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Patricia Ellen Goldhoff, Poonam Vohra, Kanti Pallav Kolli and Britt-Marie Ljung

Background: This retrospective study evaluated and compared the diagnostic accuracy and suitability of tissue specimens for advanced molecular diagnostic testing obtained via 2 different techniques for percutaneous biopsy of primary and metastatic liver tumors. Patients and Methods: Samples from 137 patients with liver masses who underwent concurrent fine-needle aspiration biopsy with cell block (FNAB-CB) and core needle biopsy (CNB) at 2 hospitals were assessed for diagnostic accuracy, tumor fraction, and tumor cellularity. A subset of FNAB-CBs, that were deemed to have less or equal tumor cellularity compared with CNBs, had level sections performed and were reassessed for tumor cellularity. Results: Diagnostic accuracy was 96% for FNAB and 93% for CNB (P=.267). In FNAB-CBs, tumor fraction was significantly higher than in CNB samples (67% vs 36%; P<.0001), whereas nontumor components were significantly lower (stromal component, 7% vs 29%; P<.0001; background benign hepatocytes, 25% vs 36%; P=.003). Additionally, in 44% of cases, FNAB-CB tumor cellularity was equal to or greater than that of the concurrent CNB. Conclusions: In the current age of personalized medicine, a minimally invasive, safe approach to obtaining adequate tissue for myriad molecular testing is paramount. We have shown that FNAB sampling is diagnostically accurate and produces higher tumor fractions than CNB. Thus, FNAB should be strongly considered as an initial sampling modality, especially for patients in whom molecular tests will determine management.

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Ashley T. Freeman, May Kuo, Lei Zhou, Justin G. Trogdon, Chris D. Baggett, Sascha A. Tuchman, Thomas C. Shea and William A. Wood

Background: Population-based studies suggest that patients with multiple myeloma (MM) have better outcomes when treated at high-volume facilities, but the relative contribution of provider expertise and hospital resources to improved outcomes is unknown. This study explored how treating facility, individual provider volume, and patient-sharing between MM specialists and community providers influenced outcomes for patients with MM. Patients and Methods: A state cancer registry linked to public and private insurance claims was used to identify a cohort of patients diagnosed with MM in 2006 through 2012. Three multivariable Cox models were used to examine how the following factors impacted overall survival: (1) evaluation at an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (NCICCC), (2) the primary oncologist’s volume of patients with MM, and (3) patient-sharing between MM specialists and community oncologists. Results: A total of 1,029 patients diagnosed with MM in 2006 through 2012 were identified. Patients who were not evaluated at an NCICCC had an increased risk of mortality compared with those evaluated at an NCICCC (hazard ratio [HR], 1.50; 95% CI, 1.21–1.86; P<.001). Compared with patients treated by NCICCC MM specialists, those treated by both low-volume community providers (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.14–1.90; P<.01) and high-volume community providers (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.04–1.61; P<.05) had a higher risk of mortality. No difference in mortality was seen between patients treated by NCICCC MM specialists and those treated by the highest-volume community oncologists in the ninth and tenth deciles (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.84–1.37; P=.5591). Patients treated by community oncologists had a higher risk of mortality regardless of patient-sharing compared with patients treated by MM specialists (eg, community oncologist with a history of sharing vs NCICCC MM specialist: HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.10–2.02; P<.05). Conclusions: Findings of this study add to the accumulating evidence showing that patients with MM benefit from care at high-volume facilities, and suggest that similar outcomes can be achieved by the highest-volume providers in the community.

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Samir Gupta, Dawn Provenzale, Xavier Llor, Amy L. Halverson, William Grady, Daniel C. Chung, Sigurdis Haraldsdottir, Arnold J. Markowitz, Thomas P. Slavin Jr, Heather Hampel, CGC, Reid M. Ness, Jennifer M. Weiss, Dennis J. Ahnen, Lee-may Chen, Gregory Cooper, Dayna S. Early, Francis M. Giardiello, Michael J. Hall, Stanley R. Hamilton, Priyanka Kanth, Jason B. Klapman, Audrey J. Lazenby, Patrick M. Lynch, Robert J. Mayer, June Mikkelson, CGC, Shajan Peter, Scott E. Regenbogen, Mary A. Dwyer, CGC and Ndiya Ogba

Identifying individuals with hereditary syndromes allows for improved cancer surveillance, risk reduction, and optimized management. Establishing criteria for assessment allows for the identification of individuals who are carriers of pathogenic genetic variants. The NCCN Guidelines for Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Colorectal provide recommendations for the assessment and management of patients with high-risk colorectal cancer syndromes. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on criteria for the evaluation of Lynch syndrome and considerations for use of multigene testing in the assessment of hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.

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Justin A. Chen, Naseem Esteghamat, Edward J. Kim, Gabriel Garcia, Jun Gong, Marwan G. Fakih, Richard J. Bold and May T. Cho

Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a newly established standard of care in patients with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer with mismatch repair deficiency and microsatellite instability. However, the use of immunotherapy is unclear in recipients of liver transplants with or without concurrent liver function abnormalities. Clinical trials investigating immunotherapy have mostly excluded liver transplant recipients and patients with abnormal liver function. This report presents the first case, to our knowledge, of a liver transplant patient with mismatch repair–deficient colon adenocarcinoma with liver metastases and concurrent abnormal liver function who safely responded to immunotherapy. We also review the literature on checkpoint inhibitor use in patients with other metastatic solid tumors after liver transplant and those with baseline liver function abnormalities. An increasing body of evidence supports the safety of checkpoint inhibition in patients with cancer and solid organ transplants, but further prospective studies are warranted. Use of immunotherapy in liver transplant recipients who have metastatic colorectal cancer with microsatellite instability is feasible but should be performed in a multidisciplinary team setting.

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Katrina S. Pedersen, Kanwal Raghav and Michael J. Overman

Small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA) is a rare cancer that has been treated similarly to colorectal cancer (CRC) in the advanced setting. Incidence has been increasing as detection efforts have been improving for these challenging-to-diagnose tumors, but patients frequently experience prolonged nonspecific symptoms due to delayed diagnosis. As a result of such delays and likely due to variant biology, patient outcomes for SBA are inferior to those for CRC at all stages of diagnosis. Recent molecular studies highlight the genomic differences underpinning these tumors and suggest new future pathways for treatment, distinct from CRC.

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Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Mustafa A. Arain, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey A. Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin A. Deming, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Sarah E. Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, Ahmed Kamel, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina S. Pedersen, Leonard B. Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Alyse Johnson-Chilla, Kristina M. Gregory and Lisa A. Gurski

Small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA) is a rare malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract that has increased in incidence across recent years. Often diagnosed at an advanced stage, outcomes for SBA are worse on average than for other related malignancies, including colorectal cancer. Due to the rarity of this disease, few studies have been done to direct optimal treatment, although recent data have shown that SBA responds to treatment differently than colorectal cancer, necessitating a separate approach to treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma were created to establish an evidence-based standard of care for patients with SBA. These guidelines provide recommendations on the workup of suspected SBA, primary treatment options, adjuvant treatment, surveillance, and systemic therapy for metastatic disease. Additionally, principles of imaging and endoscopy, pathologic review, surgery, radiation therapy, and survivorship are described.

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Michael Xiang, A. Dimitrios Colevas, F. Christopher Holsinger, Quynh-Thu X. Le and Beth M. Beadle

Background: For definitive chemoradiotherapy (chemoRT) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), cisplatin is the preferred concurrent agent, with superiority over cetuximab for HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous carcinoma recently shown in 2 randomized trials (RTOG 1016 and De-ESCALaTE). Patients who are not candidates for cisplatin may be treated with carboplatin instead, but its comparative efficacy is unclear. We analyzed nationwide patterns of care and cancer-specific outcomes after cisplatin- versus carboplatin-based chemoRT. Patients and Methods: Patients with locoregionally advanced (stages III–IVB according to the 6th and 7th editions of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual) squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, larynx, or hypopharynx who received definitive radiotherapy (RT) were identified in the linked SEER-Medicare database. The concurrent chemotherapy regimen was determined through corresponding Medicare claims. Death caused by HNSCC (cancer-specific mortality [CSM]) was analyzed with competing risks. Propensity score analysis and multivariable Fine-Gray regression were used to adjust for baseline differences, including age and comorbidity. Results: We identified 807 patients who received cisplatin-based chemoRT and 342 who received carboplatin-based chemoRT. Most carboplatin recipients (68%) had combination chemotherapy, predominantly with paclitaxel. Carboplatin- and cisplatin-based chemoRT had similar incidences of death attributable to HNSCC (3-year CSM, 29% vs 26%; P=.19), which persisted in propensity score–matched analysis. In addition, no significant difference in overall survival was seen in the matched cohorts. ChemoRT with either cisplatin or carboplatin was superior to RT alone and RT with concurrent cetuximab. In the multivariable model, the adjusted hazard ratio of CSM for carboplatin relative to cisplatin was 1.01 (95% CI, 0.79–1.28; P=.94). Conclusions: Definitive carboplatin-based chemoRT was equivalent to cisplatin-based therapy and superior to RT alone and RT with concurrent cetuximab. In light of recent results of the RTOG 1016 and De-ESCALaTE trials, our findings suggest that carboplatin-based regimens warrant prospective investigation as an alternative to cisplatin for patients who are not cisplatin candidates.

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Margaret Tempero