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Roy Beveridge, John Fox, Susan A. Higgins, Martin Kohn, John J. Mahoney, Lee N. Newcomer, Andrew von Eschenbach and Clifford Goodman

Complex challenges face all players in the oncology landscape, from health care policy leaders and third-party payers, to practicing physicians and nurses, to patients and their families. In these unsteady economic times, possible answers proposed by some may represent part of the problem to others. A distinguished panel assembled at the NCCN 18th Annual Conference: Advancing the Standard of Cancer Care to explore the changing oncology landscape. This article is the synopsis of that discussion, with panelists shedding light on such issues as the astronomic cost of medical care, the need for clinicians to think outside the formulary, and the therapeutic decision-making process in the new world of “big data.”

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Christian G. Downs, Liz Fowler, Michael Kolodziej, Lee H. Newcomer, Mohammed S. Ogaily, W. Thomas Purcell, John C. Winkelmann and Clifford Goodman

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a transformational event for health care in the United States, with multiple impacts on health care, the economy, and society. Oncologists and other health care providers are already experiencing many changes—direct and indirect, anticipated and unanticipated. A distinguished and diverse panel assembled at the NCCN 19th Annual Conference to discuss the early phase of implementation of the ACA. The roundtable touched on early successes and stumbling blocks; the impact of the ACA on contemporary oncology practice and the new risk pool facing providers, payers, and patients; and some of the current and future challenges that lie ahead for all.

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Lydia T. Madsen, Deborah A. Kuban, Seungtaek Choi, John W. Davis, Jeri Kim, Andrew K. Lee, Delora Domain, Larry Levy, Louis L. Pisters, Curtis A. Pettaway, John F. Ward, Christopher Logothetis and Karen E. Hoffman

Clinical oncology trials are hampered by low accrual rates, with fewer than 5% of adult patients with cancer treated on study. Clinical trial enrollment was evaluated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic (MPCC) to assess whether a clinical trial initiative, introduced in 2006, impacted enrollment. The trial initiative included posting trial-specific information in clinic, educating patients about appropriate clinical trial options during the treatment recommendation discussion, and providing patients with trial-specific educational information. The investigators evaluated the frequency of clinical trial enrollment for men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer seen in the MPCC from 2004 to 2008. Logistic regression evaluated the impact of patient characteristics and the clinical trial initiative on trial enrollment. The median age of the 1370 men was 64 years; 32% had low-risk, 49% had intermediate-risk, and 19% had high-risk disease. Overall, 74% enrolled in at least one trial and 29% enrolled in more than one trial. Trial enrollment increased from 39% before the initiative (127/326) to 84% (880/1044) after the trial initiative. Patient enrollment increased in laboratory studies (from 25% to 80%), quality-of-life studies (from 10% to 26%), and studies evaluating investigational treatments and systemic agents (from 6% to 15%) after the trial initiative. In multivariate analysis, younger men (P<.001) and men seen after implementation of the clinical trial initiative (P<.001) were more likely to enroll in trials. Clinical trial enrollment in the MPCC was substantially higher than that seen nationally in adult patients with cancer, and enrollment rates increased after the introduction of a clinical trial initiative.

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David A. Reardon, Scott Turner, Katherine B. Peters, Annick Desjardins, Sridharan Gururangan, John H. Sampson, Roger E. McLendon, James E. Herndon II, Lee W. Jones, John P. Kirkpatrick, Allan H. Friedman, James J. Vredenburgh, Darell D. Bigner and Henry S. Friedman

Glioblastoma, the most common primary malignant brain tumor among adults, is a highly angiogenic and deadly tumor. Angiogenesis in glioblastoma, driven by hypoxia-dependent and independent mechanisms, is primarily mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and generates blood vessels with distinctive features. The outcome for patients with recurrent glioblastoma is poor because of ineffective therapies. However, recent encouraging rates of radiographic response and progression-free survival, and adequate safety, led the FDA to grant accelerated approval of bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against VEGF, for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma in May 2009. These results have triggered significant interest in additional antiangiogenic agents and therapeutic strategies for patients with both recurrent and newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Given the potent antipermeability effect of VEGF inhibitors, the Radiologic Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria were recently implemented to better assess response among patients with glioblastoma. Although bevacizumab improves survival and quality of life, eventual tumor progression is the norm. Better understanding of resistance mechanisms to VEGF inhibitors and identification of effective therapy after bevacizumab progression are currently a critical need for patients with glioblastoma.

