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1.  The Safety and Efficacy of Single-Agent Pemetrexed in Platinum-Resistant Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma: A Large Single-Institution Experience 
The Oncologist  2015;20(5):508-515.
This study presents the largest reported series of patients treated with pemetrexed. The results show that although well-tolerated, pemetrexed had limited efficacy. They also suggest a role for neutrophil-lymphocyte in the prognostication of advanced urothelial cancer, which may be relevant when constructing prognostic models in future studies. There is an urgent need to develop novel therapies for this lethal disease.
Pemetrexed is a commonly used treatment for platinum-resistant advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC) based on objective response rates of 8% and 28% in two small phase II studies. To address the discrepancy in reported response rates and to assess efficacy and toxicity outside of a clinical trial setting, we performed a large retrospective analysis of pemetrexed use at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We also investigated candidate prognostic factors for overall survival in this setting to explore whether the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) had independent prognostic significance.
Patients and Methods.
Patients receiving pemetrexed for platinum-resistant advanced UC between 2008 and 2013 were identified. The Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST, version 1.1) were used to determine response rate. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to examine the association of various factors with efficacy and survival outcomes. Hematologic toxicity and laboratory abnormalities were recorded.
One hundred and twenty-nine patients were treated with pemetrexed. The objective response rate was 5% (95% confidence interval: 1%–9%), and the median duration of response was 8 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 2.4 months, and the 6-month PFS rate was 14%. There was no significant difference in response rate by age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, or number of prior therapies. On multivariable analysis, ECOG performance status (p < .01), liver metastases (p = .02), and NLR (p < .01) had independent prognostic significance for overall survival.
This 129-patient series is the largest reported data set describing pemetrexed use in advanced UC. Activity was modest, although discovery of molecular biomarkers predictive of response would be valuable to identify the small subset of patients who do gain significant benefit. Overall, the data highlight the urgent need to develop novel therapies for these patients.
PMCID: PMC4425381  PMID: 25845990
Pemetrexed; Bladder cancer; Urothelial carcinoma
2.  Tumor immune microenvironment characterization in clear cell renal cell carcinoma identifies prognostic and immunotherapeutically relevant messenger RNA signatures 
Genome Biology  2016;17:231.
Tumor-infiltrating immune cells have been linked to prognosis and response to immunotherapy; however, the levels of distinct immune cell subsets and the signals that draw them into a tumor, such as the expression of antigen presenting machinery genes, remain poorly characterized. Here, we employ a gene expression-based computational method to profile the infiltration levels of 24 immune cell populations in 19 cancer types.
We compare cancer types using an immune infiltration score and a T cell infiltration score and find that clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is among the highest for both scores. Using immune infiltration profiles as well as transcriptomic and proteomic datasets, we characterize three groups of ccRCC tumors: T cell enriched, heterogeneously infiltrated, and non-infiltrated. We observe that the immunogenicity of ccRCC tumors cannot be explained by mutation load or neo-antigen load, but is highly correlated with MHC class I antigen presenting machinery expression (APM). We explore the prognostic value of distinct T cell subsets and show in two cohorts that Th17 cells and CD8+ T/Treg ratio are associated with improved survival, whereas Th2 cells and Tregs are associated with negative outcomes. Investigation of the association of immune infiltration patterns with the subclonal architecture of tumors shows that both APM and T cell levels are negatively associated with subclone number.
Our analysis sheds light on the immune infiltration patterns of 19 human cancers and unravels mRNA signatures with prognostic utility and immunotherapeutic biomarker potential in ccRCC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-016-1092-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5114739  PMID: 27855702
Tumor immune microenvironment; Checkpoint blockade; Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC); Computational deconvolution; Cancer immunotherapy
3.  Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer consensus statement on immunotherapy for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma 
Immunotherapy has produced durable clinical benefit in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (RCC). In the past, patients treated with interferon-alpha (IFN) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) have achieved complete responses, many of which have lasted for multiple decades. More recently, a large number of new agents have been approved for RCC, several of which attack tumor angiogenesis by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) and VEGF receptors (VEGFR), as well as tumor metabolism, inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Additionally, a new class of immunotherapy agents, immune checkpoint inhibitors, is emerging and will play a significant role in the treatment of patients with RCC. Therefore, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a Task Force, which met to consider the current role of approved immunotherapy agents in RCC, to provide guidance to practicing clinicians by developing consensus recommendations and to set the stage for future immunotherapeutic developments in RCC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0180-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5109802  PMID: 27891227
Guidelines; Immunotherapy; Renal cell carcinoma; Treatment
4.  Molecular analysis of aggressive renal cell carcinoma with unclassified histology reveals distinct subsets 
Nature Communications  2016;7:13131.
