Kenneth B. Roberts, MD

Professor of Therapeutic Radiology; Director, Pediatric Radiotherapy Program; Associate Chief of Radiation Oncology, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Therapeutic Radiology

Research Departments & Organizations

Therapeutic Radiology

Radiobiology & Radiotherapy

Yale Cancer Center: Radiobiology & Radiotherapy

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

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

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.

Clinical Trials

Conditions Study Title
Prostate Phase III IGRT and SBRT vs IGRT and Hypofractionated IMRT for Localized Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer
Lymphoid Leukemia A Phase 2 Study of the JAK1/JAK2 Inhibitor Ruxolitinib With Chemotherapy in Children With De Novo High-Risk CRLF2-Rearranged and/or JAK Pathway-Mutant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Pediatrics Risk-based, Response-adapted, Phase II Open-label Trial of Nivolumab + Brentuximab Vedotin (N + Bv) for Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults With Relapsed/Refractory (R/R) CD30 + Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) After Failure of First-line Therapy, Followed by Brentuximab + Bendamustine (Bv + B) for Participants With a Suboptimal Response (CheckMate 744: CHECKpoint Pathway and Nivolumab Clinical Trial Evaluation)
Anus, Breast - Female, Breast - Male, Colon, Corpus Uteri, Esophagus, Eye and Orbit, Kidney, Larynx, Lip, Oral Cavity and Pharynx, Liver, Lung, Melanoma, skin, Other Digestive Organ, Other Endocrine System, Other Female Genital, Other Male Genital, Other Respiratory and Intrathoracic Organs, Other Skin, Other Urinary, Ovary, Pancreas, Prostate, Rectum, Small Intestine, Soft Tissue, Stomach, Thyroid, Pediatrics, Cervix, Urinary Bladder A Randomized Phase 3 Study of Vincristine, Dactinomycin, Cyclophosphamide (VAC) Alternating With Vincristine and Irinotecan (VI) Versus VAC/VI Plus Temsirolimus (TORI, Torisel, NSC# 683864) in Patients With Intermediate Risk (IR) Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)
Other Male Genital, Ovary Active Surveillance, Bleomycin, Carboplatin, Etoposide, or Cisplatin in Treating Pediatric and Adult Patients With Germ Cell Tumors
Prostate, Supportive Care, Non Therapeutic Pilot feasibility study examining the patient reported quality of life after stereotactic boost for high risk prostate cancer with hydrogel spacer
Leukemia, not otherwise specified, Leukemia, other, Myeloid and Monocytic Leukemia A 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
Anus, Bones and Joints, Brain and Nervous System, Breast - Female, Breast - Male, Colon, Corpus Uteri, Esophagus, Eye and Orbit, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, Kidney, Larynx, Lip, Oral Cavity and Pharynx, Liver, Lung, Melanoma, skin, Mycosis Fungoides, 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, Pancreas, Prostate, Rectum, Small Intestine, Soft Tissue, Stomach, Thyroid, Pediatrics, Cervix, Urinary Bladder A Phase I/II Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in Children With Advanced Melanoma or a PD-L1 Positive Advanced, Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumor or Lymphoma (KEYNOTE-051)
Brain and Nervous System, Pediatrics A 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, Pediatrics The Project: Every Child Protocol: A Registry, Eligibility Screening, Biology and Outcome Study
Brain and Nervous System, Pediatrics Response and Biology-Based Risk Factor-Guided Therapy in Treating Younger Patients With Non-high Risk Neuroblastoma
Lymphoid Leukemia, Pediatrics Neuropsychological and Behavioral Testing in Younger Patients With Cancer
Leukemia, not otherwise specified, Pediatrics Risk-Stratified Randomized Phase III Testing of Blinatumomab in First Relapse of Childhood B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL)
Brain and Nervous System, Phase I, Pediatrics A Study Comparing Two Carboplatin Containing Regimens for Children and Young Adults With Previously Untreated Low Grade Glioma

Activities

  • Semi-annual meetings, most recent hosted in North America Montreal, Canada (2009 - 2009)

    International Pediatric Radiology Oncology Society

  • Hodgkins Lymphoma lecture Chiang Mai, Thailand (2007 - 2007)

    Visiting Professor

  • international meta-analysis of Phase III trials of chemoradiotherapy in cervix cancer London, United Kingdom (2005)

    Chemoradiation for Cervical Cancer Meta-analysis Collaboration (CCCMAC)

  • lymphomas, cervix cancer, lung cancer, PET imaging Melbourne, Australia (2002)

    Visiting Professor, sabbatical leave from Yale

  • cervix cancer, pediatric malignancies, lymphomas, total body irradiation Caracas, Venezuela (1992)

    Phase III trial of mitomycin C as an adjunct to radiotherapy for locally advanced cervix cancer; co-author of Spanish language radiation oncology textbook; visiting professor

  • European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology - travel award Stockholm, Sweden (1988 - 1988)

    Visiting Fellow

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Contact Info

Kenneth B. Roberts, MD
Office Location
Yale Therapeutic RadiologyHunter Building
15 York Street, Ste HRT 133

New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
Therapeutic RadiologyPO Box 208040
New Haven, CT 06520-8040