysis. Median local control rate was 94·1% (range 70·0-100), 5-year progression-free survival was 80·5% (95% CI 72-92), and 5-year overall survival was 77·2% (95% CI 65-89). These practice guidelines addressed four key clinical questions. First, the optimal dose fractionation was 25-26 Gy in one fraction, or 42-48 Gy in three fractions for larger tumours. Second, routine post-treatment biopsy is not recommended as it is not predictive of patient outcome. Third, SBRT for primary renal cell carcinoma in a solitary kidney is safe and effective. Finally, guidelines for post-treatment follow-up are described, which include cross-axial imaging of the abdomen including both kidneys, adrenals, and surveillance of the chest initially every 6 months. This systematic review and practice guideline support the practice of SBRT for primary renal cell carcinoma as a safe and effective standard treatment option. Randomised trials with surgery and invasive ablative therapies are needed to further define best practice.

Effectiveness of high-dose third-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors in treating EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer patients with leptomeningeal metastasis


  • Third-generation EGFR-TKIs show significant benefits in EGFR-mutated NSCLC and LM.
  • High-dose third-generation EGFR-TKIs are effective treatments regardless of prior EGFR-TKI exposure.
  • High-dose third-generation EGFR-TKIs and intrathecal chemotherapy are independent predictors of OS.
  • Patients treated with high-dose third-generation EGFR-TKIs showed a higher CRR and longer OS than those treated with standard-dose therapy (65.2 % vs. 45.8 %, p = 0.047; 15.0 vs. 10.2 months, p = 0.014). Importantly, high-dose third-generation EGFR-TKI showed superior OS than standard-dose treatment in all subgroups (prior first-/second-generation EGFR-TKI resistance group, 19.5 vs. 9.8 months, p = 0.047; third-generation EGFR-TKI resistance group, 10.0 vs. 4.3 months, p = 0.045; EGFR-TKI naive group, not reach vs. 15.6 months, p = 0.031). Multivariate analysis revealed that high-dose third-generation EGFR-TKIs, intrathecal chemotherapy, previous TKI treatment history, and Karnofsky Performance Status score were independent predictors of OS (all p < 0.05).

Concurrent Tissue and Circulating Tumor DNA Molecular Profiling to Detect Guideline-Based Targeted Mutations in a Multicancer Cohort;utm_term=012224

  • This cohort study comprised 3209 patients who underwent sequencing between May 2020, and December 2022, within the deidentified, Tempus multimodal database, consisting of linked molecular and clinical data. Included patients had stage IV disease (non–small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or colorectal cancer) with sufficient tissue and blood sample quantities for analysis.
  • The cohort of 3209 patients (median age at diagnosis of stage IV disease, 65.3 years [2.5%-97.5% range, 43.3-83.3 years]) who underwent concurrent tissue and ctDNA testing included 1693 women (52.8%). Overall, 1448 patients (45.1%) had a guideline-based variant detected. Of these patients, 9.3% (135 of 1448) had variants uniquely detected by ctDNA profiling, and 24.2% (351 of 1448) had variants uniquely detected by solid-tissue testing. Although largely concordant with one another, differences in the identification of actionable variants by either assay varied according to cancer type, gene, variant, and ctDNA burden. Of 352 patients with breast cancer, 20.2% (71 of 352) with actionable variants had unique findings in ctDNA profiling results. Most of these unique, actionable variants (55.0% [55 of 100]) were found inESR1, resulting in a 24.7% increase (23 of 93) in the identification of patients harboring an ESR1 mutation relative to tissue testing alone.
  • This study suggests that unique actionable biomarkers are detected by both concurrent tissue and ctDNA testing, with higher ctDNA identification among patients with breast cancer. Integration of concurrent NGS testing into the routine management of advanced solid cancers may expand the delivery of molecularly guided therapy and improve patient outcomes.

Overall Survival With Palbociclib Plus Letrozole in Advanced Breast Cancer


  • PALOMA-2 demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvement in progression-free survival with palbociclib plus letrozole versus placebo plus letrozole in estrogen receptor–positive/ human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–negative (ER1/HER2–) advanced breast cancer (ABC). Here, we report results for the secondary end point overall survival (OS). Postmenopausal women (N 5 666) with ER1/HER2– ABC without previous systemic therapy for ABC were randomly assigned 2:1 to palbociclib plus letrozole or placebo plus letrozole. After a median follow-up of 90.1 months, 405 deaths were observed and 155 patients were known to be alive. The median OS was 53.9 months (95% CI, 49.8 to 60.8) with palbociclib plus letrozole versus 51.2 months (95% CI, 43.7 to 58.9) with placebo plus letrozole (hazard ratio [HR], 0.96 [95% CI, 0.78 to 1.18]; stratified one-sided P 5 .34). An imbalance in the number of patients with unknown survival outcome between the treatment arms (13.3% v 21.2%, respectively) limited interpretation of OS results. With recovered survival data, the median OS was 53.8 (95% CI, 49.8 to 59.2) versus 49.8 months (95% CI, 42.3 to 56.4), respectively (HR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.76 to 1.12]; one-sided P 5 .21). OS was not significantly improved with palbociclib plus letrozole compared with placebo plus letrozole.

Divarasib plus cetuximab in KRAS G12C-positive colorectal cancer: a phase 1b trial


  • KRAS G12Cmutation is prevalent in ~4% of colorectal cancer (CRC) and is associated with poor prognosis. Divarasib, a KRAS G12C inhibitor, has shown modest activity as a single agent in KRAS G12C-positive CRC at 400 mg. Epidermal growth factor receptor has been recognized as a major upstream activator of RAS–MAPK signaling, a proposed key mechanism of resistance to KRAS G12C inhibition in CRC. Here, we report on divarasib plus cetuximab (epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor) in patients with KRAS G12C-positive CRC (n = 29) from arm C of an ongoing phase 1b trial. The primary objective was to evaluate safety. Secondary objectives included preliminary antitumor activity. The safety profile of this combination was consistent with those of single-agent divarasib and cetuximab. Treatment-related adverse events led to divarasib dose reductions in four patients (13.8%); there were no treatment withdrawals. The objective response rate was 62.5% (95% confidence interval: 40.6%, 81.2%) in KRAS G12C inhibitor-naive patients (n = 24). The median duration of response was 6.9 months. The median progression-free survival was 8.1 months (95% confidence interval: 5.5, 12.3). As an exploratory objective, we observed a decline in KRAS G12C variant allele frequency associated with response and identified acquired genomic alterations at disease progression that may be associated with resistance. The manageable safety profile and encouraging antitumor activity of divarasib plus cetuximab support the further investigation of this combination in KRAS G12C-positive CRC.

Nab-Paclitaxel plus Gemcitabine and FOLFOX in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer


  • The safety and efficacy of sequentialnab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX was compared with standard nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (nab-P/Gem) as first-line treatment in a multi-institutional, randomized, open-label, phase II trial in patients with untreated mPDAC. We randomly assigned patients in a 1:1 ratio to receive nab-P/Gem on days 1, 8, and 15 followed by mFOLFOX on day 29 of a 6-week cycle (experimental group) or nab-P/Gem on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 4-week cycle (control group). The primary end point was the 12-month overall survival rate.
  • A total of 157 patients were randomly assigned: 78 tonab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX and 79 to nab-P/Gem. Patients receiving nab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX had a 12-month overall survival of 55.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44.2 to 66.5) versus 35.4% (95% CI, 24.9 to 46) in the control group (P=0.02). Similarly, the 24-month survival was 22.4% (95% CI, 13 to 31.8) with nab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX versus 7.6% (95% CI, 1.8 to 13.4) with control treatment. The median overall survival was 13.2 months (95% CI, 10.1 to 16.2) with nab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX and 9.7 months (95% CI, 7.5 to 12) with nab-P/Gem (hazard ratio for death, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.95). The safety profile showed a higher incidence of grade 3 or higher neutropenia (35 of 76 vs. 19 of 79 patients, P=0.004), grade 3 or higher thrombocytopenia (18 of 78 vs. 6 of 79 patients, P=0.007), and two treatment-related deaths (2.6%) with nab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX compared with none with control treatment.
  • Sequentialnab-P/Gem-mFOLFOX showed a significantly higher 12-month survival when compared with the standard nab-P/Gem treatment; this came with greater treatment toxicity

Neoadjuvant atezolizumab plus chemotherapy in gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma: the phase 2 PANDA trial


