SUVmax may help indicate progression-free survival in stage I NSCLC patients treated with SBRT

SUVmax (Maximum Standardized Uptake Value) may be a significant and clinically independent marker to indicate progression-free survival in stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), according to research being presented at the 2013 Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium.

SUVmax is measured via PET/CT scan after patients have been injected with radioactive sugar (glucose). Quantifying the SUV of suspicious lesions can aid the identification of early stage tumors because cells that take in greater than normal amounts of radioactive glucose have a higher likelihood of being tumor cells. The highest concentration of radioactive glucose represents SUVmax. Previous studies have been able to correlate SUVmax to the growth rate of tumors, which indicates that tumors with higher SUVmax will more likely be more rapidly growing and will therefore be tumors that are more difficult to treat, may recur or may metastasize more frequently.

Cox-2 in non-small cell lung cancer: A meta-analysis

We investigated the prognostic value of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) for survival of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our meta-analysis shows that the COX-2 expression status is an independent prognostic factor in NSCLC, and this tendency applies to SCC, ADC and stage I NSCLC.

Hierarchical modeling identifies novel lung cancer susceptibility variants in inflammation pathways among 10,140 cases and 11,012 controls

Recent evidence suggests that inflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of lung cancer. In this study, we used a two-stage approach to investigate associations between genetic variants in inflammation pathways and lung cancer risk based on genome-wide association study (GWAS) data.

Phase 3 Trial of Whole Brain Radiation Therapy and Stereotactic Radiosurgery Alone Versus WBRT and SRS With Temozolomide or Erlotinib for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and 1 to 3 Brain Metastases

A phase 3 Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) study subset analysis demonstrated improved overall survival (OS) with the addition of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) to whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with 1 to 3 brain metastases. Because temozolomide (TMZ) and erlotinib (ETN) cross the blood-brain barrier and have documented activity in NSCLC, a phase 3 study was designed to test whether these drugs would improve the OS associated with WBRT + SRS.

The addition of TMZ or ETN to WBRT + SRS in NSCLC patients with 1 to 3 brain metastases did not improve survival and possibly had a deleterious effect. Because the analysis is underpowered, these data suggest but do not prove that increased toxicity was the cause of inferior survival in the drug arms.

A dramatic lung cancer course in a patient with a rare EGFR germline mutation exon 21 V843I: Is EGFR TKI resistance predictable?

We report on the medical history of a Caucasian smoker woman diagnosed with a stage IV NSCLC adenocarcinoma, characterized by a rare epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) point mutation in exon 21 codon 843 (p.V843I/c.2527G > A/COSMIC ID 85894). This genetic alteration revealed to be germline, after its presence was demonstrated in chondroblasts from the bone biopsy. While it is the first description of germline V843I mutation without concomitant additional known EGFR activating mutation, we modeled the EGFR ATP catalytic domain in complex with ATP, gefitinib and erlotinib using computer-aided approaches to estimate possible changes in affinity upon the V843I mutation.

CD4/CD8 co-expression shows independent prognostic impact in resected non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy

Though traditionally regarded as immunosuppressive, radiotherapy may also stimulate immune cells and facilitate an anti-tumor immune response. We therefore aimed to explore the prognostic significance of immune cell markers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with postoperative radiotherapy (PORT).

Stromal ↓CD4/↓CD8 expression was an independent negative prognostic factor for survival in NSCLC patients receiving PORT, indicating a highly detrimental prognosis.

Avastin-Containing Chemotherapy May Be Safe in Lung Cancer Patients with Brain Metastases

Bevacizumab (Avastin), which is approved for treatment of a number of advanced-stage cancer types, is commonly avoided in patients with brain metastases (cancer that has spread to the brain) because of fear of brain hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain). A retrospective study of 52 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had received chemotherapy containing Avastin found no cases of serious bleeding events and no significant differences in survival or treatment side effects between patients with or without brain metastases. Avastin may therefore be a safe treatment option in NSCLC with brain metastases.

Research paper:

Overexpression of IGF1R and EGFR Genes May Worsen Lung Cancer Prognosis

The roles of the genes IGF1R and EGFR in lung cancer were examined in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had their primary tumor surgically removed. Patients whose tumors had increased expression of both IGFR1R and EGFR were more likely to experience recurrence of the cancer after a shorter amount of time and had shorter survival times after surgery. This finding suggests that concurrent overexpression of IGF1R and EGFR is a negative prognosis factor in NSCLC and may indicate patients who are more likely to benefit from novel treatments with IGF1R inhibitors.

Research paper:

Study Suggests Iressa Effective for Elderly Patients with EGFR-Mutant Lung Cancer

A retrospective study in Japan examined 55 patients aged 75 years or over with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had a mutation in the EGFR gene and received gefitinib (Iressa) as first-line therapy. The treatment was generally well tolerated and patients experienced longer periods without cancer progression (median: 13.8 months) and longer overall survival (median: 29.1 months) than commonly reported for similar patients. While studies using control groups will need to confirm that Iressa is indeed more effective than standard chemotherapy or a placebo, these findings suggest that Iressa may be a preferable first-line treatment in elderly patients with advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC.

Research paper: