Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    Timely cancer diagnosis and treatment: towards a generalisable research framework studying timeliness to appropriate care
    Zhang, J ; IJzerman, MJ ; Emery, JD (AME Publishing Company, 2023)
    Cancer is the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases worldwide. To improve survival and quality of life from this life-threatening disease, early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Also, at the health system level, it is important to ensure sufficient capacity to deliver equitable and early accessible care through adequate workforce and facilities along the patient journey
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    SLAM-ITseq identifies that Nrf2 induces liver regeneration through the pentose phosphate pathway
    Tan, VWT ; Salmi, TM ; Karamalakis, AP ; Gillespie, A ; Ong, AJS ; Balic, JJ ; Chan, Y-C ; Bladen, CE ; Brown, KK ; Dawson, MA ; Cox, AG (CELL PRESS, 2024-04-08)
    The liver exhibits a remarkable capacity to regenerate following injury. Despite this unique attribute, toxic injury is a leading cause of liver failure. The temporal processes by which the liver senses injury and initiates regeneration remain unclear. Here, we developed a transgenic zebrafish model wherein hepatocyte-specific expression of uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (UPRT) enabled the implementation of SLAM-ITseq to investigate the nascent transcriptome during initiation of liver injury and regeneration. Using this approach, we identified a rapid metabolic transition from the fed to the fasted state that was followed by induction of the nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) antioxidant program. We find that activation of Nrf2 in hepatocytes is required to induce the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and improve survival following liver injury. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that inhibition of the PPP disrupts nucleotide biosynthesis to prevent liver regeneration. Together, these studies provide fundamental insights into the mechanism by which early metabolic adaptation to injury facilitates tissue regeneration.
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    A novel MYB::PAIP1 oncogenic fusion in pediatric blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is dependent on BCL2 expression and is sensitive to venetoclax
    Kosasih, HJ ; Healey, G ; Brennan, MS ; Bjelosevic, S ; Sadras, T ; Jalud, FB ; Ibnat, T ; Ng, AP ; Mayoh, C ; Mao, J ; Tax, G ; Ludlow, LEA ; Johnstone, RW ; Herold, MJ ; Khaw, SL ; de Bock, CE ; Ekert, PG (WILEY, 2024-02)
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    Colorectal cancer survivors' experiences and views of shared and telehealth models of survivorship care: A qualitative study
    Gore, C ; Lisy, K ; O'Callaghan, C ; Wood, C ; Emery, J ; Martin, A ; De Abreu Lourenco, R ; Schofield, P ; Jefford, M (Wiley, 2024-01)
    OBJECTIVES: The number of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors is increasing and current models of survivorship care are unsustainable. There is a drive to implement alternative models of care including shared care between general practitioners (GPs) and hospital-based providers. The primary objective of this study was to explore perspectives on facilitators and barriers to shared care. The secondary objective was to explore experiences of telehealth-delivered care. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with participants in the Shared Care for Colorectal Cancer Survivors (SCORE) randomised controlled trial. Interviews explored patient experiences of usual and shared survivorship care during the SCORE trial. In response to the COVID pandemic, participant experiences of telehealth appointments were also explored. Interviews were recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty survivors of CRC were interviewed with an even number in the shared and usual care arms; 14 (70%) were male. Facilitators to shared care included: good relationships with GPs; convenience of GPs; good communication between providers; desire to reduce public health system pressures. Barriers included: poor communication between clinicians; inaccessibility of GPs; beliefs about GP capacity; and a preference for follow-up care with the hospital after positive treatment experiences. Participants also commonly expressed a preference for telehealth-based follow-up when there was no need for a clinical examination. CONCLUSIONS: This is one of few studies that have explored patient experiences with shared and telehealth-based survivorship care. Findings can guide the implementation of these models, particularly around care coordination, communication, preparation, and personalised pathways of care.
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    Persistent gravitational radiation from glitching pulsars - II. Updated scaling with vortex number
    Cheunchitra, T ; Melatos, A ; Carlin, JB ; Howitt, G (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2024-01-23)
    ABSTRACT Superfluid vortices pinned to nuclear lattice sites or magnetic flux tubes in a neutron star evolve abruptly through a sequence of metastable spatial configurations, punctuated by unpinning avalanches associated with rotational glitches, as the stellar crust spins down electromagnetically. The metastable configurations are approximately but not exactly axisymmetric, causing the emission of persistent, quasimonochromatic, current quadrupole gravitational radiation. The characteristic gravitational wave strain h0 as a function of the spin frequency f and distance D from the Earth is bounded above by $h_0 = 1.2\substack{+1.3 \\ -0.9} \times 10^{-32} (f/30\,\,{\rm Hz})^{2.5} (D/1\,\,{\rm kpc})^{-1}$, corresponding to a Poissonian spatial configuration (equal probability per unit area, i.e. zero inter-vortex repulsion), and bounded below by $h_0 = 1.8\substack{+2.0 \\ -1.5} \times 10^{-50} (f/30\,\,{\rm Hz})^{1.5} (D/1\,\,{\rm kpc})^{-1}$, corresponding to a regular array (periodic separation, i.e. maximum inter-vortex repulsion). N-body point vortex simulations predict an intermediate scaling, $h_0 = 7.3\substack{+7.9 \\ -5.4} \times 10^{-42} (f/30\,\,{\rm Hz})^{1.9} (D/1\,\,{\rm kpc})^{-1}$, which reflects a balance between the randomizing but spatially correlated action of superfluid vortex avalanches and the regularizing action of inter-vortex repulsion. The scaling is calibrated by conducting simulations with Nv ≤ 5 × 103 vortices and extrapolated to the astrophysical regime Nv ∼ 1017(f/30 Hz). The scaling is provisional, pending future computational advances to raise Nv and include three-dimensional effects such as vortex tension and turbulence.
