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(1/14907) Adenoviral gene transfer into the normal and injured spinal cord: enhanced transgene stability by combined administration of temperature-sensitive virus and transient immune blockade.

This study characterized gene transfer into both normal and injured adult rat dorsal spinal cord using first (E1-/E3-) or second (E1-/E2A125/E3-, temperature-sensitive; ts) generation of replication-defective adenoviral (Ad) vectors. A novel immunosuppressive regimen aimed at blocking CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors was tested for improving transgene persistence. In addition, the effect of gene transfer on nociception was also evaluated. Seven days after treatment, numerous LacZ-positive cells were observed after transfection with either viral vector. By 21 days after transfection, beta-galactosidase staining was reduced and suggestive of ongoing cytopathology in both Ad-treated groups, despite the fact that the immunogenicity of LacZ/Adts appeared less when compared with that elicited by the LacZ/Ad vector. In contrast, immunosuppressed animals showed a significant (P < or = 0.05) increase in the number of LacZ-positive cells not displaying cytopathology. In these animals, a concomitant reduction in numbers of macrophages/microglia and CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes was observed. Only animals that received LacZ/Adts and immunosuppression showed transgene expression after 60 days. Similar results were observed in animals in which the L4-L5 dorsal roots were lesioned before transfection. Gene transfer into the dorsal spinal cord did not affect nociception, independent of the adenovirus vector. These results indicate that immune blockade of the CD4/CD45 lymphocytic receptors enhanced transgene stability in adult animals with normal or injured spinal cords and that persistent transgene expression in the spinal cord does not interfere with normal neural function.  (+info)

(2/14907) Systemic administration of rIL-12 synergistically enhances the therapeutic effect of a TNF gene-transduced cancer vaccine.

Interleukin-12 (IL-12) is a potent antitumor cytokine, which induces and enhances the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). IL-12 also stimulates IFN-gamma production from both T cells and NK cells. In this study, we transfected methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma (MCA-D) with TNF gene and investigated the therapeutic effect of TNF gene-transduced cancer vaccine and whether the vaccination effect is enhanced by systemic administration of recombinant IL-12 (rIL-12), in a murine model. TNF gene-transduced cancer vaccine or systemic administration of rIL-12 showed slight or moderate inhibition of pre-established tumor. However, simultaneous application of the vaccine and rIL-12 resulted in complete eradication. The cytotoxicity of CTL against parental tumor cells was enhanced with the combination of the vaccine and rIL-12, and IFN-gamma production from spleen cells also increased synergistically. Our findings show that synergistic enhancement of CTL activity and IFN-gamma production could play an important role in the antitumor effect of combination therapy using TNF gene-transduced cancer vaccine and rIL-12.  (+info)

(3/14907) Reirradiation combined with hyperthermia in recurrent breast cancer results in a worthwhile local palliation.

Both experimental and clinical research have shown that hyperthermia (HT) gives valuable additional effects when applied in combination with radiotherapy (RT). The purpose of this study was evaluation of results in patients with recurrent breast cancer, treated at the Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center (DHCC) with reirradiation (re-RT; eight fractions of 4 Gy twice weekly) combined with HT. All 134 patients for whom such treatment was planned were included in the analysis. The complete response rate in 119 patients with macroscopic tumour was 71%. Including the 15 patients with microscopic disease, the local control rate was 73%. The median duration of local control was 32 months, and toxicity was acceptable. The complete response (CR) rate was higher, and the toxicity was less with the later developed 433-MHz HT technique compared with the 2450-MHz technique used initially. With this relatively well-tolerated treatment, palliation by local tumour control of a worthwhile duration is achieved in the majority of patients. The technique used for hyperthermia appeared to influence the achieved results. The value of HT in addition to this re-RT schedule has been confirmed by a prospective randomized trial in a similar patient group. In The Netherlands, this combined treatment is offered as standard to patients with breast cancer recurring in previously irradiated areas.  (+info)

(4/14907) A prospective randomized study of megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in gastrointestinal cancer patients with weight loss.

The use of megestrol acetate in the treatment of weight loss in gastrointestinal cancer patients has been disappointing. The aim of the present study was to compare the combination of megestrol acetate and placebo with megestrol acetate and ibuprofen in the treatment of weight loss in such patients. At baseline, 4-6 weeks and 12 weeks, patients underwent measurements of anthropometry, concentrations of albumin and C-reactive protein and assessment of appetite, performance status and quality of life using EuroQol-EQ-5D and EORTC QLQ-C30. Thirty-eight and 35 patients (median weight loss 18%) were randomized to megestrol acetate/placebo or megestrol acetate/ibuprofen, respectively, for 12 weeks. Forty-six (63%) of patients failed to complete the 12-week assessment. Of those evaluable at 12 weeks, there was a decrease in weight (median 2.8 kg) in the megestrol acetate/placebo group compared with an increase (median 2.3 kg) in the megestrol acetate/ibuprofen group (P<0.001). There was also an improvement in the EuroQol-EQ-5D quality of life scores of the latter group (P<0.05). The combination of megestrol acetate/ibuprofen appeared to reverse weight loss and appeared to improve quality of life in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer. Further trials of this novel regimen in weight-losing patients with hormone-insensitive cancers are warranted.  (+info)

(5/14907) The minimum CD34 threshold depends on prior chemotherapy in autologous peripheral blood stem cell recipients.

