H G Kress, E D Koch, H Kosturski, A Steup, K Karcher, C Dogan, M Etropolski, M Eerdekens
European Journal of Pain: EJP 2016 April 7
BACKGROUND: A recent randomized-withdrawal, active- and placebo-controlled, double-blind phase 3 study showed that tapentadol prolonged release (PR) was effective and well tolerated for managing moderate to severe, chronic malignant tumour-related pain in patients who were opioid naive or dissatisfied with current treatment (Pain Physician, 2014, 17, 329-343). This post hoc, subgroup analysis evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of tapentadol PR in patients who previously received and were dissatisfied with tramadol for any reason and who had a pain intensity ≥5 (11-point numerical rating scale) before converting directly to tapentadol PR.
METHODS: In the original study, eligible patients had been randomized (2:1) and titrated to their optimal dose of tapentadol PR (100-250 mg bid) or morphine sulphate-controlled release (40-100 mg bid) over 2 weeks. The present report focuses on results during the titration period for a subgroup of patients randomized to tapentadol PR after having been on tramadol treatment prior to randomization in the study (n = 129). Results for this subgroup are compared with results for all 338 patients who received tapentadol PR during titration (overall tapentadol PR group).
CONCLUSIONS: Results of this subgroup analysis indicate that patients with cancer pain could safely switch from prior treatment with the weak centrally acting analgesic tramadol directly to the strong centrally acting analgesic tapentadol PR, for an improved analgesic therapy for severe pain. WHAT DOES THIS STUDY ADD?: Results of this post hoc analysis show that patients who had received prior tramadol therapy could switch directly to tapentadol PR, with the majority (˜70%) experiencing improved efficacy.
Corticosteroids compromise survival in glioblastoma
Kenneth L.Pitter, IlariaTamagno, KristinaAlikhanyan, AmiraHosni-Ahmed, Siobhan S.Pattwell, ShannonDonnola, CharlesDai,TatsuyaOzawa, MariaChang, Timothy A.Chan, KathrynBeal, Andrew J.Bishop, Christopher A.Barker, Terreia S.Jones, BettinaHentschel, ThierryGorlia, UweSchlegel, RogerStupp, MichaelWeller, Eric C.Holland, DoloresHambardzumyan
Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumour. Standard of care consists of surgical resection followed by radiotherapy and concomitant and maintenance temozolomide (temozolomide/radiotherapy→temozolomide). Corticosteroids are commonly used perioperatively to control cerebral oedema and are frequently continued throughout subsequent treatment, notably radiotherapy, for amelioration of side effects. The effects of corticosteroids such as dexamethasone on cell growth in glioma models and on patient survival have remained controversial. We performed a retrospective analysis of glioblastoma patient cohorts to determine the prognostic role of steroid administration. A disease-relevant mouse model of glioblastoma was used to characterize the effects of dexamethasone on tumour cell proliferation and death, and to identify gene signatures associated with these effects. A murine anti-VEGFA antibody was used in parallel as an alternative for oedema control. We applied the dexamethasone-induced gene signature to The Cancer Genome Atlas glioblastoma dataset to explore the association of dexamethasone exposure with outcome. Mouse experiments were used to validate the effects of dexamethasone on survival in vivo. Retrospective clinical analyses identified corticosteroid use during radiotherapy as an independent indicator of shorter survival in three independent patient cohorts. A dexamethasone-associated gene expression signature correlated with shorter survival in The Cancer Genome Atlas patient dataset. In glioma-bearing mice, dexamethasone pretreatment decreased tumour cell proliferation without affecting tumour cell viability, but reduced survival when combined with radiotherapy. Conversely, anti-VEGFA antibody decreased proliferation and increased tumour cell death, but did not affect survival when combined with radiotherapy. Clinical and mouse experimental data suggest that corticosteroids may decrease the effectiveness of treatment and shorten survival in glioblastoma. Dexamethasone-induced anti-proliferative effects may confer protection from radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced genotoxic stress.
This study highlights the importance of identifying alternative agents such as vascular endothelial growth factor antagonists for managing oedema in glioblastoma patients. Beyond the established adverse effect profile of protracted corticosteroid use, this analysis substantiates the request for prudent and restricted use of corticosteroids in glioblastoma.