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    Small-scale mutations are infrequent as mechanisms of resistance in post-PARP inhibitor tumour samples in high grade serous ovarian cancer
    Burdett, NL ; Willis, MO ; Pandey, A ; Fereday, S ; DeFazio, A ; Bowtell, DDL ; Christie, EL (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2023-12-10)
    While the introduction of poly-(ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors in homologous recombination DNA repair (HR) deficient high grade serous ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers (HGSC) has improved patient survival, resistance to PARP inhibitors frequently occurs. Preclinical and translational studies have identified multiple mechanisms of resistance; here we examined tumour samples collected from 26 women following treatment with PARP inhibitors as part of standard of care or their enrolment in clinical trials. Twenty-one had a germline or somatic BRCA1/2 mutation. We performed targeted sequencing of 63 genes involved in DNA repair processes or implicated in ovarian cancer resistance. We found that just three individuals had a small-scale mutation as a definitive resistance mechanism detected, having reversion mutations, while six had potential mechanisms of resistance detected, with alterations related to BRCA1 function and mutations in SHLD2. This study indicates that mutations in genes related to DNA repair are detected in a minority of HGSC patients as genetic mechanisms of resistance. Future research into resistance in HGSC should focus on copy number, transcriptional and epigenetic aberrations, and the contribution of the tumour microenvironment.
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    Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of [18F]FDG-PET/CT for investigation of persistent or recurrent neutropenic fever in high-risk haematology patients
    Tew, M ; Douglas, AP ; Szer, J ; Bajel, A ; Harrison, SJ ; Tio, SY ; Worth, LJ ; Hicks, RJ ; Ritchie, D ; Slavin, MA ; Thursky, KA ; Dalziel, K (BMC, 2023-12-15)
    BACKGROUND: A recent randomised trial demonstrated [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography in combination with low-dose CT (FDG-PET/CT), compared to standard of care computed tomography (CT) imaging, positively impacted antimicrobial management and outcomes of acute leukaemia and haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with persistent and recurrent neutropenic fever. We conducted an economic evaluation from a healthcare perspective alongside the clinical trial. METHODS: Unit costs in Australian dollars were applied to all resources used (antimicrobials, diagnostic tests, ICU and hospital bed days). Effectiveness was measured as number of patients with antimicrobial rationalisation, 6-month mortality and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) derived from patient-reported trial-based health-related quality-of-life. Generalised linear models were used to analyse costs and outcomes. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for all outcomes and net monetary benefit (NMB) for QALYs were calculated. We performed bootstrapping with 1000 replications using the recycled predictions method. RESULTS: The adjusted healthcare costs were lower for FDG-PET/CT (mean $49,563; 95%CI 36,867, 65,133) compared to CT (mean $57,574; 95% CI 44,837, 73,347). The difference in QALYs between the two groups was small (0.001; 95% CI -0.001, 0.004). When simulated 1000 times, FDG-PET/CT was the dominant strategy as it was cheaper with better outcomes than the standard CT group in 74% of simulations. The estimated NMBs at willingness-to-pay thresholds of $50,000 and $100,000 per QALY were positive, thus FDG-PET/CT remained cost-effective at these thresholds. CONCLUSIONS: FDG-PET/CT is cost effective when compared to CT for investigation of persistent/recurrent neutropenic fever in high-risk patients, providing further support for incorporation of FDG-PET/CT into clinical guidelines and funding. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03429387.
