Publications by authors named "Stanley R Frankel"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Broad Anti-AML Activity of the CD33/CD3 BiTE Antibody Construct, AMG 330, Is Impacted by Disease Stage and Risk.

PLoS One 2015 25;10(8):e0135945. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States of America; Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America; Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

The CD33/CD3-bispecific T-cell engaging (BiTE) antibody construct, AMG 330, potently lyses CD33+ leukemic cells in vitro. Using specimens from 41 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we studied the factors that might contribute to clinical response or resistance. For this purpose, thawed aliquots of primary AML samples were immunophenotypically characterized and subjected to various doses of AMG 330 in the presence or absence of healthy donor T-cells. After 48 hours, drug-specific cytotoxicity was quantified and correlated with CD33 expression levels, amounts of T-cells present, and other disease characteristics. AMG 330 caused modest cytotoxicity that was correlated with the amount of autologous T-cells (P = 0.0001) but not CD33 expression, as AMG 330 exerted marked cytotoxic effects in several specimens with minimal CD33 expression. With healthy donor T-cells added, AMG 330 cytotoxicity depended on the drug dose and effector:target (E:T) cell ratio. High cytotoxic activity was observed even with minimal CD33 expression, and AMG 330 cytotoxicity and CD33 expression correlated only at high E:T cell ratio and high AMG 330 doses (P<0.003). AMG 330 resulted in significantly higher cytotoxicity in specimens from patients with newly diagnosed AML than those with relapsed/refractory disease despite similar levels of CD33 on myeloblasts. AMG 330 cytotoxicity also appeared greater in specimens from patients with favorable-risk disease as compared to other specimens. Together, our data demonstrate that AMG 330 is highly active in primary AML specimens across the entire disease spectrum, while suggesting the presence of yet undefined, CD33-independent, relative resistance mechanisms in specific patient subsets.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0135945PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4549148PMC
May 2016

Cellular determinants for preclinical activity of a novel CD33/CD3 bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibody, AMG 330, against human AML.

Blood 2014 Jan 5;123(4):554-61. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA;

CD33 is a valid target for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but has proven challenging for antibody-drug conjugates. Herein, we investigated the cellular determinants for the activity of the novel CD33/CD3-directed bispecific T-cell engager antibody, AMG 330. In the presence of T cells, AMG 330 was highly active against human AML cell lines and primary AML cells in a dose- and effector to target cell ratio-dependent manner. Using cell lines engineered to express wild-type CD33 at increased levels, we found a quantitative relationship between AMG 330 cytotoxicity and CD33 expression; in contrast, AMG 330 cytotoxicity was neither affected by common CD33 single nucleotide polymorphisms nor expression of the adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporter proteins, P-glycoprotein or breast cancer resistance protein. Unlike bivalent CD33 antibodies, AMG 330 did not reduce surface CD33 expression. The epigenetic modifier drugs, panobinostat and azacitidine, increased CD33 expression in some cell lines and augmented AMG 330-induced cytotoxicity. These findings demonstrate that AMG 330 has potent CD33-dependent cytolytic activity in vitro, which can be further enhanced with other clinically available therapeutics. As it neither modulates CD33 expression nor is affected by ABC transporter activity, AMG 330 is highly promising for clinical exploration as it may overcome some limitations of previous CD33-targeted agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-09-527044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901068PMC
January 2014

Targeting T cells to tumor cells using bispecific antibodies.

Curr Opin Chem Biol 2013 Jun 25;17(3):385-92. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Amgen Rockville, 9201 Corporate Blvd, Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20850, United States.

The immune system, and in particular T cells, can be harnessed to treat cancer. Several bispecific T cell engaging antibodies of the BiTE® format are in early or late-stage clinical development. These small recombinant antibody constructs effectively trigger killing of cancer cells by temporarily attached, polyclonal T cells. Blinatumomab, a CD19/CD3-bispecific BiTE® antibody, has demonstrated high clinical activity in B cell leukemia and lymphoma patients. Three additional BiTE antibodies directed against surface target antigen expressed on solid tumors are being evaluated in phase I clinical trials. Alternative approaches to direct polyclonal T cells to kill cancer cells are under intense investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.03.029DOI Listing
June 2013

Vorinostat combined with bexarotene for treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: in vitro and phase I clinical evidence supporting augmentation of retinoic acid receptor/retinoid X receptor activation by histone deacetylase inhibition.

Leuk Lymphoma 2012 Aug 13;53(8):1501-8. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

University Hospital Zürich, Department of Dermatology, Zürich, Switzerland.

