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Comprehensive Cancer Centre - Networks (4 links)


Recent Research Publications

Ghosh N, Malik FA, Daver RG, et al.
Viral associated diarrhea in immunocompromised and cancer patients at a large comprehensive cancer center: a 10-year retrospective study.
Infect Dis (Lond). 2017; 49(2):113-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Viral associated diarrhea (VAD) due to Norovirus (NV), Rotavirus (RV) and Adenovirus (AV) is common in immunocompromised and cancer patients. We sought to determine if the clinical characteristics, morbidity and seasonality of infection differed according to the type of enteric virus identified.
METHODS: Cases of NV, RV and AV were identified in stool specimens submitted to the clinical microbiology laboratory between November 2005 and February 2015. Clinical characteristics of patients, potential risk factors and outcomes were compared.
RESULTS: A total of 97 VAD cases were identified: NV (n = 49), RV (n = 34) and AV (n = 14). The majority of cases were in patients with leukemia and lymphoma. NV (59%), RV (74%) and AV (78%) were identified in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients; and in patients with graft versus host disease (GVHD): NV (34%), RV (46%) and AV (57%). Nine cases of NV were genotyped; all were due to genotype II. Nine of 49 (18%) cases of NV, 7 of 34 (20%) cases of RV and 2 of 14 (14%) cases of AV were considered to be health care acquired (HCA). In multivariate analysis, immunosuppression (OR 2.8 95% CI 1.26-6.60, p = .01) and neutropenia (OR 4.8 95% CI 1.27-18.5, p = .01) were identified as risk factors for NV diarrhea compared to RV and AV.
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, agents responsible for VAD occurred year round but predominated in the winter time; caused prolonged illness and were frequently health care associated. Presentations were atypical in many cases without upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Mitchell AP, Basch EM, Dusetzina SB
Financial Relationships With Industry Among National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guideline Authors.
JAMA Oncol. 2016; 2(12):1628-1631 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: Financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs) among authors of clinical practice guidelines have the potential to influence treatment recommendations.
Objective: To quantify FCOIs with industry among authors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.
Design, Setting, and Participants: We assessed FCOIs occurring during 2014 among NCCN guideline authors in the United States. All were physician members of the NCCN guideline committees for lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer as of the end of 2014. The data source for FCOIs was Open Payments, which is publically reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This study was cross-sectional.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The proportion of NCCN authors having FCOIs with industry; the average amount received from industry sources per author.
Results: Of 125 guideline authors, 108 (86%) had at least 1 reported FCOI. Authors received an average of $10 011 (range, $0-$106 859) in general payments (GPs), which include consulting, meals, lodging, and similar transfers of value, and $236 066 (range $0-$2 756 713) in industry research payments (RPs), including funding associated with clinical trials. Approximately 84% of authors received GPs, while 47% received RPs. Eight (6%) had FCOIs in excess of the $50 000 net and/or $20 000 single-company maximums stipulated by NCCN.
Conclusions and Relevance: Among NCCN guideline authors, FCOIs involving RPs were of greater value, while those involving GPs were more prevalent. Although FCOIs may result from engaging in important scholarship, FCOIs may still influence guideline authors in counterproductive ways. Research is needed to understand how best to manage author FCOIs during guideline creation.

Borrayo BD, O'Lawrence H
A POST ANALYSIS OF A PREVENTIVE AND CHRONIC HEALTHCARE TOOL.
J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2016; 39(1):15-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study uses the data set from Kaiser Permanente to examine the post implementation of a preventive and chronic care that utilizes clinical information system, delivery system design, and clinical decision support to maximize the office visit. The analysis suggests a significant positive relationship between frequency of utilization rates to address preventive and chronic care gaps. There is no implication of a significant positive relationship with the successfully captured rate, which satisfies closing the care gap within 45 days. The use of the preventive care tool will assist members in satisfying the preventive care gap, cervical cancer screening, within 45 days of the encounter.

Ji AL, Bichakjian CK, Swetter SM
Molecular Profiling in Cutaneous Melanoma.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):475-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Molecular profiling of malignant tumors is gaining increasing interest in oncology. In recent years, several molecular techniques have been studied in melanoma, with the goal to improve upon the diagnostic and prognostic abilities of currently available clinical and histopathologic parameters. Reliable tests performed early in the diagnosis and management of melanoma could lead to decreased morbidity and mortality by selecting appropriate patients for more-aggressive therapy and sparing those for whom it is not indicated. This article reviews the molecular diagnostic and prognostic techniques currently available for melanoma and evaluates their potential role in clinical practice.

