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Australian Cancer Resources Directory

About 125,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Australia each year. With population growth and aging this is set to rise to 150,000 new cases each year by 2020.1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia. (Source: Cancer Council Australia)

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National Organisations (32 links)

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Latest Research Publications

Small AG, Thwe le M, Byrne JA, et al.
Neuroblastoma, body mass index, and survival: a retrospective analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2015; 94(14):e713 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extremes of body mass index (BMI) at diagnosis of childhood cancers have been associated with poorer prognosis. The aims of this retrospective review were to examine the growth and BMI status of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma (NB) and determine if BMI status at diagnosis affected survival. Between 1985 and 2005, 154 children were diagnosed with NB at Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (Westmead), Australia, of which 129 had both length/height and weight recorded in the medical records at diagnosis. BMI was calculated and children were classified as underweight (BMI <15th percentile), normal weight, and overweight (BMI >85th percentile). Disease stage was classified according to the International NB Staging System. At diagnosis, 24.0% of the children were classified as underweight and 11.6% were overweight. Six months after diagnosis all children except those with stage 4s disease had a decrease in BMI z-score; difference in estimated marginal mean -0.73, P < .001. After 12 months an increase in BMI z-score was observed and by 2 years BMI z-score was significantly higher than BMI z-score at baseline; difference in estimated marginal mean 0.81, P = .007. At the last follow-up (median 5.6 years [range 3-7] after diagnosis) the proportion of children who were classified as underweight decreased to 8.7% and the proportion of children who were classified as overweight increased to 27.5%. The overall survival rate was 61.2%; however, BMI status did not predict survival. In multivariable Cox regression modeling, stage at diagnosis was the only predictor of survival; children diagnosed with stage 4 were less likely to survive (hazard ratio [HR] [95%CI]: 7.02 [1.7-29.0], P = .007). Almost a quarter of children with NB were underweight at diagnosis. However, we did not demonstrate a prognostic association between BMI status and survival. The high proportion of children who were classified as overweight at follow-up indicates a need for nutritional interventions to prevent potential late effects.

Sneddon S, Leon JS, Dick IM, et al.
Absence of germline mutations in BAP1 in sporadic cases of malignant mesothelioma.
Gene. 2015; 563(1):103-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a uniformly fatal tumour caused predominantly by exposure to asbestos. It is not known why some exposed individuals get mesothelioma and others do not. There is some epidemiological evidence of host susceptibility. BAP1 gene somatic mutations and allelic loss are common in mesothelioma and recently a BAP1 cancer syndrome was described in which affected individuals and families had an increased risk of cancer of multiple types, including MM. To determine if BAP1 mutations could underlie any of the sporadic mesothelioma cases in our cohort of patients, we performed targeted deep sequencing of the BAP1 exome on the IonTorrent Proton sequencer in 115 unrelated MM cases. No exonic germline BAP1 mutations of known functional significance were observed, further supporting the notion that sporadic germline BAP1 mutations are not relevant to the genetic susceptibility of MM.

Chiang PP, Glance D, Walker J, et al.
Implementing a QCancer risk tool into general practice consultations: an exploratory study using simulated consultations with Australian general practitioners.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112 Suppl 1:S77-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Reducing diagnostic delays in primary care by improving the assessment of symptoms associated with cancer could have significant impacts on cancer outcomes. Symptom risk assessment tools could improve the diagnostic assessment of patients with symptoms suggestive of cancer in primary care. We aimed to explore the use of a cancer risk tool, which implements the QCancer model, in consultations and its potential impact on clinical decision making.
METHODS: We implemented an exploratory 'action design' method with 15 general practitioners (GPs) from Victoria, Australia. General practitioners applied the risk tool in simulated consultations, conducted semi-structured interviews based on the normalisation process theory and explored issues relating to implementation of the tool.
RESULTS: The risk tool was perceived as being potentially useful for patients with complex histories. More experienced GPs were distrustful of the risk output, especially when it conflicted with their clinical judgement. Variable interpretation of symptoms meant that there was significant variation in risk assessment. When a risk output was high, GPs were confronted with numerical risk outputs creating challenges in consultation.
CONCLUSIONS: Significant barriers to implementing electronic cancer risk assessment tools in consultation could limit their uptake. These relate not only to the design and integration of the tool but also to variation in interpretation of clinical histories, and therefore variable risk outputs and strong beliefs in personal clinical intuition.

Allen K, Farah CS
Screening and referral of oral mucosal pathology: a check-up of Australian dentists.
Aust Dent J. 2015; 60(1):52-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oral squamous cell carcinomas and potentially malignant oral disorders can be detected early by visually inspecting the oral soft tissues. This study aimed to determine Australian dentists' opinions and practices regarding oral mucosal screening, referral and oral cancer prevention.
METHODS: Nine hundred and ninety-nine randomly selected general dentists were mailed a questionnaire. The questionnaire queried practitioners' opinions and perceptions of oral mucosal screening, their referral practices and their beliefs regarding detection and prevention of oral cancer.
RESULTS: A total of n=640 individuals responded, yielding a response rate of 70.2%. Most Australian dentists reported to routinely perform oral mucosal screening. Lack of training, confidence, time and financial incentives were seen as barriers to performing mucosal screening to at least some degree by participants in this study. Most dentists manage referrals for oral mucosal pathology appropriately; however, only about half believe in following up with referred patients. Only half of dentists surveyed believed that they could influence a patient to quit smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: Australian dentists place importance on oral mucosal screening. Some changes to dental education and training could be made to further improve confidence and ability of dentists in detecting and referring oral mucosal pathology.

Jones SB, Whitford HS, Bond MJ
Burden on informal caregivers of elderly cancer survivors: risk versus resilience.
J Psychosoc Oncol. 2015; 33(2):178-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study assessed psychological morbidity and resilience, including the subjective burden of 76 caregivers of elderly cancer survivors utilizing a cross-sectional questionnaire. Participants were mainly elderly female spouses, sole-caregiving > 35 hours per week; 19.1% and 23.6% reported moderate or greater anxiety and depression, respectively. A significant regression model found depression, emotion-focused coping, and greater years since diagnosis as significant predictors of subjective caregiver burden. Thus, caregiving appears a dominant role for this group and the Brief Assessment Scale for Caregivers of the Medically Ill (BASC) appears to be an efficient screening tool for psychological morbidity in this under-supported group.

