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Carolyn E. Behrendt, Arti Hurria, Lusine Tumyan, Joyce C. Niland and Joanne E. Mortimer

To monitor and address disparity in accrual, patient participation in cancer clinical trials is routinely summarized by race/ethnicity. To investigate whether confounding obscures racial/ethnic disparity in participation, all women with breast cancer treated by medical oncologists at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center from 2004 through 2009 were classified by birthplace and self-reported race/ethnicity, and followed for accrual onto therapeutic trials through 2010. Undetectable on univariate analysis, significantly reduced participation by subjects of African, Asian, Eastern European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern ancestries was revealed after accounting for age, socioeconomic factors, tumor and oncologist characteristics, and intrapractice clustering of patients.

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Tiffany H. Svahn, Joyce C. Niland, Robert W. Carlson, Melissa E. Hughes, Rebecca A. Ottesen, Richard L. Theriault, Stephen B. Edge, Anne F. Schott, Michael A. Bookman and Jane C. Weeks

After the first report of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial, adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased rapidly among National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions. Increased aromatase inhibitor use was associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), or more advanced stage, and substantial variation was seen among institutions. This article examines adjuvant endocrine therapy in postmenopausal women after the first report of the trial, identifies temporal relationships in aromatase inhibitor use, and examines characteristics associated with choice of endocrine therapy among 4044 postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor–positive nonmetastatic breast cancer presenting from July 1997 to December 2004. Multivariable logistic regression analysis examined temporal associations and characteristics associated with aromatase inhibitor use. Time-trend analysis showed increased aromatase inhibitor and decreased tamoxifen use after release of ATAC results (P < .0001). In multivariable regression analysis, institution (P <. 0001), vascular disease (P <. 0001), age (P = .0002), stage (P = .0002), and HER2 status (P = .0009) independently predicted aromatase inhibitor use. Institutional rates of use ranged from 15% to 66%. Adjuvant aromatase inhibitor use increased after the first report of ATAC, with this increase associated with older age, vascular disease, overexpression of HER2, or more advanced stage. Substantial variation was seen among institutions.

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Dorothy Romanus, Martin R. Weiser, John M. Skibber, Anna Ter Veer, Joyce C. Niland, John L. Wilson, Ashwani Rajput, Yu-Ning Wong, Al B. Benson III, Stephen Shibata and Deborah Schrag


The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Outcomes Database was created to assess concordance to evidence- and consensus-based guidelines and to measure adherence to quality measures on an ongoing basis. The Colorectal Cancer Database began in 2005 as a collaboration among 8 NCCN centers.


Newly diagnosed colon and rectal cancer patients presenting to 1 of 8 NCCN centers between September 1, 2005, and May 21, 2008, were eligible for analysis of concordance with NCCN treatment guidelines for colorectal cancer and with a set of quality metrics jointly developed by ASCO and NCCN in 2007. Adherence rates were determined for each metric. Center-specific rates were benchmarked against mean concordance rates for all participating centers.


A total of 3443 patients were evaluable. Mean concordance rates with NCCN colorectal cancer guidelines and ASCO/NCCN quality measures were generally high (≥ 90%). However, relatively low mean concordance rates were noted for adjuvant chemotherapy treatment recommendations within 9 months of diagnosis of stage II to III rectal cancer (81%), and neoadjuvant chemoradiation in clinical T4 rectal primaries (83%). These low rates of concordance seemed to be consistent across centers.


Adherence to guidelines and quality measures is generally high at institutions participating in the NCCN colorectal cancer database. Lack of documentation, patient refusal, delayed treatment initiation, and lack of consensus about whether treatment was essential were the primary reasons for nonconcordance. Measurement of concordance and the reasons for nonconcordance enable participating centers to understand and improve their care delivery systems.

