Ashraf Badros

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (61)417.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the activity and safety of weekly bortezomib and rituximab in patients with untreated Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (WM). Patients with no prior therapy and symptomatic disease were eligible. Patients received bortezomib IV weekly at 1.6 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, 15, q 28 days × 6 cycles, and rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly on cycles 1 and 4. Primary endpoint was the percent of patients with at least a minor response (MR). Twenty-six patients were treated. At least MR was observed in 23/26 patients (88%) (95% CI: 70-98%) with 1 complete response (4%), 1 near-complete response (4%), 15 partial remission (58%), and 6 MR (23%). Using IgM response evaluated by nephlometry, all 26 patients (100%) achieved at least MR or better. The median time to progression has not been reached, with an estimated 1-year event free rate of 79% (95% CI: 53, 91%). Common grade 3 and 4 therapy related adverse events included reversible neutropenia in 12%, anemia in 8%, and thrombocytopenia in 8%. No grade 3 or 4 neuropathy occurred. The combination of weekly bortezomib and rituximab exhibited significant activity and minimal neurological toxicity in patients with untreated WM.
    American Journal of Hematology 09/2010; 85(9):670-4. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tanespimycin (17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin, 17-AAG) disrupts heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), a key molecular chaperone for signal transduction proteins critical to myeloma growth, survival and drug resistance. In previous studies, tanespimycin monotherapy was well tolerated and active in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). Preclinical data have shown antitumour synergy between tanespimycin and bortezomib, with more pronounced intracellular accumulation of ubiquitinated proteins than either drug alone, an effect attributed to the synergistic suppression of chymotryptic activity in the 20S proteasome. HSP70 induction has been observed in all Phase 1 tanespimycin studies in which it has been measured, with several separate reports of HSP70 overexpression protecting against peripheral nerve injury. In this Phase 2, open-label multicentre study, we compared 1.3 mg/m2 bortezomib + three doses of tanespimycin: 50, 175 and 340 mg/m2 in heavily pretreated patients with relapsed and refractory MM and measured HSP70 expression and proteasome activity levels in plasma of treated patients. The study was closed prematurely for resource-based reasons, precluding dose comparison. Nonetheless, antitumour activity was observed, with promising response rates and promising severity of peripheral neuropathy.
    British Journal of Haematology 08/2010; 150(4):428-37. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SNS-032 is a highly selective and potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) 2, 7, and 9, with in vitro growth inhibitory effects and ability to induce apoptosis in malignant B cells. A phase I dose-escalation study of SNS-032 was conducted to evaluate safety, pharmacokinetics, biomarkers of mechanism-based pharmacodynamic (PD) activity, and clinical efficacy. Parallel cohorts of previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma (MM) received SNS-032 as a loading dose followed by 6-hour infusion weekly for 3 weeks of each 4-week course. There were 19 patients with CLL and 18 with MM treated. Tumor lysis syndrome was the dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) for CLL, the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) was 75 mg/m(2), and the most frequent grade 3 to 4 toxicity was myelosuppression. One patient with CLL had more than 50% reduction in measurable disease without improvement in hematologic parameters. Another patient with low tumor burden had stable disease for four courses. For patients with MM, no DLT was observed and MTD was not identified at up to 75 mg/m(2), owing to early study closure. Two patients with MM had stable disease and one had normalization of spleen size with treatment. Biomarker analyses demonstrated mechanism-based PD activity with inhibition of Cdk7 and Cdk9, decreases in Mcl-1 and XIAP expression level, and associated CLL cell apoptosis. SNS-032 demonstrated mechanism-based target modulation and limited clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients with CLL and MM. Further single-agent, PD-based, dose and schedule modification is warranted to maximize clinical efficacy.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 06/2010; 28(18):3015-22. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine activity and safety of weekly bortezomib and rituximab in patients with relapsed/refractory Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). Patients who had at least one previous therapy were eligible. All patients received bortezomib intravenously weekly at 1.6 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8, and 15, every 28 days for six cycles and rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly on cycles 1 and 4. The primary end point was the percentage of patients with at least a minor response. Thirty-seven patients were treated. The majority of patients (78%) completed treatment per protocol. At least minimal response (MR) or better was observed in 81% (95% CI, 65% to 92%), with two patients (5%) in complete remission (CR)/near CR, 17 patients (46%) in partial response, and 11 patients (30%) in MR. The median time to progression was 16.4 months (95% CI, 11.4 to 21.1 months). Death occurred in one patient due to viral pneumonia. The most common grade 3 and 4 therapy-related adverse events included reversible neutropenia in 16%, anemia in 11%, and thrombocytopenia in 14%. Grade 3 peripheral neuropathy occurred in only two patients (5%). The median progression-free (PFS) is 15.6 months (95% CI, 11 to 21 months), with estimated 12-month and 18-month PFS of 57% (95% CI, 39% to 75%) and 45% (95% CI, 27% to 63%), respectively. The median overall survival has not been reached. The combination of weekly bortezomib and rituximab showed significant activity and minimal neurologic toxicity in patients with relapsed WM.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2010; 28(8):1422-8. · 18.04 Impact Factor
  • Ruben Niesvizky, Ashraf Z Badros
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    ABSTRACT: Venous thromboembolism (VTE), osteonecrosis of the jaw, renal failure, and anemia are all common complications of multiple myeloma therapy. Many of these adverse events have been documented only in the past 5 to 10 years, in conjunction with the introduction of a series of the newer therapies thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide. This article discusses these complications in detail and provides strategies for health care providers to best prevent, identify, and manage them. Preventive measures, such as VTE prophylaxis and appropriate dental hygiene, as well as patient education, dose adjustments, limited duration of drug treatment, and consideration of therapies that are associated with less burdensome adverse-event profiles, can contribute to substantially improved outcomes and quality of life.
    Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN 02/2010; 8 Suppl 1:S13-20. · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis (BON) is a recently recognized oral complication of bisphosphonate (BP) therapy. Currently, research into the pathogenesis of BON has been hampered by being deficient in studies capable of measuring the level of BP in saliva or at the bone-soft tissue interface. The objective of this current study was to develop a novel bioassay model representative of the oral levels of BPs in patients presenting with or at risk for BON. Zoledronic acid (ZA) injectable was used to develop standardized MTS cell proliferation assay curves at concentrations of 0-10 microM, which were used either in a dilution in normal media, mimicking BP freed from bone or used to "spike" saliva individuals not taking BPs and mimicking BP levels being excreted. This bioassay was then used to estimate BP levels from samples of saliva and bone ex vivo from patients with and without BON. Saliva and bone from patients with existing BON showed levels of BP ranging from 0.4 to 4.6 microM, while patients receiving IV infusion of BP and naïve to BON showed levels in saliva ranging from 0.4 to 5 microM. All control specimens and patients naïve to BP showed levels at 0 microM. Given the fact that BPs are poor candidates for detection using standard methods (HPLC), this bioassay provides us with the ability to estimate clinically relevant concentrations of BP capable of producing apoptosis and the inhibition cell proliferation of oral mucosal cells based on previous studies. Subsequently, apoptosis and the inhibition of proliferation could lead to BON, secondary to the exposure of the bone in the unique microenvironment of the oral cavity.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 09/2009; 17(12):1553-7. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vorinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, enhances cell death by the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in vitro. We sought to test the combination clinically. A phase I trial evaluated sequential dose escalation of bortezomib at 1 to 1.3 mg/m2 i.v. on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 and vorinostat at 100 to 500 mg orally daily for 8 days of each 21-day cycle in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients. Vorinostat pharmacokinetics and dynamics were assessed. Twenty-three patients were treated. Patients had received a median of 7 prior regimens (range, 3-13), including autologous transplantation in 20, thalidomide in all 23, lenalidomide in 17, and bortezomib in 19, 9 of whom were bortezomib-refractory. Two patients receiving 500 mg vorinostat had prolonged QT interval and fatigue as dose-limiting toxicities. The most common grade >3 toxicities were myelo-suppression (n = 13), fatigue (n = 11), and diarrhea (n = 5). There were no drug-related deaths. Overall response rate was 42%, including three partial responses among nine bortezomib refractory patients. Vorinostat pharmacokinetics were nonlinear. Serum Cmax reached a plateau above 400 mg. Pharmacodynamic changes in CD-138+ bone marrow cells before and on day 11 showed no correlation between protein levels of NF-kappaB, IkappaB, acetylated tubulin, and p21CIP1 and clinical response. The maximum tolerated dose of vorinostat in our study was 400 mg daily for 8 days every 21 days, with bortezomib administered at a dose of 1.3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, and 11. The promising antimyeloma activity of the regimen in refractory patients merits further evaluation.