Bachelor of Arts, Yale University (2003)
Doctor of Medicine, University of Michigan Ann Arbor (2010)
Radiation therapy and immunotherapy are both well-established treatments for malignant disease. Radiotherapy has long been utilized for purposes of providing local tumor control, and the recent success with novel immunomodulatory agents has brought immunotherapy into the forefront of clinical practice for the treatment of many tumor types. Although radiotherapy has traditionally been thought to mediate tumor regression through direct cytotoxic effects, it is now known that radiation also alters the local tumor microenvironment with effects on both the local and systemic anti-tumor immune response. There is growing evidence that the rational integration of the immunomodulatory effects of radiotherapy with the expanding armamentarium of clinically approved immunotherapeutics can yield potent anti-tumor responses exceeding the benefit of either therapy alone. Here we summarize current approaches to the combination of immunotherapy with radiation therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2014.09.019
View details for PubMedID 25499631
To evaluate survival and neurocognitive outcomes in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients with central nervous system (CNS) involvement treated according to an institutional protocol with stem cell transplantation (SCT) and a component of craniospinal irradiation (CSI) in addition to total-body irradiation (TBI) as preparative regimen.Forty-one pediatric ALL patients underwent SCT with TBI and received additional cranial irradiation or CSI because of CNS leukemic involvement. Prospective neurocognitive testing was performed before and after SCT in a subset of patients. Cox regression models were used to determine associations of patient and disease characteristics and treatment methods with outcomes.All patients received a cranial radiation boost; median total cranial dose was 24 Gy. Eighteen patients (44%) received a spinal boost; median total spinal dose for these patients was 18 Gy. Five-year disease-free survival (DFS) for all patients was 67%. Those receiving CSI had a trend toward superior DFS compared with those receiving a cranial boost alone (hazard ratio 3.23, P=.14). Patients with isolated CNS disease before SCT had a trend toward superior DFS (hazard ratio 3.64, P=.11, 5-year DFS 74%) compared with those with combined CNS and bone marrow disease (5-year DFS 59%). Neurocognitive testing revealed a mean post-SCT overall intelligence quotient of 103.7 at 4.4 years. Relative deficiencies in processing speed and/or working memory were noted in 6 of 16 tested patients (38%). Pre- and post-SCT neurocognitive testing revealed no significant change in intelligence quotient (mean increase +4.7 points). At a mean of 12.5 years after transplant, 11 of 13 long-term survivors (85%) had completed at least some coursework at a 2- or 4-year college.The addition of CSI to TBI before SCT in pediatric ALL with CNS involvement is effective and well-tolerated. Craniospinal irradiation plus TBI is worthy of further protocol investigation in children with CNS leukemia.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.01.056
View details for Web of Science ID 000334590500011
View details for PubMedID 24725690
Primary squamous cell carcinoma (SCCA) of the vagina is a rare malignancy with limited data to guide treatment. We evaluated prognostic factors and outcomes for patients with primary vaginal SCCA treated with definitive radiation therapy at a single institution.A retrospective analysis was performed on patients treated for primary vaginal SCCA from 1959 to 2011.Ninety-one patients with primary vaginal SCCA were treated with definitive radiation therapy. Thirty-eight patients had FIGO stage I, 28 stage II, 13 stage III, and 12 stage IV disease. The mean total dose was 70.1Gy. Two-year overall survival (OS), locoregional control rate (LRC), and distant metastasis-free survival by stage were, respectively: stage I: 96.2%, 80.6%, 87.5%; stage II: 92.3%, 64.7%, 84.6%; stage III: 66.6%, 44.4%, 50.0%; and stage IV: 25.0%, 14.3%, 25.0%. Treatment with total dose over 70Gy was associated with improved OS (p=0.0956) and LRC (p=0.055). There was a significant difference in median dose received by patients who developed grade 3/4 toxicity compared to those who did not (82.9Gy versus 70.0Gy, p=0.0019). None of the 10 patients treated with IMRT experienced locoregional recurrence or grade 3/4 toxicity. Tumor size larger than 4cm was associated with worse OS (p=0.0034) and LRC (p=0.006).Our analysis suggests that the optimal dose for definitive treatment of SCCA of the vagina lies between 70 and 80Gy. Treatment with IMRT may allow for dose escalation with reduced toxicity and excellent LRC. Tumor size over 4cm is associated with inferior outcomes and may require additional treatment modalities.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.08.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000326427900019
Melanoma is a relatively immunogenic tumor, in which infiltration of melanoma cells by T lymphocytes is associated with a better clinical prognosis. We hypothesized that radiation-induced cell death may provide additional stimulation of an anti-tumor immune response in the setting of anti-CTLA-4 treatment.In a pilot melanoma patient, we prospectively tested this hypothesis. We treated the patient with two cycles of ipilimumab, followed by stereotactic ablative radiotherapy to two of seven hepatic metastases, and two additional cycles of ipilimumab.Subsequent positron emission tomography-computed tomography scan indicated that all metastases, including unirradiated liver lesions and an unirradiated axillary lesion, had completely resolved, consistent with a complete response by RECIST.The use of radiotherapy in combination with targeted immunotherapy as a noninvasive in vivo tumor vaccine strategy appears to be a promising method of enhancing the induction of systemic immune responses and anti-tumor effect.
View details for DOI 10.1593/tlo.12280
View details for Web of Science ID 000313359800002
View details for PubMedID 23323154