Sala MA, Dhillon R, Brookes D, et al.
Indications for diagnostic open biopsy of mammographic screen-detected lesions preoperatively diagnosed as fibroadenomas by needle biopsy and their outcomes.
Clin Radiol. 2015; 70(5):507-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To identify the clinical, radiological, and histopathological factors that resulted in a diagnostic open biopsy of mammographic screen-detected lesions diagnosed preoperatively as fibroadenomas by needle biopsy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BreastScreen WA data over 10 year period from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2008 was reviewed.
RESULTS: Among the 760,027 women screened in Western Australia between 1999 and 2008, 31 had a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or a core biopsy (CB) diagnosing a fibroadenoma and subsequently underwent a diagnostic open biopsy (DOB). Three were preoperatively diagnosed as fibroadenoma by initial FNA but subsequent CB showed that these were not fibroadenomas and, therefore, were excluded from the present series. Of the 28 cases, DOB identified 21 fibroadenomas, two cellular fibroadenomas, two benign phyllodes tumours, one malignant phyllodes tumour, one fibroadenoma containing ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and one case of a 40mm adenosis tumour with a small 5mm fibroadenoma. The lesions ranged from 5-100mm in size with an average size of 28mm. DOB and CB results were concordant in 25 (89%) of the cases. The primary clinical indications for undergoing DOB included indeterminate histopathological findings of cellular fibroadenomas versus phyllodes tumour (n = 10), enlarging size (n = 4), large size (n = 5), fibroadenomas with atypia (n = 1), discordant radiological and pathological findings (n = 3), patient preference (n = 1), association with a second screen-detected lesion requiring excision (n = 2), and an unknown indication (n = 1).
CONCLUSION: CB diagnosis of fibroadenomas is a safe diagnosis unless it has atypical clinical, radiological, or pathological features.

Joham AE, Teede HJ, Ranasinha S, et al.
Prevalence of infertility and use of fertility treatment in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: data from a large community-based cohort study.
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015; 24(4):299-307 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 6%-21% of women. PCOS is the primary cause of anovulatory infertility, with major health and economic costs, yet we are unaware of any community-based, natural history studies on fertility and fertility treatments published to date. We aim to compare infertility, fertility treatment use, and relationship to body mass index (BMI) in women reporting PCOS to women not reporting PCOS in a community-based population.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal cohort study, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). For the ALSWH, women from the general community were randomly selected from the national public insurance database. Mailed survey data were collected at multiple time points. At survey 4, there were 9145 respondents aged 28-33 years. Of 8612 women with known PCOS status, 478 women reported having PCOS. Information regarding fertility status was available for 4856 women. This was the subgroup used in this analysis. The main outcomes measures are self-reported PCOS status, BMI, infertility, and use of fertility therapies including ovulation induction and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with infertility and use of fertility treatment.
RESULTS: Self-reported PCOS prevalence was 5.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.3%-6.4%). Infertility was noted by 72% of 309 women reporting PCOS, compared with 16% of 4547 women not reporting PCOS (p<0.001). Infertility was 15-fold higher in women reporting PCOS (adjusted odds ratio 14.9, 95% CI 10.9-20.3), independent of BMI. Of women reporting infertility, there was greater use of fertility hormone treatment, (62%, n=116 vs. 33%, n=162, p<0.001) in women reporting PCOS; however, IVF use was similar.
CONCLUSIONS: In this community-based cohort of women, infertility and use of fertility hormone treatment was significantly higher in women reporting PCOS. Considering the prevalence of PCOS and the health and economic burden of infertility, strategies to optimize fertility are important.

Thanh Pham T, Cross S, Gebski V, Veness MJ
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lip in Australian patients: definitive radiotherapy is an efficacious option to surgery in select patients.
Dermatol Surg. 2015; 41(2):219-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In Australia, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lip is a consequence of chronic sun exposure and treated as a nonmelanoma skin cancer. Patients may be recommended radiotherapy (RT) as a treatment modality.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the outcome of patients with early-stage SCC of the lip treated with definitive RT at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia, between 1980 and 2012.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Ninety-three patients with early-stage SCC of the lip underwent RT. All patients were clinically node negative based on examination and/or relevant investigations. Retrospective chart review was performed. Patients treated since 2000 had data collected and entered prospectively.
RESULTS: The most frequently involved site was the lower lip (93%). Fifty-six patients (60%) had T1N0 and 37 patients (40%) had T2N0 disease. Most patients were treated with superficial or orthovoltage RT, with the median RT dose delivered 55 Gy (range, 40 to 70 Gy). Local recurrence occurred in 5 patients (5%), whereas regional metastases developed in 5 patients (5%). One patient developed concurrent local and regional relapse. No patient developed distant metastases. The 5-year recurrence-free survival was 90%.
CONCLUSION: The findings confirm the efficacy of RT as an efficacious treatment option in early-stage lip SCC.

Wong E, Ling V, Westerman D, et al.
How unique is pure erythroid leukaemia? A retrospective analysis of seven cases and review of the literature.
J Clin Pathol. 2015; 68(4):301-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Pure erythroid leukaemia (PEL) is a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and its clinicopathological features are not well-defined. The aim of this study was to describe the immunophenotypic, cytogenetic and clinical features of PEL and to compare these with cases of AML with ≥ 50% erythroblasts.
METHODS: Cases of PEL according to WHO morphological criteria diagnosed at three institutions from 1997 to 2013 were included. A comparison cohort comprised of AML with ≥ 50% erythroblasts. The clinical, histopathology, immunophenotypic and cytogenetic features of cases were analysed. We also reviewed the existing literature on PEL, and combined our cohort with previously reported cases of PEL in a pooled analysis.
RESULTS: There were seven cases of PEL diagnosed at our institutions. There was a high incidence of either prior chemoradiotherapy exposure or evolution from pre-existing myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) (71%). The leukaemic blasts frequently expressed glycophorin C (100%), CD117 (83%) and were myeloperoxidase negative (83%). Complex karyotypes were present in 83% of cases. Median overall survival was 2.9 months. Compared with AML with ≥ 50% erythroblasts, cases of PEL demonstrated a higher incidence of adverse-risk cytogenetics (p=0.01) and prior exposure to chemoradiotherapy (p=0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: PEL appears to be a unique entity that is often secondary or therapy related, commonly features a complex karyotype and has a poor prognosis. It is morphologically and immunophenotypically distinct from other cases of AML with erythroid hyperplasia.

Weerakoon M, Papa N, Lawrentschuk N, et al.
The current use of active surveillance in an Australian cohort of men: a pattern of care analysis from the Victorian Prostate Cancer Registry.
BJU Int. 2015; 115 Suppl 5:50-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the treatment trends and patterns of care, for men with prostate cancer on active surveillance (AS) in Victoria, Australia.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: De-identified data was obtained for 6424 men from the Victorian Prostate Cancer Registry. Men included in this study were diagnosed with prostate cancer from 2008 to August 2012 with ≥ 12-months of follow-up. Patients were stratified using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) risk grouping system and those who were not actively treated were identified. Data was acquired to describe the trends and uptake of AS according to public vs private hospital sector, and regional vs metropolitan regions.
RESULTS: In all, 1603/6424 (24.9%) men received no treatment with curative intent at 12-months follow-up. This cohort included patients in whom the chosen management plan was recorded as AS (980/1603, 61.1%), watchful waiting (341/1603, 21.3%), or no management plan (282/1603, 17.6%). From this, 980/6424(15.3%) of the patients were recorded as being on AS across all NCCN categories at 12 months after diagnosis. This included 653/1816 (35.9%) of very low- and low-risk men, and 251/2820 (8.9%) of intermediate-risk men. Of our patients on AS, 169/980 (17.2%) progressed onto active treatment after 12 months. This active treatment included radical prostatectomy in 116 (68.6%), 32 (18.9%) undergoing external beam radiation therapy, 12 (7.1%) undergoingt brachytherapy and nine (5.3%) undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy. Overall, 629/979 (64.2%) of the AS patients were notified from a private hospital, with 350/979 (35.7%) of the patients notified from a public hospital (one patient unclassified). Of these, 202/652 (30.9%) of the AS patients with very low-/low-risk disease were managed in the public sector, vs 450/652 (69%) of very low-/low-risk AS patients being managed in the private sector. In our cohort, patients with very low- and low-risk disease, managed in a private hospital, were more likely to be on AS (P = 0.005). AS patients in the private sector were also a median of 2.8 years younger (median 65.6 vs 68.4 years, P < 0.001); had a lower median PSA level (5.3 vs 6.7 ng/mL, P < 0.001); and had lower biopsy Gleason score and clinical staging. There was no significant difference in the uptake of AS demographically, in our cohort of men between metropolitan and regional areas.
CONCLUSION: In this contemporary registry-based population, AS is being used in a significant proportion of patients. The proportion of men progressing to intervention is lower than that reported in the current literature. Patients are more likely to be on AS if they are managed in a private hospital, with no differences in the uptake of AS, from metropolitan to regional areas.

Hart R, Doherty DA
The potential implications of a PCOS diagnosis on a woman's long-term health using data linkage.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015; 100(3):911-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the commonest endocrine abnormality in women of reproductive age.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of hospital admissions for women with PCOS in Western Australian population in comparison to women without PCOS.
DESIGN: A population-based retrospective cohort study using data linkage in a statewide hospital morbidity database system.
SETTING: All hospitals within Western Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2566 women with PCOS hospitalized from 1997-2011 and 25 660 randomly selected age-matched women without a PCOS diagnosis derived from the electoral roll.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hospitalizations by ICD-10-M diagnoses from 15 years were compared.
RESULTS: Hospitalizations were followed until a median age of 35.8 years (interquartile range, 31.0-39.9). PCOS was associated with more nonobstetric and non-injury-related hospital admissions (median, 5 vs 2; P < .001), a diagnosis of adult-onset diabetes (12.5 vs 3.8%), obesity (16.0 vs 3.7%), hypertensive disorder (3.8 vs 0.7%), ischemic heart disease (0.8 vs 0.2%), cerebrovascular disease (0.6 vs 0.2%), arterial and venous disease (0.5 vs 0.2% and 10.4 vs 5.6%, respectively), asthma (10.6 vs 4.5%), stress/anxiety (14.0 vs 5.9%), depression (9.8 vs 4.3%), licit/illicit drug-related admissions (8.8 vs 4.5%), self-harm (7.2 vs 2.9%), land transport accidents (5.2 vs 3.8%), and mortality (0.7 vs 0.4%) (all P < .001). Women with PCOS had a higher rate of admissions for menorrhagia (14.1 vs 3.6%), treatment of infertility (40.9 vs 4.6%), and miscarriage (11.1 vs 6.1%) and were more likely to require in vitro fertilization (17.2 vs 2.0%).
CONCLUSION: PCOS has profound medical implications for the health of women, and health care resources should be directed accordingly.

Aye PS, Elwood JM, Stevanovic V
Comparison of cancer survival in New Zealand and Australia, 2006-2010.
N Z Med J. 2014; 127(1407):14-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Previous studies have shown substantially higher mortality rates from cancer in New Zealand compared to Australia, but these studies have not included data on patient survival. This study compares the survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 2006-10 in the whole populations of New Zealand and Australia.
METHOD: Identical period survival methods were used to calculate relative survival ratios for all cancers combined, and for 18 cancers each accounting for more than 50 deaths per year in New Zealand, from 1 to 10 years from diagnosis.
RESULTS: Cancer survival was lower in New Zealand, with 5-year relative survival being 4.2% lower in women, and 3.8% lower in men for all cancers combined. Of 18 cancers, 14 showed lower survival in New Zealand; the exceptions, with similar survival in each country, being melanoma, myeloma, mesothelioma, and cervical cancer. For most cancers, the differences in survival were maximum at 1 year after diagnosis, becoming smaller later; however, for breast cancer, the survival difference increased with time after diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: The lower survival in New Zealand, and the higher mortality rates shown earlier, suggest that further improvements in recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in New Zealand should be possible. As the survival differences are seen soon after diagnosis, issues of early management in primary care and time intervals to diagnosis and treatment may be particularly important.

Bartelink H, Maingon P, Poortmans P, et al.
Whole-breast irradiation with or without a boost for patients treated with breast-conserving surgery for early breast cancer: 20-year follow-up of a randomised phase 3 trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(1):47-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Since the introduction of breast-conserving treatment, various radiation doses after lumpectomy have been used. In a phase 3 randomised controlled trial, we investigated the effect of a radiation boost of 16 Gy on overall survival, local control, and fibrosis for patients with stage I and II breast cancer who underwent breast-conserving treatment compared with patients who received no boost. Here, we present the 20-year follow-up results.
METHODS: Patients with microscopically complete excision for invasive disease followed by whole-breast irradiation of 50 Gy in 5 weeks were centrally randomised (1:1) with a minimisation algorithm to receive 16 Gy boost or no boost, with minimisation for age, menopausal status, presence of extensive ductal carcinoma in situ, clinical tumour size, nodal status, and institution. Neither patients nor investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was overall survival in the intention-to-treat population. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02295033.
FINDINGS: Between May 24, 1989, and June 25, 1996, 2657 patients were randomly assigned to receive no radiation boost and 2661 patients randomly assigned to receive a radiation boost. Median follow-up was 17.2 years (IQR 13.0-19.0). 20-year overall survival was 59.7% (99% CI 56.3-63.0) in the boost group versus 61.1% (57.6-64.3) in the no boost group, hazard ratio (HR) 1.05 (99% CI 0.92-1.19, p=0.323). Ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence was the first treatment failure for 354 patients (13%) in the no boost group versus 237 patients (9%) in the boost group, HR 0.65 (99% CI 0.52-0.81, p<0.0001). The 20-year cumulative incidence of ipsilatelal breast tumour recurrence was 16.4% (99% CI 14.1-18.8) in the no boost group versus 12.0% (9.8-14.4) in the boost group. Mastectomies as first salvage treatment for ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence occurred in 279 (79%) of 354 patients in the no boost group versus 178 (75%) of 237 in the boost group. The cumulative incidence of severe fibrosis at 20 years was 1.8% (99% CI 1.1-2.5) in the no boost group versus 5.2% (99% CI 3.9-6.4) in the boost group (p<0.0001).
INTERPRETATION: A radiation boost after whole-breast irradiation has no effect on long-term overall survival, but can improve local control, with the largest absolute benefit in young patients, although it increases the risk of moderate to severe fibrosis. The extra radiation dose can be avoided in most patients older than age 60 years.
FUNDING: Fonds Cancer, Belgium.

Cuzick J, Sestak I, Cawthorn S, et al.
Tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancer: extended long-term follow-up of the IBIS-I breast cancer prevention trial.
Lancet Oncol. 2015; 16(1):67-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Four previously published randomised clinical trials have shown that tamoxifen can reduce the risk of breast cancer in healthy women at increased risk of breast cancer in the first 10 years of follow-up. We report the long-term follow-up of the IBIS-I trial, in which the participants and investigators remain largely masked to treatment allocation.
METHODS: In the IBIS-I randomised controlled trial, premenopausal and postmenopausal women 35-70 years of age deemed to be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive oral tamoxifen 20 mg daily or matching placebo for 5 years. Patients were randomly assigned to the two treatment groups by telephone or fax according to a block randomisation schedule (permuted block sizes of six or ten). Patients and investigators were masked to treatment assignment by use of central randomisation and coded drug supply. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of breast cancer (invasive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ), analysed by intention to treat. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess breast cancer occurrence and mortality. The trial is closed to recruitment and active treatment is completed, but long-term follow-up is ongoing. This trial is registered with controlledtrials.com, number ISRCTN91879928.
FINDINGS: Between April 14, 1992, and March 30, 2001, 7154 eligible women recruited from genetics clinics and breast care clinics in eight countries were enrolled into the IBIS-I trial and were randomly allocated to the two treatment groups: 3579 to tamoxifen and 3575 to placebo. After a median follow up of 16.0 years (IQR 14.1-17.6), 601 breast cancers have been reported (251 [7.0%] in 3579 patients in the tamoxifen group vs 350 [9.8%] in 3575 women in the placebo group; hazard ratio [HR] 0.71 [95% CI 0.60-0.83], p<0.0001). The risk of developing breast cancer was similar between years 0-10 (226 [6.3%] in 3575 women in the placebo group vs 163 [4.6%] in 3579 women in the tamoxifen group; hazard ratio [HR] 0.72 [95% CI 0.59-0.88], p=0.001) and after 10 years (124 [3.8%] in 3295 women vs 88 [2.6%] in 3343, respectively; HR 0.69 [0.53-0.91], p=0.009). The greatest reduction in risk was seen in invasive oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (HR 0.66 [95% CI 0.54-0.81], p<0.0001) and ductal carcinoma in situ (0.65 [0.43-1.00], p=0.05), but no effect was noted for invasive oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer (HR 1.05 [95% CI 0.71-1.57], p=0.8).
INTERPRETATION: These results show that tamoxifen offers a very long period of protection after treatment cessation, and thus substantially improves the benefit-to-harm ratio of the drug for breast cancer prevention.
FUNDING: Cancer Research UK (UK) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia).

Cummings MC, Marquart L, Pelecanos AM, et al.
Which are more correctly diagnosed: conventional Papanicolaou smears or Thinprep samples? A comparative study of 9 years of external quality-assurance testing.
Cancer Cytopathol. 2015; 123(2):108-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Cytopathology Quality Assurance Program offers external testing in gynecologic cytology to Australasian and international laboratories. Laboratory interpretation of conventional Papanicolaou (Pap) smears is compared with interpretation of liquid-based cervical cytologic (ThinPrep) samples.
METHODS: Conventional Pap smears and ThinPrep samples were distributed to participating laboratories annually over 9 years (from 2004 to 2012), and a range of entities was tested. Target responses and major error rates and diagnostic trends over time were explored.
RESULTS: In total, 23,373 conventional Pap smears and 14,104 ThinPrep samples were reported. Both Australasian (P = .003) and international (P < .001) laboratories achieved a higher percentage of the target diagnosis of squamous dysplasia with ThinPrep samples. Australasian laboratories more accurately diagnosed endocervical adenocarcinoma in situ with conventional smears (P = .036), whereas international laboratories performed better with ThinPrep samples (P = .006). Sampling of the lower uterine segment was more accurately diagnosed by both Australasian (P < .001) and international (P = .001) laboratories using conventional Pap smears. Significant improvements in achieving the target diagnosis over time for squamous dysplasias using both modalities were observed for Australasian and international laboratories (P < .001 for both). There was improvement in diagnosing high sampling using ThinPrep for both groups (P = .001 and P = .015, respectively). Australasian performance declined over time in reaching the target of normal (no infections) for both conventional (P = .001) and ThinPrep (P < .001) techniques and for international laboratories with the ThinPrep technique (P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: Participation in external proficiency testing in cervical cytology allows an analysis of performance, the identification of areas of diagnostic difficulty, a review of trends over time, and the highlighting of topics for ongoing education.

