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Reith R. Sarkar, Katherine E. Fero, Daniel M. Seible, Neil Panjwani, Rayna K. Matsuno and James D. Murphy

Background: Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease characterized by early and relentless tumor spread, thus leading healthcare providers to consider it a “distant disease.” However, local pancreatic tumor progression can lead to substantial morbidity. This study defines the long-term morbidity from local and nonlocal disease progression in a large population-based cohort. Methods: A total of 21,500 Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2000 through 2011 were identified. Hospitalizations were attributed to complications of either local disease (eg, biliary disorder, upper gastrointestinal ulcer/bleed, pain, pancreas-related, radiation toxicity) or nonlocal/distant disease (eg, thromboembolic events, cytopenia, dehydration, nausea/vomiting/motility problem, malnutrition and cachexia, ascites, pathologic fracture, and chemotherapy-related toxicity). Competing risk analyses were used to identify predictors of hospitalization. Results: Of the total cohort, 9,347 patients (43.5%) were hospitalized for a local complication and 13,101 patients (60.9%) for a nonlocal complication. After adjusting for the competing risk of death, the 12-month cumulative incidence of hospitalization from local complications was highest in patients with unresectable disease (53.1%), followed by resectable (39.5%) and metastatic disease (33.7%) at diagnosis. For nonlocal complications, the 12-month cumulative incidence was highest in patients with metastatic disease (57.0%), followed by unresectable (56.8%) and resectable disease (42.8%) at diagnosis. Multivariable analysis demonstrated several predictors of hospitalization for local and nonlocal complications, including age, race/ethnicity, location of residence, disease stage, tumor size, and diagnosis year. Radiation and chemotherapy had minimal impact on the risk of hospitalization. Conclusions: Despite the widely known predilection of nonlocal/distant disease spread in pancreatic cancer, local tumor progression also leads to substantial morbidity and frequent hospitalization.

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James L. Mohler, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, Andrew J. Armstrong, Anthony V. D’Amico, Brian J. Davis, Tanya Dorff, James A. Eastham, Charles A. Enke, Thomas A. Farrington, Celestia S. Higano, Eric Mark Horwitz, Michael Hurwitz, Joseph E. Ippolito, Christopher J. Kane, Michael R. Kuettel, Joshua M. Lang, Jesse McKenney, George Netto, David F. Penson, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Julio M. Pow-Sang, Thomas J. Pugh, Sylvia Richey, Mack Roach III, Stan Rosenfeld, Edward Schaeffer, Ahmad Shabsigh, Eric J. Small, Daniel E. Spratt, Sandy Srinivas, Jonathan Tward, Dorothy A. Shead and Deborah A. Freedman-Cass

The NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer include recommendations regarding diagnosis, risk stratification and workup, treatment options for localized disease, and management of recurrent and advanced disease for clinicians who treat patients with prostate cancer. The portions of the guidelines included herein focus on the roles of germline and somatic genetic testing, risk stratification with nomograms and tumor multigene molecular testing, androgen deprivation therapy, secondary hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy in patients with prostate cancer.

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Michael J. Baine, Richard Sleightholm, Beth K. Neilsen, David Oupický, Lynette M. Smith, Vivek Verma and Chi Lin

Background: Despite the fact that stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is the only recommended first-line therapy for inoperable early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), several thermal ablative procedures (TAPs; defined herein as laser/cryoablation and electrocautery) are available. Studies showing outcomes of these procedures and how they compare with SBRT are scarce. We sought to evaluate the comparative efficacy of SBRT versus TAPs using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Methods: The NCDB was queried for patients with early-stage NSCLC who did not undergo surgical resection. Treatment-specific inclusion criteria were applied to select for patients receiving either TAPs or SBRT. Univariate logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards modeling were performed, and Kaplan-Meier curves were generated. Serial propensity matches were performed using a modified greedy 8→n matching 1:1 algorithm. Results: A total of 27,734 patients were analyzed; 26,725 underwent SBRT and 1,009 underwent TAPs. Patients who received SBRT were older and more likely to have clinical stage IB (vs IA) disease. Despite this, SBRT was associated with longer median overall survival (mOS; 37.7 vs 33.5 months; P=.001) and 1-, 2-, and 5-year OS rates compared with the TAPs cohort (86.7% vs 83.1%, 67.5% vs 62.7%, and 30.6% vs 26.9%, respectively; P=.001). Upon propensity matching, improved OS with SBRT remained, with a mOS of 40.4 versus 33.4 months and 1-, 2-, and 5-year OS rates of 89.0% versus 82.9%, 69.7% versus 62.7%, and 34.4% versus 26.4%, respectively (P=.003). Conclusions: Despite being associated with more higher-risk factors, SBRT was associated with higher OS compared with TAPs for treatment of nonoperative patients diagnosed with early-stage NSCLC. However, causation cannot be implied owing to the inherent limitations of large heterogeneous datasets such as the NCDB.

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Siew Tzuh Tang, Jen-Shi Chen, Fur-Hsing Wen, Wen-Chi Chou, John Wen-Cheng Chang, Chia-Hsun Hsieh and Chen Hsiu Chen

Background: This study was conducted to examine whether a longitudinal advance care planning (ACP) intervention facilitates concordance between the preferred and received life-sustaining treatments (LSTs) of terminally ill patients with cancer and improves quality of life (QoL), anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms during the dying process. Patients and Methods: Of 795 terminally ill patients with cancer from a medical center in Taiwan, 460 were recruited and randomly assigned 1:1 to the experimental and control arms. The experimental arm received an interactive ACP intervention tailored to participants’ readiness to engage in this process. The control arm received symptom management education. Group allocation was concealed, data collectors were blinded, and treatment fidelity was monitored. Outcome measures included 6 preferred and received LSTs, QoL, anxiety symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Intervention effectiveness was evaluated by intention-to-treat analysis. Results: Participants providing data had died through December 2017. The 2 study arms did not differ significantly in concordance between the 6 preferred and received LSTs examined (odds ratios, 0.966 [95% CI, 0.653–1.428] and 1.107 [95% CI, 0.690–1.775]). Participants who received the ACP intervention had significantly fewer anxiety symptoms (β, −0.583; 95% CI, −0.977 to −0.189; P= .004) and depressive symptoms (β, −0.533; 95% CI, −1.036 to −0.030; P= .038) compared with those in the control arm, but QoL did not differ. Conclusions: Our ACP intervention facilitated participants’ psychological adjustment to the end-of-life (EoL) care decision-making process, but neither improved QoL nor facilitated EoL care honoring their wishes. The inability of our intervention to improve concordance may have been due to the family power to override patients’ wishes in deeply Confucian doctrine–influenced societies such as Taiwan. Nevertheless, our findings reassure healthcare professionals that such an ACP intervention does not harm but improves the psychological well-being of terminally ill patients with cancer, thereby encouraging physicians to discuss EoL care preferences with patients and involve family caregivers in EoL care decision-making to eventually lead to patient value–concordant EoL cancer care.

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Caitlin A. Hester, Nicole E. Rich, Amit G. Singal and Adam C. Yopp

Background: Despite an increasing burden of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), limited data are available comparing outcomes of NASH-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) versus other etiologies. Methods: Patient demographic and tumor characteristics were collected for 1,051 patients diagnosed with NASH-, alcohol-related liver disease (ALD)–, hepatitis C virus (HCV)–, and hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related HCC at 2 large health systems from January 2008 through December 2016. Patient demographics, clinical characteristics, and survival were compared. Risk-adjusted treatment receipt and overall survival (OS) were examined using multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 92 patients with NASH-related HCC were compared with 153 patients with ALD-, 719 with HCV-, and 87 with HBV-related HCC. Patients with NASH were older, more likely female, and more likely Hispanic white. Patients with NASH and HBV had more compensated liver disease than those with ALD or HCV, including significantly higher proportions having noncirrhotic HCC. Despite similar surveillance receipt and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) tumor stage at diagnosis, patients with NASH had higher rates of curative-intent therapy than those with other diseases. Unadjusted median OS was 16 months for NASH, 15 months for ALD, 14 months for HCV, and 8 months for HBV. In multivariable analysis, NASH was associated with worse OS compared with ALD (hazard ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.3–2.5), but there was no difference between NASH- and HCV- or HBV-related HCC. Conclusions: Patients with NASH-related HCC present with more preserved liver function, including a higher proportion having noncirrhotic HCC, than other diseases. Despite patients having similar tumor stage at diagnosis, NASH is independently associated with worse survival compared with ALD, but similar survival compared with HCV and HBV.

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Daniel G. Coit, John A. Thompson, Mark R. Albertini, Christopher Barker, William E. Carson III, Carlo Contreras, Gregory A. Daniels, Dominick DiMaio, Ryan C. Fields, Martin D. Fleming, Morganna Freeman, Anjela Galan, Brian Gastman, Valerie Guild, Douglas Johnson, Richard W. Joseph, Julie R. Lange, Sameer Nath, Anthony J. Olszanski, Patrick Ott, Aparna Priyanath Gupta, Merrick I. Ross, April K. Salama, Joseph Skitzki, Jeffrey Sosman, Susan M. Swetter, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Evan Wuthrick, Nicole R. McMillian and Anita M. Engh

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cutaneous melanoma have been significantly revised over the past few years in response to emerging data on immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies and BRAF-targeted therapy. This article summarizes the data and rationale supporting extensive changes to the recommendations for systemic therapy as adjuvant treatment of resected disease and as treatment of unresectable or distant metastatic disease.

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Brittany Bauman, Rosemarie Mick, Eileen Martinez, Theresa M. Lawless, Lindsey Zinck, Paige Sinclair, Mary Fuhrer, Mark O’Hara, Charles J. Schneider, Peter O’Dwyer, John Plastaras, Ursina Teitelbaum and Kim A. Reiss

Background: Chemotherapy-induced oral thermal hyperalgesia (OTH) is a common and debilitating side effect of platinum-based anticancer agents. This study evaluated the efficacy of oral cryotherapy in preventing OTH during oxaliplatin chemotherapy infusion. Methods: Patients with gastrointestinal cancer treated with biweekly oxaliplatin (85 mg/m2 over 120 minutes) at Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania were randomized to receive oral cryotherapy (ice chips) during oxaliplatin infusion or standard-of-care treatment. All patients completed baseline questionnaires regarding oral and peripheral symptoms and on-treatment questionnaires on day 1 of each subsequent chemotherapy cycle. Those in the treatment arm were asked to document how long they kept the ice chips in their mouths (0, <30, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes) and to report their discomfort associated with oral cryotherapy. Evaluable patients were those who had completed at least 2 cycles of oxaliplatin therapy. Results: Of 62 randomized patients with a variety of gastrointestinal malignancies, 50 (25 per treatment arm) were evaluable for efficacy. The rate of patients with oral symptoms after the first treatment cycle was significantly lower in the intervention arm (n=8; 32%) than in the control arm (n=18; 72%), meeting the primary study objective (P=.01). The magnitude of difference in symptom scores before versus after the first treatment cycle was significantly less in the intervention versus control arm (P=.001). No difference in oral symptoms over time was seen between the intervention and control groups (P=.20), although a high attrition rate was noted. Duration of ice chip exposure was associated with improved oral symptoms over time (P=.02). Conclusions: Oral cryotherapy is a tolerable and cost-effective method of diminishing OTH in patients receiving oxaliplatin chemotherapy, and seems to be most effective in the early stages of treatment.

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Nathan I. Cherny, Elisabeth G. E. de Vries and Richard L. Schilsky