Time Trends and Prognostic Factors for Overall Survival in Myxoid Liposarcomas: A Population-Based StudyRead the full article
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Pharmacologic Inhibition of Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin Phosphorylation is a Novel Therapeutic Strategy in Rhabdomyosarcoma
Intermediate and high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) patients have poor prognosis with available treatment options, highlighting a clear unmet need for identification of novel therapeutic strategies. Ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family members are membrane-cytoskeleton linker proteins with well-defined roles in tumor metastasis, growth, and survival. ERM protein activity is regulated by dynamic changes in the phosphorylation at a conserved threonine residue in their C-terminal actin-binding domain. Interestingly, ERM family member, ezrin, has elevated expression in the RMS tissue. Despite this, the translational scope of targeting ERM family proteins in these tumors through pharmacological inhibition has never been considered. This study investigates the inhibition of ERM phosphorylation using a small molecule pharmacophore NSC668394 as a potential strategy against RMS. Upon in vitro treatment with NSC668394, RMS cells exhibit a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability and proliferation, with induction of caspase-3 cleavage and apoptosis. siRNA-mediated knockdown of individual ERM protein expression revealed that each regulates RMS survival to a different degree. In vivo administration of NSC668394 in RMS xenografts causes significant decrease in tumor growth, with no adverse effect on body weight. Collectively, this study highlights the importance of the active conformation of ERM proteins in RMS progression and survival and supports pharmacologic inhibition of these proteins as a novel therapeutic approach.
Epidemiology of Soft Tissue Sarcoma and Bone Sarcoma inItaly: Analysis of Data from 15 Population-Based Cancer Registries
Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of rare cancers of mesenchymal origin. In this study, we provide updated, world age-standardised incidence rate (ASR) and European age-standardised incidence rate for malignant soft tissue sarcoma (ICD-O-3 topographic code C47–C49) and bone sarcoma (C40, C41) in Italy, by area (north, centre, and south) and by cancer registry. We also assess morphology in relation to site and area and assess metastases at diagnosis. We analysed 1,112 cases, with incidence 2009–2012, provided by 15 cancer registries (CRs) affiliated to the Association of Italian Cancer Registries (AIRTUM). Overall, ASR was 1.7/100,000/year for soft tissue sarcoma and 0.7 for bone sarcoma. Central Italy had the highest (2.4) ASR and south Italy had the lowest (1.6) ASR for soft tissue sarcoma. Central Italy had the highest (1.1) ASR and north Italy had the lowest (0.7) ASR for bone sarcoma. By CR, ASRs ranged from 1.1 to 2.6 for soft tissue sarcoma and from 0 to 1.4 for bone sarcoma. The most frequent soft tissue sarcomas were sarcoma not otherwise specified (NOS) (29.4%) and liposarcoma (22.2%); the most common bone sarcoma was chondrosarcoma (37.6%). Soft tissue sarcomas occurred most frequently (35.6%) in lower limb connective tissue; bone sarcomas arose mainly (68.8%) in long bones. The frequencies of morphologies arising at different sites varied considerably by Italian area; for example, 20% of hemangiosarcomas occurred in the head and neck in south Italy with 17% at this site in the centre and 6% in the north. For soft tissue sarcoma, the highest ASRs of 2.6 and 2.4 contrast with the lowest ASRs 1.1 and 1.3, suggesting high-risk hot spots that deserve further investigation. The marked variations in morphology distribution with site and geography suggest geographic variation in risk factors that may also repay further investigation particularly since sarcoma etiology is poorly understood.
Angiosarcoma of the Scalp and Face: A Dosimetric Comparison of HDR Surface Applicator Brachytherapy and VMAT
Purpose. Angiosarcoma of the face and scalp is a rare disease with high rates of recurrence. The optimal treatment approach is not well defined. This study presents a dosimetric comparison of high-dose-rate surface applicator (HDR-SA) brachytherapy to volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Methods. Between 2011 and 2018, 12 patients with primary or recurrent angiosarcoma of the face or scalp were treated with HDR-SA brachytherapy using CT-based planning at our institution. For comparison, deliverable VMAT plans for each patient were generated, and dose distribution was compared to the delivered HDR-SA brachytherapy plans. Results. Both VMAT and HDR-SA brachytherapy plans delivered good coverage of the clinical target. However, the dose distribution of VMAT was significantly different from HDR-SA brachytherapy across a variety of parameters. Mean doses to the lacrimal gland, orbit, lens, and cochlea were significantly higher with HDR-SA brachytherapy vs. VMAT. Brain Dmax, V80%, and V50% were also significantly higher with HDR-SA brachytherapy. Conclusions. There may be dosimetric advantages to VMAT over HDR-SA brachytherapy for many patients. However, individual tumor location, patient anatomy, and treatment reproducibility may result in HDR-SA brachytherapy being the preferred technique in a subset of patients. Ultimately, a personalized approach is likely to be the optimal treatment plan.
