University of Colorado radiation oncologist, Chad Rusthoven, MD, was recently awarded the prestigious Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr. research fellowship award from the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research. The award provides two years of salary support to engage early career investigators from Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) affiliated institutions in clinical trial research.
The fellowship will support Dr. Rusthoven in his research efforts as the overall principle investigator of SWOG S1827 (MAVERICK), a randomized phase 3 trial of brain MRI surveillance with and without prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for patients with small-cell lung cancer. The SWOG-led trial is open across the National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN) at academic and community centers in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
Although PCI has historically been the standard of care for patients with small-cell lung cancer, prior research has demonstrated that PCI can be also associated with cognitive side effects and the historical survival benefits of PCI have been questioned in the contemporary era of brain MRI surveillance. The hypothesis being tested by S1827/MAVERICK is whether brain MRI surveillance alone, allowing for early treatment in cases where brain metastases develop, will result in non-inferior survival outcomes compared to a treatment strategy involving PCI, and whether MRI surveillance alone will be associated with improved cognitive function and quality of life outcomes.
Dr. Rusthoven is an active researcher in the field of CNS management for patients with small-cell lung cancer. In 2018, he was the senior author a large National Cancer Database study of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) vs whole-brain radiation (WBRT) for patients with brain metastases from small-cell lung cancer. More recently, he was the lead author on an international multicenter analysis of first-line SRS for small cell brain metastases published in JAMA Oncology.
“I am so grateful and honored to be a recipient of the Coltman Fellowship,” says Dr. Rusthoven. “This award will provide essential research support in our efforts to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients with lung cancer.”