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1.  Phase 2 Study of Weekly Bortezomib in Mantle Cell and Follicular Lymphoma 
British journal of haematology  2009;146(6):652-655.
Twice-weekly bortezomib has proven activity in mantle cell (MCL) and indolent lymphomas. This study explored a weekly schedule of bortezomib in follicular lymphoma (FL) and MCL. Although weekly bortezomib was better tolerated, the overall response rate (ORR) was inferior (18% vs. 50%, p = 0.02) with no complete remissions (CR) (compared with 18% CR for the twice-weekly schedule). Progression-free survival (PFS) was not different. The weekly schedule of bortezomib was less toxic, but yielded fewer and lower quality responses than twice-weekly bortezomib. Given the similar PFS, the weekly schedule may still be appropriate for some patients.
PMCID: PMC4035037  PMID: 19624539
Bortezomib; Follicular Lymphoma; Mantle cell Lymphoma; Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; Proteasome inhibitor
2.  High-Dose Chemo-Radiotherapy for Relapsed or Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma and the Significance of Pre-transplant Functional Imaging 
British journal of haematology  2010;148(6):890-897.
We previously reported that three risk factors (RF): initial remission duration <1 year, active B symptoms, and extranodal disease predict outcome in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Our goal was to improve event-free survival (EFS) for patients with multiple RF and to determine if response to salvage therapy impacted outcome. We conducted a phase II intent-to-treat study of tailored salvage treatment: patients with 0 or 1 RF received standard-dose ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide (ICE); patients with 2 RF received augmented ICE; patients with 3 RF received high-dose ICE with stem cell support. This was followed by evaluation with both computed tomography and functional imaging (FI); those with chemosensitive disease underwent high-dose chemoradiotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). There was no treatment-related mortality. Compared to historical controls this therapy eliminated the difference in EFS between the 3 prognostic groups. Pre-ASCT FI predicted outcome; 4-year EFS rates was 33% vs. 77% for patients transplanted with positive vs negative FI respectively, p=0.00004, hazard ratio 4.61. Risk-adapted augmentation of salvage treatment in patients with HL is feasible and improves EFS in poorer-risk patients. Our data suggest that normalization of FI pre-ASCT predicts outcome, and should be the goal of salvage treatment.
PMCID: PMC3920913  PMID: 20085577
Hodgkin Lymphoma; HSCT; high-dose chemoradiotherapy
3.  Phase II Study of Bendamustine in Relapsed and Refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2012;31(4):456-460.
Limited data exist regarding the activity of bendamustine in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). This phase II study evaluated the efficacy of bendamustine in relapsed and refractory HL.
Patients and Methods
Patients with relapsed and refractory HL who were ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), or for whom this treatment failed, received bendamustine 120 mg/m2 as a 30-minute infusion on days 1 and 2 every 28 days with growth factor support. The primary end point was overall response rate (ORR). A secondary end point was referral rate to allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT) for patients deemed eligible for alloSCT at the time of enrollment.
Of the 36 patients enrolled, 34 were evaluable for response. Patients had received a median of four prior treatments, and 75% had relapsed after ASCT. The ORR by intent-to-treat analysis was 53%, including 12 complete responses (33%) and seven partial responses (19%). The response rate among evaluable patients was 56%. Responses were seen in patients with prior refractory disease, prior ASCT, and prior alloSCT; however, no responses were seen in patients who relapsed within 3 months of ASCT. The median response duration was 5 months. Five patients (20% of those eligible) proceeded to alloSCT after treatment with bendamustine. Grade ≥ 3 adverse events were infrequent and most commonly included thrombocytopenia (20%), anemia (14%), and infection (14%).
This study confirms the efficacy of bendamustine in heavily pretreated patients with HL. These results support current and future studies evaluating bendamustine combinations in relapsed and refractory HL.
PMCID: PMC3862960  PMID: 23248254
4.  Risk-Adapted Dose-Dense Immunochemotherapy Determined by Interim FDG-PET in Advanced-Stage Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(11):1896-1903.
In studies of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, positron emission tomography with [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET) performed after two to four cycles of chemotherapy has demonstrated prognostic significance. However, some patients treated with immunochemotherapy experience a favorable long-term outcome despite a positive interim FDG-PET scan. To clarify the significance of interim FDG-PET scans, we prospectively studied interim FDG-positive disease within a risk-adapted sequential immunochemotherapy program.
Patients and Methods
From March 2002 to November 2006, 98 patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center received induction therapy with four cycles of accelerated R-CHOP (rituximab + cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) followed by an interim FDG-PET scan. If the FDG-PET scan was negative, patients received three cycles of ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide) consolidation therapy. If residual FDG-positive disease was seen, patients underwent biopsy; if the biopsy was negative, they also received three cycles of ICE. Patients with a positive biopsy received ICE followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation.
At a median follow-up of 44 months, overall and progression-free survival were 90% and 79%, respectively. Ninety-seven patients underwent interim FDG-PET scans; 59 had a negative scan, 51 of whom are progression free. Thirty-eight patients with FDG-PET–positive disease underwent repeat biopsy; 33 were negative, and 26 remain progression free after ICE consolidation therapy. Progression-free survival of interim FDG-PET–positive/biopsy-negative patients was identical to that in patients with a negative interim FDG-PET scan (P = .27).
