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Lung Cancer in Nonelderly Patients: Facility and Patient Characteristics Associated With Not Receiving Treatment

Elizabeth A. Nardi, Can-Lan Sun, Francisco Robert, and Julie A. Wolfson

Background: In elderly patients with lung cancer, race/ethnicity is associated with not receiving treatment; however, little attention has been given to nonelderly patients (aged ≤65 years) with a range of disease stages and histologies. Nonelderly patients with lung cancer have superior survival at NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCCs), although the reasons remain unknown. Patients and Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in 9,877 patients newly diagnosed with small cell or non–small cell lung cancer (all stages) between ages 22 and 65 years and reported to the Los Angeles County Cancer Surveillance Program registry between 1998 and 2008. Multivariable logistic regression examined factors associated with nontreatment. Results: In multivariable analysis, race/ethnicity was associated with not receiving cancer treatment (black: odds ratio [OR], 1.22; P=.004; Hispanic: OR, 1.17; P=.04), adjusting for patient age, sex, disease stage, histology, diagnosis year, distance to treatment facility, type of facility (CCC vs non-CCC), and insurance status. With inclusion of socioeconomic status (SES) in the model, the effect of race/ethnicity was no longer significant (black: OR, 1.02; P=.80; Hispanic: OR, 1.00; P=1.00). Factors independently associated with nontreatment included low SES (OR range, 1.37–2.15; P<.001), lack of private insurance (public: OR, 1.71; P<.001; uninsured: OR, 1.30; P<.001), and treatment facility (non-CCC: OR, 3.22; P<.001). Conclusions: In nonelderly patients with lung cancer, SES was associated with nontreatment, mitigating the effect of race/ethnicity. Patients were also at higher odds of nontreatment if they did not have private insurance or received cancer care at a non-CCC facility. These findings highlight the importance of understanding how both patient-level factors (eg, SES, insurance status) and facility-level factors (eg, treatment facility) serve as barriers to treatment of nonelderly patients with lung cancer.

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Patient-Defined Goals and Preferences Among Adults With Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors

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.

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External Validation of Risk Factors for Unplanned Hospitalization in Older Adults With Advanced Cancer Receiving Chemotherapy

Mostafa R. Mohamed, Kah Poh Loh, Supriya G. Mohile, Michael Sohn, Tracy Webb, Megan Wells, Sule Yilmaz, Rachael Tylock, Eva Culakova, Allison Magnuson, Can-Lan Sun, James Bearden, Judith O. Hopkins, Bryan A. Faller, and Heidi D. Klepin

Background: Older adults (age ≥65 years) receiving chemotherapy are at risk for hospitalization. Predictors of unplanned hospitalization among older adults receiving chemotherapy for cancer were recently published using data from a study conducted by the Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG). Our study aimed to externally validate these predictors in an independent cohort including older adults with advanced cancer receiving chemotherapy. Methods: This validation cohort included patients (n=369) from the GAP70+ trial usual care arm. Enrolled patients were aged ≥70 years with incurable cancer and were starting a new line of chemotherapy. Previously identified risk factors proposed by the CARG study were ≥3 comorbidities, albumin level <3.5 g/dL, creatinine clearance <60 mL/min, gastrointestinal cancer, ≥5 medications, requiring assistance with activities of daily activities (ADLs), and having someone available to take them to the doctor (ie, presence of social support). The primary outcome was unplanned hospitalization within 3 months of treatment initiation. Multivariable logistic regression was applied including the 7 identified risk factors. Discriminative ability of the fitted model was performed by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) curve. Results: Mean age of the cohort was 77 years, 45% of patients were women, and 29% experienced unplanned hospitalization within the first 3 months of treatment. The proportions of hospitalized patients with 0–3, 4–5, and 6–7 identified risk factors were 24%, 28%, and 47%, respectively (P=.04). Impaired ADLs (odds ratio, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.04–2.99) and albumin level <3.5 g/dL (odds ratio, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.37–3.62) were significantly associated with increased odds of unplanned hospitalization. The AUC of the model, including the 7 identified risk factors, was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.59–0.71). Conclusions: The presence of a higher number of risk factors was associated with increased odds of unplanned hospitalization. This association was largely driven by impairment in ADLs and low albumin level. Validated predictors of unplanned hospitalization can help with counseling and shared decision-making with patients and their caregivers.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02054741