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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 25, Issue 6 (December 2018) – 24 articles

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Meeting Report
Moving Research Into Practice: Summary Report of the Ex/Cancer Meeting on Physical Activity, Exercise, and Rehabilitation in Oncology
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 615-621; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4120 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 210
Abstract
The development of evidence-based exercise guidelines for people with cancer represents a major achievement in research and provides direction to programming initiatives. The prevalence of sedentary cancer survivors and the risk posed by inactivity suggests a knowledge-to-action gap for which the evidence has [...] Read more.
The development of evidence-based exercise guidelines for people with cancer represents a major achievement in research and provides direction to programming initiatives. The prevalence of sedentary cancer survivors and the risk posed by inactivity suggests a knowledge-to-action gap for which the evidence has not led to increased exercise levels in that population. To address that gap, researchers continue to explore opportunities to improve the understanding of exercise within the oncologic context—from tumour biology to behaviour-change theories—to drive improved access and participation in exercise and rehabilitative activity. In Canada, such efforts have largely been invested by individuals and small teams across the country rather than by unifying stakeholders to drive nationwide impact. Accordingly, a national group of leading researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders convened a meeting to discuss and strategize initiatives on how to conduct innovative research into the effects of exercise and rehabilitation in cancer survivors, to increase access to exercise and rehabilitation services in cancer survivors, and to reduce sedentary behaviour in cancer survivors. The 2-day meeting, titled Ex/Cancer, was held April 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, and was attended by 83 stakeholders from across Canada, representing knowledge end-users (cancer survivors), clinicians (oncologists, nurses, counsellors), a provincial cancer care agency, community-based exercise and cancer organizations, and researchers. Attendees participated in networking events, roundtable discussions, and breakout sessions to identify, discuss, and develop clinical and research experiences and opportunities. In addition to knowledge exchange between attendees, the meeting set the foundation for the development of a collaborative network to support the development, dissemination, and support of clinical and research activity in exercise and rehabilitation for cancer survivors. With unanimous support from attendees, a major product of the Ex/Cancer meeting was the formation of the Canadian Oncology Rehabilitation and Exercise Network—COREN. Full article
Perspective
Does the Presence of Emphysema Increase the Risk of Radiation Pneumonitis in Lung Cancer Patients?
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 610-614; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4093 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 262
Abstract
Introduction Radiotherapy (rt) plays an important role in the treatment of lung cancer. One of the most common comorbidities in patients with lung cancer is pulmonary emphysema. The literature offers conflicting data about whether emphysema increases the occurrence and severity of [...] Read more.
Introduction Radiotherapy (rt) plays an important role in the treatment of lung cancer. One of the most common comorbidities in patients with lung cancer is pulmonary emphysema. The literature offers conflicting data about whether emphysema increases the occurrence and severity of radiation pneumonitis (rp). As a result, whether high doses of rt (with curative intent) should be avoided in patients with emphysema is still unclear. Objective We measured the documented incidence of rt in patients with and without emphysema who received curative radiation treatment. Methods This retrospective cohort study considered patients in the lung cancer clinical database of the Peter Brojde Lung Cancer Centre. Data from the database has been used previously for research studies, including a recent publication about emphysema grading, based on the percentage of lung occupied by emphysema on computed tomography (ct) imaging. Results Using previously published methods, chest ct imaging for 498 patients with lung cancer was scored for the presence of emphysema. The analysis considered 114 patients who received at least 30 Gy radiation. Of those 114 patients, 64 (56%) had emphysema, with approximately 23% having severe or very severe disease. The incidence of rp was 34.4% in patients with emphysema (n = 22) and 32.0% in patients with no emphysema (n = 16, p = 0.48). No difference in the incidence of rp was evident between patients with various grades of emphysema (p = 0.96). Similarly, no difference in the incidence of rp was evident between the two treatment protocols—that is, definitive rt 17 (37%) and combined chemotherapy–rt 21 (31%, p = 0.5). Conclusions In our cohort, the presence of emphysema on chest ct imaging was not associated with an increased risk of rp. That finding suggests that patients with lung cancer and emphysema should be offered rt when clinically indicated. However, further prospective studies will be needed for confirmation. Full article
Article
Developing a Model of a Patient-Group Pathway to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials in Canada
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 597-609; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4213 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 377
Abstract
Background: Colorectal Cancer Canada, in partnership with a Scientific Advisory Committee, is developing a Canadian Patient Group Pathway to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials (“Pathway”). A central element of the Pathway is presented here—namely, a set of recommendations and tools aimed at each stakeholder [...] Read more.
