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Kah Poh Loh, Ankit Kansagra, Meng-Shiou Shieh, Penelope Pekow, Peter Lindenauer, Mihaela Stefan, and Tara Lagu

Background: In-hospital mortality is high for critically ill patients with metastatic cancer. To help patients, families, and clinicians make an informed decision about invasive medical treatments, we examined predictors of in-hospital mortality among patients with metastatic cancer who received critical care therapies (CCTs). Patients and Methods: We used the 2010 California Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project: State Inpatient Databases to identify admissions of patients with metastatic cancer (age ≥18 years) who received CCTs, including invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), tracheostomy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube, acute use of dialysis, and total parenteral nutrition (TPN). We first described the characteristics and outcomes of patients who received any CCTs. We then used multivariable logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations (to account for clustering within hospitals) to identify predictors of in-hospital mortality among patients who received any CCTs. Results: For 2010, we identified 99,085 admissions among patients with metastatic cancer. Of these, 9,348 (9.4%) received any CCT during hospitalization; 50% received IMV, 15% PEG tube, 8% tracheostomy, 40% TPN, and 8% acute dialysis. Inpatient mortality was 30%. Of patients who received any CCT and survived to discharge, 27% were discharged to a skilled nursing facility. Compared with patients who died, costs of care were $3,019 higher for admissions in which patients survived the hospitalization. Predictors of in-hospital mortality included non-white race (vs whites), lack of insurance (vs Medicare), unscheduled admissions, principal diagnosis of infections (vs cancer-related), greater burden of comorbidities, end-stage renal disease, liver disease and lung cancer (vs other cancers). Conclusions: Although more studies are needed to better understand risks and benefits of specific treatments in the setting of specific cancer types, these data will help to inform decision-making for patients with metastatic cancer who become critically ill.

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Kah Poh Loh, Ankit Kansagra, Meng-Shiou Shieh, Penelope Pekow, Peter Lindenauer, Mihaela Stefan, and Tara Lagu

Objective: Understanding which factors are associated with the use of critical care therapies (CCTs) can help with clinical decision-making and goals of care discussion. The goal of this study was to describe the predictors of CCT use (eg, mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube, total parenteral nutrition, acute use of dialysis) in hospitalized patients with metastatic cancer. Methods: We used the 2010 California State Inpatient Databases sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify all hospitalizations with a diagnosis of metastatic cancer (patients aged ≥18 years). We examined the predictors of any CCT use (and invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV] use), stratified by do-not-resuscitate (DNR) status, using multivariable logistic regression models. Results: We identified 99,085 hospitalizations involving patients with metastatic cancer; 9.4% received any CCTs and 4.7% received IMV. Predictors of CCT use in the no-DNR group included principal diagnosis of infections (vs cancer-related), greater burden of comorbidities, and presence of weight loss. Predictors of CCT use in the DNR group were similar, but also included non-white races. Liver disease was also a predictor of IMV use in the no-DNR group. Patients with metastatic lung cancer (vs breast and genitourinary) with no DNR were more likely to receive CCT (and IMV). Conclusions: Higher burden of comorbidities, weight loss, liver disease, lung cancer subtype, and diagnosis of infections were associated with higher odds of receiving CCTs or IMV. These findings may help clinicians determine in whom to prioritize discussions around goals of care, especially in the group without a DNR status.

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Kah Poh Loh, Maya Abdallah, Meng-Shiou Shieh, Mihaela S. Stefan, Penelope S. Pekow, Peter K. Lindenauer, Supriya G. Mohile, Dilip Babu, and Tara Lagu

Background: Invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), dialysis for acute kidney failure, and other critical care therapies (CCTs) are associated with a high risk for complications in patients with metastatic cancer. Inpatient palliative care (IPC) can assist in assessing patients' preferences for life-prolonging treatment at the end of life. This study investigated the use pattern of IPC, outcomes (in-hospital mortality, length of stay [LOS], discharge destination, and cost of care), and predictors of IPC use in patients with metastatic cancer who received CCTs. We hypothesized that IPC services are underused in this cohort. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we used the 2010 California State Inpatient Databases to identify adults with metastatic cancer who received CCTs that are common and reliably coded (IMV, tracheostomy, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube, dialysis for acute kidney failure, and total parenteral nutrition). We determined IPC use in all patients, in those who received IMV, and across 4 cancer subtypes (lung, breast, colorectal, and genitourinary). Outcomes were assessed based on IPC use. Multivariable analyses were used to investigate factors associated with IPC use. Results: We identified 5,862 hospitalizations, 19.8% of which used IPC services. IPC use varied across cancer subtypes (lung, 28.3%; breast, 22.4%; colorectal, 12.8%; genitourinary, 16.1%; P<.01). Patients who received and did not receive IPC services had high in-hospital mortality rates (63.9% and 29.8%, respectively), and costs of care and LOS were lower in survivors who received IPC compared with those who did not. Predictors of IPC use were lung cancer (vs colorectal or genitourinary cancer), higher comorbidity score, do-not-resuscitate status on admission or within 24 hours of admission, infections (vs cancer-related diagnoses), and higher hospital bed count. Conclusions: Use of IPC was low in the cohort who received CCTs with poor outcomes, although data on outpatient palliative care services is lacking. Predictors of IPC use may be used to identify patients who may benefit from these services.