Renal cell carcinomas with unclassified histology (uRCC) constitute a significant portion of aggressive non-clear cell renal cell carcinomas that have no standard therapy. The oncogenic drivers in these tumours are unknown. Here we perform a molecular analysis of 62 high-grade primary uRCC, incorporating targeted cancer gene sequencing, RNA sequencing, single-nucleotide polymorphism array, fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and cell-based assays. We identify recurrent somatic mutations in 29 genes, including NF2 (18%), SETD2 (18%), BAP1 (13%), KMT2C (10%) and MTOR (8%). Integrated analysis reveals a subset of 26% uRCC characterized by NF2 loss, dysregulated Hippo–YAP pathway and worse survival, whereas 21% uRCC with mutations of MTOR, TSC1, TSC2 or PTEN and hyperactive mTORC1 signalling are associated with better clinical outcome. FH deficiency (6%), chromatin/DNA damage regulator mutations (21%) and ALK translocation (2%) distinguish additional cases. Altogether, this study reveals distinct molecular subsets for 76% of our uRCC cohort, which could have diagnostic and therapeutic implications.
A subset of renal cell carcinomas have uncertain histology and are aggressive in nature. Here, the authors examine this group of unclassified renal cancers using genomics techniques and identify further subclasses of the tumours that have differing prognoses.
PMCID: PMC5059781  PMID: 27713405
5.  A Phase Ib Study of BEZ235, a Dual Inhibitor of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K) and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR), in Patients With Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma 
The Oncologist  2016;21(7):787-788.
Lessons Learned
Our results highlight additional toxicities of dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition in the clinical setting that were unforeseen from preclinical models.
Because of toxicity and lack of efficacy, BEZ235 should not be further developed in the current formulation for patients with renal cell carcinoma.
Allosteric inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) are approved for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Preclinical models have suggested that dual inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and mTOR kinase may establish superior anticancer effect. We aimed to establish safety for BEZ235, a potent inhibitor of both PI3K and mTOR, in advanced RCC.
Patients with advanced RCC who had previously failed standard therapy received escalating doses of BEZ235 in sachet formulation twice daily until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Primary endpoints were to identify the maximally tolerated dose (MTD) and to determine the recommended dose for the phase II study.
The study was terminated early because of high incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) across all dose levels tested. Ten patients were treated with BEZ235—six with clear cell and four with non-clear cell subtypes. Five of these patients suffered DLTs: 2 of 2 patients in the original 400 mg b.i.d. cohort, 1 of 6 in the 200 mg b.i.d. cohort, and 2 of 2 in the 300 mg b.i.d. cohort. DLTs included fatigue, rash, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, mucositis, anorexia, and dysgeusia. Five patients were evaluable for response: Two had stable disease as best response, and three had progressive disease.
BEZ235 twice daily resulted in significant toxicity without objective responses; further development of this compound will not be pursued in this disease.
PMCID: PMC4943396  PMID: 27286790
6.  Circulating biomarkers and outcome from a randomised phase II trial of sunitinib vs everolimus for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2016;114(6):642-649.
RECORD-3 assessed non-inferiority of progression-free survival (PFS) with everolimus vs sunitinib in previously untreated patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Baseline plasma sample collection and randomised design enabled correlation of circulating biomarkers with efficacy.
Samples were analysed for 121 cancer-related biomarkers. Analyses of biomarkers categorised patients as high or low (vs median) to assess association with first-line PFS (PFS1L) for each treatment arm. A composite biomarker score (CBS) incorporated biomarkers potentially predictive of PFS1L with everolimus.
Plasma samples from 442 of the 471 randomised patients were analysed. Biomarkers were associated with PFS1L for everolimus alone (29), sunitinib alone (9) or both (12). Everolimus-specific biomarkers (CSF1, ICAM1, IL-18BP, KIM1, TNFRII) with hazard ratio ⩾1.8 were integrated into a CBS (range 0–5). For CBS low (0–3, n=291) vs high (4–5, n=151), PFS1L differed significantly for everolimus but not for sunitinib. There was no significant difference in PFS1L between everolimus and sunitinib in the high CBS patient cohort.
