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Kenneth B. Roberts, MD

Professor of Therapeutic Radiology; Associate Chief of Radiation Oncology, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Therapeutic Radiology; Chief, Cardiac Brachytherapy Program, Therapeutic Radiology; Chief, Lymphoma/Sarcoma Radiotherapy Program, Therapeutic Radiology; Chief, Pediatrics Radiotherapy Program, Therapeutic Radiology

Research Summary

My clinical research interests have been translational and practical, emphasizing combined modality therapy in cancer management, late effects of therapy including secondary malignancies, and the utilization of brachytherapy (implanted radiation sources) in both malignant and benign disease.

Specialized Terms: Cervix cancer and hypoxic cell cytotoxins; Brachytherapy; Pediatric malignancies; Hodgkin's disease; Health services research

Extensive Research Description

During my first ten years on the Yale faculty, I participated in clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of bioreductive alkylating agents as an adjunct to radiotherapy in cervix cancer. A Phase III study comparing radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy plus Mitomycin C for cervix cancer has been completed in Venezuela with results showing a significant improvement in disease-free survival with the addition of Mitomycin C, which is a hypoxic cell cytotoxin.

For several years, I had been collaborating with Interventional Cardiology and Medical Physics in a clinical program utilizing coronary brachytherapy to manage in-stent restenosis. Some current or upcoming clinical research projects include:

1) modifying radiation dose and volume in advanced stage Hodgkin’s disease based on response to initial chemotherapy (a cooperative group trial);

2) the effects of prostate edema during brachytherapy on modulating radiation dose delivery;

3) the changes in second malignancies seen after Hodgkins Lymphoma therapy with shift away from primary extended field radiotherapy to combined chemotherapy and low dose involved field radiotherapy

4) an examination of the economic forces that drive the use and demand for radiotherapeutic modalities, often with poorly developed evidence.

Regarding this latter concept, in the management of localized prostate cancer, brachytherapy is in a decline while Intensity Modulated and Image Guided Radiotherapy is in ascendancy for complex reasons. In early stage breast cancer, there is an increasing trend toward partial breast irradiation using 3D conformal radiotherapy or brachytherapy. Coronary brachytherapy had experienced a several year surge in usage and interest amongst cardiologists, but now is less frequently needed due to the efficacy of drug eluting stents, a complementary albeit expensive technology. Palliative radiotherapy in terminally ill cancer patients has become less frequently used, due in part to the capitated reimbursement for hospice care and the relatively high expense and inconvenience of radiotherapy versus medical therapy.

Research Interests

Brachytherapy; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms; Cytotoxins; Hodgkin Disease; Radiation Oncology

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Leukemia, not otherwise specified; Leukemia, other; PediatricsA Phase III Randomized, Open Label, Multi-center Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Apixaban for Thromboembolism Prevention Versus No Systemic Anticoagulant Prophylaxis During Induction Chemotherapy in Children With Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) or Lymphoma (T or B Cell) Treated With Asparaginase
Brain and Nervous System; PediatricsA Target Validation/Phase1 Study of BGB-290 in Combination With Temozolomide in Adolescent and Young Adult IDH1/2 Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Mutant Gliomas
LungPhase IB/II Trial Of Dose-Deescalated 3-Fraction Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy For Centrally Located Lung Cancer
Leukemia, not otherwise specified; Leukemia, other; PediatricsA Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Inotuzumab Ozogamicin (NSC#: 772518) for Newly Diagnosed High-Risk B-ALL; Risk-Adapted Post-Induction Therapy for High-Risk B-ALL, Mixed Phenotype Acute Leukemia, and Disseminated B-LLy
Urinary BladderPhase III Randomized Trial of Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy With or Without Atezolizumab in Localized Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (Study SWOG/NRG 1806)
ProstatePhase III IGRT and SBRT vs IGRT and Hypofractionated IMRT for Localized Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer
Other Male Genital; OvaryActive Surveillance, Bleomycin, Carboplatin, Etoposide, or Cisplatin in Treating Pediatric and Adult Patients With Germ Cell Tumors
Leukemia, not otherwise specified; Leukemia, other; Myeloid and Monocytic LeukemiaA Multicenter, Pivotal Phase 3 Study of Iomab-B Prior to Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Versus Conventional Care in Older Subjects With Active, Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Brain and Nervous System; PediatricsA Clinical and Molecular Risk-Directed Therapy for Newly Diagnosed Medulloblastoma
Bones and Joints; Brain and Nervous System; Eye and Orbit; Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Kidney; Leukemia, other; Liver; Lymphoid Leukemia; Myeloid and Monocytic Leukemia; Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma; Other Digestive Organ; Other Endocrine System; Other Female Genital; Other Male Genital; Other Respiratory and Intrathoracic Organs; Other Skin; Other Urinary; Ovary; Small Intestine; Soft Tissue; PediatricsThe Project: Every Child Protocol: A Registry, Eligibility Screening, Biology and Outcome Study
Brain and Nervous System; PediatricsResponse and Biology-Based Risk Factor-Guided Therapy in Treating Younger Patients With Non-high Risk Neuroblastoma
Brain and Nervous System; Phase I; PediatricsA Study Comparing Two Carboplatin Containing Regimens for Children and Young Adults With Previously Untreated Low Grade Glioma