Coit DG, Thompson JA, Algazi A, et al.
Melanoma, Version 2.2016, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):450-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Melanoma focuses on adjuvant therapy and treatment of in-transit disease, because substantial changes were made to the recommendations for the 2016 update. Depending on the stage of the disease, options for adjuvant therapy now include biochemotherapy and high-dose ipilimumab. Treatment options for in-transit disease now include intralesional injection with talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), a new immunotherapy. These additions prompted re-assessment of the data supporting older recommended treatment options for adjuvant therapy and in-transit disease, resulting in extensive revisions to the supporting discussion sections.

Roeland EJ, Triplett DP, Matsuno RK, et al.
Patterns of Palliative Care Consultation Among Elderly Patients With Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):439-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The role of palliative care has expanded over the past several decades, although the oncology-specific regional evolution of this specialty has not been characterized at the population-based level.
METHODS: This study defined the patterns of palliative care delivery using a retrospective cohort of patients with advanced cancer within the SEER-Medicare linked database. We identified 83,022 patients with metastatic breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers. We studied trends between 2000 through 2009, and determined patient-level and regional-level predictors of palliative care delivery.
RESULTS: Palliative care consultation rates increased from 3.0% in 2000 to 12.9% in 2009, with most consultations occurring in the last 4 weeks of life (77%) in the inpatient hospital setting. The rates of palliative care delivery were highest in the West (7.6%) and lowest in the South (3.2%). The likelihood of palliative care consultation increased with decreasing numbers of regional acute care hospital beds per capita. The use of palliative care consultation increased with increasing numbers of regional physicians. The use of palliative care decreased with increasing regional Medicare expenditure with a $1,387 difference per beneficiary between the first and fourth quartiles of palliative care use.
CONCLUSIONS: Geographic location influences a patient's options for palliative care in the United States. Although the overall rates of palliative care are increasing, future effort should focus on improving palliative care services in regions with the least access.

Urban RR, He H, Alfonso-Cristancho R, et al.
The Cost of Initial Care for Medicare Patients With Advanced Ovarian Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):429-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: In preparation for payment reform, we evaluated Medicare payments for the initial treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer and assessed factors responsible for variation.
METHODS: Using the linked SEER-Medicare database, we identified a cohort of 9,491 women aged 65 years or older with stage III/IV epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 2007. Diagnostic and procedural codes specific to the care of ovarian cancer were used to estimate total medical costs for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Costs were adjusted for geography and for inflation to the 2009 US dollar. NCCN Guideline-consistent care was defined as surgery and 6 cycles of chemotherapy. A generalized linear regression was performed to assess factors associated with variability in cost.
RESULTS: The mean total payment per patient in the initial treatment period was $65,908 (range of means, $30,745-$96,360). Increasing medical comorbidity, use of PET/CT, surgical complications, and readmissions were associated with increased costs. Treatment with NCCN Guideline-consistent surgery and chemotherapy had a mean annual cost of $85,987 compared with $89,149 for non-NCCN Guideline-consistent treatment with surgery and chemotherapy. The cost of surgery and chemotherapy that was not consistent with NCCN Guidelines was approximately $7,000 more than the cost of therapy that was consistent (P<.001) CONCLUSIONS: The financial burden of caring for patients with ovarian cancer is substantial. Treatment that is consistent with NCCN recommendations for treating advanced ovarian cancer, which is shown to have improved outcomes, is not associated with higher cost.

Muralidhar V, Catalano PJ, Reznor G, et al.
Variation in National Use of Long-Term ADT by Disease Aggressiveness Among Men With Unfavorable-Risk Prostate Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):421-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The current NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Prostate Cancer recommend long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for all men with high-risk prostate cancer treated with external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT). We determined whether the use of long-term ADT varied by the recently defined subcategories of high-risk disease (favorable, other, and very high) versus unfavorable intermediate-risk disease.
METHODS: We identified 5,524 patients with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer diagnosed from 2004 to 2007 and managed with EBRT using the SEER-Medicare linked database. Patients were stratified by risk group: unfavorable intermediate-risk, favorable high-risk (previously defined and validated as clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 4 + 4 = 8, and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] level <10 ng/mL, or clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 6, and PSA level >20 ng/mL), very-high-risk (clinical stage T3b-T4 or primary Gleason pattern 5), or other high risk (ie, neither favorable nor very high). We used multivariable competing risks regression to estimate the rates of long-term (≥2 years) ADT by group.
RESULTS: Men with favorable high-risk prostate cancer were significantly less likely to receive long-term ADT than those with other high-risk disease (15.4% vs 24.6%, adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.60-0.76;P<.001), and similarly likely as those with unfavorable intermediate-risk disease (AHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.99-1.23;P=.087). Other high-risk disease was less likely to receive long-term ADT than very high-risk cancer (24.6% vs 30.8%; AHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74-0.93;P=.002).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite current guidelines, patients with EBRT-managed high-risk prostate cancer received significantly different rates of long-course ADT based on subclassification. Our results suggest that oncologists view these patients as a heterogeneous group with favorable high-risk cancer warranting less aggressive therapy than other high-risk or very high-risk disease.

