Publications by authors named "Areej El-Jawahri"

174 Publications

Integrated Palliative and Oncology Care for Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia-Moving From Evidence to Practice-Reply.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Apr 22. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.0709DOI Listing
April 2021

A positive psychology intervention to promote health outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: the PATH proof-of-concept trial.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients often experience deficits in positive psychological well-being (PPWB) due to intensive treatment and follow-up care. Positive psychology interventions (PPIs) that promote PPWB via deliberate and systematic exercises (e.g., writing a gratitude letter) have consistently improved PPWB in medical populations, yet have never been studied in early HSCT recovery. In this single-arm, proof-of-concept study, we assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a novel eight-session, telephone-delivered PPI in early HSCT recovery. A priori, we defined feasibility as >50% of eligible patients enrolling in the study and >50% of participants completing 5/8 sessions, and acceptability as mean ease and utility scores of weekly participant ratings of PP exercises as 7/10. Of 45 eligible patients, 25 (55.6%) enrolled, 20 (80%) completed baseline assessments, 15 (75%) started the intervention, and 12 (60%) completed the intervention and follow-up assessments. The intervention was feasible (55.6% of eligible participants enrolled; 60% of baseline assessment completers finished 5/8 sessions) and led to very small-to-medium effect-size improvements in patient-reported outcomes. A novel, eight-week, telephone-delivered PPI was feasible and acceptable in allogeneic HSCT recipients. Larger, randomized studies are needed to examine the efficacy of PPIs for improving outcomes in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01296-9DOI Listing
April 2021

A Pilot Study of a Collaborative Palliative and Oncology Care Intervention for Patients with Head and Neck Cancer.

J Palliat Med 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Palliative care improves symptoms and coping in patients with advanced cancers, but has not been evaluated for patients with curable solid malignancies. Because of the tremendous symptom burden and high rates of psychological distress in head and neck cancer (HNC), we evaluated feasibility and acceptability of a palliative care intervention in patients with HNC receiving curative-intent chemoradiation therapy (CRT). This was a prospective single-arm study in HNC patients receiving CRT at a single center in the United States. The intervention entailed weekly palliative care visits integrated with oncology care with a focus on symptoms and coping. The primary outcome was feasibility, defined as a >50% enrollment rate with >70% of patients attending at least half of the visits. To assess acceptability, we collected satisfaction ratings post-intervention. We also explored symptom burden, mood, and quality of life (QOL). We enrolled 91% (20/22) of eligible patients. Patients attended 133 of 138 palliative care visits (96%); all 20 attended >85% of visits. Eighteen of 19 (95%) found the intervention "very helpful" and would "definitely recommend" it. QOL and symptom burden worsened from baseline to week 5, but subsequently improved at one-month post-CRT. Overall, patients valued the one-on-one format of the intervention and receipt of additional care. Our palliative care intervention during highly morbid CRT was feasible and acceptable with high enrollment, excellent intervention compliance, and high patient satisfaction. Future randomized studies will further explore the impact on patient-reported outcomes and health care utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2020.0656DOI Listing
April 2021

Outcomes for Patients With IDH-Mutated Acute Myeloid Leukemia Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Center for Leukemia, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:

