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Pamela S. Becker

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is the pivotal component of mobilization regimens and the growth factor most often used for peripheral blood progenitor cell collections. When used alone or after chemotherapy, products with adequate yields of CD34+ cells are obtained after leukapheresis, resulting in optimal blood count recovery after transplant. For patients who have had extensive prior treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation, or treatment with specific agents, the yields may be limited. For these patients, plerixafor in combination with growth factor can be used to augment progenitor cell yield and ensure successful collection of target goals, with preservation of the integrity of the graft. Progenitor cells can similarly be collected by leukapheresis from patients for autologous use and from allogeneic donors, after a period of growth factor administration. Many chemotherapy regimens can be used before growth factor administration that serve a dual role of reducing tumor burden and enhancing the progenitor cell collection. Given modern methods, a high success rate exists for procurement of adequate stem cell products.

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Andrew D. Zelenetz and Pamela S. Becker

As biologics go off-patent, the field of oncology is grappling with incorporating biosimilars. These are highly similar (but not generic versions of) biologic agents, and they are approved based on showing “near fingerprint identity” in structure and potency. Their introduction is expected to increase competition and lower treatment costs. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Myeloid Growth Factors has incorporated the first biosimilar approved in the United States, filgrastim-sndz, into its recommendations. At the NCCN 21st Annual Conference, Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, provided an overview of biosimilars, describing the process of their development and approval; Pamela S. Becker, MD, PhD, discussed the NCCN Guidelines recommendations for the use of filgrastim-sndz and of tbo-filgrastim, which was approved in the United States as a true biologic agent. The use of tbo-filgrastim can be somewhat confusing, as it does not have the same indications as the other growth factors.

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Jacqueline N. Poston and Pamela S. Becker

This review focuses on the data supporting the use of myeloid growth factors (MGFs) in patients being treated for acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and hairy cell leukemia, for which neutropenia is a common complication of treatment. However, due to the lack of randomized trial data or conflicting results of clinical studies, comprehensive guidelines have been difficult to formulate. Moreover, to date, these diagnoses have not been addressed in the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for MGFs. However, in most cases, the general principles have been included in the applicable NCCN Guidelines for each individual cancer site.

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George M. Rodgers III, Pamela Sue Becker, Morey Blinder, David Cella, Asher Chanan-Khan, Charles Cleeland, Peter F. Coccia, Benjamin Djulbegovic, Jeffrey A. Gilreath, Eric H. Kraut, Ursula A. Matulonis, Michael M. Millenson, Denise Reinke, Joseph Rosenthal, Rowena N. Schwartz, Gerald Soff, Richard S. Stein, Gordana Vlahovic and Alva B. Weir III

Anemia is prevalent in 30% to 90% of patients with cancer. Anemia can be corrected through either treating the underlying cause or providing supportive care through transfusion with packed red blood cells or administration of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), with or without iron supplementation. Recent studies showing detrimental health effects of ESAs sparked a series of FDA label revisions and a sea change in the perception of these once commonly used agents. In light of this, the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cancer- and Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia underwent substantial revisions this year. The purpose of these NCCN Guidelines is twofold: 1) to operationalize the evaluation and treatment of anemia in adult cancer patients, with an emphasis on those who are receiving concomitant chemotherapy, and 2) to enable patients and clinicians to individualize anemia treatment options based on patient condition.

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Jeffrey Crawford, James Armitage, Lodovico Balducci, Pamela Sue Becker, Douglas W. Blayney, Spero R. Cataland, Mark L. Heaney, Susan Hudock, Dwight D. Kloth, David J. Kuter, Gary H. Lyman, Brandon McMahon, Hope S. Rugo, Ayman A. Saad, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Sepideh Shayani, David P. Steensma, Mahsa Talbott, Saroj Vadhan-Raj, Peter Westervelt, Michael Westmoreland, Mary Dwyer and Maria Ho

Febrile neutropenia, a common side effect of myelosuppressive chemotherapy in patients with cancer, can result in prolonged hospitalization and broad-spectrum antibiotic use, often prompting treatment delays or dose reductions of drug regimens. Prophylactic use of myeloid growth factors (mainly the colony-stimulating factors filgrastim and pegfilgrastim) in patients of heightened risk can reduce the severity and duration of febrile neutropenia. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Myeloid Growth Factors provide recommendations on the use of these agents mainly in the oncology setting based on clinical evidence and expert consensus. This version includes revisions surrounding the issue of timing of pegfilgrastim administration. It also includes new sections on tbo-filgrastim, a recently approved agent that is biologically similar to filgrastim, and the role of myeloid growth factors in the hematopoietic cell transplant setting

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Jeffrey Crawford, Pamela Sue Becker, James O. Armitage, Douglas W. Blayney, Julio Chavez, Peter Curtin, Shira Dinner, Thomas Fynan, Ivana Gojo, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Shannon Hough, Dwight D. Kloth, David J. Kuter, Gary H. Lyman, Mary Mably, Sudipto Mukherjee, Shiven Patel, Lia E. Perez, Adam Poust, Raajit Rampal, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Ayman A. Saad, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Sepideh Shayani, Mahsa Talbott, Saroj Vadhan-Raj, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Peter Westervelt, Jennifer L. Burns and Lenora Pluchino

Myeloid growth factors (MGFs) are given as supportive care to patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy to reduce the incidence of neutropenia. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for MGFs focuses on the evaluation of regimen- and patient-specific risk factors for the development of febrile neutropenia (FN), the prophylactic use of MGFs for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced FN, and assessing the risks and benefits of MGF use in clinical practice.

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C. Anthony Blau, Arturo B. Ramirez, Sibel Blau, Colin C. Pritchard, Michael O. Dorschner, Stephen C. Schmechel, Timothy J. Martins, Elisabeth M. Mahen, Kimberly A. Burton, Vitalina M. Komashko, Amie J. Radenbaugh, Katy Dougherty, Anju Thomas, Christopher P. Miller, James Annis, Jonathan R. Fromm, Chaozhong Song, Elizabeth Chang, Kellie Howard, Sharon Austin, Rodney A. Schmidt, Michael L. Linenberger, Pamela S. Becker, Francis M. Senecal, Brigham H. Mecham, Su-In Lee, Anup Madan, Roy Ronen, Janusz Dutkowski, Shelly Heimfeld, Brent L. Wood, Jackie L. Stilwell, Eric P. Kaldjian, David Haussler and Jingchun Zhu

Accelerating cancer research is expected to require new types of clinical trials. This report describes the Intensive Trial of OMics in Cancer (ITOMIC) and a participant with triple-negative breast cancer metastatic to bone, who had markedly elevated circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that were monitored 48 times over 9 months. A total of 32 researchers from 14 institutions were engaged in the patient's evaluation; 20 researchers had no prior involvement in patient care and 18 were recruited specifically for this patient. Whole-exome sequencing of 3 bone marrow samples demonstrated a novel ROS1 variant that was estimated to be present in most or all tumor cells. After an initial response to cisplatin, a hypothesis of crizotinib sensitivity was disproven. Leukapheresis followed by partial CTC enrichment allowed for the development of a differential high-throughput drug screen and demonstrated sensitivity to investigational BH3-mimetic inhibitors of BCL-2 that could not be tested in the patient because requests to the pharmaceutical sponsors were denied. The number and size of CTC clusters correlated with clinical status and eventually death. Focusing the expertise of a distributed network of investigators on an intensively monitored patient with cancer can generate high-resolution views of the natural history of cancer and suggest new opportunities for therapy. Optimization requires access to investigational drugs.