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HOW WE DELIVER PROGRESS

EORTC plays a key role in multi-disciplinary, international translational and clinical research. It takes science from the lab to the patient. EORTC is an independent clinical cancer hub with a unique global research infrastrure that works across tumour types, research disciplines and national boarders, leaving no cancer patient behind.

Its synergistic network of institutions offer researchers a transnational research platform with an unsurpassed level of quality and efficiency, with a special interest in rare cancers and long-term follow-up. EORTC delivers robust data sets and is committed to generate solid medical evidence.

PRACTICE CHANGING RESEARCH

  • Breast Group

    Collection of Studies

    Between 1963 and 1974, the EORTC Breast Cancer Group (BCG) conducted a number of studies that led to practice changing development in hormone therapy in patients with breast cancer. The group was the first to demonstrate how nafoxidine stops pre-cancerous growths in postmenopausal women. By 1974, the EORTC BCG tested a combination treatment of tamoxifen and two alternating chemotherapies (AV and CMF). The results demonstrated that this treatment led to higher response rates and complete remission rates, stimulating more research into treating breast cancer with combined endocrine and chemotherapy.

  • Quality of Life Group

    EORTC Quality of Life Group releases its QLQ-C30 questionnaire.

    EORTC Quality of Life Group developed and released a core questionnaire to assess the quality of life of cancer patients. Since then, it has been translated and validated into over 100 languages and is used in each year in more than 5,000 studies worldwide.

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22787 – Is prophylactic para-aortic irradiation worthwhile in the treatment of advanced cervical carcinoma?

    EORTC found that para-aortic irradiation did not provide any benefit to high-risk patients with cervical cancer. It also found that extended field irradiation improved local control but increased digestive complications.

  • Breast Group

    EORTC 10801 – Phase III trial comparing mastectomy to tumorectomy.

    A landmark EORTC study that compared two treatment regimens in patients with stage II breast cancer, and found that although mastectomy was slightly better at local control, it did not translate to better survival rates compared to breast-conserving therapy. This finding was important and changed the standard of practice for patients overall quality of life, while at the same time helped clinicians better inform their patients of their options.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22791 – Phase III trial of twice daily fractions versus single daily fraction radiotherapy in oropharyngeal carcinoma.

    EORTC found that high-dose radiotherapy was better than low-dose at local control and prolonging survival in patients with advanced oropharyngeal cancers.

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  • Gynecological Group

    EORTC 55865 – Phase III study for the treatment of ovarian cancer FIGO stages IIB and C, III and IV.

    EORTC found that in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, debulking surgery after chemotherapy, lengthened progression free and overall survival, and reduced risk of death by one third in these patients.

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  • Head & Neck Group

    EORTC 24891 – Is laryngeal preservation with induction chemotherapy safe in the treatment of hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma?

    A randomized phase III trial.

    This landmark EORTC study found that larynx preservation treatment does not jeopardize overall survival in patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck. The results of this study changed standard of care and practice from larynx surgery to larynx-preserving radio-chemotherapy treatment, preserving natural speech and quality of life for these patients.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 228544 – A randomized trial on dose-response in radiation therapy of low-grade cerebral glioma.

    EORTC demonstrated that providing patients with ‘low’-dose (45 Gy) radiotherapy, was equally good as the ‘high’-dose (59.4 Gy) radiotherapy provided. This meant that the ‘low’-dose not only improved tumor control but also reduced toxicity to low-grade glioma patients. This study contributed to determining the standard radiotherapy dose.

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22861 – Randomized phase II-III trial of radiotherapy alone or with concomitant chemotherapy in the treatment of anal carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Group (GI Group) and the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group.

    EORTC found that combining a chemotherapy treatment of fluorouracil (5FU)–mitomycin-C (MMC), and radiotherapy improved locoregional control and spared colostomy in patients with locally advanced anal cancer.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22851 – Phase III trial of open accelerated fractionation vs conventional fractionation in the radiotherapy of advanced head and neck carcinoma.

    EORTC found that accelerated radiotherapy (given over a shorter period of time), improves locoregional control for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and a poor prognosis.

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  • Soft Tissue & Bone

    EORTC 62001 – Dose finding and phase II study of STI 571 in advanced soft tissue sarcoma.