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Arjun Gupta

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Mostafa R. Mohamed, Erika Ramsdale, Kah Poh Loh, Huiwen Xu, Amita Patil, Nikesha Gilmore, Spencer Obrecht, Megan Wells, Ginah Nightingale, Katherine M. Juba, Bryan Faller, Adedayo Onitilo, Thomas Bradley, Eva Culakova, Holly Holmes, and Supriya G. Mohile

Background: Polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are prevalent in older adults with cancer, but their associations with physical function are not often studied. This study examined the associations of polypharmacy and PIMs with physical function in older adults with cancer, and determined the optimal cutoff value for the number of medications most strongly associated with physical functional impairment. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used baseline data from a randomized study enrolling patients aged ≥70 years with advanced cancer starting a new systemic cancer treatment. We categorized PIM using 2015 American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria. Three validated physical function measures were used to assess patient-reported impairments: activities of daily living (ADL) scale, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scale, and the Older Americans Resources and Services Physical Health (OARS PH) survey. Optimal cutoff value for number of medications was determined by the Youden index. Separate multivariate logistic regressions were then performed to examine associations of polypharmacy and PIMs with physical function measures. Results: Among 439 patients (mean age, 76.9 years), the Youden index identified ≥8 medications as the optimal cutoff value for polypharmacy; 43% were taking ≥8 medications and 62% were taking ≥1 PIMs. On multivariate analysis, taking ≥8 medications was associated with impairment in ADL (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.64; 95% CI, 1.01–2.58) and OARS PH (aOR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.01–2.98). PIMs were associated with impairments in IADL (aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.09–2.73) and OARS PH (aOR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.15–3.37). A cutoff of 5 medications was not associated with any of the physical function measures. Conclusions: Physical function, an important component of outcomes for older adults with cancer, is cross-sectionally associated with polypharmacy (defined as ≥8 medications) and with PIMs. Future studies should evaluate the association of polypharmacy with functional outcomes in this population in a longitudinal fashion.

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Kerry Schaffer, Narmadha Panneerselvam, Kah Poh Loh, Rachel Herrmann, Ian R. Kleckner, Richard Francis Dunne, Po-Ju Lin, Charles E. Heckler, Nicholas Gerbino, Lauren B. Bruckner, Eugene Storozynsky, Bonnie Ky, Andrea Baran, Supriya Gupta Mohile, Karen Michelle Mustian, and Chunkit Fung

Background: Exercise can ameliorate cancer- and treatment-related toxicities, but poor adherence to exercise regimens is a barrier. Exercise interventions using digital activity trackers (E-DATs) may improve exercise adherence, but data are limited for patients with cancer. We conducted a systematic review examining the feasibility of E-DATs in cancer survivors and effects on activity level, body composition, objective fitness outcomes, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), self-reported symptoms, and biomarkers. Methods: We identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of E-DATs in adult cancer survivors published in English between January 1, 2008, and July 27, 2017. Two authors independently reviewed article titles (n=160), removed duplicates (n=50), and reviewed the remaining 110 articles for eligibility. Results: A total of 12 RCTs met eligibility criteria, including 1,450 patients (mean age, 50–70 years) with the following cancers: breast (n=5), colon or breast (n=2), prostate (n=1), acute leukemia (n=1), or others (n=3). Duration of E-DATs ranged from 4 to 24 weeks, and the follow-up period ranged from 4 to 52 weeks, with retention rates of 54% to 95%. The technology component of E-DATs included pedometers (n=8); pedometers with smartphone application (n=1), Wii Fit (n=1), heart rate monitor (n=1); and a wireless sensor with accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer (n=1). Adherence by at least one measure to E-DATs was >70% in 8 of 8 RCTs. Compared with controls, E-DATs significantly improved patients' step count in 3 of 5 RCTs, activity level in 6 of 9 RCTs, and HRQoL in 7 of 9 RCTs (all P≤.05), with no significant changes in biomarkers (eg, interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor α, C-reactive protein, c-peptide, lipid panel) in 3 RCTs. Duration of E-DAT was not significantly correlated with adherence or study retention. Conclusions: This systematic review shows that E-DATs are feasible to implement in cancer survivors. Future research should examine the optimal type, dose, and schedule of E-DATs for cancer survivors.

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Kah Poh Loh, Vivian Lam, Katey Webber, Simran Padam, Mina S. Sedrak, Vivek Musinipally, Madison Grogan, Carolyn J. Presley, Janice Grandi, Chandrika Sanapala, Daniel A. Castillo, Grace DiGiovanni, Supriya G. Mohile, Louise C. Walter, and Melisa L. Wong

Background: Maintaining functional status is important to older adults with cancer, but data are limited on how systemic treatments affect functional status. We systematically reviewed changes in functional status during systemic cancer treatments and identified characteristics associated with functional decline and improvement. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials for articles examining characteristics associated with functional changes in older adults during systemic cancer treatment published in English between database inception and January 11, 2019 (PROSPERO CRD42019123125). Findings were summarized with descriptive statistics. Study characteristics between older adult–specific and non–older adult–specific studies were compared using the Fisher exact test. Results: We screened 15,244 titles/abstracts and 519 full texts. The final analysis included 44 studies, which enrolled >8,400 patients; 39% of studies focused on older adults (1 study enrolled adults aged ≥60 years, 10 enrolled adults aged ≥65 years, and 6 enrolled adults aged ≥70 years). Almost all studies (98%) used patient-reported outcomes to measure functional status; only 20% used physical performance tests. Reporting of functional change was heterogeneous, with 48% reporting change scores. Older adult–specific studies were more likely to analyze functional change dichotomously (29% vs 4%; P=.008). Functional decline ranged widely, from 6% to 90%. The most common patient characteristics associated with functional decline were older age (n=7 studies), worse performance status (n=4), progressive disease status (n=4), pain (n=4), anemia (n=4), and worse nutritional status (n=4). Twelve studies examined functional improvement and identified 11 unique associated characteristics. Conclusions: Functional decline is increasingly recognized as an important outcome in older adults with cancer, but definitions and analyses are heterogeneous, leading to a wide range of prevalence. To identify patients at highest risk of functional decline during systemic cancer treatments, trials need to routinely analyze functional outcomes and measure characteristics associated with decline (eg, nutrition).

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Supriya G. Mohile, Allison Magnuson, Chintan Pandya, Carla Velarde, Paul Duberstein, Arti Hurria, Kah Poh Loh, Megan Wells, Sandy Plumb, Nikesha Gilmore, Marie Flannery, Marsha Wittink, Ronald Epstein, Charles E. Heckler, Michelle Janelsins, Karen Mustian, Judith O. Hopkins, Jane Liu, Srihari Peri, and William Dale

Background: This study's objectives were to describe community oncologists' beliefs about and confidence with geriatric care and to determine whether geriatric-relevant information influences cancer treatment decisions. Methods: Community oncologists were recruited to participate in 2 multisite geriatric oncology trials. Participants shared their beliefs about and confidence in caring for older adults. They were also asked to make a first-line chemotherapy recommendation (combination vs single-agent vs no chemotherapy) for a hypothetical vignette of an older patient with advanced pancreatic cancer. Each oncologist received one randomly chosen vignette that varied on 3 variables: age (72/84 years), impaired function (yes/no), and cognitive impairment (yes/no). Other patient characteristics were held constant. Logistic regression models were used to identify associations between oncologist/vignette-patient characteristics and treatment decisions. Results: Oncologist response rate was 61% (n=305/498). Most oncologists agreed that “the care of older adults with cancer needs to be improved” (89%) and that “geriatrics training is essential” (72%). However, <25% were “very confident” in recognizing dementia or conducting a fall risk or functional assessment, and only 23% reported using the geriatric assessment in clinic. Each randomly varied patient characteristic was independently associated with the decision to treat: younger age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.01; 95% CI, 2.73–9.20), normal cognition (aOR, 5.42; 95% CI, 3.01–9.76), and being functionally intact (aOR, 3.85; 95% CI, 2.12–7.00). Accounting for all vignettes across all scenarios, 161 oncologists (52%) said they would offer chemotherapy. All variables were independently associated with prescribing single-agent over combination chemotherapy (older age: aOR, 3.22; 95% CI 1.43–7.25, impaired cognition: aOR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.36–7.20, impaired function: aOR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.12–5.72). Oncologists' characteristics were not associated with decisions about providing chemotherapy. Conclusion: Geriatric-relevant information, when available, strongly influences community oncologists' treatment decisions.