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Belqis El Ferjani, Sheenu Chandwani, Meita Hirschmann, Seydeh Dibaj, Emily Roarty, Jianjun Zhang, Waree Rinsurnogkawong, Jeff Lewis, Jack Lee, Jack A. Roth, Stephen Swisher, John V. Heymach, Thomas Burke and George R. Simon

Background: NSCLC is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Recently reported clinical trials have firmly established the role of PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors in the treatment of patients (pts) with metastatic NSCLC (mNSCLC). We have established the prospective, observational, real-world Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Holistic Registry (ANCHoR) to understand how the advent of immunotherapy impacts treatment choices and clinical outcomes. Objectives: The aim of this analysis is to measure the impact of immunotherapy on the treatment choice for the first-line treatment of mNSCLC and to determine the link between PD-L1 expression and the treatment choices made in routine clinical practice at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDA). Methods: From May 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, English-speaking pts with mNSCLC at MDA who provided written informed consent were enrolled in ANCHoR and longitudinally followed. The PD-L1 testing rates were captured and the treatment decisions made were also captured and tabulated. The time of data cutoff for this study is June 30, 2018. Results: Of the 296 pts enrolled in the registry at the time of data cutoff, there were 49.7% males, 82.1% white, 45.9% ≥65 years old, 69.3% smokers, 83.1% with an initial stage IV diagnosis, 87.2% with nonsquamous histology, 36.1% with bone metastasis, 29.4% with brain metastasis, 43.2% with 0–1 performance status, and 21.6% with a known EGFR or ALK mutation. A total of 233 pts had been tested for PD-L1 (78.7%). Predominant reasons for not testing (63 pts) include not having available tissue (26 pts) or the test was not requested by the physician (31 pts). As of June 30, 2018, 38.5% of patients received immunotherapy as first-line therapy either as a single agent (18.9%, 56 pts) or in combination with chemotherapy (19.6%, 58 pts). Only 35.8% of the patients received platinum doublet chemotherapy alone. Two pts received chemotherapy combined with an anti-angiogenesis agent (0.68%). Targeted therapy was utilized either as a single agent (20.6%) or in combination with immunotherapy (2.4%). Conclusion: Immunotherapy is now utilized as a single agent or in combination in more than one-third of patients with mNSCLC. These numbers are expected to increase as data from recently reported studies get incorporated into common clinical practice. Compared to historic experience, there has been a dramatic decline in the use of chemotherapy with an anti-angiogenesis agent.

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R. Michael Tuttle, Douglas W. Ball, David Byrd, Raza A. Dilawari, Gerard M. Doherty, Quan-Yang Duh, Hormoz Ehya, William B. Farrar, Robert I. Haddad, Fouad Kandeel, Richard T. Kloos, Peter Kopp, Dominick M. Lamonica, Thom R. Loree, William M. Lydiatt, Judith C. McCaffrey, John A. Olson Jr., Lee Parks, John A. Ridge, Jatin P. Shah, Steven I. Sherman, Cord Sturgeon, Steven G. Waguespack, Thomas N. Wang and Lori J. Wirth

