Daniel Laheru

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (128)834.65 Total impact

  • Pancreatology 06/2015; 15(3):S96. DOI:10.1016/j.pan.2015.05.350 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the feasibility of genotyping pancreatic tumors via fine needle aspirates (FNAs). FNA is a common method of diagnosis for pancreatic cancer, yet it has traditionally been considered inadequate for molecular studies due to the limited quantity of DNA derived from FNA specimens and tumor heterogeneity. In vitro mixing studies were performed to deduce the minimum cellularity needed for genetic analysis. DNA from both simulated FNAs and clinical FNAs was sequenced. Mutational concordance was determined between simulated FNAs and that of the resected specimen. Limiting dilution studies indicated that mutations present at allele frequencies as low as 0.12% are detectable. Comparison of simulated FNAs and matched tumor tissue exhibited a concordance frequency of 100% for all driver genes present. In FNAs obtained from 17 patients with unresectable disease, we identified at least 1 driver gene mutation in all patients including actionable somatic mutations in ATM and MTOR. The constellation of mutations identified in these patients was different than that reported for resectable pancreatic cancers, implying a biologic basis for presentation with locally advanced pancreatic cancer. FNA sequencing is feasible and subsets of patients may harbor actionable mutations that could potentially impact therapy. Moreover, preoperative FNA sequencing has the potential to influence the timing of surgery relative to systemic therapy. FNA sequencing opens the door to clinical trials in which patients undergo neoadjuvant or a surgery-first approach based on their tumor genetics with the goal of utilizing cancer genomics in the clinical management of pancreatic cancer.
    Annals of surgery 05/2015; DOI:10.1097/SLA.0000000000001156 · 7.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This phase 2 multi-institutional study was designed to determine whether gemcitabine (GEM) with fractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) results in acceptable late grade 2 to 4 gastrointestinal toxicity when compared with a prior trial of GEM with single-fraction SBRT in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). A total of 49 patients with LAPC received up to 3 doses of GEM (1000 mg/m(2) ) followed by a 1-week break and SBRT (33.0 gray [Gy] in 5 fractions). After SBRT, patients continued to receive GEM until disease progression or toxicity. Toxicity was assessed using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [version 4.0] and the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group radiation morbidity scoring criteria. Patients completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30) and pancreatic cancer-specific QLQ-PAN26 module before SBRT and at 4 weeks and 4 months after SBRT. The median follow-up was 13.9 months (range, 3.9-45.2 months). The median age of the patients was 67 years and 84% had tumors of the pancreatic head. Rates of acute and late (primary endpoint) grade ≥2 gastritis, fistula, enteritis, or ulcer toxicities were 2% and 11%, respectively. QLQ-C30 global quality of life scores remained stable from baseline to after SBRT (67 at baseline, median change of 0 at both follow-ups; P>.05 for both). Patients reported a significant improvement in pancreatic pain (P = .001) 4 weeks after SBRT on the QLQ-PAN26 questionnaire. The median plasma carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) level was reduced after SBRT (median time after SBRT, 4.2 weeks; 220 U/mL vs 62 U/mL [P<.001]). The median overall survival was 13.9 months (95% confidence interval, 10.2 months-16.7 months). Freedom from local disease progression at 1 year was 78%. Four patients (8%) underwent margin-negative and lymph node-negative surgical resections. Fractionated SBRT with GEM results in minimal acute and late gastrointestinal toxicity. Future studies should incorporate SBRT with more aggressive multiagent chemotherapy. Cancer 2014. © 2014 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Cancer Society. © 2014 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 04/2015; 121(7). DOI:10.1002/cncr.29161 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The significance of indeterminate pulmonary nodules (IPNs) in patients undergoing resection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is unknown. We sought to define the prevalence and impact of IPN in such patients. We studied all patients who underwent surgical resection of PDAC between 1980 and 2013. IPN was defined as ≥1 well-defined lung nodule(s) less than 3 cm in diameter. Survival was assessed using univariate and multivariate Cox models. Of the 2306 resected patients, 374 (16.2 %) had a preoperative chest computed tomography (CT) scan. Of these patients, 183 (49 %) had ≥1 IPN. Demographic and clinicopathological characteristics were similar among patients with or without IPN (all P > 0.05). Median survival was comparable among patients who did (15.6 months) or did not (18.0 months) have IPN (P = 0.66). Of the 183 patients with IPN, 29 (16 %) progressed to clinically recognizable metastatic lung disease compared to 13 % without IPN (P = 0.38). The presence of >1 IPN was associated with the development of lung metastasis (relative risk 1.58, 95 % CI 1.03-2.4; P = 0.05). However, lung metastasis was not associated with survival (P = 0.24). An IPN proved to be a lung metastasis in only one of six patients with PDAC undergoing surgical resection in this study. Survival was not impacted, even among patients who developed lung metastasis. Patients with PDAC who have IPN should not be precluded from surgical consideration.
    Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 01/2015; 19(5). DOI:10.1007/s11605-014-2740-9 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: GVAX pancreas, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-secreting allogeneic pancreatic tumor cells, induces T-cell immunity to cancer antigens, including mesothelin. GVAX is administered with low-dose cyclophosphamide (Cy) to inhibit regulatory T cells. CRS-207, live-attenuated Listeria monocytogenes-expressing mesothelin, induces innate and adaptive immunity. On the basis of preclinical synergy, we tested prime/boost vaccination with GVAX and CRS-207 in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Previously treated patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned at a ratio of 2:1 to two doses of Cy/GVAX followed by four doses of CRS-207 (arm A) or six doses of Cy/GVAX (arm B) every 3 weeks. Stable patients were offered additional courses. The primary end point was overall survival (OS) between arms. Secondary end points were safety and clinical response. A total of 90 patients were treated (arm A, n = 61; arm B, n = 29); 97% had received prior chemotherapy; 51% had received ≥ two regimens for metastatic disease. Mean number of doses (± standard deviation) administered in arms A and B were 5.5 ± 4.5 and 3.7 ± 2.2, respectively. The most frequent grade 3 to 4 related toxicities were transient fevers, lymphopenia, elevated liver enzymes, and fatigue. OS was 6.1 months in arm A versus 3.9 months in arm B (hazard ratio [HR], 0.59; P = .02). In a prespecified per-protocol analysis of patients who received at least three doses (two doses of Cy/GVAX plus one of CRS-207 or three of Cy/GVAX), OS was 9.7 versus 4.6 months (arm A v B; HR, 0.53; P = .02). Enhanced mesothelin-specific CD8 T-cell responses were associated with longer OS, regardless of treatment arm. Heterologous prime/boost with Cy/GVAX and CRS-207 extended survival for patients with pancreatic cancer, with minimal toxicity. © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 01/2015; 33(12). DOI:10.1200/JCO.2014.57.4244 · 17.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a promising option for patients with pancreatic cancer (PCA); however, limited data support its efficacy. This study reviews our institutional experience of SBRT in the treatment of locally advanced (LAPC) and borderline resectable (BRPC) PCA. Methods Charts of all PCA patients receiving SBRT at our institution from 2010 to 2014 were reviewed. Most patients received pre-SBRT chemotherapy. Primary endpoints included overall survival (OS) and local progression-free survival (LPFS). Patients received a total dose of 25–33 Gy in five fractions. Results A total of 88 patients were included in the analysis, 74 with LAPC and 14 with BRPC. The median age at diagnosis was 67.2 years, and median follow-up from date of diagnosis for LAPC and BRPC patients was 14.5 and 10.3 months, respectively. Median OS from date of diagnosis was 18.4 months (LAPC, 14.4 mo; BRPC, 18.4 mo) and median PFS was 9.8 months (95 % CI 8.0–12.3). Acute toxicity was minimal with only three patients (3.4 %) experiencing acute grade ≥3 toxicity. Late grade ≥2 gastrointestinal toxicity was seen in five patients (5.7 %). Of the 19 patients (21.6 %) who underwent surgery, 79 % were LAPC patients and 84 % had margin-negative resections. Conclusions Chemotherapy followed by SBRT in patients with LAPC and BRPC resulted in minimal acute and late toxicity. A large proportion of patients underwent surgical resection despite limited radiographic response to therapy. Further refinements in the integration of chemotherapy, SBRT, and surgery might offer additional advancements toward optimizing patient outcomes.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 01/2015; 22(7). DOI:10.1245/s10434-014-4274-5 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to evaluate quality of life (QoL) in patients presenting to the Johns Hopkins Pancreas Multidisciplinary Clinic (PMDC), and to examine associations between disease status, performance status, and QoL in order to identify patient subgroups that are most at risk for reduced QoL. Data from 77 patients were evaluated. At initial presentation, disease and performance status were assessed, as well as QoL, which was obtained with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-PAN26 questionnaire. Statistical analyses examined associations between QoL, disease status, and performance status. Digestive symptoms (P < .003) significantly differed by pancreatic disease status (resectable, resected, locally advanced, and metastatic). Patients with a worse performance status, defined as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group ≥ 1, were more likely to report symptomatic pancreatic pain (P = .001), digestive symptoms (P = .017), cachexia (P = .004), and ascites (P < .001) compared with patients with a performance status of 0. The majority (92%) of patients reported a significant fear of future health problems, regardless of disease status or performance status. Although several measures of QoL have been observed in all patients, certain measures appear to correlate specifically with worse disease status. Therefore, routine assessment of QoL is suggested in order to guide treatment decisions. Further investigation on optimizing the use of QoL measures and patient-reported outcomes to better tailor management is warranted. Copyright © 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
