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Mouse Dux is myotoxic and shares partial functional homology with its human paralog DUX4

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:01pm

D4Z4 repeats are present in at least 11 different mammalian species, including humans and mice. Each repeat contains an open reading frame encoding a double homeodomain (DUX) family transcription factor. Aberrant expression of the D4Z4 ORF called DUX4 is associated with the pathogenesis of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). DUX4 is toxic to numerous cell types of different species, and over-expression caused dysmorphism and developmental arrest in frogs and zebrafish, embryonic lethality in transgenic mice, and lesions in mouse muscle. Because DUX4 is a primate-specific gene, questions have been raised about the biological relevance of over-expressing it in non-primate models, as DUX4 toxicity could be related to non-specific cellular stress induced by over-expressing a DUX family transcription factor in organisms that did not co-evolve its regulated transcriptional networks. We assessed toxic phenotypes of DUX family genes, including DUX4, DUX1, DUX5, DUXA, DUX4-s, Dux-bl and mouse Dux. We found that DUX proteins were not universally toxic, and only the mouse Dux gene caused similar toxic phenotypes as human DUX4. Using RNA-seq, we found that 80% of genes upregulated by Dux were similarly increased in DUX4-expressing cells. Moreover, 43% of Dux-responsive genes contained ChIP-seq binding sites for both Dux and DUX4, and both proteins had similar consensus binding site sequences. These results suggested DUX4 and Dux may regulate some common pathways, and despite diverging from a common progenitor under different selective pressures for millions of years, the two genes maintain partial functional homology.

Homologous Transcription Factors DUX4 and DUX4c Associate with Cytoplasmic Proteins during Muscle Differentiation

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:01pm

Hundreds of double homeobox (DUX) genes map within 3.3-kb repeated elements dispersed in the human genome and encode DNA-binding proteins. Among these, we identified DUX4, a potent transcription factor that causes facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). In the present study, we performed yeast two-hybrid screens and protein co-purifications with HaloTag-DUX fusions or GST-DUX4 pull-down to identify protein partners of DUX4, DUX4c (which is identical to DUX4 except for the end of the carboxyl terminal domain) and DUX1 (which is limited to the double homeodomain). Unexpectedly, we identified and validated (by co-immunoprecipitation, GST pull-down, co-immunofluorescence and in situ Proximal Ligation Assay) the interaction of DUX4, DUX4c and DUX1 with type III intermediate filament protein desmin in the cytoplasm and at the nuclear periphery. Desmin filaments link adjacent sarcomere at the Z-discs, connect them to sarcolemma proteins and interact with mitochondria. These intermediate filament also contact the nuclear lamina and contribute to positioning of the nuclei. Another Z-disc protein, LMCD1 that contains a LIM domain was also validated as a DUX4 partner. The functionality of DUX4 or DUX4c interactions with cytoplasmic proteins is underscored by the cytoplasmic detection of DUX4/DUX4c upon myoblast fusion. In addition, we identified and validated (by co-immunoprecipitation, co-immunofluorescence and in situ Proximal Ligation Assay) as DUX4/4c partners several RNA-binding proteins such as C1QBP, SRSF9, RBM3, FUS/TLS and SFPQ that are involved in mRNA splicing and translation. FUS and SFPQ are nuclear proteins, however their cytoplasmic translocation was reported in neuronal cells where they associated with ribonucleoparticles (RNPs). Several other validated or identified DUX4/DUX4c partners are also contained in mRNP granules, and the co-localizations with cytoplasmic DAPI-positive spots is in keeping with such an association. Large muscle RNPs were recently shown to exit the nucleus via a novel mechanism of nuclear envelope budding. Following DUX4 or DUX4c overexpression in muscle cell cultures, we observed their association with similar nuclear buds. In conclusion, our study demonstrated unexpected interactions of DUX4/4c with cytoplasmic proteins playing major roles during muscle differentiation. Further investigations are on-going to evaluate whether these interactions play roles during muscle regeneration as previously suggested for DUX4c.

