Publications by authors named "Maria Werner-Wasik"

138 Publications

Phase Ib Clinical Trial of IGV-001 for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jan 26. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: Despite standard of care (SOC) established by Stupp, glioblastoma remains a uniformly poor prognosis. We evaluated IGV-001, which combines autologous glioblastoma tumor cells and an antisense oligonucleotide against IGF type 1 receptor (IMV-001), in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Patients And Methods: This open-label protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Thomas Jefferson University. Tumor cells collected during resection were treated with IMV-001, encapsulated in biodiffusion chambers with additional IMV-001, irradiated, then implanted in abdominal acceptor sites. Patients were randomized to four exposure levels, and SOC was initiated 4-6 weeks later. On the basis of clinical improvements, randomization was halted after patient 23, and subsequent patients received only the highest exposure. Safety and tumor progression were primary and secondary objectives, respectively. Time-to-event outcomes were compared with the SOC arms of published studies.

Results: Thirty-three patients were enrolled, and median follow-up was 3.1 years. Six patients had adverse events (grade ≤3) possibly related to IGV-001. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 9.8 months in the intent-to-treat population (vs. SOC, 6.5 months; = 0.0003). In IGV-001-treated patients who met Stupp-eligible criteria, PFS was 11.6 months overall ( = 22; = 0.001) and 17.1 months at the highest exposure ( = 10; = 0.0025). The greatest overall survival was observed in Stupp-eligible patients receiving the highest exposure (median, 38.2 months; = 0.044). Stupp-eligible patients with methylated O-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase promoter ( = 10) demonstrated median PFS of 38.4 months ( = 0.0008). Evidence of immune activation was noted.

Conclusions: IGV-001 was well tolerated, PFS compared favorably with SOC, and evidence suggested an immune-mediated mechanism (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02507583).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3805DOI Listing
January 2021

Resected WHO grade I meningioma and predictors of local control.

J Neurooncol 2021 Mar 9;152(1):145-151. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Introduction: Despite optimal surgical resection, meningiomas may recur, with increasing grade and the degree of resection being predictive of risk. We hypothesize that an increasing Ki67 correlates with a higher risk of recurrence of resected WHO grade I meningiomas.

Methods: The study population consisted of patients with resected WHO grade 1 meningiomas in locations outside of the base of skull. Digitally scanned slides stained for Ki67 were analyzed using automatic image analysis software in a standardized fashion.

Results: Recurrence was observed in 53 (17.7%) of cases with a median follow up time of 25.8 months. Ki67 ranged from 0 to 30%. Median Ki67 was 5.1% for patients with recurrence and 3.5% for patients without recurrence. In unadjusted analyses, high Ki-67 (≥ 5 vs. < 5) vs. ≥ 5) was associated with over a twofold increased risk of recurrence (13.1% vs. 27% respectively; HR 2.1731; 95% CI [1.2534, 3.764]; p = 0.006). After Adjusting for patient or tumor characteristics, elevated Ki-67 remained significantly correlated with recurrence. Grade 4 Simpson resection was noted in 71 (23.7%) of patients and it was associated with a significantly increased risk of recurrence (HR 2.56; 95% CI [1.41, 4.6364]; p = 0.002).

Conclusions: WHO grade 1 meningiomas exhibit a significant rate of recurrence following resection. While Ki-67 is not part of the WHO grading criteria of meningiomas, a value greater than 5% is an independent predictor for increased risk of local recurrence following surgical resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03688-1DOI Listing
March 2021

Definitive radiotherapy for meningeal brainstem melanocytoma: a case report.

Br J Neurosurg 2020 Dec 26:1-4. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Meningeal melanocytomas are rare, benign tumours of the central nervous system arising from the melanocytes of the leptomeninges. First-line treatment consists of either gross or subtotal resection with or without radiotherapy. However, given the sensitive locations of these tumours, alternative treatment options such as definitive radiotherapy may be warranted in patients deemed high-risk or without accessible tumours. A 67-year-old male presenting with spastic gait, frequent falls, and vertical gaze palsy was diagnosed with a 2.4 cm primary meningeal melanocytoma arising from the interpeduncular fossa. Given the critical tumour position within the brainstem, definitive radiotherapy was recommended. He received fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) to a total dose of 54 Gy in 27 fractions, resulting in a gradual improvement in gait and ocular range of motion. Follow-up imaging over the next three years revealed largely stable disease and an increase in edema with mild upper extremity weakness that improved with steroids. He was followed for three years and expired four years after treatment due to pneumonia. For patients unable to receive surgical resection, definitive RT may provide local control with minimal morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02688697.2020.1864291DOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of Sarcopenia on Survival in Patients With Early-Stage Lung Cancer Treated With Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy.

Cureus 2020 Sep 29;12(9):e10712. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA.

Background Sarcopenia has been associated with poor survival among cancer patients. Normalized total psoas area (NTPA) has been used as a surrogate for defining sarcopenia. Few data exist characterizing the impact of sarcopenia and other metrics of fitness on clinical outcomes in patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated non-invasively with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Methods To assess the association between sarcopenia and clinical outcomes, we conducted a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients treated with SBRT from 2013 to 2019 . Overall survival (OS), local failure free survival (LFS), distant failure free survival (DFS), NTPA, body mass index (BMI), and Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) were included for analysis. NTPA was calculated by measuring the psoas volume at the L3 vertebra and normalizing for patient height and gender. Survival functions were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Log-rank test and Cox-proportional hazards were performed for categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Significance was set as p < 0.05. Results A total of 91 patients met the criteria. The median age was seven years and Karnofsky Performance Status score (KPS) was 80 (range: 60-100). Approximately 79% of patients had T1 tumors. Median radiation dose and number of fractions were 60 Gy (range: 45-60) and 5 fractions (range: 3-5). Median NTPA was 531.16 mm/m (range: 90.4-1356.2). After normalization (sarcopenia: <385 mm/m, female; <585 mm/mmale), 39 patients (42.8%) had sarcopenia. NTPA had no association with OS (p = 0.7), LFS (p = 0.9), or DFS (p = 0.5). Increasing BMI was associated with improved OS (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.83-0.98). With a median follow-up of 23.4 months, median OS was 60, 60, and 45.9 months (p = 0.37) in all patients, non-sarcopenic patients, and sarcopenic patients, respectively. Conclusion Sarcopenia was not associated with OS, LFS, or DFS. Increasing BMI is associated with improved OS. Future, prospective work is needed to define the impact of sarcopenia and other fitness metrics on clinical outcomes among NSCLC patients treated non-invasively with SBRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.10712DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526967PMC
September 2020

