Ronan Swords

University of Miami, كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States

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Publications (61)225.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Of the myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), myelofibrosis (MF) is associated with the greatest symptom burden and poorest prognosis and is characterized by constitutional symptoms, cytopenias, splenomegaly, and bone marrow fibrosis. A hallmark of MF is dysregulation of the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway that has led to the development of JAK inhibitors targeting this pathway. Calreticulin gene mutations have recently been identified in JAK2 mutation-negative patients with MF. Identification of JAK inhibitor resistance and broad contributions to MF disease pathogenesis from epigenetic deregulators, pathways that work in concert with JAK/STAT (ie, mammalian target of rapamycin/AKT/phosphoinositide 3-kinase, RAS/RAF/MEK, PIM kinase), fibrosis-promoting factors, and the MF megakaryocyte, suggest that numerous options may be partnered with a JAK inhibitor. Therefore, we will discuss logical and potential partners for combination therapies for the treatment of patients with MF.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 3 June 2014; doi:10.1038/leu.2014.176.
    Leukemia. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Acute leukaemias are a group of malignancies characterised by the invasion of the bone marrow by immature haematopoietic precursors and differentiation arrest at various maturation steps. Multiplicity of intrinsic and extrinsic factors influences the transformation and progression of leukaemia. The intrinsic factors encompass genetic alterations of cellular pathways leading to the activation of, among others, inflammatory pathways (such as nuclear factor kappa B). The extrinsic components include, among others, the inflammatory pathways activated by the bone marrow microenvironment and include chemokines, cytokines and adhesion molecules. In this chapter, we review the role of inflammatory processes in the transformation, survival and proliferation of leukaemias, particularly the role of nuclear factor kappa B and its downstream signalling in leukaemias and the novel therapeutic strategies that exploit potentially unique properties of inflammatory signalling that offer interesting options for future therapeutic interventions.
    Advances in experimental medicine and biology 01/2014; 816:335-60. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sixty patients with early chronic phase CML (ECPCML) received Nilotinib on a phase II study which included a comparison of the Xpert BCR-ABL Monitor™ PCR system with standardized (IS) BCR-ABL1 real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR). 88% patients achieved MMR with 45% achieving MR4.5. At 3 months BCR-ABL1/ABL1 IS >1% and <10% was associated with a lower likelihood of subsequent MR4.5 compared to patients with lower levels (p=0.018). No significant difference was observed between methodologies in identifying MMR. Nilotinib induces high molecular response rates in ECPCML and the Xpert BCR-ABL Monitor™ system merits further investigation in this setting.
    Leukemia research 12/2013; · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Perifosine is a novel targeted oral Akt inhibitor. In preclinical leukemia models, perifosine has an independent cytotoxic potential but also synergizes well with other rationally selected targeted agents. The evidence from clinical trials supporting the use of perifosine in the therapy of leukemias is limited. The optimal dose and schedule have yet to be defined. However, given its favorable toxicity profile and mechanism of action, the therapeutic potential of perifosine should be evaluated in well-designed clinical trials. Areas covered: The role of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt zpathway in normal cells, cancer and leukemias is discussed. The mechanism of action of perifosine and the basic information on the development and chemical properties are summarized. The evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies is presented. The efficacy and side effect profile are summarized. Expert opinion: The safety and tolerability profile of perifosine are satisfactory. The evidence from clinical trials in patients with leukemias is very limited. The preclinical data are encouraging. Perifosine has the potential to play a role in the treatment of leukemias in the future. Its role needs to be confirmed in clinical trials.
    Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 08/2013; · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Despite significant advances in diagnosis and supportive care, the majority of patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) ultimately die of their disease. Standard intensive induction treatment continues to comprise cytarabine and a topoisomerase II (topo II) poison, usually an anthracycline. Vosaroxin , a novel first-in-class quinolone derivative has been developed for use in the treatment of AML as a new-generation topo II inhibitor. It has shown promising activity as a monotherapy and also in combination with intermediate dose cytarabine (IDAC) in relapsed and refractory patient cohorts with minimal toxicity and good tolerability. Areas covered: The authors discuss the mechanism of action of vosaroxin, the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability, preclinical and clinical trial results available as well as areas of ongoing research. Expert opinion: Vosaroxin has shown efficacy as a novel cytotoxic agent, and despite a similar mechanism of action has significant advantages over anthracyclines. It evades common resistance pathways of p53 and P-glycoprotein (P- gp) and does not appear to generate significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated with these agents. Should future investigation confirm its efficacy and advantageous safety profile, vosaroxin could potentially replace older generation topoisomerase poisons in the treatment of AML and other malignant conditions.
    Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 05/2013; · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hedgehog (Hh) pathway is a critical regulator of vertebrate embryonic development and is involved in the function of processes such as stem cell maintenance and differentiation, tissue polarity and cell proliferation. Given how critical these functions are, it is not surprising that mutations in Hh pathway components are often implicated in the tumorigenesis of a variety of human cancers. Promotion of tumor growth has recently been shown by activated Hh signaling in the tumor itself, as well as by pathway activation within surrounding cells comprising the tumor microenvironment. Targeted disruption of various Hh pathway proteins has been successfully employed as an anticancer strategy with several synthetic Hh antagonists now available. Here, the molecular basis of Hh signaling, the therapeutic rationales for targeting this pathway and the current status of Hh pathway inhibitors in the clinic are reviewed.
    Future Oncology 05/2013; 9(5):681-97. · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: 5-Azacytidine is a pyrimidine nucleoside analog of cytidine that undergoes incorporation into DNA and blocks DNA methyltransferase leading to hypomethylation and potentially beneficial re-expression of abnormally silenced genes. It is the first agent approved for use in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDSs) based on its improvement in overall survival as monotherapy. Evidence of efficacy in combination with other agents is also accumulating. Areas covered: Key information on mechanisms of action is presented. Development, synthesis, and pharmacokinetics are also outlined. Key safety, tolerability, and efficacy data from clinical trials of 5-azacytidine as monotherapy as well as in combination are also presented. Expert opinion: Our understanding of the molecular basis and pathogenesis of MDS continues to evolve rapidly. 5-Azacytidine has been shown to improve both overall survival and quality of life in patients with high-risk MDS. Currently, the oral route of administration is undergoing evaluation in clinical trials. Used as a monotherapy and also in novel combinations, 5-azacytidine has the potential to further improve the prognosis of some patients with MDS.
    Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 04/2013; · 2.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytosine arabinoside (cytarabine or Ara-C) has been one of the cornerstones of treatment of acute myeloid leukemia since its approval in 1969. Standard induction therapy worldwide for all patients deemed fit for treatment (excluding those with acute promyelocytic leukemia) remains unchanged for over 40 years and consists of Ara-C administered by continuous infusion in combination with a topoisomerase II inhibitor (e.g., daunorubicin, idarubicin and mitoxantrone). Despite decades of clinical investigation, the optimum dose of both agents still remains unclear. Although higher doses of Ara-C have been shown to improve response rates, the elderly poorly tolerate these regimens. Resistance mechanisms also develop or may be present at diagnosis resulting in poor outcomes. Elacytarabine (CP-4055), an elaidic acid ester of Ara-C, has been developed using lipid vector technology in an attempt to overcome these limitations. Clinical data are encouraging, with evidence suggesting that this novel agent is circumventing resistance mechanisms but retaining the potent antileukemic efficacy of Ara-C.
