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  • Author: Yan Li x
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Yong Li, Xian Chen, Yanchun Qu, Jia-Ming Fan, Yan Li, Hui Peng, Yaojie Zheng, Yihong Zhang and Hai-Bo Zhang

Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT), a rare sarcoma, is primarily treated via resection of the mass. However, there is no standard treatment for recurrence or unresectable tumors. Almost 50% of IMTs carry ALK gene rearrangement that can be treated using ALK inhibitors, but therapeutic options for ALK-negative tumors are limited. This report describes a woman aged 22 years with unresectable ALK-negative IMT. Next-generation sequencing revealed a TFG-ROS1 fusion, and she had a partial response to the ROS1 inhibitor ceritinib. This report provides the first published demonstration of a patient with IMT with ROS1 fusion successfully treated using ceritinib. Our study suggests that targeting ROS1 fusions using the small molecule inhibitor shows promise as an effective therapy in patients with IMT carrying this genetic alteration, but this requires further investigation in large clinical trials.

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Ling-Long Tang, Yu-Pei Chen, Yan-Ping Mao, Zi-Xian Wang, Rui Guo, Lei Chen, Li Tian, Ai-Hua Lin, Li Li, Ying Sun and Jun Ma

Background: In this study, we evaluated the 8th edition of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)/AJCC staging system for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in an endemic area, with the aim of validating its applicability and providing further information for future refinements. Methods: A total of 1,790 patients with newly diagnosed, non–distant metastatic, histologically proven NPC treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) were retrospectively reviewed. The performance of various staging systems was compared using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Harrell's concordance index (c-index). Results: For N (node) category, the survival curves of different groups according to the 8th edition were well-separated, and the prognostic model predicted outcomes fairly well. The 8th edition had higher AIC and c-index values for all end points than the 7th edition. However, probably due to the improved locoregional control provided by IMRT, the survival curves for T2 and T3 almost overlapped, without significant differences in locoregional failure-free survival (P=.606) and disease-free survival (P=.735). Due to the difficultly of differentiating T2 and T3, the AIC and c-index values were similar for the T categories of the 7th and 8th editions. Similarly, the overall survival and disease-free survival curves for stage II and III disease were not clearly separated for either the 8th or 7th editions. Conclusions: The 8th edition of the UICC/AJCC staging system for NPC enables more accurate prediction of treatment outcomes. However, several limitations need to be addressed in future editions, and it would be reasonable to further optimize the T category classification.

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Yu-Pei Chen, Ya-Qin Wang, Wen-Fei Li, Lei Chen, Cheng Xu, Tai-Xiang Lu, Ai-Hua Lin, Ji-Jin Yao, Yang-Chan Li, Ying Sun, Yan-Ping Mao and Jun Ma

Background: Given the distinct biological characteristics and regional distribution of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) compared with other head and neck cancers, and uncertainties regarding therapeutic strategies, physicians require high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to provide transparent recommendations for NPC treatment. This study aimed to critically appraise the quality of NPC CPGs and assess the consistency of their recommendations. Methods: We identified CPGs that provided recommendations on the diagnosis and management of NPC published up to December 2015. Four investigators independently appraised CPG quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument. Key recommendations by CPGs were also evaluated. Results: A total of 7 CPGs were eligible for this study: 5 produced by professional organizations or governmental agencies and 2 were developed based on expert consensus. Of the 6 AGREE II domains, the applicability domain scored consistently low across CPGs (range, 13.5%–30.2%); no CPG achieved a score of >50% in all 6 domains. The scope and purpose domain (≥73.6% for 4 CPGs) and editorial independence domain (≥75.0% for 6 CPGs) scored highest. Of the 23 AGREE II items, 9 scored less than half of the points available in all 7 CPGs. The recommendations by CPGs were consistent in general; heterogeneity mainly existed among recommended therapeutic strategies. Conclusions: Variation exists in NPC CPG development processes and recommendations. Increased efforts are required to make comprehensive resources available to guide healthcare providers and enhance delivery of high-quality, evidence-based care for NPC. International collaboration is necessary to enable the development of high-quality and regionally relevant CPGs for NPC.

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Wei Nie, Jie Qian, Mi-Die Xu, Kai Gu, Fang-Fei Qian, Jun Lu, Xue-Yan Zhang, Hui-Min Wang, Bo Yan, Bo Zhang, Shu-Yuan Wang, Fang Hu, Chang-Hui Li, Hua Zhong and Bao-Hui Han

Background: Biomarkers for chemotherapy efficacy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are lacking. This retrospective study assesses the association between blood-based tumor mutational burden (bTMB) and clinical benefit of chemotherapy. Methods: Clinical and targeted next-generation sequencing data from the OAK trial (training set; n=318) and POPLAR trial (validation set; n=106) in the docetaxel arm were analyzed. The cutoff value of bTMB for outcome prediction was determined based on a time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve in the training set, and propensity score matching (PSM) was conducted. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Durable clinical benefit (DCB) was defined as OS lasting >12 months. Interaction between treatment and bTMB was assessed in the combined set. Results: A lower bTMB was observed in patients with DCB compared with no durable benefit, and in those with a partial response and stable disease compared with progressive disease. The optimized cutoff value of bTMB for predicting OS was 7 single-nucleotide variants per megabase. In the training set, a low bTMB was significantly associated with longer OS and progression-free survival (PFS). The prognostic value of bTMB was confirmed in the validation set and PSM set. The interaction between bTMB and treatment was significant for PFS (interaction P=.043) in the combined set. Mutations in KEAP1 were associated with high bTMB and a lack of benefit from chemotherapy. Conclusions: Low bTMB is associated with a survival advantage in patients with NSCLC treated with docetaxel, suggesting the prognostic and predictive potential of bTMB for determining chemotherapy efficacy.

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Wei Wang, Guilin Tang, Tapan Kadia, Xinyan Lu, Yan Li, Lanshan Huang, Ximena Montenegro-Garreaud, Roberto N. Miranda and Sa A. Wang

Hematopoietic neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangements are rare. Clinically, patients often present with a chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm with eosinophilia and an increased risk of transformation to acute leukemia. We report a patient who initially presented with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) with t(8;22)(p11.2;q11.2) and an additional derivative chromosome 22 [der(22)t(8;22)]. After induction chemotherapy, B-ALL blasts were eradicated; however, a chronic myeloproliferative process emerged showing persistent t(8;22) (p11.2;q11.2) but not der(22)t(8;22). Combined morphologic and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that both lymphoblasts and myeloid cells harbored t(8;22)(p11.2;q11.2); but only lymphoblasts carried the additional der(22)t(8;22). This case provides direct evidence to illustrate the clonal relationship of chronic phase and blast phase in myeloid neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangement, and demonstrates that clonal cytogenetic evolution plays an important role in disease progression.

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Zi-Xian Wang, Hao-Xiang Wu, Ming-Ming He, Ying-Nan Wang, Hui-Yan Luo, Pei-Rong Ding, Dan Xie, Gong Chen, Yu-Hong Li, Feng Wang and Rui-Hua Xu


Background: Previous meta-analyses have suggested primary tumor location as a predictive factor for efficacy of anti–epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, the recent phase III TAILOR trial addressing this issue was not included in those analyses. This meta-analysis incorporated data from the TAILOR trial to evaluate the efficacy of chemotherapy plus anti-EGFR agents (cetuximab [Cet] or panitumumab [Pani]) versus chemotherapy alone for RAS wild-type (wt) right- and left-sided mCRC. Patients and Methods: A PubMed-based literature search was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) studying the additional efficacy of Cet/Pani in combination with chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone in RAS wt left- and right-sided mCRC. Study-level pooled analyses of hazard ratios (HRs) for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) and odds ratios (ORs) for objective response rate (ORR) were performed. Results: Three first-line RCTs (CRYSTAL, PRIME, and TAILOR) and one second-line RCT (20050181) were included. Significant OS benefits from Cet/Pani were observed in the left-sided (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.66–0.86) but not right-sided subgroups (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.78–1.27). However, the addition of Cet/Pani to chemotherapy significantly improved PFS and ORR in both the left-sided (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.57–0.86, and OR, 3.28; 95% CI, 1.95–5.51, respectively) and right-sided subgroups (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.59–0.99, and OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.08–2.93, respectively). Conclusions: The addition of Cet/Pani to chemotherapy significantly benefits PFS and ORR in patients with RAS wt right-sided mCRC, indicating that anti-EGFR therapies may remain an option for selected patients.

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Li-Ting Liu, Qiu-Yan Chen, Lin-Quan Tang, Shan-Shan Guo, Ling Guo, Hao-Yuan Mo, Yang Li, Qing-Nan Tang, Xue-Song Sun, Yu-Jing Liang, Chong Zhao, Xiang Guo, Chao-Nan Qian, Mu-Sheng Zeng, Jin-Xin Bei, Ming-Huang Hong, Jian-Yong Shao, Ying Sun, Jun Ma and Hai-Qiang Mai

Background: The goal of this study was to explore the value of adding neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) or adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) to concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) with different risks of treatment failure. Patients and Methods: A total of 2,263 eligible patients with stage III–IVb NPC treated with CCRT ± NACT or ACT were included in this retrospective study. Distant metastasis–free survival (DMFS), overall survival, and progression-free survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and differences were compared using the log-rank test. Results: Patients in the low-risk group (stage N0–1 disease and Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] DNA <4,000 copies/mL) who received NACT followed by CCRT achieved significantly better 5-year DMFS than those treated with CCRT alone (96.2% vs 91.3%; P= .008). Multivariate analyses also demonstrated that additional NACT was the only independent prognostic factor for DMFS (hazard ratio, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.22–0.80; P=.009). In both the intermediate-risk group (stage N0–1 disease and EBV DNA ≥4,000 copies/mL and stage N2–3 disease and EBV DNA <4,000 copies/mL) and the high-risk group (stage N2–3 disease and EBV DNA ≥4,000 copies/mL), comparison of NACT or ACT + CCRT versus CCRT alone indicated no significantly better survival for all end points. Conclusions: The addition of NACT to CCRT could reduce distant failure in patients with low risk of treatment failure.