    Journal of Oncology Practice 01/2015; 11(2). DOI:10.1200/JOP.2014.000976
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer immunotherapy induces a variety of auto-inflammatory responses, including those against the thyroid gland, which can be exploited to predict clinical outcomes. Considering the paucity of information about thyroid autoimmunity in patients receiving cancer vaccines, we designed the present study to assess the development of thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAbs) in patients treated with GVAX and/or ipilimumab and correlated seroconversion with survival. Using both in house and commercial ELISA assays, we measured TgAbs in patients with pancreatic (No. = 53), prostate (No.= 35), or colon (No.= 8) cancer, before and after treatment with GVAX only (No= 34), GVAX plus ipilimumab (No = 42), or ipilimumab (No =20), and correlated their levels with patient's survival, disease status, and T cell surface markers. Antibodies to thyroperoxidase, myeloperoxidase, proteinase 3, insulin and actin were also measured. TgAbs specifically developed after GVAX, independent of the underlying cancer (81% in prostate, 75% colon cancer, and 76% pancreatic cancer) and co-administration of ipilimumab (75% in GVAX only and 78% in GVAX plus ipilimumab). This TgAbs seroconversion could be detected mainly by the in house assay, suggesting that the thyroglobulin epitopes recognized by the antibodies induced by GVAX are different from the epitopes seen in the classic form of Hashimoto thyroiditis. Notably, TgAbs seroconversion was associated with significantly prolonged survival (p=0.01 for pancreas and p= 0.005 for prostate cancer). In conclusion, GVAX immunotherapy induces the appearance of TgAbs that recognize a unique antigenic repertoire and associate with prolonged survival. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 01/2015; 136(1). DOI:10.1002/ijc.28973 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has a poor prognosis due to late detection and resistance to conventional therapies. Published studies show that the PDA tumor microenvironment is predominantly infiltrated with immune suppressive cells and signals that if altered, would allow effective immunotherapy. However, single-agent checkpoint inhibitors including agents that alter immune suppressive signals in other human cancers such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4), programmed death 1 (PD-1), and its ligand PD-L1, have failed to demonstrate objective responses when given as single agents to PDA patients. We recently reported that inhibition of the CTLA-4 pathway when given together with a T cell inducing vaccine gives objective responses in metastatic PDA patients. In this study, we evaluated blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. We found that PD-L1 is weakly expressed at a low frequency in untreated human and murine PDAs but treatment with a granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor secreting PDA vaccine (GVAX) significantly upregulates PD-L1 membranous expression after treatment of tumor-bearing mice. In addition, combination therapy with vaccine and PD-1 antibody blockade improved murine survival compared with PD-1 antibody monotherapy or GVAX therapy alone. Furthermore, PD-1 blockade increased effector CD8 T lymphocytes and tumor-specific interferon-γ production of CD8 T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Immunosuppressive pathways, including regulatory T cells and CTLA-4 expression on T cells were overcome by the addition of vaccine and low-dose cyclophosphamide to PD-1 blockade. Collectively, our study supports combining PD-1 or PD-L1 antibody therapy with a T cell inducing agent for PDA treatment.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 11/2014; DOI:10.1097/CJI.0000000000000062 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is comprised of a prominent desmoplastic stromal compartment and only 10–40% of the tumour consists of PDA cells. However, how stromal components should be assessed and how the characteristics of the stromal compartment determine clinical outcomes in PDA patients remain unknown.MethodA cohort of 66 consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy and were primarily followed at Johns Hopkins Hospital between 1998 and 2004, and treated with adjuvant therapy, were included in a retrospective analysis. Resected PDA blocks with good tissue preservation were available for all patients. A new, computer-aided, quantitative method was developed to assess the density and activity of stroma in PDAs and the associations of these characteristics with clinical outcomes.ResultsHigh stromal density in resected PDA was found to be significantly associated with longer disease-free [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.39; P = 0.001] and overall (aHR 0.44; P = 0.004) survival after adjusting for the use of pancreatic cancer vaccine therapy, as well as gender and resection margin positivity. Stromal activity, representing activated pancreatic stellate cells in PDAs, was not significantly associated with the prognosis of resected PDAs.Conclusions These results illustrate the complexity of the role of stroma in PDAs. Further exploration of the prognostic ability of the characteristics of stroma is warranted.
