Publications by authors named "Graciela M Nogueras-Gonzalez"

87 Publications

Progression of Disease after BCG Therapy: Refining Patient Selection for Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy before Radical Cystectomy.

J Urol 2021 Jun 29:101097JU0000000000001943. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Data from the pre-neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) era suggests patients who progress on BCG to muscle-invasive bladder cancer (P-MIBC) exhibit worse outcomes compared to MIBC (D-MIBC). Herein, we investigate whether P-MIBC is an independent poor risk factor in the setting of contemporary NAC use.

Materials And Methods: A review of patients who underwent radical cystectomy (RC) for cT2-3 MIBC from 2005-2018 was performed. Patients were stratified into high-risk (lymphovascular invasion, variant histology, hydronephrosis, cT3b) vs. low-risk (no risk factors) and P-MIBC (≤pT1 treated with at least induction BCG who progressed to ≥cT2) vs. D-MIBC.

Results: Among 801 patients who underwent RC 20.3% had P-MIBC and 79.7% had D-MIBC. In low-risk patients treated without NAC, P-MIBC was associated with pathologic upstaging (64.9% vs. 42.7%, p=0.004) and worse overall (OS, p=0.006) and cancer-specific survival (CSS, p=0.001) compared to D-MIBC. P-MIBC status conferred uniformly poor survival outcomes to patients who did not receive NAC compared to D-MIBC without NAC (median OS 51.5 months [95% CI 40.0-81.0] vs. 85.1 months [95% CI 62.8-96.0], p=0.040; median CSS not reached, p=0.014). However, P-MIBC status did not remain a negative prognostic factor in the setting of NAC (median OS 90.5 months [95% CI 34.0-not estimable] vs. 87.8 months [95% CI 68.7-not estimable], p=0.606; median CSS not reached, p=0.448).

Conclusions: P-MIBC confers a poor prognosis when managed with RC alone. Treatment with NAC results in equivalent pathologic response and survival outcomes compared to D-MIBC. P-MIBC should be included in risk-stratified approaches to NAC selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001943DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of sex on response to BCG in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients: a contemporary review from a tertiary care center.

World J Urol 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Purpose: Female sex has been implicated with higher stage at diagnosis and as a negative prognostic factor amongst patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Whether this holds true with contemporary management paradigms is unknown. We analyzed a cohort of patients treated with adequate bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) for NMIBC in an effort to identify sex-specific influence on BCG response.

Methods: An IRB-approved review of patients with NMIBC treated at our institution with at least 'adequate BCG', as defined by the US FDA and EAU, from 2000 to 2018 was performed. Patients were then stratified by sex and response to BCG. Non-parametric tests were used to summarize the data overall and by groups. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to calculate median survival endpoints.

Results: Of the 541 patients treated with adequate BCG, 111 (20.5%) were female and 430 (79.5%) were male. Female patients were younger (median 66 vs. 69, p = 0.071), had a lower BMI (median 27.3 vs. 28.8, p = 0.010) and were more likely to have no smoking history (49.5% vs. 27.0%, p < 0.001). Tumor characteristics with respect to stage, size, multifocality, presence of carcinoma in situ, and presence of variant histology were similar between sexes. While rates of recurrence were higher in females than in males this, was not statistically significant (44.1% vs. 34.7%, p = 0.064) and Kaplan-Meier estimates of recurrence-free, progression-free and overall survival demonstrated no significant difference between sexes (p = 0.409, p = 0.253, p = 0.171, respectively).

Conclusion: In a contemporary cohort of patients with NMIBC treated with adequate BCG, female sex was not associated with adverse oncologic outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-021-03755-wDOI Listing
June 2021

Preclinical Development and First-in-Human Study of KA2507, a Selective and Potent Inhibitor of Histone Deacetylase 6, for Patients with Refractory Solid Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 4;27(13):3584-3594. Epub 2021 May 4.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Inhibition of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is predicted to deliver both direct antitumor activity and modulation of the antitumor immune response. This study describes the development of a novel HDAC6 inhibitor.

Patients And Methods: KA2507 was characterized in HDAC biochemical and cellular target engagement assays and in preclinical efficacy models of melanoma and colorectal cancer. In a phase I study, KA2507 was administered orally using a 3+3 dose-escalation design (NCT03008018).

Results: KA2507 is a potent and selective inhibitor of HDAC6 (biochemical IC = 2.5 nmol/L). Preclinical models demonstrated antitumor efficacy in syngeneic tumor-bearing mice, with translational studies highlighting modulation of the antitumor immune response. Twenty patients were treated in a phase I study. KA2507 was well tolerated; dose-limiting toxicity was not observed up to the maximum dose administered. Pharmacokinetic profiling supported twice-daily oral dosing. Pharmacodynamic analysis demonstrated selective HDAC6 target engagement in peripheral blood cells, free from off-target class I HDAC activity. Stable disease was the best clinical response (7 patients). Three of these patients (adenoid cystic carcinoma, = 2; rectal adenocarcinoma, = 1) had prolonged disease stabilization that lasted for 16.4, 12.6, and 9.0 months, respectively.

Conclusions: KA2507 is a potent and selective inhibitor of HDAC6 showing antitumor efficacy and immune modulatory effects in preclinical models. In a phase I study, KA2507 showed selective target engagement, no significant toxicities, and prolonged disease stabilization in a subset of patients. Further clinical studies of KA2507 are warranted, as a single agent or, preferably, combined with other immuno-oncology drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0238DOI Listing
July 2021

Development of an Objective Scoring System for Endoscopic Assessment of Radiation-Induced Upper Gastrointestinal Toxicity.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Apr 29;13(9). Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

We developed and implemented an objective toxicity scoring system to be used during endoscopic evaluation of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract in order to directly assess changes in toxicity during the radiation treatment of pancreatic cancer. We assessed and validated the upper GI toxicity of 19 locally advanced pancreatic cancer trial patients undergoing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). Wilcoxon-signed rank tests were used to compare pre- and post-SBRT scores. Comparison of the toxicity scores measured before and after SBRT revealed a mild increase in toxicity in the stomach and duodenum ( < 0.005), with no cases of severe toxicity observed. Kappa and AC1 statistics analysis were used to evaluate interobserver agreement. Our toxicity scoring system was reliable in determining GI toxicity with a good overall interobserver agreement for pre-treatment scores (stomach, κ = 0.71, < 0.005; duodenum, κ = 0.88, < 0.005) and post-treatment scores (stomach, κ = 0.71, < 0.005; duodenum, κ = 0.76, < 0.005). The AC1 statistics yielded similar results. With future usage, we hope this scoring system will be a useful tool for objectively and reliably assessing changes in GI toxicity during the treatment of pancreatic cancer and for GI toxicity assessments and comparisons during radiation therapy research trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13092136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8124711PMC
April 2021

Implications of Guideline-based, Risk-stratified Restaging Transurethral Resection of High-grade Ta Urothelial Carcinoma on Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Therapy Outcomes.

