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1.  Treatment Patterns of FIGO Stage IB2 Cervical Cancer: A Single-Institution Experience of Radical Hysterectomy with Individualized Postoperative Therapy and Definitive Radiation Therapy 
Gynecologic oncology  2008;111(2):265-270.
Objective
The treatment of FIGO stage IB2 cervical cancer is controversial. Our aim was to assess treatment patterns, outcomes, and complications in patients with stage IB2 cervical cancer.
Methods
A retrospective study of patients with stage IB2 cervical carcinoma at a single institution between January 1982 and September 2006 was performed. To adequately control treatment variables, we only included patients who underwent their entire treatment at our institution. Toxicity was assessed using NCI Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC).
Results
We identified 82 patients, of whom 47 met the strict inclusion criteria. Of these, 27 patients (57%) underwent primary radical hysterectomy (RH) and 20 (43%) were treated with definitive radiation/chemoradiation therapy (RT/CRT). Patients selected for RT/CRT had a higher American Society of Anesthesiologist (ASA) score than those selected for surgery (P=0.037). The 3-year progression free survival rate was 52% for the RH group and 55% for the RT/CRT group (P=0.977). The 3-year overall survival rates were 72% and 55%, respectively (P=0.161). Overall, 52% of patients in the RH group received postoperative radiation therapy as part of their adjuvant treatment. CTC grade 3, 4, and 5 complications affected 5 patients (19%) in the RH group and 3 (15%) in the RT/CRT group.
Conclusion
Both RH and definitive RT/CRT are adequate management strategies for patients with FIGO stage IB2 cervical cancer. However, there was a subset of patients in whom RH as monotherapy was appropriate. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of new preoperative models that will accurately identify these patients.
doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.07.050
PMCID: PMC3932675  PMID: 18774596
FIGO stage IB2 cervical carcinoma; radical hysterectomy; chemoradiation therapy
2.  The translational imperative: Making cell therapy simple and effective ☆ 
Acta biomaterialia  2012;8(12):4200-4207.
The current practice of cell therapy, in which multipotent or terminally differentiated cells are injected into tissues or intravenously, is inefficient. Few therapeutic cells are retained at the site of administration and engraftment is low. An injectable and biologically appropriate vehicle for delivery, retention, growth and differentiation of therapeutic cells is needed to improve the efficacy of cell therapy. We focus on a hyaluronan-based semi-synthetic extracellular matrix (sECM), HyStem®, which is a manufacturable, approvable and affordable clinical product. The composition of this sECM can be customized for use with mesenchymal stem cells as well as cells derived from embryonic or induced pluripotent sources. In addition, it can support therapeutic uses of progenitor and mature cell populations obtained from skin, fat, liver, heart, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerves and other tissues. This overview presents four pre-clinical uses of HyStem® for cell therapy to repair injured vocal folds, improve post-myocardial infarct heart function, regenerate damaged liver tissue and restore brain function following ischemic stroke. Finally, we address the real-world limitations – manufacture, regulation, market acceptance and financing – surrounding cell therapy and the development of clinical combination products.
doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2012.06.043
PMCID: PMC3488131  PMID: 22776825
HyStem®; Cell therapy; ECM; Hyaluronic acid; Cell engraftment
3.  Doublet Chemotherapy in the Elderly Patient With Ovarian Cancer 
The Oncologist  2012;17(11):1450-1460.
This study examines treatment options for older patients with ovarian cancer. Older patients with ovarian cancer have been underrepresented in clinical trials, so the evidence base on which physicians make decisions is lacking. Clinicians need to be aware of the currently available data to aid in treatment decisions.
