Ronan Swords

Intelligent Hearing Systems, Miami, FL USA, Miami, Florida, United States

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Publications (70)293.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: p53 activation is a primary mechanism underlying pathological responses to DNA damaging agents such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Our recent animal studies showed that low dose arsenic (LDA)-induced transient p53 inhibition selectively protected normal tissues from chemotherapy-induced toxicity. Study objectives were to: 1) define the lowest safe dose of arsenic trioxide that transiently blocks p53 activation in patients and 2) assess the potential of LDA to decrease hematological toxicity from chemotherapy. Patients scheduled to receive minimum 4 cycles of myelosuppressive chemotherapy were eligible. For objective 1, dose escalation of LDA started at 0.005 mg/kg/day for 3 days. This dose satisfied objective 1 and was administered before chemotherapy cycles 2, 4, and 6 for objective 2. p53 level in peripheral lymphocytes was measured on day 1 of each cycle by ELISA assay. Chemotherapy cycles 1, 3, and 5 served as the baseline for the subsequent cycles of 2, 4, and 6 respectively. If p53 level for the subsequent cycle was lower (or higher) than the baseline cycle, p53 was defined as "suppressed" (or "activated") for the pair of cycles. Repeated measures linear models of CBC in terms of day, cycle, p53 activity and interaction terms were used. Twenty-six patients treated with 3 week cycle regimens form the base of analyses. The mean white blood cell, hemoglobin and absolute neutrophil counts were significantly higher in the "suppressed" relative to the "activated" group. These data support the proof of principle that suppression of p53 could lead to protection of bone marrow in patients receiving chemotherapy. This trial is registered in Identifier: NCT01428128.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Molecular oncology

  • No preview · Article · May 2015 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: This trial was conducted to determine the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the first in class NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) inhibitor, pevonedistat, and to investigate pevonedistat pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Pevonedistat was administered via a 60-min intravenous infusion on days 1, 3 and 5 (schedule A, n = 27), or days 1, 4, 8 and 11 (schedule B, n = 26) every 21-days. Dose escalation proceeded using a standard '3 + 3' design. Responses were assessed according to published guidelines. The MTD for schedules A and B were 59 and 83 mg/m(2) , respectively. On schedule A, hepatotoxicity was dose limiting. Multi-organ failure (MOF) was dose limiting on schedule B. The overall complete (CR) and partial (PR) response rate in patients treated at or below the MTD was 17% (4/23, 2 CRs, 2 PRs) for schedule A and 10% (2/19, 2 PRs) for schedule B. Pevonedistat plasma concentrations peaked after infusion followed by elimination in a biphasic pattern. Pharmacodynamic studies of biological correlates of NAE inhibition demonstrated target-specific activity of pevonedistat. In conclusion, administration of the first-in-class agent, pevonedistat, was feasible in patients with MDS and AML and modest clinical activity was observed. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · British Journal of Haematology
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in the understanding of the genetic underpinnings of acute myeloid leukemia are rapidly being translated into novel treatment strategies. Genomic profiling has highlighted the importance of the epigenetic machinery for leukemogenesis by identifying recurrent somatic mutations involving chromatin-modifier proteins. These genetic alterations function as dynamic regulators of gene expression and involve DNA-methyltransferase 3A, methyltransferase DOT1L, enhancer of zeste homologue 2, isocitrate dehydrogenases 1 and 2 and bromodomain-containing proteins. New therapeutic targets are also emerging from further delineation of cell signaling networks in acute myeloid leukemia blasts mediated by PIM kinases, polo-like kinase 1, cell surface protein CD98 and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling receptors, among others. Early results of targeted therapies directed at these molecular mechanisms are discussed in this review and their potential to improve the outcomes of patients by allowing the use of more effective and less toxic treatments.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
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    B L Stein · R Swords · A Hochhaus · F Giles
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Leukemia
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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.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Leukemia research
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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.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
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    Ciara Freeman · Niamh Keane · Ronan Swords · Francis Giles
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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.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
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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.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Future Oncology
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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.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
  • Niamh Keane · Ciara Freeman · Ronan Swords · Francis J Giles
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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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Expert Review of Hematology
  • Ronan Swords · Valeria Santini
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    ABSTRACT: A 75-year-old man visits his primary care physician for a routine checkup and a complete blood count reveals pancytopenia. BM examination confirms the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. No dysplastic features were noted and his karyotype results are pending. The patient has well-controlled hypertension and his last hospital admission was 20 years ago for repair of a rotator cuff injury. His Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status is 0/4 and he has no cognitive impairment. You believe the patient is fit for standard acute myeloid leukemia induction, but you are concerned because of his older age and you are considering less-intensive approaches.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Hematology
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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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
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    Niamh Keane · Ciara Freeman · Ronan Swords · Francis J Giles
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Expert Review of Hematology
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Leukemia research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · European Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • Ciara L Freeman · Ronan Swords · Francis J Giles
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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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Expert Review of Hematology
  • 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.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Expert Review of Hematology

Publication Stats

1k Citations
293.42 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Intelligent Hearing Systems, Miami, FL USA
      Miami, Florida, United States
  • 2012-2015
    • University of Miami
      • • Miller School of Medicine
      • • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
      كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      • Division of Hematology and Oncology
      Miami, Florida, United States
  • 2009-2011
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • Cancer Therapy & Research Center
      San Antonio, Texas, United States
    • National University of Ireland, Galway
      Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland
  • 2006-2009
    • Galway University Hospitals
      • Department of Radiology
      Gaillimh, Connaught, Ireland
  • 2007
    • University of Houston
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
      • Department of Leukemia
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2004-2006
    • Beaumont Hospital
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland