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Selected Publications

Jack, Lulu, and Sam Willson Professor and Professor of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy)


  • Integrating genomic features for non-invasive early lung cancer detection NATURE Chabon, J. J., Hamilton, E. G., Kurtz, D. M., Esfahani, M. S., Moding, E. J., Stehr, H., Schroers-Martin, J., Nabet, B. Y., Chen, B., Chaudhuri, A. A., Liu, C., Hui, A. B., Jin, M. C., Azad, T. D., Almanza, D., Jeon, Y., Nesselbush, M. C., Keh, L., Bonilla, R. F., Yoo, C. H., Ko, R. B., Chen, E. L., Merriott, D. J., Massion, P. P., Mansfield, A. S., Jen, J., Ren, H. Z., Lin, S. H., Costantino, C. L., Burr, R., Tibshirani, R., Gambhir, S. S., Berry, G. J., Jensen, K. C., West, R. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Loo, B. W., Kunder, C. A., Leung, A. N., Lui, N. S., Berry, M. F., Shrager, J. B., Nair, V. S., Haber, D. A., Sequist, L. V., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2020
  • Noninvasive Early Identification of Therapeutic Benefit from Immune Checkpoint Inhibition. Cell Nabet, B. Y., Esfahani, M. S., Moding, E. J., Hamilton, E. G., Chabon, J. J., Rizvi, H. n., Steen, C. B., Chaudhuri, A. A., Liu, C. L., Hui, A. B., Almanza, D. n., Stehr, H. n., Gojenola, L. n., Bonilla, R. F., Jin, M. C., Jeon, Y. J., Tseng, D. n., Liu, C. n., Merghoub, T. n., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Padda, S. K., Ramchandran, K. J., Das, M. n., Plodkowski, A. J., Yoo, C. n., Chen, E. L., Ko, R. B., Newman, A. M., Hellmann, M. D., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. n. 2020


    Although treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) can produce remarkably durable responses, most patients develop early disease progression. Furthermore, initial response assessment by conventional imaging is often unable to identify which patients will achieve durable clinical benefit (DCB). Here, we demonstrate that pre-treatment circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and peripheral CD8 T cell levels are independently associated with DCB. We further show that ctDNA dynamics after a single infusion can aid in identification of patients who will achieve DCB. Integrating these determinants, we developed and validated an entirely noninvasive multiparameter assay (DIREct-On, Durable Immunotherapy Response Estimation by immune profiling and ctDNA-On-treatment) that robustly predicts which patients will achieve DCB with higher accuracy than any individual feature. Taken together, these results demonstrate that integrated ctDNA and circulating immune cell profiling can provide accurate, noninvasive, and early forecasting of ultimate outcomes for NSCLC patients receiving ICIs.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2020.09.001

    View details for PubMedID 33007267

  • Circulating tumor DNA dynamics predict benefit from consolidation immunotherapy in locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer Nature Cancer Moding, E. J., Liu, Y., Nabet, B. Y., Chabon, J. J., Chaudhuri, A. A., Hui, A. B., Bonilla, R. F., Ko, R. B., Yoo, C. H., He, J., Qiao, Y., Xu, T., Heymach, J. V., Tsao, A., Liao, Z., Gomez, D. R., Das, M., Padda, S. K., Ramchandran, K. J., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Loo, B. W., Lin, S. H., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2020; 1
  • KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutations predict lung cancer radiation resistance that can be targeted by glutaminase inhibition. Cancer discovery Binkley, M. S., Jeon, Y. J., Nesselbush, M. n., Moding, E. J., Nabet, B. Y., Almanza, D. n., Kunder, C. n., Stehr, H. n., Yoo, C. H., Rhee, S. n., Xiang, M. n., Chabon, J. J., Hamilton, E. n., Kurtz, D. M., Gojenola, L. n., Owen, S. G., Ko, R. B., Shin, J. H., Maxim, P. G., Lui, N. S., Backhus, L. M., Berry, M. F., Shrager, J. B., Ramchandran, K. J., Padda, S. K., Das, M. n., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Alizadeh, A. A., Loo, B. W., Diehn, M. n. 2020


    Tumor genotyping is not routinely performed in localized non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) due to lack of associations of mutations with outcome. Here, we analyze 232 consecutive patients with localized NSCLC and demonstrate that KEAP1 and NFE2L2 mutations are predictive of high rates of local recurrence (LR) after radiotherapy but not surgery. Half of LRs occurred in KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutation tumors, indicating they are major molecular drivers of clinical radioresistance. Next, we functionally evaluate KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutations in our radiotherapy cohort and demonstrate that only pathogenic mutations are associated with radioresistance. Furthermore, expression of NFE2L2 target genes does not predict LR, underscoring the utility of tumor genotyping. Finally, we show that glutaminase inhibition preferentially radiosensitizes KEAP1 mutant cells via depletion of glutathione and increased radiation-induced DNA damage. Our findings suggest that genotyping for KEAP1/NFE2L2 mutations could facilitate treatment personalization and provide a potential strategy for overcoming radioresistance conferred by these mutations.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0282