We analysed 57 patients with non-myeloid malignancies who received a non-purged autologous PBSCT. All had similar mobilisation and conditioning regimens. A high prior chemotherapy score and the number of chemotherapy lines used (P = 0.015 and P = 0.01, respectively) were adverse predictors of CD34 cell yields. Lower CD34 values (P = 0.002) were seen in patients treated with potent stem cell toxins (BCNU, melphalan, CCNU and mustine), designated toxicity factor 4 agents (TF4). All patients infused with grafts containing CD34 cell doses between 1.0 and 2.0 x 10(6)/kg (range 1.25-1.90) engrafted by day 51. The only variable associated with slow platelet recovery was exposure to TF4 (P = 0.007). The majority of patients with CD34 >1.0 x 10(6)/kg achieved rapid and sustained engraftment and the only predictive factor of delayed recovery is prior exposure to stem cell toxins. Potential PBSCT candidates should if possible avoid first line and salvage chemotherapy containing TF4 drugs. We therefore advocate a minimum CD34 threshold of >1.0 x 10(6)/kg in patients without extensive prior chemoradiotherapy, and > or = 2.0 x 10(6)/kg in all other patients.  (+info)

(6/14907) Infectious complications in 126 patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

The effect of an extensive prophylactic antimicrobial regimen was prospectively assessed in 126 patients after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous PBSC. They received ciprofloxacin (500 mg/12 h), acyclovir (200 mg/6 h), and itraconazole (200 mg/12 h) orally until neutrophil recovery. Febrile patients received i.v. imipenem (500 mg/6 h) to which vancomycin and amikacin were added if fever persisted for 2-3 and 5 days, respectively. Amphotericin B lipid complex was further given on day 7 or 8 of fever. Median times for a neutrophil count of >0.5 x 10(9)/l and a platelet count of >20 x 10(9)/l were 9 and 11 days. Severe neutropenia (<0.1 x 10(9)/l) lasted for a median of 5 days in which 72% of febrile episodes and 50% of cases of bacteremia occurred. Gram-positive bacteria were isolated in 30 of 40 episodes of bacteremia, 25 of which were caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Clinical foci were the intravascular catheter in 35 cases, respiratory infection in 11, cellulitis in two, anal abscess in one, and neutropenic enterocolitis in one. The high incidence of febrile episodes (94%) and bacteremias (31%) may be due to the lack of efficacy of antimicrobial prophylaxis and the persistence of a 5-day period of severe neutropenia.  (+info)

(7/14907) Lymphomatoid granulomatosis following autologous stem cell transplantation.

Lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LYG) is a rare angio-destructive lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) of uncertain etiology, with prominent pulmonary involvement. Recent studies indicate that LYG is an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B cell LPD with large numbers of background reactive T lymphocytes (T cell-rich B cell lymphoma). Although the disease frequently, but not exclusively, occurs in various immunodeficiency states, it has not been reported in association with the transient immunosuppression following autologous bone marrow/peripheral stem cell transplantation (ABM/PSCT). We describe a patient who developed lymphomatoid granulomatosis of the lung approximately 2 weeks after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma. Although molecular studies showed no evidence of EBV genome in the biopsy material, the serologic profile with high IgM titers was suggestive of primary EBV infection. Complete radiologic remission occurred following reconstitution of the patient's immune response after a 2-week course of ganciclovir treatment. Despite the apparently low frequency of LPD (both LYG and EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoma) in the ABMT setting, we believe that it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients whose clinical course following ABMT is complicated by fevers, in the absence of an identifiable infectious process.  (+info)

(8/14907) Phase I study of eniluracil, a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase inactivator, and oral 5-fluorouracil with radiation therapy in patients with recurrent or advanced head and neck cancer.

5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is an effective enhancer of radiation therapy (RT) in head and neck cancers. Due to rapid, predominantly hepatic metabolism by dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and suggested clinical benefit from prolonged drug exposure, 5-FU is commonly given by continuous infusion. Eniluracil is a novel DPD-inactivator designed to prolong the half-life of 5-FU and provide sustained plasma concentrations of 5-FU with oral dosing. We conducted a Phase I study of the safety and efficacy of eniluracil given with oral 5-FU in patients receiving concurrent RT for recurrent or advanced squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. Thirteen patients with recurrent, metastatic, or high-risk (defined as an expected 2-year survival rate of <10%) head and neck cancer were enrolled and treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy on an every-other-week schedule. Eniluracil at a fixed dose [20 mg twice a day (BID)] was given for 7 consecutive days (days 1-7). 5-FU and RT were given on 5 consecutive days (days 2-6). One patient was treated with once-daily RT (2.0 Gy fractions). The remaining patients received hyperfractionated RT (1.5-Gy fractions BID). The initial dose of 5-FU was 2.5 mg/m2 given BID. Dose escalation in patient cohorts was scheduled at 2.5-mg/m2 increments, with intrapatient dose escalation permitted. Lymphocyte DPD activity and serum 5-FU and uracil concentrations were monitored during two cycles. DPD activity was completely or nearly completely inactivated in all patients. Sustained, presumed therapeutic concentrations of 5-FU were observed at a dose of 5.0 mg/m2 given BID. Cumulative dose-limiting myelosuppression (both neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) was observed during the fourth and fifth cycles following administration of 5.0 mg/m2 5-FU BID. One patient died of neutropenic sepsis during cycle 4. Other late cycle toxicities included diarrhea, fatigue, and mucositis. Grade 3 mucositis was observed in 4 patients, but no grade 4 mucositis or grade 3 or 4 dermatitis was observed. A second patient death occurred during cycle 1 of treatment. No specific cause of death was identified. The study was subsequently discontinued. Cumulative myelosupression was the significant dose-limiting toxicity of oral 5-FU given with the DPD-inactivator eniluracil on an every-other-week schedule. Clinical radiation sensitization was not observed, based on the absence of dose-limiting mucositis and dermatitis. Alternative dosing schedules need to be examined to determine the most appropriate use of eniluracil and 5-FU as radiation enhancers.  (+info)