The retinoid X receptor (RXR)-agonist bexarotene and the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACI) vorinostat are each established monotherapies for cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCLs). We investigated the combination of HDACI and retinoic acid receptor (RAR)/RXR agonists in vitro and in a phase I, multicenter, open-label, two-part dose-escalation study. The combination of bexarotene with a HDACI in vitro leads to cooperative activation of gene transcription and reduction of cell viability in human tumor cell lines. The primary clinical objective was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of bexarotene plus vorinostat in 23 patients with CTCLs. The MTD for part I was established at vorinostat 200 mg/day plus bexarotene 300 mg/m(2)/day. The MTD for part II was not reached. Four patients had an objective response and seven patients experienced pruritus relief. We conclude that concomitant administration of vorinostat and bexarotene is feasible only if lower doses of each drug are administered relative to the product label monotherapy doses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10428194.2012.656625DOI Listing
August 2012

Long-term outcomes to fludarabine and rituximab in Waldenström macroglobulinemia.

Blood 2009 Apr 17;113(16):3673-8. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Bing Center for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

We report the long-term outcome of a multicenter, prospective study examining fludarabine and rituximab in Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). WM patients with less than 2 prior therapies were eligible. Intended therapy consisted of 6 cycles (25 mg/m(2) per day for 5 days) of fludarabine and 8 infusions (375 mg/m(2) per week) of rituximab. A total of 43 patients were enrolled. Responses were: complete response (n = 2), very good partial response (n = 14), partial response (n = 21), and minor response (n = 4), for overall and major response rates of 95.3% and 86.0%, respectively. Median time to progression for all patients was 51.2 months and was longer for untreated patients (P = .017) and those achieving at least a very good partial response (P = .049). Grade 3 or higher toxicities included neutropenia (n = 27), thrombocytopenia (n = 7), and pneumonia (n = 6), including 2 patients who died of non-Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. With a median follow-up of 40.3 months, we observed 3 cases of transformation to aggressive lymphoma and 3 cases of myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia. The results of this study demonstrate that fludarabine and rituximab are highly active in WM, although short- and long-term toxicities need to be carefully weighed against other available treatment options. This study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00020800.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-09-177329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2670786PMC
April 2009

Constitutive activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription predicts vorinostat resistance in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Cancer Res 2008 May;68(10):3785-94

Merck Research Laboratories, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Vorinostat is a histone deacetylase inhibitor that induces differentiation, growth arrest, and/or apoptosis of malignant cells both in vitro and in vivo and has shown clinical responses in approximately 30% of patients with advanced mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers predictive of vorinostat response in CTCL using preclinical model systems and to assess these biomarkers in clinical samples. The signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway was evaluated. The data indicate that persistent activation of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 correlate with resistance to vorinostat in lymphoma cell lines. Simultaneous treatment with a pan-Janus-activated kinase inhibitor resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effect and down-regulation of the expression of several antiapoptotic genes. Immunohistochemical analysis of STAT1 and phosphorylated tyrosine STAT3 (pSTAT3) in skin biopsies obtained from CTCL patients enrolled in the vorinostat phase IIb trial showed that nuclear accumulation of STAT1 and high levels of nuclear pSTAT3 in malignant T cells correlate with a lack of clinical response. These results suggest that deregulation of STAT activity plays a role in vorinostat resistance in CTCL, and strategies that block this pathway may improve vorinostat response. Furthermore, these findings may be of prognostic value in predicting the response of CTCL patients to vorinostat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6091DOI Listing
May 2008

Phase 1 study of the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid [SAHA]) in patients with advanced leukemias and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Blood 2008 Feb 25;111(3):1060-6. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Department of Leukemia, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) is a histone deacetylase inhibitor active clinically in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and preclinically in leukemia. A phase 1 study was conducted to evaluate the safety and activity of oral vorinostat 100 to 300 mg twice or thrice daily for 14 days followed by 1-week rest. Patients with relapsed or refractory leukemias or myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and untreated patients who were not candidates for chemotherapy were eligible. Of 41 patients, 31 had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 4 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 3 MDS, 2 acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 1 chronic myelocytic leukemia. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was 200 mg twice daily or 250 mg thrice daily. Dose-limiting toxicities were fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Common drug-related adverse experiences were diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and anorexia and were mild/moderate in severity. Grade 3/4 drug-related adverse experiences included fatigue (27%), thrombocytopenia (12%), and diarrhea (10%). There were no drug-related deaths; 7 patients had hematologic improvement response, including 2 complete responses and 2 complete responses with incomplete blood count recovery (all with AML treated at/below MTD). Increased histone acetylation was observed at all doses. Antioxidant gene expression may confer vorinostat resistance. Further evaluation of vorinostat in AML/MDS is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2007-06-098061DOI Listing
February 2008

Phase II trial of the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (Zolinza, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer.