Low Nonrelapse Mortality after HLA-Matched Related 2-Step Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Using Cyclophosphamide for Graft-versus-Host Disease Prophylaxis and the Potential Impact of Non- Cyclophosphamide-Exposed T Cells on Outcomes.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2020 10 3;26(10):1861-1867. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The use of cyclophosphamide (CY) for bidirectional tolerization of recipient and donor T cells is associated with reduced rates of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM) after HLA-matched hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, recurrent disease remains the primary barrier to long-term survival. We extended our 2-step approach to HLA-matched related HSCT using a radiation-based myeloablative conditioning regimen combined with a high dose of T cells in an attempt to reduce relapse rates while maintaining the beneficial effects of CY tolerization. After conditioning, patients received their grafts in 2 components: (1) a fixed dose of 2 × 10/kg T cells, followed 2 days later by CY, and (2) a CD34-selected graft containing a small residual amount of non-CY-exposed T cells, at a median dose of 2.98 × 10/kg. Forty-six patients with hematologic malignancies were treated. Despite the myeloablative conditioning regimen and use of high T cell doses, the cumulative incidences of grade II-IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, and NRM at 1 year and 5 years were very low, at 13%, 9%, and 4.3%, respectively. This contributed to a high overall survival of 89.1% at 1 year and 65.8% at 5 years. Relapse was the primary cause of mortality, with a cumulative incidence of 23.9% at 1 year and 45.7% at 5 years. In a post hoc analysis, relapse rates were significantly lower in patients receiving greater than versus those receiving less than the group median of non-CY-exposed residual T cells in the CD34 product (19.3% versus 58.1%; P = .009), without a concomitant increase in NRM. In its current form, this 2-step regimen was highly tolerable, but strategies to reduce relapse, potentially the addition of T cells not exposed to CY, are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2020.06.021DOI Listing
October 2020

Alternative Multidisciplinary Management Options for Locally Advanced NSCLC During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Global Pandemic.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 07 28;15(7):1137-1146. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Atlanta, Georgia.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is currently accelerating. Patients with locally advanced NSCLC (LA-NSCLC) may require treatment in locations where resources are limited, and the prevalence of infection is high. Patients with LA-NSCLC frequently present with comorbidities that increase the risk of severe morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. These risks may be further increased by treatments for LA-NSCLC. Although guiding data is scarce, we present an expert thoracic oncology multidisciplinary (radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology) consensus of alternative strategies for the treatment of LA-NSCLC during a pandemic. The overarching goals of these approaches are the following: (1) reduce the number of visits to a health care facility, (2) reduce the risk of exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2, (3) attenuate the immunocompromising effects of lung cancer therapies, and (4) provide effective oncologic therapy. Patients with resectable disease can be treated with definitive nonoperative management if surgical resources are limited or the risks of perioperative care are high. Nonoperative options include chemotherapy, chemoimmunotherapy, and radiation therapy with sequential schedules that may or may not affect long-term outcomes in an era in which immunotherapy is available. The order of treatments may be on the basis of patient factors and clinical resources. Whenever radiation therapy is delivered without concurrent chemotherapy, hypofractionated schedules are appropriate. For patients who are confirmed to have COVID-19, usually, cancer therapies may be withheld until symptoms have resolved with negative viral test results. The risk of severe treatment-related morbidity and mortality is increased for patients undergoing treatment for LA-NSCLC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adapting alternative treatment strategies as quickly as possible may save lives and should be implemented through communication with the multidisciplinary cancer team.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2020.04.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7194660PMC
July 2020

Phase 2 Study of a Temozolomide-Based Chemoradiation Therapy Regimen for High-Risk, Low-Grade Gliomas: Long-Term Results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0424.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020 07 3;107(4):720-725. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Miami Cancer Institute, Kendall, Florida.

Purpose: To report the long-term outcomes of the RTOG 0424 study of a high-risk, low-grade glioma population treated with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) and radiation therapy (RT).

Methods And Materials: For this single-arm, phase 2 study, patients with low-grade gliomas with ≥3 risk factors (age ≥40 years, astrocytoma, bihemispheric tumor, size ≥6 cm, or preoperative neurologic function status >1) received RT (54 Gy in 30 fractions) with TMZ and up to 12 cycles of post-RT TMZ. The initial primary endpoint P was overall survival (OS) at 3 years after registration. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS) and the association of survival outcomes with methylation status. The initial 3-year report of this study was published in 2015.

Results: The study accrued 136 patients, of whom 129 were analyzable. The median follow-up for surviving patients was 9.0 years. The 3-year OS was 73.5% (95% confidence interval, 65.8%-81.1%), numerically superior to the 3-year OS historical control of 54% (P < .001). The median survival time was 8.2 years (95% confidence interval, 5.6-9.1). Five- and 10-year OS rates were 60.9% and 34.6%, respectively, and 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 46.8% and 25.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: The long-term results confirmed the findings from the initial report for efficacy, suggesting OS and PFS outcomes with the RT-TMZ regimen exceeded historical control groups treated with radiation alone. Toxicity was acceptable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.03.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7456814PMC
July 2020

Initial experience with scalp sparing radiation with concurrent temozolomide and tumor treatment fields (SPARE) for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

J Neurooncol 2020 May 23;147(3):653-661. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Introduction: Standard of care for glioblastoma includes concurrent chemoradiation and maintenance temozolomide with tumor treatment fields (TTFields). Preclinical studies suggest TTFields and radiation treatment have synergistic effects. We report our initial experience evaluating toxicity and tolerability of scalp-sparing radiation with concurrent TTFields.

