Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare

Scottsdale, AZ, United States

Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare

Scottsdale, AZ, United States
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Foss K.M.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Sima C.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Ugolini D.,University of Genoa | Ugolini D.,Italian National Cancer Institute | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2011

Introduction: The ability to diagnose non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at an early stage may lead to improved survival. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed serum-based microRNAs (miRNAs) between patients with early-stage NSCLC and controls. These miRNAs may serve as biomarkers for NSCLC early detection. Methods: miRNA profiling was performed on total RNA extracted from serum obtained from 22 individuals (11 controls and 11 patients with early-stage NSCLC). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to validate the profiling results in the discovery set and in a validation set of 31 controls and 22 patients with early-stage NSCLC. Additionally, six matched plasma samples (four NSCLC cases and two controls) and three serum mesothelioma samples were analyzed by qPCR. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated for each possible combination of the miRNAs measured by qPCR. Results: The expression of hsa-miR-1254 and hsa-miR-574-5p was significantly increased in the early-stage NSCLC samples with respect to the controls. Receiver operating characteristic curves plotting these two miRNAs were able to discriminate early-stage NSCLC samples from controls with 82% and 77% of sensitivity and specificity, respectively, in the discovery cohort and with 73% and 71% of sensitivity and specificity, respectively, in the validation cohort. The mesothelioma and plasma samples did not seem to classify into either NSCLC or control groups. Conclusions: Serum miRNAs are differentially expressed between patients with early-stage NSCLC and controls. The utility of miR-1254 and miR-574-5p serum-based biomarkers as minimally invasive screening and triage tools for subsequent diagnostic evaluation warrants additional validation. Copyright © 2011 The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.


PubMed | Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare and Genentech
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Dermatology reports | Year: 2014

Tumor responses in advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC) have been observed in clinical trials with vismodegib, a SMO antagonist. The result of SMO antagonism is inhibition Hedgehog Signaling Pathway (HHSP) downstream target genes. HHSP inhibition has been shown to affect stem cells responsible for blood, mammary, and neural development. We report on our experience of treating two patients with advanced BCC participating. These two patients have had no new BCCs develop for at least 2.25 years. Both patients have been receiving ongoing daily treatment with vismodegib for greater than 2.75 years without experiencing any significant side effects. After prolonged continuous daily dosing with a SMO antagonist, we have not observed a significant alteration in hematologic parameters or physical abnormalities of the pectoral regions of two patients with advanced BCC.


Mahadevan D.,Arizona Cancer Center | Northfelt D.W.,Mayo Medical School | Chalasani P.,Arizona Cancer Center | Rensvold D.,Arizona Cancer Center | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2013

Objectives: UNBS5162 is a novel naphthalimide that binds to DNA by intercalation and suppresses CXCL chemokine elaboration. A Phase I study of UNBS5162 was conducted to establish pharmacokinetics (PK), maximum tolerated dose (MTD), dose-limiting toxicity, safety and anti-tumor activity in patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma. Methods: UNBS5162 was administered in a 3 + 3 dose escalation scheme by intravenous infusion over 1 h weekly for 3 weeks of a 4-week cycle. Safety, serial serum PK and tolerability were captured throughout the study. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors was utilized every 2 cycles to assess for anti-tumor response. Results: Twenty-four patients with metastatic carcinoma and 1 patient with lymphoma were treated at eight dose levels (18-234 mg/m2). All patients were evaluable for tolerability and toxicity. Grade 3 toxicities include nausea (n = 1), fatigue (n = 1) and anorexia (n = 1). Prolongation of QTc [Hodges] was observed in 6 cases (Gr 1 = 2; Gr 2 = 2; Gr 3 = 2). C max and area under the curve increased linearly with dose with a t 1/2 of 30-60 min. 16 patients completed 2 cycles of therapy, all with pharmacodynamics at 8 weeks. Conclusions: The MTD or dose-limiting toxicity for UNBS5162 was not reached due to the magnitude of QTc prolongation at the highest dose of 234 mg/m2/week that led to study termination. © 2012 Japan Society of Clinical Oncology.