Eur Urol Oncol 2021 Apr 29. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Guideline indications for restaging transurethral resection (reTUR) for high-grade (HG) Ta bladder tumors vary due to a paucity of data.

Objective: To investigate guideline-based, risk-adapted approaches to reTUR for HG Ta lesions.

Design, Setting, And Participants: An institutional review of HG Ta patients who received adequate bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) from 2000 to 2019 was conducted.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Guideline criteria for reTUR were used to stratify patients. Kaplan-Meier product limits estimated survival. Cox regression and log-rank tests identified association of variables with survival.

Results And Limitations: Of the 209 patients with HG Ta bladder cancer, 104 (50%) underwent reTUR, which identified residual disease in 39 patients (38%). Only one patient (1%) was upstaged to pT1 on reTUR. In all unstratified HG Ta patients, reTUR was associated with improved progression-free survival (p = 0.050) and recurrence-free survival (RFS; p = 0.003). The 5-yr RFS for patients who underwent versus those who did not undergo reTUR based on AUA guidelines was 73% (95% confidence interval 63-81%) versus 52% (40-62%), and for those who underwent versus those who did not undergo reTUR based on EAU guidelines was 76% (61-86%) versus 22% (4-49%). In 45 patients meeting both AUA high-risk criteria (large, multifocal tumors) and EAU criteria (lack of detrusor muscle) for reTUR, lack of restaging was associated with over a two-fold increase in recurrence (67% vs 15%, p = 0.002) and progression (25% vs 6%, p = 0.109). Data were limited by selection bias unaccounted for in selecting candidates for reTUR.

Conclusions: Restaging TUR in all HG Ta patients, regardless of risk stratification, was associated with improved outcomes. The benefit of reTUR was most notable in high-risk patients without muscle in the index specimen, consistent with components of both AUA and EAU guidelines. These data support a non-risk-adapted approach to reTUR for all HG Ta lesions.

Patient Summary: Restaging bladder tumor resection improves outcomes in patients with high-grade Ta tumors treated with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2021.04.003DOI Listing
April 2021

Long-Term Outcomes of Whole Gland Salvage Cryotherapy for Locally Recurrent Prostate Cancer following Radiation Therapy: A Combined Analysis of Two Centers.

J Urol 2021 Apr 28:101097JU0000000000001831. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Radiation refractory prostate cancer (RRPCa) is common and salvage cryotherapy for RRPCa is emerging as a viable local treatment option. However, there is a paucity of long-term data. The purpose of this study is to determine long-term outcomes following salvage cryotherapy for RRPca.

Materials And Methods: Patients undergoing salvage cryotherapy for biopsy-proven, localized RRPCa from 1992 through 2004 were prospectively accrued at two centers. Preoperative characteristics, perioperative morbidity and postoperative data were reviewed from our database. The primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS). The secondary outcomes were freedom from castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and freedom from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Results: A total of 268 patients were identified with a median followup of 10.3 years. A total of 223 complication events were recorded; of them, 168 were Clavien I-II events and 55 Clavien III events. At 10 years, 69% had freedom from ADT and 76% had freedom from CRPC. The 10-year DSS rate was 81%, and the 10-year OS rate was 77%. A pre-salvage prostate specific antigen level of >10 ng/ml was associated with an increased risk of developing CRPC and initiation of ADT but was not associated with DSS or OS. The use of neoadjuvant ADT was associated with improved OS and DSS but did not affect freedom from CRPC or adjuvant ADT.

Conclusions: Salvage cryotherapy for RRPCa provides excellent long-term freedom from ADT, CRPC and DSS with acceptable morbidity. OS at 10 years was 77%. Prospective trials are required for validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001831DOI Listing
April 2021

Contemporary Rates of Gynecologic Organ Involvement in Females with Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Retrospective Review of Women Undergoing Radical Cystectomy following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.

J Urol 2021 Apr 19:101097JU0000000000001784. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: According to the American Urological Association/American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Society for Radiation Oncology/Society of Urologic Oncology Guideline on treatment of nonmetastatic muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), females requiring radical cystectomy (RC) should undergo concomitant anterior pelvic exenteration despite low rates of malignant involvement of gynecologic organs. We present the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with MIBC treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and evaluate the impact of NAC on gynecologic organ involvement.

Materials And Methods: An institutional review board approved review of patients with cT2-T3 MIBC treated with RC at our institution between 2005 and 2018 was performed. Patients were stratified by receipt of NAC.

Results: A total of 186 females with cT2-T3 MIBC underwent RC during the study period, of whom 67.7% received NAC prior to RC. Patients who received NAC were more likely to have cT3 disease, preoperative hydronephrosis, and variant histology on transurethral resection (p <0.001, p=0.004, p=0.029, respectively). Rates of recurrence or metastasis were similar between groups (27.0% vs 26.7%, p=0.964). No patients had isolated genitourinary organ recurrence (median followup 32.1 months). Nine patients (5.7%) had gynecologic organ involvement (6 NAC vs 3 no NAC, p=0.978). Among those who underwent hysterectomy, 2 patients (3.1%) who received NAC had uterine involvement compared to none in the no NAC cohort (p=0.551). Rates of vaginal involvement were similar between the groups (4 NAC vs 3 no NAC, p=0.402). Additionally, 1 patient who received NAC had incidentally diagnosed localized endometrial cancer. No women had fallopian tube or ovarian involvement.

Conclusions: Even among high risk patients with MIBC, gynecologic organ involvement of MIBC is rare, and organ preservation, especially of the ovaries, is likely safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001784DOI Listing
April 2021

Time interval from transurethral resection of bladder tumour to bacille Calmette-Guérin induction does not impact therapeutic response.

BJU Int 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Objectives: To investigate bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) tolerability and response with respect to the timing of BCG administration after transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Patients And Methods: A review of patients with NMIBC at our institution managed with at least 'adequate BCG' (defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration as at least five of six induction instillations, with two additional instillations comprising either maintenance or repeat induction) at our institution from 2000 to 2018 was performed. Time from TURBT to first instillation of induction BCG was stratified by quartile and analysed as a continuous variable. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests analysed differences in recurrence-free (RFS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Cox proportional hazards regression models identified associations between risk factors and survival outcomes.

Results: A total of 518 patients received adequate BCG at a median (range) of 26 (6-188) days from TURBT. Overall, 45 patients (9%) developed BCG intolerance at a median (range) 12 (7-33) instillations. When time from TURBT to BCG was stratified into quartiles, there was no difference with respect BCG intolerance (P = 0.966), RFS (P = 0.632) or PFS (P = 0.789). On both uni- and multivariate regression analysis for RFS and PFS, time from TURBT to BCG was not a significant predictor when analysed by quartile or as a continuous variable (the hazard ratio for RFS was 1.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99-1.00, P = 0.449; and for PFS was 0.99, 95% CI 0.98-1.00, P = 0.074).

