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Christopher M. Booth, Sulaiman Nanji, Xuejiao Wei, Yingwei Peng, James J. Biagi, Timothy P. Hanna, Monika K. Krzyzanowska and William J. Mackillop

Background: International guidelines recommend adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) for patients with stage III colon cancer. Whether efficacy observed in clinical trials translates to effectiveness in routine practice is less well understood. Here we describe use and outcomes of ACT in routine practice. Methods: All cases of colon cancer treated with surgery in Ontario 2002–2008 were identified using the population-based Ontario Cancer Registry. Linked electronic records of treatment identified surgery and ACT use. Pathology reports were obtained for a random 25% sample of all cases; patients with stage III disease were included in the study population. Modified Poisson regression was used to evaluate factors associated with ACT. Cox proportional hazards model and propensity score analysis were used to explore the association between ACT and cancer-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS). Results: The study population included 2,801 patients with stage III colon cancer; 66% (n=1,861) received ACT. ACT use rates varied substantially across age groups; 90% among patients aged 20 to 49 years versus 68% among those aged 70 to 79 years (P<.001). ACT use was inversely associated with comorbidity (P<.001) and socioeconomic status (P=.049). In adjusted analyses advanced age is associated with inferior CSS and OS. Use of ACT was associated with decreased risk of death from cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.54–0.73) and decreased risk of death from any cause (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.55–0.71). This result was consistent in the propensity score analysis. Conclusions: One-third of patients with stage III colon cancer in the general population do not receive ACT. Use of ACT in routine practice is associated with a substantial improvement in CSS and OS.

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Wei Wang, Guilin Tang, Tapan Kadia, Xinyan Lu, Yan Li, Lanshan Huang, Ximena Montenegro-Garreaud, Roberto N. Miranda and Sa A. Wang

Hematopoietic neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangements are rare. Clinically, patients often present with a chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm with eosinophilia and an increased risk of transformation to acute leukemia. We report a patient who initially presented with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) with t(8;22)(p11.2;q11.2) and an additional derivative chromosome 22 [der(22)t(8;22)]. After induction chemotherapy, B-ALL blasts were eradicated; however, a chronic myeloproliferative process emerged showing persistent t(8;22) (p11.2;q11.2) but not der(22)t(8;22). Combined morphologic and fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that both lymphoblasts and myeloid cells harbored t(8;22)(p11.2;q11.2); but only lymphoblasts carried the additional der(22)t(8;22). This case provides direct evidence to illustrate the clonal relationship of chronic phase and blast phase in myeloid neoplasms with FGFR1 rearrangement, and demonstrates that clonal cytogenetic evolution plays an important role in disease progression.

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Sanam Loghavi, Mark J. Routbort, Keyur P. Patel, Rajyalakshmi Luthra, Wei-Lien Wang, Russell R. Broaddus, Michael A. Davies and Alexander J. Lazar

Understanding of the genetic basis and molecular pathogenesis of cancer has evolved substantially over the past century. The advent of high-throughput gene sequencing methods has unraveled hundreds of recurrent somatic genetic alterations in various malignancies, either causative or harboring major prognostic and/or predictive implications. Knowledge of these specific changes has dramatically altered diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cancer, enabling personalized molecular therapies. This article shares approaches to adopting and fine-tuning the practice of molecular diagnostics as an essential component of diagnostic pathology in a tertiary care cancer hospital and proposes methods by which genetic testing in cancer can become standard of care in pathology departments across the nation.

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Robert B. Hines, Alina Barrett, Philip Twumasi-Ankrah, Dominique Broccoli, Kimberly K. Engelman, Joaquina Baranda, Elizabeth A. Ablah, Lisette Jacobson, Michelle Redmond, Wei Tu and Tracie C. Collins

Background: This study investigated the effect of comorbidity, age, health insurance payer status, and race on the risk of patient nonadherence to NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Colon and Rectal Cancers. In addition, the prognostic impact of NCCN treatment nonadherence on overall survival was assessed. Patients and Methods: Patients with CRC who received primary treatment at Memorial University Medical Center from 2003 to 2010 were eligible for this study. Modified Poisson regression was used to obtain risk ratios for the outcome of nonadherence with NCCN Guidelines. Hazard ratios (HRs) for the relative risk of death from all causes were obtained through Cox regression. Results: Guideline-adherent treatment was received by 82.7% of patients. Moderate/severe comorbidity, being uninsured, having rectal cancer, older age, and increasing tumor stage were associated with increased risks of receiving nonadherent treatment. Treatment nonadherence was associated with 3.6 times the risk of death (HR, 3.55; 95% CI, 2.16–5.85) in the first year after diagnosis and an 80% increased risk of death (HR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.14–2.83) in years 2 to 5. The detrimental effect of nonadherence declined with increasing comorbidity and varied according to age. Conclusions: Although medically justifiable reasons exist for deviating from NCCN Guidelines when treating patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), those who received nonadherent treatment had much higher risks of death, especially in the first year after diagnosis. This study’s results highlight the importance of cancer health services research to drive quality improvement efforts in cancer care for patients with CRC.

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Ya-Fu Cheng, Wei-Heng Hung, Heng-Chung Chen, Ching-Yuan Cheng, Ching-Hsiung Lin, Sheng-Hao Lin and Bing-Yen Wang

Background: The therapeutic strategies for clinical stage T1–3N2 (cT1–3N2) lung cancer are controversial. For operable tumors, treatment can vary by center, region, and continent. This study aimed to identify the optimal therapeutic method and type of surgical strategy for cT1–3N2 lung cancer. Methods: This retrospective evaluation analyzed the records of 17,954 patients with cT1–3N2 lung cancer treated in 2010 through 2015 from the SEER database. The effects of different therapeutic methods and types of surgical strategies on overall survival (OS) were assessed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: The 5-year OS rates were 27.7% for patients with T1N2 disease, 21.8% for those with T2N2 disease, and 19.9% for T3N2 disease. Neoadjuvant therapy plus operation (OP) plus adjuvant therapy, and OP plus adjuvant therapy, provided better 5-year OS rates than OP alone or concurrent chemoradiotherapy (34.1%, 37.7%, 29.3%, and 16.1%, respectively). In the T1N2, T2N2, and T3N2 groups, lobectomy provided better 5-year OS than pneumonectomy, sublobectomy, and no surgery. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that young age, female sex, well-differentiated histologic grade, adenocarcinoma cell type, neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy, lobectomy, and T1 stage were statistically associated with better 5-year OS rates. Conclusions: In cT1–3N2 lung cancer, multimodal treatments tended to provide better 5-year OS than OP alone or concurrent chemoradiotherapy. In addition, lobectomy was associated with better survival than other operative methods.

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Michael J. Hassett, Wei Jiang, Melissa E. Hughes, Stephen Edge, Sara H. Javid, Joyce C. Niland, Richard Theriault, Yu-Ning Wong, Deborah Schrag and Rinaa S. Punglia

Background: Because of screening mammography, the number of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) survivors has increased dramatically. DCIS survivors may face excess risk of second breast events (SBEs). However, little is known about SBE treatment or its relationship to initial DCIS care. Methods: Among a prospective cohort of women who underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for DCIS from 1997 to 2008 at institutions participating in the NCCN Outcomes Database, we identified SBEs, described patterns of care for SBEs, and examined the association between DCIS treatment choice and SBE care. Using multivariable regression, we identified features associated with use of mastectomy, radiation therapy (RT), or antiestrogen therapy (AET) for SBEs. Results: Of 2,939 women who underwent BCS for DCIS, 83% received RT and 40% received AET. During the median follow-up of 4.2 years, 200 women (6.8%) developed an SBE (55% ipsilateral, 45% invasive). SBEs occurred in 6% of women who underwent RT for their initial DCIS versus 11% who did not. Local treatment for these events included BCS (10%), BCS/RT (30%), mastectomy (53%), or none (6%); only 28% of patients received AET. Independent predictors of RT or mastectomy for SBEs included younger age, shorter time to SBE diagnosis, and RT or AET for the initial DCIS. Conclusions: A sizable proportion of patients with SBEs were treated with mastectomy, most especially those who previously received RT for their initial DCIS and those who developed an ipsilateral SBE. Despite the occurrence of an SBE, relatively few patients received AET. Future studies should investigate optimal treatment approaches for SBEs, including the benefit of mastectomy versus lumpectomy for an ipsilateral SBE and the benefit of AET for a hormone-receptor–positive SBE contingent on AET use for the initial DCIS diagnosis.

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Sherif R. Z. Abdel-Misih, Lai Wei, Al B. Benson III, Steven Cohen, Lily Lai, John Skibber, Neal Wilkinson, Martin Weiser, Deborah Schrag and Tanios Bekaii-Saab

Background: Nodal status has long been considered pivotal to oncologic care, staging, and management. This has resulted in the establishment of rudimentary metrics regarding adequate lymph node yield in colon and rectal cancers for accurate cancer staging. In the era of neoadjuvant treatment, the implications of lymph node yield and status on patient outcomes remains unclear. Patient and Methods: This study included 1,680 patients with locally advanced rectal cancer from the NCCN prospective oncology database stratified into 3 groups based on preoperative therapy received: no neoadjuvant therapy, neoadjuvant chemoradiation, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Clinicopathologic characteristics and survival were compared between the groups, with univariate and multivariate analyses undertaken. Results: The clinicopathologic characteristics demonstrated statistically significant differences and heterogeneity among the 3 groups. The neoadjuvant chemoradiation group demonstrated the statistically lowest median lymph node yield (n=15) compared with 17 and 18 for no-neoadjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy, respectively (P<.0001). Neoadjuvant treatment did impact survival, with chemoradiation demonstrating increased median overall survival of 42.7 compared with 37.3 and 26.6 months for neoadjuvant chemotherapy and no-neoadjuvant therapy, respectively (P<.0001). Patients with a yield of fewer than 12 lymph nodes had improved median overall survival of 43.3 months compared with 36.6 months in patients with 12 or more lymph nodes (P=.009). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that neither node yield nor status were predictors for overall survival. Discussion: This analysis reiterates that nodal yield in rectal cancer is multifactorial, with neoadjuvant therapy being a significant factor. Node yield and status were not significant predictors of overall survival. A nodal metric may not be clinically relevant in the era of neoadjuvant therapy, and guidelines for perioperative therapy may need reconsideration.

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Dwight H. Owen, Lai Wei, Ashima Goyal, Ye Zhou, Sheryl-Ann Suffren, Rajani Jacob, Carly Pilcher, Gregory A. Otterson, Claire F. Verschraegen, Manisha H. Shah and Bhavana Konda

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Saad S. Kenderian, Reona Sakemura, Nan Yang, Michelle Cox, Sutapa Sinha, Mehrdad Hefazi, Michael Hansen, Kendall Schick, Cynthia Forsman, Justin Boysen, Wei Ding, Sameer Parikh and Neil Kay

Despite the remarkable outcomes of CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor T (CART19) cell therapy in B-cell malignancies, the durable responses in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma are less than 40%, and strategies to enhance this response are desperately needed. Inhibition of AXL RTK with TP0903, a high-affinity AXL inhibitor has been found to induce robust apoptosis of malignant B cells. Here, we aimed to examine the role of AXL RTK inhibition with TP0903 on T-cell function in B-cell malignancies. First, we investigated the influence of TP0903 on CART19 cell phenotype and functions. Here, we used 41BB costimulated, lentiviral-transduced CART cells. AXL inhibition led to polarization of CART cells into a Th1 phenotype when T cells were stimulated with the CD19+ mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) cell line Jeko or with leukemic B cells isolated from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), in the presence of TP0903 (Fig 1A). Exposure of activated CART cells to TP0903 also resulted in significant downregulation of inhibitory receptors on activated CART cells (Fig 1B), a reduction of conical cytokines known to be associated with the development of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) (Fig 1C). To investigate the effect of AXL RTK inhibition of CART cells with TP0903 in vivo, we established MCL xenografts through the injection of 1.0x106 of Jeko into NSG mice. A week later, mice were treated with either vehicle alone, TP0903 (20 mg/kg/day) alone, 0.5x106 of CART19 alone, or TP0903 (20mg/kg/day)+0.5x106 of CART19. Three weeks after the treatment, mice were rechallenged with 1.0x106 of Jeko. Mice treated with CART19 and TP0903 rejected the tumor challenge while mice previously treated with CART19 alone redeveloped MCL, suggesting that AXL inhibition enhanced CART cell persistence (Fig 1D). Finally, we validated our preclinical findings in correlative analyses of phase 1 clinical trial of TP0903 in patients with solid tumors (NCT02729298). Similar to our findings, there was a significant reduction in Tregs, reduction of inhibitory receptors and polarization to a Th1 phenotype. These findings will be further investigated in a planned phase 1 clinical trial of TP0903 in relapsed/refractory CLL (NCT03572634) In summary, we demonstrated for the first time that AXL inhibition polarizes T cells into a Th1 phenotype, downregulates inhibitory receptors, and synergizes with CART cells in B-cell malignancies. These findings encourage further study of TP0903 as an enhancer of T-cell immunotherapies.

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Siyang Leng, Yizhen Chen, Wei-Yann Tsai, Divaya Bhutani, Grace C. Hillyer, Emerson Lim, Melissa K. Accordino, Jason D. Wright, Dawn L. Hershman, Suzanne Lentzsch and Alfred I. Neugut

Background: Bisphosphonates reduce skeletal-related events (SREs) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and, in some studies, improved survival. Since 2011, bisphosphonate use has been recommended by NCCN for all patients with newly diagnosed MM receiving antineoplastic therapy independent of the presence of bone disease. This study investigated their use after these guidelines were established. Methods: We identified patients aged ≥65 years in the SEER-Medicare database with newly diagnosed MM between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013, who received antineoplastic therapy, had ≥6 months of follow-up, and did not receive prior bisphosphonates. Presence of SREs at diagnosis was identified, including pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, radiation to bone, or surgery to bone. Use of bisphosphonates was defined as having ≥1 claim for an intravenous or oral bisphosphonate within 6 months after the start of antineoplastic therapy. We used multivariable modeling to compare users with nonusers, controlling for demographic and clinical covariates. We compared overall survival between users and nonusers using proportional hazards analysis. Results: Of 1,309 patients identified, 720 (55%) used a bisphosphonate. Factors associated with use included SRE at diagnosis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.60; 95% CI, 1.98–3.40), hypercalcemia (AOR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.26–2.41), and use of proteasome inhibitor + immunomodulatory imide therapy (AOR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.21–2.39). Chronic kidney disease (AOR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.35–0.66) was associated with decreased use. Bisphosphonate use was associated with reduced mortality (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.56–0.88). Conclusions: Although bisphosphonate use is recommended for all patients with newly diagnosed MM receiving antineoplastic therapy, 45% of patients in the United States did not receive this guideline-recommended care.