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2.  Yoga in adult cancer: a pilot survey of attitudes and beliefs among oncologists 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):13-19.
Depending on interest, knowledge, and skills, oncologists are adapting clinical behaviour to include integrative approaches, supporting patients to make informed complementary care decisions. The present study sought to improve the knowledge base in three ways: Test the acceptability of a self-reported online survey for oncologists.Provide preliminary data collection concerning knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and current referral practices among oncologists with respect to yoga in adult cancer.List the perceived benefits of and barriers to yoga intervention from a clinical perspective.
A 38-item self-report questionnaire was administered online to medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists in British Columbia.
Some of the 29 oncologists who completed the survey (n = 10) reported having recommended yoga to patients to improve physical activity, fatigue, stress, insomnia, and muscle or joint stiffness. Other responding oncologists were hesitant or unlikely to suggest yoga for their patients because they had no knowledge of yoga as a therapy (n = 15) or believed that scientific evidence to support its use is lacking (n = 11). All 29 respondents would recommend that their patients participate in a clinical trial to test the efficacy of yoga. In qualitative findings, oncologists compared yoga with exercise and suggested that it might have similar psychological and physical health benefits that would improve patient capacity to endure treatment. Barriers to and limitations of yoga in adult cancer are also discussed.
An online self-report survey is feasible, but has response rate limitations. A small number of oncologists are currently recommending yoga to improve health-related outcomes in adult cancer. Respondents would support clinical yoga interventions to improve the evidence base in cancer patients, including men and women in all tumour groups.
PMCID: PMC4324339
Yoga; oncologists; surveys; cam
3.  Serum C-reactive protein predicts poor prognosis in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with chemoradiotherapy 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):20-24.
We aimed to evaluate the association of serum C-reactive protein (crp) with prognosis in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with chemoradiotherapy.
We retrospectively reviewed 79 patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (cT3–4N0–3M0) treated with chemoradiotherapy. Chemoradiotherapy consisted of external-beam radiotherapy to the nasopharynx (70–80 Gy), the lymph node–positive area (60–70 Gy), and the lymph node–negative area (50–60 Gy) combined with 3 cycles of various platinum-based regimens delivered at 3-week intervals. Elevated crp was defined as more than 8 mg/L. The survival rate was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method, and univariate and multivariate analyses (Cox proportional hazards model) were used to identify factors significantly associated with prognosis.
During the median follow-up of 3.9 years (range: 1–5.5 years), 23 patients died from nasopharyngeal cancer. The 5-year cancer-specific survival (css) rate was 62.90%. Before chemoradiotherapy, 18 patients had high serum crp; the css rate in that subgroup was significantly worse than the rate in the remaining patients (p = 0.0002). Multivariate analysis showed that crp was an independent prognostic indicator of css, with a hazard ratio of 3.04 (95% confidence interval: 1.22 to 7.55; p = 0.017). Among the 18 patients with elevated serum crp, 9 achieved normal serum crp after chemoradiotherapy, of whom 5 remained living with no evidence of recurrence or metastasis during follow-up. By contrast, the remaining 9 patients in whom serum crp did not normalize after chemoradiotherapy died within 4.2 years.
Elevated serum crp before treatment predicts poor prognosis in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with chemoradiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4324340
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; C-reactive protein; chemoradiotherapy; cancer-specific survival
4.  Concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced breast cancer—time for a new paradigm? 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):25-32.
In cases of locally advanced breast cancer (labc), preoperative (“neoadjuvant”) therapy was traditionally reserved to render the patient operable. More recently, neoadjuvant therapy, particularly chemotherapy, is being used in patients with operable disease to increase the opportunity for breast conservation. Despite the increasing use of preoperative chemotherapy, rates of pathologic complete response, a surrogate marker for disease-free survival, remain modest in patients with locally advanced disease and particularly so when the tumour is estrogen or progesterone receptor–positive and her2-negative. A new paradigm for labc patients is needed. In other solid tumours (for example, rectal, esophageal, and lung cancers), concurrent chemoradiotherapy (ccrt) is routinely used in neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment protocols alike.
