Publications by authors named "Russell J Schilder"

71 Publications

Quality of Life in Adult and Pediatric Patients with Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase Fusion Cancer Receiving Larotrectinib.

Curr Probl Cancer 2021 Apr 2:100734. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

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

Neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusions lead to chimeric tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusion proteins, which act as primary oncogenic drivers in diverse tumor types in adults and children. Larotrectinib, a highly selective and central nervous system-active TRK inhibitor, has shown high objective response rates, durable disease control, and a favorable safety profile in patients with TRK fusion cancer. The impact of larotrectinib on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was evaluated in adult and pediatric patients in two phase I/II clinical trials (NAVIGATE; NCT02576431 and SCOUT; NCT02637687). Patients completed HRQoL questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30, EQ-5D-5L, and PedsQL) at baseline and at planned treatment cycle visits. Changes in questionnaire scores were evaluated over time, and by tumor type and treatment response. Questionnaires from 40 adult and 17 pediatric (2-19 years of age) patients receiving larotrectinib were completed at baseline and at least one post-baseline timepoint. Meaningful within-patient HRQoL improvements occurred at one or more timepoints in 60% of adults and 76% of pediatric patients. Sustained improvements in EORTC QLQ-C30 and PedsQL scores were rapid, occurring within 2 months of treatment initiation in 68% and 71% of patients, respectively. Improvements were observed regardless of tumor type and appeared to correlate with clinical efficacy. The rapid within-patient HRQoL improvements in adult and pediatric patients with TRK fusion cancer are consistent with the clinical profile of larotrectinib. Our results provide valuable information for use of this agent in this patient population. A plain language summary of this article is available in the supplementary appendix.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.currproblcancer.2021.100734DOI Listing
April 2021

Post hoc analyses of GOG 9923: Does BRCA status affect toxicities?: An NRG oncology study.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 05 17;161(2):512-515. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objective: To evaluate how women with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), dichotomized by BRCA status, tolerate intravenous (IV) or intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy given with veliparib and bevacizumab (bev) on a GOG phase I study (GOG 9923, NCT00989651).

Methods: This is an unplanned, post hoc analysis of an IRB approved, multi-institutional, prospective study (GOG 9923). Clinical characteristics and toxicity data based on BRCA status were evaluated and descriptive statistics were used to summarize baseline patient characteristics and toxicities. The Kaplan Meier method was used to generate survival estimates.

Results: Four hundred twenty-four patients were evaluable. Patients were treated with IV carboplatin, paclitaxel, and bev every 21 days (regimen 1), weekly IV paclitaxel with carboplatin and bev (regimen 2) or IV paclitaxel and bev with IP cisplatin (regimen 3). Bev was continued as maintenance in all arms. Within each of these regimens, veliparib was given either twice daily for the entirety of each cycle (continuous) or on days -2 to 5 (intermittent). Ten percent of patients treated on regimen 1, 12% on regimen 2, and 19.8% on regimen 3 had BRCA-associated tumors. Patients with BRCA-associated tumors, when compared to wild type, experienced similar rates of anemia, febrile neutropenia (, abdominal pain, colonic perforation, nausea, vomiting, and peripheral sensory neuropathy. Median progression free survival (PFS) was not significantly different between BRCA-associated and wild type cancers (HR 0.96, CI 0.65-1.42), though this study's primary aim was not to evaluate outcomes.

Conclusions: Germline BRCA mutations positively affect chemosensitivity in EOC, but whether differences in toxicities among BRCA-associated and BRCA wild type tumors existed was previously not reported. In this population with newly diagnosed ovarian cancer no differences in reported toxicity between the two groups was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.01.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8084973PMC
May 2021

Immune Activation in Patients with Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer Treated with Ipilimumab Following Definitive Chemoradiation (GOG-9929).

Clin Cancer Res 2020 11 18;26(21):5621-5630. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Purpose: A phase I clinical trial (GOG-9929) examined the safety and efficacy of adjuvant immune-modulation therapy with the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab [anti-CTL antigen-4 (anti-CTLA-4)] following chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for newly diagnosed node-positive human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical cancer. To better understand the mechanism of action and to identify predictive biomarkers, immunologic and viral correlates were assessed before, during, and after treatment.

Patients And Methods: Twenty-one patients who received CRT and ≥2 doses of ipilimumab and 5 patients who received CRT only were evaluable for translational endpoints. Circulating T-cell subsets were evaluated by multiparameter flow cytometry. Cytokines were evaluated by multiplex ELISA. HPV-specific T cells were evaluated in a subset of patients by IFNγ ELISpot.

Results: Expression of the activation markers ICOS and PD-1 significantly increased on T-cell subsets following CRT and were sustained or increased following ipilimumab treatment. Combined CRT/ipilimumab treatment resulted in a significant expansion of both central and effector memory T-cell populations. Genotype-specific E6/E7-specific T-cell responses increased post-CRT in 1 of 8 HPV16 patients and in 2 of 3 HPV18 patients. Elevation in levels of tumor-promoting circulating cytokines (TNFα, IL6, IL8) post-CRT was significantly associated with worse progression-free survival.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that CRT alone and combined with ipilimumab immunotherapy show immune-modulating activity in women with locally advanced cervical cancer and may be a promising therapeutic option for the enhancement of antitumor immune cell function after primary CRT for this population at high risk for recurrence and metastasis. Several key immune biomarkers were identified that were associated with clinical response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642021PMC
November 2020

Berzosertib plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in platinum-resistant high-grade serous ovarian cancer: a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2020 07 15;21(7):957-968. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: High-grade serous ovarian cancers show increased replication stress, rendering cells vulnerable to ATR inhibition because of near universal loss of the G1/S checkpoint (through deleterious TP53 mutations), premature S phase entry (due to CCNE1 amplification, RB1 loss, or CDKN2A mRNA downregulation), alterations of homologous recombination repair genes, and expression of oncogenic drivers (through MYC amplification and other mechanisms). We hypothesised that the combination of the selective ATR inhibitor, berzosertib, and gemcitabine could show acceptable toxicity and superior efficacy to gemcitabine alone in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Methods: In this multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 2 study, 11 different centres in the US Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network enrolled women (aged ≥18 years) with recurrent, platinum-resistant high-grade serous ovarian cancer (determined histologically) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, who had unlimited previous lines of cytotoxic therapy in the platinum-sensitive setting but no more than one line of cytotoxic therapy in the platinum-resistant setting. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive intravenous gemcitabine (1000 mg/m) on day 1 and day 8, or gemcitabine plus intravenous berzosertib (210 mg/m) on day 2 and day 9 of a 21-day cycle until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. Randomisation was done centrally using the Theradex Interactive Web Response System, stratified by platinum-free interval, and with a permuted block size of six. Following central randomisation, patients and investigators were not masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival, and analyses included all patients who received at least one dose of the study drugs. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02595892, and is active but closed to enrolment.

