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Samuels B.L.,Kootenai Cancer Center | Chawla S.,Sarcoma Oncology Center | Patel S.,University of Houston | von Mehren M.,Chase Medical | And 5 more authors.
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: This expanded access program (EAP) was designed to provide trabectedin access for patients with incurable soft tissue sarcoma (STS) following progression of disease with standard therapy. The outcomes of trial participants accrued over approximately 5 years are reported. Patients and methods: Adult patients with advanced STS of multiple histologies, including leiomyosarcoma and liposarcoma (L-sarcomas), following relapse or disease progression following standard-of-care chemotherapy, were enrolled. Trabectedin treatment cycles (1.5 mg/m2, intravenously over 24 h) were repeated q21 days. Objective response, overall survival (OS), and safety were evaluated. Results: Of 1895 patients enrolled, 807 (43%) had evaluable objective response data, with stable disease reported in 343 (43%) as best response. L-sarcoma patients exhibited longer, OS compared with other histologies [16.2 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 14.1-19.5) versus 8.4 months (95% CI 7.1-10.7)], and a slightly higher objective response rate [6.9% (95% CI 4.8-9.6) versus 4.0% (95% CI 2.1-6.8)]. The median treatment duration was 70 days representing a median of three treatment cycles; 30% of patients received ≥6 cycles. Safety and tolerability in this EAP were consistent with prior clinical trial data. Conclusion: Results of this EAP are consistent with previous reports of trabectedin, demonstrating disease control despite a low incidence of objective responses in advanced STS patients after failure of standard chemotherapy. NCT00210665. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Schwartzentruber D.J.,Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care | Lawson D.H.,Emory University | Richards J.M.,Oncology Specialists | Conry R.M.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 21 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: Stimulating an immune response against cancer with the use of vaccines remains a challenge. We hypothesized that combining a melanoma vaccine with interleukin-2, an immune activating agent, could improve outcomes. In a previous phase 2 study, patients with metastatic melanoma receiving high-dose interleukin-2 plus the gp100:209-217(210M) peptide vaccine had a higher rate of response than the rate that is expected among patients who are treated with interleukin-2 alone. METHODS: We conducted a randomized, phase 3 trial involving 185 patients at 21 centers. Eligibility criteria included stage IV or locally advanced stage III cutaneous melanoma, expression of HLA*A0201, an absence of brain metastases, and suitability for high-dose interleukin-2 therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive interleukin-2 alone (720,000 IU per kilogram of body weight per dose) or gp100:209-217(210M) plus incomplete Freund's adjuvant (Montanide ISA-51) once per cycle, followed by interleukin-2. The primary end point was clinical response. Secondary end points included toxic effects and progression-free survival. RESULTS: The treatment groups were well balanced with respect to baseline characteristics and received a similar amount of interleukin-2 per cycle. The toxic effects were consistent with those expected with interleukin-2 therapy. The vaccine-interleukin-2 group, as compared with the interleukin-2-only group, had a significant improvement in centrally verified overall clinical response (16% vs. 6%, P = 0.03), as well as longer progression-free survival (2.2 months; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 3.9 vs. 1.6 months; 95% CI, 1.5 to 1.8; P = 0.008). The median overall survival was also longer in the vaccine-interleukin-2 group than in the interleukin-2-only group (17.8 months; 95% CI, 11.9 to 25.8 vs. 11.1 months; 95% CI, 8.7 to 16.3; P = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with advanced melanoma, the response rate was higher and progression-free survival longer with vaccine and interleukin-2 than with interleukin-2 alone. Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

Richards J.M.,Oncology Specialists | Rae Bressler L.,166J PHARM | Kennedy S.A.,University of Illinois at Chicago
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: This first-in-human, phase I clinical trial of p28 (NSC745104), a 28-amino-acid fragment of the cupredoxin azurin, investigated the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and preliminary activity of p28 in patients with p53 + metastatic solid tumours. Methods: A total of 15 patients were administered p28 i.v. as a short infusion three times per week for 4 weeks followed by a 2-week rest under an accelerated titration 3+3 dose escalation design until either a grade 3-related adverse event occurred or the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was reached. Single-dose and steady-state serum pharmacokinetics were characterised. Assessments included toxicity, best objective response by RECIST 1.1 Criteria, and overall survival.Results:No patients exhibited any dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), significant adverse events or exhibited an immune response (IgG) to the peptide. The No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) and MTD were not reached. Seven patients demonstrated stable disease for 7-61 weeks, three a partial response for 44-125 weeks, and one a complete response for 139 weeks. Three patients are still alive at 158, 140, and 110 weeks post therapy completion. Conclusion: p28 was tolerated with no significant adverse events. An MTD was not reached. Evidence of anti-tumour activity indicates a highly favourable therapeutic index and demonstrates proof of concept for this new class of non-HDM2-mediated peptide inhibitors of p53 ubiquitination. © 2013 Cancer Research UK. All rights reserved.