Muscle dysfunction in a zebrafish model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:01pm

Sapje zebrafish lack the protein dystrophin and are the smallest vertebrate model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Their small size makes them ideal for large-scale drug discovery screens. However, the extent that sapje mimic the muscle dysfunction of higher vertebrate models of DMD is unclear. We used an optical birefringence assay to differentiate affected dystrophic sapje larvae from their unaffected siblings and then studied trunk muscle contractility at 4-7 days post fertilization. Preparation cross-sectional area (CSA) was similar for affected and unaffected larvae, yet tetanic forces of affected preparations were only 30-60% of normal. ANCOVA indicated that the linear relationship observed between tetanic force and CSA for unaffected preparations was absent in the affected population. Consequently, the average force/CSA of affected larvae was depressed 30-70%. Disproportionate reductions in twitch vs. tetanic force, and a slowing of twitch tension development and relaxation, indicated that the myofibrillar disorganization evident in the birefringence assay could not explain the entire force loss. Single eccentric contractions, in which activated preparations were lengthened 5-10%, resulted in tetanic force deficits in both groups of larvae. However, deficits of affected preparations were 3 to 5-fold greater at all strains and ages, even after accounting for any recovery. Based on these functional assessments, we conclude that the sapje mutant zebrafish is a phenotypically severe model of DMD. The severe contractile deficits of sapje larvae represent novel physiological endpoints for therapeutic drug screening.

Antisense Oligonucleotides Used to Target the DUX4 mRNA as Therapeutic Approaches in FaciosScapuloHumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD)

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:00pm

FacioScapuloHumeral muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most prevalent hereditary myopathies and is generally characterized by progressive muscle atrophy affecting the face, scapular fixators; upper arms and distal lower legs. The FSHD locus maps to a macrosatellite D4Z4 repeat array on chromosome 4q35. Each D4Z4 unit contains a DUX4 gene; the most distal of which is flanked by a polyadenylation site on FSHD-permissive alleles, which allows for production of stable DUX4 mRNAs. In addition, an open chromatin structure is required for DUX4 gene transcription. FSHD thus results from a gain of function of the toxic DUX4 protein that normally is only expressed in germ line and stem cells. Therapeutic strategies are emerging that aim to decrease DUX4 expression or toxicity in FSHD muscle cells. We review here the heterogeneity of DUX4 mRNAs observed in muscle and stem cells; and the use of antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) targeting the DUX4 mRNA to interfere either with transcript cleavage/polyadenylation or intron splicing. We show in primary cultures that DUX4-targeted AOs suppress the atrophic FSHD myotube phenotype; but do not improve the disorganized FSHD myotube phenotype which could be caused by DUX4c over-expression. Thus; DUX4c might constitute another therapeutic target in FSHD.

SMCHD1 mutations associated with a rare muscular dystrophy can also cause isolated arhinia and Bosma arhinia microphthalmia syndrome

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:00pm

Arhinia, or absence of the nose, is a rare malformation of unknown etiology that is often accompanied by ocular and reproductive defects. Sequencing of 40 people with arhinia revealed that 84% of probands harbor a missense mutation localized to a constrained region of SMCHD1 encompassing the ATPase domain. SMCHD1 mutations cause facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 2 (FSHD2) via a trans-acting loss-of-function epigenetic mechanism. We discovered shared mutations and comparable DNA hypomethylation patterning between these distinct disorders. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated alteration of smchd1 in zebrafish yielded arhinia-relevant phenotypes. Transcriptome and protein analyses in arhinia probands and controls showed no differences in SMCHD1 mRNA or protein abundance but revealed regulatory changes in genes and pathways associated with craniofacial patterning. Mutations in SMCHD1 thus contribute to distinct phenotypic spectra, from craniofacial malformation and reproductive disorders to muscular dystrophy, which we speculate to be consistent with oligogenic mechanisms resulting in pleiotropic outcomes.

Validity of the 6 minute walk test in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:00pm

INTRODUCTION: In preparation for future clinical trials, we determined the reliability, relationship to measures of disease severity, and consistency across sites of the 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT) in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

METHODS: Genetically defined and clinically affected FSHD participants at 2 sites performed the 6MWT, the Timed Up and Go, and the 30 foot Go/Timed 10 meter test as measures of mobility using standard procedures.