Rocque GB, Taylor RA, Acemgil A, et al.
Guiding Lay Navigation in Geriatric Patients With Cancer Using a Distress Assessment Tool.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):407-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is growing interest in psychosocial care and evaluating distress in patients with cancer. As of 2015, the Commission on Cancer requires cancer centers to screen patients for distress, but the optimal approach to implementation remains unclear.
METHODS: We assessed the feasibility and impact of using distress assessments to frame lay navigator interactions with geriatric patients with cancer who were enrolled in navigation between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014.
RESULTS: Of the 5,121 patients enrolled in our lay patient navigation program, 4,520 (88%) completed at least one assessment using a standardized distress tool (DT). Navigators used the tool to structure both formal and informal distress assessments. Of all patients, 24% reported distress scores of 4 or greater and 5.5% reported distress scores of 8 or greater. The most common sources of distress at initial assessment were pain, balance/mobility difficulties, and fatigue. Minority patients reported similar sources of distress as the overall program population, with increased relative distress related to logistical issues, such as transportation and financial/insurance questions. Patients were more likely to ask for help with questions about insurance/financial needs (79%), transportation (76%), and knowledge deficits about diet/nutrition (76%) and diagnosis (66%) when these items contributed to distress.
CONCLUSIONS: Lay navigators were able to routinely screen for patient distress at a high degree of penetration using a structured distress assessment.

Anderson KC, Alsina M, Atanackovic D, et al.
NCCN Guidelines Insights: Multiple Myeloma, Version 3.2016.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):389-400 [PubMed] Related Publications
These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight the important updates/changes specific to the 2016 version of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Multiple Myeloma. These changes include updated recommendations to the overall management of multiple myeloma from diagnosis and staging to new treatment options.

Libby LJ, Narula N, Fernandes H, et al.
Imatinib Treatment of Lymphangiomatosis (Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly).
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(4):383-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lymphangiomatosis (eg, generalized lymphatic anomaly) is an abnormal proliferation of lymphatic endothelial cells. It is often a childhood disease, but it may present in adulthood by infiltrating organs and cause obstruction, bleeding, or disruption of lymphatic flow. Pulmonary involvement may be mild or cause diffuse interstitial lung disease, airway obstruction, hemoptysis, chylothorax, chylopericardium, and culminate in respiratory failure. Treatment has been limited to surgical resection or drainage procedures because there is no accepted effective systemic therapy. This report presents a patient with lymphangiomatosis and life-threatening hemoptysis in whom positive immunostaining forc-KITsuggested upregulation of tyrosine kinase and whose disease was controlled with imatinib.

Waks AG, Partridge AH
Fertility Preservation in Patients With Breast Cancer: Necessity, Methods, and Safety.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):355-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
As treatment paradigms improve and young women live longer after a breast cancer diagnosis, there is an increasing need to define the fertility-related problems that premenopausal women with breast cancer face, and, more importantly, to find solutions. This article discusses what is known regarding fertility risks associated with standard breast cancer treatment regimens and limitations of that information. We outline established and emerging techniques for fertility preservation, including recent developments surrounding the controversial utility of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists through chemotherapy, and review available data on the safety of pregnancy in breast cancer survivors. We highlight opportunities for further investigation, and contextualize fertility-related concerns in the modern treatment landscape. Above all, we stress the importance of this topic in a patient-centered approach to breast cancer care for young women.

Gradishar WJ, Anderson BO, Balassanian R, et al.
Invasive Breast Cancer Version 1.2016, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):324-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women in the United States and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death. The overall management of breast cancer includes the treatment of local disease with surgery, radiation therapy, or both, and the treatment of systemic disease with cytotoxic chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, biologic therapy, or combinations of these. This article outlines the NCCN Guidelines specific to breast cancer that is locoregional (restricted to one region of the body), and discusses the management of clinical stage I, II, and IIIA (T3N1M0) tumors. For NCCN Guidelines on systemic adjuvant therapy after locoregional management of clinical stage I, II and IIIA (T3N1M0) and for management for other clinical stages of breast cancer, see the complete version of these guidelines at NCCN.org.

