Jay S Loeffler

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (309)1607.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this prospective study, the authors evaluated potential treatment toxicity and progression-free survival in patients with low-grade glioma who received treatment with proton radiation therapy. Twenty patients with World Health Organization grade 2 glioma who were eligible for radiation therapy were enrolled in a prospective, single-arm trial of proton therapy. The patients received proton therapy at a dose of 54 Gy (relative biological effectiveness) in 30 fractions. Comprehensive baseline and regular post-treatment evaluations of neurocognitive function, neuroendocrine function, and quality of life (QOL) were performed. All 20 patients (median age, 37.5 years) tolerated treatment without difficulty. The median follow-up after proton therapy was 5.1 years. At baseline, intellectual functioning was within the normal range for the group and remained stable over time. Visuospatial ability, attention/working memory, and executive functioning also were within normal limits; however, baseline neurocognitive impairments were observed in language, memory, and processing speed in 8 patients. There was no overall decline in cognitive functioning over time. New endocrine dysfunction was detected in 6 patients, and all but 1 had received direct irradiation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. QOL assessment revealed no changes over time. The progression-free survival rate at 3 years was 85%, but it dropped to 40% at 5 years. Patients with low-grade glioma tolerate proton therapy well, and a subset develops neuroendocrine deficiencies. There is no evidence for overall decline in cognitive function or QOL. Cancer 2015. © 2015 American Cancer Society. © 2014 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 01/2015; DOI:10.1002/cncr.29237 · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose/Objective(s) This study evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of proton therapy for functional pituitary adenomas (FPAs). Methods and Materials We analyzed 165 patients with FPAs who were treated at a single institution with proton therapy between 1992 and 2012 and had at least 6 months of follow-up. All but 3 patients underwent prior resection, and 14 received prior photon irradiation. Proton stereotactic radiosurgery was used for 92% of patients, with a median dose of 20 Gy(RBE). The remainder received fractionated stereotactic proton therapy. Time to biochemical complete response (CR, defined as ≥3 months of normal laboratory values with no medical treatment), local control, and adverse effects are reported. Results With a median follow-up time of 4.3 years (range, 0.5-20.6 years) for 144 evaluable patients, the actuarial 3-year CR rate and the median time to CR were 54% and 32 months among 74 patients with Cushing disease (CD), 63% and 27 months among 8 patients with Nelson syndrome (NS), 26% and 62 months among 50 patients with acromegaly, and 22% and 60 months among 9 patients with prolactinomas, respectively. One of 3 patients with thyroid stimulating hormone—secreting tumors achieved CR. Actuarial time to CR was significantly shorter for corticotroph FPAs (CD/NS) compared with other subtypes (P=.001). At a median imaging follow-up time of 43 months, tumor control was 98% among 140 patients. The actuarial 3-year and 5-year rates of development of new hypopituitarism were 45% and 62%, and the median time to deficiency was 40 months. Larger radiosurgery target volume as a continuous variable was a significant predictor of hypopituitarism (adjusted hazard ratio 1.3, P=.004). Four patients had new-onset postradiosurgery seizures suspected to be related to generously defined target volumes. There were no radiation-induced tumors. Conclusions Proton irradiation is an effective treatment for FPAs, and hypopituitarism remains the primary adverse effect.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 11/2014; 90(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.06.068 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The NCCN Guidelines for Central Nervous System Cancers provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the clinical management of patients with cancers of the central nervous system. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight recent updates regarding the management of metastatic brain tumors using radiation therapy. Use of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is no longer limited to patients with 3 or fewer lesions, because data suggest that total disease burden, rather than number of lesions, is predictive of survival benefits associated with the technique. SRS is increasingly becoming an integral part of management of patients with controlled, low-volume brain metastases.
    Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network: JNCCN 11/2014; 12(11):1517-23. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly aggressive brain cancer characterized by local invasion and angiogenic recruitment, yet metastatic dissemination is extremely rare. Here, we adapted a microfluidic device to deplete hematopoietic cells from blood specimens of patients with GBM, uncovering evidence of circulating brain tumor cells (CTCs). Staining and scoring criteria for GBM CTCs were first established using orthotopic patient-derived xenografts (PDX), and then applied clinically: CTCs were identified in at least one blood specimen from 13/33 patients (39%; 26/87 samples). Single GBM CTCs isolated from both patients and mouse PDX models demonstrated enrichment for mesenchymal over neural differentiation markers, compared with primary GBMs. Within primary GBMs, RNA-in-situ hybridization identifies a subpopulation of highly migratory mesenchymal tumor cells, and in a rare patient with disseminated GBM, systemic lesions were exclusively mesenchymal. Thus, a mesenchymal subset of GBM cells invades into the vasculature, and may proliferate outside the brain.
    Cancer Discovery 08/2014; 4(11). DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-14-0471 · 15.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The concept of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) was first described by Lars Leksell in 1951. It was proposed as a noninvasive alternative to open neurosurgical approaches to manage a variety of conditions. In the following decades, SRS emerged as a unique discipline involving a collegial partnership among neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical physicists. SRS relies on the precisely guided delivery of high-dose ionizing radiation to an intracranial target. The focused convergence of multiple beams yields a potent therapeutic effect on the target and a steep dose fall-off to surrounding structures, thereby minimizing the risk of collateral damage. SRS is typically administered in a single session but can be given in as many as five sessions or fractions. By providing an ablative effect noninvasively, SRS has altered the treatment paradigms for benign and malignant intracranial tumors, functional disorders, and vascular malformations. Literature on extensive intracranial radiosurgery has unequivocally demonstrated the favorable benefit-to-risk profile that SRS affords for appropriately selected patients. In a departure from conventional radiotherapeutic strategies, radiosurgical principles have recently been extended to extracranial indications such as lung, spine, and liver tumors. The paradigm shift resulting from radiosurgery continues to alter the landscape of related fields.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2014; 32(26). DOI:10.1200/JCO.2013.53.7365 · 17.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We determined the impact of genetic alterations in EGFR, ALK, or KRAS on survival after radiotherapy for brain metastases in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
    Neuro-Oncology 07/2014; 17(2). DOI:10.1093/neuonc/nou146 · 5.29 Impact Factor
  • Neuro-Oncology 07/2014; 16 Suppl 3:iii12. DOI:10.1093/neuonc/nou206.42 · 5.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose/Objective(s) To evaluate the obliteration rate and potential adverse effects of single-fraction proton beam stereotactic radiosurgery (PSRS) in patients with cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Methods and Materials From 1991 to 2010, 248 consecutive patients with 254 cerebral AVMs received single-fraction PSRS at our institution. The median AVM nidus volume was 3.5 cc (range, 0.1-28.1 cc), 23% of AVMs were in critical/deep locations (basal ganglia, thalamus, or brainstem), and the most common prescription dose was 15 Gy(relative biological effectiveness [RBE]). Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to assess factors associated with obliteration and hemorrhage. Results At a median follow-up time of 35 months (range, 6-198 months), 64.6% of AVMs were obliterated. The median time to total obliteration was 31 months (range, 6-127 months), and the 5-year and 10-year cumulative incidence of total obliteration was 70% and 91%, respectively. On univariable analysis, smaller target volume (hazard ratio [HR] 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.86-0.93, P<.0001), smaller treatment volume (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.90-0.96, P<.0001), higher prescription dose (HR 1.16, 95% CI 1.07-1.26, P=.001), and higher maximum dose (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05-1.23, P=.002) were associated with total obliteration. Deep/critical location was also associated with decreased likelihood of obliteration (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.47-0.98, P=.04). On multivariable analysis, critical location (adjusted HR [AHR] 0.42, 95% CI 0.27-0.65, P<.001) and smaller target volume (AHR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.97, P=.02) remained associated with total obliteration. Posttreatment hemorrhage occurred in 13 cases (5-year cumulative incidence of 7%), all among patients with less than total obliteration, and 3 of these events were fatal. The most common complication was seizure, controlled with medications, both acutely (8%) and in the long term (9.1%). Conclusions The current series is the largest modern series of PSRS for cerebral AVMs. PSRS can achieve a high obliteration rate with minimal morbidity. Post-treatment hemorrhage remains a potentially fatal risk among patients who have not yet responded to treatment.