Publications by authors named "Emsad Puric"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Quantification of thermal dose in moderate clinical hyperthermia with radiotherapy: a relook using temperature-time area under the curve (AUC).

Int J Hyperthermia 2021 ;38(1):296-307

Department of Radiation Oncology KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland.

Background: Thermal dose in clinical hyperthermia reported as cumulative equivalent minutes (CEM) at 43 °C (CEM43) and its variants are based on direct thermal cytotoxicity assuming Arrhenius 'break' at 43 °C. An alternative method centered on the actual time-temperature plot during each hyperthermia session and its prognostic feasibility is explored.

Methods And Materials: Patients with bladder cancer treated with weekly deep hyperthermia followed by radiotherapy were evaluated. From intravesical temperature (T) recordings obtained every 10 secs, the area under the curve (AUC) was computed for each session for  > 37 °C (AUC > 37 °C) and  ≥ 39 °C (AUC ≥ 39 °C). These along with CEM43, CEM43(>37 °C), CEM43(≥39 °C), , and were evaluated for bladder tumor control.

Results: Seventy-four hyperthermia sessions were delivered in 18 patients (median: 4 sessions/patient). Two patients failed in the bladder. For both individual and summated hyperthermia sessions, the , CEM43, CEM43(>37 °C), CEM43(≥39 °C), AUC > 37 °C and AUC ≥ 39 °C were significantly lower in patients who had a local relapse. Individual AUC ≥ 39 °C for patients with/without local bladder failure were 105.9 ± 58.3 °C-min and 177.9 ± 58.0 °C-min, respectively ( = 0.01). Corresponding summated AUC ≥ 39 °C were 423.7 ± 27.8 °C-min vs. 734.1 ± 194.6 °C-min ( < 0.001), respectively. The median AUC ≥ 39 °C for each hyperthermia session in patients with bladder tumor control was 190 °C-min.

Conclusion: AUC ≥ 39 °C for each hyperthermia session represents the cumulative time-temperature distribution at clinically defined moderate hyperthermia in the range of 39 °C to 45 °C. It is a simple, mathematically computable parameter without any prior assumptions and appears to predict treatment outcome as evident from this study. However, its predictive ability as a thermal dose parameter merits further evaluation in a larger patient cohort.
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July 2021

A Pilot Study of Radiotherapy and Local Hyperthermia in Elderly Patients With Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancers Unfit for Definitive Surgery or Chemoradiotherapy.

Front Oncol 2019 10;9:889. Epub 2019 Sep 10.

Center for Radiation Oncology KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland.

To present the outcomes of a pilot study with hyperthermia (HT) and radiotherapy (RT) in elderly patients of muscle-invasive bladder cancers (MIBC) unfit for surgery or chemoradiotherapy (CTRT). Sixteen elderly patients with unifocal or multifocal MIBCs received a total dose of 48 Gy/16 fractions/4 weeks or 50 Gy/20 fractions/4 weeks, respectively. HT with a radiofrequency HT unit was delivered once weekly for 60 min before RT and a mean temperature of 41.3°C was attained (maximum temperature 41.1-43.5°C). Local control was assessed using RECIST criteria at 3-monthly intervals by cystoscopy with or without biopsy. The median age, KPS and age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index were 81 years, 70 and 5, respectively. At median follow-up of 18.5 months (range: 4-65), bladder preservation was 100% with satisfactory function. 11/16 patients (68.7%) had no local and/or distant failure, while isolated local, distant and combined local and distant failures were evident in 2, 2, and 1 patient, respectively. Two local failures were salvaged by TUR-BT resulting in a local control rate of 93.7%. The 5-year cause-specific (CS) local disease free survival (LDFS), disease free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were 64.3, 51.6, and 67.5%, respectively while 5-year non-cause-specific (NCS)-LDFS, NCS-DFS, and NCS-OS were 26.5, 23.2, and 38%, respectively. None of the patients had acute or late grade 3/4 gastrointestinal or genitourinary toxicities. The outcomes from this pilot study indicate that thermoradiotherapy is a feasible therapeutic modality in elderly MIBC patients unfit for surgery or CTRT. HTRT is well-tolerated, allows bladder preservation and function, achieves long-term satisfactory locoregional control and is devoid of significant treatment-related morbidity. This therapeutic approach deserves further evaluation in randomized studies.
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September 2019

Radiotherapy for Melanoma: More than DNA Damage.

Dermatol Res Pract 2019 3;2019:9435389. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Centre for Radiation Oncology KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau 5001, Switzerland.