The literature suggests that ccrt in labc patients with inoperable disease is associated with response rates higher than would be anticipated with systemic therapy alone.
Ongoing trials in this field are eagerly awaited to determine if ccrt should become the new paradigm.
PMCID: PMC4324341
Breast cancer; concurrent chemoradiotherapy; neoadjuvant therapy; locally advanced disease
5.  Novel agents and associated toxicities of inhibitors of the pi3k/Akt/mtor pathway for the treatment of breast cancer 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):33-48.
The pi3k/Akt/mtor (phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/ Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling pathway is an established driver of oncogenic activity in human malignancies. Therapeutic targeting of this pathway holds significant promise as a treatment strategy. Everolimus, an mtor inhibitor, is the first of this class of agents approved for the treatment of hormone receptor–positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–negative advanced breast cancer. Everolimus has been associated with significant improvements in progression-free survival; however, it is also associated with increased toxicity related to its specific mechanism of action.
A comprehensive review of the literature conducted using a focused medline search was combined with a search of current trials at Summary tables of the toxicities of the various classes of pi3k/Akt/mtor inhibitors were created. A broad group of Canadian health care professionals was assembled to review the data and to produce expert opinion and summary recommendations for possible best practices in managing the adverse events associated with these pathway inhibitors.
Differing toxicities are associated with the various classes of pi3k/Akt/mtor pathway inhibitors. The most common unique adverse events observed in everolimus clinical trials in breast cancer include stomatitis (all grades: approximately 60%), noninfectious pneumonitis (15%), rash (40%), hyperglycemia (15%), and immunosuppression (40%). To minimize grades 3 and 4 toxicities and to attempt to attain optimal outcomes, effective management of those adverse events is critical. Management should be interdisciplinary and should use approaches that include education, early recognition, active intervention, and potentially prophylactic strategies.
Everolimus likely represents the first of many complex oral targeted therapies for the treatment of breast cancer. Using this agent as a template, it is essential to establish best practices involving and integrating multiple disciplines for the management of future pi3k/Akt/mtor signalling pathway inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4324342
Breast cancer; pi3k; Akt; mtor; everolimus; adverse events
6.  Clinical challenges in patients with cancer-associated thrombosis: Canadian expert consensus recommendations 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):49-59.
Venous thromboembolism is a common complication in cancer patients, and thromboembolism is the second most common cause of death after cancer progression. A number of clinical practice guidelines provide recommendations for the management of cancer-associated thrombosis. However, the guidelines lack recommendations covering commonly encountered clinical challenges (for example, thrombocytopenia, recurrent venous thromboembolism, etc.) for which little or no evidence exists. Accordingly, recommendations were developed to provide expert guidance to medical oncologists and other health care professionals caring for patients with cancer-associated thrombosis. The current expert consensus was developed by a team of 21 clinical experts. For each identified clinical challenge, the literature in medline, embase, and Evidence Based Medicine Reviews was systematically reviewed. The quality of the evidence was assessed, summarized, and graded. Consensus statements were generated, and the experts voted anonymously using a modified Delphi process on their level of agreement with the various statements. Statements were progressively revised through separate voting iterations and were then finalized. Clinicians using these recommendations and suggestions should tailor patient management according to the risks and benefits of the treatment options, patient values and preferences, and local cost and resource allocations.
PMCID: PMC4324343
Venous thromboembolism; deep-vein thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; recommendations
8.  Adherence to abiraterone among the first 86 recipients after release in Saskatchewan 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):64-67.
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is now commonly treated with abiraterone, an orally administered chronic medication. Although abiraterone has certain advantages over docetaxel-based therapy, patients are now responsible for ensuring optimal adherence to their medication. To our knowledge, adherence to abiraterone in a real-world setting has never been described. The objective of the present study was to measure adherence to abiraterone among the first patients to receive the drug in Saskatchewan.
