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Michael A. Vogelbaum, Cathy Brewer, Gene H. Barnett, Alireza M. Mohammadi, David M. Peereboom, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia and Shenqiang Gao

OBJECTIVE

Progress in management of high-grade gliomas (HGGs) has been hampered by poor access of potential therapeutics to the CNS. The Cleveland Multiport Catheter (CMC), which deploys 4 independent delivery microcatheters, was developed to be a reliable, high-volume delivery device for delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain and other solid organs. The authors undertook this first-in-human clinical trial effort to evaluate the delivery characteristics of the CMC in patients with HGGs.

METHODS

A series of pilot studies were launched after approval of a sponsor-investigator IND (investigational new drug) application to evaluate the delivery of topotecan and gadolinium-DTPA (Gd-DTPA) via the CMC in patients with recurrent HGG. The first pilot trial evaluated delivery into enhancing tumor and nonenhancing, tumor-infiltrated brain. Two catheters were placed with the use of a conventional frameless stereotactic technique following a biopsy to confirm tumor recurrence, and drug infusion was performed both intraoperatively and postoperatively for a total of 96 hours with the same rate for all microcatheters. Delivery was assessed by intermittent MRI.

RESULTS

Three patients were enrolled in the first pilot study. MRI demonstrated delivery from all 6 catheters (24 microcatheters). The volume of distribution (Vd) of Gd-DTPA was heavily dependent upon CMC location (enhancing vs nonenhancing) with an approximately 10-fold difference in Vd observed (p = 0.005). There were no hemorrhages related to catheter placement or removal, and all 3 patients completed the protocol-defined treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

The CMC is capable of providing backflow-resistant drug delivery to the brain and brain tumors. The volume of distribution is heavily dependent upon the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. Assessment of delivery is essential for development of loco-regionally applied therapeutics in the CNS.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02278510 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Jacob A. Miller, Ehsan H. Balagamwala, Lilyana Angelov, John H. Suh, Brian Rini, Jorge A. Garcia, Manmeet Ahluwalia and Samuel T. Chao

OBJECT

Systemic control of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) has substantially improved with the development of VEGF, mTOR, and checkpoint inhibitors. The current first-line standard of care is a VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). In preclinical models, TKIs potentiate the response to radiotherapy. Such improved efficacy may prolong the time to salvage therapies, including whole-brain radiotherapy or second-line systemic therapy.

As the prevalence of mRCC has increased, the utilization of spine stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has also increased. However, clinical outcomes following concurrent treatment with SRS and TKIs remain largely undefined. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the safety and efficacy of TKIs when delivered concurrently with SRS. The authors hypothesized that first-line TKIs delivered concurrently with SRS significantly increase local control compared with SRS alone or TKIs alone, without increased toxicity.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing spine SRS for mRCC was conducted. Patients undergoing SRS were divided into 4 cohorts: those receiving concurrent first-line TKI therapy (A), systemic therapy–naïve patients (B), and patients who were undergoing SRS with (C) or without (D) concurrent TKI treatment after failure of first-line therapy. A negative control cohort (E) was also included, consisting of patients with spinal metastases managed with TKIs alone. The primary outcome was 12-month local failure, defined as any in-field radiographic progression. Multivariate competing risks regression was used to determine the independent effect of concurrent first-line TKI therapy upon local failure.

RESULTS

One hundred patients who underwent 151 spine SRS treatments (232 vertebral levels) were included. At the time of SRS, 46% were receiving concurrent TKI therapy. In each SRS cohort, the median prescription dose was 16 Gy in 1 fraction. Patients in Cohort A had the highest burden of epidural disease (96%, p < 0.01).

At 12 months, the cumulative incidence of local failure was 4% in Cohort A, compared with 19%–27% in Cohorts B–D and 57% in Cohort E (p < 0.01). Multivariate competing risks regression demonstrated that concurrent first-line TKI treatment (Cohort A) was independently associated with a local control benefit (HR 0.21, p = 0.04). In contrast, patients treated with TKIs alone (Cohort E) experienced an increased rate of local failure (HR 2.43, p = 0.03). No toxicities of Grade 3 or greater occurred following SRS with concurrent TKI treatment, and the incidence of post-SRS vertebral fracture (overall 21%) and pain flare (overall 17%) were similar across cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

The prognosis for patients with mRCC has significantly improved with TKIs. The present investigation suggests a local control benefit with the addition of concurrent first-line TKI therapy to spine SRS. These results have implications in the oligometastatic setting and support a body of preclinical radiobiological research.