Baseline levels of multiple soluble biomarkers correlated with benefit from everolimus and/or sunitinib, independent of clinical risk factors. A similar PFS1L was observed for both treatments among patients with high CBS score.
PMCID: PMC4800293  PMID: 26908330
renal cell cancer; targeted therapy; biomarker; sunitinib; everolimus
7.  Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome-associated Renal Cancer: Recognition of the Syndrome by Pathologic Features and the Utility of Detecting Aberrant Succination by Immunohistochemistry 
Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell carcinoma (HLRCC) syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder in which germline mutations of fumarate hydratase (FH) gene confer an increased risk of cutaneous and uterine leiomyomas as well as renal cancer. HLRCC-associated renal cancer is highly aggressive, and frequently presents as a solitary mass. We reviewed the clinicopathologic features of 9 patients with renal tumors presenting as sporadic cases, but who were later proven to have FH germline mutations. Histologically, all tumors showed mixed architectural patterns, with papillary as the dominant pattern in only 3 cases. Besides papillary, tubular, tubulopapillary, solid and cystic elements, 6 of 9 tumors contained collecting duct carcinoma-like areas with infiltrating tubules, nests or individual cells surrounded by desmoplastic stroma. Prominent tubulocystic carcinoma-like component and sarcomatoid differentiation were identified. While all tumors exhibited the proposed hallmark of HLRCC (large eosinophilic nucleolus surrounded by a clear halo), this feature was often not uniformly present throughout the tumor. Prior studies have shown that high level of fumarate accumulated in HLRCC tumor cells causes aberrant succination of cellular proteins by forming a stable chemical modification, S-(2-succino)-cysteine (2SC), which can be detected by immunohistochemistry. We thus explored the utility of detecting 2SC by immunohistochemistry in the differential diagnosis of HLRCC tumors and other high-grade renal tumors, and investigated the correlation between 2SC staining and FH molecular alterations. All confirmed HLRCC tumors demonstrated diffuse and strong nuclear and cytoplasmic 2SC staining, while all clear cell (184/184, 100%), most high-grade unclassified RCC (93/97, 96%) and the large majority of type 2 papillary (35/45, 78%) cases showed no 2SC immunoreactivity. A subset of papillary (22%) and rare unclassified (4%) tumors showed patchy or diffuse cytoplasmic staining without nuclear labeling, unlike the pattern seen with confirmed HLRCC tumors. Sequencing revealed no germline or somatic FH alterations in 14 tumors that either exhibited only cytoplasmic 2SC staining (n=5) or were negative for 2SC (n=9), despite their HLRCC-like morphologic features. Our results emphasize the pivotal role of pathologic examination in the diagnosis of HLRCC patients, and indicate immunohistochemical detection of 2SC as a useful ancillary tool in the differentiation of HLRCC renal tumors from other high-grade renal cell carcinomas.
PMCID: PMC3984629  PMID: 24441663
renal cancer; HLRCC; fumarate hydratase; succination; 2SC; immunohistochemistry
8.  An Epidemiologic and Genomic Investigation Into the Obesity Paradox in Renal Cell Carcinoma 
Obesity increases risk for clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), yet obese patients appear to experience longer survival than nonobese patients. We examined body mass index (BMI) in relation to stage, grade, and cancer-specific mortality (CSM) while considering detection bias, nutritional status, and molecular tumor features.
Data were available from 2119 ccRCC patients who underwent renal mass surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center between 1995 and 2012. Logistic regression models produced associations between BMI and advanced disease. Multivariable competing risks regression models estimated associations between BMI and CSM. Somatic mutation, copy number, methylation, and expression data were examined by BMI among a subset of 126 patients who participated in the Cancer Genome Atlas Project for ccRCC using the Kruskal–Wallis or Fisher exact tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Obese and overweight patients were less likely to present with advanced-stage disease compared with normal-weight patients (odds ratio [OR] = 0.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.48 to 0.79 vs OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.51 to 0.83, respectively). Higher BMI was associated with reduced CSM in univariable analyses (P < .005). It remained statistically significant after adjustment for comorbidities and albumin level, but it became non-statistically significant after adjusting for stage and grade (P > .10). Genome-wide interrogation by BMI suggested differences in gene expression of metabolic and fatty acid genes, including fatty acid synthase (FASN), consistent with the obesity paradox.
