All Publications

  • Impact of Insurance on Stage of Breast Cancer Presentation for Different Races and Ethnicities. JCO oncology practice Balazy, K. E., Benitez, C. M., Gutkin, P. M., Karl, J. J., Jacobson, C. E., von Eyben, R., Horst, K. C. 2021; 17 (5): e603–e613


    PURPOSE: Survival in breast cancer is largely stage-dependent. Lack of insurance and Medicaid have been associated with later-stage breast cancer, but it is unknown to what degree this association varies by race or ethnicity.METHODS: We conducted a retrospective single-institution cohort analysis of women undergoing breast radiotherapy from 2012 to 2017 (n = 1,019). Patients were categorized as having private insurance (n = 540), Medicare (n = 332), Medicaid (n = 122), or self-pay (n = 25). Ordinal logistic regression analysis identified variables associated with later-stage presentation, including age, race or ethnicity, insurance, the interaction between insurance and race or ethnicity, body mass index, education, and language.RESULTS: The association between insurance and breast cancer stage varied on the basis of a patient's race or ethnicity (P = .0114). White and Asian patients with Medicaid had significantly higher odds of later-stage breast cancer than those with private insurance (White odds ratio [OR], 2.10; 95% CI, 1.02 to 4.34; Asian OR, 3.22; 95% CI, 1.56 to 6.67). However, the inverse was true for Hispanic patients who had lower odds of later-stage disease with Medicaid than private insurance (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.16 to 0.90). Hispanic patients with Medicaid had lower odds than either White or Asian patients with Medicaid. These findings persisted across all ages.CONCLUSION: The association between insurance and later-stage presentation is significantly influenced by race or ethnicity. Medicaid was generally associated with later-stage breast cancer diagnosis, but this was not true across all races and ethnicities. Although White and Asian patients with Medicaid presented with later stage, Hispanic patients fared better with Medicaid than private insurance. Future work should investigate how Medicaid is successfully targeting Hispanic patients in breast cancer care.

    View details for DOI 10.1200/OP.20.00950

    View details for PubMedID 33974824

  • Use of Audiovisual Assisted Therapeutic Ambience in Radiotherapy (AVATAR) for Anesthesia Avoidance in a Pediatric Patient With Down Syndrome. Advances in radiation oncology Gutkin, P. M., Donaldson, S. S., Skinner, L., Callejas, M., Cimino, J., Lore, J., Bush, K., Hiniker, S. M. 2021; 6 (2): 100637

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.adro.2020.100637

    View details for PubMedID 33732961

  • Patterns of Failure in Women Who Have Residual Nodal Disease After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer According to Extent of Lymph Node Surgery. Clinical breast cancer Kozak, M. M., Horst, K. C., Gutkin, P. M., Jacobson, C. E., Walck, E., von Eyben, R., Dirbas, F. M. 2020


    BACKGROUND: Optimal surgical management of limited axillary nodal disease following neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for breast cancer is evolving. Concerns exist with respect to leaving residual disease in the axilla when omitting axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in this setting. We sought to determine whether extent of nodal surgery altered patterns of failure and patient outcomes.PATIENTS AND METHODS: We identified 70 patients with breast cancer who were confirmed cN0 after NAC yet had residual nodal disease (ypN1) on sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). Twenty-eight patients underwent SLNB alone and 42 underwent SLNB+completion (c)ALND in a non-randomized fashion. Most (n= 65) patients underwent adjuvant regional nodal irradiation (RNI). Detailed patterns of failure data were obtained for each patient.RESULTS: The median follow-up was 43.5 months. There were 30 (43%) recurrences. Of these, 5 were isolated locoregional failures, and 24 were distant failures. There were no significant differences in local (P= .13), regional (P= .62), or distant (P= .47) failure between patients who underwent SLNB alone versus SLNB+cALND. Seventeen (24%) patients died. Overall survival was similar in both groups with median overall survival not reached for those who underwent SLNB and 109 months for those who underwent SLNB+cALND (P= .45).CONCLUSIONS: There were no differences in patterns of recurrence among patients with 1 to 3 involved lymph nodes after NAC who underwent SLNB alone versus SLNB+cALND in the setting of RNI. We await the results of ongoing, prospective clinical trials to confirm the relative merits of RNI in lieu of cALND in these patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clbc.2020.04.008

    View details for PubMedID 32522481

  • Durability of response in metastatic melanoma patients after combined treatment with radiation therapy and ipilimumab. Melanoma management Sodji, Q. H., Gutkin, P. M., Swetter, S. M., Reddy, S. A., Hiniker, S. M., Knox, S. J. 2020; 7 (1): MMT36