Hersey P.,Newcastle Melanoma Unit | Sosman J.,Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center | O'Day S.,Cancer Institute Medical Group | Richards J.,Oncology Specialists | And 8 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: The alpha v beta 3 (α vβ3) integrin is involved in intracellular signaling regulating cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation and is important for tumor-induced angiogenesis. METHODS: This phase 2, randomized, open-label, 2-arm study was designed to capture safety data and evaluate the antitumor efficacy of etaracizumab (Abegrin), an IgG1 humanized monoclonal antibody against the αvβ3 integrin, in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma. The objective was to evaluate whether etaracizumab ± dacarbazine had sufficient clinical activity to warrant further study in a phase 3 clinical trial. RESULTS: One hundred twelve patients were randomized to receive etaracizumab alone (N = 57) or etaracizumab + dacarbazine (N = 55). Safety of etaracizumab ± dacarbazine was acceptable with infusion-related, gastrointestinal, and metabolic reactions being the most common adverse events (AEs). The majority of AEs were grade 1 or 2 in severity in both study arms; most events were not considered serious, except for cardiovascular (myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation) and thromboembolic events, which occurred in 3 and 5 patients, respectively. None of the patients in the etaracizumab-alone study arm and 12.7% of patients in the etaracizumab + dacarbazine study arm achieved an objective response. The median duration of objective response in the etaracizumab + dacarbazine study arm was 4.2 months. Stable disease rate, time to progression (TTP), and progression-free survival (PFS) appeared to be similar between the 2 treatment arms. Stable disease occurred in 45.6% of patients in the etaracizumab-alone study arm and 40.0% of patients in the etaracizumab + dacarbazine study arm. Median TTP and median PFS were both 1.8 months in the etaracizumab-alone study arm and 2.5 and 2.6 months in the etaracizumab + dacarbazine study arm, respectively. Median overall survival was 12.6 months in the etaracizumab-alone study arm and 9.4 months in the etaracizumab + dacarbazine study arm. CONCLUSIONS: The survival results in both treatment arms of this study were considered unlikely to result in clinically meaningful improvement over dacarbazine alone. © 2010 American Cancer Society.

Robert C.,Institute Gustave | Thomas L.,Center Hospitalier | Bondarenko I.,Dnepropetrovsk State Medical Center | O'Day S.,Angeles Clinic and Research Institute | And 19 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: Ipilimumab monotherapy (at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight), as compared with glycoprotein 100, improved overall survival in a phase 3 study involving patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. We conducted a phase 3 study of ipilimumab (10 mg per kilogram) plus dacarbazine in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma. METHODS: We randomly assigned 502 patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma, in a 1:1 ratio, to ipilimumab (10 mg per kilogram) plus dacarbazine (850 mg per square meter of body-surface area) or dacarbazine (850 mg per square meter) plus placebo, given at weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10, followed by dacarbazine alone every 3 weeks through week 22. Patients with stable disease or an objective response and no doselimiting toxic effects received ipilimumab or placebo every 12 weeks thereafter as maintenance therapy. The primary end point was overall survival. RESULTS: Overall survival was significantly longer in the group receiving ipilimumab plus dacarbazine than in the group receiving dacarbazine plus placebo (11.2 months vs. 9.1 months, with higher survival rates in the ipilimumab-dacarbazine group at 1 year (47.3% vs. 36.3%), 2 years (28.5% vs. 17.9%), and 3 years (20.8% vs. 12.2%) (hazard ratio for death, 0.72; P<0.001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 56.3% of patients treated with ipilimumab plus dacarbazine, as compared with 27.5% treated with dacarbazine and placebo (P<0.001). No drug-related deaths or gastrointestinal perforations occurred in the ipilimumab-dacarbazine group. CONCLUSIONS: Ipilimumab (at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram) in combination with dacarbazine, as compared with dacarbazine plus placebo, improved overall survival in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma. The types of adverse events were consistent with those seen in prior studies of ipilimumab; however, the rates of elevated liver-function values were higher and the rates of gastrointestinal events were lower than expected on the basis of prior studies. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; number, NCT00324155.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Dressel A.,University of Michigan | Kwari M.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | McGreal A.M.,Oncology Specialists
Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing | Year: 2011