Overview Epidemiology Thyroid nodules are approximately 4 times more common in women than in men. Palpable nodules increase in frequency throughout life, reaching a prevalence of approximately 5% in the United States population aged 50 years and older.1–3 Nodules are even more prevalent when the thyroid gland is examined at autopsy or surgery, or when using ultrasonography, and 50% of these have nodules, which are almost always benign.2,4 New nodules develop at a rate of approximately 0.1% per year beginning in early life, but at a much higher rate (∼2% per year) after exposure to head and neck irradiation.5,6 By contrast, thyroid carcinoma is uncommon. For the United States population, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma is less than 1% (0.83% for women and 0.33% for men).7 Approximately 37,200 new cases of thyroid carcinoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2009.8 As with thyroid nodules, thyroid carcinoma occurs 2 to 3 times more often in women than in men. With the incidence increasing by 6.2% per year, thyroid carcinoma is currently the sixth most common malignancy diagnosed in women.8 Among persons age 15 to 24 years, thyroid carcinoma accounts for 7.5% to 10% of all diagnosed malignancies.9–11 The disease is also diagnosed more often in white North Americans than in African Americans. Although thyroid carcinoma can occur at any age, the peak incidence from 2004 to 2006 was near age 45 to 49 years in women and 65 to 69 years in men.7 Thyroid carcinoma has...
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R. Michael Tuttle, Douglas W. Ball, David Byrd, Gilbert H. Daniels, Raza A. Dilawari, Gerard M. Doherty, Quan-Yang Duh, Hormoz Ehya, William B. Farrar, Robert I. Haddad, Fouad Kandeel, Richard T. Kloos, Peter Kopp, Dominick M. Lamonica, Thom R. Loree, William M. Lydiatt, Judith McCaffrey, John A. Olson Jr., Lee Parks, John A. Ridge, Jatin P. Shah, Steven I. Sherman, Cord Sturgeon, Steven G. Waguespack, Thomas N. Wang and Lori J. Wirth

Overview There are 3 main histologic types of thyroid carcinoma: differentiated (including papillary, follicular, and Hürthle), medullary, and anaplastic (aggressive undifferentiated tumor). Of 53,856 patients treated for thyroid carcinoma between 1985 and 1995, 80% had papillary, 11% had follicular, 3% had Hürthle cell, 4% had medullary, and 2% had anaplastic thyroid carcinoma.1 These NCCN guidelines focus on medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Another NCCN guideline addresses papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell, and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (see NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Thyroid Carcinoma [to view the most recent version of these guidelines, visit the NCCN Web site at]). MTC derives from the neuroendocrine parafollicular calcitonin-producing (C) cells of the thyroid.2–4 Sporadic MTC accounts for approximately 80% of all cases of the disease. The remaining cases consist of inherited tumor syndromes, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A), which is the most common type; MEN 2B; or familial MTC.5,6 Sporadic disease typically presents in the fifth or sixth decade. Familial forms of the disease tend to present at earlier ages.2 Because the C cells are predominantly located in the upper portion of each thyroid lobe, patients with sporadic disease typically present with upper pole thyroid nodules. Metastatic cervical adenopathy appears in approximately 50% of patients at initial presentation. Symptoms of upper aerodigestive tract compression or invasion are reported by up to 15% of patients with sporadic disease.7 Symptoms from distant metastases in the lungs or bones occur in 5% to 10% of patients. The ability of the tumor to...
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Juliana E. Hidalgo-López, Rashmi Kanagal-Shamanna, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Zeev Estrov, C. Cameron Yin, Srdan Verstovsek, Sergej Konoplev, Jeffrey L. Jorgensen, Mohammad M. Mohammad, Roberto N. Miranda, Chong Zhao, John Lee, Zhuang Zuo and Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos

Background: JAK2 V617F mutation (mut) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is rare. We describe the clinicopathologic findings of a single-institution series of 11 de novo AML cases with JAK2 V617. Methods: We identified cases of de novo AML with JAK2 V617F over a 10-year period. We reviewed diagnostic peripheral blood and bone marrow (BM) morphologic, cytogenetic, and molecular studies, including next-generation sequencing. The control group consisted of 12 patients with JAK2 wild-type (wt) AML matched for age, sex, and diagnosis. Results: We identified 11 patients (0.5%) with JAK2 V617F, with a median age at diagnosis of 72.5 years (range, 36–90 years). Ten neoplasms were classified as AML with myelodysplasia-related changes and 1 as AML with t(8;21)(q22;q22). All JAK2mut AML cases showed at least bilineage dysplasia, 7 of 11 showed fibrosis, 8 of 11 had an abnormal karyotype, and 5 had deletions or monosomy of chromosomes 5 and 7. Using the European LeukemiaNet (ELN) classification, 9 patients (82%) with JAK2mut AML were intermediate-2 and adverse risk. Cases of JAK2mut AML did not have mutations in other activating signaling pathways (P=.013); 7 (64%) showed additional mutations in at least one gene involving DNA methylation and/or epigenetic modification. Patients with JAK2mut AML had a significantly higher median BM granulocyte percentage (12% vs 3.5%; P=.006) and a higher frequency of ELN intermediate-2 and adverse risk cytogenetics (P=.04) compared with those with JAK2wt AML. JAK2mut AML showed higher circulating blasts, but this difference was not significant (17% vs 5.5%; P=not significant). No difference was seen in the median overall survival rate of patients with JAK2mut AML versus those with JAK2wt AML (14 vs 13.5 months, respectively). Conclusions: De novo JAK2mut AML is rare and frequently found in patients with dysplasia, BM fibrosis, and abnormal karyotype with intermediate- or high-risk features; gene mutations in DNA methylation and epigenetic-modifying pathways; and absence of gene mutations in activating signaling pathways.

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Juliana E. Hidalgo Lopez, Mariko Yabe, Adrian A. Carballo-Zarate, Sa A. Wang, Jeffrey L. Jorgensen, Sairah Ahmed, John Lee, Shaoying Li, Ellen Schlette, Timothy McDonnell, Roberto N. Miranda, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos and C. Cameron Yin

T-cell large granular lymphocytic (T-LGL) leukemia after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) is rare and its natural history and clinical outcome have not been well described. We report the clinical, morphologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular features of a case of donor-derived T-LGL leukemia in a 16-year-old man who received allogeneic SCT for peripheral T-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS). The patient presented with persistent neutropenia and splenomegaly 9 months after SCT when the chimerism study showed a 100% donor pattern. A splenectomy revealed T-LGL leukemia. Flow cytometric analysis showed an aberrant T-cell population positive for CD3, CD5 (dim, subset), CD7, CD8, CD16 (subset), CD57, CD94 (dim, partial), and T-cell receptor (TCR) αβ, and negative for CD4, CD26, CD56, and TCRγδ. Molecular studies showed monoclonal TCRβ and TCRγ gene rearrangements. Both the immunophenotype and molecular profile of the T-LGL leukemia were different from the pre-SCT PTCL. Sequencing analysis for STAT3 exon 21 did not reveal any mutation in both pre-SCT and post-SCT specimens. The patient did not receive any treatment for T-LGL leukemia; however, his count progressively increased after splenectomy, despite the presence of persistent T-LGL leukemia in the bone marrow. There was no evidence of recurrent PTCL. We propose an algorithm to diagnose this rare post-SCT neoplasm.

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Michael B. Streiff, Paula L. Bockenstedt, Spero R. Cataland, Carolyn Chesney, Charles Eby, John Fanikos, Annemarie E. Fogerty, Shuwei Gao, Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Hani Hassoun, Paul Hendrie, Bjorn Holmstrom, Nicole Kuderer, Jason T. Lee, Michael M. Millenson, Anne T. Neff, Thomas L. Ortel, Tanya Siddiqi, Judy L. Smith, Gary C. Yee, Anaadriana Zakarija, Nicole McMillian and Maoko Naganuma

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains a common and life-threatening complication among patients with cancer. Thromboprophylaxis can be used to prevent the occurrence of VTE in patients with cancer who are considered at high risk for developing this complication. Therefore, it is critical to recognize the various risk factors for VTE in patients with cancer. Risk assessment tools are available to help identify patients for whom discussions regarding the potential benefits and risks of thromboprophylaxis would be appropriate. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for VTE provide recommendations on risk evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of VTE in patients with cancer.