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Current Oncology is published by MDPI from Volume 28 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence, and they are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Multimed Inc..

Curr. Oncol., Volume 22, Issue 6 (December 2015) – 22 articles

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1620 KiB  
Case Report
Does CDKN2A Loss Predict Palbociclib Benefit?
by J. Gao, R.P. Adams and S.M. Swain
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 498-501; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2700 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Palbociclib, an oral small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with letrozole for postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor–positive, her2-negative breast cancer. Patients with loss of CDKN2A (p16 [...] Read more.
Palbociclib, an oral small-molecule inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in combination with letrozole for postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor–positive, her2-negative breast cancer. Patients with loss of CDKN2A (p16), an inherent negative regulator of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6, were not separately studied because of the significant response of the patients selected based only on receptor status. Here, we report a patient with metastatic estrogen receptor–positive, her2-negative breast cancer with CDKN2A loss who experienced a clinical response to palbociclib. Full article
1641 KiB  
Case Report
Isolated Brain Metastases as First Site of Recurrence in Prostate Cancer: Case Report and Review of the Literature
by J. Craig, J. Woulfe, J. Sinclair and S. Malone
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 493-497; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2542 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 470
Abstract
Fewer than 2% of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (pca) develop brain metastases. Autopsy series have confirmed the rarity of brain metastases. When present, brain metastases occur in end stage, once the pca is castrate-resistant and spread to other sites is [...] Read more.
Fewer than 2% of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (pca) develop brain metastases. Autopsy series have confirmed the rarity of brain metastases. When present, brain metastases occur in end stage, once the pca is castrate-resistant and spread to other sites is extensive. Here, we present a rare case of a patient with pca who developed a solitary parenchymal brain metastasis as first site of relapse 9 years after radical therapy. The patient underwent craniotomy and excision of the tumour. A second recurrence was also isolated to the brain. In the literature, pca patients with brain metastases have a poor mean survival of 1–7.6 months. The patient in our case report experienced a relatively favourable outcome, surviving 19 months after his initial brain relapse. Full article
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Article
Characteristics Affecting Survival after Locally Advanced Colorectal Cancer in Quebec
by L. Perron, J.M. Daigle, N. Vandal, M.H. Guertin and J. Brisson
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 485-492; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2692 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
Background: We estimated the relations of sociodemographic, organizational, disease, and treatment variables with the risk of death from colorectal cancer (CRC) in a Quebec population-based sample of patients with locally advanced CRC (LACRC) who underwent tumour resection with [...] Read more.
Background: We estimated the relations of sociodemographic, organizational, disease, and treatment variables with the risk of death from colorectal cancer (CRC) in a Quebec population-based sample of patients with locally advanced CRC (LACRC) who underwent tumour resection with curative intent. Methods: Information from medical records and administrative databases was obtained for a random sample of 633 patients surgically treated for stages IIIII rectal and stage III colon cancer and declared to the Quebec cancer registry in 1998 and 2003. We measured personal, disease, and clinical management characteristics, relative survival, and through multivariate modelling, relative excess rate (RER) of death. Results: The relative 5- and 10-year survivals in this cohort were 67.7% [95% confidence interval (CI): 65.8% to 69.6%] and 61.2% (95% CI: 58.3% to 64.0%) respectively. Stage T4, stage N2, and emergency rather than elective surgery affected 18%, 24% and 10% of patients respectively. Those disease progression characteristics each independently increased the rer of death by factors of 2 to almost 5. Grade, vascular invasion, and tumour location were also significantly associated with the rer for death. Receiving guideline-adherent treatment was associated with a 60% reduction in the rer for death (0.41; 95% CI: 0.28 to 0.61), an effect that was consistent across age groups. Clear margins (proximal–distal, radial) and clinical trial enrolment were each associated with a nonsignificant 50% reduction in the rer. Of patients less than 70 years of age and 70 years of age and older, 81.3% and 42.0% respectively received guideline-adherent treatment. Conclusions: This study is the first Quebec population-based examination of patients with lacrc and their management, outcomes, and outcome determinants. The results can help in planning CRC control strategies at a population level. Full article
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Article
A Population-Based Study of the Epidemiology of Pancreatic Cancer: A Brief Report
by R.S. Raju, N. Coburn, N. Liu, J.M. Porter, S.J. Seung, M.C. Cheung, N. Goyert, N.B. Leighl, J.S. Hoch, M.E. Trudeau, W.K. Evans, K.N. Dainty, C.C. Earle and N. Mittmann
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 478-484; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2653 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 624
Abstract
Objective: Administrative data are used to describe the pancreatic cancer (pcc) population. The analysis examines demographic details, incidence, site, survival, and factors influencing mortality in a cohort of individuals diagnosed with pcc. Methods: Incident cases of pcc diagnosed in [...] Read more.
