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Patient-Reported Quality of Life at Diagnosis in Adolescent and Young Adults With Cancer

Goldy C. George, Clark Andersen, Xiaohui Tang, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Midhat Jafry, Maria C. Swartz, Sairah Ahmed, Carlos H. Barcenas, J. Andrew Livingston, Michael E. Roth, and Michelle A.T. Hildebrandt

Background: The overall landscape of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has not been thoroughly investigated in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer. Data are also lacking on how well HRQoL at the time of cancer diagnosis can prognosticate long-term survival in AYA survivors. Patients and Methods: We included 3,497 survivors of AYA cancer (age 15–39 years at diagnosis) who completed the Short-Form 12 Health Survey (SF-12) HRQoL questionnaire at diagnosis. Physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores were generated, with scores <50 representing poor HRQoL. Differences in HRQoL by patient characteristics and tumor type were investigated using violin plots and t tests/analysis of variance. The effect of HRQoL on overall survival was assessed using Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Overall mean PCS and MCS scores in this racially/ethnically diverse cohort (64% White, 19% Hispanic, 10% Black, and 7% other race/ethnicity) were 43.6 and 46.7, respectively. Women with breast cancer reported the most favorable PCS (50.8), and those with cervical cancer reported the lowest MCS (42.8). Age at diagnosis was associated positively with PCS (P<.001) and inversely with MCS (P<.001). Females had higher PCS yet lower MCS than males (both P<.001). Marginalized racial and ethnic populations reported lower PCS than White patients (P<.001). Physical and mental HRQoL were prognostic and associated with increased risk of poor survival (hazard ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.72–2.21 for physical HRQoL, and 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13–1.40 for mental HRQoL). Conclusions: Physical and mental HRQoL at diagnosis vary across patient characteristics in AYA cancer survivors. Poor HRQoL at diagnosis may be a prognosticator of diminished overall survival among AYA cancer survivors.

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Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Patients With Gastroesophageal Cancer

Merel J.M. van Velzen, Marieke Pape, Mirjam A.G. Sprangers, Jessy Joy van Kleef, Bianca Mostert, Laurens V. Beerepoot, Marije Slingerland, Elske C. Gootjes, Ronald Hoekstra, Lonneke V. van de Poll-Franse, Nadia Haj Mohammad, and Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven

Background: Chemotherapy for various stages of gastroesophageal cancer (GEC) is often neurotoxic. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) impairs health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study investigates the incidence and severity of CIPN and its association with HRQoL in patients with GEC. Patients and Methods: Patients who received chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy for GEC were identified from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Patient-reported data (measured using the EORTC QLQ-CIPN20 and EORTC QLQ-C30) were collected through the Prospective Observational Cohort Study of Esophageal-Gastric Cancer Patients (POCOP) at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months after treatment initiation. Linear mixed effects models were constructed to assess CIPN and the correlation between CIPN and HRQoL was analyzed using Spearman’s correlation. Results: A total of 2,135 patients were included (chemoradiotherapy: 1,593; chemotherapy with curative intent: 295; palliative chemotherapy: 247). In all 3 treatment groups, CIPN significantly increased during treatment (adjusted mean score of CIPN at 6 months: chemoradiotherapy, 8.3 [baseline: 5.5]; chemotherapy with curative intent, 16.0 [baseline: 5.6]; palliative therapy, 25.4 [baseline: 10.7]). For chemoradiotherapy, the adjusted mean score continued to increase after treatment (24 months: 11.2). For chemotherapy with curative intent and palliative therapy, the adjusted mean score of CIPN decreased after treatment but did not return to baseline values. CIPN was negatively correlated with HRQoL in all treatment groups, although significance and strength of the correlation differed over time. Conclusions: Because of the poor prognosis of GEC, it is essential to consider side effects of (neurotoxic) treatment. The high prevalence and association with HRQoL indicate the need for early recognition of CIPN.

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Changes in New Patient Consultations During the COVID-19 Pandemic at a Canadian Comprehensive Cancer Center

Carly C. Barron, Tyler Pittman, Wei Xu, Mary Madunic, Niki Agelastos, David Goldstein, James Brierley, and Monika K. Krzyzanowska

Background: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions on cancer services is emerging. We evaluated the impact of the first 2 years of the pandemic on new patient consultations for all cancers at a comprehensive cancer center within a publicly funded health care system and assessed whether there was evidence of stage shift. Methods: We performed a retrospective study using the Princess Margaret Cancer Registry. New consultations with medical, radiation, or surgical oncology were categorized by year and quarter. Logistic regression was used to assess the effect of period before and during the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer stage at consultation, adjusting for age, sex, and diagnosis location (our hospital network vs elsewhere). Results: In all, 53,759 new patient consultations occurred from January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2022. After the pandemic was declared, there was a decrease in all types of consultations by 43.3% in the second quarter of 2020, and referral volumes did not recover during the first year. There was no evidence of stage shift for all cancer types during the later quarters of the pandemic for the overall population. Conclusions: New patient consultations decreased across cancer stages, referral type, and most disease sites at our tertiary cancer center. We did not observe evidence of stage shift in this population. Further research is needed to determine whether this reflects the resilience of our health care system in maintaining cancer services or a delay in the presentation of advanced cancer cases. These data are important for shaping future cancer care delivery and recovery strategies.

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Hereditary Cancer Clinics Improve Adherence to NCCN Germline Testing Guidelines for Pancreatic Cancer

Claudia Rosso, Naomie Devico Marciano, Deepika Nathan, Wen-Pin Chen, Christine E. McLaren, Kathryn E. Osann, Pamela L. Flodman, May T. Cho, Fa-Chyi Lee, Farshid Dayyani, Jason A. Zell, and Jennifer B. Valerin

Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a poor prognosis, with a 5-year overall survival rate of 10%. In November 2018, NCCN recommended that all patients with PDAC receive genetic counseling (GC) and germline testing regardless of family history. We hypothesized that patients with PDAC were more likely to be referred for testing after this change to the guidelines, regardless of presumed predictive factors, and that compliance would be further improved following the implementation of a hereditary cancer clinic (HCC). Methods: We conducted a single-institution retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with PDAC from June 2017 through December 2021 at University of California, Irvine. We compared rates of genetics referral among patients in different diagnostic eras: the 18-month period before the NCCN Guideline change (pre-NCCN era: June 2017 through November 2018), 14 months following the change (post-NCCN era: December 2018 through January 2020), and 18 months after the creation of an HCC (HCC era: June 2020 through December 2021). Family and personal cancer history, genetics referral patterns, and results of GC were recorded. Data were compared using chi-square, Fisher exact, and multivariate analyses. Results: A total of 335 patients were treated for PDAC (123 pre-NCCN, 109 post-NCCN, and 103 HCC) at University of California, Irvine. Demographics across groups were comparable. Prior to the guideline changes, 30% were referred to GC compared with 54.7% in the post-NCCN era. After the implementation of the HCC, 77.4% were referred to GC (P<.0001). The odds ratio (OR) for referral to GC among patients with a positive family history of cancer progressively decreased following the change (pre-NCCN era: OR, 11.90 [95% CI, 3.00–80.14]; post-NCCN era: OR, 3.39 [95% CI, 1.13–10.76]; HCC era: OR, 3.11 [95% CI, 0.95–10.16]). Conclusions: The 2018 updates to the NCCN Guidelines for PDAC recommending germline testing for all patients with PDAC significantly increased GC referral rates at our academic medical center. Implementation of an HCC further boosted compliance with guidelines.

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Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Aliza Gardenswartz and Mitchell S. Cairo

Despite excellent cure rates among children, adolescents, and young adults (CAYAs) with mature B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHLs) treated with chemoimmunotherapy, CAYAs with relapsed/refractory B-NHL remain difficult to treat, with a dismal prognosis. Reinduction and subsequent therapeutic management are not standardized. The armamentarium of active agents against B-NHL, including antibody–drug conjugates, monoclonal antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors, T-cell engagers, CAR T cells, CAR-natural killer (CAR-NK) cells, and cell signaling inhibitors, continues to expand. This article reviews current management practices and novel therapies in this difficult to treat population.

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Cancer Rehabilitation: Impact on Breast Cancer Survivors’ Work Ability and Health-Related Quality of Life

Mackenzi Pergolotti, Kelley C. Wood, Tiffany Kendig, Kim Love, and Stacye Mayo

Background: Breast cancer survivors (BCSs) report persistent, diminished ability to work, and decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Cancer rehabilitation interventions (physical therapy or occupational therapy [PT/OT]) aim to improve these outcomes, but little is known about their impact in the community. Methods: This retrospective, pre-post, uncontrolled study examined cases of younger BCSs (age <65 years) who attended cancer-specialized PT/OT over a 2-year period. Outcomes and covariates (age, race, US region, payer type, number of visits, length of care [weeks]) were extracted from electronic medical records. Patient-reported outcomes were overall-Work Ability Score (WASoverall), physical-WAS (WASphysical), and mental-WAS (WASmental) and PROMIS Global Physical Health (GPH), Global Mental Health (GMH), Physical Function (PF), and Ability to Participate in Social Roles and Activities (SRA). We used linear mixed effect models to examine pre- to post-rehabilitation change overall, and separately, while controlling for covariates. Results: PT/OT cases (NPT=758; NOT=140) had a mean [SD] age of 51.39 [8.49] years and attended approximately 12 visits (IQR, 8.0–19.0) over 10.71 weeks (IQR, 6.14–17.00). Overall, work ability outcomes (WASoverall: +1.79; WASphysical: +0.78; WASmental: +0.47; all P<.001) and HRQoL outcomes improved significantly (GPH: +5.38; GMH: +2.90; PF: +5.17; SRA: +5.83; all P<.001), and average change on each HRQoL outcome exceeded the minimal important change (2 points). Outcome scores were similar at each timepoint for both PT and OT cases (all P>.05) and both groups improved significantly (all P<.01). Conclusions: In this large study of the impact of cancer-specialized, community-based PT and OT, younger BCSs reported significant improvement in ability to work and HRQoL. Although more research is needed, these findings suggest improved access to PT/OT could improve work ability and HRQoL for younger BCSs.