    HPB 10/2014; 17(4). DOI:10.1111/hpb.12334 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:We completed a phase I clinical trial to test the safety and toxicity of combined treatment with cixutumumab (anti-IGF-1R antibody) and selumetinib (MEK 1/2 inhibitor).Methods:Patients with advanced solid tumours, refractory to standard therapy received selumetinib hydrogen sulphate capsules orally twice daily, and cixutumumab intravenously on days 1 and 15 of each 28-day cycle. The study used a 3+3 design, with a dose-finding cohort followed by an expansion cohort at the maximally tolerated dose that included pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic correlative studies.Results:Thirty patients were enrolled, with 16 in the dose-finding cohort and 14 in the expansion cohort. Grade 3 or greater toxicities included nausea and vomiting, anaemia, CVA, hypertension, hyperglycaemia, and ophthalmic symptoms. The maximally tolerated combination dose was 50 mg twice daily of selumetinib and 12 mg kg(-1) every 2 weeks of cixutumumab. Two patients achieved a partial response (one unconfirmed), including a patient with BRAF wild-type thyroid carcinoma, and a patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue, and six patients achieved time to progression of >6 months, including patients with thyroid carcinoma, colorectal carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma. Comparison of pre- and on-treatment biopsies showed significant suppression of pERK and pS6 activity with treatment.Conclusions:Our study of anti-IGF-1R antibody cixutumumab and MEK 1/2 inhibitor selumetinib showed that the combination is safe and well-tolerated at these doses, with preliminary evidence of clinical benefit and pharmacodynamic evidence of target inhibition.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication 30 September 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.515 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 09/2014; 112(1). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2014.515 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Nucleotide transporters such as human equilibrative nucleoside transporter-1 (hENT1) play a major role in transporting gemcitabine into cells. CO-1.01 (gemcitabine-5′-elaidate) is a novel cytotoxic agent consisting of a fatty acid derivative of gemcitabine, which is transported intracellularly independent of hENT1. CO-1.01 was postulated to have efficacy as a second-line treatment in gemcitabine-refractory pancreatic adenocarcinoma in patients with negative tumor hENT1 expression. Methods Eligibility criteria included patients with either a newly procured or archival biopsy tumor confirming the absence of hENT1 and either gemcitabine-refractory metastatic pancreas adenocarcinoma or with progression of disease following resection during or within 3 months of adjuvant gemcitabine therapy. Patients were treated with intravenous infusion of CO-1.01 dosed at 1250 mg/m2 on Days 1, 8, and 15 of a 4-week cycle. The primary end point was disease control rate (DCR). Results Nineteen patients were enrolled of which 18 patients were evaluable for efficacy assessment. Thirteen patients (68%) had liver metastases, 6 (32%) had lymph node metastases, and 10 (53%) had lung metastases. Two of 18 patients (11%) achieved disease control. The median survival time was 4.3 (95% CI 2.1–8.1) months. All patients experienced at least one treatment-related adverse event with the majority of events being mild or moderate. Conclusion This study did not meet its primary endpoint and no efficacy signal was identified for CO-1.01 in treating progressive metastatic pancreas adenocarcinoma.