Despite improvements in treatment, the outcome for some adult patients with acute or chronic leukemias remains poor. Clofarabine, a second-generation purine nucleoside analog, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2004 for the treatment of pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphocytic leukemia after at least two previous regimens. In addition, clinical studies have shown encouraging safety and efficacy results with clofarabine in the treatment of adult patients with various hematologic malignancies. Although most adult patients with leukemia receive the first course of clofarabine while hospitalized, many can be subsequently treated as outpatients with proper monitoring, support, and education. The most frequent side effects associated with clofarabine are gastrointestinal-related, myelosuppression, hepatotoxicity, renal dysfunction, and anorexia. Careful patient monitoring is essential to ensure early identification and prompt intervention. Younger patients and those of any age with no comorbid health issues, good performance status, and an adequate support network are more likely to tolerate outpatient clofarabine administration. Early identification and proactive pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions may reduce the severity of these toxicities and prevent their progression. Patient education about strategies for prevention and management of symptoms also is essential.

Kruczek K.,Advocate Lutheran General Hospital | Kruczek K.,Loyola University | Ratterman M.,Advocate Lutheran General Hospital | Tolzien K.,Oncology Specialists | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Background:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is deregulated in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). We investigated the efficacy and toxicity of temsirolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, in chemotherapy-naïve CRPC.Methods:In this phase II open label study, eligible patients received IV temsirolimus at 25 mg weekly until objective disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or investigator's discretion. Toxicity was assessed every 4 weeks and responses every 8 weeks. Primary end point was calculating the overall response (OR) rate as well as measuring stable disease (SD) to assess the overall clinical benefit calculated as OR+SD. Secondary end points included prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) changes and time to progression biochemically and radiographically. Correlative studies included prospective assessment of quality of life (QoL) using two previously validated scales.Results:Although the sponsor halted the study early, 21 patients were enrolled of which, 15 were evaluable for efficacy and OR. Median age was 74 (range: 57-89), median PSA was 237.5 ng ml-1 (range: 8.2-2360), visceral disease present in 11 patients (52%), and 17 patients (81%) patients had Gleason score (7-10). Two patients had a partial response (PR) and eight had SD. The OR was 13% (2/15) and the overall clinical benefit (OR+SD) was 67% (10/15). Median time to radiographic disease progression was 2 months (range 2-10 months). Biochemical response assessment was available for 14/15 patients. Any PSA decline was observed in four patients (28.5%; 4/14) with one patient (7%) having >50% PSA decline. Median time to progression by PSA was 2 months (range 1-10 months). With a median follow-up of 32 months, median overall survival (OS) was 13 months (range: 2-37) and three patients remain alive at the data cutoff (5/2013) for an OS of 14% at 4 years on an intent-to-treat analysis. Major non-haematologic toxicities included fatigue (19%) and pneumonia (14%). Main laboratory toxicities included hyperglycaemia (24%) and hypophosphatemia (14%). Also, 52% of enrolled patients had serious adverse events. Other toxicities were consistent with previously reported adverse events with temsirolimus. Despite these observed adverse events, temsirolimus did not adversely impact QoL.Conclusion:Temsirolimus monotherapy has minimal activity in chemotherapy-naïve CRPC. © 2013 Cancer Research UK.

Meyer A.,Advocate Lutheran General Hospital | Cygan P.,Advocate Lutheran General Hospital | Tolzien K.,Oncology Specialists | Galvez A.G.,Oncology Specialists | And 4 more authors.
Clinical Genitourinary Cancer | Year: 2014