Electronic pharmacy claims were obtained from the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency after removal of patient names and identifiers. All patients with at least 1 dispensation for abiraterone between August 2011 and October 2013 were eligible. The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients achieving optimal adherence at 6 months, defined as a medication possession ratio (mpr) of 80% or better.
During the study period, 141 patients received abiraterone, among whom 86 could be followed for at least 6 months. Optimal adherence was achieved in 82.6% of patients (71 of 86) at 6 months, with 79.1% achieving a mpr of at least 90%. Of patients with available follow-up to 1 year, 81.6% (31 of 38) maintained optimal adherence during the entire period.
PMCID: PMC4324345
Abiraterone; adherence; prostate cancer
9.  Tumour inflammatory response: adding fuel to the fire? 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):7-9.
PMCID: PMC4324346
11.  Distribution and clinical significance of tumour-associated macrophages in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma: a retrospective analysis in China 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):e11-e19.
We aimed to characterize the localization and prognostic significance of tumour-associated macrophages (tams) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (pdac).
Tumour specimens from 70 patients with pdac and inflammatory specimens from 13 patients with chronic pancreatitis were collected and analyzed for tam and M2 macrophage counts by immunohistochemistry. Correlations between tam distributions and clinicopathologic features were determined.
Immunohistochemical analysis showed that tam and M2 macrophage counts were higher in tissues from pdac than from chronic pancreatitis. The tams and M2 macrophages both infiltrated more into peritumour. Both macrophage types were positively associated with lymph node metastasis (p = 0.041 for tams in peritumour, p = 0.013 for M2 macrophages in introtumour, p = 0.006 for M2 macrophage in peritumour). In addition, abdominal pain was significantly more frequent in pdac patients with a greater tams count. The survival rate was much lower in patients having high infiltration by M2 macrophages than in those having low infiltration.
The tam count might be associated with neural invasion in pdac, and M2 macrophages might play an important role in lymph node metastasis. Higher counts of either macrophage type were associated with increased risk of lymph node metastasis, and the M2 macrophage count could potentially be a marker for evaluating prognosis.
PMCID: PMC4324348
Pancreatic cancer; tumour-associated macrophages; lymph node metastasis; neural invasion
12.  Urologist referral delay and its impact on survival after radical cystectomy for bladder cancer 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):e20-e26.
Evidence shows that wait times before bladder cancer surgery have been increasing, and wait time can negatively affect survival. We aimed to determine if a long delay caused by an indirect referral before a first urologist visit affects the survival of patients undergoing radical cystectomy for bladder cancer.
We analyzed data from 1271 patients who underwent surgery for bladder cancer during the decade 2000–2009. The cohort was obtained by linking two administrative databases in the province of Quebec. Patients were considered to have been directly referred to a urologist if they had 5 or fewer visits with a general practitioner before their first urologist visit; otherwise, they were considered to have been indirectly referred. The effect on survival after surgery of a longer delay before a first urologist visit was assessed using Cox regression models.
Median referral delay for the study population was 30 days (56 days for women, 23 days for men; p < 0.0001). Indirect referral was observed for 49% of women and 33% of men. Compared with patients who were directly referred, those who were indirectly referred after first symptoms of bladder cancer experienced poorer survival (hazard ratio: 1.29; 95% confidence interval: 1.10 to 1.52). Women who were indirectly referred had a significant 47% greater risk of death after radical cystectomy. Men who were indirectly referred also experienced decreased survival (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.03 to 1.51).
Patients indirectly referred to a urologist had an increased risk of mortality after surgery. Compared with men, women had longer wait times and poorer survival.
PMCID: PMC4324349
Urologist referral delay; bladder cancer; survival; radical cystectomy; cohort study
13.  Safe handling of cytotoxics: guideline recommendations 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):e27-e37.