  • In the phase 2 PANDA trial, patients with previously untreated resectable G/GEJ tumors (n = 21) received neoadjuvant treatment with one cycle of atezolizumab monotherapy followed by four cycles of atezolizumab plus docetaxel, oxaliplatin and capecitabine. Treatment was well tolerated. There were grade 3 immune-related adverse events in two of 20 patients (10%) but no grade 4 or 5 immune-related adverse events, and all patients underwent resection without treatment-related delays, meeting the primary endpoint of safety and feasibility. Tissue was obtained at multiple time points, allowing analysis of the effects of single-agent anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and the subsequent combination with chemotherapy on the TME. Twenty of 21 patients underwent surgery and were evaluable for secondary pathologic response and survival endpoints, and 19 were evaluable for exploratory translational analyses. A major pathologic response (≤10% residual viable tumor) was observed in 14 of 20 (70%, 95% confidence interval 46–88%) patients, including 9 (45%, 95% confidence interval 23–68%) pathologic complete responses. At a median follow-up of 47 months, 13 of 14 responders were alive and disease-free, and five of six nonresponders had died as a result of recurrence. Notably, baseline anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1)+CD8+T cell infiltration was significantly higher in responders versus nonresponders, and comparison of TME alterations following anti-PD-L1 monotherapy versus the subsequent combination with chemotherapy showed an increased immune activation on single-agent PD-1/L1 axis blockade. On the basis of these data, monotherapy anti-PD-L1 before its combination with chemotherapy warrants further exploration and validation in a larger cohort of patients with nonmetastatic G/GEJ cancer.

Breast cancer highlights from 2023: Knowledge to guide practice and future research


  • In 2023 the amount of publications including “Breast Cancer” in the title brings around 15 000 titles in PubMed.
  • The ‘Breast Cancer Highlights from 2023’ offer our view on publications that deserve a special mention.
  • The selection of featured work, attempts to highlight papers from the various disciplines that stood out amongst many others.

HER2-low expression in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors


  • HER2-low expression (1-2+ by IHC) was common across many solid tumors (41.1%).
  • A significant number of patients withoutERBB2 alterations (35.7%) had HER2 expression (≥1+).
  • Changes between the primary and metastatic breast and gastric samples highlight the importance of HER2 re-testing.
  • HER2 protein expression by IHC complements genomics to identify actionable therapeutic targets.

European cancer mortality predictions for the year 2024 with focus on colorectal cancer


  • We estimate a decline of 6.5% among men and 4.3% among women in the EU total cancer mortality rates between 2018 and 2024.
  • Almost 6.2 million avoided cancer deaths are predicted over 1989-2024 in the EU and 1.3 million in the UK.
  • Overall, the EU CRC mortality declines for both sexes for all age groups.
  • Increases in CRC mortality are predicted for young adults in Italy, the UK, Poland, and Spain for men, and Germany for women.
  • In the EU, some increases in mortality from lung cancer are predicted in females and from pancreatic cancer in both sexes.

Does adjuvant treatment improve survival in R1 resected perihilar cholangiocarcinoma? The risk of overtreatment


  • A total of 1756 patients were included (286 surgical patients and 1470 nonsurgical patients). Patients who underwent R0 resection showed a significantly better median overall survival (OS) than that of patients who underwent R1 resection (41.7 vs 21.4 months, respectively;P = .003). Nevertheless, OS was better in patients who underwent R1 resection than in nonsurgical patients (21.4 vs 6.3 months, respectively; P < .001). Patients undergoing chemoradiation after R1 resection had similar OS to that of those receiving any other adjuvant therapy (21.4 vs 19.4 months, respectively; P = .789) or no adjuvant treatment (21.4 vs 19.8 months, respectively; P = .925). After uni- and multivariable analyses, T stage ≥3 and R1 margins were independently associated with worse survival after surgery.
  • As currently neither radiation,chemoradiation, nor chemotherapy seem to significantly improve survival in patients who underwent R1 resection for pCCA, high-quality surgical resection remains critically important. Moreover, the concern of overtreatment of patients who underwent R1 resection with current adjuvant therapeutic regimes exists.

Safety profile of pembrolizumab monotherapy based on an aggregate safety evaluation of 8937 patients


  • Safety data for 8937 patients who received pembrolizumab monotherapy were evaluated.
  • Any-cause adverse events (AEs) occurred in 96.6% of patients (grade 3 −5 AEs, 50.6%).
  • Immune-mediated AEs and infusion reactions occurred in 23.7% of patients.
  • Corticosteroids (prednisone ≥40 mg) were required for 22.3% of immune-mediated AEs.
  • Pembrolizumab had a consistent safety profile across patients with advanced cancer.

Cardiovascular Mortality and Duration of Androgen Deprivation in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: Long-term Update of NRG/RTOG 9202

  • With a median follow-up of 19.6 yr, long-term ADT (LTADT) was associated with improved overall survival (OS) versus short-term ADT (STADT) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.88;p = 0.03) and prostate cancer survival (subdistribution HR [sHR] 0.70, p = 0.003). Comparing LTADT with STADT, prostate cancer mortality improved by 6.0% (15.6% [95% confidence interval 13.0–18.3%] vs 21.6% [18.6–24.7%]) at 15 yr, while CVM increased by 2.2% (14.9% [12.4–17.6%] vs 12.7% [10.4–15.3%]). In multivariable analyses, LTADT was not associated with increased CVM versus STADT (sHR 1.22 [0.93–1.59]; p = 0.15). An association between LTADT and MI death was detected (sHR 1.58 [1.00–2.50]; p = 0.05), particularly in patients with prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD; sHR 2.54 [1.16–5.58]; p = 0.02).
  • With 19.6 yr of follow-up, LTADT was not significantly associated with increased CVM in men with locally advanced prostate cancer. Patients may have increased MI mortality with LTADT, particularly those with baseline CVD. Overall, there remained a prostate cancer mortality benefit and no OS detriment with LTADT.

Dabrafenib and trametinib administration in patients with BRAF V600E/R or non-V600 BRAF mutated advanced solid tumours (BELIEVE, NCCH1901): a multicentre, open-label, and single-arm phase II trial


  • Fourty-seven patients with measurable disease, mainly with theBRAF V600E mutation (94%), and three others with non-V600E BRAFmutations (V600R, G466A, and N486_P490del) were enrolled. The primary sites included the thyroid gland, central nervous system, liver, bile ducts, colorectum, and pancreas. The confirmed ORR was 28.0%; the expected value of posterior distribution [Beta (14.6, 37.4)] was 28.1%, although the primary endpoint was achieved, not exceeding an unexpectedly high response rate of 60% obtained using Bayesian analysis. The disease control rate (DCR) was 84.0%. The median PFS was 6.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI]; 4.2–7.2 months, 87.8% at 6 months). Responses were observed across seven tumour types. Median OS was 9.7 months (95% CI, 7.5–12.2 months). Additional patients without measurable diseases had a median PFS of 4.5 months. Adverse events (AEs) were consistent with previous reports, with 45.6% of patients experiencing grade ≥3 AEs.
  • This study reported promising efficacy againstBRAF V600-mutant tumours. Dabrafenib and trametinib would offer a new therapeutic option for rare cancers, such as high-grade gliomas, biliary tract cancer, and thyroid cancer.

Exploring the connection between microsatellite instability and inflammatory indicators in cancers

  • This study aimed to investigate the association between microsatellite instability (MSI) status and inflammatory indicators in patients with cancer. 
  • A total of 204 patients with various cancer diagnoses, including 102 with MSI-high (MSI-H) and 102 with microsatellite stable tumors, were enrolled. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), C-reactive protein (CRP)-to-albumin ratio and systemic immune-inflammation index were evaluated. 
  • In microsatellite stable patients, NLR, LMR, PLR and systemic immune-inflammation index were significantly linked to worse survival in univariate analysis, and having a LMR ≤2.6 negatively affected survival in multivariate analysis, although these indicators did not affect the survival of MSI-H patients. 
  • The impact of chronic inflammation on survival varies with MSI status. Further research is needed for targeted therapies in different tumors.