Objective: Administrative data are used to describe the pancreatic cancer (pcc) population. The analysis examines demographic details, incidence, site, survival, and factors influencing mortality in a cohort of individuals diagnosed with pcc. Methods: Incident cases of pcc diagnosed in Ontario between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2011 were extracted from the Ontario Cancer Registry. They were linked by encrypted health card number to several administrative databases to obtain demographic and mortality information. Descriptive, bivariate, and survival analyses were conducted. Results: During the period of interest, 9221 new cases of pcc (4548 in men, 4673 in women) were diagnosed, for an age-adjusted standardized annual incidence in the range of 8.6–9.5 per 100,000 population. Mean age at diagnosis was 70.3 ± 12.5 years (standard deviation). Five-year survival was 7.2% (12.8% for those 80 years of age). Survival varied by sex, older age, rural residence, lower income, site of involvement in the pancreas, and presence of comorbidity. Conclusions: The mortality rate in pcc is exceptionally high. With an increasing incidence and a mortality positively associated with age, additional support will be needed for this highly fatal disease as demographics in Ontario continue to trend toward a higher proportion of older individuals. Full article
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Article
Quantifying Treatment Delays in Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer at McGill University
by Y. Xu, M. Stavrides-Eid, A. Baig, M. Cardoso, Y.S. Rho, W.M. Shams, A. Mamo and P. Kavan
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 470-477; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2724 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 556
Abstract
Background: Since the end of the 1980s, the magnitude of survival prolongation or mortality reduction has not been the same for adolescents and young adults (ayas) with cancer as for their older and younger counterparts. Precise reasons for those observations [...] Read more.
Background: Since the end of the 1980s, the magnitude of survival prolongation or mortality reduction has not been the same for adolescents and young adults (ayas) with cancer as for their older and younger counterparts. Precise reasons for those observations are unknown, but the differences have been attributed in part to delays in diagnosis and treatment. In 2003 at the Jewish General Hospital, we developed the first Canadian multidisciplinary aya oncology clinic to better serve this unique patient population. The aim of the present study was to develop an approach to quantify diagnosis delays in our aya patients and to study survival in relation to the observed delay. Methods: In a retrospective chart review, we collected information about delays, treatment efficacy, and obstacles to treatment for patients seen at our aya clinic. Results: From symptom onset, median time to first health care contact was longer for girls and young women (62 days) than for boys and young men (6 days). Median time from symptom onset to treatment was 173 days; time from first health care contact to diagnosis was the largest contributor to that duration. Delays in diagnosis were shorter for patients who initially presented to the emergency room, but compared with patients whose first health contact was of another type, patients presenting to the emergency room were 3 times more likely to die from their disease. Conclusions: Delays in diagnosis are frequently reported in ayas with cancer, but the duration of the delay was unrelated to survival in our sample. Application of this approach to larger prospective samples is warranted to better understand the relation between treatment delay and survival in ayas—and in other cancer patient groups. Full article
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Article
Risk Perception and Psychological Morbidity in Men at Elevated Risk for Prostate Cancer
by A.G. Matthew, T. Davidson, S. Ochs, K.L. Currie, A. Petrella and A. Finelli
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 462-469; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2679 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 493
Abstract
Objective: As prostate-specific antigen (psa) makes prostate cancer (pca) screening more accessible, more men are being identified with conditions that indicate high risk for developing pca, such as elevated psa and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (hgpin). [...] Read more.
Objective: As prostate-specific antigen (psa) makes prostate cancer (pca) screening more accessible, more men are being identified with conditions that indicate high risk for developing pca, such as elevated psa and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (hgpin). In the present study, we assessed psychological well-being and risk perception in individuals with those high-risk conditions. Methods: A questionnaire consisting of a psychological symptom survey, a trait risk-aversion survey, and a cancer-specific risk perception survey was administered to 168 patients with early-stage localized pca and 69 patients at high risk for pca (n = 16 hgpin, n = 53 psa > 4 ng/mL). Analysis of variance was used to examine differences in psychological well-being and appraisal of risk between the groups. Results: Compared with the pca group, the high-risk group perceived their risk of dying from something other than pca to be significantly lower (p = 0.007). However, pca patients reported significantly more clinically important psychological symptoms. Conclusions: The identification of prostate conditions that predict progression to cancer might not result in the psychological symptoms commonly experienced by pca patients, but does appear to be related to a distorted perception of the disease’s mortal risk. Patients with pca experience reduced psychological well-being, but better understand the risks of pca recurrence and death. Education on the risks and outcomes of pca can help at-risk men to view health assessments with reduced worry. Full article
174 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Liver-Directed Therapies in U.S. Cancer Patients
by O.B. Alese, S. Kim, Z. Chen, S.S. Ramalingam, T.K. Owonikoko and B.F. El-Rayes
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 457-461; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2819 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 398
Abstract
Background: The liver is a common site of primary and metastatic cancer. Liver-directed therapies are commonly used to treat cancer involving the liver. We report on the patterns, predictors, and outcomes of liver-directed therapies in hospitalized cancer patients in the United States. [...] Read more.
Background: The liver is a common site of primary and metastatic cancer. Liver-directed therapies are commonly used to treat cancer involving the liver. We report on the patterns, predictors, and outcomes of liver-directed therapies in hospitalized cancer patients in the United States. Methods: Data were obtained from all U.S. states that contributed to the Nationwide Inpatient Sample maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality between 2006 and 2010. Univariate and multivariate testing was used to identify factors significantly associated with patient outcome. Results: For the 5-year period of interest, 12,540 patient discharges were identified. Mean age in the sample was 60 years. Primary liver lesions (n = 8840) made up 26.9% of the sample; the remaining cases were metastases. Most procedures were performed in large (79%) urban (98%) hospitals and in patients with insurance (97.9%). The most common intervention was partial hepatectomy (42.7%), followed by open (9.9%), percutaneous (7.2%), and laparoscopic (5.04%) ablation of liver lesions; embolization (9.8%); and liver transplantation (2.64%). The incidence of in-hospital mortality was very low (2.4%), and the complication rate was 12.2%. Complications such as acute liver necrosis, ascites, hepatic coma, hepatorenal syndrome, liver abscess, and high number of comorbid illnesses (>8) accounted for 60% of the in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: The low rate of morbidity and mortality associated with liver-directed therapies in hospitalized cancer patients supports the continuing utility of such procedures in the management of primary and metastatic liver cancer. The patterns of health disparities observed with respect to the use of liver-directed therapies are concerning. Full article
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Article
A Pilot Study Using the Chinese Herbal Paste Liu-He-Dan to Manage Radiodermatitis Associated with Breast Cancer Radiotherapy
by J. Zhou, L. Fang, H. Xie, W.X. Yao, X. Zhou and Z.J. Xiong
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 453-456; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2725 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 548
Abstract
Background: During radiotherapy for breast cancer, patients are greatly affected by pain, infection, and delayed healing of wounds caused by radiodermatitis. In the present study, we aimed to determine the efficacy of Liu-He-Dan in treating radiodermatitis. Methods: In 26 breast cancer [...] Read more.
Background: During radiotherapy for breast cancer, patients are greatly affected by pain, infection, and delayed healing of wounds caused by radiodermatitis. In the present study, we aimed to determine the efficacy of Liu-He-Dan in treating radiodermatitis. Methods: In 26 breast cancer patients who experienced moist decrustation while receiving radiotherapy, 5 g Liu-He-Dan was applied externally once daily after the wound surface had been cleaned and dried. The healing time was recorded, and a Kaplan–Meier survival curve was applied to analyze the treatment course. Meanwhile, a pain assessment using the Numeric Rating Scale (nrs) recorded the pain level experienced by patients after application of the Liu-He-Dan. Results: After application of Liu-He-Dan, the average healing time for the surface of the moist decrustation wounds was 14.17 ± 2.03 days (range: 5–22 days). Inflammatory seepage decreased significantly and exudation almost disappeared in 3 days. The pain trend line indicated that the average nrs score declined with treatment in all patients. The average nrs scores at days 1, 4, and 7 were 6.13, 3.62, and 2.58 respectively. After 3 days of treatment, pain was remarkably alleviated in 80.76% of patients. After treatment for 1 week, the pain remission rate was 96.15%, without any obvious adverse reactions. Conclusions: Liu-He-Dan was efficacious in treating radiation skin injury with little toxicity and few side effects; the economic efficiency of the treatment was also favourable. The Liu-He-Dan was generally well tolerated by patients. In future, randomized control trials will be established for further observation of the value of Liu-He-Dan in treating radiodermatitis in breast cancer. Full article
1039 KiB  
Article
Impact of Country-Specific EQ-5D-3L Tariffs on the Economic Value of Systemic Therapies Used in the Treatment of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer
by K. Lien, V.C. Tam, Y.J. Ko, N. Mittmann, M.C. Cheung and K.K.W. Chan
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 443-452; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2592 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Background: Previous Canadian cost-effectiveness analyses in cancer based on the EQ-5D-3L (EuroQoL, Rotterdam, Netherlands) have commonly used U.K. or U.S. tariffs because the Canadian equivalent only just recently became available. The implications of using non-Canadian tariffs to inform decision-making are unclear. We [...] Read more.