Background: Colorectal Cancer Canada, in partnership with a Scientific Advisory Committee, is developing a Canadian Patient Group Pathway to Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials (“Pathway”). A central element of the Pathway is presented here—namely, a set of recommendations and tools aimed at each stakeholder group. Methods: A summary of the peer-reviewed and grey literature informed discussions at a meeting, held in June 2017, in which a cross-section of stakeholders reached consensus on the potential roles of patient groups in the cancer clinical trials process, barriers to accessing cancer clinical trials, best practice models for patient-group integration, and a process for developing the Pathway. Canadian recommendations and tools were subsequently developed by a small working group and reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Committee. Results: The major output of the consensus conference was agreement that the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) model, successfully applied in the United States, could be adapted to create a Canadian Pathway. Two main differences between the Canadian and American cancer clinical research environments were highlighted: the effects of global decision-making and systems of regulatory and funding approvals. The working group modified the CTTI model to incorporate those aspects and to reflect Canadian stakeholder organizations and how they currently interact with patient groups. Conclusions: Developing and implementing a Canadian Pathway that incorporates the concepts of multi-stakeholder collaboration and the inclusion of patient groups as equal partners is expected to generate significant benefits for all stakeholders. The next steps to bring forward a proposed Pathway will involve engaging the broader cancer research community. Clinical trial sponsors will be encouraged to adopt a Charter recognizing the importance of including patient groups, and to support the training of patient groups through an independent body to ensure quality research partners. Integration of patient groups into the process of developing “real world” evidence will be advanced by a further consensus meeting being organized by Colorectal Cancer Canada for 6–7 November 2018. Full article
Case Report
Multiple Remissions of Extracavitary Primary Effusion Lymphoma Treated With a Single Cycle of Liposomal Doxorubicin in a Patient Infected With HIV
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 592-596; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4119 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 273
Abstract
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a rare human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)–related large B cell lymphoma with plasmablastic, immunoblastic, or anaplastic features that often carries a poor prognosis. This lymphoma occurs mainly in patients with hiv infection, most often with [...] Read more.
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a rare human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)–related large B cell lymphoma with plasmablastic, immunoblastic, or anaplastic features that often carries a poor prognosis. This lymphoma occurs mainly in patients with hiv infection, most often with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) co-infection, and usually presents as body cavity effusions or, less commonly, as extracavitary lesions without effusion (EC-PEL). Chemotherapeutic treatment options are limited and require concurrent antiretroviral therapy (ART). Here, we report the case of an adult patient with HIV infection and chronic hepatitis E virus (HEV) co-infection who had low CD4 T cell recovery after years of ART. The patient then developed a cutaneous EC-PEL which rapidly regressed after 1 cycle of liposomal doxorubicin (LD) for his Kaposi sarcoma (KS) before treatment with chop chemotherapy. He had previously received numerous cycles of LD for cutaneous ks over 2 years. Because of the patient’s low CD4 T cell count, HEV co-infection, and earlier unexpected remission of EC-PEL before CHOP, the patient opted for a single trial of LD before other options. Surprisingly, he experienced a complete remission lasting 18 months. Subsequently, his EC-PEL relapsed twice at 31 and at 41 months after the initial diagnosis. Upon recurrence, a similar single cycle of LD was given, which again induced remission. The patient today is in complete remission after a total of 4 LD infusions over 54 months. This patient represents a unique case of HIV-with-HHV8–related, EBV-negative EC-PEL with chronic HEV coinfection, in which rapid remission was achieved after a single cycle of LD, suggesting an antiviral response in addition to the chemotherapeutic effect. Full article
Case Report
Anti-Yo Antibody–Mediated Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration Associated with Cognitive Affective Syndrome in a Patient with Breast Cancer: A Case Report and Literature Review
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 585-591; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4106 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with 15%–25% of those tumours overexpressing the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (her2), which is associated with more aggressive disease. On rare occasions, patients present with a paraneoplastic syndrome months to [...] Read more.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with 15%–25% of those tumours overexpressing the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (her2), which is associated with more aggressive disease. On rare occasions, patients present with a paraneoplastic syndrome months to years before their cancer diagnosis. Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (pcd) is associated with fewer than 1% of cancers and is strongly associated with breast and gynecologic malignancies. Anti-Yo antibody is the antibody most frequently identified with the syndrome, and it is associated with a very poor prognosis. Recent studies have implicated a relationship between overexpression of her2 and anti-Yo–mediated pcd. Current pcd treatments include tumour removal, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immune-suppressive treatments. Outcomes of pcd are typically poor, and no guidelines for treatment currently exist. Early recognition followed by rapid initiation of treatment remains the cornerstone of therapy. Full article
Article
Use of Targeted Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: Clinical and Economic Impact in a Canadian Real-Life Setting
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 576-584; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4103 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 320
Abstract
Introduction Outside of randomized controlled clinical trials, the understanding of the effectiveness and costs associated with targeted therapies for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mrcc) is limited in Canada. The purpose of the present study was to use real-world prospective data to [...] Read more.