Liede A, Bach BA, Stryker S, et al.
Regional variation and challenges in estimating the incidence of giant cell tumor of bone.
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014; 96(23):1999-2007 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Estimating the incidence of giant cell tumor of bone is challenging because few population-based cancer registries record benign bone tumors. We compared two approaches, the indirect (relative index) estimation approach used in The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States (BMUS) and a direct incidence rate approach (from registries that record giant cell tumor), to estimate giant cell tumor incidence in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., Sweden, Australia, Canada, Japan, and the U.S.
METHODS: Giant cell tumor of bone incidence was calculated with use of the BMUS relative index of giant cell tumor to osteosarcoma in three scenarios (low, base case, and high) from case series. We compared the BMUS approach with the latest data from tumor registries in Australia (1972 to 1996), Japan (2006 to 2008), and Sweden (1993 to 2011) that record giant cell tumors. United Nations population estimates were used to project results to 2013.
RESULTS: The low scenario in the BMUS approach reflects data from Unni and Inwards; the incidence of giant cell tumor of bone is 0.34 relative to osteosarcoma. As the incidence of osteosarcoma is 31.4% of the total incidence of bone and joint cancers, the incidence of giant cell tumor is 0.11 times that of all bone and joint cancers. The base scenario reflects the series by Mirra et al., with a giant cell tumor incidence of 0.47 relative to osteosarcoma (0.15 to all bone and joint cancers). The high scenario reflects the series by Ward, with an incidence of 0.84 relative to osteosarcoma (0.26 to all bone and joint cancers). Differences among the three series reflect referral to a national center of excellence compared with referral to a local oncology practice. Registry data indicated a giant cell tumor incidence rate per million per year of 1.33 in Australia, 1.03 in Japan, and 1.11 in Sweden in 2013. The estimated incidence rate per million in the ten countries in 2013 ranged from 1.03 (Japan) to 1.17 (Canada) with use of the registry-based approach and from 0.73 (Japan) for the low scenario) to 2.20 (Germany) for the base case with use of the BMUS approach.
CONCLUSIONS: Giant cell tumor of bone affects approximately one person per million per year in the ten countries studied. Estimates derived with use of age-specific incidences from tumor registries were typically within the range of the low and base case BMUS scenarios. We recommend the registry-derived method for estimating the incidence of giant cell tumor.

Beesley VL, Rowlands IJ, Hayes SC, et al.
Incidence, risk factors and estimates of a woman's risk of developing secondary lower limb lymphedema and lymphedema-specific supportive care needs in women treated for endometrial cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2015; 136(1):87-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Few studies have assessed the risk and impact of lymphedema among women treated for endometrial cancer. We aimed to quantify cumulative incidence of, and risk factors for developing lymphedema following treatment for endometrial cancer and estimate absolute risk for individuals. Further, we report unmet needs for help with lymphedema-specific issues.
METHODS: Women treated for endometrial cancer (n = 1243) were followed-up 3-5 years after diagnosis; a subset of 643 completed a follow-up survey that asked about lymphedema and lymphedema-related support needs. We identified a diagnosis of secondary lymphedema from medical records or self-report. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate risk factors and estimates.
RESULTS: Overall, 13% of women developed lymphedema. Risk varied markedly with the number of lymph nodes removed and, to a lesser extent, receipt of adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (pre-diagnosis). The absolute risk of developing lymphedema was >50% for women with 15+ nodes removed and 2-3 additional risk factors, 30-41% for those with 15+ nodes removed plus 0-1 risk factors or 6-14 nodes removed plus 3 risk factors, but ≤ 8% for women with no nodes removed or 1-5 nodes but no additional risk factors. Over half (55%) of those who developed lymphedema reported unmet need(s), particularly with lymphedema-related costs and pain.
CONCLUSION: Lymphedema is common; experienced by one in eight women following endometrial cancer. Women who have undergone lymphadenectomy have very high risks of lymphedema and should be informed how to self-monitor for symptoms. Affected women need greater levels of support.

Kvaskoff M, Pandeya N, Green AC, et al.
Solar elastosis and cutaneous melanoma: a site-specific analysis.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(12):2900-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cutaneous melanomas are postulated to arise through at least two causal pathways, namely the "chronic sun exposure" and "nevus" pathways. While chronic sun exposure probably causes many head/neck melanomas, its role at other sites is unclear. In a population-based, case-case comparison study conducted in Brisbane, Australia, we determined the prevalence and epidemiologic correlates of chronic solar damage in skin adjacent to invasive, incident melanomas on the trunk (n = 418) or head/neck (n = 92) among patients aged 18-79 in 2007-2010. Participants self-reported information about environmental and phenotypic factors, and a dermatologist counted nevi and actinic keratoses. Dermatopathologists assessed solar elastosis adjacent to each melanoma using a four-point scale (nil, mild, moderate, marked), and noted the presence or absence of adjacent neval remnants. We measured associations between various factors and solar elastosis using polytomous logistic regression. Marked or moderate solar elastosis was observed in 10% and 27%, respectively, of trunk melanomas, and 60% and 17%, respectively, of head/neck melanomas. At both sites, marked elastosis was positively associated with age (p(trend)  < 0.0001) and inversely associated with neval remnants (p(trend)  < 0.001). For trunk melanomas, marked elastosis was associated with highest quartiles of total sun exposure [odds-ratio (OR) = 5.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.08-27.60] and facial freckling (OR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.17-7.56), and inversely associated with deeply tanning skin (OR = 0.29, 95% CI = 0.08-1.11) and high nevus counts (OR = 0.08, 95% CI = 0.01-0.66). Mostly similar associations were observed with moderate solar elastosis. About one in three trunk melanomas in Queensland have evidence of moderate-to-marked sun damage, and they differ in risk associations from those without.