Wong SF, Norman R, Dunning TL, et al.
A Discrete Choice Experiment to Examine the Preferences of Patients With Cancer and Their Willingness to Pay for Different Types of Health Care Appointments.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):311-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study sought to understand the preferences of patients with cancer and the trade-offs between appointment attributes using discrete choice experiment (DCE).
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Patients with cancer at 3 hospitals completed a self-administered DCE. Each scenario described 6 attributes: expertise of health care professionals (HCPs), familiarity of doctors with patients' medical history, waiting time, accompaniment by family/friends, travel time, and out-of-pocket costs. Patient preferences were estimated using logistic regression. Willingness to pay (WTP) estimates were derived from regression coefficients.
RESULTS: Of 512 patients contacted, 185 returned the questionnaire. The mean age was 61 years, and 60% of respondents were female. The mean time since cancer diagnosis was 34 months, 90% had received treatment; and 61% had early-stage disease. The most important attributes were expertise and familiarity of doctors with patients' medical history; distance traveled was least likely to influence patient preferences. The WTP analysis estimated that patients were willing to pay $680 (95% CI, 470-891) for an appointment with a specialist, $571 (95% CI, 388-754) for doctors familiar with their history, $422 (95% CI, 262-582) for shorter waiting times, $399 (95% CI, 249-549) to be accompanied by family/friends, and $301 (95% CI, 162-441) for shorter traveling times. Male patients had a stronger preference for accompaniment by family/friends. The expertise of HCP was the most important attribute for patients regardless of geographic remoteness.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study can assist the development of patient-centered health care models that improve patient access to experienced HCPs, support the role of primary care providers during the cancer journey, and educate patients about the roles of non-oncology HCPs to cope with increasing demand for cancer care.

Salsman JM, Yanez B, Smith KN, et al.
Documentation of Fertility Preservation Discussions for Young Adults With Cancer: Examining Compliance With Treatment Guidelines.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):301-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Professional guidelines have been developed to promote discussion between providers and newly diagnosed young adults with cancer about the possibility of cancer treatment-related infertility, but previous research suggests many young adults fail to receive this information. The aim of this study was to examine rates of and factors predictive of oncologists' compliance with national guidelines for discussing potential treatment-related infertility with newly diagnosed young adults with cancer seen at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.
METHODS: We reviewed data from the electronic medical record for new clinic encounters between medical oncologists and young adults with cancer (ages 18-39 years) from 2010 to 2012. Data from oncologist discussions of fertility preservation were abstracted, as were patient (age, sex, race, ethnicity, cancer type) and oncologist (gender, graduation year from fellowship) characteristics.
RESULTS: A total of 1,018 cases were reviewed, with 454 patients (mean, 31.5 years; 67.8% women) meeting inclusion criteria. Overall, 83% of patients were informed about potential treatment-related infertility, with patients with breast cancer (85% informed), Hodgkin lymphoma (95% informed), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (94% informed), leukemia (88% informed), or testicular cancer (100% informed) more likely to be informed than those with other cancer types (60%-74% informed). There was a significant effect for patient sex (odds ratio, 3.57; CI, 1.33, 9.60; P=.012), with women being more likely to be informed than men.
CONCLUSIONS: Reported compliance with fertility preservation guidelines was greater than published rates. Higher compliance rates in female patients and in patients with cancers more common among young adults may reflect greater awareness of fertility-related concerns among these patients and their providers.

Robinson AG, Wei X, Mackillop WJ, et al.
Use of Palliative Chemotherapy for Advanced Bladder Cancer: Patterns of Care in Routine Clinical Practice.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):291-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Palliative chemotherapy for advanced bladder cancer is recommended in clinical practice guidelines. Patterns of care in routine clinical practice have not been well described. This article describes use rates of chemotherapy and referral rates to medical oncology in the last year of life among patients who have died of bladder cancer.
METHODS: A population-based cohort of patients with bladder cancer was identified from the Ontario Cancer Registry; the study population included patients who died of bladder cancer between 1995 and 2009. Electronic records of treatment and physician billing records were used to identify treatment patterns and referral to medical oncology. Log-binomial and modified Poisson regression were used to examine factors associated with chemotherapy use and medical oncology consultation.
RESULTS: A total of 8,005 patients died of bladder cancer, 25% (n=1,964) of whom received chemotherapy in the last year of life. Use was independently associated with patient age, comorbidities, socioeconomic status, sex, time period, and treatment region. A total of 68% (n=5,426) of patients were seen by a medical oncologist. Referral to medical oncology was associated with age, comorbidities, year of death. Geographic variation was seen with chemotherapy use-from 18% to 30%-that persisted on adjusted analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of palliative chemotherapy demonstrated in clinical trials and recommended in guidelines has not translated into widespread use in practice. Understanding the extent to which patient preferences and health system factors influence use is needed. Access to acceptable palliative systemic treatments remains an unmet need for most patients dying of bladder cancer.

