Daniel Laheru

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (98)653.57 Total impact

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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; · 3.20 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; · 1.94 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;
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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.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 06/2014; · 4.12 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-naïve patients for immune checkpoint and other immunomodulatory therapies. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(7); 1-16. ©2014 AACR.
    Cancer immunology research. 06/2014;
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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 05/2014; · 6.20 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; · 4.12 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; · 3.50 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). · 3.29 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. · 10.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An association between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has long been recognized. This article assesses the effect of the baseline hemoglobin-A1c (HbA1c) value on the clinical outcomes of patients with PDA. HbA1c values were prospectively collected on 656 consecutive patients presenting to a pancreas multidisciplinary cancer clinic from 2009 to 2012. Patients were diagnosed with benign pancreatic disease (BPD) or biopsy-confirmed resectable (R), borderline/locally advanced (BL), or metastatic (M) PDA. Excluded were those with prior treatment for PDA or a history of chronic diabetes mellitus (>1-year or unknown duration), resulting in a final cohort of 284 patients. Of 284 patients, 44 had benign disease, 62 had R-PDA, 115 had BL-PDA, and 63 had M-PDA. Patients with malignant disease (R-, BL-, and M-PDA) collectively had a higher average HbA1c value than patients with BPD (6.1% vs 5.6%; P<.001). Among patients with PDA (n=240), HbA1c values of 6.5% or greater were significantly associated with inferior overall survival (OS) compared with patients with HbA1c values less than 6.5% (hazard ratio [HR], 1.74; OS, 10.2 vs 13.0 months; P=.007), along with other known prognostic factors, such as age of 65 years or older, ECOG performance status of 1 or greater, carbohydrate antigen 19-9 level greater than 90, tumor size larger than 3 cm, and disease stage. HbA1c values of 6.5% or greater remained in the final predictive model using backward elimination (HR, 1.46; P=.097), indicating that HbA1c values of 6.5% or greater influence OS of patients with PDA even when accounting for other known prognostic factors. HbA1c level at presentation is significantly higher in patients with PDA than patients with BPD and seems to affect survival.
    Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN 01/2014; 12(1):50-7. · 5.11 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 01/2014; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: At diagnosis, 30% of patients with pancreatic cancer are unresectable stage 3 locally advanced. The standard treatment for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is not defined. The current study was conducted to assess the roles of chemotherapy and chemoradiation for LAPC treatment. Between June 2006 and March 2011, 100 patients with LAPC were treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Retrospective analysis was performed to compare cumulative incidence of progression (CIP) and overall survival (OS) among different subgroups. For the 100 patients, the median OS was 15.8 months and the median CIP was 8.4 months. The combination of chemotherapy and chemoradiation before disease progression was significantly associated with improved CIP (P=0.001) and improved OS when compared with chemoradiation alone (median OS: 16.4 vs. 11.1 mo, P=0.03). Among patients receiving combination treatment, patients who received chemotherapy first followed by chemoradiation had a trend toward lower CIP (P=0.09) and improved OS (median OS: 18.1 vs. 11.0 mo, P=0.09). Patients who received >2 cycles of chemotherapy before chemoradiation had a significantly decreased CIP (P=0.008) and a trend toward better OS (median OS: 19.4 vs. 15.7 mo, P=0.10). On multivariate analysis, receiving >2 cycles of chemotherapy before chemoradiation was associated with improved CIP. Although combination chemotherapy and chemoradiation is favored in the treatment of LAPC, longer induction chemotherapy may play a more important role in sensitization of tumors to subsequent chemoradiation. Our results support treating patients with induction chemotherapy for at least 3 cycles followed by consolidative chemoradiation. These results merit further validation by a prospective study.
    American journal of clinical oncology 12/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Limited treatment options exist for isolated local recurrence of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) following surgical resection accompanied by neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT). While select patients are eligible for re-resection, recurrent lesions are often unresectable. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) represents a possible minimally invasive treatment option for these patients, although published data in this setting are currently lacking. This study examines the safety, efficacy, and palliative capacity of re-irradiation with SBRT for isolated local PDA recurrence. All patients undergoing SBRT at two academic centers from 2008-2012 were retrospectively reviewed to identify those who received re-irradiation with SBRT for isolated local recurrence or progression of PDA after previous conventionally fractionated CRT. Information regarding demographics, clinicopathologic characteristics, therapies received, survival, symptom palliation, and toxicity was obtained from patient charts. Kaplan-Meier statistics were used to analyze survival and the log-rank test was used to compare survival among patient subgroups. Eighteen patients were identified. Fifteen had previously undergone resection with neoadjuvant or adjuvant CRT, while 3 received definitive CRT for locally advanced disease. Median CRT dose was 50.4 Gy [interquartile range (IQR), 45.0-50.4 Gy] in 28 fractions. All patients subsequently received gemcitabine-based maintenance chemotherapy, but developed isolated local disease recurrence or progression without evidence of distant metastasis. Locally recurrent or progressive disease was treated with SBRT to a median dose of 25.0 Gy (range, 20.0-27.0 Gy) in 5 fractions. Median survival from SBRT was 8.8 months (95% CI, 1.2-16.4 months). Despite having similar clinicopathologic disease characteristics, patients who experienced local progression greater than vs. less than 9 months after surgery/definitive CRT demonstrated superior median survival (11.3 vs. 3.4 months; P=0.019) and progression-free survival (10.6 vs. 3.2 months; P=0.030) after SBRT. Rates of freedom from local progression at 6 and 12 months after SBRT were 78% (14 of 18 patients) and 62% (5 of 8 patients), respectively. Effective symptom palliation was achieved in 4 of 7 patients (57%) who reported symptoms of abdominal or back pain prior to SBRT. Five patients (28%) experienced grade 2 acute toxicity; none experienced grade ≥3 acute toxicity. One patient (6%) experienced grade 3 late toxicity in the form of small bowel obstruction. In conclusion, re-irradiation with hypofractionated SBRT in this salvage scenario appears to be a safe and reasonable option for palliation of isolated local PDA recurrence or progression following previous conventional CRT. Patients with a progression-free interval of greater than 9 months prior to isolated local recurrence or progression may be most suitable for re-irradiation with SBRT, as they appear to have a better prognosis with survival that is long enough for local control to be of potential benefit.