Learning Objectives
After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Summarize trends in the treatment of older women with ovarian cancer.Describe the potential value of performing a geriatric assessment prior to treatment in older women with ovarian cancer.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
The aging of the population has focused on the need to evaluate older patients with cancer. Approximately 50% of patients with ovarian cancer will be older than age 65 years. Increasing age has been associated with decreased survival. It is uncertain whether this relates to biologic factors, treatment factors, or both. There is concern that undertreatment may be associated with decreased survival. Older patients with ovarian cancer have been underrepresented in clinical trials. Therefore, the evidence base on which make decisions is lacking. Clinicians need to be aware of the currently available data to aid in treatment decisions. Doublet therapy is the most common standard treatment in epithelial ovarian cancer. It usually consists of a taxane and a platinum compound. A series of cooperative group studies in both the United States and Europe established intravenous paclitaxel and carboplatin as the most common standard in optimally debulked patients. The recent introduction of intraperitoneal therapy has complicated decision making in terms of which older patients would benefit from this more toxic therapy. In relapsed patients, the issue of platinum sensitivity is critical in deciding whether to reutilize platinum compounds. It is unclear whether single agents or combinations are superior, particularly in older patients. Geriatric assessment is an important component of decision making. Prospective studies are needed to develop strategies to determine the optimal treatment for older patients with ovarian cancer.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2012-0155
PMCID: PMC3500367  PMID: 22915061
Ovarian cancer; Elderly; Geriatrics; Chemotherapy
4.  Use of Complementary Medications among Older Adults with Cancer 
Cancer  2012;118(19):4815-4823.
BACKGROUND
Little is known about complementary medication use among older adults with cancer, particularly those undergoing chemotherapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of complementary medication use and to identify factors associated with its use among older adults with cancer.
METHODS
The prevalence of complementary medication use (defined as herbal agents, minerals, or other dietary supplements excluding vitamins) was evaluated in a cohort of adults aged ≥65 years who were about to start chemotherapy for their cancer. The association between complementary medication use and patient characteristics (sociodemographics; comorbidity; functional, nutritional, psychological, and cognitive status); medication use (number of medications and concurrent vitamin use); and cancer characteristics (type and stage) was analyzed.
RESULTS
The cohort included 545 patients [mean age 73 years (range 65–91); 52% female] with cancer (61% Stage IV). Seventeen percent (N=93) of these patients reported using ≥1 complementary medications [mean number of complementary medications among users was 2 (range 1–10)]. Complementary medication use was associated with: 1) earlier cancer stage, with 29% of those with stages I–II vs. 17% with III–IV (OR=2.05, 95% CI:1.21–3.49); and 2) less impairment with instrumental activities of daily living (OR=1.39, 95% CI:1.12–1.73).
CONCLUSIONS
Complementary medication use was reported by 17% of older adults with cancer and was more common among those with less advanced disease (receiving adjuvant potentially curative treatment) and higher functional status. Further studies are needed to determine the association between complementary medication use and cancer outcomes among older adults.
doi:10.1002/cncr.27427
PMCID: PMC3366170  PMID: 22359348
Herbals; Complementary Medicine; Older Adults; Cancer; Chemotherapy
5.  Phase II Study of Intraperitoneal Paclitaxel Plus Cisplatin and Intravenous Paclitaxel Plus Bevacizumab As Adjuvant Treatment of Optimal Stage II/III Epithelial Ovarian Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(35):4662-4668.
Purpose
Intraperitoneal (IP) cisplatin and intravenous (IV) or IP paclitaxel constitute a standard therapy for optimally debulked ovarian cancer. Bevacizumab prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) when included in first-line IV chemotherapy. In this study, the safety and feasibility of adding bevacizumab to a first-line IP regimen were assessed.
Patients and Methods
Treatment was as follows: paclitaxel 135 mg/m2 IV over 3 hours day 1, cisplatin 75 mg/m2 IP day 2, and paclitaxel 60 mg/m2 IP day 8. Bevacizumab 15 mg/kg IV was given after paclitaxel on day 1 beginning in cycle 2. After six cycles of chemotherapy, bevacizumab was given every 3 weeks for 17 additional treatments. The primary end point was safety and tolerability determined by whether 60% of patients completed six cycles of IV/IP chemotherapy.
Results
Of 41 treated patients, 30 (73%) received six cycles of IV/IP chemotherapy and 35 (85%) received at least four cycles. Three (27%) of those who discontinued chemotherapy did so because of complications related to bevacizumab (hypertension, n = 2; perforation, n = 1). Grades 3 to 4 toxicities included neutropenia (34%), vasovagal syncope (10%), hypertension (7%), nausea/vomiting (7%), hypomagnesemia (7%), and abdominal pain (7%). There were three grade 3 small bowel obstructions (7%) during cycles 3, 9, and 15. One patient died following rectosigmoid anastomotic dehiscence during cycle 4. Estimated median PFS is 28.6 months (95% CI, 19.1 to 38.9 months). Three patients (7%) had IP port malfunction.
