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Sean Dineen, Patrick M. Lynch, Miguel A. Rodriguez-Bigas, Sarah Bannon, Melissa Taggart, Colleen Reeves, Cathy Modaro, Michael Overman, George J. Chang, John M. Skibber and Y. Nancy You

Background: Improving the quality of health care is a national priority, and providing patient-centered care is one of the 6 key areas for quality improvement. In the setting of patients with young-onset colorectal cancer (CRC), appropriate genetic workup and testing for potential underlying inherited CRC syndromes is fundamental to patient-centered care. Lynch syndrome (LS) is the most common of these inherited syndromes, and current recommendations from the NCCN and other professional societies advocate universal screening for LS among young patients with CRC. However, practical implementation of these guidelines often falls short. Methods: We conducted a prospective quality improvement intervention trial to optimize universal screening for LS in young (age <50 years) patients, involving 356 eligible patients during the 12-month preintervention period and 299 patients during the postintervention. Results: Applying the Six Sigma conceptual framework, we demonstrated a significant increase in use of tumor-based molecular testing and subsequent confirmatory germline mutation testing for LS. This led to identification of more patients to be managed as having LS and of more first- and second-degree relatives to benefit from the testing results. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the successful application of a quality improvement conceptual framework for the universal adoption of molecular biomarker testing in patients with cancer, and for improving adherence to NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for CRC Screening. As molecular and genetic testing is becoming increasingly common, we present a prototype study for improving the adoption of molecular studies and the provision of guideline-based patient-centered care.

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David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Gerold Bepler, Matthew G. Blum, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Thierry Jahan, Mohammad Jahanzeb, David H. Johnson, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Quynh-Thu Le, Inga T. Lennes, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, George R. Simon, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood and Stephen C. Yang

Overview Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. An estimated 219,440 new cases (116,090 men; 103,350 women) of lung and bronchus cancer were diagnosed in 2009, and 159,390 deaths (88,900 men; 70,490 women) occurred from the disease.1 Only 15% of all lung cancer patients are alive 5 years or more after diagnosis (http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lungb.html). Common symptoms of lung cancer include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest pain; symptomatic patients are more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The primary risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, which accounts for more than 85% of all lung cancer-related deaths.2 The risk for lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years spent smoking. In addition to the hazard of first-hand smoke, exposed nonsmokers have an increased relative risk for developing lung cancer.3 Radon gas, a radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of radium 226, is the second leading cause of lung cancer.4 The decay of this isotope leads to the production of substances that emit alpha-particles, which may cause cell damage and therefore increase the potential for malignant transformation. Data suggest that postmenopausal women who smoke or are former smokers should not undergo hormone replacement therapy, because it increases the risk for death from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).5 Asbestos, a mineral compound that breaks into small airborne shards, is a known carcinogen that increases the risk for lung cancer in people exposed to the airborne fibers,...