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Volume 29, June

Curr. Oncol., Volume 29, Issue 7 (July 2022) – 23 articles

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Article
Molecular Differences between Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Adenocarcinoma Cervical Cancer Subtypes: Potential Prognostic Biomarkers
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4689-4702; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070372 - 05 Jul 2022
Viewed by 139
Abstract
The most frequently diagnosed histological types of cervical cancer (CC) are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (ADC). Clinically, the prognosis of both types is controversial. A molecular profile that distinguishes each histological subtype and predicts the prognosis would be of great benefit [...] Read more.
The most frequently diagnosed histological types of cervical cancer (CC) are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (ADC). Clinically, the prognosis of both types is controversial. A molecular profile that distinguishes each histological subtype and predicts the prognosis would be of great benefit to CC patients. Methods: The transcriptome of CC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) was analyzed using the DESeq2 package to obtain the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ADC and SCC. The DEGs were validated on a publicly available Mexican-Mestizo patient transcriptome dataset (GSE56303). The global biological pathways involving the DEGs were obtained using the Webgestalt platform. The associations of the DEGs with Overall Survival (OS) were assessed. Finally, three DEGs were validated by RT-qPCR in an independent cohort of Mexican patients. Results. The molecular profiles of ADC and SCC of the CC patients of the TCGA database and the Mexican-Mestizo cohort (GSE56303) were determined obtaining 1768 and 88 DEGs, respectively. Strikingly, 70 genes were concordant—with similar Log2FoldChange values—in both cohorts. The 70 DEGs were involved in IL-17, JAK/STAT, and Ras signaling. Kaplan-Meier OS analysis from the Mexican-Mestizo cohort showed that higher GABRB2 and TSPAN8 and lower TMEM40 expression were associated with better OS. Similar results were found in an independent Mexican cohort. Conclusions: Molecular differences were detected between the ADC and SCC subtypes; however, further studies are required to define the appropriate prognostic biomarker for each histological type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Treatment for Gynecologic Cancers)
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Review
Endoscopic Treatment of Superficial Gastric Cancer: Present Status and Future
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4678-4688; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070371 - 04 Jul 2022
Viewed by 141
Abstract
Although the mortality rates of gastric cancer (GC) are gradually declining, gastric cancer is still the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. This may be due to the high rate of patients who are diagnosed with GC at advanced stages. However, in [...] Read more.
Although the mortality rates of gastric cancer (GC) are gradually declining, gastric cancer is still the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. This may be due to the high rate of patients who are diagnosed with GC at advanced stages. However, in countries such as Japan with endoscopic screening systems, more than half of GCs are discovered at an early stage, enabling endoscopic resection (ER). Especially after the introduction of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) in Japan around 2000, a high en bloc resection rate allowing pathological assessment of margin and depth has become possible. While ER is a diagnostic method of treatment and may not always be curative, it is widely accepted as standard treatment because it is less invasive than surgery and can provide an accurate diagnosis for deciding whether additional surgery is necessary. The curability of ER is currently assessed by the completeness of primary tumor removal and the possibility of lymph node metastasis. This review introduces methods, indications, and curability criteria for ER of EGC. Despite recent advances, several problems remain unsolved. This review will also outline the latest evidence concerning future issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endoscopic Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer)
Article
Routine Screening for Central and Primary Adrenal Insufficiency during Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy: An Endocrinology Perspective for Oncologists
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4665-4677; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070370 - 02 Jul 2022
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-associated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis disruption can lead to hypocortisolism. This is a life-threatening but difficult to diagnose condition, due to its non-specific symptoms that overlap with symptoms of malignancy. Currently, there is no consensus on how to best screen asymptomatic [...] Read more.
Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-associated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis disruption can lead to hypocortisolism. This is a life-threatening but difficult to diagnose condition, due to its non-specific symptoms that overlap with symptoms of malignancy. Currently, there is no consensus on how to best screen asymptomatic patients on ICI therapy for hypophysitis with serum cortisol. Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients treated with ICI in a tertiary care centre was conducted to assess the rate of screening with cortisol and whether this had an impact on diagnosis of ICI-hypophysitis in the preclinical stage. Patients were identified as having hypophysitis with an adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) deficiency based on chart review of patients with cortisol values ≤ 140 nmol/L (≤5 mcg/dL). We also assessed what proportion of cortisol values were drawn at the correct time for interpretation (between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.). Results: Two hundred and sixty-five patients had 1301 cortisol levels drawn, only 40% of which were drawn correctly (between 6 and 10 a.m.). Twenty-two cases of hypophysitis manifesting with ACTH deficiency were identified. Eight of these patients were being screened with cortisol following treatment and were detected in the outpatient setting. The remaining 14 patients were not screened and were diagnosed when symptomatic, after an emergency room visit or hospital admission. Sixty percent of the cortisol tests were uninterpretable as they were not drawn within the appropriate time window. Conclusion: Measuring morning serum cortisol in asymptomatic patients on ICI therapy is a fast and inexpensive way to screen for hypophysitis and should become the standard of care. Random serum cortisol measurement has no clinical value. Education needs to be provided on when to correctly perform the test and how to interpret it and we provide an algorithm for this purpose. The adoption and validation of such an algorithm as part of routine practice could significantly reduce morbidity and mortality in patients, especially as ICI therapy is becoming increasingly commonplace. Full article
Review
Locoregional Management of Breast Cancer: A Chronological Review
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4647-4664; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070369 - 01 Jul 2022
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Locoregional management of breast cancer is founded on evidence generated over a vast time period, much longer than the career span of many practicing physicians. Oncologists rely on specific patient and tumour characteristics to recommend modern-day treatments. However, some of this information may [...] Read more.
Locoregional management of breast cancer is founded on evidence generated over a vast time period, much longer than the career span of many practicing physicians. Oncologists rely on specific patient and tumour characteristics to recommend modern-day treatments. However, some of this information may not have been available during prior periods in which the evidence was generated. For example, the comprehensive Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) meta-analyses published in the 2000s typically included older trials accruing patients between the 1960s and 1980s. This raises some uncertainty about whether conclusions from studies conducted in prior eras are as relevant or applicable to modern-day patients and treatments. Reviewing the chronological order and details of the evidence can be beneficial to understanding these nuances. This review discusses the evolution of locoregional management through some key clinical trials. We aim to highlight the time period in which the evidence was generated and emphasize the 10-year outcomes for the comparability of results. Evidence supporting surgical management of the breast and axilla, as well as details of radiotherapy are discussed briefly for all stages of breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolving Paradigm of Curative Intent Breast Cancer Management)
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Review
Gynecologic Cancer Risk and Genetics: Informing an Ideal Model of Gynecologic Cancer Prevention
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4632-4646; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070368 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Individuals with proven hereditary cancer syndrome (HCS) such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have elevated rates of ovarian, breast, and other cancers. If these high-risk people can be identified before a cancer is diagnosed, risk-reducing interventions are highly effective and can be lifesaving. Despite [...] Read more.
Individuals with proven hereditary cancer syndrome (HCS) such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 have elevated rates of ovarian, breast, and other cancers. If these high-risk people can be identified before a cancer is diagnosed, risk-reducing interventions are highly effective and can be lifesaving. Despite this evidence, the vast majority of Canadians with HCS are unaware of their risk. In response to this unmet opportunity for prevention, the British Columbia Gynecologic Cancer Initiative convened a research summit “Gynecologic Cancer Prevention: Thinking Big, Thinking Differently” in Vancouver, Canada on 26 November 2021. The aim of the conference was to explore how hereditary cancer prevention via population-based genetic testing could decrease morbidity and mortality from gynecologic cancer. The summit invited local, national, and international experts to (1) discuss how genetic testing could be more broadly implemented in a Canadian system, (2) identify key research priorities in this topic and (3) outline the core essential elements required for such a program to be successful. This report summarizes the findings from this research summit, describes the current state of hereditary genetic programs in Canada, and outlines incremental steps that can be taken to improve prevention for high-risk Canadians now while developing an organized population-based hereditary cancer strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Frontiers in Treatment for Gynecologic Cancers)
Case Report
Recurrent Metastatic Chordoma to the Liver: A Case Report and Review of the Literature
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4625-4631; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070367 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 265
Abstract
Chordoma is a rare malignant neoplasm derived from notochordal tissue that primarily affects the axial skeleton. Almost 40% of patients have non-cranial chordoma metastases. The most common metastatic sites are the lungs, bones, lymph nodes, and subcutaneous tissue. We present a 52-year female [...] Read more.
Chordoma is a rare malignant neoplasm derived from notochordal tissue that primarily affects the axial skeleton. Almost 40% of patients have non-cranial chordoma metastases. The most common metastatic sites are the lungs, bones, lymph nodes, and subcutaneous tissue. We present a 52-year female with a history of sacral chordoma presenting with abdominal fullness, early satiety, and a palpable abdominal mass. Abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an isolated, highly vascularized, and multilobed liver mass in the left lateral segment. The mass was surgically removed using a clean surgical margin. A histological examination and immunohistochemical staining were consistent with a metastatic chordoma. Two years later, follow-up imaging studies showed a 6.5 × 4.0 × 2.0 cm right liver lesion with multiple lungs, chest wall, pleural, and diaphragmatic lesions. Microscopic- and immunohistochemical staining revealed a recurrent metastatic chordoma. Herein, we present a unique case of metastatic recurrent chordoma in the liver with the involvement of other sites. To the best of our knowledge, no other case of recurrent liver metastasis has been reported. Full article
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Systematic Review
Can Radiotherapy Empower the Host Immune System to Counterattack Neoplastic Cells? A Systematic Review on Tumor Microenvironment Radiomodulation
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4612-4624; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070366 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Despite the rising evidence in favor of immunotherapy (IT), the treatment of oncological patients affected by so-called “cold tumors” still represents an open issue. Cold tumors are characterized by an immunosuppressive (so-called cold) tumor microenvironment (TME), which favors host immune system suppression, cancer [...] Read more.
Despite the rising evidence in favor of immunotherapy (IT), the treatment of oncological patients affected by so-called “cold tumors” still represents an open issue. Cold tumors are characterized by an immunosuppressive (so-called cold) tumor microenvironment (TME), which favors host immune system suppression, cancer immune-escape, and a worse response to IT. However, the TME is not a static element, but dynamically mutates and can be changed. Radiotherapy (RT) can modulate a cold microenvironment, rendering it better at tumor killing by priming the quiescent host immune system, with a consequent increase in immunotherapy response. The combination of TME radiomodulation and IT could therefore be a strategy for those patients affected by cold tumors, with limited or no response to IT. Thus, this review aims to provide an easy, rapid, and practical overview of how RT could convert the cold TME and why cold tumor radiomodulation could represent an interesting strategy in combination with IT. Full article
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Commentary
Evolution of a Systematic Approach to Smoking Cessation in Ontario’s Regional Cancer Centres
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4604-4611; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070365 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Smoking cessation after a cancer diagnosis can significantly improve a person’s prognosis, treatment efficacy and safety, and quality of life. In 2012, Cancer Care Ontario (now part of Ontario Health) introduced a Framework for Smoking Cessation, to be implemented for new ambulatory cancer [...] Read more.
Smoking cessation after a cancer diagnosis can significantly improve a person’s prognosis, treatment efficacy and safety, and quality of life. In 2012, Cancer Care Ontario (now part of Ontario Health) introduced a Framework for Smoking Cessation, to be implemented for new ambulatory cancer patients at the province’s 14 Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs). Over time, the program has evolved to become more efficient, use data for robust performance management, and broaden its focus to include new patient populations and additional data collection. In 2017, the framework was revised from a 5As to a 3As brief intervention model, along with an opt-out approach to referrals. The revised model was based on emerging evidence, feedback from stakeholders, and an interim program evaluation. Results showed an initial increase in referrals to cessation services. Two indicators (tobacco use screening and acceptance of a referral) are routinely monitored as part of Ontario Health’s system-wide performance management approach, which has been identified as a key driver of change among RCCs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many RCCs reported a decrease in these indicators. RCCs that were able to maintain a high level of smoking cessation activities during the pandemic offer valuable lessons, including the opportunity to swiftly leverage virtual care. Future directions for the program include capturing data on cessation outcomes and expanding the intervention to new populations. A focus on system recovery from COVID-19 will be paramount. Smoking cessation must remain a core element of high-quality cancer care, so that patients achieve the best possible health benefits from their treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking Cessation after a Cancer Diagnosis)
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Article
Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Peritoneal Carcinomatosis: Evaluation of High b-Value Computed Diffusion-Weighted Imaging
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4593-4603; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070364 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 307
Abstract
Over the last few years, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has become increasingly relevant in the diagnostic assessment of peritoneal carcinomatosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the benefits of high-b DWI (c-DWI) compared to standard DWI in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. A [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has become increasingly relevant in the diagnostic assessment of peritoneal carcinomatosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the benefits of high-b DWI (c-DWI) compared to standard DWI in patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis. A cohort of 40 patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis were included in this retrospective study. DWI was performed with b-values of 50, 400, and 800 or 1000 s/mm² on a 1.5-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. C-DWI was calculated using a mono-exponential model with high b-values of 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 s/mm². All c-DWI images with high b-values were compared in terms of volume, detectability of peritoneal lesions, and image quality with the DWI sequence acquired with a b-value of 800 or 1000 s/mm² by two readers. In the group with a b-value of 800 s/mm², there was no statistically significant difference in terms of lesion volume. In the second group with a b-value of 1000 s/mm², peritoneal carcinomatosis lesions were statistically significantly larger than in the c-DWI with a- high b-value of 2000 s/mm² (median 7 cm³, range 1–26 cm³ vs. median 6 cm³, range 1–83 cm³, p < 0.05). In both groups, there was a marked decrease in the detectability of peritoneal lesions starting at b = 2000 s/mm². In addition, image quality decreased noticeably from c-DWI at b = 3000 s/mm². In both groups, all images with high b-values at b = 4000 s/mm² and 5000 s/mm² were not diagnostically valuable due to poor image quality. The c-DWI technique offers good diagnostic performance without additional scanning time. High c-DWI b-values up to b = 1000 s/mm² provide comparable detectability of peritoneal carcinomatosis compared to standard DWI. Higher b-values over 1500 s/mm² result in lower image quality, which might lead to misdiagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastrointestinal Cancer Imaging)
Case Report
Concurrent Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome with a Sequent t(10;13)(p13;q22) Translocation
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4587-4592; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070363 - 29 Jun 2022
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) are rarely synchronous. Ineffective myelopoiesis/hematopoiesis with clonal unilineage or multilineage dysplasia and cytopenias characterize MDS. Despite a myeloid origin, MDS can sometimes lead to decreased production, abnormal apoptosis or dysmaturation of B cells, and the development [...] Read more.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) are rarely synchronous. Ineffective myelopoiesis/hematopoiesis with clonal unilineage or multilineage dysplasia and cytopenias characterize MDS. Despite a myeloid origin, MDS can sometimes lead to decreased production, abnormal apoptosis or dysmaturation of B cells, and the development of lymphoma. WM includes bone marrow involvement by lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL) secreting monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM) with somatic mutation (L265P) of myeloid differentiation primary response 88 gene (MYD88) in 80–90%, or various mutations of C-terminal domain of the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) gene in 20–40% of cases. A unique, progressive case of concurrent MDS and WM with several somatic mutations (some unreported before) and a novel balanced reciprocal translocation between chromosomes 10 and 13 is presented below. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular Pathology of Myelodysplastic Syndromes)
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Article
Achieving Consensus for Management of Hormone-Sensitive, Low-Volume Metastatic Prostate Cancer in Italy
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4578-4586; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070362 (registering DOI) - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) is usually categorized as high- or low-volume disease. This is relevant because low- and high-volume metastatic disease are associated with different outcomes, and thus management of the two forms should differ. Although some definitions have been reported, the [...] Read more.
Metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC) is usually categorized as high- or low-volume disease. This is relevant because low- and high-volume metastatic disease are associated with different outcomes, and thus management of the two forms should differ. Although some definitions have been reported, the concept of oligometastatic disease is not so clearly defined, giving rise to further variability in the choice of treatment, mainly between systemic agents and radiotherapy, especially in the era of metastasis-directed therapy. With the aim of providing clinicians with guidance on best practice, a group of medical and radiation oncologists, experts in prostate cancer, used the round robin method to generate a series of consensus statements on management of low-volume mHSPC. Consensus was obtained on three major areas of controversy: (1) with regard to clinical definitions of mHSPC, it was held that oligometastatic and low-volume disease refer to different concepts and should not be used interchangeably; (2) regarding therapy of de novo low-volume metastatic disease, androgen deprivation therapy alone can be considered undertreatment, and all patients should be evaluated for systemic treatment combinations; local therapy should not be denied in patients with mHSPC, regardless of the intensity of systemic therapy, and metastasis-directed therapy can be proposed in selected cases; (3) with regard to treatment of metachronous metastatic disease, patients should be evaluated for systemic treatment combinations. Metastasis-directed therapy can be proposed to delay systemic treatment in selected cases, especially if prostate-specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography staging has been performed and when indolent disease occurs. It is hoped that clinicians treating patients with mHSPC in daily practice will find this expert opinion of value. Full article
Article
Three-Dimension-Printed Custom-Made Prosthetic Reconstructions in Bone Tumors: A Single Center Experience
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4566-4577; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070361 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Bone can be affected by different neoplastic conditions. Limb salvage surgery has become the preferred treatment strategy for most malignant tumors of the extremities. Advanced 3D printing technology has transformed the conventional view of oncological surgery. These types of implants are produced by [...] Read more.
Bone can be affected by different neoplastic conditions. Limb salvage surgery has become the preferred treatment strategy for most malignant tumors of the extremities. Advanced 3D printing technology has transformed the conventional view of oncological surgery. These types of implants are produced by electron beam melting (EBM) technology by sintering titanium powder in a scaffold shape designed following a project designed from HRCT and MRI. The aim of our study was to evaluate the outcomes and the mid-term follow-up of a population treated with 3D-printed custom-made prosthesis implantation in major oncological bone resection or after failure of primary implants. The primary outcome was the general patient satisfaction one year after surgery. The secondary outcomes were: mortality rate, treatment related complication rate, functional and clinical outcomes (KPS, ADL and IADL). Eight patients were included, five females and two males, with a mean age of 50.3 (±23.72) years at the surgery. The enrolled patients reported a mean satisfaction rate after surgery of 7.38 (±2) where 10 was the maximum value. There were no changes between pre- and postoperative mean KPS (81.43 +/−10.69). Mean preoperative ADL and IADL score was in both cases 4.86 (±1.07), while postoperative was 5 (±0.82), with a delta of 0.13 (p > 0.05). Custom-made prosthesis permits reconstructing bone defects caused by large tumor resection, especially in anatomically complex areas, restoring articular function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology)
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Article
The Role of Stereotactic Frame-Based Biopsy for Brainstem Tumors in the Era of Molecular-Based Diagnosis and Treatment Decisions
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4558-4565; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070360 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Stereotactic frame-based brain tumor biopsy (SFB) is a potent diagnostic tool considering its minimal invasiveness, though its diagnostic power and safety for brainstem lesions remain to be discussed. Here, we aimed to examine the usefulness of SFB for brainstem tumors. Twenty-two patients with [...] Read more.
Stereotactic frame-based brain tumor biopsy (SFB) is a potent diagnostic tool considering its minimal invasiveness, though its diagnostic power and safety for brainstem lesions remain to be discussed. Here, we aimed to examine the usefulness of SFB for brainstem tumors. Twenty-two patients with brainstem tumors underwent 23 SFBs at our institution during 2002–2021. We retrospectively analyzed patient characteristics, tumor pathology, surgical procedures, and outcomes, including surgery-related complications and the diagnostic value. Seven (32%) tumors were located from the midbrain to the pons, eleven (50%) in the pons only, and four (18%) from the pons to the medulla oblongata. The target lesions were in the middle cerebellar peduncles in sixteen procedures (70%), the cerebellum in four (17%), the inferior cerebellar peduncles in two (9%), and the superior cerebellar peduncles in one (4%). A definitive diagnosis was made in 21 patients (95%) at the first SFB. The diagnoses were glioma in seventeen (77%) cases, primary central nervous system lymphoma in four (18%), and a metastatic brain tumor in one (5%). The postoperative complications (cranial nerve palsy in three [13%] cases, ataxia in one [4%]) were all transient. SFB for brainstem tumors yields a high diagnostic rate with a low risk of morbidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements in the Surgical Treatment of Brain Tumors)
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Article
The Burden of Health-Related Out-of-Pocket Cancer Costs in Canada: A Case-Control Study Using Linked Data
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4541-4557; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070359 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Background: The burden of out-of-pocket costs among cancer patients/survivors in Canada is not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine the health-related out-of-pocket cost burden experienced by households with a cancer patient/survivor compared to those without, examine the components of [...] Read more.
Background: The burden of out-of-pocket costs among cancer patients/survivors in Canada is not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine the health-related out-of-pocket cost burden experienced by households with a cancer patient/survivor compared to those without, examine the components of health-related costs and determine who experiences a greater burden. Data and methods: This study used a data linkage between the Survey of Household Spending and the Canadian Cancer Registry to identify households with a cancer patient/survivor (cases) and those without (controls). The out-of-pocket burden (out-of-pocket costs measured relative to household income) and mean costs were described and regression analyses examined the characteristics associated with the household out-of-pocket burden and annual out-of-pocket costs. Results: The health-related out-of-pocket cost burden and annual costs measured in households with a cancer patient/survivor were 3.08% (95% CI: 2.55–3.62%) and CAD 1600 (95% CI: 1456–1759), respectively, compared to a burden of 2.84% (95% CI: 2.31–3.38) and annual costs of CAD 1511 (95% CI: 1377–1659) measured in control households, respectively. Households with a colorectal cancer patient/survivor had a significantly higher out-of-pocket burden compared to controls (mean difference: 1.0%, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.46). Among both cases and controls, the lowest income quintile households experienced the highest health-related out-of-pocket cost burden. Interpretation: Within a universal health care system, it is still relevant to monitor health-related out-of-pocket spending that is not covered by existing insurance mechanisms; however, this is not routinely assessed in Canada. We demonstrate the feasibility of measuring such costs in households with a cancer patient/survivor using routinely collected data. While the burden and annual health-related out-of-pocket costs of households with a cancer patient/survivor were not significantly higher than control households in this study, the routine measurement of out-of-pocket costs in Canada could be systemized, providing a novel, system-level, equity-informed performance indicator, which is relevant for monitoring inequities in the burden of out-of-pocket costs. Full article
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Article
Quality of Online Information on Multiple Myeloma Available for Laypersons
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4522-4540; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070358 - 27 Jun 2022
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Online information can increase patients’ competence and engagement. However, there are concerns regarding invalid information. Overall, 300 websites and 50 YouTube videos on multiple myeloma (MM) were evaluated. The websites did not differ between the search engines or search ranks. The median time [...] Read more.
Online information can increase patients’ competence and engagement. However, there are concerns regarding invalid information. Overall, 300 websites and 50 YouTube videos on multiple myeloma (MM) were evaluated. The websites did not differ between the search engines or search ranks. The median time since the last update was 9 months. The 63 unique websites showed a poor general quality (median JAMA score 2 of 4, only 18% with a valid HON certificate). The patient- (user-) focused quality was medium to poor (median sum DISCERN score 41 out of 80 points). The overall reading level was difficult requiring at least a 12th US school grade. The content level was low (median 24 out of 73 points). Sixteen percent contained misleading/wrong facts. Websites provided by foundation/advocacies showed a significantly higher general and patient- (user-) focused quality. For videos, the median time since upload was 18 months. Judged by the HON foundation score ~80% of videos showed a medium general quality. The patient- (user-) focused quality was medium to poor (median sum DISCERN score 43 points). The content level was very low (median 8 points). MM relevant websites and videos showed a medium to low general, patient- (user-) focused and content quality. Therefore, incorporation of quality indices and regular review is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hematology)
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Article
Lung Resections for Elderly Patients with Lung Metastases: A Comparative Study of the Postoperative Complications and Overall Survival
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4511-4521; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070357 - 26 Jun 2022
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Background: Pulmonary metastasectomy (PM) is an established treatment option for selected patients with stage IV solid tumors. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of and survival rate in PM for elderly patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all of the [...] Read more.
Background: Pulmonary metastasectomy (PM) is an established treatment option for selected patients with stage IV solid tumors. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of and survival rate in PM for elderly patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all of the patients who underwent PM with curative intention at our institution. The patients were categorized into two groups: the elderly group (≥70 years old) and the non-elderly group (<70 years old). Results: The elderly group consisted of 222 patients versus 538 patients in the non-elderly group. The median number of resected metastases was 2 ± 3 in the elderly group and 4 ± 5 in the non-elderly group (p < 0.01). No difference in the rate of postoperative complications was observed between the two groups (p = 0.3). The median length of hospital stay in each group was comparable (10 ± 5 vs. 10 ± 4.3 days, p = 0.3). The 5-year survival rate was 67% in the elderly group and 78% in the non-elderly group (p = 0.117). In the univariate analysis, COPD was associated with poor survival in the elderly group (p = 0.002). Conclusion: The resection of pulmonary metastases in elderly patients is safe, is not associated with increased risks of postoperative complication, and the survival benefit is not reduced in selected patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgical Oncology)
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Review
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Extrahepatic Cancers: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4478-4510; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070356 - 25 Jun 2022
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now considered the main driver and leading cause of chronic liver disease globally. The umbrella term NAFLD describes a range of liver conditions closely related to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidemia. At the [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now considered the main driver and leading cause of chronic liver disease globally. The umbrella term NAFLD describes a range of liver conditions closely related to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidemia. At the same time, several malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal cancer, are considered to be common causes of death among patients with NAFLD. At first, our review herein aims to investigate the role of NAFLD in developing colorectal neoplasms and adenomatous polyps based on the current literature. We will also explore the connection and the missing links between NAFLD and extrahepatic cancers. Interestingly, any relationship between NAFLD and extrahepatic malignancies could be attributable to several shared metabolic risk factors. Overall, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and related disorders may increase the risk of developing cancer. Therefore, early diagnosis of NAFLD is essential for preventing the progression of the disease and avoiding its severe complications. In addition, cancer screening and early detection in these patients may improve survival and reduce any delays in treatment. Full article
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Review
Clinical Management of Triple-Class Refractory Multiple Myeloma: A Review of Current Strategies and Emerging Therapies
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4464-4477; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070355 - 23 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Major progress has been made in the upfront treatment of multiple myeloma, but the disease ultimately relapses and leads to death in the vast majority of those afflicted. New treatment strategies and modalities are necessary to treat myeloma in relapse, particularly in cases [...] Read more.
Major progress has been made in the upfront treatment of multiple myeloma, but the disease ultimately relapses and leads to death in the vast majority of those afflicted. New treatment strategies and modalities are necessary to treat myeloma in relapse, particularly in cases of triple-refractory status defined by disease progression during or shortly after treatment with immunomodulatory agents, proteasome inhibitors, and anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody therapy. In this manuscript, we review recent promising developments in the treatment of triple-class refractory myeloma including bispecific antibodies and T cell engagers, chimeric antigen receptor cellular therapies, as well as chemotherapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hematology)
Article
Coaxial Drainage versus Standard Chest Tube after Pulmonary Lobectomy: A Randomized Controlled Study
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4455-4463; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070354 - 22 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Chest tubes are routinely inserted after thoracic surgery procedures in different sizes and numbers. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of Smart Drain Coaxial drainage compared with two standard chest tubes in patients undergoing thoracotomy for pulmonary lobectomy. Ninety-eight [...] Read more.
Chest tubes are routinely inserted after thoracic surgery procedures in different sizes and numbers. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of Smart Drain Coaxial drainage compared with two standard chest tubes in patients undergoing thoracotomy for pulmonary lobectomy. Ninety-eight patients (57 males and 41 females, mean age 68.3 ± 7.4 years) with lung cancer undergoing open pulmonary lobectomy were randomized in two groups: 50 received one upper 28-Fr and one lower 32-Fr standard chest tube (ST group) and 48 received one 28-Fr Smart Drain Coaxial tube (SDC group). Hospitalization, quantity of fluid output, air leaks, radiograph findings, pain control and costs were assessed. SDC group showed shorter hospitalization (7.3 vs. 6.1 days, p = 0.02), lower pain in postoperative day-1 (p = 0.02) and a lower use of analgesic drugs (p = 0.04). Pleural effusion drainage was lower in SDC group in the first postoperative day (median 400.0 ± 200.0 mL vs. 450.0 ± 193.8 mL, p = 0.04) and as a mean of first three PODs (median 325.0 ± 137.5 mL vs. 362.5 ± 96.7 mL, p = 0.01). No difference in terms of fluid retention, residual pleural space, subcutaneous emphysema and complications after chest tubes removal was found. In conclusion, Smart Drain Coaxial chest tube seems a feasible option after thoracotomy for pulmonary lobectomy. The SDC group showed a shorter hospitalization and decreased analgesic drugs use and, thus, a reduction of costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Thoracic Surgical Oncology)
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Article
Biopsychosocial Markers of Body Image Concerns in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Prospective Longitudinal Study
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4438-4454; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070353 - 22 Jun 2022
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Abstract
(1) Background: Patients and survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC) are at a high risk of developing body image concerns. Despite the prevalence of body image concerns in patients with HNC, there is a lack of longitudinal research exploring the wide array [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Patients and survivors of head and neck cancer (HNC) are at a high risk of developing body image concerns. Despite the prevalence of body image concerns in patients with HNC, there is a lack of longitudinal research exploring the wide array of its associated determinants. The current longitudinal study examined the determinants and longitudinal course of body image dissatisfaction in patients with HNC. (2) Methods: Patients participated in Structured Clinical Interviews and self-administered questionnaires at four time-points: (T1) upon cancer diagnosis, (T2) at 3 months post-diagnosis, (T3) at 6 months post-diagnosis, and (T4) at 12 months post-diagnosis. They also underwent a disfigurement rating on an objective scale. (3) Results: Two hundred and twenty-four patients participated in our study. Fourteen percent to twenty-eight percent of patients reported at least moderate body image concerns across time points, with the lowest rates at baseline and the highest at 3 months (T1). It was found that patients more predisposed to developing higher levels of body image concerns presented physical markers (i.e., advanced cancer stage, lower physical functioning, higher disfigurement), psychosocial markers (i.e., higher depression, higher anxiety, and higher levels of coping with denial), and health disparities (i.e., younger age, female sex, French language, and marital status, with divorced and widowers most affected). (4) Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the multifaceted nature of body image concerns in patients with HNC and its biopsychosocial determinants. Clinicians should pay specific attention to these biopsychosocial markers in their clinics to predict high levels of body image concerns and tailor communication/refer for support accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Effects of Head and Neck Cancer)
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Brief Report
Upfront Next Generation Sequencing in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4428-4437; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070352 - 22 Jun 2022
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Abstract
In advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), patients with actionable genomic alterations may derive additional clinical benefit from targeted treatment compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Current guidelines recommend extensive testing with next generation sequencing (NGS) panels. We investigated the impact of using a targeted [...] Read more.
In advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), patients with actionable genomic alterations may derive additional clinical benefit from targeted treatment compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy. Current guidelines recommend extensive testing with next generation sequencing (NGS) panels. We investigated the impact of using a targeted NGS panel (TruSight Tumor 15, Illumina) as reflex testing for NSCLC samples at a single institution. Molecular analysis examined 15 genes for hotspot mutation variants, including AKT1, BRAF, EGFR, ERBB2, FOXL2, GNA11, GNAQ, KIT, KRAS, MET, NRAS, PDGFRA, PIK3CA, RET and TP53 genes. Between February 2017 and October 2020, 1460 samples from 1395 patients were analyzed. 1201 patients (86.1%) had at least one variant identified, most frequently TP53 (47.5%), KRAS (32.2%) or EGFR (24.2%). Among these, 994 patients (71.3%) had clinically relevant variants eligible for treatment with approved therapies or clinical trial enrollment. The incremental cost of NGS beyond single gene testing (EGFR, ALK) was CAD $233 per case. Reflex upfront NGS identified at least one actionable variant in more than 70% of patients with NSCLC, with minimal increase in testing cost. Implementation of NGS panels remains essential as treatment paradigms continue to evolve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Thoracic Oncology)
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Case Report
Isolated Peritoneal Metastasis of Prostate Cancer Presenting with Massive Ascites: A Case Report
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4423-4427; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070351 - 21 Jun 2022
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Abstract
The peritoneal carcinomatosis of prostate cancer without bone or other visceral organ involvement is extremely rare. We report a case of an isolated peritoneal metastasis of prostate cancer in a patient without other metastatic sites and a history of prostate surgery. A 63-year-old [...] Read more.
The peritoneal carcinomatosis of prostate cancer without bone or other visceral organ involvement is extremely rare. We report a case of an isolated peritoneal metastasis of prostate cancer in a patient without other metastatic sites and a history of prostate surgery. A 63-year-old male with locally advanced prostate cancer without known distant metastasis on androgen deprivation therapy presented with abdominal distension that had persisted for a month. Abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) showed gastric wall thickening and a moderate amount of ascites. The gastroscopy showed hyperemic mucosal patches on the antrum body. A cytological examination of the ascites fluid was negative for malignant cells. Diagnostic laparoscopy showed multiple nodules in the peritoneum. A biopsy was performed. Histological findings were compatible with metastatic carcinoma of the prostate, which was immunohistochemically positive for pan-cytokeratin, the androgen receptor, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The patient was then treated with abiraterone acetate. After 1 month of treatment, both ascites and the PSA value decreased. We describe an extremely rare case of isolated peritoneal carcinomatosis from prostate cancer without any organ metastasis or history of surgery. Clinicians should be aware of these very rare metastases of prostate cancer. Hormonal therapy may be helpful for such cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Prostate Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment)
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Systematic Review
Health-Related Quality of Life following Total Thyroidectomy and Lobectomy for Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma: A Systematic Review
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(7), 4386-4422; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29070350 - 21 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Health-related quality of life (HrQoL) is a major concern for patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). We aimed to systematically review the literature comparing HrQol following total thyroidectomy (TT) and hemithyroidectomy (HT) in DTC patients. A systematic review of publications indexed in Medline, [...] Read more.
Health-related quality of life (HrQoL) is a major concern for patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). We aimed to systematically review the literature comparing HrQol following total thyroidectomy (TT) and hemithyroidectomy (HT) in DTC patients. A systematic review of publications indexed in Medline, Embase, and EBM reviews—Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, which evaluated HrQoL following thyroid surgery for DTC, was conducted. Of 2507 identified records, 25 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Our results suggest that patients undergoing TT may suffer more impairment in physical and social HrQoL than patients undergoing HT. Psychological-related HrQoL and long-term global HrQoL are, however, equivalent in both groups, which highlights the multidimensional nature of HrQoL and the importance of a multitude of factors aside from treatment modalities and related morbidities, such as the experience of receiving a cancer diagnosis, the fear of cancer recurrence, and other psychosocial factors. Addressing postoperative HrQoL when discussing therapeutic options with patients is an integral part of patient-centered care and informed shared decision-making, and should be approached in a holistic manner, accounting for its physical, psychological, and social aspects. This review supplies evidence regarding HrQoL following thyroid surgery, which can be employed in such decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Effects of Head and Neck Cancer)
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