Conclusion: The rates of tolerability and response to adequate BCG are not predicated by the timing of induction BCG instillation after TURBT. Early administration in properly selected patients is safe and delays do not affect therapeutic response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15413DOI Listing
March 2021

Impact of upper tract urothelial carcinoma on response to BCG in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

BJU Int 2021 Jan 22. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Urology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) on bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) response and progression in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Patients And Methods: We performed an institutional review board-approved review of patients with NMIBC treated with adequate intravesical BCG, as defined by the US Food and Drug Administration, at our institution between 2000 and 2018. Patients were stratified by presence of any UTUC and time of UTUC diagnosis (preceding vs synchronous to NMIBC diagnosis or metachronous disease after NMIBC diagnosis). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data overall and by groups, and t-tests or Wilcoxon's rank sum tests and Pearson's chi-squared or Fisher's exact tests were used to analyse continuous and categorical data, respectively.

Results: Of 541 patients with NMIBC treated with adequate BCG, 59 (10.9 %) were diagnosed with UTUC. Of these, 34 had a history of UTUC prior to NMIBC (UTUC-P; median [interquartile range {IQR}] 13.1 [7.4-27.6] months prior), while 25 developed UTUC after diagnosis of NMIBC (six synchronous and 19 metachronous; median [IQR] 12.1 [1.7-28.1] months after). Compared to the non-UTUC group, patients with UTUC-P were more likely to exhibit Tis without papillary tumour in the bladder (20.6% vs 5.0%; P < 0.001), but were less likely to have T1 disease on index transurethral resection (8.8% vs 49.4%; P < 0.001). Patients with UTUC-P developed more recurrences (55.9% vs 34.0%; P = 0.010), any stage/grade progression (23.5% vs 9.8%; P = 0.012) and progression to muscle-invasive or metastatic disease (17.6% vs 6.4%; P = 0.014). The presence of high-grade UTUC-P compared to low-grade UTUC-P was associated with increased NMIBC recurrence (68.2% vs 25.0%; P = 0.049). There was no significant difference in rates of recurrence or progression based on timing of UTUC with respect to the index bladder tumour, although this analysis was limited by small numbers.

Conclusions: Presence of UTUC prior to a diagnosis of NMIBC was associated with an almost twofold increased recurrence and progression rates after adequate BCG therapy. This should be considered when counselling patients and designing cohorts for clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15344DOI Listing
January 2021

An international study of interobserver variability of "string sign" of pancreatic cysts among experienced endosonographers.

Endosc Ultrasound 2021 Jan-Feb;10(1):39-50

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background And Objectives: No single optimal test reliably determines the pancreatic cyst subtype. Following EUS-FNA, the "string sign" test can differentiate mucinous from nonmucinous cysts. However, the interobserver variability of string sign results has not been studied.

Methods: An experienced endosonographer performed EUS-FNA of pancreatic cysts on different patients and was recorded on video performing the string sign test for each. The videos were shared internationally with 14 experienced endosonographers, with a survey for each video: "Is the string sign positive?" and "If the string sign is positive, what is the length of the formed string?" Also asked "What is the cutoff length for string sign to be considered positive?" Interobserver variability was assessed using the kappa statistic (κ).

Results: A total of 112 observations were collected from 14 endosonographers. Regarding string sign test positivity, κ was 0.6 among 14 observers indicating good interrater agreement (P < 0.001) while κ was 0.38 when observers were compared to the index endosonographer demonstrating marginal agreement (P < 0.001). Among observations of the length of the string in positive samples, 89.8% showed >5 mm of variability (P < 0.001), indicating marked variability. There was poor agreement on the cutoff length for a string to be considered positive.

Conclusion: String sign of pancreatic cysts has a good interobserver agreement regarding its positivity that can help in differentiating mucinous from nonmucinous pancreatic cysts. However, the agreement is poor on the measured length of the string and the cutoff length of the formed string to be considered a positive string sign.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/eus.eus_73_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980687PMC
January 2021

Prospective trial of regional (hockey-stick) prostate cryoablation: oncologic and quality of life outcomes.

World J Urol 2021 Jan 16. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Av. Unit 1373, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Purpose: To report long-term follow-up of the efficacy of subtotal prostate ablation using a "hockey-stick" template, including oncologic control and quality of life (QoL) impact.

Methods: We performed a prospective controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of subtotal prostate ablation in selected men with baseline and confirmatory biopsy showing grade group (GG) 1-2 prostate cancer. "Hockey-stick" cryoablation that included the ipsilateral hemi-gland and contralateral anterior prostate was performed. Prostate biopsies and QOL queries were performed at 6, 18 and 36 months following regional ablation, and follow-up was updated to include subsequent clinic visits.

Results: Between August 2009 and January 2012, 72 men were screened for eligibility and 47 opted to undergo confirmatory biopsy. Of these, 23 were deemed eligible and treated with regional cryoablation. Median age was 64 years. Median follow-up was 74 months. A single patient had < 1 mm of in-field viable tumor with therapy effect on 36-month biopsy. At time of last follow-up, a total of 12/23 (52%) patients did not have evidence of disease, all patients had preserved urinary control with no patients requiring pads for urinary incontinence. Sexual decline was significant at 3 and 6 months (P < 0.01 for both), though improvement was seen at subsequent time points.

Conclusion: Subtotal (hockey-stick template) cryoablation of the prostate provides oncologic control to targeted tissue in a generally low-risk group with minimal impact on sexual and urinary function. Further studies are needed to evaluate this ablation template in the MRI-targeted era and higher risk populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-020-03575-4DOI Listing
January 2021

Prevalence of medication related osteonecrosis of the jaw in patients treated with sequential antiresorptive drugs: systematic review and meta-analysis.

Support Care Cancer 2021 May 15;29(5):2305-2317. Epub 2020 Nov 15.

Section of Oral Oncology and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Antiresorptive drugs (ARD) are associated with a known serious adverse event, known as medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (MRONJ). Transition from one ARD to another has become common clinical practice with the advent of more potent or safer agents; however, the influence of sequential antiresorptive therapy as a risk factor for MRONJ has not been established.

Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of MRONJ in oncology or osteoporosis patients treated with two or more sequential ARDs as opposed to a single antiresorptive drug.

Material And Methods: Systematic electronic literature searches were conducted using Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Two review authors retrieved studies using pre-determined eligibility criteria and conducted quality assessment and data extraction. Fixed or random-effects meta-analysis models were used to summarize relative estimates for prevalence of MRONJ.

