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Fei Gao, Nan Li, YongMei Xu and GuoWang Yang

Background: The role of postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) in patients with resected stage IIIA non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of PORT on survival of these patients. Methods: Patients aged ≥18 years with stage IIIA NSCLC were identified in the SEER database from 2010 through 2015. Cox regression analysis was used to identify independant prognostic factors in patients with stage IIIA NSCLC. Subgroup analysis of patients stratified by N stage was also performed. Overall survival and lung cancer–related death were compared among the different groups by using Kaplan-Meier analysis and competitive risk analysis. Results: A total of 5,168 patients (1,711 of whom received PORT) were included in the study. In multivariable analysis, PORT was an independent prognostic risk factor for patients with N1 stage (hazard ratio [HR], 1.416, 95% CI, 1.144–1.753; P=.001). PORT was a favorable prognostic factor for patients with stage IIIA, N2 disease with ≥6 positive lymph nodes (HR, 0.742; 95% CI, 0.587–0.938; P=.012). Median survival time of patients with stage IIIA, N2 disease with ≥6 positive lymph nodes who received postoperative chemotherapy combined with PORT was significantly longer compared with those who received postoperative chemotherapy alone (32 vs 25 months, respectively; P=.009). The competitive risk model revealed that 3- and 5-year lung cancer–related mortality rates increased by 8.99% and 16.92%, respectively, in patients with N1 disease who were treated with PORT, whereas the 3-year mortality rate decreased by 4.67% and the 5-year mortality rate by 10.08% in patients with N2 disease and ≥6 positive lymph nodes who were treated using PORT. Conclusions: Our results revealed that PORT significantly improved overall survival and decreased lung cancer–related mortality in patients with stage IIIA, N2 disease with ≥6 positive lymph node metastases. PORT was not recommended for patients with N0 and N1 disease.

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Daniel E. Lage, Areej El-Jawahri, Charn-Xin Fuh, Richard A. Newcomb, Vicki A. Jackson, David P. Ryan, Joseph A. Greer, Jennifer S. Temel and Ryan D. Nipp

Background: National guidelines recommend regular measurement of functional status among patients with cancer, particularly those who are elderly or high-risk, but little is known about how functional status relates to clinical outcomes among hospitalized patients with advanced cancer. The goal of this study was to investigate how functional impairment is associated with symptom burden and healthcare utilization and clinical outcomes. Patients and Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of patients with advanced cancer with unplanned hospitalizations at Massachusetts General Hospital from September 2014 through March 2016. Upon admission, nurses assessed patients’ activities of daily living (ADLs; mobility, feeding, bathing, dressing, and grooming). Patients with any ADL impairment on admission were classified as having functional impairment. We used the revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS-r) and Patient Health Questionnaire-4 to assess physical and psychological symptoms, respectively. Multivariable regression models were used to assess the relationships between functional impairment, hospital length of stay, and survival. Results: Among 971 patients, 390 (40.2%) had functional impairment. Those with functional impairment were older (mean age, 67.18 vs 60.81 years; P<.001) and had a higher physical symptom burden (mean ESAS physical score, 35.29 vs 30.85; P<.001) compared with those with no functional impairment. They were also more likely to report moderate-to-severe pain (74.9% vs 63.1%; P<.001) and symptoms of depression (38.3% vs 23.6%; P<.001) and anxiety (35.9% vs 22.4%; P<.001). Functional impairment was associated with longer hospital length of stay (β = 1.29; P<.001) and worse survival (hazard ratio, 1.73; P<.001). Conclusions: Hospitalized patients with advanced cancer who had functional impairment experienced a significantly higher symptom burden and worse clinical outcomes compared with those without functional impairment. These findings provide evidence supporting the routine assessment of functional status on hospital admission and using this to inform discharge planning, discussions about prognosis, and the development of interventions addressing patients’ symptoms and physical function.

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En Cheng, Peiyin Hung and Shi-Yi Wang

Background: Transplantation, surgical resection, radiofrequency ablation, and percutaneous ethanol injection are generally considered potentially curative treatments for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). With the increasing incidence of HCC, it is critical to investigate geographic variations in curative treatments and their associations with survival among patients. Methods: A total of 6,782 patients with HCC during 2004 to 2011 were identified in the SEER-Medicare linked database and placed in quartiles based on the proportions undergoing potentially curative treatments per hospital referral region (HRR). Hierarchical Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between regional potentially curative treatment patterns and survival across quartiles. Results: An average of 16.9% of patients with HCC underwent potentially curative treatments during 2004 to 2011, varying substantially from 0% to 34.5% across HRRs. Compared with patients residing in the lowest-quartile regions, those in the highest-quartile regions were more likely to be of other races (vs white or black), be infected with hepatitis B virus, and have more comorbidities. The 5-year survival was 4.7% in the lowest-quartile regions and 11.4% in the highest-quartile regions (P<.001). After controlling for confounders, patients in the highest-quartile regions had a lower risk of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.72–0.85). Conclusions: Patients with HCC who resided in HRRs with higher proportions of potentially curative treatments had better survival. Given its proven survival benefits, prompt clinical and policy actions are needed to reduce variations in treatment utilization.

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Richard T. Hoppe, Ranjana H. Advani, Weiyun Z. Ai, Richard F. Ambinder, Philippe Armand, Celeste M. Bello, Cecil M. Benitez, Philip J. Bierman, Kirsten M. Boughan, Bouthaina Dabaja, Leo I. Gordon, Francisco J. Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, Alex F. Herrera, Ephraim P. Hochberg, Jiayi Huang, Patrick B. Johnston, Mark S. Kaminski, Vaishalee P. Kenkre, Nadia Khan, Ryan C. Lynch, Kami Maddocks, Jonathan McConathy, Matthew McKinney, Monika Metzger, David Morgan, Carolyn Mulroney, Rachel Rabinovitch, Karen C. Rosenspire, Stuart Seropian, Randa Tao, Jane N. Winter, Joachim Yahalom, Jennifer L. Burns and Ndiya Ogba

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) provide recommendations for the management of adult patients with HL. The NCCN panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant data, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. Current management of classic HL involves initial treatment with chemotherapy alone or combined modality therapy followed by restaging with PET/CT to assess treatment response. Overall, the introduction of less toxic and more effective regimens has significantly advanced HL cure rates. This portion of the NCCN Guidelines focuses on the management of classic HL.

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Margaret Tempero

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NCCN Guidelines Insights: Cervical Cancer, Version 1.2020

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Nadeem R. Abu-Rustum, Catheryn M. Yashar, Sarah Bean, Kristin Bradley, Susana M. Campos, Hye Sook Chon, Christina Chu, David Cohn, Marta Ann Crispens, Shari Damast, Christine M. Fisher, Peter Frederick, David K. Gaffney, Robert Giuntoli II, Ernest Han, Warner K. Huh, John R. Lurain III, Andrea Mariani, David Mutch, Christa Nagel, Larissa Nekhlyudov, Amanda Nickles Fader, Steven W. Remmenga, R. Kevin Reynolds, Rachel Sisodia, Todd Tillmanns, Stefanie Ueda, Renata Urban, Emily Wyse, Nicole R. McMillian and Angela D. Motter

The NCCN Guidelines for Cervical Cancer provide recommendations for diagnostic workup, staging, and treatment of patients with the disease. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates to the guidelines, including changes to first- and second-line systemic therapy recommendations for patients with recurrent or metastatic disease, and emerging evidence on a new histopathologic classification system for HPV-related endocervical adenocarcinoma.

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Tara M. Mackay, Lennart B. van Rijssen, Jurr O. Andriessen, Mustafa Suker, Geert-Jan Creemers, Ferry A. Eskens, Ignace H. de Hingh, Lonneke V. van de Poll-Franse, Mirjam A.G. Sprangers, Olivier R. Busch, Johanna W. Wilmink, Casper H. van Eijck, Marc G. Besselink, Hanneke W. van Laarhoven and on behalf of the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group

Background: This study sought to assess patient satisfaction and quality of life (QoL) before and after treatment of pancreatic and periampullary cancer. Methods: We conducted a prospective multicenter study of patients treated for pancreatic and periampullary cancer. General patient satisfaction was measured using the EORTC satisfaction with care questionnaire (IN-PATSAT32) at baseline and 3 months after treatment initiation, with a 10-point change on the Likert scale considered clinically meaningful. QoL was measured using the EORTC Core Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ-C30). The influence of treatment (curative and palliative) on patient satisfaction and QoL was determined. Results: Of 100 patients, 71 completed follow-up questionnaires. General satisfaction with care decreased from 74.3 before treatment to 61.9 after treatment (P<.001), whereas global QoL increased from 68.4 to 71.4 (P=.39). Clinically meaningful reductions were also observed for the reported interpersonal skills of doctors (from 73.4 to 63.3) and exchange of information within the care team (from 63.5 to 52.5). Satisfaction scores were lower for patients treated with curative intent than for those treated with palliative intent regarding interpersonal skills of doctors (P=.01), information provision by doctors (P=.004), information provision by nurses (P=.02), availability of nurses (P=.004), exchange of information within the care team (P=.01), and hospital access (P=.02). In multivariable analysis, clinicopathologic or QoL factors were not independently associated with general patient satisfaction. Conclusions: Satisfaction with care, but not QoL, decreased after pancreatic cancer treatment. Improvements in communication and interpersonal skills are needed to maintain patient satisfaction after treatment.