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Michael J. Hassett, Wei Jiang, Melissa E. Hughes, Stephen Edge, Sara H. Javid, Joyce C. Niland, Richard Theriault, Yu-Ning Wong, Deborah Schrag and Rinaa S. Punglia

Background: Because of screening mammography, the number of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) survivors has increased dramatically. DCIS survivors may face excess risk of second breast events (SBEs). However, little is known about SBE treatment or its relationship to initial DCIS care. Methods: Among a prospective cohort of women who underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for DCIS from 1997 to 2008 at institutions participating in the NCCN Outcomes Database, we identified SBEs, described patterns of care for SBEs, and examined the association between DCIS treatment choice and SBE care. Using multivariable regression, we identified features associated with use of mastectomy, radiation therapy (RT), or antiestrogen therapy (AET) for SBEs. Results: Of 2,939 women who underwent BCS for DCIS, 83% received RT and 40% received AET. During the median follow-up of 4.2 years, 200 women (6.8%) developed an SBE (55% ipsilateral, 45% invasive). SBEs occurred in 6% of women who underwent RT for their initial DCIS versus 11% who did not. Local treatment for these events included BCS (10%), BCS/RT (30%), mastectomy (53%), or none (6%); only 28% of patients received AET. Independent predictors of RT or mastectomy for SBEs included younger age, shorter time to SBE diagnosis, and RT or AET for the initial DCIS. Conclusions: A sizable proportion of patients with SBEs were treated with mastectomy, most especially those who previously received RT for their initial DCIS and those who developed an ipsilateral SBE. Despite the occurrence of an SBE, relatively few patients received AET. Future studies should investigate optimal treatment approaches for SBEs, including the benefit of mastectomy versus lumpectomy for an ipsilateral SBE and the benefit of AET for a hormone-receptor–positive SBE contingent on AET use for the initial DCIS diagnosis.

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Carrie Zornosa, Jonathan L. Vandergrift, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, David S. Ettinger, Michael S. Rabin, Mary Reid, Gregory A. Otterson, Marianna Koczywas, Thomas A. D'Amico, Joyce C. Niland, Rizvan Mamet and Katherine M. Pisters

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) allow many systemic therapy options for patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This analysis uses the NCCN NSCLC Outcomes Database to report on first-line therapy practice patterns and concordance with NCCN Guidelines. The analysis was limited to patients diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC between September 2006 and November 2009 at 1 of 8 participating NCCN Member Institutions. Patient characteristics, regimens used, and guidelines concordance were analyzed. Institutional variation and changes in practice over time were also measured. A total of 1717 patients were included in the analysis. Of these, 1375 (80%) were treated with systemic therapy, most often in the form of a carboplatin-based doublet (51%) or carboplatin-based doublet with targeted therapy (17%). Overall, 76% of patients received care that was concordant with NCCN Guidelines. Among patients with good performance status (n = 167), the most common reasons for not receiving first-line therapy were that therapy was not recommended (39%) or death occurred before treatment (33%). The most common reason for receiving nonconcordant drug therapy was the administration of pemetrexed or erlotinib before its incorporation into the NCCN Guidelines for first-line therapy (53%). Most patients in this cohort received care that was concordant with NCCN Guidelines. The NSCLC Outcomes Database is a valuable resource for evaluating practice patterns and concordance with NCCN Guidelines among patients with NSCLC.

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Marsha Reyngold, Joyce Niland, Anna ter Veer, Dana Milne, Tanios Bekaii-Saab, Steven J. Cohen, Lily Lai, Deborah Schrag, John M. Skibber, William Small Jr, Martin Weiser, Neal Wilkinson and Karyn A. Goodman

Based on randomized data, neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy has been incorporated into the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for stage II-III rectal cancer. Factors associated with nonadherence to evidence-based guidelines for neoadjuvant radiotherapy (RT) were examined at dedicated cancer centers. The prospective NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database for Colorectal Cancers was queried for patients with stage II-III rectal cancer who underwent a transabdominal surgical resection between September 2005 and June 2012. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with omission of RT. Among 1199 identified patients, 1119 (93%) received neoadjuvant RT, 51 (4%) did not receive RT, and 29 (2%) received adjuvant RT. Among 51 patients not receiving RT, only 19 (37%) were referred and evaluated by a radiation oncologist. On multivariable analysis, clinical factors associated with not receiving RT included a history of prior pelvic RT (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 23.9; P=.0003), ECOG performance status of 2 or greater (aOR, 11.1; P=.01), tumor distance from the anal verge greater than 10 cm (aOR, 5.4; P=.009), age at diagnosis of 75 years or older (aOR, 4.43; P=.002), body mass index of 25 to 30 kg/m2 and less than 25 kg/m2 (aOR, 5.22 and 4.23, respectively; P=.03), and clinical stage II (aOR, 2.27; P=.02). No significant change was seen in RT use according to diagnosis year, nor was any correlation seen with distance to the nearest RT facility. Concordance with NCCN Guidelines for neoadjuvant RT is high among NCCN Member Institutions. After adjusting for clinical characteristics that increase the risk for RT toxicity, including history of pelvic RT and high comorbidity burden/low functional status, the authors found that non-obese patients of advanced age or those with more favorable clinical features were more likely to not receive RT.

