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Journal of Clinical Oncology

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Journal of Clinical Oncology





Purpose

Survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) exhibit increased rates of neurocognitive deficits. This study was conducted to test whether interpatient variability in neurocognitive outcomes can be explained by polymorphisms in candidate genes conferring susceptibility to neurocognitive decline.

Methods

Neurocognitive testing was conducted in 350 pediatric leukemia survivors, treated on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocols 95-01 or 00-01. Genomic DNA was isolated from bone marrow collected at remission. Candidate polymorphisms were selected on the basis of prior literature, targeting genes related to drug metabolism, oxidative damage, altered neurotransmission, neuroinflammation, and folate physiology. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected using either a customized multiplexed Sequenom MassARRAY assay or polymerase chain reaction–based allelic discrimination assays. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the effects of genotype on neurocognitive outcomes, adjusted for the effects of demographic and treatment variables. False-discovery rate correction was made for multiple hypothesis testing, indicated as a Q value.

Results

Inferior cognitive or behavioral outcomes were associated with polymorphisms in three genes related to oxidative stress and/or neuroinflammation: NOS3 (IQ, Q = 0.008; Vocabulary Q = 0.011; Matrix Reasoning Q = 0.008), SLCO2A1 (IQ Q = 0.043; Digit Span Q = 0.006; Block Design Q = 0.076), and COMT (Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2 Attention Q = 0.080; and Hyperactivity Q = 0.084). Survivors homozygous for NOS3 894T, with at least one SLCO2A1 variant G allele or with at least one GSTP1 variant allele, had lower mean estimated IQ scores than those without these genotypes.

Conclusion

These data are consistent with the hypothesis that oxidative damage contributes to chemotherapy-associated neurocognitive decline among children with leukemia.


Purpose

This study sought to define and identify drivers of trends in cost and use of targeted therapeutics among privately insured nonelderly patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy between 2001 and 2011.

Methods

We classified oncology drugs as targeted oral anticancer medications, targeted intravenous anticancer medications, and all others. Using the LifeLink Health Plan Claims Database, we studied and disaggregated trends in use and in insurance and out-of-pocket payments per patient per month and during the first year of chemotherapy.

Results

We found a large increase in the use of targeted intravenous anticancer medications and a gradual increase in targeted oral anticancer medications; targeted therapies accounted for 63% of all chemotherapy expenditures in 2011. Insurance payments per patient per month and in the first year of chemotherapy for targeted oral anticancer medications more than doubled in 10 years, surpassing payments for targeted intravenous anticancer medications, which remained fairly constant throughout. Substitution toward targeted therapies and growth in drug prices both at launch and postlaunch contributed to payer spending growth. Out-of-pocket spending for targeted oral anticancer medications was ≤ half of the amount for targeted intravenous anticancer medications.

Conclusion

Targeted therapies now dominate anticancer drug spending. More aggressive management of pharmacy benefits for targeted oral anticancer medications and payment reform for injectable drugs hold promise. Restraining the rapid rise in spending will require more than current oral drug parity laws, such as value-based insurance that makes the benefits and costs transparent and involves the patient directly in the choice of treatment.


Purpose

Several indices have been developed to predict overall survival (OS) in patients with breast cancer with brain metastases, including the breast graded prognostic assessment (breast-GPA), comprising age, tumor subtype, and Karnofsky performance score. However, number of brain metastases—a highly relevant clinical variable—is less often incorporated into the final model. We sought to validate the existing breast-GPA in an independent larger cohort and refine it integrating number of brain metastases.

Patients and Methods

Data were retrospectively gathered from a prospectively maintained institutional database. Patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases from 1996 to 2013 were identified. After validating the breast-GPA, multivariable Cox regression and recursive partitioning analysis led to the development of the modified breast-GPA. The performances of the breast-GPA and modified breast-GPA were compared using the concordance index.

Results

In our cohort of 1,552 patients, the breast-GPA was validated as a prognostic tool for OS (P < .001). In multivariable analysis of the breast-GPA and number of brain metastases (> three v ≤ three), both were independent predictors of OS. We therefore developed the modified breast-GPA integrating a fourth clinical parameter. Recursive partitioning analysis reinforced the prognostic significance of these four factors. Concordance indices were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.77 to 0.80) and 0.84 (95% CI, 0.83 to 0.85) for the breast-GPA and modified breast-GPA, respectively (P < .001).

Conclusion

The modified breast-GPA incorporates four simple clinical parameters of high prognostic significance. This index has an immediate role in the clinic as a formative part of the clinician's discussion of prognosis and direction of care and as a potential patient selection tool for clinical trials.


Purpose

Advanced pancreatic cancer (APC), in addition to its high mortality, accounts for the highest rates of venous thromboembolic events (VTEs). Enoxaparin, a low–molecular weight heparin, is effective in prevention and treatment of VTEs. Some small studies have indicated that this benefit might extend to patients with cancer.

Patients and Methods

Patients with histologically proven APC were randomly assigned to ambulant first-line chemotherapy and prophylactic use of enoxaparin or chemotherapy alone to investigate the probable reduction in symptomatic VTEs and the impact on survival.