    Expert Review of Hematology 02/2013; 6(1):9-24. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MK-0457, an Aurora kinase and BCR-ABL inhibitor, was studied on a Phase I/II study in 77 patients with refractory hematologic malignancies. The average number of cycles per patient was 3 (range 1-21). Maximum tolerated doses for a 5-day short infusion and continuous infusion regimens were 40 mg/m(2)/h and 144 mg/m(2)/h, respectively. Drug-related adverse events (AEs) included transient mucositis and alopecia. Eight of 18 patients with BCR-ABL T315I-mutated chronic myelogenous leukemia (44%) had hematologic responses and one of three patients (33%) with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia obtained complete remission. MK-0457 has important activity in patients with leukemias expressing the highly resistant T315I BCR-ABL mutation.Leukemia advance online publication, 27 July 2012; doi:10.1038/leu.2012.186.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2012; · 10.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Eph receptors are the largest family of tyrosine kinases and are of increasing interest in developmental therapeutics. Their unique method of interaction with their ligands, the ephrins, via bidirectional signaling, and their variable expression in different tissues are well documented. Ephs are upregulated in, and critical to, embryological processes, most notably development of the neurological system. They are central in many processes involving cell motility and adhesion. Recent findings on elevated expression of Eph receptors in human malignancies as well as in stem cell environments are of particular interest. With increasing focus on molecularly targeted anticancer therapies, exploration of the potential of Eph receptors as therapeutic targets in both solid and hematologic malignancies has begun. The most promising of the Eph receptors in this regard is EPHA3, which is overexpressed in many hematologic malignancies. Preclinical data support the value of pursuing this target for further development, and lead compounds are now entering the clinic.
    Expert Review of Hematology 06/2012; 5(3):325-40. · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • R Swords, C Freeman, F Giles
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    ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a highly heterogenous disease with multiple signaling pathways contributing to its pathogenesis. A key driver of AML is the FMS-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3 (FLT3). Activating mutations in FLT3, primarily the FLT3-internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD), are associated with decreased progression-free and overall survival. Identification of the importance of FLT3-ITD and the FLT3 pathway in the prognosis of patients with AML has stimulated efforts to develop therapeutic inhibitors of FLT3. Although these inhibitors have shown promising antileukemic activity, they have had limited efficacy to date as single agents and may require use in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapies. Here, we review clinical and preclinical results for the clinically mature FLT3 inhibitors currently in development. We conclude that multitargeted FLT3 inhibitors may have more utility earlier in the course of disease, when in vitro evidence suggests that AML cells are less dependent on FLT3 signaling, perhaps because of upregulation of multiple other signaling pathways. More potent agents may have greater utility in relapsed and heavily pretreated patients, in whom high levels of circulating FLT3 ligand may necessitate use of an agent with a very favorable pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile. Novel combination regimens are also discussed.
    Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 04/2012; 26(10):2176-85. · 10.16 Impact Factor
  • Leukemia research 04/2012; 36(4):e71-3. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have dramatically changed the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). Results from ongoing phase 3 trials with nilotinib [Efficacy and Safety in Clinical Trials-Newly Diagnosed Patients (ENESTnd)] and dasatinib [Dasatinib Versus Imatinib Study in Treatment-Naive CML-CP Patients (DASISION)] in newly diagnosed patients with CML in chronic phase have demonstrated that these TKIs resulted in significant improvements in responses vs. imatinib. The Developmental Therapeutics Consortium (DTC) systematically reviewed the published literature to provide a comparative analysis of the ENESTnd and DASISION trial designs and data reported on each study. The recent approval of nilotinib and dasatinib based on these two pivotal studies offers physicians the option to optimise frontline treatment based on a patient's comorbidities, risk factors and tolerability profiles. Although nilotinib and dasatinib provide effective therapeutic options for the frontline treatment of CML, the lack of an evidenced-based, side-by-side comparison makes it difficult to directly compare these agents. Despite potential bias from differences in patient populations and study design, indirect cross-trial comparisons to determine the relative effectiveness of these agents will be performed by physicians. This DTC report provides a comprehensive summary of the study designs, protocols and results of the ENESTnd and DASISION trials, which will assist physicians in making informed decisions on the best treatment approach for their patients.
