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Brooke E. Wilson, Sallie-Anne Pearson, Michael B. Barton, and Eitan Amir

Background: It is unknown how often regional differences in oncology trials are observed. Based on our study findings, we quantified regional variation in registration studies in oncology and developed a question guide to help clinicians evaluate regional differences. Methods: Using FDA archives, we identified registration studies in solid tumor malignancies from 2010 to 2020. We extracted the baseline study characteristics and participating countries and determined whether the primary publication reported a regional subgroup analysis. For studies presenting outcomes stratified by region, we extracted the stratified hazard ratios (HRs) and extracted or calculated the test for heterogeneity. We performed a random effects meta-analysis and a pairwise comparison to determine whether outcomes differed between high-income versus mixed-income regions. Results: We included 147 studies in our final analysis. Studies supporting FDA drug approval have become increasingly multinational over time (β = 0.5; P=.04). The median proportion of countries from high-income groups was 81.2% (range, 44%–100%), with no participation from low-income countries in our cohort. Regional subgroup analysis was presented for 78 studies (53%). Regional heterogeneity was found in 17.8% (8/45) and 18% (8/44) of studies presenting an overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival endpoint, respectively. After grouping regions by income level, we found no difference in OS outcomes in high-income regions compared with mixed-income regions (n=20; HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.84–1.07). To determine whether regional variation is genuine, clinicians should evaluate the data according to the following 5 questions: (1) Are the regional groupings logical? (2) Is the regional difference on an absolute or relative scale? (3) Is the regional difference consistent and plausible? (4) Is the regional difference statistically significant? (5) Is there a clinical explanation? Conclusions: As registration studies in oncology become increasingly international, regional variations in trial outcomes may be detected. The question guide herein will help clinicians determine whether regional variations are likely to be clinically meaningful or statistical anomalies.

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Robert I Haddad, Lindsay Bischoff, Douglas Ball, Victor Bernet, Erik Blomain, Naifa Lamki Busaidy, Michael Campbell, Paxton Dickson, Quan-Yang Duh, Hormoz Ehya, Whitney S. Goldner, Theresa Guo, Megan Haymart, Shelby Holt, Jason P. Hunt, Andrei Iagaru, Fouad Kandeel, Dominick M. Lamonica, Susan Mandel, Stephanie Markovina, Bryan McIver, Christopher D. Raeburn, Rod Rezaee, John A. Ridge, Mara Y. Roth, Randall P. Scheri, Jatin P. Shah, Jennifer A. Sipos, Rebecca Sippel, Cord Sturgeon, Thomas N. Wang, Lori J. Wirth, Richard J. Wong, Michael Yeh, Carly J. Cassara, and Susan Darlow

Differentiated thyroid carcinomas is associated with an excellent prognosis. The treatment of choice for differentiated thyroid carcinoma is surgery, followed by radioactive iodine ablation (iodine-131) in select patients and thyroxine therapy in most patients. Surgery is also the main treatment for medullary thyroid carcinoma, and kinase inhibitors may be appropriate for select patients with recurrent or persistent disease that is not resectable. Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is almost uniformly lethal, and iodine-131 imaging and radioactive iodine cannot be used. When systemic therapy is indicated, targeted therapy options are preferred. This article describes NCCN recommendations regarding management of medullary thyroid carcinoma and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, and surgical management of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell carcinoma).

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Thomas L. Sutton, Marina Affi Koprowski, Jeffrey A. Gold, Benjamin Liu, Alison Grossblatt-Wait, Caroline Macuiba, Andrea Lehman, Susan Hedlund, Flavio G. Rocha, Jonathan R. Brody, and Brett C. Sheppard

Background: Screening for cancer-related psychosocial distress is an integral yet laborious component of quality oncologic care. Automated preappointment screening through online patient portals (Portal, MyChart) is efficient compared with paper-based screening, but unstudied. We hypothesized that patient access to and engagement with EHR-based screening would positively correlate with factors associated with digital literacy (eg, age, socioeconomic status). Methods: Screening-eligible oncology patients seen at our Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2014 through 2019 were identified. Patients with active Portals were offered distress screening. Portal and screening participation were analyzed via multivariable logistic regression. Household income in US dollars and educational attainment were estimated utilizing zip code and census data. Results: Of 17,982 patients, 10,279 (57%) had active Portals and were offered distress screening. On multivariable analysis, older age (odds ratio [OR], 0.97/year; P<.001); male gender (OR, 0.89; P<.001); Black (OR, 0.47; P<.001), Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (OR, 1.54; P=.007), and Native American/Alaskan Native race (OR, 0.67; P=.04); Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 0.76; P<.001); and Medicare (OR, 0.59; P<.001), Veteran’s Affairs/military (OR, 0.09; P<.01), Medicaid (OR, 0.34; P<.001), or no insurance coverage (OR, 0.57; P<.001) were independently associated with lower odds of being offered distress screening; increasing income (OR, 1.05/$10,000; P<.001) and educational attainment (OR, 1.03/percent likelihood of bachelor’s degree or higher; P<.001) were independently associated with higher odds. In patients offered electronic screening, participation rate was 36.6% (n=3,758). Higher educational attainment (OR, 1.01; P=.03) was independently associated with participation, whereas Black race (OR, 0.58; P=.004), Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 0.68; P=.01), non-English primary language (OR, 0.67; P=.03), and Medicaid insurance (OR, 0.78; P<.001) were independently associated with nonparticipation. Conclusions: Electronic portal–based screening for cancer-related psychosocial distress leads to underscreening of vulnerable populations. At institutions using electronic distress screening workflows, supplemental screening for patients unable or unwilling to engage with electronic screening is recommended to ensure efficient yet equal-opportunity distress screening.

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Margaret Tempero

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Cesar A. Santa-Maria, Maureen O’Donnell, Raquel Nunes, Jean L. Wright, and Vered Stearns

The KEYNOTE-522 study is a practice-changing phase III randomized study that demonstrated that the addition of pembrolizumab to polychemotherapy improves outcomes in patients with high-risk early-stage triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This regimen is highly efficacious with unprecedented pathologic complete response (pCR) rates, and clinically meaningful improvements in event-free survival (EFS). However, the combination is also associated with significant high-grade treatment-related toxicity. The backbone regimen deviated from common practice, including the addition of carboplatin, lack of dose dense anthracyclines, and adjuvant capecitabine for residual disease, thus brining important questions regarding real-world translation of these results. This brief report practically addresses some of the most relevant questions physicians and patients face in optimizing care using the best available evidence.