    Aim: We previously reported a prospective trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of combining ipilimumab and radiation therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma. Herein, we provide a long-term update on patients with complete response (CR) or partial response (PR).Patients & methods: We continued to follow these patients with serial imaging including computed tomography, PET or MRI.Results: Two of the three patients with CR are still alive and without evidence of melanoma but with chronic treatment-induced hypophysitis. The third patient died of hepatocellular carcinoma, but with no evidence of melanoma. Among the three patients with PR, two achieved CR after pembrolizumab monotherapy.Conclusion: This long-term follow up reveals the striking durability of the CRs, which appears to correlate with a grade 2-3 hypophysitis.

    View details for DOI 10.2217/mmt-2019-0020

    View details for PubMedID 32399174

  • Health mindset is associated with anxiety and depression in patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The breast journal Gutkin, P. M., Fero, K. E., Jacobson, C. E., Chen, J. J., Liang, R. V., Kolar, C., von Eyben, R., Horst, K. C. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1111/tbj.13765

    View details for PubMedID 31999018

  • Impact of Audio-Visual Assisted Therapeutic Ambience in Radiotherapy (AVATAR) on Anesthesia Use, Payer Charges, and Treatment Time in Pediatric Patients. Practical radiation oncology Balazy, K. E., Gutkin, P. M., Skinner, L., von Eyben, R., Fowler, T., Pinkham, D. W., Rodriguez, S., Maxim, P. G., Donaldson, S. S., Loo, B. W., Bush, K., Hiniker, S. M. 2020


    PURPOSE: Pediatric radiotherapy requires optimal immobilization that often necessitates daily anesthesia. To decrease anesthesia use, we implemented a novel XXX system which projects video onto a radiolucent screen within the child's line of vision to provide attentional diversion. We investigated its reduction on anesthesia use, payer charges, and treatment time, as well as its impact on radiation delivery.METHODS AND MATERIALS: A 6-year retrospective analysis was performed among children undergoing radiotherapy (n=224), 3 years before and 3 after introduction of XXX. The frequency of anesthesia use before and after XXX implementation, as well as radiotherapy treatment times were compared. The number of spared anesthesia treatments allowed for a charge to payer analysis. To document lack of surface dose perturbation by XXX, a phantom craniospinal treatment course was delivered both with and without XXX. Additionally, an ion chamber course was delivered to document changes to dose at depth.RESULTS: More children were able to avoid anesthesia use entirely in the post-XXX cohort, compared to the pre-XXX cohort (73.2% vs 63.4%, p=0.03) and fewer required anesthesia for each treatment (18.8% vs 33%; p = 0.03). XXX introduction reduced anesthesia use for all ages studied. Treatment time per session was reduced by 38% using XXX compared to anesthesia. There were 326 fewer anesthesia sessions delivered over three years after XXX was introduced, with an estimated savings of > $500,000. OSLDs revealed a small increase in dose of 0.8%-9.5% with XXX, while the use of a thermomolded face mask increased skin dose as much as 58%.CONCLUSIONS: XXX introduction decreased anesthesia use in children undergoing radiotherapy; more avoided anesthesia entirely, and fewer needed it for every treatment. This resulted in a reduction in treatment time, and savings of nearly $550,000 in approximately 3 years, with minimal perturbation of radiotherapy dose delivery.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.prro.2019.12.009

    View details for PubMedID 31935524

  • Erythema of the skin after breast radiotherapy: It is not always recurrence. International wound journal Gutkin, P. M., Fernandez-Pol, S. n., Horst, K. C. 2020


    Recurrence of breast cancer is a predominant fear for patients who were treated for breast cancer. Acute and late dermatologic effects of radiotherapy are not uncommon and could have similar characteristics to breast cancer recurrence. Thus, it is important to highlight key differences between the clinical and histologic presentations of radiation effects and recurrence. Herein, we present two patients who presented with late dermatologic effects of radiotherapy months to years after treatment, neither of whom had workup consistent with cancer recurrence. We provide clinical and microscopic descriptions of each case and provide a review to differentiate various dermatologic conditions. This report aims to outline potential late dermatologic effects of radiation treatment and emphasise that changes in the breast do not always signal breast cancer recurrence.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/iwj.13350