Findings: Between Feb 14, 2017, and Sept 7, 2018, 88 patients were assessed for eligibility, of whom 70 were randomly assigned to treatment with gemcitabine alone (36 patients) or gemcitabine plus berzosertib (34 patients). At the data cutoff date (Feb 21, 2020), the median follow-up was 53·2 weeks (25·6-81·8) in the gemcitabine plus berzosertib group and 43·0 weeks (IQR 23·2-69·1) in the gemcitabine alone group. Median progression-free survival was 22·9 weeks (17·9-72·0) for gemcitabine plus berzosertib and 14·7 weeks (90% CI 9·7-36·7) for gemcitabine alone (hazard ratio 0·57, 90% CI 0·33-0·98; one-sided log-rank test p=0·044). The most common treatment-related grade 3 or 4 adverse events were decreased neutrophil count (14 [39%] of 36 patients in the gemcitabine alone group vs 16 [47%] of 34 patients in the gemcitabine plus berzosertib group) and decreased platelet count (two [6%] vs eight [24%]). Serious adverse events were observed in ten (28%) patients in the gemcitabine alone group and nine (26%) patients in the gemcitabine plus berzosertib group. There was one treatment-related death in the gemcitabine alone group due to sepsis and one treatment-related death in the gemcitabine plus berzosertib group due to pneumonitis.

Interpretation: To our knowledge, this is the first randomised study of an ATR inhibitor in any tumour type. This study shows a benefit of adding berzosertib to gemcitabine in platinum-resistant high-grade serous ovarian cancer. This combination warrants further investigation in this setting.

Funding: US National Cancer Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30180-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023719PMC
July 2020

Larotrectinib in patients with TRK fusion-positive solid tumours: a pooled analysis of three phase 1/2 clinical trials.

Lancet Oncol 2020 04 24;21(4):531-540. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA; Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The selective TRK inhibitor larotrectinib was approved for paediatric and adult patients with advanced TRK fusion-positive solid tumours based on a primary analysis set of 55 patients. The aim of our analysis was to explore the efficacy and long-term safety of larotrectinib in a larger population of patients with TRK fusion-positive solid tumours.

Methods: Patients were enrolled and treated in a phase 1 adult, a phase 1/2 paediatric, or a phase 2 adolescent and adult trial. Some eligibility criteria differed between these studies. For this pooled analysis, eligible patients were aged 1 month or older, with a locally advanced or metastatic non-CNS primary, TRK fusion-positive solid tumour, who had received standard therapy previously if available. This analysis set includes the 55 patients on which approval of larotrectinib was based. Larotrectinib was administered orally (capsule or liquid formulation), on a continuous 28-day schedule, to adults mostly at a dose of 100 mg twice daily, and to paediatric patients mostly at a dose of 100 mg/m (maximum of 100 mg) twice daily. The primary endpoint was objective response as assessed by local investigators in an intention-to-treat analysis. Contributing trials are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02122913 (active not recruiting), NCT02637687 (recruiting), and NCT02576431 (recruiting).

Findings: Between May 1, 2014, and Feb 19, 2019, 159 patients with TRK fusion-positive cancer were enrolled and treated with larotrectinib. Ages ranged from less than 1 month to 84 years. The proportion of patients with an objective response according to investigator assessment was 121 (79%, 95% CI 72-85) of 153 evaluable patients, with 24 (16%) having complete responses. In a safety population of 260 patients treated regardless of TRK fusion status, the most common grade 3 or 4 larotrectinib-related adverse events were increased alanine aminotransferase (eight [3%] of 260 patients), anaemia (six, 2%), and decreased neutrophil count (five [2%]). The most common larotrectinib-related serious adverse events were increased alanine aminotransferase (two [<1%] of 260 patients), increased aspartate aminotransferase (two [<1%]), and nausea (two [<1%]). No treatment-related deaths occurred.

Interpretation: These data confirm that TRK fusions define a unique molecular subgroup of advanced solid tumours for which larotrectinib is highly active. Safety data indicate that long-term administration of larotrectinib is feasible.

Funding: Bayer and Loxo Oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30856-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7497841PMC
April 2020

Sequential Ipilimumab After Chemoradiotherapy in Curative-Intent Treatment of Patients With Node-Positive Cervical Cancer.

JAMA Oncol 2020 Jan;6(1):92-99

Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Importance: Despite standard chemoradiotherapy (CRT), most women with lymph node (LN)-positive cervical cancer experience disease recurrence. Immunotherapy is being investigated in the up-front treatment setting.

Objectives: To assess the safety of sequential immunotherapy after CRT and to investigate human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype and HLA allele status on survival and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) expression before and after CRT and sequential immunotherapy.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This prospective phase 1 trial conducted in 29 Gynecology Oncology Cooperative Group member institutions enrolled participants from December 18, 2012, to August 31, 2016, with a 14.8-month median follow-up and translational end points. Thirty-four women with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IB2 to IVA cervical cancer with positive pelvic LNs, para-aortic LNs, or both were enrolled; 13 did not receive ipilimumab and were excluded from the analysis. Data were analyzed from January 21 to April 4, 2018.

Interventions: Treatment consisted of 6 weekly doses of cisplatin, 40 mg/m2, concurrent with radiotherapy. After completion of chemotherapy, sequential ipilimumab was given every 21 days for 4 doses. Two dosage levels of ipilimumab, 3 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg, were studied to identify the maximum tolerated dose.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was safety, and the secondary end points were overall survival and progression-free survival. Exploratory end points included HPV genotype, HLA allele status, and PD-1 expression measured in peripheral blood.

Results: The median age of the 32 participants included in the intent-to-treat analysis was 50 (range, 26-61) years, and 22 patients (69%) were white. Of the 21 patients who received ipilimumab, all had positive pelvic LN, and 6 (29%) had positive para-aortic LNs. All patients completed CRT, and of the 21 patients who received at least 2 cycles of ipilimumab, 18 (86%) completed 4 cycles of ipilimumab, and 3 (14%) completed 2 cycles. The maximum tolerated dose was 10 mg/kg. Two of the 21 patients (9.5%) who received ipilimumab had self-limiting grade 3 toxic effects (lipase increase; dermatitis). The 12-month overall survival was 90%, and progression-free survival was 81%. Human papillomavirus genotype and HLA subtype were not associated with progression-free survival or overall survival. T cells expressing PD-1 increased after CRT, and levels were sustained with ipilimumab.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study's findings suggest that the use of immunotherapy after CRT for curative-intent treatment of patients with cervical cancer is tolerable and effective. The results indicated that PD-1 was upregulated after CRT and sustained with sequential ipilimumab therapy. These immune findings may help guide future therapies to harness the activated T-cell phenotype in patients with node-positive cervical cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.3857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6902184PMC
January 2020

A phase I study of intravenous or intraperitoneal platinum based chemotherapy in combination with veliparib and bevacizumab in newly diagnosed ovarian, primary peritoneal and fallopian tube cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2020 01 7;156(1):13-22. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Improvements in disease free survival for epithelial ovarian, peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer (EOC) will only come with improved primary therapy. Incorporation of poly-ADP-ribose inhibitors (PARPi) in the frontline setting may represent one strategy. This study sought to determine the maximum tolerated and feasible doses of the PARPi veliparib in combination with chemotherapy for EOC.

