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1.  Pilot Trial of Preoperative (Neoadjuvant) Letrozole in Combination With Bevacizumab in Postmenopausal Women With Newly Diagnosed Estrogen Receptor–or Progesterone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer 
Clinical breast cancer  2010;10(4):275-280.
Tumor content or expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is associated with impaired efficacy of antiestrogen adjuvant therapy. We designed a pilot study to assess the feasibility and short-term efficacy of neoadjuvant letrozole and bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) in postmenopausal women with stage II and III estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor–positive breast cancer.
Patients and Methods
Patients were treated with a neoadjuvant regimen of letrozole orally 2.5 mg/day and bevacizumab intravenously 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks for a total of 24 weeks before the surgical treatment of their breast cancer. Patients were followed for toxicity at 3-week intervals, and tumor assessment (a physical examination and ultrasound) was performed at 6-week intervals. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans were performed before therapy and 6 weeks after the initiation of therapy.
Twenty-five evaluable patients were treated. The regimen was well-tolerated, except in 2 patients who were taken off the study for difficulties controlling their hypertension. An objective clinical response occurred in 17 of 25 patients (68%), including 16% complete responses (CRs) and 52% partial responses. The 4 patients with clinical CRs manifested pathologic CRs in their breasts (16%), although 1 patient had residual tumor cells in her axillary nodes. Eight of 25 patients (32%) attained stage 0 or 1 status. The PET scan response at 6 weeks correlated with clinical CRs and breast pathologic CRs at 24 weeks (P < .0036).
Combination neoadjuvant therapy with letrozole and bevacizumab was well-tolerated and resulted in impressive clinical and pathologic responses. The Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium has an ongoing randomized phase II trial of this regimen in this patient population.
PMCID: PMC4451110  PMID: 20705559
Antiangiogenesis; Monoclonal antibody; Sentinel lymph node biopsy; Tamoxifen; VEGF
2.  A randomized, phase II study of the anti-insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (IGF-1R) monoclonal antibody robatumumab (SCH 717454) in patients with advanced colorectal cancer 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(4):988-997.
Overexpression of insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (IGF-1R) may promote tumor development and progression in some cancer patients. Our objective was to assess tumor uptake of fluorodeoxyglucose by positron-emission tomography in patients with chemotherapy-refractory colorectal cancer treated with an anti-insulin-like growth factor receptor type 1 (anti-IGF-1R) monoclonal antibody, robatumumab. This was a randomized, open-label study with two periods (P1 and P2). Patients were randomized 3:1 into treatment arms R/R and C/R that received, respectively, one cycle of 0.3 mg/kg robatumumab or one or more cycles of second-line chemotherapy in P1, followed in either case by 10 mg/kg robatumumab biweekly in P2. The primary measure of fluorodeoxyglucose uptake was maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax). The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients in the R/R arm having a mean percent decrease from baseline in SUVmax (DiSUV) greater than 20% 12–14 days postdose in P2. Secondary endpoints included Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST)-defined tumor response and pharmacodynamic measures of target engagement. Among 41 patients who were evaluable for the primary endpoint, seven (17%, 95% CI 7%–32%) had DiSUV greater than 20%. Fifty robatumumab-treated patients were evaluable for RECIST-defined tumor response and six (12%) had stable disease lasting greater than or equal to 7 weeks in P2. Pharmacodynamic endpoints indicated target engagement after dosing with 10 mg/kg robatumumab, but not 0.3 mg/kg. The most frequently reported adverse events were fatigue/asthenia, nausea, anorexia, and gastrointestinal disturbances. In this study, few patients with chemotherapy-refractory colorectal cancer appeared to benefit from treatment with the IGF-1R antagonist robatumumab.
PMCID: PMC4303167  PMID: 24905030
Colorectal cancer; IGF-1R; monoclonal antibody; robatumumab
3.  Phase II Trial of Weekly Nanoparticle Albumin-Bound Paclitaxel With Carboplatin and Trastuzumab as First-line Therapy for Women With HER2-Overexpressing Metastatic Breast Cancer 
Clinical breast cancer  2010;10(4):10.3816/CBC.2010.n.036.