Wong SF, Bounthavong M, Nguyen CP, Chen T
Outcome Assessments and Cost Avoidance of an Oral Chemotherapy Management Clinic.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):279-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Increasing use of oral chemotherapy drugs increases the challenges for drug and patient management. An oral chemotherapy management clinic was developed to provide patients with oral chemotherapy management, concurrent medication (CM) education, and symptom management services. This evaluation aims to measure the need and effectiveness of this practice model due to scarce published data.
METHODS: This is a case series report of all patients referred to the oral chemotherapy management clinic. Data collected included patient demographics, depression scores, CMs, and types of intervention, including detection and management outcomes collected at baseline, 3-day, 7-day, and 3-month follow-ups. Persistence rate was monitored. Secondary analysis assessed potential cost avoidance.
RESULTS: A total of 86 evaluated patients (32 men and 54 women, mean age of 63.4 years) did not show a high risk for medication nonadherence. The 3 most common cancer diagnoses were rectal, pancreatic, and breast, with capecitabine most prescribed. Patients had an average of 13.7 CMs. A total of 125 interventions (detection and management of adverse drug event detection, compliance, drug interactions, medication error, and symptom management) occurred in 201 visits, with more than 75% of interventions occurring within the first 14 days. A persistence rate was observed in 78% of 41 evaluable patients. The total estimated annual cost avoidance per 1.0 full time employee (FTE) was $125,761.93.
CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation demonstrated the need for additional support for patients receiving oral chemotherapy within standard of care medical service. A comprehensive oral chemotherapy management referral service can optimize patient care delivery via early interventions for adverse drug events, drug interactions, and medication errors up to 3 months after initiation of treatment.

DeMartino JK
NCCN Work Group Report: Emerging Issues in Tissue Allocation.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):265-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Expanding research interests in molecular profiling over the past several years have led researchers in academia and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to significantly increase their need for access to tissue specimens collected through clinical care and clinical trials. As a result, tissue allocation has become a growing issue for many clinical and translational investigators. High-quality biospecimens are needed by all stakeholders in order to have scientifically accurate studies and results. At the center of the process are the patients, who have increasingly become active partners in the clinical research enterprise as individuals and through highly sophisticated patient advocacy organizations. All stakeholders must recognize that human specimens, including tissue, represent a valuable and unique resource that must have proper acquisition, handling, custodianship, and consent for use in accordance with best practices for biospecimen resources.

Ettinger DS, Wood DE, Akerley W, et al.
NCCN Guidelines Insights: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Version 4.2016.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):255-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates in the 2016 NCCN Guidelines for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC; Versions 1-4). These NCCN Guidelines Insights will discuss new immunotherapeutic agents, such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab, for patients with metastatic NSCLC. For the 2016 update, the NCCN panel recommends immune checkpoint inhibitors as preferred agents (in the absence of contraindications) for second-line and beyond (subsequent) therapy in patients with metastatic NSCLC (both squamous and nonsquamous histologies). Nivolumab and pembrolizumab are preferred based on improved overall survival rates, higher response rates, longer duration of response, and fewer adverse events when compared with docetaxel therapy.

Lim AM, Taylor GR, Fellowes A, et al.
BRAF Inhibition in BRAFV600E-Positive Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(3):249-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
The efficacy of targeted monotherapy for BRAF(V600E)-positive anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC) is not established. We report 2 cases of BRAF(V600E)-positive ATC treated with a BRAF inhibitor. A 49-year-old woman with a T4bN1bM0 ATC manifested symptomatic metastatic disease 8 weeks after radical chemoradiotherapy. Within 1 month of BRAF inhibitor monotherapy, a complete symptomatic response was observed, with FDG-PET scan confirming metabolic and radiologic response. Treatment was terminated after 3 months because of disease progression. The patient died 11 months after primary diagnosis. A 67-year-old man received first-line BRAF inhibitor for a T4aN1bM0 ATC. Within 10 days of treatment his pain had stabilized and his tumor had clinically halved in size. Stable disease was achieved for 11 weeks but the patient died 11 months after diagnosis because of disease progression. BRAF inhibitor monotherapy in ATC may obtain clinical benefit of short duration. Upfront combination therapy should be investigated in this patient subgroup.

