University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Molecular Therapeutics

Clinical StudiesPhysician scientists within the BOCP head a number of clinical studies examining molecular therapeutics for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers. These investigator-initiated, industry-sponsored, and national cooperative group trials aim to advance standards of care and improve outcomes for breast and ovarian cancer patients.

Selected Publications

  • A phase 1 study on the safety and efficacy of neratinib in combination with weekly paclitaxel and trastuzumab in women with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer revealed a clinical benefit rate of 52%, suggesting impressive activity even following prior exposure to trastuzumab. These results are consistent with other studies suggesting the benefit of co-targeting multiple ErbB receptors. (Jankowitz et al., Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 72(6):1205-12, 2013).
  • Patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) typically have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. An exploratory subgroup analysis of the randomized phase 3 RIBBON-2 trial, which enrolled patients with metastatic breast cancer that had progressed on first-line non-bevacizumab-containing chemotherapy, demonstrated significant progression-free survival and response benefits for patients with metastatic TNBC from the combination of bevacizumab with second-line chemotherapy. (Brufsky et al., Breast Cancer Res Treat. 133(3):1067-75, 2012).
  • Despite three large clinical trials showing a clinical benefit of intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer, uptake of this form of therapy has been limited. A dose modulation study in patients receiving IP chemotherapy showed that 83% of patients completed 6 cycles of chemotherapy compared to 42% in GOG172 (Lesnock et al., Gynecol Oncol. 116(3):345-50, 2010). Subsequently, it was demonstrated that IP chemotherapy is feasible in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer (Skaznik-Wikiel et al., Int J Gynecol Cancer. 22(2):232-7, 2012).

Members

Brufsky, Adam, MD, PhD
Medicine
Lembersky, Barry, MD
Medicine
Costantino, Joseph, DrPH
Biostatistics
McGuire, Kandace, MD
Surgery
Davidson, Nancy E., MD
Medicine
Puhalla, Shannon, MD
Medicine
Edwards, Robert, MD
Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences
Rastogi, Priya, MD
Medicine
Jankowitz, Rachel, MD
Medicine
Yothers, Gregory, PhD
Biostatistics
Kelley, Joseph, MD
Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences