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Highlights of the NCCN Oncology Research Program

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Impact of Asian Race on Prognosis in De Novo Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Xudong Ni, Michael Luu, Weiwei Ma, Tingwei Zhang, Yu Wei, Stephen J. Freedland, Dingwei Ye, Timothy J. Daskivich, and Yao Zhu

Background: Little is known about the impact of Asian race on the long-term survival outcomes of males with de novo metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). Understanding racial disparities in survival is critical for accurate prognostic risk stratification and for informing the design of multiregional clinical trials. Methods: This multiple-cohort study included individual patient-level data for males with de novo metastatic PCa from the following 3 cohorts: LATITUDE clinical trial data (n=1,199), the SEER program (n=15,476), and the National Cancer Database (NCDB; n=10,366). Primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) in LATITUDE and NCDB and OS and cancer-specific survival in SEER. Results: Across all 3 cohorts, Asian patients diagnosed with de novo metastatic PCa had better survival than white patients. In LATITUDE, median OS was significantly longer in Asian versus white patients in the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) + abiraterone + prednisone group (not reached vs 43.8 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.45; 95% CI, 0.28–0.73; P=.001) as well as in the ADT + placebo group (57.6 vs 32.7 months; HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.33–0.78; P=.002). In SEER, among all patients diagnosed with de novo metastatic PCa, median OS was significantly longer in Asian versus white males (49 vs 39 months; HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.68–0.84; P<.001). Among those who received chemotherapy, Asian patients again had longer OS (52 vs 42 months; HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.52–0.96; P=.025). Using data on cancer-specific survival in SEER resulted in similar conclusions. In NCDB, Asian patients also had longer OS than white patients in aggregate and in subgroups of males treated with ADT or chemotherapy (aggregate: 38 vs 26 months; HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.62–0.83; P<.001; ADT subgroup: 41 vs 26 months; HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.60–0.84; P<.001; chemotherapy subgroup: 34 vs 25 months; HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.57–0.78; P<.001). Conclusions: Asian males have better OS and cancer-specific survival than white males with metastatic PCa across different treatment regimens. This should be considered when assessing prognosis and in designing multinational clinical trials.

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NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Biliary Tract Cancers, Version 2.2023

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D’Angelica, Thomas Abrams, Daniel E. Abbott, Aijaz Ahmed, Daniel A. Anaya, Robert Anders, Chandrakanth Are, Melinda Bachini, David Binder, Mitesh Borad, Christopher Bowlus, Daniel Brown, Adam Burgoyne, Jason Castellanos, Prabhleen Chahal, Jordan Cloyd, Anne M. Covey, Evan S. Glazer, William G. Hawkins, Renuka Iyer, Rojymon Jacob, Lawrence Jennings, R. Kate Kelley, Robin Kim, Matthew Levine, Manisha Palta, James O. Park, Steven Raman, Sanjay Reddy, Sean Ronnekleiv-Kelly, Vaibhav Sahai, Gagandeep Singh, Stacey Stein, Anita Turk, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Adam Yopp, Nicole McMillian, Ryan Schonfeld, and Cindy Hochstetler

In 2023, the NCCN Guidelines for Hepatobiliary Cancers were divided into 2 separate guidelines: Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Biliary Tract Cancers. The NCCN Guidelines for Biliary Tract Cancers provide recommendations for the evaluation and comprehensive care of patients with gallbladder cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. The multidisciplinary panel of experts meets at least on an annual basis to review requests from internal and external entities as well as to evaluate new data on current and emerging therapies. These Guidelines Insights focus on some of the recent updates to the NCCN Guidelines for Biliary Tract Cancers as well as the newly published section on principles of molecular testing.

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A Pilot Randomized Trial of an Advance Care Planning Video Decision Support Tool for Adolescents and Young Adults With Advanced Cancer

Jennifer M. Snaman, Deborah Feifer, Gabrielle Helton, Yuchiao Chang, Areej El-Jawahri, Angelo E. Volandes, and Joanne Wolfe

Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with advanced cancer often receive intensive end-of-life care, yet it is unclear if this is goal-concordant. Advance care planning (ACP) video tools may promote identification and communication of AYA preferences. Patients and Methods: We conducted a dual-site, 1:1 pilot randomized controlled trial of a novel video-based ACP tool in 50 dyads of AYA patients aged 18 to 39 years with advanced cancer and their caregivers. ACP readiness and knowledge, preferences for future care, and decisional conflict were obtained pre, post, and 3 months after the intervention and compared between groups. Results: Of the 50 AYA/caregiver dyads enrolled, 25 (50%) were randomized to the intervention. Participants primarily identified as female, white, and non-Hispanic. Most AYAs (76%) and caregivers (86%) identified their overall goal as life-prolonging preintervention; less identified this goal postintervention (42% AYAs; 52% caregivers). There was no significant difference in change in proportion of AYAs or caregivers choosing life-prolonging care, CPR, or ventilation between arms postintervention or at 3 months. The change in participant scores for ACP knowledge (AYAs and caregivers) and ACP readiness (AYAs) from preintervention to postintervention was greater in the video arm compared with the control arm; the difference in caregivers’ scores for decisional conflict from preintervention to postintervention in the video arm was statistically significant (15 vs 7; P=.005). Feedback from the video participants was overwhelmingly positive; of the 45 intervention participants who provided video feedback, 43 (96%) found the video helpful, 40 (89%) were comfortable viewing the video, and 42 (93%) indicated they would recommend the video to other patients facing similar decisions. Conclusions: Most AYAs with advanced cancer and their caregivers preferred life-prolonging care in advanced illness, with fewer preferring this type of care postintervention. A brief video-based ACP tool was well-liked by participants and improved caregiver decisional certainty. Videos may be a useful tool to inform AYAs and caregivers about end-of-life care options and promote ACP discussions.

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Social Determinants of Health and Cardiac Risk for Patients With Breast Cancer: Beyond Racial Disparities

Matilde Corianò, Matteo Armillotta, and Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti

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Social Determinants of Health and Racial Disparities in Cardiac Events in Breast Cancer

Nickolas Stabellini, Mantas Dmukauskas, Marcio S. Bittencourt, Jennifer Cullen, Amie J. Barda, Justin X. Moore, Susan Dent, Husam Abdel-Qadir, Aniket A. Kawatkar, Ambarish Pandey, John Shanahan, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Kristin A. Waite, Alberto J. Montero, and Avirup Guha

Background: Racial disparities have been reported for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes. The determinants of racial disparities in CVD outcomes are not yet fully understood. We aimed to examine the impact of individual and neighborhood-level social determinants of health (SDOH) on the racial disparities in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE; consisting of heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and ischemic stroke) among female patients with breast cancer. Methods: This 10-year longitudinal retrospective study was based on a cancer informatics platform with electronic medical record supplementation. We included women aged ≥18 years diagnosed with breast cancer. SDOH were obtained from LexisNexis, and consisted of the domains of social and community context, neighborhood and built environment, education access and quality, and economic stability. Race-agnostic (overall data with race as a feature) and race-specific machine learning models were developed to account for and rank the SDOH impact in 2-year MACE. Results: We included 4,309 patients (765 non-Hispanic Black [NHB]; 3,321 non-Hispanic white). In the race-agnostic model (C-index, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.78–0.80), the 5 most important adverse SDOH variables were neighborhood median household income (SHapley Additive exPlanations [SHAP] score [SS], 0.07), neighborhood crime index (SS = 0.06), number of transportation properties in the household (SS = 0.05), neighborhood burglary index (SS = 0.04), and neighborhood median home values (SS = 0.03). Race was not significantly associated with MACE when adverse SDOH were included as covariates (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.91–1.64). NHB patients were more likely to have unfavorable SDOH conditions for 8 of the 10 most important SDOH variables for the MACE prediction. Conclusions: Neighborhood and built environment variables are the most important SDOH predictors for 2-year MACE, and NHB patients were more likely to have unfavorable SDOH conditions. This finding reinforces that race is a social construct.

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NCCN Virtual Policy Summit: Defining the “New Normal” — 2021 and the State of Cancer Care in America Following 2020

Alyssa A. Schatz, Lindsey Bandini, and Robert W. Carlson


US healthcare systems have been deeply impacted by significant societal shifts over the past several years. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with healthcare, political narratives have impacted how healthcare is perceived and engaged with by the public, and the United States has become increasingly aware of historic and ongoing racial injustices across all health and social systems. The watershed events experienced during the last several years play a critical role in shaping the future of cancer care for payers, providers, manufacturers, and, most importantly, patients and survivors. To explore these issues, in June 2021 NCCN convened a virtual policy summit: Defining the “New Normal” — 2021 and the State of Cancer Care in America Following 2020. This summit offered the opportunity for a varied group of stakeholders to begin to explore the impact of recent events on the current and future state of oncology in the United States. Topics included the impact of COVID-19 on cancer detection and treatment, the role of innovation in ensuring continuity of care, and efforts to create more equitable systems of care.

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Volume 21 (2023): Issue 5.5 (Jun 2023): Highlights of the NCCN 2023 Annual Conference

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Volume 21 (2023): Issue 6 (Jun 2023)