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.
Ajeet Gajra, Alissa S. Marr, and Apar Kishor Ganti
Apar Kishor Ganti, Sarika Ogale, Erru Yang, and William Wong
Apar Kishor Ganti, Mollie deShazo, Alva B. Weir III, and Arti Hurria
Lung cancer is a disease of the elderly, with a median age at diagnosis of 70 years. However, there is a dearth of good quality evidence to guide treatment in this population and most of the data are extrapolated from younger patients. Current research is directed toward establishing simplified instruments to quantify fitness of older patients for various forms of therapy. Although current evidence suggests that outcomes after standard therapy are similar to those seen in younger patients, older patients have an increased incidence of adverse events. Until better predictive markers are available to guide treatment, therapy should be individualized using available instruments, including a comprehensive geriatric assessment. If an older patient is deemed to be fit, it is reasonable to use the treatment options recommended for younger individuals. This article summarizes the available data on the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer in the older patient.
Anuhya Kommalapati, Sri Harsha Tella, Adams Kusi Appiah, Lynette Smith, and Apar Kishor Ganti
Background: There is significant heterogeneity in the treatment of stage IIIA non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study evaluated the therapeutic and survival disparities in patients with stage IIIA NSCLC based on the facility volume using the National Cancer Database. Methods: Patients with stage IIIA NSCLC diagnosed from 2004 through 2015 were included. Facilities were classified by tertiles based on mean patients treated per year, with low-volume facilities treating ≤8 patients, intermediate-volume treating 9 to 14 patients, and high-volume treating ≥15 patients. Cox multivariate analysis was used to determine the volume–outcome relationship. Results: Analysis included 83,673 patients treated at 1,319 facilities. Compared with patients treated at low-volume facilities, those treated at high-volume centers were more likely to be treated with surgical (25% vs 18%) and trimodality (12% vs 9%) therapies. In multivariate analysis, facility volume was independently associated with all-cause mortality (P<.0001). Median overall survival by facility volume was 15, 16, and 19 months for low-, intermediate-, and high-volume facilities, respectively (P<.001). Compared with patients treated at high-volume facilities, those treated at intermediate- and low-volume facilities had a significantly higher risk of death (hazard ratio, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.07–1.11] and 1.11 [95% CI, 1.09–1.13], respectively). Conclusions: Patients treated for stage IIIA NSCLC at high-volume facilities were more likely to receive surgical and trimodality therapies and had a significant improvement in survival.
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.
Neelima N. Nallapaneni, Rajesh Mourya, Vijaya Raj Bhatt, Sakshi Malhotra, Apar Kishor Ganti, and Ketki K. Tendulkar
Ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody that blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4, leading to enhanced T-cell activation and proliferation, is associated with improved overall survival in melanoma. Its use can result in immune-related adverse events, the most common of which are skin rash, diarrhea, and colitis. Ipilimumab-induced hypophysitis is uncommon, mostly involves anterior pituitary, and is associated with abnormalities in pituitary MRI, whereas uveitis has been rarely reported. These immune-related adverse events occur during therapy. This report describes a patient who developed uveitis and hypophysitis involving both anterior and posterior pituitary, without MRI findings more than 3 weeks after the fourth dose of ipilimumab. This case illustrates the unusual presentation of and diagnostic challenges associated with ipilimumab-induced immune-related adverse events.
Renato G. Martins, Thomas A. D’Amico, Billy W. Loo Jr, Mary Pinder-Schenck, Hossein Borghaei, Jamie E. Chaft, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Feng-Ming (Spring) Kong, Mark G. Kris, Inga T. Lennes, and Douglas E. Wood
Patients with stage IIIA non–small cell lung cancer, determined based on involvement of ipsilateral mediastinal lymph nodes, represent the most challenging management problem in this disease. Patients with this stage disease may have very different degrees of lymph node involvement. The pathologic confirmation of this involvement is a key step in the therapeutic decision. The difference in the degree of lymph node compromise has prognostic and treatment implications. Based on multiple considerations, patients can be treated with induction chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery, or definitive chemoradiotherapy without surgery. Data derived from clinical trials have provided incomplete guidance for physicians and their patients. The best therapeutic plan is achieved through the multidisciplinary cooperation of a team specialized in lung cancer.
Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Wallace Akerley, Paul Bogner, Hossein Borghaei, Laura QM Chow, Robert J. Downey, Leena Gandhi, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, John C. Grecula, James Hayman, Rebecca Suk Heist, Leora Horn, Thierry Jahan, Marianna Koczywas, Billy W. Loo Jr, Robert E. Merritt, Cesar A. Moran, Harvey B. Niell, Janis O’Malley, Jyoti D. Patel, Neal Ready, Charles M. Rudin, Charles C. Williams Jr, Kristina Gregory, and Miranda Hughes
Neuroendocrine tumors account for approximately 20% of lung cancers; most (≈15%) are small cell lung cancer (SCLC). These NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for SCLC focus on extensive-stage SCLC because it occurs more frequently than limited-stage disease. SCLC is highly sensitive to initial therapy; however, most patients eventually die of recurrent disease. In patients with extensive-stage disease, chemotherapy alone can palliate symptoms and prolong survival in most patients; however, long-term survival is rare. Most cases of SCLC are attributable to cigarette smoking; therefore, smoking cessation should be strongly promoted.