    Pancreatology 09/2014; 14(5). DOI:10.1016/j.pan.2014.07.003 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Although previous studies have demonstrated the prognostic value of positron emission tomography (PET) parameters in other malignancies, the role of PET in pancreatic cancer has yet to be well established. We analyzed the prognostic utility of PET for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) undergoing fractionated stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Materials and Methods Thirty-two patients with LAPC in a prospective clinical trial received up to 3 doses of gemcitabine, followed by 33 Gy in 5 fractions of 6.6 Gy, using SBRT. All patients received a baseline PET scan prior to SBRT (pre-SBRT PET). Metabolic tumor volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG), and maximum and peak standardized uptake values (SUVmax and SUVpeak) on pre-SBRT PET scans were calculated using custom-designed software. Disease was measured at a threshold based on the liver SUV, using the equation Livermean + [2 × Liversd]. Median values of PET parameters were used as cutoffs when assessing their prognostic potential through Cox regression analyses. Results Of the 32 patients, the majority were male (n=19, 59%), 65 years or older (n=21, 66%), and had tumors located in the pancreatic head (n=27, 84%). Twenty-seven patients (84%) received induction gemcitabine prior to SBRT. Median overall survival for the entire cohort was 18.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.7-22.0). An MTV of 26.8 cm3 or greater (hazard ratio [HR] 4.46, 95% CI 1.64-5.88, P<.003) and TLG of 70.9 or greater (HR 3.08, 95% CI 1.18-8.02, P<.021) on pre-SBRT PET scan were associated with inferior overall survival on univariate analysis. Both pre-SBRT MTV (HR 5.13, 95% CI 1.19-22.21, P=.029) and TLG (HR 3.34, 95% CI 1.07-10.48, P=.038) remained independently associated with overall survival in separate multivariate analyses. Conclusions Pre-SBRT MTV and TLG are potential predictive factors for overall survival in patients with LAPC and may assist in tailoring therapy.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 07/2014; 89(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.02.031 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent advances in earlier detection and improvements in chemotherapy, the 5-year survival rate of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma remains poor. Immunotherapy is a potentially effective therapeutic approach to the treatment of colorectal carcinoma. Preclinical studies have supported the antitumor activity of immunization with a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) producing murine colon tumor cell vaccine. A novel colorectal cancer vaccine composed of irradiated, allogeneic human colon cancer cells and GM-CSF-producing bystander cells was developed and tested in combination with a single intravenous low dose of cyclophosphamide in a phase 1 study of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. A total of nine patients were enrolled onto and treated in this study. Six patients had a history of colorectal adenocarcinoma hepatic metastases and underwent curative metastasectomy, while three other patients had unresectable stage IV disease. This study demonstrates the safety and feasibility of this vaccine administered in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. At last follow-up, the six patients who underwent curative metastasectomy survived longer than 36 months, and four of these six patients were without disease recurrence. Immunologic correlate results suggest that the GM-CSF-producing colon cancer vaccine enhances the production of anti-MUC1 antibodies. This vaccine is feasible and safe. Future investigation of the efficacy and antitumor immunity of this vaccine is warranted.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 06/2014; 21(12). DOI:10.1245/s10434-014-3844-x · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is considered a "nonimmunogenic" neoplasm. Single-agent immunotherapies have failed to demonstrate significant clinical activity in PDAC and other "nonimmunogenic" tumors, in part due to a complex tumor microenvironment (TME) that provides a formidable barrier to immune infiltration and function. We designed a neoadjuvant and adjuvant clinical trial comparing an irradiated, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-secreting, allogeneic PDAC vaccine (GVAX) given as a single agent or in combination with low-dose cyclophosphamide to deplete regulatory T cells (Treg) as a means to study how the TME is altered by immunotherapy. Examination of resected PDACs revealed the formation of vaccine-induced intratumoral tertiary lymphoid aggregates in 33 of 39 patients 2 weeks after vaccine treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis showed these aggregates to be regulatory structures of adaptive immunity. Microarray analysis of microdissected aggregates identified gene-expression signatures in five signaling pathways involved in regulating immune-cell activation and trafficking that were associated with improved postvaccination responses. A suppressed Treg pathway and an enhanced Th17 pathway within these aggregates were associated with improved survival, enhanced postvaccination mesothelin-specific T-cell responses, and increased intratumoral Teff:Treg ratios. This study provides the first example of immune-based therapy converting a "nonimmunogenic" neoplasm into an "immunogenic" neoplasm by inducing infiltration of T cells and development of tertiary lymphoid structures in the TME. Post-GVAX T-cell infiltration and aggregate formation resulted in the upregulation of immunosuppressive regulatory mechanisms, including the PD-1-PD-L1 pathway, suggesting that patients with vaccine-primed PDAC may be better candidates than vaccine-naive patients for immune checkpoint and other immunomodulatory therapies.(C) 2014 AACR.
