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Curr. Oncol., Volume 28, Issue 4 (August 2021) – 41 articles

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Systematic Review
Salvage Radical Prostatectomy for Radio-Recurrent Prostate Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review of Oncologic, Histopathologic and Functional Outcomes and Predictors of Good Response
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2881-2892; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040252 - 29 Jul 2021
Abstract
A valid treatment option for recurrence after definite radiotherapy (RT) for localized prostate cancer (PC) is salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP). However, data on SRP are scarce, possibly resulting in an underutilization. A systematic review was performed using MEDLINE (Pubmed), Embase, and Web of [...] Read more.
A valid treatment option for recurrence after definite radiotherapy (RT) for localized prostate cancer (PC) is salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP). However, data on SRP are scarce, possibly resulting in an underutilization. A systematic review was performed using MEDLINE (Pubmed), Embase, and Web of Science databases including studies published between January 1980 and April 2020. Overall, 23 English language articles including a total number of 2323 patients were selected according to PRISMA criteria. The overall median follow-up was 37.5 months (IQR 35.5–52.5). Biochemical-recurrence (BCR)-free probability ranged from 34% to 83% at five years, respectively, and from 31% to 37% at 10 years. Cancer specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) ranged from 88.7% to 98% and 64% to 95% at five years and from 72% to 83% and 65% to 72% at 10 years, respectively. Positive surgical margins ranged from 14% to 45.8% and pathologic organ-confined disease was reported from 20% to 57%. The rate of pathologic > T2-disease ranged from 37% to 80% and pN1 disease differed between 0% to 78.4%. Pre-SRP PSA, pre-SRP Gleason Score (GS), pathologic stage after SRP, and pathologic lymph node involvement seemed to be the strongest prognostic factors for good outcomes. SRP provides accurate histopathological and functional outcomes, as well as durable cancer control. Careful patient counseling in a shared decision-making process is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Prostate Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment)
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Article
3q26 Amplifications in Cervical Squamous Carcinomas
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2868-2880; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040251 - 29 Jul 2021
Abstract
Background: Squamous carcinomas of the uterine cervix often carry mutations of the gene encoding for the catalytic sub-unit of kinase PI3K, PIK3CA. The locus of this gene at chromosome 3q26 and neighboring loci are also commonly amplified. The landscape of 3q26-amplified cases [...] Read more.
Background: Squamous carcinomas of the uterine cervix often carry mutations of the gene encoding for the catalytic sub-unit of kinase PI3K, PIK3CA. The locus of this gene at chromosome 3q26 and neighboring loci are also commonly amplified. The landscape of 3q26-amplified cases have not been previously characterized in detail in cervical cancer. Methods: Published genomic data and associated clinical data from TCGA cervical cancer cohort were analyzed at cBioportal for amplifications in genes at 3q26. The clinical and molecular characteristics of the group of patients with 3q26 amplifications was compared with the group without 3q26 amplifications. Comparative prevalence of amplification and expression of genes at 3q26 in amplified squamous cervical cancer cases were surveyed as well as 3q26 amplifications in cervical cancer cell line databases. Results: Amplification of 3q26 locus is a prevalent molecular lesion in cervical squamous cell carcinomas encountered in about 15% of cases in TCGA cohort of 247 patients. Cancer-related genes commonly amplified from 3q26 include PIK3CA, TBL1XR1, DCUN1D1, SOX2, MECOM, PRKCI, and TERC. Amplified cases do not completely overlap with PIK3CA mutant cases. Differences exist between 3q26-amplified and non-amplified carcinomas in the frequency of mutations and frequency of other amplifications. Most commonly over-expressed genes in 3q26 amplified cases include PIK3CA, TBL1XR1, DCUN1D1, and less commonly SOX2 and PRKCI. Conclusion: The subset of squamous cervical carcinomas with 3q26 amplifications is not overlapping with cancers carrying PIK3CA mutations and contains, besides PIK3CA, other cancer-associated genes that are over-expressed at the mRNA level, including TBL1XR1 and DCUN1D1. DCUN1D1, a regulator of SCF ubiquitin ligase activity, may be a relevant pathogenic player given the importance of ubiquitination and the proteasome in the disease. These observations could form the basis for therapeutic exploitation in this subset of squamous cervical carcinomas. Full article
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Systematic Review
Efficacy of Oral Cryotherapy in the Prevention of Oral Mucositis Associated with Cancer Chemotherapy: Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2852-2867; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040250 - 29 Jul 2021
Abstract
Background: This review aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oral cryotherapy in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis using meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis, as well as to assess the quality of the results by the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation [...] Read more.
Background: This review aimed to evaluate the efficacy of oral cryotherapy in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis using meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis, as well as to assess the quality of the results by the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Methods: A comprehensive search of three databases including Medline, Embase and Central was performed to identify randomized controlled trials that used oral cryotherapy for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. The primary outcome was the incidence of oral mucositis for trials employing oral cryotherapy as the intervention for the prevention of oral mucositis. The meta-analysis was performed using the random-effects model and random errors of the meta-analyses were detected by trial sequential analysis. Results: A total of 14 RCTs with 1577 participants were included in the present meta-analysis. Patients treated with oral cryotherapy were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing oral mucositis of any grade (risk ratio (RR), 0.67 (95% CI: 0.56–0.81, p < 0.05)). Findings from the subgroup analyses showed that oral cryotherapy significantly reduced the risk of oral mucositis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation (RR 0.69, CI: 0.54–0.89, p < 0.05) as well as chemotherapy (RR 0.66, CI: 0.58–0.75, p < 0.05). Findings from the trial sequential analysis suggested that the evidence on oral cryotherapy as a preventive intervention for oral mucositis in patients with solid malignancies receiving conventional chemotherapy was conclusive. Conclusion: Oral cryotherapy is effective in preventing oral mucositis in patients undergoing chemotherapy for the management of solid malignancies. The use of oral cryotherapy in preventing oral mucositis in bone marrow transplantation settings showed promising efficacy, but the evidence is not conclusive and requires more high-quality randomized controlled trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Palliative and Supportive Care)
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Article
Narratives of Survivorship: A Study of Breast Cancer Pathographies and Their Place in Cancer Rehabilitation
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2840-2851; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040249 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 91
Abstract
The focus on cancer rehabilitation has increased, but breast cancer patients still report unmet rehabilitation needs. Since many women today will live long beyond their diagnosis, there are multiple challenges for the healthcare system in supporting these women in their new life situation. [...] Read more.