Introduction Outside of randomized controlled clinical trials, the understanding of the effectiveness and costs associated with targeted therapies for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mrcc) is limited in Canada. The purpose of the present study was to use real-world prospective data to assess the effectiveness and cost of targeted therapies for patients with mrcc. Methods The Canadian Kidney Cancer Information System, a pan-Canadian database, was used to identify prospectively collected data relating to patients with mrcc. First- and subsequent-line time to treatment termination (ttt) was determined from therapy initiation time (sunitinib or pazopanib) to discontinuation of therapy. Kaplan– Meier survival curves were used to estimate the unadjusted and adjusted overall survival (os) by treatment. Unit treatment cost was used to estimate the cost by line of treatment and the total cost of therapy for the management of patients with mrcc. Results The study included 475 patients receiving sunitinib or pazopanib in the first-line setting. Patients were treated mostly with sunitinib (81%); 19% of patients were treated with pazopanib. The median ttt in the first line was 7.7 months for patients receiving sunitinib and 4.6 months for those receiving pazopanib (p < 0.001). The adjusted os was 32 months with sunitinib and 21 months with pazopanib (hazard ratio: 1.61; p < 0.01). The total median cost of first- and second-line treatments was $56,476 (interquartile range: $23,738–$130,447) for patients in the sunitinib group and $46,251 (interquartile range: $28,167–$91,394) for those in the pazopanib group. Conclusions For the two therapies, os differed significantly, with a higher median os being observed in the sunitinib group. The cost of treatment was higher in the sunitinib group, which is to be expected with longer survival. Full article
Article
Survival of Patients with Subglottic Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 569-575; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3864 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 288
Abstract
Objective: Subglottic squamous cell carcinoma is a rare subsite of laryngeal cancer that behaves more aggressively and portends a worse prognosis. Using a population-based cancer registry, our objective was to report overall survival (OS) and laryngectomy-free survival (LFS) in [...] Read more.
Objective: Subglottic squamous cell carcinoma is a rare subsite of laryngeal cancer that behaves more aggressively and portends a worse prognosis. Using a population-based cancer registry, our objective was to report overall survival (OS) and laryngectomy-free survival (LFS) in patients diagnosed with subglottic squamous cell carcinoma, and to determine whether primary laryngectomy results in improved survival. Methods: This retrospective population-based study considered patients with a new diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma in the province of Ontario over a 15-year period (1995–2009). The Ontario Cancer Registry was examined for patients with the diagnosis of interest during the period of interest. Linked population-based databases were used to obtain patient demographics, comorbidity measures, staging, survival, and primary treatment with laryngectomy. Results: Of 4927 patients identified to have laryngeal carcinoma, 89 were defined as having primary subglottic carcinoma (1.8%). In the subglottic cohort, 68 patients were men (76.4%), and mean age at diagnosis was 68 years (interquartile range: 60–77 years). The 5-year OS was 47.2%, and the 5-year LFS was 31.5%. In 13 patients (15%), the primary treatment was laryngectomy, which, compared with primary radiation, did not predict for improved OS. No differences in OS or LFS were observed during the 15-year study period (OS p = 0.42, LFS p = 0.83). Conclusions: The survival of patients with subglottic carcinoma is poor and has remained stable over time (1995–2009). Compared with primary radiation, primary treatment with laryngectomy does not appear to improve OS. Full article
Article
Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy in Young Women With Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis of Predictive Factors and Clinical Impact
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 562-568; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4169 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 315
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) has been increasingly common among women with unilateral invasive breast cancer (iBCa) even though the data that support it are limited. Using a population-based cohort, the objectives of the present study were [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) has been increasingly common among women with unilateral invasive breast cancer (iBCa) even though the data that support it are limited. Using a population-based cohort, the objectives of the present study were to describe factors predictive of CPM in young women (≤35 years) with ibca and to evaluate the impact of the procedure on mortality. Methods: All women diagnosed during 1994–2003 and treated with CPM were identified from the Ontario Cancer Registry. Logistic regression was used to identify patient and tumour factors associated with the use of CPM. Multivariate analyses were used to assess the effect of CPM on recurrence and mortality. Results: Of 614 women identified, 81 underwent CPM (13.2%). On multivariable analysis, factors associated with CPM included negative lymph node status, negative estrogen receptor status, and initial breast-conserving surgery with re-excision. At follow-up, breast cancer–specific mortality was similar for women who did and did not undergo CPM. Conclusions: Use of CPM in young women with ibca (compared with non-use) was not associated improved breast cancer–specific mortality. Factors found to be predictive of CPM were negative lymph node status, negative estrogen receptor status, and initial breast-conserving surgery followed by re-excision. Full article
Article
Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Compared with Professional Judgment of Cosmetic Results after Breast-Conserving Therapy
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 553-561; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4036 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 290
Abstract
Background: In the present study, we set out to compare patient-reported outcomes with professional judgment about cosmesis after breast-conserving therapy (bct) and to evaluate which items (position of the nipple, color, scar, size, shape, and firmness) correlate best with subjective [...] Read more.
Background: In the present study, we set out to compare patient-reported outcomes with professional judgment about cosmesis after breast-conserving therapy (bct) and to evaluate which items (position of the nipple, color, scar, size, shape, and firmness) correlate best with subjective outcome. Methods: Dutch patients treated with bct between 2008 and 2009 were analyzed. Exclusion criteria were prior amputation or bct of the contralateral breast, metastatic disease, local recurrence, or any prior cosmetic breast surgery. Structured questionnaires and standardized six-view photographs were obtained with a minimum of 3 years’ follow-up. Cosmetic outcome was judged by the patients and, based on photographs, by 5 different medical professionals using 3 different scoring systems: the Harvard scale, the Sneeuw questionnaire, and a numeric rating scale. Agreement was scored using the intraclass correlation coefficient (icc). The association between items of the Sneeuw questionnaire and a fair–poor Harvard score was estimated using logistic regression analysis. Results: The study included 108 female patients (age: 40–91 years). Based on the Harvard scale, agreement on cosmetic outcome between the professionals was good (icc: 0.78). In contrast, agreement between professionals as a group compared with the patients was found to be fair to moderate (icc range: 0.38–0.50). The items “size” and “shape” were identified as the strongest determinants of cosmetic outcome. Conclusions: Cosmetic outcome was scored differently by patients and professionals. Agreement was greater between the professionals than between the patients and the professionals as a group. In general, size and shape were the most prominent items on which cosmetic outcome was judged by patients and professionals alike. Full article
Article
Appropriate Treatment Receipt after Breast-Conserving Surgery
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 545-552; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4117 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 252
Abstract
Background Breast-conserving surgery (bcs) and radiation therapy (rt) are the standard of care for early breast cancer, although some women receive ipsilateral mastectomy or adjuvant tamoxifen, both of which can be appropriate alternatives to rt. Objectives of the [...] Read more.
Background Breast-conserving surgery (bcs) and radiation therapy (rt) are the standard of care for early breast cancer, although some women receive ipsilateral mastectomy or adjuvant tamoxifen, both of which can be appropriate alternatives to rt. Objectives of the present study were to determine the proportion of women who are treated appropriately after bcs and to identify factors associated with non-receipt of rt. Methods This retrospective cohort study used Ontario data linked at the Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences to examine 33,718 patients who received bcs during 2004–2010. Primary outcome was rt receipt. The ipsilateral mastectomy rate and patient, surgeon, and setting variables were measured. Results Of the study patients, 86.1% received either rt or completion mastectomy; in the cohort less than 70 years of age, 90.8% received rt or completion mastectomy. Among patients less than 70 years of age, 3 risk factors for nonreceipt of rt were identified: age less than 46 years, treatment in a non-academic institution, and earlier year of initial bcs. Additionally, in the overall cohort, rt non-receipt was associated with high comorbidity, more than 40 km to the cancer centre, income quintile, and breast care specialization. Conclusions In Ontario, 90.8% of patients less than 70 years of age are appropriately treated for early breast cancer; approximately 1 in 10 do not receive rt or completion mastectomy. Based on those findings, women less than 46 years of age might be at increased risk of recurrence and death because of incomplete treatment. It also appears that academic centres more effectively treat breast cancer; however, breast cancer care appears to be improving over time in Ontario. Full article
Article
Incidence of Spinal Disease and Role of Spinal Radiotherapy in Multiple Myeloma
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 539-544; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4188 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 256
Abstract
Background: Spinal disease (SPD) in multiple myeloma (MM) can be a major source of morbidity in newly diagnosed patients and long-term survivors. We retrospectively assessed the incidence of spinal disease in patients newly diagnosed with myeloma, its effect on [...] Read more.
Background: Spinal disease (SPD) in multiple myeloma (MM) can be a major source of morbidity in newly diagnosed patients and long-term survivors. We retrospectively assessed the incidence of spinal disease in patients newly diagnosed with myeloma, its effect on survival, and the possible effect of spinal radiation therapy (RT). Methods: Patients diagnosed with MM between 2010 and 2014 were identified through the provincial cancer registry. Plain radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging were reviewed to detect and document the type of SPD. Data related to RT and systemic therapy were collected. Kaplan–Meier and time-varying Cox regression models were used to describe overall survival. Results: Of 306 identified patients with newly diagnosed MM, 51% had SPD, including 17% with lytic disease, 68% with compression fractures, and 15% with spinal cord compression. Of the patients with SPD, 61% received spinal RT. Of those patients, 84% received spinal RT within 3 months after their diagnosis. Median dose was 20 Gy. Most patients (89.2%) received chemotherapy, and 22.5% underwent autologous stem-cell transplantation. Only 6 of the patients treated with spinal RT received re-irradiation to the same site. Overall survival was similar for patients with and without SPD. On multivariate analysis, spinal RT had no effect on survival. Conclusions: In patients newly diagnosed with MM, SPD is a common presentation. With current systemic therapy, the presence of SPD had no adverse effect on overall survival. The effect of spinal RT on overall survival was nonsignificant. Full article
Article
Impact of High-Fidelity E-Learning on Knowledge Acquisition and Satisfaction in Radiation Oncology Trainees
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 533-538; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4090 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 493
Abstract
Background e-Learning is an underutilized tool in education for the health professions, and radiation medicine, given its reliance on technology for clinical practice, is well-suited to training simulation in online environments. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the knowledge impact [...] Read more.
