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Michael Xiang, A. Dimitrios Colevas, F. Christopher Holsinger, Quynh-Thu X. Le and Beth M. Beadle

Background: For definitive chemoradiotherapy (chemoRT) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), cisplatin is the preferred concurrent agent, with superiority over cetuximab for HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous carcinoma recently shown in 2 randomized trials (RTOG 1016 and De-ESCALaTE). Patients who are not candidates for cisplatin may be treated with carboplatin instead, but its comparative efficacy is unclear. We analyzed nationwide patterns of care and cancer-specific outcomes after cisplatin- versus carboplatin-based chemoRT. Patients and Methods: Patients with locoregionally advanced (stages III–IVB according to the 6th and 7th editions of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual) squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, larynx, or hypopharynx who received definitive radiotherapy (RT) were identified in the linked SEER-Medicare database. The concurrent chemotherapy regimen was determined through corresponding Medicare claims. Death caused by HNSCC (cancer-specific mortality [CSM]) was analyzed with competing risks. Propensity score analysis and multivariable Fine-Gray regression were used to adjust for baseline differences, including age and comorbidity. Results: We identified 807 patients who received cisplatin-based chemoRT and 342 who received carboplatin-based chemoRT. Most carboplatin recipients (68%) had combination chemotherapy, predominantly with paclitaxel. Carboplatin- and cisplatin-based chemoRT had similar incidences of death attributable to HNSCC (3-year CSM, 29% vs 26%; P=.19), which persisted in propensity score–matched analysis. In addition, no significant difference in overall survival was seen in the matched cohorts. ChemoRT with either cisplatin or carboplatin was superior to RT alone and RT with concurrent cetuximab. In the multivariable model, the adjusted hazard ratio of CSM for carboplatin relative to cisplatin was 1.01 (95% CI, 0.79–1.28; P=.94). Conclusions: Definitive carboplatin-based chemoRT was equivalent to cisplatin-based therapy and superior to RT alone and RT with concurrent cetuximab. In light of recent results of the RTOG 1016 and De-ESCALaTE trials, our findings suggest that carboplatin-based regimens warrant prospective investigation as an alternative to cisplatin for patients who are not cisplatin candidates.

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David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Gerold Bepler, Matthew G. Blum, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Thierry Jahan, Mohammad Jahanzeb, David H. Johnson, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Quynh-Thu Le, Inga T. Lennes, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, George R. Simon, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood and Stephen C. Yang

Overview Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. An estimated 219,440 new cases (116,090 men; 103,350 women) of lung and bronchus cancer were diagnosed in 2009, and 159,390 deaths (88,900 men; 70,490 women) occurred from the disease.1 Only 15% of all lung cancer patients are alive 5 years or more after diagnosis (http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lungb.html). Common symptoms of lung cancer include cough, dyspnea, weight loss, and chest pain; symptomatic patients are more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The primary risk factor for lung cancer is smoking, which accounts for more than 85% of all lung cancer-related deaths.2 The risk for lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years spent smoking. In addition to the hazard of first-hand smoke, exposed nonsmokers have an increased relative risk for developing lung cancer.3 Radon gas, a radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of radium 226, is the second leading cause of lung cancer.4 The decay of this isotope leads to the production of substances that emit alpha-particles, which may cause cell damage and therefore increase the potential for malignant transformation. Data suggest that postmenopausal women who smoke or are former smokers should not undergo hormone replacement therapy, because it increases the risk for death from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).5 Asbestos, a mineral compound that breaks into small airborne shards, is a known carcinogen that increases the risk for lung cancer in people exposed to the airborne fibers,...
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David S. Ettinger, Wallace Akerley, Gerold Bepler, Matthew G. Blum, Andrew Chang, Richard T. Cheney, Lucian R. Chirieac, Thomas A. D'Amico, Todd L. Demmy, Ramaswamy Govindan, Frederic W. Grannis Jr., Thierry Jahan, David H. Johnson, Anne Kessinger, Ritsuko Komaki, Feng-Ming Kong, Mark G. Kris, Lee M. Krug, Quynh-Thu Le, Inga T. Lennes, Renato Martins, Janis O'Malley, Raymond U. Osarogiagbon, Gregory A. Otterson, Jyoti D. Patel, Katherine M. Pisters, Karen Reckamp, Gregory J. Riely, Eric Rohren, Scott J. Swanson, Douglas E. Wood and Stephen C. Yang

Overview Masses in the anterior mediastinum include neoplasms (e.g., thymomas, lymphomas, thymic carcinomas, thymic carcinoids, thymolipomas, germ cell tumors, parathyroid adenomas) or nonneoplastic conditions (e.g., intrathoracic goiter, thymic cysts, lymphangiomas, aortic aneurysms).1,2 Thymomas are the most common tumor in the anterior mediastinum.1,3,4 Many mediastinal masses are benign, especially those occurring in asymptomatic patients; however, symptomatic patients often have malignant mediastinal lesions. These guidelines outline the evaluation, treatment, and management of thymomas and thymic carcinomas (see Thymic Masses, opposite column). The WHO histologic classification system can be used to distinguish among thymomas, thymic carcinomas, and thymic carcinoids.3 Lymphomas typically manifest as generalized disease but can also be primary anterior mediastinal lesions (i.e., nodular sclerosing Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas [large B-cell lymphoma and lymphoblastic lymphoma]); patients typically have lymphadenopathy [see the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology {NCCN Guidelines} for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas and Hodgkin Lymphoma].2,5 Thymic carcinoids are rare tumors that are discussed in the NCCN Guidelines for Neuroendocrine Tumors. Teratomas are discussed in the NCCN Guidelines for Testicular Cancer. (To view the most recent version of these guidelines, visit the NCCN Web site at www.NCCN.org.) Thymic Masses All patients with a mediastinal mass should undergo studies to determine the type of mass and extent of disease; these tests should include chest CT with contrast, fludeoxyglucose (FDG)–PET, radiolabeled octreotide scan (optional), complete blood cell counts, and platelets. Pulmonary function tests and MRI of the chest can also be done if clinically indicated. On CT, thymoma can look like malignant mesothelioma; however,...