The focus on cancer rehabilitation has increased, but breast cancer patients still report unmet rehabilitation needs. Since many women today will live long beyond their diagnosis, there are multiple challenges for the healthcare system in supporting these women in their new life situation. A more individualized approach is seen as necessary to optimize the rehabilitation for survivors. Pathographies, i.e., autobiographical or biographical accounts of experiences of illness, expose us to personal accounts of the journey through illness and treatment, offering us details, emotions, phrasings, and imagery from an individual perspective. In this literary study, we have analyzed two contemporary Swedish-speaking pathographies about breast cancer. In our analysis, we have presented perspectives on survivorship, and the authors’ ways of conveying their breast cancer experiences through narrative. The pathographies envision the prominent impact the breast cancer has on the authors’ lives. Narratives of survivorship have the potential to complement the more general medical knowledge with their nuanced and multifaceted stories of breast cancer. Learning from this type of material may improve the understanding of the complexity of breast cancer survivorship issues. This may be a way to become more attuned to identifying individual needs and preferences of breast cancer patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Palliative and Supportive Care)
Review
Advancing Academic Cancer Clinical Trials Recruitment in Canada
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2830-2839; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040248 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 148
Abstract
The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) was established in 2014 to address the decline in academic cancer clinical trials (ACCT) activity. Funding was provided to cancer centres to conduct a Portfolio of ACCTs. Larger centres received core funding and were paired with [...] Read more.
The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) was established in 2014 to address the decline in academic cancer clinical trials (ACCT) activity. Funding was provided to cancer centres to conduct a Portfolio of ACCTs. Larger centres received core funding and were paired with smaller centres to enable support and sharing of resources. All centres were eligible for incentive-based funding for recruitment above pre-3CTN baseline. Established performance measures were collected and tracked. The overall recruitment target was 50% above pre-3CTN baseline by Year 4. An analysis was completed to identify predictive success factors and descriptive statistics were used to summarize site characteristics and outcomes. From 2014–2018, a total of 11,275 patients were recruited to 559 Portfolio trials, an overall increase of 59.6% above pre-3CTN baseline was observed in Year 4. Twenty-five (51%) adult centres met the Year 4 recruitment target and the overall recruitment target was met within three years. Three factors that correlated with sites’ achieving recruitment targets were: time period, region and number of baseline trials. 3CTN was successful in meeting its objectives and will continue to support ACCTs and member cancer centres, monitor performance over time and seek continued funding to ensure success, better trial access and outcomes for patients. Full article
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Article
Supportive Management of Patients with Advanced Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas Receiving PRRT
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2823-2829; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040247 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is used to treat patients with advanced malignant pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs). Patients are at risk of a PRRT-induced catecholamine crisis, and standard guidelines regarding the prevention and management of infusion reactions are lacking. In this case [...] Read more.
Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is used to treat patients with advanced malignant pheochromocytomas (PCCs) and paragangliomas (PGLs). Patients are at risk of a PRRT-induced catecholamine crisis, and standard guidelines regarding the prevention and management of infusion reactions are lacking. In this case series, the institutional experience of five sequential patients with metastatic PCCs and PGLs receiving PRRT on an outpatient basis is described, of which four had symptomatic tumors and three had a high burden of disease. All patients with symptomatic tumors were treated with preventive management prior to the initiation of PRRT, and no infusion reactions or catecholamine crises were documented. PRRT may be delivered safely on an outpatient basis for patients with metastatic PCCs and PGLs with the involvement of an interdisciplinary team. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastrointestinal Oncology)
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Article
Post-Treatment Adverse Health Correlates among Prostate Cancer Survivors in a Sample of Men Residing in Atlantic Canada
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2812-2822; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040246 - 25 Jul 2021
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Background: Recent large population-based studies have shed light on an association between prostate cancer (PCa) survivorship and mental health, which emerged when the comparison group was either men without a history of cancer or those with any other type of cancer except prostate. [...] Read more.
Background: Recent large population-based studies have shed light on an association between prostate cancer (PCa) survivorship and mental health, which emerged when the comparison group was either men without a history of cancer or those with any other type of cancer except prostate. Here we examine the role of surgery alone, compared to other types of treatment modalities in this association in a population-based sample of men with prostate or other types of cancer. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on a subsample of 632 male participants aged 36–69 from the 2009–2015 survey cycle of the Atlantic PATH cohort study. The primary outcomes were the presence of mild, moderate or severe depression or anxiety indicators and were assessed using the seven-item generalized anxiety disorder (GAD-7) scale and the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), respectively. The presence of a lifetime history of PCa or other form of cancer (except PCa) was the main predictor variable and was assessed in cancer treatment modality (surgery or other types of treatment modalities) stratified analyses. Covariates included age, marital status, household income, comorbidity, and survivorship time. Results: The presence of depression in this sample was prevalent among 17.7% of men, and of anxiety among 9.3% of men. Survivors who were treated with surgery for their PCa diagnosis had 7.55 statistically significantly higher odds of screening positive for current depression symptoms compared with those of other forms of cancer in controlled analyses. These differences were not observed for anxiety. Conclusions: These findings emphasize the need for multidisciplinary survivorship care plans among PCa patients, especially those who undergo surgery. Targeted programming aimed at prioritizing and delivering comprehensive mental health support to PCa survivors early in the survivorship journey is justified. Full article
Article
The Sex Differences in Uveal Melanoma: Potential Roles of EIF1AX, Immune Response and Redox Regulation
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2801-2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040245 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Background: Uveal melanoma (UVM) is a rare cancer that shows sex difference in incidence and survival, with little previous report for the underlying mechanism. Methods: This study used the SEER data (1974–2016) for an age-dependent analysis on sex difference in UVM, and further [...] Read more.
Background: Uveal melanoma (UVM) is a rare cancer that shows sex difference in incidence and survival, with little previous report for the underlying mechanism. Methods: This study used the SEER data (1974–2016) for an age-dependent analysis on sex difference in UVM, and further used the TCGA-UVM genomics dataset for analyzing the differential gene expression profiles in tumors from men and women. Results: Our results demonstrate a sex difference in older age (≥40 years) but not in younger patients, with men exhibiting a higher incidence rate than women. However, younger women have shown a continuous increasing trend since 1974. Examining the 11 major oncogenes and tumor suppressors in UVM revealed that EIF1AX showed a significant sex difference in mRNA accumulation and copy number variation, with female tumors expressing higher levels of EIF1AX and exhibiting more variations in copy numbers. EIF1AX mRNA levels were significantly inversely correlated with EIF1AX copy numbers in female tumors only, but not in male tumors. Differential gene expression analysis at the whole genomic level identified a set of 92 protein-coding and 16 RNA-coding genes which exhibited differential expression in men and women (fold of change cutoff at 1.7, adjusted p value < 0.05, FDR < 0.05). Network analysis showed significant difference in immune response and in disulfide bond formation, with EGR1/EGR2 and PDIA2 genes as regulators for immune response and disulfide bond formation, respectively. The melanocortin pathway which is linked to both melanin synthesis and obesity seems to be altered with unclear significance, as the sex difference in POMC, DCT/TYRP2, and MRAP2 was observed but with no clear direction. Conclusion: This study reveals possible mechanisms for the sex difference in tumorigenesis of UVM which has potentials for better understanding and prevention of UVM. Full article
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Article
Symptom Burden of Patients with Advanced Pancreas Cancer (APC): A Provincial Cancer Institute Observational Study
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2789-2800; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040244 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) experience many disease-related symptoms. ESAS-r measures the severity of 9 symptom domains and has been validated for use in the ambulatory oncology setting. We aimed to describe symptom burden at baseline for patients with APC treated with [...] Read more.
Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (APC) experience many disease-related symptoms. ESAS-r measures the severity of 9 symptom domains and has been validated for use in the ambulatory oncology setting. We aimed to describe symptom burden at baseline for patients with APC treated with modern chemotherapy (CT), and to determine whether symptom burden at baseline is prognostic. Patients diagnosed with APC between 2012–2016, treated with ≥1 cycle of CT, who completed ≥1 ESAS-r were identified. Descriptive statistics were used to report symptom burden and common moderate-to-severe symptoms. A joint model was used to describe the trajectory of ESAS-r during follow-up while controlling for death. Multivariable Cox regression was used to identify independent predictors of death. Of 123 patients identified, the median age was 65 and 61% had metastatic disease. The median baseline ESAS-r total symptom distress score (TSDS) was 24. A total of 86% of patients had at least one symptom score of ≥4 at baseline, with the most common being: fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and shortness of breath. Median overall survival was 10.2 months. Baseline TSDS was not predictive for worse survival in the era of modern CT. Patients with APC have a high burden of cancer-associated symptoms and a high prevalence of moderate-to-severe symptoms. Early intervention has the potential to improve quality of life in this group of patients and should be investigated. Full article
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Article
Patterns of Relapse in Small Cell Lung Cancer: Competing Risks of Thoracic versus CNS Relapse
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2778-2788; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040243 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 314
Abstract
Introduction: Treatment algorithms for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are determined largely by the Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer Staging Group (VALCSG) staging (limited (LS) versus extensive (ES) stage). Relapse occurs frequently; however, patterns of relapse, in particular the competing risk of thoracic and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Treatment algorithms for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are determined largely by the Veterans Affairs Lung Cancer Staging Group (VALCSG) staging (limited (LS) versus extensive (ES) stage). Relapse occurs frequently; however, patterns of relapse, in particular the competing risk of thoracic and central nervous system relapse, are not well described. This study describes patterns of relapse in SCLC patients treated at a large tertiary institution in Ontario, Canada. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort of SCLC patients treated at the Juravinski Cancer Centre was reviewed. Data were abstracted from the medical record on demographic, disease, treatment and outcome variables. The primary outcome was a description of the patterns of relapse stratified by disease stage. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify prognostic variables for thoracic and CNS relapse. Results: Two hundred and twenty nine patients were treated during the study period (LS—83, ES—146). Relapse occurred in the majority of patients (isolated thoracic—28%, isolated CNS—9%, extrathoracic—9%, thoracic/extrathoracic—14%, systemic and CNS—13%). The median OS was consistent with published data (LS—21.8 months, ES—8.9 months). ES disease and elevated LDH were prognostic for increased thoracic relapse, whereas poor PS and older age were prognostic for lower central nervous system (CNS) relapse. Discussion: Thoracic relapse and CNS relapse represent competing risks for patients with SCLC. Decisions about incorporating thoracic or CNS radiation are complex. More research is needed to incorporate performance status and LDH into treatment algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Thoracic Oncology)
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Correction
Correction: Ratnayake et al. Assessment of Breast Cancer Surgery in Manitoba: A Descriptive Study. Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28, 581–592
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2775-2777; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040242 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The authors wish to make a correction to this paper due to a minor change in indicator definition [...] Full article
Article
Discrimination of Cancer Stem Cell Markers ALDH1A1, BCL11B, BMI-1, and CD44 in Different Tissues of HNSCC Patients
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2763-2774; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040241 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are accountable for the progress of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This exploratory study evaluated the expression of molecular CSC markers in different tissues of HNSCC patients. Tissue specimens of primary tumor, lymph node metastases and macroscopically [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are accountable for the progress of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This exploratory study evaluated the expression of molecular CSC markers in different tissues of HNSCC patients. Tissue specimens of primary tumor, lymph node metastases and macroscopically healthy mucosa of 12 consecutive HNSCC patients, that were treated with surgery and adjuvant radio(chemo)therapy upon indication, were collected. Samples were assessed for the expression of p16 as a surrogate for HPV-related disease and different molecular stem cell markers (ALDH1A1, BCL11B, BMI-1, and CD44). In the cohort, seven patients had HPV-related HNSCC; six thereof were oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. While expression of BMI-1 and BCL11B was significantly lower in healthy mucosa than both tumor and lymph node metastasis, there were no differences between tumor and lymph node metastasis. In the HPV-positive sub-cohort, these differences remained significant for BMI-1. However, no significant differences in these three tissues were found for ALDH1A1 and CD44. In conclusion, this exploratory study shows that CSC markers BMI-1 and BCL11B discriminate between healthy and cancerous tissue, whereas ALDH1A1 and CD44 were expressed to a comparable extent in healthy mucosa and cancerous tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Head and Neck Oncology)
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Article
Reflecting on Palliative Care Integration in Canada: A Qualitative Report
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2753-2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040240 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Studies have identified integrated interdisciplinary care as a hallmark of effective palliative care. Although models attempt to show how integration may function, there is little literature available that practically explores how integration is fostered and maintained. In this study we asked palliative care [...] Read more.
Studies have identified integrated interdisciplinary care as a hallmark of effective palliative care. Although models attempt to show how integration may function, there is little literature available that practically explores how integration is fostered and maintained. In this study we asked palliative care clinicians across Canada to comment on how services are integrated across the healthcare system. This is an analysis of qualitative data from a larger study, wherein clinicians provided written responses regarding their experiences. Content analysis was used to identify response categories. Clinicians (n = 14) included physicians, a nurse and a social worker from six provinces. They identified the benefits of formalized relationships and collaboration pathways with other services to streamline referral and consultation. Clinicians perceived a need for better training of residents and primary care physicians in the community and more acceptance, shared understanding, and referrals. Clinicians also described integrating well with oncology departments. Lastly, clinicians considered integration a complex process with departmental, provincial, and national involvement. The needs and strengths identified by the clinicians mirror the qualities of successfully integrated palliative care programs globally and highlight specific areas in policy, education, practice, and research that could benefit those in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Palliative and Supportive Care)
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Article
Patterns and Predictors of First-Line Taxane Use in Patients with Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in US Clinical Practice
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2741-2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040239 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 341
Abstract
We investigated first-line (1L) treatment patterns and predictors of taxane use to better understand the evolving metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) treatment landscape. This retrospective analysis of the Truven Health MarketScan® (Somers, NY, USA) Database included women with mTNBC who received 1L therapy [...] Read more.
We investigated first-line (1L) treatment patterns and predictors of taxane use to better understand the evolving metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC) treatment landscape. This retrospective analysis of the Truven Health MarketScan® (Somers, NY, USA) Database included women with mTNBC who received 1L therapy within six months of diagnosis (January 2005–June 2015). Multivariate logistic regression models identified predictors of taxane use, adjusting for prognostic factors. A total of 2,271 women with newly diagnosed mTNBC received 1L treatment during the study period. Half received a 1L taxane (53%), more often in combination than as monotherapy (58% versus 42%), though this varied by specific taxane. Nab-Paclitaxel monotherapy increased substantially after 2010. More recent treatment year (odds ratio, 2.16 (95% CI 1.69–2.76]) and number of metastases (≥3 versus 1: 1.73 (1.25–2.40)) predicted taxane monotherapy versus combination. Having a health maintenance organization versus a preferred provider organization plan predicted less nab-paclitaxel versus paclitaxel (0.32 (0.13–0.80)) or docetaxel (0.30 (0.10–0.89)) use. More recent index year (2011–2015 vs 2005–2010) was the only predictor favoring nab-paclitaxel versus paclitaxel (2.01 (1.26–3.21)) or docetaxel (3.63 (2.11–6.26)). Taxane-containing regimens remained the most common 1L mTNBC treatments. Paclitaxel and nab-paclitaxel use changed substantially over time, with nab-paclitaxel use associated with insurance coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Oncology)
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Commentary
Emerging Concepts in the Surgical Management of Peri-Acetabular Metastatic Bone Disease
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2731-2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040238 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 272
Abstract
The pelvis is a common site of metastatic bone disease. Peri-acetabular lesions are particularly challenging and can cause severe pain, disability and pathologic fractures. Surgical management of these lesions has historically consisted of cementoplasty for contained lesions and Harrington reconstructions for larger, more [...] Read more.
The pelvis is a common site of metastatic bone disease. Peri-acetabular lesions are particularly challenging and can cause severe pain, disability and pathologic fractures. Surgical management of these lesions has historically consisted of cementoplasty for contained lesions and Harrington reconstructions for larger, more destructive lesions. Due to the limitations of these procedures, a number of novel procedures have been developed to manage this challenging problem. Percutaneous techniques—including acetabular screw fixation and cementoplasty augmented with screws—have been developed to minimize surgical morbidity. Recent literature has demonstrated a reliable reduction in pain and improvement in function in appropriately selected patients. Several adjuncts to the Harrington procedure have been utilized in recent years to reduce complication rates. The use of constrained liners and dual mobility bearings have reduced the historically high dislocation rates. Cage constructs and porous tantalum implants are becoming increasingly common in the management of large bony defects and destructive lesions. With novel and evolving surgical techniques, surgeons are presented with a variety of surgical options to manage this challenging condition. Physicians must take into account the patients’ overall health status, oncologic prognosis and anatomic location and extent of disease when developing an appropriate surgical plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment of Bone Metastasis)
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Article
The Association between Herpes Zoster and Increased Cancer Risk: A Nationwide Population-Based Matched Control Study
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2720-2730; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040237 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Background: Herpes zoster (HZ) is strongly associated with decreased immune function, a factor of cancer development. Previous studies suggested inconsistent results regarding the association between HZ and increased cancer risk. We aimed to analyze the association between HZ and specific cancer risk. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Herpes zoster (HZ) is strongly associated with decreased immune function, a factor of cancer development. Previous studies suggested inconsistent results regarding the association between HZ and increased cancer risk. We aimed to analyze the association between HZ and specific cancer risk. Methods: Of 134,454 patients diagnosed with HZ between 2002 and 2015, 81,993 HZ patients were matched 1:1 with non-HZ individuals by age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity index. Both groups were examined at 1, 3, and 5 years for cancer diagnosis. A Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to estimate cancer risk in both groups. The postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and non-HZ groups were compared for specific cancer risk. Results: The HZ group showed a slightly decreased overall cancer risk compared with the non-HZ group (hazard ratio [HR] 0.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.90–0.97, p = 0.002). The HRs for specific cancer risk were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.33–0.50, p < 0.001); 0.86 (95% CI, 0.81–0.91, p < 0.001); 0.87 (95% CI, 0.78–0.97, p = 0.014); 0.80 (95% CI 0.73–0.87, p < 0.001); 1.20 (95% CI, 1.07–1.34, p = 0.001); and 1.66 (95% CI, 1.35–2.03, p < 0.001) for cancers of the lips, mouth, and pharynx; digestive system; respiratory system; unknown secondary and unspecified sites; thyroid and endocrine glands; and lymphoid and hematopoietic systems, respectively. The HZ with PHN group showed higher HR for specific cancer risk, such as lymphoid and hematopoietic systems (95% CI, 1.27–2.39, p < 0.001). Conclusion: HZ was associated with increased or decreased incidence of specific cancers. PHN further increased the risk of developing certain cancers in HZ patients. Full article
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Article
Describing Sources of Uncertainty in Cancer Drug Formulary Priority Setting across Canada
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2708-2719; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040236 - 17 Jul 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Over the years, there have been significant advances in oncology. However, the rate that therapeutics come to market has increased, while the strength of evidence has decreased. Currently, there is limited understanding about how these uncertainties are managed in provincial funding decisions for [...] Read more.
Over the years, there have been significant advances in oncology. However, the rate that therapeutics come to market has increased, while the strength of evidence has decreased. Currently, there is limited understanding about how these uncertainties are managed in provincial funding decisions for cancer therapeutics. We conducted qualitative interviews with six senior officials from four different Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario) and a document review of the uncertainties found in submissions to the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR). Participants reported considerable uncertainty related to a lack of solid clinical evidence (early-phase clinical trials: generalizability, immature data, and the use of unvalidated surrogate outcomes). Proposed strategies to deal with the uncertainty included risk-sharing agreements, collection of real-world evidence (RWE), and ongoing collaboration between federal groups and provinces. The document review added to the reported uncertainties by classifying them into five main categories: trial validity, population, comparators, outcomes, and intervention. This study highlights how decision makers must deal with significant amounts of uncertainty in funding decisions for cancer drugs, most of which stems from methodological limitations in clinical trials. There is a critical need for transparent priority-setting processes and mechanisms to reevaluate drugs to ensure benefit given the high level of uncertainty of novel therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Access to Cancer Drugs in Canada)
Article
Missing in Action: Reports of Interdisciplinary Integration in Canadian Palliative Care
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2699-2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040235 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Palliative care has an interdisciplinary tradition and Canada is a leader in its research and practice. Yet even in Canada, a full interdisciplinary complement is often lacking, with psychosocial presence ranging from 0–67.4% depending on the discipline and region. We sought to examine [...] Read more.
Palliative care has an interdisciplinary tradition and Canada is a leader in its research and practice. Yet even in Canada, a full interdisciplinary complement is often lacking, with psychosocial presence ranging from 0–67.4% depending on the discipline and region. We sought to examine the most notable gaps in care from the perspective of Canadian palliative professionals. Canadian directors of palliative care programs were surveyed with respect to interdisciplinary integration. Participants responded in writing or by phone interview. We operationalized reports of interdisciplinary professions as either “present” or “under/not-represented”. The Vaismoradi, Turunen, and Bondas’ procedure was used for content analysis. Our 14 participants consisted of physicians (85.7%), nurses (14.3%), and a social worker (7.1%) from Ontario (35.7%), British Columbia (14.3%), Alberta (14.3%), Quebec (14.3%), Nova Scotia (14.3%), and New Brunswick (7.1%). Psychology and social work were equally and most frequently reported as “under/not represented” (5/14, each). All participants reported the presence of medical professionals (physicians and nurses) and these groups were not reported as under/not represented. Spiritual care and others (e.g., rehabilitation and volunteers) were infrequently reported as “under/not represented”. Qualitative themes included Commonly Represented Disciplines, Quality of Multidisciplinary Collaboration, Commonly Under-Represented Disciplines, and Special Concern: Psychosocial Care. Similar to previous reports, we found that (1) psychology was under-represented yet highly valued and (2) despite social work’s relative high presence in care, our participants reported a higher need for more. These finding highlight those psychosocial gaps in care are most frequently noted by palliative care professionals, especially psychology and social work. We speculate on barriers and enablers to addressing this need. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Palliative and Supportive Care)
Conference Report
36th Annual CAPO Conference: Advocating for All: Psychosocial Oncology at the Intersections of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, 8–10 June 2021
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2579-2698; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040234 - 15 Jul 2021
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Abstract
On behalf of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, we are pleased to present the Abstracts from the 2021 Annual Conference, titled “Advocating for All: Psychosocial Oncology at the Intersections of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion”. The Conference was held virtually from 8 June [...] Read more.
On behalf of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, we are pleased to present the Abstracts from the 2021 Annual Conference, titled “Advocating for All: Psychosocial Oncology at the Intersections of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion”. The Conference was held virtually from 8 June 2021 to 10 June 2021. This conference brought together key stakeholders including multidisciplinary professionals from nursing, psychology, psychiatry, social work, spiritual care, nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation medicine, occupational health and radiation therapy for both adult and pediatric populations. Participants included clinicians, researchers, educators in cancer care, community-based organizations and patient representatives. Patients, caregivers and family members presented abstracts that speak to their role in managing cancer experiences and care. Over one hundred (100) abstracts were selected for presentation as symposia, 20-min oral presentations, 10-min oral presentations, 90-min workshops and poster presentations. We congratulate all the presenters on their research work and contribution. Full article
Review
Current Evidence for Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy in Lung Metastases
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2560-2578; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040233 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Lung metastases are the second most common malignant neoplasms of the lung. It is estimated that 20–54% of cancer patients have lung metastases at some point during their disease course, and at least 50% of cancer-related deaths occur at this stage. Lung metastases [...] Read more.
Lung metastases are the second most common malignant neoplasms of the lung. It is estimated that 20–54% of cancer patients have lung metastases at some point during their disease course, and at least 50% of cancer-related deaths occur at this stage. Lung metastases are widely accepted to be oligometastatic when five lesions or less occur separately in up to three organs. Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a noninvasive, safe, and effective treatment for metastatic lung disease in carefully selected patients. There is no current consensus on the ideal dose and fractionation for SBRT in lung metastases, and it is the subject of study in ongoing clinical trials, which examines different locations in the lung (central and peripheral). This review discusses current indications, fractionations, challenges, and technical requirements for lung SBRT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Thoracic Oncology)
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Article
The Usefulness of Spectral Mammography in Surgical Planning of Breast Cancer Treatment—Analysis of 999 Patients with Primary Operable Breast Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2548-2559; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040232 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) is a promising, digital breast imaging method for planning surgeries. The study aimed at comparing digital mammography (MG) with CESM as predictive factors in visualizing multifocal-multicentric cancers (MFMCC) before determining the surgery extent. We analyzed 999 patients after breast [...] Read more.
Contrast-enhanced spectral mammography (CESM) is a promising, digital breast imaging method for planning surgeries. The study aimed at comparing digital mammography (MG) with CESM as predictive factors in visualizing multifocal-multicentric cancers (MFMCC) before determining the surgery extent. We analyzed 999 patients after breast cancer surgery to compare MG and CESM in terms of detecting MFMCC. Moreover, these procedures were assessed for their conformity with postoperative histopathology (HP), calculating their sensitivity and specificity. The question was which histopathological types of breast cancer were more frequently characterized by multifocality–multicentrality in comparable techniques as regards the general number of HP-identified cancers. The analysis involved the frequency of post-CESM changes in the extent of planned surgeries. In the present study, MG revealed 48 (4.80%) while CESM 170 (17.02%) MFMCC lesions, subsequently confirmed in HP. MG had MFMCC detecting sensitivity of 38.51%, specificity 99.01%, PPV (positive predictive value) 85.71%, and NPV (negative predictive value) 84.52%. The respective values for CESM were 87.63%, 94.90%, 80.57% and 96.95%. Moreover, no statistically significant differences were found between lobular and NST cancers (27.78% vs. 21.24%) regarding MFMCC. A treatment change was required by 20.00% of the patients from breast-conserving to mastectomy, upon visualizing MFMCC in CESM. In conclusion, mammography offers insufficient diagnostic sensitivity for detecting additional cancer foci. The high diagnostic sensitivity of CESM effectively assesses breast cancer multifocality/multicentrality and significantly changes the extent of planned surgeries. The multifocality/multicentrality concerned carcinoma, lobular and invasive carcinoma of no special type (NST) cancers with similar incidence rates, which requires further confirmation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment)
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Commentary
What Should We Recommend for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Adults Aged 75 and Older?
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2540-2547; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040231 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 473
Abstract
The current recommendation to stop colorectal cancer screening for older adults is based on a lack of evidence due to systematic exclusion of this population from trials. Older adults are a heterogenous population with many available strategies for patient-centered assessment and decision-making. Evolutions [...] Read more.
The current recommendation to stop colorectal cancer screening for older adults is based on a lack of evidence due to systematic exclusion of this population from trials. Older adults are a heterogenous population with many available strategies for patient-centered assessment and decision-making. Evolutions in management strategies for colorectal cancer have made safe and effective options available to older adults, and the rationale to screen for treatable disease more reasonably, especially given the aging Canadian population. In this commentary, we review the current screening guidelines and the evidence upon which they were built, the unique considerations for screening older adults, new treatment options, the risks and benefits of increased screening and potential considerations for the new guidelines. Full article
Article
WNT8B as an Independent Prognostic Marker for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2529-2539; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040230 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Background: Members of the Wnt signaling pathway have been shown to play a role in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) progression. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate WNT8B protein expression in NPC patients using tissue microarray (TMA) analysis and to evaluate its [...] Read more.
Background: Members of the Wnt signaling pathway have been shown to play a role in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) progression. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate WNT8B protein expression in NPC patients using tissue microarray (TMA) analysis and to evaluate its correlation with patient survival and clinical parameters. Methods: A total of 82 NPC cases, together with six normal nasopharyngeal tissue samples, were targeted to construct the TMA blocks. The WNT8B protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and its correlation to the clinicopathological features was investigated. Results: Sixty-two of 82 (75.6%) cases exhibited high WNT8B protein expression while 20/82 (24.4%) cases appeared to have low WNT8B expression. The univariate analysis revealed that systemic metastasis was associated with patient 5-year survival. The multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that WNT8B expression and systemic metastasis were significantly associated with the survival of NPC patients. Furthermore, there was no correlation found between the WNT8B protein expression and other clinicopathological parameters. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the expression of WNT8B is associated with NPC patients’ survival and could serve as an independent prognostic factor for NPC patients. Full article
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Opinion
Does the Time of Day at Which Endocrine Therapy Is Taken Affect Breast Cancer Patient Outcomes?
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2523-2528; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040229 - 06 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Background: Non-compliance and non-persistence with endocrine therapy for breast cancer is common and usually related to treatment-induced side effects. There are anecdotal reports that simply changing the time of day when taking endocrine therapy (i.e., changing morning dosing to evening dosing or vice [...] Read more.
Background: Non-compliance and non-persistence with endocrine therapy for breast cancer is common and usually related to treatment-induced side effects. There are anecdotal reports that simply changing the time of day when taking endocrine therapy (i.e., changing morning dosing to evening dosing or vice versa) can reduce side effects. Literature review: We conducted a literature review to evaluate whether changing the timing of tamoxifen and/or aromatase inhibitor administration impacted patient outcomes. No randomized control trials or prospective cohort studies that looked at time of day of endocrine therapy were identified through our review of literature from 1947 until August 2020. Conclusions: Given the rates of endocrine therapy non-compliance and non-persistence reported in the literature, ranging from 41–72% and 31–73%, respectively, simply changing the time of day when medications are taken could be an important strategy. We could identify no trials evaluating the effect of changes in timing of administration of endocrine therapy on breast cancer patient outcomes. Randomized control trials are clearly indicated for this simple and cost-effective intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Oncology)
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Article
Clinical Implications of “Atypia” on Biopsy: Possible Precursor to Lung Cancer?
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2516-2522; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040228 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
Background: It is common for biopsies of concerning pulmonary nodules to result in cytologic “atypia” on biopsy, which may represent a benign response or a false negative finding. This investigation evaluated time to diagnosis and factors which may predict an ultimate diagnosis of [...] Read more.
Background: It is common for biopsies of concerning pulmonary nodules to result in cytologic “atypia” on biopsy, which may represent a benign response or a false negative finding. This investigation evaluated time to diagnosis and factors which may predict an ultimate diagnosis of lung cancer in these patients with atypia cytology on lung nodule biopsy. Methods: This retrospective study included patients of the Stony Brook Lung Cancer Evaluation Center who had a biopsy baseline diagnosis of atypia between 2010 and 2020 and were either diagnosed with cancer or remained disease free by the end of the observation period. Cox Proportional Hazard (CPH) Models were used to assess factor effects on outcomes. Results: Among 106 patients with an initial diagnosis of atypia, 80 (75%) were diagnosed with lung cancer. Of those, over three-quarters were diagnosed within 6 months. The CPH models indicated that PET positivity (SUV ≥ 2.5) (HR = 1.74 (1.03, 2.94)), nodule size > 3.5 cm (HR = 2.83, 95% CI (1.47, 5.45)) and the presence of mixed ground glass opacities (HR = 2.15 (1.05, 4.43)) significantly increased risk of lung cancer. Conclusion: Given the high conversion rate to cancer within 6 months, at least tight monitoring, if not repeat biopsy may be warranted during this time period for patients diagnosed with atypia. Full article
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Article
Both “Vitamin L for Life” and “One Milligram of Satan”: A Multi-Perspective Qualitative Exploration of Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy Use after Breast Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2496-2515; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040227 - 05 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) is recommended after hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to reduce risk of recurrence, but adherence is sub-optimal in many women. Behavioral interventions have been ineffective in improving adherence rates to AET. This qualitative descriptive study investigates factors that support women [...] Read more.
Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) is recommended after hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to reduce risk of recurrence, but adherence is sub-optimal in many women. Behavioral interventions have been ineffective in improving adherence rates to AET. This qualitative descriptive study investigates factors that support women in AET use and suggestions for interventions to improve AET use and management. Interviews with women who persisted with AET (n = 23), women who discontinued AET (n = 15), and healthcare providers (HCPs; oncologists, oncology residents, and pharmacists; n = 9) were conducted, transcribed, and described using thematic analysis. Data collection stopped once saturation occurred (i.e., no new codes or themes emerged during interviews). Two researchers created codes and developed themes in an iterative process; a third researcher verified the representativeness of final themes. This study was approved by the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta (ID: HREBA.CC-17-0513). Women who persisted described being prepared for side effects and having self-management strategies, strong rationale for AET use, supportive HCPs, and available resources as relevant factors. Women who discontinued described feeling overwhelmed by side effects, information needs, drawbacks of AET, helpful/unhelpful experiences with HCPs, and contextual factors as relevant to their discontinuation. HCPs described health system-related and patient-related barriers, side effect management, and patient-provider interactions as relevant to supporting AET use. The considerable overlap in themes among the three groups suggests broad recognition of salient factors relevant to AET use and that associated strategies to improve use may be acceptable to patients and providers alike. Factors supporting AET use could include the following: education (which may be necessary but insufficient), developing a strong personal rationale for use, being prepared for side effects, having side effect management strategies, reciprocal communication between patients and HCPs, and accessible resources. Full article
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Review
The Role of PET in Supratentorial and Infratentorial Pediatric Brain Tumors
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2481-2495; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040226 - 05 Jul 2021
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Objective: This review aims to provide a summary of the clinical indications and limitations of PET imaging with different radiotracers, including 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) and other radiopharmaceuticals, in pediatric neuro-oncology, discussing both supratentorial and infratentorial tumors, based on recent literature (from 2010 to present). [...] Read more.
Objective: This review aims to provide a summary of the clinical indications and limitations of PET imaging with different radiotracers, including 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) and other radiopharmaceuticals, in pediatric neuro-oncology, discussing both supratentorial and infratentorial tumors, based on recent literature (from 2010 to present). Methods: A literature search of the PubMed/MEDLINE database was carried out searching for articles on the use of PET in pediatric brain tumors. The search was updated until December 2020 and limited to original studies published in English after 1 January 2010. Results: 18F-FDG PET continues to be successfully employed in different settings in pediatric neuro-oncology, including diagnosis, grading and delineation of the target for stereotactic biopsy, estimation of prognosis, evaluation of recurrence, treatment planning and assessment of treatment response. Nevertheless, non-18F-FDG tracers, especially amino acid analogues seem to show a better performance in each clinical setting. Conclusions: PET imaging adds important information in the diagnostic work-up of pediatric brain tumors. International or national multicentric studies are encouraged in order to collect larger amount of data. Full article
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Article
Two Antibiotics, Ampicillin and Tetracycline, Exert Different Effects in HT-29 Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Cells in Terms of Cell Viability and Migration Capacity
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2466-2480; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040225 - 04 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Antibiotics are considered the cornerstone of modern medicine; however, currently, antibiotic resistance has become a global health issue. Antibiotics also find new uses in the treatment of other pathologies as well as cancer. The present study aimed to verify the impact of tetracycline [...] Read more.
Antibiotics are considered the cornerstone of modern medicine; however, currently, antibiotic resistance has become a global health issue. Antibiotics also find new uses in the treatment of other pathologies as well as cancer. The present study aimed to verify the impact of tetracycline and ampicillin in a colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line, HT-29. The effects of the two antibiotics on cell viability and nucleus were evaluated by the means of MTT assay and the Hoechst staining method, respectively. The irritant potential at vascular level of the chorioallantoic membrane was tested by the HET-CAM assay. Treatment of HT-29 cells with the two antibiotics determined different effects: (i) tetracycline induced a dose- and time-dependent cytotoxic effect characterized by decreased cell viability, changes in cells morphology, apoptotic features (nuclear fragmentation), and inhibition of cellular migration, whereas (ii) ampicillin exerted a biphasic response—cytotoxic at low doses and proliferative at high concentrations. In terms of effect on blood vessels, both antibiotics exerted a mild irritant effect. These results are promising and could be considered as starting point for further in vitro studies to define the molecular mechanisms involved in the cytotoxic/proliferative effects. Full article
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Article
Digital Innovation in Oncological Primary Treatment for Well-Being of Patients: Psychological Caring as Prompt for Enhancing Quality of Life
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2452-2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040224 - 02 Jul 2021
Viewed by 673
Abstract
One side-effect of oncological treatment is chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), a temporary form of hair loss that could influence patients’ mental health. Digitised scalp cooling systems are assuming an important role in the clinical setting during adjuvant treatment, promising hair loss prevention and allowing [...] Read more.
One side-effect of oncological treatment is chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), a temporary form of hair loss that could influence patients’ mental health. Digitised scalp cooling systems are assuming an important role in the clinical setting during adjuvant treatment, promising hair loss prevention and allowing an efficient procedure to reinforce patients’ mental health during chemotherapy by avoiding CIA. The present study was carried out through two research protocols: in Research Protocol 1, we conducted a randomised clinical study to evaluate the emotional impact of using scalp cooling technology in women with BC compared with a traditional chemotherapy setting; in Research Protocol 2, we conducted an observational pre-post study involving women with BC diagnosis being under adjuvant chemotherapy in two experimental conditions: no scalp cooling application and scalp cooling application. Seventy-four women undergoing chemotherapy, aged 30–55 years, were enrolled in both research protocols. We investigated oncological patients’ psychological dimensions including body image, body appreciation, expectations, and satisfaction with the scalp cooling treatment, with reference to chemotherapy treatment applying the scalp cooling solution. Our data evidenced the need to implement a supportive clinical approach via brief, tailored psychological intervention addressing patients’ progressive adaptation to chemotherapy adverse events and their concerns regarding induced alopecia and the value of the scalp cooling system. Patients receiving the innovative chemotherapy probably coped with it by neglecting its physical impact, instead focusing on avoiding alopecia by using the technological solution and neglecting the emotional impact of chemotherapy as a severe pharmacological treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathways to Psychological Resilience in Breast Cancer Survivorship)
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Article
Overcoming of Microenvironment Protection on Primary Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells after Treatment with BTK and MDM2 Pharmacological Inhibitors
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(4), 2439-2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28040223 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 328
Abstract
In B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), the interaction between leukemic cells and the microenvironment promotes tumor cell survival. The Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib is one of the first-in-class molecules for the treatment of B-CLL patients; however, the emerging mechanisms of resistance to [...] Read more.
In B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), the interaction between leukemic cells and the microenvironment promotes tumor cell survival. The Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib is one of the first-in-class molecules for the treatment of B-CLL patients; however, the emerging mechanisms of resistance to ibrutinib call for new therapeutic strategies. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the ability of ibrutinib plus the MDM2-inhibitor nutlin-3 to counteract the tumor microenvironment protective effect. We observed that primary B-CLL cells cultivated in microenvironment mimicking conditions were protected from apoptosis by the up-regulation of c-MYC and of p53. In the same setting, combined treatments with ibrutinib plus nutlin-3 led to significantly higher levels of apoptosis compared to the single treatments, counteracting the c-MYC up-regulation. Moreover, the combination induced high p53 levels and a significant dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential, together with BAX cleavage in the more active p18 form and phospho-BAD down-regulation, that are key components of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, enhancing the apoptosis level. Our findings propose a new therapeutic strategy to overcome the tumor microenvironment protection involved in B-CLL resistance to drugs, with possible clinical implications also for other hematologic and solid tumors for which ibrutinib is considered a therapeutic option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Therapy and Outcome)
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