This evidence-based practice guideline was developed to update and address new issues in the handling of cytotoxics, including the use of oral cytotoxics; the selection and use of personal protective equipment; and treatment in diverse settings, including the home setting.
The guideline was developed primarily from an adaptation and endorsement of an existing guideline and from three systematic reviews. Before publication, the guideline underwent a series of peer and external reviews to gather feedback. All comments were addressed, and the guideline was amended when required. The guideline applies to health care workers who could come into contact with cytotoxic drugs at any point in the medication circuit. The intended users are hospital administrators, educators, and managers; occupational health and safety services; and pharmacy and health care workers.
The recommendations represent a reasonable and practical set of procedures that the intended users of this guideline should implement to minimize opportunities for accidental exposure. They are not limited to just the point of care; they cover the entire chain of cytotoxics handling from the time such agents enter the institution until they leave in the patient or as waste.
Reducing the likelihood of accidental exposure to cytotoxic agents within the medication circuit is the main objective of this evidenced-based guideline. The recommendations differ slightly from earlier guidelines because of the availability of new evidence.
PMCID: PMC4324350
Cytotoxic drugs; guidelines; hazardous waste; cytotoxic drug administration; personal protective equipment; cytotoxic drug preparation
14.  Use of the word “cured” for cancer patients—implications for patients and physicians: the Siracusa charter 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):e38-e40.
Long-term survival for adult patients with solid tumours continues to increase. For some cancers, the possibility of recurrence after a number of years is extremely low, and the risk of death becomes similar to that of the general population of the same sex and age.
During the Fifth European Conference on Survivors and Chronic Cancer Patients held in Siracusa, Italy, June 2014, oncologists, general practitioners, epidemiologists, cancer patients and survivors, and patient advocates joined to discuss the possible use of the term “cured” in reference to some adult patients with solid tumours. The specific focus was the appropriateness of using the term in communicating with cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Initial results of the discussion, in concert with a review of the published literature on the subject, were later further discussed by all participants through electronic communication. The resulting final statement aims to suggest appropriate ways to use the word “cured” in the clinical and communicative setting, to highlight the potential impact of the word on patients, and to open a critical discussion concerning this timely and delicate matter.
PMCID: PMC4324351
Long-term survival; cure; implications
15.  Overdiagnosis in breast cancer chemoprevention trials 
Current Oncology  2015;22(1):e6-e10.
PMCID: PMC4324352
16.  Health system costs for stage-specific breast cancer: a population-based approach 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):281-293.
The objective of the present analysis was to determine the publicly funded health care costs associated with the care of breast cancer (bca) patients by disease stage.
Incident cases of female invasive bca (2005–2009) were extracted from the Ontario Cancer Registry and linked to administrative datasets from the publicly funded system. The type and use of health care services were stratified by disease stage over the first 2 years after diagnosis. Mean costs and costs by type of clinical resource used in the care of bca patients were compared with costs for a matched control group. The attributable cost for the 2-year time horizon was determined in 2008 Canadian dollars.
This cohort study involved 39,655 patients with bca and 190,520 control subjects. The average age in those groups was 61.1 and 60.9 years respectively. Most bca patients were classified as either stage i (34.4%) or stage ii (31.8%). Of the bca cohort, 8% died within the first 2 years after diagnosis. The overall mean cost per bca case from a public payer perspective in the first 2 years after diagnosis was $41,686. Over the 2-year time horizon, the mean cost increased by stage: i, $29,938; ii, $46,893; iii, $65,369; and iv, $66,627. The attributable cost of bca was $31,732. Cost drivers were cancer clinic visits, physician billings, and hospitalizations.
Costs of care increased by stage of bca. Cost drivers were cancer clinic visits, physician billings, and hospitalizations. These data will assist planning and decision-making for the use of limited health care resources.
PMCID: PMC4257111  PMID: 25489255
Breast cancer; costs; population-based analysis; disease stage
17.  Screening histories and contact with physicians as determinants of cervical cancer risk in Montreal, Quebec 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):294-304.
