Neal J Meropol

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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Publications (238)1531.35 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To report secondary efficacy endpoints of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocol 0247, primary endpoint analysis of which demonstrated that preoperative radiation therapy (RT) with capecitabine plus oxaliplatin achieved a pathologic complete remission prespecified threshold (21%) to merit further study, whereas RT with capecitabine plus irinotecan did not (10%). A randomized, phase 2 trial evaluated preoperative RT (50.4 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions) with 2 concurrent chemotherapy regimens: (1) capecitabine (1200 mg/m(2)/d Monday-Friday) plus irinotecan (50 mg/m(2)/wk × 4); and (2) capecitabine (1650 mg/m(2)/d Monday-Friday) plus oxaliplatin (50 mg/m(2)/wk × 5) for clinical T3 or T4 rectal cancer. Surgery was performed 4 to 8 weeks after chemoradiation, then 4 to 6 weeks later, adjuvant chemotherapy (oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2); leucovorin 400 mg/m(2); 5-fluorouracil 400 mg/m(2); 5-fluorouracil 2400 mg/m(2)) every 2 weeks × 9. Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated univariately by the Kaplan-Meier method. Local-regional failure (LRF), distant failure (DF), and second primary failure (SP) were estimated by the cumulative incidence method. No statistical comparisons were made between arms because each was evaluated individually. A total of 104 patients (median age, 57 years) were treated; characteristics were similar for both arms. Median follow-up for RT with capecitabine/irinotecan arm was 3.77 years and for RT with capecitabine/oxaliplatin arm was 3.97 years. Four-year DFS, OS, LRF, DF, and SP estimates for capecitabine/irinotecan arm were 68%, 85%, 16%, 24%, and 2%, respectively. The 4-year DFS, OS, LRF, DF, and SP failure estimates for capecitabine/oxaliplatin arm were 62%, 75%, 18%, 30%, and 6%, respectively. Efficacy results for both arms are similar to other reported studies but suggest that pathologic complete remission is an unsuitable surrogate for traditional survival metrics of clinical outcome. Although it remains uncertain whether the addition of a second cytotoxic agent enhances the effectiveness of fluorouracil plus RT, these results suggest that further study of irinotecan may be warranted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 11/2014; · 4.59 Impact Factor
  • Lowell E Schnipper, Neal J Meropol
    Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Gemcitabine (G) has been shown to sensitize pancreatic cancer to radiotherapy but requires lower doses of G and thus delays aggressive systemic treatment, potentially leading to distant failure. We initiated a phase I trial combining ultra-fractionated low-dose radiotherapy with full dose G and erlotinib in the treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although initially approved for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) tumors with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression, the use of anti-EGFR antibodies is now restricted to wild-type KRAS tumors. Little is known about prescribers' response to new clinical data, practice guidelines, and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) label change with regard to the use of anti-EGFR antibodies in clinical practice.
    Journal of oncology practice / American Society of Clinical Oncology. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background:This was a prospective single-centre, phase I study to document the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicity (DLT), and the recommended phase II dose for future study of capecitabine in combination with radioembolization.Methods:Patients with advanced unresectable liver-dominant cancer were enrolled in a 3+3 design with escalating doses of capecitabine (375-1000 mg/m(2) b.i.d.) for 14 days every 21 days. Radioembolization with (90)Y-resin microspheres was administered using a sequential lobar approach with two cycles of capecitabine.Results:Twenty-four patients (17 colorectal) were enrolled. The MTD was not reached. Haematologic events were generally mild. Common grade 1/2 non-haematologic toxicities included transient transaminitis/alkaline phosphatase elevation (9 (37.5%) patients), nausea (9 (37.5%)), abdominal pain (7 (29.0%)), fatigue (7 (29.0%)), and hand-foot syndrome or rash/desquamation (7 (29.0%)). One patient experienced a partial gastric antral perforation with a capecitabine dose of 750 mg/m(2). The best response was partial response in four (16.7%) patients, stable disease in 17 (70.8%) and progression in three (12.5%). Median time to progression and overall survival of the metastatic colorectal cancer cohort was 6.4 and 8.1 months, respectively.Conclusions:This combined modality treatment was generally well tolerated with encouraging clinical activity. Capecitabine 1000 mg/m(2) b.i.d. is recommended for phase II study with sequential lobar radioembolization.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 1 July 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.344 www.bjcancer.com.
