Although clinical trial research is required for the development of improved treatment strategies, very few cancer patients participate in these studies. The purpose of this study was to describe psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation among oncologists and their cancer patients. A survey was distributed to all medical oncologists in Pennsylvania and a subset of their patients. Relevant background information and assessment of practical and psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation were assessed. Among 137 oncologists and 170 patients who completed the surveys, 84% of patients were aware of clinical trials, and oncologists and patients generally agreed that clinical trials are important to improving cancer treatment. However, oncologists and patients were more likely to consider clinical trials in advanced or refractory disease. When considering 7 potential barriers to clinical trials, random assignment and fear of receiving a placebo were ranked highly by both patients and oncologists. Patients identified fear of side effects as the greatest barrier to clinical trial participation, whereas oncologists ranked this psychosocial barrier as least important to their patients. Overall, the study found that although oncologists and patients are aware of clinical trials and have favorable attitudes toward them, psychosocial barriers exist for patients that may impact participation in clinical trials. Furthermore, important discrepancies exist between the perceptions of oncologists and those of patients regarding what the psychosocial barriers are. We concluded that characterizing oncologist and patient perceived barriers can help improve communication and decision making about clinical trials, such that participation may be optimized.
Neal J. Meropol, Joanne S. Buzaglo, Jennifer Millard, Nevena Damjanov, Suzanne M. Miller, Caroline Ridgway, Eric A. Ross, John D. Sprandio, and Perry Watts
Eric D. Miller, Ansel P. Nalin, Dayssy A. Diaz Pardo, Andrea L. Arnett, Emily Huang, Alessandra C. Gasior, Pannaga Malalur, Hui-Zi Chen, Terence M. Williams, and Jose G. Bazan
Background: The incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) is increasing, particularly among the elderly (age ≥65 years). We sought to compare patterns of care for the treatment of SCCA in elderly versus nonelderly patients. Methods: Data for patients with stages I–III SCCA diagnosed from 2004 through 2015 were obtained from the National Cancer Database. Patients were categorized as having received standard-of-care (SOC) chemoradiation (CRT) with multiagent chemotherapy, non-SOC therapy, palliative therapy, or no treatment. Differences in treatment groups were tested using the chi-square test. We used logistic regression to identify predictors of SOC CRT and multiagent versus single-agent chemotherapy in patients receiving CRT. Propensity score matching was used to compare overall survival (OS) in elderly patients receiving multiagent versus single-agent chemotherapy for those receiving CRT. Results: We identified 9,156 elderly and 17,640 nonelderly patients. A lower proportion of elderly versus nonelderly patients (54.5% vs 65.0%; P<.0001) received SOC CRT than other treatments or no treatment. In multivariate analysis, elderly patients were 38% less likely than nonelderly patients to receive SOC CRT (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.58–0.65; P<.0001). A higher proportion of the elderly were treated with single-agent versus multiagent chemotherapy (16.9% vs 11.8%; P<.0001), which resulted in a >1.5-fold increase in the likelihood of elderly patients receiving single-agent chemotherapy (odds ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.39–1.66) in multivariate analysis. After propensity score matching, 3-year OS was higher in elderly patients who received CRT with multiagent versus single-agent chemotherapy (77.1% vs 67.5%; hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68–0.89; P=.0002). Conclusions: In this comprehensive study of patients with stages I–III SCCA, elderly patients were less likely than nonelderly patients to receive SOC CRT. The low proportion of elderly patients receiving SOC CRT with multiagent chemotherapy for localized anal cancer suggests that the optimal treatment approach for this vulnerable population remains undefined.
James L. Mohler, Philip W. Kantoff, Andrew J. Armstrong, Robert R. Bahnson, Michael Cohen, Anthony Victor D’Amico, James A. Eastham, Charles A. Enke, Thomas A. Farrington, Celestia S. Higano, Eric Mark Horwitz, Mark H. Kawachi, Michael Kuettel, Richard J. Lee, Gary R. MacVicar, Arnold W. Malcolm, David Miller, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Julio M. Pow-Sang, Sylvia Richey, Mack Roach III, Eric Rohren, Stan Rosenfeld, Eric J. Small, Sandy Srinivas, Cy Stein, Seth A. Strope, Jonathan Tward, Patrick C. Walsh, Dorothy A. Shead, and Maria Ho
The NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer provide multidisciplinary recommendations on the clinical management of patients with prostate cancer. This report highlights notable recent updates. Radium-223 dichloride is a first-in-class radiopharmaceutical that recently received approval for the treatment of patients with symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral disease. It received a category 1 recommendation as both a first-line and second-line option. The NCCN Prostate Cancer Panel also revised recommendations on the choice of intermittent or continuous androgen deprivation therapy based on recent phase III clinical data comparing the 2 strategies in the nonmetastatic and metastatic settings.