Results

A total of 312 patients were recruited as one of the protocol end points was reached. Within the first 3 months, the numbers of symptomatic VTEs were as follows: 15 of 152 patients in the observation group and two of 160 patients in the enoxaparin group (hazard ratio [HR], 0.12; 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.52; 2 P = .001). The numbers of major bleeding events were as follows: five of 152 patients in the observation arm and seven of 160 patients in the enoxaparin arm (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 0.35 to 3.72; 2 P = 1.0). Overall cumulative incidence rates of symptomatic VTEs were 15.1% (observation) and 6.4% (enoxaparin; HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.83; P = .01). Progression-free (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.32; P = .64) and overall survival (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.38; P = .44) did not differ between groups.

Conclusion

This study demonstrates the high efficacy and feasibility of primary pharmacologic prevention of symptomatic VTEs in outpatients with APC. Treatment efficacy was not affected by simultaneous treatment with enoxaparin in this trial setting.


Purpose

Cancer screening strategies have commonly adopted single-biomarker thresholds to identify abnormality. We investigated the impact of serial biomarker change interpreted through a risk algorithm on cancer detection rates.

Patients and Methods

In the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening, 46,237 women, age 50 years or older underwent incidence screening by using the multimodal strategy (MMS) in which annual serum cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) was interpreted with the risk of ovarian cancer algorithm (ROCA). Women were triaged by the ROCA: normal risk, returned to annual screening; intermediate risk, repeat CA-125; and elevated risk, repeat CA-125 and transvaginal ultrasound. Women with persistently increased risk were clinically evaluated. All participants were followed through national cancer and/or death registries. Performance characteristics of a single-threshold rule and the ROCA were compared by using receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results

After 296,911 women-years of annual incidence screening, 640 women underwent surgery. Of those, 133 had primary invasive epithelial ovarian or tubal cancers (iEOCs). In all, 22 interval iEOCs occurred within 1 year of screening, of which one was detected by ROCA but was managed conservatively after clinical assessment. The sensitivity and specificity of MMS for detection of iEOCs were 85.8% (95% CI, 79.3% to 90.9%) and 99.8% (95% CI, 99.8% to 99.8%), respectively, with 4.8 surgeries per iEOC. ROCA alone detected 87.1% (135 of 155) of the iEOCs. Using fixed CA-125 cutoffs at the last annual screen of more than 35, more than 30, and more than 22 U/mL would have identified 41.3% (64 of 155), 48.4% (75 of 155), and 66.5% (103 of 155), respectively. The area under the curve for ROCA (0.915) was significantly (P = .0027) higher than that for a single-threshold rule (0.869).

Conclusion

Screening by using ROCA doubled the number of screen-detected iEOCs compared with a fixed cutoff. In the context of cancer screening, reliance on predefined single-threshold rules may result in biomarkers of value being discarded.



Purpose

This updated provisional clinical opinion presents a revised opinion based on American Society of Clinical Oncology panel consensus in the context of an evolving database.

Context

Despite the 2010 provisional clinical opinion recommendation, there is still evidence of suboptimal hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening among patients at high risk for HBV infection or HBV reactivation after chemotherapy. This updated provisional clinical opinion introduces a risk-adaptive strategy to identify and treat patients with HBV infection to reduce their risk of HBV reactivation.

Provisional Clinical Opinion

Medical providers should screen by testing patients for HBV infection before starting anti-CD20 therapy or hematopoietic cell transplantation. Providers should also screen patients with risk factors for HBV infection. Screening should include both hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), because reactivation can occur in patients who are HBsAg positive/anti-HBc positive or HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive. Either total anti-HBc or anti-HBc immunoglobulin G (not immunoglobulin M) test should be used. Clinicians should start antiviral therapy for HBsAg-positive/anti-HBc–positive patients before or contemporaneously with cancer therapy and monitor HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc–positive patients for reactivation with HBV DNA and ALT levels, promptly starting antivirals if reactivation occurs. Clinicians can initiate antivirals for HBsAg-negative/anti-HBc–positive patients anticipating cancer therapies associated with a high risk of reactivation, or they can monitor HBV DNA and ALT levels and initiate on-demand antivirals. For patients who neither have HBV risk factors nor anticipate cancer therapy associated with a high risk of reactivation, current evidence does not support HBV screening before initiation of cancer therapy. Two panel members provided a minority viewpoint, involving a strategy of universal HBsAg and selective anti-HBc testing.


Purpose

The role of postoperative therapy in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (EHCC) or gallbladder carcinoma (GBCA) is unknown. S0809 was designed to estimate 2-year survival (overall and after R0 or R1 resection), pattern of relapse, and toxicity in patients treated with this adjuvant regimen.

Patients and Methods

Eligibility criteria included diagnosis of EHCC or GBCA after radical resection, stage pT2-4 or N+ or positive resection margins, M0, and performance status 0 to 1. Patients received four cycles of gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 8) and capecitabine (1,500 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 14) every 21 days followed by concurrent capecitabine (1,330 mg/m2 per day) and radiotherapy (45 Gy to regional lymphatics; 54 to 59.4 Gy to tumor bed). With 80 evaluable patients, results would be promising if 2-year survival 95% CI were > 45% and R0 and R1 survival estimates were ≥ 65% and 45%, respectively.

