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  • Author: Carlos M. De Castro x
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Jesse D. Troy, Carlos M. de Castro, Mary Ruth Pupa, Greg P. Samsa, Amy P. Abernethy and Thomas W. LeBlanc

Background: NCCN defines distress as a multifactorial, unpleasant emotional experience of a psychological nature that may interfere with patients' ability to cope with cancer symptoms and treatment. Patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are at risk for distress due to the largely incurable nature of this hematopoietic malignancy and its symptom burden, yet associations with clinical outcomes are unknown. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patient-reported distress data from adult ambulatory patients with MDS visiting a single, tertiary care medical center from July 2013 to September 2015. Demographic, diagnostic, treatment, and comorbidity information were abstracted from records along with NCCN Distress Thermometer (DT) and Problem List (PL) scores. Survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: We abstracted 376 DT scores (median, 1; range, 0–10) from 606 visits and 110 patients (median, 2 DT scores/patient; range, 1–16). NCCN Guidelines suggest that patients with DT scores ≥4 should be evaluated for referral to specialty services to address unmet needs. A total of 54 patients (49%) had at least 1 DT score ≥4 and 20 (18%) had 2 or more DT scores ≥4; 98 patients (89.1%) reported 1,379 problems during 23,613 person-days of follow-up (median, 4 problems/patient/visit; range, 1–23). The 5 most frequently reported problems were fatigue (181 times; 78 patients), pain (95 times; 46 patients), worry (80 times; 45 patients), sleep (78 times; 41 patients), and tingling hands/feet (68 times; 33 patients). After adjustment for risk stratification at diagnosis, a single point increase on the DT was associated with an increased risk of death (hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01–1.36). Conclusions: Patients with MDS experience a high burden of distress, and patient-reported distress is associated with clinical outcomes. Distress should be further studied as a prognostic variable and a marker of unmet needs in MDS.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Eyal Attar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, James M. Foran, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Steven D. Gore, David Head, Rami Komrokji, Lori J. Maness, Michael Millenson, Stephen D. Nimer, Margaret R. O'Donnell, Mark A. Schroeder, Paul J. Shami, Richard M. Stone, James E. Thompson and Peter Westervelt

OverviewThe myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent myeloid clonal hemopathies with relatively heterogeneous spectrums of presentation. The major clinical problems in these disorders are morbidities caused by cytopenias and the potential for MDS to evolve into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In the general population, MDS occur in 5 per 100,000 people. However, among individuals older than 70 years, the incidence increases to between 22 and 45 per 100,000 and increases further with age.Managing MDS is complicated by the generally advanced age of the patients (median ages, 65–70 years), attendant nonhematologic comorbidities, and relative inability to tolerate certain intensive forms of therapy among older patients. In addition, when the illness progresses to AML, these patients experience lower response rates to standard therapy than those with de novo AML.1Diagnostic ClassificationInitial evaluation of patients with suspected MDS requires careful assessment of their peripheral blood smear and blood counts, marrow morphology, duration of their abnormal blood counts, other potential causes for their cytopenias, and concomitant illnesses. The French-American-British (FAB) classification initially categorized patients for the diagnostic evaluation of MDS.2 Dysplastic changes in at least 2 of the 3 hematopoietic cell lines have been used by most histopathologists to diagnose MDS. These changes include megaloblastoid erythropoiesis, nucleocytoplasmic asynchrony in the early myeloid and erythroid precursors, and dysmorphic megakaryocytes.3 Patients with MDS are classified as having 1 of 5 subtypes of disease: refractory anemia (RA); RA with ringed sideroblasts (RARS); RA with excess of blasts (RAEB); RAEB in transformation (RAEB-T); or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia...
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Peter L. Greenberg, Eyal Attar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Uma Borate, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Steven D. Gore, David Head, Rami Komrokji, Lori J. Maness, Michael Millenson, Margaret R. O’Donnell, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Richard M. Stone, James E. Thompson, Peter Westervelt, Benton Wheeler, Dorothy A. Shead and Maoko Naganuma

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) represent a heterogeneous group of clonal hematopoietic disorders characterized by cytopenias, dysplasia in one or more myeloid lineages, and the potential for development of acute myeloid leukemia. These disorders primarily affect older adults. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for MDS provide recommendations on the diagnostic evaluation and classification of MDS, risk evaluation according to established prognostic assessment tools (including the new revised International Prognostic Scoring System), treatment options according to risk categories, and management of related anemia.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Aref Al-Kali, Stefan K. Barta, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Hetty Carraway, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Ruth Horsfall, Robert A. Johnson, Mark Juckett, Virginia M. Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O'Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Alison R. Walker, Peter Westervelt, Amer Zeidan, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogenous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course. Diagnostic criteria to better stratify patients with MDS continue to evolve, based on morphology, cytogenetics, and the presence of cytopenias. More accurate classification of patients will allow for better treatment guidance. Treatment encompasses supportive care, treatment of anemia, low-intensity therapy, and high-intensity therapy. This portion of the guidelines focuses on diagnostic classification, molecular abnormalities, therapeutic options, and recommended treatment approaches.

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Peter L. Greenberg, Richard M. Stone, Rafael Bejar, John M. Bennett, Clara D. Bloomfield, Uma Borate, Carlos M. De Castro, H. Joachim Deeg, Amy E. DeZern, Amir T. Fathi, Olga Frankfurt, Karin Gaensler, Guillermo Garcia-Manero, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, David Head, Virginia Klimek, Rami Komrokji, Lisa A. Kujawski, Lori J. Maness, Margaret R. O’Donnell, Daniel A. Pollyea, Bart Scott, Paul J. Shami, Brady L. Stein, Peter Westervelt, Benton Wheeler, Dorothy A. Shead and Courtney Smith

The NCCN Guidelines for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) comprise a heterogeneous group of myeloid disorders with a highly variable disease course that depends largely on risk factors. Risk evaluation is therefore a critical component of decision-making in the treatment of MDS. The development of newer treatments and the refinement of current treatment modalities are designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce side effects. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the recent updates to the guidelines, which include the incorporation of a revised prognostic scoring system, addition of molecular abnormalities associated with MDS, and refinement of treatment options involving a discussion of cost of care.