James L. Mohler, Philip W. Kantoff, Andrew J. Armstrong, Robert R. Bahnson, Michael Cohen, Anthony Victor D’Amico, James A. Eastham, Charles A. Enke, Thomas A. Farrington, Celestia S. Higano, Eric Mark Horwitz, Christopher J. Kane, Mark H. Kawachi, Michael Kuettel, Timothy M. Kuzel, Richard J. Lee, Arnold W. Malcolm, David Miller, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Julio M. Pow-Sang, David Raben, Sylvia Richey, Mack Roach III, Eric Rohren, Stan Rosenfeld, Edward Schaeffer, Eric J. Small, Guru Sonpavde, Sandy Srinivas, Cy Stein, Seth A. Strope, Jonathan Tward, Dorothy A. Shead, and Maria Ho
Prostate cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most common cancer in men in the United States. The NCCN Guidelines for Prostate Cancer provide multidisciplinary recommendations on the clinical management of patients with prostate cancer based on clinical evidence and expert consensus. NCCN Panel guidance on treatment decisions for patients with localized disease is represented in this version. Significant updates for early disease include distinction between active surveillance and observation, a new section on principles of imaging, and revisions to radiation recommendations. The full version of these guidelines, including treatment of patients with advanced disease, can be found online at the NCCN website.
James L. Mohler, Andrew J. Armstrong, Robert R. Bahnson, Barry Boston, J. Erik Busby, Anthony Victor D’Amico, James A. Eastham, Charles A. Enke, Thomas Farrington, Celestia S. Higano, Eric Mark Horwitz, Philip W. Kantoff, Mark H. Kawachi, Michael Kuettel, Richard J. Lee, Gary R. MacVicar, Arnold W. Malcolm, David Miller, Elizabeth R. Plimack, Julio M. Pow-Sang, Mack Roach III, Eric Rohren, Stan Rosenfeld, Sandy Srinivas, Seth A. Strope, Jonathan Tward, Przemyslaw Twardowski, Patrick C. Walsh, Maria Ho, and Dorothy A. Shead
The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Prostate Cancer provide multidisciplinary recommendations for the clinical management of patients with prostate cancer. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight notable recent updates. Abiraterone acetate is a first-in-class hormonal agent that represents a new standard of care for patients with metastatic castration-recurrent prostate cancer who have previously received docetaxel (category 1 recommendation). Abiraterone acetate also received category 2B recommendations in the prechemotherapy setting for asymptomatic patients or symptomatic patients who are not candidates for docetaxel. The NCCN Prostate Cancer Panel also added new indications for existing agents, including the option of sipuleucel-T as second-line therapy. In addition, brachytherapy in combination with external beam radiation therapy with or without androgen deprivation therapy is now an alternative for patients with high-risk localized tumors or locally advanced disease.
C. Anthony Blau, Arturo B. Ramirez, Sibel Blau, Colin C. Pritchard, Michael O. Dorschner, Stephen C. Schmechel, Timothy J. Martins, Elisabeth M. Mahen, Kimberly A. Burton, Vitalina M. Komashko, Amie J. Radenbaugh, Katy Dougherty, Anju Thomas, Christopher P. Miller, James Annis, Jonathan R. Fromm, Chaozhong Song, Elizabeth Chang, Kellie Howard, Sharon Austin, Rodney A. Schmidt, Michael L. Linenberger, Pamela S. Becker, Francis M. Senecal, Brigham H. Mecham, Su-In Lee, Anup Madan, Roy Ronen, Janusz Dutkowski, Shelly Heimfeld, Brent L. Wood, Jackie L. Stilwell, Eric P. Kaldjian, David Haussler, and Jingchun Zhu
Accelerating cancer research is expected to require new types of clinical trials. This report describes the Intensive Trial of OMics in Cancer (ITOMIC) and a participant with triple-negative breast cancer metastatic to bone, who had markedly elevated circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that were monitored 48 times over 9 months. A total of 32 researchers from 14 institutions were engaged in the patient's evaluation; 20 researchers had no prior involvement in patient care and 18 were recruited specifically for this patient. Whole-exome sequencing of 3 bone marrow samples demonstrated a novel ROS1 variant that was estimated to be present in most or all tumor cells. After an initial response to cisplatin, a hypothesis of crizotinib sensitivity was disproven. Leukapheresis followed by partial CTC enrichment allowed for the development of a differential high-throughput drug screen and demonstrated sensitivity to investigational BH3-mimetic inhibitors of BCL-2 that could not be tested in the patient because requests to the pharmaceutical sponsors were denied. The number and size of CTC clusters correlated with clinical status and eventually death. Focusing the expertise of a distributed network of investigators on an intensively monitored patient with cancer can generate high-resolution views of the natural history of cancer and suggest new opportunities for therapy. Optimization requires access to investigational drugs.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Pamela Sue Becker, Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Laura M. Alwan, Kimo Bachiashvili, Anna Brown, Rita Cool, Peter Curtin, Shira Dinner, Ivana Gojo, Ashley Hicks, Avyakta Kallam, Wajih Zaheer Kidwai, Dwight D. Kloth, Eric H. Kraut, Daniel Landsburg, Gary H. Lyman, Ryan Miller, Sudipto Mukherjee, Shiven Patel, Lia E. Perez, Adam Poust, Raajit Rampal, Rachel Rosovsky, Vivek Roy, Hope S. Rugo, Sepideh Shayani, Sumithira Vasu, Martha Wadleigh, Kelly Westbrook, Peter Westervelt, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Keller, and Lenora A. Pluchino
Management of febrile neutropenia (FN) is an integral part of supportive care for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The NCCN Guidelines for Hematopoietic Growth Factors provide suggestions for appropriate evaluation, risk determination, prophylaxis, and management of FN. These NCCN Guidelines are intended to guide clinicians in the appropriate use of growth factors for select patients undergoing treatment of nonmyeloid malignancies. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight important updates to the NCCN Guidelines regarding the incorporation of newly FDA-approved granulocyte-colony stimulating factor biosimilars for the prevention and treatment of FN.