    This EORTC trial is one of the landmark studies of the organization, whereby the EORTC Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (STBG) helped develop imatinib as a treatment for metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) by identifying safe dosage and studying early activity of the drug. This remains the reference treatment for this disease.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22863 – Phase III randomized clinical trial in high metastatic risk carcinoma of the prostate comparing pelvic radiotherapy plus LHRH analogue.

    Jointly with the EORTC Genito-Urinary Cancers Group

    EORTC found that combining androgen suppression (during and after) external irradiation improves disease-free and overall survival in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer. This combined treatment approach was the first to show a major improvement in overall survival of patients, making it a gold standard of treatment.

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  • Gynecological Group

    EORTC 55904 – Phase III study to evaluate platinum based chemotherapy as an adjuvant to surgery in early ovarian cancer patients.

    EORTC study found that in patients diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer with non-optimal surgical staging, additional chemotherapy improves recurrence-free survival.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22953 – Shortened irradiation scheme, continuous 5FU and fractionation of Mitomycin C in locally advanced anal carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer Cooperative Group.

    EORTC found that in patients with locally advanced anal cancer, reducing gaps between radiotherapy sequences, delivering chemotherapy during the course of radiotherapy, and reducing irradiation, improved local control the cancer and overall survival of patients, while sparing them colostomy. This new treatment scheme has been considered the new standard of treatment for this type of cancer.

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  • Head & Neck Group

    EORTC 22931 – Phase III randomized study on postoperative radio- and chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced head and neck carcinomas.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the Head and Neck Cancer Cooperative Group.

    This EORTC practice changing study, found chemotherapy plus radiotherapy after surgery is more effective than radiotherapy alone at treating locally advanced head and neck cancer. This then became the standard of care for treating this cancer.

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  • Soft Tissue & Bone

    EORTC 62005 – Phase III randomized, intergroup, international trial assessing the clinical activity of STI-571 at two dose levels in patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) expressing the KIT receptor tyrosine kinase (CD117).

    In 2004, EORTC published results of an additional clinical trial, where it optimized the dosage for the timatinub treatment of advanced or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST).

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  • Quality of Life Group

    Health-related quality of life in survivors of locally advanced breast cancer.

    An international randomized controlled phase III trial.

    EORTC study comparing two treatment regimens (dose-intensive chemotherapy versus standard chemotherapy of a combination treatment of yclophosphamide, epirubicin and fluorouraci, prior to operation), in patients with locally advanced breast cancer. Results showed that patients assigned to dose-intensive treatment had significantly lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores during the first three months, but scores returned to near baseline with no difference between groups after 12 months. This was the first randomized trial to show that dose-intensive treatment may lead to temporary reduction of HRQOL scores.

  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22845 – Phase III trial of radiation therapy vs no radiation therapy for cerebral gliomas (low grade astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma) of the adult.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group, the EORTC Brain Tumor Cooperative Group and the Medical Research Council (UK).

    EORTC found that post-operative radiotherapy significantly improved disease-free survival in adult patients with low-grade glioma.

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  • Brain Group

    EORTC 26981/22981 – Concomitant and adjuvant Temozolomide and Radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme.

    A randomized phase III study.

    A landmark EORTC study that found that the combination of the chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) and radiotherapy, improved survival rates without sacrificing health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores, in patients with glioblastoma (GBM). This combination treatment became the standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients worldwide. This study also identified the MGMT gene promoter methylation as the first predictive marker in brain tumors and introduced the concept of personalized treatment into neuro-oncology.

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30924 – Randomized phase II / III study of high dose intensity M-VAC chemotherapy + G-CSF versus classic M-VAC in advanced urothelial tract tumors.

    After a seven-year follow up in patients with advanced urothelial tract cancer, EORTC found that high-dose of the chemotherapy combination (MVAC + G-CSF), provided higher response rates and decreased toxicity in these patients. This became the standard of care.

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  • Lung cancer Group

    EORTC 08983 – Phase III study of Tomudex and Cisplatin versus Cisplatin in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.

    EORTC found that combination treatment of cisplatin plus raltitrexed improved overall survival without affecting health-related quality of life in patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (cancer of the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura).

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  • Gastro-Intestinal Group

    EORTC 40004 – CLOCC trial (Chemotherapy + Local ablation versus Chemotherapy). Randomized phase II study investigating the role of local treatment of liver metastases by radiofrequency combined with chemotherapy and of chemotherapy alone in patients with unresectable colorectal liver metastases.