Cervical cancer (cca) is largely a preventable disease if women receive regular screening, which allows for the detection and treatment of preinvasive lesions before they become invasive. Having been inadequately screened is a common finding among women who develop cca. Our primary objective was to determine the Pap screening histories of women diagnosed with cca in Montreal, Quebec. Secondary objectives were to determine the characteristics of women at greatest risk of cca and to characterize the level of physician contact those women had before developing cca.
The Invasive Cervical Cancer Study, a population-based case–control study, consisted of Greater Montreal residents diagnosed with histologically confirmed cca between 1998 and 2004. Respondents to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey and a sample of women without cca obtained from Quebec medical billing records served as controls.
During the period of interest, 568 women were diagnosed with cca. Immigrants and women speaking neither French nor English were at greatest risk of cca. Most of the women in the case group had been screened at least once during their lifetime (84.8%–90.4%), but they were less likely to have been screened within 3 years of diagnosis. Having received care from a family physician or a medical specialist other than a gynecologist within the 5 years before diagnosis was associated with a greater risk of cca development.
Our findings provide evidence of the need for an organized population-based screening program. They also underscore the need for provider education to prevent missed opportunities for cca screening when at-risk women seek medical attention.
PMCID: PMC4257112  PMID: 25489256
Cervical cancer; Papanicolaou test; screening
18.  Relationship of thyroid transcription factor 1 to EGFR status in non-small-cell lung cancer 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):305-308.
Activating mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are known to drive a proportion of non-small-cell lung cancers. Identification of lung cancers harbouring such mutations can lead to effective treatment using one of the agents that targets and blocks egfr-mediated signalling.
All specimens received at the BC Cancer Agency (Vancouver) for EGFR testing were prospectively identified and catalogued, together with clinical information and EGFR status, over a 14-month period.
Specimens from 586 patients were received for EGFR testing, and EGFR status was reported for 509 patients. No relationship between specimen type or site of origin and EGFR test failure rate was identified. Concurrent immunohistochemical (ihc) status for thyroid transcription factor 1 (ttf1) was available for 309 patients. The negative predictive value of ttf1-negative status by ihc was 94.2% for predicting negative EGFR status.
In patients with limited tissue available for testing, a surrogate for EGFR status would aid in timely management. Immunohistochemistry for ttf1 is readily available and correlates highly with EGFR status. In conjunction with genetic assays, ttf1 could be used to optimize an EGFR testing strategy.
PMCID: PMC4257113  PMID: 25489257
EGFR; ttf1; thyroid transcription factor 1; nsclc; non-small-cell lung cancer; lung cancer; adenocarcinoma; biomarker testing
19.  Learning experiences with sunitinib continuous daily dosing in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):309-317.
Molecular strategies to improve outcomes for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (nets) have focused on targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and mtor (the mammalian target of rapamycin). This approach has led to the regulatory approval of two molecularly targeted agents for advanced pancreatic nets: sunitinib, a multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and everolimus, an mtor inhibitor.
Initial experience with sunitinib in advanced pancreatic net was gained from the phase iii registration trial, which used a continuous daily dosing (cdd) schedule instead of daily drug administration for 4 consecutive weeks every 6 weeks (schedule 4/2), the approved schedule for advanced renal cell carcinoma (rcc) and gastrointestinal stromal tumour (gist). Clinical experience gained with schedule 4/2 in rcc and gist shows that, using a therapy management approach, patients can start and be maintained on the recommended dose and schedule, thus optimizing treatment outcomes. Here, we discuss challenges that can potentially be faced by physicians who use sunitinib on the cdd schedule, and we use clinical data and real-life clinical experience to present therapy management approaches that support cdd in advanced pancreatic net.
