Amy Billett

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (50)371.51 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Central lines (CLs) are essential for the delivery of modern cancer care to children. Nonetheless, CLs are subject to potentially life-threatening complications, including central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of a multicenter effort to standardize CL care and CLABSI tracking, and to quantify the impact of standardizing these processes on CLABSI rates among pediatric hematology/oncology inpatients. We conducted a multicenter quality improvement collaborative starting in November 2009. Multidisciplinary teams at participating sites implemented a standardized bundle of CL care practices and adopted a common approach to CLABSI surveillance. Thirty-two units participated in the collaborative and reported a mean, precollaborative CLABSI rate of 2.85 CLABSIs per 1000 CL-days. Self-reported adoption of the CL care bundle was brisk, with average compliance approaching 80% by the end of the first year of the collaborative and exceeding 80% thereafter. As of August 2012, the mean CLABSI rate during the collaborative was 2.04 CLABSIs per 1000 CL-days, a reduction of 28% (relative risk: 0.71 [95% confidence interval: 0.55-0.92]). Changes in self-reported CL care bundle compliance were not statistically associated with changes in CLABSI rates, although there was little variability in bundle compliance rates after the first year of the collaborative. A multicenter quality improvement collaborative found significant reductions in observed CLABSI rates in pediatric hematology/oncology inpatients. Additional interventions will likely be required to bring and sustain CLABSI rates closer to zero for this high-risk population. Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    Pediatrics 11/2014; 134(6). DOI:10.1542/peds.2014-0582 · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the current state of quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) education at a large teaching hospital. Methods: We surveyed 429 trainees (138 residents, 291 clinical fellows) and 38 program directors (PDs; 2 were PDs of >1 program) from 39 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited training programs. Results: Twenty-nine PDs (76.3%) and 259 trainees (60.3%) responded. Most trainees (68.8%) reported participation in projects culminating in scholarly products (39.9%) or clinical innovations (44%). Most PDs reported that teaching (88.9%) and project supervision (83.3%) are performed by expert faculty. Nearly half of the PDs (45.8%) and trainees (49.6%) perceived project-based learning to be of equal value to formal curricula. Compared with trainees, a greater proportion of PDs reported needs for funding for projects, teaching faculty to provide mentorship, and faculty development (P < .05). Conclusions: Providing additional financial, administrative, and operational support could enhance the value of curricula and projects. Developing expert teaching faculty is paramount.
    Clinical Pediatrics 06/2014; 53(13). DOI:10.1177/0009922814538701 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary lymphoma of bone is a rare malignancy that can mimic infection and benign bone lesions radiographically. Malignant conversion of osseous lesions has been reported; evolution to lymphoma has not. We describe an adolescent male diagnosed with atypical osteoid osteoma who, despite near resolution of bony changes involving the anterior tibia, was diagnosed with monostotic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma four years later. Indolent lymphoma of the initial lesion is unlikely. This case highlights the importance of clinical suspicion of malignancy even with recurrence of similar clinical presentation and hints at possible osseous microenvironment abnormalities predisposing to the development of lymphoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 10/2013; 60(10). DOI:10.1002/pbc.24609 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The outcome of treatment for pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is excellent using chemotherapy and radiation. However, a minority of patients will relapse after treatment, but additional therapy achieves durable second remission in many cases. The optimal surveillance strategy after modern therapy for HL has not been well defined. Procedures: We reviewed the outcomes of pediatric patients with HL treated between 1990 and 2006 to determine the primary event that led to the detection of relapse. We determined the probability of relapse detection by routine follow-up procedures, including history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging, and determined the impact of each of these screening methods on the likelihood of survival after relapse. Results: Relapse occurred in 64 of 402 evaluable patients (15.9%) at a median of 1.7 years from the time of diagnosis. The majority of relapses (60%) were diagnosed at a routine visit, and patient complaint was the most common initial finding that led to a diagnosis of relapse (47% of relapses). An abnormal finding on physical examination was the primary event in another 17% of relapses, and imaging abnormalities led to the diagnosis in the remaining 36%. Laboratory abnormalities were never the primary finding. The method of detection of relapse and timing (whether detected at a routine visit or an extra visit) did not impact survival. Conclusions: In pediatric HL, most relapses are identified through history and physical examination. Frequent imaging of asymptomatic patients does not appear to impact survival and is probably not warranted.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 09/2013; 60(9). DOI:10.1002/pbc.24568 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric patients who experience a bone marrow relapse of precursor-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia are cured <50% of the time. This study was designed to determine if intensification of therapies with known activity in this disease would improve the cure rates for patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Patients were treated with intensive asparaginase during induction followed by repeated cycles of ifosfamide/etoposide and cytarabine/idarubicin. Patients with well-matched related donors were encouraged to undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplant as consolidation. The results of this study demonstrate no significant difference in disease-free survival in patients who received chemotherapy alone (45%) or chemotherapy followed by allogeneic stem cell transplant (50%). Furthermore, results from this study show no significant difference in event-free survival (39.9%±6.2%) or overall survival (41.6%±6.1%) at 8 years when compared with previous studies using less intensive regimens. Our results suggest that alternative therapies are needed to improve cure rates for pediatric patients with relapsed leukemia.
    Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 07/2013; 35(7). DOI:10.1097/MPH.0b013e31829f3235 · 0.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: As home medication use increases, medications previously managed by nurses are now managed by patients and their families. Our objective was to describe the types of errors occurring in the home medication management of children with cancer. Methods: In a prospective observational study at 3 pediatric oncology clinics in the northeastern and southeastern United States, patients undergoing chemotherapy and their parents were recruited from November 2007 through April 2011. We reviewed medical records and checked prescription doses. A trained nurse visited the home, reviewed medication bottles, and observed administration. Two physicians independently made judgments regarding whether an error occurred and its severity. Overall rates of errors were weighted to account for clustering within sites. Results: We reviewed 963 medications and observed 242 medication administrations in the homes of 92 patients. We found 72 medication errors. Four errors led to significant patient injury. An additional 40 errors had potential for injury: 2 were life-threatening, 13 were serious, and 25 were significant. Error rates varied between study sites (40-121 errors per 100 patients); the weighted overall rate was 70.2 errors per 100 patients (95% confidence interval [CI]: 58.9-81.6). The weighted rate of errors with injury was 3.6 (95% CI: 1.7-5.5) per 100 patients and with potential to injure the patient was 36.3 (95% CI: 29.3-43.3) per 100 patients. Nonchemotherapy medications were more often involved in an error than chemotherapy. Conclusions: Medication errors were common in this multisite study of outpatient pediatric cancer care. Rates of preventable medication-related injuries in this outpatient population were comparable or higher than those found in studies of hospitalized patients.
    PEDIATRICS 04/2013; 131(5). DOI:10.1542/peds.2012-2434 · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Across 36 US pediatric oncology centers, 576 central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) were reported over a 21-month period. Most infections occurred in those with leukemia and/or profound neutropenia. The contribution of viridans streptococci infections was striking. Study findings depict the contemporary epidemiology of CLABSIs in hospitalized pediatric cancer patients.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 03/2013; 34(3):316-20. DOI:10.1086/669513 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: : Risk factors for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) among children with cancer in the outpatient setting remain poorly defined, and the microbiology may differ from hospital-onset CLABSI. : We conducted a matched case-control study of oncology patients followed at the Dana Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Cases (N=41) were patients with CLABSI as per National Healthcare Safety Network criteria who had not been hospitalized in the preceding 48 hours. For each case we randomly selected 2 oncology outpatients with a central venous catheter and a clinic visit within 30 days of the case subject's CLABSI. Multivariate conditional logistic regression models were used to identify independent risk factors for CLABSI. We compared the microbiology to that of 54 hospital-onset CLABSI occurring at our institution during the study period. : Independent predictors of community-onset CLABSI included neutropenia in the prior week (odds ratio 17.46; 95% confidence interval, 4.71-64.67) and tunneled externalized catheter (vs. implantable port; odds ratio 10.30; 95% confidence interval, 2.42-43.95). Nonenteric gram-negative bacteria were more frequently isolated from CLABSI occurring among outpatients. : Pediatric oncology outpatients with recent neutropenia or tunneled externalized catheters are at increased risk of CLABSI. The microbiology of community-onset CLABSI differs from hospital-onset CLABSI.
    Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 03/2013; 35(2):e71-6. DOI:10.1097/MPH.0b013e3182820edd · 0.90 Impact Factor
  • Monika L Metzger · Amy Billett · Michael P Link ·

    New England Journal of Medicine 12/2012; 367(26):2461-3. DOI:10.1056/NEJMp1212468 · 55.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: More than 90% of children with favorable-risk Hodgkin lymphoma can achieve long-term survival, yet many will experience toxic effects from radiation therapy. Pediatric oncologists strive for maintaining excellent cure rates while minimizing toxic effects. To evaluate the efficacy of 4 cycles of vinblastine, Adriamycin (doxorubicin), methotrexate, and prednisone (VAMP) in patients with favorable-risk Hodgkin lymphoma who achieve a complete response after 2 cycles and do not receive radiotherapy. Multi-institutional, unblinded, nonrandomized single group phase 2 clinical trial to assess the need for radiotherapy based on early response to chemotherapy. Eighty-eight eligible patients with Hodgkin lymphoma stage I and II (<3 nodal sites, no B symptoms, mediastinal bulk, or extranodal extension) enrolled between March 3, 2000, and December 9, 2008. Follow-up data are current to March 12, 2012. The 47 patients who achieved a complete response after 2 cycles received no radiotherapy, and the 41 with less than a complete response were given 25.5 Gy-involved-field radiotherapy. Two-year event-free survival was the primary outcome measure. A 2-year event-free survival of greater than 90% was desired, and 80% was considered to be unacceptably low. Two-year event-free survival was 90.8% (95% CI, 84.7%-96.9%). For patients who did not require radiotherapy, it was 89.4% (95% CI, 80.8%-98.0%) compared with 92.5% (95% CI, 84.5%-100%) for those who did (P = .61). Most common acute adverse effects were neuropathic pain (2% of patients), nausea or vomiting (3% of patients), neutropenia (32% of cycles), and febrile neutropenia (2% of patients). Nine patients (10%) were hospitalized 11 times (3% of cycles) for febrile neutropenia or nonneutropenic infection. Long-term adverse effects after radiotherapy were asymptomatic compensated hypothyroidism in 9 patients (10%), osteonecrosis and moderate osteopenia in 2 patients each (2%), subclinical pulmonary dysfunction in 12 patients (14%), and asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction in 4 patients (5%). No second malignant neoplasms were observed. Among patients with favorable-risk Hodgkin lymphoma and a complete early response to chemotherapy, the use of limited radiotherapy resulted in a high rate of 2-year event-free survival. Identifier: NCT00145600.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 06/2012; 307(24):2609-16. DOI:10.1001/jama.2012.5847 · 35.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior studies suggest an increased risk of lymphoma in adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Cases of lymphoma have also been reported in children with IBD. However, the precise risk of lymphoma in relation to drug exposure has not been ascertained in children. We conducted a single-center, retrospective study of 1560 children and young adults with IBD evaluated at Children's Hospital Boston between 1979 and 2008. Of this group, 186 patients were excluded due to incorrect diagnosis, one-time second-opinion visits, or missing hospital records. The remaining 1374 patients had charts reviewed to determine whether lymphoma developed while they were receiving their clinical care at our institution and the duration of exposure to various IBD medications. The rate of lymphoma was calculated in patient-years of exposure for each class of medications utilized in IBD. Of 1374 patients (741 male; age at diagnosis 12.1 ± 4.0 years; 791 Crohn's disease [CD], 535 ulcerative colitis [UC], 48 IBD unclassified), we identified two patients who developed lymphoma (one Hodgkin, one anaplastic large cell), in 6624 patient-years of follow-up (mean duration follow-up 4.8 years per patient). Both patients were males (ages 12 and 18 years at time of lymphoma onset) and were receiving thiopurines but had not yet received biologics at the time of their cancer diagnosis. They were both treated with chemotherapy and are alive without cancer 32+ and 76+ months since diagnosis. The absolute incidence rate of lymphoma for patients having received thiopurines was 4.5 per 10,000 patient-years compared to the expected rate of 0.58 per 10,000 patient-years, with a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of 7.51 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74-41.98). The overall risk of lymphoma in children with IBD is low, with only two cases seen in our hospital over a 30-year period. The lymphoma risk (as estimated by SIR) in children receiving thiopurines is comparable to that reported in studies of adults. While there may be an increased risk of lymphoma in children treated with thiopurines, the risk did not reach statistical significance in this large cohort.
    Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 05/2012; 18(5):838-43. DOI:10.1002/ibd.21844 · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) frequently complicate the use of central venous catheters (CVCs) among pediatric patients with cancer. Our objectives were to describe the microbiology and identify risk factors for hospital-onset CLABSI in this patient population. Retrospective case-control study. Oncology and stem cell transplant units of a freestanding, 396-bed quaternary care pediatric hospital. Case subjects ([Formula: see text]) were patients with a diagnosis of malignancy and/or stem cell transplant recipients with CLABSI occurring during admission. Controls ([Formula: see text]) were identified using risk set sampling of hospitalizations among patients with a CVC, matched on date of admission. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of CLABSI. The majority of CLABSI isolates were gram-positive bacteria (58%). The most frequently isolated organism was Enterococcus faecium, and 6 of 9 isolates were resistant to vancomycin. In multivariate analyses, independent risk factors for CLABSI included platelet transfusion within the prior week (odds ratio [OR], 10.90 [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.02-39.38]; [Formula: see text]) and CVC placement within the previous month (<1 week vs ≥1 month: OR, 11.71 [95% CI, 1.98-69.20]; [Formula: see text]; ≥1 week and <1 month vs ≥1 month: OR, 7.37 [95% CI, 1.85-29.36]; [Formula: see text]). Adjunctive measures to prevent CLABSI among pediatric oncology patients may be most beneficial in the month following CVC insertion and in patients requiring frequent platelet transfusions. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci may be an emerging cause of CLABSI in hospitalized pediatric oncology patients and are unlikely to be treated by typical empiric antimicrobial regimens.
    Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 11/2011; 32(11):1079-85. DOI:10.1086/662376 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate outcome and assess complications in children and adolescents with low-risk Hodgkin's disease treated with vinblastine, doxorubicin, methotrexate, and prednisone (VAMP) chemotherapy and low-dose, involved-field radiation therapy (IFRT). One hundred ten children with low-risk Hodgkin's disease were treated with four cycles of VAMP and 15 Gy IFRT for those who achieved a complete response (CR) or 25.5 Gy for those with a partial response after two cycles of VAMP. With median follow-up of 9.6 years (range, 1.7 to 15.0), 5- and 10-year overall survival were 99.1% and 96.1%, respectively, and 5-and 10-year event-free survival (EFS) were 92.7% and 89.4%. Factors contributing to 10-year EFS were: early CR (P = .02), absence of B symptoms (P = .01), lymphocyte predominant histologic subtype (P = .04), and less than three initial sites of disease (P = .02). Organ toxicity has been limited to correctable hypothyroidism in 42% of irradiated patients, and one case of cardiac dysfunction. Seventeen healthy babies have been born to 106 survivors. There have been two malignant tumors: one thyroid cancer within the radiation therapy field and one Ewing's sarcoma outside the radiation therapy field. Risk-adapted, combined-modality therapy using VAMP chemotherapy with radiation is effective and well tolerated. Pediatric patients with low-risk Hodgkin's disease can be cured with therapy without an alkylating agent, bleomycin, etoposide, or high-dose, extended-field radiotherapy. Thus, these children are expected to retain normal fertility, organ function, and be at low risk of a second malignant tumor.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 02/2007; 25(3):332-7. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2006.08.4772 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prognosis and outcome of children with isolated CNS relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has depended on duration of first complete remission (CR1). This study intensified systemic therapy by delaying CNS radiation for 12 months and tailored CNS radiation by CR1 duration. Seventy-six children with first isolated CNS relapse of ALL were treated with systemic chemotherapy that effectively penetrates into the CSF and intrathecal chemotherapy for 12 months. Patients with CR1 of less than 18 months received craniospinal radiation (24 Gy cranial/15 Gy spinal), whereas those with CR1 of 18 months or more received cranial radiation only (18 Gy), followed by maintenance chemotherapy. Additionally, asymptomatic patients were enrolled in a thiotepa up-front therapeutic