Methods: This is a single arm pilot study (clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT03477110). Adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) with KPS ≥ 60 with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were eligible. All patients received concurrent scalp-sparing radiation (60 Gy in 30 fractions), standard concurrent temozolomide (75 mg/m daily), and TTFields. Maintenance therapy included standard temozolomide and continuation of TTFields. Radiation treatment was delivered through TTFields arrays. The primary endpoint was safety and toxicity for concurrent TTFields with chemoradiation in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Results: We report the first ten patients on the trial. Eight were male, and two were female, with median age 61 years (range 49 to 73 years). Median KPS was 90 (range 70-90). Median follow-up was 7.9 months (2.8 to 17.9 months). Nine (90%) patients with unmethylated MGMT promotor, and one with methylated. Median time from surgery to radiation was 33 days (28 to 49 days). All patients completed concurrent chemoradiation plus TTFields without radiation or TTFields treatment interruption or discontinuation. Scalp dose constraints were achieved for all patients, with mean dose having a median value of 7.7 Gy (range 4.9 to 13.2 Gy), D20cc median 22.6 Gy (17.7 to 36.8 Gy), and D30cc median 19.8 Gy (14.8 to 33.4 Gy). Average daily use during concurrent phase had median value of 83.5% and 77% for maintenance. There was no related ≥ Grade 3 toxicity. Skin toxicity (erythema, dermatitis, pruritus) was noted in 80% of patients, however, these were limited to Grade 1 or 2 events which resolved spontaneously or responded to topical medications. Eight patients (80%) had progression, with median PFS of 6.9 months (range 2.8 to 9.6 months).

Conclusions: Concurrent TTFields with scalp-sparing chemoradiation is a safe and feasible treatment option with limited toxicity. Future randomized prospective trial is warranted to define therapeutic advantages of concurrent TTFields with chemoradiation.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT03477110.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-020-03466-zDOI Listing
May 2020

Correlating Dose Variables with Local Tumor Control in Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Modeling Study on 1500 Individual Treatments.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020 07 15;107(3):579-586. Epub 2020 Mar 15.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Large variation regarding prescription and dose inhomogeneity exists in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer. The aim of this modeling study was to identify which dose metric correlates best with local tumor control probability to make recommendations regarding SBRT prescription.

Methods And Materials: We combined 2 retrospective databases of patients with non-small cell lung cancer, yielding 1500 SBRT treatments for analysis. Three dose parameters were converted to biologically effective doses (BEDs): (1) the (near-minimum) dose prescribed to the planning target volume (PTV) periphery (yielding BED); (2) the (near-maximum) dose absorbed by 1% of the PTV (yielding BED); and (3) the average between near-minimum and near-maximum doses (yielding BED). These BED parameters were then correlated to the risk of local recurrence through Cox regression. Furthermore, BED-based prediction of local recurrence was attempted by logistic regression and fast and frugal trees. Models were compared using the Akaike information criterion.

Results: There were 1500 treatments in 1434 patients; 117 tumors recurred locally. Actuarial local control rates at 12 and 36 months were 96.8% (95% confidence interval, 95.8%-97.8%) and 89.0% (87.0%-91.1%), respectively. In univariable Cox regression, BED was the best predictor of risk of local recurrence, and a model based on BED had substantially less evidential support. In univariable logistic regression, the model based on BED also performed best. Multivariable classification using fast and frugal trees revealed BED to be the most important predictor, followed by BED.

Conclusions: BED was generally better correlated with tumor control probability than either BED or BED. Because the average between near-minimum and near-maximum doses was highly correlated to the mean gross tumor volume dose, the latter may be used as a prescription target. More emphasis could be placed on achieving sufficiently high mean doses within the gross tumor volume rather than the PTV covering dose, a concept needing further validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.03.005DOI Listing
July 2020

Stereotactic Image Guided Lung Radiation Therapy for Clinical Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Long-Term Report From a Multi-Institutional Database of Patients Treated With or Without a Pathologic Diagnosis.

Pract Radiat Oncol 2020 Jul - Aug;10(4):e227-e237. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College & Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: Early stage lung cancer is treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients who are unable or unwilling to undergo surgical resection. Some patients' comorbidities are so severe that they are unable to even undergo a biopsy. A clinical diagnosis without biopsy before SBRT has been used, but there are limited data on its efficacy.

Methods And Materials: Data on patients treated with SBRT for non-small cell lung cancer, with and without tissue confirmation, were collected from multiple institutions across Europe, Canada, and the United States. Patients with a minimum of 2 years of comprehensive follow up were selected for analysis. Treatment and patient characteristics were compared. Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), cause-specific survival (CSS), and rates of local recurrence (LR), regional recurrence (RR), and distant metastasis (DM) were calculated and analyzed.

Results: A total of 701 patients were identified, of which 67% had tissue confirmation of their tumors. The 3- and 5-year outcomes for OS, CSS, and DFS were 83.8%, 93.1%, 69%, and 60.6%, 86.7%, 45.5%, respectively. The rates for LR, RR, and DM at 3 and 5 years were 6.4%, 9.3%, 14.3%, and 10.5%, 14.3%, 19.7%, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in survival outcomes or recurrences between the biopsy and no-biopsy cohorts.

Conclusions: SBRT for clinically diagnosed lung cancers is efficacious in appropriately selected patients, with similar outcomes as those with a pathologic diagnosis. Thorough clinical and radiographic evaluations in a multidisciplinary setting are critical to the management of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2019.12.003DOI Listing
December 2019

Estimation of the α/β ratio of non-small cell lung cancer treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Radiother Oncol 2020 01 17;142:210-216. Epub 2019 Aug 17.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: High-dose hypofractionated radiotherapy should theoretically result in a deviation from the typical linear-quadratic shape of the cell survival curve beyond a certain threshold dose, yet no evidence for this hypothesis has so far been found in clinical data of stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment (SBRT) for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A pragmatic explanation is a larger α/β ratio than the conventionally assumed 10 Gy. We here attempted an estimation of the α/β ratio for NSCLC treated with SBRT using individual patient data.

Materials And Methods: We combined two large retrospective datasets, yielding 1294 SBRTs (≤10 fractions) of early stage NSCLC. Cox proportional hazards regression, a logistic tumor control probability model and a biologically motivated Bayesian cure rate model were used to estimate the α/β ratio based on the observed number of local recurrences and accounting for tumor size.