    EORTC found that aggressive local treatment (which includes radiofrequency ablation +/ – resection) can prolong overall survival (OS) in patients with unresectable colorectal liver metastases.

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  • Gastro-Intestinal Group

    EORTC 40953 – Randomized phase II study of weekly 24 h infusion of high dose 5-FU plus or minus Folinic Acid (HD-FU/FA) versus HD-FU/FA plus biweekly Cisplatin in advanced gastric cancer.

    EORTC established the efficacy of the combined treatment of 5FU with cisplatin, in patients with advanced gastric cancer. This further contributed to the wealth of knowledge for treating advanced gastric cancer.

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  • Lung cancer Group

    EORTC 22993/08993 – Prophylactic cranial irradiation in extensive disease small cell lung cancer.

    A joint study with the EORTC Radiotherapy and Lung Cancer Groups

    EORTC’s study on prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) has been internationally adopted as the standard of treatment in patients with small cell lung cancer. It found that prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) reduces the risk of symptomatic brain metastases and improved survival in patients with advanced-disease in small cell lung cancer, without significant difference in cognitive and emotional functioning.

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  • Brain Group

    EORTC 26951 – Phase III study of adjuvant Procarbazine, CCNU and Vincristine chemotherapy in patients with highly anaplastic oligodendroglioma (randomized).

    EORTC study assessing the effectiveness of the combination treatment of chemotherapy (PCV) and radiotherapy in patients with anaplastic oligodendroglioma (a rare brain tumour). Results show that this combination treatment slightly improves progression free survival but negatively impact patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores. This result provided more insight into the potential benefit of early, aggressive treatment.

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  • Gastro-Intestinal Group

    EORTC 40983 – Pre-and Post-Operative Chemotherapy with Oxaliplatin 5FU/LV versus Surgery alone in Resectable Liver Metastases from Colorectal Origin- Phase III Study

    EORTC found that in patients with resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer, the perioperative chemotherapy with FOLFOX4, resulted in progression free survival. The study set a new international standard of care in patients who are candidates for removal of liver metastases caused by colorectal cancer (CRC).

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  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC 18991 – Adjuvant PegIntron treatment in stage III melanoma versus observation after regional lymph node dissection.

    A Multicenter Randomized Phase III trial.

    EORTC study comparing two treatment regimens for patients with stage III melanoma, found that additional immunotherapy (IFN alpha 2-b) impaired their health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores. This study helped highlight that adjuvant immunotherapy may not be the most appropriate treatment for high-risk melanoma patients.

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  • Gastro-Intestinal Group

    EORTC 40993 – International phase III open label randomized trial comparing CPT-11 in combination with high dose 5FU/Folinic acid infusional regimen (group A) to the same high dose 5FU/Folinic acid infusional regimen (group B) alone as adjuvant treatment stage III colon cancer (PETACC-3).

    This EORTC study results showed the absence of benefit in adding irinotecan to 5FU treatment, in the adjuvant setting of stage III colon cancer.

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  • Quality of Life Group

    Baseline quality of life as a prognostic indicator of survival: a meta-analysis of individual patient data from EORTC clinical trials.

    EORTC conducted a meta-analysis of baseline health-related quality of life (HRQOL) parameters (e.g. age, sex, distant metastases) from 30 randomized controlled trials, spanning across 11 different cancer sites. The findings suggest that HRQOL parameters and scales, when combined with socio-demographic and clinical information, provide additional prognostic information that informs treatment and can be used to help predict survival in cancer patients.

  • Cancer in Elderly Group

    EORTC elderly task force position paper: Approach to the older cancer patient.

    As life expectancy increases and the population ages, the number of cancer cases diagnosed in individuals over the age of 65 has grown. In response to this, the EORTC established the Elderly Task Force (ETF) in 1992 to dedicate a group on this growing problem and investigate differences in malignant behavior, treatment, and quality of life in older patients versus younger. In 2010, the EORTC released a position paper outlining the influence of age on cancer presentation and cancer management in older cancer patients, to suggest changes in clinical trial methodology.

  • Gynecological Group / QoL

    EORTC 55971 – Randomized Phase III study comparing upfront debulking surgery versus neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with Stage IIIc or IV epithelial ovarian carcinoma.