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 06/2014; 89(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.02.030 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are often followed without initial therapeutic intervention because many tumors do not grow and radiation therapy is associated with potential adverse effects. In an effort to determine whether maximizing initial surveillance predicts for later treatment response, the predictive value of preirradiation growth rate of VS on response to radiation therapy was assessed. Methods and Materials Sixty-four patients with 65 VS were treated with single-fraction stereotactic radiation surgery or fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy. Pre- and postirradiation linear expansion rates were estimated using volumetric measurements on sequential magnetic resonance images (MRIs). In addition, postirradiation tumor volume change was classified as demonstrating shrinkage (ratio of volume on last follow-up MRI to MRI immediately preceding irradiation <80%), stability (ratio 80%-120%), or expansion (ratio >120%). The median pre- and postirradiation follow-up was 20.0 and 27.5 months, respectively. Seven tumors from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients were excluded from statistical analyses. Results In the 58 non-NF2 patients, there was a trend of correlation between pre- and postirradiation volume change rates (slope on linear regression, 0.29; P=.06). Tumors demonstrating postirradiation expansion had a median preirradiation growth rate of 89%/year, and those without postirradiation expansion had a median preirradiation growth rate of 41%/year (P=.02). As the preirradiation growth rate increased, the probability of postirradiation expansion also increased. Overall, 24.1% of tumors were stable, 53.4% experienced shrinkage, and 22.5% experienced expansion. Predictors of no postirradiation tumor expansion included no prior surgery (P=.01) and slower tumor growth rate (P=.02). The control of tumors in NF2 patients was only 43%. Conclusions Radiation therapy is an effective treatment for VS, but tumors that grow quickly preirradiation may be more likely to increase in size. Clinicians should take into account tumor growth rate when counseling patients about treatment options.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 05/2014; 89(1):113–119. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.01.038 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low-grade gliomas (LGGs) are a diverse group of primary brain tumors that often arise in young, otherwise healthy patients and generally have an indolent course with longer-term survival in comparison with high-grade gliomas. Treatment options include observation, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combined approach, and management is individualized based on tumor location, histology, molecular profile, and patient characteristics. Moreover, in this type of brain tumor with a relatively good prognosis and prolonged survival, the potential benefits of treatment must be carefully weighed against potential treatment-related risks.We review in this article current management strategies for LGG, including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. In addition, the importance of profiling the genetic and molecular properties of LGGs in the development of targeted anticancer therapies is also reviewed. Finally, given the prevalence of these tumors in otherwise healthy young patients, the impact of treatment on neurocognitive function and quality of life is also evaluated.
    The Oncologist 03/2014; 19(4). DOI:10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0345 · 4.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are many elements to the science that drives the clinical care of patients with brain metastases. Although part of an understanding that continues to evolve, a number of key historical misconceptions remain that commonly drive physicians' and researchers' attitudes and approaches. By understanding how these relate to current practice, we can better comprehend our available science to provide both better research and care. These past misconceptions include:Once a primary cancer spreads to the brain, the histology of that primary tumor does not have much impact on response to chemotherapy, sensitivity to radiation, risk of further brain relapse, development of additional metastatic lesions, or survival. All tumor primary histologies are the same once they spread to the brain. They are the same in terms of number of tumor, radiosensitivity, chemoresponsiveness, risk of further brain relapse, and survival.The number of brain metastases matters. This number matters in terms of subsequent brain relapse, in terms of survival, and in terms of cognitive dysfunction; the precise number of metastases can also be utilized as a limit in determining which patients might be eligible for a particular treatment option.Cancer in the brain is always a diffuse problem due to the presence of micrometastases.Whole brain radiation therapy invariably causes disabling cognitive dysfunction if a patient lives long enough.Most brain metastases are symptomatic. Thus, it is not worth screening patients for brain metastases, especially since the impact on survival is minimal.The conduct and findings of past clinical research have led to conceptions that affect clinical care yet appear limiting.
    Neurosurgery 03/2014; 75(1). DOI:10.1227/NEU.0000000000000354 · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Article: Response.