Risk of Venous Thromboembolic Events After Surgery for Cancer


  • A total of 432 218 patients with cancer (median age, 67 years [IQR, 58-75 years]; 68.7% women) and 4 009 343 cancer-free comparators (median age, 66 years [IQR, 57-74 years]; 69.3% women) were included in the study. The crude 1-year cumulative risk of pulmonary embolism was higher among the cancer surgery population for all cancers, with the following absolute risk differences: for bladder cancer, 2.69 percentage points (95% CI, 2.33-3.05 percentage points); for breast cancer, 0.59 percentage points (95% CI 0.55-0.63 percentage points); for colorectal cancer, 1.57 percentage points (95% CI, 1.50-1.65 percentage points); for gynecologic organ cancer, 1.32 percentage points (95% CI, 1.22-1.41 percentage points); for kidney and upper urinary tract cancer, 1.38 percentage points (95% CI, 1.21-1.55 percentage points); for lung cancer, 2.61 percentage points (95% CI, 2.34-2.89 percentage points); for gastroesophageal cancer, 2.13 percentage points (95% CI, 1.89-2.38 percentage points); and for prostate cancer, 0.57 percentage points (95% CI, 0.49-0.66 percentage points). The cause-specific HR of pulmonary embolism comparing patients who underwent cancer surgery with matched comparators peaked just after discharge and generally plateaued 60 to 90 days later. At 30 days after surgery, the HR was 10 to 30 times higher than in the comparison cohort for all cancers except breast cancer (colorectal cancer: HR, 9.18 [95% CI, 8.03-10.50]; lung cancer: HR, 25.66 [95% CI, 17.41-37.84]; breast cancer: HR, 5.18 [95% CI, 4.45-6.05]). The hazards subsided but never reached the level of the comparison cohort except for prostate cancer. Similar results were observed for deep vein thrombosis.
  • This cohort study found an increased rate of venous thromboembolism associated with cancer surgery. The risk persisted for about 2 to 4 months postoperatively but varied between cancer types. The increased rate is likely explained by the underlying cancer disease and adjuvant treatments. The results highlight the need for individualized venous thromboembolism risk evaluation and prophylaxis regimens for patients undergoing different surgery for different cancers.

Evolution of HER2 expression between pre-treatment biopsy and residual disease after neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer


  • Nearly 30% of breast cancers change HER2 status during neoadjuvant treatment (NAT).
  • Decreases and increases in HER2 status occur with a similar rate.
  • The type of chemotherapy administered does not affect the incidence of HER2 changes.
  • Patients losing HER2 positivity during NAT experience worse survival.
  • HER2 changes between HER2-low and HER2-0 do not have a prognostic value.

Association of survival with adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage IB gastric cancer: a multicentre, observational, cohort study


  • We collected data on 2110 consecutive patients with pathologic stage IB (T1N1M0 or T2N0M0) GC who were admitted to 8 hospitals in China from 2009 to 2018. The survival of patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy was compared with that of postoperative observation patients using propensity score matching (PSM).
  • Of the 2110 patients, 1344 received adjuvant chemotherapy and 766 received postoperative observation. Following the 1-to-1 matching, PSM yielded 637 matched pairs. Among matched pairs, adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with improved survival compared with postoperative observation (OS: hazard ratio [HR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.52–1.00; DFS: HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.64–1.29). Interestingly, in the subgroup analysis, reduced mortality after adjuvant chemotherapy was observed in the subgroups with elevated serum CA19-9 (HR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08–0.57;P = 0.001 for multiplicative interaction), positive lymphovascular invasion (HR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.17–0.62; P < 0.001 for multiplicative interaction), or positive lymph nodes (HR, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.07–0.38; P < 0.001 for multiplicative interaction). The survival prediction models mainly based on variables associated with chemotherapy benefits in the subgroup analysis demonstrated good calibration and discrimination, with relatively high C-indexes. The C-indexes for OS were 0.74 for patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and 0.70 for patients treated with postoperative observation. Two nomograms were built from the models that can calculate individualized estimates of expected net survival gain attributable to adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • In this cohort study, pathologic stage IB alone was not associated with survival benefits from adjuvant chemotherapy compared with postoperative observation in patients with early-stage GC. High-risk clinicopathologic features should be considered simultaneously when evaluating patients with stage IB GC for adjuvant chemotherapy.

Precision treatment in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

  • The past decade has witnessed significant advances in the systemic treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nevertheless, the newly developed treatment strategies have not achieved universal success and HCC patients frequently exhibit therapeutic resistance to these therapies. Precision treatment represents a paradigm shift in cancer treatment in recent years. This approach utilizes the unique molecular characteristics of individual patient to personalize treatment modalities, aiming to maximize therapeutic efficacy while minimizing side effects. Although precision treatment has shown significant success in multiple cancer types, its application in HCC remains in its infancy. In this review, we discuss key aspects of precision treatment in HCC, including therapeutic biomarkers, molecular classifications, and the heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment. We also propose future directions, ranging from revolutionizing current treatment methodologies to personalizing therapy through functional assays, which will accelerate the next phase of advancements in this area.

Improved Disease-Free Survival With Adjuvant Chemotherapy After Nephroureterectomy for Upper Tract Urothelial Cancer: Final Results of the POUT Trial


  • POUT was a phase III, randomized, open-label trial, including 261 patients with muscle-invasive or lymph node-positive, nonmetastatic upper tract urothelial cancer (UTUC) randomly assigned after radical nephroureterectomy to platinum-based chemotherapy (132) or surveillance (129). Primary outcome analysis demonstrated that chemotherapy improved disease-free survival (DFS). At that time, the planned secondary outcome analysis of overall survival (OS) was immature. By February 2022, 50 and 67 DFS events had occurred in the chemotherapy and surveillance groups, respectively, at a median follow-up of 65 months. The 5-year DFS was 62% versus 45%, univariable hazard ratio (HR), 0.55 (95% CI, 0.38 to 0.80,P = .001). The restricted mean survival time (RMST) was 18 months longer (95% CI, 6 to 30) in the chemotherapy arm. There were 46 and 60 deaths in the chemotherapy and control arms, respectively. The 5-year OS was 66% versus 57%, with univariable HR, 0.68 (95% CI, 0.46 to 1.00, P = .049) and RMST difference 11 months (95% CI, 1 to 21). Treatment effects were consistent across chemotherapy regimens (carboplatin or cisplatin) and disease stage. Toxicities were similar to those previously reported, and there were no clinically relevant differences in quality of life between arms. In summary, although OS was not the primary outcome measure, the updated results add further support for the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with UTUC, suggesting long-term benefits

Perioperative Immunotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Practical Application of Emerging Data and New Challenges

  • Immune checkpoint inhibition, with or without chemotherapy, is an established standard of care for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). For locally advanced NSCLC treated with chemoradiotherapy, consolidation immunotherapy has dramatically improved outcomes. Recently, immunotherapy has also been established as a valuable component of treatment for resectable NSCLC with pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, and nivolumab all approved for use in this setting. As more results read out from ongoing perioperative clinical trials, navigating treatment options will likely become increasingly complex for the practicing oncologist. In this paper, we distill key outcomes from major perioperative trials and highlight current knowledge gaps. In addition, we provide practical considerations for incorporating perioperative immunotherapy into the clinical management of operable NSCLC.

Safety and Intracranial Activity of Adagrasib in Patients With KRASG12C-Mutated Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer and Untreated CNS Metastases in the KRYSTAL-1 Trial: A Case Series


  • Adagrasib has demonstrated cerebral spinal fluid penetration in patients (mean Kp,uu47). In a prospective analysis from the KRYSTAL-1 phase Ib cohort enrolling patients with NSCLC with untreated CNS metastases at baseline (KRYSTAL-1 CNS metastases cohort), adagrasib demonstrated an intracranial (IC) objective response rate of 42% and an IC disease control rate of 90% (n = 19) per blinded independent central review (BICR) using modified CNS RECIST v1.1. The median IC duration of response (DOR) was 12.7 months, the median IC progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.4 months, and the median overall survival (OS) was 11.4 months. To our knowledge, this is first prospective analysis of a KRASG12Cinhibitor in patients with untreated CNS metastases. This analysis provides strong proof-of-concept that adagrasib penetrates the CNS supporting further clinical evaluation in this patient population.
  • We report clinical details and IC efficacy outcomes of five patient cases with NSCLC and untreated CNS metastases from the KRYSTAL-1 CNS metastasis cohort, selected to illustrate scenarios relevant to the use of adagrasib in routine clinical practice (focal leptomeningeal disease [LMD]; concurrent stereotactic radiosurgery [SRS]; IC efficacy of adagrasib as first-line therapy; dose reduction; and presence of common comutations).

Best of the year: Advanced breast cancer in 2023


  • This article reviews some of the most clinically relevant data related to metastatic breast cancer presented during 2023.
  • Elacestrant (oral SERD) was approved in 2023 for the treatment of patients with pretreated ESR1mutant HR-positive mBC.
  • Capivasertib (AKT inhibitor) was approved in 2023 for patients with pretreated mBC with PIK3CAPTEN, or AKT1
  • Sacituzumab govitecan was approved in 2023 for patients with HR-positive tumors previously tereated with chemotherapy.