Predicting Pathologic Bone Lesions Using Scout Computed Tomography (CT) Imaging
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the benefit of reviewing scout CT images, obtained for routine oncologic surveillance, for the early identification of pathologic bony lesions. A retrospective review was conducted on patients who previously underwent surgical treatment by two orthopedic oncology surgeons at a tertiary care institution from 2009–2019 for pathologic lesions or fractures of the humerus or femur. Radiographic records were reviewed to identify patients in this cohort who had available scout views from CT imaging prior to official diagnosis of the bony lesion or fracture. CT scout images were assessed by two independent reviewers to identify any pathologic lesions, and radiographic reports were reviewed to identify if the lesions were noted by radiology at the time of the initial scan interpretation. One hundred and forty-four patients were identified, and thirty-nine had an available scout CT image prior to official diagnosis of the lesion. Twenty-five patients (64.1%) had lesions identified by authors on scout CT versus only 9 (23.1%) who had lesions that were documented in the initial CT radiologic report. There was a total of 29 lesions identified by the study authors on scout CT, and 19 (65.5%) were not reported in the initial radiographic interpretation with an average interval between observation by authors and official diagnosis of 202 days. Of the impending fractures, three patients (16.7%) went on to complete fracture prior to referral to orthopedics with an average interval between these missed lesions on scout CT and their presentation with fracture of 68 days. This study advocates for the careful review of all scout CT imaging as an essential part of the work up for metastatic disease and encourages all practitioners to utilize this screening tool for the identification of pathologic bony lesions which may help expedite early treatment to reduce patient morbidity.
Assessing the Desmoid-Type Fibromatosis Patients’ Voice: Comparison of Health-Related Quality of Life Experiences from Patients of Two Countries
Purpose. Desmoid-type fibromatosis (DTF) is a rare, nonmetastasising soft tissue tumour. Symptoms, unpredictable growth, lack of definitive treatments, and the chronic character of the disease can significantly impact health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We aimed at identifying the most important HRQoL issues according to DTF patients in two countries, in order to devise a specific HRQoL questionnaire for this patient group. Methods. DTF patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom individually ranked 124 issues regarding diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, recurrence, living with DTF, healthcare, and supportive care experiences, according to their relevance. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate priority scores. Results. The most highly ranked issues by patients (n = 29) were issues concerning “tumour growth,” “feeling that there is something in the body that does not belong there,” and “fear of tumour growth into adjacent tissues or organs” with mean (M) scores of 3.0, 2.9, and 2.8, respectively (Likert scale 1–4). British patients scored higher on most issues compared to Dutch patients (M 2.2 vs. M 1.5). HCPs (n = 31) gave higher scores on most issues compared to patients (M 2.3 vs. M 1.8). Conclusion. This study identified the most relevant issues for DTF patients, which should be included in a DTF-specific HRQoL questionnaire. Additionally, we identified differences in priority scores between British and Dutch participating patients. Field testing in a large, international cohort is needed to confirm these findings and to devise a comprehensive and specific HRQoL questionnaire for DTF patients.
Follow-Up in Bone Sarcoma Care: A Cross-Sectional European Study
Background. Follow-up of high-grade bone sarcoma patients with repeated radiological imaging aims at early detection of recurrent disease or distant metastasis. Repeated radiological imaging does expose (mostly young) patients to ionising radiation. At this point, it is not known whether frequent follow-up increases overall survival. Additionally, frequent follow-up subjects patients and families to psychological stress. This study aims to assess follow-up procedures in terms of frequency and type of imaging modalities in bone tumour centres across Europe for comparison and improvement of knowledge as a first step towards a more uniform approach towards bone sarcoma follow-up. Methods. Data were obtained through analysis of several follow-up protocols and a digital questionnaire returned by EMSOS members of bone tumour centres all across Europe. Results. All participating bone tumour centres attained a minimum follow-up period of ten years. National guidelines revealed variations in follow-up intervals and use of repeated imaging with ionising radiation. A local and a chest X-ray were obtained at 47.6% of the responding clinics at every follow-up patient visit. Conclusions. Variations were seen among European bone sarcoma centres with regards to follow-up intervals and use of repeated imaging. The majority of these expert centres follow existing international guidelines and find them sufficient as basis for a follow-up surveillance programme despite lack of evidence. Future research should aim towards evidence-based follow-up with focus on the effects of follow-up strategies on health outcomes, cost-effectiveness, and individualised follow-up algorithms.