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2009; 15(16):5250-7. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study describes the efficacy of aprepitant in preventing nausea and vomiting associated with high-dose chemotherapy in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients. Our hypothesis is the addition of aprepitant to 5-HT3 antagonists and dexamethasone would result in a 20% increase in complete response (CR) rates compared to CR rates from published studies evaluating antiemetic regimens without aprepitant. Adult HSCT patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy and aprepitant as part of their antiemetic regimen were included following written informed consent. CR was defined as no emesis, none to mild nausea, and no breakthrough antiemetic use. Daily patient diaries were used on days 1 through 7 following high-dose chemotherapy to collect severity of nausea, emetic episodes, breakthrough antiemetic use, and any antiemetic related side effects. We accrued a total of 42 patients. CR rates ranged from 42.9% to 73.8% for the 7 days. The average CR rate for days 1 through 7 was 54%. Fourteen patients (33%) maintained a complete emetic response on each of the 7 days. The average CR rate for published studies in HSCT patients receiving an antiemetic regimen without aprepitant is 57%. Most common adverse effects reported by patients receiving aprepitant were hiccups (33%) and drowsiness (33%). The addition of aprepitant failed to meet our primary endpoint of increasing CR rates by 20%. The lower than expected CR rate was attributed to use of breakthrough antiemetics. Aprepitant did result in preventing emesis in the majority of patients and was associated with minimal side effects.
    Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice 07/2009; 16(1):45-51.
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    ABSTRACT: Lenalidomide plus dexamethasone is effective for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma (MM); however, toxicities from dexamethasone can be dose limiting. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of lenalidomide monotherapy in patients with relapsed and refractory MM. Patients (N = 222) received lenalidomide 30 mg/day once daily (days 1-21 every 28 days) until disease progression or intolerance. Response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP), and safety were assessed. Overall, 67% of patients had received 3 or more prior treatment regimens. Partial response or better was reported in 26% of patients, with minimal response 18%. There was no difference between patients who had received 2 or fewer versus 3 or more prior treatment regimens (45% vs 44%, respectively). Median values for TTP, PFS, and OS were 5.2, 4.9, and 23.2 months, respectively. The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were neutropenia (60%), thrombocytopenia (39%), and anemia (20%), which proved manageable with dose reduction. Grade 3 or 4 febrile neutropenia occurred in 4% of patients. Lenalidomide monotherapy is active in relapsed and refractory MM with acceptable toxicities. These data support treatment with single-agent lenalidomide, as well as its use in steroid-sparing combination approaches. The study is registered at as NCT00065351.
    Blood 06/2009; 114(4):772-8. · 9.06 Impact Factor
  • Ashraf Badros
    12/2008: pages 205-227;
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    ABSTRACT: Osteonecrosis of the jaw secondary to bisphosphonate infusion (zoledronic acid-ZA) is assumed to be a bone disease. This study investigated the effects of ZA on soft tissues using oral mucosal cells as an in vitro model of soft tissue cell death in the pathogenesis of bone necrosis. Human gingival fibroblast and keratinocyte cell lines were exposed to different concentrations of ZA (0.25-3 micromol/l), using 1 micromol/l as the expected baseline concentration. A dose-response effect on apoptosis and cell proliferation [Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-Biotin End Labelling and Annexin V or Coulter counter and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium), respectively] was observed with increasing ZA concentrations; both reversed using siRNA against caspase 3 or 9. Gene expression analysis using RT(2) Profiler polymerase chain reaction Arrays demonstrated the differential expression of multiple genes involved in apoptosis including those that encode TNF, BCL-2, Caspase, IAP, TRAF and Death Domain families. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of activated forms of caspase 3 and 9 and underexpression of survivin protein expression. This study demonstrated that low concentrations of ZA rapidly and directly affected the oral mucosal tissues though the induction of a gene-regulated apoptotic process. These findings support the potential for soft tissue injury as an initiating/potentiating event for osteonecrosis.