    Journal of neuro-ophthalmology: the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society 03/2014; 34(1):102. DOI:10.1097/01.wno.0000444665.80302.c7 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) determined to be high risk for surgery or endovascular embolization, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is considered the mainstay of treatment. To determine the outcomes of pediatric patients with AVMs treated with proton SRS. We reviewed the records of 44 consecutively treated pediatric patients (age < 18) who underwent proton SRS at our institution from 1998-2010. The median target volume was 4.5±5.9 mL (range= 0.3-29.0 mL) and the median maximal diameter was 3.6± 1.5 cm (range =1-6 cm). Radiation was administered with a median prescription dose of 15.50±1.87 CGE to the 90% isodose. At a median follow-up of 52±25 months, two patients (4.5%) had no response, 24 patients (59.1%) had a partial response, and 18 patients (40.9%) experienced obliteration of their AVM. The median time to obliteration was 49±26 months, inclusive of 17 patients who underwent repeat proton radiosurgery. Four patients (9%) experienced hemorrhage following treatment at a median time of 45±15 months. Univariate analysis identified modified AVM scale score (p=0.045), single fraction treatment (0.04), larger prescription dose (0.01), larger maximum dose (<0.001), and larger minimum dose (0.01) to be associated with AVM obliteration. High-risk AVMs can be safely treated with proton radiosurgery in the pediatric population. Since protons deposit energy more selectively than photons, there is the potential benefit of protons to lower the probability of damage to healthy tissue in the developing brain.
    Neurosurgery 01/2014; 74(4). DOI:10.1227/NEU.0000000000000294 · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Itai Pashtan, Kevin S Oh, Jay S Loeffler
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy in the form of fractionated treatment or radiosurgery has an important role in the management of pituitary adenomas. Radiation is a reliable way of gaining local control for radiographically progressing pituitary adenomas. For functioning adenomas that are biochemically recurrent or persistent, radiation therapy is less consistent in offering biochemical normalization and often requires a latency period of years or decades. The decision of when to use radiation therapy is a delicate balance between its benefits and late sequelae, especially in the context of benign disease. Recent technological advances in radiation oncology hold the potential to minimize dose to uninvolved normal tissue and therefore reduce the risk of toxicity.
    Handbook of Clinical Neurology 01/2014; 124C:317-324. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-444-59602-4.00021-6
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    ABSTRACT: Antiangiogenic therapy has shown clear activity and improved survival benefit for certain tumor types. However, an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of action of antiangiogenic agents has hindered optimization and broader application of this new therapeutic modality. In particular, the impact of antiangiogenic therapy on tumor blood flow and oxygenation status (i.e., the role of vessel pruning versus normalization) remains controversial. This controversy has become critical as multiple phase III trials of anti-VEGF agents combined with cytotoxics failed to show overall survival benefit in newly diagnosed glioblastoma (nGBM) patients and several other cancers. Here, we shed light on mechanisms of nGBM response to cediranib, a pan-VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, using MRI techniques and blood biomarkers in prospective phase II clinical trials of cediranib with chemoradiation vs. chemoradiation alone in nGBM patients. We demonstrate that improved perfusion occurs only in a subset of patients in cediranib-containing regimens, and is associated with improved overall survival in these nGBM patients. Moreover, an increase in perfusion is associated with improved tumor oxygenation status as well as with pharmacodynamic biomarkers, such as changes in plasma placenta growth factor and sVEGFR2. Finally, treatment resistance was associated with elevated plasma IL-8 and sVEGFR1 posttherapy. In conclusion, tumor perfusion changes after antiangiogenic therapy may distinguish responders vs. nonresponders early in the course of this expensive and potentially toxic form of therapy, and these results may provide new insight into the selection of glioblastoma patients most likely to benefit from anti-VEGF treatments.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; 110(47). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1318022110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Object Estimating survival time in cancer patients is crucial for clinicians, patients, families, and payers. To provide appropriate and cost-effective care, various data sources are used to provide rational, reliable, and reproducible estimates. The accuracy of such estimates is unknown. Methods The authors prospectively estimated survival in 150 consecutive cancer patients (median age 62 years) with brain metastases undergoing radiosurgery. They recorded cancer type, number of brain metastases, neurological presentation, extracranial disease status, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, Recursive Partitioning Analysis class, prior whole-brain radiotherapy, and synchronous or metachronous presentation. Finally, the authors asked 18 medical, radiation, or surgical oncologists to predict survival from the time of treatment. Results The actual median patient survival was 10.3 months (95% CI 6.4-14). The median physician-predicted survival was 9.7 months (neurosurgeons = 11.8 months, radiation oncologists = 11.0 months, and medical oncologist = 7.2 months). For patients who died before 10 months, both neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists generally predicted survivals that were more optimistic and medical oncologists that were less so, although no group could accurately predict survivors alive at 14 months. All physicians had individual patient survival predictions that were incorrect by as much as 12-18 months, and 14 of 18 physicians had individual predictions that were in error by more than 18 months. Of the 2700 predictions, 1226 (45%) were off by more than 6 months and 488 (18%) were off by more than 12 months. Conclusions Although crucial, predicting the survival of cancer patients is difficult. In this study all physicians were unable to accurately predict longer-term survivors. Despite valuable clinical data and predictive scoring techniques, brain and systemic management often led to patient survivals well beyond estimated survivals.