RESULTS: Eight-six participants representing the full range of severity performed the 6MWT. The mean 6MWT distance was 404.3 meters (SD 123.9), with no difference between sites. The 6MWT was reliable (n = 25; intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.99) and demonstrated moderate to strong correlations with lower extremity strength, functional outcomes, and FSHD Clinical Score.

CONCLUSIONS: The 6MWT is reliable and is associated with other measures of FSHD disease severity. Future directions include assessing its sensitivity to disease progression. .

Bone Health in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy: A Cross-Sectional Study

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 9:00pm

INTRODUCTION: We provide a comprehensive overview of bone health in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).

METHODS: Ninety-four adult individuals with FSHD1 from two sites were included in this cross-sectional study. Clinical characteristics and determinants of bone health were examined. Relationships between bone mineral density (BMD), strength and function were explored.

RESULTS: Nearly a third of subjects were deficient in vitamin D3. Mean whole body BMD z-score was -0.7; 11% had greater than age-related reductions in whole body BMD (z-score < -2.0). Whole body and regional BMD were associated with strength and function. Thirty-six percent had a history of fractures. Likelihood for fractures was reduced for those with normal whole body BMD (OR=0.25, 95% CI: 0.04-0.78).

DISCUSSION: A diagnosis of FSHD is not necessarily predictive of reduced BMD or increased fracture rate. Given the considerable variability of bone health in the FSHD population, strength and function can serve as predictors of BMD. This article is protected by copyright.

Safety and efficacy of high-dose tamoxifen and sulindac for desmoid tumor in children: results of a Children's Oncology Group (COG) phase II study

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:08pm

BACKGROUND: Desmoid fibromatosis (desmoid tumor, DT) is a soft tissue neoplasm prone to recurrence despite complete surgical resection. Numerous small retrospective reports suggest that non-cytotoxic chemotherapy using tamoxifen and sulindac may be effective for DT. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of tamoxifen and sulindac in a prospective phase II study within the Children's Oncology Group.

PROCEDURES: Eligible patients were (PFS). Patients received tamoxifen and sulindac daily for 12 months or until disease progression or intolerable toxicity occurred. Response was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: Fifty-nine eligible patients were enrolled from 2004 to 2009; 78% were 10-18 years old. Twenty-two (38%) were previously untreated; 15 (41%) of the remaining 37 enrolling with recurrent DT had prior systemic chemotherapy and six (16%) had prior radiation. No life-threatening toxicity was reported. Twelve (40%) of 30 females developed ovarian cysts, which were asymptomatic in 11 cases. Ten patients completed therapy without disease progression or discontinuing treatment. Responses included four partial and one complete (5/59, 8%). The estimated 2-year PFS and survival rates were 36% (95% confidence interval: 0.23-0.48) and 96%, respectively. All three deaths were due to progressive DT.

CONCLUSIONS: Tamoxifen and sulindac caused few serious side effects in children with DT, although ovarian cysts were common. However, the combination showed relatively little activity as measured by response and PFS rates.

Image based feasibility of renal sparing surgery for very low risk unilateral Wilms tumors: a report from the Children's Oncology Group

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:08pm

PURPOSE: Nephrectomy with lymph node sampling is the recommended treatment for children with unilateral Wilms tumor under the Children's Oncology Group protocols. Using radiological assessment, we determined the feasibility of performing partial nephrectomy in a select group of patients with very low risk unilateral Wilms tumor.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed imaging studies of 60 patients with a mean age of less than 2 years with very low risk unilateral Wilms tumor (mean weight less than 550 gm) to assess the feasibility of partial nephrectomy. We evaluated percentage of salvageable parenchyma, tumor location and anatomical features preventing a nephron sparing approach.

RESULTS: A linear relationship exists between tumor weight and computerized tomography estimated tumor volume. Mean tumor weight in the study population was 315 gm. Partial nephrectomy was deemed feasible in only 5 of 60 patients (8%).