Background e-Learning is an underutilized tool in education for the health professions, and radiation medicine, given its reliance on technology for clinical practice, is well-suited to training simulation in online environments. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the knowledge impact and user interface satisfaction of high- (hf) compared with low-fidelity (lf) e-learning modules (e-modules) in radiation oncology training. Methods Two versions of an e-module on lung radiotherapy (lf and hf) were developed. Radiation oncology residents and fellows were invited to be randomized to complete either the lf or the hf module through individual online accounts over a 2-week period. A 25-item multiple-choice knowledge assessment was administered before and after module completion, and user interface satisfaction was measured using the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction (quis) tool. Results Of 18 trainees, 8 were randomized to the lf module, and 10, to the hf module. Overall, knowledge assessment performance increased (11%, p < 0.05), with hf-group participants reporting a 13% improvement (p = 0.02), and senior participants reporting an almost 15% improvement (p < 0.01). Scores on the quis indicated that participants were satisfied with various aspects of the user interface. Conclusions The hf e-module had a greater impact on knowledge acquisition, and users expressed satisfaction with the interface in both the hf and lf situations. The use of e-learning in a competency-based curriculum could have educational advantages; participants expressed benefits and drawbacks. Preferences for e-learning integration in education for the health professions should be explored further. Full article
Article
Specific Protocols of Controlled Ovarian Stimulation for Oocyte Cryopreservation in Breast Cancer Patients
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 527-532; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.3889 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 374
Abstract
Background: Fertility preservation is an important concern in breast cancer patients. In the present investigation, we set out to create a specific protocol of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) for oocyte cryopreservation in breast cancer patients. Methods: From November 2014 to December [...] Read more.
Background: Fertility preservation is an important concern in breast cancer patients. In the present investigation, we set out to create a specific protocol of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) for oocyte cryopreservation in breast cancer patients. Methods: From November 2014 to December 2016, 109 patients were studied. The patients were assigned to a specific random-start ovarian stimulation protocol for oocyte cryopreservation. The endpoints were the numbers of oocytes retrieved and of mature oocytes cryopreserved, the total number of days of ovarian stimulation, the total dose of gonadotropin administered, and the estradiol level on the day of the trigger. Results: Mean age in this cohort was 31.27 ± 4.23 years. The average duration of COS was 10.0 ± 1.39 days. The mean number of oocytes collected was 11.62 ± 7.96 and the mean number of vitrified oocytes was 9.60 ± 6.87. The mean estradiol concentration on triggering day was 706.30 ± 450.48 pg/mL, and the mean dose of gonadotropins administered was 2610.00 ± 716.51 IU. When comparing outcomes by phase of the cycle in which COS was commenced, we observed no significant differences in the numbers of oocytes collected and vitrified, the length of ovarian stimulation, and the estradiol level on trigger day. The total dose of follicle-stimulating hormone and human menopausal gonadotropin administered was statistically greater in the group starting COS in the luteal phase than in the group starting in the late follicular phase. Conclusions: Our results suggest that using a specific protocol with random-start ovarian stimulation for oocyte cryopreservation in breast cancer patients is effective and could be offered to young women undergoing oncologic treatment. Full article
Article
Hypertension as a Predictor of Advanced Colorectal Cancer Outcome and Cetuximab Treatment Response
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 516-526; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4069 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 366
Abstract
Background Adrenergic receptor stimulation is involved in the development of hypertension (htn) and has been implicated in cancer progression and dissemination of metastases in various tumours, including colon cancer. Adrenergic antagonists such as beta-blockers (bbs) demonstrate inhibition of invasion [...] Read more.
Background Adrenergic receptor stimulation is involved in the development of hypertension (htn) and has been implicated in cancer progression and dissemination of metastases in various tumours, including colon cancer. Adrenergic antagonists such as beta-blockers (bbs) demonstrate inhibition of invasion and migration in colon cancer cell lines and have been associated with decreased mortality in colorectal cancer (crc). We examined the association of baseline htn and bb use with overall (os) and progression-free survival (pfs) in patients with pretreated, chemotherapy refractory, metastatic crc (mcrc). We also examined baseline htn as a predictor of cetuximab efficacy. Methods Using data from the Canadian Cancer Trials Group co.17 study [cetuximab vs. best supportive care (bsc)], we coded baseline htn and use of anti-htn medications, including bbs, for 572 patients. The chi-square test was used to assess the associations between those variables and baseline characteristics. Cox regression models were used for univariate and multivariate analyses of os and pfs by htn diagnosis and bb use. Results Baseline htn, bb use, and anti-htn medication use were not found to be prognostic for improved os. Baseline htn and bb use were not significant predictors of cetuximab benefit. Conclusions In chemorefractory mcrc, neither baseline htn nor bb use is a significant prognostic factor. Baseline htn and bb use are not predictive of cetuximab benefit. Further investigation to determine whether baseline htn or bb use have a similarly insignificant impact on prognosis in patients receiving earlier lines of treatment remains warranted. Full article
Article
Reducing Postsurgical Exudate in Breast Cancer Patients by Using San Huang Decoction to Ameliorate Inflammatory Status: A Prospective Clinical Trial
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 507-515; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4108 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 381
Abstract
Background Reducing inflammatory factors in wound exudate is a promising treatment approach for healing wounds in postsurgical breast cancer patients. Traditional Chinese Medicine (tcm) treatments have been shown to be beneficial and safe for optimal regulation of oxidative stress during the [...] Read more.