Results

A total of 79 eligible patients (R0, n = 54; R1, n = 25; EHCC, 68%; GBCA, 32%) were treated (86% completed). For all patients, 2-year survival was 65% (95% CI, 53% to 74%); it was 67% and 60% in R0 and R1 patients, respectively. Median overall survival was 35 months (R0, 34 months; R1, 35 months). Local, distant, and combined relapse occurred in 14, 24, and nine patients. Grade 3 and 4 adverse effects were observed in 52% and 11% of patients, respectively. The most common grade 3 to 4 adverse effects were neutropenia (44%), hand-foot syndrome (11%), diarrhea (8%), lymphopenia (8%), and leukopenia (6%). There was one death resulting from GI hemorrhage.

Conclusion

This combination was well tolerated, has promising efficacy, and provides clinicians with a well-supported regimen. Our trial establishes the feasibility of conducting national adjuvant trials in EHCC and GBCA and provides baseline data for planning future phase III trials.



Purpose

Men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer may be at risk for cognitive impairment; however, evidence is mixed in the existing literature. Our study examined the impact of ADT on impaired cognitive performance and explored potential demographic and genetic predictors of impaired performance.

Patients and Methods

Patients with prostate cancer were assessed before or within 21 days of starting ADT (n = 58) and 6 and 12 months later. Age- and education-matched patients with prostate cancer treated with prostatectomy only (n = 84) and men without prostate cancer (n = 88) were assessed at similar intervals. Participants provided baseline blood samples for genotyping. Mean-level cognitive performance was compared using mixed models; cognitive impairment was compared using generalized estimating equations.

Results

ADT recipients demonstrated higher rates of impaired cognitive performance over time relative to all controls (P = .01). Groups did not differ at baseline (P > .05); however, ADT recipients were more likely to demonstrate impaired performance within 6 and 12 months (P for both comparisons < .05). Baseline age, cognitive reserve, depressive symptoms, fatigue, and hot flash interference did not moderate the impact of ADT on impaired cognitive performance (P for all comparisons ≥ .09). In exploratory genetic analyses, GNB3 single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1047776 was associated with increased rates of impaired performance over time in the ADT group (P < .001).

Conclusion

Men treated with ADT were more likely to demonstrate impaired cognitive performance within 6 months after starting ADT relative to matched controls and to continue to do so within 12 months after starting ADT. If confirmed, findings may have implications for patient education regarding the risks and benefits of ADT.


Purpose

Wee1 tyrosine kinase phosphorylates and inactivates cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 1/2 in response to DNA damage. AZD1775 is a first-in-class inhibitor of Wee1 kinase with single-agent antitumor activity in preclinical models. We conducted a phase I study of single-agent AZD1775 in adult patients with refractory solid tumors to determine its maximum-tolerated dose (MTD), pharmacokinetics, and modulation of phosphorylated Tyr15-Cdk (pY15-Cdk) and phosphorylated histone H2AX (H2AX) levels in paired tumor biopsies.

Patients and Methods

AZD1775 was administered orally twice per day over 2.5 days per week for up to 2 weeks per 21-day cycle (3 + 3 design). At the MTD, paired tumor biopsies were obtained at baseline and after the fifth dose to determine pY15-Cdk and H2AX levels. Six patients with BRCA-mutant solid tumors were also enrolled at the MTD.

Results

Twenty-five patients were enrolled. The MTD was established as 225 mg twice per day orally over 2.5 days per week for 2 weeks per 21-day cycle. Confirmed partial responses were observed in two patients carrying BRCA mutations: one with head and neck cancer and one with ovarian cancer. Common toxicities were myelosuppression and diarrhea. Dose-limiting toxicities were supraventricular tachyarrhythmia and myelosuppression. Accumulation of drug (t1/2 approximately 11 hours) was observed. Reduction in pY15-Cdk levels (two of five paired biopsies) and increases in H2AX levels (three of five paired biopsies) were demonstrated.

Conclusion

This is the first report of AZD1775 single-agent activity in patients carrying BRCA mutations. Proof-of-mechanism was demonstrated by target modulation and DNA damage response in paired tumor biopsies.


We have come a long way in our understanding and treatment of neuroendocrine tumors since the term "karzinoide" was coined in 1907. Neuroendocrine tumors are a group of biologically and clinically heterogeneous neoplasms that most commonly originate in the lungs, GI tract, and pancreas. The selection of initial and subsequent therapies requires careful consideration of both tumor and treatment characteristics. With recent advances, we now have more tools for the diagnosis and treatment of our patients. This comprehensive review article summarizes recent advances in the field of neuroendocrine tumors and places them into context for best management practices.



Purpose

To evaluate the impact of DNMT3A mutations on outcome in younger patients with cytogenetic intermediate-risk acute myeloid leukemia.

Patients and Methods

Diagnostic samples from 914 patients (97% < 60 years old) were screened for mutations in DNMT3A exons 13 to 23. Clinical outcome was evaluated according to presence or absence of a mutation and stratified according to type of mutation (R882, non-R882 missense, or truncation).

Results

DNMT3A mutations (DNMT3AMUT) were identified in 272 patients (30%) and associated with a poorer prognosis than wild-type DNMT3A, but the difference was only seen when the results were stratified according to NPM1 genotype. This example of Simpson's paradox results from the high coincidence of DNMT3A and NPM1 mutations (80% of patients with DNMT3AMUT had NPM1 mutations), where the two mutations have opposing prognostic impact. In the stratified analyses, relapse in patients with DNMT3AMUT was higher (hazard ratio, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.72; P = .01), and overall survival was lower (hazard ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.87; P = .002). The impact of DNMT3AMUT did not differ according to NPM1 genotype (test for heterogeneity: relapse, P = .4; overall survival, P = .9). Further analysis according to the type of DNMT3A mutation indicated that outcome was comparable in patients with R882 and non-R882 missense mutants, whereas in those with truncation mutants, it was comparable to wild-type DNMT3A.

Conclusion

These data confirm that presence of a DNMT3A mutation should be considered as a poor-risk prognostic factor, irrespective of the NPM1 genotype, and suggest that further consideration should be given to the type of DNMT3A mutation.


Purpose

Although previous studies have implicated a variety of hormone-related risk factors in the etiology of male breast cancers, no previous studies have examined the effects of endogenous hormones.

Patients and Methods

Within the Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project, an international consortium comprising 21 case-control and cohort investigations, a subset of seven prospective cohort studies were able to contribute prediagnostic serum or plasma samples for hormone quantitation. Using a nested case-control design, multivariable unconditional logistic regression analyses estimated odds ratios and 95% CIs for associations between male breast cancer risk and 11 individual estrogens and androgens, as well as selected ratios of these analytes.

Results

Data from 101 cases and 217 matched controls were analyzed. After adjustment for age and date of blood draw, race, and body mass index, androgens were found to be largely unrelated to risk, but circulating estradiol levels showed a significant association. Men in the highest quartile had an odds ratio of 2.47 (95% CI, 1.10 to 5.58) compared with those in the lowest quartile (trend P = .06). Assessment of estradiol as a ratio to various individual androgens or sum of androgens showed no further enhancement of risk. These relations were not significantly modified by either age or body mass index, although estradiol was slightly more strongly related to breast cancers occurring among younger (age < 67 years) than older men.

Conclusion

Our results support the notion of an important role for estradiol in the etiology of male breast cancers, similar to female breast cancers.


Purpose

Patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab require adequate cardiac monitoring. We describe the patterns of cardiac monitoring and evaluate factors associated with adequate monitoring in a large population-based study of older patients with breast cancer.

Patients and Methods

Patients age 66 years or older with full Medicare coverage, diagnosed with stage I to III breast cancer between 2005 and 2009, and treated with adjuvant trastuzumab-based chemotherapy were identified in the SEER-Medicare and the Texas Cancer Registry-Medicare databases. The adequacy of cardiac monitoring was determined. Chemotherapy, trastuzumab use, cardiac monitoring, and comorbidities were identified by using International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes. Prescribing physician characteristics were also evaluated. Analyses included descriptive statistics and multilevel logistic regression models.

Results

In all, 2,203 patients were identified; median age was 72 years. Adequate monitoring was identified in only 36.0% of the patients (n = 793). In the multivariable model, factors associated with optimal cardiac monitoring included a more recent year of diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32 to 2.54), anthracycline use (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.14 to 1.71), female prescribing physician (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.70), and physician graduating after 1990 (HR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.29 to 2.12). The presence of cardiac comorbidities was not a determinant for cardiac monitoring. Of the variance in the adequacy of cardiac monitoring, 15.3% was attributable to physician factors and 5.2% to measured patient factors.

Conclusion

A large proportion of patients had suboptimal cardiac monitoring. Physician characteristics had more influence than measured patient-level factors in the adequacy of cardiac monitoring. Because trastuzumab-related cardiotoxicity is reversible, efforts to improve the adequacy of cardiac monitoring are needed, particularly in vulnerable populations.


Purpose

Survivors of breast cancer may experience deterioration of physical function. This is important because poor physical function may be associated with premature mortality, injurious falls, bone fracture, and disability. We conducted a post hoc analysis to explore the potential efficacy of slowly progressive weight lifting to reduce the incidence of physical function deterioration among survivors of breast cancer.

Methods

Between October 2005 and August 2008, we conducted a single-blind, 12-month, randomized controlled trial of twice-per-week slowly progressive weight lifting or standard care among 295 survivors of nonmetastatic breast cancer. In this post hoc analysis of data from the Physical Activity and Lymphedema Trial, we examined incident deterioration of physical function after 12 months, defined as a ≥ 10-point decrease in the physical function subscale of the Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36-item questionnaire.

Results

The proportion of participants who experienced incident physical function deterioration after 12 months was 16.3% (24/147) in the control group and 8.1% (12/148) in the weight lifting group (relative risk, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.96; P = .04). No serious or unexpected adverse events occurred that were related to weight lifting.

Conclusion

Slowly progressive weight lifting compared with standard care reduced the incidence of physical function deterioration among survivors of breast cancer. These data are hypothesis generating. Future studies should directly compare the efficacy of weight lifting with other modalities of exercise, such as brisk walking, to appropriately inform the development of a confirmatory study designed to preserve physical function among survivors of breast cancer.


Purpose

To evaluate the relationship between race/ethnicity and breast cancer–specific survival according to subtype and explore mediating factors.

Patients and Methods

Participants were women presenting with stage I to III breast cancer between January 2000 and December 2007 at National Comprehensive Cancer Network centers with survival follow-up through December 2009. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to compare breast cancer–specific survival among Asians (n = 533), Hispanics (n = 1,122), and blacks (n = 1,345) with that among whites (n = 14,268), overall and stratified by subtype (luminal A like, luminal B like, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 type, and triple negative). Model estimates were used to derive mediation proportion and 95% CI for selected risk factors.

Results

In multivariable adjusted models, overall, blacks had 21% higher risk of breast cancer–specific death (hazard ratio [HR], 1.21; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.45). For estrogen receptor–positive tumors, black and white survival differences were greatest within 2 years of diagnosis (years 0 to 2: HR, 2.65; 95% CI, 1.34 to 5.24; year 2 to end of follow-up: HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.12 to 2.00). Blacks were 76% and 56% more likely to die as a result of luminal A–like and luminal B–like tumors, respectively. No disparities were observed for triple-negative or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–type tumors. Asians and Hispanics were less likely to die as a result of breast cancer compared with whites (Asians: HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.85; Hispanics: HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.95). For blacks, tumor characteristics and stage at diagnosis were significant disparity mediators. Body mass index was an important mediator for blacks and Asians.

Conclusion

Racial disparities in breast cancer survival vary by tumor subtype. Interventions are needed to reduce disparities, particularly in the first 2 years after diagnosis among black women with estrogen receptor–positive tumors.


Purpose

To determine the prognostic and predictive value of intrinsic subtyping by using immunohistochemical (IHC) biomarkers for ipsilateral breast relapse (IBR) in participants in an early breast cancer randomized trial of tamoxifen with or without breast radiotherapy (RT).

Patients and Methods

IHC analysis of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), cytokeratin 5/6, epidermal growth factor receptor, and Ki-67 was conducted on 501 of 769 available blocks. Patients were classified as luminal A (n = 265), luminal B (n = 165), or high-risk subtype (luminal HER2, n = 22; HER2 enriched, n = 13; basal like, n = 30; or triple-negative nonbasal, n = 6). Median follow-up was 10 years.

Results

Classification by subtype was prognostic for IBR (10-year estimates: luminal A, 5.2%; luminal B, 10.5%; high-risk subtypes, 21.3%; P < .001). Luminal subtypes seemed to derive less benefit from RT (luminal A hazard ratio [HR], 0.40; luminal B HR, 0.51) than high-risk subtypes (HR, 0.13); however, the overall subtype-treatment interaction term was not significant (P = .26). In an exploratory analysis of women with clinical low-risk (age older than 60 years, T1, grade 1 or 2) luminal A tumors (n = 151), 10-year IBR was 3.1% versus 11.8% for the high-risk cohort (n = 341; P = .0063). Clinical low-risk luminal A patients had a 10-year IBR of 1.3% with tamoxifen versus 5.0% with tamoxifen plus RT (P = .42). Multivariable analysis showed that RT (HR, 0.31; P < .001), clinical risk group (HR, 2.2; P = .025), and luminal A subtype (HR, 0.25; P < .001) were significantly associated with IBR.

Conclusion

IHC subtyping was prognostic for IBR but was not predictive of benefit from RT. Further studies may validate the exploratory finding of a low-risk luminal A group who may be spared breast RT.


Purpose

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) produced an evidence-based guideline on external-beam radiotherapy for patients with locally advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Because of its relevance to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) membership, ASCO endorsed the guideline after applying a set of procedures and a policy that are used to critically examine and endorse guidelines developed by other guideline development organizations.

Methods

The ASTRO guideline was reviewed by ASCO content experts for clinical accuracy and by ASCO methodologists for developmental rigor. On favorable review, an ASCO expert panel was convened and endorsed the guideline. The ASCO guideline approval body, the Clinical Practice Guideline Committee, approved the final endorsement.

Results

The recommendations from the ASTRO guideline, published in Practical Radiation Oncology, are clear, thorough, and based on the most relevant scientific evidence. The ASCO Endorsement Panel endorsed the guideline and added qualifying statements.

Recommendations

For curative-intent treatment of locally advanced NSCLC, concurrent chemoradiotherapy improves local control and overall survival compared with sequential chemotherapy followed by radiation. The standard dose-fractionation of radiation is 60 Gy given in 2-Gy once-daily fractions over 6 weeks. There is no role for the routine use of induction therapy before chemoradiotherapy. Current data fail to support a clear role for consolidation therapy after chemoradiotherapy; however, consolidation therapy remains an option for patients who did not receive full systemic chemotherapy doses during radiotherapy. Important questions remain about the ideal concurrent chemotherapy regimen and optimal management of patients with resectable stage III disease.





Purpose

To examine the extent of black/white disparities in receipt of treatment and survival for early-stage breast cancer in men age 18 to 64 and ≥ 65 years.

Patients and Methods

We identified 725 non-Hispanic black (black) and 5,247 non-Hispanic white (white) men diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer from 2004 to 2011 in the National Cancer Data Base. We used multivariable logistic regression and calculated standardized risk ratios to predict receipt of treatment and a proportional hazards model to estimate overall hazard ratios (HRs) in black versus white men age 18 to 64 and ≥ 65 years, separately.

Results

Receipt of treatment was remarkably similar between blacks and whites in both age groups. Black and white older men had lower receipt of chemotherapy (39.2% and 42.0%, respectively) compared with younger patients (76.7% and 79.3%, respectively). Younger black men had a 76% higher risk of death than younger white men after adjustment for clinical factors only (HR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.11 to 2.78), but this difference significantly diminished after subsequent adjustment for insurance and income (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.83 to 2.24). In those age ≥ 65 years, the excess risk of death in blacks versus whites was nonsignificant and not affected by adjustment for covariates.

Conclusion

The excess risk of death in black versus white men diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer was largely confined to those age 18 to 64 years and became nonsignificant after adjustment for differences in insurance and income. These findings suggest the importance of improving access to care in reducing racial disparities in male breast cancer mortality.



Purpose

Response criteria are well established for adult patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). A revised set of response criteria in adults with NHL was recently published. However, NHL in children and adolescents involves different histologies, primary sites of disease, patterns of metastatic spread, approaches to therapy, and responses to treatment compared with adult NHL. However, there are no standardized response criteria specific to pediatric NHL. Therefore, we developed international standardized methods for assessing response to therapy in children and adolescents with NHL.

Methods

An international multidisciplinary group of pediatric oncologists, pathologists, biologists, and radiologists convened during and after the Third and Fourth International Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult NHL Symposia to review existing response and outcome data, develop methods for response evaluation that reflect incorporation of more sensitive technologies currently in use, and incorporate primary and metastatic sites of disease for the evaluation of therapeutic response in children and adolescents with NHL.

Results

Using the current adult NHL response criteria as a starting point, international pediatric NHL response criteria were developed incorporating both contemporary diagnostic imaging and pathology techniques, including novel molecular and flow cytometric technologies used for the determination of minimal residual disease.

Conclusion

Use of the international pediatric NHL response criteria in children and adolescents receiving therapy for NHL incorporates data obtained from new and more sensitive technologies that are now being widely used for disease evaluation, providing a standardized means for reporting treatment response.


Purpose

Musculoskeletal symptoms are the most common adverse effects of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and can result in decreased quality of life and discontinuation of therapy. Omega-3 fatty acids (O3-FAs) can be effective in decreasing arthralgia resulting from rheumatologic conditions and reducing serum triglycerides.

Patients and Methods

Women with early-stage breast cancer receiving an AI who had a worst joint pain/stiffness score ≥ 5 of 10 using the Brief Pain Inventory–Short Form (BPI-SF) were randomly assigned to receive either O3-FAs 3.3 g or placebo (soybean/corn oil) daily for 24 weeks. Clinically significant change was defined as ≥ 2-point drop from baseline. Patients also completed quality-of-life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Endocrine Symptoms) and additional pain/stiffness assessments at baseline and weeks 6, 12, and 24. Serial fasting blood was collected for lipid analysis.

Results

Among 262 patients registered, 249 were evaluable, with 122 women in the O3-FA arm and 127 in the placebo arm. Compared with baseline, the mean observed BPI-SF score decreased by 1.74 points at 12 weeks and 2.22 points at 24 weeks with O3-FAs and by 1.49 and 1.81 points, respectively, with placebo. In a linear regression adjusting for the baseline score, osteoarthritis, and taxane use, adjusted 12-week BPI-SF scores did not differ by arm (P = .58). Triglyceride levels decreased in patients receiving O3-FA treatment and remained the same for those receiving placebo (P = .01). No between-group differences were seen for HDL, LDL, or C-reactive protein.

Conclusion

We found a substantial (> 50%) and sustained improvement in AI arthralgia for both O3-FAs and placebo but found no meaningful difference between the groups.



Purpose

To evaluate the cost effectiveness of next-generation sequencing (NGS) panels for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer and polyposis (CRCP) syndromes in patients referred to cancer genetics clinics.

Patients and Methods

We developed a decision model to evaluate NGS panel testing compared with current standard of care in patients referred to a cancer genetics clinic. We obtained data on the prevalence of genetic variants from a large academic laboratory and calculated the costs and health benefits of identifying relatives with a pathogenic variant, in life-years and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). We classified the CRCP syndromes according to their type of inheritance and penetrance of colorectal cancer. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess uncertainty.

Results

Evaluation with an NGS panel that included Lynch syndrome genes and other genes associated with highly penetrant CRCP syndromes led to an average increase of 0.151 year of life, 0.128 QALY, and $4,650 per patient, resulting in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $36,500 per QALY compared with standard care and a 99% probability that this panel was cost effective at a threshold of $100,000 per QALY. When compared with this panel, the addition of genes with low colorectal cancer penetrance resulted in an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $77,300 per QALY.

Conclusion

The use of an NGS panel that includes genes associated with highly penetrant CRCP syndromes in addition to Lynch syndrome genes as a first-line test is likely to provide meaningful clinical benefits in a cost-effective manner at a $100,000 per QALY threshold.


Purpose

The main purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of pathogenic BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in a consecutively ascertained clinic-based cohort of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and describe the clinical and family history characteristics.

Patients and Methods

Unselected, consecutive, incident patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were recruited at a single cancer center over a 2-year period. Participants provided blood for DNA analysis and cancer family history, and cancer treatment records were reviewed. DNA from all patients was analyzed by Sanger sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification for germline variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Results

Three hundred six patients were eligible for analysis. Pathogenic germline BRCA mutations were identified in 14 patients (4.6%; 95% CI, 2.2% to 6.9%), including 11 patients with a BRCA2 mutation and three patients with a BRCA1 mutation. Having a cancer family history that met genetic testing criteria of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network or the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care or self-reporting as Ashkenazi Jewish was significantly associated with BRCA mutation carrier status (P = .02, P < .001, and P = .05, respectively). However, the majority of the BRCA mutation–positive patients did not actually meet these genetic testing criteria.

Conclusion

Pathogenic BRCA mutations were identified in 4.6% of a large cohort of clinic-based patients. Considering the implications for family members of BRCA carriers, and possibly tailored chemotherapeutic treatment of patients, our finding has implications for broader BRCA genetic testing for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.


Purpose

Treatment and prognosis of pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have improved dramatically in the last 30 years. However, the St Jude NHL staging classification for pediatric NHL was developed more than 35 years ago. The most recent Lugano lymphoma staging classification focused on adult lymphoma. Furthermore, major limitations of the current pediatric NHL staging classification include lack of consideration of new distinct pediatric NHL histologic entities; absence of recognition of frequent skin, bone, kidney, ovarian, and other organ involvement; and lack of newer precise methods to detect bone marrow and CNS involvement, minimal disease quantification, and highly sensitive imaging technologies.

Methods

An international multidisciplinary expert panel convened in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2009 at the Third International Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult NHL Symposium to develop a revised international pediatric NHL staging system (IPNHLSS), addressing limitations of the current pediatric NHL staging system and creating a revised classification. Evidence-based disease distribution and behavior were reviewed from multiple pediatric cooperative group NHL studies.

Results

A revised IPNHLSS was developed incorporating new histologic entities, extranodal dissemination, improved diagnostic methods, and advanced imaging technology.

Conclusion

This revised IPNHLSS will facilitate more precise staging for children and adolescents with NHL and facilitate comparisons of efficacy across different treatment strategies, various institutions, multicenter trials, and cooperative groups by allowing for reproducible pediatric-based staging at diagnosis and relapse.


Purpose

There are no global screening recommendations for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Endoscopic screening has been investigated in areas of high incidence in China since the 1970s. This study aimed to evaluate whether an endoscopic screening and intervention program could reduce mortality caused by ESCC.

Methods

Residents age 40 to 69 years were recruited from communities with high rates of ESCC. Fourteen villages were selected as the intervention communities. Ten villages not geographically adjacent to intervention villages were selected for comparison. Participants in the intervention group were screened once by endoscopy with Lugol's iodine staining, and those with dysplasia or occult cancer were treated. All intervention participants and a sample consisting of one tenth of the control group completed questionnaires. We compared cumulative ESCC incidence and mortality between the two groups.

Results

Three thousand three hundred nineteen volunteers (48.62%) from an eligible population of 6,827 were screened in the intervention group. Seven hundred ninety-seven volunteers from an eligible population of 6,200 in the control group were interviewed. Six hundred fifty-two incident and 542 fatal ESCCs were identified during the 10-year follow-up. A reduction in cumulative mortality in the intervention group versus the control group was apparent (3.35% v 5.05%, respectively; P < .001). Furthermore, the intervention group had a significantly lower cumulative incidence of ESCC versus the control group (4.17% v 5.92%, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusion

We showed that endoscopic screening and intervention significantly reduced mortality caused by esophageal cancer. Detection and treatment of preneoplastic lesions also led to a reduction in the incidence of this highly fatal cancer.



The balance between tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing immune responses and the difference between them ultimately determine whether a cancer escapes immune recognition mechanisms. Defining the complex relationships between the tumor itself, the tumor environment, and the immune system has been critical in facilitating the development of successful immunotherapies. This review explores the role of oncogenes in inducing cancer-associated inflammation, the local and systemic factors that lead to immune suppression, and immunotherapy approaches to overcome immune privilege.



GI cancers are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that differ in their biologic and physical behaviors depending on the organ of origin, location within the organ, and degree of differentiation. As a result, evaluation of these tumors is complex, requiring integration of information from a patient's clinical history, physical examination, laboratory data, and imaging. With advances in anatomic and functional imaging techniques, we now have tools for assessing patients with these tumors at diagnosis, staging, and treatment assessment. It is difficult for a single imaging modality to provide all the necessary information for a given GI tumor. However, well-chosen combinations of available imaging modalities based on the indications, strength, and limitations of the modalities will provide optimal evaluation of patients with these malignancies.


Dramatic improvements in the outcomes of patients with rectal cancer have occurred over the past 30 years. Advances in surgical pathology, refinements in surgical techniques and instrumentation, new imaging modalities, and the widespread use of neoadjuvant therapy have all contributed to these improvements. Several questions emerge as we learn of the benefits or lack thereof for components of the current multimodality treatment in subgroups of patients with nonmetastatic locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). What is the optimal surgical technique for distal rectal cancers? Do all patients need postoperative chemotherapy? Do all patients need radiation? Do all patients need surgery, or is a nonoperative, organ-preserving approach warranted in selected patients? Answering these questions will lead to more precise treatment regimens, based on patient and tumor characteristics, that will improve outcomes while preserving quality of life. However, the idea of shifting the treatment paradigm (chemoradiotherapy, total mesorectal excision, and adjuvant therapy) currently applied to all patients with LARC to a more individually tailored approach is controversial. The paradigm shift toward organ preservation in highly selected patients whose tumors demonstrate clinical complete response to neoadjuvant treatment is also controversial. Herein, we highlight many of the advances and resultant controversies that are likely to dominate the research agenda for LARC in the modern era.




Cancers of the stomach and esophagus are among the most challenging cancers of the GI tract to treat, associated with poor median survivals for metastatic disease and significant, sometimes prolonged, deteriorations in patient performance status as the diseases progress. However, in the past decade, we have begun to better understand disease biology and carcinogenesis, leading to the identification of subtypes of these diseases. There is also an increasing awareness of the global heterogeneity of disease and its impact on drug development. Our improved understanding of the molecular underpinnings of gastric and esophageal cancers has been accompanied with the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Recent actively investigated targets in this disease include human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, angiogenesis, MET, and immune checkpoint inhibition, with approvals of two new targeted agents, trastuzumab and ramucirumab. Improvements in our ability to deliver cytotoxic therapy, which is better tolerated and allows patients an opportunity to benefit from second- and more advanced lines of therapy, have also been observed. In this review, the current state-of-the-art management of advanced and metastatic gastric and esophageal adenocarcinomas, specifically highlighting the development of targeted therapies in these diseases, is described.


For more than three decades, postoperative chemotherapy—initially fluoropyrimidines and more recently combinations with oxaliplatin—has reduced the risk of tumor recurrence and improved survival for patients with resected colon cancer. Although universally recommended for patients with stage III disease, there is no consensus about the survival benefit of postoperative chemotherapy in stage II colon cancer. The most recent adjuvant clinical trials have not shown any value for adding targeted agents, namely bevacizumab and cetuximab, to standard chemotherapies in stage III disease, despite improved outcomes in the metastatic setting. However, biomarker analyses of multiple studies strongly support the feasibility of refining risk stratification in colon cancer by factoring in molecular characteristics with pathologic tumor staging. In stage II disease, for example, microsatellite instability supports observation after surgery. Furthermore, the value of BRAF or KRAS mutations as additional risk factors in stage III disease is greater when microsatellite status and tumor location are taken into account. Validated predictive markers of adjuvant chemotherapy benefit for stage II or III colon cancer are lacking, but intensive research is ongoing. Recent advances in understanding the biologic hallmarks and drivers of early-stage disease as well as the micrometastatic environment are expected to translate into therapeutic strategies tailored to select patients. This review focuses on the pathologic, molecular, and gene expression characterizations of early-stage colon cancer; new insights into prognostication; and emerging predictive biomarkers that could ultimately help define the optimal adjuvant treatments for patients in routine clinical practice.


Genetic and epigenetic alterations identified in tumors of different cancer types can provide insights regarding the roles played by different cell signaling pathways in carcinogenesis. Somatic mutation profiles of GI tumors are used to guide choice of chemotherapy and can facilitate identification of individuals whose cancers arise in the setting of genetic predisposition. This review provides a framework for how clinical history, family history of cancer, and tumor genomic phenotype can be used to screen patients with colorectal, gastric, or pancreatic cancer for hereditary cancer syndromes. Early identification of individuals who carry germline mutations can affect clinical care not only for patients with cancer but also for their at-risk relatives.



The toxicities of immunotherapy for cancer are as diverse as the type of treatments that have been devised. These range from cytokine therapies that induce capillary leakage to vaccines associated with low levels of autoimmunity to cell therapies that can induce damaging cross-reactivity with normal tissue to checkpoint protein inhibitors that induce immune-related adverse events that are autoinflammatory in nature. The thread that ties these toxicities together is their mechanism-based immune nature and the T-cell–mediated adverse events seen. The basis for the majority of these adverse events is a hyperactivated T-cell response with reactivity directed against normal tissue, resulting in the generation of high levels of CD4 T-helper cell cytokines or increased migration of cytolytic CD8 T cells within normal tissues. The T-cell immune response is not tissue specific and may reflect a diffuse expansion of the T-cell repertoire that induces cross-reactivity with normal tissue, effectively breaking tolerance that is active with cytokines, vaccines, and checkpoint protein inhibitors and passive in the case of adoptive cell therapy. Cytokines seem to generate diffuse and nonspecific T-cell reactivity, whereas checkpoint protein inhibition, vaccines, and adoptive cell therapy seem to activate more specific T cells that interact directly with normal tissues, potentially causing specific organ damage. In this review, we summarize the toxicities that are unique to immunotherapies, emphasizing the need to familiarize the oncology practitioner with the spectrum of adverse events seen with newly approved and emerging modalities.


A confluence of factors, most prominently the recognition of GI stromal tumor (GIST) as a specific sarcoma subtype and the availability of imatinib, led to the "Big Bang" of GIST therapy (ie, the successful treatment of the first patient with GIST with imatinib in 2000). The trail blazed by imatinib for chronic myelogenous leukemia and GIST has become a desired route to regulatory approval of an increasing number of oral kinase inhibitors and other novel therapeutics. In this review, the status of GIST management before and after GIST's "Big Bang" and new steps being taken to further improve on therapy are reviewed.