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Daphna Y. Spiegel, Matthew J. Boyer, Julian C. Hong, Christina D. Williams, Michael J. Kelley, Joseph K. Salama and Manisha Palta

Background: Adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) after chemoradiation (CRT) and surgery for locoregionally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) is a standard of care in the United States. This study examined the role, optimal regimen, and duration of AC using data from the largest integrated health system in the United States. Patients and Methods: Using the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry, patients with stage II–III rectal cancer diagnosed in 2001 through 2011 who received neoadjuvant CRT and surgery with or without AC were identified. Kaplan-Meier analysis, log-rank tests, and propensity score (PS) adjustment analysis were used to assess survival. Results: A total of 866 patients were identified; 417 received AC and 449 did not (observation [OBS] group). Median follow-up was 109 months. Median disease-specific survival (DSS) was not reached. Six-year DSS was 73.7%; 79.5% for the AC group versus 68.0% for the OBS group. PS-matched analysis for DSS favored AC (P=.0002). Median overall survival (OS) was 90.8 months. Six-year OS was 56.7%; 64.3% for AC versus 49.6% for OBS. In PS-matched analysis, median OS was 117.4 months for AC and 74.3 months for OBS (P<.0001). A DSS advantage was seen when comparing ≥4 months with <4 months of AC (P=.023). No difference in DSS or OS was seen with single-agent versus multiagent AC. Conclusions: In this population of patients with LARC treated with neoadjuvant CRT and surgery, OS and DSS were improved among those treated with AC versus OBS. DSS benefits were seen with ≥4 months of AC. No additional benefit was observed with multiagent therapy. In the absence of phase III data, these findings support the use of AC for LARC.

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Julian C. Hong, Matthew J. Boyer, Daphna Y. Spiegel, Christina D. Williams, Betty C. Tong, Scott L. Shofer, Michael J. Moravan, Michael J. Kelley and Joseph K. Salama

Background: Accurate staging for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is critical for determining appropriate therapy. The clinical impact of increasing PET adoption and stage migration is well described in non–small cell lung cancer but not in SCLC. The objective of this study was to evaluate temporal trends in PET staging and survival in the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry and the impact of PET on outcomes. Patients and Methods: Patients diagnosed with SCLC from 2001 to 2010 were identified. PET staging, overall survival (OS), and lung cancer–specific survival (LCSS) were assessed over time. The impact of PET staging on OS and LCSS was assessed for limited-stage (LS) and extensive-stage (ES) SCLC. Results: From 2001 to 2010, PET use in a total of 10,135 patients with SCLC increased from 1.1% to 39.2%. Median OS improved for all patients (from 6.2 to 7.9 months), those with LS-SCLC (from 10.9 to 13.2 months), and those with ES-SCLC (from 5.0 to 7.0 months). Among staged patients, the proportion of ES-SCLC increased from 63.9% to 65.7%. Among 1,536 patients with LS-SCLC treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy, 397 were staged by PET. In these patients, PET was associated with longer OS (median, 19.8 vs 14.3 months; hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% CI, 0.68–0.90; P<.0001) and LCSS (median, 22.9 vs 16.7 months; HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63–0.87; P<.0001) with multivariate adjustment and propensity-matching. In the 6,143 patients with ES-SCLC, PET was also associated with improved OS and LCSS. Conclusions: From 2001 to 2010, PET staging increased in this large cohort, with a corresponding relative increase in ES-SCLC. PET was associated with greater OS and LCSS for LS-SCLC and ES-SCLC, likely reflecting stage migration and stage-appropriate therapy. These findings emphasize the importance of PET in SCLC and support its routine use.

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Julia R. Trosman, Christine B. Weldon, Michael P. Douglas, Allison W. Kurian, R. Kate Kelley, Patricia A. Deverka and Kathryn A. Phillips

Background: Hereditary cancer panels (HCPs), testing for multiple genes and syndromes, are rapidly transforming cancer risk assessment but are controversial and lack formal insurance coverage. We aimed to identify payers' perspectives on barriers to HCP coverage and opportunities to address them. Comprehensive cancer risk assessment is highly relevant to the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), and payers' considerations could inform PMI's efforts. We describe our findings and discuss them in the context of PMI priorities. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 major US payers, covering >160 million lives. We used the framework approach of qualitative research to design, conduct, and analyze interviews, and used simple frequencies to further describe findings. Results: Barriers to HCP coverage included poor fit with coverage frameworks (100%); insufficient evidence (100%); departure from pedigree/family history–based testing toward genetic screening (91%); lacking rigor in the HCP hybrid research/clinical setting (82%); and patient transparency and involvement concerns (82%). Addressing barriers requires refining HCP-indicated populations (82%); developing evidence of actionability (82%) and pathogenicity/penetrance (64%); creating infrastructure and standards for informing and recontacting patients (45%); separating research from clinical use in the hybrid clinical-research setting (44%); and adjusting coverage frameworks (18%). Conclusions: Leveraging opportunities suggested by payers to address HCP coverage barriers is essential to ensure patients' access to evolving HCPs. Our findings inform 3 areas of the PMI: addressing insurance coverage to secure access to future PMI discoveries; incorporating payers' evidentiary requirements into PMI's research agenda; and leveraging payers' recommendations and experience to keep patients informed and involved.

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Anna Hung, Kyung Min Lee, Yanhong Li, Julie A. Lynch, Pradeep Poonnen, Bradley J. Hintze, Olga V. Efimova, Candice Yong, Brian Seal, Trudy Pendergraft, Michael Kelley and Shelby D. Reed

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Vishal Vashistha, Pradeep J. Poonnen, Vimla L. Patel, Halcyon G. Skinner, Jane L. Snowdon, Victoria McCaffrey, Neil L. Spector, Bradley Hintze, Jill E. Duffy, Gretchen P. Jackson and Michael J. Kelley

Background: Genomic sequencing of tumor samples is often considered for patients diagnosed with metastatic malignancies. In July 2016, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) created the VA National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP) to offer next generation sequencing (NGS) multigene panels for veterans with advanced solid tumors. We sought to assess the perceptions of NPOP among medical oncologists across VHA. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were designed to evaluate the following concepts: expectations for NGS testing, required workflow to conduct testing, applicability of testing results, and summative views of genomic sequencing. VHA medical oncologists who had previously sent at least one sample for testing through NPOP were solicited to participate for an in-person or telephonic conversation. Interviews were analyzed by an inductive narrative approach to code responses, which was then followed by thematic analysis for key findings that emerged. Results: 17 medical oncologists were interviewed from 16 different VA medical centers (VAMCs) in 12 states. 16 (94.1%) oncologists reported sending at least 5 samples for NGS testing; 4 (23.5%) oncologists practiced at VAMCs that sent over 100 samples. Clinicians collectively expected that testing would determine all clinically relevant genomic alterations in a reasonable time. Testing was expedited for oncologists who maintained a collaborative relationship with their local pathologists and proceduralists. 8 (47.1%) oncologists felt that testing reports should provide greater insight into the clinical significance of uncommon gene variants. 6 (35.3%) respondents expressed that educational efforts are warranted to describe optimal sample processing, indications for testing, and/or relevance of rare mutations. Twelve (70.6%) respondents felt strongly that NGS testing would improve outcomes for their patients, while 3 (17.6%) oncologists were wary that the current number of actionable mutations is too limited to offer widespread benefit. Conclusions: VHA medical oncologists opined that NGS testing through VA NPOP improved outcomes. The testing process is expedited with multidisciplinary involvement. Designed approaches to semi-algorithmically report testing results may improve efficiency of clinical decision-making. More education is warranted to detail the procedural requirements to conduct testing, indications for test ordering, and interpretation of results.

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Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D’Angelica, Thomas A. Abrams, Chandrakanth Are, P. Mark Bloomston, Daniel T. Chang, Bryan M. Clary, Anne M. Covey, William D. Ensminger, Renuka Iyer, R. Kate Kelley, David Linehan, Mokenge P. Malafa, Steven G. Meranze, James O. Park, Timothy Pawlik, James A. Posey, Courtney Scaife, Tracey Schefter, Elin R. Sigurdson, G. Gary Tian, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Yun Yen, Andrew X. Zhu, Karin G. Hoffmann, Nicole R. McMillian and Hema Sundar

Hepatobiliary cancers include a spectrum of invasive carcinomas arising in the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma), gall bladder, and bile ducts (cholangiocarcinomas). Gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinomas are collectively known as biliary tract cancers. Gallbladder cancer is the most common and aggressive type of all the biliary tract cancers. Cholangiocarcinomas are diagnosed throughout the biliary tree and are typically classified as either intrahepatic or extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas are more common than intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas. This manuscript focuses on the clinical management of patients with gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinomas (intrahepatic and extrahepatic).

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Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D'Angelica, Daniel E. Abbott, Thomas A. Abrams, Steven R. Alberts, Daniel A. Anaya, Chandrakanth Are, Daniel B. Brown, Daniel T. Chang, Anne M. Covey, William Hawkins, Renuka Iyer, Rojymon Jacob, Andrea Karachristos, R. Kate Kelley, Robin Kim, Manisha Palta, James O. Park, Vaibhav Sahai, Tracey Schefter, Carl Schmidt, Jason K. Sicklick, Gagandeep Singh, Davendra Sohal, Stacey Stein, G. Gary Tian, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Andrew X. Zhu, Karin G. Hoffmann and Susan Darlow

The NCCN Guidelines for Hepatobiliary Cancers provide treatment recommendations for cancers of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. The NCCN Hepatobiliary Cancers Panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant new data from publications and abstracts, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel's discussion and most recent recommendations regarding locoregional therapy for treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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NCCN Guidelines Insights: Hepatobiliary Cancers, Version 2.2019

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Al B. Benson III, Michael I. D’Angelica, Daniel E. Abbott, Thomas A. Abrams, Steven R. Alberts, Daniel A. Anaya, Robert Anders, Chandrakanth Are, Daniel Brown, Daniel T. Chang, Jordan Cloyd, Anne M. Covey, William Hawkins, Renuka Iyer, Rojymon Jacob, Andreas Karachristos, R. Kate Kelley, Robin Kim, Manisha Palta, James O. Park, Vaibhav Sahai, Tracey Schefter, Jason K. Sicklick, Gagandeep Singh, Davendra Sohal, Stacey Stein, G. Gary Tian, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Alan P. Venook, Lydia J. Hammond and Susan D. Darlow

The NCCN Guidelines for Hepatobiliary Cancers provide treatment recommendations for cancers of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. The NCCN Hepatobiliary Cancers Panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant new data from publications and abstracts, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel’s discussion and updated recommendations regarding systemic therapy for first-line and subsequent-line treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.