Methods: A phase I, 3 + 3 dose escalation evaluated dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) in cycles 1-2. Once <2/6 patients experienced a DLT, that dose level expanded to evaluate feasibility over 4 cycles. This study opened 10/2009 and closed 8/2016. Eligible patients had untreated, stage II-IV EOC. Veliparib was added either continuous (day 1-21) or intermittent (day - 2 to 5) during 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Three chemotherapy backbones were evaluated (2 intravenous (q3week and weekly) and 1 intraperitoneal (IP)) all inclusive of bevacizumab with and as maintenance to 22 cycles.

Findings: Dose evaluations for 424 treated patients were available. Regimen 1 (q3 week), continuous (Reg1c) the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was 250 mg veliparib BID and feasible dose was 150 mg BID. For regimen 1, intermittent (Reg1i) the MTD and feasible dose were 400 and 250 mg BID. For Reg2c (weekly paclitaxel) the MTD and feasible dose were 150 mg BID. For Reg2i the MTD and feasible dose were 250 and 150 mg BID. For Reg3c (IP) the MTD and feasible dose were 150 mg BID and for Reg3i (IP), the MTD and feasible dose were 400 mg and 300 mg BID.

Interpretation: The feasible dose for Reg1c, 2c, 2i and 3c was 150 mg po BID. For Reg1i and 3i the dose was pushed to 250 and 300 mg po BID respectively. There is no apparent difference in efficacy between continuous and intermittent dosing indicating that the higher doses achieved in intermittent dosing may not be needed. (NCT00989651).

Funding: National Cancer Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.10.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7048389PMC
January 2020

Safety, Tolerability, and Potential Clinical Activity of a Glucocorticoid-Induced TNF Receptor-Related Protein Agonist Alone or in Combination With Nivolumab for Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors: A Phase 1/2a Dose-Escalation and Cohort-Expansion Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2020 Jan;6(1):100-107

Bras and Family Drug Development Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Importance: Multiple immunostimulatory agonist antibodies have been clinically tested in solid tumors to evaluate the role of targeting glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-related protein in anticancer treatments.

Objective: To evaluate the safety and activity of the fully human glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor-related protein agonist IgG1 monoclonal antibody BMS-986156 with or without nivolumab in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This global, open-label, phase 1/2a study of BMS-986156 with or without nivolumab enrolled 292 patients 18 years or older with advanced solid tumors and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 or less. Prior checkpoint inhibitor therapy was allowed. Monotherapy and combination dose-escalation cohorts ran concurrently to guide expansion doses beginning October 16, 2015; the study is ongoing.

Interventions: The protein agonist BMS-986156 was administered intravenously at a dose of 10, 30, 100, 240, or 800 mg every 2 weeks as monotherapy, and in the combination group 30, 100, 240, or 800 mg plus 240 mg of nivolumab every 2 weeks; same-dose cohorts were pooled for analysis. One cohort also received 480 mg of BMS-986156 plus 480 mg of nivolumab every 4 weeks.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end points were safety, tolerability, and dose-limiting toxic effects. Additional end points included antitumor activity per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1, and exploratory biomarker analyses.

Results: With a follow-up range of 1.4 to 101.7 weeks (follow-up ongoing), 34 patients (16 women and 18 men; median age, 56.6 years [range, 28-75 years]) received monotherapy (4 patients completed initial treatment), and 258 patients (140 women and 118 men; median age, 60 years [range, 21-87 years]) received combination therapy (65 patients completed initial treatment). No grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events occurred with BMS-986156 monotherapy; grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events occurred in 24 patients (9.3%) receiving BMS-986156 plus nivolumab, with no grade 5 treatment-related adverse events. One dose-limiting toxic effect (grade 4 elevated creatine phosphokinase levels) occurred in a patient receiving 800 mg of BMS-986156 plus 240 mg of nivolumab every 2 weeks; BMS-986156 with or without nivolumab exhibited linear pharmacokinetics with dose-related increase after a single dose. Peripheral T-cell and natural killer-cell proliferation increased after administration of BMS-986156 with or without nivolumab. No consistent and significant modulation of intratumoral CD8+ T cells and FoxP3+ regulatory T cells was observed. No responses were seen with BMS-986156 alone; objective response rates ranged from 0% to 11.1% (1 of 9) across combination therapy cohorts, with a few responses observed in patients previously treated with anti-programmed death receptor (ligand) 1 therapy.

Conclusions And Relevance: Based on this cohort, BMS-986156 appears to have had a manageable safety profile, and BMS-986156 plus nivolumab demonstrated safety and efficacy comparable to historical data reported for nivolumab monotherapy.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02598960.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.3848DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6865300PMC
January 2020

Safety lead-in of the MEK inhibitor trametinib in combination with GSK2141795, an AKT inhibitor, in patients with recurrent endometrial cancer: An NRG Oncology/GOG study.

Gynecol Oncol 2019 12 15;155(3):420-428. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: We sought to determine safety and efficacy of the AKT inhibitor, GSK2141795, combined with the MEK inhibitor, trametinib, in endometrial cancer.

Methods: Patients with measurable recurrent endometrial cancer were eligible. One to two prior cytotoxic regimens were allowed; prior use of a MEK or PI3K pathway inhibitor was excluded. Initial trial design consisted of a KRAS mutation stratified randomized phase II with a safety lead-in evaluating the combination. For the safety lead in, the previously recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D; trametinib 1.5 mg, GSK2141795 50 mg) was chosen for Dose Level 1 (DL1).

Results: Of 26 enrolled patients, 14 were treated on DL1 and 12 were treated on DL-1 (trametinib 1.5 mg, GSK2141795 25 mg). Most common histologies were endometrioid (58%) and serous (27%). Four of 25 (16%) patients were KRAS mutant. Dose limiting toxicities (DLTs) were assessed during cycle 1. DL1 had 8 DLTs (hypertension (n = 2), mucositis (2), rash (2), dehydration, stroke/acute kidney injury). DL1 was deemed non-tolerable so DL-1 was explored. DL-1 had no DLTs. Sixty-five percent of patients had ≥ grade 3 toxicity. There were no responses in DL1 (0%, 90%CI 0-15%) and 1 response in DL-1 (8.3%, 90%CI 0.4-33.9%). Proportion PFS at 6 months for DL1 is 14%, and 25% for DL-1.