CONCLUSIONS: When considering a select population with very low risk unilateral Wilms tumor (lower volume tumor), only a small percentage of nonpretreated patients are candidates for nephron sparing surgery. .

Children's Oncology Group's 2013 blueprint for research: renal tumors

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:08pm

Renal malignancies are among the most prevalent pediatric cancers. The most common is favorable histology Wilms tumor (FHWT), which has 5-year overall survival exceeding 90%. Other pediatric renal malignancies, including anaplastic Wilms tumor, clear cell sarcoma, malignant rhabdoid tumor, and renal cell carcinoma, have less favorable outcomes. Recent clinical trials have identified gain of chromosome 1q as a prognostic marker for FHWT. Upcoming studies will evaluate therapy adjustments based on this and other novel biomarkers. For high-risk renal tumors, new treatment regimens will incorporate biological therapies. A research blueprint, viewed from the perspective of the Children's Oncology Group, is presented.

A Pilot Study (SWOG S0429) of Weekly Cetuximab and Chest Radiotherapy for Poor-Risk Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:08pm

PURPOSE: Stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with poor performance status (PS) or co-morbidities are often not candidates for standard chemoradiotherapy (chemoRT) due to poor tolerance to treatments. A pilot study for poor-risk stage III NSCLC patients was conducted combining cetuximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), with chest radiation (RT).

METHODS: Stage III NSCLC patients with Zubrod PS 2, or Zubrod PS 0-1 with poor pulmonary function and co-morbidities prohibiting chemoRT were eligible. A loading dose of cetuximab (400 mg/m(2)) was delivered week 1, followed by weekly cetuximab (250 mg/m(2))/RT to 64.8 Gy in 1.8 Gy daily fractions, and maintenance weekly cetuximab (250 mg/m(2)) for 2 years or until disease progression. H-score for EGFR protein expression was conducted in available tumors.

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients were enrolled. Twenty-two were assessed for outcome and toxicity. Median survival was 14 months and median progression-free survival was 8 months. The response rate was 47% and disease control rate was 74%. Toxicity assessment revealed 22.7% overall > /=Grade 3 non-hematologic toxicities. Grade 3 esophagitis was observed in one patient (5%). The skin reactions were mostly Grade 1 or 2 except two of 22 (9%) had Grade 3 acne and one of 22 (5%) had Grade 3 radiation skin burn. Grade 3-4 hypomagnesemia was seen in four (18%) patients. One patient (5%) had elevated cardiac troponin and pulmonary emboli. H-score did not reveal prognostic significance. An initially planned second cohort of the study did not commence due to slow accrual, which would have added weekly docetaxel to cetuximab/RT after completion of the first cohort of patients.

CONCLUSION: Concurrent weekly cetuximab/chest RT followed by maintenance cetuximab for poor-risk stage III NSCLC was well tolerated. Further studies with larger sample sizes will be useful to establish the optimal therapeutic ratio of this regimen.

Sentinel lymph node surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with node-positive breast cancer: the ACOSOG Z1071 (Alliance) clinical trial

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:08pm

IMPORTANCE: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) surgery provides reliable nodal staging information with less morbidity than axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) for patients with clinically node-negative (cN0) breast cancer. The application of SLN surgery for staging the axilla following chemotherapy for women who initially had node-positive cN1 breast cancer is unclear because of high false-negative results reported in previous studies.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the false-negative rate (FNR) for SLN surgery following chemotherapy in women initially presenting with biopsy-proven cN1 breast cancer.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z1071 trial enrolled women from 136 institutions from July 2009 to June 2011 who had clinical T0 through T4, N1 through N2, M0 breast cancer and received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Following chemotherapy, patients underwent both SLN surgery and ALND. Sentinel lymph node surgery using both blue dye (isosulfan blue or methylene blue) and a radiolabeled colloid mapping agent was encouraged.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary end point was the FNR of SLN surgery after chemotherapy in women who presented with cN1 disease. We evaluated the likelihood that the FNR in patients with 2 or more SLNs examined was greater than 10%, the rate expected for women undergoing SLN surgery who present with cN0 disease.

