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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.


Germline biomarkers predict toxicity to anti-PD1/PDL1 checkpoint therapy.

(2022)

There is great interest in finding ways to identify patients who will develop toxicity to cancer therapies. This has become especially pressing in the era of immune therapy, where toxicity can be long-lasting and life-altering, and primarily comes in the form of immune-related adverse effects (irAEs). Treatment with the first drugs in this class, anti-programmed death 1 (anti-PD1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PDL1) checkpoint therapies, results in grade 2 or higher irAEs in up to 25%-30% of patients, which occur most commonly within the first 6 months of treatment and can include arthralgias, rash, pruritus, pneumonitis, diarrhea and/or colitis, hepatitis, and endocrinopathies. We tested the hypothesis that germline microRNA pathway functional variants, known to predict altered systemic stress responses to cancer therapies, would predict irAEs in patients across cancer types. MicroRNA pathway variants were evaluated for an association with grade 2 or higher toxicity using four classifiers on 62 patients with melanoma, and then the panel's performance was validated on 99 patients with other cancer types. Trained classifiers included classification trees, LASSO-regularized logistic regression, boosted trees, and random forests. Final performance measures were reported on the training set using leave-one-out cross validation and validated on held-out samples. The predicted probability of toxicity was evaluated for its association, if any, with response categories to anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy in the melanoma cohort. A biomarker panel was identified that predicts toxicity with 80% accuracy (F1=0.76, area under the curve (AUC)=0.82) in the melanoma training cohort and 77.6% accuracy (F1=0.621, AUC=0.778) in the pan-cancer validation cohort. In the melanoma cohort, the predictive probability of toxicity was not associated with response categories to anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy (p=0.70). In the same cohort, the most significant biomarker of toxicity in RAC1, predicting a greater than ninefold increased risk of toxicity (p<0.001), was also not associated with response to anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy (p=0.151). A germline microRNA-based biomarker signature predicts grade 2 and higher irAEs to anti-PD1/PDL1 therapy, regardless of tumor type, in a pan-cancer manner. These findings represent an important step toward personalizing checkpoint therapy, the use of which is growing rapidly.

Safety of accelerated hypofractionated whole pelvis radiation therapy prior to high dose rate brachytherapy or stereotactic body radiation therapy prostate boost.

(2022)

Background

To evaluate acute and late genitourinary and gastrointestinal toxicities and patient reported urinary and sexual function following accelerated, hypofractionated external beam radiotherapy to the prostate, seminal vesicles and pelvic lymph nodes and high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) prostate boost.

Methods

Patients at a single institution with NCCN intermediate- and high-risk localized prostate cancer with logistical barriers to completing five weeks of whole pelvic radiotherapy (WPRT) were retrospectively reviewed for toxicity following accelerated, hypofractionated WPRT (41.25 Gy in 15 fractions of 2.75 Gy). Patients also received prostate boost radiotherapy with either HDR brachytherapy (1 fraction of 15 Gy) or SBRT (19 Gy in 2 fractions of 9.5 Gy). The duration of androgen deprivation therapy was at the discretion of the treating radiation oncologist. Toxicity was evaluated by NCI CTCAE v 5.0.

Results

Between 2015 and 2017, 22 patients with a median age of 71 years completed accelerated, hypofractionated WPRT. Median follow-up from the end of radiotherapy was 32 months (range 2-57). 5%, 73%, and 23% of patients had clinical T1, T2, and T3 disease, respectively. 86% of tumors were Gleason grade 7 and 14% were Gleason grade 9. 68% and 32% of patients had NCCN intermediate- and high-risk disease, respectively. 91% and 9% of patients received HDR brachytherapy and SBRT prostate boost following WPRT, respectively. Crude rates of grade 2 or higher GI and GU toxicities were 23% and 23%, respectively. 3 patients (14%) had late or persistent grade 2 toxicities of urinary frequency and 1 patient (5%) had late or persistent GI toxicity of diarrhea. No patient experienced grade 3 or higher toxicity at any time. No difference in patient-reported urinary or sexual function was noted at 12 months.

Conclusions

Accelerated, hypofractionated whole pelvis radiotherapy was associated with acceptable GU and GI toxicities and should be further validated for those at risk for harboring occult nodal disease.

Performance of a Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography-Derived Risk-Stratification Tool for High-risk and Very High-risk Prostate Cancer.

(2021)

Importance

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) can detect low-volume, nonlocalized (ie, regional or metastatic) prostate cancer that was occult on conventional imaging. However, the long-term clinical implications of PSMA PET/CT upstaging remain unclear.

Objectives

To evaluate the prognostic significance of a nomogram that models an individual's risk of nonlocalized upstaging on PSMA PET/CT and to compare its performance with existing risk-stratification tools.

Design, setting, and participants

This cohort study included patients diagnosed with high-risk or very high-risk prostate cancer (ie, prostate-specific antigen [PSA] level >20 ng/mL, Gleason score 8-10, and/or clinical stage T3-T4, without evidence of nodal or metastatic disease by conventional workup) from April 1995 to August 2018. This multinational study was conducted at 15 centers. Data were analyzed from December 2020 to March 2021.

Exposures

Curative-intent radical prostatectomy (RP), external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), or EBRT plus brachytherapy (BT), with or without androgen deprivation therapy.

Main outcomes and measures

PSMA upstage probability was calculated from a nomogram using the biopsy Gleason score, percentage positive systematic biopsy cores, clinical T category, and PSA level. Biochemical recurrence (BCR), distant metastasis (DM), prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM), and overall survival (OS) were analyzed using Fine-Gray and Cox regressions. Model performance was quantified with the concordance (C) index.

Results

Of 5275 patients, the median (IQR) age was 66 (60-72) years; 2883 (55%) were treated with RP, 1669 (32%) with EBRT, and 723 (14%) with EBRT plus BT; median (IQR) PSA level was 10.5 (5.9-23.2) ng/mL; 3987 (76%) had Gleason grade 8 to 10 disease; and 750 (14%) had stage T3 to T4 disease. Median (IQR) follow-up was 5.1 (3.1-7.9) years; 1221 (23%) were followed up for at least 8 years. Overall, 1895 (36%) had BCR, 851 (16%) developed DM, and 242 (5%) died of prostate cancer. PSMA upstage probability was significantly prognostic of all clinical end points, with 8-year C indices of 0.63 (95% CI, 0.61-0.65) for BCR, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.66-0.71) for DM, 0.71 (95% CI, 0.67-0.75) for PCSM, and 0.60 (95% CI, 0.57-0.62) for PCSM (P < .001). The PSMA nomogram outperformed existing risk-stratification tools, except for similar performance to Staging Collaboration for Cancer of the Prostate (STAR-CAP) for PCSM (eg, DM: PSMA, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.66-0.71] vs STAR-CAP, 0.65 [95% CI, 0.62-0.68]; P < .001; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center nomogram, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.54-0.60]; P < .001; Cancer of the Prostate Risk Assessment groups, 0.53 [95% CI, 0.51-0.56]; P < .001). Results were validated in secondary cohorts from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database and the National Cancer Database.

Conclusions and relevance

These findings suggest that PSMA upstage probability is associated with long-term, clinically meaningful end points. Furthermore, PSMA upstaging had superior risk discrimination compared with existing tools. Formerly occult, PSMA PET/CT-detectable nonlocalized disease may be the main driver of outcomes in high-risk patients.

Comparison of Response to Definitive Radiotherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer in Black and White Men: A Meta-analysis.

(2021)

Importance

Black men have a 2-fold increased risk of dying from prostate cancer compared with White men. However, race-specific differences in response to initial treatment remain unknown.

Objective

To compare overall and treatment-specific outcomes of Black and White men with localized prostate cancer receiving definitive radiotherapy (RT).

Data sources

A systematic search was performed of relevant published randomized clinical trials conducted by the NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2010. This meta-analysis was performed from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2021.

Study selection

Randomized clinical trials of definitive RT for patients with localized prostate cancer comprising a substantial number of Black men (self-identified race) enrolled that reported on treatment-specific and overall outcomes.

Data extraction and synthesis

Individual patient data were obtained from 7 NRG Oncology/Radiation Therapy Oncology Group randomized clinical trials evaluating definitive RT with or without short- or long-term androgen deprivation therapy. Unadjusted Fine-Gray competing risk models, with death as a competing risk, were developed to evaluate the cumulative incidences of end points. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate differences in all-cause mortality and the composite outcome of distant metastasis (DM) or death. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline was followed.

Main outcomes and measures

Subdistribution hazard ratios (sHRs) of biochemical recurrence (BCR), DM, and prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM).

Results

A total of 8814 patients (1630 [18.5%] Black and 7184 [81.5%] White) were included; mean (SD) age was 69.1 (6.8) years. Median follow-up was 10.6 (IQR, 8.0-17.8) years for surviving patients. At enrollment, Black men were more likely to have high-risk disease features. However, even without adjustment, Black men were less likely to experience BCR (sHR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91), DM (sHR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.58-0.91), or PCSM (sHR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.54-0.97). No significant differences in all-cause mortality were identified (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.92-1.07). Upon adjustment, Black race remained significantly associated with improved BCR (adjusted sHR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.72-0.88; P < .001), DM (adjusted sHR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55-0.87; P = .002), and PCSM (adjusted sHR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50-0.93; P = .01).

Conclusions and relevance

The findings of this meta-analysis suggest that Black men enrolled in randomized clinical trials present with more aggressive disease but have better BCR, DM, and PCSM with definitive RT compared with White men, suggesting that other determinants of outcome, such as access to care, are important factors of achieving racial equity.

Simultaneous radiosurgery for multiple brain metastases: technical overview of the UCLA experience.

(2021)

Purpose/objective(s)

To communicate our institutional experience with single isocenter radiosurgery treatments for multiple brain metastases, including challenges with determining planning target volume (PTV) margins and resulting consequences, image-guidance translational and rotational tolerances, intra-fraction patient motion, and prescription considerations with larger PTV margins.

Materials/methods

Eight patient treatments with 51 targets were planned with various margins using Elements Multiple Brain Mets SRS treatment planning software (Brainlab, Munich, Germany). Forty-eight plans with 0 mm, 1 mm and 2 mm margins were created, including plans with variable margins, where targets more than 6 cm away from the isocenter were planned with larger margins. The dosimetric impact of the margins were analyzed with V5Gy, V8Gy, V10Gy, V12Gy values. Additionally, 12 patient motion data were analyzed to determine both the impact of the repositioning threshold and the distributions of the patient translational and rotational movements.

Results

The V5Gy, V8Gy, V10Gy, V12Gy volumes approximately doubled when margins change from 0 to 1 mm and tripled when change from 0 to 2 mm. With variable margins, the aggregated results are similar to results from plans using the lower of two margins, since only 12.2% of the targets were more than 6 cm away from the isocenter. With 0.5 mm re-positioning threshold, 57.4% of the time the patients are repositioned. Reducing the threshold to 0.25 mm results in 91.7% repositioning rate, due to limitations of the fusion algorithm and actual patient motion. The 90th percentile of translational movements in all directions is 0.7 mm, while the 90th percentile of rotational movements in all directions is 0.6 degrees. Median translations and rotations are 0.2 mm and 0.2 degrees, respectively.

Conclusions

Based on the data presented, we have switched our modus operandi from 2 to 1 mm PTV margins, with an eventual goal of using 0.5 and 1.0 mm variable margins when an automated margin assignment method becomes available. The 0.5 mm and 0.5 degrees repositioning thresholds are clinically appropriate with small residual patient movements.

Cover page of Magnetic resonance imaging-guided stereotactic body radiotherapy for prostate cancer (mirage): a phase iii randomized trial.

Magnetic resonance imaging-guided stereotactic body radiotherapy for prostate cancer (mirage): a phase iii randomized trial.

(2021)

Background

Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is becoming increasingly used in treating localized prostate cancer (PCa), with evidence showing similar toxicity and efficacy profiles when compared with longer courses of definitive radiation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided radiotherapy has multiple potential advantages over standard computed tomography (CT)-guided radiotherapy, including enhanced prostate visualization (abrogating the need for fiducials and MRI fusion), enhanced identification of the urethra, the ability to track the prostate in real-time, and the capacity to perform online adaptive planning. However, it is unknown whether these potential advantages translate into improved outcomes. This phase III randomized superiority trial is designed to prospectively evaluate whether toxicity is lower after MRI-guided versus CT-guided SBRT.

Methods

Three hundred men with localized PCa will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to SBRT using CT or MRI guidance. Randomization will be stratified by baseline International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) (≤15 or > 15) and prostate gland volume (≤50 cc or > 50 cc). Five fractions of 8 Gy will be delivered to the prostate over the course of fourteen days, with or without hormonal therapy and elective nodal radiotherapy (to a dose of 5 Gy per fraction) as per the investigator's discretion. The primary endpoint is the incidence of physician-reported acute grade ≥ 2 genitourinary (GU) toxicity (during the first 90 days after SBRT), as assessed by the CTCAE version 4.03 scale. Secondary clinical endpoints include incidence of acute grade ≥ 2 gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity, 5-year cumulative incidences of physician-reported late grade ≥ 2 GU and GI toxicity, temporal changes in patient-reported quality of life (QOL) outcomes, 5-year biochemical recurrence-free survival and the proportion of fractions of MRI-guided SBRT in which online adaptive radiotherapy is used.

Discussion

The MIRAGE trial is the first randomized trial comparing MRI-guided with standard CT-guided SBRT for localized PCa. The primary hypothesis is that MRI-guided SBRT will lead to an improvement in the cumulative incidence of acute grade ≥ 2 GU toxicity when compared to CT-guided SBRT. The pragmatic superiority design focused on an acute toxicity endpoint will allow an early comparison of the two technologies.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT04384770. Date of registration: May 12, 2020. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04384770 PROTOCOL VERSION: Version 2.1, Aug 28, 2020.

Cover page of Novel grading system of sigmoid sinus dehiscence for radiologic evaluation of pulsatile tinnitus.

Novel grading system of sigmoid sinus dehiscence for radiologic evaluation of pulsatile tinnitus.

(2021)

Background

Sigmoid sinus dehiscence (SSD) is an important etiology of pulsatile tinnitus (PT) though there is currently no consensus on the prevalence of SSD in non-PT populations. This study establishes a grading system of SSD and analyzes a non-PT cohort for prevalence of SSD.

Methods

In this retrospective study temporal bone CT scans of 91 patients without PT were analyzed for SSD. The dehiscence was divided into three grades: Grade 1 indicating a micro dehiscence of <3.5 mm with an opening to the mastoid air cells, Grade 2 indicating a major dehiscence of >3.5 mm with an opening to the mastoid air cells, and Grade 3 indicating a sigmoid sinus wall dehiscence opening directly to the underlying tissue.

Results

In patients without PT, SSD occurred in 34% of the cohort. Of these, 75% were Grade 1 and 25% were Grade 2. The range of dehiscence measurements for Grade 1 dehiscences was 0.9-3.4 mm. The range of dehiscence measurements for Grade 2 was 4-7.5 mm. There were no cases of Grade 3 dehiscence among this cohort.

Conclusions

SSD occurred in over a third of our non-symptomatic cohort. While all grades of SSD may currently be treated surgically, a large portion of non-PT patients may have these sigmoid sinus anomalies asymptomatically. This grading system allows for the standardization of SSD definition and severity in future studies. Grade 3 dehiscences were completely absent in this cohort of non-PT patients.

Cover page of The intraprostatic immune environment after stereotactic body radiotherapy is dominated by myeloid cells.

The intraprostatic immune environment after stereotactic body radiotherapy is dominated by myeloid cells.

(2021)

Background

Hundreds of ongoing clinical trials combine radiation therapy, mostly delivered as stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), with immune checkpoint blockade. However, our understanding of the effect of radiotherapy on the intratumoral immune balance is inadequate, hindering the optimal design of trials that combine radiation therapy with immunotherapy. Our objective was to characterize the intratumoral immune balance of the malignant prostate after SBRT in patients.

Methods

Sixteen patients with high-risk, non-metastatic prostate cancer at comparable Gleason Grade disease underwent radical prostatectomy with (n = 9) or without (n = 7) neoadjuvant SBRT delivered in three fractions of 8 Gy over 5 days completed 2 weeks before surgery. Freshly resected prostate specimens were processed to obtain single-cell suspensions, and immune-phenotyped for major lymphoid and myeloid cell subsets by staining with two separate 14-antibody panels and multicolor flow cytometry analysis.

Results

Malignant prostates 2 weeks after SBRT had an immune infiltrate dominated by myeloid cells, whereas malignant prostates without preoperative treatment were more lymphoid-biased (myeloid CD45+ cells 48.4 ± 19.7% vs. 25.4 ± 7.0%; adjusted p-value = 0.11; and CD45+ lymphocytes 51.6 ± 19.7% vs. 74.5 ± 7.0%; p = 0.11; CD3+ T cells 35.2 ± 23.8% vs. 60.9 ± 9.7%; p = 0.12; mean ± SD).

Conclusion

SBRT drives a significant lymphoid to myeloid shift in the prostate-tumor immune infiltrate. This may be of interest when combining SBRT with immunotherapies, particularly in prostate cancer.

Cover page of Tumor necrosis factor receptor signaling modulates carcinogenesis in a mouse model of breast cancer.

Tumor necrosis factor receptor signaling modulates carcinogenesis in a mouse model of breast cancer.

(2021)

Pro-inflammatory conditions have long been associated with mammary carcinogenesis and breast cancer progression. The underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood but signaling of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα through its receptors TNFR1 and TNFR2 is a major mediator of inflammation in both obesity and in the response of tissues to radiation, 2 known risk factors for the development of breast cancer. Here, we demonstrated the loss of one TNFR2 allele led to ductal hyperplasia in the mammary gland with increased numbers of mammary epithelial stem cell and terminal end buds. Furthermore, loss of one TNFR2 allele increased the incidence of breast cancer in MMTV-Wnt1 mice and resulted in tumors with a more aggressive phenotype and metastatic potential. The underlying mechanisms include a preferential activation of canonical NF-κB signaling pathway and autocrine production of TNFα. Analysis of the TCGA dataset indicated inferior overall survival for patients with down-regulated TNFR2 expression. These findings unravel the imbalances in TNFR signaling promote the development and progression of breast cancer, indicating that selective agonists of TNFR2 could potentially modulate the risk for breast cancer in high-risk populations.

Cover page of Medical Mask Wearing During Treatment for Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy in COVID-19 Pandemic - An Experience of Protocol Setup and Dosimetric Evaluation for Particle/Proton Beam Therapy.

Medical Mask Wearing During Treatment for Patients Undergoing Radiotherapy in COVID-19 Pandemic - An Experience of Protocol Setup and Dosimetric Evaluation for Particle/Proton Beam Therapy.

(2021)

Background

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused extreme challenges for the healthcare system. Medical masks have been proven to effectively block disease transmission. Radiotherapeutic departments are at unique risk for disease exposure with the repeated daily treatment schedule. A protocol of mask wearing during daily treatment was established, and the effect of wearing medical masks on dosimetry during proton beam therapy (PBT) was validated.

Methods

A department protocol of medical mask wearing was initiated after the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical masks that were made under standardized specification and regulation were obtained for analyses. The physical and dosimetric characteristics of these medical masks were measured by different proton energies using commercialized measurement tools.

Results

Patients and staff were able to adopt the protocol on a weekly basis, and no adverse events were reported. The average physical thickness of a single piece of medical mask was 0.5 mm with a water equivalent thickness (WET) of 0.1 mm.

Conclusion

Our study revealed that mask wearing for patients undergoing daily radiotherapy is feasible and can provide basic protection for patients and staff. The impact of mask wearing on dosimetry was only 0.1 mm in WET, which has no impact on clinical PBT treatment. A medical mask-wearing policy can be applied safely without dosimetric concerns and should be considered as a standard practice for PBT centers during the COVID-19 pandemic.