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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 24, Issue 6 (December 2017) – 22 articles

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Open AccessCase Report
Orbital Mass as First Presentation of Metastatic p16-Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 551-554; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3523 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 49
Abstract
We describe a case in which a 67-year-old man was diagnosed with a metastatic recurrence of p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma after presenting with a medial orbital mass in the region of the nasolacrimal apparatus. A review of the literature revealed that metastasis [...] Read more.
We describe a case in which a 67-year-old man was diagnosed with a metastatic recurrence of p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma after presenting with a medial orbital mass in the region of the nasolacrimal apparatus. A review of the literature revealed that metastasis to the orbit from any malignancy is an uncommon occurrence, and no cases of p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma have previously been reported. Our case highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion during surveillance visits with such patients. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Adult Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia with Trisomy 11: A Case Report
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 547-550; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3738 - 01 Dec 2017
Viewed by 45
Abstract
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is an indolent disease in the category of myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative neoplasms, which can often evolve into acute leukemic neoplasms. Although cytogenetic abnormalities such as trisomy 8 or absence of chromosome Y are well known, few reports [...] Read more.
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is an indolent disease in the category of myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative neoplasms, which can often evolve into acute leukemic neoplasms. Although cytogenetic abnormalities such as trisomy 8 or absence of chromosome Y are well known, few reports about CMML with trisomy 11 have been published. Here, we report a case of CMML with trisomy 11 as the sole chromosomal abnormality, resulting in a very poor outcome. Based on a bone marrow specimen, CMML-1 with trisomy 11 was diagnosed in a 79-year-old man presenting with anemia and atypical peripheral blood cells. Because of the patient’s age, he was followed without receiving anticancer treatment. Two months after his diagnosis, the patient’s leucocytosis and anemia rapidly worsened, with increasing numbers of immature peripheral cells, which was strongly suggestive of leukemic transformation. Because of acute kidney injury superimposed on chronic kidney disease that led to poor performance status, cytotoxic chemotherapy was not considered feasible, and the patient was transferred to a hospice care facility. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Systemic Therapy for Recurrent Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A Clinical Practice Guideline
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 540-546; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3824 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 62
Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this guideline is to recommend systemic therapy options for women with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer, including fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers. Methods: This document updates the recommendations published in the 2011 Optimal Chemotherapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer guideline [...] Read more.
Objective: The purpose of this guideline is to recommend systemic therapy options for women with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer, including fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancers. Methods: This document updates the recommendations published in the 2011 Optimal Chemotherapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer guideline from Cancer Care Ontario. Draft recommendations were formulated based on evidence obtained through a systematic review of phase II and III randomized controlled trials (RCTS). The draft recommendations underwent internal review by clinical and methodology experts, and external review by clinical practitioners through a survey assessing the clinical relevance and overall quality of the guideline. Feedback from the internal and external reviews was integrated into the clinical practice guideline. Results: The primary literature search yielded thirty-six primary research papers representing thirty RCTS that met the eligibility criteria. The guideline provides recommendations for patients with serous tumour histologies and with recurrent, platinum-resistant, and platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. Conclusions: The body of evidence from trials that included olaparib and bevacizumab consistently shows a benefit in progression-free survival (PFS) without a corresponding benefit in overall survival (OS). The Working Group for this guideline designated PFS, which is associated with symptom control, as a critical outcome. A finding of net benefit can therefore be concluded based on significant differences in PFS. However, that benefit is not without identified harms. Given the identified harms, patient involvement in the decision-making process must take into consideration the side effect profiles of olaparib and bevacizumab within the context of improved PFS but minimal change in OS. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Post-Imatinib Therapy in Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 531-539; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3463 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 58
Abstract
Background: The standard first-line systemic therapy for advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is imatinib. However, most GISTS develop imatinib resistance, highlighting the need for new agents in the imatinib-refractory setting. Currently, no randomized studies have directly compared the available post–first-line [...] Read more.
