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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 27, Issue 2 (May 2020) – 28 articles

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Meeting Report
Updates from the American Society of Hematology 2019 Annual Meeting: Practice-Changing Studies in Treatment-Naïve Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 231-245; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6291 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 312
Abstract
The 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology took place 7–10 December in Orlando, Florida. At the meeting, results from key studies in treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) were presented. Of those studies, phase iii oral presentations focused on [...] Read more.
The 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology took place 7–10 December in Orlando, Florida. At the meeting, results from key studies in treatment-naïve chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) were presented. Of those studies, phase iii oral presentations focused on the efficacy and safety of therapy with inhibitors of Bruton tyrosine kinase (btk) and Bcl-2. One presentation reported updated results of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 1912 trial comparing the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib–rituximab with that of fludarabine–cyclophosphamide–rituximab in patients less than 70 years of age with cll. A second presentation reported interim results of the elevate tn trial, which is investigating the efficacy and safety of acalabrutinib–obinutuzumab or acalabrutinib monotherapy compared with chlorambucil–obinutuzumab. A third presentation reported on the single-agent zanubrutinib arm of the sequoia trial in patients with del(17p). The final presentation constituted a data update from the cll14 trial, which is evaluating fixed-duration venetoclax–obinutuzumab compared with chlorambucil–obinutuzumab, including the association of minimal residual disease status with progression-free survival. Our meeting report describes the foregoing studies and presents interviews with investigators and commentaries by Canadian hematologists about potential effects on Canadian practice. Full article
Meeting Report
The Canadian Cancer Research Conference 2019
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 226-230; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6245 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
The 5th Canadian Cancer Research Conference (ccrc) took place 3–5 November 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario. Nearly 1000 participants—scientists, oncologists, community members, and patients—gathered to share knowledge, foster collaboration, and fuel the future of cancer research in Canada. The scientific program included [...] Read more.
The 5th Canadian Cancer Research Conference (ccrc) took place 3–5 November 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario. Nearly 1000 participants—scientists, oncologists, community members, and patients—gathered to share knowledge, foster collaboration, and fuel the future of cancer research in Canada. The scientific program included 3 plenary sessions, 26 concurrent sessions, and 2 poster sessions presenting research described in more than 600 submitted abstracts, giving participants the opportunity to share health research that collectively encompassed the 4 pillars recognized by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In addition to the breadth of topics addressed by Canadian and international experts, the highlights of the meeting included the integration of patients and patient advocates, new rapid-fire sessions for abstract presentation, and events that enhanced learning opportunities for trainees. Full article
Article
Prolonged Response to Liposomal Irinotecan in a Patient with Stage IV Pancreatic/Bile Duct Cancer Previously Treated with FOLFIRINOX and Gemcitabine Plus Nab-Paclitaxel
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 222-225; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5893 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 254
Abstract
At 9%, and 2% when diagnosed at advanced stage, the 5-year relative survival rate for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (pdac) is the lowest of any cancer. The currently approved treatment options for metastatic pdac in the United States are folfirinox [irinotecan–fluorouracil (5 [...] Read more.
At 9%, and 2% when diagnosed at advanced stage, the 5-year relative survival rate for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (pdac) is the lowest of any cancer. The currently approved treatment options for metastatic pdac in the United States are folfirinox [irinotecan–fluorouracil (5fu)–leucovorin (lv)–oxaliplatin], gemcitabine–nab-paclitaxel, and liposomal irinotecan plus 5fu–lv. Liposomal irinotecan is a novel formulation of irinotecan encapsulated within a lipid bilayer, which favours local metabolic activation. The napoli-1 trial demonstrated the efficacy of liposomal irinotecan in combination with 5fu and lv for the treatment of advanced pdac after progression on gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. The 1-year survival in those patients was 25%; however, none had had irinotecan-refractory disease before treatment with liposomal irinotecan. Furthermore, the U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend liposomal irinotecan plus 5fu–lv in patients who have received prior fluoropyrimidine-based therapy if no prior irinotecan therapy has been given. Here, we report a male patient with stage iv cancer of pancreas or bile duct (site unconfirmed) who experienced a prolonged (51 weeks) response to liposomal irinotecan plus 5fu–lv despite prior disease progression on irinotecan. Several factors have previously been associated with long-term survival in patients receiving liposomal irinotecan therapy: no prior irinotecan-based chemotherapy, high Karnofsky performance status score, age 65 years or less, serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 less than 59 U/mL, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio 5 or less, and absence of liver metastasis. The patient in the present report had none of those characteristics indicative of long-term survival, except his age at diagnosis—47 years. Full article
Article
Association between Waiting Time for Radiotherapy after Surgery for Early-Stage Breast Cancer and Survival Outcomes in Ontario: A Population-Based Outcomes Study
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 216-221; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5629 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 206
Abstract
Background: After surgery for early-stage breast cancer (bca), adjuvant radiotherapy (rt) decreases the risk of locoregional recurrence and death from bca. It is unclear whether delays to the initiation of adjuvant rt are associated with inferior survival [...] Read more.