    Journal of Neurosurgery 10/2013; 120(1). DOI:10.3171/2013.9.JNS13788 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Randomized trials have demonstrated that radiation improves survival in patients with glioblastoma. The purpose of this study was to characterize the risk factors and impact of omission of radiation therapy in such patients. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program was used to identify 22,777 patients diagnosed with glioblastoma between 1988 and 2007. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to identify predictors associated with omission of radiation. Cox regression was used to characterize the impact of omitting radiation on all-cause mortality. Among the entire cohort, 16,863 of 22,777 patients (74%) received radiation, whereas 5914 of 22,777 patients (26%) did not. Factors associated with omission of radiation included older age (OR = 1.048 per year increase, 95% CI = 1.046-1.051, P < .001), lower annual income (OR = 0.93 per $10,000 increase, 95% CI = 0.90-0.96, P < .001), African American race (reference = white, OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.03-1.37, P = .02), Hispanic race (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.19-1.50, P < .001), Asian American race (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.04-1.48, P < .001), unmarried status (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.60-1.83, P < .001), and subtotal resection/biopsy (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.69-1.96, P < .001). The use of radiation was significantly associated with improved overall survival (2-year survival: 14.6% versus 4.2%, P < .001; adjusted HR = 2.09, 95% CI = 2.02-2.16, P < .001). When the population was restricted to patients < 50 years old, these findings remained largely unchanged. Radiation therapy is associated with survival benefit in patients with glioblastoma, and sociodemographic factors play a significant role in the underutilization of radiation. The underlying causes for these disparities in care require further research. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 10/2013; DOI:10.1002/cncr.28398 · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with World Health Organization (WHO) grade II supratentorial ependymomas are commonly observed after gross total resection (GTR), although supporting data are limited. We sought to characterize the natural history of such tumors. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to identify 112 patients ages 0-77 diagnosed with WHO grade II ependymomas between 1988 and 2007, of whom 63 (56 %) and 49 (44 %) had supratentorial and infratentorial primaries, respectively. Inclusion criteria were strict to ensure patient homogeneity. Of 33 patients with supratentorial tumors after GTR, 18 (55 %) received adjuvant radiation therapy and 15 (45 %) did not. Ependymoma-specific mortality (ESM) was the primary endpoint. With a median follow up of 4.5 years, only 1 of 33 patients with supratentorial ependymoma died of their disease after GTR; the 5-year estimate of ESM in this population was 3.3 % (95 % CI 0.2-14.8 %). Among patients with infratentorial ependymomas after GTR, the 5-year estimate of ESM was 8.7 % (95 % CI 1.4-24.6 %). In patients with subtotally resected tumors, 5-year estimates of ESM in patients with supratentorial and infratentorial primaries were 20.1 % (95 % CI 8.0-36.2 %) and 12.3 % (95 % CI 2.9-28.8 %), respectively. Among the whole cohort, on both univariable and multivariable regression, extent of resection was predictive of ESM, while tumor location and use of radiation were not. After GTR, patients with WHO grade II supratentorial ependymomas have a very favorable natural history with low associated cancer-specific mortality. Observation, with radiation reserved as a salvage option, may be a reasonable postoperative strategy in this population.