Despite its reputation as a radioresistant tumour, there is evidence to support a role for radiotherapy in patients with melanoma and we summarise current clinical practice. Melanoma is a highly immunogenic tumour and in this era of immunotherapy, there is renewed interest in the potential of irradiation, not only as an adjuvant and palliative treatment, but also as an immune stimulant. It has long been known that radiation causes not only DNA strand breaks, apoptosis, and necrosis, but also immunogenic modulation and cell death through the induction of dendritic cells, cell adhesion molecules, death receptors, and tumour-associated antigens, effectively transforming the tumour into an individualised vaccine. This immune response can be enhanced by the application of clinical hyperthermia as evidenced by randomised trial data in patients with melanoma. The large fraction sizes used in cranial radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy are more immunogenic than conventional fractionation, which provides additional radiobiological justification for these techniques in this disease entity. Given the immune priming effect of radiotherapy, there is a strong but complex biological rationale and an increasing body of evidence for synergy in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors, which are now first-line therapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma. There is great potential to increase local control and abscopal effects by combining radiotherapy with both immunotherapy and hyperthermia, and a combination of all three modalities is suggested as the next important trial in this refractory disease.
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April 2019

Early results and volumetric analysis after spot-scanning proton therapy with concomitant hyperthermia in large inoperable sacral chordomas.

Br J Radiol 2020 Mar 14;93(1107):20180883. Epub 2019 May 14.

Center for Proton Therapy, Paul Scherrer Institute, ETH Domain, Villigen PSI, Switzerland.

Objective: Large inoperable sacral chordomas show unsatisfactory local control rates even when treated with high dose proton therapy (PT). The aim of this study is assessing feasibility and reporting early results of patients treated with PT and concomitant hyperthermia (HT).

Methods: : Patients had histologically proven unresectable sacral chordomas and received 70 Gy (relative biological effectiveness) in 2.5 Gy fractions with concomitant weekly HT. Toxicity was assessed according to CTCAE_v4. A volumetric tumor response analysis was performed.

Results: : Five patients were treated with the combined approach. Median baseline tumor volume was 735 cc (range, 369-1142). All patients completed PT and received a median of 5 HT sessions (range, 2-6). Median follow-up was 18 months (range, 9-26). The volumetric analysis showed an objective response of all tumors (median shrinkage 46%; range, 9-72). All patients experienced acute Grade 2-3 local pain. One patient presented with a late Grade 3 iliac fracture.

Conclusion: Combining PT and HT in large inoperable sacral chordomas is feasible and causes acceptable toxicity. Volumetric analysis shows promising early results, warranting confirmation in the framework of a prospective trial.

Advances In Knowledge: : This is an encouraging first report of the feasibility and early results of concomitant HT and PT in treating inoperable sacral chordoma.
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March 2020

"HEATPAC" - a phase II randomized study of concurrent thermochemoradiotherapy versus chemoradiotherapy alone in locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Radiat Oncol 2017 Nov 21;12(1):183. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Centre for Radiation Oncology KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau AG, Tellstrasse, CH-5001, Aarau, Switzerland.

Background: Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis with 5-year overall survival rate of around 5%. Although surgery is still the best option in operable cases, majority of the patients who present in locally advanced stages are deemed inoperable. Novel approaches are therefore needed for the management of around 80% of these inoperable locally advanced pancreatic cancers (LAPC). Hyperthermia (39-43 °C) is a potent radiosensitizer and further enhances the action of gemcitabine, also a known radiosensitizer. Thus through triple sensitization, a combination of hyperthermia, radiotherapy and gemcitabine could be expected to improve the therapeutic outcomes in LAPC.

Methods: This phase II randomized trial, HEATPAC in unresectable LAPC, explores the feasibility and efficacy of concurrent thermochemoradiotherapy (HTCTRT) over chemoradiotherapy (CTRT) alone with pre- and post-intervention FOLFIRINOX at standard dosage and schedule. Following 4 cycles of neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX, patients with no metastasis and absence of gross peritoneal carcinomatosis would be randomized to either (a) control arm: concurrent CTRT with gemcitabine (400 mg/m, weekly ×6) or (b) study arm: locoregional hyperthermia (weekly ×6 during radiotherapy) with concurrent CTRT (same as in control arm). All patients would receive simultaneous-integrated boost intensity-modulated radiation therapy to doses of 56Gy and 50.4Gy to the gross and clinical target volumes respectively delivered in 28 fractions over 5.5 weeks. Deep locoregional hyperthermia would be administered weekly and monitored with real-time intraduodenal multisensor thermometry probe. A temperature of 40-43 °C for 60 min would be aimed for each hyperthermia session. On completion of CTRT/HTCTRT, patients of both groups would receive an additional 8 cycles of FOLFIRINOX.