Background: Previous Canadian cost-effectiveness analyses in cancer based on the EQ-5D-3L (EuroQoL, Rotterdam, Netherlands) have commonly used U.K. or U.S. tariffs because the Canadian equivalent only just recently became available. The implications of using non-Canadian tariffs to inform decision-making are unclear. We aimed to reevaluate an earlier cost-effectiveness analysis of therapies for metastatic pancreatic cancer (originally performed using U.S. tariffs) with tariffs from Canada and various other countries to determine the impact of using non-country-specific tariffs. Methods: We used tariffs from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain to derive EQ-5D-3L utilities for the 10 health states in the pancreatic cancer model. Quality-adjusted life years (qalys) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (icers) were generated, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (psas) were performed. Results: Canadian utilities are generally lower than the corresponding U.S. utilities and higher than those for the United Kingdom. Compared with the Canadian-valued scenarios, U.S. and U.K. estimates were statistically different for 3 and 9 scenarios respectively. Overall, 35% of the non-Canadian utilities (28 of 80) were significantly different, clinically, from the Canadian values. Canadian qalys were 6% lower than those for the United States and 6% higher than those for the United Kingdom. When comparing the qalys of each treatment with those of gemcitabine alone, the average percent change was +6.8% for a U.S. scenario and −7.5% for a U.K. scenario compared with a Canadian scenario. Consequently, Canadian icers were approximately 5.4% greater than those for the United States and 8.6% lower than those for the United Kingdom. Based on the psas and compared with the Canadian threshold value, the minimum willingness-to-pay threshold at which the combination chemotherapy regimen of gemcitabine–capecitabine is the most cost-effective is $5,239 less than in the United States and $11,986 more than in the United Kingdom. Conclusions: The use of non-country-specific tariffs leads to significant differences in the derived utilities, icers, and psa results. Past Canadian EQ-5D-3L–based cost-effectiveness analyses and related funding decisions might need to be re-visited using Canadian tariffs. Full article
825 KiB  
Article
Management and Outcomes of Localized Esophageal and Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer in Older Patients
by X. Qu, J. Biagi, A. Banashkevich, C.D. Mercer, L. Tremblay and A. Mahmud
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 435-442; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2661 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
Background: Older patients are commonly excluded from clinical trials in esophageal and gastroesophageal junction (gej) cancer. High-level evidence to guide management in this group is lacking. In the present study, we compared outcomes and described tolerance for curative- and noncurative-intent [...] Read more.
Background: Older patients are commonly excluded from clinical trials in esophageal and gastroesophageal junction (gej) cancer. High-level evidence to guide management in this group is lacking. In the present study, we compared outcomes and described tolerance for curative- and noncurative-intent treatments among patients 70 years of age and older. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients 70 years of age and older diagnosed with localized esophageal and gej cancer at our centre between 2005 and 2012. Results: The 74 patients identified had a median age of 77 years. Of those patients, 62% received curative-intent treatment, consisting mostly of concomitant chemoradiation therapy (n = 43, 93%). Median overall survival for patients receiving curative-intent treatment was 18.6 months [95% confidence interval (ci): 13.0 to 28.0 months], with 23% being long-term survivors (95% ci: 11.3% to 36.7%). In contrast, patients receiving noncurative-intent treatment had a median overall survival of 8.8 months (95% ci: 6.7 to 11.9 months), with none being long-term survivors (p < 0.0001). Improvement of dysphagia was seen after curative (81%) or palliative radiotherapy (78%) in symptomatic patients, and toxicities were manageable. The odds of not receiving curative treatment was higher by a factor of 8.5 among patients 80 years of age or older compared with those 70–79 years of age (95% ci: 2.5 to 28.7). Conclusions: In managing older patients with esophageal and gej cancer, curative-intent treatment (compared with noncurative-intent treatment) leads to a significant survival benefit with a reasonable toxicity profile. Informed counselling of patients and their families about a curative treatment approach and efforts to increase awareness among oncology care providers are suggested. Full article
220 KiB  
Case Report
Reactivation of Hepatitis B Virus after Withdrawal of Erlotinib
by N. Bui and I. Wong-Sefidan
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 430-432; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2665 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 567
Abstract
Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (hbv) is a reported complication for patients undergoing chemotherapy, particularly immunochemotherapy with anti-CD20 agents such as rituximab. However, as the use of molecularly targeted agents increases, the risk of viral reactivation is less clearly defined. Here, [...] Read more.
Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (hbv) is a reported complication for patients undergoing chemotherapy, particularly immunochemotherapy with anti-CD20 agents such as rituximab. However, as the use of molecularly targeted agents increases, the risk of viral reactivation is less clearly defined. Here, we present the case of a 62-year-old woman with newly diagnosed EGFR mutation–positive metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc). Per interview, our patient had a remote history of hbv infection. She was started on erlotinib and developed profound diarrhea leading to renal failure that required hospital admission and temporary discontinuation of erlotinib. At 8 days after erlotinib cessation, she had a marked spike in her liver function tests, with viral serologies that were consistent with hbv reactivation. Although erlotinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors (tkis) are not classically associated with hbv reactivation, hbv reactivation can occur even in the setting of tki withdrawal. Before tki initiation, careful patient screening in those at risk for hbv should be performed to attenuate preventable hepatotoxicity and to differentiate between other causes of hepatotoxicity (for example, drug-induced toxicity). Full article
418 KiB  
Short Communication
Treatment Patterns among Canadian Men Diagnosed with Localized Low-Risk Prostate Cancer
by C. Sandoval, K. Tran, R. Rahal, G. Porter, S. Fung, C. Louzado, J. Liu, H. Bryant and in collaboration with the System Performance Steering Committee and Technical Working Group
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 427-429; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2895 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 414
Abstract
In general, guideline-recommended treatment options for men with low-risk prostate cancer (pca) include active surveillance, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. Because of the concern about overdiagnosis and consequent overtreatment of pca, patients with low-risk disease are increasingly [...] Read more.
In general, guideline-recommended treatment options for men with low-risk prostate cancer (pca) include active surveillance, radical prostatectomy, and external-beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy. Because of the concern about overdiagnosis and consequent overtreatment of pca, patients with low-risk disease are increasingly being managed with active surveillance. Using data from six provincial cancer registries, we examined treatment patterns within a year of a diagnosis of localized low-risk pca, and we assessed differences by age. Of patients diagnosed in 2010 in four of the six reporting provinces, most received surgery or radiation therapy within 1 year of diagnosis. Depending on the province, either surgery or radiation therapy was the most commonly used primary treatment. In the other two provinces, most patients had no record of treatment within a year of diagnosis. Examining treatment patterns by age demonstrated a lesser likelihood of receiving surgery or radiation therapy within 1 year of diagnosis among men more than 75 years of age than among men 75 years of age or younger (no record of treatment in 69.1% and 46.3% respectively). In conclusion, we observed interprovincial and age-specific variations in the patterns of care for men with lowrisk pca. The findings presented in this report are intended to identify opportunities for improvement in clinical practice that could lead to improved care and experience. Full article
496 KiB  
Article
Wellness beyond Cancer Program: Building an Effective Survivorship Program
by M. Rushton, R. Morash, G. Larocque, C. Liska, L. Stoica, C. DeGrasse and R. Segal
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 419-434; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2786 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Background: The Wellness Beyond Cancer Program (wbcp) was launched in 2012, first accepting patients with colorectal cancer (crc) and, subsequently, those with breast cancer (bca), with the aim of standardizing and streamlining the discharge process from [...] Read more.
Background: The Wellness Beyond Cancer Program (wbcp) was launched in 2012, first accepting patients with colorectal cancer (crc) and, subsequently, those with breast cancer (bca), with the aim of standardizing and streamlining the discharge process from our cancer centre. Patients are discharged either to the wbcp nurse practitioner or to their primary care provider (pcp). The program incorporates survivorship care plans (scps) and education classes; it also has a rapid re-entry system in case of recurrence. The objective of this paper is to describe the process by which a cancer survivorship program was developed at our institution and to present preliminary evaluation results. Methods: Qualitative surveys were mailed to patients and pcps 1 year after patients had been referred to the wbcp. The surveys addressed knowledge of the program content, satisfaction on the part of patients and providers, and whether scp recommendations were followed. Questions were scored on the level of agreement with each of a list of statements (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Results: From March 2012 to November 2014, 2630 patients were referred to the wbcp (809 with crc, 1821 with bca). Surveys were received from 289 patients and 412 pcps. Patients and pcps gave similar scores (average: 4) to statements about satisfaction; pcps gave scores below 4 to statements about communication with the wbcp. Conclusions: At 1 year after discharge, patients and pcps were satisfied with program content, but there is an opportunity to improve on communication and provision of cancer-specific information to the pcps. Using the wbcp to ensure a safe transition to the most appropriate health care provider, we have standardized the discharge process for crc and bca patients. Full article
872 KiB  
Article
Disparity in Cancer Prevention and Screening in Aboriginal Populations: Recommendations for Action
by S. Ahmed, R.K. Shahid and J.A. Episkenew
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 417-426; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2599 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Historically, cancer has occurred at a lower rate in aboriginal populations; however, it is now dramatically increasing. Unless preventive measures are taken, cancer rates among aboriginal peoples are expected to soon surpass those in non-aboriginal populations. Because a large proportion of malignant disorders [...] Read more.
Historically, cancer has occurred at a lower rate in aboriginal populations; however, it is now dramatically increasing. Unless preventive measures are taken, cancer rates among aboriginal peoples are expected to soon surpass those in non-aboriginal populations. Because a large proportion of malignant disorders are preventable, primary prevention through socioeconomic interventions, environmental changes, and lifestyle modification might provide the best option for reducing the increasing burden of cancers. Such efforts can be further amplified by making use of effective cancer screening programs for early detection of cancers at their most treatable stage. However, compared with non-aboriginal Canadians, many aboriginal Canadians lack equal access to cancer screening and prevention programs. In this paper, we discuss disparities in cancer prevention and screening in aboriginal populations in Canada. We begin with the relevant definitions and a theoretical perspective of disparity in health care in aboriginal populations. A framework of health determinants is proposed to explain the pathways associated with an increased risk of cancer that are potentially avoidable. Major challenges and knowledge gaps in relation to cancer care for aboriginal populations are addressed, and we make recommendations to eliminate disparities in cancer control and prevention. Full article
132 KiB  
Commentary
Oncologist Heal Thyself: Hallmarks of Happiness
by C. Jacobs, M. Clemons and A.A. Joy
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 415-418; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2706 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 382
Abstract
It is 18h30 on a Friday; clinic ran late again. [...] Full article
197 KiB  
Article
Pericardiocentesis versus Pericardiotomy for Malignant Pericardial Effusion: A Retrospective Comparison
by C. Labbé, L. Tremblay and Y. Lacasse
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 412-416; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2698 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 703
Abstract
Background: Treatment of malignant pericardial effusion remains controversial, because no randomized controlled trials have been conducted to determine the best approach, and results of retrospective studies have been inconsistent. The objective of the present study was to compare pericardiocentesis and pericardiotomy with [...] Read more.
Background: Treatment of malignant pericardial effusion remains controversial, because no randomized controlled trials have been conducted to determine the best approach, and results of retrospective studies have been inconsistent. The objective of the present study was to compare pericardiocentesis and pericardiotomy with respect to efficacy for preventing recurrence, and to determine, for those two procedures, diagnostic yields, complication rates, and effects on survival. We also aimed to identify clinical and procedural factors that could predict effusion recurrence. Methods: We retrospectively assessed 61 patients who underwent a procedure for treatment of a malignant pericardial effusion at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec between February 2004 and September 2013. Results: Pericardiocentesis was performed in 42 patients, and pericardiotomy, in 19 patients. The effusion recurrence rate was significantly higher in patients treated with pericardiocentesis than with pericardiotomy (31.0% vs. 5.3%, p = 0.046). The diagnostic yield of the procedures was not significantly different (92.9% vs. 86.7%, p = 0.6). The overall rate of complications was similar in the two groups, as was the median overall survival (2.4 months vs. 2.6 months, p = 0.5). In univariate analyses, the procedure type was the only predictor of recurrence that approached statistical significance. Age, sex, type of cancer, presence of effusion at the time of cancer diagnosis, prior chest irradiation, tamponade upon presentation, and total volume of fluid removed did not influence the recurrence rate. Conclusions: Compared with pericardiocentesis, pericardiotomy had higher success rate in preventing recurrence of malignant pericardial effusion, with similar diagnostic yields, complication rates, and overall survival. Full article
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Article
Para-Aortic and Pelvic Extended-Field Radiotherapy for Advanced-Stage Uterine Cancer: Dosimetric and Toxicity Comparison between the Four-Field Box and Intensity-Modulated Techniques
by A. Rabinovich, L. Bernard, A.V. Ramanakumar, G. Stroian, W.H. Gotlieb, S. Lau and B. Bahoric
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 405-411; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2727 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 494
Abstract
Background: In patients with advanced-stage endometrial carcinoma (eca), extended-field radiotherapy (efrt) is traditionally delivered by the 3-dimensional conformal (3d-crt) 4-field box technique. In recent years, the use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (imrt) in [...] Read more.