Results: A total of 483 titles and abstracts were screened, and 18 full texts were retrieved for review. Twelve studies were included in the final qualitative and quantitative synthesis. Random effects meta-analysis models revealed a weighted pooled MRONJ prevalence of 19% (95% CI 10-27%) for sequential pamidronate-zoledronate therapy, 10% (95% CI 3-22%) for sequential ibandronate-zoledronate therapy. Pooled weighted prevalence of MRONJ was 13% (95% CI 3-22%) for sequential bisphosphonate-denosumab therapy while bisphosphonates only was 5% (95% CI 0-9%) and denosumab only was 4% (95% CI 3-5%).

Conclusions: The present systematic review suggests an increased prevalence of MRONJ associated with sequential ARD therapy for pamidronate-zoledronate and bisphosphonate-denosumab administration when compared to single ARD therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05882-3DOI Listing
May 2021

Altered T-cell subset repertoire affects treatment outcome of patients with myelofibrosis.

Haematologica 2020 07 30. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA;

Phenotypic characterization of T cells in myelofibrosis (MF) is intriguing owing to increased inflammation, markedly elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines, and altered distribution of T-cell subsets. Constitutive activation of Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) in the majority of MF patients contributes to the expression of the programmed cell death protein-1 (PD1) and T-cell exhaustion. We wondered whether T-cell activation affects treatment outcome of patients with MF and sought to determine whether the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib affects the activation of T-cell subsets. T cells from 47 MF patients were analyzed and the percent of either helper (CD4) or cytotoxic (CD8) naive, central memory, effector memory, or effector T cells; and fractions of PD1-expressing cells in each subset were assessed. An increased number of T cells coexpressing CD4/PD1 and CD8/PD1 in MF compared to healthy controls (n=28) was found, and the T cells were significantly skewed toward an effector phenotype in both CD4 and CD8 subsets, consistent with a shift from a quiescent to an activated state. Over the course of ruxolitinib treatment, the distribution of aberrant T-cell subsets significantly reversed towards resting cell phenotypes. CD4 and CD8 subsets at baseline correlated with monocyte and platelet counts, and their PD1-positive fractions correlated with leukocyte counts and spleen size. Low numbers of PD1/CD4 and PD1/CD8 cells were associated with complete resolution of palpable splenomegaly and improved survival rate, suggesting that low levels of exhausted T cells confer a favorable response to ruxolitinib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2020.249441DOI Listing
July 2020

The effects of zinc on radiation-induced dysgeusia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Support Care Cancer 2020 Dec 24;28(12):1-12. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Purpose: Many head and neck cancer patients who receive radiation therapy experience radiation-induced dysgeusia (RID), which has no standard treatment. The only supplement controlled clinical trials have evaluated for the treatment of RID is zinc. However, the results of these and other studies investigating the use of zinc for RID have been inconsistent. To assess the validity of zinc as a treatment for RID, we conducted a systematic literature search and performed a meta-analysis to determine the extent to which zinc affects RID incidence and the degree to which ongoing RID responds to zinc.

Methods: We searched the Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane Library databases to identify studies investigating the use of zinc-based therapy for RID in head and neck cancer patients treated with radiation that were published between January 1, 2003, and November 9, 2017. Using American Society of Clinical Oncology criteria, we selected studies with a high level of evidence for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

Results: Of the 32 full-text articles eligible for inclusion, three were included in the final review and meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed that, compared with placebo, zinc reduces the incidence of RID (risk ratio, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.92) but does not improve taste acuity more rapidly following radiation therapy (risk ratio, 2.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-6.88).

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that zinc-based therapy reduces the incidence of RID but has a minimal effect on ongoing RID. Our findings also highlight the need for additional evidence-based research on this topic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05578-8DOI Listing
December 2020

The clinical impact of time to response in de novo accelerated-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.

Am J Hematol 2020 Jun 17. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta, Georgia, USA.

We aimed to describe the impact of time to response on the outcomes of 75 patients with accelerated-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML-AP) at diagnosis. Patients had at least 1 feature of AP: blasts ≥15% (n = 2), basophils ≥20% (n = 19), platelets <100 × 10 /L (n = 7), cytogenetic clonal evolution (n = 34), or more than one factor (n = 13). Thirty-three patients received imatinib; 42 received a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (2GTKI) (19 dasatinib and 23 nilotinib). We used chi-square and Kaplan-Meier analyses to determine the impact of various degrees of molecular and cytogenetic response at early time points (3 and 6 months) on rates of overall cytogenetic and molecular response, overall survival (OS), event-free survival (EFS), transformation-free survival (TFS), and failure-free survival (FFS). After a median follow-up of 96 months (range: 18-224 months), the overall rate of complete cytogenetic response was 79%, of major molecular response, 71%, and of molecular reponse (MR)4.5, 59%. Patients who achieved a major cytogenetic response (MCyR) (n = 49) at 3 months had significantly better 3-year OS (94% vs 75%; P = .002), TFS (98% vs 73%; P < .001), EFS (93% vs 42%; P < .001), and FFS (83% vs 25%; P < .001) rates than patients who did not have MCyR at 3 months. Most (67%) who eventually achieved sustained MR4.5 had achieved MCyR at 3 months. In de novo CML-AP, early response at 3 and 6 months is a strong determinant of long-term outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25907DOI Listing
June 2020

Efficacy of Three-Drug Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Preoperative Chemoradiation in Patients with Localized Gastric Adenocarcinoma.

Oncology 2020 20;98(8):542-548. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA,

Background: Preoperative induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation yields better R0 resection rates, pathologic complete response (pCR) rates and improved survival for localized gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC). We report the effect of three-drug induction chemotherapy on a large cohort of localized GAC patients.

Methods: We identified 97 patients with localized GAC who received three-drug induction chemotherapy followed by preoperative chemoradiation therapy. We assessed various endpoints (overall survival [OS], recurrence-free survival [RFS], R0 resection and pCR rate).

Results: The median follow-up time was 3.5 years (range; 0.4-16.7). The induction chemotherapy regimen was a fluoropyrimidine and a platinum compound (cisplatin or oxaliplatin) with a taxane (docetaxel or paclitaxel) for 95% of patients. Seventy-three (75.3%) out of 97 patients underwent planned surgery. R0 resection and pCR rae were 93.2 and 20.6%, respectively. Pathologic partial response (<50% residual carcinoma) rate was 50.7%. The median OS was 6.4 years (95% Cl 3.3-12.4) for the entire cohort and 11.1 years (95% Cl 7.1-not estimable) for patients that underwent surgery. The estimated 2- and 5-year OS rates were 72.4% (95% CI 62.1-80.3) and 54.3% (95% CI 43.2-64.1) for the entire cohort and 83.2% (95% CI 72.3--90.1) and 66% (95% CI 52.3-75.8) for patients that underwent surgery. Pathologic lesser stage (stage I/II vs. stage III/IV) (p = 0.001) and R0 resection (p = 0.02) were independently associated with longer RFS in the multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Our data shows that three-drug combination is feasible without providing substantial advantage compared with two-drug combination in this setting of preoperative induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation and surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000506519DOI Listing
August 2020

Comparing confirmatory biopsy outcomes between MRI-targeted biopsy and standard systematic biopsy among men being enrolled in prostate cancer active surveillance.