window. Seventy-four (97.4%) of 76 eligible patients achieved a second remission. Overall 4-year event-free survival (EFS) for the 71 precursor B-cell patients was 70.1% +/- 5.8%. CR1 duration and National Cancer Institute (NCI; National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD) risk group at initial diagnosis predicted outcome. Patients with CR1 of less than 18 months and 18 months or more had a 4-year EFS of 51.6% +/- 11.3% and 77.7% +/- 6.4% (P = .027), respectively. NCI high- versus standard-risk 4-year EFS was 51.4% +/- 10.8% and 80.2% +/- 6.3% (P = .0018), respectively. A significant difference in EFS between standard risk/CR1 of at least 18 months and both high risk/CR1 of less than 18 months and high risk/CR1 of at least 18 months groups was detected (P = .0068 and .0314, respectively). Response rate to thiotepa was 78%. Most relapses involved the bone marrow, and three second malignancies were reported. Twelve months of intensive systemic chemotherapy with reduced dose cranial radiation (18 Gy) is highly effective for children with isolated CNS relapse and CR1 of 18 months or more. Novel strategies are needed for patients with CR1 of less than 18 months.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2006; 24(19):3142-9. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2005.03.3373 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The best treatment approach for children with B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in second clinical remission (CR) after a marrow relapse is controversial. To address this question, we compared outcomes in 188 patients enrolled in chemotherapy trials and 186 HLA-matched sibling transplants, treated between 1991 and 1997. Groups were similar except that chemotherapy recipients were younger (median age, 5 versus 8 years) and less likely to have combined marrow and extramedullary relapse (19% versus 30%). To adjust for time-to-transplant bias, treatment outcomes were compared using left-truncated Cox regression models. The relative efficacy of chemotherapy and transplantation depended on time from diagnosis to first relapse and the transplant conditioning regimen used. For children with early first relapse (< 36 months), risk of a second relapse was significantly lower after total body irradiation (TBI)-containing transplant regimens (relative risk [RR], 0.49; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.71, P < .001) than chemotherapy regimens. In contrast, for children with a late first relapse (> or = 36 months), risks of second relapse were similar after TBI-containing regimens and chemotherapy (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.49-1.70, P = .78). These data support HLA-matched sibling donor transplantation using a TBI-containing regimen in second CR for children with ALL and early relapse.
    Blood 07/2006; 107(12):4961-7. DOI:10.1182/blood-2005-12-4942 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children is associated with a poor outcome, especially for those patients whose relapse occurs during the first 36 months after diagnosis. The best therapy for these patients is not known. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of enrolling children with recurrent ALL in a standardized treatment protocol that included receipt of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Eligible patients with a bone marrow relapse of non-T, non-B ALL underwent a common induction and consolidation followed by receipt of either an allogeneic HSCT from a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical sibling or an autologous HSCT purged with B-4 blocked ricin. A common conditioning regimen was used for all patients. Twenty-eight patients from eight institutions were enrolled. Fourteen patients did not receive a transplant during the study, because of toxicity (4), relapse (1), inadequate purging (1), and parental or physician preference for an alternative donor transplant (8). Six patients received allogeneic HSCTs. Five of them have remained in remission for a median of 78 months. Eight patients received autologous HSCTs purged with B4-blocked ricin. Four have remained in remission for a median of 94 months. Of the nine patients who received alternative donor transplants, only two remain in remission. We conclude that well designed and controlled prospective studies are necessary to define the role of HSCTs in children with recurrent ALL. In order to be successful, such studies must have the full support of participating centers. Autologous HSC transplantation may have a role in the treatment of relapsed ALL, but further studies are needed.
    Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 05/2006; 28(4):210-5. DOI:10.1097/01.mph.0000212902.84146.81 · 0.90 Impact Factor

  • International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 10/2005; 63. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2005.07.042 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nelarabine (compound 506U78), a water soluble prodrug of 9-b-d-arabinofuranosylguanine, is converted to ara-GTP in T lymphoblasts. We sought to define the response rate of nelarabine in children and young adults with refractory or recurrent T-cell disease. We performed a phase II study with patients stratified as follows: stratum 1: > or = 25% bone marrow blasts in first relapse; stratum 2: > or = 25% bone marrow blasts in > or = second relapse; stratum 3: positive CSF; stratum 4: extramedullary (non-CNS) relapse. The initial nelarabine dose was 1.2 g/m2 daily for 5 consecutive days every 3 weeks. There were two dose de-escalations due to neurotoxicity on this or other studies. The final dose was 650 mg/m2/d for strata 1 and two patients and 400 mg/m2/d for strata 3 and four patients. We enrolled 121 patients (106 assessable for response) at the final dose levels. Complete plus partial response rates at the final dose levels were: 55% in stratum 1; 27% in stratum 2; 33% in stratum 3; and 14% in stratum 4. There were 31 episodes of > or = grade 3 neurologic adverse events in 27 patients (18% of patients). Nelarabine is active as a single agent in recurrent T-cell leukemia, with a response rate more than 50% in first bone marrow relapse. The most significant adverse events associated with nelarabine administration are neurologic. Further studies are planned to determine whether the addition of nelarabine to front-line therapy for T-cell leukemia in children will improve survival.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 05/2005; 23(15):3376-82. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2005.03.426 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy of stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) for small, localized, pediatric brain tumors and to determine the patterns of failure. A total of 81 patients were enrolled in an institutional review board-approved prospective Dana-Farber Cancer Institute protocol between 1992 and 1998. Of the 81 patients, 50 had low-grade astrocytoma, 23 had residual or recurrent craniopharyngioma, 4 had posterior fossa ependymoma, and 4 had other histologic types. All patients underwent biopsy for diagnosis, with the exception of patients with neurofibromatosis and radiographic evidence of an optic system tumor. The neurocognitive outcome for all patients was also an endpoint of the study and will be reported separately. This report focused on the patients with low-grade gliomas only. Of the 50 patients, 26 were males and 24 females; the median age was 9 years (range, 2-26 years). The indications for treatment of patients with low-grade gliomas were progression during or after chemotherapy or progression after surgery alone. SRT was delivered using a dedicated 6-MV linear accelerator. Immobilization was accomplished with a removable head-frame. CT and MRI fusion was used for treatment planning. The target volume generally included the preoperative tumor plus a 2-mm margin for the planning target volume. The median collimator size was 47.25 mm (range, 30-60 mm). Three to nine arcs were used to deliver a mean total dose of 52.2 Gy in 1.8-Gy daily fractions. With a median follow-up of 6.9 years (range, 0.9-10.2 years), the progression-free survival rate was 82.5% at 5 years and 65% at 8 years. The overall survival was 97.8% at 5 years and 82% at 8 years. Six patients had local progression. Two of the patients with local progression had pathologic progression to anaplastic astrocytoma 3 and 7 years after initial SRT. Five patients, all with optic system/hypothalamic primary tumors, developed central nervous system dissemination 1.0-7.4 years after SRT. One patient developed a presumed radiation-induced primitive neuroectodermal tumor 6 years after initial treatment. Six patients died, three of dissemination, two of progression to higher grade tumors, and one of a secondary radiation-induced tumor. All 6 cases of local progression were within the primary tumor bed at the time of progression and had received the full prescription dose. No marginal failures occurred. Stereotactic radiotherapy provides excellent local control for children with small, localized low-grade glial tumors. Marginal failures have not been observed, supporting the use of limited margins to minimize late sequelae using stereotactic immobilization and planning techniques.
    International Journal of Radiation OncologyBiologyPhysics 03/2005; 61(2):374-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2004.06.012 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: More than 48,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients can expect to have some adverse events related to their care each year. Historically, 20% of these adverse events have been medication related, and two thirds have been thought to be preventable. Since the majority of these errors occurred during the order writing process, the prioritized changes made at the joint pediatric program for Children's Hospital, Boston, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have been the initiation of templated orders and the development of a computerized order entry system. The goal of this initiative was to decrease errors related to chemotherapy administration by creating legible, complete, clearly defined order sets, and at the same time, to make order writing and reviewing more efficient. Chemotherapy templates were created using a consistent format and a rigorous multidisciplinary review process. Each order set includes the following: identification of the patient and cycle of chemotherapy to be given, criteria necessary to receive chemotherapy, chemotherapy orders with modifications if appropriate, and supportive care orders. Templated order sets have reduced the duplication of work efforts by significantly reducing the number of changes made during the order verification process; orders are more complete, and standardization has occurred.
    Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 01/2005; 22(1):20-30. DOI:10.1177/1043454204272530 · 0.90 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
371.51 Total Impact Points


  • 1997-2014
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1993-2014
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Department of Radiation Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005-2013
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1992-2013
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Pediatric Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2006
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
      • Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research
      Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States