Invest New Drugs 2008 Feb 25;26(1):81-7. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Department of Thoracic and Head and Neck Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

This phase II trial was initiated to assess the efficacy and safety of oral vorinostat (Zolinza, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer. Eligible patients must have recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck cancer unresponsive to or intolerant of conventional chemotherapy. Patients must have measurable disease, adequate hematologic, hepatic, and renal function, and be able to swallow capsules. Four or more weeks must have elapsed since prior chemotherapy, radiation therapy, major surgery or investigational anticancer therapy, and patients must have recovered from prior toxicities. Study endpoints included response rate, duration of stable disease and progression-free survival. Thirteen patients were enrolled (9 males); 1 withdrew consent prior to starting therapy. Twelve patients received oral vorinostat 400 mg once daily and were evaluable for response. The median age was 54 years (range 40-82). All patients had received prior chemotherapy (including 10 with platinum- or taxane-based combination therapy), and 9 had prior radiation therapy. No confirmed partial or complete responses were observed. One unconfirmed partial response was seen. Three patients had stable disease ranging from 9 to 26 weeks. Nine patients discontinued due to progressive disease, two withdrew consent, and one discontinued therapy for grade 3 anorexia. Grades 3-4 drug-related toxicities included thrombocytopenia (n=3), anorexia (n=2), and dehydration (n=2). Oral vorinostat 400 mg qd was generally well tolerated but did not demonstrate efficacy as defined by tumor response in this small group of heavily pre-treated patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-007-9075-2DOI Listing
February 2008

Phase IIb multicenter trial of vorinostat in patients with persistent, progressive, or treatment refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

J Clin Oncol 2007 Jul 18;25(21):3109-15. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate the activity and safety of the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) in persistent, progressive, or recurrent mycosis fungoides or Sézary syndrome (MF/SS) cutaneous t-cell lymphoma (CTCL) subtypes.

Patients And Methods: Patients with stage IB-IVA MF/SS were treated with 400 mg of oral vorinostat daily until disease progression or intolerable toxicity in this open-label phase IIb trial (NCT00091559). Patients must have received at least two prior systemic therapies at least one of which included bexarotene unless intolerable. The primary end point was the objective response rate (ORR) measured by the modified severity weighted assessment tool and secondary end points were time to response (TTR), time to progression (TTP), duration of response (DOR), and pruritus relief ( > or = 3-point improvement on a 10-point visual analog scale). Safety and tolerability were also evaluated.

Results: Seventy-four patients were enrolled, including 61 with at least stage IIB disease. The ORR was 29.7% overall; 29.5% in stage IIB or higher patients. Median TTR in stage IIB or higher patients was 56 days. Median DOR was not reached but estimated to be >or = 185 days (34+ to 441+). Median TTP was 4.9 months overall, and 9.8 months for stage IIB or higher responders. Overall, 32% of patients had pruritus relief. The most common drug-related adverse experiences (AE) were diarrhea (49%), fatigue (46%), nausea (43%), and anorexia (26%); most were grade 2 or lower but those grade 3 or higher included fatigue (5%), pulmonary embolism (5%), thrombocytopenia (5%), and nausea (4%). Eleven patients required dose modification and nine discontinued due to AE.

Conclusion: Oral vorinostat was effective in treatment refractory MF/SS with an acceptable safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2006.10.2434DOI Listing
July 2007

Effective asparagine depletion with pegylated asparaginase results in improved outcomes in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Cancer and Leukemia Group B Study 9511.

Blood 2007 May 30;109(10):4164-7. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Leukemia Section, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.

CALGB 9511 used pegaspargase (PEG-ASP) in lieu of the native enzyme. The aim was to compare differences in overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) between patients who did and did not achieve asparagine depletion, defined by enzyme levels greater than 0.03 U/mL plasma for 14 consecutive days after at least 1 of 4 planned PEG-ASP administrations. Samples were available from 85 eligible patients. On univariate analyses, the 22 patients who did not achieve asparagine depletion had inferior OS (P = .002; hazard ratio [HR] = 2.37; 95% CI = 1.38-4.09) and DFS (P = .012; HR = 2.21; 95% CI = 1.19-4.13). After adjusting for age, performance status, leukocyte count, and karyotype in a proportional hazards model, both the OS and DFS HRs decreased to 1.8 (P = .056; 95% CI = 1.0-3.2 and P = .084; 95% CI = 0.9-3.6, respectively). We conclude that effective asparagine depletion with PEG-ASP is feasible as part of an intensive multiagent therapeutic regimen in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia and appears associated with improved outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-09-045351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1885493PMC
May 2007

A study to determine the effects of food and multiple dosing on the pharmacokinetics of vorinostat given orally to patients with advanced cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2006 Dec;12(23):7039-45

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681, USA.

Purpose: This phase I study, conducted in advanced-stage cancer patients, assessed the safety and tolerability of oral vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid), single-dose and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of vorinostat, and the effect of a high-fat meal on vorinostat pharmacokinetics.

Experimental Design: Patients (n = 23) received single doses of 400 mg vorinostat on day 1 (fasted) and day 5 (fed) with 48 hours of pharmacokinetic sampling on both days. Patients received 400 mg vorinostat once daily on days 7 to 28. On day 28, vorinostat was given (fed) with pharmacokinetic sampling for 24 hours after dose.

