Conversion to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) was mandated for October 1, 2014, but was delayed by one year. ICD-10 accommodates newly developed diagnoses and procedures and is expected to help measure quality of care. When implemented, it will impact oncology practices because of conversion costs, loss of productivity, and billing problems. Clinical documentation must meet the specificity required by ICD-10 codes or risk denial of payments, which are projected to dramatically increase. In preparation for the now delayed conversion, the ICD-10 transition team at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) examined the ICD-10 codes for primary hematology/oncology diagnoses and comorbidities of cancer and therapy seen at our institution to identify the need for and feasibility of developing a printable job aid to guide clinical documentation. We found that the variable complexity of ICD-10 codes in hematology/oncology frequently requires nonintuitive specificity likely to be overlooked without prompting. We were able to develop a succinct and facile documentation aid usable in both electronic and printed forms that includes all hematology/oncology diagnoses and the comorbidities most frequently seen in our multidisciplinary institution. This document is organized in a notebook format for easy review and will be continuously improved with feedback from practitioners. It is available for free download from the SCCA Web site.
Daniel B. Martin, Sean Silas, Audrey Covner, Paul C. Hendrie, and F. Marc Stewart
Caitlin R. Meeker, Yu-Ning Wong, Brian L. Egleston, Michael J. Hall, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Lainie P. Martin, Margaret von Mehren, Bianca R. Lewis, and Daniel M. Geynisman
Background: Although financial distress is commonly recognized in patients with cancer, it may be more prevalent in younger adults. This study sought to evaluate disparities in overall and financial distress in patients with cancer as a function of age. Methods: This was a single-center cross-sectional study of patients with solid malignancies requiring cancer therapy. The patient questionnaire included demographics, financial concerns, and measures of overall and financial distress. Data analyses compared patients in 3 age groups: young (<50 years), middle-aged (50–64 years), and elderly (≥65 years). Results: The cohort included 119 patients (median age, 62 years; 52% female; 84% white; 100% insured; 36% income ≥$75,000). Significant financial concerns included paying rent/mortgage (P=.003) and buying food (P=.032). Impact of Event Scale (IES) results revealed significant distress in 73% young, 64% middle-aged, and 44% elderly patients. The mean Distress Thermometer (DT) score was 6.1 (standard deviation [SD], 2.9) for young patients, 5.4 (SD, 2.6) for middle-aged, and 4.4 (SD, 3.3) for elderly patients. Young patients were more likely than elderly patients to have a higher IES distress score (P=.016) and DT score (P=.048). The mean InCharge score was lowest (indicating greatest financial distress) in the young group and progressed with age: 5.0 (SD, 1.9), 5.7 (SD, 2.7), and 7.4 (SD, 1.9), respectively (P<.001). Multivariable analyses revealed that the relationship between financial distress and overall distress was strongest in the middle-age group; as the DT increased by 1 point, the InCharge scores decreased by 0.52 (P<.001). Conclusions: Overall and financial distress are more common in young and middle-aged patients with cancer. There are several factors, including employment, insurance, access to paid sick leave, children, and education, that affect younger and middle-aged adults and are less of a potential stressor for elderly individuals.
Amye Tevaarwerk, Travis Osterman, Waddah Arafat, Jeffrey Smerage, Fernanda C.G. Polubriaginof, Tricia Heinrichs, Jessica Sugalski, and Daniel Martin
Vivian W.G. Burgers, Winette T.A. van der Graaf, Daniël J. van der Meer, Martin G. McCabe, Anita W. Rijneveld, Martin J. van den Bent, and Olga Husson
Historically, adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer, diagnosed for the first time at age 15 through 39 years, have often been identified as a “lost tribe” without a medical “home”; neither pediatric nor adult oncology services were able to provide age-appropriate care to this specific group. Internationally, AYA care programs are being established to bridge the gap between the age-defined healthcare worlds and to address the specific needs of AYAs with cancer. However, AYA care programs mostly focus on improving cure rates and addressing survivorship issues, and direct less attention to the unique needs of those living with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis. Additionally, palliative care services are typically poorly equipped to address the age-specific needs of this group. Given that increasingly more AYAs with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis are gaining life years because of novel treatments, and sometimes even face the prospect of long-term disease control, AYA care programs should address the unique palliative care needs of this “new” lost tribe within AYA oncology. This report provides a definition and description of the AYA population living with an uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis in terms of epidemiologic, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics and challenges, and provides perspectives for future research and care initiatives. It also highlights the need to comprehensively examine the experience of AYAs who are living with uncertain and/or poor cancer prognosis to adjust best care practices for this unique group.
