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  • Author: David Stenehjem x
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Jeffrey A. Gilreath, David D. Stenehjem and George M. Rodgers

The feasibility of the large, single-dose intravenous iron repletion method, which is known today as total dose infusion (TDI), has been demonstrated over decades. However, this method of iron repletion was chiefly developed for patients with large iron deficits, such as those with pregnancy-induced anemia, chronic bleeding disorders, and absolute iron-deficiency anemia (serum ferritin < 30 ng/mL, transferrin saturation < 15%) who were unable to receive frequent small doses of intravenous iron. Today, 50 years after the advent of TDI, more is known about iron metabolism and storage, but the optimal dosing strategy for intravenous iron in patients with cancer is still not well defined. The proinflammatory state of cancer, or its treatment, may influence the response to intravenous iron therapy. Additionally, the long-term adverse effects of large single doses or smaller more frequent doses have yet to be studied in the oncology population. Historically, safety concerns surrounding the administration of intravenous iron have centered on anaphylaxis. Newer concerns are being raised, such as oxidative stress, iron overload, venous thromboembolism, infection risk, and tumor growth. Therefore, with the original premise of TDI assuming low levels of inflammation, coupled with the recent data surrounding the adverse effects of blood transfusions and erythropoietic-stimulating agents, this article reviews the risks and benefits of TDI administration specifically for patients with cancer.

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Kuan-Ling Kuo, David Stenehjem, Frederick Albright, Saurabh Ray and Diana Brixner

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the survival and treatment patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) stratified by the NCCN stage–guided treatment categories in the absence of a universally accepted staging system for HCC. Methods: Patients with HCC were identified using ICD-9 codes and inclusion in the Huntsman Cancer Institute tumor registry. Patients were stratified by the NCCN groupings around the time of diagnosis as potentially resectable or operable (RESECT), potentially transplantable (TRANSP), unresectable (UNRESECT), inoperable due to performance status (INOPER), or having metastatic (METAST) disease. Survival and treatment patterns were assessed by NCCN stage–guided treatment categories. Results: A total of 221 patients (72.9% men) with HCC were identified. At the time of diagnosis, patients were categorized as RESECT (n=28, 12.7%), TRANSP (n=33, 14.9%), UNRESECT (n=77, 34.8%), INOPER (n=40, 18.1%), and METAST (n=38, 17.2%). Staging information was not specified for 5 patients (2.3%) even after chart review. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated significant differences in survival between RESECT and UNRESECT categories, and between UNRESECT and METAST categories. The median survivals in RESECT, TRANSP, UNRESECT, INOPER, and METAST categories were 594, 562, 247, 167, and 44 days, respectively. Patients considered RESECT most frequently underwent resection (61%, n=17) and patients considered TRANSP had the highest use of liver transplants (33.3%, n=11). Use of any treatment was low in the METAST (31.6%, n=12) and INOPER (60.0%, n=24) groups. Conclusions: Treatment patterns in the NCCN groupings correlated with recommended treatment strategies. Overall, the NCCN groupings have a linear relationship in overall survival.

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David D. Stenehjem, Frederick Albright, Kuan-Ling Kuo, Karina Raimundo, Hillevi Bauer, Paul J. Shami, Michael W. Deininger, Lei Chen and Diana I. Brixner

Retrospective review of imatinib monitoring through electronic health records (EHR) can provide valuable insight into the current management of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This study retrospectively reviewed EHRs from 2001 to 2010 of patients with chronic phase CML (CP-CML) treated with first-line imatinib. Chart evaluations included a review of cytogenetic and molecular testing, overall survival, adverse drug events (ADEs), and therapy modifications. A total of 54 patients with CP-CML were treated with first-line imatinib and had either cytogenetic or molecular testing within 18 months of imatinib initiation. Within the first 18 months of treatment, 33 of 45 patients (73%) undergoing cytogenetic testing experienced a complete cytogenetic response (median, 241 days; range, 110-542 days) and 24 of 48 patients (50%) receiving molecular testing achieved at least a major molecular response (median, 253 days; range, 99-546 days). The average number of cytogenetic and molecular tests conducted within the first 18 months was 2.5 and 3.8, respectively. Nineteen of 54 (35%) had a dose increase of imatinib (>400 mg; median, 329 days; range, 21-1968 days). The 5-year estimated overall survival rate was 88.5%. Between 2006 and 2010 (n=30; 56%), 7 patients (23%) transitioned to dasatinib or nilotinib (median, 399 days from diagnosis; range, 180-1046 days) because of suboptimal response or treatment failure (n=5) and imatinib ADEs (n=2). Forty-six imatinib-associated ADEs occurred in 31 patients (57%), of which 10 (32%) received dose reductions (median, 52 days) and 6 (19%) had discontinuations (median, 139 days). Closely monitored patients with CML treated with imatinib at an NCCN Member Institution experienced outcomes comparable to those reported in key clinical trials.