Results: The apparent t(1/2) of vorinostat was short (approximately 1.5 hours). A high-fat meal was associated with a small increase in the extent of absorption and a modest decrease in the rate of absorption. A short lag time was observed before detectable levels of vorinostat were observed in the fed state, and T(max) was delayed. Vorinostat concentrations were qualitatively similar following single-dose and multiple-dose administration; the accumulation ratio based on area under the curve was 1.21. The elimination of vorinostat occurred primarily through metabolism, with <1% of the given dose recovered intact in urine. The most common vorinostat-related adverse experiences were mild to moderate nausea, anorexia, fatigue, increased blood creatinine, and vomiting.

Conclusions: Vorinostat concentrations were qualitatively similar after single and multiple doses. A high-fat meal increased the extent and modestly decreased the rate of absorption of vorinostat; this effect is not anticipated to be clinically meaningful. Continued investigation of 400 mg vorinostat given once daily in phase II and III efficacy studies is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-1802DOI Listing
December 2006

Phase 2 trial of oral vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) for refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Blood 2007 Jan 7;109(1):31-9. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Department of Dermatology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 434, Houston, TX 77030-4409, USA.

The activity and safety of the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, SAHA) were evaluated in patients with refractory cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Group 1 received vorinostat 400 mg daily, group 2 received vorinostat 300 mg twice daily for 3 days with 4 days rest, and group 3 received vorinostat 300 mg twice daily for 14 days with 7 days rest followed by 200 mg twice daily. Treatment continued until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. The primary objective was to determine the complete and partial response (PR) rate. Time to response (TTR), time to progressive disease (TTP), response duration (DOR), pruritus relief, and safety were determined. Thirty-three patients who had received a median of 5 prior therapies were enrolled. Eight patients achieved a PR, including 7 with advanced disease and 4 with Sézary syndrome. The median TTR, DOR, and TTP for responders were 11.9, 15.1, and 30.2 weeks, respectively. Fourteen of 31 evaluable patients had pruritus relief. The most common drug-related AEs were fatigue, thrombocytopenia, diarrhea, and nausea. The most common grade 3 or 4 drug-related AEs were thrombocytopenia and dehydration. Vorinostat demonstrated activity in heavily pretreated patients with CTCL. The 400 mg daily regimen had the most favorable safety profile and is being further evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-06-025999DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785068PMC
January 2007

Pretransplantation consolidation chemotherapy decreases leukemia relapse after autologous blood and bone marrow transplants for acute myelogenous leukemia in first remission.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2006 Feb;12(2):204-16

Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Controversy exists over whether pretransplantation consolidation chemotherapy affects the outcome of subsequent autotransplantation for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The current study was undertaken to determine the association between previous consolidation and outcome of autotransplantation for AML in first remission. Posttransplantation outcomes of 146 patients receiving no consolidation were compared with those of 244 patients receiving standard-dose (<1 gm/m(2)) and 249 patients receiving high-dose (1-3 gm/m(2)) cytarabine, using proportional hazards regression to adjust for differences in prognostic variables. One-year transplantation-related mortality was similar among the cohorts. Five-year relapse rates were 49% (95% confidence interval CI} = 39%-58%) with no consolidation, 35% (95% CI = 29%-42%) with standard-dose cytarabine, and 40% (95% CI = 33%-48%) with high-dose cytarabine (P = .07). Five-year leukemia-free survival rates were 39% (95% CI = 30%-47%) with no consolidation, 53% (95% CI = 46%-60%) with standard-dose cytarabine, and 48% (95% CI = 40%-56%) with high-dose cytarabine (P = .03). Similarly, 5-year overall survival was better in those patients receiving consolidation: 42% (95% CI = 34%-51%) with no consolidation, 59% (95% CI = 52%-65%) with standard-dose cytarabine, and 54% (95% CI = 46%-61%) with high-dose cytarabine (P = .01). Although most patients received 1 or 2 cycles of consolidation, the number of courses had no detectable effect on transplantation outcome. In multivariate analysis, risks of relapse and treatment failure were lower in the patients receiving consolidation, especially among those patients receiving blood cell grafts. Outcomes with standard-dose and high-dose cytarabine were similar. Based on our findings, we recommend that patients with AML in first remission receive consolidation before undergoing autotransplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2005.10.013DOI Listing
February 2006

Phase III randomized multicenter study of a humanized anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody, lintuzumab, in combination with chemotherapy, versus chemotherapy alone in patients with refractory or first-relapsed acute myeloid leukemia.

J Clin Oncol 2005 Jun;23(18):4110-6

Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 525 E 68th St, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Purpose: Lintuzumab (HuM195) is an unconjugated humanized murine monoclonal antibody directed against the cell surface myelomonocytic differentiation antigen CD33. In this study, the efficacy of lintuzumab in combination with induction chemotherapy was compared with chemotherapy alone in adults with first relapsed or primary refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Patients And Methods: Patients with relapsed or primary resistant AML (duration of first response, zero to 12 months) were randomly assigned to receive either mitoxantrone 8 mg/m(2), etoposide 80 mg/m(2), and cytarabine 1 g/m(2) daily for 6 days (MEC) in combination with lintuzumab 12 mg/m(2), or MEC alone. Overall response, defined as the rate of complete remission (CR) and CR with incomplete platelet recovery (CRp), was the primary end point of the study, with additional analyses of survival time and toxicity.