Background: In patients with advanced-stage endometrial carcinoma (eca), extended-field radiotherapy (efrt) is traditionally delivered by the 3-dimensional conformal (3d-crt) 4-field box technique. In recent years, the use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (imrt) in gynecologic cancers has increased. We compared the delivery of efrt by the 3d-crt and contemporary imrt techniques. Methods: After surgical staging and adjuvant chemotherapy in 38 eca patients, efrt was delivered by either imrt or 3d-crt. Doses to the organs at risk, side effects, and outcomes were compared between the techniques. Results: Of the 38 eca patients, 33 were stage iiic, and 5 were stage ivb. In the imrt group, maximal doses to rectum, small intestine, and bladder were significantly higher, and mean dose to bladder was lower (p < 0.0001). Most acute gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and hematologic side effects were grade i or ii and were comparable between the groups. In long-term follow-up, only grade 1 cystitis at 3 months was statistically higher in the imrt patients. No grade iii or iv gastrointestinal or genitourinary toxicities were observed. No statistically significant differences in overall and disease-free survival or recurrence rates were observed between the techniques. Conclusions: In advanced eca patients, imrt is a safe and effective technique for delivering efrt to the pelvis and para-aortic region, and it is comparable to the 3d-crt 4-field box technique in both side effects and efficacy. For centres in which imrt is not readily available, 3d-crt is a valid alternative. Full article
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Article
Reasons for Palliative Treatments in Stage III Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: What Contribution Is Made by Time-Dependent Changes in Tumour or Patient Status?
by A.G. Robinson, K. Young, K. Balchin, T. Owen and A. Ashworth
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 399-404; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2689 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 587
Abstract
Introduction: Stage iii lung cancer is the most advanced stage of lung cancer for which the potential of curative treatment is often discussed. However, a large proportion of patients are treated with palliative intent. An understanding of the time-dependent and -independent factors [...] Read more.
Introduction: Stage iii lung cancer is the most advanced stage of lung cancer for which the potential of curative treatment is often discussed. However, a large proportion of patients are treated with palliative intent. An understanding of the time-dependent and -independent factors contributing to the choice of palliative-intent treatment is needed to help optimize patient outcomes. Methods: This retrospective cohort study of patients with stage iii non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) newly diagnosed between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012 at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario collected data including patient demographics, clinical characteristics, tumour characteristics, treatment, and outcomes. Results: Of 237 patients with stage iii nsclc included in the study, 130 were not treated with radical or curative intent (55%). Major time-independent variables cited for palliative-intent treatment included extreme age (5%), comorbidity (27%), patient choice (5%), and poor lung function (5%). Time-dependent variables included tumour progression on imaging (15%), weight loss (33%), performance status (32%), and the occurrence of a major complication such as hemoptysis, lung collapse, or pulmonary embolism (7%). A significant number of patients (20%) experienced a decline in performance status—to 2, 3, or 4 from 0 or 1—over the course of the diagnostic journey, and 12% experienced a transition from no weight loss to more than 10% weight loss. Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients receive palliative therapy for stage iii nsclc because of changes that occur during the diagnostic journey. Shortening or altering that pathway to avoid tumour growth or patient deterioration during care could allow for more patients to be treated with curative intent. Full article
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Article
Improving Access to Cancer Guidelines: Feedback from Health Care Professionals
by I.S. Sahota, X. Kostaras and N.A. Hagen
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 392-398; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2704 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 481
Abstract
Purpose: We examined access to locally developed and other available clinical practice guidelines (cpgs) for the management of cancer and evaluated how to improve uptake. Methods: A 12-question online survey was administered to 772 members of 12 multidisciplinary tumour [...] Read more.
Purpose: We examined access to locally developed and other available clinical practice guidelines (cpgs) for the management of cancer and evaluated how to improve uptake. Methods: A 12-question online survey was administered to 772 members of 12 multidisciplinary tumour teams in a Canadian provincial oncology program. The teams are composed of physicians, surgeons, nurses, allied health professionals, and researchers involved in the provision of cancer care across the province. Many of these individuals construct or provide input into the provincial cpgs. The questionnaires were administered online and were completed voluntarily. Results: Responses were received from 232 individuals, a response rate of 30.1%. Most respondents (75.1%) indicated they actively referenced cpgs for cancer treatment. Of the 177 respondents who identified barriers to cpg access, 24.9% said that the cause was being too busy; 24.3% and 22.6% cited the user-unfriendliness of the Web site and a lack of awareness about the cpgs. When asked about innovative changes that could be made to improve access, the creation of cpg summary documents was identified as the most effective change (46.3%). The creation of summary documents was ranked highest by physicians, surgeons, and nurses. Conclusions: Clinical practice guidelines are important tools for standardizing treatment protocols and improving outcomes in health care systems, but support for their use is variable among health care professionals. We have identified barriers to—and potential mitigating strategies for—more widespread access to cpgs by the various health professions involved in cancer care. Local creation of succinct and easily accessible cpgs was identified as the single most effective way to enhance access by health care professionals. Full article
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Article
Pilot of Three Objective Markers of Physical Health and Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Adults
by T. Hsu, R. Chen, S.C.X. Lin, S. Djalalov, A. Horgan, L.W. Le and N. Leighl
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 385-391; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2623 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 532
Abstract
Backgroun: Patient function is a key part of the clinical decision to offer chemotherapy and has, in earlier studies, been associated with chemotherapy toxicity. Objective testing might be more accurate than patient-reported or physician-assessed physical function, and thus might be a stronger [...] Read more.
