Lenox Hill Hospital Enrolls First Patient in Clinical Trial of Experimental Treatment for Brain Metastases from Breast Cancer

Susie Perez, 41, is first patient enrolled in clinical trial of experimental treatment for brain metastases from breast cancer.

      NEW YORK, NY – Susie Perez, 41, from Brooklyn, NY, was the world’s first patient to receive a new experimental treatment for brain metastases from a particular type of breast cancer.  Ms. Perez had her treatment at Lenox Hill Hospital (LHH), part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.


John A. Boockvar, MD, director of LHH’s Brain Tumor Center, is spearheading the study using intra-arterial drug delivery of the drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin) to treat brain metastases from HER2/Neu positive breast cancer.


            The procedure on Ms. Perez was performed this past Monday as part of a Phase I trial entitled “Super-Selective Intra-arterial Cerebral Infusion of Trastuzumab After Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption for the Treatment of Cerebral Metastases of HER2/Neu Positive Breast Cancer.”


            First diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, Ms. Perez was also diagnosed with bilateral cerebellar lesions and had two rounds of radiation therapy for these metastases. Due to the location of the lesions, she was not a candidate to receive resection surgery.


            Upon reviewing Ms. Perez’s case, Dr. Boockvar and his colleagues determined that she would be a good candidate to be enrolled in the Phase I clinical trial to receive the experimental treatment of having a single dose of intra-arterial Trastuzumab after blood brain barrier disruption which allows drugs to pass into the brain.


“The purpose of the study is to determine if administering a single, 1mg/kg dose of Trastuzumab, given through the arteries instead of the veins, is safe in patients who have cerebral metastases of HER2/Neu positive breast cancer,” said Dr. Boockvar, principal investigator. “By administering Trastuzumab using intra-arterial drug delivery, it is our hope to slow down or stop the growth of metastases and increase the responsiveness to therapy.  Additionally, one of the goals of the clinical trial is to determine if this treatment will help improve quality of life and extend survival.”


Rafael A. Ortiz, MD, the hospital’s director of neuro-endovascular surgery and interventional neuroradiology, and David J. Langer, MD, chief of neurosurgery,  performed the intra-arterial Xper-computed tomography angiogram (CTA), cerebral angiogram and intra-arterial infusion of the drug Trastuzumab.

The procedure involved navigating a catheter from the femoral artery (artery that takes blood to the leg) to the arteries supplying blood to the brain lesions.  Contrast dye was injected through the catheter while performing a rotational 3-D Xper CT to accurately map the arteries supplying the lesions.  After blood brain barrier disruption, Trastuzumab was delivered directly to the brain lesions instead of systemic therapy (intravenously), which the investigators believe will result in better drug penetration with fewer side effects.


            The study will determine the best tolerated single dosage of Trastuzumab administered into the arteries by gradually increasing the dosage given to participants as the study progresses.  Early participants will receive a dosage of 1mg/kg. As more participants are enrolled in the study, the single dosage will be increased at designated levels up to 8mg/kg, if it is determined to be safe.


For more information about this clinical trial, please call Tamika Wong, clinical trials manager at Lenox Hill Hospital Neurosurgery at 212-434-3900, option 4, or [email protected], or click here.



About North Shore-LIJ Health System -- North Shore-LIJ is changing its name to Northwell Health in January 2016.
One of the nation's largest health systems, the health system delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. The health system cares for people at every stage of life at 21 hospitals and about 450 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. The health system’s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,600 beds, employ more than 15,000 nurses and have affiliations with nearly 13,600 physicians. With a workforce of more than 61,000, the health system is the largest private employer in New York State.  For more information, go to www.northshorelij.com


About Lenox Hill Hospital:

Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the nation’s top 50 in Cardiology and Heart Surgery and among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 11 “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. For more information, go to www.lenoxhillhospital.org.


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