    EORTC found that in patients with stage IIIC or IV epithelial ovarian cancer, timing of surgery (before or after chemotherapy) did not affect survival or health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in these patients. This finding helps enable clinicians to provide evidence-based information to their patient to support decision making.

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  • Head & Neck Group

    EORTC 24971 – A randomized phase III multicenter trial of neoadjuvant docetaxel (Taxotere) plus cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil versus neoadjuvant cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil in patients with locally advanced inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

    EORTC compared two treatment regimens in patients with inoperable locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. It found that induction therapy by three chemotherapy drugs rather than two, followed by radiotherapy improved survival, reduced toxicity in patients and improved the overall health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of these patients.

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  • Cutaneous Lymphoma Group

    Guidelines for Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome (MF/SS).

    The EORTC Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force together with the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas and the U.S. Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium, updated their consensus recommendations for clinical trials investigating Mycosis Fungoides (MF) and Sézary Syndrome (SS), types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These guidelines have facilitated collaboration among investigators and collation of data from clinical trials involving patients with MF or SS.

  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30894 – Phase III study of primary chemotherapy (CMV) in T2G3, T3 and T4a, NO-X, M0 transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (MRC/EORTC Collaborative Study).

    International Collaboration of Trialists on behalf of the Medical Research Council Advanced Bladder Cancer Working Party (now National Cancer Research Institute Bladder Cancer Clinical Studies Group), EORTC GUTCG, the Australian Bladder Cancer Study Group, the NCI of Canada Clinical Trials Group, Finnbladder, Norwegian Bladder Cancer Study Group, & Club Urologico Espanol de Tratamiento Oncologico Group.

    This international collaborative study that included EORTC, found that primary chemotherapy (CMV) before secondary treatment, reduced the risk of death by 16% in patients with muscle-invasive urothelial cancer. This was confirmed in a long-term follow up study and changed the standard of care to chemotherapy plus local therapy for invasive bladder cancer.

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  • Cancer in Elderly Group

    EORTC workshop on clinical trial methodology in older individuals with a diagnosis of solid tumors.

    The EORTC and its Elderly Task Force organized a workshop on clinical trial methodology in older cancer patients. They concluded that clinical trials investigating elderly patients, should add quality of life, functional status, and independence as end points (outcome measures), all of which comprise key issues raised by this age group. In addition, the panel released recommendations for designing and reporting clinical trials in the elderly population and established a data set to evaluate global health status for this age group.

  • Cutaneous Lymphoma Group

    Review of treatments for primary CD30+ LPDs.

    The EORTC Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force together with the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas and the U.S.A Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium Primary, published their consensus recommendations on cutaneous CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders (CD30+ LPDs), the second most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas. This was the first systematic review of response rates to treatment, recurrence rates, and outcomes for CD30+ LPDs leading to better staging, treatment, and clinical endpoints.

  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC 18952 – Post-operative adjuvant Interferon-alpha 2b (Intron-A) treatment after resection of thick primary melanoma and/or regional lymphnode metastases “intermediate-high dose” vs “intermediate-low dose” Interferon-alpha vs observation.

    Randomized phase III trial.

    EORTC found that additional interferon treatment improves overall survival, in patients with stage III ulcerated melanoma.

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 22911 – Phase III study of post-operative external radiotherapy in pathological stage T3N0 prostatic carcinoma.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Genito-Urinary Tract Cancer Cooperative Group

    EORTC’s study with a seven-year follow-up in patients with prostate cancer at high risk of progression, confirmed that immediate external irradiation following complete surgical removal of the prostate improves biochemical progression free survival and local control after five years. Exploratory analyses suggested that postoperative irradiation might improve clinical progression free survival in patients younger than 70 years and in those with positive surgical margins, but could have a detrimental effect in patients 70 and older.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22952 – No Radiotherapy versus Whole Brain Radiotherapy for 1 to 3 Brain Metastases from Solid Tumor after Surgical Resection or Radiosurgery.

    A Randomized Phase III Trial.

    The role of whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after either surgical resection or radiosurgery of brain metastases has been debated for many years. Previous studies have established a marginal advantage of WBRT for progression-free survival in patients with stable, solid brain tumors. However, because brain metastases cannot be cured and only symptoms can be treated, maintenance of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is very important. Therefore, this EORTC study found that additional whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) after surgery or radiosurgery negatively impacts heath-related quality of life in patients with brain metastases. These results help to better inform patients and oncologists on treatment options.