Background: After surgery for early-stage breast cancer (bca), adjuvant radiotherapy (rt) decreases the risk of locoregional recurrence and death from bca. It is unclear whether delays to the initiation of adjuvant rt are associated with inferior survival outcomes. Methods: This population-based retrospective cohort study included a random sample of 25% of all women with stage i or ii bca treated with adjuvant rt in Ontario between 1 September 2001 and 31 August 2002, when, because of capacity issues, wait times for radiation were abnormally long. Pathology reports were manually abstracted and deterministically linked to population-level administrative databases to obtain information about recurrence and survival outcomes. Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to evaluate the association between waiting time and survival outcomes. A composite survival outcome was used to ensure that all possible measurable harms of delay would be captured. The composite outcome, event-free survival, included locoregional recurrence, development of metastatic disease, and bca-specific mortality. Results: We identified 1028 women with stage i or ii bca who were treated with breast-conserving surgery and adjuvant rt. For the 599 women who were treated with adjuvant radiation without intervening chemotherapy, a waiting time of 12 weeks or more from surgery to the start of radiation appeared to be associated with worse event-free survival after a median follow-up of 7.2 years (hazard ratio for the composite outcome: 1.44; 95% confidence interval: 0.98 to 2.11; p = 0.07). For the 429 women who received intervening adjuvant chemotherapy, a waiting time of 6 weeks or more from completion of chemotherapy to start of radiation was associated with worse event-free survival after a median follow-up of 7.4 years (hazard ratio: 1.50; 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 2.22; p = 0.047). Conclusions: Delay to the initiation of adjuvant rt after breast-conserving surgery is associated with inferior bca survival outcomes. The good prognosis for patients with early-stage bca limits the statistical power to detect an effect of delay to rt. Given that there is no plausible advantage to delay, we agree with Mackillop that time to initiation of rt should be kept “as short as reasonably achievable.” Full article
Article
Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being in Parents of Infants and Toddlers with Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 206-215; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.4937 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 342
Abstract
Background: The unique psychosocial needs of parents and caregivers of young children with cancer are poorly understood. The aims of the present study were to examine health-related quality of life (HRQOL), stress, and psychological distress in parents of young children [...] Read more.
Background: The unique psychosocial needs of parents and caregivers of young children with cancer are poorly understood. The aims of the present study were to examine health-related quality of life (HRQOL), stress, and psychological distress in parents of young children (0–4 years) diagnosed with cancer; and the associations between parent psychosocial functioning and child treatment characteristics. Methods: Parents (n = 35) with a child (n = 19 male, 54.3%) 0–48 months of age (median: 31.06 months) on active cancer therapy were recruited. Parents completed questionnaires related to demographics, parent HRQOL, parenting stress, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and parent psychological distress. Results: Parents reported clinically elevated parenting stress (5.9%), posttraumatic stress symptoms (18.2%), and psychological distress (21.9%). Compared with population norms, parents reported lower HRQOL in the vitality (t = 5.37, p < 0.001), mental health (t = 4.02, p < 0.001), role limitation–emotional (t = 3.52, p < 0.001), and general health perceptions (t = 2.25, p = 0.025) domains. Social functioning (β = 0.33, p = 0.041) predicted general health perceptions; vitality (β = 0.30, p = 0.134) and parent mental health (β = 0.24, p = 0.285) did not [F(3,29) = 12.64, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.57]. Conclusions: A subset of parents of young children on active cancer treatment experience clinically elevated psychosocial symptoms. Having poor social connections put parents at risk of perceiving their health more poorly in general. Supports that focus on preventing the emergence of clinically significant distress should focus on parents of young children with cancer who are most at risk of poor outcomes. Full article
Article
Health Care Provider Preferences for, and Barriers to, Cannabis Use in Cancer Care
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 199-205; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5615 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 458
Abstract
Background: Limited research has been conducted about the perspectives of oncology health care providers (hcps) concerning the use of cannabis in cancer care and their potential role in advising patients. We sought to determine the barriers encountered by hcps [...] Read more.
Background: Limited research has been conducted about the perspectives of oncology health care providers (hcps) concerning the use of cannabis in cancer care and their potential role in advising patients. We sought to determine the barriers encountered by hcps with respect to medical cannabis and their preferred practices in this area. Methods: An anonymous survey about cannabis was distributed to oncology hcps at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The 45-question survey measured the opinions of hcps about cannabis use and authorization in oncology. Results: Of 103 oncology hcps who participated in the study, 75% were women. By hcp type, the most commonly reported professional groups were oncology nurse (40%), radiation therapist (9%), and pharmacist (6%). Of respondents, 75% reported providing direct care to cancer patients. More than half (69%) had spoken to a patient about cannabis in the preceding month, and 84% believed that they lacked sufficient knowledge about cannabis to make recommendations. Barriers such as monitoring the patient’s use of cannabis (54%), prescribing an accurate dose (61%) or strain (53%), and having insufficient research (50%) were most commonly reported. More than half of hcps (53%) would be interested in receiving more information or training about the use of cannabis in oncology. Conclusions: The survey indicated that this group of oncology hcps believed that they lacked sufficient knowledge about cannabis to make recommendations to patients. In addition to that lack of knowledge, a number of notable barriers were reported, and more than half the hcps indicated interest in learning more about cannabis in the future. Full article
Article
A Population-Based Analysis of Breast Cancer Incidence and Survival by Subtype in Ontario Women
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 191-198; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5769 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 563
Abstract
Background: Breast cancer (bca) is the type of cancer most frequently diagnosed among women in Canada. Breast cancer is categorized into various molecular subtypes by the expression of estrogen receptor (er), progesterone receptor (pgr), [...] Read more.
