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1.  The treatment and survival of patients with triple negative breast cancer in a London population 
SpringerPlus  2014;3:553.
Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) constitutes 10-15% of female breast cancers, and clinical guidelines recommend treatment with chemotherapy and surgery. We examined the recorded treatment and survival of women with TNBC in a population-based sample within the UK.
Cancer registration data for North East London women diagnosed between 2005 and 2007 were supplemented with pathology data on hormone receptor status to determine triple negative status. Receipt of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, or surgery plus chemotherapy according to TNBC status was assessed using logistic regression, and adjusted for age, stage of disease and socioeconomic deprivation. Five-year survival according to TNBC status and treatment was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analysis examined adjusted all-cause mortality.
Triple negative status could be determined for 1228 of 2394 women with breast cancer and 128 (10%) had TNBC. Compared to patients without TNBC, patients with TNBC were more likely to receive chemotherapy (fully adjusted odds ratio (OR) =4.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.63-6.75) or surgery plus chemotherapy (fully adjusted OR = 2.52, 95% CI 1.61-3.93). Of patients with TNBC, those who received surgery plus chemotherapy had the greatest 5-year survival estimate (0.74, 95% CI 0.60-0.83). Overall, patients with TNBC had a higher risk of death (fully adjusted hazard ratio (HR) =1.69, 95% CI 1.24-2.30) compared to those without TNBC.
This population-based study found that despite women with TNBC being more likely to receive chemotherapy, or surgery plus chemotherapy, they had a poorer overall survival than with those without TNBC.
PMCID: PMC4188837  PMID: 25324980
Breast cancer; Triple negative; Treatment; Survival; Population-based
2.  Survival of patients with small cell lung cancer undergoing lung resection in England, 1998–2009 
Thorax  2013;69(3):269-273.
Chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy is the recommended treatment for small cell lung cancer (SCLC), except in stage I disease where clinical guidelines state there may be a role for surgery based on favourable outcomes in case series. Evidence supporting adjuvant chemotherapy in resected SCLC is limited but this is widely offered.
Data on 359 873 patients who were diagnosed with a first primary lung cancer in England between 1998 and 2009 were grouped according to histology (SCLC or non-SCLC (NSCLC)) and whether they underwent a surgical resection. We explored their survival using Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox regression, adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity and socioeconomic status.
The survival of 465 patients with resected SCLC was lower than patients with resected NSCLC (5-year survival 31% and 45%, respectively), but much higher than patients of either group who were not resected (3%). The difference between resected SCLC and NSCLC diminished with time after surgery. Survival was superior for the subgroup of 198 ‘elective’ SCLC cases where the diagnosis was most likely known before resection than for the subgroup of 267 ‘incidental’ cases where the SCLC diagnosis was likely to have been made after resection.
These data serve as a natural experiment testing the survival after surgical management of SCLC according to NSCLC principles. Patients with SCLC treated surgically for early stage disease may have survival outcomes that approach those of NSCLC, supporting the emerging clinical practice of offering surgical resection to selected patients with SCLC.
PMCID: PMC3932952  PMID: 24172710
Lung Cancer; Small Cell Lung Cancer
3.  Social differences in lung cancer management and survival in South East England: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e001048.
To examine possible social variations in lung cancer survival and assess if any such gradients can be attributed to social differences in comorbidity, stage at diagnosis or treatment.
Population-based cohort identified in the Thames Cancer Registry.
South East England.
15 582 lung cancer patients diagnosed between 2006 and 2008.
Main outcome measures
Stage at diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and survival.
The likelihood of being diagnosed as having early-stage disease did not vary by socioeconomic quintiles (p=0.58). In early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer, the likelihood of undergoing surgery was lowest in the most deprived group. There were no socioeconomic differences in the likelihood of receiving radiotherapy in stage III disease, while in advanced disease and in small-cell lung cancer, receipt of chemotherapy differed over socioeconomic quintiles (p<0.01). In early-stage disease and following adjustment for confounders, the HR between the most deprived and the most affluent group was 1.24 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.56). Corresponding estimates in stage III and advanced disease or small-cell lung cancer were 1.16 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.34) and 1.12 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.20), respectively. In early-stage disease, the crude HR between the most deprived and the most affluent group was approximately 1.4 and constant through follow-up, while in patients with advanced disease or small-cell lung cancer, no difference was detectable after 3 months.