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    Radiotherapy quality assurance in the TROG 12.01 randomised trial and its impact on loco-regional failure
    Corry, J ; Moore, A ; Kenny, L ; Wratten, C ; Fua, T ; Lin, C ; Porceddu, S ; Liu, C ; Ruemelin, M ; Sharkey, A ; Mcdowell, L ; Wilkinson, D ; Tiong, A ; Rischin, D (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2024-02-05)
    INTRODUCTION: There is no consensus as to what specifically constitutes head and neck cancer radiotherapy quality assurance (HNC RT QA). The aims of this study are to (1) describe the RT QA processes used in the TROG 12.01 study, (2) review the RT QA processes undertaken for all patients with loco-regional failure (LRF), and (3) provide prospective data to propose a consensus statement regarding the minimal components and optimal timing of HNC RT QA. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients undergoing RT QA in the original TROG 12.01 study were included in this substudy. All participating sites completed IMRT credentialling and a clinical benchmark case. Real-time (pre-treatment) RT QA was performed for the first patient of each treating radiation oncologist, and for one in five of subsequent patients. Protocol violations were deemed major if they related to contour and/or dose of gross tumour volume (GTV), high dose planning target volume (PTVhd), or critical organs of risk (spinal cord, mandible, and brachial plexus). RESULTS: Thirty HNROs from 15 institutions accrued 182 patients. There were 28 clinical benchmark cases, 27 pre-treatment RT QA cases, and 38 post-treatment cases. Comprehensive RT QA was performed in 65/182 (36%) treated patients. Major protocol violations were found in 5/28 benchmark cases, 5/27 pre-treatment cases, and 6/38 post-treatment cases. An independent review of all nine LRF cases showed major protocol violations in four of nine cases. CONCLUSION: Only pre-treatment RT QA can improve patient outcomes. The minimal components of RT QA in HNC are GTVs, PTVhd, and critical organs at risk. What constitutes major dosimetric violations needs to be harmonised.
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    Evolution of Humoral and Cellular Immunity Post-Breakthrough Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Vaccinated Patients With Hematologic Malignancy Receiving Tixagevimab-Cilgavimab
    Hall, VG ; Nguyen, THO ; Allen, LF ; Rowntree, LC ; Kedzierski, L ; Chua, BY ; Lim, C ; Saunders, NR ; Klimevski, E ; Tennakoon, GS ; Seymour, JF ; Wadhwa, V ; Cain, N ; Vo, KL ; Nicholson, S ; Karapanagiotidis, T ; Williamson, DA ; Thursky, KA ; Spelman, T ; Yong, MK ; Slavin, MA ; Kedzierska, K ; Teh, BW (OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2023-11-01)
    BACKGROUND: In-depth immunogenicity studies of tixagevimab-cilgavimab (T-C) are lacking, including following breakthrough coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in vaccinated patients with hematologic malignancy (HM) receiving T-C as pre-exposure prophylaxis. METHODS: We performed a prospective, observational cohort study and detailed immunological analyses of 93 patients with HM who received T-C from May 2022, with and without breakthrough infection, during a follow-up period of 6 months and dominant Omicron BA.5 variant. RESULTS: In 93 patients who received T-C, there was an increase in Omicron BA.4/5 receptor-binding domain (RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers that persisted for 6 months and was equivalent to 3-dose-vaccinated uninfected healthy controls at 1 month postinjection. Omicron BA.4/5 neutralizing antibody was lower in patients receiving B-cell-depleting therapy within 12 months despite receipt of T-C. COVID-19 vaccination during T-C treatment did not incrementally improve RBD or neutralizing antibody levels. In 16 patients with predominantly mild breakthrough infection, no change in serum neutralization of Omicron BA.4/5 postinfection was detected. Activation-induced marker assay revealed an increase in CD4+ (but not CD8+) T cells post infection, comparable to previously infected healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides proof-of-principle for a pre-exposure prophylaxis strategy and highlights the importance of humoral and cellular immunity post-breakthrough COVID-19 in vaccinated patients with HM.
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    PI3K Activation in Neural Stem Cells Drives Tumorigenesis which can be Ameliorated by Targeting the cAMP Response Element Binding (CREB) Protein
    Daniel, PM ; Filiz, G ; Brown, DV ; Christie, M ; Waring, PM ; Zhang, Y ; Haynes, JM ; Pouton, C ; Flanagan, D ; Vincan, E ; Johns, TG ; Montgomery, K ; Phillips, WA ; Mantamadiotis, T (Oxford University Press, 2018-10)
    BACKGROUND: Hyperactivation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is common in cancers, but the precise role of the pathway in glioma biology remains to be determined. Some understanding of PI3K signaling mechanisms in brain cancer comes from studies on neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs), where signals transmitted via the PI3K pathway cooperate with other intracellular pathways and downstream transcription factors to regulate critical cell functions. METHODS: To investigate the role of the PI3K pathway in glioma initiation and development, we generated a mouse model targeting the inducible expression of a PIK3CAH1047A oncogenic mutant and deletion of the PI3K negative regulator, phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), to NSPCs. RESULTS: Expression of a Pik3caH1047A was sufficient to generate tumors with oligodendroglial features, but simultaneous loss of PTEN was required for the development of invasive, high-grade glioma. Pik3caH1047A-PTEN mutant NSPCs exhibited enhanced neurosphere formation which correlated with increased Wnt signaling, while loss of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in Pik3caH1047A-Pten mutant tumors led to longer symptom-free survival in mice. CONCLUSION: Taken together, our findings present a novel mouse model for glioma demonstrating that the PI3K pathway is important for initiation of tumorigenesis and that disruption of downstream CREB signaling attenuates tumor expansion.