    View details for PubMedID 33071215

  • Detection and Surveillance of Bladder Cancer Using Urine Tumor DNA CANCER DISCOVERY Dudley, J. C., Schroers-Martin, J., Lazzareschi, D., Shi, W., Chen, S. B., Esfahani, M. S., Trivedi, D., Chabon, J. J., Chaudhuri, A. A., Stehr, H., Liu, C., Lim, H., Costa, H. A., Nabet, B. Y., Sin, M. Y., Liao, J. C., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2019; 9 (4): 500–509
  • Early detection of molecular residual disease in localized lung cancer by circulating tumor DNA profiling. Cancer discovery Chaudhuri, A. A., Chabon, J. J., Lovejoy, A. F., Newman, A. M., Stehr, H. n., Azad, T. D., Khodadoust, M. S., Esfahani, M. S., Liu, C. L., Zhou, L. n., Scherer, F. n., Kurtz, D. M., Say, C. n., Carter, J. N., Merriott, D. J., Dudley, J. C., Binkley, M. S., Modlin, L. n., Padda, S. K., Gensheimer, M. F., West, R. B., Shrager, J. B., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Loo, B. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. n. 2017


    Identifying molecular residual disease (MRD) after treatment of localized lung cancer could facilitate early intervention and personalization of adjuvant therapies. Here we apply Cancer Personalized Profiling by Deep Sequencing (CAPP-Seq) circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis to 255 samples from 40 patients treated with curative intent for stage I-III lung cancer and 54 healthy adults. In 94% of evaluable patients experiencing recurrence, ctDNA was detectable in the first post-treatment blood sample, indicating reliable identification of MRD. Post-treatment ctDNA detection preceded radiographic progression in 72% of patients by a median of 5.2 months and 53% of patients harbored ctDNA mutation profiles associated with favorable responses to tyrosine kinase inhibitors or immune checkpoint blockade. Collectively, these results indicate that ctDNA MRD in lung cancer patients can be accurately detected using CAPP-Seq and may allow personalized adjuvant treatment while disease burden is lowest.

    View details for PubMedID 28899864

  • Role of KEAP1/NRF2 and TP53 Mutations in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma Development and Radiation Resistance. Cancer discovery Jeong, Y., Hoang, N. T., Lovejoy, A., Stehr, H., Newman, A. M., Gentles, A. J., Kong, W., Truong, D., Martin, S., Chaudhuri, A., Heiser, D., Zhou, L., Say, C., Carter, J. N., Hiniker, S. M., Loo, B. W., West, R. B., Beachy, P., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2016


    Lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) pathogenesis remains incompletely understood, and biomarkers predicting treatment response remain lacking. Here, we describe novel murine LSCC models driven by loss of Trp53 and Keap1, both of which are frequently mutated in human LSCCs. Homozygous inactivation of Keap1 or Trp53 promoted airway basal stem cell (ABSC) self-renewal, suggesting that mutations in these genes lead to expansion of mutant stem cell clones. Deletion of Trp53 and Keap1 in ABSCs, but not more differentiated tracheal cells, produced tumors recapitulating histologic and molecular features of human LSCCs, indicating that they represent the likely cell of origin in this model. Deletion of Keap1 promoted tumor aggressiveness, metastasis, and resistance to oxidative stress and radiotherapy (RT). KEAP1/NRF2 mutation status predicted risk of local recurrence after RT in patients with non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) and could be noninvasively identified in circulating tumor DNA. Thus, KEAP1/NRF2 mutations could serve as predictive biomarkers for personalization of therapeutic strategies for NSCLCs.We developed an LSCC mouse model involving Trp53 and Keap1, which are frequently mutated in human LSCCs. In this model, ABSCs are the cell of origin of these tumors. KEAP1/NRF2 mutations increase radioresistance and predict local tumor recurrence in radiotherapy patients. Our findings are of potential clinical relevance and could lead to personalized treatment strategies for tumors with KEAP1/NRF2 mutations. Cancer Discov; 7(1); 86-101. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1.