Design and Evaluation of ZD06519, a Novel Camptothecin Payload for Antibody Drug Conjugates


  • In recent years, the field of antibody drug conjugates (ADC) has seen a resurgence, largely driven by the clinical benefit observed in patients treated with ADCs incorporating camptothecin-based topoisomerase I inhibitor payloads. Herein, we present the development of a novel camptothecin ZD06519 (FD1), which has been specifically designed for its application as an ADC payload. A panel of camptothecin analogs with different substituents at the C-7 and C-10 positions of the camptothecin core was prepared and tested in vitro. Selected compounds spanning a range of potency and hydrophilicity were elaborated into drug-linkers, conjugated to trastuzumab, and evaluated in vitroand in vivo. ZD06519 was selected on the basis of its favorable properties as a free molecule and as an antibody conjugate, which include moderate free payload potency (∼1 nmol/L), low hydrophobicity, strong bystander activity, robust plasma stability, and high-monomeric ADC content. When conjugated to different antibodies using a clinically validated MC-GGFG–based linker, ZD06519 demonstrated impressive efficacy in multiple cell line–derived xenograft models and noteworthy tolerability in healthy mice, rats, and non-human primates.

Advances in diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer

  • Bladder cancer remains a leading cause of cancer death worldwide and is associated with substantial impacts on patient quality of life, morbidity, mortality, and cost to the healthcare system. Gross hematuria frequently precedes the diagnosis of bladder cancer. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is managed initially with transurethral resection of a bladder tumor (TURBT), followed by a risk stratified approach to adjuvant intravesical therapy (IVe), and is associated with an overall survival of 90%. However, cure rates remain lower for muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) owing to a variety of factors. NMIBC and MIBC groupings are heterogeneous and have unique pathological and molecular characteristics. Indeed, The Cancer Genome Atlas project identified genetic drivers and luminal and basal molecular subtypes of MIBC with distinct treatment responses. For NMIBC, IVe immunotherapy (primarily BCG) is the gold standard treatment for high grade and high risk NMIBC to reduce or prevent both recurrence and progression after initial TURBT; novel trials incorporate immune checkpoint inhibitors. IVe gene therapy and combination IVe chemotherapy have recently been completed, with promising results. For localized MIBC, essential goals are improving care and reducing morbidity following cystectomy or bladder preserving strategies. In metastatic disease, advances in understanding of the genomic landscape and tumor microenvironment have led to the implementation of immune checkpoint inhibitors, targeted treatments, and antibody-drug conjugates. Defining better selection criteria to identify the patients most likely to benefit from a specific treatment is an urgent need.

Blood tumor mutational burden and response to pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer: KEYNOTE-782

  • Previously untreated patients with stage IV nonsquamous NSCLC received pembrolizumab 200 mg plus pemetrexed 500 mg/m2and investigator's choice of carboplatin area under the curve 5 mg/mL/min or cisplatin 75 mg/m2 for 4 cycles, then pembrolizumab plus pemetrexed for ≤31 additional cycles every 3 weeks. Study objectives were to evaluate the association of baseline bTMB with objective response rate (ORR) (RECIST v1.1 by investigator assessment; primary), progression-free survival (PFS; RECIST v1.1 by investigator assessment), overall survival (OS), and adverse events (AEs; all secondary). A next-generation sequencing assay (GRAIL LLC) with a ctDNA panel that included lung cancer-associated and immune gene targets was used to measure bTMB.
  • 117 patients were enrolled; median time from first dose to data cutoff was 19.3 months (range, 1.0-35.5). ORR was 40.2 % (95 % CI 31.2-49.6 %), median PFS was 7.2 months (95 % CI 5.6-9.8) and median OS was 18.1 months (95 % CI 13.5-25.6). Treatment-related AEs occurred in 113 patients (96.6 %; grade 3-5, n = 56 [47.9 %]). Of patients with evaluable bTMB (n = 101), the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve for continuous bTMB to discriminate response was 0.47 (95 % CI 0.36-0.59). Baseline bTMB was not associated with PFS or OS (posterior probabilities of positive association: 16.8 % and 7.8 %, respectively).
  • AEs were consistent with the established safety profile of first-line pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in NSCLC. Baseline bTMB did not show evidence of an association with efficacy.

Four-year overall survival update from the phase III HIMALAYA study of tremelimumab plus durvalumab in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Patients and methods: Participants with uHCC and no previous systemic treatment were randomized to STRIDE (n = 393), durvalumab (n = 389), or sorafenib (n = 389). The updated data cut-off was 23 January 2023. OS and serious adverse events (AEs) were assessed. Additionally, baseline characteristics and subsequent therapies were analyzed in long-term survivors (≥36 months beyond randomization).
  • For STRIDE, durvalumab, and sorafenib, median [95% confidence interval (CI)] follow-up was 49.12 months (46.95-50.17 months), 48.46 months (46.82-49.81 months), and 47.31 months (45.08-49.15 months), respectively. OS hazard ratio (95% CI) for STRIDE versus sorafenib was 0.78 (0.67-0.92). The 36-month OS rate for STRIDE was 30.7% versus 19.8% for sorafenib. The 48-month OS rate remained higher for STRIDE at 25.2%, versus 15.1% for sorafenib. The long-term OS benefit of STRIDE was observed across clinically relevant subgroups and was further improved in participants who achieved disease control. Long-term survivors with STRIDE (n = 103) included participants across clinically relevant subgroups, and 57.3% (59/103) had no reported subsequent anticancer therapy. No new serious treatment-related AEs occurred with STRIDE from the primary analysis (17.5%; 68/388). Durvalumab maintained OS noninferiority to sorafenib and no late-onset safety signals were identified.
  • These data represent the longest follow-up to date in phase III studies in uHCC. The unprecedented 3- and 4-year OS rates reinforce the sustained long-term OS benefit of STRIDE versus sorafenib. STRIDE maintained a tolerable yet differentiated safety profile from other current uHCC therapies. Results continue to support the long-term benefits of STRIDE in a diverse population, reflective of uHCC globally.

Integrative Analyses of Tumor and Peripheral Biomarkers in the Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

  • The phase III JAVELIN Renal 101 trial demonstrated prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in patients (N = 886) with advanced renal cell carcinoma treated with first-line avelumab + axitinib (A+Ax) versus sunitinib. We report novel findings from integrated analyses of longitudinal blood samples and baseline tumor tissue. PFS was associated with elevated lymphocyte levels in the sunitinib arm and an abundance of innate immune subsets in the A+Ax arm. Treatment with A+Ax led to greater T-cell repertoire modulation and less change in T-cell numbers versus sunitinib. In the A+Ax arm, patients with tumors harboring mutations in ≥2 of 10 previously identified PFS-associated genes (double mutants) had distinct circulating and tumor-infiltrating immunologic profiles versus those with wild-type or single-mutant tumors, suggesting a role for non-T-cell-mediated and non-natural killer cell-mediated mechanisms in double-mutant tumors. We provide evidence for different immunomodulatory mechanisms based on treatment (A+Ax vs. sunitinib) and tumor molecular subtypes.
  • Our findings provide novel insights into the different immunomodulatory mechanisms governing responses in patients treated with avelumab (PD-L1 inhibitor) + axitinib or sunitinib (both VEGF inhibitors), highlighting the contribution of tumor biology to the complexity of the roles and interactions of infiltrating immune cells in response to these treatment regimens. This article is featured in Selected Articles from This Issue, p. 384.

Chronic stress increases metastasis via neutrophil-mediated changes to the microenvironment

  • Chronic stress is associated with increased risk of metastasis and poor survival in cancer patients, yet the reasons are unclear. We show that chronic stress increases lung metastasis from disseminated cancer cells 2- to 4-fold in mice. Chronic stress significantly alters the lung microenvironment, with fibronectin accumulation, reduced T cell infiltration, and increased neutrophil infiltration. Depleting neutrophils abolishes stress-induced metastasis. Chronic stress shifts normal circadian rhythm of neutrophils and causes increased neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation via glucocorticoid release. In mice with neutrophil-specific glucocorticoid receptor deletion, chronic stress fails to increase NETs and metastasis. Furthermore, digesting NETs with DNase I prevents chronic stress-induced metastasis. Together, our data show that glucocorticoids released during chronic stress cause NET formation and establish a metastasis-promoting microenvironment. Therefore, NETs could be targets for preventing metastatic recurrence in cancer patients, many of whom will experience chronic stress due to their disease.

