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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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Guidelines Insights: Hepatobiliary Cancers, Version 2.2019

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D’Angelica, Daniel E. Abbott, Thomas A. Abrams, Steven R. Alberts, Daniel A. Anaya, Robert Anders, Chandrakanth Are, Daniel Brown, Daniel T. Chang, Jordan Cloyd, Anne M. Covey, William Hawkins, Renuka Iyer, Rojymon Jacob, Andreas Karachristos, R. Kate Kelley, Robin Kim, Manisha Palta, James O. Park, Vaibhav Sahai, Tracey Schefter, Jason K. Sicklick, Gagandeep Singh, Davendra Sohal, Stacey Stein, G. Gary Tian, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Lydia J. Hammond and Susan D. Darlow

The NCCN Guidelines for Hepatobiliary Cancers provide treatment recommendations for cancers of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. The NCCN Hepatobiliary Cancers Panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant new data from publications and abstracts, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel’s discussion and updated recommendations regarding systemic therapy for first-line and subsequent-line treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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

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Jennifer A. Lewis, Heidi Chen, Kathryn E. Weaver, Lucy B. Spalluto, Kim L. Sandler, Leora Horn, Robert S. Dittus, Pierre P. Massion, Christianne L. Roumie and Hilary A. Tindle

Background: Despite widespread recommendation and supportive policies, screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) is incompletely implemented in the US healthcare system. Low provider knowledge of the lung cancer screening (LCS) guidelines represents a potential barrier to implementation. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that low provider knowledge of guidelines is associated with less provider-reported screening with LDCT. Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in a large academic medical center and affiliated Veterans Health Administration in the Mid-South United States that comprises hospital and community-based practices. Participants included general medicine providers and specialists who treat patients aged >50 years. The primary exposure was LCS guideline knowledge (US Preventive Services Task Force/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). High knowledge was defined as identifying 3 major screening eligibility criteria (55 years as initial age of screening eligibility, smoking status as current or former smoker, and smoking history of ≥30 pack-years), and low knowledge was defined as not identifying these 3 criteria. The primary outcome was self-reported LDCT order/referral within the past year, and the secondary outcome was screening chest radiograph. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of screening by knowledge. Results: Of 625 providers recruited, 407 (65%) responded, and 378 (60.5%) were analyzed. Overall, 233 providers (62%) demonstrated low LCS knowledge, and 224 (59%) reported ordering/referring for LDCT. The aOR of ordering/referring LDCT was less among providers with low knowledge (0.41; 95% CI, 0.24–0.71) than among those with high knowledge. More providers with low knowledge reported ordering screening chest radiographs (aOR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4–5.0) within the past year. Conclusions: Referring provider knowledge of LCS guidelines is low and directly proportional to the ordering rate for LDCT in an at-risk US population. Strategies to advance evidence-based LCS should incorporate provider education and system-level interventions to address gaps in provider knowledge.

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