BJU Int 2021 Mar 29;127(3):340-348. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Urology, Anderson Cancer Centre, University of Texas, M.D., Houston, TX, USA.

Objectives: To evaluate the ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-targeted biopsy combined with systematic biopsy (MRI-biopsy) to reduce negative biopsies and detect clinically significant prostate cancer compared to systematic biopsy (SB) alone in the confirmatory biopsy setting using matched cohorts.

Patients And Methods: Patients were identified from an active surveillance database who had a previously positive transrectal ultrasonography-guided SB followed by a confirmatory biopsy at a single institution between 2006 and 2019. Patients were divided into two cohorts based on confirmatory biopsy technique: SB alone or MRI-biopsy (which included MRI-targeted and systematic biopsies). Cohorts were then matched on age, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, number of positive cores on initial biopsy and initial biopsy Gleason grade group (GG). Logistic regression was performed to identify associations with confirmatory biopsy upgrading.

Results: After matching, 514 patients were identified (257 per cohort). PSA, prostate volume and PSA density prior to initial biopsy, in addition to total number of initial biopsy positive cores and GG, were similar between the matched cohorts. After confirmatory biopsy, 118/257 patients (45.9%) in the MRI-biopsy cohort were upgraded compared to 46/257 patients (17.9%) in the SB cohort (P < 0.001). The rate of negative confirmatory biopsy was 32/257 (12.5%) compared to 97/257 (37.7%) in the MRI-biopsy and SB cohorts, respectively (P < 0.001). Confirmatory MRI-biopsy was associated with greater odds of confirmatory biopsy upgrade from GG 1 to ≥GG 2 compared to SB alone (odds ratio 3.62, 95% confidence interval 1.97-6.63; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The addition of MRI-targeted biopsies to SB in the confirmatory biopsy setting among men with previously detected prostate cancer resulted in fewer negative confirmatory biopsies and detection of more clinically significant prostate cancer compared to SB alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bju.15100DOI Listing
March 2021

Long-term results of a phase 2 trial of nilotinib 400 mg twice daily in newly diagnosed patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2020 04 30;126(7):1448-1459. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Nilotinib is a potent, second-generation inhibitor of BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase and has been approved as frontline and salvage therapy for patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML).

Methods: In this single-institution, phase 2 study, 122 patients with newly diagnosed CP-CML received nilotinib 400 mg twice daily. The median follow-up on study was 78.3 months (interquartile range, 58.4-96.5 months).

Results: Fifty-six percent of patients remained on therapy at the last follow-up. Both the complete cytogenetic response rate and the major molecular response (MR) rate were 91%. Seventy-five percent and 59% of patients achieved a ≥4.5-log reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts (MR4.5) and a sustained MR4.5 beyond 2 years, respectively. The estimated event-free survival and overall survival rates at 5 years were 89% and 93%, respectively, and the corresponding rates at 10 years were 85% and 88%, respectively. Treatment discontinuation due to toxicity occurred in 19% of patients, mostly because of cardiovascular events (10%) and biochemical abnormalities (6%). The top 3 nonhematologic toxicities were rash (55%), elevated bilirubin (57%), and elevated aminotransferases (48%). Hematologic toxicity was transient and mild. Ischemic cardiovascular adverse events occurred in 8% of patients. Four patients (3%) progressed to accelerated or blast phase while on therapy, and 7 patients (6%) died on study.

Conclusions: The current data confirm the long-term efficacy of nilotinib 400 mg twice daily in patients with CP-CML. A majority of patients can achieve sustained MR4.5.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32623DOI Listing
April 2020

Long-term results of frontline dasatinib in chronic myeloid leukemia.

Cancer 2020 04 30;126(7):1502-1511. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Background: Dasatinib is a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor that, when used as frontline therapy, produces more and faster cytogenetic and molecular responses compared with imatinib. The authors report the long-term follow-up from the first study using dasatinib as initial therapy for chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.

Methods: Between November 2005 and August 2014, patients were randomly assigned to receive 100 mg daily or 50 mg twice daily. After June 2009, all patients started with 100 mg daily.

Results: With a median follow-up of 6.5 years, 94 of 149 treated patients (63%) were still receiving dasatinib on study. The median patient age was 48 years (interquartile range, 37-55 years), and 9% of patients had a high risk Sokal risk score. The cumulative complete cytogenetic response rate at 11 years was 92.6%, the major molecular response (MR) rate was 88.2%, and the MR4.5 rate (indicating a ≥4.5-log reduction in BCR-ABL1 transcripts) was 79.5%. The median time to a major MR and MR4.5 was 6 and 23 months, respectively. A sustained MR4.5 (≥2 years) was achieved in 82 patients (55%). The 10-year overall survival, transformation-free survival, event-free survival, and failure-free survival rates were 89%, 95%, 86%, and 65%, respectively. Univariate analysis showed that the achievement of a complete MR was associated with improved overall survival. The most common reasons for treatment discontinuation were toxicity and elective discontinuation. The most common treatment-emergent grade 3 and 4 adverse events were fatigue, thrombocytopenia, and infections.

Conclusions: After this long-term follow-up, dasatinib continues to show an excellent safety profile and produces rapid cytogenetic responses and MRs, durable deep MRs, and excellent long-term survival outcomes in patients with chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32627DOI Listing
April 2020

A Phase II Study of Cabozantinib and Androgen Ablation in Patients with Hormone-Naïve Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 03 15;26(5):990-999. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: Cabozantinib, an oral inhibitor of c-MET/VEGFR2 signaling, improved progression-free survival (mPFS) but not overall survival (OS) in metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. We evaluated cabozantinib plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in hormone-naïve metastatic prostate cancer (HNMPCa).

Patients And Methods: Patients received ADT plus cabozantinib starting at 60 mg daily. The primary endpoint was castrate-resistant PFS by radiographic criteria, clinical progression, or receipt of additional therapy. Secondary endpoints included OS, safety, radiographic responses, and biomarker modulation.

Results: Sixty-two patients received treatment. With a median follow-up of 31.2 months, the mPFS was 16.1 months (95% CI, 14.6-22.7 months), and mOS was not reached. Reductions in PSA ≥ 90%, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase ≥ 50%, and urine N-telopeptides ≥ 50% occurred in 83%, 87%, and 86% of evaluable patients, respectively. Responses in bone scan and measurable disease were observed in 81% of and 90% of evaluable patients, respectively. Most common grade 3 adverse events were hypertension (19%), diarrhea (6%), and thromboembolic events (6%), and dose reductions occurred in 85% of patients. Analysis of baseline cytokine and angiogenic factors (CAFs) revealed that higher plasma concentrations of Lumican, CXCL5, CD25, and CD30 were associated with shorter PFS as was high tumor expression of pFGFR1.