    View details for PubMedID 27663899

  • Circulating tumour DNA profiling reveals heterogeneity of EGFR inhibitor resistance mechanisms in lung cancer patients NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Chabon, J. J., Simmons, A. D., Lovejoy, A. F., Esfahani, M. S., Newman, A. M., Haringsma, H. J., Kurtz, D. M., Stehr, H., Scherer, F., Karlovich, C. A., Harding, T. C., Durkin, K. A., Otterson, G. A., Purcell, W. T., Camidge, D. R., Goldman, J. W., Sequist, L. V., Piotrowska, Z., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2016; 7


    Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis facilitates studies of tumour heterogeneity. Here we employ CAPP-Seq ctDNA analysis to study resistance mechanisms in 43 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with the third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor rociletinib. We observe multiple resistance mechanisms in 46% of patients after treatment with first-line inhibitors, indicating frequent intra-patient heterogeneity. Rociletinib resistance recurrently involves MET, EGFR, PIK3CA, ERRB2, KRAS and RB1. We describe a novel EGFR L798I mutation and find that EGFR C797S, which arises in ∼33% of patients after osimertinib treatment, occurs in <3% after rociletinib. Increased MET copy number is the most frequent rociletinib resistance mechanism in this cohort and patients with multiple pre-existing mechanisms (T790M and MET) experience inferior responses. Similarly, rociletinib-resistant xenografts develop MET amplification that can be overcome with the MET inhibitor crizotinib. These results underscore the importance of tumour heterogeneity in NSCLC and the utility of ctDNA-based resistance mechanism assessment.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms11815

    View details for PubMedID 27283993

  • An ultrasensitive method for quantitating circulating tumor DNA with broad patient coverage NATURE MEDICINE Newman, A. M., Bratman, S. V., To, J., Wynne, J. F., Eclov, N. C., Modlin, L. A., Liu, C. L., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Merritt, R. E., Shrager, J. B., Loo, B. W., Alizadeh, A. A., Diehn, M. 2014; 20 (5): 552-558


    Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising biomarker for noninvasive assessment of cancer burden, but existing ctDNA detection methods have insufficient sensitivity or patient coverage for broad clinical applicability. Here we introduce cancer personalized profiling by deep sequencing (CAPP-Seq), an economical and ultrasensitive method for quantifying ctDNA. We implemented CAPP-Seq for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a design covering multiple classes of somatic alterations that identified mutations in >95% of tumors. We detected ctDNA in 100% of patients with stage II-IV NSCLC and in 50% of patients with stage I, with 96% specificity for mutant allele fractions down to ∼0.02%. Levels of ctDNA were highly correlated with tumor volume and distinguished between residual disease and treatment-related imaging changes, and measurement of ctDNA levels allowed for earlier response assessment than radiographic approaches. Finally, we evaluated biopsy-free tumor screening and genotyping with CAPP-Seq. We envision that CAPP-Seq could be routinely applied clinically to detect and monitor diverse malignancies, thus facilitating personalized cancer therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.3519

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335710700028

  • Distinct Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes defined by noninvasive genomic profiling. Nature Alig, S. K., Esfahani, M. S., Garofalo, A., Li, M. Y., Rossi, C., Flerlage, T., Flerlage, J. E., Adams, R., Binkley, M. S., Shukla, N., Jin, M. C., Olsen, M., Telenius, A., Mutter, J. A., Schroers-Martin, J. G., Sworder, B. J., Rai, S., King, D. A., Schultz, A., Bögeholz, J., Su, S., Kathuria, K. R., Liu, C. L., Kang, X., Strohband, M. J., Langfitt, D., Pobre-Piza, K. F., Surman, S., Tian, F., Spina, V., Tousseyn, T., Buedts, L., Hoppe, R., Natkunam, Y., Fornecker, L. M., Castellino, S. M., Advani, R., Rossi, D., Lynch, R., Ghesquières, H., Casasnovas, O., Kurtz, D. M., Marks, L. J., Link, M. P., André, M., Vandenberghe, P., Steidl, C., Diehn, M., Alizadeh, A. A. 2023


    The scarcity of malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells hamper tissue-based comprehensive genomic profiling of classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Liquid biopsies, in contrast, show promise for molecular profiling of cHL due to relatively high circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) levels1-4. Here, we show that the plasma representation of mutations exceeds the bulk tumor representation in most cases, making cHL particularly amenable to noninvasive profiling. Leveraging single-cell transcriptional profiles of cHL tumors, we demonstrate HRS ctDNA shedding to be shaped by DNASE1L3, whose increased tumor microenvironment-derived expression drives high ctDNA concentrations. Using this insight, we comprehensively profile 366 patients, revealing two distinct cHL genomic subtypes with characteristic clinical and prognostic correlates, as well as distinct transcriptional and immunological profiles. Furthermore, we identify a novel class of truncating IL4R-mutations that are dependent on IL13 signaling and therapeutically targetable with IL4R blocking antibodies. Finally, using PhasED-Seq5 we demonstrate the clinical value of pre- and on-treatment ctDNA levels for longitudinally refining cHL risk prediction, and for detection of radiographically occult minimal residual disease. Collectively, these results support the utility of noninvasive strategies for genotyping and dynamic monitoring of cHL as well as capturing molecularly distinct subtypes with diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic potential.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-023-06903-x