Our findings suggest that although BMI is not an independent prognostic factor for CSM after controlling for stage and grade, tumors developing in an obesogenic environment may be more indolent.
PMCID: PMC3866155  PMID: 24285872
9.  mTOR Inhibitors in Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma 
PMCID: PMC3587783  PMID: 21763970
Kidney neoplasms; mTOR; targeted therapy; renal cell carcinoma; treatment resistance
10.  Tumor Genetic Analyses of Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma and Extended Benefit from mTOR Inhibitor Therapy 
Rapalogs are allosteric mTOR inhibitors and approved agents for advanced kidney cancer. Reports of clonal heterogeneity in this disease challenge the concept of targeted monotherapy, yet a small subset of patients derives extended benefit. Our aim was to analyze such outliers and explore the genomic background of extreme rapalog sensitivity in the context of intratumor heterogeneity.
Experimental Design
We analyzed archived tumor tissue of five RCC patients, who previously achieved durable disease control with rapalogs (median duration 28 months). DNA was extracted from spatially separate areas of primary tumors and metastases. Custom target capture and ultra-deep sequencing was used to identify alterations across 230 target genes. Whole exome sequence analysis was added to investigate genes beyond this original target list.
Five long-term responders contributed 14 specimens to explore clonal heterogeneity. Genomic alterations with activating effect on mTOR signaling were detected in 11 of 14 specimens, offering plausible explanation for exceptional treatment response through alterations in two genes (TSC1, MTOR). In two subjects, distinct yet functionally convergent alterations activated the mTOR pathway in spatially separate sites. In one patient, concurrent genomic events occurred in two separate pathway components across different tumor regions.
Analysis of outlier cases can facilitate identification of potential biomarkers for targeted agents, and we implicate two genes as candidates for further study in this class of drugs. The previously reported phenomenon of clonal convergence can occur within a targetable pathway which might have implications for biomarker development beyond this disease and this class of agents.
PMCID: PMC4140619  PMID: 24622468
11.  Adverse Outcomes in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma with Mutations of 3p21 Epigenetic Regulators BAP1 and SETD2: a Report by MSKCC and the KIRC TCGA Research Network 
To investigate the impact of newly identified chromosome 3p21 epigenetic tumor suppressors PBRM1, SETD2, and BAP1 on cancer specific survival (CSS) of 609 clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients from two distinct cohorts.
Patients and Methods
Select sequencing on 3p tumor suppressors of 188 patients who underwent resection of primary ccRCC at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) was performed to interrogate the genotype-phenotype associations. These findings were compared to analyses of the genomic and clinical dataset from our non-overlapping The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort of 421 primary ccRCC patients.
3p21 tumor suppressors are frequently mutated in both the MSKCC (PBRM1, 30.3%; SETD2, 7.4%; BAP1, 6.4%) and the TCGA (PBRM1, 33.5%; SETD2, 11.6%; BAP1, 9.7%) cohorts. BAP1 mutations are associated with worse CSS in both cohorts (MSKCC, p=0.002, HR 7.71 (2.08–28.6); TCGA, p=0.002, HR 2.21 (1.35–3.63)). SETD2 are associated with worse CSS in the TCGA cohort (p=0.036, HR 1.68 (1.04–2.73)). On the contrary, PBRM1 mutations, the second most common gene mutations of ccRCC, have no impact on CSS.
The chromosome 3p21 locus harbors three frequently mutated ccRCC tumor suppressor genes. BAP1 and SETD2 mutations (6–12%) are associated with worse CSS, suggesting their roles in disease progression. PBRM1 mutations (30–34%) do not impact CSS, implicating its principal role in the tumor initiation. Future efforts should focus on therapeutic interventions and further clinical, pathologic and molecular interrogation of this novel class of tumor suppressors.
PMCID: PMC3708609  PMID: 23620406
12.  Intensive Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Early High-Dose Therapy and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Results in Improved Outcome for Patients with Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma: A Single Institution Experience 
Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which carries a poor prognosis. We report our single-institution experience in the management of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL)- in 14 patients (pts) among whom 7 who remain alive (50%) and in remission at a median follow-up of 66 months. More frequent long-term survival was seen in those treated with a non-CHOP (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) induction and consolidative stem cell transplant (SCT).
Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma is a rare form of extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma, first recognized as a distinct entity in the Revised European-American Lymphoma classification. Typical presentation includes lymphomatous infiltration of spleen and liver, and peripheral lymphadenopathy is rarely seen. The prognosis is almost uniformly poor, and there are no prospective studies of treatment of HSTCL.
Patients and Methods
For this report, we conducted a retrospective review of all pts who underwent treatment for HSTCL at our institution. Individual chart review was performed to report clinical presentation, management, and outcome.
We identified 14 pts with HSTCL managed at our center, 7 of which remain alive with median follow-up of 65.6 months. Six of 7 received alternative induction chemotherapy regimens such as ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide) or IVAC (ifosfamide, etoposide, high-dose cytarabine) as opposed to CHOP and all surviving pts had proceeded to undergo either autologous or allogeneic SCT.
Our results suggest that use of non-CHOP induction regimen and early use of high dose therapy and SCT consolidation may translate to improved survival for pts with HSTCL.
PMCID: PMC4056251  PMID: 23107915
Peripheral; TCR gamma-delta
13.  A Review of Second-line Chemotherapy and Prognostic Models for Disseminated Germ Cell Tumors 
PMCID: PMC3230321  PMID: 21570609
Testis Cancer; Germ Cell Neoplasm; Salvage Therapy; Chemotherapy
14.  Importance of Day 21 Bone Marrow Chimerism in Sustained Neutrophil Engraftment Following Double-Unit Cord Blood Transplantation 
Bone marrow transplantation  2011;47(8):1056-1060.
Delayed or failed engraftment remains a concern after cord blood transplantation (CBT) even when using double-unit grafts. Therefore, we analyzed the association between bone marrow (BM) assessment performed approximately 21 days after transplantation and the speed and success of sustained donor-derived neutrophil engraftment in 56 myeloablative double-unit CBT (DCBT) recipients. Overall, the cumulative incidence of sustained neutrophil engraftment was 95% (95%CI:89–100). Of the percentage of myeloid precursors, the BM cellularity, and the total donor chimerism, the total donor chimerism percentage had the most critical association with the speed and success of engraftment. DCBT recipients who were 100% donor achieved a 98% engraftment rate at a median of 22 days. This compared with 100% engraftment in patients who were 90–99% donor but at a delayed median of 29 days, and only 68% engraftment in patients < 90% donor at a median of 37 days (p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis was performed in the sub-group of patients who had not engrafted at the time the BM analysis was performed, the sub-group of most clinical concern. This confirmed donor chimerism was predictive of subsequent neutrophil recovery (p = 0.004). These findings demonstrate the importance of the day 21 BM chimerism determination after DCBT.
PMCID: PMC3970438  PMID: 22139066
15.  Clinical and Pathologic Impact of Select Chromatin Modulating Tumor Suppressors in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma 
European urology  2012;63(5):848-854.
Historically, VHL was the only frequently mutated gene in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), with conflicting clinical relevance. Excitingly, recent sequencing efforts identified several novel, frequent mutations of histone modifying and chromatin remodeling genes in ccRCC, including PBRM1, SETD2, BAP1 and KDM5C. Intriguingly, PBRM1, SETD2 and BAP1 are located in close proximity to VHL within a commonly lost (~90%) 3p locus. To date the clinical and pathologic significance of mutations in these novel candidate tumor suppressors is unknown.
To determine the frequency of and render the first clinical and pathologic outcome associated with mutations of these novel candidate tumor suppressors in ccRCC.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Targeted sequencing was performed in 185 ccRCC and matched normal tissues from a single institute. Pathologic features, baseline patient characteristics and follow-up data were recorded.
Statistical Analysis
The linkage between mutations and clinical and pathologic outcomes was interrogated with Fisher’s exact test (for stage and Fuhrman nuclear grade) and the permutation log-rank test (for cancer specific survival).
Results and Limitations
PBRM1, BAP1, SETD2 and KDM5C are mutated at 29%, 6%, 8% and 8%, respectively. Tumors with mutations in PBRM1 or any of BAP1, SETD2 or KDM5C (19%) are more likely to present with stage 3+ diseases, p=0.01 and p=0.001, respectively. Small tumors (<4cm) with PBRM1 mutations are more likely to exhibit stage 3 pathologic features (OR 6.4, p=0.001). BAP1 mutations tend to occur in Fuhrman Grade 3–4 tumors (p=0.052) and associate with worse cancer specific survival (p=0.01). Clinical outcome data is limited by the number of events.
