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Annika M. Gustafson, Deborah J. Goldfrank, William A. Dunson, Daniel L. Mulkerin, Rebecca L. Caires and Keith D. Eaton

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Jeremy D. Kratz, Nataliya V. Uboha, Sam J. Lubner, Daniel L. Mulkerin, Linda Clipson, Yanyao Yi, Menggang Yu, Kristina A. Matkowskyj, Noelle K. LoConte and Dustin A. Deming

Background: Molecular profiles guide the clinical management of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), particularly related to the use of anti–epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies. Tumor sidedness has also been implicated in resistance to these therapies, but has largely been studied in the first-line setting. We examined the role of tumor sidedness and disease bulk in predicting clinical outcomes to anti-EGFR therapy in the treatment-refractory setting. Methods: We identified a retrospective cohort of 62 patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC who received anti-EGFR therapy in the late-line setting. Response was assessed per RECIST 1.1, with bulky disease defined as any single lesion >35 mm in longest cross-sectional diameter or nodal short axis. Primary sidedness was defined in relation to the splenic flexure. Results: Patients with right-sided primary tumors at time of late-line EGFR therapy presented with increased tumor bulk and worsened overall survival (OS) relative to left-sided primary tumors. Tumor bulk, defined as either a categorical or continuous variable, predicted worsened progression-free survival (PFS) and OS, which persisted when controlling for differences in the primary tumor location. Within the right-sided cohort, no objective responses were observed for bulky disease or during treatment with anti-EGFR monotherapy. The nonbulky cohort experienced clinical benefit with anti-EGFR monotherapy, showing similar PFS and an improved response rate compared with sequential chemotherapy. Conclusions: In an effort to expand understanding of the role of primary sidedness in clinical response to anti-EGFR therapy, we identified sidedness and tumor bulk as potential predictive biomarkers of clinical response in late-line mCRC. Future prospective studies of EGFR targeting should consider tumor bulk in addition to molecular profiling in the identification of populations most likely to achieve meaningful clinical benefit.

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Stanton L. Gerson, Kate Shaw, Louis B. Harrison, Randall F. Holcombe, Laura Hutchins, Carrie B. Lee, Patrick J. Loehrer Sr, Daniel Mulkerin, W. Thomas Purcell, Lois Teston, Louis M. Weiner and George J. Weiner

Background: Cancer care coordination across major academic medical centers and their networks is evolving rapidly, but the spectrum of organizational efforts has not been described. We conducted a mixed-methods survey of leading cancer centers and their networks to document care coordination and identify opportunities to improve geographically dispersed care. Methods: A mixed-methods survey was sent to 91 cancer centers in the United States and Canada. We analyzed the number and locations of network sites; access to electronic medical records (EMRs); clinical research support and participation at networks; use of patient navigators, care paths, and quality measures; and physician workforce. Responses were collected via Qualtrics software between September 2017 and December 2018. Results: Of the 69 responding cancer centers, 74% were NCI-designated. Eighty-seven percent of respondents were part of a matrix health system, and 13% were freestanding. Fifty-six reported having network sites. Forty-three respondents use navigators for disease-specific populations, and 24 use them for all patients. Thirty-five respondents use ≥1 types of care path. Fifty-seven percent of networks had complete, integrated access to their main center’s EMRs. Thirty-nine respondents said the main center provides funding for clinical research at networks, with 22 reporting the main center provides all funding. Thirty-five said the main center provided pharmacy support at the networks, with 15 indicating the main center provides 100% pharmacy support. Certification program participation varied extensively across networks. Conclusions: The data show academic cancer centers have extensive involvement in network cancer care, often extending into rural communities. Coordinating care through improved clinical trial access and greater use of patient navigation, care paths, coordinated EMRs, and quality measures is likely to improve patient outcomes. Although it is premature to draw firm conclusions, the survey results are appropriate for mapping next steps and data queries.