    View details for PubMedID 38081297

  • Patient Selection and Outcomes for Hypofractionated Accelerated Radiation and Concurrent Chemotherapy for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Clinical lung cancer Hui, C., Marquez, C., Lau, B., Das, M., Myall, N. J., Roy, M., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J. W., Kovalchuk, N., Chin, A., Diehn, M., Loo, B. W., Xiang, M., Vitzthum, L. K. 2023


    Adoption of hypofractionated accelerated radiation therapy (HART) with concurrent chemotherapy has been limited by toxicity concerns. We aimed to describe outcomes of patients treated with HART and concurrent chemotherapy and to evaluate dosimetry to organs at risk to guide patient selection.We evaluated a retrospective cohort of NSCLC patients treated with concurrent chemotherapy with HART (>2.2 Gy per fraction) or standard fractionated radiation therapy (SFRT; 2-2.2 Gy fractions). Dosimetric parameters to key organs at risk were compared, and toxicity, patterns of recurrence and survival were calculated for the cohorts.Fifty-three patients treated with HART were compared with 100 patients treated with SFRT. Median dose per fraction for the HART cohort was 2.75 Gy (range 2.4-3 Gy). HART patients had significantly lower doses to the lung, heart, and esophagus due to patient selection. The HART group and had rates of grade 2+ pneumonitis (9.4 vs. 19%, P = .16) and grade 2+ esophagitis (20.8 vs. 45%, P < .01) that compared favorably to SFRT. Cumulative incidence of in-field recurrence trended lower in the HART cohort (7.6% vs. 23.1%, P = .058). Among the HART group, 88.7% (47/53) met the newly proposed lung constraints based on the degree of hypofractionation CONCLUSION: In select patients with favorable dosimetry to organs at risk, definitive HART with concurrent chemotherapy achieved excellent local control with low toxicity. These results are being used to inform a prospective study on the safety and efficacy of HART with concurrent chemotherapy for select NSCLC patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cllc.2023.11.008

    View details for PubMedID 38065707

  • Personalized Accelerated ChEmoRadiation (PACER) for Lung Cancer: Protocol for a Bayesian Optimal Phase I/II Trial. Clinical lung cancer Hui, C., Brown, E., Wong, S., Das, M., Wakelee, H., Neal, J., Ramchandran, K., Myall, N. J., Pham, D., Xing, L., Yang, Y., Kovalchuk, N., Yuan, Y., Lu, Y., Xiang, M., Chin, A., Diehn, M., Loo, B. W., Vitzthum, L. K. 2023


    Prior attempts to escalate radiation dose for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have not improved survival. Given the high risk for cardiopulmonary toxicity with treatment and heterogenous presentation of locally advanced NSCLC, it is unlikely that a single dose regimen is optimal for all patients. This phase I/II trial aims to evaluate a novel treatment approach where the level of accelerated hypofractionation is determined by the predicted toxicity from dose to organs at risk (OARs).Patients ≥ 18 years old with lung cancer planned for fractionated radiotherapy to the lung with concurrent chemotherapy will be eligible. Radiation therapy (RT) will be delivered to a total dose of 60 to 66 Gy in 30, 25, or 20 fractions depending on the ability to meet constraints to key organs at risk including the lungs, heart, and esophagus. The primary endpoint is high grade pulmonary, esophageal, or cardiac toxicity. A Bayesian optimized design is used to determine stopping boundaries and evaluate the primary endpoint.PACER will evaluate the safety and feasibility of personalized accelerated chemoradiotherapy for lung cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cllc.2023.11.004

    View details for PubMedID 38040540

  • Concurrent Radiation and Immunotherapy Augments Local Immunity and Improves Survival in Aneuploid NSCLC. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Spurr, L. F., Martinez, C., Kang, W., Chen, M., Zha, Y., Hseu, R., Gutiontov, S., Turchan, W. T., Lynch, C., Pointer, K. B., Vokes, E. E., Bestvina, C. M., Patel, J. D., Diehn, M., Weichselbaum, R. R., Chmura, S. J., Pitroda, S. P. 2023; 117 (2S): S23