Results: A total of 191 patients were randomly assigned from November 1999 to April 2001. The percent CR plus CRp with MEC plus lintuzumab was 36% v 28% in patients treated with MEC alone (P = .28). The overall median survival was 156 days and was not different in the two arms of the study. Apart from mild antibody infusion-related toxicities (fever, chills, and hypotension), no differences in chemotherapy-related adverse effects, including hepatic and cardiac dysfunction, were observed with the addition of lintuzumab to induction chemotherapy.

Conclusion: The addition of lintuzumab to salvage induction chemotherapy was safe, but did not result in a statistically significant improvement in response rate or survival in patients with refractory/relapsed AML.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2005.09.133DOI Listing
June 2005

A phase II, pharmacokinetic, and biological correlative study of oblimersen sodium and docetaxel in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2005 May;11(10):3854-61

Institute for Drug Development, Cancer Therapy and Research Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Purpose: To determine the antitumor activity and safety of oblimersen sodium, a phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotide directed to the bcl-2 mRNA, with docetaxel in patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) and to determine if relevant pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variables of oblimersen or docetaxel influence response to this therapy.

Experimental Design: Patients with HRPC were treated with oblimersen sodium by continuous i.v. infusion on days 1 to 8 with docetaxel given i.v. over 1 hour on day 6 every 3 weeks. Plasma samples were analyzed to characterize the pharmacokinetic variables of both oblimersen and docetaxel, and paired collections of peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected to determine Bcl-2 protein expression pretreatment and post-treatment.

Results: Twenty-eight patients received 173 courses of oblimersen (7 mg/kg/d continuous i.v. infusion on days 1-8) and docetaxel (75 mg/m(2) i.v. on day 6). Prostate-specific antigen responses were observed in 14 of 27 (52%) patients, whereas 4 of 12 (33%) patients with bidimensionally measurable disease had objective responses. The mean oblimersen steady-state concentration (C(ss)) was a significant determinant of antitumor activity; mean C(ss) values were higher in responders compared with nonresponders (6.24 +/- 1.68 versus 4.27 +/- 1.22; P = 0.008). The median survival of all patients was 19.8 months. Bcl-2 protein expression decreased a median of 49.9% in peripheral blood mononuclear cells post-treatment, but the individual incremental change did not correlate with either oblimersen C(ss) or response.

Conclusions: Oblimersen combined with docetaxel is an active combination in HRPC patients demonstrating both an encouraging response rate and an overall median survival. The absence of severe toxicities at this recommended dose, evidence of Bcl-2 protein inhibition, and encouraging antitumor activity in HPRC patients warrant further clinical evaluation of this combination, including studies to optimize oblimersen C(ss).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-2145DOI Listing
May 2005

Polymorphisms in FcgammaRIIIA (CD16) receptor expression are associated with clinical response to rituximab in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.

J Clin Oncol 2005 Jan;23(3):474-81

Bing Program for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, LG102, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Purpose: Rituximab is an important therapeutic for Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM). Polymorphisms in FcgammaRIIIA (CD16) receptor expression modulate human immunoglobulin G1 binding and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and may therefore influence responses to rituximab.

Patients And Methods: Sequence analysis of the entire coding region of FcgammaRIIIA was undertaken in 58 patients with WM whose outcomes after rituximab were known.

Results: Variations in five codons of FcgammaRIIIA were identified. Two were commonly observed (FcgammaRIIIA-48 and FcgammaRIIIA-158) and predicted for amino acid polymorphisms at FcgammaRIIIA-48: leucine/leucine (L/L), leucine/arginine (L/R), and leucine/histidine (L/H). Polymorphisms at FcgammaRIIIA-158 were phenylalanine/phenylalanine (F/F), phenylalanine/valine (F/V), and valine/valine (V/V). A clear linkage between these polymorphisms was detected and all patients with FcgammaRIIIA-158F/F were always FcgammaRIIIA-48L/L, and patients with either FcgammaRIIIA-L/R or -L/H always expressed at least one valine at FcgammaRIIIA-158 (P < or = .001). The response trend was higher for patients with FcgammaRIIIA-48L/H (38.5%) versus -48L/R (25.0%) and LL (22.0%), and was significantly higher for patients with FcgammaRIIIA-158V/V (40.0%) and -V/F (35%) versus -158F/F (9.0%; P = .030). Responses for patients with FcgammaRIIIA-48L/L were higher when at least one valine was present at FcgammaRIIIA-158 (P = .057), thereby supporting a primary role for FcgammaRIIIA-158 polymorphisms in predicting rituximab responses. With a median follow-up of 13 months, no significant differences in the median time to progression and progression-free survival were observed when patients were grouped according to their FcgammaRIIIA-48 and -158 polymorphisms.

Conclusion: The results of these studies therefore support a predictive role for FcgammaRIIIA-158 polymorphisms and responses to rituximab in WM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2005.06.059DOI Listing
January 2005

Oblimersen sodium (Genasense bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide): a rational therapeutic to enhance apoptosis in therapy of lung cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2004 Jun;10(12 Pt 2):4245s-4248s

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.

Bcl-2 protein inhibits apoptosis and confers resistance to treatment with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and monoclonal antibodies. Oblimersen sodium is an antisense oligonucleotide compound designed to specifically bind to human bcl-2 mRNA, resulting in catalytic degradation of bcl-2 mRNA and subsequent decrease in bcl-2 protein translation. Both small cell and non-small cell lung cancer show baseline and inducible expression of bcl-2, which may contribute to resistance to therapy. Preclinical studies have shown that combining bcl-2 antisense with chemotherapy improves antitumor response, increases apoptosis of tumor cells, and increases survival. Preliminary data from a large international randomized trial in melanoma show a trend toward increased survival and significantly improved response rates and response duration when oblimersen is added to dacarbazine. Phase I studies in small cell lung cancer patients demonstrate that oblimersen can be combined with paclitaxel or carboplatin and etoposide. The combination of docetaxel and oblimersen has been shown to be feasible in Phase I studies and is currently undergoing evaluation in comparison with docetaxel alone as first-line salvage therapy in patients refractory or relapsed after one prior chemotherapy regimen. Enhancement of the efficacy of anticancer treatments with oblimersen bcl-2 antisense therapy represents a promising new apoptosis-modulating strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-040018DOI Listing
June 2004

Oblimersen sodium (G3139 Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide) therapy in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: a targeted approach to enhance apoptosis.

Semin Oncol 2003 Apr;30(2):300-4

Department of Medicine, Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, USA.

The components of the apoptotic pathway are targets for anticancer therapy. Bcl-2 protein inhibits apoptosis and confers resistance to treatment with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and monoclonal antibodies. Oblimersen sodium (G3139, Genasense, Genta Inc, Berkeley Heights, NJ) is an antisense oligonucleotide compound designed to specifically bind to the first six codons of the human bcl-2 mRNA sequence, resulting in degradation of bcl-2 mRNA and subsequent decrease in Bcl-2 protein translation. Oblimersen is the first oligonucleotide to demonstrate proof of principle of an antisense effect in human tumors by the documented downregulation of the target Bcl-2 protein. A growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that oblimersen synergizes with many cytotoxic and biologic/immunotherapeutic agents against a variety of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Randomized clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oblimersen in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple myeloma (MM), malignant melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, nonrandomized trials are underway to evaluate oblimersen in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Preclinical data support the clinical evaluation of oblimersen in additional tumor types, including chronic myelogenous leukemia, and breast, small cell lung, gastric, colon, bladder (CML), and Merkel cell cancers. Enhancement of the efficacy of anticancer treatments with oblimersen Bcl-2 antisense therapy represents a promising new apoptosis-modulating strategy, and ongoing clinical trials will test this therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/sonc.2003.50041DOI Listing
April 2003

Treatment recommendations in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: consensus panel recommendations from the Second International Workshop on Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia.

Semin Oncol 2003 Apr;30(2):121-6

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

This presentation represents consensus recommendations for the treatment of patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), which were prepared in conjunction with the second International Workshop held in Athens, Greece during September 2002. The faculty adopted the following statements for the management of patients with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia: (1) Alkylating agents, nucleoside analogues, and rituximab are reasonable choices for first line therapy of WM. (2) Both cladribine and fludarabine are reasonable choices for the therapy of WM. (3) Combinations of alkylating agents, nucleoside analogues, or rituximab should at this time be encouraged in the context of a clinical trial. (4) In WM, rituximab can cause a sudden rise in serum IgM and viscosity levels in certain patients, which may lead to complications, therefore close monitoring of these parameters and symptoms of hyperviscosity is recommended for WM patients undergoing rituximab therapy. (5) For relapsed disease, it is reasonable to use an alternate first line agent or re-use of the same agent; however, since autologous stem cell transplantation may have a role in treating patients with relapsed disease it is recommended that for patients in whom autologous transplantation is seriously being considered, exposure to alkylator or nucleoside analogue drugs should be limited. (6) Combination chemotherapy for patients who can tolerate myelotoxic therapy, thalidomide alone or with dexamethasone, can reasonably be considered to have relapsed. (7) Autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered for patients with refractory or relapsing disease. (8) Allogeneic transplantation should only be undertaken in the context of a clinical trial. (9) Plasmapheresis should be considered as interim therapy until definitive therapy can be initiated. (10) Rituximab should be considered for patients with IgM-related neuropathies. (11) Corticosteroids may be useful in the treatment of symptomatic mixed cryoglobulinemia. (12) Splenectomy is rarely indicated but has been used to manage painful splenomegaly and hypersplenism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/sonc.2003.50039DOI Listing
April 2003

Pentostatin and cyclophosphamide: an effective new regimen in previously treated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

J Clin Oncol 2003 Apr;21(7):1278-84

Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Purpose: Purine analogs and alkylators are important agents in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Previously, combinations of fludarabine and chlorambucil were abandoned because of increased toxicity from overlapping myelosuppression and immunosuppression. Of the purine analogs active in CLL, pentostatin may be least myelosuppressive. We hypothesized that combining pentostatin with cyclophosphamide would have less myelotoxicity than combinations using other purine analogs.