Backgroun: Patient function is a key part of the clinical decision to offer chemotherapy and has, in earlier studies, been associated with chemotherapy toxicity. Objective testing might be more accurate than patient-reported or physician-assessed physical function, and thus might be a stronger predictor of chemotherapy toxicity in older adults. Methods: Patients, 70 years of age and older, with thoracic or colorectal cancer were recruited. Three physical tests were performed before commencement of a new line of chemotherapy: grip strength, 4-m walk test, and the Timed Up and Go (tug). Our pilot study explored the association between those tests and chemotherapy toxicity. Results: The 24 patients recruited had a median age of 74.5 years (range: 70–84 years), and 54.2% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. Median score on the Charlson comorbidity index was 1 (range: 0–4). Almost two thirds had metastatic disease, 70% were chemonaïve, and 83.3% were about to receive polychemotherapy. Patients had a mean tug of 13.2 ± 5.7 s and a mean gait speed of 0.74 ± 0.24 m/s; 50% had a grip strength test in the lowest 20th percentile. Grades 3–5 chemotherapy toxicities occurred in 34.7% of the patients; two thirds required a dose reduction or delay; and one third discontinued chemotherapy because of toxicity. Hospitalization attributable to chemotherapy was uncommon (12.5%). A trend toward increased severe chemotherapy toxicity with slower gait speed was observed (p = 0.049). Conclusions: Abnormalities in objective markers of physical function are common in older adults with cancer, even in those deemed fit for chemotherapy. However, those abnormalities were not associated with an increased likelihood of chemotherapy toxicity in the population included in this small pilot study. Full article
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Article
Enablers and Barriers in Delivery of a Cancer Exercise Program: The Canadian Experience
by D. Santa Mina, A. Petrella, K.L. Currie, K. Bietola, S.M.H. Alibhai, J. Trachtenberg, P. Ritvo and A.G. Matthew
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 374-384; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2650 - 1 Dec 2015
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Background: Exercise is an important therapy to improve well-being after a cancer diagnosis. Accordingly, cancer-exercise programs have been developed to enhance clinical care; however, few programs exist in Canada. Expansion of cancer-exercise programming depends on an understanding of the process of program [...] Read more.
Background: Exercise is an important therapy to improve well-being after a cancer diagnosis. Accordingly, cancer-exercise programs have been developed to enhance clinical care; however, few programs exist in Canada. Expansion of cancer-exercise programming depends on an understanding of the process of program implementation, as well as enablers and barriers to program success. Gaining knowledge from current professionals in cancer-exercise programs could serve to facilitate the necessary understanding. Methods: Key personnel from Canadian cancer-exercise programs (n = 14) participated in semistructured interviews about program development and delivery. Results: Content analysis revealed 13 categories and 15 subcategories, which were grouped by three organizing domains: Program Implementation, Program Enablers, and Program Barriers. (1) Program Implementation (5 categories, 8 subcategories) included Program Initiation (clinical care extension, research project expansion, program champion), Funding, Participant Intake (avenues of awareness, health and safety assessment), Active Programming (monitoring patient exercise progress, health care practitioner involvement, program composition), and Discharge and Follow-up Plan; (2) Program Enablers (4 categories, 4 subcategories) included Patient Participation (personalized care, supportive network, personal control, awareness of benefits), Partnerships, Advocacy and Support, and Program Characteristics; (3) Program Barriers (4 categories, 3 subcategories) included Lack of Funding, Lack of Physician Support, Deterrents to Participation (fear and shame, program location, competing interests), and Disease Progression and Treatment. Conclusions: Interview results provided insight into the development and delivery of cancer-exercise programs in Canada and could be used to guide future program development and expansion in Canada. Full article
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Editorial
Worth His Weight in ...
by M.R. Chasen
Curr. Oncol. 2015, 22(6), 372-373; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.22.3072 - 1 Dec 2015
Viewed by 346
Abstract
A native Montrealer, Dr. Phil Gold was born in 1936 to Polish immigrant parents. [...] Full article
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