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Over 500 clinical trials combining radiation (RT) and immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) have been initiated based on preclinical evidence that RT can augment local immunity and improve the efficacy of ICB. However, many recent clinical trials have not found a benefit of combining RT and ICB, raising questions about whether a synergy exists. We examined whether RT and ICB interact to beneficially stimulate the immune response in patients and identified biomarkers of response to RT and ICB.MATERIALS/METHODS: We performed a molecular analysis of 1,740 patients from 3 cohorts. The COSINR dataset is a randomized clinical trial of 22 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with concurrent or sequential SBRT and ipilimumab/nivolumab. Paired pre- and on-treatment biopsies of an irradiated metastasis underwent whole exome sequencing and RNA-seq. On-treatment biopsies were obtained after SBRT and prior to ICB (sequential) or after SBRT and one cycle of ICB (concurrent). The UC cohort consisted of targeted DNA sequencing of 58 NSCLC patients treated with ICB alone, sequential RT+ICB, or concurrent RT+ICB. The MSKCC dataset is a pan-cancer cohort of targeted DNA sequencing of 1,660 patients treated with ICB. Aneuploidy score (AS) was defined as the fraction of chromosome arms with arm-level copy number alterations. Survival analyses utilized the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.RESULTS: In the COSINR trial, SBRT+ICB increased, whereas SBRT alone decreased, expression of effector T cell IFN-gamma and adaptive immune signatures (P<0.05). Established biomarkers of ICB response, including IFN-gamma signature, tumor mutational burden (TMB), PD-L1 expression, and neoantigen burden were not associated with survival (P>0.05). However, patients whose tumors exhibited high (≥median) but not low, AS had improved survival when treated with concurrent vs. sequential SBRT+ICB (1-year overall survival [OS] 100% vs. 17%, P = 0.025). Our findings were corroborated in the UC cohort: high AS tumors treated with RT + ICB had superior 1-year OS compared to those treated with ICB alone (59% vs. 31%, P = 0.021). Among those who received RT + ICB, concurrent treatment improved OS relative to sequential (1-year OS 76% vs. 38%). RT did not improve OS in patients with low (

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.06.279

    View details for PubMedID 37784457

  • Prospective Trial of Using Imaging to Predict Pathologic Response and Clinical Outcomes in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Liu, Y., Hobbs, B. P., Hofstetter, W., Murphy, M. B., Gandhi, S., Nguyen, Q. N., Chang, J. Y., Liao, Z., Diehn, M., Ma, J., Lin, S. H. 2023; 117 (2S): S12-S13


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Trimodality therapy with chemoradiation (CRT) followed by esophagectomy is the standard of care for locally advanced esophageal cancer. An unresolved question is whether pathologic complete response (pCR) can be assessed non-invasively for patients post-CRT. In this study, we assessed whether diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) with MRI or PET can be used as predictors of pCR and other clinical outcomes after CRT.MATERIALS/METHODS: Patients were enrolled on a single-arm institutional trial (PA13-0380) assessing the role of imaging in predicting outcomes in potentially resectable esophageal patients undergoing trimodality therapy. All patients received neoadjuvant CRT, and 29 patients had subsequent surgery. DWI MRI and PET scans were obtained at baseline, 2 weeks after the start of CRT (interim) and 4 to 6 weeks after completion of CRT (follow up). Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) were calculated based on DWI images. Circulating tumor DNA was obtained for 27 patients post-radiation using CAPP-Seq. Mann-Whitney tests compared imaging changes associated with pCR. Discrimination of pCR by imaging changes was quantified by received operating characteristics. Youden's index was applied to select optimal thresholds. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to assess differences in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) by changes in DWI, PET, and ctDNA parameters.RESULTS: Our cohort of 60 patients had a median follow up of 42.7 months, age of 65.4 yrs, and ECOG of 1 at completion of CRT. 90% were male, 58% had a history of smoking, and 85% were white. 83% had adenocarcinoma with the rest squamous cell carcinoma. Stages of the patients ranged from IIA to IIIB. All had moderately (47%) or poorly (53%) differentiated disease. All received 41.4-50.4 Gy in 1.8 Gy fractions with the majority receiving 50.4 Gy (95%). 29 patients underwent surgery after CRT of which 8 (27.6%) had pCR. Mean DeltaADC from baseline to mid-treatment was most associated with pCR (AUC = 0.98, p<0.001) for patients undergoing surgery. Max DeltaADC from baseline to first follow-up was most associated with OS (p = 0.002) and PFS (p<0.001) for the whole cohort. 27 patients had ctDNA analyzed after RT with the presence of ctDNA significantly associated with worse OS (HR = 0.12, p = 0.05) and PFS (HR = 0.10, p = 0.002). Combining ctDNA and max DeltaADC generated a model that was more predictive of OS and PFS than either alone. We found that neither the PET parameters of TLG or SUV max at baseline or changes in these parameters from baseline to mid-treatment or first follow-up were as predictive as DWI.CONCLUSION: We show that changes in DWI is associated with pCR, OS, and PFS in resectable esophageal cancer patients undergoing CRT. DWI was more predictive than PET and a model combining DWI and ctDNA was the most predictive of clinical outcomes. This study shows the significant promise of using DWI in potentially guiding treatment decisions in esophageal cancer patients and will require validation in a larger cohort.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.06.227