Characterization of Tumor Responses in Patients with Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated with Lenvatinib in the Phase 3 Randomized Trial: REFLECT

  • In REFLECT, lenvatinib was noninferior to sorafenib in terms of overall survival (OS) in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (uHCC; median 13.6 vs. 12.3 months; HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.79–1.06). The objective response rate (ORR) with lenvatinib was 18.8% by blinded independent imaging review (IIR) per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (RECIST v1.1); per modified RECIST (mRECIST), the ORR was 40.6%. We sought to further characterize these tumor responses and explore ORR’s importance among outcomes for patients with HCC. 
  • Efficacy assessments included all patients randomly assigned to receive lenvatinib treatment (if bodyweight ≥60 kg, 12 mg/day; if <60 kg, 8 mg/day). Time to first objective response (TTR) and duration of response (DOR) included patients who achieved a partial or complete tumor response. Tumors were assessed by IIR per RECIST v1.1 or mRECIST. 
  • Four hundred seventy-eight patients were randomly assigned to receive lenvatinib. By IIR, 90 patients (18.8%) achieved an objective response per RECIST v1.1, and 194 (40.6%) had an objective response per mRECIST. Median TTR/DOR were 2.8 months/7.4 months in responders per RECIST v1.1, and 1.9 months/7.3 months in responders per mRECIST, respectively. Per baseline disease characteristics, ORRs by Child-Pugh score (A5/A6) were 21.2%/11.2% per RECIST v1.1 and 42.9%/33.6% per mRECIST, respectively. By baseline alpha-fetoprotein level (<400/≥400 ng/mL), ORRs were 21.4%/15.4% per RECIST v1.1 and 45.6%/33.8% per mRECIST, respectively. Incidences of treatment-related treatment-emergent adverse events were 98.9% in responders per RECIST v1.1 and 97.9% in responders per mRECIST. 
  • Responses were seen even in those patients with more severe disease at baseline. Tumor responses occurred early and were durable.

Topical Diclofenac for Prevention of Capecitabine-Associated Hand-Foot Syndrome: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial

  • In this single-site phase III randomized double-blind trial, we enrolled patients with breast or GI cancer who were planned to receive capecitabine-based treatment. Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive topical diclofenac or placebo gel for 12 weeks or until the development of HFS, whichever occurred earlier. The primary end point was the incidence of grade 2 or 3 HFS (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 5), which was compared between the two groups using simple logistic regression.
  • In total, 264 patients were randomly assigned to receive topical diclofenac gel (n = 131) or placebo (n = 133). Grade 2 or 3 HFS was observed in 3.8% of participants in the diclofenac group compared with 15.0% in the placebo group (absolute difference, 11.2%; 95% CI, 4.3 to 18.1; P= .003). Grade 1-3 HFS was lower in the diclofenac group than in the placebo group (6.1% v1%; absolute risk difference, 11.9%; 95% CI, 4.1 to 19.6). Capecitabine dose reductions because of HFS were less frequent in the diclofenac group (3.8%) than in the placebo group (13.5%; absolute risk difference, 9.7%; 95% CI, 3.0 to 16.4).
  • Topical diclofenac prevented HFS in patients receiving capecitabine. This trial supports the use of topical diclofenac to prevent capecitabine-associated HFS.

Next-generation therapies for pancreatic cancer

  • Pancreas ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a frequently lethal malignancy that poses unique therapeutic challenges. The current mainstay of therapy for metastatic PDAC (mPDAC) is cytotoxic chemotherapy. NALIRIFOX (liposomal irinotecan, fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin) is an emerging standard of care in the metastatic setting. An evolving understanding of PDAC pathogenesis is driving a shift toward targeted therapy. Olaparib, a poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, has regulatory approval for maintenance therapy in BRCA-mutated mPDAC along with other targeted agents receiving disease-agnostic approvals including for PDAC with rare fusions and mismatch repair deficiency. Ongoing research continues to identify and evaluate an expanding array of targeted therapies for PDAC.
  • This review provides a brief overview of standard therapies for PDAC and an emphasis on current and emerging targeted therapies.
  • There is notable potential for targeted therapies for KRAS-mutated PDAC with opportunity for meaningful benefit for a sizable portion of patients with this disease. Further, emerging approaches are focused on novel immune, tumor microenvironment, and synthetic lethality strategies.

A meta-analysis of efficacy and safety data from head-to-head first-line trials of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors versus bevacizumab in adult patients with RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer by sidedness


  • The first-line treatment choice of EGFRIs plus doublet chemotherapy vs. bevacizumab plus doublet chemotherapy remains a topic of interest for patients with left-sided RAS WT mCRC. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of clinical trial data published between 2015 and 2024. We evaluated the relative efficacy and safety of first-line EGFRIs plus doublet chemotherapy (FOLFIRI or FOLFOX) vs. bevacizumab plus doublet chemotherapy for patients with RAS WT left-sided mCRC, as well as in all- and right-sided tumors. We identified eight trials with 2624 patients. Five trials reported outcomes by tumor sidedness. In the left-sided population, overall survival (OS) (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.80, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.71–0.90) and objective response rate (ORR) (Odds ratio [OR]=1.61, 95% CI: 1.30–1.99) favored EGFRI plus chemotherapy, while no statistically significant differences were observed for progression-free survival (PFS) (HR=0.93, 95% CI: 0.84–1.04) or resection rate (RR). Similar results were found in the all-sided population. In the right-sided population, PFS favored bevacizumab plus chemotherapy (HR=1.45, 95% CI: 1.19–1.78), while no statistically significant differences were observed for OS (HR=1.17, 95% CI: 0.95–1.44), ORR (OR=0.99, 95% CI: 0.69–1.41), and RR. Early tumor shrinkage in the all-sided population favored EGFRI plus chemotherapy (OR=1.72; 95% CI: 1.36–2.17); limited data precluded evaluation by sidedness. Safety was available in 6 trials for all-sided tumors and 1 trial for left-sided tumors, each demonstrating typical class-specific adverse events. This most comprehensive meta-analysis indicates a benefit for first-line EGFRI plus chemotherapy over bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in patients with left-sided RAS WT mCRC.

Outcomes of patients with advanced epithelial growth factor receptor mutant lung cancer treated with first-line osimertinib who would not have met the eligibility criteria for the FLAURA clinical trial


  • Osimertinib is largely used as first-line therapy for metastatic epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant lung cancers based on the FLAURA clinical trial. Real-world patient outcomes often differ from clinical trial outcomes. This study evaluated the efficacy of first-line osimertinib in patients treated in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Furthermore, we compared the outcomes of patients who would and would not have been eligible for the original FLAURA trial.
  • Consecutive patients receiving first-line osimertinib for metastatic EGFR exon19 or L858R lung cancer were identified using the BC Cancer Pharmacy Database. Patient eligibility for the FLAURA clinical trial were retrospectively reviewed based on the following criteria: ECOG ≥ 2, symptomatic brain metastases or on steroids, hemoglobin < 90 g/L, platelets < 100x109/L, or a creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min. mOS was assessed for the entire population and compared between patients who would have been eligible and ineligible for FLAURA.
  • From January 2020 to October 2021, 311 patients received first-line osimertinib; 44 % (137/311) were deemed FLAURA ineligible, predominantly due to low ECOG (n = 120). After a median follow-up of 26.5 months, the mOS for the entire cohort was 27.4 months (95 %CI 23.8–30.1). The mOS for ineligible patients was 18 months shorter than eligible patients (15.8 vs 34.2, p < 0.001). Ineligible patients had higher rates of de novo stage IV disease, higher rates of stage IVB disease, and more sites of disease than eligible patients.
  • In this real-world population, nearly half of patients would have been ineligible for FLAURA. The mOS was one year shorter than reported in FLAURA. However, patients who would have been eligible for the FLAURA clinical trial had similar OS to patients enrolled in FLAURA. Trial ineligible patients had a higher burden of disease at baseline which may have led to inferior outcomes. Further research is needed to improve outcomes in these patients.