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30985 – Intermittent androgen deprivation in patients with stage D2 prostate cancer-Phase III.

    EORTC’s follow-up study of over 13 years in patients treated for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, found that intermittent androgen deprivation does not improve overall survival compared to continuous treatment.

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  • Leukemia Group / Elderly

    EORTC 06012 – Gemtuzumab Ozogamycin (GO) combined with standard intensive chemotherapy versus standard intensive chemotherapy alone for induction/consolidation in patients 61 – 75 years old with previously untreated AML : a randomized phase III trial (AML-17) of the EORTC – LG and the GIMEMA-ALWP.

    EORTC found that the addition of gentuzumab ozogamicin (GO) prior to standard induction treatment provides no benefit for patients of 61 to 75 years old with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30962 – Comparative study of intravesical BCG standard dose long-term maintenance versus BCG 1/3 dose long-term maintenance versus BCG standard dose short-term maintenance versus BCG 1/3 dose short-term maintenance in intermediate and high risk Ta- T1 Papillary Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder.

    EORTC study showed that in patients with intermediate and high risk Ta- T1 Papillary Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder, reducing the the dose or duration of the recommended intravesical immunotherapy treatment (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)), does not change its side effects for these patients.

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  • Leukemia Group

    EORTC 06991 – The value of high dose versus standard dose Ara-c during induction and IL-2 after intensive consolidation/autologous stem cell transplantation in patients (age 15-60 yrs) with acute myelogenous leukemia.

    A randomized phase III trial of the EORTC and GIMEMA Leukemia Cooperative Groups (AML-12).

    EORTC found higher doses of chemotherapy drug cytarabine during first phase treatment, provided higher response and survival rates than the standard dose, in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients, especially if younger than 46 years old.

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  • Gynecological Group

    EORTC 44041 – A randomized, multicenter, phase III study of Erlotinib versus observation in patients with no evidence of disease progression after first line, platinum-based chemotherapy for high-risk Stage I and Stage II-IV ovarian epithelial, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer.

    This EORTC study showed that in patients with stage I or II to IV epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer, the addition of the chemotherapy drug erlotinib (EGFR), did not improve progress free or overall survival. However, this study yielded valuable information on the mechanisms of EGFR and related pathways with targeted therapy in ovarian cancer patients.

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  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC 18021 – Intravenous versus intra-arterial fotemustine chemotherapy in patients with liver metastases from uveal melanoma : a randomized phase III study of the EORTC Melanoma Group.

    Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare disease arising from the pigmented uveal tract of the eye, with cancerous cells spreading in 95% of patients in liver. Therefore, this EORTC trial evaluated the effectiveness of delivering treatment of fotemustine via hepatic intra-arterial (HIA) vs intra-venously (IV) in patients with liver metastases from uveal melanoma. Results showed that hepatic intra-arterial (HIA) delivery of fotemustine did not improve overall survival compared to intravenous delivery in patients with uveal melanoma.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22881/10882 – Phase III study in the conservative management of breast carcinoma by tumorectomy and radiotherapy: assessment of the role of a booster dose of radiotherapy.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Breast Cancer Cooperative Group

    Since the introduction of breast-conserving treatment, various radiation doses after lumpectomy have been used. This EORTC study investigated the effect of additional radiation (radiation ‘boost’) on overall survival, local control, fibrosis (development of scar tissue) in patients with stage I and II breast cancer who underwent breast conserving therapy. After surgery and primary radiation, patients were assigned to received a radiation boost or no boost. In this 20 year follow up, results showed that a radiation boost after whole-breast irradiation, has no effect on long-term overall survival of the patient, but can improve local control, with the largest absolute benefit in young patients, although it increases the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis. In addition, it was advised that extra radiation should and can be avoided in most patients older that 60 years.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22922/10925 – Phase III randomized trial investigating the role of internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph node chain irradiation in stage I-III breast cancer.

    Joint study of the EORTC Radiotherapy Cooperative Group and the EORTC Breast Cancer Cooperative Group.