Conclusion: The combination of trametinib and GSK2141795 had high levels of toxicity in endometrial cancer at the previously RP2D but was tolerable at a reduced dose. Due to insufficient preliminary efficacy at a tolerable dose, the Phase II study was not initiated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6922584PMC
December 2019

Paclitaxel and Alisertib in Recurrent Ovarian Cancer-In Reply.

JAMA Oncol 2019 06;5(6):910-911

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.0562DOI Listing
June 2019

Alisertib in Combination With Weekly Paclitaxel in Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer or Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2019 01 10;5(1):e183773. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Importance: There is an unmet medical need for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer, and new approaches are needed to improve progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival.

Objective: This phase 1/2 study evaluated the activity of alisertib in combination with weekly paclitaxel in patients with breast (phase 1) and ovarian cancer (phase 1 and phase 2).

Design, Setting, And Participants: An open-label phase 1 and randomized phase 2 clinical trial conducted from April 16, 2010, for phase 1 and March 28, 2012, to August 12, 2013, for phase 2 was conducted at 33 sites (United States, France, and Poland). Data are reported from a cutoff date of August 12, 2014, with a median duration of follow-up of 7.2 months in the alisertib plus paclitaxel arm and 4.6 months in the paclitaxel arm. A total of 191 women with advanced breast (phase 1 only) or recurrent ovarian cancer were enrolled, including 142 patients randomized to alisertib plus paclitaxel (n = 73) or paclitaxel alone (n = 69) in the phase 2 study.

Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 stratified by platinum-free interval (refractory, 0-6 months, 6-12 months) and prior weekly taxane treatment (yes, no) to receive alisertib 40 mg twice per day orally and 3 days on and 4 days off for 3 weeks, plus paclitaxel (60 mg/m2 intravenously, days 1, 8, and 15), or weekly paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 intravenously in 28-day cycles.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary endpoint was PFS; primary efficacy analysis and safety analysis used modified intention to treat (mITT) population (all randomized patients who received ≥1 dose of study drug).

Results: The median age for the 191 patients enrolled in phase 1 was 59 (range, 29-75) years. The median age for the 142 patients enrolled in phase 2 was 63 (range, 30-81) years for patients receiving alisertib plus paclitaxel and 61 (range, 41-81) years for patients receiving paclitaxel. At data cutoff, 107 (75%) patients had a documented PFS event; 52 (71%) in the alisertib plus paclitaxel arm, and 55 (80%) in the paclitaxel arm. Median PFS was 6.7 months with alisertib plus paclitaxel vs 4.7 months with paclitaxel (HR, 0.75; 80% CI, 0.58-0.96; P = .14; 2-sided P value cutoff = .20 to be considered worthy of further investigation). Drug-related grade 3 or higher adverse events were reported in 63 (86%) vs 14 (20%) patients in the alisertib plus paclitaxel and paclitaxel arms, including 56 (77%) vs 7 (10%) neutropenia, 18 (25%) vs 0 stomatitis, and 10 (14%) vs 2 (3%) anemia; 54 (74%) vs 17 (25%) had adverse events leading to dose reductions. Two patients died during the study (1 in each arm); neither death was considered related to study drug.

Conclusions And Relevance: The primary endpoint, PFS, significantly favored alisertib plus paclitaxel over paclitaxel alone. Further investigation is warranted.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01091428.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.3773DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439781PMC
January 2019

Metformin as a Therapeutic Target in Endometrial Cancers.

Front Oncol 2018 28;8:341. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States.

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in developed countries. Its increasing incidence is thought to be related in part to the rise of metabolic syndrome, which has been shown to be a risk factor for the development of hyperestrogenic and hyperinsulinemic states. This has consequently lead to an increase in other hormone-responsive cancers as well e.g., breast and ovarian cancer. The correlation between obesity, hyperglycemia, and endometrial cancer has highlighted the important role of metabolism in cancer establishment and persistence. Tumor-mediated reprogramming of the microenvironment and macroenvironment can range from induction of cytokines and growth factors to stimulation of surrounding stromal cells to produce energy-rich catabolites, fueling the growth, and survival of cancer cells. Such mechanisms raise the prospect of the metabolic microenvironment itself as a viable target for treatment of malignancies. Metformin is a biguanide drug that is a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes that has beneficial effects on various markers of the metabolic syndrome. Many studies suggest that metformin shows potential as an adjuvant treatment for uterine and other cancers. Here, we review the evidence for metformin as a treatment for cancers of the endometrium. We discuss the available clinical data and the molecular mechanisms by which it may exert its effects, with a focus on how it may alter the tumor microenvironment. The pleiotropic effects of metformin on cellular energy production and usage as well as intercellular and hormone-based interactions make it a promising candidate for reprogramming of the cancer ecosystem. This, along with other treatments aimed at targeting tumor metabolic pathways, may lead to novel treatment strategies for endometrial cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121131PMC
August 2018

Aurora A Functional Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Correlates With Clinical Outcome in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors Treated With Alisertib, an Investigational Aurora A Kinase Inhibitor.

EBioMedicine 2017 Nov 16;25:50-57. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.

Background: Alisertib (MLN8237) is an investigational, oral, selective Aurora A kinase inhibitor. Aurora A contains two functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; codon 31 [F/I] and codon 57 [V/I]) that lead to functional changes. This study investigated the prognostic and predictive significance of these SNPs.

Methods: This study evaluated associations between Aurora A SNPs and overall survival (OS) in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. The Aurora A SNPs were also evaluated as predictive biomarkers for clinical outcomes to alisertib in two phase 2 studies (NCT01045421 and NCT01091428). Aurora A SNP genotyping was obtained from 85 patients with advanced solid tumors receiving single-agent alisertib and 122 patients with advanced recurrent ovarian cancer treated with alisertib plus weekly paclitaxel (n=62) or paclitaxel alone (n=60). Whole blood was collected prior to treatment and genotypes were analyzed by PCR.

Findings: TCGA data suggested prognostic significance for codon 57 SNP; solid tumor patients with VV and VI alleles had significantly reduced OS versus those with II alleles (HR 1.9 [VI] and 1.8 [VV]; p<0.0001). In NCT01045421, patients carrying the VV alleles at codon 57 (n=53, 62%) had significantly longer progression-free survival (PFS) than patients carrying IV or II alleles (n=32, 38%; HR 0.5; p=0.0195). In NCT01091428, patients with the VV alleles at codon 57 who received alisertib plus paclitaxel (n=47, 39%) had a trend towards improved PFS (7.5months) vs paclitaxel alone (n=32, 26%; 3.8months; HR 0.618; p=0.0593). In the paclitaxel alone arm, patients with the VV alleles had reduced PFS vs modified intent-to-treat (mITT) patients (3.8 vs 5.1months), consistent with the TCGA study identifying the VV alleles as a poor prognostic biomarker. No significant associations were identified for codon 31 SNP from the same data set.

