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.”
Roy Beveridge, John Fox, Susan A. Higgins, Martin Kohn, John J. Mahoney, Lee N. Newcomer, Andrew von Eschenbach and Clifford Goodman
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Razelle Kurzrock, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Anthony Olszanski, Wallace Akerley, Carlos L. Arteaga, William E. Carson III, Jeffrey W. Clark, John F. DiPersio, David S. Ettinger, Robert J. Morgan Jr, Lee S. Schwartzberg, Alan P. Venook, Christopher D. Gocke, Jonathan Tait and F. Marc Stewart
Background: With advances such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) increasing understanding of the basis of cancer and its response to treatment, NCCN believes it is important to understand how molecular profiling/diagnostic testing is being performed and used at NCCN Member Institutions and their community affiliates. Methods: The NCCN Oncology Research Program's Investigator Steering Committee and the NCCN Best Practices Committee gathered baseline information on the use of cancer-related molecular testing at NCCN Member Institutions and community members of the NCCN Affiliate Research Consortium through 2 separate surveys distributed in December 2013 and September 2014, respectively. Results: A total of 24 NCCN Member Institutions and 8 affiliate sites provided quantitative and qualitative data. In the context of these surveys, “molecular profiling/diagnostics” was defined as a panel of at least 10 genes examined as a diagnostic DNA test in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)–certified laboratory. Conclusions: Results indicated that molecular profiling/diagnostics are used at 100% of survey respondents' institutions to make patient care decisions. However, challenges relating to reimbursement, lack of data regarding actionable targets and targeted therapies, and access to drugs on or off clinical trials were cited as barriers to integration of molecular profiling into patient care. Frameworks for using molecular diagnostic results based on levels of evidence, alongside continued research into the predictive value of biomarkers and targeted therapies, are recommended to advance understanding of the role of genomic biomarkers. Greater evidence and consensus regarding the clinical and cost-effectiveness of molecular profiling may lead to broader insurance coverage and increased integration into patient care.
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.
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.