    Journal of gastrointestinal oncology 12/2013; 4(4):343-351.
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    ABSTRACT: To generate a map of local recurrences after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for patients with resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) and to model an adjuvant radiation therapy planning treatment volume (PTV) that encompasses a majority of local recurrences. Consecutive patients with resectable PDA undergoing PD and 1 or more computed tomography (CT) scans more than 60 days after PD at our institution were reviewed. Patients were divided into 3 groups: no adjuvant treatment (NA), chemotherapy alone (CTA), or chemoradiation (CRT). Cross-sectional scans were centrally reviewed, and local recurrences were plotted to scale with respect to the celiac axis (CA), superior mesenteric artery (SMA), and renal veins on 1 CT scan of a template post-PD patient. An adjuvant clinical treatment volume comprising 90% of local failures based on standard expansions of the CA and SMA was created and simulated on 3 post-PD CT scans to assess the feasibility of this planning approach. Of the 202 patients in the study, 40 (20%), 34 (17%), and 128 (63%) received NA, CTA, and CRT adjuvant therapy, respectively. The rate of margin-positive resections was greater in CRT patients than in CTA patients (28% vs 9%, P=.023). Local recurrence occurred in 90 of the 202 patients overall (45%) and in 19 (48%), 22 (65%), and 49 (38%) in the NA, CTA, and CRT groups, respectively. Ninety percent of recurrences were within a 3.0-cm right-lateral, 2.0-cm left-lateral, 1.5-cm anterior, 1.0-cm posterior, 1.0-cm superior, and 2.0-cm inferior expansion of the combined CA and SMA contours. Three simulated radiation treatment plans using these expansions with adjustments to avoid nearby structures were created to demonstrate the use of this treatment volume. Modified PTVs targeting high-risk areas may improve local control while minimizing toxicities, allowing dose escalation with intensity-modulated or stereotactic body radiation therapy.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 12/2013; 87(5):1007-1015. · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 11/2013; 87(3):458-9. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background In a phase 1-2 trial of albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) plus gemcitabine, substantial clinical activity was noted in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. We conducted a phase 3 study of the efficacy and safety of the combination versus gemcitabine monotherapy in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Methods We randomly assigned patients with a Karnofsky performance-status score of 70 or more (on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better performance status) to nab-paclitaxel (125 mg per square meter of body-surface area) followed by gemcitabine (1000 mg per square meter) on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks or gemcitabine monotherapy (1000 mg per square meter) weekly for 7 of 8 weeks (cycle 1) and then on days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks (cycle 2 and subsequent cycles). Patients received the study treatment until disease progression. The primary end point was overall survival; secondary end points were progression-free survival and overall response rate. Results A total of 861 patients were randomly assigned to nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (431 patients) or gemcitabine (430). The median overall survival was 8.5 months in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group as compared with 6.7 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for death, 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 0.83; P<0.001). The survival rate was 35% in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group versus 22% in the gemcitabine group at 1 year, and 9% versus 4% at 2 years. The median progression-free survival was 5.5 months in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group, as compared with 3.7 months in the gemcitabine group (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.82; P<0.001); the response rate according to independent review was 23% versus 7% in the two groups (P<0.001). The most common adverse events of grade 3 or higher were neutropenia (38% in the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group vs. 27% in the gemcitabine group), fatigue (17% vs. 7%), and neuropathy (17% vs. 1%). Febrile neutropenia occurred in 3% versus 1% of the patients in the two groups. In the nab-paclitaxel-gemcitabine group, neuropathy of grade 3 or higher improved to grade 1 or lower in a median of 29 days. Conclusions In patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma, nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine significantly improved overall survival, progression-free survival, and response rate, but rates of peripheral neuropathy and myelosuppression were increased. (Funded by Celgene; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00844649 .).