Results: A total of 109 local progressions were observed after a median of 17.7 months (range 0.6-76.3 months). Cox regression, logistic regression of 3 year tumor control probability and the cure rate model yielded best-fit estimates of α/β = 12.8 Gy, 14.9 Gy and 12-16 Gy (depending on the prior for α/β), respectively, although with large uncertainties that did not rule out the conventional α/β = 10 Gy.

Conclusions: Clinicians can continue to use the simple LQ formalism to compare different SBRT treatment schedules for NSCLC. While α/β = 10 Gy is not ruled out by our data, larger values in the range 12-16 Gy are more probable, consistent with recent meta-regression analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2019.07.008DOI Listing
January 2020

Rapid Early Tumor Progression is Prognostic in Glioblastoma Patients.

Am J Clin Oncol 2019 05;42(5):481-486

Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

Objectives: Determine the prognostic significance of rapid early tumor progression before radiation and chemotherapy for glioblastoma patients.

Methods: A retrospective review of glioblastoma patients was performed. Rapid early progression (REP) was defined as new enhancing tumor or >25% increase in enhancement before radiotherapy. The pre/postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was compared with the preradiation magnetic resonance imaging to determine REP. A blinded review of imaging was performed. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated to compare progression-free and overall survival (OS). Univariate analysis was performed using the log-rank test for categorical variables and Cox proportional hazards for continuous variables. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess factors related to early progression and Cox proportional hazards model was used for multivariate analysis of OS.

Results: Eighty-seven patients met entry criteria. A total of 52% of patients developed REP. The OS in the REP group was 11.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.4-17.6) and 20.1 months (95% CI: 17.8-26.1) without REP (P=0.013). On multivariate analysis including significant prognostic factors, presence of REP was found to increase the risk of death (hazard ratio: 2.104, 95% CI: 1.235-3.583, P=0.006). A total of 74% of patients recurred in the site of REP.

Conclusions: REP was common and independently predicted for a worse OS. Integrating REP with MGMT promotor methylation improved prognostic assessment. The site of REP was a common site of tumor progression. Our findings are hypothesis generating and may indicate a particular subset of glioblastoma patients who are resistant to current standard of care therapy. Further study to determine other molecular features of this group are underway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000537DOI Listing
May 2019

Disparity in age at lung cancer diagnosis between current and former smokers.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2019 May 4;145(5):1243-1251. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, 1025 Walnut Street, Suite 727, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.

Purpose: In a previous study of smoking cessation in veterans with lung cancer, we noted as an incidental finding that current smokers were much younger than former smokers at diagnosis. To confirm and extend this observation, we analyzed the association of smoking status with age at diagnosis and survival of lung cancer patients.

Methods: The Jefferson Cancer Registry collects information on all cancer patients registered at this hospital. Information on smoking status has been recorded since 1995. We determined age at diagnosis and survival of current and former smokers with lung cancer.

Results: 5111 lung cancer cases were identified in the registry from 1995 to 2011 inclusive. Smoking status was recorded in 4687 cases (91.7%). Of these, 1859 (39.7%) were current, 2423 (51.7%) were former, and 405 (8.6%) were never smokers. There was a 6-year difference in median age at lung cancer diagnosis between the current (63 years) and former smokers (69 years) (P < 0.0001). The median survival was 12.1 months for current versus 14.5 months for former smokers (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: These results confirm and extend our observation that among patients diagnosed with lung cancer, current smokers are younger than former smokers. The possible explanations include higher competing causes of death and increased risk of lung cancer among current smokers as well as increasing proportions of former smokers in older populations. Ongoing exposure to tobacco carcinogens may accelerate the development of lung cancer in continuing smokers. This provides more incentive for smokers to quit at the earliest age possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-019-02875-6DOI Listing
May 2019

Modeling radiation pneumonitis of pulmonary stereotactic body radiotherapy: The impact of a local dose-effect relationship for lung perfusion loss.

Radiother Oncol 2019 03 9;132:142-147. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Purpose: To investigate if a local dose-effect (LDE) relationship for perfusion loss improves the NTCP model fit for SBRT induced radiation pneumonitis (RP) compared to conventional LDEs.

Methods And Materials: Multi-institutional data of 1015 patients treated with SBRT were analyzed. Dose distributions were converted to NTD with α/β = 3 Gy. The Lyman-Kutcher-Burman NTCP model was fitted to the incidence grade ≥2 RP by maximum likelihood estimation with mean lung dose (MLD), equivalent uniform doses (EUD) using three LDE functions (power-law (EUD), logistic with 2 free parameters (EUD) and logistic with fixed parameters describing local perfusion loss (EUD)) and volume above a threshold dose (V). Models were compared with the Akaike weights (Aw) derived from the Akaike information criteria (AIC).

Results: The median time to grade ≥2 RP was 4.2 months and plateaued after 17 months at 5.4%. A strong dose-effect relationship for RP incidence was observed. The EUD based NTCP model had the lowest AIC. The Aw were 0.53, 0.19, 0.11, 0.11, 0.05 for the EUD, V, MLD, EUD and EUD LDEs respectively.

Conclusion: A LDE for perfusion loss provided modest improvement in NTCP model fit for SBRT induced radiation pneumonitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.12.015DOI Listing
March 2019

Phase I trial of alisertib with concurrent fractionated stereotactic re-irradiation for recurrent high grade gliomas.

Radiother Oncol 2019 03 4;132:135-141. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, United States. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: We conducted a phase I trial of alisertib, an oral aurora kinase inhibitor, with fractionated stereotactic re-irradiation therapy (FSRT) for patients with recurrent high grade glioma (HGG).

Materials And Methods: Adult patients with recurrent HGG were enrolled from Feb 2015 to Feb 2017. Patients were treated with concurrent FSRT and alisertib followed by maintenance alisertib. Concurrent alisertib dose was escalated from 20 mg to 50 mg twice daily (BID).

