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Predictors of Nonadherence to NCCN Guideline Recommendations for the Management of Stage I Anal Canal Cancer

Adam J. Kole, John M. Stahl, Henry S. Park, Sajid A. Khan, and Kimberly L. Johung

Background: Definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is recommended by the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Anal Carcinoma for all patients with stage I anal canal cancer. Because these patients were not well represented in clinical trials establishing CRT as standard therapy, it is unclear whether NCCN recommendations are being closely followed for stage I disease. This study identified factors that predict for NCCN Guideline–concordant versus NCCN Guideline–discordant care. Methods: Using the National Cancer Data Base, we identified patients diagnosed with anal canal carcinoma from 2004 to 2012 who received concurrent CRT (radiotherapy [RT] 45.0–59.4 Gy with multiagent chemotherapy), RT alone (45.0–59.4 Gy), or surgical procedure alone (local tumor destruction, tumor excision, or abdominoperineal resection). Demographic and clinicopathologic factors were analyzed using the chi-square test and logistic regression modeling. Results: A total of 1,082 patients with histologically confirmed stage I anal cancer were identified, among whom 665 (61.5%) received CRT, 52 (4.8%) received RT alone, and 365 (33.7%) received only a surgical procedure. Primary analyses were restricted to patients receiving CRT or excision alone, as these were most common. Multivariable analysis identified factors independently associated with reduced odds of CRT receipt: low versus intermediate/high tumor grade (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.21; 95% CI, 0.14–0.29; P<.001), tumor size <1 cm vs 1 to 2 cm (AOR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.17–0.35; P<.001), age ≥70 versus 50 to 69 years (AOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.24–0.54; P<.001), male sex (AOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.45–0.90; P=.009), and treatment at an academic versus a non-academic facility (AOR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41–0.81; P=.002). Conclusions: Despite the NCCN recommendation of CRT for stage I anal cancer, at least one-third of patients appear to be receiving guideline-discordant management. Excision alone is more common for patients who are elderly, are male, have small or low-grade tumors, or were evaluated at academic facilities.

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Radiosurgery for Brain Metastases: Changing Practice Patterns and Disparities in the United States

Benjamin H. Kann, Henry S. Park, Skyler B. Johnson, Veronica L. Chiang, and James B. Yu

Background: Management of brain metastases typically includes radiotherapy (RT) with conventional fractionation and/or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, optimal indications and practice patterns for SRS remain unclear. We sought to evaluate national practice patterns for patients with metastatic disease receiving brain RT. Methods: We queried the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients diagnosed with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or melanoma from 2004 to 2014 who received upfront brain RT. Patients were divided into SRS and non-SRS cohorts. Patient and facility-level SRS predictors were analyzed with chi-square tests and logistic regression, and uptake trends were approximated with linear regression. Survival by diagnosis year was analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Of 75,953 patients, 12,250 (16.1%) received SRS and 63,703 (83.9%) received non-SRS. From 2004 to 2014, the proportion of patients receiving SRS annually increased (from 9.8% to 25.6%; P<.001), and the proportion of facilities using SRS annually increased (from 31.2% to 50.4%; P<.001). On multivariable analysis, nonwhite race, nonprivate insurance, and residence in lower-income or less-educated regions predicted lower SRS use (P<.05 for each). During the study period, SRS use increased disproportionally among patients with private insurance or who resided in higher-income or higher-educated regions. From 2004 to 2013, 1-year actuarial survival improved from 24.1% to 49.6% for patients selected for SRS and from 21.0% to 26.3% for non-SRS patients (P<.001). Conclusions: This NCDB analysis demonstrates steadily increasing—although modest overall—brain SRS use for patients with metastatic disease in the United States and identifies several progressively widening sociodemographic disparities in the adoption of SRS. Further research is needed to determine the reasons for these worsening disparities and their clinical implications on intracranial control, neurocognitive toxicities, quality of life, and survival for patients with brain metastases.