Watts CG, Cust AE, Menzies SW, et al.
Specialized surveillance for individuals at high risk for melanoma: a cost analysis of a high-risk clinic.
JAMA Dermatol. 2015; 151(2):178-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Regular surveillance of individuals at high risk for cutaneous melanoma improves early detection and reduces unnecessary excisions; however, a cost analysis of this specialized service has not been undertaken.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the mean cost per patient of surveillance in a high-risk clinic from the health service and societal perspectives.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We used a bottom-up microcosting method to measure resource use in a consecutive sample of 102 patients treated in a high-risk hospital-based clinic in Australia during a 12-month period.
EXPOSURE: Surveillance and treatment of melanoma.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: All surveillance and treatment procedures were identified through direct observation, review of medical records, and interviews with staff and were valued using scheduled fees from the Australian government. Societal costs included transportation and loss of productivity.
RESULTS: The mean number of clinic visits per year was 2.7 (95% CI, 2.5-2.8) for surveillance and 3.8 (95% CI, 3.4-4.1) for patients requiring surgical excisions. The mean annual cost per patient to the health system was A $882 (95% CI, A $783-$982) (US $599 [95% CI, US $532-$665]); the cost discounted across 20 years was A $11,546 (95% CI, A $10,263-$12,829) (US $7839 [95% CI, US $6969-$8710]). The mean annual societal cost per patient (excluding health system costs) was A $972 (95% CI, A $899-$1045) (US $660 [95% CI, US $611-$710]); the cost discounted across 20 years was A $12,721 (95% CI, A $12,554-$14,463) (US $8637 [95% CI, US $8523-$9820]). Diagnosis of melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer and frequent excisions for benign lesions in a relatively small number of patients was responsible for positively skewed health system costs.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Microcosting techniques provide an accurate cost estimate for the provision of a specialized service. The high societal cost reflects the time that patients are willing to invest to attend the high-risk clinic. This alternative model of care for a high-risk population has relevance for decision making about health policy.

Price TJ, Beeke C, Ullah S, et al.
Does the primary site of colorectal cancer impact outcomes for patients with metastatic disease?
Cancer. 2015; 121(6):830-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous reports have described differences in biology and outcome for colorectal cancer based on whether the primary is right or left sided. Further division by right, left, and rectum or even exact primary site has also been explored. Possible differences in response to biological agents have also been reported based on side of primary lesion.
METHODS: We explored the South Australian registry for metastatic colorectal cancer to assess if there were any differences in patient characteristics, prognostic markers, and treatment received and outcomes based on whether the primary was right or left sided. We also explored if differences exist based on left colon and rectum and by exact primary site.
RESULTS: Two thousand nine hundred seventy-two patients were analyzed. Thirty-five percent had a right-sided primary. The median overall survival for the entire group right versus left was 9.6 versus 20.3 months (P < .001). Multivariate analysis confirmed side of primary as an independent prognostic factor. For the group that had active therapy, defined as chemotherapy (± metastasis resection), median overall survival was right, 18.2 months; and left, 29.4 months (P < .001). Importantly, we found no suggestion of major differences if left side was divided by left colon and rectum, and trends by individual site still supported a left and right division.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a right-sided primary have more negative prognostic factors and indeed have inferior outcomes compared with those with a left-sided primary. Our data with further breakdown by exact site still favor a simple left-versus-right division moving forward for metastatic colorectal cancer.

Okolicsanyi RK, Buffiere A, Jacinto JM, et al.
Association of heparan sulfate proteoglycans SDC1 and SDC4 polymorphisms with breast cancer in an Australian Caucasian population.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(3):1731-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a common disease in both developing and developed countries with early identification and treatment improving prognosis and survival. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) are key components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that mediate cell adhesion, motility, proliferation, invasion and cell signalling. Members of the syndecan family of HSPGs have been identified to be involved in breast cancer progression through their varied interactions with a number of growth factors, ligands and receptors. Specifically, high expression levels of syndecan-1 (SDC1) have been demonstrated in more invasive breast tumours while elevated syndecan-4 (SDC4) levels have been identified to correspond with improved prognosis. With genetic changes in the syndecans and their association with breast cancers plausible, we examined two single nucleotide polymorphisms in SDC1 (rs1131351) and SDC4 (rs67068737) within an Australian Caucasian breast cancer case/control population. No association was found with SDC4 and breast cancer in our population. However, a significant association between SDC1 and breast cancer was identified in both our case/control population and in a replication cohort. When both populations were combined for analysis, this association became more significant (genotype, p = 0.0003; allele, p = 0.0001). This data suggests an increased risk of developing breast cancer associated with the presence of the C allele of the SDC1 rs1131351 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and may provide a marker toward early breast cancer detection.

Steffen A, Weber MF, Roder DM, Banks E
Colorectal cancer screening and subsequent incidence of colorectal cancer: results from the 45 and Up Study.
Med J Aust. 2014; 201(9):523-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening history and subsequent incidence of CRC in New South Wales, Australia.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 196,464 people from NSW recruited to the 45 and Up Study, a large Australian population-based prospective study, by completing a baseline questionnaire distributed from January 2006 to December 2008. Individuals without pre-existing cancer were followed for a mean of 3.78 years (SD, 0.92 years) through linkage to population health datasets.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of CRC; hazard ratio (HR) according to screening history, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, income, education, remoteness, family history, aspirin use, smoking, diabetes, alcohol use, physical activity and dietary factors.
RESULTS: Overall, 1096 cases of incident CRC accrued (454 proximal colon, 240 distal colon, 349 rectal and 53 unspecified cancers). Ever having undergone CRC screening before baseline was associated with a 44% reduced risk of developing CRC during follow-up (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.49-0.63) compared with never having undergone screening. This effect was more pronounced for those reporting endoscopy (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.43-0.58) than those reporting faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) (HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.52-0.72). Associations for all screening exposures were strongest for rectal cancer (HR, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.27-0.45) followed by distal colon cancer (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.78), while relationships were weaker for cancers of the proximal colon (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62-0.92).
CONCLUSION: CRC incidence is lower among individuals with a history of CRC screening, through either FOBT or endoscopy, compared with individuals who have never had CRC screening, lasting for at least 4 years after screening.