Background Sorafenib promotes apoptosis through downstream pathways that can be deregulated in CRPC. We hypothesized that sorafenib could overcome chemotherapy resistance in CRPC. Patients and Methods Eligible patients were those whose disease had progressed during chemotherapy (docetaxel or mitoxantrone) or within 12 weeks of stopping either. Patients then continued or resumed their last chemotherapy regimen with the addition of sorafenib 400 mg twice daily. Patients received a maximum of 6 cycles of chemotherapy/sorafenib followed by sorafenib alone until disease progression. The primary end point was combination safety. Secondary end points were overall response, percentage of SD, and time to progression (TTP). Results Twenty-two patients (21 evaluable) were enrolled (16 patients with Gleason score ≥ 7). Median age was 68 years (range, 59-83 years). Median prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was 142 ng/dL (range, 13.6-9584). Visceral and bone disease were present combined in 9 patients (41%). Ten patients (47.6%) showed biochemical response (19% with > 50% PSA decline) and 16 patients (76%) achieved radiographic stability (according to Response Evaluation Criteria for Solid Tumors) after starting sorafenib for a median duration of 6 months (range, 4-12 months). Grade 3/4 nonhematologic toxicities were fatigue (n = 7, 32%), palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (n = 4, 18%). Dose reduction of sorafenib occurred at least once in 15 patients (68%) because of palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (22%) and fatigue (22%). With a median follow-up of 19 months (range, 3-46 months), median overall survival was 8 months. TTP according to PSA level was 3 months and TTP according to imaging studies and/or clinically was 6 months. Median number of treatment cycles given was 6 (range, 1-10). Conclusion Sorafenib can be combined safely with chemotherapy and in some patients overcomes chemotherapy resistance. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Nabhan C.,University of Chicago | Patel A.,Advocate Lutheran General Hospital | Villines D.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Tolzien K.,Oncology Specialists | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Genitourinary Cancer | Year: 2014

Background We investigated the activity of lenalidomide, which has antiangiogenic, antineoplastic, and immunomodulatory properties, in chemotherapy-naive, castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) patients. Patients Patients received 25 mg/d lenalidomide for 21 days in 28-day cycles, until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity developed. Endpoints included overall response rate and clinical benefit (overall response + stable disease), toxicity, time to radiographic progression, and time to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression, overall survival, and quality of life. Results Thirty-two patients were enrolled in the study; of these, 77% (n = 25) had Gleason scores ≥ 7. The median age was 74 years (58-89 y), the median PSA level was 66 ng/mL (2-919 ng/mL), and 5 of 32 patients (17%) had liver or lung involvement. The median number of lenalidomide cycles was 3 (1-16 cycles). Stable disease was seen in 20 patients, for a clinical benefit rate of 63%. The median time to radiographic progression was 4 months (2-16 mo); the median overall survival was 20 months. Of 27 PSA-evaluable patients, 13 (48%) had a decline in PSA level; 3 (11%) had > 50% PSA decrease; the median time to PSA progression was 3 months (2-9 mo). Grade 3/4 hematologic toxicities were the most common adverse events without adverse impact on quality of life. Serious adverse events occurred in 14 patients (44%), including 1 patient (3%) with a rash definitely related to lenalidomide. Conclusion Lenalidomide monotherapy demonstrates modest activity in chemotherapy-naive CRPC. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

News Article | March 2, 2017

The good news is that new drugs approved to fight multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood, are helping patients to live longer. The better news is that even newer drugs in the approval pipeline could extend survival expectations even longer. A cancer of the plasma cell, — which is found in bone marrow producing antibodies that fight infections — multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to displace healthy cells, ultimately leading to multiple problems with organs and body systems. Care providers at Oncology Specialists of Charlotte have become more hopeful after seeing patients benefiting from new drug treatments. “With the new drugs – and the ones in the development and approval process – we are inching closer to a cure for multiple myeloma,” says Dipika Misra, MD, of Oncology Specialists of Charlotte. “The three new drugs that we’ve been using over the past year are more targeted, so patients experience less side effects. In turn, they often can be treated without having to come into the office for all infusions.” Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic show a medium survival rate of seven to 10 years, significantly higher than the survival rate of two to three years, witnessed with the previous generation of multiple myeloma treatment drugs. The disease, which is more common among men and those over age 65, has an unknown cause. It is also known that African Americans face double the risk of having multiple myeloma in their lifetime. “So much progress has been evident in the treatment of multiple myeloma over the past decade, that we are seeing a marked improvement in quality of life for our patients under treatment.” added Dr. Misra. “It’s a bright spot among many similar advancements in cancer treatment. New treatments on the horizon for multiple myeloma will utilize the body’s immune system to attack affected plasma cells.” About Oncology Specialists of Charlotte Since 2000, Oncology Specialists of Charlotte has provided leading-edge, compassionate care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in both the clinic and hospital setting. Oncology Specialists of Charlotte’s physicians and staff take part in multi-disciplinary care, clinical trials, and peer boards at the hospital. The Oncology Specialists of Charlotte team understands the profound impact of cancer on the lives of patients and their families, and the practice maintains access to the latest, best treatment options. For more information, go to

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