Background: The standard first-line systemic therapy for advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is imatinib. However, most GISTS develop imatinib resistance, highlighting the need for new agents in the imatinib-refractory setting. Currently, no randomized studies have directly compared the available post–first-line treatments. Methods: In a systematic review, the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases, and American Society of Clinical Oncology abstracts to July 2014 were searched to identify randomized controlled trials that included GIST patients treated with post–first-line therapies. Hazard ratios (HRS) for progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were extracted. Direct pairwise meta-analyses and indirect comparisons using the Butcher method were performed. Results: Four studies were identified for the systematic review. One study showed that sunitinib in the second-line setting (vs. placebo) was associated with improved PFS, but not improved OS. Three studies examined the third-line setting (imatinib resumption vs. placebo, regorafenib vs. placebo, nilotinib vs. best supportive care). In the third-line settings, the two placebo-controlled and the non-placebo-controlled trials showed significant heterogeneity (I2 = 98%). Indirect comparisons of imatinib resumption and regorafenib suggested that the hr for PFS was 0.59 (95% confidence interval: 0.31 to 1.12; p = 0.10), trending in favour of regorafenib. Indirect comparisons found that toxicities were higher in the regorafenib group, with a risk difference of 27.8% for any-grade toxicities and 19.5% for grades 3 and 4 toxicities. Conclusions: Because a head-to-head study of imatinib resumption compared with regorafenib is unlikely ever to be conducted, our study suggests that, in terms of PFS, regorafenib might be the preferred treatment. However, given the increased toxicity observed with regorafenib, clinicians should interpret that evidence with caution at an individual patient level. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Identifying Barriers to Accrual in Radiation Oncology Randomized Trials
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 524-530; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3662 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 53
Abstract
Background: Data about factors driving accrual to radiation oncology trials are limited. In oncology, 30%–40% of trials are considered unsuccessful, many because of poor accrual. The goal of the present study was to inform the design of future trials by evaluating the [...] Read more.
Background: Data about factors driving accrual to radiation oncology trials are limited. In oncology, 30%–40% of trials are considered unsuccessful, many because of poor accrual. The goal of the present study was to inform the design of future trials by evaluating the effects of institutional, clinician, and patient factors on accrual rates to a randomized radiation oncology trial. Methods: Investigators participating in sabr-comet (NCT01446744), a randomized phase ii trial open in Canada, Europe, and Australia that is evaluating the role of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (sabr) in oligometastatic disease, were invited to complete a survey about factors affecting accrual. Institutional ethics approval was obtained. The primary endpoint was the annual accrual rate per institution. Univariable and multivariable linear regression analyses were used to identify factors predictive of annual accrual rates. Results: On univariable linear regression analysis, off-trial availability of sabr (p = 0.014) and equipoise of the referring physician (p = 0.014) were found to be predictive of annual accrual rates. The annual accrual rates were lower when centres offered sabr for oligometastases off-trial (median: 3.7 patients vs. 8.4 patients enrolled) and when referring physicians felt that, compared with having equipoise, sabr was beneficial (median: 4.8 patients vs. 8.4 patients enrolled). Multivariable analysis identified perceived level of equipoise of the referring physician to be predictive of the annual accrual rate (p = 0.023). Conclusions: The level of equipoise of referring physicians might play a key role in accrual to radiation oncology randomized controlled trials. Efforts to communicate with and educate referring physicians might therefore be beneficial for improving trial accrual rates. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Strategic Planning in an Academic Radiation Medicine Program
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 518-523; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3725 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 62
Abstract
Background: In this paper, we report on the process of strategic planning in the Radiation Medicine Program (RMP) at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The RMP conducted a strategic planning exercise to ensure that program priorities reflect the current health [...] Read more.
Background: In this paper, we report on the process of strategic planning in the Radiation Medicine Program (RMP) at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The RMP conducted a strategic planning exercise to ensure that program priorities reflect the current health care environment, enable nimble responses to the increasing burden of cancer, and guide program operations until 2020. Methods: Data collection was guided by a project charter that outlined the project goal and the roles and responsibilities of all participants. The process was managed by a multidisciplinary steering committee under the guidance of an external consultant and consisted of reviewing strategic planning documents from close collaborators and institutional partners, conducting interviews with key stakeholders, deploying a program-wide survey, facilitating an anonymous and confidential e-mail feedback box, and collecting information from group deliberations. Results: The process of strategic planning took place from December 2014 to December 2015. Mission and vision statements were developed, and core values were defined. A final document, Strategic Roadmap to 2020, was established to guide programmatic pursuits during the ensuing 5 years, and an implementation plan was developed to guide the first year of operations. Conclusions: The strategic planning process provided an opportunity to mobilize staff talents and identify environmental opportunities, and helped to enable more effective use of resources in a rapidly changing health care environment. The process was valuable in allowing staff to consider and discuss the future, and in identifying strategic issues of the greatest importance to the program. Academic programs with similar mandates might find our report useful in guiding similar processes in their own organizations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Risk and Predictors of Suicide in Colorectal Cancer Patients: A Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Analysis
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 513-517; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3713 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 60
Abstract
Background: The risk of suicide is higher for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) than for the general population. Given known differences in morbidity and sites of recurrence, we sought to compare the predictors of suicide for patients with colon cancer [...] Read more.