Deborah K. Armstrong, Ronald D. Alvarez, Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, Lisa Barroilhet, Kian Behbakht, Andrew Berchuck, Lee-may Chen, Mihaela Cristea, Maria DeRosa, Eric L. Eisenhauer, David M. Gershenson, Heidi J. Gray, Rachel Grisham, Ardeshir Hakam, Angela Jain, Amer Karam, Gottfried E. Konecny, Charles A. Leath III, Joyce Liu, Haider Mahdi, Lainie Martin, Daniela Matei, Michael McHale, Karen McLean, David S. Miller, David M. O’Malley, Sanja Percac-Lima, Elena Ratner, Steven W. Remmenga, Roberto Vargas, Theresa L. Werner, Emese Zsiros, Jennifer L. Burns, and Anita M. Engh
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the United States and is the country’s fifth most common cause of cancer mortality in women. A major challenge in treating ovarian cancer is that most patients have advanced disease at initial diagnosis. These NCCN Guidelines discuss cancers originating in the ovary, fallopian tube, or peritoneum, as these are all managed in a similar manner. Most of the recommendations are based on data from patients with the most common subtypes─high-grade serous and grade 2/3 endometrioid. The NCCN Guidelines also include recommendations specifically for patients with less common ovarian cancers, which in the guidelines include the following: carcinosarcoma, clear cell carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, low-grade serous, grade 1 endometrioid, borderline epithelial, malignant sex cord-stromal, and malignant germ cell tumors. This manuscript focuses on certain aspects of primary treatment, including primary surgery, adjuvant therapy, and maintenance therapy options (including PARP inhibitors) after completion of first-line chemotherapy.
Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Lynette Cederquist, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin Deming, Paul F. Engstrom, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Axel Grothey, Howard S. Hochster, Sarah Hoffe, Steven Hunt, Ahmed Kamel, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, James D. Murphy, Steven Nurkin, Leonard Saltz, Sunil Sharma, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Evan Wuthrick, Kristina M. Gregory, and Deborah A. Freedman-Cass
The NCCN Guidelines for Colon Cancer provide recommendations regarding diagnosis, pathologic staging, surgical management, perioperative treatment, surveillance, management of recurrent and metastatic disease, and survivorship. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the NCCN Colon Cancer Panel discussions for the 2018 update of the guidelines regarding risk stratification and adjuvant treatment for patients with stage III colon cancer, and treatment of BRAF V600E mutation–positive metastatic colorectal cancer with regimens containing vemurafenib.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Al B. Benson III, Alan P. Venook, Mahmoud M. Al-Hawary, Mustafa A. Arain, Yi-Jen Chen, Kristen K. Ciombor, Stacey Cohen, Harry S. Cooper, Dustin Deming, Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, Jean L. Grem, Andrew Gunn, Sarah Hoffe, Joleen Hubbard, Steven Hunt, Natalie Kirilcuk, Smitha Krishnamurthi, Wells A. Messersmith, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Eric D. Miller, Mary F. Mulcahy, Steven Nurkin, Michael J. Overman, Aparna Parikh, Hitendra Patel, Katrina Pedersen, Leonard Saltz, Charles Schneider, David Shibata, John M. Skibber, Constantinos T. Sofocleous, Elena M. Stoffel, Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Christopher G. Willett, Alyse Johnson-Chilla, and Lisa A. Gurski
The NCCN Guidelines for Rectal Cancer provide recommendations for the diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up of patients with rectal cancer. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel discussion behind recent important updates to the guidelines. These updates include clarifying the definition of rectum and differentiating the rectum from the sigmoid colon; the total neoadjuvant therapy approach for localized rectal cancer; and biomarker-targeted therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer, with a focus on new treatment options for patients with BRAF V600E– or HER2 amplification–positive disease.