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Clustering is a feature of the spiral ganglion in the basal turn

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:16am

OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the organization of the spiral ganglion in the mammalian species.

METHODS: Temporal bone (TB) specimens from man (n = 2), monkey (n = 2), lion (n = 2) and cat (n = 20) were stained, decalcified and dissected according to the Sudan black B method of Rasmussen. These TB specimens were examined under a Zeiss operating microscope and photographed with a Canon 100 camera interfaced with the microscope.

RESULTS: Spiral ganglion cells occurred in clusters within Rosenthal's canal in all four species. The location of the clusters was marked by the interface between axon and dendritic bundles as well as groups of ganglion cells. In monkey and man the clusters were more separated than in lion and cat.

CONCLUSIONS: These observations indicate that the spiral ganglion forms clusters of neurons within Rosenthal's canal at the basal cochlear turn in the mammals investigated here. The formation of clusters may be related to the principles of neurogenesis.

PSA regulates androgen receptor expression in prostate cancer cells

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:16am

BACKGROUND: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a pivotal downstream target gene of the androgen receptor (AR), and a serum biomarker to monitor prostate cancer (PrCa) progression. It has been reported that PSA transactivates AR, but the mechanistic requirements of this response have not been investigated.

METHODS: We studied the localization of PSA, AR, and Src in intracellular compartments of synthetic androgen (R1881)-stimulated LNCaP and C4-2B PrCa cells, using immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation approaches. We also investigated the effect of downregulation of PSA on AR expression by immunoblotting and real-time PCR using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA). Src activity was analyzed by immunoblotting.

RESULTS: R1881 stimulation induced nuclear localization of both PSA and AR in LNCaP and C4-2B PrCa cells as well as increased phosphorylation of Src. Stable shRNA or transient siRNA knockdown of PSA resulted in reduced AR protein levels as well as AR mRNA levels in C4-2B cells. Similar to C4-2B cells, ablation of AR levels upon silencing of PSA was also confirmed in VCaP cells, another androgen-independent cell line. Silencing of PSA did not cause significant changes in Src activation; besides, Src regulation by integrins did not appear to affect AR transcriptional activity.

CONCLUSIONS: PSA localizes to nuclei of androgen-stimulated PrCa cells, and controls AR mRNA and protein levels. This regulatory loop is specific for PSA, does not involve known AR activators such as Src and AKT, and may contribute to AR signaling under conditions of increasing PSA levels in patients.

Local control with reduced-dose radiotherapy for low-risk rhabdomyosarcoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group D9602 study

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: To analyze the effect of reduced-dose radiotherapy on local control in children with low-risk rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) treated in the Children's Oncology Group D9602 study.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients with low-risk RMS were nonrandomly assigned to receive radiotherapy doses dependent on the completeness of surgical resection of the primary tumor (clinical group) and the presence of involved regional lymph nodes. After resection, most patients with microscopic residual and uninvolved nodes received 36 Gy, those with involved nodes received 41.4 to 50.4 Gy, and those with orbital primary tumors received 45 Gy. All patients received vincristine and dactinomycin, with cyclophosphamide added for patient subsets with a higher risk of relapse in Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group III and IV studies.

RESULTS: Three hundred forty-two patients were eligible for analysis; 172 received radiotherapy as part of their treatment. The cumulative incidence of local/regional failure was 15% in patients with microscopic involved margins when cyclophosphamide was not part of the treatment regimen and 0% when cyclophosphamide was included. The cumulative incidence of local/regional failure was 14% in patients with orbital tumors. Protocol-specified omission of radiotherapy in girls with Group IIA vaginal tumors (n = 5) resulted in three failures for this group.

CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group III and IV results, reduced-dose radiotherapy does not compromise local control for patients with microscopic tumor after surgical resection or with orbital primary tumors when cyclophosphamide is added to the treatment program. Girls with unresected nonbladder genitourinary tumors require radiotherapy for postsurgical residual tumor for optimal local control to be achieved.

