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      The Impact of Targeted Therapy on Intracranial Metastatic Disease Incidence and Survival


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          Intracranial metastatic disease (IMD) is a common and severe complication of primary cancers. Current treatment options for IMD include surgical resection and radiation therapy, although there has been recent interest in targeted therapy in the management of IMD. As of yet, insufficient data exist to support the recommendation of targeted therapies in the treatment of IMD. Paradoxically, targeted therapy has been hypothesized to play a role in the development of IMD in patients with primary cancers. This is based on the observations that patients who receive targeted therapy for primary cancer experience prolonged survival, and that prolonged survival has been associated with increased incidence of IMD. Few data exist to clarify if treatment of primary cancers with targeted therapies influences IMD incidence. Here, we discuss the role of targeted therapy in IMD management, review the current literature on IMD incidence and targeted therapy use in primary cancer, and propose the need for future studies to inform physicians in choosing treatment options and counseling patients.

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          Incidence proportions of brain metastases in patients diagnosed (1973 to 2001) in the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System.

          Population-based estimates of the incidence of brain metastases are not generally available. The purpose of this study was to calculate population-based incidence proportions (IPs) of brain metastases from single primary lung, melanoma, breast, renal, or colorectal cancer. Patients diagnosed with single primary lung, melanoma, breast, renal, or colorectal cancer (1973 to 2001) in the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System (MDCSS) were used for analysis. IP of brain metastases by primary site and variable of interest (race, sex, age at diagnosis of primary cancer, and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results [SEER] stage of primary cancer) was calculated with 95% CIs. Total IP percentage (IP%) of brain metastases was 9.6% for all primary sites combined, and highest for lung (19.9%), followed by melanoma (6.9%), renal (6.5%), breast (5.1%), and colorectal (1.8%) cancers. Racial differences were seen with African Americans demonstrating higher IP% of brain metastases compared with other racial groups for most primary sites. IP% was significantly higher for female patients with lung cancer, and significantly higher for male patients with melanoma. The highest IP% of brain metastases occurred at different ages at diagnoses: age 40 to 49 years for primary lung cancer; age 50 to 59 years for primary melanoma, renal, or colorectal cancers; and age 20 to 39 for primary breast cancer. IP% significantly increased as SEER stage of primary cancer advanced for all primary sites. Total IP% of brain metastases was lower than previously reported, and it varied by primary site, race, sex, age at diagnosis of primary cancer, and SEER stage of primary cancer.
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            The role of BRAF V600 mutation in melanoma

            BRAF is a serine/threonine protein kinase activating the MAP kinase/ERK-signaling pathway. About 50 % of melanomas harbors activating BRAF mutations (over 90 % V600E). BRAFV600E has been implicated in different mechanisms underlying melanomagenesis, most of which due to the deregulated activation of the downstream MEK/ERK effectors. The first selective inhibitor of mutant BRAF, vemurafenib, after highly encouraging results of the phase I and II trial, was compared to dacarbazine in a phase III trial in treatment-naïve patients (BRIM-3). The study results showed a relative reduction of 63 % in risk of death and 74 % in risk of tumor progression. Considering all trials so far completed, median overall survival reached approximately 16 months for vemurafenib compared to less than 10 months for dacarbazine treatment. Vemurafenib has been extensively tested on melanoma patients expressing the BRAFV600E mutated form; it has been demonstrated to be also effective in inhibiting melanomas carrying the V600K mutation. In 2011, both FDA and EMA therefore approved vemurafenib for metastatic melanoma carrying BRAFV600 mutations. Some findings suggest that continuation of vemurafenib treatment is potentially beneficial after local therapy in a subset of patients with disease progression (PD). Among who continued vemurafenib >30 days after local therapy of PD lesion(s), a median overall survival was not reached, with a median follow-up of 15.5 months from initiation of BRAF inhibitor therapy. For patients who did not continue treatment, median overall survival from the time of disease progression was 1.4 months. A clinical phase I/II trial is evaluating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of vemurafenib in combination with the CTLA-4 inhibitor mAb ipilimumab. In the BRIM-7 trial vemurafenib is tested in association with GDC-0973, a potent and highly selective inhibitor of MEK1/2. Preliminary data seem to indicate that an additional inhibitor of mutated BRAF, GSK2118436, might be also active on a wider range of BRAF mutations (V600E-K-D-R); actually, treatment with such a compound is under evaluation in a phase III study among stage III-IV melanoma patients positive for BRAF mutations. Overall, BRAF inhibitors were well tolerated; common adverse events are arthralgia, rash, fatigue, alopecia, keratoacanthoma or cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma, photosensitivity, nausea, and diarrhea, with some variants between different inhibitors.
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              Adjuvant trastuzumab in the treatment of her-2-positive early breast cancer: a meta-analysis of published randomized trials

              Background Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S. and Western Europe. Amplification of the her-2/neu gene occurs in approximately 25% of invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast. The first HER-2/neu-targeted approach to reach the clinic was trastuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against the extracellular domain of the HER-2/neu protein. Trastuzumab therapy prolongs the survival of patients with metastático HER-2/neu-overexpressing breast cancer when combined with chemotherapy and has recently been demonstrated to lead to dramatic improvements in disease-free survival when used in the adjuvant therapy setting in combination with or following chemotherapy. Here, we performed a meta-analysis of completed clinical trials of adjuvant trastuzumab in the adjuvant setting. Survival, recurrence, brain metastases, cardiotoxicity and directions for future research are discussed. Methods A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCT) was performed comparing adjuvant trastuzumab treatment for HER2-positive early breast cancer (EBC) to observation. The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CANCERLIT and Cochrane Library databases, and abstracts published in the annual proceedings were systematically searched for evidence. Relevant reports were reviewed by two reviewers independently and the references from these reports were searched for additional trials, using guidelines set by QUOROM statement criteria. Results Pooled results from that five randomized trials of adjuvant Trastuzumab showed a significant reduction of mortality (p < 0.00001), recurrence (p < 0.00001), metastases rates (p < 0.00001) and second tumors other than breast cancer (p = 0.007) as compared to no adjuvant Trastuzumab patients. There were more grade III or IV cardiac toxicity after trastuzumab (203/4555 = 4.5%) versus no trastuzumab (86/4562 = 1.8%). The likelihood of cardiac toxicity was 2.45-fold higher (95% CI 1.89 – 3.16) in trastuzumab arms, however that result was associated with heterogeneity. The likelihood of brain metastases was 1.82-fold higher (95% CI 1.16 – 2.85) in patients who received trastuzumab. Conclusion The results from this meta-analysis are sufficiently compelling to consider 1 year of adjuvant trastuzumab treatment for women with HER-2-positive EBC based on the risk: benefit ratio demonstrated in these studies. Adequate assessment of HER-2/neu status is critical, and careful cardiac monitoring is warranted because of cardiac toxicity. Clinical trials should be designed to answer unsolved questions.

                Author and article information

                Front Oncol
                Front Oncol
                Front. Oncol.
                Frontiers in Oncology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                23 August 2019
                : 9
                1Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada
                2Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto , Toronto, ON, Canada
                3Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital , Toronto, ON, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Sandro M. Krieg, Technical University of Munich, Germany

                Reviewed by: Riccardo Soffietti, University of Turin, Italy; Sumit Mukherjee, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States

                *Correspondence: Sunit Das sunit.das@ 123456utoronto.ca

                This article was submitted to Neuro-Oncology and Neurosurgical Oncology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Oncology

                Copyright © 2019 Erickson and Das.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 52, Pages: 8, Words: 5214


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