Background: The risk of suicide is higher for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) than for the general population. Given known differences in morbidity and sites of recurrence, we sought to compare the predictors of suicide for patients with colon cancer and with rectal cancer. Methods: Using the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, adult patients with confirmed adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum during 1973–2009 were identified. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used to assess selected variables, and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to determine predictors of suicide. Results: The database identified 187,996 patients with rectal cancer and 443,368 with colon cancer. Compared with the rectal cancer group, the colon cancer group was older (median age: 70 years vs. 67 years; p < 0.001) and included more women (51% vs. 43%, p < 0.001). Suicide rates were similar in the colon and rectal cancer groups [611 (0.14%) vs. 337 (0.18%), p < 0.001]. On univariate analysis, rectal cancer was a predictor of suicide [hazard ratio (hr): 1.26; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10 to 1.43]. However, after adjusting for clinical and pathology factors, rectal cancer was not a predictor of suicide (HR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.83 to 1.33). In the colon cancer cohort, independent predictors of suicide included older age, male sex, white race, and lack of primary resection. The aforementioned predictors, plus metastatic disease, similarly predicted suicide in the rectal cancer cohort. Conclusions: The suicide risk in CRC patients is low (<0.2%), and no difference was found based on location of the primary tumour. Sex, age, race, distant spread of disease, and intact primary tumour were the main predictors of suicide among CRC patients. Further studies and interventions are needed to target these high-risk groups. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mental Health Services Use by Melanoma Patients Receiving Adjuvant Interferon: Association of Pre-treatment Mental Health Care with Early Discontinuation
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 503-512; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3685 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 52
Abstract
Background: Although high-dose interferon (hd-ifn) is the sole approved adjuvant systemic treatment for melanoma in many jurisdictions, it is toxic. We sought to assess the population-level effects of hd-ifn toxicity, particularly neuropsychiatric toxicity, hypothesizing that such toxicity would have the greatest [...] Read more.
Background: Although high-dose interferon (hd-ifn) is the sole approved adjuvant systemic treatment for melanoma in many jurisdictions, it is toxic. We sought to assess the population-level effects of hd-ifn toxicity, particularly neuropsychiatric toxicity, hypothesizing that such toxicity would have the greatest effect on mental health services use in advanced resected melanoma. Methods: This retrospective population-based registry study considered all melanoma patients receiving adjuvant hd-ifn in Ontario during 2008–2012. Toxicity was investigated through health services use compatible with hd-ifn toxicity (for example, mental health physician billings). Using stage data reported from cancer centres about a subset of patients (stages iib–iiic), a propensity-matched analysis compared such service use in patients who did and did not receive hd-ifn. Associations between early hd-ifn discontinuation and health services use were examined. Results: Of 718 melanoma patients who received hd-ifn, 12% were 65 years of age and older, and 83% had few or no comorbidities. One third of the patients experienced 1 or more toxicity-associated health care utilization events within 1 year of starting hd-ifn. Of 420 utilization events, 364 (87%) were mental health–related, with 54% being family practitioner visits, and 39% being psychiatrist visits. In the propensity-matched analysis, patients receiving hd-ifn were more likely than untreated matched controls to use a mental health service (p = 0.01), with 42% of the control group and 51% of the hd-ifn group using a mental health service in the period spanning the 12 months before to the 24 months after diagnosis. In the multivariable analysis, early drug discontinuation was more likely in the presence of pre-existing mental health issues (odds ratio: 2.0; 95% confidence limits: 1.1, 3.4). Conclusions: Stage iib–iiic melanoma patients carry a substantial burden of mental health services use whether or not receiving hd-ifn, highlighting an important survivorship issue for these patients. High-dose interferon is associated with more use of mental health services, and pre-treatment use of mental health services is associated with treatment discontinuation. That association should be kept in mind when hd-ifn is being considered. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ovarian Function after Chemotherapy in Young Breast Cancer Survivors
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 494-502; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3335 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 66
Abstract
Background: As cure rates for breast cancer improve, there is increasing evidence that late effects of treatment—and impaired fertility in particular—are emerging as important concerns among young breast cancer survivors. Older reports have evaluated the occurrence of amenorrhea after treatment, but few [...] Read more.
Background: As cure rates for breast cancer improve, there is increasing evidence that late effects of treatment—and impaired fertility in particular—are emerging as important concerns among young breast cancer survivors. Older reports have evaluated the occurrence of amenorrhea after treatment, but few data have been reported about the incidence of biochemical evidence for impaired ovarian function in patients who do not become overtly menopausal. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study evaluating anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in premenopausal chemotherapy-treated breast cancer survivors and control patients. Random serum levels of AMH and other relevant clinical data were collected for 100 premenopausal chemotherapy-treated breast cancer survivors and 76 control subjects. Subgroup analyses were performed for women with regular menstrual cycles at the time of AMH testing. Results: After adjustment for age, AMH was significantly lower in the overall group of patients receiving chemotherapy (p = 0.002) and in the subgroup reporting normal cycles (p = 0.03). Cyclophosphamide produced a significant dose-dependent reduction in AMH (p < 0.001); trastuzumab was associated with increased AMH in survivors with normal cycles. Overall, serum AMH in survivors was roughly equivalent to that measured in control patients 12 years older. Conclusions: Young breast cancer survivors often experience significant impairment of ovarian function despite having normal menstrual cycles after treatment. Those results have important implications for patient counselling and the timing of possible referral to a fertility specialist. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Reasons for Lack of Referral to Medical Oncology for Systemic Therapy in Stage Iv Non-small-cell Lung Cancer: Comparison of 2003–2006 with 2010–2011
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 486-493; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3691 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 49
Abstract
Introduction: Only approximately 25% of stage iv non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) patients receive systemic therapy. For such patients, we examined factors affecting referral to a cancer centre (cc) and to medical oncology (mo), and use of systemic [...] Read more.
Introduction: Only approximately 25% of stage iv non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) patients receive systemic therapy. For such patients, we examined factors affecting referral to a cancer centre (cc) and to medical oncology (mo), and use of systemic therapy. Methods: Using the Glans–Look Lung Cancer database, we completed a chart review of stage iv nsclc patients diagnosed in Southern Alberta during 2003–2006 and 2010–2011, comparing median overall survival (mos), referral, and treatment in the two cohorts. Results: Of the 922 patients diagnosed in 2003–2006 and the 560 diagnosed in 2010–2011, 94% and 82% respectively were referred to a cc, with 22% and 23% receiving traditional chemotherapy (tctx). Referral to a cc or mo and use of tctx correlated with survival (p < 0.0001): The mos duration was 11.2 months in those receiving tctx and 1.0 months in those not referred to a cc. The overall mos duration was similar in the two cohorts (4.1 months vs. 3.9 months, p = 0.47). Major reasons for lack of referral to mo included poor functional status, rapid decline, and patient wish, which were similar to the reasons for forgoing tctx. In the two cohorts, 87 (9.4%) and 42 (7.5%) patients received epidermal growth factor inhibitors, with a mos duration of 16.2 months. Multivariable analysis showed that male sex [hazard ratio (hr): 1.16; p = 0.008] and pulmonary embolus (hr: 1.2; p = 0.002) correlated with worse survival. In contrast, receipt of chemotherapy (hr: 0.5; p < 0.001) and enrolment in a clinical trial (hr: 0.76; p = 0.049) correlated with better survival. Conclusions: Our experience confirms that, over time, uptake of systemic therapy, including tctx and targeted therapy, changed little despite their established efficacy. Most of the factors limiting systemic therapy uptake appear to be non-modifiable at the time of referral. Rapid diagnosis and the availability of well-tolerated drugs for all nsclc patients will likely be the most important factors in increasing systemic therapy uptake in this population. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of the Behaviour-Change Techniques Used on Canadian Cancer Centre Web Sites to Support Physical Activity Behaviour for Breast Cancer Survivors
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 477-485; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3703 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 82
Abstract
Background: Cancer centre Web sites can be a useful tool for distributing information about the benefits of physical activity for breast cancer (bca) survivors, and they hold potential for supporting health behaviour change. However, the extent to which cancer centre [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer centre Web sites can be a useful tool for distributing information about the benefits of physical activity for breast cancer (bca) survivors, and they hold potential for supporting health behaviour change. However, the extent to which cancer centre Web sites use evidence-based behaviour change techniques to foster physical activity behaviour among bca survivors is currently unknown. The aim of our study was to evaluate the presentation of behaviour-change techniques on Canadian cancer centre Web sites to promote physical activity behaviour for bca survivors. Methods: All Canadian cancer centre Web sites (n = 39) were evaluated by two raters using the Coventry, Aberdeen, and London–Refined (calo-re) taxonomy of behaviour change techniques and the eEurope 2002 Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Results: The most common behaviour change techniques used on Web sites were providing information about consequences in general (80%), suggesting goal-setting behaviour (56%), and planning social support or social change (46%). Overall, Canadian cancer centre Web sites presented an average of M = 6.31 behaviour change techniques (of 40 that were coded) to help bca survivors increase their physical activity behaviour. Evidence of quality factors ranged from 90% (sites that provided evidence of readability) to 0% (sites that provided an editorial policy). Conclusions: Our results provide preliminary evidence that, of 40 behaviour-change techniques that were coded, fewer than 20% were used to promote physical activity behaviour to bca survivors on cancer centre Web sites, and that the most effective techniques were inconsistently used. On cancer centre Web sites, health promotion specialists could focus on emphasizing knowledge mobilization efforts using available research into behaviour-change techniques to help bca survivors increase their physical activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Feasibility of Assessing Patient Health Benefits and Incurred Costs Resulting from Early Dysphagia Intervention during and Immediately after Chemoradiotherapy for Head-and-Neck Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 466-476; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3543 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 60
Abstract
Background: Resource limitations affect the intensity of speech–language pathology (SLP) dysphagia interventions for patients with head-and-neck cancer (HNC). The objective of the present study was to assess the feasibility of a prospective clinical trial that would evaluate the [...] Read more.
