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- A prospective randomised, open-labeled, trial comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (2010)
- Background: The potential anti-cancer effects of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors are being intensively studied. To date, however, few randomised clinical trials (RCT) have been performed to demonstrate anti-neoplastic effects in the pure oncology setting, and at present, no oncology endpoint-directed RCT has been reported in the high-malignancy risk population of immunosuppressed transplant recipients. Interestingly, since mTOR inhibitors have both immunosuppressive and anti-cancer effects, they have the potential to simultaneously protect against immunologic graft loss and tumour development. Therefore, we designed a prospective RCT to determine if the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus can improve hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-free patient survival in liver transplant (LT) recipients with a pre-transplant diagnosis of HCC. Methods: The study is an open-labelled, randomised, RCT comparing sirolimus-containing versus mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppression in patients undergoing LT for HCC. Patients with a histologically confirmed HCC diagnosis are randomised into 2 groups within 4-6 weeks after LT; one arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol and the second arm is maintained on a centre-specific mTOR-inhibitor-free immunosuppressive protocol for the first 4-6 weeks, at which time sirolimus is initiated. A 3-year recruitment phase is planned with a 5-year follow-up, testing HCC-free survival as the primary endpoint. Our hypothesis is that sirolimus use in the second arm of the study will improve HCC-free survival. The study is a non-commercial investigator-initiated trial (IIT) sponsored by the University Hospital Regensburg and is endorsed by the European Liver and Intestine Transplant Association; 13 countries within Europe, Canada and Australia are participating. Discussion: If our hypothesis is correct that mTOR inhibition can reduce HCC tumour growth while simultaneously providing immunosuppression to protect the liver allograft from rejection, patients should experience less post-transplant problems with HCC recurrence, and therefore could expect a longer and better quality of life. A positive outcome will likely change the standard of posttransplant immunosuppressive care for LT patients with HCC. (trial registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00355862) (EudraCT Number: 2005-005362-36)
- Comparison of the collagen haemostat Sangustop(R) versus a carrier-bound fibrin sealant during liver resection; ESSCALIVER-study (2010)
- Background: Haemostasis in liver surgery remains a challenge despite improved resection techniques. Oozing from blood vessels too small to be ligated necessitate a treatment with haemostats in order to prevent complications attributed to bleeding. There is good evidence from randomised trials for the efficacy of fibrin sealants, on their own or in combination with a carrier material. A new haemostatic device is Sangustop(R). It is a collagen based material without any coagulation factors. Pre-clinical data for Sangustop(R) showed superior haemostatic effect. This present study aims to show that in the clinical situation Sangustop(R) is not inferior to a carrier-bound fibrin sealant (Tachosil(R)) as a haemostatic treatment in hepatic resection. Methods: This is a multi-centre, patient-blinded, intra-operatively randomised controlled trial. A total of 126 patients planned for an elective liver resection will be enrolled in eight surgical centres. The primary objective of this study is to show the non-inferiority of Sangustop(R) versus a carrier-bound fibrin sealant (Tachosil(R)) in achieving haemostasis after hepatic resection. The surgical intervention is standardised with regard to devices and techniques used for resection and primary haemostasis. Patients will be followed-up for three months for complications and adverse events. Discussion: This randomised controlled trial (ESSCALIVER) aims to compare the new collagen haemostat Sangustop(R) with a carrier-bound fibrin sealant which can be seen as a "gold standard" in hepatic and other visceral organ surgery. If non-inferiority is shown other criteria than the haemostatic efficacy (e.g. costs, adverse events rate) may be considered for the choice of the most appropriate treatment. Trial Registration: NCT00918619
- LICC: L-BLP25 in patients with colorectal carcinoma after curative resection of hepatic metastases-a randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter, multinational, double-blinded phase II trial (2012)