    British Journal of Haematology 12/2008; 144(5):667-76. · 4.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the natural history of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in patients with multiple myeloma. Ninety-seven patients with myeloma from the United States (n = 37) and Greece (n = 60) were observed prospectively for a minimum 3.2 years after ONJ. Patients characteristics were similar with regard to age, bisphosphonate use, and myeloma therapy, except more autologous transplantations were performed on patients in the United States than in Greece (73% v 28%; P < .0001). ONJ resolved in 60 patients (62%), resolved and recurred in 12 patients (12%), and did not heal in 25 patients (26%). Dental procedures preceded ONJ in 46 patients (47%) and were more common in those with single episodes (35 of 60, 58%) than recurrent or nonhealing (11 of 37, 30%; P = .007). Recurrent ONJ followed reinitiation of bisphosphonates in six of 12 patients. Greek patients had more bone pain than United States patients (60% v 30%, P = .001) and were less likely to restart bisphosphonates (5% v 35%, P < .0002). Myeloma relapses were more common in patients with recurrent/nonhealing than single-episode ONJ (84% v 62%; P = .02). Median overall survival from myeloma diagnosis was 10.8 years (95% CI; 9.3 years to not reached) and did not differ between patients with single, recurrent, and nonhealing ONJ (P = .2). ONJ healed in 75% of patients. Patients with spontaneous ONJ have a higher risk of nonhealing and recurrence. Reinitiating bisphosphonates after healing of ONJ is a reasonable option in patients experiencing relapse who are at risk of skeletal complications. Further studies of the pathogenesis and healing of ONJ are needed.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 11/2008; 26(36):5904-9. · 18.04 Impact Factor
  • British Journal of Haematology 06/2008; 142(3):492-4. · 4.94 Impact Factor
  • Clinical advances in hematology & oncology: H&O 11/2007; 5(10 Suppl 15):7-19, quiz 21-2.
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    ABSTRACT: Bortezomib is active in heavily pretreated multiple myeloma patients; the dose-limiting toxicity is peripheral neuropathy (PN). The authors retrospectively reviewed the incidence, severity, and risk factors for PN in 78 patients who received bortezomib. The median age was 57 years (range, 33-80 years), 62% of patients were men, and 37% of patients were African Americans. Seventeen patients (22%) had diabetes mellitus (DM), and 66 patients (85%) had received thalidomide. Before bortezomib treatment, 37% of the patients reported subjective, grade 1 or 2 PN. Patients received bortezomib alone (n = 10 patients) plus dexamethasone (n = 36 patients) and thalidomide (n = 20 patients) or chemotherapy (n = 12 patients). PN affected 52% of patients, including grade 3 and 4 PN in 15% and 7%, respectively. Twelve patients stopped bortezomib because of side effects that included PN (n = 9 patients), diarrhea (n = 2 patients) and cytomegalovirus pneumonia (n = 1 patient); 11 patients had dose reductions because of PN. Grade 4 PN affected 6 patients (sensory, n = 4 patients; motor/sensory, n = 2 patients). The onset of grade 4 PN was sudden rather than cumulative. Factors that were predictive of PN grade were baseline PN (P = .002), prior thalidomide use (P = .03), and the presence of DM (P = .03). Multiple myeloma responses included complete, near complete, and partial responses in 5% of patients, 10% of patients, and 27% of patients, respectively. Responses were independent of PN and of whether bortezomib was combined with chemotherapy or thalidomide. Patients remained on therapy longer for a median of 5 cycles (range, 2-36 cycles) when they received bortezomib plus thalidomide versus 3 cycles (range, 1-19 cycles) for the other combinations. PN therapy was mostly supportive. It was noteworthy that 6 of 9 patients with PN who received lenalidomide as salvage therapy after bortezomib had significant improvement in their symptoms. The risk of bortezomib-related PN was greater in patients who had PN and DM at baseline. The authors concluded that an unexpected, symptomatic improvement of PN on lenalidomide is worth further investigation.