Deng X, Chen Y, Cheng Z, et al.
Rational design of a comprehensive cancer therapy platform using temperature-sensitive polymer grafted hollow gold nanospheres: simultaneous chemo/photothermal/photodynamic therapy triggered by a 650 nm laser with enhanced anti-tumor efficacy.
Nanoscale. 2016; 8(12):6837-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Combining multi-model treatments within one single system has attracted great interest for the purpose of synergistic therapy. In this paper, hollow gold nanospheres (HAuNs) coated with a temperature-sensitive polymer, poly(oligo(ethylene oxide) methacrylate-co-2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate) (p(OEGMA-co-MEMA)), co-loaded with DOX and a photosensitizer Chlorin e6 (Ce6) were successfully synthesized. As high as 58% DOX and 6% Ce6 by weight could be loaded onto the HAuNs-p(OEGMA-co-MEMA) nanocomposites. The grafting polymer brushes outside the HAuNs play the role of "gate molecules" for controlled drug release by 650 nm laser radiation owing to the temperature-sensitive property of the polymer and the photothermal effect of HAuNs. The HAuNs-p(OEGMA-co-MEMA)-Ce6-DOX nanocomposites with 650 nm laser radiation show effective inhibition of cancer cells in vitro and enhanced anti-tumor efficacy in vivo. In contrast, control groups without laser radiation show little cytotoxicity. The nanocomposite demonstrates a way of "killing three birds with one stone", that is, chemotherapy, photothermal and photodynamic therapy are triggered simultaneously by the 650 nm laser stimulation. Therefore, the nanocomposites show the great advantages of multi-modal synergistic effects for cancer therapy by a remote-controlled laser stimulus.

Sultan DH, Gishe J, Hanciles A, et al.
Minority Use of a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and Non-specialty Hospitals in Two Florida Regions.
J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2015; 2(3):373-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To examine cancer treatment disparities at a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center (NCI-CCC) and non-specialty hospitals.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Florida hospital discharge datasets were used. ICD9-CM codes were used to define patients with female reproductive organ cancers (FROC), male reproductive organ cancers (MROC), and OTHER cancer diagnoses. A total of 7462 NCI-CCC patients and 21,875 non-specialty hospital patients were included in the statistical analysis. Data analysis was conducted in SAS 9.2.
RESULTS: Increases in age reduced the odds of receiving treatment at the NCI-CCC. Male patients were more likely than female patients to be treated at the NCI-CCC. Age-adjusted odds of African American and Hispanic out/inpatients being treated at the NCI-CCC were significantly lower than those of White out/inpatients. Only patients with workers' compensation, charity, or other insurance had higher odds of being treated at the NCI-CCC. The odds of minority patients receiving outpatient treatment at the NCI-CCC declined after 2005. The odds of receiving inpatient treatment at the NCI-CCC significantly increased after 2006.
CONCLUSIONS: More targeted outreach by the NCI-CCC is required. However, we expect the creation of local Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to reduce the numbers of minority and older patients at the NCI-CCC. Coordinated quality care at ACOs implies a potential for retaining the patient market share held by non-specialty hospitals and a potential for increased demand for ACO care by minority and older patients.

Valle LF, Jagsi R, Bobiak SN, et al.
Variation in Definitive Therapy for Localized Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Among National Comprehensive Cancer Network Institutions.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016; 94(2):360-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study determined practice patterns in the staging and treatment of patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) among National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions. Secondary aims were to determine trends in the use of definitive therapy, predictors of treatment type, and acute adverse events associated with primary modalities of treatment.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Data from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Outcomes Database from 2007 to 2011 for US patients with stage I NSCLC were used. Main outcome measures included patterns of care, predictors of treatment, acute morbidity, and acute mortality.
RESULTS: Seventy-nine percent of patients received surgery, 16% received definitive radiation therapy (RT), and 3% were not treated. Seventy-four percent of the RT patients received stereotactic body RT (SBRT), and the remainder received nonstereotactic RT (NSRT). Among participating NCCN member institutions, the number of surgeries-to-RT course ratios varied between 1.6 and 34.7 (P<.01), and the SBRT-to-NSRT ratio varied between 0 and 13 (P=.01). Significant variations were also observed in staging practices, with brain imaging 0.33 (0.25-0.43) times as likely and mediastinoscopy 31.26 (21.84-44.76) times more likely for surgical patients than for RT patients. Toxicity rates for surgical and for SBRT patients were similar, although the rates were double for NSRT patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The variations in treatment observed among NCCN institutions reflects the lack of level I evidence directing the use of surgery or SBRT for stage I NSCLC. In this setting, research of patient and physician preferences may help to guide future decision making.