    British journal of cancer. 07/2014;
  • Cheng E Chee, Neal J Meropol
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    ABSTRACT: The decision regarding adjuvant therapy for patients with stage II colon cancer remains a challenge. In contrast to stage III colon cancer, for which compelling clinical data support the use of adjuvant chemotherapy, the clinical benefit of systemic therapy in unselected patients with stage II disease is modest at best. Risk stratification based on clinicopathologic features and DNA mismatch repair status is commonly used in adjuvant therapy decisions, but these factors do not have a desired level of precision in identifying patients at high risk. Recently, gene expression platforms have been developed to further define risk and to assist in therapeutic decision making for patients with stage II disease. This review describes those platforms that are furthest along in clinical development, in an effort to place their potential clinical application in context.
    The Oncologist 05/2014; · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing use of predictive genetic testing to gauge hereditary cancer risk has been paralleled by rising cost-sharing practices. Little is known about how demographic and psychosocial factors may influence individuals' willingness-to-pay for genetic testing. The Gastrointestinal Tumor Risk Assessment Program Registry includes individuals presenting for genetic risk assessment based on personal/family cancer history. Participants complete a baseline survey assessing cancer history and psychosocial items. Willingness-to-pay items include intention for: genetic testing only if paid by insurance; testing with self-pay; and amount willing-to-pay ($25-$2,000). Multivariable models examined predictors of willingness-to-pay out-of-pocket (versus only if paid by insurance) and willingness-to-pay a smaller versus larger sum (≤$200 vs. ≥$500). All statistical tests are two-sided (α = 0.05). Of 385 evaluable participants, a minority (42 %) had a personal cancer history, while 56 % had ≥1 first-degree relative with colorectal cancer. Overall, 21.3 % were willing to have testing only if paid by insurance, and 78.7 % were willing-to-pay. Predictors of willingness-to-pay were: 1) concern for positive result; 2) confidence to control cancer risk; 3) fewer perceived barriers to colorectal cancer screening; 4) benefit of testing to guide screening (all p < 0.05). Subjects willing-to-pay a higher amount were male, more educated, had greater cancer worry, fewer relatives with colorectal cancer, and more positive attitudes toward genetic testing (all p < 0.05). Individuals seeking risk assessment are willing-to-pay out-of-pocket for genetic testing, and anticipate benefits to reducing cancer risk. Identifying factors associated with willingness-to-pay for genetic services is increasingly important as testing is integrated into routine cancer care.
    Journal of Genetic Counseling 05/2014; · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2014; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Comparative effectiveness research aims to inform health-care decisions by patients, clinicians, and policy makers. However, questions related to what information is relevant, and how to view the relative attributes of alternative interventions have political, social, and medical considerations. In particular, questions about whether cost is a relevant factor, and whether cost-effectiveness is a desirable or necessary component of such research, have become increasingly controversial as the area has gained prominence. Debate has emerged about whether comparative effectiveness research promotes rationing of cancer care. At the heart of this debate are questions related to the role and limits of patient autonomy, physician discretion in health-care decision making, and the nature of scientific knowledge as an objective good. In this article, we examine the role of comparative effectiveness research in the USA, UK, Canada, and other health-care systems, and the relation between research and policy. As we show, all health systems struggle to balance access to cancer care and control of costs; comparative effectiveness data can clarify choices, but does not itself determine policy or promote rationing of care.
    The Lancet Oncology 02/2014; · 25.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patient participation in cancer clinical trials is low. Little is known about attitudinal barriers to participation, particularly among patients who may be offered a trial during an imminent initial oncology consult. The aims of the present study were to confirm the presence of proposed subscales of a recently developed cancer clinical trial attitudinal barriers measure, describe the most common cancer clinical trials attitudinal barriers, and evaluate socio-demographic, medical and financial factors associated with attitudinal barriers. A total of 1256 patients completed a survey assessing demographic factors, perceived financial burden, prior trial participation and attitudinal barriers to clinical trials participation. Results of a factor analysis did not confirm the presence of the proposed four attitudinal barriers subscale/factors. Rather, a single factor represented the best fit to the data. The most highly-rated barriers were fear of side-effects, worry about health insurance and efficacy concerns. Results suggested that less educated patients, patients with non-metastatic disease, patients with no previous oncology clinical trial participation, and patients reporting greater perceived financial burden from cancer care were associated with higher barriers. These patients may need extra attention in terms of decisional support. Overall, patients with fewer personal resources (education, financial issues) report more attitudinal barriers and should be targeted for additional decisional support.