RESULTS: Seven hundred fifty-six women were enrolled in the study. Of 663 evaluable patients with cN1 disease, 649 underwent chemotherapy followed by both SLN surgery and ALND. An SLN could not be identified in 46 patients (7.1%). Only 1 SLN was excised in 78 patients (12.0%). Of the remaining 525 patients with 2 or more SLNs removed, no cancer was identified in the axillary lymph nodes of 215 patients, yielding a pathological complete nodal response of 41.0% (95% CI, 36.7%-45.3%). In 39 patients, cancer was not identified in the SLNs but was found in lymph nodes obtained with ALND, resulting in an FNR of 12.6% (90% Bayesian credible interval, 9.85%-16.05%).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among women with cN1 breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy who had 2 or more SLNs examined, the FNR was not found to be 10% or less. Given this FNR threshold, changes in approach and patient selection that result in greater sensitivity would be necessary to support the use of SLN surgery as an alternative to ALND.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00881361.

Detection of preoperative wilms tumor rupture with CT: a report from the Children's Oncology Group

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

PURPOSE: To retrospectively determine the diagnostic performance of computed tomography (CT) in identifying the presence or absence of preoperative Wilms tumor rupture.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The cohort was derived from the AREN03B2 study of the Children's Oncology Group. The study was approved by the institutional review board and was compliant with HIPAA. Written informed consent was obtained before enrollment. The diagnosis of Wilms tumor rupture was established by central review of notes from surgery and/or pathologic examination. Seventy Wilms tumor cases with rupture were matched to 70 Wilms tumor controls without rupture according to age and tumor weight (within 6 months and 50 g, respectively). CT scans were independently reviewed by two radiologists, and the following CT findings were assessed: poorly circumscribed mass, perinephric fat stranding, peritumoral fat planes obscured, retroperitoneal fluid (subcapsular vs extracapsular), ascites beyond the cul-de-sac, peritoneal implants, ipsilateral pleural effusion, and intratumoral hemorrhage. All fluids were classified as hemorrhagic or nonhemorrhagic by using a cutoff of 30 HU. The relationship between CT findings and rupture was assessed with logistic regression models.

RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity for detecting Wilms tumor rupture were 54% (36 of 67 cases) and 88% (61 of 69 cases), respectively, for reviewer 1 and 70% (47 of 67 cases) and 88% (61 of 69 cases), respectively, for reviewer 2. Interobserver agreement was substantial (k = 0.76). All imaging signs tested, except peritoneal implants, intratumoral hemorrhage, and subcapsular fluid, showed a significant association with rupture (P≤ .02). The attenuation of ascitic fluid did not have a significant correlation with rupture (P = .9990). Ascites beyond the cul-de-sac was the single best indicator of rupture for both reviewers, followed by perinephric fat stranding and retroperitoneal fluid for reviewers 1 and 2, respectively (P < .01).

CONCLUSION: CT has moderate specificity but relatively low sensitivity in the detection of preoperative Wilms tumor rupture. Ascites beyond the cul-de-sac, irrespective of attenuation, is most predictive of rupture.

Primary nephrectomy and intraoperative tumor spill: report from the Children's Oncology Group (COG) renal tumors committee

