Publications by authors named "Robert H Gersh"

3 Publications

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PRECEDENT: a randomized phase II trial comparing vintafolide (EC145) and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in combination versus PLD alone in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2013 Dec 14;31(35):4400-6. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

R. Wendel Naumann and James T. Symanowski, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC; Robert L. Coleman, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston; Michael G. Teneriello, Texas Oncology, Austin, TX; Robert A. Burger, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Edward A. Sausville, Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; Elzbieta Kutarska, Centrum Onkologii Ziemi Lubelskiej, Lubland; Elzbieta Nowara, Instytut im. Marii Skłodowskiej-Curie, Gliwice, Poland; Sharad A. Ghamande, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA; Nashat Y. Gabrail, Gabrail Cancer Center, Canton, OH; Stephen E. DePasquale, Chattanooga's Program in Women's Oncology, Chattanooga, TN; Lucy Gilbert, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Robert H. Gersh, Cancer Care Northwest, Spokane, WA; Wael A. Harb, Horizon Oncology Research, Lafayette; Chandra D. Lovejoy, Christopher P. Leamon, David E. Morgenstern, and Richard A. Messmann, Endocyte, West Lafayette, IN; Panagiotis A. Konstantinopoulos, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and Richard T. Penson, Dana-Farber Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Vintafolide (EC145) is a folic acid-desacetylvinblastine conjugate that binds to the folate receptor (FR), which is expressed on the majority of epithelial ovarian cancers. This randomized phase II trial evaluated vintafolide combined with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) compared with PLD alone. The utility of an FR-targeted imaging agent, (99m)Tc-etarfolatide (EC20), in selecting patients likely to benefit from vintafolide was also examined.

Patients And Methods: Women with recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer who had undergone ≤ two prior cytotoxic regimens were randomly assigned at a 2:1 ratio to PLD (50 mg/m(2) intravenously [IV] once every 28 days) with or without vintafolide (2.5 mg IV three times per week during weeks 1 and 3). Etarfolatide scanning was optional. The primary objective was to compare progression-free survival (PFS) between the groups.

Results: The intent-to-treat population comprised 149 patients. Median PFS was 5.0 and 2.7 months for the vintafolide plus PLD and PLD-alone arms, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.96; P = .031). The greatest benefit was observed in patients with 100% of lesions positive for FR, with median PFS of 5.5 compared with 1.5 months for PLD alone (HR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.85; P = .013). The group of patients with FR-positive disease (10% to 90%) experienced some PFS improvement (HR, 0.873), whereas patients with disease that did not express FR experienced no PFS benefit (HR, 1.806).

Conclusion: Vintafolide plus PLD is the first combination to demonstrate an improvement over standard therapy in a randomized trial of patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Etarfolatide can identify patients likely to benefit from vintafolide.
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December 2013

Gemcitabine plus enzastaurin or single-agent gemcitabine in locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer: results of a phase II, randomized, noncomparative study.

Invest New Drugs 2011 Feb 28;29(1):144-53. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

US Oncology Research, Inc., The Woodlands, TX, USA.

Purpose: Gemcitabine (G) is standard therapy for pancreatic cancer. Enzastaurin (E) inhibits PKCβ and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways with a dose-dependent effect on growth of pancreatic carcinoma xenografts. Data suggest that the GE combination may improve clinical outcomes.

Methods: Primary objective was overall survival (OS); secondary objectives assessed progression-free survival (PFS), response rate (RR), quality of life (QOL), toxicity, and relationships between biomarker expression and clinical outcomes. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to GE or G treatment; GE arm: E 500 mg p.o. daily; loading-dose (1200 mg; Day 1 Cycle 1 only) and G 1000 mg/m(2) i.v. Days 1, 8, and 15 in 28-day cycles; G arm: G as in GE. Biomarker expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Randomization totaled 130 patients (GE = 86, G = 44); 121 patients were treated (GE = 82, G = 39). GE/G median OS was 5.6/5.1 months; median PFS was 3.4/3.0 months. GE responses: 1 complete response (CR, 1.2%), 6 partial response (PR, 7.4%), and 33 stable disease (SD, 40.7%); disease control rate (DCR=CR+PR+SD, 49.4%). G responses: 2 PR (5.3%) and 16 SD (42.1%); DCR (47.4%). No QOL differences were noted between arms. GE/G Grade 3-4 toxicities included: neutropenia (18.3%/28.2%); thrombocytopenia (14.6%/25.6%); and fatigue (11.0%/7.7%). No statistically significant relationships between biomarker expression and outcomes were observed. However, patients with low expression of cytoplasmic pGSK-3β trended toward greater OS with GE treatment.

Conclusions: OS, PFS, QOL, and RR were comparable between arms. Adding E to G did not increase hematologic toxicities. GE does not warrant further investigation in unselected pancreatic cancer patients.
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February 2011

Hematologic response to three alternative dosing schedules of azacitidine in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

J Clin Oncol 2009 Apr 2;27(11):1850-6. Epub 2009 Mar 2.

Cancer Care Centers of South Texas and US Oncology, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA.

Purpose: Azacitidine (AZA) is effective treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) at a dosing schedule of 75 mg/m(2)/d subcutaneously for 7 days every 4 weeks. The initial phase of this ongoing multicenter, community-based, open-label study evaluated three alternative AZA dosing schedules without weekend dosing.

Patients And Methods: MDS patients were randomly assigned to one of three regimens every 4 weeks for six cycles: AZA 5-2-2 (75 mg/m(2)/d subcutaneously for 5 days, followed by 2 days no treatment, then 75 mg/m(2)/d for 2 days); AZA 5-2-5 (50 mg/m(2)/d subcutaneously for 5 days, followed by 2 days no treatment, then 50 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days); or AZA 5 (75 mg/m(2)/d subcutaneously for 5 days).

Results: Of patients randomly assigned to AZA 5-2-2 (n = 50), AZA 5-2-5 (n = 51), or AZA 5 (n = 50), most were French-American-British (FAB) lower risk (refractory anemia [RA]/RA with ringed sideroblasts/chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with < 5% bone marrow blasts, 63%) or RA with excess blasts (30%), and 79 (52%) completed > or = six treatment cycles. Hematologic improvement (HI) was achieved by 44% (22 of 50), 45% (23 of 51), and 56% (28 of 50) of AZA 5-2-2, AZA 5-2-5, and AZA 5 arms, respectively. Proportions of RBC transfusion-dependent patients who achieved transfusion independence were 50% (12 of 24), 55% (12 of 22), and 64% (16 of 25), and of FAB lower-risk transfusion-dependent patients were 53% (nine of 17), 50% (six of 12), and 61% (11 of 18), respectively. In the AZA 5-2-2, AZA 5-2-5, and AZA 5 groups, 84%, 77%, and 58%, respectively, experienced > or = 1 grade 3 to 4 adverse events.

Conclusion: All three alternative dosing regimens produced HI, RBC transfusion independence, and safety responses consistent with the currently approved AZA regimen. These results support AZA benefits in transfusion-dependent lower-risk MDS patients.
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April 2009