This multicenter phase II trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of weekly nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel with carboplatin and weekly trastuzumab as first-line therapy for women with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Patients and Methods
We treated 32 patients who had measurable MBC that was HER2-positive defined by an immunohistochemical staining score of 3+ or gene amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization, required for those with an IHC of 2+. Patients were treated with albumin-bound paclitaxel 100 mg/m2 and carboplatin at area under the curve (AUC) = 2 on days 1, 8, and 15 of a 28-day cycle. Trastuzumab was administered at 2 mg/kg weekly after a loading dose of 4 mg/kg. Because of hypersensitivity reactions occurring during carboplatin infusion numbers 6-8 in 4 of the first 13 patients with this premedication-free regimen, the protocol was amended for carboplatin and dosed at AUC = 6 day 1 each 28-day cycle, in lieu of introducing steroid prophylaxis. Patients were treated with 6 cycles and allowed to continue with all 3 drugs or trastuzumab alone if free of progression and unacceptable toxicity after 6 cycles.
The overall response rate (ORR) was 62.5% (95% CI, 45.7%-79.3%) with 3 confirmed complete responders (CRs; 9%) and 17 confirmed partial responses (PRs; 53%). An additional 6 patients (19%) had stable disease (SD) for greater than 16 weeks for a clinical benefit rate (ORR + SD > 16 weeks) of 81%. As of April 16, 2009, 20 patients (63%) had progressed with a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 16.6 months (95% CI, 7.5-26.5 months). Antitumor activity was similar for patients treated with weekly carboplatin and every-4-week carboplatin (ORR, 65% vs. 67%, respectively). Hematologic toxicities were the only grade 4 toxicities noted and were infrequent with grade 4 neutropenia in 3 patients (9%) and 1 febrile neutropenia. Grade 2/3 peripheral neuropathy was uncommon (13%/3%).
Weekly albumin-bound paclitaxel with carboplatin and trastuzumab is highly active in HER2-overexpressing MBC. In the absence of corticosteroid premedication, which we avoided with albumin-bound paclitaxel, carboplatin seems best dosed every 4 weeks rather than weekly because of carboplatin-associated hypersensitivity reactions. The regimen was very well tolerated with few grade 3 and 4 nonhematologic toxicities experienced, and severe hematologic toxicity and peripheral neuropathy were infrequent.
PMCID: PMC3883128  PMID: 20705560
Nab-paclitaxel; Neutropenia; Platinum agents; Progression-free survival
4.  Phase 2, multicenter, open-label study of tigatuzumab (CS-1008), a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting death receptor 5, in combination with gemcitabine in chemotherapy-naive patients with unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer 
Cancer Medicine  2013;2(6):925-932.
Tigatuzumab is the humanized version of the agonistic murine monoclonal antibody TRA-8 that binds to the death receptor 5 and induces apoptosis of human cancer cell lines via the caspase cascade. The combination of tigatuzumab and gemcitabine inhibits tumor growth in murine pancreatic xenografts. This phase 2 trial evaluated the efficacy of tigatuzumab combined with gemcitabine in 62 chemotherapy-naive patients with histologically or cytologically confirmed unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer. Patients received intravenous tigatuzumab (8 mg/kg loading dose followed by 3 mg/kg weekly) and gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 once weekly for 3 weeks followed by 1 week of rest) until progressive disease (PD) or unacceptable toxicity occurred. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS) at 16 weeks. Secondary end points included objective response rate (ORR) (complete responses plus partial responses), duration of response, and overall survival (OS). Safety of the combination was also evaluated. Mean duration of treatment was 18.48 weeks for tigatuzumab and 17.73 weeks for gemcitabine. The PFS rate at 16 weeks was 52.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.3–64.1%). The ORR was 13.1%; 28 (45.9%) patients had stable disease and 14 (23%) patients had PD. Median PFS was 3.9 months (95% CI, 2.2–5.4 months). Median OS was 8.2 months (95% CI, 5.1–9.6 months). The most common adverse events related to tigatuzumab were nausea (35.5%), fatigue (32.3%), and peripheral edema (19.4%). Tigatuzumab combined with gemcitabine was well tolerated and may be clinically active for the treatment of chemotherapy-naive patients with unresectable or metastatic pancreatic cancer.
