Helen J Ross

Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

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Publications (20)58.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective This randomized phase II study assessed the efficacy and safety of obatoclax mesylate, a small-molecule Bcl-2 inhibitor, added to carboplatin/etoposide chemotherapy as initial treatment for extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC). Materials and Methods Chemotherapy-naïve subjects with ES-SCLC and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) 0-2 received carboplatin/etoposide with (CbEOb) or without (CbE) obatoclax for up to six cycles. Responders to CbEOb could receive maintenance obatoclax until disease progression. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). Results 155 subjects (median age 62, 58% male, 10% ECOG PS 2) were treated with CbEOb (n = 77) or CbE (n = 78); 65% and 59% of subjects, respectively, completed six cycles. ORR was 62% with CbEOb versus 53% with CbE (1-sided p = 0.143). Clinical benefit (ORR+ stable disease) trended better with CbEOb (81% versus 68%; p = 0.054). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 5.8 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.3-6.5) and 10.5 months (8.9-13.8) with CbEOb and 5.2 months (95% CI: 4.1-5.7) and 9.8 months (7.2-11.2) with CbE. Median OS was 10.5 months (95% CI: 8.9-13.8) and 9.8 months (7.2-11.2) with a nonsignificant hazard ratio for OS, 0.823; 1-sided p = 0.121. Grade 3/4 adverse events (AEs) were primarily hematologic and similar in frequency between treatment arms. Obatoclax-related somnolence and euphoria were grade 1/2, transient, and did not require treatment discontinuation. Conclusion Obatoclax was well tolerated when added to carboplatin/etoposide in first-line treatment of ES-SCLC, but failed to significantly improve ORR, PFS, or OS. Clinical Trial Registration NCT00682981
    Lung Cancer. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Bcl-2 family genes are frequently amplified in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). A phase I trial was conducted to evaluate the safety of obatoclax, a Bcl-2 family inhibitor, given in combination with standard chemotherapy. Eligible patients (3-6 per cohort) had extensive-stage SCLC, measurable disease, ≤ 1 before therapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 or 1, and adequate organ function. Patients were treated with escalating doses of obatoclax, either as a 3- or 24-h infusion, on days 1-3 of a 21-day cycle, in combination with carboplatin (area under the curve 5, day 1 only) and etoposide (100 mg m(-2), days 1-3). The primary endpoint was to determine the maximum tolerated dose of obatoclax. Twenty-five patients (56% male; median age 66 years) were enrolled in three dose cohorts for each schedule. Maximum tolerated dose was established with the 3-h infusion at 30 mg per day and was not reached with the 24-h infusion. Compared with the 24-h cohorts, the 3-h cohorts had higher incidence of central nervous system (CNS) adverse events (AEs); dose-limiting toxicities were somnolence, euphoria, and disorientation. These CNS AEs were transient, resolving shortly after the end of infusion, and without sequelae. The response rate was 81% in the 3-h and 44% in the 24-h infusion cohorts. Although associated with a higher incidence of transient CNS AEs than the 24-h infusion, 3-h obatoclax infusion combined with carboplatin-etoposide was generally well tolerated at doses of 30 mg per day. Though patient numbers were small, there was a suggestion of improved efficacy in the 3-h infusion group. Obatoclax 30 mg infused intravenously over 3 h on 3 consecutive days will be utilised in future SCLC studies.
    British Journal of Cancer 02/2012; 106(5):839-45. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Southwest Oncology Group 9504 demonstrated the feasibility and potential benefit of docetaxel consolidation after etoposide, cisplatin, and radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Our study assessed consolidation with either gemcitabine alone or with docetaxel after identical chemoradiation as used in Southwest Oncology Group 9504. Patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer and good performance status were included. Treatment consisted of concurrent cisplatin 50 mg/m on days 1 and 8 plus etoposide 50 mg/m on days 1 to 5 for two 28-day cycles plus radiotherapy (62 Gy, 2 Gy daily in 31 fractions over 7 weeks), followed by randomization to either gemcitabine 1000 mg/m on days 1 and 8 (G) or gemcitabine 1000 mg/m on days 1 and 8 plus docetaxel 75 mg/m on day 1 (GD) every 21 days for three cycles. Eighty-three patients were entered, 81 received induction therapy, and 64 were randomized (32 in each arm). Grade 3 or four events, including neutropenia (56.3% vs. 28.1%, p = 0.03), anemia (18.8% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.05), and fatigue (15.6% vs. 6.3%, p = NS), were more frequent with GD compared with G. Among all patients, median survival from registration was 20.8 months (95% confidence interval: 16.4-33.8), and 2-year survival was 46.7% (95% confidence interval: 35.6-57.1). From randomization, median progression-free survival was 5.4 months for G and 13.4 months for GD, and median survival was 16.1 months for G and 29.5 months for GD. Two-year survival rates were 40.6% for G and 55.7% for GD. The doublet, as expected, resulted in more toxicity, particularly myelosuppression and fatigue. Survival associated with the GD treatment arm of this trial exceeds that of previously reported trials.
    Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 03/2010; 5(5):673-9. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data from two randomized phase III trials were analyzed to evaluate prognostic factors and treatment selection in the first-line management of advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients with performance status (PS) 2. Patients randomized to combination chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) in one trial and single-agent therapy (gemcitabine or vinorelbine) in the second were included in these analyses. Both studies had identical eligibility criteria and were conducted simultaneously. Comparison of efficacy and safety was performed between the two cohorts. A regression analysis identified prognostic factors and subgroups of patients that may benefit from combination or single-agent therapy. Two hundred one patients were treated with combination and 190 with single-agent therapy. Objective responses were 37 and 15%, respectively. Median time to progression was 4.6 months in the combination arm and 3.5 months in the single-agent arm (p < 0.001). Median survival times were 8.0 and 6.6 months, and 1-year survival rates were 31 and 26%, respectively. Albumin <3.5 g, extrathoracic metastases, lactate dehydrogenase >or=200 IU, and 2 comorbid conditions predicted outcome. Patients with 0-2 risk factors had similar outcomes independent of treatment, whereas patients with 3-4 factors had a nonsignificant improvement in median survival with combination chemotherapy. Our results show that PS2 non-small cell lung cancer patients are a heterogeneous group who have significantly different outcomes. Patients treated with first-line combination chemotherapy had a higher response and longer time to progression, whereas overall survival did not appear significantly different. A prognostic model may be helpful in selecting PS 2 patients for either treatment strategy.
    Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 07/2009; 4(7):869-74. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Paclitaxel poliglumex (PPX), a macromolecule drug conjugate linking paclitaxel to polyglutamic acid, reduces systemic exposure to peak concentrations of free paclitaxel. Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who had received one prior platinum-based chemotherapy received 175 or 210 mg m(-2) PPX or 75 mg m(-2) docetaxel. The study enrolled 849 previously treated NSCLC patients with advanced disease. Median survival (6.9 months in both arms, hazard ratio=1.09, P=0.257), 1-year survival (PPX=25%, docetaxel=29%, P=0.134), and time to progression (PPX=2 months, docetaxel=2.6 months, P=0.075) were similar between treatment arms. Paclitaxel poliglumex was associated with significantly less grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (P<0.001) and febrile neutropenia (P=0.006). Grade 3 or 4 neuropathy (P<0.001) was more common in the PPX arm. Patients receiving PPX had less alopecia and did not receive routine premedications. More patients discontinued due to adverse events in the PPX arm compared to the docetaxel arm (34 vs 16%, P<0.001). Paclitaxel poliglumex and docetaxel produced similar survival results but had different toxicity profiles. Compared with docetaxel, PPX had less febrile neutropenia and less alopecia, shorter infusion times, and elimination of routine use of medications to prevent hypersensitivity reactions. Paclitaxel poliglumex at a dose of 210 mg m(-2) resulted in increased neurotoxicity compared with docetaxel.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2008; 98(10):1608-13. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Performance status (PS) 2 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) experience more toxicity, lower response rates, and shorter survival times than healthier patients treated with standard chemotherapy. Paclitaxel poliglumex (PPX), a macromolecule drug conjugate of paclitaxel and polyglutamic acid, reduces systemic exposure to peak concentrations of free paclitaxel and may lead to increased concentrations in tumors due to enhanced vascular permeability. Methods: Chemotherapy-naive PS 2 patients with advanced NSCLC were randomized to receive carboplatin (area under the curve = 6) and either PPX (210 mg/m2/10 min without routine steroid premedication) or paclitaxel (225 mg/m2/3 h with standard premedication) every 3 weeks. The primary end point was overall survival. Results: A total of 400 patients were enrolled. Alopecia, arthralgias/myalgias, and cardiac events were significantly less frequent with PPX/carboplatin, whereas grade ≥3 neutropenia and grade 3 neuropathy showed a trend of worsening. There was no significant difference in the incidence of hypersensitivity reactions despite the absence of routine premedication in the PPX arm. Overall survival was similar between treatment arms (hazard ratio, 0.97; log rank p = 0.769). Median and 1-year survival rates were 7.9 months and 31%, for PPX versus 8 months and 31% for paclitaxel. Disease control rates were 64% and 69% for PPX and paclitaxel, respectively. Time to progression was similar: 3.9 months for PPX/carboplatin versus 4.6 months for paclitaxel/carboplatin (p = 0.210). Conclusion: PPX/carboplatin failed to provide superior survival compared with paclitaxel/carboplatin in the first-line treatment of PS 2 patients with NSCLC, but the results with respect to progression-free survival and overall survival were comparable and the PPX regimen was more convenient.
