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Special Issue "Cancer Surveillance and Intelligence: Use in Health Services Research and Policy"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lorraine Shack
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Cancer Control Alberta, Alberta Health Services, 2210 2nd Street Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2. Department of Oncology, and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Interests: cancer surveillance; outcomes; survival; epidemiology; regional comparisons; linked data; performance measures; health services assessment; health policy
Dr. Winson Cheung
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2. Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Interests: cancer surveillance; outcomes; survival; epidemiology; regional comparisons; linked data; performance measures; health services assessment; health policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impact of cancer in the developed world is enormous. Nearly everyone will be impacted through their own diagnosis and treatment or a family member’s diagnosis. Cancer surveillance using registry data is a fundamental approach to monitor the cancer burden and its changing impacts. Data linkage of registry data to other sources of data such as treatment, recurrence, clinical trials, supportive care, and end of life care expands use of registry data and improves completeness for studies along the continuum of care.

With the implementation of clinical information systems, a wealth of clinical information is now collected, and linkage to the cancer registry can identify population-based cohorts for specific studies. Furthermore, advances in translational and interpretive software can enable information to be obtained from text or verbal dictation for research. The linkage of such information to cancer registry data can provide novel and innovative findings, thereby dramatically expanding the functionality of surveillance data.

This Special Issue seeks research papers on cancer surveillance and analysis utilizing the cancer registry data linked to other sources. Studies may focus on innovative application of cancer registry data throughout the patient treatment continuum in the areas of epidemiology, survival and outcomes, performance measures, and health service assessment.

We welcome original papers, as well as systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Dr. Lorraine Shack
Dr. Winson Cheung
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Surveillance
  • Cancer outcomes and survival
  • Epidemiology
  • Health services assessment
  • Translational language software
  • Data linkage
  • Novel use of cancer registry
  • Data implementation
  • Evaluation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Delayed Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Alberta: A Framework for Analyzing Barriers to Diagnosis and Generating Evidence to Support Health System Changes Aimed at Reducing Time to Diagnosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179098 - 28 Aug 2021
Viewed by 464
Abstract
The frequency of colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis has decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health system planning is needed to address the backlog of undiagnosed patients. We developed a framework for analyzing barriers to diagnosis and estimating patient volumes under different system relaunch [...] Read more.
The frequency of colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis has decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health system planning is needed to address the backlog of undiagnosed patients. We developed a framework for analyzing barriers to diagnosis and estimating patient volumes under different system relaunch scenarios. This retrospective study included CRC cases from the Alberta Cancer Registry for the pre-pandemic (1 January 2016–4 March 2020) and intra-pandemic (5 March 2020–1 July 2020) periods. The data on all the diagnostic milestones in the year prior to a CRC diagnosis were obtained from administrative health data. The CRC diagnostic pathways were identified, and diagnostic intervals were measured. CRC diagnoses made during hospitalization were used as a proxy for severe disease at presentation. A modified Poisson regression analysis was used to estimate the adjusted relative risk (adjRR) and a 95% confidence interval (CI) for the effect of the pandemic on the risk of hospital-based diagnoses. During the study period, 8254 Albertans were diagnosed with CRC. During the pandemic, diagnosis through asymptomatic screening decreased by 6·5%. The adjRR for hospital-based diagnoses intra-COVID-19 vs. pre-COVID-19 was 1.24 (95% CI: 1.03, 1.49). Colonoscopies were identified as the main bottleneck for CRC diagnoses. To clear the backlog before progression is expected, high-risk subgroups should be targeted to double the colonoscopy yield for CRC diagnosis, along with the need for a 140% increase in monthly colonoscopy volumes for a period of 3 months. Given the substantial health system changes required, it is unlikely that a surge in CRC cases will be diagnosed over the coming months. Administrators in Alberta are using these findings to reduce wait times for CRC diagnoses and monitor progression. Full article
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Article
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Increases the Risk of Mortality among Patients with Colorectal Cancer: A Nationwide Population-Based Retrospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168742 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Taiwan. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with CRC mortality in several population-based studies. However, this effect of COPD on CRC shows no difference in some studies and [...] Read more.
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Taiwan. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with CRC mortality in several population-based studies. However, this effect of COPD on CRC shows no difference in some studies and remains unclear in Taiwan’s population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using Taiwan’s nationwide database. Patients newly diagnosed with CRC were identified from 2007 to 2012 via the Taiwan Cancer Registry dataset and linked to the National Health Insurance research database to obtain their medical records. Propensity score matching (PSM) was applied at a ratio of 1:2 in COPD and non-COPD patients with CRC. The 5-year overall survival (OS) was analyzed using the Cox regression method. Results: This study included 43,249 patients with CRC, reduced to 13,707 patients after PSM. OS was lower in the COPD group than in the non-COPD group. The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for COPD was 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.19–1.33). Moreover, patients with CRC plus preexisting COPD showed a higher mortality risk in all stage CRC subgroup analysis. Conclusions: In this 5-year retrospective cohort study, patients with CRC and preexisting COPD had a higher mortality risk than those without preexisting COPD, suggesting these patients need more attention during treatment and follow-up. Full article
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Article
Using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) Modelling to Forecast Symptom Complexity in an Ambulatory Oncology Clinic: Harnessing Predictive Analytics and Patient-Reported Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168365 - 07 Aug 2021
Viewed by 616
Abstract
An increasing incidence of cancer has led to high patient volumes and time challenges in ambulatory oncology clinics. By knowing how many patients are experiencing complex care needs in advance, clinic scheduling and staff allocation adjustments could be made to provide patients with [...] Read more.
An increasing incidence of cancer has led to high patient volumes and time challenges in ambulatory oncology clinics. By knowing how many patients are experiencing complex care needs in advance, clinic scheduling and staff allocation adjustments could be made to provide patients with longer or shorter timeslots to address symptom complexity. In this study, we used predictive analytics to forecast the percentage of patients with high symptom complexity in one clinic population in a given time period. Autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) modelling was utilized with patient-reported outcome (PRO) data and patient demographic information collected over 24 weeks. Eight additional weeks of symptom complexity data were collected and compared to assess the accuracy of the forecasting model. The predicted symptom complexity levels were compared with observation data and a mean absolute predicting error of 5.9% was determined, indicating the model’s satisfactory accuracy for forecasting symptom complexity levels among patients in this clinic population. By using a larger sample and additional predictors, this model could be applied to other clinics to allow for tailored scheduling and staff allocation based on symptom complexity forecasting and inform system level models of care to improve outcomes and provide higher quality patient care. Full article
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Article
Surveillance of the Incidence and Mortality of Oral and Pharyngeal, Esophageal, and Lung Cancer in Nevada: Potential Implications of the Nevada Indoor Clean Air Act
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157966 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Reviews of national and state-specific cancer registries have revealed differences in rates of oral, esophageal, and lung cancer incidence and mortality that have implications for public health research and policy. Many significant associations between these types of cancers and major risk factors, such [...] Read more.
Reviews of national and state-specific cancer registries have revealed differences in rates of oral, esophageal, and lung cancer incidence and mortality that have implications for public health research and policy. Many significant associations between these types of cancers and major risk factors, such as cigarette usage, may be influenced by public health policy such as smoking restrictions and bans—including the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA) of 2006 (and subsequent modification in 2011). Although evaluation of general and regional advances in public policy have been previously evaluated, no recent studies have focused specifically on the changes to the epidemiology of oral and pharyngeal, esophageal, and lung cancer incidence and mortality in Nevada. Methods: Cancer incidence and mortality rate data were obtained from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. Most recently available rate changes in cancer incidence and mortality for Nevada included the years 2012–2016 and are age-adjusted to the year 2000 standard US population. This analysis revealed that the overall rates of incidence and mortality from these types of cancer in Nevada differs from that observed in the overall US population. For example, although the incidence rate of oral cancer is decreasing in the US overall (0.9%), it is stable in Nevada (0.0%). However, the incidence and mortality rates from esophageal cancer are also decreasing in the US (−1.1%, −1.2%, respectively), and are declining more rapidly in Nevada (−1.5%, −1.9%, respectively). Similarly, the incidence and mortality rates from lung are cancer are declining in the US (−2.5%, −2.4%, respectively) and are also declining more rapidly in Nevada (−3.2%, −3.1%, respectively). Analysis of previous epidemiologic data from Nevada (1999–2003) revealed the highest annual percent change (APC) in oral cancer incidence in the US was observed in Nevada (+4.6%), which corresponded with the highest APC in oral cancer mortality (+4.6%). Subsequent studies regarding reduced rates of cigarette use due to smoking restrictions and bans have suggested that follow up studies may reveal changes in the incidence and mortality rates of oral and other related cancers. This study analysis revealed that oral cancer incidence rates are no longer increasing in Nevada and that mortality rates have started to decline, although not as rapidly as the overall national rates. However, rapid decreases in both the incidence and mortality from esophageal and lung cancer were observed in Nevada, which strongly suggest the corresponding changes in oral cancer may be part of a larger epidemiologic shift resulting from improved public health policies that include indoor smoking restrictions and bans. Full article
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Article
Cohort Study of Antihyperglycemic Medication and Pancreatic Cancer Patients Survival
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6016; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176016 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
Background: We assessed the association between the use of metformin and other antihyperglycemic medications on overall survival in diabetic patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: Patients with pancreatic cancer and diabetes between 2000 and 2015 were identified from the Lithuanian Cancer Registry and the [...] Read more.
Background: We assessed the association between the use of metformin and other antihyperglycemic medications on overall survival in diabetic patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: Patients with pancreatic cancer and diabetes between 2000 and 2015 were identified from the Lithuanian Cancer Registry and the National Health Insurance Fund database. Cohort members were classified into six groups according to type 2 diabetes mellitus treatment: sulfonylurea monotherapy; metformin monotherapy; insulin monotherapy; metformin and sulfonylurea combination; metformin and other antihyperglycemic medications; all other combinations of oral antihyperglycemic medications. Survival was calculated from the date of cancer diagnosis to the date of death or the end of follow-up (31 December 2018). Results: Study group included 454 diabetic patients with pancreatic cancer. We found no statistically significant differences in overall survival between patients by glucose-lowering therapy. However, highest mortality risk was observed in patients on insulin monotherapy, and better survival was observed in the groups of patients using antihyperglycemic medication combinations, metformin alone, and metformin in combination with sulfonylurea. Analysis by cumulative dose of metformin showed significantly lower mortality risk in the highest cumulative dose category (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.58–0.99). Conclusions: Our study showed that metformin might have a survival benefit for pancreatic cancer patients, suggesting a potentially available option for the treatment. Full article
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Brief Report
Incidence of Pregnancy-Associated Cancer in Two Canadian Provinces: A Population-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063100 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Pregnancy-associated cancer—that is diagnosed in pregnancy or within 365 days after delivery—is increasingly common as cancer therapy evolves and survivorship increases. This study assessed the incidence and temporal trends of pregnancy-associated cancer in Alberta and Ontario—together accounting for 50% of Canada’s entire population. [...] Read more.
Pregnancy-associated cancer—that is diagnosed in pregnancy or within 365 days after delivery—is increasingly common as cancer therapy evolves and survivorship increases. This study assessed the incidence and temporal trends of pregnancy-associated cancer in Alberta and Ontario—together accounting for 50% of Canada’s entire population. Linked data from the two provincial cancer registries and health administrative data were used to ascertain new diagnoses of cancer, livebirths, stillbirths and induced abortions among women aged 18–50 years, from 2003 to 2015. The annual crude incidence rate (IR) was calculated as the number of women with a pregnancy-associated cancer per 100,000 deliveries. A nonparametric test for trend assessed for any temporal trends. In Alberta, the crude IR of pregnancy-associated cancer was 156.2 per 100,000 deliveries (95% CI 145.8–166.7), and in Ontario, the IR was 149.4 per 100,000 deliveries (95% CI 143.3–155.4). While no statistically significant temporal trend in the IR of pregnancy-associated cancer was seen in Alberta, there was a rise in Ontario (p = 0.01). Pregnancy-associated cancer is common enough to warrant more detailed research on maternal, pregnancy and child outcomes, especially as cancer therapies continue to evolve. Full article
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