Conclusion
The addition of bevacizumab to this IP regimen is feasible; however, bevacizumab may increase the risk of bowel obstruction/perforation. The observed median PFS is similar to that seen with IP/IV chemotherapy alone.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.36.1352
PMCID: PMC3667619  PMID: 22067389
6.  Implementing a Geriatric Assessment in Cooperative Group Clinical Cancer Trials: CALGB 360401 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(10):1290-1296.
Purpose
Factors captured in a geriatric assessment can predict morbidity and mortality in older adults, but are not routinely measured in cancer clinical trials. This study evaluated the implementation of a geriatric assessment tool in the cooperative group setting.
Patients and Methods
Patients age ≥ 65 with cancer, who enrolled on cooperative group cancer trials, were eligible to enroll on Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 360401. They completed a geriatric assessment tool before initiation of protocol therapy, consisting of valid and reliable geriatric assessment measures which are primarily self-administered and require minimal resources and time by healthcare providers. The assessment measures functional status, comorbidity, cognitive function, psychological state, social support, and nutritional status. The protocol specified criteria for incorporation of the tool in future cooperative group trials was based on the time to completion and percent of patients who could complete their portion without assistance. Patient satisfaction with the tool was captured.
Results
Of the 93 patients who enrolled in this study, five (5%) met criteria for cognitive impairment and three did not complete the cognitive screen, leaving 85 assessable patients (median age, 72 years). The median time to complete the geriatric assessment tool was 22 minutes, 87% of patients (n = 74) completed their portion without assistance, 92% (n = 78) were satisfied with the questionnaire length, 95% (n = 81) reported no difficult questions, and 96% (n = 82) reported no upsetting questions. One hundred percent of health care professionals completed their portion.
Conclusion
This brief, primarily self-administered geriatric assessment tool met the protocol specified criteria for inclusion in future cooperative group clinical trials.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.30.6985
PMCID: PMC3083997  PMID: 21357782
7.  Phase I trial of weekly cisplatin, irinotecan and paclitaxel in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer 
Investigational new drugs  2008;27(4):366-373.
Summary
Objectives
To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), toxicities, and suitable dose for weekly 1-h paclitaxel combined with weekly cisplatin and irinotecan to treat advanced gastrointestinal malignancies.
Methods
Thirty patients with metastatic or locally advanced (unresectable or recurrent) gastrointestinal solid tumors were enrolled on this single-center, phase I study. Patients were treated with paclitaxel given over 1h at 1 of 4 dose levels (40, 50, 65, or 80 mg/m2). Paclitaxel was followed by fixed doses of cisplatin (30 mg/m2) and irinotecan (50 mg/m2). All treatment was administered sequentially, once a week, in 6-week cycles (4 weeks on, 2 weeks off). Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as a 2-week delay in treatment for grade 3 or 4 non-hematologic toxicity, neutropenic fever, a 1-week delay for grade 4 hematologic toxicity, or a 2-week delay for grade 3 hematologic toxicity.
Results
Thirty patients were recruited; 28 patients were assessable for safety. Most of the patients (70%) had no prior chemotherapy. The primary first-cycle DLTs were neutropenia, diarrhea, and nausea. Paclitaxel at 65 mg/m2 was defined as the MTD. The most common grade 3–4 toxicities observed during all cycles were neutropenia (57%), febrile neutropenia (11%), diarrhea (29%), fatigue (29%), and nausea (18%). No patients had G-CSF (Neupogen, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA) support. Responses were observed in gastric, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers.
Conclusion
Paclitaxel at 65 mg/m2, cisplatin (30 mg/m2), and irinotecan (50 mg/m2) given weekly can be safely administered to patients with solid tumor malignancies. To improve cumulative toxicities, a schedule modification was required (3-week cycle; 2-on, 1-off) Neutropenia was the most common DLT. This combination showed substantial activity, particularly in patients with gastric and esophageal adenocarcinoma, and phase II evaluation could be considered.
doi:10.1007/s10637-008-9194-4
PMCID: PMC3219507  PMID: 18956138
Cisplatin; Irinotecan; Paclitaxel; Phase I; Gastrointestinal cancer
8.  A phase I study of subcutaneously administered aflibercept (VEGF trap) in a new formulation in patients with advanced solid tumors 
Investigational New Drugs  2011;30(5):1958-1961.