    Journal of Thoracic Oncology 05/2008; 3(6):623-630. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Thoracic Oncology 07/2007; 2(8):S337-S338. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tumors with multidrug resistance (MDR) frequently up-regulate efflux proteins, including MDR-associated protein (MRP-1) and P-glycoprotein (Pgp). MDR represents an obstacle to successful chemotherapy treatment and is reversible in Pgp- or MRP-1-expressing cells by the inhibitor VX-710. A Phase II study was designed to evaluate VX-710 in combination with doxorubicin and vincristine in patients with sensitive, recurrent small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Eligible patients had recurrent SCLC after a response to first-line chemotherapy. Stage 1 safety evaluation was completed with planned expansion if 9 responses were confirmed in the first 35 patients. Patients were treated every 21 days until progression or intolerable adverse events (AEs). Thirty-six patients were enrolled from 1998 to 2000. Neutropenia was the major toxicity, occurring in 26 of 36 patients (72%). Neutropenia was more severe (30% vs 20% grade 4) and developed earlier (58% vs 38% in Cycle 1) among the 15 patients who were enrolled prior to an amendment that required neutropenia prophylaxis. Four patients died on study: 2 from infections likely related to therapy and 2 from cancer progression. Seven of 36 patients (19%) had partial responses; 6 patients sustained responses through 6 cycles of treatment, with 1 response lasting 3 years. Three additional patients had unconfirmed responses, and 4 patients had stable disease. The median survival was 6 months. No correlative (99m)Tc-sestamibi uptake in tumor tissue was observed with the addition of VX-710 in this study. The addition of VX-710 to doxorubicin and vincristine therapy did not significantly enhance antitumor activity or survival. Although there were durable responses, criteria were not met to proceed with Stage 2 expansion.
    Cancer 04/2007; 109(5):924-32. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An expanded access program (EAP) provided patient access to pemetrexed prior to its commercial availability. The current report consists of US patients in the EAP who had chemotherapy naïve pleural mesothelioma. Eligible patients had a histologic or cytologic diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma that was not amenable to curative treatment with surgery. Study treatment consisted of pemetrexed 500mg/m(2) in combination with cisplatin 75mg/m(2) once every 21 days. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and dexamethasone were administered as prophylaxis. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were reported by investigators and compiled in a pharmacovigilance database for all patients enrolled in the EAP. Of 1056 patients receiving at least one dose of pemetrexed in the EAP, 728 had chemotherapy naïve pleural mesothelioma. Median age of this group was 70 years (range 23-89 years) and 84% were male. Among 615 patients, overall response rate was 20.5%, including 12 complete responses (2.0%) and 114 partial responses (18.5%). An additional 290 patients (47.2%) had stable disease. Median survival for all 728 patients was 10.8 months (95% CI=9.8, 12.3; 60.3% censorship) and 1 year survival was 45.4%. The most commonly reported SAEs in the overall EAP irrespective of causality were dehydration (7.2%), nausea (5.2%), vomiting (4.9%), dyspnea (3.8%), and pulmonary embolism (2.4%). In this large cohort, 67.7% of patients treated with first-line chemotherapy experienced a response or stable disease. Survival time and toxicity from this EAP were promising for this difficult-to-treat disease.
    Lung Cancer 03/2007; 55(2):187-94. · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Thoracic Oncology - J THORAC ONCOL. 01/2007; 2.