    European Journal of Cancer Care 01/2014; · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective This article describes the rigorous development process and initial feedback of the PRE-ACT (Preparatory Education About Clinical Trials) web-based- intervention designed to improve preparation for decision making in cancer clinical trials. Methods The multi-step process included stakeholder input, formative research, user testing and feedback. Diverse teams (researchers, advocates and developers) participated including content refinement, identification of actors, and development of video scripts. Patient feedback was provided in the final production period and through a vanguard group (N = 100) from the randomized trial. Results Patients/advocates confirmed barriers to cancer clinical trial participation, including lack of awareness and knowledge, fear of side effects, logistical concerns, and mistrust. Patients indicated they liked the tool's user-friendly nature, the organized and comprehensive presentation of the subject matter, and the clarity of the videos. Conclusion The development process serves as an example of operationalizing best practice approaches and highlights the value of a multi-disciplinary team to develop a theory-based, sophisticated tool that patients found useful in their decision making process. Practice Implications. Best practice approaches can be addressed and are important to ensure evidence-based tools that are of value to patients and supports the usefulness of a process map in the development of e-health tools.
    Patient Education and Counseling 01/2014; · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Patients with advanced biliary tract cancers have limited therapeutic options. Preclinical data suggest proteasome inhibition may be an effective therapeutic strategy. We thus evaluated the clinical efficacy of bortezomib in advanced biliary tract cancers. Patients and Methods Patients with locally advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma or gallbladder adenocarcinoma who had received 0-2 prior therapies received bortezomib 1.3 mg/m2 days 1, 4, 8, and 11 of a 21-day cycle. The primary endpoint was objective response rate. A Simon two-stage design was employed (null response rate of < 5% and response rate of ≥ 20% of interest). Results Twenty patients enrolled: bile duct/gallbladder cancer (14/6), prior treatments 0/1/2 (10/6/3). The trial was discontinued early due to lack of confirmed partial responses. No unanticipated adverse events were noted. There was one unconfirmed partial response. Ten patients achieved stable disease as best response. Median time to progression was 5.8 months (95% CI 0.7-77.6 months). Median survival was 9 months (95% CI 4.6-18.5 months). The 6-month and 1-year survival rates were 70% and 38%. There was no difference in survival based on primary disease site. Conclusions Single agent bortezomib does not result in objective responses in biliary tract cancers. However, the rate of stable disease and time to progression benchmark is encouraging. Further development of bortezomib in combination with other therapies in this disease setting should be considered.
    Clinical Colorectal Cancer 01/2014; · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study used the Ottawa Decision Support Framework to evaluate a model examining associations between clinical trial knowledge, attitudinal barriers to participating in clinical trials, clinical trial self-efficacy, and clinical trial preparedness among 1256 cancer patients seen for their first outpatient consultation at a cancer center. As an exploratory aim, moderator effects for gender, race/ethnicity, education, and metastatic status on associations in the model were evaluated. . Patients completed measures of cancer clinical trial knowledge, attitudinal barriers, self-efficacy, and preparedness. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to evaluate whether self-efficacy mediated the association between knowledge and barriers with preparedness. . The SEM explained 26% of the variance in cancer clinical trial preparedness. Self-efficacy mediated the associations between attitudinal barriers and preparedness, but self-efficacy did not mediate the knowledge-preparedness relationship. . Findings partially support the Ottawa Decision Support Framework and suggest that assessing patients' level of self-efficacy may be just as important as evaluating their knowledge and attitudes about cancer clinical trials.