A Cell-free DNA Blood-Based Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening

  • More than one third of the screening-eligible population is not up to date with screening despite multiple available tests. A blood-based test has the potential to improve screening adherence, detect colorectal cancer earlier, and reduce colorectal cancer-related mortality.
  • We assessed the performance characteristics of a cell-free DNA (cfDNA) blood-based test in a population eligible for colorectal cancer screening. The coprimary outcomes were sensitivity for colorectal cancer and specificity for advanced neoplasia (colorectal cancer or advanced precancerous lesions) relative to screening colonoscopy. The secondary outcome was sensitivity to detect advanced precancerous lesions.
  • The clinical validation cohort included 10,258 persons, 7861 of whom met eligibility criteria and were evaluable. A total of 83.1% of the participants with colorectal cancer detected by colonoscopy had a positive cfDNA test and 16.9% had a negative test, which indicates a sensitivity of the cfDNA test for detection of colorectal cancer of 83.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72.2 to 90.3). Sensitivity for stage I, II, or III colorectal cancer was 87.5% (95% CI, 75.3 to 94.1), and sensitivity for advanced precancerous lesions was 13.2% (95% CI, 11.3 to 15.3). A total of 89.6% of the participants without any advanced colorectal neoplasia (colorectal cancer or advanced precancerous lesions) identified on colonoscopy had a negative cfDNA blood-based test, whereas 10.4% had a positive cfDNA blood-based test, which indicates a specificity for any advanced neoplasia of 89.6% (95% CI, 88.8 to 90.3). Specificity for negative colonoscopy (no colorectal cancer, advanced precancerous lesions, or nonadvanced precancerous lesions) was 89.9% (95% CI, 89.0 to 90.7).
  • In an average-risk screening population, this cfDNA blood-based test had 83% sensitivity for colorectal cancer, 90% specificity for advanced neoplasia, and 13% sensitivity for advanced precancerous lesions. (Funded by Guardant Health; ECLIPSE number,

Adjuvant Chemoradiation in Resected Biliary Adenocarcinoma: Evaluation of SWOG S0809 with a Large National Database

  • There is a paucity of evidence supporting the use of adjuvant radiation therapy in resected biliary cancer. Supporting evidence for use comes mainly from the small SWOG S0809 trial, which demonstrated an overall median survival of 35 months. We aimed to use a large national database to evaluate the use of adjuvant chemoradiation in resected extrahepatic bile duct and gallbladder cancer.
  • Using the National Cancer Database, we selected patients from 2004 to 2017 with pT2-4, pN0-1, M0 extrahepatic bile duct or gallbladder adenocarcinoma with either R0 or R1 resection margins, and examined factors associated with overall survival (OS). We examined OS in a cohort of patients mimicking the SWOG S0809 protocol as a large validation cohort. Lastly, we compared patients who received chemotherapy only with patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation using entropy balancing propensity score matching.
  • Overall, 4997 patients with gallbladder or extrahepatic bile duct adenocarcinoma with available survival information meeting the SWOG S0809 criteria were selected, 469 of whom received both adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Median OS in patients undergoing chemoradiation was 36.9 months, and was not different between primary sites (p = 0.841). In a propensity score matched cohort, receipt of adjuvant chemoradiation had a survival benefit compared with adjuvant chemotherapy only (hazard ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.95; p = 0.004).
  • Using a large national database, we support the findings of SWOG S0809 with a similar median OS in patients receiving chemoradiation. These data further support the consideration of adjuvant multimodal therapy in resected biliary cancers.

Lung cancer in patients who have never smoked - an emerging disease

  • Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Although smoking-related lung cancers continue to account for the majority of diagnoses, smoking rates have been decreasing for several decades. Lung cancer in individuals who have never smoked (LCINS) is estimated to be the fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide in 2023, preferentially occurring in women and Asian populations. As smoking rates continue to decline, understanding the aetiology and features of this disease, which necessitate unique diagnostic and treatment paradigms, will be imperative. New data have provided important insights into the molecular and genomic characteristics of LCINS, which are distinct from those of smoking-associated lung cancers and directly affect treatment decisions and outcomes. Herein, we review the emerging data regarding the aetiology and features of LCINS, particularly the genetic and environmental underpinnings of this disease as well as their implications for treatment. In addition, we outline the unique diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms of LCINS and discuss future directions in identifying individuals at high risk of this disease for potential screening efforts.

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy With Oxaliplatin and Fluoropyrimidine Versus Upfront Surgery for Locally Advanced Colon Cancer: The Randomized, Phase III OPTICAL Trial

  • The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) in colon cancer remains unclear. This trial investigated whether 3 months of modified infusional fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) or capecitabine and oxaliplatin (CAPOX) as NAC could improve outcomes in patients with locally advanced colon cancer versus upfront surgery.
  • OPTICAL was a randomized, phase III trial in patients with clinically staged locally advanced colon cancer (T3 with extramural spread into the mesocolic fat ≥5 mm or T4). Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive six preoperative cycles of mFOLFOX6 or four cycles of CAPOX, followed by surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy (NAC group), or immediate surgery and the physician's choice of adjuvant chemotherapy (upfront surgery group). The primary end point was 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) assessed in the modified intention-to-treat (mITT) population.
  • Between January 2016 and April 2021, of the 752 patients enrolled, 744 patients were included in the mITT analysis (371 in the NAC group; 373 in the upfront surgery group). At a median follow-up of 48.0 months (IQR, 46.0-50.1), 3-year DFS rates were 82.1% in the NAC group and 77.5% in the upfront surgery group (stratified hazard ratio [HR], 0.74 [95% CI, 0.54 to 1.03]). The R0 resection was achieved in 98% of patients who underwent surgery in both groups. Compared with upfront surgery, NAC resulted in a 7% pathologic complete response rate (pCR), significantly lower rates of advanced tumor staging (pT3-4: 77% v94%), lymph node metastasis (pN1-2: 31% v 46%), and potentially improved overall survival (stratified HR, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.25 to 0.77]).
  • NAC with mFOLFOX6 or CAPOX did not show a significant DFS benefit. However, this neoadjuvant approach was safe, resulted in substantial pathologic downstaging, and appears to be a viable therapeutic option for locally advanced colon cancer.

Circadian tumor infiltration and function of CD8+ T cells dictate immunotherapy efficacy

  • The quality and quantity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, particularly CD8+T cells, are important parameters for the control of tumor growth and response to immunotherapy. Here, we show in murine and human cancers that these parameters exhibit circadian oscillations, driven by both the endogenous circadian clock of leukocytes and rhythmic leukocyte infiltration, which depends on the circadian clock of endothelial cells in the tumor microenvironment. To harness these rhythms therapeutically, we demonstrate that efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy and immune checkpoint blockade can be improved by adjusting the time of treatment during the day. Furthermore, time-of-day-dependent T cell signatures in murine tumor models predict overall survival in patients with melanoma and correlate with response to anti-PD-1 therapy. Our data demonstrate the functional significance of circadian dynamics in the tumor microenvironment and suggest the importance of leveraging these features for improving future clinical trial design and patient care.

A practical guide for assessing and managing cardiovascular risk during androgen-deprivation therapy in patients with prostate cancer

  • Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among men worldwide, and androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is a mainstay of treatment. There are observational data demonstrating an increased risk of cardiovascular events in patients who receive ADT, particularly those who have an elevated baseline cardiovascular risk. Because, for most patients with prostate cancer, death is predominantly from noncancer-related causes, cardiovascular disease and its risk factors should be optimized during cancer treatment. This review provides an overview of the landscape of ADT treatment and serves as a guide for appropriate cardiovascular screening and risk-mitigation strategies. The authors emphasize the importance of shared communication between the multidisciplinary cancer team and primary care to improve baseline cardiovascular screening and treatment of modifiable risk factors within this higher risk population.

Physical activity and checkpoint inhibition: association with toxicity and survival

  • Although animal experiments suggest beneficial effects of physical activity (PA) on antitumor immunity, little is known about the effects of PA on immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) toxicity and effectiveness in humans. We assessed the association of PA with immune-related adverse events (irAE) and survival in patients undergoing ICI.
  • Patients receiving ICI who completed the Dutch short questionnaire to assess health enhancing physical activity (SQUASH) questionnaire at the start of treatment as part of the prospective UNICIT study in an academic hospital were included. PA was quantified by calculating total metabolic equivalent task hours per week (total PA) and hours per week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA during sport and leisure time (MVPA-SL). Associations of PA with severe irAE occurrence within 1 year and overall survival (OS) were evaluated using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard regression, respectively, with adjustment for probable confounders.
  • In total, 251 patients were included, with a median follow-up of 20 months. Moderate and high levels of total PA were associated with lower odds of severe irAE occurrence compared to low levels of total PA (adjusted OR: 0.34 [95% CI = 0.12 to 0.90] and 0.19 [95% CI = 0.05 to 0.55], respectively). Moderate and high levels of total PA were also associated with prolonged survival (adjusted HR: 0.58 [95% CI = 0.32 to 1.04] and 0.48 [95% CI = 0.27 to 0.89], respectively). Similar associations were observed in patients who performed more MVPA-SL.
  • Higher physical activity levels at the start of ICI treatment are associated with lower risk of severe irAEs and probably prolonged survival. Randomized controlled trials are needed to investigate whether patients indeed benefit from increasing PA levels after diagnosis.