PMCID: PMC3892397  PMID: 24403266
Monoclonal antibodies; pancreatic cancer; phase 2; tigatuzumab; TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand
5.  Urinary Bladder Cancer in Yemen 
Oman Medical Journal  2013;28(5):337-340.
The aims of this study are to highlight the clinicopathological features of urinary bladder cancer in Yemen, and to describe the histological grading of urothelial neoplasms according to the World Health Organization and International Society of Urologic pathology (WHO/ISUP 1998) classification.
This is a descriptive record-based study of 316 cases of bladder cancer diagnosed by two pathologists at the Department of pathology, Sana'a University from 1st January 2005 to 30th April 2009. The diagnoses were made on hematoxylin and eosin stained sections and categorized according to WHO/ISUP 1998 classification.
Out of 316 urinary bladder cancers, 248 (78%) were urothelial neoplasms, 53 (17%) were squamous cell carcinoma, 7 (2%) were adenocarcinoma, and 3 (1%) were rhabdomyosarcoma. The remaining cases were metastatic carcinomas (n=3), small cell carcinoma (n=1), and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=1). The urothelial neoplasms observed were carcinoma in situ 4 (2%), papilloma 7 (3%), papillary urothelial neoplasm of low malignant potential 26 (11%), papillary urothelial carcinoma of low grade 107 (43%), papillary urothelial carcinoma of high grade 18 (7%), and non-papillary urothelial carcinoma of high grade 85 (34%), with 60 years mean age for males and 58 years for females; along with a male to female ratio of 4:1. The peak incidence was observed in the 61-70 years age group.
This study documents a high frequency of urothelial neoplasms, mostly papillary urothelial carcinoma of low grade and non-papillary urothelial carcinoma of high grade with male preponderance and peak incidence in 6th decade of age.
PMCID: PMC3769118  PMID: 24044060
Urinary bladder cancer; Urothelial carcinoma; Schistosomiasis; Yemen
6.  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
7.  Phase I Trial of Weekly Tigatuzumab, an Agonistic Humanized Monoclonal Antibody Targeting Death Receptor 5 (DR5) 
TRA-8 is a murine agonist monoclonal antibody to death receptor 5 (DR5), which is able to trigger apoptosis in DR5 positive human tumor cells without the aid of crosslinking. It has demonstrated cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo antitumor efficacy to a wide range of solid tumors in murine xenograft models. Tigatuzumab is a humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody derived from TRA-8.
A phase I trial of tigatuzumab in patients with relapsed/refractory carcinomas (n = 16) or lymphoma (n = 1) was designed to determine the maximal tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and safety. Three to six (3–6) patients were enrolled in successive escalating cohorts at doses ranging from 1 to 8 mg/kg weekly.
Seventeen (17) patients enrolled, 9 in the 1-, 2-, and 4-mg/kg dose cohorts (3 in each cohort) and 8 in the 8-mg/kg dose cohort. Tigatuzumab was well tolerated with no DLTs observed, and the MTD was not reached. There were no study-drug–related grade 3 or 4, renal, hepatic, or hematologic toxicities. Plasma half-life was 6–10 days, and no anti-tigatuzumab responses were detected. Seven (7) patients had stable disease, with the duration of response ranging from 81 to 798 days.
Tigatuzumab is well tolerated, and the MTD was not reached. The high number of patients with stable disease suggests antitumor activity.
PMCID: PMC2883819  PMID: 20187792
antibody; apoptosis; cancer; immunotherapy; targeted therapy

Results 1-7 (7)