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1.  Lenalidomide in combination with gemcitabine as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic carcinoma of the pancreas 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2013;14(4):340-346.
Objectives: To evaluate the 6-mo overall survival, safety and tolerability of lenalidomide in combination with standard gemcitabine as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Methods: Eligibility included: previously untreated metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas with metastases incurable by surgery/radiation therapy; ECOG PS 0–2; adequate organ function; prophylactic anticoagulation for venous thromboembolic events (VTEs). Patients received lenalidomide 25 mg PO (days 1–21) and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 IV (days 1, 8 and 15) each 28-day cycle, with response evaluations every eight weeks. Results: Between 5/2009–4/2010, 72 patients (median age 64 years; 68% male; 42% ECOG PS 0) were enrolled in this multicenter, community-based study. Six-month OS was 37% (95% CI 26–48%). Median PFS and OS were 2.3 (95% CI 1.9–3.5) and 4.7 (95% CI 3.4–5.7) months, respectively. Eight partial responses (11%) were documented. Thirty-nine patients (54%) experienced thrombocytopenia (2 patients, 3% grade 4). Hematologic toxicities resulted in dose modifications for the majority of patients. Twenty patients (28%) developed VTEs during treatment. Conclusions: The observed 6-month OS (37%) of lenalidomide with gemcitabine does not suggest improvement compared with historical results with gemcitabine alone. Toxicities and dose modifications likely limited dose intensity. Further development of this regimen in pancreas cancer is not recommended.
PMCID: PMC3667874  PMID: 23358470
pancreas cancer; lenalidomide; phase II; gemcitabine combination
2.  Molecular Profiling in Unknown Primary Cancer: Accuracy of Tissue of Origin Prediction 
The Oncologist  2010;15(5):500-506.
The authors evaluated the accuracy of tissue-of-origin prediction by molecular profiling in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary site. They found the Cancer Type ID assay (bioTheranostics, Inc.) to be reliable in predicting the primary site in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary, and suggest that this could form the basis for more successful site-directed therapy when used in concert with clinicopathologic data.
This retrospective, multi-institutional study evaluated the accuracy of tissue-of-origin prediction by molecular profiling in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary site (CUP).
Thirty-eight of 501 patients (7.6%) with CUP, seen in 2000–2008, had their latent primary site tumor subsequently identified during life. Twenty-eight of these patients (73.7%) had adequate initial tissue biopsies available for molecular profiling with a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay (Cancer Type ID; bioTheranostics, Inc., San Diego, CA). The assay was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens in a blinded fashion, and the assay results were compared with clinicopathologic data and the actual latent primary sites.
Twenty of the 28 (71.4%) RT-PCR assays were successfully completed (eight biopsies had either insufficient tumor or poorly preserved RNA). Fifteen of the 20 assay predictions (75%) were correct (95% confidence interval, 60%–85%), corresponding to the actual latent primary sites identified after the initial diagnosis of CUP. Primary sites correctly identified included breast (four patients), ovary/primary peritoneal (four patients), non-small cell lung (three patients), colorectal (two patients), gastric (one patient), and melanoma (one patient). Three predictions were incorrect (intestinal, testicular, sarcoma) in patients with gastroesophageal, pancreatic, and non-small cell lung cancer, respectively, and two were unclassifiable in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Clinicopathologic findings were helpful in suggesting the correct primary site in some patients and appear to complement the molecular assay findings.
These data validate the reliability of this assay in predicting the primary site in CUP patients and may form the basis for more successful site-directed therapy, when used in concert with clinicopathologic data.
PMCID: PMC3227979  PMID: 20427384
Carcinoma of unknown primary site; Molecular profiling; Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; Site-directed therapy
3.  Abiraterone and Increased Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(21):1995-2005.
Biosynthesis of extragonadal androgen may contribute to the progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer. We evaluated whether abiraterone acetate, an inhibitor of androgen biosynthesis, prolongs overall survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received chemotherapy.
We randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, 1195 patients who had previously received docetaxel to receive 5 mg of prednisone twice daily with either 1000 mg of abiraterone acetate (797 patients) or placebo (398 patients). The primary end point was overall survival. The secondary end points included time to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) progression (elevation in the PSA level according to prespecified criteria), progression-free survival according to radiologic findings based on prespecified criteria, and the PSA response rate.
After a median follow-up of 12.8 months, overall survival was longer in the abiraterone acetate–prednisone group than in the placebo–prednisone group (14.8 months vs. 10.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.77; P<0.001). Data were unblinded at the interim analysis, since these results exceeded the preplanned criteria for study termination. All secondary end points, including time to PSA progression (10.2 vs. 6.6 months; P<0.001), progression-free survival (5.6 months vs. 3.6 months; P<0.001), and PSA response rate (29% vs. 6%, P<0.001), favored the treatment group. Mineralocorticoid-related adverse events, including fluid retention, hypertension, and hypokalemia, were more frequently reported in the abiraterone acetate–prednisone group than in the placebo–prednisone group.
The inhibition of androgen biosynthesis by abiraterone acetate prolonged overall survival among patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who previously received chemotherapy. (Funded by Cougar Biotechnology; COU-AA-301 number, NCT00638690.)
PMCID: PMC3471149  PMID: 21612468
4.  Follicular Lymphoma in the United States: First Report of the National LymphoCare Study 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(8):1202-1208.
Optimal therapy of follicular lymphoma (FL) is not defined. We analyzed a large prospective cohort study to identify current demographics and patterns of care of FL in the United States.
Patients and Methods
The National LymphoCare Study is a multicenter, longitudinal, observational study designed to collect information on treatment regimens and outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed FL in the United States. Patients were enrolled between 2004 and 2007. There is no study-specific prescribed treatment regimen or intervention.
Two thousand seven hundred twenty-eight subjects were enrolled at 265 sites, including the 80% of patients enrolled from nonacademic sites. Using the Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI), three distinct groups independent of histologic grade could be defined. Initial therapeutic strategy was: observation, 17.7%; rituximab monotherapy, 13.9%; clinical trial 6.1%; radiation therapy, 5.6%; chemotherapy only, 3.2%; chemotherapy plus rituximab, 51.9%. Chemotherapy plus rituximab regimens were: rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, 55.0%; rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone, 23.1%; rituximab plus fludarabine based, 15.5%; other, 6.4%. The choice to initiate therapy rather than observe was associated with age, FLIPI, stage, and grade (P < .01). Significant differences in treatment (P < .01) across regions of the United States were noted. Contrary to practice guidelines, treatment of stage I FL frequently omits radiation therapy.
Widely disparate therapeutic approaches are utilized for FL. Initial therapy is deferred in a small subset of patients. There is no single standard of care for the treatment of de novo FL, although antibody use is ubiquitous when therapy is initiated. These disparate approaches to the initial care of patients with FL render a heterogeneous group of patients at relapse.
PMCID: PMC2738614  PMID: 19204203
5.  High-Dose Etoposide: From Phase I to a Component of Curative Therapy 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2008;26(33):5310-5312.
PMCID: PMC2661465  PMID: 18838698
6.  Safety of rituximab in the treatment of B cell malignancies: implications for rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2003;5(Suppl 4):S12-S16.
The chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab has been used extensively in the treatment of B cell malignancies, and more recently it has emerged as a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), via selective B lymphocyte depletion. Experience in oncology shows that rituximab is well tolerated in a variety of settings, with mild-to-moderate infusion related reactions following the first infusion being the most common adverse event. Current data suggest that the safety profile of rituximab in patients with RA is similar to that in oncology, but that the adverse events are less frequent and less severe in patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC2833440  PMID: 15180892
B cell depletion; oncology; rheumatoid arthritis; rituximab; safety

Results 1-6 (6)