Dragovich T.,Banner Anderson Cancer Center | Dragovich T.,Arizona Cancer Center | Laheru D.,Johns Hopkins University | Dayyani F.,Banner Anderson Cancer Center | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology | Year: 2014

Purpose: Vatalanib (PTK 787/ZK22584) is an oral poly-tyrosine kinase inhibitor with strong affinity for platelet-derived growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors. We conducted an open-label, phase II multicenter therapeutic trial investigating the efficacy and tolerability of vatalanib in patients with metastatic or advanced pancreatic cancer who failed first-line gemcitabine-based therapy. Methods: Vatalanib treatment consisted of a twice daily oral dosing using a "ramp-up schedule," beginning with 250 mg bid during week 1,500 mg bid during week 2, and 750 mg bid on week three and thereafter. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the 6-month survival rate. Results: Sixty-seven patients were enrolled. The median age was 64, and 66 % (N = 43) had only one prior regimen. Common grade 3/4 adverse events included hypertension (20 %; N = 13), fatigue (17 %; N = 11), abdominal pain (17 %; N = 11), and elevated alkaline phosphatase (15 %; N = 10). Among the 65 evaluable patients, the 6-month survival rate was 29 % (95 % CI 18-41 %) and the median progression-free survival was 2 months. Fifteen patients survived 6 months or more. Two patients had objective partial responses, and 28 % of patients had stable disease. Changes in biomarkers including soluble VEGF and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor did not correlate with response to drug. Conclusion: Vatalanib was well tolerated as a second-line therapy and resulted in favorable 6-month survival rate in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer, compared with historic controls. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.


Looyenga B.D.,Van Andel Research Institute | Cherni I.,The Translational Genomics Research Institute | MacKeigan J.P.,Van Andel Research Institute | Weiss G.J.,The Translational Genomics Research Institute | Weiss G.J.,Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare
Translational Oncology | Year: 2011

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been in use as cancer therapeutics for nearly a decade, and their utility in targeting specific malignancies with defined genetic lesions has proven to be remarkably effective. Recent efforts to characterize the spectrum of genetic lesions found in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) have provided important insights into the molecular basis of this disease and have also revealed a wide array of tyrosine kinases that might be effectively targeted for rationally designed therapies. The findings of these studies, however, also provide a cautionary tale about the limitations of single-agent therapies, which fail to account for the genetic heterogeneity and pathway redundancy that characterize advanced NSCLC. Emergence of drug resistance mechanisms to specific TKIs, such as gefitinib and erlotinib, suggests that more sophisticated chemotherapeutic paradigms that target multiple pathways at the same time will be required to effectively treat this disease. © 2011 Neoplasia Press, Inc.


Arora S.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Ranade A.R.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Tran N.L.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Nasser S.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2011

Brain metastasis (BM) can affect ∼ 25% of nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients during their lifetime. Efforts to characterize patients that will develop BM have been disappointing. microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of target mRNAs. miRNAs play a role in regulating a variety of targets and, consequently, multiple pathways, which make them a powerful tool for early detection of disease, risk assessment, and prognosis. We investigated miRNAs that may serve as biomarkers to differentiate between NSCLC patients with and without BM. miRNA microarray profiling was performed on samples from clinically matched NSCLC from seven patients with BM (BM+) and six without BM (BM-). Using t-test and further qRT-PCR validation, eight miRNAs were confirmed to be significantly differentially expressed. Of these, expression of miR-328 and miR-330-3p were able to correctly classify BM+ vs. BM- patients. This classifier was used on a validation cohort (n = 15), and it correctly classified 12/15 patients. Gene expression analysis comparing A549 parental and A549 cells stably transfected to over-express miR-328 (A549-328) identified several significantly differentially expressed genes. PRKCA was one of the genes over-expressed in A549-328 cells. Additionally, A549-328 cells had significantly increased cell migration compared to A549 cells, which was significantly reduced upon PRKCA knockdown. In summary, miR-328 has a role in conferring migratory potential to NSCLC cells working in part through PRKCA and with further corroboration in additional independent cohorts, these miRNAs may be incorporated into clinical treatment decision making to stratify NSCLC patients at higher risk for developing BM. Copyright © 2011 UICC.