    06/2014; 2(7). DOI:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-14-0027
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    ABSTRACT: Vatalanib (PTK 787/ZK22584) is an oral poly-tyrosine kinase inhibitor with strong affinity for platelet-derived growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors. We conducted an open-label, phase II multicenter therapeutic trial investigating the efficacy and tolerability of vatalanib in patients with metastatic or advanced pancreatic cancer who failed first-line gemcitabine-based therapy. Vatalanib treatment consisted of a twice daily oral dosing using a "ramp-up schedule," beginning with 250 mg bid during week 1,500 mg bid during week 2, and 750 mg bid on week three and thereafter. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the 6-month survival rate. Sixty-seven patients were enrolled. The median age was 64, and 66 % (N = 43) had only one prior regimen. Common grade 3/4 adverse events included hypertension (20 %; N = 13), fatigue (17 %; N = 11), abdominal pain (17 %; N = 11), and elevated alkaline phosphatase (15 %; N = 10). Among the 65 evaluable patients, the 6-month survival rate was 29 % (95 % CI 18-41 %) and the median progression-free survival was 2 months. Fifteen patients survived 6 months or more. Two patients had objective partial responses, and 28 % of patients had stable disease. Changes in biomarkers including soluble VEGF and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor did not correlate with response to drug. Vatalanib was well tolerated as a second-line therapy and resulted in favorable 6-month survival rate in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, compared with historic controls.
    Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 06/2014; 74(2). DOI:10.1007/s00280-014-2499-4 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of postoperative complications on the administration of adjuvant therapy following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for adenocarcinoma is still unclear. A retrospective review of all patients undergoing PD at our institution between 1995 and 2011 was performed. Clinicopathological data, including Clavien-Dindo complication grade, time to adjuvant therapy (TTA), and survival, were analyzed. A total of 1,144 patients underwent PD for adenocarcinoma between 1995 and 2011. The overall complication rate was 49.1 % and clinically severe complications (≥IIIb) occurred in 4.2 %. Overall, 621 patients (54.3 %) were known to have received adjuvant therapy. The median TTA was 60 days. Although the presence of a complication was associated with a delay in TTA (p = 0.002), the grade of complication was not (p = 0.112). On multivariate analysis, only age > 68 years (p < 0.001) and length of stay >9 days (p = 0.002) correlated with no adjuvant therapy. Patients with postoperative complications were more likely to receive single adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy (31.4 %) than were patients without complications (17.1 %; p < 0.001). Patients without a complication had a longer median survival compared with patients who experienced complications (19.5 vs. 16.1 months; p = 0.001). Patients without complications who received adjuvant therapy had longer median survival than patients with complications who received no adjuvant therapy (22.5 vs. 10.7 months; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that complications [hazard ratio (HR) 1.16; p = 0.023] and adjuvant therapy (HR 0.67; p < 0.001) were related to survival. Complications and no adjuvant therapy are common following PD for adenocarcinoma. Postoperative complications delay TTA and reduce the likelihood of multimodality adjuvant therapy. Identifying patients at increased risk for complications and those unlikely to receive adjuvant therapy warrants further investigation as they may benefit from a neoadjuvant approach.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 04/2014; 21(9). DOI:10.1245/s10434-014-3722-6 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose The notch pathway is overexpressed in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. RO4929097, an oral inhibitor of the γ-secretase enzyme has been safely given as a single agent in patients with advanced solid tumors. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of RO4929097 in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDA). Methods A two-stage, single-arm Phase II trial was conducted in patients with previously treated metastatic PDA. RO4929097 was administered at a dose of 20 mg daily on days 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17 of 21-day cycles. The primary endpoint was survival at 6 months. Secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS), response rate, toxicities, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analyses. Results Eighteen patients were recruited, 17 in the first stage and one in the 2nd stage. It was decided to stop further enrollment after RO4929097 was discontinued by the sponsor and was no longer a development candidate. Three (25 %) of 12 evaluable patients achieved stable disease. The 6-month survival rate was 27.8 % (95 % CI 9.7-53.5). The median OS was 4.1 months (95 % CI 2.7-5.8 months) and median progression-free survival was 1.5 months (95 % CI 1.3-1.6 months). Pharmacokinetic properties of RO4929097 in patients (n = 5) with PDA was similar to that previously reported in other patient populations. There was a trend towards a decrease in HeyL (p = 0.08) gene expression in three patients following study drug administration. Conclusions RO4929097 was well-tolerated in patients with previously treated PDA. Development of RO4929097 has been discontinued, but development of other notch-targeting agents in pancreatic cancer is continuing.
