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Risk Factors Associated With Distress Among Postoperative Patients in an Academic Gynecologic Oncology Practice

Maya E. Gross, Janelle N. Sobecki, Chan Park, Menggang Yu, and Sumer K. Wallace

Background : Distress among gynecologic oncology patients correlates with poor clinical outcomes and decreased quality of life. The purpose of this study was to determine risk factors for elevated NCCN Distress Thermometer (DT) results among postoperative gynecologic oncology patients. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of all postoperative visits over a 5-year period. NCCN DT results were analyzed as both discretized values (DT ≤3 = low distress; DT 4–8 = moderate distress; DT ≥9 = high distress) and continuous variables. Patients with a DT score ≥4 were referred to social work. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to compare NCCN DT results with clinical and sociodemographic variables. Statistical significance was P<.05. Results: In total, 1,795 NCCN DT results were included, with uterine (37.72%) being the most common disease site. Benign pathology was known prior to completion of the NCCN DT in 13.15% of patients. Most patients (71.75%) endorsed low levels of distress. Moderate/High levels of distress were reported by 28.25% of patients. Increasing levels of distress were significantly associated with younger age (P=.006), history of depression (P≤.001), status as a current smoker (P=.028), and history of asthma (P=.041). Knowledge of benign pathology was associated with low levels of distress (P=.002). Procedure type and disease site were not associated with distress. Conclusions: More than one-fourth of postoperative patients in a gynecologic oncology practice reported moderate or high distress. Distress was highest among those with malignancy regardless of disease site or surgical intervention. Benign pathology correlated with decreased distress. Identified associations with distress provide opportunities for prevention, early intervention, and tailored counseling.

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Impact of Pain on Symptom Burden in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity

Fawaz Mayez Mahfouz, Tiffany Li, Hannah C. Timmins, Lisa G. Horvath, Michelle Harrison, Peter Grimison, Gavin Marx, David Goldstein, and Susanna B. Park

Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) affects the quality of life of cancer survivors. However, the impact of pain on symptom burden remains undefined. This study aimed to define differences in the clinical symptom profile of patients with painful and nonpainful CIPN. Patients and Methods: A total of 579 participants (median age, 59 years [IQR, 19 years]; F=66%) were assessed cross-sectionally 6 months posttreatment. CIPN severity was graded using multiple methods, including patient-reported outcome measures, a clinically graded scale (NCI-CTCAE), and a neurologic examination score. Participants were classified into subgroups based on patient symptom report, with painful CIPN characterized by the presence of shooting/burning pain, and nonpainful CIPN characterized by the presence of numbness or tingling without shooting/burning pain. Behavioral changes were assessed via structured patient interview regarding symptom impact on sleep, exercise, and treatment-seeking. Results: Among 579 participants, 24% (n=140) reported painful CIPN, 48% (n=280) reported nonpainful CIPN, and 28% (n=159) had no CIPN. Participants with painful CIPN demonstrated higher CIPN severity than those with nonpainful CIPN across multiple measures, including NCI-CTCAE, neurologic grading, and patient report (all P<.05). Participants with painful CIPN were more likely to report that their symptoms affected their ability to exercise (P=.007), produced sleep impairment, and increased treatment-seeking behavior due to their symptoms (both P<.001) compared with participants with nonpainful CIPN. Conclusions: Overall, participants with painful CIPN reported higher scores across all CIPN severity measures, including behavioral changes. This study underlines the need for accurate identification of different CIPN subgroups in hopes of informing better treatment and rehabilitation options for cancer survivors with painful CIPN.

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Response of a Novel KANK1::ALK Fusion to Alectinib in an Advanced Lung Adenocarcinoma: A Case Report

Quanying Tang, Tong Li, Fan Ren, Xuanguang Li, WeiBo Cao, Haochuan Yu, Fuling Mao, Cancan Cao, Lingling Zu, and Song Xu

More than 90 distinct fusion partners of ALK rearrangement have been identified. Different ALK fusions may exhibit different sensitivities to ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The emergence of rare fusions poses significant challenges to targeted therapies. This study aimed to investigate the response of KANK1::ALK fusion to alectinib in an advanced lung adenocarcinoma. A novel KANK1::ALK fusion was identified by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and Ventana immunohistochemistry assessments. A 73-year-old woman who had never smoked was admitted with hemoptysis in May 2020. PET/CT revealed a nodule in the left upper lobe, with bilateral pulmonary and multiple lymph node metastases. The upper lobe nodule of the left lung was diagnosed as adenocarcinoma through bronchofiberscopy biopsy, resulting in a clinical diagnosis of stage IVA (cT1c,N3,M1a). Because the biopsy tissue was insufficient for NGS analysis, a blood-based genetic analysis was performed, revealing the presence of KRAS p.Q61R mutations. The patient received carboplatin and pemetrexed with pembrolizumab as first-line therapy, followed by maintenance therapy of pembrolizumab monotherapy. Although the tumor initially showed significant shrinkage, it unfortunately progressed further after 11 months. Subsequently, the patient was given carboplatin and pemetrexed with pembrolizumab again, but the tumor progression continued. An NGS using a rebiopsy of the left upper lobe tumor suggested a KANK1::ALK fusion. Alectinib was prescribed in January 2022, and a durable partial response was observed after 18 months. ALK rearrangements were observed in the broader spectrum of lung cancers. This study provided a potential treatment option for patients with KANK1::ALK fusions. Further studies are needed to understand the function of these fusions.

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Associations Among Optimal Lung Cancer Treatment, Clinical Outcomes, and Health Care Utilization in Patients Who Underwent Comprehensive Genomic Profiling

Adam C. Powell, Elifnur Yay Donderici, Nicole J. Zhang, Shaun P. Forbes, Julie Wiedower, Amy C. McNeal, and Mark D. Hiatt

Background: Although immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies are contraindicated as first-line treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with ALK rearrangement and EGFR mutation, many receive them. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between optimal first-line treatment in this population and clinical outcomes. Methods: Claims and genomic data from patients with advanced or metastatic NSCLC were extracted from a nationally representative GuardantINFORM dataset. Patients who had their first claim mentioning advanced or metastatic NSCLC between March 2019 and February 2020 and had ALK rearrangement or EGFR mutation detected by comprehensive genomic profiling were included in this study. Patients were classified as having received optimal or suboptimal first-line treatment. Claims were reviewed to determine real-world time to next treatment, real-world time to discontinuation, and health services utilization (emergency department, inpatient, and outpatient) in the 12 months following first-line treatment initiation. Survival analyses were conducted using Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazard models. Health services utilization was compared between the groups using t tests and negative binomial models. Results: Of the 359 patients included, 280 (78.0%) received optimal first-line treatment. Optimally treated patients had longer median real-world time to next treatment (11.2 vs 4.4 months; P<.01) and real-world time to discontinuation (10.4 vs 1.9 months; P<.01). The optimal group had significantly fewer emergency department presentations (0.76 vs 1.27; P<.01) and outpatient visits (22.9 vs 42.7; P<.01) than the suboptimal group but did not significantly differ in inpatient utilization. Adjusted utilization analysis yielded similar findings. Conclusions: Patients with NSCLC who received optimal treatment, as determined by comprehensive genomic profiling using next-generation sequencing–based circulating tumor DNA testing (Guardant360), had significantly superior clinical and utilization outcomes, reinforcing existing guidelines recommending profiling at the onset of treatment.

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Development of a Strategic Initiative at MD Anderson Cancer Center to Improve Outcomes in Immune-Related Adverse Events

Sarah E. Fayle, Nicolas L. Palaskas, Bilal A. Siddiqui, Jennifer L. McQuade, Jamie S. Lin, Sumit K. Subudhi, Anisha B. Patel, Robert R. Jenq, Amishi Y. Shah, Amy R. Spelman, Mianen Sun, Bettina H. Marble, and Yinghong Wang

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have transformed the treatment paradigm for many cancer types. The clinical use of ICIs is increasing rapidly, including in combinations associated with increased risk of toxicities, termed “immune-related adverse events” (irAEs). Therefore, MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, Texas has proactively responded by developing a priority endeavor known as the Immuno-Oncology Toxicity (IOTOX) initiative. This strategic initiative aims to facilitate the seamless integration of key domains: (1) standardized clinical practice and innovative decision toolsets; (2) patient and provider education; and (3) a comprehensive clinical and translational research platform. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to develop and disseminate clinical best practices and biologic insights into irAEs to improve outcomes of patients with irAEs at MDACC and in the wider oncology community.

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Reduction in Breast Cancer Death With Adjuvant Chemotherapy Among US Women According to Race, Ethnicity, and the 21-Gene Recurrence Score

Hsiao-Ching Huang, Gregory S. Calip, Jennifer Weiss, Yael Simons, V.K. Gadi, Oana C. Danciu, Garth H. Rauscher, and Kent F. Hoskins

Background: We previously showed the 21-gene breast recurrence score (RS) has lower prognostic accuracy for non-Hispanic Black (NHB) compared with non-Hispanic White (NHW) women with estrogen receptor (ER)–positive/HER2-negative breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical validity of the RS for predicting chemotherapy benefit as recommended in the current NCCN Guidelines for Breast Cancer among women from diverse racial/ethnic groups. Methods: Using the SEER Oncotype database, we estimated propensity score–weighted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for breast cancer death with chemotherapy for women with ER-positive/HER2-negative, AJCC stages I–II, axillary node–negative, invasive breast cancer according to race/ethnicity. Results: We included 6,033 (8.2%) Asian/Pacific Islander (API), 5,697 (7.8%) NHB, 6,688 (9.1%) Hispanic, and 54,945 (74.9%) NHW women. Breast cancer death was reduced with chemotherapy for NHB (HR, 0.48, 95% CI, 0.28–0.81), Hispanic (HR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.25–0.94), and NHW (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.65–0.99) women with an RS of 26 to 100. There was a nonsignificant reduction for API women (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.28–1.24). For women with an RS of 11 to 25, there was no reduction in death for any racial/ethnic group. Among women aged ≤50 years, the reduction in breast cancer death with chemotherapy differed according to race (NHB: HR, 0.37 [95% CI, 0.20–0.67]; NHW: HR, 0.56 [95% CI, 0.44–0.74]; P interaction for chemotherapy * race <.0499). An exploratory subgroup analysis found that young NHB women may benefit from chemotherapy at a lower RS cutoff than other women. Conclusions: The RS was clinically validated as a predictive biomarker for NHB, Hispanic, and NHW women with ER-positive, axillary node-negative breast cancer, but it may underestimate the benefit of chemotherapy for young NHB women. If this finding is confirmed, the RS cutoff for recommending adjuvant chemotherapy for young NHB women with ER-positive, axillary node-negative breast cancer may need to be lower than for other women.

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Molecular Targets and Therapies for Ampullary Cancer

Monica Arun Patel, Jeremy D. Kratz, Alexander S. Carlson, Ysaith Orellana Ascencio, Broc S. Kelley, and Noelle K. LoConte

Ampullary carcinomas are rare but increasing in incidence. Ampullary cancers have molecular alterations that guide choice of therapy, particularly in nonresectable cases. These alterations can be more common by subtype (intestinal, pancreaticobiliary, or mixed), and next-generation sequencing is recommended for all patients who cannot undergo surgery. In this article, we review the approach to tissue acquisition and consideration for molecular testing. Common molecular targets of interest in ampullary cancer are also discussed in this review, including HER2/ERBB2, HER3, tumor mutational burden, microsatellite instability, KRAS, and germline BRCA and ATM mutations, along with emerging and rarer alterations.

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Lung Cancer Survivorship: Physical, Social, Emotional, and Medical Needs of NSCLC Survivors

Melinda L. Hsu, Matthew Z. Guo, Sarah Olson, Cyd Eaton, Mary Boulanger, Michelle Turner, Mattea E. Miller, Anna Nguyen, Karol Szczepanek, Rahul Shenolikar, and Josephine L. Feliciano

Background: Newer therapies prolong survival for patients with lung cancer. Beyond extending survival, the needs of lung cancer (LC) survivors are poorly described. Methods: We conducted a single-institution needs assessment survey of LC survivors alive ≥1 year from diagnosis. Needs were rated on a 5-point Likert scale for 4 domains (physical, social, emotional, and medical). Multiple regression models identified demographic or treatment characteristics associated with more needs in each category. A subset analysis of survivors with metastatic LC was performed. Results: Of 360 patients approached, 235 surveys were completed. Among completed survey respondents, the median age was 69 years; most were female (62%), married (71%), and White (74%); and 41% had stage IV cancer. Finding support resources (34%) was the most common medical need. Fatigue (70%), sleep disturbance (60%), memory and concentration (57.5%), weakness (54%), and trouble breathing (51%) were physical needs affecting more than half of respondents. The most common social need was managing daily activities (42%). Emotional needs were highly prevalent, with 79% of respondents reporting a fear of recurrence and 74.5% reporting living with uncertainty. Multiple regression analysis identified that receipt of multiple lines of systemic therapy and lower household income were associated with higher physical and social needs. Younger age was associated with having a greater number of social and emotional needs. Similar results were found in the subset of survivors with metastatic disease at diagnosis. Conclusions: The needs of LC survivors are diverse across multiple domains. Several clinical and demographic factors are independently associated with higher numbers of patient-reported needs. Our study identifies critical gaps in survivorship care for LC survivors with all stages of disease and highlights areas of future intervention.

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Volume 22 (2024): Issue 1D (Jan 2024)

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