Conclusions: Cabozantinib plus ADT has promising clinical activity in HNMPCa. CAF profiles and tissue markers suggest candidate prognostic and predictive markers of cabozantinib benefit and provide insights for rational therapy combinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2389DOI Listing
March 2020

Long-term overall survival and prognostic score predicting survival: the IMPACT study in precision medicine.

J Hematol Oncol 2019 12 30;12(1):145. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Phase I Clinical Trials Program, Unit 455, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: In 2007, we initiated IMPACT, a precision medicine program for patients referred for participation in early-phase clinical trials. We assessed the correlation of factors, including genomically matched therapy, with overall survival (OS).

Patients And Methods: We performed molecular profiling (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) (genes ≤ 182) for patients with lethal/refractory advanced cancers referred to the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program. Matched therapy, if available, was selected on the basis of genomics. Clinical trials varied over time and included investigational drugs against various targets (single agents or combinations). Patients were followed up for up to 10 years.

Results: Of 3487 patients who underwent tumor molecular profiling, 1307 (37.5%) had ≥ 1 alteration and received therapy (matched, 711; unmatched, 596; median age, 57 years; 39% men). Most common tumors were gastrointestinal, gynecologic, breast, melanoma, and lung. Objective response rates were: matched 16.4%, unmatched 5.4% (p < .0001); objective response plus stable disease ≥ 6 months rates were: matched 35.3% and unmatched 20.3%, (p < .001). Respective median progression-free survival: 4.0 and 2.8 months (p < .0001); OS, 9.3 and 7.3 months; 3-year, 15% versus 7%; 10-year, 6% vs. 1% (p < .0001). Independent factors associated with shorter OS (multivariate analysis) were performance status > 1 (p < .001), liver metastases (p < .001), lactate dehydrogenase levels > upper limit of normal (p < .001), PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway alterations (p < .001), and non-matched therapy (p < .001). The five independent factors predicting shorter OS were used to design a prognostic score.

Conclusions: Matched targeted therapy was an independent factor predicting longer OS. A score to predict an individual patient's risk of death is proposed.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00851032, date of registration February 25, 2009.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13045-019-0835-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6937824PMC
December 2019

Clinical Characteristics and Adverse Impact of Hepatotoxicity due to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.

Am J Gastroenterol 2020 02;115(2):251-261

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Introduction: We conducted this study to characterize the incidence, clinical features, treatment, and outcomes of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) hepatotoxicity.

Methods: Patients who received ICIs (with either single-agent or combination regimens) from January 1, 2010, to March 31, 2018, were identified. Hepatotoxicity was defined as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) >5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN), in the absence of an alternate cause, and categorized as grade 3 (ALT 5-20× ULN) or grade 4 (ALT >20× ULN), according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events 4.03.

Results: Among 5,762 patients, 100 (2%) developed hepatotoxicity, occurring in a higher proportion of recipients of combination therapy (9.2%) compared with monotherapy (up to 1.7%, P < 0.001). ICIs were discontinued permanently in 69 and temporarily in 31 patients. Sixty-seven patients received steroids, 10 of whom (14%) had recurrent hepatotoxicity after the steroid taper. Thirty-one patients resumed ICIs after ALT improvement, 8 of whom (26%) developed recurrent hepatotoxicity. Characteristics of liver injury, response to steroids, and outcomes were similar between 38 individuals with and 62 without possible pre-existing liver disease. The severity and outcome of hepatotoxicity due to combination therapy were not significantly different from monotherapy. There were 36 deaths. Two had liver failure at the time of death, both with progression of liver metastases and grade 3 hepatotoxicity.

Discussion: Clinically significant ICI-related hepatotoxicity was uncommon but led to permanent ICI discontinuation in the majority. ICIs were restarted in a sizable proportion of patients, most of whom did not experience recurrent hepatotoxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14309/ajg.0000000000000398DOI Listing
February 2020

Robotic Postchemotherapy Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection for Testicular Cancer.

Eur Urol Oncol 2019 Mar 29. Epub 2019 Mar 29.

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (pcRPLND) is mandated in patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor found to have residual masses after chemotherapy. Performed via the open approach, pcRPLND can incur significant perioperative morbidity.

Objective: To demonstrate the feasibility of robotic pcRPLND (r-pcRPLND) and provide evidence for its selection criteria.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A retrospective search identified 93 patients undergoing pcRPLND between April 2007 and March 2018, comprising 30 r-pcRPLND and 63 open pcRPLND (o-pcRPLND) procedures performed by a single surgeon.

Intervention: r-pcRPLND and o-pcRPLND.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: Baseline clinicopathologic characteristics and intraoperative variables including operating room (OR) time, estimated blood loss (EBL), resection of adjacent organs, and intraoperative consultation with other surgical services were recorded. Hospital length of stay (LOS) and perioperative complications were assessed as per the Clavien-Dindo classification, and oncologic outcomes such as nodal yield, histologic distribution, pathologic staging, time to recurrence, and cancer-specific survival were compared.

Results And Limitations: r-pcRPLND was performed in a well-selected cohort with lower clinical stage (p=0.006), favorable International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification (p=0.01), and smaller retroperitoneal mass (p=0.001). o-pcRPLND required more frequent bilateral template dissection (88.9% vs 43.3%; p<0.001), resection of adjacent organs (36.5% vs 10%; p=0.007), consultation with other surgical services (46% vs 2%; p<0.001), and auxiliary procedures (54.0% vs 20%; p=0.003) to achieve complete oncologic control. OR time was similar between the two groups (o-pcRPLND 375min vs r-pcRPLND 388min; p=0.16) and EBL was significantly lower in r-pcRPLND (234 vs 825ml; p<0.001). Median LOS was significantly shorter after r-pcRPLND (2 vs 7d; p<0.001). A total of 31 patients (33%) suffered postoperative complications, of whom 18 (19.4%) had major complications. Nodal yield was similar (o-pcRPLND 23 vs r-pcRPLND 24; p=0.8). The distribution of lesion histology (necrosis/teratoma/GCT) was also similar pcRPLND (o-pcRPLND 25.4%/57.1%/17.4% vs r-pcPLND 33.3%/50%/16.7%; p=0.51). Overall, tumor recurred in 15 patients (16.1%), including three following r-pcRPLND (10%), all outside the operative field. On univariate analysis, surgical approach was not a significant predictor of time to recurrence (p=0.34). One limitation was that antegrade ejaculation was not assessed.

Conclusions: With rigorous patient selection, r-pcRPLND can be safely performed and may reduce perioperative morbidity while maintaining oncologic proficiency.

Patient Summary: Resection of residual retroperitoneal mass after chemotherapy in patients with metastatic testicular cancer can be performed safely via a robotic approach. Robotic surgery can reduce the morbidity of the procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2019.01.014DOI Listing
March 2019

Temsirolimus versus Pazopanib (TemPa) in Patients with Advanced Clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma and Poor-risk Features: A Randomized Phase II Trial.

