Background: Patients with cancer are increasingly prescribed oral therapies, bearing greater responsibility for self-management of treatment adherence and adverse events. We conducted a randomized trial to test the use of a smartphone mobile app to improve symptoms and adherence to oral cancer therapy. Materials and Methods: From February 18, 2015, through December 31, 2016, 181 patients with diverse cancers who were prescribed oral therapy were randomized to receive either the smartphone mobile app or standard care. The mobile app included a medication plan with reminders, a symptom-reporting module, and patient education. Primary outcomes were adherence (per electronic pill caps), symptom burden (per MD Anderson Symptom Inventory), and quality of life (per the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General). Participants also completed self-report measures of medication adherence, anxiety and depression symptoms, social support, quality of care, and healthcare utilization. Linear regression was used to assess intervention effects on adherence and change in self-report outcomes from baseline to week 12, controlling for baseline scores and social support. Results: Study groups did not differ across any outcome measure, with an overall mean adherence of 78.81% (SD, 26.66%) per electronic pill caps. However, moderation analyses showed that intervention effects on the primary adherence measure varied by baseline self-reported adherence and anxiety symptoms. Specifically, adherence rates per electronic pill caps were higher in patients randomized to the mobile app versus standard care within the subsamples of patients who reported baseline adherence problems (mean difference, –22.30%; 95% CI, –42.82 to –1.78; P=.034) and elevated anxiety (mean difference, –16.08%; 95% CI, –31.74 to –0.41; P=.044). Conclusions: Although the mobile app may not improve outcomes for all patients prescribed oral cancer therapy, the intervention may be beneficial for those with certain risk factors, such as difficulties with adherence or anxiety.
Joseph A. Greer, Jamie M. Jacobs, Nicole Pensak, Lauren E. Nisotel, Joel N. Fishbein, James J. MacDonald, Molly E. Ream, Emily A. Walsh, Joanne Buzaglo, Alona Muzikansky, Inga T. Lennes, Steven A. Safren, William F. Pirl and Jennifer S. Temel
Nina N. Sanford, David J. Sher, Xiaohan Xu, Chul Ahn, Anthony V. D’Amico, Ayal A. Aizer and Brandon A. Mahal
Background: Alcohol use is an established risk factor for several malignancies and is associated with adverse oncologic outcomes among individuals diagnosed with cancer. The prevalence and patterns of alcohol use among cancer survivors are poorly described. Methods: We used the National Health Interview Survey from 2000 to 2017 to examine alcohol drinking prevalence and patterns among adults reporting a cancer diagnosis. Multivariable logistic regression was used to define the association between demographic and socioeconomic variables and odds of self-reporting as a current drinker, exceeding moderate drinking limits, and engaging in binge drinking. The association between specific cancer type and odds of drinking were assessed. Results: Among 34,080 survey participants with a known cancer diagnosis, 56.5% self-reported as current drinkers, including 34.9% who exceeded moderate drinking limits and 21.0% who engaged in binge drinking. Younger age, smoking history, and more recent survey period were associated with higher odds of current, exceeding moderate, and binge drinking (P<.001 for all, except P=.008 for excess drinking). Similar associations persisted when the cohort was limited to 20,828 cancer survivors diagnosed ≥5 years before survey administration. Diagnoses of melanoma and cervical, head and neck, and testicular cancers were associated with higher odds of binge drinking (P<.05 for all) compared with other cancer diagnoses. Conclusions: Most cancer survivors self-report as current alcohol drinkers, including a subset who seem to engage in excessive drinking behaviors. Given that alcohol intake has implications for cancer prevention and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer-specific outcomes, the high prevalence of alcohol use among cancer survivors highlights the need for public health strategies aimed at the reduction of alcohol consumption.
Carlotta Palumbo, Francesco A. Mistretta, Sophie Knipper, Angela Pecoraro, Zhe Tian, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Fred Saad, Claudio Simeone, Alberto Briganti, Alessandro Antonelli and Pierre I. Karakiewicz
Background: Conditional survival (CS) may reveal important differences in cancer-specific mortality (CSM) among patients with nonmetastatic renal cell carcinoma (nmRCC). This study assessed CS according to T and N stages in patients treated surgically for nmRCC. Patients and Methods: Within the SEER database (2001–2015), all patients with nmRCC treated with either partial or radical nephrectomy were identified. CSM-free estimates according to T and N stage and substage groupings (pT1aN0–pT4N0 and pTanyN1) and multivariable Cox regression models with adjustment for Fuhrman grade and histologic subtype were assessed. Results: According to T and N stage and substage groupings, the following patients were included in the study: 35,966 (46.2%) with pT1aN0 disease; 18,858 (24.2%) with pT1bN0; 5,977 (7.7%) with pT2aN0; 2,511 (3.2%) with pT2bN0; 11,839 (15.2%) with pT3aN0; 1,037 (1.3%) with pT3b–cN0; 402 (0.5%) with pT4N0; and 1,302 (1.7%) with pTanyN1. Conditional CSM-free survival estimates were 98.2% at 1 year versus 98.0% at 10 years of event-free follow-up for patients with pT1aN0 disease, relative to baseline. Conversely, pT4N0/pTanyN1 conditional CSM-free survival estimates were 55.8% at 1 year versus 77.9% at 8 years of event-free follow-up. Attrition due to mortality was highest in patients with pT4N0/pTanyN1 disease. In multivariable Cox regression analyses, T stage, tumor grade, and histologic subtype represented independent predictors, but no interactions were identified. Conclusions: Tumor stage and its substages represent extremely important determinants of prognosis after lengthy event-free follow-up. The recorded observations have critical importance for physicians regarding patient follow-up and counseling.
Claire de Oliveira, Joyce Cheng, Kelvin Chan, Craig C. Earle, Murray Krahn and Nicole Mittmann
Background: Although high-cost (HC) patients make up a small proportion of patients, they account for most health system costs. However, little is known about HC patients with cancer or whether some of their care could potentially be prevented. This analysis sought to characterize HC patients with cancer and quantify the costs of preventable acute care (emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations). Methods: This analysis examined a population-based sample of all HC patients in Ontario in 2013. HC patients were defined as those above the 90th percentile of the cost distribution; all other patients were defined as non–high-cost (NHC). Patients with cancer were identified through the Ontario Cancer Registry. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were examined and the costs of preventable acute care for both groups by category of visit/condition were estimated using validated algorithms. Results: Compared with NHC patients with cancer (n=369,422), HC patients with cancer (n=187,770) were older (mean age 70 vs 65 years), more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods (19% vs 16%), sicker, and more likely to live in long-term care homes (8% vs 0%). Although most patients from both cohorts tended to be diagnosed with breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer, those with multiple myeloma or pancreatic or liver cancers were overrepresented among the HC group. Moreover, HC patients were more likely to have advanced cancer at diagnosis and be in the initial or terminal phase of treatment compared with NHC patients. Among HC patients with cancer, 9% of spending stemmed from potentially preventable/avoidable acute care, whereas for NHC patients, this spending was approximately 30%. Conclusions: HC patients with cancer are a unique subpopulation. Given the type of care they receive, there seems to be limited scope to prevent acute care spending among this patient group. To reduce costs, other strategies, such as making hospital care more efficient and generating less costly encounters involving chemotherapy, should be explored.
Daniel Boakye, Viola Walter, Lina Jansen, Uwe M. Martens, Jenny Chang-Claude, Michael Hoffmeister and Hermann Brenner
Background: Comorbidities and old age independently compromise prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The impact of comorbidities could thus be considered as conveying worse prognosis already at younger ages, but evidence is lacking on how much worsening of prognosis with age is advanced to younger ages in comorbid versus noncomorbid patients. We aimed to quantify, for the first time, the impact of comorbidities on CRC prognosis in “age advancement” of worse prognosis. Methods: A total of 4,602 patients aged ≥30 years who were diagnosed with CRC in 2003 through 2014 were recruited into a population-based study in the Rhine-Neckar region of Germany and observed over a median period of 5.1 years. Overall comorbidity was quantified using the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI). Hazard ratios and age advancement periods (AAPs) for comorbidities were calculated from multivariable Cox proportional hazards models for relevant survival outcomes. Results: Hazard ratios for CCI scores 1, 2, and ≥3 compared with CCI 0 were 1.25, 1.53, and 2.30 (P<.001) for overall survival and 1.20, 1.48, and 2.03 (P<.001) for disease-free survival, respectively. Corresponding AAP estimates for CCI scores 1, 2, and ≥3 were 5.0 (95% CI, 1.9–8.1), 9.7 (95% CI, 6.1–13.3), and 18.9 years (95% CI, 14.4–23.3) for overall survival and 5.5 (95% CI, 1.5–9.5), 11.7 (95% CI, 7.0–16.4), and 21.0 years (95% CI, 15.1–26.9) for disease-free survival. Particularly pronounced effects of comorbidity on CRC prognosis were observed in patients with stage I–III CRC. Conclusions: Comorbidities advance the commonly observed deterioration of prognosis with age by many years, meaning that at substantially younger ages, comorbid patients with CRC experience survival rates comparable to those of older patients without comorbidity. This first derivation of AAPs may enhance the empirical basis for treatment decisions in patients with comorbidities and highlight the need to incorporate comorbidities into prognostic nomograms for CRC.
Sandipkumar H. Patel, Sumithira Vasu, Ling Guo, Olivia Lemaster, John C. Byrd and Alison Walker
Acute undifferentiated leukemia (AUL) is a subtype of acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage. There is no standard treatment approach for AUL, although acute lymphoblastic leukemia–like regimens for induction therapy have been used. Additional data suggest that AUL may be better treated as acute myeloid leukemia (AML), given their similarities in genetic, cytogenetic, and gene expression patterns. Somatic mutations of IDH1 are found in 7% to 14% of patients with AML; however, the patient in this study was the first patient with IDH1-mutated AUL treated with ivosidenib. In this case, a woman aged 39 years was found to have anemia and thrombocytopenia after presenting to her primary care physician with fatigue, weight loss, and persistent infections. During further workup of the cytopenia, she was diagnosed with AUL and received 7+3 (daunorubicin, 60 mg/m2/d intravenously on days 1–3, and cytarabine, 100 mg/m2 24-hour continuous intravenous infusion on days 1–7) due to the presence of the IDH1 mutation. Bone marrow biopsy performed on day 14 of 7+3 showed persistent disease, and ivosidenib was initiated due to severe HLA alloimmunization (panel-reactive antibody, 100%) and significant bleeding complications. The patient achieved a complete morphologic and molecular remission on ivosidenib monotherapy despite critical bleeding complications during induction. Targeted therapy using ivosidenib may represent an encouraging therapeutic option in patients with AUL and IDH1 mutations. Additional evaluation of ivosidenib in this subgroup of patients with AUL is needed.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Pamela Sue Becker, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Laura M. Alwan, Kimo Bachiashvili, Anna Brown, Rita Cool, Peter Curtin, Shira Dinner, Ivana Gojo, Ashley Hicks, Avyakta Kallam, Wajih Zaheer Kidwai, Dwight D. Kloth, Eric H. Kraut, Daniel Landsburg, Gary H. Lyman, Ryan Miller, Sudipto Mukherjee, Shiven Patel, Lia E. Perez, Adam Poust, Raajit Rampal, Rachel Rosovsky, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Sepideh Shayani, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Kelly Westbrook, Peter Westervelt, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Keller and Lenora A. Pluchino
Management of febrile neutropenia (FN) is an integral part of supportive care for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Growth Factors provide suggestions for appropriate evaluation, risk determination, prophylaxis, and management of FN. These NCCN Guidelines are intended to guide clinicians in the appropriate use of growth factors for select patients undergoing treatment of nonmyeloid malignancies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight important updates to the NCCN Guidelines regarding the incorporation of newly FDA-approved granulocyte-colony stimulating factor biosimilars for the prevention and treatment of FN.