- Background: 15-20% of all patients initially diagnosed with colorectal cancer develop metastatic disease and surgical resection remains the only potentially curative treatment available. Current 5-year survival following R0-resection of liver metastases is 28-39%, but recurrence eventually occurs in up to 70%. To date, adjuvant chemotherapy has not improved clinical outcomes significantly. The primary objective of the ongoing LICC trial (L-BLP25 In Colorectal Cancer) is to determine whether L-BLP25, an active cancer immunotherapy, extends recurrence-free survival (RFS) time over placebo in colorectal cancer patients following R0/R1 resection of hepatic metastases. L-BLP25 targets MUC1 glycoprotein, which is highly expressed in hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer. In a phase IIB trial, L-BLP25 has shown acceptable tolerability and a trend towards longer survival in patients with stage IIIB locoregional NSCLC. Methods: This is a multinational, phase II, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a sample size of 159 patients from 20 centers in 3 countries. Patients with stage IV colorectal adenocarcinoma limited to liver metastases are included. Following curative-intent complete resection of the primary tumor and of all synchronous/metachronous metastases, eligible patients are randomized 2:1 to receive either L-BLP25 or placebo. Those allocated to L-BLP25 receive a single dose of 300 mg/m2 cyclophosphamide (CP) 3 days before first L-BLP25 dose, then primary treatment with s.c. L-BLP25 930 mug once weekly for 8 weeks, followed by s.c. L-BLP25 930 mug maintenance doses at 6-week (years 1&2) and 12-week (year 3) intervals unless recurrence occurs. In the control arm, CP is replaced by saline solution and L-BLP25 by placebo. Primary endpoint is the comparison of recurrence-free survival (RFS) time between groups. Secondary endpoints are overall survival (OS) time, safety, tolerability, RFS/OS in MUC-1 positive cancers. Exploratory immune response analyses are planned. The primary endpoint will be assessed in Q3 2016. Follow-up will end Q3 2017. Interim analyses are not planned. Discussion: The design and implementation of such a vaccination study in colorectal cancer is feasible. The study will provide recurrence-free and overall survival rates of groups in an unbiased fashion. Trial Registration EudraCT Number 2011-000218-20
- SEMS vs cSEMS in duodenal and small bowel obstruction: High risk of migration in the covered stent group (2013)
- AIM: To compare clinical success and complications of uncovered self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) vs covered SEMS (cSEMS) in obstruction of the small bowel. METHODS: Technical success, complications and outcome of endoscopic SEMS or cSEMS placement in tumor related obstruction of the duodenum or jejunum were retrospectively assessed. The primary end points were rates of stent migration and overgrowth. Secondary end points were the effect of concomitant biliary drainage on migration rate and overall survival. The data was analyzed according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines. RESULTS: Thirty-two SEMS were implanted in 20 patients. In all patients, endoscopic stent implantation was successful. Stent migration was observed in 9 of 16 cSEMS (56%) in comparison to 0/16 SEMS (0%) implantations (P = 0.002). Stent overgrowth did not significantly differ between the two stent types (SEMS: 3/16, 19%; cSEMS: 2/16, 13%). One cSEMS dislodged and had to be recovered from the jejunum by way of laparotomy. Time until migration between SEMS and cSEMS in patients with and without concomitant biliary stents did not significantly differ (HR = 1.530, 95%CI 0.731-6.306; P = 0.556). The mean follow-up was 57 ± 71 d (range: 1-275 d). CONCLUSION: SEMS and cSEMS placement is safe in small bowel tumor obstruction. However, cSEMS is accompanied with a high rate of migration in comparison to uncovered SEMS.
- Combined transarterial chemoembolization and arterial administration of Bletilla striata in treatment of liver tumor in rats (2003)
- AIM: To evaluate and compare the effect of combined transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and arterial administration of Bletilla striata (a Chinese traditional medicine against liver tumor) versus TACE alone for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in ACI rats. METHODS: Subcapsular implantation of a solid Morris hepatoma 3 924A (2 mm3) in the liver was carried out in 30 male ACI rats. Tumor volume (V1) was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on day 13 after implantation. The following different agents of interventional treatment were injected after retrograde catheterization via gastroduodenal artery (on day 14), namely, (A) TACE (0.1 mg mitomycin + 0.1 ml Lipiodol) + Bletilla striata (1.0 mg) (n=10); (B) TACE + Bletilla striata (1.0 mg) + ligation of hepatic artery (n=10), (C) TACE alone (control group, n=10). Tumor volume (V2) was assessed by MRI (on day 13 after treatment) and the tumor growth ratio (V2/V1) was calculated. RESULTS: The mean tumor volume before (V1) and after (V2) treatment was 0.0355 cm3 and 0.2248 cm3 in group A, 0.0374 cm3 and 0.0573 cm3 in group B, 0.0380 cm3 and 0.3674 cm3 in group C, respectively. The mean ratio (V2/V1) was 6.2791 in group A, 1.5324 in group B and 9.1382 in group C. Compared with the control group (group C), group B showed significant inhibition of tumor growth (P<0.01), while group A did not (P>0.05). None of the animals died during implantation or in the postoperative period. CONCLUSION: Combination of TACE and arterial administration of Bletilla striata plus ligation of hepatic artery is more effective than TACE alone in the treatment of HCC in rats.