    View details for PubMedID 37784311

  • Hyperfractionated Reirradiation for Locally Recurrent Thoracic Tumors. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Butler, S. S., Raclin, T., Lau, B., Raja, N., Chin, A. L., Skinner, L., Diehn, M., Loo, B. W., Vitzthum, L. 2023; 117 (2S): e9


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): For patients with locally recurrent thoracic tumors or second primaries within previously irradiated volumes, hyperfractionated reirradiation (re-RT) may mitigate late toxicity compared to conventional fractionation, but clinical outcomes have not been extensively studied. We herein report our institutional experience with thoracic hyperfractionated reirradiation.MATERIALS/METHODS: We identified 26 cases among 23 patients treated with re-RT to either primary or metastatic thoracic tumors, 60 Gy in 50 fractions, twice daily over 5 weeks using highly conformal image guided RT with motion management. Nineteen patients had dosimetry data available. The primary outcome was Grade (G2) or higher toxicity rates per CTCAEv5.0. Secondary endpoints were 12-month local control (LC), progression free survival (PFS)-determined by treating physician and/or multidisciplinary tumor board-and overall survival (OS).RESULTS: Median follow-up was 13 months. Half had non-small cell lung cancer, 95.8% had ultracentral tumors, 57.7% had single prior thoracic RT course; 38.5%, 11.5% and 11.5% received concurrent chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted agents, respectively. Minimum and median intervals between RT courses were 10 and 39.5 months, respectively; 94.7% of re-irradiation plans had overlapping 80% isodose volumes. Median OS and PFS were 13 and 10 months, respectively. Crude 12-month LC was 73.1%. Of those with a recurrence, the first recurrence occurred locally in 6 (54.6%), regionally in 3 (27.3%), and distantly in 8 (72.7%) patients. ≥G2 and ≥G3 toxicity rates were 30.8% and 7.69%, respectively (one G3 atrial fibrillation; one G5 pneumonitis). Using the American Radium Society guidelines for thoracic reirradiation, only 10.5% met all dose volume constraint recommendations.CONCLUSION: Definitive hyperfractionated thoracic re-RT was well tolerated with promising local control. ≥G3 toxicities were rare. Patients should be counseled on the low but potential risk of life-threatening toxicity. Consensus guidelines for dose constraints may be difficult to meet in reirradiation setting; in this cohort, rates of severe toxicity were low despite exceeding putative constraints in most patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.06.666

    View details for PubMedID 37786208

  • Predicting Local Control with Dosimetric Parameters in Patients Receiving Individualized Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for Lung Tumors. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Wu, Y. F., Lau, B., Fu, J., Cui, S., Pham, D., Dubrowski, P., Eswarappa, S., Zgrabik, J., Candow, L., Skinner, L., Shirato, H., Taguchi, H., Gensheimer, M. F., Gee, H. E., Diehn, M., Chin, A. L., Loo, B. W., Vitzthum, L. 2023; 117 (2S): e76


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is an effective treatment option for lung tumors. The individualized lung tumor SABR (iSABR) trial was a phase II single-arm study that personalized lung tumor SABR dose and fractionation based on tumor size, location, and histology with very low rates of local recurrence (LR). A secondary analysis of this trial was conducted to assess for potential dosimetric predictors of LR, in order to help guide future clinical treatment planning.MATERIALS/METHODS: From 2011 to 2018, local, regional and distant recurrence data were prospectively collected from 204 patients (261 lung SABR treatments) enrolled in a prospective trial. Baseline characteristics and treatment details were evaluated. Dosimetric and treatment plan parameters were evaluated for their potential to predict LR, using logistic regression and chi-squared analyses.RESULTS: The majority of treated tumors were peripheral (71%, vs 29% central), primary lesions (76%, versus 24% metastatic), and of adenocarcinoma histology (67%, versus 13% squamous cell carcinoma and 19% other). The median follow-up was 24 months (range 2-95). Twenty-seven (10.3%) LRs occurred, with a median time to LR of 15 months (range 6-81 months). There were no significant associations between the overall cohort and the dosimetric parameters. However, for the multi-fraction cohort, an increased proportion of the PTV receiving 110% and 115% of the prescription dose were associated with lower LR (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01 respectively). Specifically for the 50 Gy in 4 fraction cohort, an increased D1cc, D0.03cc, as well as the proportion of the PTV receiving 110%, 115%, and 120% of the prescription dose were associated with lower LR (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.003, p < 0.001, p = 0.004, respectively). There was no association of LR with prescription dose expressed as biologically effective dose using an alpha/beta of 10 Gy (BED10), D99%, or single- versus multi-fraction regimens.CONCLUSION: SABR for lung tumors using the individualized protocol on this trial showed excellent LR rates. We identified dosimetric parameters that were associated with LR, including V110% and V115% within the multi-fraction cohort, as well as the 50 Gy in 4 fraction cohort the D1cc, D0.03cc, and proportions of the PTV receiving 110%, 115%, and 120% of the prescription dose in the 50 Gy in 4 fraction cohort. Optimal thresholds for these parameters will be identified in further analyses. There did not appear to be an association with LR and BED10, D99%, or comparing single- vs multi-fraction regimens.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.06.814

