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Critical Aspects of a Sustainable Clinical Research Program in the Community-Based Oncology Practice

Ersek, Jennifer L; Graff, Stephanie L; Arena, Francis P; Denduluri, Neelima; Kim, Edward S
Increasing enrollment into clinical trials is a top priority across the field of oncology. Because the vast majority of those afflicted with cancer receive their care in the community, creating strong clinical research programs in the community-based setting is important. This article comprehensively outlines the most important elements of creating and sustaining a successful community-based research program. Establishing a clear mission and defining the scope of the research program in collaboration with key physicians and administrative leadership are critical to success. Standard operating procedures should detail operational processes. Ensuring sound financial planning and protected physician time are crucial for a healthy program. Providing mentorship opportunities to investigators and other team members will provide necessary guidance for junior investigators and long-term program stability. Prioritizing provider and patient volunteer engagement through education and awareness will potentially improve enrollment and research ownership. Incorporating administrative and clinical research staff and health care providers, including physicians, advanced practice providers, and pharmacists, will result in a multidisciplinary and unified approach and may also promote research as a routine part of patient care. Regular safety and scientific meetings will reduce regulatory complications and, most importantly, improve patient care. Other keys to a successful program include establishing a diverse trial portfolio, collaboration between different institutions, and ensuring appropriate technological infrastructure. Serial programmatic review provides opportunities to refine suboptimal practices and recognize successful strategies. Community-based research programs are critical to improve access to optimal cancer care. Implementation of successful programs is possible with a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach.
PMID: 31099620
ISSN: 1548-8756
CID: 3935852

Interactions Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease Drugs and Chemotherapy

Leung, Galen; Papademetriou, Marianna; Chang, Shannon; Arena, Francis; Katz, Seymour
OPINION STATEMENT: As new and effective novel therapies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) become available, patients are living longer with advancing age and are at increased risk for malignancy. The management of IBD and malignancy involves multiple combinations of chemotherapy agents and IBD drugs, with the potential for interactions between these therapies. Interactions may either potentiate the effectiveness of drug class or exacerbate their common side effects. In this review article, we present a guide on studied interactions between IBD therapies and chemotherapy agents, specifically those of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and melanoma. The pharmacology and pharmocokinetics of each IBD drug will be discussed. Then, the IBD drug and chemotherapy interactions are summarized in table format. This guide will provide a quick reference to guide clinicians with this challenging management of two disease processes.
PMID: 27709332
ISSN: 1092-8472
CID: 2274212

CA19-9 decrease at 8 weeks as a predictor of overall survival in a randomized phase III trial (MPACT) of weekly nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer

Chiorean, E G; Von Hoff, D D; Reni, M; Arena, F P; Infante, J R; Bathini, V G; Wood, T E; Mainwaring, P N; Muldoon, R T; Clingan, P R; Kunzmann, V; Ramanathan, R K; Tabernero, J; Goldstein, D; McGovern, D; Lu, B; Ko, A
BACKGROUND: A phase I/II study and subsequent phase III study (MPACT) reported significant correlations between CA19-9 decreases and prolonged overall survival (OS) with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (nab-P + Gem) treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer (MPC). CA19-9 changes at week 8 and potential associations with efficacy were investigated as part of an exploratory analysis in the MPACT trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Untreated patients with MPC (N = 861) received nab-P + Gem or Gem alone. CA19-9 was evaluated at baseline and every 8 weeks. RESULTS: Patients with baseline and week-8 CA19-9 measurements were analyzed (nab-P + Gem: 252; Gem: 202). In an analysis pooling the treatments, patients with any CA19-9 decline (80%) versus those without (20%) had improved OS (median 11.1 versus 8.0 months; P = 0.005). In the nab-P + Gem arm, patients with (n = 206) versus without (n = 46) any CA19-9 decrease at week 8 had a confirmed overall response rate (ORR) of 40% versus 13%, and a median OS of 13.2 versus 8.3 months (P = 0.001), respectively. In the Gem-alone arm, patients with (n = 159) versus without (n = 43) CA19-9 decrease at week 8 had a confirmed ORR of 15% versus 5%, and a median OS of 9.4 versus 7.1 months (P = 0.404), respectively. In the nab-P + Gem and Gem-alone arms, by week 8, 16% (40/252) and 6% (13/202) of patients, respectively, had an unconfirmed radiologic response (median OS 13.7 and 14.7 months, respectively), and 79% and 84% of patients, respectively, had stable disease (SD) (median OS 11.1 and 9 months, respectively). Patients with SD and any CA19-9 decrease (158/199 and 133/170) had a median OS of 13.2 and 9.4 months, respectively. CONCLUSION: This analysis demonstrated that, in patients with MPC, any CA19-9 decrease at week 8 can be an early marker for chemotherapy efficacy, including in those patients with SD. CA19-9 decrease identified more patients with survival benefit than radiologic response by week 8.
PMID: 26802160
ISSN: 1569-8041
CID: 2051052

Positron emission tomography response evaluation from a randomized phase III trial of weekly nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone for patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas

Ramanathan, R K; Goldstein, D; Korn, R L; Arena, F; Moore, M; Siena, S; Teixeira, L; Tabernero, J; Van Laethem, J-L; Liu, H; McGovern, D; Lu, B; Von Hoff, D D
BACKGROUND: In the phase III MPACT trial, nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine (nab-P + Gem) demonstrated superior efficacy versus Gem alone for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We sought to examine the feasibility of positron emission tomography (PET) and to compare metabolic response rates and associated correlations with efficacy in the MPACT trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with previously untreated metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas were randomized 1:1 to receive nab-P + Gem or Gem alone. Treatment continued until disease progression by RECIST or unacceptable toxicity. RESULTS: PET scans were carried out on the first 257 patients enrolled at PET-equipped centers (PET cohort). Most patients (252 of 257) had >/=2 PET-avid lesions, and median maximum standardized uptake values at baseline were 4.6 and 4.5 in the nab-P + Gem and Gem-alone arms, respectively. In a pooled treatment arm analysis, a metabolic response by PET (best response at any time during study) was associated with longer overall survival (OS) (median 11.3 versus 6.9 months; HR, 0.56; P < 0.001). Efficacy results within each treatment arm appeared better for patients with a metabolic response. The metabolic response rate (best response and week 8 response) was higher for nab-P + Gem (best response: 72% versus 53%, P = 0.002; week 8: 67% versus 51%; P = 0.014). Efficacy in the PET cohort was greater for nab-P + Gem versus Gem alone, including for OS (median 10.5 versus 8.4 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.71; P = 0.009) and ORR by RECIST (31% versus 11%; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Pancreatic lesions were PET avid at baseline, and the rate of metabolic response was significantly higher for nab-P + Gem versus Gem alone at week 8 and for best response during study. Having a metabolic response was associated with longer survival, and more patients experienced a metabolic response than a RECIST-defined response. CLINICALTRIALSGOV: NCT00844649.
PMID: 26802153
ISSN: 1569-8041
CID: 2051042

Everolimus plus trastuzumab and vinorelbine for trastuzumab-resistant, taxane-pretreated, HER2+advanced breast cancer: Overall survival results from BOLERO-3 [Meeting Abstract]

Isaacs, C; O'Regan, R; Xu, B; Masuda, N; Arena, F; Yap, Y-S; Papal, Z; Lang, I; Armstrong, A; Lerzo, G; White, M; Shen, K; Zhang, Y; Jappe, A; Pacaud, LB; Taran, T; Ozguroglu, M
ISSN: 1538-7445
CID: 2146722

Everolimus for women with trastuzumab-resistant, HER2-positive, advanced breast cancer (BOLERO-3): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial

Andre, Fabrice; O'Regan, Ruth; Ozguroglu, Mustafa; Toi, Masakazu; Xu, Binghe; Jerusalem, Guy; Masuda, Norikazu; Wilks, Sharon; Arena, Francis; Isaacs, Claudine; Yap, Yoon-Sim; Papai, Zsuzsanna; Lang, Istvan; Armstrong, Anne; Lerzo, Guillermo; White, Michelle; Shen, Kunwei; Litton, Jennifer; Chen, David; Zhang, Yufen; Ali, Shyanne; Taran, Tetiana; Gianni, Luca
BACKGROUND: Disease progression in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer receiving trastuzumab might be associated with activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR intracellular signalling pathway. We aimed to assess whether the addition of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus to trastuzumab might restore sensitivity to trastuzumab. METHODS: In this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial, we recruited women with HER2-positive, trastuzumab-resistant, advanced breast carcinoma who had previously received taxane therapy. Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) using a central patient screening and randomisation system to daily everolimus (5 mg/day) plus weekly trastuzumab (2 mg/kg) and vinorelbine (25 mg/m(2)) or to placebo plus trastuzumab plus vinorelbine, in 3-week cycles, stratified by previous lapatinib use. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) by local assessment in the intention-to-treat population. We report the final analysis for PFS; overall survival follow-up is still in progress. This trial is registered with, number NCT01007942. FINDINGS: Between Oct 26, 2009, and May 23, 2012, 569 patients were randomly assigned to everolimus (n=284) or placebo (n=285). Median follow-up at the time of analysis was 20.2 months (IQR 15.0-27.1). Median PFS was 7.00 months (95% CI 6.74-8.18) with everolimus and 5.78 months (5.49-6.90) with placebo (hazard ratio 0.78 [95% CI 0.65-0.95]; p=0.0067). The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (204 [73%] of 280 patients in the everolimus group vs 175 [62%] of 282 patients in the placebo group), leucopenia (106 [38%] vs 82 [29%]), anaemia (53 [19%] vs 17 [6%]), febrile neutropenia (44 [16%] vs ten [4%]), stomatitis (37 [13%] vs four [1%]), and fatigue (34 [12%] vs 11 [4%]). Serious adverse events were reported in 117 (42%) patients in the everolimus group and 55 (20%) in the placebo group; two on-treatment deaths due to adverse events occurred in each group. INTERPRETATION: The addition of everolimus to trastuzumab plus vinorelbine significantly prolongs PFS in patients with trastuzumab-resistant and taxane-pretreated, HER2-positive, advanced breast cancer. The clinical benefit should be considered in the context of the adverse event profile in this population. FUNDING: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
PMID: 24742739
ISSN: 1470-2045
CID: 970162