    View details for PubMedID 32227450

  • Successful Full-term Pregnancies After High-dose Pelvic Radiotherapy for Ewing Sarcoma: A Case Report. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology Gutkin, P. M., Chen, E. L., Miller, C. J., Donaldson, S. S., Kovalchuk, N., Callejas, M. J., Hiniker, S. M. 2019


    Survivors of childhood cancer are at risk of long-term sequelae that arise as a consequence of cancer treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy treatment in pediatric female patients can have detrimental impacts on fertility, particularly in those with pelvic tumor involvement. We report 2 successful natural full-term pregnancies with vaginal delivery in a woman 12 years after biopsy, irradiation (55.5Gy), and multi-agent chemotherapy for treatment of pelvic Ewing sarcoma. Both children were born healthy, with no complications in pregnancy or delivery. Fertility preservation and risk assessment following chemotherapy/radiation therapy is evolving, providing new data to effectively counsel and treat young women.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001581

    View details for PubMedID 31415018

  • Treatment and outcomes in classic Hodgkin lymphoma post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in children PEDIATRIC BLOOD & CANCER Twist, C. J., Hiniker, S. M., Gratzinger, D., Gutkin, P. M., Merriott, D. J., Iagaru, A., Link, M. P., Donaldson, S. S. 2019; 66 (8)

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.27803

    View details for Web of Science ID 000472549200013

  • Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy and 3-Dimensional Printed Bolus in the Treatment of Refractory Primary Cutaneous Gamma Delta Lymphoma of the Bilateral Legs PRACTICAL RADIATION ONCOLOGY Obeid, J., Gutkin, P. M., Lewis, J., Skinner, L., Wang, E. B., Khodadoust, M. S., Kim, Y. H., Weng, W., Hoppe, R. T., Hiniker, S. M. 2019; 9 (4): 220–25
  • Association between primary language, a lack of mammographic screening, and later stage breast cancer presentation CANCER Balazy, K. E., Benitez, C. M., Gutkin, P. M., Jacobson, C. E., von Eyben, R., Horst, K. C. 2019; 125 (12): 2057–65

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.32027

    View details for Web of Science ID 000470925600016

  • FLT-PET-CT for the Detection of Disease Recurrence After Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy or Hyperfractionation for Thoracic Malignancy: A Prospective Pilot Study FRONTIERS IN ONCOLOGY Hiniker, S. M., Sodji, Q., Quon, A., Gutkin, P. M., Arksey, N., Graves, E. E., Chin, F. T., Maxim, P. G., Diehn, M., Loo, B. W. 2019; 9
  • Central Nervous System Relapse After Stem Cell Transplantation in Adolescents and Young Adults with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Single-Institution Experience. Journal of adolescent and young adult oncology Kozak, M. M., Yoo, C. H., Gutkin, P. M., von Eyben, R. n., Agarwal, R. n., Donaldson, S. S., Muffly, L. n., Hiniker, S. M. 2019


    Purpose: To evaluate outcomes and central nervous system (CNS) relapse in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), who underwent total body irradiation (TBI) before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Methods: A total of 136 AYA patients with ALL who received TBI before allo-SCT between 1998 and 2018 were reviewed. Twenty patients received cranial radiation in their initial treatment before conditioning for transplant and were excluded. Competing risk analysis was used to estimate the cumulative incidence of relapse. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were used to calculate overall survival (OS) and to identify factors predictive of relapse. OS and time to relapse were calculated from date of allo-SCT. Results: One hundred sixteen patients were included in the analysis. Median age was 27 years and median follow-up time was 42 months. Twenty-six patients suffered a disease relapse and 49 died, 26 of posttransplantation complications. The median time to relapse was 7 months and the 5-year OS was 60%. Seven patients had a CNS relapse: 4 of 20 patients (25%) with pre-SCT CNS disease had a post-allo-SCT CNS relapse compared to 3 of 97 (3.1%) without pre-SCT CNS disease. Median time to CNS relapse was 7 months. Patients with post-SCT CNS relapse had median OS of 19 months. Conclusions: AYA patients with CNS disease who undergo an allo-SCT have a high rate of CNS relapse. The addition of additional CNS-directed therapy to transplant protocols warrants further investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/jayao.2019.0121

    View details for PubMedID 31747341

  • Systemic Inflammation after Radiation Predicts Locoregional Recurrence, Progression, and Mortality in Stage II-III Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Sherry, A. D., von Eyben, R. n., Newman, N. B., Gutkin, P. n., Mayer, I. n., Horst, K. n., Chakravarthy, A. B., Rafat, M. n. 2019