What we have learned: the impact of quality from a clinical trials perspective

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

In this review article, we address the radiation oncology process improvements in clinical trials and review how these changes improve the quality for the next generation of trials. In recent years, we have progressed from a time of limited data acquisition to the present in which we have real-time influence of clinical trials quality. This enables immediate availability of the important elements, including staging, eligibility, response, and outcome for all trial investigators. Modern informatics platforms are well designed for future adaptive clinical trials. We review what will be needed in the informatics architecture of current and future clinical trials.

Evaluation of diagnostic performance of CT for detection of tumor thrombus in children with Wilms tumor: a report from the Children's Oncology Group

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

BACKGROUND: Pre-operative assessment of intravascular extension of Wilms tumor is essential to guide management. Our aim is to evaluate the diagnostic performance of multidetector CT in detection of tumor thrombus in Wilms tumor.

PROCEDURE: The study population was drawn from the first 1,015 cases in the AREN03B2 study of the Children's Oncology Group. CT scans of children with (n = 62) and without (n = 111) tumor thrombus at nephrectomy were independently reviewed by two radiologists, blinded to patient information. Doppler sonography results were obtained from institutional radiology reports, as Doppler requires real-time evaluation. The diagnostic performance of CT and Doppler for detection of tumor thrombus was determined using nephrectomy findings as reference standard.

RESULTS: In the primary nephrectomy group, tumor thrombus detection sensitivity, specificity of CT was 65.6, 84.8%, and Doppler was 45.8, 95.7%, respectively. In this group, sensitivity of CT, Doppler for detection of cavoatrial thrombus was 84.6 and 70.0%, respectively. In the secondary nephrectomy group, tumor thrombus detection sensitivity, specificity of CT was 86.7, 90.6%, and Doppler was 66.7, 100.0%, respectively. In this group, sensitivity of CT, Doppler for detection of cavoatrial thrombus was 96.0 and 68.8%, respectively. Pre-operative Doppler evaluation performed in 108/173 cases, detected 3 cases with intravenous extension (2 in renal vein, 1 in IVC at renal vein level) that were missed at CT.

CONCLUSIONS: CT can accurately identify cavoatrial tumor thrombus that will impact surgical approach. Routine Doppler evaluation, after CT has already been performed, is not required in Wilms tumor.

Randomized phase III study of thoracic radiation in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin with or without thalidomide in patients with stage III non-small-cell lung cancer: the ECOG 3598 study

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: The primary objective of this study was to compare the survival of patients with unresectable stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with combined chemoradiotherapy with or without thalidomide.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned to the control arm (PC) involving two cycles of induction paclitaxel 225 mg/m(2) and carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 6 followed by 60 Gy thoracic radiation administered concurrently with weekly paclitaxel 45 mg/m(2) and carboplatin AUC 2, or to the experimental arm (TPC), receiving the same treatment in combination with thalidomide at a starting dose of 200 mg daily. The protocol allowed an increase in thalidomide dose up to 1,000 mg daily based on patient tolerability.

RESULTS: A total of 546 patients were eligible, including 275 in the PC arm and 271 in the TPC arm. Median overall survival, progression-free survival, and overall response rate were 15.3 months, 7.4 months, and 35.0%, respectively, for patients in the PC arm, in comparison with 16.0 months (P = .99), 7.8 months (P = .96), and 38.2% (P = .47), respectively, for patients in the TPC arm. Overall, there was higher incidence of grade 3 toxicities in patients treated with thalidomide. Several grade 3 or higher events were observed more often in the TPC arm, including thromboembolism, fatigue, depressed consciousness, dizziness, sensory neuropathy, tremor, constipation, dyspnea, hypoxia, hypokalemia, rash, and edema. Low-dose aspirin did not reduce the thromboembolic rate.

CONCLUSION: The addition of thalidomide to chemoradiotherapy increased toxicities but did not improve survival in patients with locally advanced NSCLC.

Fatty acid binding protein 4 is expressed in distinct endothelial and non-endothelial cell populations in glioblastoma

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

AIMS: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumour in adults. Angiogenesis and vasculogenesis play key roles in progression of GBMs. Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) is an intracellular chaperone for free fatty acids. FABP4 is detected in microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) in several normal tissues and promotes proliferation of ECs. The goal of this study was to characterize the tissue distribution pattern of FABP4 in GBMs.

METHODS: Immunohistochemistry for FABP4 was performed on paraffin-embedded tumour sections and the intensity and distribution of FABP4 immunoreactivity were analysed. Double immunofluorescence was employed for detailed characterization of FABP4-positive cells. RESULTS: FABP4 immunoreactivity was absent in normal brain tissue sections. FABP4-positive cells were detected in 33%, 43%, 64% and 89% of Grade I, Grade II, Grade III and Grade IV glial tumours, respectively. Thus, the percentage of FABP4-positive cells in GBMs was significantly higher than lower-grade gliomas. In general, FABP4-expressing cells were distributed in a non-homogenous pattern, as 'hot spots' in glial tumours. FABP4 expression was detected in a subset of vascular ECs as well as some non-ECs.

CONCLUSION: FABP4 is expressed in a significantly higher percentage of GBMs in comparison to both normal brain tissues and lower-grade glial tumours. FABP4 is expressed in some tumour ECs as well as non-ECs in glial tumours. As FABP4 promotes proliferation of ECs, detection of FABP4 in GBM-ECs, but not normal brain ECs suggests that FABP4 may play a role in the robust angiogenesis associated with GBMs. Neuropathological Society.

Whitmore, Henschke, and Hilaris: The reorientation of prostate brachytherapy (1970-1987)

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: Urologists had performed prostate brachytherapy for decades before New York's Memorial Hospital retropubic program. This paper explores the contribution of Willet Whitmore, Ulrich Henschke, Basil Hilaris, and Memorial's physicists to the evolution of the procedure.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Literature review and interviews with program participants.

RESULTS: More than 1000 retropubic implants were performed at Memorial between 1970 and 1987. Unlike previous efforts, Memorial's program benefited from the participation of three disciplines in its conception and execution.

CONCLUSIONS: Memorial's retropubic program was a collaboration of urologists, radiation therapists, and physicists. Their approach focused greater attention on dosimetry and radiation safety, and served as a template for subsequent prostate brachytherapy programs.

Redesigning radiotherapy quality assurance: opportunities to develop an efficient, evidence-based system to support clinical trials--report of the National Cancer Institute Work Group on Radiotherapy Quality Assurance

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: In the context of national calls for reorganizing cancer clinical trials, the National Cancer Institute sponsored a 2-day workshop to examine challenges and opportunities for optimizing radiotherapy quality assurance (QA) in clinical trial design.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Participants reviewed the current processes of clinical trial QA and noted the QA challenges presented by advanced technologies. The lessons learned from the radiotherapy QA programs of recent trials were discussed in detail. Four potential opportunities for optimizing radiotherapy QA were explored, including the use of normal tissue toxicity and tumor control metrics, biomarkers of radiation toxicity, new radiotherapy modalities such as proton beam therapy, and the international harmonization of clinical trial QA.

RESULTS: Four recommendations were made: (1) to develop a tiered (and more efficient) system for radiotherapy QA and tailor the intensity of QA to the clinical trial objectives (tiers include general credentialing, trial-specific credentialing, and individual case review); (2) to establish a case QA repository; (3) to develop an evidence base for clinical trial QA and introduce innovative prospective trial designs to evaluate radiotherapy QA in clinical trials; and (4) to explore the feasibility of consolidating clinical trial QA in the United States.

CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy QA can affect clinical trial accrual, cost, outcomes, and generalizability. To achieve maximum benefit, QA programs must become more efficient and evidence-based.

Postsurgical treatment of early-stage breast cancer with electronic brachytherapy: outcomes and health-related quality of life at 1 year

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

OBJECTIVES: This multicenter registry followed up patients with early-stage breast cancer treated with breast-conserving surgery and electronic brachytherapy (EBT). This report provides 1- and 2-year updates to the initial publication.

METHODS: Patients were of age 50 years or more with invasive carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ, tumor size

RESULTS: Of the 69 patients enrolled, 62 were evaluated at 1 year and 20 patients at 2 years after treatment. At 1 year, 28 (45.2%) patients reported adverse events that were possibly, probably, or definitely related to treatment. Most (90%) were grade 1: manageable and typical of radiation therapy. Four events were grade 2: induration/firmness (2), field contracture (1), and seroma (1). One event was grade 3: a draining fistula at the lumpectomy site due to residual effects of a breast infection at 1 month. No recurrences have been reported. Cosmetic ratings were excellent or good in 93.4% of patients at 1 year. Most patients (69%) were energetic most or all of the time. Most patients (69% to 98%) were not affected by individual symptoms of breast disease at 1 year. Generally patients who had an adverse event did not report the corresponding symptom on the quality-of-life questionnaire.

CONCLUSIONS: This registry followed up patients with early-stage breast cancer at 1 and 2 years after breast-conserving surgery and EBT. No recurrences have been reported, and adverse effects were acceptable.

alpha(V)beta(6) integrin expression is induced in the POET and Pten(pc-/-) mouse models of prostatic inflammation and prostatic adenocarcinoma

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

Chronic inflammation is proposed to prime the development of prostate cancer. However, the mechanisms of prostate cancer initiation and development are not completely understood. The alpha(v)beta(6) integrin has been shown to play a role in epithelial development, wound healing and some epithelial cancers [1, 2]. Here, we investigate the expression of alpha(v)beta(6) in mouse models of prostatic inflammation and prostate cancer to establish a possible relationship between inflammation of the prostate, alpha(v)beta(6) expression and the progression of prostate cancer. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we show expression of alpha(v)beta(6) in two in vivo mouse models; the Pten(pc)-/- model containing a prostate- specific Pten tumor suppressor deletion that causes cancer, and the prostate ovalbumin-expressing transgenic (POET) inflammation mouse model. We show that the alpha(v)beta(6) integrin is induced in prostate cancer and inflammation in vivo in these two mouse models. alpha(v)beta(6) is expressed in all the mice with cancer in the Pten(pc-/-) model but not in age-matched wild-type mice. In the POET inflammation model, alpha(v)beta(6) is expressed in mice injected with activated T-cells, but in none of the control mice. In the POET model, we also used real time PCR to assess the expression of Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 (TGFbeta1), a factor in inflammation that is activated by alpha(v)beta(6). In conclusion, through in vivo evidence, we conclude that alpha(v)beta(6) integrin may be a crucial link between prostatic inflammation and prostatic adenocarcinoma.

Surveillance computed tomography imaging and detection of relapse in intermediate- and advanced-stage pediatric Hodgkin's lymphoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE Children with Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) routinely undergo surveillance computed tomography (CT) imaging for up to 5 years after therapy, resulting in cost and radiation exposure, without clear benefit. The objective of this study was to determine the contribution of surveillance CT, as compared with clinical findings, to detection of disease recurrence.

PATIENTS AND METHODS Two hundred sixteen patients, age ≤ 21 years old, were treated on the multicenter Pediatric Oncology Group 9425 trial. Data for patients who experienced relapse were retrospectively reviewed to determine whether imaging or clinical events prompted suspicion of disease recurrence. Correlation was made to disease stage, time to recurrence, relapse site, and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS With a median follow-up time of 7.4 years, 25 (11.6%) of 216 patients had experienced a relapse, of whom 23 experienced local relapse. Median time to relapse was 7.6 months (range, 0.2 to 48.9 months). Nineteen relapses (76%) were detected based on symptoms, laboratory or physical examination findings, and two relapses (8%) were detected by imaging within the first year after therapy. Only four patients (16%) had their recurrence detected exclusively by surveillance imaging after the first year. Six deaths occurred, all in patients who experienced relapse within the first year after therapy. No patient with a recurrence after 1 year off treatment has died, regardless of how the recurrence was detected.

CONCLUSION The majority of pediatric HL relapses occurred within the first year after therapy or were detected based on change in clinical status. Detecting late relapse, whether by imaging or clinical change, did not affect OS. These findings indicate that CT is overused for routine surveillance of patients with HL.

A comparison of the biological effective dose of 50-kV electronic brachytherapy with (192)Ir high-dose-rate brachytherapy for vaginal cuff irradiation

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: Advantages for electronic brachytherapy (EBT) of the vaginal cuff include decreased physical dose to the bladder and rectum. Here we compare (192)Ir with EBT using biological effective dose (BED) to account for the different radiobiological effectiveness (RBE) predicted for low-energy x-rays.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Fifteen data sets from five consecutive postoperative endometrial cancer patients treated with EBT were analyzed. Treatment planning was performed using PLATO software. The dose was prescribed as 21Gy in three fractions to a depth of 0.5cm. Physical dose, BED(3), and BED(10) were evaluated for the mucosa, bladder, and rectum. An RBE value of 1.5 was used for BED calculations.

RESULTS: Mucosal physical dose is 28.4% greater with EBT (36.6 vs. 28.5Gy, p<0.05). However, the BED(10) is increased by 79.1% (55.6 vs. 99.6Gy, p<0.05) and the BED(3) by 71.5% (118.8 vs. 203.7Gy, p<0.05). The physical dose (dose to 50% volume of the organ) to the bladder (9.3 vs. 6.6Gy, p<0.05) and rectum (7.2 vs. 4.2Gy, p<0.05) are reduced with EBT. BED(3) to the rectum and bladder are also reduced but to a lesser extent (13 vs. 8.3Gy, p<0.05; 18.9 vs. 14.7Gy, p=0.06, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: BED takes into account the higher RBE of low-energy photons generated with EBT and provides a more accurate estimate of the biological effect. When using EBT, physical dose may underestimate the biological effect on the vaginal mucosa and overestimate the benefit for the bladder and rectum. Dose adjustment for EBT based on BED should be considered. rights reserved.

Primary mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma of the salivary glands: a multicenter Rare Cancer Network study

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: Involvement of salivary glands with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is rare. This retrospective study was performed to assess the clinical profile, treatment outcome, and prognostic factors of MALT lymphoma of the salivary glands.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Thirteen member centers of the Rare Cancer Network from 10 countries participated, providing data on 63 patients. The median age was 58 years; 47 patients were female and 16 were male. The parotid glands were involved in 49 cases, submandibular in 15, and minor glands in 3. Multiple glands were involved in 9 patients. Staging was as follows: IE in 34, IIE in 12, IIIE in 2, and IV in 15 patients.

RESULTS: Surgery (S) alone was performed in 9, radiotherapy (RT) alone in 8, and chemotherapy (CT) alone in 4 patients. Forty-one patients received combined modality treatment (S + RT in 23, S + CT in 8, RT + CT in 4, and all three modalities in 6 patients). No active treatment was given in one case. After initial treatment there was no tumor in 57 patients and residual tumor in 5. Tumor progression was observed in 23 (36.5%) (local in 1, other salivary glands in 10, lymph nodes in 11, and elsewhere in 6). Five patients died of disease progression and the other 5 of other causes. The 5-year disease-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival were 54.4%, 93.2%, and 81.7%, respectively. Factors influencing disease-free survival were use of RT, stage, and residual tumor (p < 0.01). Factors influencing disease-specific survival were stage, recurrence, and residual tumor (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this report represents the largest series of MALT lymphomas of the salivary glands published to date. This disease may involve all salivary glands either initially or subsequently in 30% of patients. Recurrences may occur in up to 35% of patients at 5 years; however, survival is not affected. Radiotherapy is the only treatment modality that improves disease-free survival.

IL-1 generated subsequent to radiation-induced tissue injury contributes to the pathogenesis of radiodermatitis

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

Radiation injury in the skin causes radiodermatitis, a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed and the epidermis can break down. This condition causes significant morbidity and if severe it can be an independent factor that contributes to radiation mortality. Radiodermatitis is seen in some settings of radiotherapy for cancer and is also of concern as a complication post-radiation exposure from accidents or weapons, such as a "dirty bomb". The pathogenesis of this condition is incompletely understood. Here we have developed a murine model of radiodermatitis wherein the skin is selectively injured by irradiation with high-energy electrons. Using this model we showed that the interleukin-1 (IL-1) pathway plays a significant role in the development of radiodermatitis. Mice that lack either IL-1 or the IL-1 receptor developed less inflammation and less severe pathological changes in their skin, especially at later time-points. These findings suggest that IL-1 pathway may be a potential therapeutic target for reducing the severity of radiodermatitis.

From the lost radium files: misadventures in the absence of training, regulation, and accountability

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: Radium was the foundation of brachytherapy in the early decades of the 20th century. Despite being a most precious and perilous substance, it was mislaid with surprising frequency. This essay explores how it was lost, the efforts taken to recover it, and measures instituted to prevent mishandling.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Review of contemporary literature, government publications, archives, and lay press.

RESULTS: Radium is a particularly dangerous substance because of its long half-life, its gaseous daughter (radon), and the high-energy emissions of its decay products. Despite the hazard, it was unregulated for most of the century. Any physician could obtain and administer it, and protocols for safe handling were generally lacking. Change came with appreciation of the danger, regulation, mandated training, and the institution of a culture of accountability. Unfortunately, careless management of medical radionuclides remains a global hazard.

CONCLUSION: Responsible stewardship of radioactive material was not a high priority, for practitioners or the federal government, for much of the 20th century. As a result, large quantities of radium had gone astray, possibly subjecting the general public to continued radiation exposure. Lessons from the radium era remain relevant, as medical radionuclides are still mishandled.

Early-stage primary bone lymphoma: a retrospective, multicenter Rare Cancer Network (RCN) Study

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: Primary bone lymphoma (PBL) represents less than 1% of all malignant lymphomas. In this study, we assessed the disease profile, outcome, and prognostic factors in patients with Stages I and II PBL.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirteen Rare Cancer Network (RCN) institutions enrolled 116 consecutive patients with PBL treated between 1987 and 2008 in this study. Eighty-seven patients underwent chemoradiotherapy (CXRT) without (78) or with (9) surgery, 15 radiotherapy (RT) without (13) or with (2) surgery, and 14 chemotherapy (CXT) without (9) or with (5) surgery. Median RT dose was 40 Gy (range, 4-60). The median number of CXT cycles was six (range, 2-8). Median follow-up was 41 months (range, 6-242).

RESULTS: The overall response rate at the end of treatment was 91% (complete response [CR] 74%, partial response [PR] 17%). Local recurrence or progression was observed in 12 (10%) patients and systemic recurrence in 17 (15%). The 5-year overall survival (OS), lymphoma-specific survival (LSS), and local control (LC) were 76%, 78%, and 92%, respectively. In univariate analyses (log-rank test), favorable prognostic factors for OS and LSS were International Prognostic Index (IPI) score 40 Gy (p = 0.005). For LC, only CR and Stage I were favorable factors. In multivariate analysis, IPI score, RT dose, CR, and CXT were independently influencing the outcome (OS and LSS). CR was the only predicting factor for LC.

CONCLUSION: This large multicenter retrospective study confirms the good prognosis of early-stage PBL treated with combined CXRT. An adequate dose of RT and complete CXT regime were associated with better outcome.

Robert Abbe: early American brachytherapist

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

PURPOSE: To assess Robert Abbe's career and contributions to brachytherapy, in the context of the work of contemporary European and American investigators.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Examination of his lectures and journal articles, as well as contemporaneous newspaper accounts, textbooks, and archival material.