Discussion: The expected 1-year baseline overall survival with CTRT alone is considered as 40%. With HTCTRT, a survival advantage of +20% is expected. Considering α = 0.05 and β = 0.80 for sample size computation, a total of 86 patients would be equally randomized into the two treatment groups. This phase II study if found to be safe and effective, would form the basis of a future phase III randomized study.

Trial Registration: The trial has been registered with the ( NCT02439593 ). The study has been approved by the Ethical Commissions of Basel and Zurich and is open for patient recruitment.
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November 2017

Proton Irradiation with Hyperthermia in Unresectable Soft Tissue Sarcoma.

Int J Part Ther 2016 30;3(2):327-336. Epub 2016 Dec 30.

Centre for Proton Therapy, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland.

Purpose: Unresectable soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) do not usually exhibit significant tumor downstaging with preoperative radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy due to their limited radiosensitivity/chemosensitivity. Limb amputations for tumors of the extremities inevitably lead to considerable loss of function and impairment in quality of life. Local hyperthermia at 39°C to 43°C and proton irradiation combine thermoradiobiological and physical dose distribution advantages, possibly mimicking those of a C ion therapy. We report the first 2 patients treated with this unique approach of proton thermoradiotherapy.

Materials And Methods: Both patients had an unresectable STS of the left lower leg (1 grade 2 myxoid fibrosarcoma, 1 grade 3 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma). Both patients had declined the above-knee amputation that had been advised due to their involvement of the neurovascular bundles. They were, therefore recruited to the Hyperthermia and Proton Therapy in Unresectable Soft Tissue Sarcoma (HYPROSAR) study protocol ( NCT01904565). Local hyperthermia was delivered using radiofrequency waves at 100 Mhz once a week after proton therapy. Proton irradiation was undertaken to a dose of 70 to 72 Gy (relative biological effectiveness) delivered at 2.0 Gy (relative biological effectiveness)/ fraction daily for 7 weeks.

Results: Patients tolerated the treatment well with no significant acute or late morbidity. Both primary tumors showed a near complete response on serial magnetic resonance imaging. At a follow-up of 5 and 14 months, the patients were able to carry out indoor and outdoor activities with normal limb function.

Conclusion: This is the first report of proton beam irradiation combined with hyperthermia for cancer therapy. Our first experience in 2 consecutive patients with unresectable STSs shows that the approach is safe, feasible, and effective, achieving functional limb preservation with near total tumor control.
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December 2016

Hyperthermia and radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy in locally advanced cervical cancer: a systematic review with conventional and network meta-analyses.

Int J Hyperthermia 2016 11 14;32(7):809-21. Epub 2016 Aug 14.

a Centre for Radiation Oncology , KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau , Aarau , Switzerland ;

Purpose: A systematic review with conventional and network meta-analyses (NMA) was conducted to examine the outcomes of loco-regional hyperthermia (HT) with radiotherapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy (CT) in locally advanced cervix cancer, IIB-IVA (LACC).

Methods And Materials: A total of 217 abstracts were screened from five databases and reported as per PRISMA guidelines. Only randomised trials with HT and RT ± CT were considered. The outcomes evaluated were complete response (CR), long-term loco-regional control (LRC), patients alive, acute and late grade III/IV toxicities.

Results: Eight articles were finally retained. Six randomised trials with HTRT (n = 215) vs. RT (n = 212) were subjected to meta-analysis. The risk difference for achieving CR and LRC was greater by 22% (p < .001) and 23% (p < .001), respectively, with HTRT compared to RT. A non-significant survival advantage of 8.4% with HTRT was noted with no differences in acute or late toxicities. The only HTCTRT vs. RT trial documented a CR of 83.3% vs. 46.7% (risk difference: 36.7%, p = .001). No other end points were reported. Bayesian NMA, incorporating 13 studies (n = 1000 patients) for CR and 12 studies for patients alive (n = 807 patients), comparing HTCTRT, HTRT, CTRT and RT alone, was conducted. The pairwise comparison of various groups showed that HTRTCT was the best option for both CR and patient survival. This was also evident on ranking treatment modalities based on the "surface under cumulative ranking" values.

Conclusions: In LACC, HTRT demonstrates a therapeutic advantage over RT without significant acute or late morbidities. On NMA, HTCTRT appears promising, but needs further confirmation through prospective randomised trials.
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November 2016

Hyperthermia and radiotherapy in the management of head and neck cancers: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Int J Hyperthermia 2016 16;32(1):31-40. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

a Centre for Radiation Oncology , KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital , Aarau , Switzerland and.

Purpose: A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the outcome of controlled clinical trials in head and neck cancers (HNCs) using hyperthermia and radiotherapy versus radiotherapy alone.

Material And Methods: A total of 498 abstracts were screened from four databases and hand searched as per the PRISMA guidelines. Only two-arm studies treating HNCs with either radiotherapy alone, or hyperthermia and radiotherapy without concurrent chemotherapy or surgery were considered. The evaluated end point was complete response (CR).

Results: Following a detailed screening of the titles, abstracts and full text papers, six articles fulfilling the above eligibility criteria were considered. In total 451 clinical cases from six studies were included in the meta-analysis. Five of six trials were randomised. The overall CR with radiotherapy alone was 39.6% (92/232) and varied between 31.3% and 46.9% across the six trials. With thermoradiotherapy, the overall CR reported was 62.5% (137/219), (range 33.9-83.3%). The odds ratio was 2.92 (95% CI: 1.58-5.42, p = 0.001); the risk ratio was 1.61 (95% CI: 1.32-1.97, p < 0.0001) and the risk difference was 0.25 (95% CI: 0.12-0.39, p < 0.0001), all in favour of combined treatment with hyperthermia and radiotherapy over radiotherapy alone. Acute and late grade III/IV toxicities were reported to be similar in both the groups.

Conclusions: Hyperthermia along with radiotherapy enhances the likelihood of CR in HNCs by around 25% compared to radiotherapy alone with no significant additional acute and late morbidities. This level I evidence should justify the integration of hyperthermia into the multimodality therapy of HNCs.
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December 2016

Hyperthermia and Radiation Therapy in Locoregional Recurrent Breast Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2016 Apr 21;94(5):1073-87. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

Center for Radiation Oncology KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland; Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Purpose: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the outcome of hyperthermia (HT) and radiation therapy (RT) in locally recurrent breast cancers (LRBCs).

Methods And Materials: A total of 708 abstracts were screened from 8 databases according to the PRISMA guidelines. Single-arm and 2-arm studies, treating LRBCs with HT and RT but without surgery (for local recurrence) or concurrent chemotherapy were considered. The evaluated endpoint was complete response (CR).

Results: Thirty-one full text articles, pertaining to 34 studies, were shortlisted for the meta-analysis. Eight were 2-arm (randomized, n=5; nonrandomized, n=3), whereas 26 were single-arm studies. In all, 627 patients were enrolled in 2-arm and 1483 in single-arm studies. Patients were treated with a median of 7 HT sessions, and an average temperature of 42.5°C was attained. Mean RT dose was 38.2 Gy (range, 26-60 Gy). Hyperthermia was most frequently applied after RT. In the 2-arm studies, a CR of 60.2% was achieved with RT + HT versus 38.1% with RT alone (odds ratio 2.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66-4.18, P<.0001). Risk ratio and risk difference were 1.57 (95% CI 1.25-1.96, P<.0001) and 0.22 (95% CI 0.11-0.33, P<.0001), respectively. In 26 single-arm studies, RT + HT attained a CR of 63.4% (event rate 0.62, 95% CI 0.57-0.66). Moreover, 779 patients had been previously irradiated (696 from single-arm and 83 from 2-arm studies). A CR of 66.6% (event rate 0.64, 95% CI 0.58-0.70) was achieved with HT and reirradiation (mean ± SD dose: 36.7 ± 7.7 Gy). Mean acute and late grade 3/4 toxicities with RT + HT were 14.4% and 5.2%, respectively.

Conclusions: Thermoradiation therapy enhances the likelihood of CR rates in LRBCs over RT alone by 22% with minimal acute and late morbidities. For even those previously irradiated, reirradiation with HT provides locoregional control in two-thirds of the patients. Thermoradiation therapy could therefore be considered as an effective and safe palliative treatment option for LRBCs.
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April 2016

Is hyperthermia combined with radiotherapy adequate in elderly patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancers? Thermo-radiobiological implications from an audit of initial results.