Summary
Targeting angiogenesis is a valid anti-cancer strategy. Aflibercept is designed to sequester circulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by preventing VEGF from binding to its receptors. This phase I study was to evaluate a new formulation of subcutaneously administered aflibercept in patients with advanced solid tumors. Here we report our experience with the toxicity, pharmacokinetic profile and efficacy of the new 100 mg/mL subcutaneous (SC) formulation of aflibercept administered at a dose of at 4 mg/kg every 2 weeks.
doi:10.1007/s10637-011-9753-y
PMCID: PMC3432791  PMID: 22002018
Phase I study; Aflibercept; Angiogenesis inhibitor; Subcutaneously administration
9.  Predicting Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Adults With Cancer: A Prospective Multicenter Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(25):3457-3465.
Purpose
Older adults are vulnerable to chemotherapy toxicity; however, there are limited data to identify those at risk. The goals of this study are to identify risk factors for chemotherapy toxicity in older adults and develop a risk stratification schema for chemotherapy toxicity.
Patients and Methods
Patients age ≥ 65 years with cancer from seven institutions completed a prechemotherapy assessment that captured sociodemographics, tumor/treatment variables, laboratory test results, and geriatric assessment variables (function, comorbidity, cognition, psychological state, social activity/support, and nutritional status). Patients were followed through the chemotherapy course to capture grade 3 (severe), grade 4 (life-threatening or disabling), and grade 5 (death) as defined by the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events.
Results
In total, 500 patients with a mean age of 73 years (range, 65 to 91 years) with stage I to IV lung (29%), GI (27%), gynecologic (17%), breast (11%), genitourinary (10%), or other (6%) cancer joined this prospective study. Grade 3 to 5 toxicity occurred in 53% of the patients (39% grade 3, 12% grade 4, 2% grade 5). A predictive model for grade 3 to 5 toxicity was developed that consisted of geriatric assessment variables, laboratory test values, and patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics. A scoring system in which the median risk score was 7 (range, 0 to 19) and risk stratification schema (risk score: percent incidence of grade 3 to 5 toxicity) identified older adults at low (0 to 5 points; 30%), intermediate (6 to 9 points; 52%), or high risk (10 to 19 points; 83%) of chemotherapy toxicity (P < .001).
Conclusion
A risk stratification schema can establish the risk of chemotherapy toxicity in older adults. Geriatric assessment variables independently predicted the risk of toxicity.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2011.34.7625
PMCID: PMC3624700  PMID: 21810685
10.  Phase I Study of Intravenous Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Trap, Aflibercept, in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;28(2):207-214.
Purpose
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) Trap (aflibercept) is an angiogenesis inhibitor comprising portions of the extracellular domains of human VEGF receptors 1 and 2 fused to the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G. This phase I study was designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of VEGF Trap administered intravenously (IV) every 2 weeks.
Patients and Methods
Patients with refractory solid tumors or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with adequate organ function were eligible. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic markers included measurement of plasma VEGF bound to VEGF Trap and free VEGF Trap. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) was incorporated to measure the biologic effects of the drug on tumor vascularity and permeability.
Results
The study enrolled 47 patients at doses ranging from 0.3 to 7.0 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks. Dose-limiting toxicities were rectal ulceration and proteinuria at the 7.0 mg/kg dose. Other mechanism-specific toxicities included hypertension. On the basis of these observations and on pharmacokinetics, the recommended phase II dose of VEGF Trap as a single agent is 4 mg/kg every 2 weeks. Three RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) –defined partial responses were observed, one at the 3.0 mg/kg and two at the 7.0 mg/kg dose level. Maximum plasma concentration of free VEGF Trap increased proportionally with dose. Maximal VEGF-bound VEGF Trap complex levels were reached at doses ≥ 2.0 mg/kg. Changes in volume transfer constant measured by DCE-MRI at baseline and at 24 hours after administration indicate a possible dose-related change in this pharmacodynamic marker.
Conclusion
IV VEGF Trap was well tolerated at the dose levels tested. Pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic markers were indicative of VEGF blockade.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.22.9237
PMCID: PMC2815710  PMID: 19949018
11.  Distress in Older Patients With Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(26):4346-4351.
Purpose
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.19.9463
PMCID: PMC2799049  PMID: 19652074
12.  Senior Adult Oncology 
PMCID: PMC3656650  PMID: 22308515
NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines; NCCN Guidelines; senior adult; elderly; advanced age; older patient; comprehensive geriatric assessment; cancer treatment

Results 1-12 (12)