We observed socioeconomic variations in management and survival in patients diagnosed as having lung cancer in South East England between 2006 and 2008, differences which could not fully be explained by social differences in stage at diagnosis, co-morbidity and treatment. The survival observed in the most affluent group should set the target for what is achievable for all lung cancer patients, managed in the same healthcare system.
Article summary
Article focus
Social differences in management and survival in lung cancer patients.
Particular focus on possible social variations in lung cancer survival and assess if any such gradients can be attributed to social differences in co-morbidity, stage at diagnosis or treatment.
Key messages
There were no detectable socioeconomic differences in stage at diagnosis among lung cancer patients in South East England between 2006 and 2008.
Socioeconomic differences in lung cancer management and survival existed. The observed inequalities in survival could not fully be explained by social differences in stage at diagnosis, co-morbidity and treatment factors.
In early-stage disease, social gradients in survival existed throughout follow-up, whereas in advanced disease, variations in survival were confined to the period immediately after diagnosis.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Strengths included the population-based cohort design. The material at hand allowed analyses that accounted for co-morbidity, stage at diagnosis and treatment factors.
Limitations included the absence of data on performance status, forced expiratory volume, smoking history and lifestyle factors.
PMCID: PMC3367157  PMID: 22637374
4.  Dietary fat and risk of colon and rectal cancer with aberrant MLH1 expression, APC or KRAS genes 
Cancer Causes & Control   2007;18(8):865-879.
To investigate baseline fat intake and the risk of colon and rectal tumors lacking MLH1 (mutL homolog 1, colon cancer, nonpolyposis type 2) repair gene expression and harboring mutations in the APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) tumor suppressor gene and in the KRAS (v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) oncogene.
After 7.3 years of follow-up of the Netherlands Cohort Study (n = 120,852), adjusted incidence rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed, based on 401 colon and 130 rectal cancer patients.
Total, saturated and monounsaturated fat were not associated with the risk of colon or rectal cancer, or different molecular subgroups. There was also no association between polyunsaturated fat and the risk of overall or subgroups of rectal cancer. Linoleic acid, the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid in the diet, was associated with increased risk of colon tumors with only a KRAS mutation and no additional truncating APC mutation or lack of MLH1 expression (RR = 1.41, 95% CI 1.18–1.69 for one standard deviation (i.e., 7.5 g/day) increase in intake, p-trend over the quartiles of intake <0.001). Linoleic acid intake was not associated with risk of colon tumors without any of the gene defects, or with tumors harboring aberrations in either MLH1 or APC.
Linoleic acid intake is associated with colon tumors with an aberrant KRAS gene, but an intact APC gene and MLH1 expression, suggesting a unique etiology of tumors with specific genetic aberrations.
PMCID: PMC2039842  PMID: 17636402
Dietary Fats; Colorectal Neoplasms; Epidemiology; Molecular
5.  Mutations in APC, CTNNB1 and K-ras genes and expression of hMLH1 in sporadic colorectal carcinomas from the Netherlands Cohort Study 
BMC Cancer  2005;5:160.
The early to intermediate stages of the majority of colorectal tumours are thought to be driven by aberrations in the Wnt (APC, CTNNB1) and Ras (K-ras) pathways. A smaller proportion of cancers shows mismatch repair deficiency. The aim of this study was to analyse the co-occurrence of these genetic alterations in relation to tumour and patient characteristics.
In a group of 656 unselected sporadic colorectal cancer patients, aberrations in the APC, K-ras, CTNNB1 genes, and expression of hMLH1 were investigated. Additionally, tumours were divided in groups based on molecular features and compared with respect to patient's age at diagnosis, sex, family history of colorectal cancer, tumour sub-localisation, Dukes' stage and differentiation.
Mutations at the phosphorylation sites (codons 31, 33, 37, and 45) in the CTNNB1 gene were observed in tumours from only 5/464 patients. Tumours with truncating APC mutations and activating K-ras mutations in codons 12 and 13 occurred at similar frequencies (37% (245/656) and 36% (235/656), respectively). Seventeen percent of tumours harboured both an APC and a K-ras mutation (109/656). Nine percent of all tumours (58/656) lacked hMLH1 expression. Patients harbouring a tumour with absent hMLH1 expression were older, more often women, more often had proximal colon tumours that showed poorer differentiation when compared to patients harbouring tumours with an APC and/or K-ras mutation.
CTNNB1 mutations seem to be of minor importance in sporadic colorectal cancer. The main differences in tumour and patient characteristics are found between groups of patients based on mismatch repair deficiency.
PMCID: PMC1334229  PMID: 16356174

Results 1-5 (5)