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  • Author: Sarina A. Piha-Paul x
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Apostolia M. Tsimberidou, Alexandra M. Adamopoulos, Yang Ye, Sarina Piha-Paul, Filip Janku, Siqing Fu, David Hong, Gerald S. Falchook, Aung Naing, Jennifer Wheler, Adoneca Fortier, Razelle Kurzrock, and Kenneth R. Hess

Bendamustine, a cytotoxic alkylating agent, has shown promising results in solid tumors. An investigator-initiated phase I clinical trial of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agent bevacizumab and bendamustine was conducted in patients with advanced cancer, because the 2 drugs have different mechanisms of antitumor activity and nonoverlapping toxicity. Patients were treated with escalating doses of intravenous bendamustine (70, 80, 90, and 100 mg/m2; days 1 and 2) and intravenous bevacizumab (10 mg/kg; days 1 and 15). A conventional “3 + 3” study design was used. Forty-two patients were treated: 23 women and 19 men. The median age was 60 years. Patients had received a median of 4 prior therapies (range, 1-10). The most common cancer types were colorectal (n=9), head and neck (n= 8), non-small cell lung (n=6), and breast (n=5). Overall, 117 cycles were administered (median per patient, 2; range, 1-8). No dose-limiting toxicities were noted during the escalation phase. Therefore, the highest dose (level 4) of bendamustine (100 mg/m2) was used in the expansion phase. The most common toxicities were fatigue (n=22), nausea (n=14), anorexia (n=9), and thrombocytopenia (n=7). Of 38 patients who were evaluable for response, 23 (61%) had stable disease, including 2 (5.2%) who had stable disease for 6 months or more (1 with adenoid cystic carcinoma and 1 with non-small cell lung cancer). This regimen of bendamustine (100 mg/m2) and bevacizumab (10 mg/kg) was well tolerated and yielded disease stabilization in selected heavily pretreated patients with advanced cancer.

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Fangwen Zou, Hamzah Abu-Sbeih, Weijie Ma, Yuanzun Peng, Wei Qiao, Jianbo Wang, Amishi Y. Shah, Isabella C. Glitza Oliva, Sarina A. Piha-Paul, John A. Thompson, Hao Chi Zhang, Anusha S. Thomas, and Yinghong Wang

Background: Immune-mediated diarrhea and colitis (IMDC) is a common immune-related adverse effect related to immune checkpoint inhibitors. We aimed to identify risk factors for chronic IMDC and its prognostic value in cancer outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively collected data on patients with a diagnosis of IMDC between January 2018 and October 2019 and grouped them based on disease duration into acute (≤3 months) and chronic (>3 months) categories. A logistic regression model and the Kaplan-Meier method with log-rank tests were used for biostatistical analysis. Results: In our sample of 88 patients, 43 were in the chronic group and 45 were in the acute group. Genitourinary cancer and melanoma accounted for 70% of malignancies. PD-1/L1 monotherapy (52%) was the more frequently used regimen. We showed that chronic IMDC was associated with proton pump inhibitor use (odds ratio [OR], 3.96; P=.026), long duration of IMDC symptoms (OR, 1.05; P<.001) and hospitalization (OR, 1.07; P=.043), a histologic feature of chronic active colitis (OR, 4.8; P=.025) or microscopic colitis (OR, 5.0; P=.045), and delayed introduction of selective immunosuppressive therapy (infliximab/vedolizumab; OR, 1.06; P=.047). Chronic IMDC also reflected a better cancer response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (30% vs 51%; P=.002) and was accompanied by improved overall survival (P=.035). Similarly, higher doses of selective immunosuppressive therapy were associated with better overall survival (P=.018). Conclusions: Chronic IMDC can develop among patients with a more aggressive disease course and chronic features on colon histology. It likely reflects a prolonged immune checkpoint inhibitor effect and is associated with better cancer outcome and overall survival.