In conclusion, RT and nivolumab can be combined, obtaining a benefit in overall survival and progression-free survival, without an increase in acute toxicities in pretreated advanced NSCLC patients. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
Background: On February 23rd, the 1st case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was diagnosed at the University Hospital Trust of Verona, Italy. On March 13th, the Oncology Section was converted into a 22-inpatient bed coronavirus disease (COVID) Unit, and we reshaped our organisation to face the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, while maintaining oncological activities. Methods: We tracked down (i) volumes of oncological activities (January 1st -March 31st, 2020 versus the same period of 2019), (ii) patients' and caregivers' perception and (iii) SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in oncology health professionals and SARS-CoV-2 infection erelated hospital admissions of "active"' oncological patients. Results: As compared with the same trimester in 2019, the overall reduction in total numbers of inpatient admissions, chemotherapy administrations and specialist visits in JanuaryeMarch 2020 was 8%, 6% and 3%, respectively; based on the weekly average of daily accesses, reduction in some of the oncological activities became statistically significant from week 11. The overall acceptance of adopted measures, as measured by targeted questionnaires administered to a sample of 241 outpatients, was high (>70%). Overall, 8 of 85 oncology health professionals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection (all but one employed in the COVID Unit, no hospital admissions and no treatment required); among 471 patients admitted for SARS-CoV-2 infection, 7 had an "active"' oncological disease (2 died of infection-related complications). Conclusions: A slight, but statistically significant reduction in oncology activity was registered during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic peak in Verona, Italy. Organisational and protective measures adopted appear to have contributed to keep infections in both oncological patients and health professionals to a minimum.
It is still unclear how to combine biomarkers to identify patients who will truly benefit from anti-PD-1 agents in NSCLC. This study investigates exosomal mRNA expression of PD-L1 and IFN-γ, PD-L1 polymorphisms, tumor mutational load (TML) in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and radiomic features as possible predictive markers of response to nivolumab and pembrolizumab in metastatic NSCLC patients.
Patients were enrolled and blood (12 ml) was collected at baseline before receiving anti-PD-1 therapy. Exosome-derived mRNA and cfDNA were extracted to analyse PD-L1 and IFN-γ expression and tumor mutational load (TML) by digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS), respectively. The PD-L1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) c.-14-368 T > C and c.*395G > C, were analysed on genomic DNA by Real-Time PCR. A radiomic analysis was performed on the QUIBIM Precision® V3.0 platform.
Thirty-eight patients were enrolled. High baseline IFN-γ was independently associated with shorter median PFS (5.6 months vs. not reached p = 0.0057), and levels of PD-L1 showed an increase at 3 months vs. baseline in patients who progressed (p = 0.01). PD-L1 baseline levels showed significant direct and inverse relationships with radiomic features. Radiomic features also inversely correlated with PD-L1 expression in tumor tissue. In subjects receiving nivolumab, median PFS was shorter in carriers of c.*395GG vs. c.*395GC/CC genotype (2.3 months vs. not reached, p = 0.041). Lastly, responders had higher non-synonymous mutations and more links between co-occurring genetic somatic mutations and ARID1A alterations as well.
A combined multiparametric approach may provide a better understanding of the molecular determinants of response to immunotherapy.
EGFR is confirmed a poor prognostic factor in resected gastric cancers. We firstly describe a mutually exclusive overexpression of EGFR and AKT1 with potential prognostic implications, suggesting the relevance of this pathway for the growth of gastric cancers.
Infectious diseases represent a relevant issue in lung cancer patients. Bacterial and viral infections might influence the patients’ prognosis, both directly affecting the immune system and indirectly impairing the outcome of anticancer treatments, mainly immunotherapy. In this analysis, we aimed to review the current evidence in order to clarify the complex correlation between infections and lung cancer. In detail, we mainly explored the potential impact on immunotherapy outcome/safety of (1) bacterial infections, with a detailed focus on antibiotics; and (2) viral infections, discriminating among (a) human immune-deficiency virus (HIV), (b) hepatitis B/C virus (HBV-HCV), and (c) Sars-Cov-2. A series of studies suggested the prognostic impact of antibiotic therapy administration, timing, and exposure ratio in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors, probably through an antibiotic-related microbiota dysbiosis. Although cancer patients with HIV, HBV, and HCV were usually excluded from clinical trials evaluating immunotherapy, some retrospective and prospective trials performed in these patient subgroups reported similar results compared to those described in not-infected patients, with a favorable safety profile. Moreover, patients with thoracic cancers are particularly at risk of COVID-19 severe outcomes and mortality. Few reports speculated about the prognostic implications of anticancer therapy, including immunotherapy, in lung cancer patients with concomitant Sars-Cov-2 infection, showing, to date, inconsistent results. The correlation between infectious diseases and immunotherapy remains to be further explored and clarified in the context of dedicated trials. In clinical practice, the accurate and prompt multidisciplinary management of lung cancer patients with infections should be encouraged in order to select the best treatment options for these patients, avoiding unexpected toxicities, while maintaining the anticancer effect.
In this review, we aim to collect and discuss available data about the role and composition of tumor microenvironment (TME) in oligometastatic (OMD) and oligoprogressive (OPD) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Furthermore, we aim to summarize the ongoing clinical trials evaluating as exploratory objective the TME composition, through tissue and/or blood samples, in order to clarify whether TME and its components could explain, at least partially, the oligometastatic/oligoprogressive process and could unravel the existence of predictive and/or prognostic factors for local ablative therapy (LAT).Background: OMD/OPD NSCLC represent a heterogeneous group of diseases. Several data have shown that TME plays an important role in tumor progression and therefore in treatment response. The crucial role of several types of cells and molecules such as immune cells, cytokines, integrins, protease and adhesion molecules, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been widely established. Due to the peculiar activation of specific pathways and expression of adhesion molecules, metastatic cells seem to show a tropism for specific anatomic sites (the so-called "seed and soil" hypothesis).Based on this theory, metastases appear as a biologically driven process rather than a random release of cancer cells. Although the role and the function of TME at the time of progression in patients with NSCLC treated with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been investigated, limited data about the role and the biological meaning of TME are available in the specific OMD/OPD setting.Methods: Through a comprehensive PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov search, we identified available and ongoing studies exploring the role of TME in oligometastatic/oligoprogressive NSCLC.Conclusions: Deepening the knowledge on TME composition and function in OMD/OPD may provide innovative implications in terms of both prognosis and prediction of outcome in particular from local treatments, paving the way for future investigations of personalized approaches in both advanced and early
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