Int J Hyperthermia 2016 06 22;32(4):390-7. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

c Centre for Radiation Oncology , KSA-KSB , Kantonsspital Aarau , Switzerland , and.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of loco-regional hyperthermia (HT) with radiotherapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy (CT) in elderly patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancers (MIBC).

Material And Methods: Twenty consecutive MIBC patients were treated with HTRT (n = 8) or HTCTRT (n = 12) following transurethral resection of their bladder tumours. Weekly HT was administered prior to RT to a mean temperature of 40.6-42.7 °C for 60 min. A mean RT dose of 54.6 Gy (SD ± 4.2) was delivered. Single-agent cisplatin (n = 2) or carboplatin (n = 10) was used in HTCTRT patients.

Results: The median age was 81 years. HTRT patients received a mean RT dose of 51.0 Gy compared to 57.1 Gy with HTCTRT (p < 0.001) in a shorter overall treatment time (OTT) (30.8 ± 6.9 versus 43.9 ± 4.0 days, p < 0.001). All HTRT patients had long-term local disease control, while 41.6% of HTCTRT recurred during follow-up. None of the HTRT patients experienced grade III/IV acute and late toxicities, while these were evident in two and one HTCTRT patients respectively. Taken together, the 3-year bladder preservation, local disease-free survival, cause-specific survival and overall survival were 86.6%, 60.7%, 55% and 39.5% respectively. Even though the mean biological effective dose (BED) for both groups was similar (57.8 Gy15), the thermo-radiobiological BED estimated from HT-induced reduction of α/β was significantly higher for HTRT patients (91 ± 4.4 versus 85.8 ± 4.3 Gy3, p = 0.018).

Conclusions: Thermal radiosensitisation with consequent reduction in α/β results in a higher thermo-radiobiological BED with a relatively higher RT dose/fraction and shorter OTT. This translates into a favourable outcome in elderly MIBC patients. Any benefit of CT in these patients needs further investigation.
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June 2016

Hyperthermia and reirradiation for locoregional recurrences in preirradiated breast cancers: a single institutional experience.

Swiss Med Wkly 2015 23;145:w14133. Epub 2015 Apr 23.

RadioOnkologieZentrum, KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland and Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.

Questions Under Study: The aim of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of local hyperthermia (HT) and reirradiation (ReRT) in the management of preirradiated locoregional recurrent breast cancers at Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland.

Methods: Twenty-four previously irradiated patients who had developed locoregional recurrences in the chest wall or breast, with or without regional lymph node involvement, were reirradiated to a mean dose of 36.8 Gy (range 20-50 Gy) delivered at a mean dose per fraction of 2.33 Gy (range 1.8-4.0 Gy). All patients received local HT at 41 to 43 °C, once or twice a week prior to radiotherapy. Online thermometry was carried out during the hyperthermia sessions.

Results: An overall objective response rate of 91.7% (22/24) with a complete response in 66.7% (16/24) of patients and partial response in 25% (6/24) of patients was observed. Post-thermoradiotherapy follow-up ranged from 1 to 38 months (median 10 months). The 3-year actuarial local control rate was 59.7%. More patients who attained complete response had sustained locoregional control until their death or last follow-up when compared with those who were partial or non-responders (median local disease-free survival for complete responders not reached; for partial and non-responders 4 months; p <0.001). Post-retreatment median overall survival for all 24 patients was 10 months. Grade III/IV acute toxicity was seen in only one patient and no patient had any significant late morbidity.

Conclusions: ReRT and HT is an effective and a safe modality to treat locoregional recurrences in previously irradiated breast cancers. The approach can lead to sustainable long-term palliation with minimal morbidity.
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January 2016

Could hyperthermia with proton therapy mimic carbon ion therapy? Exploring a thermo-radiobiological rationale.

Int J Hyperthermia 2014 Nov 14;30(7):524-30. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Centre for Radiation Oncology, KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau , Aarau , Switzerland .

Hyperthermia has been conventionally used in conjunction with photon beam irradiation. With a gradual increase in particle therapy facilities worldwide, this paper explores the physical, thermal and radiobiological implications of using a combination of hyperthermia with proton beam therapy. Hyperthermia is known to exhibit radiobiological features similar to those of high linear energy transfer radiation. Protons have many of the physical dose distribution properties of (12)C ion therapy. Thus, the thermo-radiobiological advantages of hyperthermia coupled with the physical dose distribution advantages of proton beams could possibly mimic (12)C ion therapy.
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November 2014