Thomas Melchardt, Katharina Troppan, Lukas Weiss, Clemens Hufnagl, Daniel Neureiter, Wolfgang Tränkenschuh, Konstantin Schlick, Florian Huemer, Alexander Deutsch, Peter Neumeister, Richard Greil, Martin Pichler, and Alexander Egle
Background: Several serum parameters have been evaluated for adding prognostic value to clinical scoring systems in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but none of the reports used multivariate testing of more than one parameter at a time. The goal of this study was to validate widely available serum parameters for their independent prognostic impact in the era of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network–International Prognostic Index (NCCN-IPI) score to determine which were the most useful. Patients and Methods: This retrospective bicenter analysis includes 515 unselected patients with DLBCL who were treated with rituximab and anthracycline-based chemoimmunotherapy between 2004 and January 2014. Results: Anemia, high C-reactive protein, and high bilirubin levels had an independent prognostic value for survival in multivariate analyses in addition to the NCCN-IPI, whereas neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, high gamma-glutamyl transferase levels, and platelets-to-lymphocyte ratio did not. Conclusions: In our cohort, we describe the most promising markers to improve the NCCN-IPI. Anemia and high C-reactive protein levels retain their power in multivariate testing even in the era of the NCCN-IPI. The negative role of high bilirubin levels may be associated as a marker of liver function. Further studies are warranted to incorporate these markers into prognostic models and define their role opposite novel molecular markers.
Lina Jansen, Daniel Boakye, Elizabeth Alwers, Prudence R. Carr, Christoph Reissfelder, Martin Schneider, Uwe M. Martens, Jenny Chang-Claude, Michael Hoffmeister, and Hermann Brenner
Background: In the era of personalized medicine, cancer care is subject to major changes and innovations. It is unclear, however, to what extent implementation of such innovations and their impact on patient outcomes differ by health insurance type. This study compared provision of treatment and survival outcomes among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) who had statutory health insurance (SHI) versus private health insurance (PHI) in Germany. Methods: We analyzed patterns of CRC treatment (surgery, chemotherapy/radiotherapy, and targeted therapy) and survival in a large cohort of patients who were diagnosed with CRC in 2003 through 2014 and were observed for an average of 6 years. Associations of type of health insurance with treatment administration and with overall, CRC-specific, and recurrence-free survival were investigated using multivariable logistic and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively. Results: Of 3,977 patients with CRC, 427 (11%) had PHI. Although type of health insurance was not associated with treatment administration in patients with stage I–III disease, those with stage IV disease with PHI more often received targeted therapy (65% vs 40%; odds ratio, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.20–4.91), with differences decreasing over time because of catch-up of uptake rates in patients with SHI. Median overall survival was longer in patients with PHI than in those with SHI (137.0 vs 114.9 months; P=.010), but survival advantages were explained to a large extent by differences in sociodemographic factors. In patients with stage IV disease, survival advantages of PHI were nonsignificant and were restricted to the early years after diagnosis. Conclusions: We observed major differences in uptake of targeted therapy between patients with PHI and those with SHI but no differences in patient survival after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, clinical, and tumor characteristics. Further studies are needed on factors associated with the uptake of therapeutic innovations and their impact on patient survival by health insurance type.
Heike Reinhardt, Rainer Trittler, Alison G. Eggleton, Stefan Wöhrl, Thomas Epting, Marion Buck, Sabine Kaiser, Daniel Jonas, Justus Duyster, Manfred Jung, Martin J. Hug, and Monika Engelhardt
Background: In an interdepartmental cooperation, we investigated the feasibility and benefits of implementing dose banding of chemotherapy at our medical center. Based on this concept, chemotherapy doses are clustered into bands of similar dosage levels, thereby allowing the preproduction of frequently used standard doses of drugs, with sufficient physicochemical stability. Although established practice in the United Kingdom, there is little published evidence of its introduction elsewhere. Methods: We performed an analysis of local prescribing practice (22,310 chemotherapies) and identified gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, and carboplatin, among various others, as cytotoxic drugs suitable for dose banding. Results: First, we determined the physicochemical stability of the selected chemotherapy drugs during 12-weeks' storage by performing pH analysis and visual examination for color change or particles. No relevant changes were identified. Gemcitabine was selected for quantitative high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and we were able to show that ≥95% remained after 12 weeks' storage, in accordance with international guidelines. To simulate a worst case scenario, we performed microbiological stability testing of simulated cytotoxic compounding by replacing the cytotoxic drug with liquid media. Samples were incubated over defined storage time points (3, 6, and 12 weeks) and evaluated using the direct inoculation method. For the container integrity test, we deposited the samples into highly contaminated broth for 1 hour. Microbiological stability was demonstrated in both tests for the full storage period. Conclusions: Our data show that 12-weeks' storage of selected cytotoxic products is feasible from a microbiological perspective. Sterility of prepared products was maintained under extreme storage conditions. Gemcitabine content was in accordance with international guidelines after 12-weeks' storage. These results support the introduction of dose-banded gemcitabine products with the predicted advantages of optimized pharmacy workflow and reduced patient waiting times. We highlight the need for further research and consensus on the performance of purity analyses in dose-banded drug products.
Antonio Di Meglio, Cecile Charles, Elise Martin, Julie Havas, Arnauld Gbenou, Jean-Daniel Flaysakier, Anne-Laure Martin, Sibille Everhard, Enora Laas, Nicolas Chopin, Laurence Vanlemmens, Christelle Jouannaud, Christelle Levy, Olivier Rigal, Marion Fournier, Patrick Soulie, Florian Scotte, Barbara Pistilli, Agnes Dumas, Gwenn Menvielle, Fabrice André, Stefan Michiels, Sarah Dauchy, and Ines Vaz-Luis
Background: Physical activity (PA) and psychosocial interventions are recommended management strategies for cancer-related fatigue (CRF). Randomized trials support the use of mind–body techniques, whereas no data show benefit for homeopathy or naturopathy. Methods: We used data from CANTO (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01993498), a multicenter, prospective study of stage I–III breast cancer (BC). CRF, evaluated after primary treatment completion using the EORTC QLQ-C30 (global CRF) and QLQ-FA12 (physical, emotional, and cognitive dimensions), served as the independent variable (severe [score of ≥40/100] vs nonsevere). Outcomes of interest were adherence to PA recommendations (≥10 metabolic equivalent of task [MET] h/week [GPAQ-16]) and participation in consultations with a psychologist, psychiatrist, acupuncturist, or other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner (homeopath and/or naturopath) after CRF assessment. Multivariable logistic regression examined associations between CRF and outcomes, adjusting for sociodemographic, psychologic, tumor, and treatment characteristics. Results: Among 7,902 women diagnosed from 2012 through 2017, 36.4% reported severe global CRF, and 35.8%, 22.6%, and 14.1% reported severe physical, emotional, and cognitive CRF, respectively. Patients reporting severe global CRF were less likely to adhere to PA recommendations (60.4% vs 66.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71–0.94; P=.004), and slightly more likely to see a psychologist (13.8% vs 7.5%; aOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05–1.58; P=.014), psychiatrist (10.4% vs 5.0%; aOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.10–1.76; P=.0064), acupuncturist (9.8% vs 6.5%; aOR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.17–1.82; P=.0008), or CAM practitioner (12.5% vs 8.2%; aOR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.23–1.82; P<.0001). There were differences in recommendation uptake by CRF dimension, including that severe physical CRF was associated with lower adherence to PA (aOR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63–0.86; P=.0001) and severe emotional CRF was associated with higher likelihood of psychologic consultations (aOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.06–1.79; P=.017). Conclusions: Uptake of recommendations to improve CRF, including adequate PA and use of psychosocial services, seemed suboptimal among patients with early-stage BC, whereas there was a nonnegligible interest in homeopathy and naturopathy. Findings of this large study indicate the need to implement recommendations for managing CRF in clinical practice.
Margaret R. O'Donnell, Martin S. Tallman, Camille N. Abboud, Jessica K. Altman, Frederick R. Appelbaum, Daniel A. Arber, Vijaya Bhatt, Dale Bixby, William Blum, Steven E. Coutre, Marcos De Lima, Amir T. Fathi, Melanie Fiorella, James M. Foran, Steven D. Gore, Aric C. Hall, Patricia Kropf, Jeffrey Lancet, Lori J. Maness, Guido Marcucci, Michael G. Martin, Joseph O. Moore, Rebecca Olin, Deniz Peker, Daniel A. Pollyea, Keith Pratz, Farhad Ravandi, Paul J. Shami, Richard M. Stone, Stephen A. Strickland, Eunice S. Wang, Matthew Wieduwilt, Kristina Gregory, and Ndiya Ogba
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common form of acute leukemia among adults and accounts for the largest number of annual deaths due to leukemias in the United States. This portion of the NCCN Guidelines for AML focuses on management and provides recommendations on the workup, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment options for younger (age <60 years) and older (age ≥60 years) adult patients.
Martin J. Edelman, Daniel P. Raymond, Dwight H. Owen, Michelle B. Leavy, Kari Chansky, Sriram Yennu, Felix G. Fernandez, Carolyn J. Presley, Tithi Biswas, Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Matthew B. Schabath, Seth Sheffler-Collins, Laura Chu, and Richard E. Gliklich
Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and globally, and many questions exist about treatment options. Harmonizing data across registries and other data collection efforts would yield a robust data infrastructure to help address many research questions. The purpose of this project was to develop a minimum set of patient and clinician relevant harmonized outcome measures that can be collected in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient registries and clinical practice. Methods: Seventeen lung cancer registries and related efforts were identified and invited to submit outcome measures. Representatives from medical specialty societies, government agencies, health systems, health information technology groups, patient advocacy organizations, and industry formed a stakeholder panel to categorize the measures and harmonize definitions using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s supported Outcome Measures Framework (OMF). Results: The panel reviewed 66 outcome measures and identified a minimum set of 8 broadly relevant measures in the OMF categories of patient survival, clinical response, events of interest, and resource utilization. The panel harmonized definitions for the 8 measures through in-person and virtual meetings. The panel did not reach consensus on 1 specific validated instrument for capturing patient-reported outcomes. The minimum set of harmonized outcome measures is broadly relevant to clinicians and patients and feasible to capture across NSCLC disease stages and treatment pathways. A pilot test of these measures would be useful to document the burden and value of the measures for research and in clinical practice. Conclusions: By collecting the harmonized measures consistently, registries and other data collection systems could contribute to the development research infrastructure and learning health systems to support new research and improve patient outcomes.