Patients And Methods: We studied 23 patients with previously treated CLL. All patients received pentostatin 4 mg/m(2). Seventeen patients received cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2), and six patients received cyclophosphamide 900 mg/m(2). Both drugs were administered on day 1 of each cycle, and cycles were repeated every 3 weeks for six treatments. Filgrastim, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and acyclovir were administered prophylactically. The median number of prior treatment regimens was three (range, one to five) with 13 patients (57%) refractory to prior fludarabine therapy.

Results: The cyclophosphamide 900 mg/m(2) dose level was associated with moderate to severe nausea, and we chose cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2) as the dose for further study. There were 17 responses (74%; 95% confidence interval, 63% to 85%), including four complete responses. The response rate was 77% in fludarabine-refractory patients. Myelosuppression was acceptable with grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, seen in 35% and 30% of patients, respectively. The relative sparing of thrombopoiesis can be seen in that only one patient (5%) with an initial platelet count of more than 20,000 required platelet transfusions while receiving therapy.

Conclusion: Pentostatin 4 mg/m(2) with cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2) is safe and effective in previously treated patients with CLL. On the basis of these results, we are currently studying pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (PCR) therapy in patients with CLL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2003.08.100DOI Listing
April 2003

Lineage specific treatment of adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first remission with anti-B4-blocked ricin or high-dose cytarabine: Cancer and Leukemia Group B Study 9311.

Cancer 2003 Mar;97(6):1471-80

Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Anti-B4-blocked ricin is an immunotoxin comprised of an anti-CD19 murine monoclonal antibody (B4) conjugated to blocked ricin, which has cytotoxic activity in patients with lymphoid malignancies.

Methods: Adults with untreated acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were treated with a previously developed and tested chemotherapeutic regimen. Patients with CD19 positive ALL were given anti-B4-blocked ricin as 2 7-day continuous infusions 1 week apart. Patients with CD19 negative ALL received high-dose cytarabine. Serial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays of BCR-ABL, immunoglobulin heavy chain (IGH), and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes were used to measure the impact of lineage specific intensification treatment on minimal residual disease.

Results: Eighty-two adults were enrolled, and 78 were eligible. The median age was 34 years (range, 17-81 years). Sixty-six patients (85%) achieved complete remission. Forty-six patients received the anti-B4-blocked ricin, which generally was well tolerated; 80% were able to receive both courses. The most common toxicity was asymptomatic transient elevation of liver function tests in 72% of patients. Lymphopenia occurred in 46% of patients. Two patients developed antibodies to the anti-B4-blocked ricin. Molecular monitoring before and after the experimental course of intensification did not show a consistent change in the number of leukemia cells remaining, and the immediate posttreatment PCR studies did not correlate with remission duration.

Conclusions: Intensification therapy with anti-B4-blocked ricin is feasible for patients with CD19 positive ALL, although there is little evidence of an additional clinical benefit from the anti-B4-blocked ricin. Cancer 2003;97:1471-80.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.11219DOI Listing
March 2003

The power and perils of prediction.

Cancer J 2003 Jan-Feb;9(1):28-30

Greenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00130404-200301000-00005DOI Listing
June 2003

Phase 1 and pharmacodynamic studies of G3139, a Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide, in combination with chemotherapy in refractory or relapsed acute leukemia.

Blood 2003 Jan 22;101(2):425-32. Epub 2002 Aug 22.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.

Overexpression of Bcl-2 is a potential mechanism for chemoresistance in acute leukemia and has been associated with unfavorable clinical outcome. We hypothesized that down-regulation of Bcl-2 would restore chemosensitivity in leukemic cells. To test this hypothesis, we performed a phase 1 study of G3139 (Genasense, Genta, Berkeley Heights, NJ), an 18-mer phosphorothioate Bcl-2 antisense, with fludarabine (FL), cytarabine (ARA-C), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) (FLAG) salvage chemotherapy in patients with refractory or relapsed acute leukemia. Twenty patients with refractory or relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were enrolled. G3139 was delivered by continuous infusion on days 1 to 10. FLAG chemotherapy was administered on days 5 to 10. Common side effects of this combination included fever, nausea, emesis, electrolyte imbalance, and fluid retention that were not dose limiting. Plasma pharmacokinetics of G3139 demonstrated steady-state concentration (Css) within 24 hours. Of the 20 patients, 9 (45%) had disease response, 6 (5 AML, 1 ALL) with complete remission (CR) and 3 (2 AML and 1 ALL) with no evidence of disease but failure to recover normal neutrophil and/or platelet counts or to remain in remission for at least 30 days (incomplete remission). Bcl-2 mRNA levels were down-regulated in 9 of the 12 (75%) evaluable patients. This study demonstrates that G3139 can be administered safely with FLAG chemotherapy and down-regulate its target, Bcl-2. The encouraging clinical and laboratory results justify the current plans for a phase 3 study in previously untreated high-risk AML (ie, age at least 60 years).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2002-06-1899DOI Listing
January 2003

Acute rhabdomyolysis as a complication of cytarabine chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia: case report and review of literature.