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Sarah Asad, Carlos H. Barcenas, Richard J. Bleicher, Adam L. Cohen, Sara H. Javid, Ellis G. Levine, Nancy U. Lin, Beverly Moy, Joyce Niland, Antonio C. Wolff, Michael J. Hassett and Daniel G. Stover

Background: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for disproportionately poor outcomes in breast cancer, driven by a subset of rapid-relapse TNBC (rrTNBC) with marked chemoresistance, rapid metastatic spread, and poor survival. Our objective was to evaluate clinicopathologic and sociodemographic features associated with rrTNBC. Methods: We included patients diagnosed with stage I–III TNBC in 1996 through 2012 who received chemotherapy at 1 of 10 academic cancer centers. rrTNBC was defined as a distant metastatic recurrence event or death ≤24 months after diagnosis. Features associated with rrTNBC were included in a multivariable logistic model upon which backward elimination was performed with a P<.10 criterion, with a final multivariable model applied to training (70%) and independent validation (30%) cohorts. Results: Among all patients with breast cancer treated at these centers, 3,016 fit the inclusion criteria. Training cohort (n=2,112) bivariable analyses identified disease stage, insurance type, age, body mass index, race, and income as being associated with rrTNBC (P<.10). In the final multivariable model, rrTNBC was significantly associated with higher disease stage (adjusted odds ratio for stage III vs I, 16.0; 95% CI, 9.8–26.2; P<.0001), Medicaid/indigent insurance, lower income (by 2000 US Census tract), and younger age at diagnosis. Model performance was consistent between the training and validation cohorts. In sensitivity analyses, insurance type, low income, and young age were associated with rrTNBC among patients with stage I/II but not stage III disease. When comparing rrTNBC versus late relapse (>24 months), we found that insurance type and young age remained significant. Conclusions: Timing of relapse in TNBC is associated with stage of disease and distinct sociodemographic features, including insurance type, income, and age at diagnosis.

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Zheng Zhou, Alfred W. Rademaker, Leo I. Gordon, Ann S. LaCasce, Allison Crosby-Thompson, Ann Vanderplas, Gregory A. Abel, Maria A. Rodriguez, Auayporn Nademanee, Mark S. Kaminski, Myron S. Czuczman, Michael M. Millenson, Andrew D. Zelenetz, Joyce Niland, Jonathan W. Friedberg and Jane N. Winter

Background: The impact of patient body habitus and sex on outcomes in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) remains controversial. We investigated the impact of body mass index (BMI), body surface area (BSA), age, and sex on clinical outcomes in patients with DLBCL treated in the rituximab era. Patients and Methods: Patients with de novo DLBCL (n=1,386) diagnosed between June 2000 and December 2010 treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy were identified from the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) at 3 years were analyzed based on sex, age, and baseline BMI/BSA. Results: High BMI was associated with a lower risk of disease progression or death than low or normal BMI, whereas male sex was associated with poor clinical outcomes, especially among elderly patients (age >60 years). Compared with elderly women, elderly men experienced worse PFS (3-year hazard ratio [HR], 1.5) and OS (3-year HR, 1.6), but these differences diminished with increases in BMI and BSA. In multivariable analysis, normal BMI compared with high BMI was independently associated with poor outcomes (3-year PFS HR, 1.5; OS HR, 1.6) after adjusting for sex. Notably, only 13% of elderly men had BMI less than 25 kg/m2 and only 26% had BSA less than 2 m2. Conclusions: Analysis of unselected patients with DLBCL treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy confirmed an age-dependent disadvantage to male sex in treatment outcomes, but this effect is abrogated by higher levels of BMI and BSA in most North American men.