RESULTS: Although not the first American to apply radium therapeutically, Robert Abbe was among the earliest to acquire and systematically use a clinically significant quantity. He replicated early European experimental and clinical work, and published a large series of cases treated with generally favorable results. Abbe was the first American to emphasize the role of radiobiology in optimizing therapeutic ratio. His eloquence and stature helped legitimize the new therapeutic modality.

CONCLUSIONS: Robert Abbe was probably the nation's most influential early brachytherapist. rights reserved.

Triple negative breast cancer is associated with an increased risk of residual invasive carcinoma after lumpectomy

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

BACKGROUND: To assess the potential mechanisms that may underlie increased local failure in triple negative (TN) breast cancers, an analysis was performed of the risk of residual carcinoma after lumpectomy with correlation to pathologic factors, including molecular phenotype.

METHODS: A review of pathologic specimens was performed for women with invasive breast cancer treated with lumpectomy followed by reexcision. Data were collected on age; tumor size, grade, and nodal stage; estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (Her2); extensive intraductal component; lymphovascular invasion; margins; and reexcision findings. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate for associations between pathologic features of the lumpectomy specimen and reexcision findings. Molecular phenotypes were defined by conventionally used immunohistochemical pattern.

RESULTS: Data were collected on 369 patients with breast cancer. The median age was 57 years, median tumor size was 1.5 cm, 36% had positive margins, 32% had positive lymph nodes, 73.5% had the luminal A subtype, 9.5% had the luminal B subtype, 4.5% were Her2-enriched, and 12.5% were TN. Overall, 32% of patients had invasive cancer in their reexcision specimens, and 51% of those with the TN subtype had residual invasive disease on reexcision compared with 30% to 31% for other subtypes. On univariate analysis, age, tumor size, margin status, lymphovascular invasion, nodal status, and TN subtype were associated with elevated risk of residual invasive cancer. On multivariate analysis using a forward stepwise model, TN subtype maintained significance, with an odds ratio of 3.28 (P = .002).

CONCLUSION: TN subtype has a statistically significant association with an increased risk of residual tumor. This suggests the putative increase in the risk of local failure in TN patients may be related to increased residual tumor burden.

Response-dependent and reduced treatment in lower risk Hodgkin lymphoma in children and adolescents, results of P9426: a report from the Children's Oncology Group

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

BACKGROUND: Hodgkin lymphoma is highly curable but associated with significant late effects. Reduction of total treatment would be anticipated to reduce late effects. This aim of this study was to demonstrate that a reduction in treatment was possible without compromising survival outcomes.

METHODS: Protocol P9426, a response-dependent and reduced treatment for low risk Hodgkin lymphoma (stages I, IIA, and IIIA(1) ) was designed in 1994 based on a previous pilot project. Patients were enrolled from October 15, 1996 to September 19, 2000. Patients were randomized to receive or not receive dexrazoxane and received two cycles of chemotherapy consisting of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vincristine, and etoposide. After two cycles, patients were evaluated for response. Those in complete response (CR) received 2,550 cGy of involved field radiation therapy (IFRT). Patient with partial response or stable disease, received two more cycles of chemotherapy and IFRT at 2,550 cGy.

RESULTS: There were 294 patients enrolled, with 255 eligible for analysis. The 8-year event free survival (EFS) between the dexrazoxane randomized groups did not differ (EFS 86.8 +/- 3.1% with DRZ, and 85.7 +/- 3.3% without DRZ (P = 0.70). Forty-five percent of patients demonstrated CR after two cycles of chemotherapy. There was no difference in EFS by histology, rapidity of response, or number of cycles of chemotherapy. Six of the eight secondary malignancies in this study have been previously reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite reduced therapy and exclusion of most patients with lymphocyte predominant histology, EFS and overall survival are similar to other reported studies. The protocol documents that it is safe and effective to reduce therapy in low-risk Hodgkin lymphoma based on early response to chemotherapy with rapid responding patients having the same outcome as slower-responding patients when given 50% of the chemotherapy.