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Improved Survival in Contemporary Community-Based Patients With Metastatic Clear-Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Undergoing Active Treatment

Reha-Baris Incesu, Simone Morra, Lukas Scheipner, Andrea Baudo, Letizia Maria Ippolita Jannello, Mario de Angelis, Carolin Siech, Anis Assad, Zhe Tian, Fred Saad, Shahrokh F. Shariat, Felix K. H. Chun, Alberto Briganti, Ottavio de Cobelli, Luca Carmignani, Sascha Ahyai, Nicola Longo, Derya Tilki, Markus Graefen, and Pierre I. Karakiewicz

Background: We hypothesized that the evolving treatment paradigms recommended based on phase III trials may have translated into improved overall survival (OS) in contemporary community-based patients with clear-cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma (ccmRCC) undergoing active treatment. Patients and Methods: Within the SEER database, contemporary (2017–2020) and historical (2010–2016) patients with ccmRCC treated with either systemic therapy (ST), cytoreductive nephrectomy (CN), or both (ST+CN) were identified. Univariable and multivariable Cox-regression models were used. Results: Overall, 993 (32%) contemporary versus 2,106 (68%) historical patients with ccmRCC were identified. Median OS was 41 months in contemporary versus 25 months in historical patients (Δ=16 months; P<.001). In multivariable Cox-regression analyses, contemporary membership was independently associated with lower overall mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6–0.8; P<.001). In patients treated with ST alone, median OS was 17 months in contemporary versus 10 months in historical patients (Δ=7 months; P<.001; multivariable HR, 0.7; P=.005). In patients treated with CN alone, median OS was not reached in contemporary versus 33 months in historical patients (Δ=not available; P<.001; multivariable HR, 0.7; P<.001). In patients treated with ST+CN, median OS was 38 months in contemporary versus 26 months in historical patients (Δ=12 months; P<.001; multivariable HR, 0.7; P=.003). Conclusions: Contemporary community-based patients with ccmRCC receiving active treatment clearly exhibited better survival than their historical counterparts, when examined as one group, as well as when examined as separate subgroups according to treatment type. Treatment advancements of phase III trials seem to be applied appropriately outside of centers of excellence.

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Demographic Disparities in Lung Cancer Mortality and Trends in the United States From 1999 Through 2020: A Population-Based CDC Database Analysis

Alexander J. Didier, Logan Roof, and James Stevenson

Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States and is projected to account for 127,070 deaths in 2023. Although the lung cancer mortality rate has been decreasing over the last decade, demographic disparities in mortality still exist. We sought to determine the impact of demographic factors on lung cancer mortality and trends in the United States. Patients and Methods: We queried the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) database for mortality statistics with an underlying cause of death of lung and bronchus cancer from 1999 through 2020. Age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) were calculated per 100,000 people. We assessed the AAMR by demographic variables, including race, geographic density, sex, age, and US census region. Temporal trends were evaluated using Joinpoint regression software, and average annual percent change (APC) was calculated. Results: From 1999 through 2020, lung cancer led to 3,380,830 deaths. The AAMR decreased by 55.1 to 31.8, with an associated average APC of −2.6%. In 1999, men had an AAMR almost twice as high as women, but these differences became less pronounced over time. Rural populations experienced the highest AAMR and the slowest rate of decrease compared with urban populations, who experienced the lowest AAMR and fastest decrease. Non-Hispanic Black individuals experienced the highest AAMR, with an annual decrease of −3.0%. The West experienced the fastest decrease at −3.1% annually, whereas the Midwest experienced the slowest decrease at −2.0% annually. Conclusions: Although the mortality rate of lung cancer has been decreasing since 1999, not all demographic groups have experienced the same rates of decrease, and disparities in outcomes are still prevalent. Vulnerable subgroups need targeted interventions, such as the incorporation of patient navigators, improved screening chest CT scan access and follow-up, and telehealth expansion, which will improve the likelihood of earlier-stage diagnoses and the potential for curative treatments.

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Volume 22 (2024): Issue 2D (Jun 2024)