    There was a renewed interest in irradiation of regional lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer. However, conflicting evidence on the efficacy and toxicity of irradiation of lymph nodes led to uncertainties on its merit as a treatment for breast cancer. Therefore, to explore the effect of elective internal mammary and medial supraclavicular lymph-node irradiation on overall survival, EORTC studied this in breast patients between 1996 and 2004 with a median follow up of 10.9 years. Breast cancer patients who had undergone mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery and axillary dissection either received regional nodal irradiation or did not. Results showed that in patients with early-stage breast cancer, irradiation of the regional nodes, improved disease-free survival and distant disease-free survival and reduced mortality.

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  • Breast Group

    EORTC 10981/22023 – After Mapping of the Axilla: Radiotherapy Or Surgery AMAROS.

    EORTC study comparing two treatment regimens in breast cancer patients with positive sentinel node biopsy, found that axillary radiotherapy is an effective alternative to axillary dissection in regional control of this tumour. Axillary radiotherapy helps bypass health complications caused by lymph node removal.

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  • Soft Tissue & Bone

    EORTC 62024 – Intermediate and high risk localized, completely resected, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) expressing KIT receptor : a controlled randomized trial on adjuvant Imatinib mesylate (Glivec) versus no further therapy after complete surgery.

    Building on the successful results of its previous research on GIST, EORTC continued by determining the timing of treatment with imatinib in patients with early detected GIST. Through the EORTC GIST studies, life expectancy of patients diagnosed with this tumour has doubled. Thanks to EORTC, today, imatinib has changed the landscape of GIST treatment making it the gold standard.

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  • Leukemia Group / Elderly

    EORTC 06011 – Intravenous low-dose decitabine versus supportive care in elderly patients with primary Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) (>10% blasts or high-risk cytogenetics), secondary MDS or Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML) who are not eligible for intensive therapy.

    An EORTC-German MDS Study Group randomized phase III study.

    This EORTC study established the efficacy and safety of treatment with decitabine, in elderly patients with higher-risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30994 – Randomized phase III trial comparing immediate versus deferred chemotherapy after radical cystectomy in patients with pT3-pT4, and/or N+M0 transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder.

    EORTC’s study comparing two treatment regiments with a seven-year follow-up, in patients with pT3-pT4, and/or N+M0 transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder, found that even though immediate chemotherapy did not improve overall survival, it improved progression free survival in these patients.

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  • Leukemia Group

    EORTC / GIMEMA 060661 – Clofarabine in combination with a standard remissioninduction regimen (AraC and idarubicin) in patients 18-60 years old with previously untreated intermediate and bad risk acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or high risk myelodysplasia (MDS) : a phase I-II study of the EORTC-LG and GIMEMA (AML-14A trial)

    EORTC and GIMEMA found the addition of clofarabine to the standard first-phase treatment lead to higher response rates and prolonged survival in patients with intermediate/high-risk acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

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  • Leukemia Group

    EORTC 06031 – Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (GO) monotherapy versus standard supportive care for previously untreated AML in elderly patients who are not eligible for intensive chemotherapy : a randomized phase II/III trial (AML-19) of the EORTC-LG and GIMEMA-ALWP.

    EORTC found that low-dose of gentuzumab ozogamicin (GO), compared with best supportive care, prolonged survival without serious adverse effects in elderly patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), who were ineligible for intensive chemotherapy.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22991 – Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy alone vs Three Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy / Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy plus adjuvant hormonal therapy in localized T1b-c, T2a, N0, M0 prostatic carcinoma.

    A Phase III Randomized Study.

    Thirty percent of patients with high-risk prostate cancer who undergo radiation biochemically, relapse within 5 years. Because prostate cancer is directly linked to androgens, androgen suppression is often another treatment for this disease. This EORTC study investigated whether adding 6 months of androgen suppression after radiation would improve disease-free survival in patients with high-risk prostate cancer. Results showed that, even after a 7 year follow up, radiotherapy plus androgen suppression significantly improved both biochemical and clinical disease-free survival compared to radiotherapy alone.

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  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC 18071 – Adjuvant immunotherapy with anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody (ipilimumab) versus placebo after complete resection of high-risk Stage III melanoma.

    A randomized, double-blind Phase 3 trial of the EORTC Melanoma Group.

    EORTC found that resection of lymph nodes plus three years of additional treatment with ipilimumab, prolongs the time to disease reoccurrence or death in patients with stage III melanoma. A follow up in 2016 confirmed these results and showed that additional treatment with ipilimumab also improves overall survival.