Weekes C.D.,Aurora University | Von Hoff D.D.,Translational Genomics Research Institute TGen | Von Hoff D.D.,Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare | Adjei A.A.,Roswell Park Cancer Institute | And 19 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Purpose: To evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of BAY 86-9766, a selective, potent, orally available, small-molecule allosteric inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1/2 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Experimental Design: BAY 86-9766 was administered orally daily in 28-day courses, with doses escalated to establish the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD). An expanded cohort was evaluated at the MTD. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters were assessed, with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation evaluated in paired biopsies from a subset of the expanded MTD cohort. Tumor specimens were evaluated for mutations in select genes. Results: Sixty-nine patients were enrolled, including 20 patients at the MTD. The MTD was 100 mg given once-daily or in two divided doses. BAY 86-9766 was well-tolerated. The most common treatment-related toxicities were acneiform rash and gastrointestinal toxicity. BAY 86-9766 was well-absorbed after oral administration (plasma half-life ~12 hours), and displayed dose proportional pharmacokinetics throughout the tested dose range. Continuous daily dosing resulted in moderate accumulation at most dose levels. BAY 86-9766 suppressed ERK phosphorylation in biopsied tissue and tetradecanoylphorbol acetate- stimulated peripheral blood leukocytes. Of 53 evaluable patients, one patient with colorectal cancer achieved a partial response and 11 patients had stable disease for 4 or more courses. An ocular melanoma specimen harbored a GNAQ-activating mutation and exhibited reduced ERK phosphorylation in response to therapy. Conclusion: This phase I study showed that BAY 86-9766 was well-tolerated, with good oral absorption, dose proportional pharmacokinetics, target inhibition at the MTD, and some evidence of clinical benefit across a range of tumor types. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.


Ranade A.R.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Cherba D.,Van Andel Research Institute | Sridhar S.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Richardson P.,Van Andel Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2010

Purpose: Although the majority of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) respond to initial chemotherapy, those with disease progression at first response assessment (chemoresistance) have inferior outcomes. There is a need for predictive biomarkers to aid investigators in designing future clinical trials that better stratify patients beyond standard clinical and laboratory parameters and to identify new treatments for this patient subpopulation. We hypothesized that tumor microRNAs (miRNAs) could serve as predictive biomarkers for chemoresistance and prognostic biomarkers for survival of patients with SCLC treated with systemic chemotherapy. Patients and METHODS: SCLC samples annotated with clinical characteristics and baseline comorbidities were available. miRNA microarray profiling was performed on diagnostic SCLC tumor samples, and analysis was performed using XenoBase, a data integration and discovery tool. Confirmation of the top 16 miRNA candidates was performed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction followed by analyses to determine clinical and miRNA biomarkers associated with chemoresistance and survival. Results: miRNAs significantly associated with chemoresistance were miR-92a-2* (p = 0.010), miR-147 (p = 0.018), and miR-574-5p (p = 0.039). By stepwise multivariate analysis, only gender and miR-92a-2* contributed significantly to survival (p = 0.023) and (p = 0.015), respectively. Baseline comorbidities were not associated with chemoresistance or survival. Conclusions: Higher tumor miR-92a-2* levels are associated with chemoresistance and with decreased survival in patients with SCLC. Tumor miR-92a-2* may have application in screening patients with SCLC at risk for de novo chemoresistance in an effort to design more tailored clinical trials for this subpopulation. Further validation in independent sample sets is warranted. © 2010 by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.


Allen K.E.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Weiss G.J.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | Weiss G.J.,Virginia per Cancer Center At Scottsdale Healthcare
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Chemoresistance to many commercially available cancer therapeutic drugs is a common occurrence and contributes to cancermortality as it often leads to disease progression. There have been a number of studies evaluating the mechanisms of resistance and the biological factors involved. microRNAs have recently been identified as playing a role in the regulation of key genes implicated as cancer therapeutic targets or in mechanisms of chemoresistance including EGFR, MDR1, PTEN, Bak1, and PDCD4 among others. This article briefly reviews chemoresistance mechanisms, discusses how microRNAs can play a role in those mechanisms, and summarizes current research involving microRNAs as both regulators of key target genes for chemoresistance and biomarkers for treatment response. It is clear from the accumulating literature that microRNAs can play an important role in chemoresistance and hold much promise for the development of targeted therapies and personalized medicine. This review brings together much of thisnew research as a starting point for identifying key areas of interest and potentials for future study. © 2010 AACR.


Weiss G.J.,Virginia per Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2010

Importance of the field: Since first reported just over 30 years ago, some progress has been made in our understanding of thymic cancer an extremely rare cancer and how to treat it. However, we are far from the ultimate goal of cure for most patients. Areas covered in this review: This review provides an overview of the thymic gland's development; features of thymic carcinoma, including its molecular characterization, current staging, and treatment guidelines; and progress made to date for treating advanced disease, concluding with future directions and prospects. What the reader will gain: As scientists apply new molecular tools to learn more about cancer, we find that even among common cancers, there exist heterogeneous subtypes necessitating different treatment paradigms. Thus, a one-size-fits-all approach to cancer treatment is being displaced with precision medicine to target the 'Achilles heel' of thymic tumors. Take home message: When approaching thymic carcinoma, we must identify the key driving forces to target its context(s) of vulnerability to ensure the greatest impact of treatment for patients with this extremely rare cancer. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd.

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