    Medical Decision Making 11/2013; · 2.89 Impact Factor
  • Neal J Meropol
    CancerSpectrum Knowledge Environment 11/2013; · 14.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: For cancer patients offered clinical trials, treatment decisions may be especially complex as trials pose uncertain risks and benefits of new approaches. Many patients also have financial concerns, including those regarding insurance coverage. We hypothesize that financial concerns may affect a patient’s ability to make an informed, patient-centered decisions regarding clinical trials. Method: PRE-ACT (PReparatory Education About Clinical Trials) is a web-based educational tool designed to increase cancer patients’ preparation for making decisions about clinical trial enrollment by delivering video content tailored to individuals’ knowledge gaps and attitudes assessed by baseline survey. We conducted a multicenter, randomized study of PRE-ACT vs. written generic clinical trials information. The baseline survey (5-point Likert scales) included questions regarding cost concerns: “How much of a burden on you is the cost of your medical care? (Q1)”, “I'm afraid that my health insurance won't pay for a clinical trial (Q2),” and “I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford the costs of treatment on a clinical trial (Q3).” We summed results, with higher scores indicating greater financial concerns. Multiple linear regression was used to measure the association between concerns and self-reported measures of self-efficacy, preparation for decision making, distress and decisional conflict in separate models, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. In secondary analyses, similar models were built using the cost questions (Q2 and 3) together and burden (Q1) alone. Result: 1212 patients completed baseline surveys. 27% were 65 or older. 58% were female. 24% had high school education or less. Greater financial concern was associated with lower self-efficacy and preparation for decision making, and greater decisional conflict and distress, even after adjustment for age, race, gender, education, employment and hospital location (p<.0001 for all models). In the self-efficacy, preparation and distress models, age < 65, unemployment and lack of education past high school were also significantly associated with greater concerns (p<.05 for all models) . Similar findings were noted for secondary analyses, except that greater burden (Q3) was not associated with worse self-efficacy. Conclusion: Financial concerns are associated with several psychological constructs that may negatively impact informed decision-making regarding clinical trial participation. Greater attention to patients’ financial needs and available resources may best help them make optimal treatment decisions that reflect their preferences and values.
    The 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making; 10/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Many challenges to clinical trial accrual exist, resulting in studies with inadequate enrollment and potentially delaying answers to important scientific and clinical questions. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the ASCO (ASCO) cosponsored the Cancer Trial Accrual Symposium: Science and Solutions on April 29-30, 2010 to examine the state of accrual science related to patient/community, physician/provider, and site/organizational influences, and identify new interventions to facilitate clinical trial enrollment. The symposium featured breakout sessions, plenary sessions, and a poster session including 100 abstracts. Among the 358 attendees were clinical investigators, researchers of accrual strategies, research administrators, nurses, research coordinators, patient advocates, and educators. A bibliography of the accrual literature in these three major areas was provided to participants in advance of the meeting. After the symposium, the literature in these areas was revisited to determine if the symposium recommendations remained relevant within the context of the current literature. Few rigorously conducted studies have tested interventions to address challenges to clinical trials accrual. Attendees developed recommendations for improving accrual and identified priority areas for future accrual research at the patient/community, physician/provider, and site/organizational levels. Current literature continues to support the symposium recommendations. A combination of approaches addressing both the multifactorial nature of accrual challenges and the characteristics of the target population may be needed to improve accrual to cancer clinical trials. Recommendations for best practices and for future research developed from the symposium are provided.
    Journal of Oncology Practice 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with cardiac toxicity in patients treated with chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for esophageal carcinoma. One hundred twenty-seven patients with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus treated from July 2002 to June 2011 at 2 academic institutions with preoperative or definitive CRT were retrospectively reviewed. Association of cardiac toxicity with a number of variables was investigated, including heart disease, cardiac bypass and angioplasty, diabetes, insulin use, smoking, chemotherapy regimen, and tumor location. T test assessed risk of cardiac toxicity secondary to age. Dose volume histograms (DVH) were evaluated for percentage of heart volume receiving >20, 30, 40, and 50 Gy (V20-V50). The Fisher exact test analyzed for an association between dose volume parameters and cardiac toxicity. Patient population included 100 men and 27 women with a mean age of 64 years. Median follow-up was 12.7 months (range, 0.3-99.6 months). Any cardiac toxicity occurred in 28 patients, the majority of which were pericardial effusion (23/28). Odds ratio for toxicity in women was 4.15 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.63-10.50; P = .0017) and time to cardiac toxicity by sex was significant (P = .0003). Patients above the median cutoff for V20, V30, and V40 had increased odds of developing cardiac toxicity (P = .03, .008, .002). There was 4.0 increased odds of developing cardiac toxicity with V40 >57% (95% CI, 1.5-10.3, P = .002). On multivariable logistic regression analysis, sex was the only variable associated with any cardiac toxicity and pericardial effusion (P = .0016, P = .0038). None of the other investigated variables were associated with increased risk of cardiac toxicity. Female patients and dose greater than the median for V20-V40 were associated with the development of cardiac toxicity, specifically pericardial effusion. These data suggest exercising increased care when designing radiation fields in women undergoing CRT for esophageal carcinoma, as pericardial effusion may be a long-term complication.
    Practical radiation oncology. 10/2013; 3(4):e149-55.