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Rupesh Kotecha, Jacob A. Miller, Vyshak A. Venur, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Samuel T. Chao, John H. Suh, Gene H. Barnett, Erin S. Murphy, Pauline Funchain, Jennifer S. Yu, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov and Manmeet S. Ahluwalia

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), BRAF status, and targeted and immune-based therapies on the recurrence patterns and factors associated with overall survival (OS) among patients with melanoma brain metastasis (MBM).

METHODS

A total of 366 patients were treated for 1336 MBMs; a lesion-based analysis was performed on 793 SRS lesions. The BRAF status was available for 78 patients: 35 had BRAF mut and 43 had BRAF wild-type (BRAF-WT) lesions. The Kaplan-Meier method evaluated unadjusted OS; cumulative incidence analysis determined the incidences of local failure (LF), distant failure, and radiation necrosis (RN), with death as a competing risk.

RESULTS

The 12-month OS was 24% (95% CI 20%–29%). On multivariate analysis, younger age, lack of extracranial metastases, better Karnofsky Performance Status score, and fewer MBMs, as well as treatment with BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi), anti–PD-1/CTLA-4 therapy, or cytokine therapy were significantly associated with OS. For patients who underwent SRS, the 12-month LF rate was lower among those with BRAF mut lesions (6%, 95% CI 2%–11%) compared with those with BRAF-WT lesions (22%, 95% CI 13%–32%; p < 0.01). The 12-month LF rates among lesions treated with BRAFi and PD-1/CTLA-4 agents were 1% (95% CI 1%–4%) and 7% (95% CI 1%–13%), respectively. On multivariate analysis, BRAF inhibition within 30 days of SRS was protective against LF (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01–0.55; p = 0.01). The 12-month rates of RN were low among lesions treated with BRAFi (0%, 95% CI 0%–0%), PD-1/CTLA-4 inhibitors (2%, 95% CI 1%–5%), and cytokine therapies (6%, 95% CI 1%–13%).

CONCLUSIONS

Prognostic schema should incorporate BRAFi or immunotherapy status and use of targeted therapies. Treatment with a BRAF inhibitor within 4 weeks of SRS improves local control without an increased risk of RN.

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J. Bradley Elder and E. Antonio Chiocca

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Andrew E. Sloan, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Jose Valerio-Pascua, Sunil Manjila, Mark G. Torchia, Stephen E. Jones, Jeffrey L. Sunshine, Michael Phillips, Mark A. Griswold, Mark Clampitt, Cathy Brewer, Jennifer Jochum, Mary V. McGraw, Dawn Diorio, Gail Ditz and Gene H. Barnett

Object

Laser interstitial thermal therapy has been used as an ablative treatment for glioma; however, its development was limited due to technical issues. The NeuroBlate System incorporates several technological advances to overcome these drawbacks. The authors report a Phase I, thermal dose–escalation trial assessing the safety and efficacy of NeuroBlate in recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (rGBM).

Methods

Adults with suspected supratentorial rGBM of 15- to 40-mm dimension and a Karnofsky Performance Status score of ≥ 60 were eligible. After confirmatory biopsy, treatment was delivered using a rigid, gas-cooled, side-firing laser probe. Treatment was monitored using real-time MRI thermometry, and proprietary software providing predictive thermal damage feedback was used by the surgeon, along with control of probe rotation and depth, to tailor tissue coagulation. An external data safety monitoring board determined if toxicity at lower levels justified dose escalation.

Results

Ten patients were treated at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals–Case Medical Center). Their average age was 55 years (range 34–69 years) and the median preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status score was 80 (range 70–90). The mean tumor volume was 6.8 ± 5 cm3 (range 2.6–19 cm3), the percentage of tumor treated was 78% ± 12% (range 57%–90%), and the conformality index was 1.21 ± 0.33 (range 1.00–2.04). Treatment-related necrosis was evident on MRI studies at 24 and 48 hours. The median survival was 316 days (range 62–767 days). Three patients improved neurologically, 6 remained stable, and 1 worsened. Steroid-responsive treatment-related edema occurred in all patients but one. Three had Grade 3 adverse events at the highest dose.

Conclusions

NeuroBlate represents new technology for delivering laser interstitial thermal therapy, allowing controlled thermal ablation of deep hemispheric rGBM. Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00747253 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Douglas Kondziolka, Phillip V. Parry, L. Dade Lunsford, Hideyuki Kano, John C. Flickinger, Susan Rakfal, Yoshio Arai, Jay S. Loeffler, Stephen Rush, Jonathan P. S. Knisely, Jason Sheehan, William Friedman, Ahmad A. Tarhini, Lanie Francis, Frank Lieberman, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Mark E. Linskey, Michael McDermott, Paul Sperduto and Roger Stupp

Object

Estimating survival time in cancer patients is crucial for clinicians, patients, families, and payers. To provide appropriate and cost-effective care, various data sources are used to provide rational, reliable, and reproducible estimates. The accuracy of such estimates is unknown.

Methods

The authors prospectively estimated survival in 150 consecutive cancer patients (median age 62 years) with brain metastases undergoing radiosurgery. They recorded cancer type, number of brain metastases, neurological presentation, extracranial disease status, Karnofsky Performance Scale score, Recursive Partitioning Analysis class, prior whole-brain radiotherapy, and synchronous or metachronous presentation. Finally, the authors asked 18 medical, radiation, or surgical oncologists to predict survival from the time of treatment.

Results

The actual median patient survival was 10.3 months (95% CI 6.4–14). The median physician-predicted survival was 9.7 months (neurosurgeons = 11.8 months, radiation oncologists = 11.0 months, and medical oncologist = 7.2 months). For patients who died before 10 months, both neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists generally predicted survivals that were more optimistic and medical oncologists that were less so, although no group could accurately predict survivors alive at 14 months. All physicians had individual patient survival predictions that were incorrect by as much as 12–18 months, and 14 of 18 physicians had individual predictions that were in error by more than 18 months. Of the 2700 predictions, 1226 (45%) were off by more than 6 months and 488 (18%) were off by more than 12 months.

Conclusions

Although crucial, predicting the survival of cancer patients is difficult. In this study all physicians were unable to accurately predict longer-term survivors. Despite valuable clinical data and predictive scoring techniques, brain and systemic management often led to patient survivals well beyond estimated survivals.

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Lilyana Angelov, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Elizabeth E. Bennett, Mahmoud Abbassy, Paul Elson, Samuel T. Chao, Joshua S. Montgomery, Ghaith Habboub, Michael A. Vogelbaum, John H. Suh, Erin S. Murphy, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Sean J. Nagel and Gene H. Barnett

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is the primary modality for treating brain metastases. However, effective radiosurgical control of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm in maximum diameter remains challenging and is associated with suboptimal local control (LC) rates of 37%–62% and an increased risk of treatment-related toxicity. To enhance LC while limiting adverse effects (AEs) of radiation in these patients, a dose-dense treatment regimen using 2-staged SRS (2-SSRS) was used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of this treatment strategy.

METHODS

Fifty-four patients (with 63 brain metastases ≥ 2 cm) treated with 2-SSRS were evaluated as part of an institutional review board–approved retrospective review. Volumetric measurements at first-stage stereotactic radiosurgery (first SSRS) and second-stage SRS (second SSRS) treatments and on follow-up imaging studies were determined. In addition to patient demographic data and tumor characteristics, the study evaluated 3 primary outcomes: 1) response at first follow-up MRI, 2) time to local progression (TTP), and 3) overall survival (OS) with 2-SSRS. Response was analyzed using methods for binary data, TTP was analyzed using competing-risks methods to account for patients who died without disease progression, and OS was analyzed using conventional time-to-event methods. When needed, analyses accounted for multiple lesions in the same patient.

RESULTS

Among 54 patients, 46 (85%) had 1 brain metastasis treated with 2-SSRS, 7 patients (13%) had 2 brain metastases concurrently treated with 2-SSRS, and 1 patient underwent 2-SSRS for 3 concurrent brain metastases ≥ 2 cm. The median age was 63 years (range 23–83 years), 23 patients (43%) had non–small cell lung cancer, and 14 patients (26%) had radioresistant tumors (renal or melanoma). The median doses at first and second SSRS were 15 Gy (range 12–18 Gy) and 15 Gy (range 12–15 Gy), respectively. The median duration between stages was 34 days, and median tumor volumes at the first and second SSRS were 10.5 cm3 (range 2.4–31.3 cm3) and 7.0 cm3 (range 1.0–29.7 cm3). Three-month follow-up imaging results were available for 43 lesions; the median volume was 4.0 cm3 (range 0.1–23.1 cm3). The median change in volume compared with baseline was a decrease of 54.9% (range −98.2% to 66.1%; p < 0.001). Overall, 9 lesions (14.3%) demonstrated local progression, with a median of 5.2 months (range 1.3–7.4 months), and 7 (11.1%) demonstrated AEs (6.4% Grade 1 and 2 toxicity; 4.8% Grade 3). The estimated cumulative incidence of local progression at 6 months was 12% ± 4%, corresponding to an LC rate of 88%. Shorter TTP was associated with greater tumor volume at baseline (p = 0.01) and smaller absolute (p = 0.006) and relative (p = 0.05) decreases in tumor volume from baseline to second SSRS. Estimated OS rates at 6 and 12 months were 65% ± 7% and 49% ± 8%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

2-SSRS is an effective treatment modality that resulted in significant reduction of brain metastases ≥ 2 cm, with excellent 3-month (95%) and 6-month (88%) LC rates and an overall AE rate of 11%. Prospective studies with larger cohorts and longer follow-up are necessary to assess the durability and toxicities of 2-SSRS.

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Manmeet Ahluwalia, Gene H. Barnett, Di Deng, Stephen B. Tatter, Adrian W. Laxton, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Eric Leuthardt, Roukoz Chamoun, Kevin Judy, Anthony Asher, Marco Essig, Jorg Dietrich and Veronica L. Chiang

In Brief

The outcome of patients undergoing laser ablation for the treatment of brain metastases that had become problematic after stereotactic radiosurgery was prospectively studied. This trial is important because the number of cancer patients undergoing brain radiosurgery is rising exponentially, making this clinical scenario an increasingly likely problem. This study shows the aggregate results that were achieved across multiple centers in the United States.

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Shireen Parsai, Jacob A. Miller, Aditya Juloori, Samuel T. Chao, Rupesh Kotecha, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Erin S. Murphy, Gene H. Barnett, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Lilyana Angelov, David M. Peereboom and John H. Suh

OBJECTIVE

With increasing survival for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer in the trastuzumab era, there is an increased risk of brain metastasis. Therefore, there is interest in optimizing intracranial disease control. Lapatinib is a small-molecule dual HER2/epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor that has demonstrated intracranial activity against HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of lapatinib combined with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on local control of brain metastases.

METHODS

Patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases who underwent SRS from 1997–2015 were included. The primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of local failure following SRS. Secondary outcomes included the cumulative incidence of radiation necrosis and overall survival.

RESULTS

One hundred twenty-six patients with HER2+ breast cancer who underwent SRS to 479 brain metastases (median 5 lesions per patient) were included. Among these, 75 patients had luminal B subtype (hormone receptor-positive, HER2+) and 51 patients had HER2-enriched histology (hormone receptor-negative, HER2+). Forty-seven patients received lapatinib during the course of their disease, of whom 24 received concurrent lapatinib with SRS. The median radiographic follow-up among all patients was 17.1 months. Concurrent lapatinib was associated with reduction in local failure at 12 months (5.7% vs 15.1%, p < 0.01). For lesions in the ≤ 75th percentile by volume, concurrent lapatinib significantly decreased local failure. However, for lesions in the > 75th percentile (> 1.10 cm3), concurrent lapatinib did not significantly improve local failure. Any use of lapatinib after development of brain metastasis improved median survival compared to SRS without lapatinib (27.3 vs 19.5 months, p = 0.03). The 12-month risk of radiation necrosis was consistently lower in the lapatinib cohort compared to the SRS-alone cohort (1.3% vs 6.3%, p < 0.01), despite extended survival.

CONCLUSIONS

For patients with HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib concurrently with SRS improved local control of brain metastases, without an increased rate of radiation necrosis. Concurrent lapatinib best augments the efficacy of SRS for lesions ≤ 1.10 cm3 in volume. In patients who underwent SRS for HER2+ breast cancer brain metastases, the use of lapatinib at any time point in the therapy course was associated with a survival benefit. The use of lapatinib combined with radiosurgery warrants further prospective evaluation.