Gunnell AS, Knuiman MW, Divitini ML, Cormie P
Leisure time physical activity and long-term cardiovascular and cancer outcomes: the Busselton Health Study.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2014; 29(11):851-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The study aimed to investigate whether meeting leisure time physical activity recommendations was associated with reduced incident and fatal cancer or cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a community-based cohort of middle- to late-aged adults with long-term follow-up. At baseline, 2,320 individuals were assessed on a large number of lifestyle and clinical parameters including their level of physical activity per week, other risk factors (e.g. smoking and alcohol use) various anthropometric measures, blood tests and medical history. Individuals were linked to hospital and mortality registry data to identify future cancer and cardiovascular events (fatal and non-fatal) out to 15 years of follow-up. Cox regression analyses adjusted for relevant confounders identified a priori were used to estimate risk for all-cause, cancer-specific and CVD-specific mortality. In the full cohort an estimated 21 % decreased risk for all-cause mortality (HR 0.79; 95 % CI 0.66-0.96) and 22 % decreased risk for fatal/non-fatal CVD events (HR 0.78; 95 % CI 0.66-0.92) was associated with baseline self-reported physical activity levels of 150 min or more. After exclusion of those with chronic co-morbidities (CVD, cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension treatment) at baseline, lower risk for fatal/non-fatal CVD events remained significantly associated with 150 min or more of physical activity (HR 0.77; 95 % CI 0.62-0.96). Results from this well established prospective community-based cohort study support the role of leisure time physical activity in reducing all-cause mortality and CVD events (fatal/nonfatal) in the broader population studied. The data also suggest that physical activity associated reductions in risk for CVD events (fatal/nonfatal) were not overly impacted by prevalent key non-communicable diseases.

Fernandez-Navarro P, González-Neira A, Pita G, et al.
Genome wide association study identifies a novel putative mammographic density locus at 1q12-q21.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(10):2427-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mammographic density (MD) is an intermediate phenotype for breast cancer. Previous studies have identified genetic variants associated with MD; however, much of the genetic contribution to MD is unexplained. We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association analysis among the participants in the "Determinants of Density in Mammographies in Spain" study, together with a replication analysis in women from the Australian MD Twins and Sisters Study. Our discovery set covered a total of 3,351 Caucasian women aged 45 to 68 years, recruited from Spanish breast cancer screening centres. MD was blindly assessed by a single reader using Boyd's scale. A two-stage approach was employed, including a feature selection phase exploring 575,374 SNPs in 239 pairs of women with extreme phenotypes and a verification stage for the 183 selected SNPs in the remaining sample (2,873 women). Replication was conducted in 1,786 women aged 40 to 70 years old recruited via the Australian Twin Registry, where MD were measured using Cumulus-3.0, assessing 14 SNPs with a p value <0.10 in stage 2. Finally, two genetic variants in high linkage disequilibrium with our best hit were studied using the whole Spanish sample. Evidence of association with MD was found for variant rs11205277 (OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.67-0.81; p = 1.33 × 10(-10) ). In replication analysis, only a marginal association between this SNP and absolute dense area was found. There were also evidence of association between MD and SNPs in high linkage disequilibrium with rs11205277, rs11205303 in gene MTMR11 (OR = 0.73; 95% CI = 0.66-0.80; p = 2.64 × 10(-11) ) and rs67807996 in gene OTUD7B (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.66-0.80; p = 2.03 × 10(-11)). Our findings provide additional evidence on common genetic variations that may contribute to MD.

Wong SF, Norman R, Dunning TL, et al.
A protocol for a discrete choice experiment: understanding preferences of patients with cancer towards their cancer care across metropolitan and rural regions in Australia.
BMJ Open. 2014; 4(10):e006661 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Medical decision-making in oncology is a complicated process and to date there are few studies examining how patients with cancer make choices with respect to different features of their care. It is also unknown whether patient choices vary by geographical location and how location could account for observed rural and metropolitan cancer differences. This paper describes an ongoing study that aims to (1) examine patient and healthcare-related factors that influence choices of patients with cancer; (2) measure and quantify preferences of patients with cancer towards cancer care using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) and (3) explore preference heterogeneity between metropolitan and rural locations.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A DCE is being conducted to understand how patients with cancer choose between two clinical scenarios accounting for different patient and healthcare-related factors (and levels). Preliminary qualitative research was undertaken to guide the development of an appropriate DCE design including characteristics that are important and relevant to patients with cancer. A fractional factorial design using the D-efficiency criteria was used to estimate interactions among attributes. Multinomial logistic regression will be used for the primary DCE analysis and to control for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The Barwon Health Human Research Ethics Committee approved the study. Findings from the study will be presented in national/international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. Our results will form the basis of a feasibility study to inform the development of a larger scale study into preferences of patients with cancer and their association with cancer outcomes.

Sestak I, Cuzick J, Dowsett M, et al.
Prediction of late distant recurrence after 5 years of endocrine treatment: a combined analysis of patients from the Austrian breast and colorectal cancer study group 8 and arimidex, tamoxifen alone or in combination randomized trials using the PAM50 risk of recurrence score.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(8):916-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We have previously shown that the PAM50-based risk of recurrence (ROR) score is significantly correlated with distant recurrence in both the translational research cohort within the Arimidex, Tamoxifen Alone or in Combination (ATAC) trial (TransATAC) and Austrian Breast and Colorectal Cancer Study Group 8 (ABCSG 8) randomized trials. Here, we focus on the ROR score for predicting distant recurrence after 5 years of follow-up in a combined analysis of these two randomized trials.
METHODS: Long-term follow-up data and tissue samples were obtained from 2,137 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early-stage breast cancer from the ABCSG 8 and TransATAC trials. We used Cox proportional hazard regression models to determine the prognostic value of ROR for distant recurrence beyond 5 years in the combined data set.
RESULTS: A total of 2,137 women who did not have a recurrence 5 years after diagnosis were included in the combined analyses. The Clinical Treatment Score (CTS) was the strongest prognostic factor 5 years after diagnosis (univariable: likelihood ratio [LR] χ(2) = 94.12, bivariable: LR χ(2) = 61.43). The ROR score was significantly prognostic by itself in years 5 to 10. In the node-negative/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative subgroup, more prognostic value for late distant recurrence was added by the ROR score compared with the CTS.
CONCLUSION: The ROR score added clinically meaningful prognostic information to the CTS in all patients and all subgroups in the late follow-up period. These results suggest that the ROR score may be helpful for separating patients into risk groups who could be spared or potentially benefit from extended hormonal therapy beyond 5 years of treatment.

