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Peter G. Shields, Laura Bierut, Douglas Arenberg, David Balis, Paul M. Cinciripini, James Davis, Donna Edmondson, Joy Feliciano, Brian Hitsman, Karen S. Hudmon, Michael T. Jaklitsch, Frank T. Leone, Pamela Ling, Danielle E. McCarthy, Michael K. Ong, Elyse R. Park, Judith Prochaska, Argelia J. Sandoval, Christine E. Sheffer, Sharon Spencer, Jamie L. Studts, Tawee Tanvetyanon, Hilary A. Tindle, Elisa Tong, Matthew Triplette, James Urbanic, Gregory Videtic, David Warner, C. Will Whitlock, Beth McCullough, and Susan Darlow

Although the harmful effects of smoking after a cancer diagnosis have been clearly demonstrated, many patients continue to smoke cigarettes during treatment and beyond. The NCCN Guidelines for Smoking Cessation emphasize the importance of smoking cessation in all patients with cancer and seek to establish evidence-based recommendations tailored to the unique needs and concerns of patients with cancer. The recommendations contained herein describe interventions for cessation of all combustible tobacco products (eg, cigarettes, cigars, hookah), including smokeless tobacco products. However, recommendations are based on studies of cigarette smoking. The NCCN Smoking Cessation Panel recommends that treatment plans for all patients with cancer who smoke include the following 3 tenets that should be done concurrently: (1) evidence-based motivational strategies and behavior therapy (counseling), which can be brief; (2) evidence-based pharmacotherapy; and (3) close follow-up with retreatment as needed.

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Farah Mazahreh, Ahmad A. Al-Hader, and Samer Al Hadidi

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Jake Johnson, Whitney Goldner, Duaa Abdallah, Fang Qiu, Apar Kishor Ganti, and Anupam Kotwal

Background: Hypophysitis is a serious adverse event stemming from immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy for malignancy. This study aimed to characterize ICI-induced hypophysitis, identify diagnostic challenges, and evaluate an association with survival in a large cancer cohort. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of adult patients with cancer who received ICIs between December 1, 2012, and December 31, 2019. We identified 839 patients who received CTLA-4, PD-1, or PD-L1 inhibitors or a combination thereof who were followed for a median of 19.4 months. Hypophysitis was defined as MRI evidence of pituitary gland and/or stalk enlargement or biochemical evidence of hypopituitarism if not explained by another etiology. Results: A total of 16 (1.9%) patients developed hypophysitis a median of 7 months after ICI initiation, with most patients having melanoma (9/16; 56.2%) or renal cell carcinoma (4/16; 25%). Two patients also had exogenous glucocorticoid exposure but exhibited secondary hypothyroidism and secondary adrenal insufficiency (AI). Median age at the start of ICI was 61.3 years and 57% were men. Patients who developed hypophysitis were younger compared with those who did not develop hypophysitis (median age, 57 vs 65 years; P=.011). Hypophysitis occurred most frequently after combination therapy (13.7%) compared with CTLA-4 monotherapy (1.9%), PD-1 monotherapy (1.2%), and PD-L1 monotherapy (0.8%) (P<.0001). Pituitary gland enlargement on MRI occurred more frequently after CTLA-4 inhibitor monotherapy or combination therapy (5/7; 71.4%) compared with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor monotherapy (1/6; 16.7%). The survival benefit of hypophysitis was not apparent after addressing immortal time bias and adjusting for other variables affecting patient outcomes. Conclusions: Secondary AI occurred in all patients, and secondary hypothyroidism occurred in half. Classic pituitary gland enlargement is usually absent in PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor–induced hypophysitis. Further pituitary evaluation must be conducted to differentiate secondary AI resulting from exogenous glucocorticoids and hypophysitis in patients with cancer receiving ICIs. The link between hypophysitis and ICI efficacy needs further investigation.

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Etienne Bastien, Sophie Lefèvre-Arbogast, Justine Lequesne, François Gernier, François Cherifi, Olivier Rigal, Lydia Guittet, Jean‐Michel Grellard, Giulia Binarelli, Marie Lange, Marie Fernette, Laure Tron, Adeline Morel, Doriane Richard, Bénédicte Griffon, Alexandra Leconte, Florian Quilan, Louis-Ferdinand Pépin, Fabrice Jardin, Marianne Leheurteur, Audrey Faveyrial, Bénédicte Clarisse, and Florence Joly

Background: Patients with cancer may be particularly vulnerable to psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. We studied the prevalence and evolution of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in patients with cancer during the pandemic waves, and we investigated factors associated with high symptoms. Methods: COVIPACT is a 1-year longitudinal prospective study of French patients with solid/hematologic malignancies receiving treatment during the first nationwide lockdown. PTSS were measured every 3 months from April 2020 using the Impact of Event Scale–Revised. Patients also completed questionnaires on their quality of life, cognitive complaints, insomnia, and COVID-19 lockdown experience. Results: Longitudinal analyses involved 386 patients with at least one PTSS assessment after baseline (median age, 63 years; 76% female). Among them, 21.5% had moderate/severe PTSS during the first lockdown. The rate of patients reporting PTSS decreased at lockdown release (13.6%), increased again at second lockdown (23.2%), and slightly declined from the second release period (22.7%) to the third lockdown (17.5%). Patients were grouped into 3 trajectories of evolution. Most patients had stable low symptoms throughout the period, 6% had high baseline symptoms slowly decreasing over time, and 17.6% had moderate symptoms worsening during the second lockdown. Female sex, feeling socially isolated, worrying about COVID-19 infection, and using psychotropic drugs were associated with PTSS. PTSS were associated with impaired quality of life, sleep, and cognition. Conclusions: Approximately one-fourth of patients with cancer experienced high and persistent PTSS over the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and may benefit from psychological support. identifier: NCT04366154

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Christopher Nevala-Plagemann, Shashank Sama, Jian Ying, Jincheng Shen, Benjamin Haaland, Vaia Florou, and Ignacio Garrido-Laguna

Background: Trifluridine/Tipiracil (TAS-102) and regorafenib are FDA-approved in the United States for treatment of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). FDA approvals of these agents were based on modest improvements in overall survival (OS) compared with best supportive care + placebo in the RECOURSE and CORRECT trials, respectively. This study compared real-world clinical outcomes with the use of these agents. Methods: A nationwide deidentified electronic health record–derived database was reviewed for patients diagnosed with mCRC between 2015 and 2020. Patients who received at least 2 lines of standard systemic therapy followed by treatment with either TAS-102 or regorafenib were included for analysis. Kaplan-Meier and propensity score–weighted proportional hazards models were used to compare survival outcomes between groups. Results: The records of 22,078 patients with mCRC were reviewed. Of these, 1,937 patients received at least 2 lines of standard therapy followed by regorafenib and/or TAS-102. Median OS for the TAS-102 alone or prior regorafenib group (n=1,016) was 6.66 months (95% CI, 6.16–7.18 months) compared with 6.30 months (95% CI, 5.80–6.79 months) for regorafenib alone or prior to TAS-102 (n=921; P=.36). A propensity score–weighted analysis controlling for potential confounders did not demonstrate a significant difference in survival between groups (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.90–1.09; P=.82). A subgroup analysis did not identify any significant differences in outcomes regarding age, performance status, tumor sidedness, microsatellite instability status, or RAS/RAF status. Conclusions: This analysis of real-world data found that OS was similar for patients with mCRC who were treated with TAS-102 compared with regorafenib. Median OS with both agents in a real-world setting was similar to that shown in the clinical trials that led to their approvals. A prospective trial comparing TAS-102 and regorafenib would unlikely change current management of patients with refractory mCRC.

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Gordon Taylor Moffat, Tao Wang, and Andrew G. Robinson


This report describes the management of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) transformation in a patient with untreated ALK-mutated advanced disease and a minimal smoking history, and a separate case of a de novo SCLC in a lifelong nonsmoker found to have a potentially targetable ERBB2 alteration. In the first case, chemotherapy followed by a targeted inhibitor was chosen due to the presence of the ALK rearrangement, as well as a somewhat discordant response to induction chemotherapy, suggesting possible progression of the ALK inhibitor–sensitive component. Molecular testing for the identification of driver mutations should be considered in patients with SCLC who have light/never smoking histories in order to help understand the incidence and ultimate optimal management strategies.

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Rohan Maniar, Stephanie M. Gallitano, Sameera Husain, Golnaz Moazami, Michael J. Weiss, and Catherine A. Shu

BRAF/MEK inhibition remains standard of care for treatment of BRAF-mutated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although common adverse events (AEs) have been reported through clinical trials and ongoing clinical practice, only a handful of reports have detailed unusual adverse events associated with these medications. This report presents a patient with BRAF-mutated NSCLC treated with dabrafenib and trametinib who experienced 2 unusual AEs—Sweet syndrome and MEK-associated retinopathy—that responded to steroid treatment. The patient was able to continue BRAF/MEK inhibition through a coordinated multidisciplinary approach. This case highlights the importance for all clinicians to recognize unusual AEs associated with BRAF/MEK inhibition, particularly in the setting of expanded use for all BRAF V600E–mutated solid tumors.

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Alyssa A. Schatz, Shonta Chambers, Gretchen C. Wartman, Lisa A. Lacasse, Crystal S. Denlinger, Kristen M. Hobbs, Lindsey Bandini, Robert W. Carlson, and Robert A. Winn

The root causes of racial disparities in access to optimal cancer care and related cancer outcomes are complex, multifactorial, and not rooted in biology. Contributing factors to racial disparities in care delivery include implicit and explicit bias, lack of representation of people of color in the oncology care and research workforce, and homogenous research participants that are not representative of the larger community. Systemic and structural barriers include policies leading to lack of insurance and underinsurance, costs of cancer treatment and associated ancillary costs of care, disparate access to clinical trials, and social determinants of health, including exposure to environmental hazards, access to housing, childcare, and economic injustices. To address these issues, ACS CAN, NCCN, and NMQF convened the Elevating Cancer Equity (ECE) initiative. The ECE Working Group developed the Health Equity Report Card (HERC). In this manuscript, we describe the process taken by the ECE Working Group to develop the HERC recommendations, the strategies employed by NCCN to develop an implementation plan and scoring methodology for the HERC, and next steps to pilot the HERC tool in practice settings.

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Alice Dragomir, Nawar Touma, Jason Hu, Sylvie Perreault, and Armen G. Aprikian

Background: Controversy exists regarding the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in patients with prostate cancer. We sought to evaluate the association between gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists versus GnRH antagonist and the risk of CVD in patients with prostate cancer with or without prior CVD. Patients and Methods: Using administrative databases from Quebec, Canada, we identified first-time GnRH agonists and antagonist (degarelix) users between January 2012 and June 2016. Follow-up ended at the earliest of the following: first CVD event (myocardial infarction [MI], stroke, ischemic heart disease [IHD], arrhythmia, and heart failure [HF]); switch of GnRH group; death; or December 31, 2016. Inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) based on the propensity score was used to control for potential confounding. IPTW-Cox proportional hazards model accounting for competing risks was used to evaluate the association of interest. Results: Among 10,785 patients identified, 10,201 and 584 were on GnRH agonists and antagonist, respectively. Median age was 75 years (interquartile range, 69–81 years) for both groups. A total of 4,152 (40.7%) men in the GnRH agonists group and 281 (48.1%) men in the GnRH antagonist group had CVD in the 3-year period prior to ADT initiation. Risk of HF was decreased in the antagonist group compared with the GnRH agonist group among patients with prior CVD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.46; 95% CI, 0.26–0.79). Risk of IHD was decreased in the antagonist group in patients without prior CVD (HR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.11–0.65). Use of antagonist was associated with an increased risk of arrhythmia among patients with no prior CVD (HR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.63–3.36). Conclusions: Compared with GnRH agonists, the GnRH antagonist was found to be associated with a decreased risk of HF, specifically among patients with prior CVD. Among those with no prior CVD, the GnRH antagonist was associated with a decreased risk of IHD but an increased risk of arrhythmia.