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    ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy prolongs survival and improves quality of life (QOL) for good performance status (PS) patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Targeted therapies may improve chemotherapy effectiveness without worsening toxicity. SGN-15 is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), consisting of a chimeric murine monoclonal antibody recognizing the Lewis Y (Le(y)) antigen, conjugated to doxorubicin. Le(y) is an attractive target since it is expressed by most NSCLC. SGN-15 was active against Le(y)-positive tumors in early phase clinical trials and was synergistic with docetaxel in preclinical experiments. This Phase II, open-label study was conducted to confirm the activity of SGN-15 plus docetaxel in previously treated NSCLC patients. Sixty-two patients with recurrent or metastatic NSCLC expressing Le(y), one or two prior chemotherapy regimens, and PS< or =2 were randomized 2:1 to receive SGN-15 200 mg/m2/week with docetaxel 35 mg/m2/week (Arm A) or docetaxel 35 mg/m2/week alone (Arm B) for 6 of 8 weeks. Intrapatient dose-escalation of SGN-15 to 350 mg/m2 was permitted in the second half of the study. Endpoints were survival, safety, efficacy, and quality of life. Forty patients on Arm A and 19 on Arm B received at least one treatment. Patients on Arms A and B had median survivals of 31.4 and 25.3 weeks, 12-month survivals of 29% and 24%, and 18-month survivals of 18% and 8%, respectively. Toxicity was mild in both arms. QOL analyses favored Arm A. SGN-15 plus docetaxel is a well-tolerated and active second and third line treatment for NSCLC patients. Ongoing studies are exploring alternate schedules to maximize synergy between these agents.
    Lung Cancer 11/2006; 54(1):69-77. · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a randomized phase III trial, pemetrexed plus cisplatin was associated with improved survival compared with cisplatin alone for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). However, there are limited data available on the efficacy of these and other chemotherapy regimens in patients who have received previous systemic chemotherapy. To gather additional efficacy and safety data of pemetrexed/cisplatin and pemetrexed alone in previously treated patients, we examined patients treated on the Eli Lilly and Company expanded access program (EAP). Patients with malignant mesothelioma were enrolled in this trial. Of 1056 patients receiving at least one dose of the study drug, 187 (17.7%) were previously treated patients with MPM. Patients were treated every 21 days with pemetrexed 500 mg/m alone (n = 91) or in combination with cisplatin 75 mg/m (n = 96) for a maximum of six cycles. All patients received folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation and steroid prophylaxis. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were reported by investigators and compiled in a pharmaco-vigilance database for all patients enrolled in the EAP. Median age of the previously treated pleural mesothelioma subset was 66 years (range, 27-87 years). Based on 153 evaluable patients (a subset of the larger intent-to-treat population of 187), the overall response rate was 32.5% for pemetrexed and cisplatin and 5.5% for pemetrexed alone. The disease control rate (response rate + stable disease) was 68.7% for pemetrexed and cisplatin and 46.6% for pemetrexed alone. Median survival was 7.6 months for pemetrexed plus cisplatin (67% censored) and 4.1 months for pemetrexed alone (55% censored). The most commonly reported serious adverse events in the overall EAP irrespective of causality were dehydration (7.2%), nausea (5.2%), vomiting (4.9%), dyspnea (3.8%), and pulmonary embolism (2.4%). The data from this EAP study suggest that patients with previously treated MPM can benefit from treatment with pemetrexed alone or in combination with cisplatin. The treatment is associated with acceptable toxicity.
    Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 08/2006; 1(6):506-12. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this report, we evaluated the efficacy of a GM-CSF-producing tumor vaccine given before and after docetaxel in mice bearing established lung tumors. Mice bearing established 3LL tumors were treated with docetaxel and tumor vaccines transduced with either control or GM-CSF adenoviral vectors. Docetaxel (5-20 mg/kg) treatment alone had only a minimal effect on growth of established 3LL tumors in vivo, although docetaxel was cytotoxic to 3LL cells in vitro. When mice bearing established 3LL tumors were pretreated with docetaxel followed by vaccination with irradiated GM-CSF- transduced 3LL tumor cells, significant tumor regression and prolonged survival were observed compared with chemotherapy alone. Delaying docetaxel treatment until after tumor vaccination abrogated the vaccine's anti-tumor effects. Mice that survived treatment were able to resist a lethal rechallenge of 3LL tumor cells. Memory CTL specific for an epitope (MUT-1) derived from 3LL were detected in surviving mice. Docetaxel induced a mild lymphodepletion in mice, both CD4 and CD8 subsets were reduced in LN and spleens. Interestingly, docetaxel also diminished the number of memory CD8+ T cells (CD122+) and possible CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ natural Treg cells. Docetaxel treatment did not affect antigen-driven proliferation of naive T cells but significantly promoted survival of activated T cells. Thus, augmentation of vaccine induced antitumor immunity in docetaxel-treated mice primarily due to the enhanced survival of antigen-experienced T cells.