Alectinib in Resected ALK-Positive Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

  • Platinum-based chemotherapy is the recommended adjuvant treatment for patients with resectable, ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Data on the efficacy and safety of adjuvant alectinib as compared with chemotherapy in patients with resected ALK-positive NSCLC are lacking.
  • We conducted a global, phase 3, open-label, randomized trial in which patients with completely resected, ALK-positive NSCLC of stage IB (tumors ≥4 cm), II, or IIIA (as classified according to the seventh edition of the Cancer Staging Manualof the American Joint Committee on Cancer and Union for International Cancer Control) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive oral alectinib (600 mg twice daily) for 24 months or intravenous platinum-based chemotherapy in four 21-day cycles. The primary end point was disease-free survival, tested hierarchically among patients with stage II or IIIA disease and then in the intention-to-treat population. Other end points included central nervous system (CNS) disease-free survival, overall survival, and safety.
  • In total, 257 patients were randomly assigned to receive alectinib (130 patients) or chemotherapy (127 patients). The percentage of patients alive and disease-free at 2 years was 93.8% in the alectinib group and 63.0% in the chemotherapy group among patients with stage II or IIIA disease (hazard ratio for disease recurrence or death, 0.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.13 to 0.45; P<0.001) and 93.6% and 63.7%, respectively, in the intention-to-treat population (hazard ratio, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.43; P<0.001). Alectinib was associated with a clinically meaningful benefit with respect to CNS disease-free survival as compared with chemotherapy (hazard ratio for CNS disease recurrence or death, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.58). Data for overall survival were immature. No unexpected safety findings were observed.
  • Among patients with resected ALK-positive NSCLC of stage IB, II, or IIIA, adjuvant alectinib significantly improved disease-free survival as compared with platinum-based chemotherapy. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche; ALINA number, NCT03456076.).

Cabozantinib monotherapy for advanced adrenocortical carcinoma: a single-arm, phase 2 trial

  • Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare malignancy with poor response to systemic chemotherapy. Mitotane is the only approved therapy for adrenocortical carcinoma. Cabozantinib is a multikinase inhibitor approved in multiple malignancies. This is the first prospective trial to explore the anti-tumour activity, safety, and pharmacokinetic profile of cabozantinib in patients with advanced adrenocortical carcinoma.
  • This investigator-initiated, single-arm, phase 2 trial in adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with advanced adrenocortical carcinoma was done at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA). Eligible patients had histologically confirmed adrenocortical carcinoma, were not candidates for surgery with curative intent, had measurable disease, had an estimated life expectancy of at least 3 months, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2 with adequate organ function. Patients who had used mitotane within 6 months of study participation were required to have a serum mitotane level of less than 2 mg/L. Patients were given oral cabozantinib 60 mg daily with the option of dose reduction to manage adverse events. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 4 months, assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug per protocol. This study is registered with, NCT03370718, and is now complete.
  • Between March 1, 2018, and May 31, 2021, we enrolled 18 patients (ten males and eight females), all of whom received at least one dose of study treatment. Of the 18 patients, eight (44%) had an ECOG performance status of 0, nine (50%) patients had a performance status of 1, and one (6%) patient had a performance status of 2. Median follow-up was 36·8 months (IQR 30·2-50·3). At 4 months, 13 (72·2%; 95% CI 46·5-90·3) of 18 patients had progression-free survival and median progression-free survival was 6 months (95% CI 4·3 to not reached). One patient remains on treatment. Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or worse occurred in 11 (61%) of 18 patients. The most common grade 3 adverse events were lipase elevation (three [17%] of 18 patients), elevated γ-glutamyl transferase concentrations (two [11%] patients), elevated alanine aminotransferase concentrations (two [11%] patients), hypophosphatemia (two [11%] patients), and hypertension (two [11%] patients). One (6%) of 18 patients had grade 4 hypertension. No treatment related deaths occurred on study.
  • Cabozantinib in advanced adrenocortical carcinoma showed promising efficacy with a manageable and anticipated safety profile. Further prospective studies with cabozantinib alone and in combination with immune checkpoint therapy are ongoing.

Cabozantinib in patients with unresectable and progressive metastatic phaeochromocytoma or paraganglioma (the Natalie Trial): a single-arm, phase 2 trial

  • Metastatic phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (MPPGs) are orphan diseases. Up to 50% of MPPGs are associated with germline pathogenic variants of the SDHB gene. These tumours and many non-familial MPPGs exhibit a phenotype that is characterised by abnormal angiogenesis. We aimed to assess the activity and safety of cabozantinib, an antiangiogenic multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with MPPGs.
  • The Natalie Trial is a single-arm, phase 2 clinical trial being conducted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA). Patients aged 18 years or older with histologically confirmed, progressive, and unresectable MPPGs, with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2, were treated with oral cabozantinib 60 mg/day. The primary endpoint was the investigator-assessed overall response rate per the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours version 1.1 criteria. All outcomes were assessed in all evaluable participants who received any amount of study treatment. The trial is registered with (NCT02302833) and is active but not recruiting.
  • From March 10, 2015, to May 11, 2021, 17 patients (13 male participants and four female participants) were enrolled. The median follow-up was 25 months (IQR 18-49). The overall response rate was 25·0% (95% CI 7·3-52·4; four of 16 patients). Seven grade 3 adverse events were reported in six patients, including single cases of hand-and-foot syndrome, hypertension, rectal fistula, QT prolongation, and asymptomatic hypomagnesaemia, and two cases of asymptomatic elevations of amylase and lipase. There were no grade 4 adverse events and no patient died on-study.
  • Cabozantinib shows promising activity in patients with MPPGs.

EAU-EANM-ESTRO-ESUR-ISUP-SIOG Guidelines on Prostate Cancer-2024 Update. Part I: Screening, Diagnosis, and Local Treatment with Curative Intent

  • The European Association of Urology (EAU)-European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM)-European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)-European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR)-International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP)-International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) guidelines provide recommendations for the management of clinically localised prostate cancer (PCa). This paper aims to present a summary of the 2024 version of the EAU-EANM-ESTRO-ESUR-ISUP-SIOG guidelines on the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of clinically localised PCa.
  • The panel performed a literature review of all new data published in English, covering the time frame between May 2020 and 2023. The guidelines were updated, and a strength rating for each recommendation was added based on a systematic review of the evidence.
  • A risk-adapted strategy for identifying men who may develop PCa is advised, generally commencing at 50 yr of age and based on individualised life expectancy. The use of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging in order to avoid unnecessary biopsies is recommended. When a biopsy is considered, a combination of targeted and regional biopsies should be performed. Prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography imaging is the most sensitive technique for identifying metastatic spread. Active surveillance is the appropriate management for men with low-risk PCa, as well as for selected favourable intermediate-risk patients with International Society of Urological Pathology grade group 2 lesions. Local therapies are addressed, as well as the management of persistent prostate-specific antigen after surgery. A recommendation to consider hypofractionation in intermediate-risk patients is provided. Patients with cN1 PCa should be offered a local treatment combined with long-term intensified hormonal treatment.
  • The evidence in the field of diagnosis, staging, and treatment of localised PCa is evolving rapidly. These PCa guidelines reflect the multidisciplinary nature of PCa management.

EAU-EANM-ESTRO-ESUR-ISUP-SIOG Guidelines on Prostate Cancer. Part II-2024 Update: Treatment of Relapsing and Metastatic Prostate Cancer

  • The European Association of Urology (EAU)-European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM)-European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)-European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR)-International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP)-International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) guidelines on the treatment of relapsing, metastatic, and castration-resistant prostate cancer (PCa) have been updated. Here we provide a summary of the 2024 guidelines.
  • The panel performed a literature review of new data, covering the time frame between 2020 and 2023. The guidelines were updated and a strength rating for each recommendation was added on the basis of a systematic review of the evidence.
  • Risk stratification for relapsing PCa after primary therapy may guide salvage therapy decisions. New treatment options, such as androgen receptor-targeted agents (ARTAs), ARTA + chemotherapy combinations, PARP inhibitors and their combinations, and prostate-specific membrane antigen-based therapy have become available for men with metastatic PCa.
  • Evidence for relapsing, metastatic, and castration-resistant PCa is evolving rapidly. These guidelines reflect the multidisciplinary nature of PCa management. The full version is available online ( prostate-cancer/).
  • This article summarises the 2024 guidelines for the treatment of relapsing, metastatic, and castration-resistant prostate cancer. These guidelines are based on evidence and guide doctors in discussing treatment decisions with their patients. The guidelines are updated every year.