    Investigational New Drugs 03/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10637-014-0083-8 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) and human antigen R (HuR) have been associated with response to gemcitabine in small studies. The present study investigates the prognostic and predictive value of dCK and HuR expression levels for sensitivity to gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in a large phase III adjuvant trial with chemoradiation backbone in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). The dCK and HuR expression levels were determined by immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray of 165 resected PDAs from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9704 trial. Association with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) status were analyzed using the log-rank test and the Cox proportional hazards model. Experiments with cultured PDA cells were performed to explore mechanisms linking dCK and HuR expression to drug sensitivity. dCK expression levels were associated with improved OS for all patients analyzed from RTOG 9704 (HR: 0.66, 95% CI [0.47-0.93], P = 0.015). In a subset analysis based on treatment arm, the effect was restricted to patients receiving 5-FU (HR: 0.53, 95% CI [0.33-0.85], P = 0.0078). Studies in cultured cells confirmed that dCK expression rendered cells more sensitive to 5-FU. HuR cytoplasmic expression was neither prognostic nor predictive of treatment response. Previous studies along with drug sensitivity and biochemical studies demonstrate that radiation interferes with HuR's regulatory effects on dCK, and could account for the negative findings herein based on the clinical study design (i.e., inclusion of radiation). Finally, we demonstrate that 5-FU can increase HuR function by enhancing HuR translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, similar to the effect of gemcitabine in PDA cells. For the first time, in the pre-treatment tumor samples, dCK and HuR cytoplasmic expression were strongly correlated (chi-square P = 0.015). This dual-institutional follow up study, in a multi-institutional PDA randomized clinical trial, observed that dCK expression levels were prognostic and had predictive value for sensitivity to 5-FU.
    Cancer biology & therapy 03/2014; 15(6). DOI:10.4161/cbt.28413 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of noninvasive methods to detect and monitor tumors continues to be a major challenge in oncology. We used digital polymerase chain reaction-based technologies to evaluate the ability of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to detect tumors in 640 patients with various cancer types. We found that ctDNA was detectable in >75% of patients with advanced pancreatic, ovarian, colorectal, bladder, gastroesophageal, breast, melanoma, hepatocellular, and head and neck cancers, but in less than 50% of primary brain, renal, prostate, or thyroid cancers. In patients with localized tumors, ctDNA was detected in 73, 57, 48, and 50% of patients with colorectal cancer, gastroesophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast adenocarcinoma, respectively. ctDNA was often present in patients without detectable circulating tumor cells, suggesting that these two biomarkers are distinct entities. In a separate panel of 206 patients with metastatic colorectal cancers, we showed that the sensitivity of ctDNA for detection of clinically relevant KRAS gene mutations was 87.2% and its specificity was 99.2%. Finally, we assessed whether ctDNA could provide clues into the mechanisms underlying resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor blockade in 24 patients who objectively responded to therapy but subsequently relapsed. Twenty-three (96%) of these patients developed one or more mutations in genes involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Together, these data suggest that ctDNA is a broadly applicable, sensitive, and specific biomarker that can be used for a variety of clinical and research purposes in patients with multiple different types of cancer.
    Science translational medicine 02/2014; 6(224):224ra24. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3007094 · 14.41 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
834.65 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2015
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Medical Oncology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Rush University Medical Center
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2004–2015
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Mary Crowley Medical Research Center
      Dallas, Texas, United States
  • 2014
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Ashburn, Virginia, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States