    Patients with triple-negative breast cancer experience high rates of recurrence following radiation, which may be facilitated by the recruitment of circulating tumor cells to pro-inflammatory microenvironments in the absence of lymphocytes. We hypothesized that patients with lymphopenia and elevated inflammatory hematologic markers after radiotherapy would have an increased risk of locoregional failure.With approval, we retrospectively studied a cohort of women treated with adjuvant radiotherapy for stage II-III triple-negative breast cancer. We analyzed the relationship between post-radiotherapy neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and locoregional recurrence by Cox regression.130 patients met inclusion criteria, and median follow up time was 7.6 years. Patients with an NLR ≥ 3 had a higher rate of locoregional failure (p=0.04) and lower overall survival (p=0.04). After adjusting for stage (HR = 5.5, p < 0.0001) and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (HR = 2.5, p = 0.0162), NLR was highly predictive of locoregional failure, (HR = 1.4, p = 0.0009). NLR was also highly predictive of overall survival (HR = 1.3, p = 0.0007) after adjustment for stage and neoadjuvant chemotherapy.Innate peripheral inflammation following radiotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer in an immunocompromised setting may be a novel prognostic biomarker for locoregional recurrence, progression, and survival. This finding supports preclinical studies of post-radiotherapy inflammation-mediated tumor progression. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding and develop treatment strategies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.11.398

    View details for PubMedID 31809877

  • Outcomes for pediatric patients with osteosarcoma treated with palliative radiotherapy. Pediatric blood & cancer Chen, E. L., Yoo, C. H., Gutkin, P. M., Merriott, D. J., Avedian, R. S., Steffner, R. J., Spunt, S. L., Pribnow, A. K., Million, L. n., Donaldson, S. S., Hiniker, S. M. 2019: e27967


    Few studies have addressed the efficacy of palliative radiotherapy (RT) for pediatric osteosarcoma (OS), a disease generally considered to be radioresistant. We describe symptom relief, local control, and toxicity associated with palliative RT among children with OS.Patients diagnosed with OS at age 18 and under and treated with RT for palliation of symptomatic metastases or local recurrence at the primary site from 1997 to 2017 were included. We retrospectively reviewed details of RT, symptom improvement, local control, survival, and toxicity.Thirty-two courses of palliative RT were given to 20 patients with symptomatic metastatic and/or locally recurrent primary disease. The median equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions (EQD2) was 40.0 Gy (range, 20.0-60.4). The median number of fractions per course was 15 (range, 5-39). Symptom improvement occurred in 24 (75%) courses of RT at a median time of 15.5 days (range, 3-43). In nine courses (37.5%), symptoms recurred after a median duration of symptom relief of 140 days (range, 1-882). Higher EQD2 correlated with longer duration of response (r = 0.39, P = 0.0003). Imaging revealed local failure in 3 of 14 courses followed with surveillance imaging studies (21.4%). The median time to progression was 12.9 months (range, 4.4-21.8). The median follow-up time following the first course of palliative RT was 17.5 months (range, 1.74-102.24), and median time to overall survival was 19.4 months. Toxicity was mild, with grade 2 toxicity occurring in one course (3.1%).RT is an effective method of symptom palliation for patients with recurrent or metastatic OS, with higher delivered dose correlating with longer symptom relief and with little associated toxicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pbc.27967

    View details for PubMedID 31407520

  • Complete Response of Metastatic Melanoma to Local Radiation and Immunotherapy: 6.5 Year Follow-Up. Cureus Gutkin, P. M., Hiniker, S. M., Swetter, S. M., Reddy, S. A., Knox, S. J. 2018; 10 (12): e3723


    The combined use of immunotherapy and radiation therapy is emerging as a potentially effective treatment for patients with immunogenic tumors such as melanoma; however, evidence for long-term treatment outcomes is lacking. Herein, we summarize our previously described case study of a patient with metastatic melanoma treated with two cycles of ipilimumab, followed by stereotactic body radiotherapy to two of seven liver metastases, with two additional cycles of ipilimumab. In the longest follow-up to date, we report a successful treatment outcome at 6.5 years. Our patient remains in complete remission, with no evidence of disease or recurrence 6.5 years after treatment. He continues to manage chronic hypophysitis developed secondary to immunotherapy and has developed osteopenia from prolonged systemic glucocorticoid use. The use of radiotherapy in combination with targeted immune therapy appears to be an effective treatment strategy, with long-lasting efficacy.

    View details for PubMedID 30788205

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