Results: 17 patients were enrolled. Median follow-up was 11 months. Median FSRT dose was 35 Gy. There were 6, 6, 3, and 2 patients enrolled in 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, and 50 mg cohort, respectively. Only one DLT was observed. One patient in the 20 mg cohort had severe headache (Grade 3) resolved with steroids. There was no non-hematological grade 3 or higher toxicity. There were two Grade 4 late toxicities (one with grade 4 neutropenia and leukopenia, one with pulmonary embolism). One patient developed radiation necrosis (Grade 3). Sixteen patients finished concurrent treatment and received maintenance therapy (median cycles was 3, range 1-9). OS for all cohorts at 6 months was 88.2% with median survival time of 11.1 months. PFS at 6 months was 35.3% with median time to progression of 4.9 months. The trial stopped early due to closure of alisertib program with only 2 of 3 planned patients enrolled in the 50 mg cohort.

Conclusion: Re-irradiation with FSRT combined with alisertib is safe and well tolerated for HGG with doses up to 40 mg BID. Although no DLT observed in the 50 mg cohort, this cohort was not fully enrolled and MTD was not reached. Clinical outcomes appear comparable to historical results. (NCT02186509).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.12.019DOI Listing
March 2019

Valchlor maintenance therapy for patients with mycosis fungoides who received low dose total skin electron beam treatment.

Chin Clin Oncol 2019 Feb 14;8(1):13. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma within the general population. Low dose total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT) and topical nitrogen mustard (Valchlor) are two treatment modalities that have been proven to be efficacious in the treatment of MF. While each have been studied independently in various clinical trials, the use of Valchlor as maintenance therapy after completion of low dose TSEBT is rarely implemented due to the lack of evidence in the literature. The Jefferson multidisciplinary cutaneous lymphoma clinic has found great success with this combination of treatment and it was the goal of the authors to provide further evidence to its efficacy. The authors conducted a retrospective review of eight patients at the Jefferson multidisciplinary cutaneous lymphoma clinic period. In this study, they were initiated on a regimen of Valchlor as a maintenance therapy after completion of low dose TSEBT. The median MSWAT score before low dose TSEBT was found to be 25.25 with a mean of 39.76. A reduction was found in MSWAT score after low dose TSEBT to a median of 7.68 and a mean of 17.31. Median scores for pruritus were decreased from 3.43 before TSEBT to 1.88 after low dose TSEBT and a decreased in quality of life score median from 6.60 to a median of 2.75. Valchlor proved to be a useful maintenance therapy prolonging time to stage increase by 22.7351 months. Overall this study provides further evidence to the efficacy of Valchlor used as a maintenance therapy after completion of low dose TSEBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/cco.2018.10.01DOI Listing
February 2019

Phase 2 Study of Radiation Therapy Plus Low-Dose Temozolomide Followed by Temozolomide and Irinotecan for Glioblastoma: NRG Oncology RTOG Trial 0420.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 03 27;103(4):878-886. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

University of Maryland Medical Systems, Baltimore, Maryland.

Purpose: To evaluate the toxicity and efficacy of adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) and irinotecan (CPT-11) for 12 months after concurrent chemoradiation in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM).

Methods And Materials: Trial RTOG 04-20, a single-arm, multi-institutional phase 2 trial, was designed to determine the efficacy and toxicity of concomitant TMZ and radiation therapy (RT) followed by adjuvant TMZ combined with CPT-11 given for 12 cycles compared with historical controls of adjuvant TMZ alone given for 6 cycles.

Results: A total of 170 patients were enrolled, 152 of whom were eligible. Adjuvant CPT-11 combined with TMZ was more toxic than expected. A higher rate of hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicities was more frequently noted with the combination regimen compared with adjuvant TMZ alone. Grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity was 38% compared with 14% reported in the Stupp trial. After an early interim analysis, the adjuvant CPT-11 dose was reduced to 100 mg/m on days 1 and 5 for the first cycle. CPT-11 dose escalation proceeded over the first 3 cycles if tolerated. Median overall survival for all eligible patients was 16.9 months compared with 13.7 months of the historical control (P = .03). Post hoc subgroup analysis suggested an improvement in overall survival for patients with Radiation Therapy Oncology Group recursive partitioning analysis class 3, although improvement was limited to 22 patients (14% of eligible patients).

Conclusions: Although irinotecan and TMZ for 12 cycles given after chemoradiation for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma significantly improved median survival compared with historical control data at the time the study was conducted, the historical control median survival time of 13.7 months does not represent the current benchmark for this patient population. Treatment intensification does prolong overall survival compared with the current standard.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.11.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034757PMC
March 2019

Bevacizumab and re-irradiation for recurrent high grade gliomas: does sequence matter?

J Neurooncol 2018 Dec 4;140(3):623-628. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, USA.

Purpose/objectives: We report the outcomes of the largest cohort to date of patients receiving both bevacizumab (BEV) and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) for progressive or recurrent high grade glioma (HGG). Furthermore, the sequence of these two treatment regimens was analyzed to determine an optimal treatment paradigm for recurrent HGG.

Materials/methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, patients with pathologically confirmed WHO grade III anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) or IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) glioma who subsequently underwent re-irradiation at recurrence with FSRT were retrospectively reviewed. Patients from this group who had received BEV were also identified. Survival from initial diagnosis, as well as from recurrence and re-irradiation, were analyzed as study endpoints. Date of recurrence was defined as the date of radiographic evidence of progressive/recurrent disease. Kaplan-Meier curves were generated utilizing a log-rank test with a p-value ≤ 0.05 considered significant to compare treatment sequences in terms of survival outcomes.

Results: A total of 118 patients with recurrent/progressive HGG (GBM = 87, AA = 31) had received both BEV and FSRT. Patient characteristics were as follows: median KPS at recurrence was 80 (range 50-100); median age at recurrence was 57 years; median time to radiographic recurrence/progression was 10.8 months (mo) and 33.1% of patients had surgery for recurrence. The median time from the start of BEV to FSRT was 6.4 months and from FSRT to the start of BEV was 5.1 months. For the entire cohort, median overall survival (OS) was 26.7 months and median survival time (MST) from recurrence was 13.8 months (24.4 months and 11.9 months for GBM only). In patients that received BEV prior to FSRT (n = 50), median OS and MST from recurrence were 25.2 and 13.3 months respectively. In patients receiving FSRT first (n = 56), median OS and MST from recurrence were 28.8 months and 13.9 months, respectively. Sequencing of BEV and FSRT at recurrence was not significantly associated with OS (p = 0.08) or median survival from recurrence (p = 0.75).