Background Reducing inflammatory factors in wound exudate is a promising treatment approach for healing wounds in postsurgical breast cancer patients. Traditional Chinese Medicine (tcm) treatments have been shown to be beneficial and safe for optimal regulation of oxidative stress during the postoperative period. In the present clinical trial, we evaluated the effectiveness of a promising Chinese herbal formula, San Huang decoction [shd (Radix astragali, Radix et rhizoma rhei, and Rhizoma curcuma longa, 3:1:1; supplemental Table 1)], on wound inflammatory response after mastectomy. Methods The study randomized 30 patients with breast cancer who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria to either a treatment (n = 15) or a control group (n = 15). Patients in the treatment group received liquid shd, taken twice daily with or without food. Treatment was given for 1 day before surgery and for 7 days postoperatively. Participants in the control group received a placebo on the same schedule as the treatment group. Outcomes measured in every subject included clinical tcm and wound inflammation symptom scores, daily and total amounts of drainage fluid, and levels of inflammatory factors in the exudate [tumour necrosis factor α (tnf-α), interleukins 6 (il-6), 8 (il-8), and 2R (il-2R), human C-reactive protein (crp)] at 2 h and on days 1, 3, and 7 postoperatively. Results The total amount of drainage fluid over 7 days was significantly lower in the treatment group (572.20 ± 93.95 mL) than in the control group (700.40 ± 107.38 mL). The tcm symptom score was also lower in treatment group (day 7: 1.87 ± 0.83 vs. 4.80 ± 3.61, p = 0.049), as was the inflammatory symptom score (day 7: 0.67 ± 0.72 vs. 3.67 ± 2.50, p = 0.001). Levels of tnf-α, il-6, il-8, il-2R, and crp in drainage fluid were significantly lower with shd treatment. Conclusions Perioperative treatment with shd effectively lessened postoperative exudate and ameliorated inflammatory symptoms in patients who underwent surgery for breast cancer. Full article
Article
Adjuvant Treatment in Older Patients with Rectal Cancer: A Population-Based Review
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 499-506; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4102 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 360
Abstract
Background Little is known about the benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy (adj) in the older population with locally advanced rectal cancer (larc). We evaluated use of adj, survival outcomes, and adj-related toxicity in older patients with larc. [...] Read more.
Background Little is known about the benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy (adj) in the older population with locally advanced rectal cancer (larc). We evaluated use of adj, survival outcomes, and adj-related toxicity in older patients with larc. Methods Our retrospective review included 286 patients with larc (stages ii and iii) diagnosed between January 2010 and December 2013 in Nova Scotia who underwent curative-intent surgery. Baseline patient, tumour, and treatment characteristics were collected. The survival analysis used the Kaplan–Meier method and Cox regression statistics. Results Of 286 identified patients, 152 were 65 years of age or older, and 92 were 70 years of age or older. Median follow-up was 46 months, and 163 patients (57%) received neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Although adj was given to 81% of patients (n = 109) less than 65 years of age, only 29% patients (n = 27) 70 years of age and older received adj. Kaplan–Meier analysis suggested a potential survival advantage for adj regardless of age. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, T stage, and adj were significant predictors of overall survival (p < 0.04); age was not. Similarly, N stage, neoadjuvant chemoradiation, and adj were significant predictors of disease-free survival (p < 0.01). Poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was the most common cause of adj omission. In patients 70 years of age and older, grade 1 or greater chemotherapy-related toxicities were experienced significantly more often by those treated with adj (85% vs. 68% for those not treated with adj, p < 0.05). Conclusions Regardless of age, patients with larc seem to experience a survival benefit with adj. However, older patients are less likely to receive adj, and when they do, they experience more chemotherapy-related toxicities. Full article
Article
Patients with Advanced Cancer: When, Why, and How to Refer to Palliative Care Services
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 403-408; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4453 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 484
Abstract
Palliative care (PC) is a fundamental component of the cancer care trajectory. Its primary focus is on “the quality of life of people who have a life-threatening illness, and includes pain and symptom management, skilled psychosocial, emotional and spiritual support” to [...] Read more.
Palliative care (PC) is a fundamental component of the cancer care trajectory. Its primary focus is on “the quality of life of people who have a life-threatening illness, and includes pain and symptom management, skilled psychosocial, emotional and spiritual support” to patients and loved ones. Palliative care includes, but is not limited to, end-of-life care. The benefits of early introduction of PC services in the care trajectory of patients with advanced cancer are well known, as indicated by improved quality of life, satisfaction with care, and a potential for increased survival. In turn, early referral of patients with advanced cancer to PC services is strongly recommended. So when, how, and why should patients with advanced cancer be referred to PC services? In this article, we summarize evidence to address these questions about early PC referral: (1) What are the known benefits? (2) What is the “ideal” PC referral timing? (3) What are the barriers? (4) Which strategies can optimize integration of PC into oncology care? (5) Which communication tools can facilitate skillful introduction of PC to patients? Full article
Article
The Prostate Cancer Rehabilitation Clinic: A Biopsychosocial Clinic for Sexual Dysfunction after Radical Prostatectomy
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 393-402; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4111 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Purpose The most prevalent intervention for localized prostate cancer (pca) is radical prostatectomy (rp), which has a 10-year relative survival rate of more than 90%. The improved survival rate has led to a focus on reducing the burden of [...] Read more.
