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Christopher P. Chung, Carolyn Behrendt, Louise Wong, Sarah Flores and Joanne E. Mortimer

Background: Among breast cancer survivors, urinary incontinence (UI) is often attributed to cancer therapy. We prospectively assessed urinary symptoms before and after (neo)adjuvant treatment of early-stage breast cancer. Methods: With consent, women with stage I–III breast cancer completed the Urogenital Distress Inventory and the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire before and 3 months after initiating (neo)adjuvant therapy. Patients with UI were at least slightly bothered by urinary symptoms. If UI was present pretreatment, it was considered prevalent; if UI was new or worse at 3 months posttreatment, it was considered incident; if prevalent UI was no worse at 3 months posttreatment, it was considered stable. Ordinal logistic regression models identified characteristics associated with the level of prevalent UI and with the degree of UI impact on quality of life (QoL). Results: On pretreatment surveys, participants (N=203; age 54.5 ± 11.4 years) reported 79.8% prevalence of UI, including overactive bladder (29.1%), stress incontinence (10.8%), or both (39.9%). The level of prevalent UI increased with body mass index (BMI; P<.05). Of 163 participants assessed at both time points, incident UI developed in 12 of 32 patients without prevalent UI and 27 of 131 patients with prevalent UI. Regardless of whether UI was prevalent (n=162), incident (n=39), or stable (n=94) at QoL assessment, the impact of UI increased (P<.01) with the number and severity of UI symptoms, subjective urinary retention, and BMI. Adjusted for those characteristics, incident UI had less impact on QoL (P<.05) than did prevalent or stable UI. Conclusions: We found that UI is highly prevalent at breast cancer diagnosis and that new or worsened UI is common after (neo)adjuvant therapy. Because UI often impairs QoL, appropriate treatment strategies are needed.

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Elizabeth R. Kessler, Janet B. Kukreja, Christopher L. Geiger and Stacy M. Fischer

Bladder cancer is an extremely common cancer that primarily affects individuals aged >65 years. In caring for patients with bladder cancer, clinicians must also consider care of older persons in general. Management of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) involves multidisciplinary treatment planning, because curative-intent therapy includes either surgery or radiation, with consideration of the role of systemic therapy. As clinicians develop a treatment plan, considering a geriatric oncology perspective may enhance patient care and influence outcomes for this large and growing population. Similarly, treatment plan development must also consider aspects unique to an older patient population, such as altered organ function, increased comorbidity, decreased functional reserve, and perhaps altered goals of treatment. Thus a thorough evaluation inclusive of disease assessment and geriatric assessment is essential to care planning. Population-based data show that as patients with MIBC age, use of standard therapies declines. Given the complexities of coordinating a multidisciplinary care plan, as well the complexities of treating a heterogeneous and potentially vulnerable older patient population, clinicians may benefit from upfront assessments to inform and guide the process. This review highlights the unique treatment planning considerations for elderly patients diagnosed with MIBC.

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Xiang Gao, Amanda R. Kahl, Paolo Goffredo, Albert Y. Lin, Praveen Vikas, Imran Hassan and Mary E. Charlton

Background: National guidelines recommend chemotherapy as the mainstay of treatment for stage IV colon cancer, with primary tumor resection (PTR) reserved for patients with symptomatic primary or curable disease. The aims of this study were to characterize the treatment modalities received by patients with stage IV colon cancer and to determine the patient-, tumor-, and hospital-level factors associated with those treatments. Methods: Patients diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2014 were extracted from the SEER Patterns of Care initiative. Treatments were categorized into chemotherapy only, PTR only, PTR + chemotherapy, and none/unknown. Results: The total weighted number of cases was 3,336; 17% of patients received PTR only, 23% received chemotherapy only, 41% received PTR + chemotherapy, and 17% received no treatment. In multivariable analyses, compared with chemotherapy only, PTR + chemotherapy was associated with being married (odds ratio [OR], 1.9), having bowel obstruction (OR, 2.55), and having perforation (OR, 2.29), whereas older age (OR, 5.95), Medicaid coverage (OR, 2.46), higher T stage (OR, 3.51), and higher N stage (OR, 6.77) were associated with PTR only. Patients who received no treatment did not have more comorbidities or more severe disease burden but were more likely to be older (OR, 3.91) and non-Hispanic African American (OR, 2.92; all P<.05). Treatment at smaller, nonacademic hospitals was associated with PTR (± chemotherapy). Conclusions: PTR was included in the treatment regimen for most patients with stage IV colon cancer and was associated with smaller, nonacademic hospitals. Efforts to improve guideline implementation may be beneficial in these hospitals and also in non-Hispanic African American and older populations.

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Eric J. Roeland, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Thomas W. LeBlanc, Ryan D. Nipp, Gary Binder, Silvia Sebastiani, Ravi Potluri, Luke Schmerold, Eros Papademetriou, Lee Schwartzberg and Rudolph M. Navari

Background: Clinician adherence to antiemetic guidelines for preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) caused by highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) remains poorly characterized. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate individual clinician adherence to HEC antiemetic guidelines. Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients receiving HEC was conducted using the IBM Watson Explorys Electronic Health Record Database (2012–2018). HEC antiemetic guideline adherence was defined as prescription of triple prophylaxis (neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist [NK1 RA], serotonin type-3 receptor antagonist, dexamethasone) at initiation of cisplatin or anthracycline + cyclophosphamide (AC). Clinicians who prescribed ≥5 HEC courses were included and individual guideline adherence was assessed, noting the number of prescribing clinicians with >90% adherence. Results: A total of 217 clinicians were identified who prescribed 2,543 cisplatin and 1,490 AC courses. Patients (N=4,033) were primarily women (63.3%) and chemotherapy-naïve (92%) with a mean age of 58.6 years. Breast (36%) and thoracic (19%) cancers were the most common tumor types. Guideline adherence rates of >90% were achieved by 35% and 58% of clinicians using cisplatin or AC, respectively. Omission of an NK1 RA was the most common practice of nonadherence. Variation in prophylaxis guideline adherence was considerable for cisplatin (mean, 71%; SD, 29%; coefficient of variation [CV], 0.40) and AC (mean, 84%; SD, 26%; CV, 0.31). Conclusions: Findings showed substantial gaps in clinician adherence to HEC CINV guidelines, including a high variability across clinicians. Clinicians should review their individual clinical practices and ensure adherence to evidence-based CINV guidelines to optimize patient care.

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Jordan M. Cloyd, Chengli Shen, Heena Santry, John Bridges, Mary Dillhoff, Aslam Ejaz, Timothy M. Pawlik and Allan Tsung

Background: Current guidelines support either immediate surgical resection or neoadjuvant therapy (NT) for patients with resectable pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, which patients are selected for NT and whether disparities exist in the use of NT for PDAC are not well understood. Methods: Using the National Cancer Database from 2004 through 2016, the clinical, demographic, socioeconomic, and hospital-related characteristics of patients with stage I/II PDAC who underwent immediate surgery versus NT followed by surgery were compared. Results: Among 58,124 patients who underwent pancreatectomy, 8,124 (14.0%) received NT whereas 50,000 (86.0%) did not. Use of NT increased significantly throughout the study period (from 3.5% in 2004 to 26.4% in 2016). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that travel distance, education level, hospital facility type, clinical T stage, tumor size, and year of diagnosis were associated with increased use of NT, whereas comorbidities, uninsured/Medicaid status, South/West geography, left-sided tumor location, and increasing age were associated with immediate surgery (all P<.001). Based on logistic regression–derived interaction factors, the association between NT use and median income, education level, Midwest location, clinical T stage, and clinical N stage significantly increased over time (all P<.01). Conclusions: In addition to traditional clinicopathologic factors, several demographic, socioeconomic, and hospital-related factors are associated with use of NT for PDAC. Because NT is used increasingly for PDAC, efforts to reduce disparities will be critical in improving outcomes for all patients with pancreatic cancer.

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Saranya Chumsri, Ethan S. Sokol, Aixa E. Soyano-Muller, Ricardo D. Parrondo, Gina A. Reynolds, Aziza Nassar and E. Aubrey Thompson

Increasing data support the importance of preexisting host immune response and neoantigen burden for determining response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). In lung cancer and melanoma, tumor mutational burden (TMB) has emerged as an independent biomarker for ICI response. However, the significance of TMB in breast cancer, particularly in the context of PD-L1 negativity, remains unclear. This report describes a patient with HER2-negative breast cancer with high TMB and an apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) trinucleotide signature; her disease was refractory to multiple lines of treatments but achieved durable complete response using ICIs and capecitabine. Additional analysis of the tumor revealed a low amount of stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs) and PD-L1 negativity, reflecting a poor preexisting host immune response. In collaboration with Foundation Medicine, comprehensive genomic profiling from 14,867 patients with breast cancer with the FoundationOne test was evaluated. Using the cutoff of ≥10 mutations/megabase (mut/Mb) for high TMB, PD-L1 positivity and TMB-high populations were not significantly overlapping (odds ratio, 1.02; P=.87). Up to 79% of TMB-high tumors with >20 mut/Mb were PD-L1–negative. Our study highlights that despite having low TILs and PD-L1 negativity, some patients may still experience response to ICIs.

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Abraham S. Kanate, Miguel-Angel Perales and Mehdi Hamadani

Eligibility assessment of a potential candidate for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is a complex yet vital component of pretransplant evaluation. Although no formal standardized consensus exists to guide this process, transplant centers follow institutional standard operating procedures and parameters to approve candidacy of an individual patient. Consideration for allo-HCT is dependent on a myriad of interrelated factors, including disease-related (eg, appropriate indication, disease status, prior therapies), patient-related (eg, age, functional status, frailty, comorbidities), psychosocial, and economic factors. A multidisciplinary approach is optimal for patient selection and requires the efforts of transplant coordinators, nurses, advanced practice providers, social workers, psychologists, financial specialists, and physicians. This article reviews the data and provides general guidelines that may be used in making an informed decision when evaluating a prospective candidate for allo-HCT. These recommendations are based on published data, expert commentary, reviews, and institutional practices. In the end, the eligibility assessment and decision to consider allo-HCT as the optimal choice of treatment for an individual patient are truly as much an “art” as it is the “science” of medicine, encompassing a multidisciplinary approach to minimize harm without compromising the curative potential—all essential doctrines of the Hippocratic Oath.

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Ayman Saad, Marcos de Lima, Sarah Anand, Vijaya Raj Bhatt, Ryan Bookout, George Chen, Daniel Couriel, Antonio Di Stasi, Areej El-Jawahri, Sergio Giralt, Jonathan Gutman, Vincent Ho, Mitchell Horwitz, Joe Hsu, Mark Juckett, Mohamed Kharfan Dabaja, Alison W. Loren, MSCE, Javier Meade, Marco Mielcarek, Jonathan Moreira, Ryotaro Nakamura, Yago Nieto, Julianna Roddy, Gowri Satyanarayana, Mark Schroeder, Carlyn Rose Tan, Dimitrios Tzachanis, Jennifer L. Burns and Lenora A. Pluchino

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) involves the infusion of hematopoietic progenitor cells into patients with hematologic disorders with the goal of re-establishing normal hematopoietic and immune function. HCT is classified as autologous or allogeneic based on the origin of hematopoietic cells. Autologous HCT uses the patient’s own cells while allogeneic HCT uses hematopoietic cells from a human leukocyte antigen-compatible donor. Allogeneic HCT is a potentially curative treatment option for patients with certain types of hematologic malignancies, and autologous HCT is primarily used to support patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy. Advances in HCT methods and supportive care in recent decades have led to improved survival after HCT; however, disease relapse and posttransplant complications still commonly occur in both autologous and allogeneic HCT recipients. Allogeneic HCT recipients may also develop acute and/or chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which results in immune-mediated cellular injury of several organs. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation focus on recommendations for pretransplant recipient evaluation and the management of GVHD in adult patients with malignant disease.