    Cancer 10/2007; 110(5):1042-9. · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma 09/2007; 48(8):1662-4. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a B-cell disorder. Despite advances in the therapy, WM remains incurable. As such, novel therapeutic agents are needed for the treatment of WM. In this multicenter study, 27 patients with WM received up to eight cycles of bortezomib at 1.3 mg/m(2) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11. All but one patient had relapsed/or refractory disease. Following therapy, median serum IgM levels declined from 4,660 to 2,092 mg/dL (P < 0.0001). The overall response rate was 85%, with 10 and 13 patients achieving minor and major responses, respectively. Responses were prompt and occurred at median of 1.4 months. The median time to progression for all responding patients was 7.9 (range, 3-21.4+) months. The most common grade III/IV toxicities occurring in > or =5% of patients were sensory neuropathies (22.2%), leukopenia (18.5%), neutropenia (14.8%), dizziness (11.1%), and thrombocytopenia (7.4%). Sensory neuropathies resolved or improved in nearly all patients following cessation of therapy. The results of these studies show that bortezomib is an active agent in relapsed and refractory WM.
    Clinical Cancer Research 07/2007; 13(11):3320-5. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In preclinical studies, bortezomib was shown to suppress tumor growth, sensitize malignant cells to apoptosis, and reverse chemotherapy resistance. We evaluated the addition of escalating doses of bortezomib 0.7, 1, and 1.3 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 4, and 8 to DT-PACE (cisplatin 10 mg/m2, doxorubicin 10 mg/m2, cyclophosphamide 400 mg/m2, and etoposide 40 mg/m2 per day by intravenous continuous infusion on days 1-4) plus oral dexamethasone 40 mg on days 1-4 and thalidomide 200 mg on days 1-8 in newly diagnosed patients with multiple myeloma. Peripheral blood stem cells were collected after cycle 1. Twelve patients completed the study, and all received autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT). Hematologic toxicities were predictable, with 3 episodes of neutropenic fever. Grade >/= 2 nonhematologic toxicities included diarrhea (n = 1), deep vein thrombosis (n = 2), hypotension (n = 2), syncope (n = 1), and peripheral neuropathy (n = 3). The median number of CD34+ cells collected was 20.57 x 10 superset6 CD34+ cells/kg. After 2 cycles, 10 of 12 patients exhibited a partial response or better. Best response after autologous SCT, complete response/near complete response was exhibited in 9 patients, and partial response was exhibited in 3 patients. At a median of 20 months, 4 patients experienced relapse and 1 had died. Bortezomib/DT-PACE compared favorably with DT-PACE with regard to leukapheresis days, total CD34+ cell collection, and engraftment. This novel strategy of simultaneous proteasome inhibition in combination with thalidomide and chemotherapy was effective and safe, allowing for adequate stem cell collection and early autologous SCT; its impact on overall survival, especially in patients with high-risk myeloma, awaits further investigation.
    Clinical Lymphoma & Myeloma 12/2006; 7(3):210-6. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a case of severe unilateral posterior scleritis associated with zoledronic acid administration that was recognized and treated in a timely manner. Subsequent use of pamidronate was associated with milder inflammation in the same eye that eventually resolved with continued monthly infusions, indicating the possibility of immunologic tolerance. Physicians prescribing these drugs should be aware of this side effect, which, if not recognized and treated appropriately, is potentially devastating. We review the published data as well as the current treatment recommendations.
    Clinical Lymphoma & Myeloma 10/2006; 7(2):145-7. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of severe hemorrhagic cystitis after allogeneic transplantation in association with high BK viral load. After failure of aggressive hydration, platelet and blood transfusions, continuous bladder irrigation, and tapering of the immune suppression, we instilled cidofovir into the bladder, which resulted in decreased BK viral load and significant clinical improvement. Our case suggests that local cidofovir therapy for viral hemorrhagic cystitis is effective and well tolerated with no observed side effects.
    American Journal of Hematology 08/2006; 81(7):535-7. · 4.00 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
417.68 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2014
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • • Greenebaum Cancer Center
      • • Department of Pathology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2010
    • Weill Cornell Medical College
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Loyola University Maryland
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2005–2010
    • University of Maryland Medical Center
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2007
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Bing Center for Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
      Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
  • 2001–2002
    • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
      Little Rock, Arkansas, United States