Interpretation: These findings suggest that Aurora A SNP at codon 57 may predict disease outcome and response to alisertib in patients with solid tumors. Further investigation is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.10.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5704062PMC
November 2017

A phase I trial of intraperitoneal GEN-1, an IL-12 plasmid formulated with PEG-PEI-cholesterol lipopolymer, administered with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with recurrent or persistent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers: An NRG Oncology/Gynecologic Oncology Group study.

Gynecol Oncol 2017 11 10;147(2):283-290. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

Department of Medicine and the UVA Cancer Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: The study's purpose was to assess safety and efficacy of escalating doses of weekly GEN-1 with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) in patients with recurrent or persistent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers (EOC).

Methods: Patients had persistent or recurrent platinum-resistant EOC. The trial was a standard 3+3 phase I dose escalation design with patients receiving intravenous PLD 40mg/m (dose level 1 and 2) or 50mg/m (dose level 3) every 28days and intraperitoneal GEN-1 at 24mg/m (dose level 1) or 36mg/m (dose level 2 and 3) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of a 28day cycle. Cycles were repeated every 28days until disease progression. Patients were monitored for toxicity, clinical efficacy, and evidence of systemic and intraperitoneal immunologic effect.

Results: Sixteen evaluable patients received a median of 4cycles (range 1-8). No dose limiting toxicities were found. The adverse side effects were 4 grade 3 anemia, 2 grade 3 abdominal pain, 7 grade 3 neutropenia, and 2 grade 4 neutropenia. A clinical benefit of 57.1% (PR=21.4%; SD=35.7%) was found in the 14 patients with measurable disease. The highest number of partial responses (28.6%) and stable disease (57.1%) were found at dose level 3. The maximum tolerated dose was not reached. Increases in IL-12, IFN-γ, and TNF-α levels were found in peritoneal fluid following GEN-1 treatment.

Conclusions: GEN-1 in combination with PLD has encouraging clinical benefit and biological activity in recurrent or persistent EOC and warrants further investigation with escalating doses of GEN-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.08.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5704992PMC
November 2017

A randomised, open-label, phase 2 study of the IDO1 inhibitor epacadostat (INCB024360) versus tamoxifen as therapy for biochemically recurrent (CA-125 relapse)-only epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal carcinoma, or fallopian tube cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2017 09 8;146(3):484-490. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Objective: Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) is a key regulator of immune tolerance in ovarian cancer. This study investigated efficacy and safety of the IDO1 enzyme inhibitor epacadostat versus tamoxifen in patients with biochemical-only recurrence (CA-125 elevation) following complete remission after first-line chemotherapy for advanced epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer.

Methods: In this open-label, phase 2 study (NCT01685255), patients were randomised 1:1 to epacadostat 600mg or tamoxifen 20mg twice daily for successive 28-day cycles and stratified by time since completion of first-line chemotherapy to first CA-125 elevation (3 to <12 or ≥12months). The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival (PFS; RECIST v1.1). Secondary endpoints included CA-125 response (Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup criteria), overall survival, safety, and tolerability.

Results: The study was terminated primarily due to slow accrual and lack of evidence of superiority. Median PFS was 3.75months for epacadostat (n=22) versus 5.56months for tamoxifen (n=20; HR, 1.34 [95% CI, 0.58-3.14]; P=0.54). Of evaluable patients, 1 (5.0%) epacadostat and 3 (15.8%) tamoxifen patients had confirmed CA-125 responses. The most common treatment-emergent adverse event was fatigue (epacadostat, 36.4%; tamoxifen, 40.0%). Immune-related adverse events, observed with epacadostat only, were primarily rash (18.2%) and pruritus (9.1%). Epacadostat pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics were consistent with its known mechanism of action. IDO1 expression was observed in 94% of archival tumour samples.

Conclusions: This first report of immunotherapy evaluation in biochemical-only relapse ovarian cancer and of IDO1 inhibitor monotherapy in ovarian cancer found no significant difference in efficacy between epacadostat and tamoxifen. Epacadostat was generally well tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.07.005DOI Listing
September 2017

A phase I pharmacokinetic study of intraperitoneal bortezomib and carboplatin in patients with persistent or recurrent ovarian cancer: An NRG Oncology/Gynecologic Oncology Group study.

Gynecol Oncol 2017 05 22;145(2):236-242. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, United States. Electronic address:

Purpose: Intraperitoneal (IP) therapy improves survival compared to intravenous (IV) treatment for women with newly diagnosed, optimally cytoreduced, ovarian cancer. However, the role of IP therapy in recurrent disease is unknown. Preclinical data demonstrated IP administration of the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib prior to IP carboplatin increased tumor platinum accumulation resulting in synergistic cytotoxicity. We conducted this phase I trial of IP bortezomib and carboplatin in women with recurrent disease.

Methods: Women with recurrent ovarian cancer were treated with escalating doses of IP bortezomib - in combination with IP carboplatin (AUC 4 or 5) every 21days for 6cycles. Pharmacokinetics of both agents were evaluated in cycle 1.

Results: Thirty-three women participated; 32 were evaluable for safety. Two patients experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) at the first dose level (carboplatin AUC 5, bortezomib 0.5mg/m), prompting carboplatin reduction to AUC 4 for subsequent dose levels. With carboplatin dose fixed at AUC 4, bortezomib was escalated from 0.5 to 2.5mg/m without DLT. Grade 3/4 related toxicities included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea which were infrequent. The overall response rate in patients with measurable disease (n=21) was 19% (1 complete, 3 partial). C and AUC in peritoneal fluid and plasma increased linearly with dose, with a favorable exposure ratio of the peritoneal cavity relative to peripheral blood plasma.

Conclusion: IP administration of this novel combination was feasible and showed promising activity in this phase I trial of heavily pre-treated women with ovarian cancer. Further evaluation of this IP combination should be conducted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.03.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5706109PMC
May 2017

Brain Metastases in Patients with Gynecologic Cancers: A Single Institution Experience and Review of the Literature.

Open J Obstet Gynecol 2016 Aug 15;6(9):544-552. Epub 2016 Aug 15.

Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Objective: Brain Metastasis (BM) from primary gynecologic cancers is a rare entity. The advances and successes in the treatment of primary gynecologic malignancies, have led to prolonged survival and, a higher incidence of BM. This study aims to report the experience at our institution in managing these patients, and provide possible data points that may be essential to note as prognostic factors, and see if our findings are consistent with the literature in this subject. We also aim to provide a brief literature review of patients with gynecologic cancers and BM.

Methods: This is a small single institution retrospective study of 23 patients with a gynecologic malignancy and BM, identified between the years 2007-2015. Data were collected on variables including patient demographics, disease and treatment.

Results: The median overall survival from the primary diagnosis was 28 months. Median time from diagnosis of BM to death was 9 months.

Conclusion: The outcomes in our study are similar to what is stated in the current literature with regard to BM from gynecologic malignancies. Our literature search also revealed that the molecular analysis and treatment of the primary tumor remain important to prevent BMs. The tendency of tumors to metastasize varies for one tumor type to another for the same type of tumor. The tendency to develop BM may not only depend on risk factors such as stage, grade, and histology, but also on the genetic profile of the primary tumor. The study suggests that multimodal treatment of BM has better outcomes in managing BM from gynecologic cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojog.2016.69070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6758932PMC
August 2016

A Synthetic Lethality Screen Using a Focused siRNA Library to Identify Sensitizers to Dasatinib Therapy for the Treatment of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.

PLoS One 2015 4;10(12):e0144126. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America.

Molecular targeted therapies have been the focus of recent clinical trials for the treatment of patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). The majority have not fared well as monotherapies for improving survival of these patients. Poor bioavailability, lack of predictive biomarkers, and the presence of multiple survival pathways can all diminish the success of a targeted agent. Dasatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the Src-family kinases (SFK) and in preclinical studies shown to have substantial activity in EOC. However, when evaluated in a phase 2 clinical trial for patients with recurrent or persistent EOC, it was found to have minimal activity. We hypothesized that synthetic lethality screens performed using a cogently designed siRNA library would identify second-site molecular targets that could synergize with SFK inhibition and improve dasatinib efficacy. Using a systematic approach, we performed primary siRNA screening using a library focused on 638 genes corresponding to a network centered on EGFR, HER2, and the SFK-scaffolding proteins BCAR1, NEDD9, and EFS to screen EOC cells in combination with dasatinib. We followed up with validation studies including deconvolution screening, quantitative PCR to confirm effective gene silencing, correlation of gene expression with dasatinib sensitivity, and assessment of the clinical relevance of hits using TCGA ovarian cancer data. A refined list of five candidates (CSNK2A1, DAG1, GRB2, PRKCE, and VAV1) was identified as showing the greatest potential for improving sensitivity to dasatinib in EOC. Of these, CSNK2A1, which codes for the catalytic alpha subunit of protein kinase CK2, was selected for additional evaluation. Synergistic activity of the clinically relevant inhibitor of CK2, CX-4945, with dasatinib in reducing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis was observed across multiple EOC cell lines. This overall approach to improving drug efficacy can be applied to other targeted agents that have similarly shown poor clinical activity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144126PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4670180PMC
June 2016

A Phase I Study of the SMAC-Mimetic Birinapant in Adults with Refractory Solid Tumors or Lymphoma.

Mol Cancer Ther 2015 Nov 2;14(11):2569-75. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York.

The inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family of antiapoptotic proteins has been identified as a target for small molecule inhibitors in cancer. Second mitochondrial-derived activator of caspases (SMAC) efficiently and naturally antagonizes IAPs, and preclinical studies have determined that SMAC mimetics have potent anticancer properties. Here, we report a first-in-human trial designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) of birinapant, a novel SMAC mimetic. Patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma were enrolled in a 3+3 dose escalation design with birinapant administered intravenously from 0.18 to 63 mg/m(2) once weekly every 3 of 4 weeks. Fifty patients were enrolled to 12 dose cohorts. Birinapant 47 mg/m(2) was determined to be the MTD. At 63 mg/m(2), dose-limiting toxicities included headache, nausea, and vomiting. Two cases of Bell's palsy (grade 2) also occurred at 63 mg/m(2). Birinapant had a plasma half-life of 30 to 35 hours and accumulated in tumor tissue. Birinapant suppressed cIAP1 and increased apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and tumor tissue. Prolonged stable disease was observed in 3 patients: non-small cell lung cancer (5 months), colorectal cancer (5 months), and liposarcoma (9 months). Two patients with colorectal cancer had radiographic evidence of tumor shrinkage. In conclusion, birinapant was well tolerated with an MTD of 47 mg/m(2) and exhibited favorable PK and PD properties. Several patients demonstrated stable disease and evidence of antitumor activity. These results support the ongoing clinical trials of birinapant in patients with cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0475DOI Listing
November 2015

Hereditary ovarian cancer: not only BRCA 1 and 2 genes.

Biomed Res Int 2015 17;2015:341723. Epub 2015 May 17.

Department of Oncology, Haematology and Respiratory Diseases, University Hospital of Modena, 41124 Modena, Italy.

More than one-fifth of ovarian tumors have hereditary susceptibility and, in about 65-85% of these cases, the genetic abnormality is a germline mutation in BRCA genes. Nevertheless, several other suppressor genes and oncogenes have been associated with hereditary ovarian cancers, including the mismatch repair (MMR) genes in Lynch syndrome, the tumor suppressor gene, TP53, in the Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and several other genes involved in the double-strand breaks repair system, such as CHEK2, RAD51, BRIP1, and PALB2. The study of genetic discriminators and deregulated pathways involved in hereditary ovarian syndromes is relevant for the future development of molecular diagnostic strategies and targeted therapeutic approaches. The recent development and implementation of next-generation sequencing technologies have provided the opportunity to simultaneously analyze multiple cancer susceptibility genes, reduce the delay and costs, and optimize the molecular diagnosis of hereditary tumors. Particularly, the identification of mutations in ovarian cancer susceptibility genes in healthy women may result in a more personalized cancer risk management with tailored clinical and radiological surveillance, chemopreventive approaches, and/or prophylactic surgeries. On the other hand, for ovarian cancer patients, the identification of mutations may provide potential targets for biologic agents and guide treatment decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/341723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449870PMC
March 2016

Adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy for high-risk, early stage endometrial cancer.

J Contemp Brachytherapy 2014 Oct 5;6(3):262-70. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Purpose: To report outcomes following adjuvant high-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy (VBT) with or without chemotherapy for high-intermediate risk (HIR) and high-risk, early stage endometrial cancer as defined in Gynecologic Oncology Group trial 0249.