Conclusions: The combination of FSRT and BEV for recurrent/progressive HGG provides promising results in terms of overall survival and survival from recurrence. Combining these treatment modalities appears to improve upon the historic outcomes of either treatment alone. The outcomes data from this study support the ongoing RTOG trial exploring the combination of BEV and FSRT for recurrent HGG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-2989-zDOI Listing
December 2018

Subgroup Survival Analysis in Stage I-II NSCLC Patients With a Central Tumor Partly Treated With Risk-Adapted SBRT.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 01 31;103(1):132-141. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Purpose: Stereotactic body radiation therapy has been associated with increased toxicity when delivered to patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer with a tumor within 2 cm of the proximal bronchial tree (PBT). We investigated noncancer deaths for these patients as related to gross tumor volume (GTV) proximity to the PBT, compared with peripheral tumors.

Methods And Materials: We included 765 patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with stereotactic body radiation therapy to a median of 3 × 18 Gy. Central tumors were treated with a risk-adapted (less-intense) schedule (mostly 8 fractions) in 55% of the patients in the first-centimeter group and 27% of the patients in the second-centimeter group. An average anatomy with contouring of PBT and organs at risk (OARs) was deformed onto each patient to obtain the distance of the GTV to the PBT and doses to OARs. Log-rank, 1-way analysis of variance, and Cox regressions were performed to assess differences in the first-centimeter, second centimeter, and peripheral groups and associations with noncancer deaths.

Results: The median overall survival was 42.7 months, the median noncancer death occurred in 57.3 months, and the median follow-up was 34.8 months. Noncancer death in the first-centimeter group (31 patients) was significantly different from noncancer death in the other groups, with a hazard ratio of 3.175 (P < .001). Noncancer death in the second-centimeter group (71 patients) was not different from noncancer death in the peripheral group (P = .53). Doses to OARs were higher in the first- and second-centimeter groups than in the peripheral group for all OARs. High dose to the PBT was associated with noncancer death (D1%; hazard ratio, 1.006 Gy; P = .003).

Conclusions: Patients with a GTV in the first centimeter surrounding the PBT died more often from causes other than cancer compared with other patients. Noncancer death in patients with a GTV in the second centimeter, who partly received a risk-adapted schedule, was comparable to that in patients with a peripheral tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.08.040DOI Listing
January 2019

The Impact of Serum Glucose, Anti-Diabetic Agents, and Statin Usage in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated With Definitive Chemoradiation.

Front Oncol 2018 27;8:281. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.

Epidemiologic data indicate diabetes confers an augmented risk of lung cancer development, yet the relationship between hyperglycemia, metabolic agents, and prognosis is unclear. We analyzed the impact of hyperglycemia, anti-diabetic agents, and statins on outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing chemoradiation. In total, data from 170 patients with stage III NSCLC treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center between 2001 and 2014 were obtained for analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to estimate time-to-event for overall survival (OS), disease-free survival, distant metastasis (DM), and loco-regional control (LRC). Blood glucose values ( = 2870), statins, and diabetic medications were assessed both continuously and categorically in univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models to estimate hazard ratios and identify prognostic factors. Tumor volume was a negative prognostic factor for OS, disease-free survival, DM, and LRC ( = 0.001). Tumor stage and treatment time were associated with increased all-cause mortality. Any glucose measurement ≥ 130 mg/dl during treatment (2-year estimate 49.9 vs. 65.8%, = 0.095) was borderline significant for decreased LRC, with similar trends on multivariable analysis (HR 1.636, = 0.126) and for OS (HR 1.476, = 0.130). Statin usage was associated with improved 2-year LRC (53.4 vs. 62.4%, = 0.088) but not with improvements in survival. Other glycemic parameters, comorbid diabetes diagnosis, or anti-diabetic medications were not significantly associated with outcomes. There were trends for blood glucose value over 130 mg/dl and statin nonuse being associated with inferior prognosis for LRC in stage III NSCLC patients; glycemic state, statin usage, and glucose-modulating medications were not associated with survival outcomes in multivariable analysis in this retrospective database.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6072851PMC
July 2018

Treatment recommendations for elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma lack worldwide consensus.

J Neurooncol 2018 Nov 7;140(2):421-426. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Glioblastoma predominantly occurs in the 6th and 7th decades of life. The optimal treatment paradigm for elderly patients is not well established. We sampled current worldwide management strategies for elderly patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Methods: A web-based survey was developed and distributed to 168 radiation oncologists, neuro-oncologists and neurosurgeons identified through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties and the CNS committees for North American, European and Asian Organizations. Questions addressed treatment recommendations in order to determine whether management consensus exists in this patient subset.

Results: There were 68 (40%) respondents. Across respondents, the most important factors directing treatment were KPS (94%) and MGMT methylation status (71%). Only 37% of respondents strictly factor in age when making treatment recommendations with 59% defining elderly as greater than 70 years-old. The most common treatment recommendations for MGMT-methylated elderly patients with KPS > 70 were as follows: standard chemoRT (49%), short course chemoRT (39%), and temozolomide alone (30%). The most common treatment recommendations for MGMT-unmethylated patients with KPS > 70 were as follows: short course RT alone (51%), standard chemoRT (38%), and short course chemoRT (28%). Treatment recommendations for patients with KPS < 50 were short course RT alone (40%), best supportive care (57%), or TMZ alone (17%). Individuals practicing in North America were significantly more likely to recommend standard chemoradiation for patients compared to their European counterparts.

Conclusion: Worldwide treatment recommendations for elderly patients with newly diagnosed GBM vary widely. Further randomized studies are needed to elucidate the optimal treatment strategy for this subset of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-2969-3DOI Listing
November 2018

Association of MGMT Promoter Methylation Status With Survival Outcomes in Patients With High-Risk Glioma Treated With Radiotherapy and Temozolomide: An Analysis From the NRG Oncology/RTOG 0424 Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2018 10;4(10):1405-1409

Department of Radiation Oncology, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Importance: The initial report of NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0424 demonstrated a 3-year overall survival benefit with the addition of temozolomide to radiotherapy compared with a historical control. However, an important end point of the trial-evaluation of the association between O6-methylgaunine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation and survival outcomes-was not previously reported.