Interim or post-treatment FDG-PET evaluation did not predict outcome with this dose-dense, sequential immunochemotherapy program. Outside of a clinical trial, we recommend biopsy confirmation of an abnormal interim FDG-PET scan before changing therapy.
PMCID: PMC3651601  PMID: 20212248
5.  Distress in Older Patients With Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(26):4346-4351.
To determine the predictors of distress in older patients with cancer.
Patients and Methods
Patients age ≥ 65 years with a solid tumor or lymphoma completed a questionnaire that addressed these geriatric assessment domains: functional status, comorbidity, psychological state, nutritional status, and social support. Patients self-rated their level of distress on a scale of zero to 10 using a validated screening tool called the Distress Thermometer. The relationship between distress and geriatric assessment scores was examined.
The geriatric assessment questionnaire was completed by 245 patients (mean age, 76 years; standard deviation [SD], 7 years; range, 65 to 95 years) with cancer (36% stage IV; 71% female). Of these, 87% also completed the Distress Thermometer, with 41% (n = 87) reporting a distress score of ≥ 4 on a scale of zero to 10 (mean score, 3; SD, 3; range, zero to 10). Bivariate analyses demonstrated an association between higher distress (≥ 4) and poorer physical function, increased comorbid medical conditions, poor eyesight, inability to complete the questionnaire alone, and requiring more time to complete the questionnaire. In a multivariate regression model based on the significant bivariate findings, poorer physical function (increased need for assistance with instrumental activities of daily living [P = .015] and lower physical function score on the Medical Outcomes Survey [P = .018]) correlated significantly with a higher distress score.
Significant distress was identified in 41% of older patients with cancer. Poorer physical function was the best predictor of distress. Further studies are needed to determine whether interventions that improve or assist with physical functioning can help to decrease distress in older adults with cancer.
PMCID: PMC2799049  PMID: 19652074
6.  Phase II-I-II Study of Two Different Doses and Schedules of Pralatrexate, a High-Affinity Substrate for the Reduced Folate Carrier, in Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Lymphoma Reveals Marked Activity in T-Cell Malignancies 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(26):4357-4364.
To determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and efficacy of pralatrexate in patients with lymphoma.
Patients and Methods
Pralatrexate, initially given at a dose of 135 mg/m2 on an every-other-week basis, was associated with stomatitis. A redesigned, weekly phase I/II study established an MTD of 30 mg/m2 weekly for six weeks every 7 weeks. Patients were required to have relapsed/refractory disease, an absolute neutrophil greater than 1,000/μL, and a platelet count greater than 50,000/μL for the first dose of any cycle.
The every-other-week, phase II experience was associated with an increased risk of stomatitis and hematologic toxicity. On a weekly schedule, the MTD was 30 mg/m2 weekly for 6 weeks every 7 weeks. This schedule modification resulted in a 50% reduction in the major hematologic toxicities and abrogation of the grades 3 to 4 stomatitis. Stomatitis was associated with elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid, which were reduced by folate and vitamin B12 supplementation. Of 48 assessable patients, the overall response rate was 31% (26% by intention to treat), including 17% who experienced complete remission (CR). When analyzed by lineage, the overall response rates were 10% and 54% in patients with B- and T-cell lymphomas, respectively. All eight patients who experienced CR had T-cell lymphoma, and four of the six patients with a partial remission were positron emission tomography negative. The duration of responses ranged from 3 to 26 months.
Pralatrexate has significant single-agent activity in patients with relapsed/refractory T-cell lymphoma.
PMCID: PMC3651599  PMID: 19652067
7.  Placebo-Controlled Phase III Trial of Patient-Specific Immunotherapy With Mitumprotimut-T and Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor After Rituximab in Patients With Follicular Lymphoma 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(18):3036-3043.
To evaluate patient-specific immunotherapy with mitumprotimut-T (idiotype keyhole limpet hemocyanin [Id-KLH]) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in CD20+ follicular lymphoma.
Patients and Methods
Patients with treatment-naive or relapsed/refractory disease achieving a complete response (CR), partial response (PR), or stable disease (SD) with four weekly rituximab infusions were randomly assigned to mitumprotimut-T/GM-CSF or placebo/GM-CSF, with doses given monthly for six doses, every 2 months for six doses, and then every 3 months until disease progression (PD). Randomization was stratified by prior therapy (treatment-naive or relapsed/refractory) and response to rituximab (CR/PR or SD). The primary end point was time to progression (TTP) from randomization.
A total of 349 patients were randomly assigned; median age was 54 years, 79% were treatment naive, and 86% had stage III/IV disease. Median TTP was 9.0 months for mitumprotimut-T/GM-CSF and 12.6 months for placebo/GM-CSF (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.384; P = .019). TTP was comparable between the two arms in treatment-naive patients (HR = 1.196; P = .258) and shorter with mitumprotimut-T/GM-CSF in relapsed/refractory disease (HR = 2.265; P = .004). After adjusting for Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) scores, the difference in TTP between the two arms was no longer significant. Overall objective response rate, rate of response improvement, and duration of response were comparable between the two arms. Toxicity was similar in the two arms; 76% of adverse events were mild or moderate, and 94% of patients had injection site reactions.
TTP was shorter with mitumprotimut-T/GM-CSF compared with placebo/GM-CSF. This difference was possibly due to the imbalance in FLIPI scores.
PMCID: PMC3646306  PMID: 19414675

Results 1-7 (7)