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    ABSTRACT: Src, EphA2, and platelet-derived growth factor receptors α and β are dysregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Dasatinib is an oral multitarget tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets BCR-ABL, c-Src, c-KIT, platelet-derived growth factor receptor β, and EphA2. We conducted a phase II, single-arm study of dasatinib as first-line therapy in patients with metastatic PDAC. Dasatinib (100 mg twice a day, later reduced to 70 mg twice a day because of toxicities) was orally administered continuously on a 28-day cycle. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Response was measured using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were also collected. Fifty-one patients enrolled in this study. The median OS was 4.7 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.8-6.9 months). Median progression-free survival was 2.1 months (95% CI: 1.6-3.2 months). In 34 evaluable patients, the best response achieved was stable disease in 10 patients (29.4%). One patient had stable disease while on treatment for 20 months. The most common nonhematologic toxicities were fatigue and nausea. Edema and pleural effusions occurred in 29% and 6% of patients, respectively. The number of CTCs did not correlate with survival. Single-agent dasatinib does not have clinical activity in metastatic PDAC.
    The Oncologist 09/2013; · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Health care providers are accustomed to identifying populations for whom cost-related concerns may be a significant barrier, such as the poor, but few empiric data have been collected to substantiate such assumptions, particularly among insured patients. Patients with cancer from academic and community hospitals completed a questionnaire that included closed-ended items concerning demographic variables, optimism, numeracy, and concerns about present and future medical costs. In addition, they answered open-ended questions regarding cost concerns and medical expenses. Nearly all (99%) participants were insured. In response to the closed-ended questions, 30.3% of patients reported concern about paying for their cancer treatment, 22.3% reported that their family had made sacrifices to pay for their care, and 8.3% stated that their insurance adequately covered their current health care costs, and 17.3% reported concerns about coverage for their costs in the future. On open-ended questions, 35.3% reported additional expenses, and 47.5% reported concerns about health care costs. None of the assessed patient characteristics proved to be a robust predictor across all cost-related concerns. There was a strong association between the identification of concerns or expenses on the open-ended questions and concerns on closed-ended questions. Cost concerns are common among patients with cancer who have health insurance. Health care providers may alleviate concerns by discussing cost-related concerns with all patients, not only those of lower socioeconomic status or those without insurance. A closed-ended screening question may help to initiate these conversations. This may identify potential resources, lower distress, and enable patients to make optimal treatment decisions.
    Journal of Oncology Practice 07/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: When making treatment decisions, cancer patients must make trade-offs among efficacy, toxicity, and cost. However, little is known about what patient characteristics may influence these trade-offs. A total of 400 cancer patients reviewed 2 of 3 stylized curative and noncurative scenarios that asked them to choose between 2 treatments of varying levels of efficacy, toxicity, and cost. Each scenario included 9 choice sets. Demographics, cost concerns, numeracy, and optimism were assessed. Within each scenario, we used latent class methods to distinguish groups with discrete preferences. We then used regressions with group membership probabilities as covariates to identify associations. The median age of the patients was 61 years (range, 27-90 y). Of the total number of patients included, 25% were enrolled at a community hospital, and 99% were insured. Three latent classes were identified that demonstrated (1) preference for survival, (2) aversion to high cost, and (3) aversion to toxicity. Across all scenarios, patients with higher income were more likely to be in the class that favored survival. Lower income patients were more likely to be in the class that was averse to high cost (P<0.05). Similar associations were found between education, employment status, numeracy, cost concerns, and latent class. Even in these stylized scenarios, socioeconomic status predicted the treatment choice. Higher income patients may be more likely to focus on survival, whereas those of lower socioeconomic status may be more likely to avoid expensive treatment, regardless of survival or toxicity. This raises the possibility that insurance plans with greater cost-sharing may have the unintended consequence of increasing disparities in cancer care.
    Medical care 07/2013; · 3.24 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9k Citations
1,531.35 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Medicine
      Chicago, IL, United States
    • Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada
      Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • 2012
    • University Hospitals
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Department of Medicine
      Madison, MS, United States
  • 2011
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2009–2011
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 1999–2011
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Surgery
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 2008
    • Duke University
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2007
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2004
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2000–2004
    • Temple University
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2003
    • Duke University Medical Center
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 1995–1999
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      • Department of Medicine
      Buffalo, NY, United States
  • 1991–1993
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1992
    • Mount Sinai Hospital
      New York City, New York, United States
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States