Zelenetz AD, Gordon LI, Wierda WG, et al.
Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Version 1.2016.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):196-231 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) are now considered a heterogeneous group of distinct molecular subtypes (germinal center B-cell DLBCL, activated B-cell DLBCL, and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBL) with varied natural history and response to therapy. In addition, a subset of patients with DLBCL have concurrent MYC and/or BCL2 gene rearrangements (double-hit lymphomas; DHL) and others have a dual expression of both MYC and BCL2 proteins (double-expressing DLBCL; DEL). The standard of care for the treatment of patients with PMBL, DHL, or DEL has not been established. Adequate immunophenotyping and molecular testing (in selected circumstances) are necessary for the accurate diagnosis of different subtypes of DLBCL. The NCCN Guidelines included in this issue, part of the NCCN Guidelines for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, address the diagnosis and management of DLBCL and its subtypes.

Raval AD, Madhavan S, Mattes MD, et al.
Impact of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis on Noncancer Hospitalizations Among Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries With Incident Prostate Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):186-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of cancer diagnosis on noncancer hospitalizations (NCHs) by comparing these hospitalizations between the precancer and postcancer periods in a cohort of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries with incident prostate cancer.
METHODS: A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted using the SEER-Medicare linked database for 2000 through 2010. The study cohort consisted of 57,489 elderly men (aged ≥ 67 years) with incident prostate cancer. NCHs were identified in 6 periods (t1-t6) before and after the incidence of prostate cancer. Each period consisted of 120 days. For each period, NCHs were defined as inpatient admissions with primary diagnosis codes not related to prostate cancer, prostate cancer-related procedures, or bowel, sexual, and urinary dysfunction. Bivariate and multivariate comparisons on rates of NCHs between the precancer and postcancer periods accounted for the repeated measures design.
RESULTS: The rate of NCHs was higher during the postcancer period (5.1%) compared with the precancer period (3.2%). In both unadjusted and adjusted models, elderly men were 37% (odds ratio [OR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.32, 1.41) and 38% (adjusted OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.33, 1.46) more likely to have any NCHs during the postcancer period compared with the precancer period.
CONCLUSIONS: Elderly men with prostate cancer had a significant increase in the risk of NCHs after the diagnosis of prostate cancer. This study highlights the need to design interventions for reducing the excess NCHs after prostate cancer diagnosis among elderly men.

Brown C, Ben-Or S, Walker P, Bowling M
The Impact of Electromagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy on a Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):181-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Clinic has adopted a programmatic, multidisciplinary approach to thoracic tumors, which has involved the implementation of new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. In 2012 we began using electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy (ENB) as a new diagnostic tool. ENB uses a guidance system that combines CT imaging with magnetic field-guided spatial information to allow tissue sampling or placement of fiducial markers to guide radiation therapy.
METHODS: The numbers of early-stage (I and II) and late-stage (III and IV) lung cancers were compared before and after the introduction of ENB. We also examined the number of cases of fiducial marker placement using bronchoscopy versus interventional radiology before and after ENB was introduced. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the early- versus late-stage lung cancers found at diagnosis pre- and post-ENB introduction, fiducial marker placements using interventional radiology versus bronchoscopy pre- and post-ENB introduction, and pneumothorax rates.
RESULTS: More early-stage cancers were diagnosed after ENB introduction (67 of 286 cases vs 116 of 290; P<.0001). Bronchoscopy was also used more frequently to place fiducial markers post-ENB (53 of 86 pre-ENB vs 105 of 117 post-ENB; P<.0001) and had a lower pneumothorax rate (4% vs 22%) than fiducial placement in interventional radiology (P<.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of ENB to a multidisciplinary thoracic oncology program may permit the diagnosis of lung cancer at an earlier stage and offers the ability to safely place fiducial markers for therapeutic purposes, such as radiation therapy, within the same procedure, potentially improving safety and decreasing time to treatment.