Eur Urol Oncol 2020 10 2;3(5):687-694. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Temsirolimus has level 1 evidence for initial treatment of poor-risk patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), but its efficacy has not been directly compared with an antiangiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitor (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor [VEGFR TKi]) in this setting.

Objective: To evaluate temsirolimus versus pazopanib as first-line therapy in patients with mRCC, predominant clear-cell features, and clinical characteristics of a poor prognosis.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A randomized (1:1) phase II trial in 69 treatment-naïve mRCC patients and with three or more predictors of short survival for temsirolimus was conducted during 2012-2017 in a single academic cancer center. Crossover to the alternative treatment upon discontinuation of the first-line agent was permitted.

Intervention: Mechanistic target of rapamycin inhibitor temsirolimus and VEGFR TKi pazopanib.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS), and the secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), safety, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Radiographic response was assessed by blinded radiologists. Efficacy outcomes were adjusted by prior nephrectomy status, prior interleukin-2 treatment, and the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium (IMDC) score.

Results And Limitations: Thirty-five patients received temsirolimus and 34 received pazopanib upfront; 72% overall had poor risk by IMDC. Median PFS in the first line was 2.7mo with temsirolimus and 5.2mo with pazopanib (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.84-2.22; p=0.210). Median OS was 7.1mo with temsirolimus and 11.9mo with pazopanib (adjusted HR 1.16, 95% CI 0.70-1.93; p=0.558), and ORRs were 5.9% and 21.2%, respectively (adjusted odds ratio 5.2, 95% CI 0.9-29.3; p=0.062). PRO measures favored pazopanib. Five patients discontinued first-line therapy due to adverse events.

Conclusions: Temsirolimus and pazopanib had modest activity in patients with poor-risk clear-cell mRCC, and therefore their use should be discouraged in this setting.

Patient Summary: We evaluated outcomes of advanced renal cell carcinoma patients presenting with aggressive features when treated with temsirolimus or pazopanib as first-line therapy. Survival was <1yr for most, suggesting that more efficacious alternative treatments should be favored for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2019.06.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6938577PMC
October 2020

Prognostic significance of baseline FLT3-ITD mutant allele level in acute myeloid leukemia treated with intensive chemotherapy with/without sorafenib.

Am J Hematol 2019 09 24;94(9):984-991. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Internal tandem duplication (ITD) of the fms-related tyrosine kinase-3 gene (FLT3) confer a poor prognosis in adult AML. Studies have reported that a higher mutant allelic burden is associated with a worse prognosis. Adult patients with FLT3-ITD mutated AML treated at our institution were identified. Patients were assigned into 2 groups; patients who received idarubicin and cytarabine (IA, group one) containing induction, and who received sorafenib in addition to IA containing regimens at induction (group two). The optimal FLT3-ITD mutant allele cut-off was defined as the cut-off to divide the whole cohort with the highest statistical significance. A total of 183 patients including 104 (57%) in group one and 79 (43%) in group two were identified. The complete remission (CR)/CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) for group one and group two were 85% and 99%, respectively (P = .004). The median relapse free survival (RFS) for group one and two were 12 and 45 months, respectively (P = .02). The median overall survival (mOS) was 17 months in group one, and has not been reached in group two (P = .008). The optimal FLT3-ITD mutant allele cut-off for OS was 6.9% in group one, there was no optimal cut-off in group two. On multivariate analysis, poor performance status (PS) (P = .003), sorafenib (P = .01), and presenting white blood cells (WBC) (P < .001) were independent predictors of OS. Higher FLT3-ITD allele burden is associated with a worse outcome in patients treated with IA-based chemotherapy. Addition of sorafenib to chemotherapy not only nullifies the negative prognostic impact of higher allele burden, but also improves outcome of FLT3-ITD mutated AML patients regardless of the allele burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25553DOI Listing
September 2019

Using Grade of Recurrent Tumor to Guide Further Therapy While on Bacillus Calmette-Guerin: Low-grade Recurrences Are not Benign.

Eur Urol Oncol 2019 05 10;2(3):286-293. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Tumors that recur after bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy are considered to be of very high risk, and patients are often recommended to undergo radical cystectomy (RC). However, the nuances associated with the grade of tumor recurrence after BCG treatment are not well understood.

Objective: To characterize the pattern of bladder cancer progression and cancer-specific survival (CSS) in patients with recurrences dichotomized by low grade (LG) versus high grade (HG) after intravesical BCG treatment, and to assess the safety of continued bladder-sparing therapy in these patients.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We performed an Institutional Review Board-approved review of our bladder cancer database. Overall, 146 non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients were found to have NMIBC recurrence while on BCG therapy; this recurrence was LG in 38 and HG in 108. Baseline clinicopathologic characteristics including age, gender, primary tumor grade, stage, size, multiplicity, and concurrent carcinoma in situ were also evaluated. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS), with progression defined as the development of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC)/distant metastasis. In addition, recurrence-free survival (RFS), HG RFS, cystectomy-free survival (CFS), and CSS were also compared. Multivariable analysis was performed using the Cox regression model. All tests were two sided, and p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Intervention: Further intravesical therapy versus salvage RC.

Results And Limitations: Overall, estimated 5-yr PFS was 72.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 60.4-81.3%). As dichotomized by grade of recurrent tumor, PFS was greater for patients with LG recurrences (85.6%, 95% CI 60.8-95.2%) than for those with HG recurrence (67.9%, 95% CI 54.1-78.4%; p=0.010). Furthermore, patients whose initial recurrence on BCG therapy was LG had improved subsequent RFS (median 62 vs 34mo, p=0.007), HG RFS (median 112 vs 36mo, p<0.001), and CFS (estimated 5-yr CFS 80.8% vs 49.8%, p<0.001) compared with those who had HG initial recurrence. On univariate and multivariate analyses, grade of tumor recurrence after BCG was an independent predictor of time to progression to MIBC/distant metastasis (hazard ratio 3.60, 95% CI 1.18-10.94, p=0.024).

Conclusions: Grade of tumor recurrence after intravesical BCG is an important predictor of bladder cancer progression to MIBC/metastatic urothelial carcinoma. While, patients with LG recurrences have less than half the progression events compared with those with HG recurrences, their estimated 5-yr progression rate is still 14.4%. Hence all patients should be carefully counseled on bladder-sparing therapy. This also has implications for clinical trial design.

Patient Summary: If bladder cancer recurs after bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment, there are many factors that determine the further clinical outcome. Although low-grade recurrent tumors confer a less aggressive course, disease progression can still occur, and hence continued vigilance is important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euo.2018.08.013DOI Listing
May 2019

Analysis of cardiovascular and arteriothrombotic adverse events in chronic-phase CML patients after frontline TKIs.

Blood Adv 2019 03;3(6):851-861

Department of Leukemia.

