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Is Advanced Imaging in Early-Stage Breast Cancer Ever Warranted? Reconciling Clinical Judgment With Common Quality Measures

Arif Kamal, Tian Zhang, Steve Power, and P. Kelly Marcom

Background: The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation's Choosing Wisely initiative aims to reduce unnecessary advanced imaging for early-stage breast cancer (ESBC). Additionally, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Breast Cancer permit such images when oncologists perceive clinical clues of advanced disease. The utility of advanced imaging in ESBC is not known. Patients and Methods: We analyzed all patients with ESBC from January 2010 to June 2012 at a large tertiary cancer center. Early-stage was defined as stage IIb or less. We included advanced imaging within 60 days after diagnosis. Three independent reviewers manually abstracted a sample of charts to determine reason for ordering. Results: A total of 1,143 ESBC cases were identified; 21.8% of which had at least one advanced imaging procedure performed. Imaging modalities varied widely (38% CT, 21% PET, 34% bone scans, and 6% MRI). Patients who underwent advanced imaging were more likely to have triple-negative disease, be younger (age <50 years), and have higher stage disease (stage IIb vs ≤ stage IIa; all P<.001). A total of 100 cases (40%) were abstracted; 5 were excluded due to bilateral disease. Of the 95 cases remaining, 62% of the imaging studies were performed for staging, 17% for significant concurrent disease, and 22% for findings atypical of ESBC. Of the studies performed for staging, 15% produced clinically meaningful findings. Overall, 45% of studies were ordered for suspicious findings, complex history, or produced a meaningful result. Conclusions: Of patients with ESBC, 21.8% had at least one advanced imaging procedure within 60 days of diagnosis; almost half were clinically useful. Chart abstraction helped clarify intent. Conversations between clinicians and patients are needed to balance patient preferences and clinician judgment.

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Optimizing the Quality of Breast Cancer Biomarker Use at Duke Cancer Institute

Arif H. Kamal, Steve Power, Gloria Broadwater, Audrey R. Holland, and Paul K. Marcom

Advances in identifying biomarker profiles in patients with early-stage breast cancer have improved 5-year curative rates. Identification of the HER2 receptor provides valuable information that has been shown to extend survival in adjuvant and metastatic settings. Current clinical guidelines discuss when confirmatory testing may be inappropriate. Using a quality improvement approach, the team at Duke Cancer Institute determined HER2 ordering practices in a large academic cancer center. HER2 ordering using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was abstracted from the charts of 314 patients with early-stage breast cancer. Qualitative responses to current clinical practices were obtained from clinicians. Of the patients included, duplicate IHC was performed for 36% and in triplicate for 6%; repeat testing resulted in clinically significant change in HER2 status for approximately 20%. Repeat biomarker testing on metastatic biopsy sites “all of the time” was favored by the surveyed physicians. FISH was ordered for each grade of IHC: 0+ (>20% of cases), 1+ (>20%), 2+ (99%), 3+ (54%). Most physicians “strongly” or “somewhat” favored solutions that integrate order sets and care pathways into the electronic medical record. This quality improvement project identified root causes and solutions to practice variance in breast cancer biomarker ordering and interpretation. Further investigations are planned to standardize best practices while appreciating the clinical challenges posed by discordant test results.

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Oral Chemotherapy Metric Performance in Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Practices: Updated Trends and Analysis

Victoria S. Blinder, Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, Paul B. Jacobsen, Mary May Kozlik, Merry Jennifer Markham, Robert D. Siegel, Arif H. Kamal, Stephanie T.S. Crist, Jon Rosenthal, Anne C. Chiang, and on behalf of the ASCO Quality Publications Task Force*

Background: Oral chemotherapy performance measures were first introduced into ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) in 2013. This study examined performance on these measures among QOPI-participating practices and evaluated whether it differed among practices based on meeting QOPI Certification Program standards. Methods: A total of 192 QOPI-participating practices (certified, n=50 [26%]; not certified, n=142 [74%]) reported performance on oral chemotherapy measures in 2017 and 2018. Inclusion was limited to practices reporting on ≥3 charts for ≥1 oral chemotherapy measure. Performance was defined as the percentage of charts examined that adhered to the measure. Descriptive analyses were used to characterize performance within and across practices, and mixed-effects logistic regression models were conducted to compare performance based on certification status. Results: Median performance across practices for the 9 oral chemotherapy measures examined ranged from 44% (education before the start of treatment addressing missed doses, toxicities, and clinical contact instructions [composite measure]) to 100% (documented dose, documented plan, and education about toxicities). Certified practices were more likely to provide education about clinic contact instructions than noncertified practices (odds ratio, 4.87; 95% CI, 1.00–24.0). Performance on all other measures was not significantly associated with certification status. Conclusions: There is wide variability in quality related to performance on oral chemotherapy measures across all QOPI-participating practices, and several areas were identified in which administration of oral chemotherapy could be improved. Our findings highlight the need for the development and implementation of appropriate standards that apply to oral chemotherapy and address the complexities that set it apart from parenteral treatment.

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Patient-Centered Decision-Making in Metastatic Breast Cancer Care Delivery: A Call to Action

Gabrielle B. Rocque, Manali I. Patel, Lauren P. Wallner, Stacy C. Bailey, Rebekkah Schear, Christine M. Gunn, Jamil Rivers, Rozanne Wilson, Emily C. Freeman, Trudy L. Buckingham, Suepattra G. May, and Arif H. Kamal

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Adult Cancer Pain, Version 3.2019, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

Robert A. Swarm, Judith A. Paice, Doralina L. Anghelescu, Madhuri Are, Justine Yang Bruce, Sorin Buga, Marcin Chwistek, Charles Cleeland, David Craig, Ellin Gafford, Heather Greenlee, Eric Hansen, Arif H. Kamal, Mihir M. Kamdar, Susan LeGrand, Sean Mackey, M. Rachel McDowell, Natalie Moryl, Lisle M. Nabell, Suzanne Nesbit, BCPS, Nina O’Connor, Michael W. Rabow, Elizabeth Rickerson, Rebecca Shatsky, Jill Sindt, Susan G. Urba, Jeanie M. Youngwerth, Lydia J. Hammond, and Lisa A. Gurski

In recent years, the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Adult Cancer Pain have undergone substantial revisions focusing on the appropriate and safe prescription of opioid analgesics, optimization of nonopioid analgesics and adjuvant medications, and integration of nonpharmacologic methods of cancer pain management. This selection highlights some of these changes, covering topics on management of adult cancer pain including pharmacologic interventions, nonpharmacologic interventions, and treatment of specific cancer pain syndromes. The complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Adult Cancer Pain addresses additional aspects of this topic, including pathophysiologic classification of cancer pain syndromes, comprehensive pain assessment, management of pain crisis, ongoing care for cancer pain, pain in cancer survivors, and specialty consultations.