Purpose The most prevalent intervention for localized prostate cancer (pca) is radical prostatectomy (rp), which has a 10-year relative survival rate of more than 90%. The improved survival rate has led to a focus on reducing the burden of treatment-related morbidity and improving the patient and partner survivorship experience. Post-rp sexual dysfunction (sdf) has received significant attention, given its substantial effect on patient and partner health-related quality of life. Accordingly, there is a need for sdf treatment to be a fundamental component of pca survivorship programming. Methods Most research about the treatment of post-rp sdf involves biomedical interventions for erectile dysfunction (ed). Although findings support the effectiveness of pro-erectile agents and devices, most patients discontinue use of such aids within 1 year after their rp. Because side effects of pro-erectile treatment have proved to be inadequate in explaining the gap between efficacy and ongoing use, current research focuses on a biopsychosocial perspective of ed. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of literature describing the components of a biopsychosocial program designed for the post-rp population and their partners. Results In this paper, we detail the development of the Prostate Cancer Rehabilitation Clinic (pcrc), which emphasizes multidisciplinary intervention teams, active participation by the partner, and a broad-spectrum medical, psychological, and interpersonal approach. Conclusions The goal of the pcrc is to help patients and their partners achieve optimal sexual health and couple intimacy after rp, and to help design cost-effective and beneficial rehabilitation programs. Full article
Article
Real-World Benefit of Nivolumab in A Canadian Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cohort
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 384-392; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4287 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Background: Nivolumab was the first immuno-oncology agent available for the treatment of lung cancer in Canada. In the present study, we evaluated the real-world benefit of nivolumab in Canadian patients with lung cancer. Methods: Patients included in the cohort were identified from a [...] Read more.
Background: Nivolumab was the first immuno-oncology agent available for the treatment of lung cancer in Canada. In the present study, we evaluated the real-world benefit of nivolumab in Canadian patients with lung cancer. Methods: Patients included in the cohort were identified from a registry of patients treated through expanded access to nivolumab before and after Health Canada approval. Demographics were collected from the application forms. Outcome data for the duration of treatment and survival were collected retrospectively. Results: In contrast to the randomized clinical trial populations, our study cohort included patients who were older (median age: 66 years; range: 36–92 years) and who had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2 (8.9%). Despite the poorer-prognosis cohort, median overall survival was 12.0 months, which is comparable to the survival demonstrated in the randomized phase iii trials of nivolumab in lung cancer. Median time to treatment discontinuation was 3.45 months and was similar for all patient subgroups, including poorer-prognosis groups such as those with a performance status of 2, those 75 years of age and older, and those with brain metastases. Conclusions: Nivolumab given in a real-world clinical setting was associated with results similar to those reported in the phase iii clinical trial setting. Full article
Article
Oncology Communities of Practice: Insights from a Qualitative Analysis
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 378-383; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4088 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 348
Abstract
Background A community of practice (COP) is formally defined as a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Communities of practice represent a promising [...] Read more.
Background A community of practice (COP) is formally defined as a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. Communities of practice represent a promising approach for improving cancer care outcomes. However, little research is available to guide the development of oncology COPs. In 2015, our urban community hospital launched an oncology COP, with the goals of decreasing barriers to access, fostering collaboration, and improving practitioner knowledge of guidelines and services in cancer care. Here, we share insights from a qualitative analysis of feedback from participants in our COP. The objective of the project was to identify participant perspectives about preferred COP features, with a view to improving the quality of our community hospital’s oncology COP. Methods After 5 in-person meetings of our oncology COP, participants were surveyed about what the COP should start, stop, and continue doing. Qualitative methods were used to analyze the feedback. Results The survey collected 250 comments from 117 unique COP participants, including family physicians, specialist physicians, nurses, and allied health care practitioners. Analysis identified participant perspectives about the key features of the COP and avenues for improvement across four themes: supporting knowledge exchange, identifying and addressing practice gaps, enhancing interprofessional collaboration, and fostering a culture of partnership. Conclusions Based on the results, we identified several considerations that could be helpful in improving our COP. Our findings might help guide the development of oncology COPs at other institutions. Key Words Communities of practice, quality, collaboration, partnerships, knowledge management, knowledge preservation Full article
Article
Building an Oncology Community of Practice to Improve Cancer Care
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 371-377; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4087 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 342
Abstract
Background Communities of practice (cops) have been shown to be effective models for achieving quality outcomes in health care. Objective Here, we describe the application of the cop model to the Canadian oncology context. Methods We established an oncology cop at our urban [...] Read more.