Currow DC, You H, Aranda S, et al.
What factors are predictive of surgical resection and survival from localised non-small cell lung cancer?
Med J Aust. 2014; 201(8):475-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate opportunities to reduce lung cancer mortality after diagnosis of localised non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in New South Wales through surgical resection.
DESIGN, PATIENTS AND SETTING: In this cohort study, resection rates and lung cancer mortality risk were explored using multivariate logistic regression and competing risk regression, respectively. Data for 3040 patients were extracted from the NSW Central Cancer Registry for the diagnostic period 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2007. Subset analyses for patients at low surgical risk indicated resection rates and outcomes under ideal circumstances.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Resection rates and lung cancer mortality.
RESULTS: The resection rate in NSW was estimated to be between 38% and 43%, peaking at 59% by local health district (LHD) of residence. Not having a resection was associated with older age, lower socioeconomic status, lack of private health insurance, and residence by LHD. Adjusted 5-year cumulated probabilities of death were 76% in absence of resection, 30% for wedge resection, 18% for segmental resection, 22% for lobectomy and 45% for pneumonectomy. Of 255 "low surgical risk" patients, 71% had a resection. Those not receiving a resection had a higher probability of death (adjusted subhazard ratio, 14.1; 95% CI, 7.2-27.5). If the low overall resection rate of 38%-43% in NSW were increased to 59% (the highest LHD resection rate), the proportion of all patients with localised NSCLC dying of NSCLC in the 5 years from diagnosis would decrease by about 10%, based on differences in probabilities of death by resection estimated in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential exists to reduce deaths from NSCLC in NSW through increased resection.

Parker C, Tong SY, Dempsey K, et al.
Hepatocellular carcinoma in Australia's Northern Territory: high incidence and poor outcome.
Med J Aust. 2014; 201(8):470-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology, clinical features, management and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the Northern Territory over the past decade.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PATIENTS: An NT-wide epidemiology study covering the period 1991-2010 and a clinical cohort study including patients diagnosed during 2000-2011. HCC diagnoses were provided by the NT Cancer Registry and cross-checked against clinical records.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Age-adjusted incidence of HCC; management; clinical features; and median and 1-year survival.
RESULTS: There were 145 incident cases of HCC in the NT during 1991-2010, giving an age-adjusted annual incidence of 22.7/100 000 (95% CI, 17.2-26.8) for Indigenous Australians and 4.0/100 000 (95% CI, 2.1-5.8) for non-Indigenous Australians - an incidence rate ratio of 5.9 (95% CI, 4.7-7.4). There was no significant change in annual age-adjusted incidence over this period. The most common causative factors were hepatitis B virus in Indigenous people and hepatitis C virus in non-Indigenous people. Most people were diagnosed late, only 13/80 were diagnosed by screening, and outcomes were poor, with 28/80 overall surviving to 1 year. Outcomes were better among those managed through a centralised multidisciplinary service than among those who were not (adjusted hazard ratio for death at 1 year, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.16-0.81]).
CONCLUSION: HCC incidence remains high in the Indigenous people of the NT. More resources are needed for HCC surveillance and management programs in this population.

Hocking C, Broadbridge VT, Karapetis C, et al.
Equivalence of outcomes for rural and metropolitan patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in South Australia.
Med J Aust. 2014; 201(8):462-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To compare the management and outcome of rural and metropolitan patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in South Australia.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PATIENTS: Retrospective cohort study of patients with mCRC submitted to the South Australian mCRC registry between 2 February 2006 and a cut-off date of 28 May 2012.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences in oncological and surgical management and overall survival (calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method) between city and rural patients.
RESULTS: Of 2289 patients, 624 (27.3%) were rural. There was a higher proportion of male patients in the rural cohort, but other patient characteristics did not significantly differ between the cohorts. Equivalent rates of chemotherapy administration between city and rural patients were observed across each line of treatment (first line: 56.0% v 58.3%, P = 0.32; second line: 23.3% v 22.5%, P = 0.78; and third line: 10.1% v 9.3%, P = 0.69). A higher proportion of city patients received combination chemotherapy in the first-line setting (67.4% v 59.9%; P = 0.01). When an oxaliplatin combination was prescribed, oral capecitabine was used more frequently in rural patients (22.9% v 8.4%; P < 0.001). No significant difference was seen in rates of hepatic resection or other non-chemotherapy treatments between cohorts. Median overall survival was equivalent between city and rural patients (14.6 v 14.9 months, P = 0.18).
CONCLUSION: Patterns of chemotherapy and surgical management of rural patients with mCRC in SA are equivalent to their metropolitan counterparts and lead to comparable overall survival. The centralised model of oncological care in SA may ensure rural patients gain access to optimal care.

Cenin DR, St John DJ, Ledger MJ, et al.
Optimising the expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Med J Aust. 2014; 201(8):456-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the impact of various expansion scenarios of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) on the number of bowel cancer deaths prevented; and to investigate the impact of the expansion scenarios on colonoscopy demand.
DESIGN: MISCAN-Colon, a well established, validated computer simulation model for bowel cancer screening, was adjusted to reflect the Australian situation. In July 2013, we simulated the effects of screening over a 50-year period, starting in 2006. The model parameters included rates of participation in screening and follow-up, rates of identification of cancerous and precancerous lesions, bowel cancer incidence, mortality and the outcomes of the NBCSP. Five implementation scenarios, based on biennial screening using an immunochemical faecal occult blood test, were developed and modelled. A sensitivity analysis that increased screening participation to 60% was also conducted.
PARTICIPANTS: Australian residents aged 50 to 74 years.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Comparison of the impact of five implementation scenarios on the number of bowel cancer deaths prevented and demand for colonoscopy.
RESULTS: MISCAN-Colon calculated that in its current state, the NBCSP should prevent 35 169 bowel cancer deaths in the coming 40 years. Accelerating the expansion of the program to achieve biennial screening by 2020 would prevent more than 70 000 deaths. If complete implementation of biennial screening results in a corresponding increase in participation to 60%, the number of deaths prevented will increase across all scenarios.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings strongly support the need for rapid implementation of the NBCSP. Compared with the current situation, achieving biennial screening by 2020 could result in 100% more bowel cancer deaths (about 35 000) being prevented in the coming 40 years.

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