Background: Resource limitations affect the intensity of speech–language pathology (SLP) dysphagia interventions for patients with head-and-neck cancer (HNC). The objective of the present study was to assess the feasibility of a prospective clinical trial that would evaluate the effects on health and patient costs of early SLP dysphagia intervention for HNC patients planned for curative concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT). Methods: Patients with HNC planned for curative CCRT were consecutively recruited and received dysphagia-specific intervention before, during, and for 3 months after treatment. Swallowing function, body mass index, health-related quality of life (QOL), and out-of-pocket costs were measured before CCRT, at weeks 2 and 5 during CCRT, and at 1 and 3 months after CCRT. Actuarial percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) removal rates and body mass index in the study patients and in a time-, age-, and disease-matched cohort were compared. Results: The study enrolled 21 patients (mean age: 54 years; 19 men). The study was feasible, having a 95% accrual rate, 10% attrition, and near completion of all outcomes. Compared with the control cohort, patients receiving dysphagia intervention trended toward a higher rate of PEG removal at 3 months after CCRT [61% (32%–78%) vs. 53% (23%–71%), p = 0.23]. During CCRT, monthly pharmaceutical costs ranged between $239 and $348, with work loss in the range of 18–30 days for patients and 8–12 days for caregivers. Conclusions: We demonstrated the feasibility of comparing health and economic outcomes in patients receiving and not receiving early SLP dysphagia intervention. These preliminary findings suggest that early SLP dysphagia intervention for HNC patients might reduce PEG dependency despite worsening health. Findings also highlight effects on financial security for these patients and their caregivers. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Survivorship Care Plans for Breast Cancer Patients: Understanding the Quality of the Available Evidence
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 446-465; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3632 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 66
Abstract
Aim: The overall goal of the present study was to contribute to consistency in the provincial approach to survivorship care planning through knowledge synthesis and exchange. Our review focused on the research concerning the physical and emotional challenges of breast cancer ( [...] Read more.
Aim: The overall goal of the present study was to contribute to consistency in the provincial approach to survivorship care planning through knowledge synthesis and exchange. Our review focused on the research concerning the physical and emotional challenges of breast cancer (BCa) patients and survivors and the effects of the interventions that have been used for lessening those challenges. Methods: The psychosocial topics identified in BCa survivorship care plans created by two different initiatives in our province provided the platform for our search criteria: quality of life (QOL), sexual function, fatigue, and lifestyle behaviours. We conducted an umbrella review to retrieve the best possible evidence, and only reviews investigating the intended outcomes in BCa survivors and having moderate-to-high methodologic quality scores were included. Results: Of 486 reports retrieved, 51 reviews met the inclusion criteria and form part of the synthesis. Our results indicate that BCa patients and survivors experience numerous physical and emotional challenges and that interventions such as physical activity, psychoeducation, yoga, and mindfulness-based stress reduction are beneficial in alleviating those challenges. Conclusions: Our study findings support the existing survivorship care plans in our province with respect to the physical and emotional challenges that BCa survivors often face. However, the literature concerning cancer risks specific to BCa survivors is scant. Although systematic reviews are considered to be the “gold standard” in knowledge synthesis, our findings suggest that much remains to be done in the area of synthesis research to better guide practice in cancer survivorship. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Using Family History Forms in Pediatric Oncology to Identify Patients for Genetic Assessment
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 441-445; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3710 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 56
Abstract
Objective: We set out to identify and offer genetic testing to the 5–10% of pediatric cancer patients who have been estimated to carry germline mutations in inherited cancer predisposition syndromes. Clinical genetic testing has become widely available, and thus in busy oncology [...] Read more.