Background: Breast cancer (bca) is the type of cancer most frequently diagnosed among women in Canada. Breast cancer is categorized into various molecular subtypes by the expression of estrogen receptor (er), progesterone receptor (pgr), and her2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2). Currently, Canada has no national cancer registry with epidemiology data by subtype. Thus, we conducted a study to determine incidence, survival, and clinicopathologic characteristics by bca subtype [triple negative breast cancer (tnbc); her2+; and hormone receptor–positive (hr+), her2–] in Canadian women newly diagnosed with bca. Methods: Female patients diagnosed between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2016 (fiscal 2012–2015) were identified in the Ontario Cancer Registry, and individual patient data were linked to data in provincial health administrative databases. Descriptive statistics and Kaplan–Meier curves were generated. Results: In this cohort, 3277 women (9.5%) had tnbc, 4902 (14.3%) had her2+ bca, and 22,247 (64.8%) had hr+, her2–breast cancer. The annual incidence was 15 per 100,000 for the tnbc group, 21–23 per 100,000 for the her2+ group, and 97–105 per 100,000 for the hr+, her2– group. The lowest median overall survival (mos) of 8.9 months was observed in women with clinical stage iv tnbc. In comparison, the mos was 37.3 months in those with her2+ disease and 35.2 months in those with and hr+, her2– metastatic bca. Conclusions: In the present study, the most recent and largest administrative database analysis of a Canadian population to date, we observed a subtype distribution consistent with previously reported data, together with comparable annual incidence and overall survival patterns. Full article
Article
Germline Variants and Phenotypic Spectrum in a Canadian Cohort of Individuals with Diffuse Gastric Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 182-190; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5663 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 259
Abstract
Background: CDH1 pathogenic variants (pvs) cause most cases of inherited diffuse gastric cancer (dgc), but have low detection rates and vary geographically. In the present study, we examined hereditary causes of dgc in patients in Ontario. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: CDH1 pathogenic variants (pvs) cause most cases of inherited diffuse gastric cancer (dgc), but have low detection rates and vary geographically. In the present study, we examined hereditary causes of dgc in patients in Ontario. Methods: CDH1 testing through single-site or multi-gene panels was conducted for patients with dgc meeting the 2015 International Gastric Cancer Linkage Consortium (igclc) criteria, or with isolated dgc at less than 50 years of age, or with a strong family history of cancer identified at the Zane Cohen Centre (zcc). All CDH1-positive patients at zcc, regardless of cancer history, were summarized. Results: In 15 of 85 patients with dgc (17.6%), a pv or likely pv was identified through CDH1 single-site (n = 43) or multi-gene panel (n = 42) testing. The detection rate was 9.4% overall (8 of 85) and 11% using igclc criteria (7 of 65). No CDH1 pvs were identified in patients with isolated dgc at less than 40 years of age, but 1 pv was identified in a patient with isolated dgc at less than 50 years of age. Multi-gene panels identified 9 pvs (21.4%), including CDH1, STK11, ATM, BRCA2, MLH1, and MSH2. Review of 81 CDH1 carriers identified 10% with dgc (median age: 48 years; range: 38–59 years); 41% were unaffected (median age: 53 years; range: 26–89 years). Observed malignancies other than dgc or lobular breast cancer (lbc) included colorectal, gynecologic, kidney or bladder, prostate, testicular, and ductal breast cancers. Lobular-breast cancer was seen only in 3 families. Conclusions: In Ontario, the detection rate of CDH1 pvs in patients with dgc was low: no pvs were identified in patients with isolated dgc at less than 40 years of age, and 1 was identified in a patient with isolated dgc at less than 50 years of age. Isolated lbc with no dgc was observed in CDH1-positive families, as were pathology-confirmed non-dgc or non-lbc malignancies, which had not previously been reported. Given a phenotype that overlaps with other hereditary conditions, multi-gene panels are recommended for all patients with dgc at less than 50 years of age and for those meeting igclc criteria. Full article
Article
HPV Sampling Options for Cervical Cancer Screening: Preferences of Urban-Dwelling Canadians in a Changing Paradigm
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 171-181; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5089 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 227
Abstract
Introduction: Of women in Canada diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, 50% have not been screened according to guidelines. Interventions involving self-collected samples for human papillomavirus (hpv) screening could be an avenue to increase uptake. To guide the development of cervical [...] Read more.
Introduction: Of women in Canada diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, 50% have not been screened according to guidelines. Interventions involving self-collected samples for human papillomavirus (hpv) screening could be an avenue to increase uptake. To guide the development of cervical cancer screening interventions, we assessed (1) preferred sample collection options, (2) sampling preferences according to previous screening behaviours, and (3) preference for self-sampling among women not screened according to guidelines, as a function of their reasons for not being screened. Methods: Data were collected in an online survey (Montreal, Quebec; 2016) and included information from female participants between the ages of 21 and 65 years who had not undergone hysterectomy and who had provided answers to survey questions about screening history, screening interval, and screening preferences (n = 526, weighted n = 574,392). Results: In weighted analyses, 68% of all women surveyed and 82% of women not recently screened preferred screening by self-sampling. Among women born outside of Canada, the United States, or Europe, preference ranged from 47% to 60%. Nearly all women (95%–100%) who reported fear or embarrassment, dislike of undergoing a Pap test, or lack of time or geography-related availability of screening as one of their reasons for not being screened stated a preference for undergoing screening by self-sampling. Conclusions: The results demonstrate a strong preference for self-sampling among never-screened and not-recently-screened women, and provides initial evidence for policymakers and researchers to address how best to integrate self-sampling hpv screening into both organized and opportunistic screening contexts. Full article
Article
Translating Guidelines to Practice: A Training Session about Cancer-Related Fatigue
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 163-170; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5681 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 283
Abstract
Background: Cancer-related fatigue (crf) is the highest unmet need in cancer survivors. The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (capo) has developed guidelines for screening, assessment, and intervention in crf; however, those guidelines are not consistently applied in [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer-related fatigue (crf) is the highest unmet need in cancer survivors. The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (capo) has developed guidelines for screening, assessment, and intervention in crf; however, those guidelines are not consistently applied in practice because of patient, health care provider (hcp), and systemic barriers. Notably, previous studies have identified a lack of knowledge of crf guidelines as an impediment to implementation. Methods: In this pilot study, we tested the preliminary outcomes, acceptability, and feasibility of a training session and a knowledge translation (kt) tool designed to increase knowledge of the capo crf guidelines among hcps and community support providers (csps). A one-time in-person training session was offered to a diverse sample of hcps and csps (n = 18). Outcomes (that is, knowledge of the capo crf guidelines, and intentions and self-efficacy to apply guidelines in practice) were assessed before and after training. Acceptability and feasibility were also assessed after training to guide future testing and implementation of the training. Results: After training, participants reported increased knowledge of the capo crf guidelines and greater self-efficacy and intent to apply guidelines in practice. Participant satisfaction with the training session and the kt tool was high, and recruitment time, participation, and retention rates indicated that the training was acceptable and feasible. Conclusions: The provided training is both acceptable to hcps and csps and feasible. It could increase knowledge of the capo crf guidelines and participant intentions and self-efficacy to implement evidence-based recommendations. Future studies should investigate actual changes in practice and how to optimize follow-up assessments. To promote practice uptake, kt strategies should be paired with guideline development. Full article
Article
A Randomized Trial of the Electronic Lung Cancer Symptom Scale for Quality-of-Life Assessment in Patients with Advanced Non-small-Cell Lung Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 156-162; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5651 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 257
Abstract
Introduction: Improving health-related quality of life (hrqol) is a key goal of systemic therapy in advanced lung cancer, although routine assessment remains challenging. We analyzed the impact of a real-time electronic hrqol tool, the electronic Lung [...] Read more.
Introduction: Improving health-related quality of life (hrqol) is a key goal of systemic therapy in advanced lung cancer, although routine assessment remains challenging. We analyzed the impact of a real-time electronic hrqol tool, the electronic Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (elcss-ql), on palliative care (pc) referral rates, patterns of chemotherapy treatment, and use of other supportive interventions in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) receiving first-line chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with advanced nsclc starting first-line chemotherapy were randomized to their oncologist receiving or not receiving their elcss-ql data before each clinic visit. Patients completed the elcss-ql at baseline, before each chemotherapy cycle, and at subsequent follow-up visits until disease progression. Prospective data about the pc referral rate, hrqol, and use of other supportive interventions were collected. Results: For the 95 patients with advanced nsclc who participated, oncologists received real-time elcss-ql data for 44 (elcss-ql arm) and standard clinical assessment alone for 51 (standard arm). The primary endpoint, the pc referral rate, was numerically higher, but statistically similar, for patients in the elcss-ql and standard arms. The hrqol scores over time were not significantly different between the two study arms. Conclusions: The elcss-ql is feasible as a tool for use in routine clinical practice, although no statistically significant effect of its use was demonstrated in our study. Improving access to supportive care through the collection of patient-reported outcomes and hrqol should be an important component of care for patients with advanced lung cancer. Full article
Article
Canadian Consensus: A New Systemic Treatment Algorithm for Advanced EGFR-Mutated Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 146-155; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6007 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 378
Abstract
Background: Multiple clinical trials for the treatment of advanced EGFR-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) have recently been reported. As a result, the treatment algorithm has changed, and many important clinical questions have been raised: (1) What is the optimal [...] Read more.
Background: Multiple clinical trials for the treatment of advanced EGFR-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) have recently been reported. As a result, the treatment algorithm has changed, and many important clinical questions have been raised: (1) What is the optimal first-line treatment for patients with EGFR-mutated nsclc? (2) What is preferred first-line treatment for patients with brain metastasis? (3) What is the preferred second-line treatment for patients who received first-line first- or second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (tkis)? (4) What is the preferred treatment after osimertinib? (5) What evidence do we have for treating patients whose tumours harbour uncommon EGFR mutations? Methods: A Canadian expert panel was convened to define the key clinical questions, review recent evidence, and discuss and agree on practice recommendations for the treatment of advanced EGFR-mutated nsclc. Results: The published overall survival results for osimertinib, combined with its central nervous system activity, have led to osimertinib becoming the preferred first-line treatment for patients with common EGFR mutations, including those with brain metastasis. Other agents could still have a role, especially when osimertinib is not available or not tolerated. Treatment in subsequent lines of therapy depends on the first-line therapy or on T790M mutation status. Treatment recommendations for patients whose tumours harbour uncommon EGFR mutations are guided mainly by retrospective and limited prospective evidence. Finally, the evidence for sequencing and combining tkis with chemotherapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, checkpoint inhibitors, and other new therapeutics is reviewed. Conclusions: This Canadian expert consensus statement and algorithm were driven by significant advances in the treatment of EGFR-mutated nsclc. Full article
Article
Baseline Staging Imaging for Distant Metastasis in Women with Stages I, II, and III Breast Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 123-145; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6147 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 249
Abstract
Background: In Ontario, there is no clearly defined standard of care for staging for distant metastasis in women with newly diagnosed and biopsy-confirmed breast cancer whose clinical presentation is suggestive of early-stage disease. This guideline addresses baseline imaging investigations for women with [...] Read more.
Background: In Ontario, there is no clearly defined standard of care for staging for distant metastasis in women with newly diagnosed and biopsy-confirmed breast cancer whose clinical presentation is suggestive of early-stage disease. This guideline addresses baseline imaging investigations for women with newly diagnosed primary breast cancer who are otherwise asymptomatic for distant metastasis. Methods: The medline and embase databases were systematically searched for evidence from January 2000 to April 2019, and the best available evidence was used to draft recommendations relevant to the use of baseline imaging investigation in women with newly diagnosed primary breast cancer who are otherwise asymptomatic. Final approval of this practice guideline was obtained from both the Staging in Early Stage Breast Cancer Advisory Committee and the Report Approval Panel of the Program in Evidence-Based Care. Recommendations: These recommendations apply to all women with newly diagnosed primary breast cancer (originating in the breast) who have no symptoms of distant metastasis Staging tests using conventional anatomic imaging [chest radiography, liver ultrasonography, chest–abdomen–pelvis computed tomography (ct)] or metabolic imaging modalities [integrated positron-emission tomography (pet)/ct, integrated pet/magnetic resonance imaging (mri), bone scintigraphy] should not be routinely ordered for women newly diagnosed with clinical stage i or stage ii breast cancer who have no symptoms of distant metastasis, regardless of biomarker status. In women newly diagnosed with stage iii breast cancer, baseline staging tests using either anatomic imaging (chest radiography, liver ultrasonography, chest–abdomen–pelvis ct) or metabolic imaging modalities (pet/ct, pet/mri, bone scintigraphy) should be considered regardless of whether the patient is symptomatic for distant metastasis and regardless of biomarker profile. Full article
Article
Organizational Guidance for the Care of Patients with Head-and-Neck Cancer in Ontario
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 115-122; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5873 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 255
Abstract
Background: At the request of the Head and Neck Cancers Advisory Committee of Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), a working group and expert panel of clinicians with expertise in the management of head-and-neck cancer developed the present guideline. The purpose of the [...] Read more.
Background: At the request of the Head and Neck Cancers Advisory Committee of Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), a working group and expert panel of clinicians with expertise in the management of head-and-neck cancer developed the present guideline. The purpose of the guideline is to provide advice about the organization and delivery of health care services for adult patients with head-and-neck cancer. Methods: This document updates the recommendations published in the Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) 2009 organizational guideline The Management of Head and Neck Cancer in Ontario. The guideline development methods included an updated literature search, internal review by content and methodology experts, and external review by relevant health care providers and potential users. Results: To ensure that all patients have access to the highest standard of care available in Ontario, the guideline establishes the minimum requirements to maintain a head-and-neck disease site program. Recommendations are made about the membership of core and extended provider teams, minimum skill sets and experience of practitioners, cancer centre–specific and practitioner-specific volumes, multidisciplinary care requirements, and unique infrastructure demands. Conclusions: The recommendations contained in this document offer guidance for clinicians and institutions providing care for patients with head-and-neck cancer in Ontario, and for policymakers and other stakeholders involved in the delivery of health care services for head-and-neck cancer. Full article
Article
Update on the Subcutaneous Administration of Rituximab in Canadian Cancer Centres
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 113-116; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6041 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 215
Abstract
Results of studies comparing subcutaneous (sc) with intravenous (iv) rituximab indicate that the two formulations are comparable in efficacy, but most patients and health care professionals prefer the sc route, commonly because of shorter chair time and reduced risk [...] Read more.
Results of studies comparing subcutaneous (sc) with intravenous (iv) rituximab indicate that the two formulations are comparable in efficacy, but most patients and health care professionals prefer the sc route, commonly because of shorter chair time and reduced risk of infusion-related reactions. Recent Canadian data, including those from the scuba study reported here, support the results of earlier international studies showing a reduction in preparation and administration time with the sc formulation, lower cost of administration, and reduced drug wastage because of the fixed sc dosing. Given the significant time and cost savings of the sc formulation, that formulation is generally preferred over the iv formulation for the treatment of follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Full article
Article
Radiotherapy Side Effects: Integrating a Survivorship Clinical Lens to Better Serve Patients
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 107-112; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6233 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 529
Abstract
The Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 220,400 new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in 2019. Of the affected patients, more than 60% will survive for 5 years or longer after their cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, nearly 40% will receive at least 1 course [...] Read more.
The Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 220,400 new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in 2019. Of the affected patients, more than 60% will survive for 5 years or longer after their cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, nearly 40% will receive at least 1 course of radiotherapy (rt). Radiotherapy is used with both curative and palliative intent: to treat early-stage or locally advanced tumours (curative) and for symptom management in advanced disease (palliative). It can be delivered systemically (external-beam rt) or internally (brachytherapy). Although technique improvements have drastically reduced the occurrence of rt-related toxicity, most patients still experience burdensome rt side effects (seffs). Radiotherapy seffs are local or locoregional, and manifest in tissues or organs that were irradiated. Side effects manifesting within weeks after rt completion are termed “early seffs,” and those occurring months or years after treatment are termed “late seffs.” In addition to radiation oncologists, general practitioners in oncology and primary care providers are involved in survivorship care and management of rt seffs. Here, we present an overview of common seffs and their respective management: anxiety, depression, fatigue, and effects related to the head-and-neck, thoracic, and pelvic treatment sites. Full article
Article
Nonsurgical Management of Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Clinical Practice Guideline
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 106-114; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5891 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 316
Abstract
Background: Practice guidelines based on a systematic review of the literature regarding the nonsurgical management of hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc) in North America are lacking. Resection and transplantation are the foundations for cure of hcc; however, most patients are diagnosed [...] Read more.
Background: Practice guidelines based on a systematic review of the literature regarding the nonsurgical management of hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc) in North America are lacking. Resection and transplantation are the foundations for cure of hcc; however, most patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, precluding those curative treatments. A number of local or regional therapies are used and are followed by systemic therapy for advanced or progressive disease. Other treatments are available, but their efficacy, compared with those standards, is not well known. Methods: First, systematic review questions were developed. Literature searches of the medline, embase, and Cochrane library databases (January 2000 to July 2018 or January 2005 to July 2018 depending on the question) were conducted; in addition, abstracts from the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology were reviewed. A practice guideline was drafted that was then scrutinized by internal and external reviewers. Results: Seventy-seven studies were included in the guideline: no guidelines, two systematic reviews, and seventy-five primary studies published in full (including one pooled analysis). Five recommendations were developed. Conclusions: There is no evidence for or against the use of local or regional interventions other than transarterial chemoembolization for the treatment of intermediate- or advanced-stage hcc. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support the addition of sorafenib to any local or regional therapy. Sorafenib or lenvatinib are recommended for first-line systemic treatment of intermediate-stage hcc. Regorafenib or cabozantinib provide survival benefits when given as second-line treatment. Antiviral treatment is recommended in individuals with advanced hcc who are positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen. Full article
Article
The Most Important Attribute: Stakeholder Perspectives on What Matters Most in a Physician
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 100-106; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5489 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 195
Abstract
Background: Most people can think of important attributes that they believe physicians should have. The CanMEDS framework defines domains of attributes in medical training (Leader, Medical Expert, Scholar, Communicator, Advocate, Collaborator, and Professional). Whether some are more valued by various stakeholders is [...] Read more.
Background: Most people can think of important attributes that they believe physicians should have. The CanMEDS framework defines domains of attributes in medical training (Leader, Medical Expert, Scholar, Communicator, Advocate, Collaborator, and Professional). Whether some are more valued by various stakeholders is unknown. Previous research has shown that patients can receive suboptimal care if physician and patient expectations of a health care encounter differ. In the present study, we sought to identify what various stakeholders identified as the single most important attribute for a physician to possess. Methods: A simple survey asked the question “What is the single most important attribute a physician should have?” at a single academic teaching hospital and affiliated medical school. The survey was administered to med¬ical students, doctors, nurses, patients, and caregivers. Age and sex were also collected. Responses were assigned to domains and analyzed to identify trends. The primary outcome is a descriptive analysis of the findings. Results: From 362 individuals who responded, 109 different responses were obtained. The single most common answer was “compassion” (n = 86). Responses were categorized into these 5 domains: Caring, n = 209; Professional or Collaborator, n = 58; Medical Expert, n = 54; Communicator, n = 32; and Other, n = 9. Compared with men, women chose attributes in the Caring domain more frequently (64% vs. 49%), although that domain was the most popular for both sexes. Medical students were less likely to highly value Communicator attributes. Conclusions: All stakeholder group identified attributes in the Caring domain as being most important. Although all CanMEDS roles are important, our research highlights the priorities of stakeholders. Full article
Article
How Is Best Supportive Care Provided in Clinical Trials for Patients with Advanced Cancer? A Review of Registered Protocols of Clinical Trials
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 100-105; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5365 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 225
Abstract
Background: In 2012, 11 standards describing best supportive care (BSC) in clinical trials in advanced cancer were defined through consensus statements. The consensus included 15 key components. Our objective was to analyze whether clinical trials that involved patients with advanced [...] Read more.
Background: In 2012, 11 standards describing best supportive care (BSC) in clinical trials in advanced cancer were defined through consensus statements. The consensus included 15 key components. Our objective was to analyze whether clinical trials that involved patients with advanced cancer and that included BSC in at least 1 arm met the standards and contained the key components. Methods: We reviewed clinical trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, the ISRCTN (International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number) registry, the EU Clinical Trials Register, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for 2012–2018. We selected only phase iii studies in patients with advanced cancer that included BSC in at least 1 arm. We describe the characteristics of the trials, together with the definition and components of BSC. We analyzed how the trials met the standards and adopted the key components of BSC. Results: Of 193 trials retrieved, only 64 met the inclusion criteria; 36 of those trials (56%) had no definition of BSC. Less than 7% of the trials included even 3 of the 8 BSC standards that were defined to be included in the design of trials. Furthermore, trials mentioned only 5 of the 15 key components that the consensus defined to be fundamental, with symptom management appearing in 22% of trials and the other 4 components appearing in less than 8%. Summary: Most clinical trials registered during 2012–2018 that involved patients with cancer and an arm with BSC did not define the BSC concept. Hence, the design of those trials does not meet the consensus recommendations. Full article
Article
Digital Gene Expression Analysis Might Aid in the Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 93-99; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5533 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 281
Abstract
Background: Thyroid cancer represents approximately 90% of endocrine cancers. Difficulties in diagnosis and low inter-observer agreement are sometimes encountered, especially in the distinction between the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (fvptc) and other follicular-patterned lesions, and can present significant challenges. [...] Read more.
Background: Thyroid cancer represents approximately 90% of endocrine cancers. Difficulties in diagnosis and low inter-observer agreement are sometimes encountered, especially in the distinction between the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (fvptc) and other follicular-patterned lesions, and can present significant challenges. In the present proof-of-concept study, we report a gene-expression assay using NanoString nCounter technology (NanoString Technologies, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.) that might aid in the differential diagnosis of thyroid neoplasms based on gene-expression signatures. Methods: Our cohort included 29 patients with classical papillary thyroid carcinoma (ptc), 13 patients with fvptc, 14 patients with follicular thyroid carcinoma (ftc), 14 patients with follicular adenoma (fa), and 14 patients without any abnormality. We developed a 3-step classifier that shows good correlation with the pathologic diagnosis of various thyroid neoplasms. Step 1 differentiates normal from abnormal thyroid tissue; step 2 differentiates benign from malignant lesions; and step 3 differentiates the common malignant entities ptc, ftc, and fvptc. Results: Using our 3-step classifier approach based on selected genes, we developed an algorithm that attempts to differentiate thyroid lesions with varying levels of sensitivity and specificity. Three genes—namely SDC4, PLCD3, and NECTIN4/PVRL4—were the most informative in distinguishing normal from abnormal tissue with a sensitivity and a specificity of 100%. One gene, SDC4, was important for differentiating benign from malignant lesions with a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 92%. Various combinations of genes were required to classify specific thyroid neoplasms. Conclusions: This preliminary proof-of-concept study suggests a role for nCounter technology, a digital gene expression analysis technique, as an adjunct assay for the molecular diagnosis of thyroid neoplasms. Full article
Article
A Catalyst for Transforming Health Systems and Person-Centred Care: Canadian National Position Statement on Patient-Reported Outcomes
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 90-99; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6399 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 315
Abstract
Background: Patient-reported outcomes (pros) are essential to capture the patient’s perspective and to influence care. Although pros and pro measures are known to have many important benefits, they are not consistently being used and there is there no Canadian [...] Read more.
Background: Patient-reported outcomes (pros) are essential to capture the patient’s perspective and to influence care. Although pros and pro measures are known to have many important benefits, they are not consistently being used and there is there no Canadian pros oversight. The Position Statement presented here is the first step toward supporting the implementation of pros in the Canadian health care setting. Methods: The Canadian pros National Steering Committee drafted position statements, which were submitted for stakeholder feedback before, during, and after the first National Canadian Patient Reported Outcomes (canpros) scientific conference, 14–15 November 2019 in Calgary, Alberta. In addition to the stakeholder feedback cycle, a patient advocate group submitted a section to capture the patient voice. Results: The canpros Position Statement is an outcome of the 2019 canpros scientific conference, with an oncology focus. The Position Statement is categorized into 6 sections covering 4 theme areas: Patient and Families, Health Policy, Clinical Implementation, and Research. The patient voice perfectly mirrors the recommendations that the experts reached by consensus and provides an overriding impetus for the use of pros in health care. Conclusions: Although our vision of pros transforming the health care system to be more patient-centred is still aspirational, the Position Statement presented here takes a first step toward providing recommendations in key areas to align Canadian efforts. The Position Statement is directed toward a health policy audience; future iterations will target other audiences, including researchers, clinicians, and patients. Our intent is that future versions will broaden the focus to include chronic diseases beyond cancer. Full article
Article
Impact of Recurrence Score on Type and Duration of Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 86-92; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5635 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 211
Abstract
Background: The use of Oncotype dx (Genomic Health, Redwood City, CA, U.S.A.) testing has been shown to change treatment decisions in approximately 30% of breast cancer (bca) cases, but research on how Recurrence Score testing has affected the type of [...] Read more.
Background: The use of Oncotype dx (Genomic Health, Redwood City, CA, U.S.A.) testing has been shown to change treatment decisions in approximately 30% of breast cancer (bca) cases, but research on how Recurrence Score testing has affected the type of chemotherapy offered is limited. We sought to determine if the availability of Oncotype dx testing resulted in a change to the type and duration of chemotherapy regimens used in the treatment of early-stage hormone receptor–positive bca. Methods: In a population-based cohort study, patients treated in the 2 years before the availability of Oncotype dx testing were compared with patients treated in the 2 years after testing availability. Charts were audited and divided into 2 groups: pre-Oncotype dx and post-Oncotype dx. The groups were compared for differences in duration of chemotherapy (12 weeks vs. >12 weeks), types of agents used (anthracycline vs. non-anthracycline), and myelosuppressive potential of the chosen regimen. Results: Of 834 patients who fulfilled the enrolment criteria, 360 fell into the pre-Oncotype dx era, and 474, into the post-Oncotype dx era. An increase of 11.2 percentage points, to 69.5% from 58.3%, was observed in the proportion of patients receiving short-course compared with long-course chemotherapy (p = 0.068). The proportion of patients prescribed anthracycline-containing regimens declined in the post-Oncotype dx era (47.7% pre vs. 32.2% post, p = 0.016). The selection of more-myelosuppressive chemotherapy protocols increased in the post-Oncotype dx era (67.4% pre vs. 78.8% post, p = 0.044). Conclusions: In the present study, the availability of Oncotype dx testing was observed to influence the choice of chemotherapy type in the setting of early-stage bca. Full article
Article
Epidemiology of Adult and Pediatric Burkitt Lymphoma in Canada: Sequelae of the HIV Epidemic
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 83-89; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5775 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 244
Abstract
Background: Although the pathogenesis and epidemiology of endemic Burkitt lymphoma (bl) have been extensively studied, the epidemiologic landscape of sporadic and immunodeficiency-associated bl in North America remains poorly understood. Methods: We used 3 distinct population-based cancer registries to retrospectively [...] Read more.
Background: Although the pathogenesis and epidemiology of endemic Burkitt lymphoma (bl) have been extensively studied, the epidemiologic landscape of sporadic and immunodeficiency-associated bl in North America remains poorly understood. Methods: We used 3 distinct population-based cancer registries to retrospectively study bl incidence and mortality in Canada. Data for patient sex; age at the time of diagnosis; and reporting province, city, and forward sortation area (fsa, the first three characters of a postal code) were analyzed. Results: During 1992–2010, 1420 patients with bl in Canada were identified (incidence rate: 2.40 cases per million patient–years), of which 71.1% were male patients. Mean age at diagnosis was 55.5 ± 20.8 years. A bimodal incidence by age distribution was seen in both sexes, with pediatric- and adult-onset peaks. An analysis based on fsas identified select communities with statistically higher rates of adult bl. Several of those fsas were located within the 3 major metropolitan areas (Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto) and within self-identified lgbtq communities. The fsas with a higher socioeconomic status score were associated with lower rates of bl. Conclusions: Current results highlight the geographic and historic pattern of bl in Canada. The human immunodeficiency virus remains an important risk factor for adult bl. Full article
Article
Cyclophosphamide–Bortezomib–Dexamethasone Compared with Bortezomib–Dexamethasone in Transplantation-Eligible Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 81-85; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5385 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 221
Abstract
Introduction: Cyclophosphamide–bortezomib–dexamethasone (CyBorD) is considered a standard induction regimen for transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). It has not been prospectively compared with bortezomib–dexamethasone (Bor-Dex). We aimed to compare the efficacy of CyBorD and Bor-Dex induction in transplant-eligible [...] Read more.
Introduction: Cyclophosphamide–bortezomib–dexamethasone (CyBorD) is considered a standard induction regimen for transplant-eligible patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM). It has not been prospectively compared with bortezomib–dexamethasone (Bor-Dex). We aimed to compare the efficacy of CyBorD and Bor-Dex induction in transplant-eligible patients. Methods: In a retrospective observational study at a single tertiary centre, all patients with transplant-eligible MM who received induction with CyBorD or Bor-Dex between March 2008 and April 2016 were enrolled. Progression-free survival (PFS), response, and stem-cell collection for a first autologous stem-cell transplantation (aHSCT) were compared. Results: Of 155 patients enrolled, 78 (50.3%) had received CyBorD, and 77 (49.7%), Bor-Dex. The patients in the Bor-Dex cohort were younger than those in the CyBorD cohort (median: 57 years vs. 62 years; p = 0.0002) and more likely to have had treatment held, reduced, or discontinued (26% vs. 14.5%, p = 0.11). The stem-cell mobilization regimen for both cohorts was predominantly cyclophosphamide and granulocyte colony–stimulating factor (GCSF). Plerixafor was used more often for the CyBorD cohort (p = 0.009), and more collection failures occurred in the CyBorD cohort (p = 0.08). In patients receiving Bor-Dex, more cells were collected (9.9 × 106 cells/kg vs. 7.7 × 106 cells/kg, p = 0.007). At day +100, a very good partial response or better was achieved in 75% of the CyBorD cohort and in 73% of the Bor-Dex cohort (p = 0.77). Median PFS was 3.2 years in the Bor-Dex cohort and 3.7 years in the CyBorD cohort (p = 0.56). Conclusions: Overall efficacy was similar in our patients receiving CyBorD and Bor-Dex. After aHSCT, no difference in depth of response or PFS was observed. Cyclophosphamide–GCSF seems to increase collection failures and hospitalizations in patients receiving CyBorD. Prospective studies are required to examine that relationship. Full article
Article
Treatment of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer after Progression on Nivolumab or Pembrolizumab
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 76-82; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5495 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 417
Abstract
Background: Although PD-1 antibodies (PD1 Ab) are the standard of care for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (ansclc), most patients will progress. We compared survival outcomes for patients with ansclc who received systemic therapy (st) after progression and [...] Read more.
Background: Although PD-1 antibodies (PD1 Ab) are the standard of care for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (ansclc), most patients will progress. We compared survival outcomes for patients with ansclc who received systemic therapy (st) after progression and for those who did not. Additionally, clinical characteristics that predicted receipt of st after PD1 Ab failure were evaluated. Methods: All patients with ansclc in British Columbia initiated on nivolumab or pembrolizumab between June 2015 and November 2017, with subsequent progression, were identified. Eligibility criteria for additional st included an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ecog) performance status (ps) of 3 or less and survival for more than 30 days from the last PD1 Ab treatment. Post-progression survival (pps) was assessed by landmark analysis. Baseline characteristics associated with pps were identified by multivariable analysis. Results: Of 94 patients meeting the eligibility criteria, 33 received st after progression. In 75.6%, a PD1 Ab was received as first- or second-line treatment. The most common sts were erlotinib (36.4%) and docetaxel (27.3%). No statistically significant difference in median pps was observed between patients who did and did not receive st within 30 days of their last PD1 Ab treatment (6.9 months vs. 3.6 months, log-rank p = 0.15.) In multivariable analysis, factors associated with increased pps included an ecog ps of 0 or 1 compared with 2 or 3 [hazard ratio (hr): 0.42; 95% confidence interval (ci): 0.24 to 0.73; p = 0.002] and any response compared with no response to PD1 Ab (hr: 0.54; 95% ci: 0.33 to 0.90; p = 0.02). Conclusions: In this cohort, only 35.1% of patients eligible for post–PD1 Ab therapy received st. Post-progression survival was not significantly affected by receipt of post-progression therapy. Prospective trials are needed to clarify the benefit of post–PD1 Ab treatments. Full article
Article
Nivolumab in Metastatic Melanoma: Good Efficacy and Tolerability in Elderly Patients
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 75-80; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.5293 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 293
Abstract
Background: Nivolumab is an anti–PD-1 antibody that restores the antitumour immune function of T cells, blocking the binding of PD-1 with its ligand PD-L1. PD-1 is expressed on T cells and interacts with PD-L1 on tumour cells. The PD-1–PD-L1 link inhibits T [...] Read more.
Background: Nivolumab is an anti–PD-1 antibody that restores the antitumour immune function of T cells, blocking the binding of PD-1 with its ligand PD-L1. PD-1 is expressed on T cells and interacts with PD-L1 on tumour cells. The PD-1–PD-L1 link inhibits T cell activation. In metastatic melanoma, PD-1–PD-L1 binding plays a critical role, and the advent of the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab has delivered new and effective treatment options with proven clinical benefit. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of nivolumab in elderly patients with metastatic melanoma. Methods: The study enrolled 55 elderly patients (75 years of age and older) with a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma. Primary endpoints of the study were progression-free survival (PFS) and the objective response rate; secondary endpoints were overall survival, reduction in serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) from before to after treatment, and tolerability. Results: Nivolumab was well tolerated and resulted in good disease control, with a manageable toxicity profile and significant clinical benefit. The duration of PFS was 5.1 months (95% confidence interval: 3.5 months to 6.8 months). A significant correlation was observed between reduction in serum LDH and PFS: 0.60 (95% confidence interval: 0.28 to 0.86; p = 0.002). Conclusions: Nivolumab is an immunotherapy treatment that has proved to be an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic option in elderly patients with metastatic melanoma. Full article
Article
Impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Medical Oncologists and Cancer Care: Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists Survey Report
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 71-74; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6643 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Background: The covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented professional and personal challenges for the oncology community. Under the auspices of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists, we conducted an online national survey to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the medical [...] Read more.
Background: The covid-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented professional and personal challenges for the oncology community. Under the auspices of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists, we conducted an online national survey to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the medical oncology community in Canada. Methods: An English-language multiple-choice survey, including questions about demographics, covid-19 risk, use of personal protective equipment (ppe), personal challenges, and chemotherapy management was distributed to Canadian medical oncologists. The survey was open from 30 March to 4 April 2020, and attracted 159 responses. Results: More than 70% of medical oncologists expressed moderate-to-extreme concern about personally contracting covid-19 and about family members or patients (or both) contracting covid-19 from them. Despite that high level of concern, considerable variability in the use of ppe in direct cancer care was reported at the time of this survey, with 33% of respondents indicating no routine ppe use at their institutions and 69% indicating uncertainty about access to adequate ppe. Of the respondents, 54% were experiencing feelings of nervousness or anxiety on most days, and 52% were having feelings of depression or hopelessness on at least some days. Concern about aging parents or family and individual wellness represented the top personal challenges identified. The management of cancer patients has been affected, with adoption of telemedicine reported by 82% of respondents, and cessation of clinical trial accrual reported by 54%. The 3 factors deemed most important for treatment decision-making were (1) cancer prognosis and anticipated benefit from treatment, (2) risk of treatment toxicity during scarce health care access, and (3) patient risk of contracting covid-19. Conclusions: This report describes the results of the first national survey assessing the impact of the covid-19 on Canadian medical oncologists and how they deliver systemic anticancer therapies. We hope that these data will provide a framework to address the challenges identified. Full article
Editorial
Oncology Care in the Era of Pandemics
Curr. Oncol. 2020, 27(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.27.6647 - 01 May 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Since the declaration by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 of a global pandemic from sars-cov-2, the public health impact on broader society has been unprecedented. [...]
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