Material And Methods: From May 2000 to January 2014, 68 women with HIR and high-risk endometrial cancer underwent surgical staging followed by VBT. Median VBT dose was 21 Gy delivered in three fractions prescribed to 0.5 cm depth. Paclitaxel 175 mg/m(2) and carboplatin area under the curve 6 was administered every 21 days in sequence with VBT. Actuarial survival estimates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Patient demographics included a median age of 66 years (range: 36-91) and stages IA (49%), IB (38%), and II (13%), respectively. Thirty-one (46%) patients had HIR disease with endometrioid histology, and 33 (48%) patients had serous or clear cell histology. Thirty-seven (54%) patients received a median 3 cycles (range: 3-6) of chemotherapy in addition to VBT, and 65 patients (96%) completed all prescribed therapy. During a median follow up of 33.1 months (range: 4.0-161.7), four patients have recurred, including one vaginal recurrence. The 3-year estimates of vaginal, pelvic, and distant recurrences were 1.9%, 2.4%, and 9.1%, respectively. The 3-year rates of disease-free and overall survival were 87.7% and 93.9%, respectively.

Conclusions: Early outcomes with adjuvant VBT with or without chemotherapy demonstrate high rates of vaginal and pelvic control for women with HIR disease. Early vaginal and pelvic relapses in high-risk patients suggest that pelvic external beam radiotherapy is warranted in this subgroup, but additional data from large phase III trials is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/jcb.2014.45031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4200177PMC
October 2014

A phase 1b study of trebananib in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin or topotecan in women with recurrent platinum-resistant or partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2014 Oct 11;135(1):25-33. Epub 2014 Jul 11.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: To examine the tolerability and antitumor activity of trebananib plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) or topotecan in recurrent platinum-resistant or partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

Methods: In this open-label phase 1b study, patients received trebananib 10 mg/kg or 15 mg/kg IV QW plus PLD 50 mg/m(2) (cohorts A1 and A3, respectively) or topotecan 4 mg/m(2) (cohorts B1 and B3, respectively). Endpoints were dose-limiting toxicity (DLT; primary); treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs), overall response rate, anti-trebananib antibodies, and pharmacokinetics (secondary).

Results: 103 patients were enrolled. One patient in A1 and B1 had DLTs. Across all cohorts, the most common AEs were nausea, fatigue, and peripheral edema. Across both trebananib plus PLD cohorts (A1/A3), grade 4 AEs were pulmonary embolism, disease progression, and anemia. Two patients had grade 5 intestinal perforation (n=1) and sudden death (n=1). Across both trebananib plus topotecan cohorts (B1/B3), grade 4 AEs were neutropenia, hypokalemia, decreased granulocyte count, chest pain, dyspnea, decreased neutrophil count, and pulmonary embolism. Two patients had grade 5 disease progression. One patient had grade 5 pleural effusion associated with progressive disease. Confirmed objective response rates were 36.0% (A1), 34.8% (A3), 16.7% (B1), and 0.0% (B3). Median progression-free survival duration (months) was 7.4 (A1), 7.1 (A3), 3.5 (B1), and 3.1 (B3), respectively. No drug-drug interactions were apparent.

Conclusions: Trebananib 10mg/kg and 15 mg/kg IV QW plus PLD or topotecan appear to have acceptable toxicity profiles in recurrent platinum-resistant or partially platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. Antitumor activity was evident across all cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.07.003DOI Listing
October 2014

Refractory fallopian tube carcinoma - current perspectives in pathogenesis and management.

Int J Womens Health 2014 28;6:149-57. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

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

Fallopian tube carcinoma (FTC) is considered a rare malignancy, but recent evidence shows that its incidence may have been underestimated. Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) in breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA)-positive women has provided a unique opportunity to study the pathogenesis of FTC and ovarian carcinomas. Newer data now suggest that most high-grade serous cancers of the ovary originate in the fimbrial end of the fallopian tube. Due to the presumed rarity of FTC, most current and more recent ovarian cancer clinical trials have now included patients with FTC. The treatment guidelines recommend similar overall management and that the same chemotherapy regimens be used for epithelial ovarian cancers and FTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S40889DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913505PMC
June 2014

Influence of bevacizumab on vaginal cuff evisceration eight months after ovarian cancer cytoreduction surgery: A case report.

Gynecol Oncol Case Rep 2013 1;6:7-9. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

•44 year old woman treated with bevacizumab for metastatic epithelial ovarian cancer•The patient experienced vaginal cuff dehiscence and evisceration at 8 months post-operatively.•Metastasis at the surgical site and chronic inflammation implicated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gynor.2013.06.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3862313PMC
December 2013

A phase II evaluation of AMG 102 (rilotumumab) in the treatment of persistent or recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal carcinoma: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study.

Gynecol Oncol 2014 Mar 18;132(3):526-30. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Dept. of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Objective: This open-label, multi-institutional phase II trial evaluated activity and safety of rilotumumab (AMG 102), a monoclonal antibody that targets HGF (hepatocyte growth factor), the ligand for the MET receptor, in women with recurrent or persistent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer.

Patients And Methods: Women were eligible for treatment with rilotumumab if they had measurable disease, a performance status of 0, 1 or 2, previously received platinum-based therapy with a progression-free interval of <12 months or a second recurrence, and adequate bone marrow and organ function. Patients received rilotumumab 20mg/kg IV every 14 days until evidence of unacceptable toxicity or disease progression. The study utilized co-dual primary endpoints of tumor response and six-month PFS to assess the efficacy of rilotumumab. Secondary endpoints included the frequency and severity of adverse events and the duration of progression-free and overall survival.

Results: Thirty-one women enrolled and received rilotumumab. All were eligible for analysis. One patient achieved a complete response (3.2%; 90% CI 0.2-14%), and two women had 6-month PFS (6.5%; 90% CI 1.1-19%). Most adverse events were grade 1 or 2, with no grade 4 adverse events. Grade 3 adverse events were gastrointestinal (4), metabolic (3) anemia (3), a thromboembolic event (1), ventricular tachycardia (1), hypotension during infusion (1) and fatigue (1). The study was stopped after the first stage of accrual.

Conclusion: Rilotumumab was well-tolerated, but had limited activity. The level of activity does not warrant further evaluation of rilotumumab as a single agent in patients with ovarian cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.12.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469031PMC
March 2014

Potential role of mTORC2 as a therapeutic target in clear cell carcinoma of the ovary.