    European Journal of Clinical Investigation 03/2012; 42(9):1016-26. · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • Yesid Alvarado, Francis J Giles, Ronan T Swords
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    ABSTRACT: The PIM genes represent a family of proto-oncogenes that encode three different serine/threonine protein kinases (PIM1, PIM2 and PIM3) with essential roles in the regulation of signal transduction cascades, which promote cell survival, proliferation and drug resistance. PIM kinases are overexpressed in several hematopoietic tumors and support in vitro and in vivo malignant cell growth and survival, through cell cycle regulation and inhibition of apoptosis. PIM kinases do not have an identified regulatory domain, which means that these proteins are constitutively active once transcribed. They appear to be critical downstream effectors of important oncoproteins and, when overexpressed, can mediate drug resistance to available agents, such as rapamycin. Recent crystallography studies reveal that, unlike other kinases, they possess a hinge region, which creates a unique binding pocket for ATP, offering a target for an increasing number of potent small-molecule PIM kinase inhibitors. Preclinical studies in models of various hematologic cancers indicate that these novel agents show promising activity and some of them are currently being evaluated in a clinical setting. In this review, we profile the PIM kinases as targets for therapeutics in hematologic malignancies.
    Expert Review of Hematology 02/2012; 5(1):81-96. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Development of the novel topoisomerase II inhibitor, amonafide, began almost 40 years ago. The drug was selected for further investigation owing to evidence of marked antineoplastic efficacy in preclinical models of cancer. When its usefulness in the treatment of various solid malignancies proved limited, focus was shifted to establishing its use as an antileukemic agent, specifically against secondary and treatment-associated acute myeloid leukemia (AML). While Phase I and II studies gave rise to hopes that amonafide might hold the key to treating older patients, including those with multidrug resistant, cytogenetically unfavorable secondary and treatment-associated AML, when used in combination with cytarabine, it failed to demonstrate a survival advantage over standard-of-care therapy in randomized studies. This article will outline the development of amonafide from the laboratory to the bedside and discuss the potential place that this agent has in the current management of AML.
    Expert Review of Hematology 02/2012; 5(1):17-26. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    Ronan T Swords, Bruce J Dezube, Bruno C Medeiros
    American Journal of Hematology 08/2011; 86(8):631-2. · 4.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The three Pim kinases are a small family of serine/threonine kinases regulating several signaling pathways that are fundamental to cancer development and progression. They were first recognized as pro-viral integration sites for the Moloney Murine Leukemia virus. Unlike other kinases, they possess a hinge region which creates a unique binding pocket for ATP. Absence of a regulatory domain means that these proteins are constitutively active once transcribed. Pim kinases are critical downstream effectors of the ABL (ableson), JAK2 (janus kinase 2), and Flt-3 (FMS related tyrosine kinase 1) oncogenes and are required by them to drive tumorigenesis. Recent investigations have established that the Pim kinases function as effective inhibitors of apoptosis and when overexpressed, produce resistance to the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitor, rapamycin . Overexpression of the PIM kinases has been reported in several hematological and solid tumors (PIM 1), myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia (PIM 2) and adenocarcinomas (PIM 3). As such, the Pim kinases are a very attractive target for pharmacological inhibition in cancer therapy. Novel small molecule inhibitors of the human Pim kinases have been designed and are currently undergoing preclinical evaluation.