Tumor mutational burden for the prediction of PD-(L)1 blockade efficacy in cancer: challenges and opportunities

  • Tumor mutational burden (TMB) is a biomarker that measures the number of somatic mutations in a tumor's genome. TMB has emerged as a predictor of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in various cancer types, and several studies have shown that patients with high TMB have better outcomes when treated with programmed death-ligand 1-based therapies. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved TMB as a companion diagnostic for the use of pembrolizumab in solid tumors. However, despite its potential, the use of TMB as a biomarker for immunotherapy efficacy is limited by several factors. Here we review the limitations of TMB in predicting immunotherapy outcomes in patients with cancer and discuss potential strategies to optimize its use in the clinic.

Impact of immunosuppressive agents on the management of immune-related adverse events of immune checkpoint blockers

  • Immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs) can induce immune-related adverse events (irAEs) whose management is based on expert opinion and may require the prescription of steroids and/or immunosuppressants (ISs). Recent data suggest that these treatments can reduce the effectiveness of ICBs.
  • To investigate the relationship between the use of steroids and/or ISs and overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) among ICB-treated patients with an irAE.
  • We prospectively collected data from the medical records of patients with solid tumors or lymphoma in the French REISAMIC cohort and who had been treated with ICBs between June 2014 and June 2020.
  • 184 ICB-treated patients experienced at least one Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade ≥ 2 irAE. 107 (58.2%) were treated with steroids alone, 20 (10.9%) with steroids plus IS, 57 (31.0%) not received steroids or IS. The median OS was significantly shorter for patients treated with steroids alone (25.2 months [95% confidence interval (CI): 22.3-32.4] than for patients treated without steroids or IS (63 months [95%CI: 40.4-NA]) and those receiving an IS with steroids (53.4 months [95%CI: 47.3-NA]) (p < 0.001). The median PFS was significantly shorter for patients treated with steroids alone (17.0 months [95%CI: 11.7-22.9]) than for patients treated without steroids or IS (33.9 months [95%CI: 18.0-NA]) and those receiving an IS with steroids (41.1 months [95%CI: 26.2-NA]) (p = 0.006). There were no significant intergroup differences in the hospital admission and infection rates.
  • In a prospective cohort of ICB-treated patients, the use of IS was not associated with worse OS or PFS, contrasting with the use of steroids for the management of irAEs.

Overall Survival with Adjuvant Pembrolizumab in Renal-Cell Carcinoma


  • Adjuvant pembrolizumab therapy after surgery for renal-cell carcinoma was approved on the basis of a significant improvement in disease-free survival in the KEYNOTE-564 trial. Whether the results regarding overall survival from the third prespecified interim analysis of the trial would also favor pembrolizumab was uncertain.
  • In this phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned (in a 1:1 ratio) participants with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma who had an increased risk of recurrence after surgery to receive pembrolizumab (at a dose of 200 mg) or placebo every 3 weeks for up to 17 cycles (approximately 1 year) or until recurrence, the occurrence of unacceptable toxic effects, or withdrawal of consent. A significant improvement in disease-free survival according to investigator assessment (the primary end point) was shown previously. Overall survival was the key secondary end point. Safety was a secondary end point.
  • A total of 496 participants were assigned to receive pembrolizumab and 498 to receive placebo. As of September 15, 2023, the median follow-up was 57.2 months. The disease-free survival benefit was consistent with that in previous analyses (hazard ratio for recurrence or death, 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59 to 0.87). A significant improvement in overall survival was observed with pembrolizumab as compared with placebo (hazard ratio for death, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.87; P=0.005). The estimated overall survival at 48 months was 91.2% in the pembrolizumab group, as compared with 86.0% in the placebo group; the benefit was consistent across key subgroups. Pembrolizumab was associated with a higher incidence of serious adverse events of any cause (20.7%, vs. 11.5% with placebo) and of grade 3 or 4 adverse events related to pembrolizumab or placebo (18.6% vs. 1.2%). No deaths were attributed to pembrolizumab therapy.
  • Adjuvant pembrolizumab was associated with a significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival, as compared with placebo, among participants with clear-cell renal-cell carcinoma at increased risk for recurrence after surgery. (Funded by Merck Sharp and Dohme, a subsidiary of Merck; KEYNOTE-564 number, NCT03142334.)

Preventing alpelisib-related hyperglycaemia in HR+/HER2-/ PIK3CA-mutated advanced breast cancer using metformin (METALLICA): a multicentre, open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial

  • Hyperglycaemia is an early and frequent adverse event during alpelisib treatment. METALLICA aimed to evaluate prophylactic metformin to prevent or reduce hyperglycaemia occurrence in patients with HR+/HER2-/PIK3CA-mutated advanced breast cancer (ABC).
  • Between August 13th, 2020 and March 23rd, 2022, this 2-cohort, phase 2, multicentre, single-arm trial (NCT04300790) enrolled patients with HR+/HER2-/PIK3CA-mutated ABC: cohort A, normal glycaemia (fasting plasma glucose <100 mg/dL [<5.6 mmol/L] and HbA1c <5.7%), and cohort B, prediabetes (fasting plasma glucose 100-140 mg/dL [5.6-7.8 mmol/L] and/or haemoglobin A1C [HbA1c] 5.7-6.4%). Participants were at least 18 years old, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1, and up to two prior lines of endocrine therapy (ET) for ABC. Alpelisib plus ET were administered in 28-day cycles after initiation of prophylactic metformin plus ET. Primary endpoint was the incidence of grade 3-4 hyperglycaemia over the first 8 weeks. Secondary endpoints included safety, progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and clinical benefit rate (CBR). The primary objective for cohort A and B is met with ≤7 (14.6%) and ≤4 (20%) patients with grade 3-4 hyperglycaemia over the first 8 weeks, respectively.
  • 233 patients were screened, and 68 (20.2%) patients were enrolled in cohorts A (n = 48) and B (n = 20). Median follow-up was 7.8 months (IQR 1.4-19.6). Over the first 8 weeks, one (2.1%) of 48 patients in cohort A (95% CI: 0.5-11.1; P< 0.0001), and three (15.0%) of 20 patients in cohort B (95% CI: 5.6-37.8; P = 0.016) had grade 3-4 hyperglycaemia. Serious treatment-related adverse events occurred in seven patients (10.3%). The most common were rash (two [2.9%]), vomiting (two [2.9%]), and diarrhoea (two [2.9%]). Discontinuation of alpelisib caused by AEs was reported in nine patients (13.2%), none caused by hyperglycaemia. At data cutoff (15 June, 2022), no treatment-related deaths were observed. In the full analysis set, median PFS was 7.3 months (95% CI: 5.9-not reached), ORR was 20.6% (95% CI: 11.7-32.1%), and CBR was 52.9% (95% CI: 40.4-65.2).
  • In HR+/HER2-/PIK3CA-mutated ABC, prophylactic metformin before alpelisib plus endocrine treatment has low incidence and severity of alpelicib-induced hyperglycaemia.

Cytoreductive nephrectomy in the era of immune checkpoint inhibitors: a U.S. FDA pooled analysis

  • This pooled analysis of patient-level data from trials evaluated the clinical outcomes of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) with or without cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) prior to a combination of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) and anti-angiogenic therapy.
  • Five trials of ICI plus anti-angiogenic therapy were pooled. Only patients with stage 4 at initial diagnosis were included to ensure that nephrectomy was done for cytoreductive purposes and not to previously treat an earlier stage of disease. Effect of CN prior to ICI on outcomes was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method and a Cox proportional hazards regression model, adjusted for age, sex, risk group, performance status, and presence of sarcomatoid differentiation.
  • A total of 981 patients were included. The estimated median progression-free survival with and without nephrectomy was 15 and 11 months, respectively, and the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.59 to 0.85). The estimated median overall survival with and without nephrectomy was 46 and 28 months, respectively, and the adjusted HR was 0.63 (95% CI: 0.51 to 0.77). Objective response was 60% of patients with vs 46% of patients without CN.
  • Patients with mRCC with CN prior to ICI plus anti-angiogenic therapy had improved outcomes compared to patients without CN. Selection factors for CN may be prognostic and could not be fully controlled for in this retrospective analysis. Prospective determination of and stratification by prior CN may be considered when designing clinical trials to assess impact of this factor on prognosis.