    New England Journal of Medicine 10/2013; · 54.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low total lymphocyte count (TLC) and lymphocyte-to-neutrophil ratio have been found to be poor prognostic indicators in several different tumor types at various stages. Although immune-based therapies are under rapid development, it is not known whether baseline complete blood counts, particularly lymphocytes, are associated with the clinical outcomes of patients receiving immunotherapies. We performed a retrospective analysis of complete blood count for 59 patients enrolled onto a phase II trial evaluating the integration of an adjuvant immunotherapy-irradiated granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) secreting allogeneic pancreatic tumor vaccine (GVAX)-with standard chemoradiation. After adjusting for nodal status, individuals with a TLC of <1,500 cells/mm(3) (10 patients) had significantly higher risk, both in terms of overall survival (OS) [adjusted hazard ratio 2.63, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.22-5.67, p = 0.013] and progression-free survival (adjusted hazard ratio 3.07, 95 % CI 1.03-6.93, p = 0.003), compared to those with a TLC of ≤1,500 cells/mm(3) (49 patients). Adjuvant chemoradiation significantly reduced lymphocyte counts from baseline values. Patients with suppression of their lymphocytes to <500 cells/mm(3) after chemoradiation also had shorter disease-free and OS. Immunosuppressive conditions associated with surgical procedures and chemoradiation may affect the efficacy of immunotherapy.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 09/2013; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical reports support the concept of synergy between cancer vaccines and immune checkpoint blockade in nonimmunogenic tumors. In particular, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) antibodies have been successfully combined with GM-CSF cell-based vaccines (GVAX). Ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4) has been tested as a single agent in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) resulting in a delayed response at a dose of 3 mg/kg. Our study evaluated ipilimumab 10 mg/kg (arm 1) and ipilimumab 10 mg/kg+GVAX (arm 2). A total of 30 patients with previously treated advanced PDA were randomized (1:1). Induction doses were administered every 3 weeks for a total of 4 doses followed by maintenance dosing every 12 weeks. Two patients in arm 1 showed evidence of stable disease (7 and 22 wk) but none demonstrated CA19-9 biochemical responses. In contrast, 3 patients in arm 2 had evidence of prolonged disease stabilization (31, 71, and 81 wk) and 7 patients experienced CA19-9 declines. In 2 of these patients, disease stabilization occurred after an initial period of progression. The median overall survival (OS) (3.6 vs. 5.7 mo, hazards ratio: 0.51, P=0.072) and 1 year OS (7 vs. 27%) favored arm 2. Similar to prior ipilimumab studies, 20% of patients in each arm had grade 3/4 immune-related adverse events. Among patients with OS>4.3 months, there was an increase in the peak mesothelin-specific T cells (P=0.014) and enhancement of the T-cell repertoire (P=0.031). In conclusion, checkpoint blockade in combination with GVAX has the potential for clinical benefit and should be evaluated in a larger study.
    Journal of immunotherapy (Hagerstown, Md.: 1997) 09/2013; 36(7):382-9. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term survival rates for patients with resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) have stagnated at 20% for more than a decade, demonstrating the need to develop novel adjuvant therapies. Gemcitabine-erlotinib therapy has demonstrated a survival benefit for patients with metastatic PDAC. Here we report the first phase 2 study of erlotinib in combination with adjuvant chemoradiation and chemotherapy for resected PDAC. Forty-eight patients with resected PDAC received adjuvant erlotinib (100 mg daily) and capecitabine (800 mg/m(2) twice daily Monday-Friday) concurrently with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), 50.4 Gy over 28 fractions followed by 4 cycles of gemcitabine (1000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28 days) and erlotinib (100 mg daily). The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival (RFS). The median follow-up time was 18.2 months (interquartile range, 13.8-27.1). Lymph nodes were positive in 85% of patients, and margins were positive in 17%. The median RFS was 15.6 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 13.4-17.9), and the median overall survival (OS) was 24.4 months (95% CI, 18.9-29.7). Multivariate analysis with adjustment for known prognostic factors showed that tumor diameter >3 cm was predictive for inferior RFS (hazard ratio, 4.01; P=.001) and OS (HR, 4.98; P=.02), and the development of dermatitis was associated with improved RFS (HR, 0.27; P=.009). During CRT and post-CRT chemotherapy, the rates of grade 3/4 toxicity were 31%/2% and 35%/8%, respectively. Erlotinib can be safely administered with adjuvant IMRT-based CRT and chemotherapy. The efficacy of this regimen appears comparable to that of existing adjuvant regimens. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0848 will ultimately determine whether erlotinib produces a survival benefit in patients with resected pancreatic cancer.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 07/2013; 86(4):678-85. · 4.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
653.57 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2005–2014
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences
      • • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Radiation & Cellular Oncology
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2011
    • Translational Genomics Research Institute
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    • Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2010
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 2006
    • Sapienza University of Rome
      Roma, Latium, Italy