The 2007 National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast Cancer Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology include a consideration for hyperthermia (HT) and radiation for women with recurrent locoregional advanced breast cancers after first-line surgery or radiation failed. Although HT in this setting has been used for several decades, recent reports are few. This article reviews the data from several recent studies, selected because they included at least 100 patients. Unresolved issues of radiation dose, optimal temperature and timing of HT, and quality assurance problems with thermometry are apparent from these studies. Although clearly an effective treatment option in this clinical scenario, more research on HT and radiation is needed before this treatment combination can be considered standard care.
Steven M. Blum, William R. Jeck, Lindsay Kipnis, Ronald Bleday, Jonathan A. Nowak, and Matthew B. Yurgelun
Two major molecular pathways of colorectal carcinogenesis, chromosomal instability (CIN) and microsatellite instability (MSI), are considered to be mutually exclusive. Distinguishing CIN from MSI-high tumors has considerable therapeutic implications, because patients with MSI-high tumors can derive considerable benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors, and tumors that evolved through the CIN pathway do not respond to these agents. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a genetic syndrome that is defined by a mutation in the APC gene and is thought to lead to carcinogenesis through the CIN pathway. Here, we report a case of a young woman with FAP who was treated for medulloblastoma as a child and developed advanced MSI-high colon cancer as a young adult. Her response to second-line immunotherapy enabled resection of her colon cancer, and she is free of disease >10 months after surgery. This case highlights the potential for overlap between the CIN and MSI carcinogenic pathways and associated therapeutic implications.
Mary K. Hayes, Mayra Frau, Erica Bloomquist, and Heather Wright
Background: Accurate axillary lymph node (LN) staging impacts prognosis and treatment. Breast surgeons use pre- and post neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) findings to plan extent of axillary LN surgery. NACT confers an excellent treatment response in
Christopher E. Desch
Michael S. Sabel and Sandra L. Wong
Edited by Kerrin G. Robinson
When making a new diagnosis of melanoma, clinicians often obtain imaging studies to rule out clinically occult distant disease. These studies range from inexpensive tests, such as chest radiographs, to more expensive studies, such as PET/CT. The impetus for ordering these studies is usually the desire to identify potentially resectable distant disease, avoid surgery when curative resection is not possible, and assuage patient anxiety by showing that no evidence of distant disease is present. However, some detrimental aspects to these studies are less apparent, including cost and potential for false-positive findings. Although routine use seems reasonable, the true benefit of these studies depends on the probability of clinically occult disease being present, likelihood that disease will be detected with the available technology, and impact of earlier detection on outcome. Contrary to current practice patterns, available evidence suggests that preoperative imaging studies are associated with significant costs and minimal benefit in most patients with melanoma. This article reviews available literature on the role of pretreatment imaging in patients with newly diagnosed cutaneous melanoma.
Rodger J. Winn
David H. Moore
When cervical cancer is beyond curative treatment with surgery or radiation therapy, the prognosis is poor and palliation is the primary objective. Early prospective studies identified cisplatin as an active drug for advanced, metastatic, or recurrent cervical cancer, and results with other platinum analogs seemed inferior to cisplatin. Several phase III trials have established the combination of cisplatin plus paclitaxel as standard therapy for comparison. Using pooled data from 3 Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) phase III studies, a predictive model was developed to better identify patients who are unlikely to respond to cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. The GOG is currently developing a phase III trial to investigate the impact of bevacizumab and a regimen containing topotecan instead of cisplatin in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy and also to externally validate the predictive model. This study has the potential to radically change standard care for cervical cancer chemotherapy. Furthermore, if the predictive model is upheld, then patients with high risk factors for treatment failure may be directed to chemotherapy regimens that do not include cisplatin or to investigational trials.
Pablo Maroto, Georgia Anguera, Juan Maria Roldan-Romero, Maria Apellániz-Ruiz, Ferran Algaba, Jacqueline Boonman, Mark Nellist, Cristina Montero-Conde, Alberto Cascón, Mercedes Robledo, and Cristina Rodríguez-Antona
mTOR inhibitors are used to treat renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Treatment response is variable and appears to correlate with genetic alterations that activate mTOR signaling. Recently, everolimus was suggested to be more effective than sunitinib in chromophobe RCC (chRCC), a tumor with frequent mTOR pathway defects. This report presents the genomic and functional characterization of a metastatic chRCC that showed complete response at metastatic sites and 80% reduction in primary tumor size upon temsirolimus treatment. After surgery, the patient remained disease-free for 8 years after temsirolimus therapy. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) revealed 2 somatic variants in TSC2, a critical negative regulator of mTOR: a splicing defect (c.5069-1G>C) and a novel missense variant [c.3200_3201delinsAA; p.(V1067E)]. In vitro functional assessment demonstrated that the V1067E substitution disrupted TSC2 function. Immunohistochemistry in the tumor tissues revealed increased phosphorylated S6 ribosomal protein, indicating mTOR pathway activation. In conclusion, WES revealed TSC2 inactivation as the likely mechanism for this extraordinary response to temsirolimus. These findings support high efficacy of mTOR inhibitors in a subset of patients with chRCC and propose sequencing of mTOR pathway genes to help guide therapy.
Richard L. Theriault
Breast cancer frequently metastasizes to bone. Metastases result in skeletal morbidity including pathologic fractures, the need for radiation or surgery to bone, spinal cord compression and hypercalcemia. The pathophysiology of bone destruction is related to activation of osteoclasts by tumor-derived and bone marrow microenvironmental factors. One prominent osteoclast–activating factor associated with breast cancer is parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). Bisphosphonates have been shown to impair osteoclast activity by decreasing recruitment from the monocyte macrophage cell line, inhibiting osteoclast function at the bone site and causing osteoclasts to undergo apoptosis. Clinical studies with bisphosphonates show an improvement in the control of hypercalcemia and a reduction in skeletal related morbidity with administration of pamidronate and zoledronic acid. Bisphosphonates have become the standard of care for osteolytic metastases associated with breast cancer. Recent data with zoledronic acid found that skeletal related morbidity may be reduced regardless of the radiographic picture of skeletal metastases. Thus, zoledronic acid may be valuable in osteolytic and osteoblastic disease as well as in disease with an osteolytic or osteoblastic radiographic appearance. In breast cancer with osteolytic disease, zoledronic acid may be more effective than pamidronate in reducing skeletal morbidity and prolonging the time to first skeletal event.