    Current drug targets 07/2011; 12(14):2059-66. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is an invasive procedure associated with morbidity and mortality risk. We compared a powered bone marrow aspiration and biopsy device to the traditional method by relatively assessing pain scores, procedure times, biopsy capture rates, quality of material retrieved, and safety and operator satisfaction. Two large academic medical centres participated in this trial. Patients were randomised to have procedures carried out using the powered system or the manual technique. A visual analogue scale pain score was recorded immediately following skin puncture and once again at the end of the procedure for each patient. Procedure time was measured from skin puncture to core specimen acquisition. Pathologic assessment of 30 randomised samples was carried out. Operator satisfaction with devices was measured on a scale of 0-10, with 10 as the highest rating. Five operators from two sites enrolled 50 patients (powered, n=25; manual, n=25). Groups were evenly matched, with no significant differences in the means for age, weight and height. The powered system was superior to the manual system with respect to patient perceived pain from needle insertion (2.6±2.0 vs 4.1±2.5, p=0.022) and procedural time (100.0±72.8 s vs 224.1±79.0 s, p<0.001). Overall pain scores at the end of both procedures were comparable (3.2±2.2 vs 3.8±3.0, p=0.438). No complications were observed in either arm of the study. Blinded pathologic analysis of the specimens retrieved revealed that cores obtained using the powered system were longer and wider than those obtained using the manual technique (25.4±12.3 mm² vs 11.9±5.6 mm², p=0.001). For marrow aspiration, no difference was seen between groups for clot/particle spicules or smear spicules. Operator assessment favoured the use of the powered device. Results of this trial suggest that the use of a powered bone marrow biopsy device significantly reduces needle insertion pain and procedural time when compared to a manual technique. The superior size and overall quality of core specimens retrieved by the powered device provides more material for pathologic evaluation, thereby increasing diagnostic yield and reducing the need for repeat procedures.
    Journal of clinical pathology 05/2011; 64(9):809-13. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The NEDD8 (neural precursor cell-expressed developmentally downregulated 8) conjugation pathway regulates the post-translational modification of oncogenic proteins. This pathway has important potential for cancer therapeutics. Several proteins vital in cancer biology are regulated by protein neddylation. These observations led to the development of a small molecule inhibitor that disrupts protein neddylation and leads to cancer cell death and important activity in early phase clinical trials. AREAS COVERED: This review provides an extensive coverage of cellular protein homeostasis with particular emphasis on the NEDD8 conjugation pathway. Insights into a new investigational drug that specifically disrupts the NEDD8 pathway are discussed. The clinical data for this agent are also updated. EXPERT OPINION: Neddylation controls key cellular pathways found to be dysregulated in many cancers. Protein neddylation is a relatively under-explored pathway for pharmacologic inhibition in cancer. Selective disruption of this pathway has demonstrated clinical activity in patients with myeloid neoplasms and is worth exploring further in combination with other anti-leukemia agents.
    Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 03/2011; 15(3):253-64. · 4.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: T315I is a genetic mutation of the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase, the pathogenetic abnormality in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). It accounts for 10 ? 15% of clinically relevant CML mutations. Licensed tyrosine kinase inhibitors are ineffective against this mutation and its development reduces life expectancy of CML in chronic phase from 10 years to just 22 months. Extensive work is ongoing to establish the most effective therapy to overcome this mutation, including the development of novel specific agents and also re-examination of established therapies. AREAS COVERED: This review examines the agents in development, dividing them into Bcr-Abl-dependant and -independent groups. It looks at the progress of this research, updating the reader on the status of agents previously reported and introducing emerging therapeutic possibilities only recently announced. EXPERT OPINION: Development of the T315I mutation is a devastating event for some patients with CML. There are potential therapeutic agents at all stages of the drug development cycle to target this patient subpopulation. Clinical activity has been demonstrated and a number of agents are on the cusp of being licensed and available for use.
    Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs 03/2011; 16(1):85-103. · 2.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

643 Citations
225.15 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of Miami
      • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
      كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States
  • 2013
    • National University of Ireland, Galway
      Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland
  • 2007–2013
    • Galway University Hospitals
      • Department of Radiology
      Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • Department of Leukemia
      Houston, TX, United States
  • 2012
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
      Miami, FL, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • • Division of Hematology/Oncology
      • • Cancer Therapy & Research Center
      San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • University of Texas at San Antonio
      San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • 2004–2005
    • Beaumont Hospital
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland