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Curr. Oncol., Volume 31, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 40 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Claudins, components of tight cell junctions in epithelial and endothelial cells, have emerged as potential therapeutic targets in oncology. Claudin 18.2 has gained traction in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GAC). In a recent phase III trial, zolbetuximab, an anti-claudin 18.2 monoclonal antibody, has been studied in combination with front-line therapies platinum and fluoropyrimidine therapies in advanced GAC. Patients in both studies were HER-2-negative and claudin-positive (≥75% of tumor cells showed moderate to strong membranous CLDN18 staining). The survival outcomes were improved with the addition of zolbetuximab. Here, we discuss the current potential of zolbetuximab in advanced GAC along with questions that still remain. View this paper
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16 pages, 1145 KiB  
Review
Vitiligo-like Lesions as a Predictor of Response to Immunotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Comprehensive Review and Case Series from a University Center
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1113-1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020083 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 453
Abstract
The reference to vitiligo-like lesions (VLLs) induced by immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) as a valuable predictive marker of treatment success of immunotherapy with ICIs in melanoma has been mentioned in the literature. Its role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-treated patients remains a [...] Read more.
The reference to vitiligo-like lesions (VLLs) induced by immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) as a valuable predictive marker of treatment success of immunotherapy with ICIs in melanoma has been mentioned in the literature. Its role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-treated patients remains a poorly recognized phenomenon with uncertain significance regarding its predictive value. A retrospective, observational, single-center report was performed, with descriptive analysis of clinicopathological and treatment characteristics of patients with stage IV NSCLC who developed ICI-induced VLL between January 2018 and December 2022, contextualized in a comprehensive review of the literature and reported cases regarding this phenomenon. During the first 5 years’ experience of ICI use in stage IV NSCLC treatment, three cases of ICI-induced VLLs were diagnosed. In line with the previous reports, two of the three presented cases exhibited treatment response and favorable prognosis. The recognition and understanding of the pathophysiological processes underlying ICI-induced VLLs may represent a promising opportunity to identify a predictive marker of tumor response to ICIs, with impact in treatment selection and patient management. It also may contribute to the recognition of new patterns of molecular expression that could lead to improvements in therapeutic development. Full article
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11 pages, 857 KiB  
Article
Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of Salivary Substitute with Enzymatic System for Xerostomia in Patients Irradiated in Head and Neck Region
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1102-1112; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020082 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 465
Abstract
This study aims to compare whether the use of a salivary substitute including an enzymatic system clinically reduces the intensity of xerostomia, as well as exploring the impact that this has on the quality of life, in patients who had received radiotherapy in [...] Read more.
This study aims to compare whether the use of a salivary substitute including an enzymatic system clinically reduces the intensity of xerostomia, as well as exploring the impact that this has on the quality of life, in patients who had received radiotherapy in the head and neck (HNC) region. Forty patients who had completed radiotherapy treatment within 6 months to 1 year previously were allocated into an Enzymatic Spray group (n = 21) or a Placebo arm (n = 19). It should be noted that two patients in the Placebo arm declined to participate during phase 2 of the study. All patients were randomized and used both products three times a day for 30 days. For analysis, xerostomia grade, unstimulated (UWS) and stimulated (SWS) salivary flow rate, and quality of life through the University of Washington Quality of Life Questionnaire validated in Portuguese (UW-QoL) were assessed in two phases: Phase 1 (before the use of the products) and Phase 2 (after 30 days of using the products). All clinical data were collected from medical records. Analyzing the salivary substitute with the enzymatic system, an improvement in xerostomia complaints was observed 30 days after using the product; however, this difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Regarding quality of life, no significant differences were observed in relation to the UW-QoL and saliva domain between the groups in the two phases of the study (p > 0.05). The salivary substitute with the enzymatic system may be effective in reducing radio-induced xerostomia symptoms; however, further research is necessary to evaluate the efficacy of this salivary substitute on oral health. Full article
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11 pages, 231 KiB  
Article
Learnings from Racialized Adolescents and Young Adults with Lived Experiences of Cancer: “It’s Okay to Critique the System That Claims to Save Us”
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1091-1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020081 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Interest in AYA cancer care has increased globally over the recent past; however, most of this work disproportionately represents white, heterosexual, middle-income, educated, and able-bodied people. There is recognition in the literature that cancer care systems are not structured nor designed to adequately [...] Read more.
Interest in AYA cancer care has increased globally over the recent past; however, most of this work disproportionately represents white, heterosexual, middle-income, educated, and able-bodied people. There is recognition in the literature that cancer care systems are not structured nor designed to adequately serve people of colour or other equity-denied groups, and the structural racism in the system prevents prevention, treatment, and delivery of care. This work seeks to examine structural racism and the ways that it permeates into the lived experiences of AYAs in their cancer care. This article represents the first phase of an 18-month, patient-oriented, Participatory Action Research project focused on cancer care for racialized AYAs that is situated within a broader program of research focused on transforming cancer care for AYAs. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 18 AYAs who self-identify as racialized, have lived experiences with cancer, and have received treatment in Canada. Following participant review of their transcripts, the transcripts were de-identified, and then coded by three separate authors. Five main themes were identified using thematic analysis, including the need to feel supported through experiences with (in)fertility, be heard and not dismissed, advocate for self and have others advocate for you, be in community, and resist compliance. Full article
12 pages, 402 KiB  
Review
Liver Transplantation for Unresectable Colorectal Liver Metastasis: Perspective and Review of Current Literature
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1079-1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020080 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
The treatment of unresectable colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM) has previously been limited to palliative chemotherapy. Traditionally, the role of liver transplant has not been associated with sufficient survival to justify a patient undergoing a major operation with the associated requirement for postoperative immunosuppression. [...] Read more.
The treatment of unresectable colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM) has previously been limited to palliative chemotherapy. Traditionally, the role of liver transplant has not been associated with sufficient survival to justify a patient undergoing a major operation with the associated requirement for postoperative immunosuppression. With improvements in chemotherapy options, a certain subset of patients can experience stable disease for years, which has prompted investigation into the role of liver transplant in these patients. Several recent studies have shown promising results in well-selected patients, with posttransplant survival approaching that of liver transplant recipients for other diseases. Here, we present a review of the data and current protocols for liver transplant for unresectable CRLM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Transplantation for Cancer: The Future of Transplant Oncology)
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16 pages, 934 KiB  
Review
BCG and Alternative Therapies to BCG Therapy for Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1063-1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020079 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Bladder cancer is a heterogeneous disease. Treatment decisions are mostly decided based on disease stage (non-muscle invasive or muscle invasive). Patients with muscle-invasive disease will be offered a radical treatment combined with systemic therapy, while in those with non-muscle-invasive disease, an attempt to [...] Read more.
Bladder cancer is a heterogeneous disease. Treatment decisions are mostly decided based on disease stage (non-muscle invasive or muscle invasive). Patients with muscle-invasive disease will be offered a radical treatment combined with systemic therapy, while in those with non-muscle-invasive disease, an attempt to resect the tumor endoscopically will usually be followed by different intravesical instillations. The goal of intravesical therapy is to decrease the recurrence and/or progression of the tumor. In the current landscape of bladder cancer treatment, BCG is given intravesically to induce an inflammatory response and recruit immune cells to attack the malignant cells and induce immune memory. While the response to BCG treatment has changed the course of bladder cancer management and spared many “bladders”, some patients may develop BCG-unresponsive disease, leaving radical surgery as the best choice of curative treatment. As a result, a lot of effort has been put into identifying novel therapies like systemic pembrolizumab and Nadofaragene-Firadenovac to continue sparing bladders if BCG is ineffective. Moreover, recent logistic issues with BCG production caused a worldwide BCG shortage, re-sparking interest in alternative BCG treatments including mitomycin C, sequential gemcitabine with docetaxel, and others. This review encompasses both the historic and current role of BCG in the treatment of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, revisiting BCG alternative therapies and reviewing the novel therapeutics that were approved for the BCG-unresponsive stage or are under active investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Future Bladder Cancer Landscape)
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16 pages, 1516 KiB  
Review
Contemporary Systemic Therapy Intensification for Prostate Cancer: A Review for General Practitioners in Oncology
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1047-1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020078 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Prostate cancer accounts for a significant proportion of cancer diagnoses in Canadian men. Over the past decade, the therapeutic landscape for the management of metastatic prostate cancer has undergone rapid changes. Novel strategies use hormonal agents, chemotherapy, homologous recombination repair inhibitors, and radioligand [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer accounts for a significant proportion of cancer diagnoses in Canadian men. Over the past decade, the therapeutic landscape for the management of metastatic prostate cancer has undergone rapid changes. Novel strategies use hormonal agents, chemotherapy, homologous recombination repair inhibitors, and radioligand therapy or combination strategies in addition to androgen deprivation therapy. In this review, we summarize the available data addressing key therapeutic areas along the disease continuum and focus on practical aspects for general practitioners in oncology managing patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Full article
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12 pages, 1086 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Group Exercise Intervention on Quality of Life and Physical Parameters in Patients with Childhood Cancer: A Systematic Review
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1035-1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020077 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Background: Although the survival rates of childhood cancer are increasing, children diagnosed as having cancer experience psychological and physical problems and a declining quality of life (QOL). Methods: A systematic review of PubMed databases was conducted up to September 2023 to identify studies [...] Read more.
Background: Although the survival rates of childhood cancer are increasing, children diagnosed as having cancer experience psychological and physical problems and a declining quality of life (QOL). Methods: A systematic review of PubMed databases was conducted up to September 2023 to identify studies reporting the effects of group exercise intervention in children with cancer. The inclusion criteria were pre-specified, including children aged ≤19 years old who received group exercise intervention and interventional studies written in English. Studies involving non-exercise intervention or non-group intervention were excluded. Results: Five studies were included in the present review. In three studies, QOL and physical parameters were improved after group exercise intervention, and in two studies, only physical parameters were improved. Improvements in QOL were achieved through psychosocial variables, improved scores of subscales of pain and hurt, nausea, and procedure-related anxiety, and reduced cancer-related fatigue. All studies had high numbers of participants who completed the intervention. However, all studies showed a high risk of bias regarding the selection of the reported results, and most studies showed a high risk of bias regarding deviations from the intended intervention and outcome measurement. Conclusion: The reviewed studies showed that group exercise intervention for children with cancer could improve their QOL and/or physical parameters. Full article
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7 pages, 535 KiB  
Communication
Involvement of Palliative Care in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Patients and Associations with Survival and End-of-Life Outcomes
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 1028-1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020076 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive, and incurable cancer with a poor prognosis and high symptom burden. For these patients, little is known about the impact of palliative care consultation on outcomes such as mortality, hospital admissions, or emergency department visits. The [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive, and incurable cancer with a poor prognosis and high symptom burden. For these patients, little is known about the impact of palliative care consultation on outcomes such as mortality, hospital admissions, or emergency department visits. The aim of this study is to determine if referral to supportive and palliative care in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma is associated with survival and decreased hospital admissions and emergency department visits. This is a retrospective chart review. Study participants include all malignant pleural mesothelioma patients seen at The Ottawa Hospital—an acute care tertiary center—between January 2002 and March 2019. In total, 223 patients were included in the study. The mean age at diagnosis was 72.4 years and 82.5% were male. Of the patients diagnosed between 2002 and 2010, only 11 (9.6%) were referred to palliative care. By comparison, of those diagnosed between 2011 and 2019, 49 (45.4%) were referred to palliative care. Median time from diagnosis to referral was 4.1 months. There was no significant difference in the median survival of patients referred for palliative care compared to those who did not receive palliative care (p = 0.46). We found no association between receiving palliative care and the mean number of hospital admissions (1.04 vs. 0.91) from diagnosis to death, and an increase in mean number of emergency department visits in the palliative care group (2.30 vs. 1.18). Although there was increased utilization of palliative care services, more than half of the MPM patients did not receive palliative care despite their limited survival. There was an increase in emergency department visits in the palliative care group; this may represent an increase in the symptom burden (i.e., indication bias) in those referred to palliative care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Palliative Care and Supportive Medicine in Cancer)
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30 pages, 793 KiB  
Review
Insulin Resistance: The Increased Risk of Cancers
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 998-1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020075 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Insulin resistance, also known as impaired insulin sensitivity, is the result of a decreased reaction of insulin signaling to blood glucose levels. This state is observed when muscle cells, adipose tissue, and liver cells, improperly respond to a particular concentration of insulin. Insulin [...] Read more.
Insulin resistance, also known as impaired insulin sensitivity, is the result of a decreased reaction of insulin signaling to blood glucose levels. This state is observed when muscle cells, adipose tissue, and liver cells, improperly respond to a particular concentration of insulin. Insulin resistance and related increased plasma insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia) may cause metabolic impairments, which are pathological states observed in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Observations of cancer patients confirm that hyperinsulinemia is a major factor influencing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Obesity and diabetes have been reported as risks of the initiation, progression, and metastasis of several cancers. However, both of the aforementioned pathologies may independently and additionally increase the cancer risk. The state of metabolic disorders observed in cancer patients is associated with poor outcomes of cancer treatment. For example, patients suffering from metabolic disorders have higher cancer recurrence rates and their overall survival is reduced. In these associations between insulin resistance and cancer risk, an overview of the various pathogenic mechanisms that play a role in the development of cancer is discussed. Full article
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11 pages, 223 KiB  
Review
The Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy before Osimertinib in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutant Resected Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Communicating It to Patients
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 987-997; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020074 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Patients with radically resected stage II and III NSCLC are exposed to a high risk of disease recurrence. Thus, adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy is routinely offered to this patient population, although it results in an absolute increase in 5-year survival rate of only 4%. [...] Read more.
Patients with radically resected stage II and III NSCLC are exposed to a high risk of disease recurrence. Thus, adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy is routinely offered to this patient population, although it results in an absolute increase in 5-year survival rate of only 4%. This modest improvement in survival rate makes it challenging to communicate to our patients about the decision to be treated with adjuvant chemotherapy or not. Nowadays, the decision to administer adjuvant chemotherapy or not in resected NSCLC is almost never completely shared with patients because its role is very difficult to explain. The risk–benefit ratio becomes clearly unfavourable in elderly and unfit patients. Recently, the phase III ADAURA trial demonstrated a clinically significant disease-free survival and overall survival benefit with adjuvant osimertinib (with or without adjuvant chemotherapy) versus a placebo in EGFR-mutated stage IB-IIIA resected NSCLC. In this patient population, the decision to administer chemotherapy or not is much more challenging given the great benefit offered by osimertinib alone. Thus, it is time now to improve our communication tools to explain the role of adjuvant chemotherapy to our patients, especially in the EGFR-mutated population, in order to undertake real shared decision making in a clinical context in which the opportunity to administer toxic chemotherapy is debatable and subjective. Full article
12 pages, 224 KiB  
Article
Personalizing the Treatment of Women with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Using the DCIS Score: A Qualitative Study on Score Use
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 975-986; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020073 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Background: A twelve-gene molecular expression assay (DCIS score) may help guide radiation oncology treatment under specific circumstances. We undertook a study to examine radiation oncologist (RO), surgeon, and decision maker views on implementing the DCIS score in practice for women with low-risk DCIS. [...] Read more.
Background: A twelve-gene molecular expression assay (DCIS score) may help guide radiation oncology treatment under specific circumstances. We undertook a study to examine radiation oncologist (RO), surgeon, and decision maker views on implementing the DCIS score in practice for women with low-risk DCIS. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study involving telephone interviews that were audio-recorded and transcribed. Two researchers conducted a thematic analysis of transcripts. Results: Twenty-eight individuals (ROs, breast cancer surgeons, and cancer policy decision makers) were invited to participate; 22 out of the 28 people (79%) agreed. The final sample included 20 participants: 11 of 13 (85%) ROs, 5 of 7 (71%) surgeons, and 4 of 8 (50%) decision makers. Most ROs expressed concerns about overtreatment but could not predict with certainty which low-risk patients could safely avoid radiation. The DCIS score was viewed as contributing valuable personalized risk information as part of treatment decision making that included clinicopathological factors and women’s preferences. Future implementation would require guidelines with input from the oncology team. Conclusions: ROs had concerns about the overtreatment of women with DCIS, but lacked the tools to reliably predict which women could safely avoid radiation. By providing oncologists and women with personalized tumor information, the DCIS score was an important component of treatment decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Breast Cancer)
13 pages, 2271 KiB  
Article
Electromagnetic Transmitter-Based Prostate Gating for Dose-Escalated Linac-Based Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy: An Evaluation of Intrafraction Motion
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 962-974; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020072 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
Background: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is as a standard treatment for prostate cancer (PCa). Tight margins and high dose gradients are needed, and the precise localization of the target is mandatory. Our retrospective study reports our experience regarding the evaluation of intrafraction prostate [...] Read more.
Background: Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) is as a standard treatment for prostate cancer (PCa). Tight margins and high dose gradients are needed, and the precise localization of the target is mandatory. Our retrospective study reports our experience regarding the evaluation of intrafraction prostate motion during LINAC-based SBRT evaluated with a novel electromagnetic (EM) tracking device. This device consists of an integrated Foley catheter with a transmitter connected to a receiver placed on the treatment table. Methods: We analyzed 31 patients who received LINAC-based SBRT using flattening filter-free (FFF) volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). The patients were scheduled to be treated for primary (n = 27) or an intraprostatic recurrent PCa (n = 4). A simulation CT scan was conducted while the patients had a filled bladder (100–150 cc) and an empty rectum, and an EM tracking device was used. The same rectal and bladder conditions were employed during the treatment. The patients received 36.25 Gy delivered over five consecutive fractions on the whole prostate and 40 Gy on the nodule(s) visible via MRI, both delivered with a Simultaneous Integrated Boost approach. The CTV-to-PTV margin was 2 mm for both the identified treatment volumes. Patient positioning was verified with XVI ConeBeam-CT (CBCT) matching before each fraction. When the signals exceeded a 2 mm threshold in any of the three spatial directions, the treatment was manually interrupted. A new XVI CBCT was performed if this offset lasted >20 s. Results: We analyzed data about 155 fractions. The median and mean treatment times, calculated per fraction, were 10 m31 s and 12 m44 s (range: 6 m36 s–65 m28 s), and 95% of the fractions were delivered with a maximum time of 27 m48 s. During treatment delivery, the mean and median number of XVI CBCT operations realized during the treatment were 2 and 1 (range: 0–11). During the treatment, the prostate was outside the CTV-to-PTV margin (2 mm), thus necessitating the stoppage of the delivery +/− a reacquisition of the XVI CBCT for 11.2%, 8.9%, and 3.9% of the delivery time in the vertical, longitudinal, and lateral direction, respectively. Conclusions: We easily integrated an EM-transmitter-based gating for prostate LINAC-based SBRT into our normal daily workflow. Using this system, a 2 mm CTV-to-PTV margin could be safely applied. A small number of fractions showed a motion exceeding the predefined 2 mm threshold, which would have otherwise gone undetected without intrafraction motion management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer)
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10 pages, 831 KiB  
Article
Virtual Care for Patients with Advanced Well Differentiated Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor (GEP-NET)
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 952-961; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020071 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedent shift towards virtual cancer care, including the care of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of virtual care for GEP-NETs during the COVID-19 pandemic at a high-volume [...] Read more.
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedent shift towards virtual cancer care, including the care of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of virtual care for GEP-NETs during the COVID-19 pandemic at a high-volume academic cancer center. Methods: This retrospective, observational study performed at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center in Canada evaluated adult patients with GEP-NETs seen in consultation by medical oncology between 1 June 2019 and 31 December 2022. Demographic, clinicopathologic, cancer treatment and visit data were collected. Univariable and multivariable analyses assessed the relationship between patient characteristics and virtual care use. Results: A total of 103 patients with well-differentiated GEP-NETS were included. Overall, 18/103 (17.5%) consults and 594/781 (76.1%) follow-ups were performed virtually. All consultation visits returned to in-person assessment by 2022, while 67.0% and 41.4% follow-ups remained virtual in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The year of follow-up, sex, employment and Charlston comorbidity index were associated with virtual follow-up use in the multivariable analysis. Discussion: Virtual care remained a predominant method of GEP-NET patient assessment in the peri-pandemic period. These results highlight an opportunity to improve access to subspecialty neuroendocrine cancer care through the continued use of virtual care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastrointestinal Oncology)
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11 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma: Differences between Lesions in Incidental and Nonincidental Settings—Considerations on These Clinical Entities and Personal Experience
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 941-951; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020070 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 467
Abstract
Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) represents 35–40% of all papillary cancers; it is defined as a nodule ≤ 10 mm at the time of histological diagnosis. The clinical significance of PTMC is still controversial, and it may be discovered in two settings: incidental PTMC [...] Read more.
Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) represents 35–40% of all papillary cancers; it is defined as a nodule ≤ 10 mm at the time of histological diagnosis. The clinical significance of PTMC is still controversial, and it may be discovered in two settings: incidental PTMC (iPTMC), in which it is identified postoperatively upon histological examination of thyroid specimens following thyroid surgery for benign disease, and nonincidental PTMC (niPTMC), in which it is diagnosed before surgery. While iPTMC appears to be related to mild behavior and favorable clinical outcomes, niPTMC may exhibit markers of aggressiveness. We retrospectively review our experience, selecting 54 PTMCs: 28 classified as niPTMC (52%) and 26 classified as iPTMC (48%). Patients with niPTMC showed significant differences, such as younger age at diagnosis (p < 0.001); a lower male/female ratio (p < 0.01); a larger mean nodule diameter (p < 0.001); and a higher rate of aggressive pathological findings, such as multifocality, capsular invasion and/or lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.035). Other differences found in the niPTMC subgroup included a higher preoperative serum TSH level, higher hospital morbidity and a greater need for postoperative iodine ablation therapy (p < 0.05), while disease-free long-term survival did not differ between subgroups (p = 0.331) after a mean follow-up (FU) of 87 months, with one nodal recurrence among niPTMCs. The differences between iPTMC and niPTMC were consistent: patients operated on for total thyroidectomy and showing iPTMC can be considered healed after surgery, and follow-up should be designed to properly calibrate hormonal supplementation; conversely, niPTMC may sometimes exhibit aggressive behavior, and so the FU regimen should be closer and aimed at early detection of cancer recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Head and Neck Oncology)
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8 pages, 332 KiB  
Communication
Ablative or Surgical Treatment for Small Renal Masses (T1a): A Single-Center Comparison of Perioperative Morbidity and Complications
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 933-940; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020069 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 503
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the treatment safety of thermal ablation compared to surgical treatment of T1a tumors (small renal masses) at a high-volume center. We conducted an observational single-center study based on data collected form the National Swedish Kidney [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the treatment safety of thermal ablation compared to surgical treatment of T1a tumors (small renal masses) at a high-volume center. We conducted an observational single-center study based on data collected form the National Swedish Kidney Cancer Register (NSKCR) between 2015 and 2021. In total, 444 treatments of T1a tumors were included. Patients underwent surgery (partial or total nephrectomy) or ablative treatment—radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or microwave ablation (MWA). Patient characteristics were retrieved from patient records, and tumor complexity was estimated from pre-interventional CT scans. The odds ratio (OR) of suffering from a severe surgical complication following ablative treatment was estimated using a logistic regression model adjusted for age, BMI, ASA physical status classification, smoking status and RENAL nephrometry score. The frequency of severe surgical complications was 6.3% (16/256 treatments) after surgical intervention and 2.1% (4/188 treatments) following ablative treatment. Our primary hypothesis that ablative treatment is associated with a lower risk of severe surgical complications is supported by the results (OR 0.39; 0.19–0.79; p = 0.013). When adjusting for age, smoking status, ASA score, BMI score and RENAL nephrometry score, we see an even greater difference between the two groups (OR 0.34; 0.17–0.68; p = 0.002). Our study was limited by the differences in patient and tumor characteristics between the two compared groups and the study design. If oncological outcomes are found to be comparable, ablative treatment should be considered as a first-line treatment for all small renal masses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgical Oncology)
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15 pages, 520 KiB  
Review
Interventions to Mitigate Financial Toxicity in Adult Patients with Cancer in the United States: A Scoping Review
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 918-932; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020068 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Financial toxicity adversely affects quality of life and treatment outcomes for patients with cancer. This scoping review examined interventions aimed at mitigating financial toxicity in adult patients with cancer and their effectiveness. We utilized five bibliographical databases to identify studies that met our [...] Read more.
Financial toxicity adversely affects quality of life and treatment outcomes for patients with cancer. This scoping review examined interventions aimed at mitigating financial toxicity in adult patients with cancer and their effectiveness. We utilized five bibliographical databases to identify studies that met our inclusion criteria. The review included studies conducted among adult patients with cancer in the United States and published in English between January 2011 to March 2023. The review identified eight studies that met the inclusion criteria. Each of the studies discussed the implementation of interventions at the patient/provider and/or health system level. Collectively, the findings from this scoping review highlight both the limited number of published studies that are aimed at mitigating financial toxicity and the need to create and assess interventions that directly impact financial toxicity in demographically diverse populations of adult patients with cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment and Care)
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18 pages, 2397 KiB  
Review
Biopsy Techniques for Musculoskeletal Tumors: Basic Principles and Specialized Techniques
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 900-917; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020067 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Biopsy is a pivotal component in the diagnostic process of bone and soft tissue tumors. The objective is to obtain adequate tissue without compromising local tumor dissemination and the patient’s survival. This review explores contemporary principles and practices in musculoskeletal biopsies, emphasizing the [...] Read more.
Biopsy is a pivotal component in the diagnostic process of bone and soft tissue tumors. The objective is to obtain adequate tissue without compromising local tumor dissemination and the patient’s survival. This review explores contemporary principles and practices in musculoskeletal biopsies, emphasizing the critical role of diagnostic accuracy while also delving into the evolving landscape of liquid biopsies as a promising alternative in the field. A thorough literature search was done in PubMed and Google Scholar as well as in physical books in libraries to summarize the available biopsy techniques for musculoskeletal tumors, discuss the available methods, risk factors, and complications, and to emphasize the challenges related to biopsies in oncology. Research articles that studied the basic principles and specialized techniques of biopsy techniques in tumor patients were deemed eligible. Their advantages and disadvantages, technical and pathophysiological mechanisms, and possible risks and complications were reviewed, summarized, and discussed. An inadequately executed biopsy may hinder diagnosis and subsequently impact treatment outcomes. All lesions should be approached with a presumption of malignancy until proven otherwise. Liquid biopsies have emerged as a potent non-invasive tool for analyzing tumor phenotype, progression, and drug resistance and guiding treatment decisions in bone sarcomas and metastases. Despite advancements, several barriers remain in biopsies, including challenges related to costs, scalability, reproducibility, and isolation methods. It is paramount that orthopedic oncologists work together with radiologists and pathologists to enhance diagnosis, patient outcomes, and healthcare costs. Full article
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15 pages, 710 KiB  
Article
Expectations and Experiences of Participating in a Supervised and Home-Based Physical Exercise Intervention in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer during Chemoradiotherapy: A Qualitative Study
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 885-899; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020066 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 747
Abstract
(1) Background: Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for head and neck cancer (HNC) is associated with severe toxicity resulting in fatigue and weight loss, including loss of skeletal muscle mass. Exercise interventions might positively affect physical fitness and quality of life. Sufficient adherence and compliance rates [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for head and neck cancer (HNC) is associated with severe toxicity resulting in fatigue and weight loss, including loss of skeletal muscle mass. Exercise interventions might positively affect physical fitness and quality of life. Sufficient adherence and compliance rates are necessary for optimal effects. This study aimed to gain insight into expectations and experiences and factors influencing adherence, retention and compliance of HNC patients participating in exercise intervention during CRT. (2) Methods: Consecutive participants were invited for semi-structured interviews, conducted pre- and post-intervention. A deductive approach was used to identify themes and factors influencing adherence, retention and compliance. (3) Results: Thematic saturation was reached after interviewing 14 patients pre-intervention. Five themes were identified: planning and time management, treatment toxicity, motivation to exercise, exercise intervention and supervision by a physiotherapist. The intensity of the treatment schedule and treatment toxicity were important barriers. Facilitators mentioned were physical and emotional benefits, social support as well as the simplicity and home-based setting of the intervention. (4) Conclusions: A personalised approach, considering the individual facilitators and barriers of HNC patients, is important to increase adherence, retention and compliance to exercise intervention and to reap the optimal effects of the program. Full article
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13 pages, 1024 KiB  
Systematic Review
Quality of Life Following the Surgical Management of Gastric Cancer Using Patient-Reported Outcomes: A Systematic Review
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 872-884; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020065 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Introduction: Surgical management of gastric adenocarcinoma can have a drastic impact on a patient’s quality of life (QoL). There is high variability among surgeons’ preferences for the type of resection and reconstructive method. Peri-operative and cancer-specific outcomes remain equivalent between the different approaches. [...] Read more.
Introduction: Surgical management of gastric adenocarcinoma can have a drastic impact on a patient’s quality of life (QoL). There is high variability among surgeons’ preferences for the type of resection and reconstructive method. Peri-operative and cancer-specific outcomes remain equivalent between the different approaches. Therefore, postoperative quality of life can be viewed as a deciding factor for the surgical approach. The goal of this study was to interrogate patient QoL using patient-reported outcomes (PROs) following gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Methods: This systematic review was registered at Prospero and followed PRISMA guidelines. Medline, Embase, and Scopus were used to perform a literature search on 18 January 2020. A set of selection criteria and the data extraction sheet were predefined. Covidence (Melbourne, Australia) software was used; two reviewers (P.C.V. and E.J.) independently reviewed the articles, and a third resolved conflicts (A.B.F.). Results: The search yielded 1446 studies; 308 articles underwent full-text review. Ultimately, 28 studies were included for qualitative analysis, including 4630 patients. Significant heterogeneity existed between the studies. Geography was predominately East Asian (22/28 articles). While all aspects of quality of life were found to be affected by a gastrectomy, most functional or symptom-specific measures reached baseline by 6–12 months. The most significant ongoing symptoms were reflux, diarrhoea, and nausea/vomiting. Discussion: Generally, patients who undergo a gastrectomy return to baseline QoL by one year, regardless of the type of surgery or reconstruction. A subtotal distal gastrectomy is preferred when proper oncologic margins can be obtained. Additionally, no one form of reconstruction following gastrectomy is statistically preferred over another. However, for subtotal distal gastrectomy, there was a trend toward Roux-en-Y reconstruction as superior to abating reflux. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgical Oncology)
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10 pages, 770 KiB  
Article
Prognostic Impact of Histologic Subtype and Divergent Differentiation in Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma Treated with Enfortumab Vedotin: A Multicenter Retrospective Study
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 862-871; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020064 - 03 Feb 2024
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Subtype of urothelial carcinoma (SUC), defined here as urothelial carcinoma with any histologic subtype or divergent differentiation, is a clinically aggressive disease. However, the efficacy of enfortumab vedotin (EV) against SUC remains unclear. Hence, this study aimed to assess the oncological outcomes of [...] Read more.
Subtype of urothelial carcinoma (SUC), defined here as urothelial carcinoma with any histologic subtype or divergent differentiation, is a clinically aggressive disease. However, the efficacy of enfortumab vedotin (EV) against SUC remains unclear. Hence, this study aimed to assess the oncological outcomes of patients with SUC treated with EV for metastatic disease. We retrospectively evaluated consecutive patients with advanced lower and upper urinary tract cancer who received EV after platinum-based chemotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade therapy at six institutions. The objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were compared between patients with pure urothelial carcinoma (PUC) and those with SUC. We identified 44 and 18 patients with PUC and SUC, respectively. Squamous differentiation was the most common subtype element, followed by glandular differentiation and sarcomatoid subtype. Although patients with SUC had a comparable ORR to those with PUC, the duration of response for SUC was short. Patients with SUC had poorer PFS than those with PUC; however, no significant difference was observed in OS. Multivariate analysis revealed that SUC was significantly associated with shorter PFS. Although the response of metastatic SUC to EV was similar to that of PUC, SUC showed faster progression than PUC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Recent Advances in Anticancer Strategies)
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13 pages, 28433 KiB  
Brief Report
Geotemporal Fluorophore Biodistribution Mapping of Colorectal Cancer: Micro and Macroscopic Insights
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 849-861; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020063 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 568
Abstract
Fluorescence-guided oncology promises to improve both the detection and treatment of malignancy. We sought to investigate the temporal distribution of indocyanine green (ICG), an exogenous fluorophore in human colorectal cancer. This analysis aims to enhance our understanding of ICG’s effectiveness in current tumour [...] Read more.
Fluorescence-guided oncology promises to improve both the detection and treatment of malignancy. We sought to investigate the temporal distribution of indocyanine green (ICG), an exogenous fluorophore in human colorectal cancer. This analysis aims to enhance our understanding of ICG’s effectiveness in current tumour detection and inform potential future diagnostic and therapeutic enhancements. Methods: Fifty consenting patients undergoing treatment for suspected/confirmed colorectal neoplasia provided near infrared (NIR) video and imagery of transanally recorded and ex vivo resected rectal lesions following intravenous ICG administration (0.25 mg/kg), with a subgroup providing tissue samples for microscopic (including near infrared) analysis. Computer vision techniques detailed macroscopic ‘early’ (<15 min post ICG administration) and ‘late’ (>2 h) tissue fluorescence appearances from surgical imagery with digital NIR scanning (Licor, Lincoln, NE, USA) and from microscopic analysis (Nikon, Tokyo, Japan) undertaken by a consultant pathologist detailing tissue-level fluorescence distribution over the same time. Results: Significant intra-tumoural fluorescence heterogeneity was seen ‘early’ in malignant versus benign lesions. In all ‘early’ samples, fluorescence was predominantly within the tissue stroma, with uptake within plasma cells, blood vessels and lymphatics, but not within malignant or healthy glands. At ‘late’ stage observation, fluorescence was visualised non-uniformly within the intracellular cytoplasm of malignant tissue but not retained in benign glands. Fluorescence also accumulated within any present peritumoural inflammatory tissue. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the time course diffusion patterns of ICG through both benign and malignant tumours in vivo in human patients at both macroscopic and microscopic levels, demonstrating important cellular drivers and features of geolocalisation and how they differ longitudinally after exposure to ICG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgical Oncology)
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10 pages, 1083 KiB  
Article
Quality of Life Longitudinal Evaluation in Prostate Cancer Patients from Radiotherapy Start to 5 Years after IMRT-IGRT
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 839-848; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020062 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 674
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to study the evolution of quality of life (QoL) in the first 5 years following Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer (PCa) and to determine possible associations with clinical/treatment data. Material and methods: Patients were [...] Read more.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to study the evolution of quality of life (QoL) in the first 5 years following Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer (PCa) and to determine possible associations with clinical/treatment data. Material and methods: Patients were enrolled in a prospective multicentre observational trial in 2010-2014 and treated with conventional (74–80 Gy, 1.8–2 Gy/fr) or moderately hypofractionated IMRT (65–75.2 Gy, 2.2–2.7 Gy/fr). QoL was evaluated by means of EORTC QLQ-C30 at baseline, at radiation therapy (RT) end, and every 6 months up to 5 years after IMRT end. Fourteen QoL dimensions were investigated separately. The longitudinal evaluation of QoL was analysed by means of Analysis of variances (ANOVA) for multiple measures. Results: A total of 391 patients with complete sets of questionnaires across 5 years were available. The longitudinal analysis showed a trend toward the significant worsening of QoL at RT end for global health, physical and role functioning, fatigue, appetite loss, diarrhoea, and pain. QoL worsening was recovered within 6 months from RT end, with the only exception being physical functioning. Based on ANOVA, the most impaired time point was RT end. QoL dimension analysis at this time indicated that acute Grade ≥ 2 gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity significantly impacted global health, physical and role functioning, fatigue, appetite loss, diarrhoea, and pain. Acute Grade ≥ 2 genitourinary (GU) toxicity resulted in lower role functioning and higher pain. Prophylactic lymph-nodal irradiation (WPRT) resulted in significantly lower QoL for global health, fatigue, appetite loss, and diarrhoea; lower pain with the use of neoadjuvant/concomitant hormonal therapy; and lower fatigue with the use of an anti-androgen. Conclusions: In this prospective, longitudinal, observational study, high radiation IMRT doses delivered for PCa led to a temporary worsening of QoL, which tended to be completely resolved at six months. Such transient worsening was mostly associated with acute GI/GU toxicity, WPRT, and higher prescription doses. Full article
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11 pages, 527 KiB  
Article
Acute Diabetes-Related Complications in Patients Receiving Chemoradiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 828-838; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020061 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 816
Abstract
Patients with cancer and diabetes face unique challenges. Limited data are available on diabetes management in patients undergoing concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), a curative intent anticancer therapy commonly associated with glucocorticoid administration, weight fluctuations and enteral feeds. This retrospective case–control study examined the real-world [...] Read more.
Patients with cancer and diabetes face unique challenges. Limited data are available on diabetes management in patients undergoing concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), a curative intent anticancer therapy commonly associated with glucocorticoid administration, weight fluctuations and enteral feeds. This retrospective case–control study examined the real-world incidence of acute diabetes-related complications in patients with head and neck cancer receiving CCRT, along with the impact of diabetes on CCRT tolerance and outcomes. Methods: Consecutive patients with head and neck squamous cell or nasopharyngeal cancer who underwent definitive or adjuvant CCRT between 2010 and 2019 at two large cancer centers in Australia were included. Clinicopathological characteristics, treatment complications and outcomes were collected from medical records. Results: Of 282 patients who received CCRT, 29 (10.3%) had pre-existing type 2 diabetes. None had type 1 diabetes. The majority (74.5%) required enteral feeding. A higher proportion of patients with diabetes required admission to a high-dependency or intensive care unit (17.2 versus 4.0%, p = 0.003). This difference was driven by the group who required insulin at baseline (n = 5), of which four (80.0%) were admitted to a high-dependency unit with diabetes-related complications, and three (60.0%) required omission of at least one cycle of chemotherapy. Conclusions: Patients with diabetes requiring insulin have a high risk of acute life-threatening diabetes-related complications while receiving CCRT. We recommend multidisciplinary management involving a diabetes specialist, educator, dietitian, and pharmacist, in collaboration with the cancer care team, to better avoid these complications. Full article
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10 pages, 1617 KiB  
Systematic Review
Diagnostic Accuracy of Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS) in the Detection of Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review and Diagnostic Meta-Analysis
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 818-827; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020060 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 692
Abstract
Background: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a diagnostic tool that is gaining popularity for its ability to improve overall diagnostic accuracy in bladder cancer (BC) staging. Our aim is to determine the cumulative diagnostic performance of CEUS in predicting preoperative muscle invasiveness using a [...] Read more.
Background: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a diagnostic tool that is gaining popularity for its ability to improve overall diagnostic accuracy in bladder cancer (BC) staging. Our aim is to determine the cumulative diagnostic performance of CEUS in predicting preoperative muscle invasiveness using a comprehensive systematic review and pooled meta-analysis. Methods: A systematic review until October 2023 was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Patients with BC suspicion were offered CEUS before the transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT). The diagnostic performance of CEUS was evaluated based on non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) vs. muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) confirmed at the final histopathological examination after TURBT. The outcomes were determined through pooled sensitivity, specificity, pooled positive likelihood ratio (PLR+), negative likelihood ratio (PLR−), and area under the summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) along with their respective 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Overall, five studies were included. In these studies, a total of 362 patients underwent CEUS prior to TURBT. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.88 (95% CI: 0.81–0.93) and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.82–0.92), respectively. SROC curve depicted a diagnostic accuracy of 0.94 (95% CI: 0.81–0.98). The pooled PLR+ and PLR− were 7.3 (95% CI: 4.8–11.2) and 0.14 (95% CI: 0.08–0.23), respectively. Conclusions: Our meta-analysis indicates that CEUS is highly accurate in the diagnosis and staging for BC. Beyond its accuracy, CEUS offers the advantage of being a cost-effective, safe, and versatile imaging tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genitourinary Oncology)
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17 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Disruptions in Cancer Care Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Women with Breast Cancer: A Mixed-Methods Study
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 801-817; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020059 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Objective. This study investigated if fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) levels and the proportion of women having a clinical level of FCR differed by whether women had or had not experienced disruptions in their cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic. Methods. [...] Read more.
Objective. This study investigated if fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) levels and the proportion of women having a clinical level of FCR differed by whether women had or had not experienced disruptions in their cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic. Methods. We conducted a mixed-methods study between November 2020 and March 2021 among women diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous five years at the time of their entry in the study. Women completed a questionnaire online assessing disruptions in breast cancer tests and treatments due to the pandemic and the severity subscale of the Fear of Cancer Recurrence Inventory. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a subsample of 24 participants and were thematically analyzed. Results. The proportion of patients with a clinical level of FCR was significantly higher among those who experienced the postponement or cancellation of diagnostic and disease progression tests (e.g., blood tests, X-rays, or magnetic resonance imaging; adjusted PR = 1.27 95% CI = 1.13–1.43). Qualitative findings suggest that FCR was exacerbated by the pandemic context. In particular, perceived or actual barriers to care access due to the pandemic were identified as significant FCR-enhancing factors. Conclusions. These results highlight the need to keep diagnostic and progression tests as timely as possible to prevent increases in FCR levels and offer counselling about FCR when postponing or cancellation are inevitable. Full article
23 pages, 1344 KiB  
Review
From Molecular Biology to Novel Immunotherapies and Nanomedicine in Uveal Melanoma
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 778-800; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020058 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 913
Abstract
Molecular biology studies of uveal melanoma have resulted in the development of novel immunotherapy approaches including tebentafusp—a T cell–redirecting bispecific fusion protein. More biomarkers are currently being studied. As a result, combined immunotherapy is being developed as well as immunotherapy with bifunctional checkpoint [...] Read more.
Molecular biology studies of uveal melanoma have resulted in the development of novel immunotherapy approaches including tebentafusp—a T cell–redirecting bispecific fusion protein. More biomarkers are currently being studied. As a result, combined immunotherapy is being developed as well as immunotherapy with bifunctional checkpoint inhibitory T cell engagers and natural killer cells. Current trials cover tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), vaccination with IKKb-matured dendritic cells, or autologous dendritic cells loaded with autologous tumor RNA. Another potential approach to treat UM could be based on T cell receptor engineering rather than antibody modification. Immune-mobilizing monoclonal T cell receptors (TCR) against cancer, called ImmTAC TM molecules, represent such an approach. Moreover, nanomedicine, especially miRNA approaches, are promising for future trials. Finally, theranostic radiopharmaceuticals enabling diagnosis and therapy with the same molecule bring hope to this research. Full article
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9 pages, 375 KiB  
Review
Evidence to Date on the Therapeutic Potential of Zolbetuximab in Advanced Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 769-777; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020057 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) continues to be a prevalent worldwide malignancy and a leading cause of cancer death, and it is frequently cited as incurable. Targeted therapy in GAC has lagged behind other solid tumors. The human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) represented the [...] Read more.
Gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) continues to be a prevalent worldwide malignancy and a leading cause of cancer death, and it is frequently cited as incurable. Targeted therapy in GAC has lagged behind other solid tumors. The human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) represented the single target in GACs for many years, seen in approximately 20% of patients with advanced GAC. Recent advances in management now include the addition of immunotherapy checkpoint inhibition to select front-line advanced GACs. Unfortunately, outcomes remain poor for most patients. We anticipate finding a key to future discoveries in GACs in next-generation sequencing and more targeted approaches. Claudin 18.2 (CLDN18.2) has emerged as a therapeutic target in GACs. CLDN18.2 is reportedly expressed in 14–87% of GACs, and CLDN18.2 is available for monoclonal antibody (mAb) binding as it is expressed on the outer cell membrane. Here, we review the exploration of CLDN18.2 as a target in GACs via the use of zolbetuximab (IMAB362). Zolbetuximab is now under priority FDA review for GACs, and we eagerly await the review outcome. Full article
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10 pages, 1460 KiB  
Article
Real-World Insights into Efficacy and Safety of Enfortumab Vedotin in Japanese Patients with Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma: Findings, Considerations, and Future Directions
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 759-768; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020056 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 602
Abstract
This study presents the enfortumab vedotin (EV) treatment analysis at our institution. We retrospectively analyzed patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) treated with EV between January 2021 and October 2023. EV was administered at 1.25 mg/kg on days 1, 8, and 15 in [...] Read more.
This study presents the enfortumab vedotin (EV) treatment analysis at our institution. We retrospectively analyzed patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC) treated with EV between January 2021 and October 2023. EV was administered at 1.25 mg/kg on days 1, 8, and 15 in a 28-day cycle. Whole-body computed tomography scans were performed to assess the treatment response. Patient characteristics, treatment histories, response rates, progression-free survival, and adverse events were evaluated. Response rates were determined, and adverse events were recorded. Among the 20 patients, 70% were male and 65% had bladder tumors. Most patients had lung (65%) or lymph node (65%) metastases. The median follow-up was 11.2 months, with 45% of the patients succumbing to the disease. The overall response rate was 55%. The median progression-free and median overall survivals were 10.5 and 12.9 months, respectively. Severe adverse events occurred in 35% of patients. In this real-world study, EV demonstrated promising efficacy and manageable safety profiles in Japanese patients with mUC. The study’s results were consistent with previous clinical trials, although a longer follow-up was required. Our findings support EV use as a treatment option for patients with mUC who exhibit disease progression after platinum-based chemotherapy and immune-checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genitourinary Oncology)
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12 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Residents and Consultants Have Equal Outcomes When Performing Transrectal Fusion Biopsies: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 747-758; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020055 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 517
Abstract
The aim of our study was to compare the performance of residents vs. consultants in transrectal fusion prostate biopsies (FUS-PBs), as well as patient-reported comfort. Between January 2021 and October 2022, a consecutive series of patients undergoing FUS-PBs were randomized into two groups: [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to compare the performance of residents vs. consultants in transrectal fusion prostate biopsies (FUS-PBs), as well as patient-reported comfort. Between January 2021 and October 2022, a consecutive series of patients undergoing FUS-PBs were randomized into two groups: (A) FUS-PBs performed by a consultant; (B) FUS-PBs performed by trained residents (>50 procedures). All patients underwent FUS-PBs with 12 systematic cores and 3/6 target cores. The detection rate and number of positive cores in the target lesion were compared between groups, and the patient’s discomfort after the procedure was evaluated using the VAS scale. Overall, 140 patients with a median age of 72 years were enrolled. Overall, 69/140 (49.3%) presented prostate cancer and 53/69 (76.8%) presented a clinically significant cancer (Grade Group ≥ 2). Consultants presented a detection rate of 37/70 (52.9%) and residents a detection rate of 32/70 (45.7%) (p > 0.2); the mean number of positive cores in the index lesion was similar in both groups (1.5 vs. 1.1; p > 0.10). In terms of the patients’ experiences, the procedure was well tolerated, with a median VAS score of 2 in both groups, with no statistically significant differences. Residents showed satisfactory outcomes in terms of detection rate, procedural time, and patient comfort when performing prostate biopsies. Residents, after adequate training, can safely perform prostate biopsies. Full article
14 pages, 695 KiB  
Article
“The Ability to Go Out into the World Is the Most Important Thing”—A Qualitative Study of Important Exercise Outcomes for People with Lung Cancer
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(2), 733-746; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31020054 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Whilst existing quantitative research identifies outcomes believed to be important by researchers and clinicians, it may neglect outcomes that are meaningful to patients. This study aimed to explore the outcomes of exercise that are important to people with lung cancer and their carers. [...] Read more.
Whilst existing quantitative research identifies outcomes believed to be important by researchers and clinicians, it may neglect outcomes that are meaningful to patients. This study aimed to explore the outcomes of exercise that are important to people with lung cancer and their carers. Data collection involved a qualitative methodology including semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Question guide development was informed by the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework. Data were analyzed by two researchers with NVivo (v12) software using a conventional content analysis process, followed by directed content analysis to map outcomes to the ICF. Conduct and reporting adhered to COREQ guidelines. Fifteen participants provided data. Most participants had received their diagnoses 24 months prior to study involvement (n = 9), and one-third had completed treatment (n = 5). Important outcomes were reported by participants across all domains of the ICF: activity and participation (n = 24), body function (n = 19), body structure (n = 5), environmental factors (n = 5), and personal factors (n = 1). Additional code categories pertained to the impacts of non-cancer factors such as age, frailty, and comorbidities; identifying barriers to exercise; and individualizing outcome measures. Clinicians and researchers should consider selecting outcomes from all relevant domains of the ICF, with a focus on the activity and participation domain, in addition to non-cancer factors such as ageing, frailty, and co-morbidities. Feedback should be provided to patients following outcome measures collection and reassessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Exercise in Cancer Care)
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