Most mutations of chromatin modulators discovered in ccRCC are loss-of-function, which associate with advanced stage, grade, and possibly worsened cancer specific survival. Further studies validating the clinical impact of these novel mutations and future development of therapeutics remedying these tumor suppressors are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3615105  PMID: 23036577
Chromatin; Histone; Mutation; Outcome; Renal Cell Carcinoma
16.  Phase I trial of everolimus plus sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma 
Cancer  2011;118(7):1868-1876.
Simultaneous inhibition of the vascular epithelial growth factor (VEGF) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway may improve treatment response in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Everolimus, an oral mTOR inhibitor, and sunitinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) targeting VEGF are standard agents in the management of metastatic RCC.
Sequential cohorts of 3 to 6 patients with advanced RCC received dose escalated combinations of sunitinib (37.5 or 50 mg daily, 4 weeks on / 2 weeks off) with everolimus (2.5–5 mg daily or 20–30 mg weekly). Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were assessed in the first 6-week cycle to determine MTD. Pharmacokinetic profiles were obtained.
20 patients (13 clear cell and 7 non-clear cell RCC) were enrolled in 5 cohorts. Daily everolimus was not tolerated when combined with sunitinib; the first 2 patients on the 2nd cohort suffered DLTs. With weekly everolimus, the MTD was 30 mg everolimus on days 7, 14, 21, and 28, plus 37.5 mg sunitinib on days 1–28 of a 42-day cycle; however, chronic treatment was associated with grade 3 and 4 toxicities. A schedule of 20 mg everolimus weekly/37.5 mg sunitinib was tolerated as chronic therapy. Five patients (25%) had confirmed partial responses, 3 had non-clear cell RCC. No unexpected accumulation of everolimus, sunitinib, or N-desethyl sunitinib was observed.
The combination everolimus and sunitinib is associated with significant acute and chronic toxicities and is only tolerated at attenuated doses. Responses were observed in non-clear cell and clear cell RCC.
PMCID: PMC3609026  PMID: 21898375
renal cell carcinoma; everolimus; sunitinib; targeted therapy; combination drug therapy
17.  High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation for advanced testicular cancer 
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy  2011;11(7):1091-1103.
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
PMCID: PMC3253700  PMID: 21806332
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
18.  Phase I Study of Everolimus in Combination with Gemcitabine and Split-Dose Cisplatin in Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma 
Bladder Cancer  null;2(1):111-117.
Cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is standard first-line treatment for patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC). Molecular profiling studies reveal that the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is altered in a significant percentage of UCs.
We conducted a phase I trial to evaluate the feasibility of combining the mTOR inhibitor everolimus with gemcitabine and split-dose cisplatin (GC) in advanced UC in the first-line setting.
Patients received gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 and cisplatin 35 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 of 21-day cycles for a total of 6 cycles in combination with everolimus at increasing dose levels (DL1:5 mg QOD, DL2:5 mg daily, DL3:10 mg daily) following a standard 3+3 design. Responses were assessed every 2 cycles. Patients with at least stable disease (SD) continued everolimus until progression. Goals were to establish dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) for the combination.
12 patients were enrolled, 3 at DL1, 3 at DL2, and an additional 6 at DL1 *(DL1 following de-escalation). 3/3 patients at DL2 had DLTs during cycle 1. 2/8 evaluable patients at DL1/DL1 * had DLTs during cycle 1. DLTs were primarily hematologic. Further toxicities, also primarily hematologic, were observed during later treatment cycles, leading to 8 chemotherapy dose reductions overall. Partial responses were observed in 4/10 evaluable patients, and SD in 5/10. Median overall survival was 10.8 months (95% CI 6.9, not reached).
The maximum tolerated dose was reached at the lowest dose level, 5 mg QOD, for everolimus in combination with gemcitabine and split-dose cisplatin in advanced UC. The regimen was limited by hematologic toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4927849  PMID: 27376132
Urothelial carcinoma; Everolimus; gemcitabine; cisplatin; mTOR inhibitor

Results 1-18 (18)