Objective: To examine the proportion of patients in NRG Oncology/RTOG 0424 with MGMT promoter methylation and its association with survival outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Specimens collected were analyzed after trial completion to determine MGMT promoter methylation and IDH1/2 status and the association between MGMT status and survival outcomes. A model derived from logistic regression (MGMT-STP27) was used to calculate MGMT promoter methylation status. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model to determine the association of MGMT status with survival outcomes. Patient pretreatment characteristics were included as covariates in multivariable analyses.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Of all 129 eligible patients in NRG Oncology/RTOG 0424, 75 (58.1%) had MGMT status available (median age, 48 years; age range, 20-76 years; 42 [56.0%] male): 57 (76.0%) methylated and 18 (24.0%) unmethylated. A total of 13 unmethylated patients (72.2%) had astrocytoma as opposed to oligoastrocytoma or oligodendroglioma, whereas 23 methylated patients (40.4%) had astrocytoma. On univariate analyses, an unmethylated MGMT promoter was significantly associated with worse OS (hazard ratio [HR], 3.52; 95% CI, 1.64-7.56; P < .001) and PFS (HR, 3.06; 95% CI, 1.55-6.04; P < .001). The statistical significances were maintained in multimarker multivariable analyses, including IDH1/2 status for both OS (HR, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.02-7.14; P = .045) and PFS (HR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.19-6.33; P = .02).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, MGMT promoter methylation was an independent prognostic biomarker of high-risk, low-grade glioma treated with temozolomide and radiotherapy. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to validate the prognostic importance of MGMT promoter methylation in patients with grade II glioma treated with combined radiotherapy and temozolomide and highlights its potential prognostic value beyond IDH1/2 mutation status.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00114140.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.1977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117103PMC
October 2018

Influence of Residual Disease Following Surgical Resection in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma on Clinical, Neurocognitive, and Patient Reported Outcomes.

Neurosurgery 2019 01;84(1):66-76

Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Background: The influence of subtotal resection (STR) on neurocognitive function (NCF), quality of life, and symptom burden in glioblastoma is unknown. If bevacizumab preferentially benefits patients with STR is unknown.

Objective: To examine these uncertainties.

Methods: NCF and patient reported outcomes (PRO) were prospectively collected in NRG Oncology RTOG 0525 and 0825. Changes in NCF and PRO measures from baseline to prespecified times were examined by Wilcoxon test, and mixed effects longitudinal modeling, to assess differences between patients who received STR vs gross-total resection. Changes were also compared among STR patients on 0825 receiving placebo vs bevacizumab to assess for a preferential therapeutic effect. Overall survival between STR and gross-total resection patients was compared using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A total of 427 patients were eligible with STR present in 37%. At baseline, patients with STR had worse NCF, worse MD Anderson Symptom Inventory Brain Tumor Neurological Factor ratings (P = .004), and European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (P = .002). Longitudinal multivariate analysis associated STR with worse NCF (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised Delayed Recognition [P = .048], Trail Making Test Part A [P = .035], and Controlled Oral Word Association [P = .049]). One hundred eighty-three STR patients from 0825 were analyzed (89 bevacizumab, 94 placebo); bevacizumab failed to demonstrate improvement in select NCF or PRO measures.

Conclusion: STR patients had worse NCF and PROs before therapy. During adjuvant therapy, STR patients had worse objective NCF, despite accounting for tumor location. STR did not result in a detriment to OS. The addition of bevacizumab did not preferentially improve PRO or NCF outcomes in STR patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyy003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500905PMC
January 2019

Short delay in initiation of radiotherapy for patients with glioblastoma-effect of concurrent chemotherapy: a secondary analysis from the NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group database.

Neuro Oncol 2018 06;20(7):966-974

Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: We previously reported the unexpected finding of significantly improved survival for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in patients when radiation therapy (RT) was initiated later (>4 wk post-op) compared with earlier (≤2 wk post-op). In that analysis, data were analyzed from 2855 patients from 16 NRG Oncology/Radiotherapy Oncology Group (RTOG) trials conducted prior to the era of concurrent temozolomide (TMZ) with RT. We now report on 1395 newly diagnosed glioblastomas from 2 studies, treated with RT and concurrent TMZ followed by adjuvant TMZ. Our hypothesis was that concurrent TMZ has a synergistic/radiosensitizing mechanism, making RT timing less significant.

Methods: Data from patients treated with TMZ-based chemoradiation from NRG Oncology/RTOG 0525 and 0825 were analyzed. An analysis comparable to our prior study was performed to determine whether there was still an impact on survival by delaying RT. Overall survival (OS) was investigated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards model. Early progression (during time of diagnosis to 30 days after RT completion) was analyzed using the chi-square test.

Results: Given the small number of patients who started RT early following surgery, comparisons were made between >4 and ≤4 weeks delay of radiation from time of operation. There was no statistically significant difference in OS (hazard ratio = 0.93; P = 0.29; 95% CI: 0.80-1.07) after adjusting for known prognostic factors (recursive partitioning analysis and O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase methylation status). Similarly, the rate of early progression did not differ significantly (P = 0.63).

Conclusions: We did not observe a significant prognostic influence of delaying radiation when given concurrently with TMZ for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The effects of early (1-3 wk post-op) or late (>5 wk) initiation of radiation tested in our prior study could not be replicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noy017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007748PMC
June 2018

Correction to: Salvage fractionated stereotactic re-irradiation (FSRT) for patients with recurrent high grade gliomas progressed after bevacizumab treatment.

J Neurooncol 2018 Mar;137(1):179

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

The fourth author's name was incorrect in the initial online publication. The original article has been corrected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-018-2744-5DOI Listing
March 2018

The Influence of Health Insurance Policy on Radiation Oncology Physician SBRT/SABR Use Practices: A North American Survey.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2017 11 27;99(3):524-529. Epub 2017 Jun 27.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Purpose: European data suggest that 8-fraction stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) regimens may be similar in efficacy with less toxicity than ≤5-fraction SBRT for central lung lesions. However, under current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines, SBRT in the United States (US) is reimbursed for only ≤5 fractions, whereas there are no such restrictions for reimbursement in Canada. We hypothesize that US-specific SBRT reimbursement policies influence the use of ≥5-fraction SBRT in US academic centers in comparison with comparable Canadian centers.

