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  • Author: Alissa S. Marr x
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Ajeet Gajra, Alissa S. Marr and Apar Kishor Ganti

Patients who are able to care for themselves but are unable to perform most work-related activities are considered to have a poor performance status (PS). Individuals who fulfill these criteria constitute a significant proportion of all patients with lung cancer. Patients with lung cancer and a poor PS, irrespective of age, have an increased incidence of adverse effects with therapy and poorer outcomes. Thus, although these individuals must be treated differently, data on optimal approaches for these patients are lacking, because this cohort is underrepresented in conventional clinical trials due to enrollment restrictions. This article presents the available evidence on the treatment of this group of patients with lung cancer. Although patients with PS 2 have worse overall outcomes than those with good PS, a selected proportion may still benefit from standard therapy. Further trials are needed to identify optimal strategies to treat this group of patients with lung cancer.

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Sri Harsha Tella, Anuhya Kommalapati, Apar Kishor Ganti and Alissa S. Marr

Background: The advent of targeted therapies and immunomodulatory agents has revolutionized the management of advanced cutaneous malignant melanoma (MMel) by prolonging overall survival. This study evaluated the therapeutic and survival disparities among patients with advanced MMel based on hospital volume using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Methods: A retrospective analysis using regression models and Kaplan-Meier estimates was performed from the data obtained from the NCDB on patients with MMel diagnosed in 2004 through 2015. Results: A total of 40,676 patients with MMel were treated at 1,260 facilities. Multivariable analysis showed that facility volume was an independent predictor of overall survival (P<.0001). Compared with patients treated at high-volume facilities (tertile 3 [T3]), those with stage III disease (n=27,528) treated at intermediate- and low-volume facilities (T2 and T1, respectively) had a significantly higher risk of death (T2 hazard ratio [HR], 1.15; 95% CI, 1.09–1.20; T1 HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17–1.29). Compared with patients treated at T3 facilities, those with stage IV disease (n=13,148) treated at lower-tertile facilities had a significantly higher risk of death (T2 HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10–1.21; T1 HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.23–1.36). Further, patients with stage IV disease treated at T3 facilities (vs T1 facilities) were more likely to receive chemotherapy (38% vs 28%) and immunotherapy (23% vs 10%) (P<.0001). Conclusions: Patients with advanced-stage MMel treated at high-volume facilities had significantly improved survival and were more likely to receive chemotherapy and immunotherapy.