Am J Hematol 2002 Aug;70(4):320-3

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-7602, USA.

Rhabdomyolysis is an unusual complication of chemotherapy that can lead to substantial morbidity through such complications as renal failure, infections, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The syndrome has been described after treatment with cyclophosphamide, 5-azacytidine, interleukin-2, and interferon and after bone marrow transplantation. We report a patient with acute myeloid leukemia who developed fulminant rhabdomyolysis after treatment with a cytarabine-containing regimen. The syndrome was complicated by acute renal failure requiring hemodyalisis, respiratory insufficiency, and pancreatitis. We suggest that the muscle damage might be related to the known ability of cytarabine to trigger the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria, which could lead to uncoupling of the oxidative phosphorylation with subsequent depletion of ATP reserves at the skeletal muscle and rhabdomyolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.10152DOI Listing
August 2002

A single, high dose of idarubicin combined with cytarabine as induction therapy for adult patients with recurrent or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Cancer 2002 Aug;95(3):581-7

Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Background: The majority of adult patients who are treated for lymphoblastic disease will either develop recurrent disease or will be refractory to their initial therapy. One option for patients with recurrent/refractory disease is to administer a reinduction regimen that employs a dose-intense combination of anthracycline and cytarabine. These salvage regimens are relatively distinct from the traditional vincristine/prednisone-based programs that are used typically as primary induction therapy. The authors studied a regimen that contained high-dose cytarabine and a single high dose of idarubicin as salvage induction therapy for patients with recurrent or refractory lymphoblastic disease.

Methods: Twenty-nine previously treated adult patients with recurrent or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia were treated with a new intensive regimen. Eight patients had primary refractory disease. Twenty-one patients had recurrent disease, and 16 of these patients developed recurrent disease while they were still receiving their primary therapy. The treatment regimen consisted of cytarabine 3.0 g/m(2) by 3-hour infusion daily for 5 days and idarubicin 40 mg/m(2) given as a single dose on Day 3. Filgrastim (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) 5 microg/kg administered subcutaneously every 12 hours was started on Day 7 and was continued until the absolute neutrophil count was > 5000/microL. Response was assessed using standard criteria.

Results: There were 11 complete responses (38%; 95% confidence interval, 20-56%). Four patients subsequently underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Moderate but acceptable toxicity was observed given the severely myelosuppressive nature of the regimen. There was only one treatment-related death (3%). Two patients, both with significant prior exposure to anthracyclines, suffered reductions in left ventricular function to the 20-30% range during episodes of severe systemic infection. After recovery from infection, the ejection fraction in one patient improved to 50%.

Conclusions: The authors conclude that this regimen has moderate activity and a relatively low incidence of mortality for this high-risk group of patients. This regimen may be most suitable for patients who can undergo potentially curative allogeneic bone marrow transplantation if they achieve a complete response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.10707DOI Listing
August 2002

Oblimersen Bcl-2 antisense: facilitating apoptosis in anticancer treatment.

Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev 2002 Jun;12(3):193-213

Department of Advanced Therapeutics, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada.

The components of the apoptotic program are targets for anticancer therapy. Bcl-2 protein inhibits apoptosis and confers resistance to treatment with traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Oblimersen sodium (G3139, Genasense, Genta Inc., Berkeley Heights, NJ) is an antisense oligonucleotide (AS-ON) compound designed to specifically bind to the first 6 codons of the human bcl-2 mRNA sequence, resulting in degradation of bcl-2 mRNA and subsequent decrease in Bcl-2 protein translation. Oblimersen is the first oligonucleotide to demonstrate proof of principle of an antisense effect in human tumors by the documented downregulation of the target Bcl-2 protein. A growing body of preclinical and clinical evidence suggests that oblimersen synergizes with many cytotoxic and biologic/immunotherapeutic agents against a variety of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Randomized clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of oblimersen in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, malignant melanoma, and non-small cell lung cancer. In addition, nonrandomized trials are under way to evaluate oblimersen in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, and hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Preclinical data also support the clinical evaluation of oblimersen in additional tumor types, including chronic myelogenous leukemia and breast, small cell lung, gastric, colon, bladder, and Merkel cell cancers. Enhancement of the efficacy of anticancer treatments with oblimersen Bcl-2 antisense therapy represents a promising new apoptosis-modulating strategy, and ongoing clinical trials will test this therapeutic approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/108729002760220798DOI Listing
June 2002