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Yu-Pei Chen, Ya-Qin Wang, Wen-Fei Li, Lei Chen, Cheng Xu, Tai-Xiang Lu, Ai-Hua Lin, Ji-Jin Yao, Yang-Chan Li, Ying Sun, Yan-Ping Mao and Jun Ma

Background: Given the distinct biological characteristics and regional distribution of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) compared with other head and neck cancers, and uncertainties regarding therapeutic strategies, physicians require high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to provide transparent recommendations for NPC treatment. This study aimed to critically appraise the quality of NPC CPGs and assess the consistency of their recommendations. Methods: We identified CPGs that provided recommendations on the diagnosis and management of NPC published up to December 2015. Four investigators independently appraised CPG quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument. Key recommendations by CPGs were also evaluated. Results: A total of 7 CPGs were eligible for this study: 5 produced by professional organizations or governmental agencies and 2 were developed based on expert consensus. Of the 6 AGREE II domains, the applicability domain scored consistently low across CPGs (range, 13.5%–30.2%); no CPG achieved a score of >50% in all 6 domains. The scope and purpose domain (≥73.6% for 4 CPGs) and editorial independence domain (≥75.0% for 6 CPGs) scored highest. Of the 23 AGREE II items, 9 scored less than half of the points available in all 7 CPGs. The recommendations by CPGs were consistent in general; heterogeneity mainly existed among recommended therapeutic strategies. Conclusions: Variation exists in NPC CPG development processes and recommendations. Increased efforts are required to make comprehensive resources available to guide healthcare providers and enhance delivery of high-quality, evidence-based care for NPC. International collaboration is necessary to enable the development of high-quality and regionally relevant CPGs for NPC.

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Randy C. Miles, Christoph I. Lee, Qin Sun, Aasthaa Bansal, Gary H. Lyman, Jennifer M. Specht, Catherine R. Fedorenko, Mikael Anne Greenwood-Hickman, Scott D. Ramsey and Janie M. Lee

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to assess advanced imaging (bone scan, CT, or PET/CT) and serum tumor biomarker use in asymptomatic breast cancer survivors during the surveillance period. Patients and Methods: Cancer registry records for 2,923 women diagnosed with primary breast cancer in Washington State between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2014, were linked with claims data from 2 regional commercial insurance plans. Clinical data including demographic and tumor characteristics were collected. Evaluation and management codes from claims data were used to determine advanced imaging and serum tumor biomarker testing during the peridiagnostic and surveillance phases of care. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify clinical factors and patterns of peridiagnostic imaging and biomarker testing associated with surveillance advanced imaging. Results: Of 2,923 eligible women, 16.5% (n=480) underwent surveillance advanced imaging and 31.8% (n=930) received surveillance serum tumor biomarker testing. Compared with women diagnosed before the launch of the Choosing Wisely campaign in 2012, later diagnosis was associated with lower use of surveillance advanced imaging (odds ratio [OR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52–0.89). Factors significantly associated with use of surveillance advanced imaging included increasing disease stage (stage III: OR, 3.65; 95% CI, 2.48–5.38), peridiagnostic advanced imaging use (OR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.33–2.31), and peridiagnostic serum tumor biomarker testing (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.01–1.80). Conclusions: Although use of surveillance advanced imaging in asymptomatic breast cancer survivors has declined since the launch of the Choosing Wisely campaign, frequent use of surveillance serum tumor biomarker testing remains prevalent, representing a potential target for further efforts to reduce low-value practices.