Methods And Materials: A 15-question electronic survey was distributed to radiation oncologists at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the US and the 10 highest research-funded cancer centers in Canada. Fisher exact test or exact logistic regression if applicable was used, where P<.05 was considered statistically different from neutral.

Results: Of the 143 radiation oncologists from 60 US cancer centers and 6 Canadian cancer centers who completed the survey (17.6% response rate), 125 routinely prescribe SBRT. Fifty percent of US physicians versus 0% of Canadian physicians indicated that there are instances when they would like to prescribe >5-fraction SBRT but prescribe ≤5 fractions because of insurance reimbursement (P=.076 and P=.001, respectively). Seventy percent (P=.006) of US radiation oncologists versus 0% (P=.001) of Canadian radiation oncologists report that SBRT clinical investigation is constrained by the insurance reimbursement. The most common reported deterrent to prescribing >5-fraction SBRT in the US was insurance reimbursement (49.5%).

Conclusions: US radiation oncologists are more likely than those in Canada to report that SBRT clinical investigation and >5-fraction SBRT use may be negatively influenced by health insurance reimbursement; this perception was not held by physicians in Canada. Health care environment may significantly affect radiation therapy decision making and practice patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.06.2447DOI Listing
November 2017

Reply to M.C. Chamberlain.

J Clin Oncol 2016 11 31;34(33):4057. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Jon Glass, Maria Werner-Wasik, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; and Minesh P. Mehta, Miami Cancer Institute, Miami, FL.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.69.6047DOI Listing
November 2016

Salvage fractionated stereotactic re-irradiation (FSRT) for patients with recurrent high grade gliomas progressed after bevacizumab treatment.

J Neurooncol 2018 Mar 12;137(1):171-177. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Bevacizumab failure is a major clinical problem in the management of high grade gliomas (HGG), with a median overall survival (OS) of < 4 months. This study evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of fractionated stereotactic re-irradiation (FSRT) for patients progressed after Bevacizumab treatment. Retrospective review was conducted of 36 patients treated with FSRT after progression on bevacizumab. FSRT was most commonly delivered in 3.5 Gy fractions to a total dose of 35 Gy. Survival from initial diagnosis, as well as from recurrence and re-irradiation, were utilized as study endpoints. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed. The median time from initial bevacizumab treatment to FSRT was 8.5 months. The median plan target volume for FSRT was 27.5 cc. The median OS from FSRT was 4.8 months. FSRT treatment was well tolerated with no grade 3 or higher toxicity. Favorable outcomes were observed in patients with recurrent HGG who received salvage FSRT after bevacizumab failure. The treatment was well tolerated. Prospective study is warranted to further evaluate the efficacy of salvage FSRT for selected patients with recurrent HGG amenable to FSRT, who had failed bevacizumab treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-017-2709-0DOI Listing
March 2018

A randomized phase II study of everolimus in combination with chemoradiation in newly diagnosed glioblastoma: results of NRG Oncology RTOG 0913.

Neuro Oncol 2018 04;20(5):666-673

Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA.

Background: This phase II study was designed to determine the efficacy of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor everolimus administered daily with conventional radiation therapy and chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Methods: Patients were randomized to radiation therapy with concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide with or without daily everolimus (10 mg). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) and the secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS) and treatment-related toxicities.

Results: A total of 171 patients were randomized and deemed eligible for this study. Patients randomized to receive everolimus experienced a significant increase in both grade 4 toxicities, including lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia, and treatment-related deaths. There was no significant difference in PFS between patients randomized to everolimus compared with control (median PFS time: 8.2 vs 10.2 mo, respectively; P = 0.79). OS for patients randomized to receive everolimus was inferior to that for control patients (median survival time: 16.5 vs 21.2 mo, respectively; P = 0.008). A similar trend was observed in both O6-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase promoter hypermethylated and unmethylated tumors.

Conclusion: Combining everolimus with conventional chemoradiation leads to increased treatment-related toxicities and does not improve PFS in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Although the median survival time in patients receiving everolimus was comparable to contemporary studies, it was inferior to the control in this randomized study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nox209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5892159PMC
April 2018

Investigating the Effect of Reirradiation or Systemic Therapy in Patients With Glioblastoma After Tumor Progression: A Secondary Analysis of NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Trial 0525.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 01 4;100(1):38-44. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Purpose: To determine the impact on overall survival with different salvage therapies, including no treatment, reirradiation, systemic therapy, or radiation and systemic therapy, in participants of a phase 3 clinical trial evaluating dose-dense versus standard-dose temozolomide for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

Methods And Materials: This analysis of patients from Trial RTOG 0525 investigated the effect of reirradiation or systemic treatment after tumor progression. Survival from first progression was compared between patients receiving no therapy, systemic therapy alone, radiation alone, and both modalities. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare the mortality hazard, controlling for potential confounders.

Results: The analysis included 637 patients who progressed and had information on their management, excluding those who died less than half a month after progression. A total of 267 patients (42%) received neither reirradiation nor systemic treatment at progression, 24 (4%) received radiation alone, 282 (44%) received systemic treatment only, and 64 (10%) received both radiation and systemic therapy. Patients who received no treatment had a median survival of 4.8 months, lower than with radiation treatment alone (8.2 months), systemic therapy alone (10.6 months), and both radiation and systemic therapy (12.2 months). In survival models controlling for potential confounders, those who received radiation alone had modestly better survival (hazard ratio HR 0.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.43-1.28), whereas those who underwent systemic therapy either without (HR 0.42, 95% CI 0.34-0.53) or with radiation therapy (HR 0.44, 95% CI 0.30-0.63) had better survival. There was no significant survival difference between patients who received radiation only and those who received systemic therapy (either with radiation or alone).

Conclusions: Patients who received no salvage treatment had poorer survival than those who received radiation, chemotherapy, or the combination. However, patient selection for no treatment likely reflects poorer expected prognosis. There was no significant survival difference among those receiving radiation therapy, systemic therapy, or both. Ongoing clinical trials will help define the role of reirradiation after glioblastoma progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2017.08.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5742545PMC
January 2018