Objective: We set out to identify and offer genetic testing to the 5–10% of pediatric cancer patients who have been estimated to carry germline mutations in inherited cancer predisposition syndromes. Clinical genetic testing has become widely available, and thus in busy oncology clinics, tools are needed to identify patients who could benefit from a referral to genetics. Methods: We studied the clinical utility of administering a family history form in the pediatric oncology long-term follow-up clinic to identify patients who might have an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome. Genetic testing involved primarily Sanger sequencing in clia (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)–certified laboratories. Results: Of 57 patients who completed forms, 19 (33.3%) met criteria for referral to genetics. A significant family history of cancer was present for 4 patients, and 12 patients underwent genetic testing. Of 18 genetic tests ordered, none identified a pathogenic mutation, likely because of a small sample size and a candidate-gene approach to testing. Three families were also identified for further assessment based on a family history of breast cancer, with two of families having members eligible for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing. Conclusions: Genetic testing in pediatric oncology patients is important to guide the management of patients who have an inherited cancer predisposition syndrome and to identify other family members at risk when mutations are identified. When no mutations are identified, that information is often reassuring to families who are worried about siblings. However, in the absence of an identified genetic cause in a patient, some uncertainty remains. Full article
Open AccessShort Communication
The OncoSim Model: Development and Use for Better Decision-Making in Canadian Cancer Control
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 401-406; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3850 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 95
Abstract
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer was created in 2007 by the federal government to accelerate cancer control across Canada. Its OncoSim microsimulation model platform, which consists of a suite of specific cancer models, was conceived as a tool to augment conventional resources for [...] Read more.
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer was created in 2007 by the federal government to accelerate cancer control across Canada. Its OncoSim microsimulation model platform, which consists of a suite of specific cancer models, was conceived as a tool to augment conventional resources for population-level policy- and decision-making. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer manages the OncoSim program, with funding from Health Canada and model development by Statistics Canada. Microsimulation modelling allows for the detailed capture of population heterogeneity and health and demographic history over time. Extensive data from multiple Canadian sources were used as inputs or to validate the model. OncoSim has been validated through expert consultation; assessments of face validity, internal validity, and external validity; and model fit against observed data. The platform comprises three in-depth cancer models (lung, colorectal, cervical), with another in-depth model (breast) and a generalized model (25 cancers) being in development. Unique among models of its class, OncoSim is available online for public sector use free of charge. Users can customize input values and output display, and extensive user support is provided. OncoSim has been used to support decision-making at the national and jurisdictional levels. Although simulation studies are generally not included in hierarchies of evidence, they are integral to informing cancer control policy when clinical studies are not feasible. OncoSim can evaluate complex intervention scenarios for multiple cancers. Canadian decision-makers thus have a powerful tool to assess the costs, benefits, cost-effectiveness, and budgetary effects of cancer control interventions when faced with difficult choices for improvements in population health and resource allocation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Predictive Effect of Primary Tumour Location in the Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Canadian Consensus Statement
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 390-400; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3757 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 45
Abstract
In recently published data, the predictive value of primary tumour location for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer with available biologic therapies has been explored. Recognizing the potential effect of those data on clinical practice, we convened a meeting of Canadian experts who [...] Read more.
In recently published data, the predictive value of primary tumour location for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer with available biologic therapies has been explored. Recognizing the potential effect of those data on clinical practice, we convened a meeting of Canadian experts who treat metastatic colorectal cancer to develop a set of national, evidence-based treatment guidelines based on primary tumour location. This report summarizes the relevant evidence and presents the consensus recommendations of those experts. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Toward Improved Goals-Of-Care Documentation in Advanced Cancer: Report on the Development of a Quality Improvement Initiative
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 383-389; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3754 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 66
Abstract
Background: Documentation of advance care planning for patients with terminal cancer is known to be poor. Here, we describe a quality improvement initiative. Methods: Patients receiving palliative chemotherapy for metastatic lung, pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancer during 2010–2015 at the Cancer [...] Read more.