Everolimus Plus Exemestane in Postmenopausal Patients with HR(+) Breast Cancer: BOLERO-2 Final Progression-Free Survival Analysis

Yardley, Denise A; Noguchi, Shinzaburo; Pritchard, Kathleen I; Burris, Howard A 3rd; Baselga, Jose; Gnant, Michael; Hortobagyi, Gabriel N; Campone, Mario; Pistilli, Barbara; Piccart, Martine; Melichar, Bohuslav; Petrakova, Katarina; Arena, Francis P; Erdkamp, Frans; Harb, Wael A; Feng, Wentao; Cahana, Ayelet; Taran, Tetiana; Lebwohl, David; Rugo, Hope S
INTRODUCTION: Effective treatments for hormone-receptor-positive (HR(+)) breast cancer (BC) following relapse/progression on nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (NSAI) therapy are needed. Initial Breast Cancer Trials of OraL EveROlimus-2 (BOLERO-2) trial data demonstrated that everolimus and exemestane significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) versus placebo plus exemestane alone in this patient population. METHODS: BOLERO-2 is a phase 3, double-blind, randomized, international trial comparing everolimus (10 mg/day) plus exemestane (25 mg/day) versus placebo plus exemestane in postmenopausal women with HR(+) advanced BC with recurrence/progression during or after NSAIs. The primary endpoint was PFS by local investigator review, and was confirmed by independent central radiology review. Overall survival, response rate, and clinical benefit rate were secondary endpoints. RESULTS: Final study results with median 18-month follow-up show that median PFS remained significantly longer with everolimus plus exemestane versus placebo plus exemestane [investigator review: 7.8 versus 3.2 months, respectively; hazard ratio = 0.45 (95% confidence interval 0.38-0.54); log-rank P < 0.0001; central review: 11.0 versus 4.1 months, respectively; hazard ratio = 0.38 (95% confidence interval 0.31-0.48); log-rank P < 0.0001] in the overall population and in all prospectively defined subgroups, including patients with visceral metastases, patients with recurrence during or within 12 months of completion of adjuvant therapy, and irrespective of age. The incidence and severity of adverse events were consistent with those reported at the interim analysis and in other everolimus trials. CONCLUSION: The addition of everolimus to exemestane markedly prolonged PFS in patients with HR(+) advanced BC with disease recurrence/progression following prior NSAIs. These results further support the use of everolimus plus exemestane in this patient population. #NCT00863655.
PMID: 24158787
ISSN: 0741-238x
CID: 666652

Noninfectious Pneumonitis Associated With Mammalian Target Of Rapamycin (mtor) Inhibitors: Experience From A Phase 3 Trial In Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer [Meeting Abstract]

Arena, F.
ISSN: 1073-449x
CID: 2960172

Severe pulmonary complications in African-American patient after bortezomib therapy [Case Report]

Ohri, Anju; Arena, Francis P
Bortezomib is a proteosome inhibitor with good clinical activity in multiple myeloma. Frequently described side effects are gastrointestinal symptoms, neuropathy, and thrombocytopenia. Even though pneumonia is listed as an infrequent toxicity, severe pneumonitis leading to respiratory distress had not been described until recently. This report was from a single institution in Japan. All these patients had received bone marrow transplant before therapy with bortezomib. To the authors knowledge, this is the first report of life-threatening pulmonary toxicity after bortezomib in a non-Japanese patient and without history of prior autologous peripheral stem cell transplant
PMID: 17122539
ISSN: 1075-2765
CID: 93938

Do families understand "do not resuscitate" orders?

Loscalzo JJ; Cooper DJ; Arena FP; Llovera I
PMID: 8723280
ISSN: 0890-9091
CID: 20923