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  • Radiation Oncology Group

    EORTC 22033/26033 – Primary chemotherapy with temozolomide vs. radiotherapy in patients with low grade gliomas after stratification for genetic 1p loss.

    A phase III study.

    EORTC found that postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy were equally as effective in prolonging progression-free survival in patients with low-grade glioma.

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  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC 16032 – Randomized, open phase II study of immunization with the recombinant MAGE-3 protein combined with adjuvant AS02B or AS15 in patients with unresectable and progressive metastatic cutaneous melanoma.

    Some Melanoma metastasis contain the MAGE-A3 antigen which can be targeted by special antitumor immune cells. This EORTC study compared two treatments in patients with metastatic melanoma expressing MAGE-A3, and found that immunization against MAGE-A3 improved overall survival. The EORTC Melanoma Group also reported that the females have longer time to reoccurrence and improved overall survival than males in stage II-IV melanoma patients.

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  • Lymphoma Group

    EORTC 20012 – BEACOPP (4 cycles escalated + 4 cycles baseline) versus ABVD (8 cycles) in stage III & IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

    Building off of the results of EORTC trials H9,10, and 12, in 2016, this EORTC trial compared two different chemotherapy regiments (ABVD 8 and BEACOPP 4 + 4) and found similar results in event-free and overall survival in patients with high-risk advanced-stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

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  • Cutaneous Lymphoma Group

    Guidelines for Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome (MF/SS).

    The EORTC Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force updated its 2011 consensus recommendations on Mycosis Fungoides (MF) and Sézary Syndrome (SS), types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The recommendations reiterated that skin-directed therapies are still the most appropriate for early stage MF but suggested that there must be more development and investigation in controlled clinical trials of treatment options based in the molecular pathology of MF and SS.

  • Brain Group

    EORTC 26053/22054 (CATNON) – Phase III trial on concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide chemotherapy in non-1p/19q deleted anaplastic glioma.

    The CATNON intergroup trial.

    Both radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs work by killing or stopping the growth of cancerous tumor cells. Radiation therapy (RT) uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells and chemotherapy drugs work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. The chemotherapy drug, temozolomide (TMZ), is often used to treat patients with anaplastic glioma. However, anaplastic glioma patients with specific tumor variant –1p/19q non-co-deleted tumors– are associated with lower response to chemotherapy and worse prognosis. Therefore this EORTC study assessed whether giving TMZ during and/or after radiation therapy is more effective than radiation therapy alone in treating anaplastic glioma. The interim analysis indicated that following radiotherapy with TMZ is associated with better survival benefits in patients with newly diagnosed non-co-deleted anaplastic glioma. Further analysis of the role of concurrent temozolomide treatment and molecular factors is needed.

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  • Imaging / Breast Group

    EORTC 10041 – MINDACT (Microarray In Node-negative and 1 to 3 positive lymph node Disease may Avoid Chemo Therapy): A prospective, randomized study comparing the 70-gene signature with the common clinicopathological criteria in selecting patients for adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer with 0 to 3 positive nodes.

    From 2007 to 2011, EORTC enrolled 6 693 breast cancer patients from 112 hospitals across 9 countries. This EORTC study found that the 70-gene signature MammaPrint® is an effective prognostic assessment tool for patients with node-negative or 1-3 node positive early-stage breast cancer. These patients can be safely spared adjuvant chemotherapy (post-operation), without affecting their long term outcome. This finding could substantially optimize the use of additional chemotherapy, sparing unnecessary toxicities in patients. This breakthrough clinical trial is an example of international, academic, and multi-disciplinary leadership and achievement in breast cancer research. It is also a clear illustration of an integrated public, private and patient group collaboration.

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  • Brain Group

    EORTC 26101 – Phase III trial exploring the combination of bevacizumab and lomustine in patients with first recurrence of a glioblastoma.

    Phase II trial exploring the sequence of bevacizumab and lomustine in patients with first recurrence of a glioblastoma.

    EORTC study comparing two treatment regimens in patients with reoccurring glioblastoma (GBM), found that the combination treatment of bevacizumab and lomustine, did not provide additional survival benefit for those patients. The MRI images however collected in this trial, were analyzed using an automated quantitative tumour response assessment, called artificial neural networks (ANN). The study showed that using ANN, enabled objective, uniform, and automated assessment of tumour response that helps overcome the limitations of manual, human assessment of MRI images. This study could ultimately serve as a blueprint for the application of ANN in radiology to improve clinical decision making and tumor assessment.