Sudo K, Wang X, Xiao L, et al.
A Nomogram to Predict Distant Metastases After Multimodality Therapy for Patients With Localized Esophageal Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):173-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Among patients with localized esophageal cancer (LEC), 35% or more develop distant metastases (DM) as first relapse, most in the first 24 months after local therapy. Implementation of novel strategies may be possible if DM can be predicted reliably. We hypothesized that clinical variables could help generate a DM nomogram.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with LEC who completed multimodality therapy were analyzed. Various statistical methods were used, including multivariate analysis to generate a nomogram. A concordance index (c-index) was established and validated using the bootstrap method.
RESULTS: Among 629 patients analyzed (356 trimodality/273 bimodality), 36% patients developed DM as first relapse. The median overall survival from DM was only 8.6 months (95% CI, 7.0-10.2). In a multivariate analysis, the variables associated with a higher risk for developing DM were poorly differentiated histology (hazard ratio [HR], 1.76; P<.0001), baseline T3/T4 primary (HR, 3.07; P=.0006), and baseline N+ LEC (HR, 2.01; P<.0001). Although variables associated with a lower risk for DM were age of 60 years or older (HR, 0.75; P=.04), squamous cell carcinoma (HR, 0.54; P=.013), and trimodality therapy (HR, 0.58; P=.0001), the bias-corrected c-index was 0.67 after 250 bootstrap resamples.
CONCLUSIONS: Our nomogram identified patients with LEC who developed DM with a high probability. The model needs to be refined (tumor and blood biomarkers) and validated. This type of model will allow implementation of novel strategies in patients with LEC.

Watson L, Groff S, Tamagawa R, et al.
Evaluating the Impact of Provincial Implementation of Screening for Distress on Quality of Life, Symptom Reports, and Psychosocial Well-Being in Patients With Cancer.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):164-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although a number of accreditation agencies and professional societies recommend routine screening for distress (SFD) for patients with cancer, it has been integrated very slowly into clinical practice.
OBJECTIVES: This evaluation investigated the impact of a large-scale SFD intervention on patients' quality of life, symptom reports, and psychosocial well-being. The SFD intervention involved (1) completion of the SFD tool by patients, (2) discussion between patient and provider about the concerns indicated, and (3) provision of appropriate assessments/interventions based on priority concerns.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This quality improvement work included a pre-evaluation and postevaluation of the impact of implementation on patients' well-being. Patients in cohort 1 (N=740) were surveyed before implementation, whereas patients in cohort 2 (N=534) were surveyed 10 months after the implementation at 17 clinics province-wide. As part of the implementation, providers received training on assessing and responding to patient priority concerns with the standardized tool.
RESULTS: No differences were seen in total score of quality of life between the cohorts. Fewer patients in cohort 2 than in cohort 1 reported health problems, including tiredness, drowsiness, poor appetite, nausea, anxiety, and poor well-being. Similarly, significantly fewer patients in cohort 2 endorsed problems relating to emotional, practical, informational, spiritual, social, and physical aspects of well-being.
CONCLUSIONS: Results showed significantly improved psychological and physical symptoms and psychosocial well-being after routine SFD was implemented, suggesting that a large-scale SFD intervention is beneficial for patients when it is integrated into existing clinical practice and community resources.

Daly MB, Pilarski R, Axilbund JE, et al.
Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian, Version 2.2015.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):153-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
The NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian provide recommendations for genetic testing and counseling and risk assessment and management for hereditary cancer syndromes. Guidelines focus on syndromes associated with an increased risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer and are intended to assist with clinical and shared decision-making. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize major discussion points of the 2015 NCCN Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian panel meeting. Major discussion topics this year included multigene testing, risk management recommendations for less common genetic mutations, and salpingectomy for ovarian cancer risk reduction. The panel also discussed revisions to genetic testing criteria that take into account ovarian cancer histology and personal history of pancreatic cancer.

Currin E, Peterson LM, Schubert EK, et al.
Temporal Heterogeneity of Estrogen Receptor Expression in Bone-Dominant Breast Cancer: 18F-Fluoroestradiol PET Imaging Shows Return of ER Expression.
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2016; 14(2):144-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Changes in estrogen receptor (ER) expression over the course of therapy may affect response to endocrine therapy. However, measuring temporal changes in ER expression requires serial biopsies, which are impractical and poorly tolerated by most patients. Functional ER imaging using (18)F-fluoroestradiol (FES)-PET provides a noninvasive measure of regional ER expression and is ideally suited to serial studies. Additionally, lack of measurable FES uptake in metastatic sites of disease predict tumor progression in patients with ER-positive primary tumors treated with endocrine therapy. This report presents a case of restored sensitivity to endocrine therapy in a patient with bone-dominant breast cancer who underwent serial observational FES-PET imaging over the course of several treatments at our center, demonstrating the temporal heterogeneity of regional ER expression. Although loss and restoration of endocrine sensitivity in patients who have undergone prior hormonal and cytotoxic treatments has been reported, this is, to our knowledge, the first time the accompanying changes in ER expression have been documented by molecular imaging.

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