Mol Cancer Ther 2013 Jul 24;12(7):1367-77. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

The goal of this study was to examine the role of mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2) as a therapeutic target in ovarian clear cell carcinoma (CCC), which is regarded as an aggressive, chemoresistant histologic subtype. Using tissue microarrays of 98 primary ovarian cancers [52 CCCs and 46 serous adenocarcinomas (SAC)], activation of mTORC2 was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Then, the growth-inhibitory effect of mTORC2-targeting therapy, as well as the role of mTORC2 signaling as a mechanism for acquired resistance to the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor RAD001 in ovarian CCC, were examined using two pairs of RAD001-sensitive parental (RMG2 and HAC2) and RAD001-resistant CCC cell lines (RMG2-RR and HAC2-RR). mTORC2 was more frequently activated in CCCs than in SACs (71.2% vs. 45.7%). Simultaneous inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 by AZD8055 markedly inhibited the proliferation of both RAD001-sensitive and -resistant cells in vitro. Treatment with RAD001 induced mTORC2-mediated AKT activation in RAD001-sensitive CCC cells. Moreover, increased activation of mTORC2-AKT signaling was observed in RAD001-resistant CCC cells compared with the respective parental cells. Inhibition of mTORC2 during RAD001 treatment enhanced the antitumor effect of RAD001 and prevented CCC cells from acquiring resistance to RAD001. In conclusion, mTORC2 is frequently activated, and can be a promising therapeutic target, in ovarian CCCs. Moreover, mTORC2-targeted therapy may be efficacious in a first-line setting as well as for second-line treatment of recurrent disease developing after RAD001-treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-12-1185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3852914PMC
July 2013

A phase II evaluation of gefitinib in the treatment of persistent or recurrent endometrial cancer: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study.

Gynecol Oncol 2013 Jun 21;129(3):486-94. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131, United States.

Background: A phase II trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of gefitinib in patients with persistent/recurrent endometrial cancer.

Methods: Women with histologically confirmed persistent/recurrent endometrial cancer were treated with 500mg oral gefitinib daily until progression or severe toxicity, with progression-free survival (PFS) at six months as the primary endpoint. Tumor expression of total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor A (PRA) and B (PRB), Ki67, pEGFR and activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) were examined pre- and post-treatment. EGFR was sequenced, and serum concentrations of soluble EGFR (sEGFR) at baseline also were examined.

Results: Of 29 patients enrolled, 26 were evaluable for efficacy and toxicity. Four patients experienced PFS ≥6 months, and one had a complete response which was not associated with an EGFR mutation. The concentration of sEGFR in pretreatment serum was positively correlated with overall survival (OS), but not with responsiveness to gefitinib in this small patient cohort. Expression of tumor biomarkers was not associated with PFS or OS. Co-expression of ER with PRA in primary and recurrent tumors, and pEGFR with pERK in primary tumors was observed.

Conclusions: This treatment regimen was tolerable but lacked sufficient efficacy to warrant further evaluation in this setting. The possible association between serum sEGFR concentrations and OS, and temporal changes in expression of pEGFR and pERK and the documented CR of one patient are interesting and warrant additional investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.02.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700732PMC
June 2013

Ovarian cancer, version 3.2012.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2012 Nov;10(11):1339-49

City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.

These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the major updates for the 2012 NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Ovarian Cancer by describing how and why the new recommendations were made. The 6 update topics were selected based on recent important updates in the guidelines and on debate among panel members about recent clinical trials, and include: 1) screening, 2) diagnostic tests for assessing pelvic masses, 3) primary treatment using neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 4) primary adjuvant treatment using bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy, 5) therapy for recurrent disease, and 6) management of drug/hypersensitivity reactions. These NCCN Guidelines Insights also discuss why some recommendations were not made (eg, panel members did not feel the new data warranted changing the guideline). See "Updates" in the NCCN Guidelines for Ovarian Cancer for a complete list of all the recent revisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2012.0140DOI Listing
November 2012

A phase I trial of tailored radiation therapy with concomitant cetuximab and cisplatin in the treatment of patients with cervical cancer: A gynecologic oncology group study.

Gynecol Oncol 2012 Dec 7;127(3):456-61. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA.

Background: Epithelial growth factor receptor over-expression correlates with poor outcomes in cervical cancer. This study assessed the safety of chemoradiation with cetuximab in the treatment of women with newly diagnosed locally advanced cervical cancer.

Methods: Patients received weekly cisplatin 30 and 40 mg/m(2) [dose level (DL) 1 and 2] and cetuximab 400mg/m(2) loading dose and then 250 mg/m(2) for a total of six weeks with radiotherapy (RT). Patients with nodal metastases received extended field radiation therapy (EFRT). At the maximum tolerated dose, feasibility was evaluated in a 20 patient two-stage, sequential design.

Results: In patients receiving pelvic RT, seven were treated at DL 1 with one dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) (febrile neutropenia with grade 3 diarrhea) and three at DL 2 with two DLTs (grade 3 rash and delay in RT >8 weeks). The feasibility phase was opened at DL1. Of the 21 patients treated there was one DLT (grade 4 CVA). Median RT duration was 50 days (range, 42-70). In patients receiving EFRT, nine were treated at DL 1 with 1 DLT (grade 3 mucositis) and 24 in the feasibility phase with eight DLTs [delay in RT >8 weeks due to toxicity (2) and one each with grade 3 or 4 small bowel obstruction, embolism, mucositis, mucositis with hypokalemia, pain with headache, and platelets with mucositis and headache]. Median EFRT duration was 56 days (range, 36-74).

Conclusions: For patients receiving pelvic RT, cisplatin and cetuximab were feasible. For patients receiving EFRT, combination of cisplatin and cetuximab was not feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.08.030DOI Listing
December 2012

Lapatinib and potential prognostic value of EGFR mutations in a Gynecologic Oncology Group phase II trial of persistent or recurrent endometrial cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2012 Nov 7;127(2):345-50. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Objective: A phase II trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER2, lapatinib, and to explore EGFR, HER2 (EGFR2), phosphorylated ERK MAP kinase (pERK), and Ki67 expression, as well as EGFR mutations in persistent/recurrent endometrial cancer (EC).

Methods: Women with histologically-confirmed, measurable, persistent/recurrent EC following one or two prior regimens were eligible and treated with 1500 mg oral lapatinib daily until progression or severe toxicity. A 2-stage group sequential design was used to evaluate the regimen with 6 month PFS as the primary endpoint. The trial had a 10% type I error rate with 90% power. EGFR, HER2, pERK, and Ki67 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) from hysterectomy specimens, pre-treatment biopsies, and post-treatment biopsies (when available). Exons 18-21 of EGFR were sequenced.

Results: Three patients of 30 evaluable had PFS ≥6 months, one had a partial response, seven had stable disease, 21 had progressive disease and one was indeterminate. Three mutations in EGFR were identified. Two of these, L688F and K754E, were not associated with response or PFS. However, a newly identified mutation in exon 18, E690K, occurred in the patient with a partial response and progression-free survival extending past six months.

Conclusion: While lapatinib has limited activity in unselected cases, the identification of a previously unreported mutation in EGFR (E690K) with a response suggests that lapatinib may be beneficial in some cases of EC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.07.127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518448PMC
November 2012
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