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  • Melanoma Group

    EORTC1325 – Adjuvant immunotherapy with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) versus placebo after complete resection of high-risk Stage III melanoma.

    A randomized, double- blind Phase 3 trial of the EORTC Melanoma Group.

    EORTC found that 1-year of therapy with immunotherapy treatment (pembrolizumab) after surgery, significantly prolongs time to disease recurrence or death, in patients with high-risk stage III resected melanoma. Based on these results, pembrolizumab treatment was approved by the EMA and FDA.

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  • Genito-Urinary Group

    EORTC 30073 – Randomized Phase III trial comparing immediate versus deferred nephrectomy in patients with synchronous metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

    EORTC study compared two treatment regimens in patients with synchronous metastatic renal cell carcinoma. It found that deferring cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN) to after chemotherapy treatment with suntinib, does not improve progression free survival, although overall survival was slightly higher in patients with primary metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). However, pretreatment with sunitinib may identify patients with inherent resistance to systemic therapy before planned CN.

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  • Brain Group

    ORTC 26071/22072 – Cilengitide in subjects with newly diagnosed glioblastoma and methylated MGMT promoter gene- a multicenter, open-label, controlled Phase III study, testing cilengitide in combination with standard treatment (temozolomide with concomitant radiation therapy, followed by temozolomide maintenance therapy) versus standard treatment alone (CENTRIC)

    Building off of the results of previous clinical research, this EORTC study analyzed the MGMT methylation cutoff in clinical trials as a prognostic factor in how patients with glioblastoma (GBM) respond to treatment. It found that patients with low MGMT methylation have some sensitivity to temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy treatment, hence the lower safety margin should be considered for selecting patients with unmethylated GBM into trials omitting temozolomide.

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  • Brain Group

    EORTC 1320 – Trabectedin for recurrent grade II or III meningioma.

    A randomized phase II study of the EORTC Brain Tumor Group.

    EORTC study assessed the effectiveness of an anti-tumour drug, trabectedin, for grade II or III meningioma patients (types of aggressive brain tumours), and found no improvement in progression free or overall survival for these patients. Results from this study can serve as a benchmark for future clinical trials investigating trabectedin.

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  • Gastro-Intestinal Group

    EORTC 1409 – A prospective Colorectal Liver Metastasis Database with an Integrated Quality Assurance program

    Surgery has a definite role in offering cure to cancer patients, nonetheless there is a also a need to improve surgical research. Responding to this need, EORTC embarked on a collaborative project with ESSO to achieve excellent surgical research and care for cancer patients. It aims to map out challenges and initiate a sustainable collaboration to advance cancer surgery research in Europe. The pilot project under this collaboration looks at patients with colorectal liver metastasis.

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  • Gynecological Group

    EORTC 55994 – Randomized phase III study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery vs. concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy in FIGO Ib2, IIa > 4 cm or IIb cervical cancer.

    EORTC compared two treatment regimens in patients with cervical cancer (FIGO Ib2, IIa >4 cm or IIb cervical cancer) and found that there were no differences in survival between first-line chemotherapy followed by surgery (NACTS), versus simultaneous radiotherapy and chemotherapy (CCRT).

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  • Brain Group

    EORTC 1410 – INTELLANCE 2: ABT 414 alone or ABT 414 plus temozolomide versus lomustine or temozolomide for recurrent glioblastoma.

    A randomized phase II study of the EORTC Brain Tumor Group.

    EORTC study comparing two treatment regimens for patients with recurring glioblastoma. About 50% of patients with recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM) have tumors with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which increases tumor growth. Results showed that adding the antibiotic drug ABT414 to the standard chemotherapy with temozolomide (TMZ), was an effective treatment in patients with EGFR amplified recurrent glioblastoma, especially in patients relapsing well after the end of first-line TMZ treatment.

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  • Leukemia Group

    EORTC 06863 – A randomized phase III study of autologous bone marrow transplantation versus intensive consolidation during first complete remission in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML-8A).

    EORTC published the final, long-term follow-up results of the AML-8A study, which began in 1995. Results confirmed the efficacy of bone marrow transplant, compared to intensive chemotherapy, in improving disease-free survival in younger adult patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) after complete remission.

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