PMCID: PMC4257114  PMID: 25489258
Sunitinib; cdd; pancreatic net
20.  Strategies of sequential therapies in unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):318-328.
Before the emergence of first-line combination chemotherapy, the standard of care for unresectable metastatic colorectal cancer (mcrc) was first-line monotherapy with modulated 5-fluorouracil. Several large phase iii randomized controlled trials, now completed, have assessed whether a planned sequential chemotherapy strategy—beginning with fluoropyrimidine monotherapy until treatment failure, followed by another regimen (either monotherapy or combination chemotherapy) until treatment failure—could result in the same survival benefit produced with an upfront combination chemotherapy strategy, but with less toxicity for patients.
The medline and embase databases, and abstracts from meetings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the European Society for Medical Oncology, were searched for reports comparing a sequential strategy of chemotherapy with an upfront combination chemotherapy in adult patients with mcrc. Publications that reported efficacy or toxicity data (or both) were included.
The five eligible trials that were identified included 4532 patients. A meta-analysis of those trials demonstrates a statistically significant survival advantage for combination chemotherapy (hazard ratio: 0.92; 95% confidence interval: 0.86 to 0.99). However, the median survival advantage (3–6 weeks in most trials) is small and of questionable clinical significance. Three trials reported first-line toxicities. Upfront combination chemotherapy results in significantly more neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and sensory neuropathy. Sequential chemotherapy results in significantly more hand–foot syndrome.
Given the small survival advantage associated with upfront combination chemotherapy, planned sequential chemotherapy and upfront combination chemotherapy can both be considered treatment strategies. Treatment should be chosen on an individual basis considering patient and tumour characteristics, toxicity of each strategy, and patient preference.
PMCID: PMC4257115  PMID: 25489259
Metastatic colorectal cancer; chemotherapy strategies; meta-analyses; palliative treatment; systematic reviews
21.  Management of diarrhea induced by epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):329-336.
Treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (nsclc) is moving away from traditional chemotherapy toward personalized medicine. The reversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors (tkis) erlotinib and gefitinib were developed to target the epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). Afatinib, an irreversible ErbB family blocker, was developed to block egfr (ErbB1), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ErbB2), and ErbB4 signalling, and transphosphorylation of ErbB3. All of the foregoing agents are efficacious in treating nsclc, and their adverse event profile is different from that of chemotherapy. Two of the most common adverse events with egfr tkis are rash and diarrhea. Here, we focus on diarrhea. The key to successful management of diarrhea is to treat early and aggressively using patient education, diet, and antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide. We also present strategies for the effective assessment and management of egfr tki–induced diarrhea.
PMCID: PMC4257116  PMID: 25489260
Non-small-cell lung cancer; epidermal growth factor receptor; tyrosine kinase inhibitors; adverse events; diarrhea management
22.  Use of pet in the management of non-small-cell lung cancer in Canada 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):337-339.
PMCID: PMC4257117  PMID: 25489261
23.  BRAF mutation correlates with recurrent papillary thyroid carcinoma in Chinese patients 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):e740-e747.
We investigated correlations of somatic BRAF V600E mutation and RET/PTC1 rearrangement with recurrent disease in Chinese patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (ptc).
This prospective study included 214 patients with ptc histologically confirmed between November 2009 and May 2011 at a single institute.
We found somatic BRAF V600E mutation in 68.7% and RET/PTC1 rearrangement in 25.7% of the patients. Although BRAF mutation was not significantly associated with clinicopathologic features such as patient sex or age, multicentric disease, thyroid capsule invasion, tumour stage, or nodal metastasis, it was significantly associated with recurrent disease. Multivariate analysis revealed that BRAF mutation and tumour size were independent risk factors associated with recurrent disease, with odds ratios of 9.072 and 2.387 respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve increased 8.3% when BRAF mutation was added to the traditional prognostic factors, but that effect was statistically nonsignificant (0.663 vs. 0.746, p = 0.124). RET/PTC1 rearrangement and nodal metastasis were significantly associated in all patients (p = 0.042), marginally associated in ptc patients (p = 0.051), but not associated in microptc patients (p = 0.700). RET/PTC1 rearrangement was not significantly associated with recurrent disease.