Background: Documentation of advance care planning for patients with terminal cancer is known to be poor. Here, we describe a quality improvement initiative. Methods: Patients receiving palliative chemotherapy for metastatic lung, pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancer during 2010–2015 at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario were identified from electronic pharmacy records. Clinical notes were reviewed to identify documentation of care plans in the event of acute deterioration. After establishing baseline practice, we sought to improve documentation of goals of care and referral rates to palliative care. Using quality improvement methodology, we developed a guideline, a standardized documentation system, and a process to facilitate early referral to palliative care. Results: During 2010–2015, 456 patients were included in the baseline cohort: 63% with lung cancer, 16% with colorectal cancer, 13% with pancreatic cancer, and 7% with breast cancer. Care goals in the event of an acute illness were documented by medical oncologists in 6% of cases (26 of 456). Of the 456 patients, 47% (n = 214) were seen by palliative care; care goals were documented by palliative care in 48% of the patients seen (103 of 214). With those baseline data in hand, a local practice guideline and process was developed to facilitate the identification of patients for whom advance care planning and early palliative care referral should be considered. A system was also established so that goals-of-care documentation will be supported with a written framework and broadly accessible in the electronic medical record. Conclusions: Low rates of documentation of advance care planning and referral to palliative care persist and have stimulated a local quality improvement initiative. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Views of Patients with Brain Cancer about Palliative Care: A Qualitative Study
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 374-382; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3712 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 112
Abstract
Background: Palliative care, a specialty aimed at providing optimal care to patients with life-limiting and chronic conditions, has several benefits. Although palliative care is appropriate for neurosurgical conditions, including brain cancer, few studies have examined the views of brain cancer patients about [...] Read more.
Background: Palliative care, a specialty aimed at providing optimal care to patients with life-limiting and chronic conditions, has several benefits. Although palliative care is appropriate for neurosurgical conditions, including brain cancer, few studies have examined the views of brain cancer patients about palliative care. We aimed to explore the thoughts of brain cancer patients about palliative care, their opinions about early palliative care, and their preferred care setting. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and the qualitative research methodologies of grounded theory were used to explore perceptions of palliative care on the part of 39 brain cancer outpatients. Results: Seven overarching actions emerged: (1) Patients would prefer to receive palliative care in the home. (2) Increased time with caregivers and family are the main appeals of home care. (3) Patients express dissatisfaction with brief and superficial interactions with health care providers. (4) Patients believe that palliative care can contribute to their emotional well-being. (5) Patients are open to palliative care if they believe that it will not diminish optimism. (6) There is a preconceived idea that palliative care is directly linked to active dying, and that supposed link generates fear in some patients. (7) Patients prefer to be educated about palliative care as an option early in their illness, even if they are fearful of it. Conclusions: Overall, when educated about the true meaning of palliative care, most patients express interest in accessing palliative care services. Although the level of fear concerning palliative care varies in patients, most recognize the associated benefits. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Wait Times for Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer: A Single-Centre Experience
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 367-373; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3655 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 64
Abstract
Background: Multiple clinical practice guidelines recommend rapid evaluation of patients with suspected lung cancer. It is uncertain whether delays in diagnosis and management have a negative effect on outcomes. Methods: This retrospective study included 551 patients diagnosed with lung cancer through [...] Read more.
Background: Multiple clinical practice guidelines recommend rapid evaluation of patients with suspected lung cancer. It is uncertain whether delays in diagnosis and management have a negative effect on outcomes. Methods: This retrospective study included 551 patients diagnosed with lung cancer through the diagnostic assessment program at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec between September 2013 and March 2015. Median wait times between initial referral, diagnosis, and first treatment were calculated and compared with recommended targets. Analyses were performed to evaluate for specific factors associated with longer wait times and for the effect of delays on the outcomes of progression-free survival (PFS), relapse-free survival (RFS) after primary surgical resection, and overall survival (OS). Results: Most patients were investigated and treated within recommended targets. Of the entire cohort, 379 patients were treated at our institution. Of those 379 patients, 311 (82%) were treated within recommended targets. In comparing patients within and outside target times, the only statistically significant difference was found in the distribution of treatment modalities: patients meeting targets were more likely to be treated with surgery or chemotherapy rather than with radiation. The PFS on first treatment modality was influenced by clinical stage, but not by time to therapy [hazard ratio (HR): 1.10; p = 0.65]. The OS for the entire cohort was also influenced by stage, but not by delays (HR: 1.04; p = 0.87). For the 209 patients treated by surgery with curative intent, a significant reduction in RFS was associated with male sex and TNM stage, but not with delays (HR: 1.11; p = 0.83). The OS after primary surgical resection was also associated with TNM stage, but not with delays (HR: 1.82; p = 0.43). Conclusions: Recommended targets for wait times in the investigation and treatment of lung cancer can be achieved within a diagnostic assessment program. Compared with radiation treatment, treatment with surgery or chemotherapy is more likely to be completed within targets. Delays in investigation and treatment do not appear to negatively affect the clinical outcomes of OS, RFS, and PFS. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate whether efficient work-up and treatment influence other important variables, such as quality of life, cost of care, and access to therapies while performance status is adequate. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Cancer Centre Follow-Up Care for Survivors of Breast, Colorectal, Gynecologic, and Prostate Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 360-366; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3627 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 48
Abstract
Background: Rising demand on cancer system resources, alongside mounting evidence that demonstrates the safety and acceptability of primary care–led follow-up care, has resulted in some cancer centres discharging patients back to primary care after treatment. At the same time, the ways in [...] Read more.