    Journal of Neuro-Oncology 09/2013; DOI:10.1007/s11060-013-1237-9 · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation therapy is one of the mainstays of anti-cancer treatment, but the relationship between the radiosensitivity of cancer cells and their genomic characteristics is still not well-defined. Here we report the development of a high-throughput platform for measuring radiation survival in vitro and its validation by comparison to conventional clonogenic radiation survival analysis. We combined results from this high-throughput assay with genomic parameters in cell lines from squamous cell lung carcinoma, which is standardly treated by radiation therapy, to identify parameters that predict radiation sensitivity. We showed that activation of NFE2L2, a frequent event in lung squamous cancers, confers radiation resistance. An expression-based, in silico screen nominated inhibitors of PI3K as NFE2L2 antagonists. We showed that the selective PI3K inhibitor, NVP-BKM120, both decreased NRF2 protein levels and sensitized NFE2L2 or KEAP1 mutant cells to radiation. We then combined results from this high-throughput assay with single-sample gene set enrichment analysis (ssGSEA) of gene expression data. The resulting analysis identified pathways implicated in cell survival, genotoxic stress, detoxification, and innate and adaptive immunity as key correlates of radiation sensitivity. The integrative, high-throughput methods shown here for large-scale profiling of radiation survival and genomic features of solid-tumor derived cell lines should facilitate tumor radiogenomics and the discovery of genotype-selective radiation sensitizers and protective agents.
    Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(20). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-1616 · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The treatment of metastatic brain lesions remains a central challenge in oncology. Because most chemotherapeutic agents do not effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, it is widely accepted that radiation remains the primary modality of treatment. The mode by which radiation should be delivered has, however, become a source of intense controversy in recent years. The controversy involves whether patients with a limited number of brain metastases should undergo whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) delivered only to the radiographically visible tumours. Survival is comparable for patients treated with either modality. Instead, the controversy involves the neurocognitive function (NCF) of radiating cerebrum that appeared radiographically normal relative to effects of the growth from micro-metastatic foci. A fundamental question in this debate involves quantifying the effect of WBRT in patients with cerebral metastasis. To disentangle the effects of WBRT on neurocognition from the effects inherent to the underlying disease, we analysed the results from randomised controlled studies of prophylactic cranial irradiation in oncology patients as well as studies where patients with limited cerebral metastasis were randomised to SRS versus SRS+WBRT. In aggregate, these results suggest deleterious effects of WBRT in select neurocognitive domains. However, there are insufficient data to resolve the controversy of upfront WBRT versus SRS in the management of patients with limited cerebral metastases.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 05/2013; 84(12). DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2013-305166 · 4.87 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

14k Citations
1,607.65 Total Impact Points


  • 1999–2015
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      • • Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Alexandria University
      • Department of Neurosurgery
      Al Iskandarīyah, Alexandria, Egypt
  • 1990–2014
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1984–2014
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010–2011
    • Partners HealthCare
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • University of California, Irvine
      Irvine, California, United States
    • The Ohio State University
      • Department of Neurological Surgery
      Columbus, OH, United States
    • Pars Brain and Spine Institute
      Parkersburg, West Virginia, United States
    • GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
      Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany
    • Emory University
      • Department of Neurosurgery
      Atlanta, GA, United States
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Department of Human Oncology
      Madison, MS, United States
    • Henry Ford Health System
      • Department of Neurology
      Detroit, MI, United States
  • 2003–2010
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 2000–2009
    • University of Colorado
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Denver, CO, United States
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
    • Henry Ford Hospital
      Detroit, Michigan, United States
    • Wake Forest School of Medicine
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 2001–2008
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 2004
    • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
      • Department of Otolaryngology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Stanford, CA, United States
  • 1994–2001
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Division of Hematologic Malignancies
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1989–2001
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • • Department of Neurosurgery
      • • Center for Brain Mind Medicine
      • • Department of Radiology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1998–1999
    • Thomas Jefferson University
      • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 1997
    • University of Pittsburgh
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 1996
    • University of California, San Francisco
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 1990–1995
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States