BRAF positivity is an independent predictor of recurrent disease in ptc.
PMCID: PMC4257118  PMID: 25489262
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; BRAF; RET/PTC1; recurrence
24.  Cost-effectiveness of pazopanib in advanced soft-tissue sarcoma in Canada 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):e748-e759.
In the phase iii palette trial of pazopanib compared with placebo in patients with advanced or metastatic soft-tissue sarcoma (sts) who had received prior chemotherapy, pazopanib treatment was associated with improved progression-free survival (pfs). We used an economic model and data from palette and other sources to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of pazopanib in patients with advanced sts who had already received chemotherapy.
We developed a multistate model to estimate expected pfs, overall survival (os), lifetime sts treatment costs, and quality-adjusted life-years (qalys) for patients receiving pazopanib or placebo as second-line therapy for advanced sts. Cost-effectiveness was calculated alternatively from the health care system and societal perspectives for the province of Quebec. Estimated pfs, os, incidence of adverse events, and utilities values for pazopanib and placebo were derived from the palette trial. Costs were obtained from published sources.
Compared with placebo, pazopanib is estimated to increase qalys by 0.128. The incremental cost of pazopanib compared with placebo is CA$20,840 from the health care system perspective and CA$15,821 from the societal perspective. The cost per qaly gained with pazopanib in that comparison is CA$163,336 from the health care system perspective and CA$124,001 from the societal perspective.
Compared with placebo, pazopanib might be cost-effective from the Canadian health care system and societal perspectives depending on the threshold value used by reimbursement authorities to assess novel cancer therapies. Given the unmet need for effective treatments for advanced sts, pazopanib might nevertheless be an appropriate alternative to currently used treatments.
PMCID: PMC4257119  PMID: 25489263
Cost-effectiveness; palliative care; partitioned-survival analysis; pazopanib; post-progression survival; quality-adjusted life-years; soft-tissue sarcoma
25.  Aprepitant and granisetron for the prophylaxis of radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting after moderately emetogenic radiotherapy for bone metastases: a prospective pilot study 
Current Oncology  2014;21(6):e760-e767.
We evaluated the novel combination of aprepitant and granisetron for the prophylaxis of radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (rinv) among patients receiving moderately-emetogenic radiotherapy for thoracolumbar bone metastases.
In this single-centre two-arm nonrandomized prospective pilot study, patients undergoing single-fraction radiotherapy (8 Gy) received aprepitant 125 mg and granisetron 2 mg on the day of radiotherapy and aprepitant 80 mg on each of the first 2 days after the day of radiotherapy. Patients undergoing multiple-fraction radiotherapy (20 Gy in 5 fractions) received aprepitant 125 mg on day 1 of radiotherapy, aprepitant 80 mg on days 3 and 5 of radiotherapy, and granisetron 2 mg on every day of radiotherapy. Symptoms and total medication intake were recorded daily during the acute phase (day 1 of radiotherapy until the first day after the last day of radiotherapy), and the delayed phase (days 2–10 after the last day of radiotherapy). Control of vomiting, retching, and nausea was defined as no symptoms and no use of rescue medication.
Control rates for single-fraction patients (n = 13) were 100% for acute nausea, 62% for delayed nausea, 100% for acute vomiting and retching, and 85% for delayed vomiting and retching. Control rates for multiple-fraction patients (n = 6) were 67% for acute nausea, 83% for delayed nausea, 67% for acute vomiting and retching, and 83% for delayed vomiting and retching. No grade 3 or 4 toxicities attributable to the study intervention were observed.
The combination of aprepitant and granisetron was safe and efficacious for the prophylaxis of rinv after both single- and multiple-fraction moderately emetogenic radiotherapy for thoracolumbar bone metastases. Our results require confirmation in a larger population.
PMCID: PMC4257120  PMID: 25489264
Antiemetic; aprepitant; granisetron; nausea; vomiting; radiotherapy

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