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  • Author: Vinayak Muralidhar x
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Vishwajith Sridharan, Vinayak Muralidhar, Danielle N. Margalit, Roy B. Tishler, James A. DeCaprio, Manisha Thakuria, Guilherme Rabinowits and Jonathan D. Schoenfeld

Purpose: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous malignancy. However, factors associated with disease presentation and outcomes remain uncertain, especially in light of recent changes in workup, such as sentinel lymph node biopsy. Therefore, this study used the SEER database to examine factors that could affect stage at presentation and treatment. Methods: We identified 4,543 patients and evaluated associations between sex, race, age, primary disease site, disease presentation, and treatment. We also used univariate and multivariate analyses to examine the effect of these factors on disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS). We specifically conducted subgroup analyses on a more modern cohort of patients with MCC treated between 2006 and 2012. Results: Male sex, older age, larger tumor size, and primary tumors of the scalp, neck, or trunk were associated with a higher burden of nodal disease. Multivariate predictors of worse DSS/OS in both the recent and overall cohort included age older than 75 years, number of lymph nodes involved, tumors greater than 5 cm, metastatic disease, or lack of radiation therapy. The number of involved nodes was the best predictor of DSS/OS. Associations with radiation therapy were most pronounced in patients with nodal disease and those not undergoing surgery. Conclusions: Sex, age, tumor size, and primary site of disease correlated with burden of nodal disease in MCC. Associations between disease presentation and treatment strategies such as radiation and DSS and OS have remained relatively constant in the modern era from 2006 to 2012 compared with findings from prior studies.

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Vinayak Muralidhar, Paul L. Nguyen, Brandon A. Mahal, David D. Yang, Kent W. Mouw, Brent S. Rose, Clair J. Beard, Jason A. Efstathiou, Neil E. Martin, Martin T. King and Peter F. Orio III

Background: Management of patients with a very high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level (≥98.0 ng/mL) but clinically localized (N0M0) prostate cancer is challenging. This study sought to determine practice patterns and outcomes among these patients. Patients and Methods: A total of 748,825 patients with prostate cancer from 2004 through 2012 were identified using the National Cancer Database. These patients were subdivided by PSA level (0–9.9, 10.0–19.9, 20.0–39.9, 40.0–59.9, 60.0–79.9, 80.0–97.9, and ≥98.0 ng/mL), nodal status (N0 vs N1), and distant metastases (M0 vs M1). Rates of locoregional treatment and 5-year overall survival (OS) in each group were determined. Survival was compared using Cox regression after adjusting for multiple patient-specific factors. Results: The rate of locoregional treatment for patients with N0M0 disease and PSA level ≥98.0 ng/mL was significantly lower than for those with N1M0 disease (52.6% vs 60.4%; P<.001) or N0M0 disease and PSA level <98.0 ng/mL (52.6% vs 86.6%; P<.001). The 5-year OS rate was similar for patients with N1M0 disease and those with N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level (63.2% vs 59.1%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.91; P=.063). The survival benefit associated with locoregional treatment was higher among those with N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level than among those with N1M0 disease (aHR, 0.28 vs 0.44; P<.001). Conclusions: Patients with clinical N0M0 disease and a very high PSA level (≥98.0 ng/mL) have outcomes similar to those with N1 disease but receive locoregional treatment at a lower rate. Future work is needed to investigate the utility of locoregional treatment in this population.

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Edward Christopher Dee, Vinayak Muralidhar, Santino S. Butler, Zizi Yu, Sybil T. Sha, Brandon A. Mahal, Paul L. Nguyen and Nina N. Sanford

Background: A significant proportion of cancer survivors endorse ongoing health information needs and may use the internet to access information. We assessed patterns and predictors of general and health-specific internet use among cancer survivors. Methods: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which was administered in 2013 through 2018, for adults reporting a cancer diagnosis, sample weight-adjusted estimates defined prevalence and multivariable logistic regressions defined adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of general and health-specific internet use, adjusting for relevant sociodemographic covariates, including healthcare satisfaction as the primary independent variable. The analysis for health-specific internet use was also repeated including a sex (female vs male)*healthcare satisfaction (very satisfied/somewhat satisfied vs somewhat dissatisfied/very dissatisfied) interaction term. Results: Among 12,970 survivors of cancer, general and health-specific internet use increased from 2013 to 2018 (from 63.2% to 70.8% and from 46.8% to 52.2%, respectively; P<.05 for both). Survivors who were very dissatisfied with healthcare were more likely to use the internet for health information compared with those who were very satisfied (59.5% vs 48.0%; aOR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.20–2.64; P=.004). Younger age, female sex, higher educational attainment, and higher socioeconomic status were all associated with increased reported use of the internet for both general and health-specific purposes (P<.001 for all). There was a significant sex*healthcare satisfaction interaction (P=.009) such that for female survivors, healthcare dissatisfaction was associated with higher odds of health-specific internet use (61.4% vs 52.5%; P<.001; men, P=.97). No association was found between healthcare satisfaction and general internet use (P=.42). Conclusions: The increasing proportion of survivors of cancer using the internet for health-specific information may be associated with self-reported dissatisfaction with healthcare. Efforts are needed to improve both access to the internet and the quality of cancer-relevant online health information, and to enhance patients’ online health literacy.

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Vinayak Muralidhar, Paul J. Catalano, Gally Reznor, Brandon A. Mahal, Toni K. Choueiri, Christopher J. Sweeney, Neil E. Martin, Clair J. Beard, Yu-Wei Chen, Michelle D. Nezolosky, Karen E. Hoffman, Felix Y. Feng, Quoc-Dien Trinh and Paul L. Nguyen

Background: The current NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Prostate Cancer recommend long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for all men with high-risk prostate cancer treated with external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT). We determined whether the use of long-term ADT varied by the recently defined subcategories of high-risk disease (favorable, other, and very high) versus unfavorable intermediate-risk disease. Methods: We identified 5,524 patients with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer diagnosed from 2004 to 2007 and managed with EBRT using the SEER-Medicare linked database. Patients were stratified by risk group: unfavorable intermediate-risk, favorable high-risk (previously defined and validated as clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 4 + 4 = 8, and prostate-specific antigen [PSA] level <10 ng/mL, or clinical stage T1c, Gleason score of 6, and PSA level >20 ng/mL), very-high-risk (clinical stage T3b–T4 or primary Gleason pattern 5), or other high risk (ie, neither favorable nor very high). We used multivariable competing risks regression to estimate the rates of long-term (≥2 years) ADT by group. Results: Men with favorable high-risk prostate cancer were significantly less likely to receive long-term ADT than those with other high-risk disease (15.4% vs 24.6%, adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.60–0.76; P<.001), and similarly likely as those with unfavorable intermediate-risk disease (AHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.99–1.23; P=.087). Other high-risk disease was less likely to receive long-term ADT than very high-risk cancer (24.6% vs 30.8%; AHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74–0.93; P=.002). Conclusions: Despite current guidelines, patients with EBRT-managed high-risk prostate cancer received significantly different rates of long-course ADT based on subclassification. Our results suggest that oncologists view these patients as a heterogeneous group with favorable high-risk cancer warranting less aggressive therapy than other high-risk or very high-risk disease.