43 research outputs found

    Brentuximab vedotin in relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma: the Italian experience and results of its use in daily clinical practice outside clinical trials

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    Clinical trial results indicate that brentuximab vedotin brings considerable promise for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma. A retrospective multicenter study was conducted on 65 heavily pretreated patients who underwent therapy through a Named Patient Program in Italy (non trial-setting). The primary study endpoint was the objective response rate; secondary endpoints were safety, overall survival and progression-free survival. The best overall response rate (70.7%), including 21.5% complete responses, was observed at the first restaging after the third cycle of treatment. After a median follow up of 13.2 months, the overall survival rate at 20 months was 73.8% while the progression-free survival rate at 20 months was 24.2%. Globally nine patients are in continuous complete response with a median follow up of 14 months (range, 10-19 months). Four patients proceeded to autotransplantation and nine to allotransplantation. The most frequent extra-hematologic toxicity was peripheral neuropathy, observed in 21.5% of cases (9 patients with grade 1/2 and 5 patients with grade 3/4); neurological toxicity led to discontinuation of treatment in three patients and to dose reduction in four. In general the treatment was well tolerated and toxicities, both hematologic and extra-hematologic, were manageable. This report indicates and confirms that brentuximab vedotin as a single agent is effective and safe also when used in standard, everyday clinical practice outside a clinical trial. Best overall responses were recorded after three or four cycles and showed that brentuximab vedotin provides an effective bridge to further therapeutic interventions

    Localization of anatomical changes in patients during proton therapy with in-beam PET monitoring: a voxel-based morphometry approach exploiting Monte Carlo simulations

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    Purpose: In-beam positron emission tomography (PET) is one of the modalities that can be used for in vivo noninvasive treatment monitoring in proton therapy. Although PET monitoring has been frequently applied for this purpose, there is still no straightforward method to translate the information obtained from the PET images into easy-to-interpret information for clinical personnel. The purpose of this work is to propose a statistical method for analyzing in-beam PET monitoring images that can be used to locate, quantify, and visualize regions with possible morphological changes occurring over the course of treatment. Methods: We selected a patient treated for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) with proton therapy, to perform multiple Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of the expected PET signal at the start of treatment, and to study how the PET signal may change along the treatment course due to morphological changes. We performed voxel-wise two-tailed statistical tests of the simulated PET images, resembling the voxel-based morphometry (VBM) method commonly used in neuroimaging data analysis, to locate regions with significant morphological changes and to quantify the change. Results: The VBM resembling method has been successfully applied to the simulated in-beam PET images, despite the fact that such images suffer from image artifacts and limited statistics. Three dimensional probability maps were obtained, that allowed to identify interfractional morphological changes and to visualize them superimposed on the computed tomography (CT) scan. In particular, the characteristic color patterns resulting from the two-tailed statistical tests lend themselves to trigger alarms in case of morphological changes along the course of treatment. Conclusions: The statistical method presented in this work is a promising method to apply to PET monitoring data to reveal interfractional morphological changes in patients, occurring over the course of treatment. Based on simulated in-beam PET treatment monitoring images, we showed that with our method it was possible to correctly identify the regions that changed. Moreover we could quantify the changes, and visualize them superimposed on the CT scan. The proposed method can possibly help clinical personnel in the replanning procedure in adaptive proton therapy treatments

    In-vivo range verification analysis with in-beam PET data for patients treated with proton therapy at CNAO

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    Morphological changes that may arise through a treatment course are probably one of the most significant sources of range uncertainty in proton therapy. Non-invasive in-vivo treatment monitoring is useful to increase treatment quality. The INSIDE in-beam Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner performs in-vivo range monitoring in proton and carbon therapy treatments at the National Center of Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO). It is currently in a clinical trial (ID: NCT03662373) and has acquired in-beam PET data during the treatment of various patients. In this work we analyze the in-beam PET (IB-PET) data of eight patients treated with proton therapy at CNAO. The goal of the analysis is twofold. First, we assess the level of experimental fluctuations in inter-fractional range differences (sensitivity) of the INSIDE PET system by studying patients without morphological changes. Second, we use the obtained results to see whether we can observe anomalously large range variations in patients where morphological changes have occurred. The sensitivity of the INSIDE IB-PET scanner was quantified as the standard deviation of the range difference distributions observed for six patients that did not show morphological changes. Inter-fractional range variations with respect to a reference distribution were estimated using the Most-Likely-Shift (MLS) method. To establish the efficacy of this method, we made a comparison with the Beam's Eye View (BEV) method. For patients showing no morphological changes in the control CT the average range variation standard deviation was found to be 2.5 mm with the MLS method and 2.3 mm with the BEV method. On the other hand, for patients where some small anatomical changes occurred, we found larger standard deviation values. In these patients we evaluated where anomalous range differences were found and compared them with the CT. We found that the identified regions were mostly in agreement with the morphological changes seen in the CT scan

    Monitoring Carbon Ion Beams Transverse Position Detecting Charged Secondary Fragments: Results From Patient Treatment Performed at CNAO

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    Particle therapy in which deep seated tumours are treated using 12C ions (Carbon Ions RadioTherapy or CIRT) exploits the high conformity in the dose release, the high relative biological effectiveness and low oxygen enhancement ratio of such projectiles. The advantages of CIRT are driving a rapid increase in the number of centres that are trying to implement such technique. To fully profit from the ballistic precision achievable in delivering the dose to the target volume an online range verification system would be needed, but currently missing. The 12C ions beams range could only be monitored by looking at the secondary radiation emitted by the primary beam interaction with the patient tissues and no technical solution capable of the needed precision has been adopted in the clinical centres yet. The detection of charged secondary fragments, mainly protons, emitted by the patient is a promising approach, and is currently being explored in clinical trials at CNAO. Charged particles are easy to detect and can be back-tracked to the emission point with high efficiency in an almost background-free environment. These fragments are the product of projectiles fragmentation, and are hence mainly produced along the beam path inside the patient. This experimental signature can be used to monitor the beam position in the plane orthogonal to its flight direction, providing an online feedback to the beam transverse position monitor chambers used in the clinical centres. This information could be used to cross-check, validate and calibrate, whenever needed, the information provided by the ion chambers already implemented in most clinical centres as beam control detectors. In this paper we study the feasibility of such strategy in the clinical routine, analysing the data collected during the clinical trial performed at the CNAO facility on patients treated using 12C ions and monitored using the Dose Profiler (DP) detector developed within the INSIDE project. On the basis of the data collected monitoring three patients, the technique potential and limitations will be discussed
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