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

PURPOSE: Initial Children's Oncology Group (COG) management for Wilms' tumor (WT) consists of primary nephroureterectomy with lymph node sampling. While this provides accurate staging to define further treatment, it may result in intraoperative spill (IOS), which is associated with higher recurrence rates and therefore requires more intensive therapy. The purpose of this study is to determine current rates and identify factors which may predispose a patient to IOS. METHODS: The study population was drawn from the AREN03B2 renal tumor banking and classification study of the Children's Oncology Group. All children with a first time occurrence of a renal mass were eligible for the study. At the time of enrollment and prior to risk stratification, the institution is required to submit operative notes, pathology specimens, a chest computed tomography scan (CT), and a contrast-enhanced CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen and pelvis for central imaging review. These data are then used to determine an initial risk classification and therapeutic protocol eligibility. Patients who had a unilateral nephroureterectomy for favorable histology WT underwent further review to assure data accuracy and to clarify details regarding the spill. Analyses were performed using chi square and logistic regression. Odd ratios (OR) are shown with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: There were 1,131 primary nephrectomies for unilateral WT with an IOS rate of 9.7% with an additional 1.8% having possible tumor spill during renal vein or IVC tumor thrombectomy. IOS correlated with diameter (>12 cm, p<0.0001) and laterality (right, p=0.0414). Simple logistic regression indicated that IOS increased 2.7% [p=0.0240, OR 1.027 (1.004, 1.052)] with each 1 cm increase in diameter (3 - 21 cm) and 4.7% [p=0.0147 OR 1.047 (1.009, 1.086)] with each 100 g increase in weight (80 - 1800 g). Multiple logistic regression indicated that laterality [right p=0.048, OR 1.46 (1.004, 2.110)] and weight (p=0.03, OR 1.039 (1.003, 1.075) were predictive of IOS when diameter was included as a continuous variable. Diameter as a binary variable was highly prognostic of IOS (p=0.0002), while laterality and weight were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative tumor spill occurs in about one out of every ten cases of primary nephroureterectomies for WT. Right-sided and larger tumors are at higher risk of IOS.

Radiation therapy quality assurance in clinical trials--Global Harmonisation Group

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

The need for a global forum on harmonisation of RTQA (Radiation Therapy (RT) Quality Assurance (QA)) within clinical trials thus became apparent. After initial discussions in Göteborg during ESTRO 27 in 2008 the Global Clinical Trials RTQA Harmonisation Group (GHG) was formally established in 2010.

Trimodality therapy for superior sulcus non-small cell lung cancer: Southwest Oncology Group-Intergroup Trial S0220

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

BACKGROUND: Although preoperative chemotherapy (cisplatin-etoposide) and radiotherapy, followed by surgical resection, is considered a standard of care for superior sulcus cancers, treatment is rigorous and relapse limits long-term survival. The Southwest Oncology Group-Intergroup Trial S0220 was designed to incorporate an active systemic agent, docetaxel, as consolidation therapy.

METHODS: Patients with histologically proven and radiologically defined T3 to 4, N0 to 1, M0 superior sulcus non-small cell lung cancer underwent induction therapy with cisplatin-etoposide, concurrently with thoracic radiotherapy at 45 Gy. Nonprogressing patients underwent surgical resection within 7 weeks. Consolidation consisted of docetaxel every 3 weeks for 3 doses. The accrual goal was 45 eligible patients. The primary objective was feasibility.

RESULTS: Of 46 patients registered, 44 were eligible and assessable; 38 (86%) completed induction, 29 (66%) underwent surgical resection, and 20 (45% of eligible, 69% surgical, and 91% of those initiating consolidation therapy) completed consolidation docetaxel; 28 of 29 (97%) underwent a complete (R0) resection; 2 (7%) died of adult respiratory distress syndrome. In resected patients, 21 of 29 (72%) had a pathologic complete or nearly complete response. The known site of first recurrence was local in 2, local-systemic in 1, and systemic in 10, with 7 in the brain only. The 3-year progression-free survival was 56%, and 3-year overall survival was 61%.

CONCLUSIONS: Although trimodality therapy provides excellent R0 and local control, only 66% of patients underwent surgical resection and only 45% completed the treatment regimen. Even in this subset, distant recurrence continues to be a major problem, particularly brain-only relapse. Future strategies to improve treatment outcomes in this patient population must increase the effectiveness of systemic therapy and reduce the incidence of brain-only metastases.

Impact of brachytherapy on local recurrence rates after sublobar resection: results from ACOSOG Z4032 (Alliance), a phase III randomized trial for high-risk operable non-small-cell lung cancer

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

PURPOSE: A major concern with sublobar resection (SR) for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is high local recurrence (LR). Adjuvant brachytherapy may reduce LR This multicenter randomized trial compares SR to SR with brachytherapy (SRB).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: High-risk operable patients with NSCLC 2.0 cm), SRB did not reduce LR, although trends favored the SRB arm. This was most marked in 14 patients with positive staple line cytology (HR, 0.22; P = .24). Three-year overall survival rates were similar for patients in the SR (71%) and SRB (71%) arms (P = .97).

