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Shing Fung Lee, Pui Lam Yip, Balamurugan A. Vellayappan, Cheng Ean Chee, Lea Choung Wong, Eric Yuk-Fai Wan, Esther Wai-Yin Chan, Chak-Fei Lee, Francis Ann-Shing Lee, and Miguel Angel Luque-Fernandez

Background: The incidence and survival of colorectal cancer (CRC) are increasing. There is an increasing number of long-term survivors, many of whom are elderly and have comorbidities. We conducted a population-based study in Hong Kong to assess the long-term cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence associated with adjuvant fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy among CRC survivors. Patients and Methods: Using the population-based electronic medical database of Hong Kong, we identified adults who were diagnosed with high-risk stage II–III CRC and treated with radical surgery followed by adjuvant fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy between 2010 and 2019. We evaluated the cause-specific cumulative incidence of CVD (including ischemic heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and stroke) using the flexible parametric competing risk modeling framework. The control group without a history of CVD was selected from among a noncancer random sample from primary care clinics in the same geographic area. Results: We analyzed 1,037 treated patients with CRC and 5,078 noncancer controls. The adjusted cause-specific hazard ratio (HR) for CVD in the cancer cohort compared with the control group was 2.11 (95% CI, 1.39–3.20). The 1-, 5-, and 10-year cause-specific cumulative incidences were 2.0%, 4.5%, and 5.4% in the cancer cohort versus 1.2%, 3.0%, and 3.8% in the control group, respectively. Age at cancer diagnosis (HR per 5-year increase, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.24), male sex (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.06–1.86), comorbidity (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.36–2.61 for 1 comorbidity vs none, and HR, 6.61; 95% CI, 4.55–9.60 for ≥2 comorbidities vs none), diabetes (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.04–1.84), hypertension (HR, 3.27; 95% CI, 2.39–4.50), and dyslipidemia/hyperlipidemia (HR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.68–3.81) were associated with incident CVD. Conclusions: Exposure to adjuvant fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy was associated with an increased risk of CVD among survivors of high-risk stage II–III CRC. Cardiovascular risk monitoring of this group throughout cancer survivorship is advisable.

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NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Survivorship, Version 1.2022

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Tara Sanft, Andrew Day, Lindsay Peterson, M. Alma Rodriguez, Shannon Ansbaugh, Saro Armenian, K. Scott Baker, Tarah Ballinger, Gregory Broderick, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Kristin Dickinson, Nathan Paul Fairman, Debra L. Friedman, Mindy Goldman, Norah Lynn Henry, Christine Hill-Kayser, Melissa Hudson, Nazanin Khakpour, Divya Koura, Allison L. McDonough, Michelle Melisko, Kathi Mooney, Halle C.F. Moore, Natalie Moryl, Heather Neuman, Tracey O’Connor, Linda Overholser, Electra D. Paskett, Chirayu Patel, William Pirl, Andrea Porpiglia, Kathryn J. Ruddy, Lidia Schapira, Lillie Shockney, Sophia Smith, Karen L. Syrjala, Amye Tevaarwerk, Eric H. Yang, Phyllis Zee, Nicole R. McMillian, and Deborah A. Freedman-Cass

The NCCN Guidelines for Survivorship are intended to help healthcare professionals who work with survivors to ensure that the survivors’ complex and varied needs are addressed. The NCCN Guidelines provide screening, evaluation, and treatment recommendations for the consequences of adult-onset cancer and its treatment; recommendations to help promote physical activity, weight management, and immunizations in survivors; and a framework for care coordination. This article summarizes updates to the NCCN Guidelines pertaining to preventive health for cancer survivors, including recommendations about alcohol consumption and vaccinations.

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Anurag Saraf, Hannah J. Roberts, Jennifer Y. Wo, and Aparna R. Parikh

Neoadjuvant therapy is standard of care for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Advancements in multimodality therapy options and sequencing of radiation therapy (RT), surgery, and chemotherapy make decision-making challenging. Traditional treatment of patients with LARC involves neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by total mesorectal excision and consideration of adjuvant chemotherapy. Advancement in RT has led to trials offering both short-course and long-course RT with good long-term clinical outcomes. Intensification of therapy in high-risk patients has led to studies of total neoadjuvant therapy with chemotherapy and chemoradiation, now standard management for most LARC. De-escalation of therapy in patients with favorable prognosis has led to several considerations, including non–total mesorectal excision management or neoadjuvant chemotherapy only. Several considerations of patient and disease factors can help inform the optimal chemotherapy regimens in different sequencing of neoadjuvant strategies. Finally, novel biomarkers, such as microsatellite instability, has led to utilization of novel therapies, including neoadjuvant immunotherapy, with substantial response. This review attempts to frame the rapidly growing data in LARC in context of disease and patient risk factors, to inform optimal, personalized treatment of patients with LARC.

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Victoria S. Blinder, Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, Paul B. Jacobsen, Mary May Kozlik, Merry Jennifer Markham, Robert D. Siegel, Arif H. Kamal, Stephanie T.S. Crist, Jon Rosenthal, Anne C. Chiang, and on behalf of the ASCO Quality Publications Task Force

Background: Oral chemotherapy performance measures were first introduced into ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) in 2013. This study examined performance on these measures among QOPI-participating practices and evaluated whether it differed among practices based on meeting QOPI Certification Program standards. Methods: A total of 192 QOPI-participating practices (certified, n=50 [26%]; not certified, n=142 [74%]) reported performance on oral chemotherapy measures in 2017 and 2018. Inclusion was limited to practices reporting on ≥3 charts for ≥1 oral chemotherapy measure. Performance was defined as the percentage of charts examined that adhered to the measure. Descriptive analyses were used to characterize performance within and across practices, and mixed-effects logistic regression models were conducted to compare performance based on certification status. Results: Median performance across practices for the 9 oral chemotherapy measures examined ranged from 44% (education before the start of treatment addressing missed doses, toxicities, and clinical contact instructions [composite measure]) to 100% (documented dose, documented plan, and education about toxicities). Certified practices were more likely to provide education about clinic contact instructions than noncertified practices (odds ratio, 4.87; 95% CI, 1.00–24.0). Performance on all other measures was not significantly associated with certification status. Conclusions: There is wide variability in quality related to performance on oral chemotherapy measures across all QOPI-participating practices, and several areas were identified in which administration of oral chemotherapy could be improved. Our findings highlight the need for the development and implementation of appropriate standards that apply to oral chemotherapy and address the complexities that set it apart from parenteral treatment.

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Alyssa A. Schatz, Keysha Brooks-Coley, Elizabeth Harrington, Mary Stober Murray, and Robert W. Carlson

Background: Cancer prevention and treatment systems are significantly impacted by interpersonal, organizational, and structural and systemic racism. A wide body of research has found that racial disparities in access to guideline-adherent cancer care are pervasive throughout the United States and contributing factors include social determinants of health, insurance status, and bias and discrimination in care delivery. Although the existence of racial disparities in cancer care and outcomes is well established, there has been limited research exploring the patient and caregiver experience with bias and discrimination in cancer care. Methods: Two national surveys were conducted, one of patients and caregivers and one of oncologists. The surveys examined patient and caregiver experiences with and oncologist perceptions of racial disparities in cancer care. Results: The surveys found that when patients and caregivers were asked about negative care experiences, differences across race were observed. Patients and caregivers identifying as African American/Black (AA/B) or Hispanic/Latino (H/L) were more likely to report at least one negative care experience than patients and caregivers identifying as White (W). Patients who were AA/B or H/L were also more likely than W patients to report that the healthcare system treats people unfairly based on their racial or ethnic background and that racial bias occurs often or very often when a patient and doctor are of different racial/ethnic background. A slight majority of oncologists reported that the healthcare system treats people unfairly based on their racial or ethnic background. Conclusions: The survey results highlight a need for improved racial representation in the oncology professional workforce, improved implicit bias training, and improved clinical trial recruitment efforts.

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Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Nilofer Azad, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin Deming, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Andrew Gunn, J. Randolph Hecht, Sarah Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, William Jeck, Kimberly L. Johung, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Jennifer K. Maratt, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina Pedersen, Leonard Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Anna Tavakkoli, Christopher G. Willett, Kristina Gregory, and Lisa Gurski

This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Rectal Cancer focuses on management of malignant polyps and resectable nonmetastatic rectal cancer because important updates have been made to these guidelines. These recent updates include redrawing the algorithms for stage II and III disease to reflect new data supporting the increasingly prominent role of total neoadjuvant therapy, expanded recommendations for short-course radiation therapy techniques, and new recommendations for a “watch-and-wait” nonoperative management technique for patients with cancer that shows a complete response to neoadjuvant therapy. The complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Rectal Cancer, available online at, covers additional topics including risk assessment, pathology and staging, management of metastatic disease, posttreatment surveillance, treatment of recurrent disease, and survivorship.

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Hermioni L. Amonoo, Elizabeth Daskalakis, Emma C. Deary, Monica H. Bodd, Matthew J. Reynolds, Ashley M. Nelson, Richard Newcomb, Tejaswini M. Dhawale, Daniel Yang, Selina M. Luger, Jillian L. Gustin, Andrew Brunner, Amir T. Fathi, Thomas W. LeBlanc, and Areej El-Jawahri

Background: Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) face an abrupt life-threatening illness and experience immense physical and psychological symptoms. However, no data describe how patients with AML cope longitudinally with their illness or the relationship between longitudinal coping and outcomes. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of longitudinal data from 160 patients with high-risk AML enrolled in a supportive care intervention trial to describe coping strategies longitudinally across the illness course. We used the Brief COPE questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist-Civilian Version, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia to measure coping strategies, psychological distress, and quality of life (QoL) at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 12, and 24 after diagnosis. Electronic health records were used to assess healthcare utilization and end-of-life (EoL) outcomes, and multivariate analyses were used to assess the relationship between coping and outcomes. Results: Longitudinal utilization of approach-oriented coping strategies was significantly associated with less distress (anxiety: β, –0.18; P<.001; depression symptoms: β, –0.42; P<.001; PTSD symptoms: β, –0.60; P<.001) and better QoL (β, 2.00; P<.001). Longitudinal utilization of avoidant coping strategies was significantly associated with greater distress (anxiety: β, 0.64; depression symptoms: β, 0.54; PTSD symptoms: β, 2.13; P<.001 for all) and worse QoL (β, –4.27; P<.001). Although the use of approach-oriented and avoidant coping strategies was not significantly associated with hospitalization, chemotherapy administration, or hospice use in the last 30 days of life, approach-oriented coping was associated with lower odds of ICU admissions (odds ratio, 0.92; P=.049). Conclusions: Longitudinal use of approach-oriented coping strategies was associated with less psychological distress, better QoL, and a lower likelihood of ICU admission, suggesting a possible target for supportive oncology interventions. Coping strategies did not impact EoL outcomes, and further research is needed to elucidate which patient factors impact EoL decision-making.

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Margaret Tempero