Background: Rising demand on cancer system resources, alongside mounting evidence that demonstrates the safety and acceptability of primary care–led follow-up care, has resulted in some cancer centres discharging patients back to primary care after treatment. At the same time, the ways in which routine cancer follow-up care is provided across Canada continue to vary widely. The objectives of the present study were to investigate patterns of routine follow-up care at a cancer centre for breast, colorectal, gynecologic, and prostate cancer survivors; factors associated with receipt of follow-up care at a cancer centre; and changes in follow-up care at a cancer centre over time. Methods: We identified all people diagnosed in Nova Scotia with an invasive breast, colorectal, gynecologic, or prostate cancer between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2013. We linked the resulting population-based dataset, at the patient level, to cancer centre or clinic data and to census data. We identified a nonmetastatic survivor cohort (n = 12,267) and developed decision rules to differentiate routine from non-routine visits during the follow-up care period (commencing 1 year after diagnosis). Descriptive statistics were computed to describe the patterns of routine follow-up care at a cancer centre. Negative binomial regression was used to examine factors associated with visits made and changes over time. Results: Nearly half the survivors (48.4%) had at least 1 follow-up visit to the cancer centre, with variation by disease site (range: 30.2%–62.4%). Disease site and stage at diagnosis were associated with receipt of follow-up care at a cancer centre. For instance, compared with breast cancer survivors, survivors of gynecologic cancer had more visits [incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.48; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.34 to 1.64], and survivors of colorectal cancer had fewer visits (IRR: 0.45; 95% CI: 0.40 to 0.51). Year of diagnosis was associated with follow-up at a cancer centre, with each successive calendar year being associated with an 8% increase in visits made (IRR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.10). Conclusions: Despite evidence that follow-up care can be effectively and safely delivered in primary care, and despite intensifying demands on oncology services, many survivors continue to receive routine follow-up care at a cancer centre. Full article
Open AccessArticle
No Evidence of Excessive Cancer Screening in Female Noncarriers from BRCA1/2 Mutation–Positive Families
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 352-359; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3759 - 01 Dec 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 54
Abstract
Background: In families with a proven BRCA1/2 mutation, women not carrying the familial mutation should follow the cancer screening recommendations applying to women in the general population. In the present study, we evaluated the cancer screening practices of unaffected noncarriers from families [...] Read more.
Background: In families with a proven BRCA1/2 mutation, women not carrying the familial mutation should follow the cancer screening recommendations applying to women in the general population. In the present study, we evaluated the cancer screening practices of unaffected noncarriers from families with a proven BRCA mutation, and we assessed the role of family history in their screening practices. Methods: Self-report data were provided retrospectively by 220 unaffected female noncarriers for periods of up to 10 years (mean: 4.3 years) since disclosure of their BRCA1/2 genetic test result. A ratio for the annual frequency of breast and ovarian cancer screening exams (mammography, breast ultrasonography, breast magnetic resonance imaging, transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound, cancer antigen 125 testing) was calculated as number of screening exams divided by the number of years in the individual observation period. Results: The annual average for mammography exams was 0.15, 0.4, 0.56, and 0.71 in women 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60–69 years of age respectively. The uptake of other breast and ovarian cancer screening exams was very low. Mammography and breast ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging were generally more frequent among participants with at least 1 first-degree relative affected by breast cancer. Conclusions: In most noncarriers, screening practices are consistent with the guidelines concerning women in the general population. When noncarriers adopt screening behaviours that are different from those that would be expected for average-risk women, those behaviours are influenced by their familial cancer history. Impact: Decision tools might help female noncarriers to be involved in their follow-up in accordance with their genetic status and their family history, while taking into account the benefits and disadvantages of cancer screening. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Evidence in Medicine: Math Versus Biology!
Curr. Oncol. 2017, 24(6), 349-351; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.24.3970 - 01 Dec 2017
Viewed by 43
Abstract
The drive for optimal clinical decisions based on "best" evidence has gained significant momentum in the last few decades. [...]
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