In an era of personalized medicine, an increased effort is being made to identify patients likely to benefit from targeted therapy. By limiting treatment to selected patients, both unnecessary cost and toxicity may be avoided. Restricting the use of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR)-targeted agents in metastatic colorectal cancer to only patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type tumors has become well-established in clinical practice. However, lack of KRAS exon 2 mutations does not necessarily predict response, and a significant proportion of patients with KRAS wild-type tumors do not benefit from therapy with cetuximab or panitumumab. Further characterization is needed of the subset of patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type tumors who are likely to benefit from anti-EGFR therapy. Recent data suggest that patients with KRAS mutations at loci other than exon 2, and those with other RAS mutations, might not benefit from EGFR-directed therapy. This article briefly reviews established work on KRAS exon 2 mutations, but focuses primarily on emerging data on non-exon 2 KRAS mutations and additional RAS and BRAF mutations and how this information may impact clinical decision-making.
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Noman Ashraf, Nishi Kothari, and Richard Kim
Amit Mahipal, Minsig Choi, and Richard Kim
Gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer death and is associated with poor prognosis. The treatment of advanced gastric cancer is changing with the development of novel agents. Until recently, no standard treatment was available for patients with advanced gastric cancer in the second-line setting. Single-agent chemotherapy with docetaxel or irinotecan has been shown to improve survival and quality of life in patients whose disease has progressed while on prior chemotherapy. Combination chemotherapy is associated with a modest benefit at the expense of increased toxicity. Recently, ramucirumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2, has been approved for the treatment of refractory advanced gastric cancer as a single agent or in combination with paclitaxel. Apatinib, a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting VEGF, has demonstrated activity in Asian populations whose disease has progressed on 2 lines of therapy. However, much work is still needed, including the development of biomarkers that could predict response to therapy.
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.
Daneng Li, Can-Lan Sun, Heeyoung Kim, Christiana Crook, Ya-Han Zhang, Rebecca Allen, Richard Ballena, Shadman Hyder, Marianna Koczywas, Vincent Chung, Dean Lim, Vani Katheria, William Dale, and Gagandeep Singh
Background: Patient preferences (quantity vs quality of life; present vs future health) have not been investigated in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). The goal of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate patient values toward treatment goals and competing health outcomes among adults with NETs. Patients and Methods: Patients with well-differentiated, grade 1 or 2, advanced NETs starting a new systemic therapy completed 4 tools: (1) Health Outcomes Tool, which ranks the importance of 4 outcomes (survival, function/independence, freedom from pain, freedom from symptoms); (2) Attitude Scale, which identifies the extent to which patients agree with statements related to health outcomes; (3) Now versus Later Tool, which ranks the relative importance of quality of life (QoL) now versus 1 and 5 years from now; and (4) Prognosis and Treatment Perceptions Questionnaire, which identifies the amount of information the patient prefers to receive about their disease and treatment, the patient’s treatment goal, the patient’s perception of the physician’s treatment goal, and self-reported health status. Results: We recruited 60 patients with NETs (50.0% aged ≥65 years; 96.7% with stage IV disease). Primary tumor locations included the gastrointestinal tract (41.7%), pancreas (30.0%), and lung (21.7%). A plurality of patients reported maintaining independence as their most important health outcome (46.7%), followed by survival (30.0%), freedom from pain (11.7%), and freedom from symptoms (11.7%). A total of 67% of patients agreed with the statement, “I would rather live a shorter life than lose my ability to take care of myself”; 85.0% agreed with the statement, “It is more important to me to maintain my thinking ability than to live as long as possible.” When asked to choose between current QoL versus QoL 1 year or 5 years in the future as more important, 48.3% and 40.0% of patients valued their QoL 1 year and 5 years in the future, respectively, more than their current QoL. Only 51.7% of patients believed their physician’s treatment goals aligned with their own. Conclusions: Adult patients with NETs strongly value independence over survival. More communication between patients with NETs and their physicians is needed to ensure that patient preferences are incorporated into treatment plans.
Dominik J. Ose, Richard Viskochil, Andreana N. Holowatyj, Mikaela Larson, Dalton Wilson, William A. Dunson Jr, Vikrant G. Deshmukh, J. Ryan Butcher, Belinda R. Taylor, Kim Svoboda, Jennifer Leiser, Benjamin Tingey, Benjamin Haaland, David W. Wetter, Simon J. Fisher, Mia Hashibe, and Cornelia M. Ulrich
Background: This study aimed to understand the prevalence of prediabetes (preDM) and diabetes mellitus (DM) in patients with cancer overall and by tumor site, cancer treatment, and time point in the cancer continuum. Methods: This cohort study was conducted at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Patients with a first primary invasive cancer enrolled in the Total Cancer Care protocol between July 2016 and July 2018 were eligible. Prevalence of preDM and DM was based on ICD code, laboratory tests for hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, nonfasting blood glucose, or insulin prescription. Results: The final cohort comprised 3,512 patients with cancer, with a mean age of 57.8 years at cancer diagnosis. Of all patients, 49.1% (n=1,724) were female. At cancer diagnosis, the prevalence of preDM and DM was 6.0% (95% CI, 5.3%–6.8%) and 12.2% (95% CI, 11.2%–13.3%), respectively. One year after diagnosis the prevalence was 16.6% (95% CI, 15.4%–17.9%) and 25.0% (95% CI, 23.6%–26.4%), respectively. At the end of the observation period, the prevalence of preDM and DM was 21.2% (95% CI, 19.9%–22.6%) and 32.6% (95% CI, 31.1%–34.2%), respectively. Patients with myeloma (39.2%; 95% CI, 32.6%–46.2%) had the highest prevalence of preDM, and those with pancreatic cancer had the highest prevalence of DM (65.1%; 95% CI, 57.0%–72.3%). Patients who underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy had a higher prevalence of preDM and DM compared with those who did not undergo these therapies. Conclusions: Every second patient with cancer experiences preDM or DM. It is essential to foster interprofessional collaboration and to develop evidence-based practice guidelines. A better understanding of the impact of cancer treatment on the development of preDM and DM remains critical.
Po-Ju Lin, Brian J. Altman, Nikesha J. Gilmore, Kah Poh Loh, Richard F. Dunne, Javier Bautista, Chunkit Fung, Michelle C. Janelsins, Luke J. Peppone, Marianne K. Melnik, Kim O. Gococo, Michael J. Messino, and Karen M. Mustian
Background: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) negatively affects survivors’ walking, engagement in physical activity (PA), and quality of life (QoL). Yoga is an effective therapy for treating CRF; however, evidence from large clinical trials regarding how reducing CRF through yoga influences CRF’s interference with survivors’ walking, engagement in PA, and QoL is not available. We examined the effects of yoga and the mediational influence of CRF on CRF’s interference with walking, PA, and QoL among cancer survivors in a multicenter phase III randomized controlled trial. Patients and Methods: Cancer survivors (n=410) with insomnia 2 to 24 months posttreatment were randomized to a 4-week yoga intervention—Yoga for Cancer Survivors (YOCAS)—or standard care. A symptom inventory was used to assess how much CRF interfered with survivors’ walking, PA, and QoL. The Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form was used to assess CRF. Two-tailed t tests and analyses of covariance were used to examine within-group and between-group differences. Path analysis was used to evaluate mediational relationships between CRF and changes in CRF’s interference with walking, PA, and QoL among survivors. Results: Compared with standard care controls, YOCAS participants reported significant improvements in CRF’s interference with walking, PA, and QoL at postintervention (all effect size = −0.33; all P≤.05). Improvements in CRF resulting from yoga accounted for significant proportions of the improvements in walking (44%), PA (53%), and QoL (45%; all P≤.05). Conclusions: A significant proportion (44%–53%) of the YOCAS effect on CRF’s interference with walking, PA, and QoL was due to improvements in CRF among cancer survivors. Yoga should be introduced and included as a treatment option for survivors experiencing fatigue. By reducing fatigue, survivors further improve their walking, engagement in PA, and QoL.
Steven M. Horwitz, Stephen M. Ansell, Weiyun Z. Ai, Jeffrey Barnes, Stefan K. Barta, Michael Choi, Mark W. Clemens, Ahmet Dogan, John P. Greer, Ahmad Halwani, Bradley M. Haverkos, Richard T. Hoppe, Eric Jacobsen, Deepa Jagadeesh, Youn H. Kim, Matthew A. Lunning, Amitkumar Mehta, Neha Mehta-Shah, Yahurio Oki, Elise A. Olsen, Barbara Pro, Saurabh A. Rajguru, Satish Shanbhag, Andrei Shustov, Lubomir Sokol, Pallawi Torka, Ryan Wilcox, Basem William, Jasmine Zain, Mary A. Dwyer, and Hema Sundar
Natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphomas are a rare and distinct subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. NK/T-cell lymphomas are predominantly extranodal and most of these are nasal type, often localized to the upper aerodigestive tract. Because extranodal NK/T-cell lymphomas (ENKL) are rare malignancies, randomized trials comparing different regimens have not been conducted to date and standard therapy has not yet been established for these patients. These NCCN Guidelines Insights discuss the recommendations for the diagnosis and management of patients with ENKL as outlined in the NCCN Guidelines for T-Cell Lymphomas.