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Willemieke P.M. Dijksterhuis, Anouk E.J. Latenstein, Jessy Joy van Kleef, Rob H.A. Verhoeven, Jeanne H.M. de Vries, Marije Slingerland, Elles Steenhagen, Joos Heisterkamp, Liesbeth M. Timmermans, Marian A.E. de van der Schueren, Martijn G.H. van Oijen, Sandra Beijer and Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven

Background: Cachexia is common in patients with esophagogastric cancer and is associated with increased mortality. Nutritional screening and dietetic interventions can be helpful in preventing evolvement of cachexia. Our aim was to study the real-world prevalence and prognostic value of pretreatment cachexia on overall survival (OS) using patient-reported weight loss, and to explore dietetic interventions in esophagogastric cancer. Materials and Methods: Patients with esophagogastric cancer (2015–2018), regardless of disease stage, who participated in the Prospective Observational Cohort Study of Esophageal-Gastric Cancer Patients (POCOP) and completed patient-reported outcome measures were included. Data on weight loss and dietetic interventions were retrieved from questionnaires before start of treatment (baseline) and 3 months thereafter. Additional patient data were obtained from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Cachexia was defined as self-reported >5% half-year body weight loss at baseline or >2% in patients with a body mass index (BMI) <20 kg/m2 according to the Fearon criteria. The association between cachexia and OS was analyzed using multivariable Cox proportional hazard analyses adjusted for sex, age, performance status, comorbidities, primary tumor location, disease stage, histology, and treatment strategy. Results: Of 406 included patients, 48% had pretreatment cachexia, of whom 65% were referred for dietetic consultation at baseline. The proportion of patients with cachexia was the highest among those who received palliative chemotherapy (59%) or best supportive care (67%). Cachexia was associated with decreased OS (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.11–2.09). Median weight loss after 3-month follow-up was lower in patients with cachexia who were referred to a dietician at baseline compared with those who were not (0% vs 2%; P=.047). Conclusions: Nearly half of patients with esophagogastric cancer have pretreatment cachexia. Dietetic consultation at baseline was not reported in more than one-third of the patients with cachexia. Because cachexia was independently associated with decreased survival, improving nutritional screening and referral for dietetic consultation are warranted to prevent further deterioration of malnutrition and mortality.

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Fei Gao, Nan Li, YongMei Xu and GuoWang Yang

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Gabrielle Gauvin, Chi Chi Do-Nguyen, Johanna Lou, Eileen Anne O’Halloran, Leigh T. Selesner, Elizabeth Handorf, Molly E. Collins and Jeffrey M. Farma

Background: Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) are invaluable clinical tools that play a role in palliation and nutrition in patients with cancer. This study aimed to better understand the risks and benefits associated with the placement and maintenance of G-tubes. Methods: Patients who underwent placement of a G-tube for cancer from January 2013 through December 2017 at a tertiary care center were considered for inclusion. Clinical data were retrospectively collected from medical records. Results: A total of 242 patients with cancer, whose average age at diagnosis was 61 years (range, 21–94 years), underwent G-tube placement for nutrition (76.4%), decompression (22.7%), or both (0.8%). Successful insertion was achieved in 96.8%, but 8 patients required >1 attempted method of insertion. In the decompression group, minor postplacement complications were less common (23.6% vs 53.5%; P<.001) and survival was shorter (P<.001) compared with the nutrition group. For those with decompressive G-tubes, 45.5% had a palliative care consult; 56.4% were seen by social workers; and 46.3% went to hospice. The frequency of hospice discharge was higher in patients who had consults (53.7% vs 23.1%; P=.01). Conclusions: Half of the patients who received decompressive G-tubes presented with stage IV disease and died within 1 month of placement. Those with >1 consult were more likely to be discharged to hospice. Patients with G-tubes for nutrition saw no change in functionality, complication rate, or survival, regardless of adjunct chemotherapy status. These findings illustrate the need for a tool to allow a better multidisciplinary approach and interventional decision-making for patients with cancer.

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Mary B. Daly, Tuya Pal, Michael P. Berry, Saundra S. Buys, Patricia Dickson, Susan M. Domchek, Ahmed Elkhanany, Susan Friedman, Michael Goggins, Mollie L. Hutton, CGC, Beth Y. Karlan, Seema Khan, Catherine Klein, Wendy Kohlmann, CGC, Allison W. Kurian, Christine Laronga, Jennifer K. Litton, Julie S. Mak, LCGC, Carolyn S. Menendez, Sofia D. Merajver, Barbara S. Norquist, Kenneth Offit, Holly J. Pederson, Gwen Reiser, CGC, Leigha Senter-Jamieson, CGC, Kristen Mahoney Shannon, Rebecca Shatsky, Kala Visvanathan, Jeffrey N. Weitzel, Myra J. Wick, Kari B. Wisinski, Matthew B. Yurgelun, Susan D. Darlow and Mary A. Dwyer

The NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast, Ovarian, and Pancreatic focus primarily on assessment of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants associated with increased risk of breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer and recommended approaches to genetic testing/counseling and management strategies in individuals with these pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants. This manuscript focuses on cancer risk and risk management for BRCA-related breast/ovarian cancer syndrome and Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Carriers of a BRCA1/2 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant have an excessive risk for both breast and ovarian cancer that warrants consideration of more intensive screening and preventive strategies. There is also evidence that risks of prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer are elevated in these carriers. Li-Fraumeni syndrome is a highly penetrant cancer syndrome associated with a high lifetime risk for cancer, including soft tissue sarcomas, osteosarcomas, premenopausal breast cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, adrenocortical carcinoma, and brain tumors.

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Robert Pilarski

Historically, genetic testing (and billing) for hereditary cancer risk was essentially performed gene by gene, with clinicians ordering testing only for the genes most likely to explain a patient’s or family’s cancer presentation, with laboratories typically charging $1,000 to $1,500 for each gene that was sequenced. Given the expense, only patients at high risk of having a hereditary syndrome were offered testing. With the introduction of next-generation sequencing technologies, however, laboratories are able to test for multiple genes at the same time with greater efficiency, significantly decreased costs, and relatively little increased expense when adding additional genes. This has drastically altered clinical practice so that clinicians now typically order testing for a panel of multiple genes for most patients. Although this approach has streamlined the diagnostic odyssey, it has introduced several problems, as well, including difficulties in choosing the appropriate panel test for a given patient, assessing the significance of identified genetic variants (including variants of uncertain significance [VUS]), and understanding the disease risks and management associated with pathogenic variants in a given gene. Many laboratories offer testing for genes that have limited data supporting their associated cancer risks, which then leads to an inability to set management guidelines based on that gene. In addition, testing larger numbers of genes increases the likelihood of finding one or more VUS, which introduce their own management issues. Thus, although panel testing has certainly moved clinical practice forward in many ways, it has also raised its own set of problems that increase the complexity of genetic counseling and highlight the need for education of community practitioners on the complexities and nuances of this testing. Whenever possible, testing should be performed by, or in consultation with, cancer genetics professionals.

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James Sun, Brittany J. Mathias, Christine Laronga, Weihong Sun, Jun-Min Zhou, William J. Fulp, John V. Kiluk and M. Catherine Lee

Background: Results of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z0011 trial supports omission of completion axillary lymph node dissection (CLND) after breast-conservation surgery with a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). We hypothesized that CLND also does not impact outcomes in women with clinically node-negative (cN0), pathologically node-positive breast cancer undergoing mastectomy. Materials and Methods: A single-institution retrospective review was performed of patients with SLN-positive breast cancer treated from July 1999 through May 2018. Clinicopathologic and outcome data were collected. Patients with SLNBs were compared with those receiving SLNB and CLND. The Kruskal-Wallis, chi-square, and Fisher exact tests were used to assess for differences between continuous and categorical variables. The log-rank test was used for time-to-event analyses, and Cox proportional hazards models were fit for locoregional and distant recurrence and overall survival (OS). Results: Of 329 patients with SLN-positive breast cancer undergoing mastectomy, 60% had CLND (n=201). Median age at diagnosis was 53 years (interquartile range [IQR], 46–62 years). The median number of SLNs sampled was 3 (IQR, 2–4), and the median number of positive SLNs was 1 (IQR, 1–2). Patients receiving CLND had higher tumor grades (P=.02) and a higher proportion of hormone receptor negativity (estrogen receptor, 19%; progesterone receptor, 27%; both P=.007). A total of 44 patients (22%) had increased N stage after CLND. Median follow-up was 51 months (IQR, 29–83 months). No association was found between CLND and change in OS and locoregional or distant recurrence. Completion of postmastectomy radiotherapy was associated with improved OS (P=.04). Conclusions: CLND is not significantly correlated with reduced recurrence or improved OS among patients who have cN0, SLN-positive breast cancer treated with mastectomy. CLND was significantly correlated with receipt of adjuvant systemic therapy. Completion of postmastectomy radiotherapy was associated with improved OS.