    View details for PubMedID 37786175

  • Investigating Dosimetry and Imaging Biomarkers for Prediction of Major Adverse Cardiac Events Following Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Radiotherapy. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics No, H. J., Park, N. J., Guo, F. B., Kastelowitz, N., Snyder, J. M., Rhee, J. W., Clark, D. E., Chin, A. L., Vitzthum, L., Horst, K. C., Moding, E. J., Loo, B. W., Diehn, M., Binkley, M. S. 2023; 117 (2S): S170


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE(S): Thoracic radiotherapy (RT) may confer major adverse cardiac events (MACE) following treatment. Mean heart dose positively associates with MACE and recent studies show cardiac substructure dosimetry improves MACE prediction. Use of imaging biomarkers with cardiac substructure dose has not been studied for prediction of MACE. We sought to develop an integrated model for cardiac substructure dose and baseline coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring and establish its relationship to MACE.MATERIALS/METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis was performed of consecutive patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with definitive RT from 2006-2018 at a single institution. Demographics, medical history, cardiac events, and treatments received were recorded. Cardiac substructures were contoured, including the left descending artery (LAD), left main coronary artery (LMCA), left circumflex (LCX), right coronary artery (RCA), TotalLeft (LAD+LMCA+LCX), and TotalCor (TotalLeft+RCA). Doses were measured in 2 Gy equivalent dose. CAC was scored by visual assessment and compared to established automated Agatston scoring. Primary endpoint was MACE incidence. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves assessed dose and CAC metric model performance. Threshold modeling was conducted using the log rank statistic with 95% confidence intervals measured using bootstrap resampling with 1000 iterations. Competing risk models adjusted for death were used to measure cumulative incidence of MACE as well as in univariable and multivariable risk regression modeling. Pearson correlations were used to validate CAC scoring. P-values were two tailed and considered significant at P≤0.05.RESULTS: Of 233 eligible patients, 61.4% were male with a 68.1 years (range 34.9-90.7) median age. Median follow-up was 73.7 months (range 1.6-153.9). Median overall survival was 34.8 months. Following RT, 22.3% experienced at least one cardiac event at a median time of 21.5 months (range 1.7-118.9). Visual CAC scoring showed significant correlation with automated Agatston scoring (r = 0.72, P=1e-5). While left sided coronary arteries (TotalLeft), mean heart dose (MHD) and CAC scores individually predicted for MACE (AUC = 0.56-0.59), a multivariable model of TotalLeft CAC had the highest ROC analysis performance (AUC = 0.69). On univariable and multivariable competing risk regression analyses, TotalLeft V15 Gy >2.53 cc and CAC score >5 independently associated with MACE (P<0.05). A model incorporating age, TotalLeft CAC>5 and V15>2.53cc, showed incrementally higher MACE incidences for low (9.3%), intermediate (18.4%), and high-risk groups (27.7%) (P<0.01).CONCLUSION: RT-induced MACE occurs in >20% of those undergoing thoracic RT in a median time of <2 years. We validate significant associations between TotalLeft RT dose and MACE and establish CAC as a predictive risk factor. These findings may serve to inform personalized RT and future cardiac risk in locally advanced NSCLC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2023.06.273

    View details for PubMedID 37784425

  • Improved early outcome prediction by MRI-based 3D tumor volume assessment in patients with CNS lymphomas. Neuro-oncology Lauer, E. M., Riegler, E., Mutter, J. A., Alig, S. K., Bleul, S., Kuehn, J., Ranganathan, L., Klingler, C., Demerath, T., Wurtemberger, U., Rau, A., WeiSS, J., Eisenblaetter, M., Bamberg, F., Prinz, M., Finke, J., Duyster, J., Illerhaus, G., Diehn, M., Alizadeh, A. A., Schorb, E., Reinacher, P. C., Scherer, F. 2023


    BACKGROUND: Central nervous system lymphomas (CNSL) display remarkable clinical heterogeneity, yet accurate prediction of outcomes remains challenging. The IPCG criteria are widely used in routine practice for the assessment of treatment response. However, the value of the IPCG criteria for ultimate outcome prediction is largely unclear, mainly due to the uncertainty in delineating complete from partial responses during and after treatment.METHODS: We explored various MRI features including semi-automated 3D tumor volume measurements at different disease milestones and their association with survival in 93 CNSL patients undergoing curative-intent treatment.RESULTS: At diagnosis, patients with more than three lymphoma lesions, periventricular involvement, and high 3D tumor volumes showed significantly unfavorable PFS and OS. At first interim MRI during treatment, the IPCG criteria failed to discriminate outcomes in responding patients. Therefore, we randomized these patients into training and validation cohorts to investigate whether 3D tumor volumetry could improve outcome prediction. We identified a 3D tumor volume reduction of ≥97% as the optimal threshold for risk stratification (=3D early response, 3D_ER). Applied to the validation cohort, patients achieving 3D_ER had significantly superior outcomes. In multivariate analyses, 3D_ER was independently prognostic of PFS and OS. Finally, we leveraged prognostic information from 3D MRI features and circulating biomarkers to build a composite metric that further improved outcome prediction in CNSL.CONCLUSIONS: We developed semi-automated 3D tumor volume measurements as strong and independent early predictors of clinical outcomes in CNSL patients. These radiologic features could help improve risk stratification and help guide future treatment approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/noad177

    View details for PubMedID 37713267

  • Individualized Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy for Lung Tumors: The iSABR Phase 2 Nonrandomized Controlled Trial. JAMA oncology Gensheimer, M. F., Gee, H., Shirato, H., Taguchi, H., Snyder, J. M., Chin, A. L., Vitzthum, L. K., Maxim, P. G., Wakelee, H. A., Neal, J., Das, M., Chang, D. T., Kidd, E., Hancock, S. L., Shultz, D. B., Horst, K. C., Le, Q. T., Wong, S., Brown, E., Nguyen, N., Liang, R., Loo, B. W., Diehn, M. 2023


    Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is used for treating lung tumors but can cause toxic effects, including life-threatening damage to central structures. Retrospective data suggested that small tumors up to 10 cm3 in volume can be well controlled with a biologically effective dose less than 100 Gy.To assess whether individualizing lung SABR dose and fractionation by tumor size, location, and histological characteristics may be associated with local tumor control.This nonrandomized controlled trial (the iSABR trial, so named for individualized SABR) was a phase 2 multicenter trial enrolling participants from November 15, 2011, to December 5, 2018, at academic medical centers in the US and Japan. Data were analyzed from December 9, 2020, to May 10, 2023. Patients were enrolled in 3 groups according to cancer type: initial diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with an American Joint Committee on Cancer 7th edition T1-3N0M0 tumor (group 1), a T1-3N0M0 new primary NSCLC with a history of prior NSCLC or multiple NSCLCs (group 2), or lung metastases from NSCLC or another solid tumor (group 3).Up to 4 tumors were treated with once-daily SABR. The dose ranged from 25 Gy in 1 fraction for peripheral tumors with a volume of 0 to 10 cm3 to 60 Gy in 8 fractions for central tumors with a volume greater than 30 cm3.Per-group freedom from local recurrence (same-lobe recurrence) at 1 year, with censoring at time of distant recurrence, death, or loss to follow-up.In total, 217 unique patients (median [IQR] age, 72 [64-80] years; 129 [59%] male; 150 [69%] current or former smokers) were enrolled (some multiple times). There were 240 treatment courses: 79 in group 1, 82 in group 2, and 79 in group 3. A total of 285 tumors (211 [74%] peripheral and 74 [26%] central) were treated. The most common dose was 25 Gy in 1 fraction (158 tumors). The median (range) follow-up period was 33 (2-109) months, and the median overall survival was 59 (95% CI, 49-82) months. Freedom from local recurrence at 1 year was 97% (90% CI, 91%-99%) for group 1, 94% (90% CI, 87%-97%) for group 2, and 96% (90% CI, 89%-98%) for group 3. Freedom from local recurrence at 5 years ranged from 83% to 93% in the 3 groups. The proportion of patients with grade 3 to 5 toxic effects was low, at 5% (including a single patient [1%] with grade 5 toxic effects).The results of this nonrandomized controlled trial suggest that individualized SABR (iSABR) used to treat lung tumors may allow minimization of treatment dose and is associated with excellent local control. Individualized dosing should be considered for use in future Identifier: NCT01463423.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaoncol.2023.3495

    View details for PubMedID 37707820

  • Early-Stage Lung Cancer: Using Circulating Tumor DNA to Get Personal. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Bestvina, C. M., Garassino, M. C., Neal, J. W., Wakelee, H. A., Diehn, M., Vokes, E. E. 2023: JCO2300258

    View details for DOI 10.1200/JCO.23.00258

    View details for PubMedID 37352477