RESULTS: Two hundred twenty-four patients were randomly assigned; 222 patients were evaluable for intent-to-treat analysis. Median age was 71 years (range, 49 to 87 years). No differences were found in baseline characteristics. Median follow-up time was 4.38 years (range, 0.04 to 5.59 years). There was no difference in time to LR (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.51 to 1.98; log-rank P = .98) or in the types of LR. Local progression occurred in only 17 (7.7%) of 222 patients. In patients with potentially compromised margins (margin < 1 cm, margin-to-tumor ratio < 1, positive staple line cytology, wedge resection, nodule size > 2.0 cm), SRB did not reduce LR, although trends favored the SRB arm. This was most marked in 14 patients with positive staple line cytology (HR, 0.22; P = .24). Three-year overall survival rates were similar for patients in the SR (71%) and SRB (71%) arms (P = .97).

CONCLUSION: Brachytherapy did not reduce LR after SR. This finding may have been related to closer attention to parenchymal margins by surgeons participating in this study.

Radiation therapy digital data submission process for national clinical trials network

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:07pm

As part of the consolidation of the cooperative group clinical trial program of the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), an Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core services organization (IROC) has been formed from current leading quality assurance (QA) centers to provide QA, along with clinical and scientific expertise, for the entire NCTN. An integrated information technology (IT) infrastructure, the IROC cloud, has been implemented to foster collaborative and effective interactions among participating institutions, QA centers, NCTN cooperative groups and statistics data management centers, and the IT infrastructure of the NCI. An integral component of the IROC cloud is the Transfer of Images and Data (TRIAD) system designed for imaging and radiation therapy digital data transmission. The TRIAD system is now being used for digital radiation therapy and imaging data transmission for NCTN (and other) clinical trials. Consistency of submitted data contributes to better consistency in the treatment and review of trial data, and it facilitates scientific collaborations and also promotes safe clinical practice. The details of this data submission process are presented here.

Dose-intensive response-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy for children and adolescents with newly diagnosed intermediate-risk hodgkin lymphoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group Study AHOD0031

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 12:06pm

PURPOSE: The Children's Oncology Group study AHOD0031, a randomized phase III study, was designed to evaluate the role of early chemotherapy response in tailoring subsequent therapy in pediatric intermediate-risk Hodgkin lymphoma. To avoid treatment-associated risks that compromise long-term health and to maintain high cure rates, dose-intensive chemotherapy with limited cumulative doses was used.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients received two cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone (ABVE-PC) followed by response evaluation. Rapid early responders (RERs) received two additional ABVE-PC cycles, followed by complete response (CR) evaluation. RERs with CR were randomly assigned to involved-field radiotherapy (IFRT) or no additional therapy; RERs with less than CR were nonrandomly assigned to IFRT. Slow early responders (SERs) were randomly assigned to receive two additional ABVE-PC cycles with or without two cycles of dexamethasone, etoposide, cisplatin, and cytarabine (DECA). All SERs were assigned to receive IFRT.

RESULTS: Among 1,712 eligible patients, 4-year event-free survival (EFS) was 85.0%: 86.9% for RERs and 77.4% for SERs (P < .001). Four-year overall survival was 97.8%: 98.5% for RERs and 95.3% for SERs (P < .001). Four-year EFS was 87.9% versus 84.3% (P = .11) for RERs with CR who were randomly assigned to IFRT versus no IFRT, and 86.7% versus 87.3% (P = .87) for RERs with positron emission tomography (PET) -negative results at response assessment. Four-year EFS was 79.3% versus 75.2% (P = .11) for SERs who were randomly assigned to DECA versus no DECA, and 70.7% versus 54.6% (P = .05) for SERs with PET-positive results at response assessment.

CONCLUSION: This trial demonstrated that early response assessment supported therapeutic titration (omitting radiotherapy in RERs with CR; augmenting chemotherapy in SERs with PET-positive disease). Strategies directed toward improved response assessment and risk stratification may enhance tailoring of treatment to patient characteristics and response.