    Journla of Immunotherapy 01/2006; 29(4):367-80. · 3.46 Impact Factor
  • Ejc Supplements - EJC SUPPL. 01/2006; 4(12):194-195.
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    ABSTRACT: To date, few large studies have been reported of patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, and treatment of this disease has been largely extrapolated from the treatment of pleural disease. Hence, it was considered important to study and report on this specific patient population. Before the regulatory approval of pemetrexed, an expanded access program (EAP) provided access to eligible patients with malignant pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients received pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 alone or in combination with cisplatin 75 mg/m2 once every 21 days for > or = 6 cycles. All patients received folic acid, vitamin B12, and steroid prophylaxis. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were compiled in a pharmacovigilance database, which included all patients in the EAP with pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma. From June 12, 2002 to February 18, 2004, 1056 patients with malignant mesothelioma were enrolled and received > or = 1 dose of treatment at 462 sites in the United States. Of these patients, 98 (9.3%) had peritoneal mesothelioma (57 previously treated, 38 chemotherapy-naive, and 3 with missing data). Response data were available for 73 patients (43 previously treated, 28 chemotherapy-naive, and 2 not classified), indicating response rates of 23.3% for previously treated patients (0 complete responses [CRs], 10 partial responses [PRs], 21 cases of stable disease [SDs], 12 cases of progressive disease [PDs]) and 25% for chemotherapy-naive patients (3 CRs, 4 PRs, 12 SDs, and 9 PDs). Median survival was 13.1 months for previously treated patients and has not been reached for chemotherapy-naive patients. The most commonly reported SAEs for the total EAP were dehydration (7.2%), nausea (5.2%), and vomiting (4.9%). Pemetrexed with or without cisplatin had a favorable safety profile, and the disease control rate (CR + PR + SD) of 71.2% in the subset of patients with peritoneal mesothelioma indicated activity in this patient population.
    Clinical Lung Cancer 07/2005; 7(1):40-6. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    R Li, T Moudgil, H J Ross, H-M Hu
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    ABSTRACT: A significant variation in susceptibility to paclitaxel-mediated killing was observed among a panel of short-term cultured non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. Susceptibility to killing by paclitaxel correlated with expression of the BH3-only protein, Bim, but not with other members of Bcl-2 family. NSCLC cell lines with the highest level of Bim expression are most susceptible to apoptosis induction after paclitaxel treatment. Forced expression of Bim increased paclitaxel-mediated killing of cells expressing an undetectable level of Bim. Conversely, knock down of Bim, but not Bcl-2 expression, decreased the susceptibility of tumor cells to paclitaxel-mediated killing. Similar observations were made using a panel of breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Paclitaxel impairs microtubule function, causes G2/M cell cycle blockade, mitochondria damage, and p53-independent apoptosis. These results established Bim as a critical molecular link between the microtubule poison, paclitaxel, and apoptosis.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 04/2005; 12(3):292-303. · 8.37 Impact Factor
  • Lung Cancer. 01/2005; 49.
  • Lung Cancer. 01/2005; 49.
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    ABSTRACT: From our way of thinking the problem facing vaccine strategies for cancer is not that we do not have "enough" tumour antigens. The problem is we cannot induce an immune response that is sufficient to mediate tumour regression. The normal "checks and balances" found in the body prevent the sustained expansion and subsequent persistence of immune killer cells. If vaccine strategies are going to become effective treatments for cancer patients, they will need to overcome this substantial roadblock. Recent developments in immunology have provided insights into the mechanisms that regulate the expansion and persistence of T cells. This has allowed investigators to reinterpret decades-old observations suggesting that chemotherapy administered before vaccination often led to a stronger immune response. This manuscript will review experiments that offer an explanation for these observations and present pre-clinical data from our laboratory that describes an innovative new approach to combining chemotherapy and vaccination. This approach is readily translatable to the clinic and is broadly applicable to any vaccine strategy for advanced cancer.
    Developments in biologicals 02/2004; 116:93-107; discussion 133-43.
  • Lung Cancer. 01/2003; 41.

Publication Stats

354 Citations
58.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2014
    • Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale
      Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
  • 2010
    • Henry Ford Hospital
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Detroit, MI, United States
  • 2008
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2006
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Cambridge, MA, United States
    • Providence Portland Medical Center
      Portland, Oregon, United States
  • 2005
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Carole M. and Philip L. Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology
      Boston, MA, United States