Cardiovascular or arteriothrombotic adverse events (CV- or AT-AEs) are reported in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). The incidence and characteristics across different TKI have not been systematically analyzed. We analyzed 531 patients treated with frontline TKIs in different prospective trials: imatinib 400 mg (n = 71) and 800 mg (n = 203), nilotinib (n = 108), dasatinib (n = 106), and ponatinib (n = 43). Characteristics and incidence of new-onset CV-AEs and AT-AEs were analyzed. Poisson regression models assessed factors associated with AE incidence. Median follow-up was 94 months (range, 2-195). Overall, 237 patients (45%) developed CV-AEs and 46 (9%) developed AT-AEs. Hypertension was the most common AE seen in 175 patients (33%; grade 3/4 in 17%). CV-AE and AT-AE incidence ratios (IRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were 8.6 (7.6-9.8) and 1.7 (1.2-2.2) per 100 person-years. Among the TKIs, ponatinib showed the highest IR (95% CI) for CV-AEs and AT-AEs at 40.7 (27.9-59.4) and 9.0 (4.1-20.1). In multivariate analysis, ponatinib therapy was associated with increased incidence rate ratio (IRR) for CV-AEs (4.62; 95% CI, 2.7-7.7; < .0001) and AT-AEs (6.38; 95% CI, 1.8-21.8; < .0001) compared with imatinib 400. In summary, there is an increased risk of CV-AEs (except hypertension) and AT-AEs in CML patients treated with newer TKIs, particularly with ponatinib. Patients on TKIs must be informed and closely monitored for vascular AEs. These studies were registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00048672, #NCT00038649, #NCT00050531, #NCT00254423, #NCT00129740, and #NCT01570868.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018025874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436011PMC
March 2019

The role of metastatic burden in cytoreductive/consolidative radical cystectomy.

World J Urol 2019 Dec 12;37(12):2691-2698. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Purpose: To describe our institutional experience with cytoreductive/consolidative radical cystectomy (CCRC) for metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) and to investigate clinicopathologic features predicting prolonged cancer specific survival (CSS) following CCRC.

Methods: We performed IRB-approved review of our cystectomy database, and identified 43 patients with metastatic UC who underwent CCRC. Baseline demographics, chemotherapy regimen, clinicopathologic features, and perioperative complications were collected. Progression-free survival (PFS) and CSS were estimated from the time of CCRC. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify predictors of improved CSS after CCRC.

Results: Of the 43 patients, 32 (74.4%) had clinical evidence of distant metastases, while 11 harbored occult metastases on the surgical specimen. The most common site of metastasis was the retroperitoneal lymph nodes, found in 30 patients. Solitary metastases were found in 22 patients (51.1%). Forty-one (95%) patients received chemotherapy prior to CCRC. Disease progression was detected in 35 patients after CCRC (median PFS 5.9 months), and 34 died of metastatic cancer (median CSS 12.3 months). On multivariate analysis, patients with solitary metastases were found to have improved CSS compared to those with multiple metastases (HR 2.62, 95% CI 1.16-5.90, p = 0.02), with median CSS of 26.0 months vs. 7.9 months (p < 0.001). Median postoperative length of stay was 10 days. Overall, 56% suffered postoperative complications, including one perioperative mortality.

Conclusions: CCRC is feasible in the setting of metastatic UC. Patients with solitary metastasis demonstrated longer CSS than those with multiple metastases, and should be considered candidates for future trials evaluating the role of CCRC for metastatic UC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-019-02693-yDOI Listing
December 2019

Significance of Cancer Cells at the Vein Edge in Patients with Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Following Pancreatectomy with Vein Resection.

J Gastrointest Surg 2020 02 28;24(2):368-379. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1400 Pressler Street, Unit 1484, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Background: Resection of the superior mesenteric and/or portal vein (SMV-PV) is increasingly performed with pancreatectomy for adenocarcinoma. We sought to analyze the impact of cancer at the transected edge(s) of the vein wall.

Methods: Patients who underwent pancreatectomy with vein resection between 2003 and 2015 at a single center were evaluated. R1 resection was defined per guidelines from the American Joint Commission on Cancer and the College of American Pathologists. Specimens were also evaluated for the presence (V+) or absence (V-) of cancer cells at the transected edge(s) and depth of vein invasion.

Results: Among 127 evaluated patients, 114 (90%) received preoperative therapy. R-status was categorized as margin-negative (R0)/V- (n = 72, 57%), R0/V+ (n = 19, 15%), margin-positive (R1)/V- (n = 24, 19%), and R1/V+ (n = 12, 9%). Patients with V- specimens had similar median durations of recurrence-free survival (RFS) (12 vs 9 months) and overall survival (OS) (30 vs 28 months) as did patients with V+ specimens (P > 0.05). In contrast, cancer invasion into the lumen was associated with RFS and OS (P < 0.05). Among patients who underwent R0 resection, V-status had no association with OS, RFS, or local control (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Cancer invasion into the superior mesenteric and/or portal vein was adversely associated with survival, but cancer at the vein edge(s) was not. Transection of the SMV-PV through macroscopically normal vein may be performed to minimize resected vein length without fear of negatively affecting oncologic outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-019-04126-yDOI Listing
February 2020

Randomized trial of ibrutinib vs ibrutinib plus rituximab in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Blood 2019 03 7;133(10):1011-1019. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Department of Leukemia.

Ibrutinib, an oral covalent inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase, is an effective therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). To determine whether rituximab provides added benefit to ibrutinib, we conducted a randomized single-center trial of ibrutinib vs ibrutinib plus rituximab. Patients with CLL requiring therapy were randomized to receive 28-day cycles of once-daily ibrutinib 420 mg, either as a single agent (n = 104), or together with rituximab (375 mg/m; n = 104), given weekly during cycle 1, then once per cycle until cycle 6. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat population. We enrolled 208 patients with CLL, 181 with relapsed CLL and 27 treatment-naive patients with high-risk disease (17p deletion or mutation). After a median follow-up of 36 months, the Kaplan-Meier estimates of PFS were 86% (95% confidence interval [CI], 76.6-91.9) for patients receiving ibrutinib, and 86.9% (95% CI, 77.3-92.6) for patients receiving ibrutinib plus rituximab. Similarly, response rates were the same in both arms (overall response rate, 92%). However, time to normalization of peripheral blood lymphocyte counts and time to complete remission were shorter, and residual disease levels in the bone marrow were lower, in patients receiving ibrutinib plus rituximab. We conclude that the addition of rituximab to ibrutinib in relapsed and treatment-naive high-risk patients with CLL failed to show improvement in PFS. However, patients treated with ibrutinib plus rituximab reached their remissions faster and achieved significantly lower residual disease levels. Given these results, ibrutinib as single-agent therapy remains current standard-of-care treatment in CLL. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02007044.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2018-10-879429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405333PMC
March 2019
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