Background Communities of practice (cops) have been shown to be effective models for achieving quality outcomes in health care. Objective Here, we describe the application of the cop model to the Canadian oncology context. Methods We established an oncology cop at our urban community hospital and its networks. Goals were to decrease barriers to access, foster collaboration, and improve knowledge of guidelines in cancer care. We hosted 6 in-person multidisciplinary meetings, focusing on screening, diagnosis, and management of common solid tumours. Health care providers affiliated with our hospital were invited to attend and to complete post-meeting surveys. Likert scales assessed whether cop goals were realized. Results Meetings attracted a mean of 57 attendees (range: 48–65 attendees), with a mean of 84% completing the surveys and consenting to the analysis. Attendees included family physicians (mean: 41%), specialist physicians (mean: 24%), nurses (mean: 10%), and allied health care providers (mean: 22%). Repeat attendance increased during the series, with 85% of attendees at the final meeting having attended 1 or more prior meetings. Across the series, most participants agreed or strongly agreed that the cop reduced barriers (mean: 76.0% ± 7.9%) and improved access to cancer care services (mean: 82.4% ± 8.1%) and subject matter experts (mean: 91.7% ± 4.2%); fostered teamwork (mean: 84.5% ± 6.8%) and a culture of collaboration (mean: 94.8% ± 4.2%); improved knowledge of cancer care services (mean: 93.3% ± 4.8%), standards of practice (mean: 92.3% ± 3.1%), and quality indicators (mean: 77.5% ± 6.3%); and improved cancer-related practice (mean: 88.8% ± 4.6%) and satisfaction in caring for cancer patients (mean: 82.9% ± 6.8%). Participant feedback carried a potential for bias. Conclusions We demonstrated the feasibility of oncology cops and found that participants perceived their value in reducing barriers to access, fostering collaboration, and improving knowledge of guidelines in cancer care. Full article
Article
Outcomes by Treatment Modality in Elderly Patients with Localized Gastric and Esophageal Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 366-370; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4208 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 307
Abstract
Background: We aimed to assess current treatment patterns and outcomes in elderly patients with localized gastric and esophageal (GE) cancers. Methods: This retrospective analysis considered patients 75 years of age or older with ge cancers treated during 2012–2014. Patient demographics and [...] Read more.
Background: We aimed to assess current treatment patterns and outcomes in elderly patients with localized gastric and esophageal (GE) cancers. Methods: This retrospective analysis considered patients 75 years of age or older with ge cancers treated during 2012–2014. Patient demographics and tumour characteristics were collected. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival were assessed by univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for demographics. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine factors affecting treatment choices. Results: The 110 patients in the study cohort had a median age of 81 years (range: 75–99 years). Primary disease sites were esophageal (55%) and gastric (45%). Treatment received included radiation therapy alone (29%), surgery alone (26%), surgery plus perioperative therapy (14%), chemoradiation alone (10%), and supportive care alone (14%). In multivariable analyses, surgery (hazard ratio: 0.48; 95% confidence interval: 0.26 to 0.90; p = 0.02) was the only independent predictor for improved os. Patients with a good Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (p = 0.008), gastric disease site (p = 0.02), and adenocarcinoma histology (p = 0.01) were more likely to undergo surgery. Conclusions: At our institution, few patients 75 years of age and older received multimodality therapy for localized ge cancers. Outcomes were better for patients who underwent surgery than for those who did not. To ensure optimal treatment selection, comprehensive geriatric assessment should be considered for patients 75 years of age and older with localized GE cancers. Full article
Article
A Little Help from My Friends: Social Support in Palliative Rehabilitation
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 358-365; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4050 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 434
Abstract
Background Social support has been shown to buffer some difficulties of living with advanced cancer. The Palliative Rehabilitation Program (prp) was an interdisciplinary outpatient program offering post-treatment palliative rehabilitation to patients with advanced cancer. Social support was directly integrated into the program. The [...] Read more.
Background Social support has been shown to buffer some difficulties of living with advanced cancer. The Palliative Rehabilitation Program (prp) was an interdisciplinary outpatient program offering post-treatment palliative rehabilitation to patients with advanced cancer. Social support was directly integrated into the program. The aim of the present study was to examine the types and sources of social support that patients found most beneficial. Methods Twelve patients participated in 30-minute semi-structured interviews. Thematic content analysis was used to explore the social support experiences of those patients in the prp. Patients were eligible to participate in the interview if they had completed the 8-week prp, spoke English, and did not have cognitive or auditory impairments affecting their ability to participate. Results The main sources of support reported by participants were team members and spouse, family, or close friends; peers attending the program; and spiritual beliefs. Social support varied based on sex and age, such that, compared with women, men reported relying less on social support, and the supportive needs of younger (≤50 years of age) and older participants differed. Team members were endorsed as frequently as family as social support. Discussion Emotional support was endorsed with the greatest frequency. The members of the interdisciplinary care team were also providers of emotional and informational support for patients, bolstering the support received from caregivers. Widowed or divorced women might rely on health care providers more readily than do married men, who chose their wives as support. Future rehabilitation programs might consider the importance of an interdisciplinary team, the formal integration of caregivers, and the incorporation of spirituality to meet the unique supportive needs of patients with advanced cancer. Full article
Commentary
Conflict of Interest: “Be Rigorous in Judging Ourselves and Gracious in Judging Others”
Curr. Oncol. 2018, 25(6), 355-357; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.25.4587 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 463
Abstract
The recent New York Times article with the banner headline Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research Journals and the subsequent discussion about Dr. Jose Baselga [...]
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