Disease relapse after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a major cause of treatment failure for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Maintenance therapy after HCT for patients with targetable mutations such as mutated IDH1 or IDH2 may improve outcomes, and clinical trials evaluating this strategy are ongoing. However, clinical outcomes of IDH1- and IDH2-mutated AML patients after HCT have not been well described. The primary objective of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and post-HCT outcomes of IDH-mutated AML patients. Survival outcomes included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and cumulative incidences of relapse and nonrelapse mortality. In this multicenter retrospective analysis, 112 adult patients with IDH1- or IDH2-mutated AML who underwent HCT and did not receive an IDH inhibitor as maintenance therapy after HCT were identified at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Ohio State University. Mutation testing was performed using next-generation sequencing panels. Patient characteristics were collected retrospectively, and their survival outcomes were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed. The median patient age was 64.1 years. The median follow-up was 27.5 months. Among patients, 78.5% had intermediate- or adverse-risk disease by European LeukemiaNET criteria. Fifty-eight percent of patients received intensive induction chemotherapy, 82% of patients underwent HCT during first complete remission (CR) or CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi), and 34% of patients received myeloablative conditioning. Frequently detected co-mutations were DNMT3A (35.7%), NPM1 (33.1%), and FLT3-ITD (13.4%); TP53 mutations were detected in 3.6% of patients. For IDH1-mutated patients transplanted during first CR/CRi, the 1- and 2-year PFS was 75% and 58%, respectively. For IDH2-mutated patients transplanted in first CR/CRi, the 1- and 2-year PFS was 64% and 58%, respectively. The 2-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 31% and 25% for IDH1- and IDH2-mutated cohorts, respectively. Multivariable analysis suggested first CR/CRi and age ≤60 was associated with improved outcomes for IDH2-mutated patients. To date, this is the largest multicenter study of outcomes of IDH-mutated AML patients after HCT. Our analysis provides important benchmarks for analysis and interpretation of results emerging from clinical trials evaluating maintenance IDH1 and IDH2 inhibitor therapy for AML patients after HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.028DOI Listing
February 2021

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Apr 16;27(4):341.e1-341.e6. Epub 2021 Jan 16.

Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is an intensive and potentially curative therapy for patients with hematologic malignancies. Patients admitted for HCT experience a prolonged, isolating hospitalization and endure substantial physical and psychological symptoms. However, there is a paucity of research on the impact of HCT on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in transplant recipients. This secondary analysis of 250 patients who underwent autologous and allogeneic HCT examined PTSD using the PTSD Checklist-Civilian measured at 6 months after HCT. We used the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess quality of life (QOL) and depression and anxiety symptoms at the time of admission for HCT, week 2 during hospitalization, and 6 months after HCT. We used multivariate regression models to assess factors associated with PTSD symptoms. Given collinearity between QOL, depression, and anxiety symptoms, we modeled these separately. The rate of clinically significant PTSD symptoms at 6 months after HCT was 18.9% (39/206). Participants with clinically significant PTSD symptoms experienced hypervigilance (92.3%), avoidance (92.3%), and intrusion (76.9%) symptoms. Among patients without clinically significant PTSD symptoms, 24.5% had clinically significant hypervigilance symptoms and 13.7% had clinically significant avoidance symptoms. Lower QOL at time of HCT admission (B = -0.04, P = .004) and being single (B = -3.35, P = .027) were associated with higher PTSD symptoms at 6 months after HCT. Higher anxiety at time of HCT admission (B = 1.34, P <.001), change in anxiety during HCT hospitalization (B = 0.59, P =.006), and being single (B = -3.50, P = .017) were associated with higher PTSD symptoms at 6 months. In a separate model using depression, younger age (B = -0.13, P = .017), being single (B = -3.58, P = .018), and higher baseline depression symptoms were also associated with higher PTSD symptoms at 6 months (B = 0.97, P < .001). Approximately one fifth of patients undergoing HCT experience clinically significant PTSD symptoms at 6 months after transplantation. The prevalence of hypervigilance and avoidance symptoms are notable even among patients who do not have clinically significant PTSD symptoms. Interventions to prevent and treat PTSD symptoms in HCT recipients are clearly warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.01.011DOI Listing
April 2021

Systematic Review/Meta-Analysis on Efficacy of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in Sickle Cell Disease: An International Effort on Behalf of the Pediatric Diseases Working Party of European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Sickle Cell Transplantation International Consortium.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Feb 10;27(2):167.e1-167.e12. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Division of Hematology-Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Program, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. Electronic address:

Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects more than 300,000 children annually worldwide. Despite improved supportive care, long-term prognosis remains poor. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is the sole validated curative option, resulting in sustained resolution of the clinical phenotype. The medical literature on allo-HCT for SCD is largely limited to children. Recent studies have evaluated allo-HCT efficacy in adults. Here, we conducted a systematic review/meta-analysis to assess the totality of evidence on the efficacy, or lack thereof, of allo-HCT in treating SCD. We performed a comprehensive literature search using PubMed/Medline, Embase, and Cochrane library databases on November 13, 2019. Four authors independently extracted data on clinical outcomes related to benefits (overall survival [OS] and disease-free survival [DFS]) and harms (acute graft-versus-host disease [aGVHD], chronic graft-versus-host disease [cGVHD], nonrelapse mortality [NRM], and graft failure [GF]). Our search identified a total of 1906 references. Only 33 studies (n= 2853 patients) met our inclusion criteria. We also performed a subset analysis by age. Analyses of all-age groups showed pooled rates of 96% for OS, 90% for DFS, 20% for aGVHD, 10% for cGVHD, 4% for NRM, and 5% for GF. In the pediatric population, pooled rates for OS, DFS, aGVHD, cGVHD, NRM, and GF were 97%, 91%, 26%, 11%, 5%, and 3%, respectively. In adults, pooled rates for OS, DFS, aGVHD, cGVHD, NRM, and GF were 98%, 90%, 7%, 1%, 0%, and 14%, respectively. Our data show that allo-HCT is safe and effective, yielding pooled OS rates exceeding 90%. The high GF rate of 14% in adults is concerning and emphasizes the need to evaluate new strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.10.007DOI Listing
February 2021

Palliative care for patients undergoing stem cell transplant: intervention components and supportive care measures.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2021 Apr 6. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

An inpatient palliative care intervention during HCT led to improvement in patient QOL and mood. We sought to describe components of the intervention, investigate differences in supportive care practices by treatment arm, and explore whether these differences mediated the impact of the intervention on patient QOL and mood. We conducted a secondary analysis of a randomized trial investigating inpatient palliative care integrated with transplant care versus standard transplant care for HCT recipients. Palliative care clinicians completed weekly surveys to describe topics addressed during visits. We extracted use of supportive care medications from the medical record. Participants completed QOL and mood assessments at baseline and two weeks post-HCT. Causal mediation assessed whether differences in supportive care practices mediated the impact of the intervention on patient-reported outcomes. A total of 160 HCT recipients participated. Palliative care visits most frequently focused on managing symptoms and coping with HCT. Patients randomized to the intervention were more likely to use Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) (32.1% vs. 15.2%, p = 0.02) and atypical antipsychotics (35.8% vs. 17.7%, p = 0.01). Neither PCA nor atypical antipsychotics mediated the effect of the intervention on patient-reported outcomes. Future work to explore mechanisms by which the palliative care intervention improves QOL and mood is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41409-021-01281-2DOI Listing
April 2021

Muscle Loss Is Associated with Overall Survival in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Independent of Tumor Mutational Status and Weight Loss.

Oncologist 2021 Jun 6;26(6):e963-e970. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Radiology, Division of Thoracic Imaging and Intervention, Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has been associated with tumor mutational status, muscle loss, and weight loss. We sought to explore the combined effects of these variables on overall survival.

Materials And Methods: We performed an observational cohort study, prospectively enrolling patients receiving chemotherapy for mCRC. We retrospectively assessed changes in muscle (using computed tomography) and weight, each dichotomized as >5% or ≤5% loss, at 3, 6, and 12 months after diagnosis of mCRC. We used regression models to assess relationships between tumor mutational status, muscle loss, weight loss, and overall survival. Additionally, we evaluated associations between muscle loss, weight loss, and tumor mutational status.

Results: We included 226 patients (mean age 59 ± 13 years, 53% male). Tumor mutational status included 44% wild type, 42% RAS-mutant, and 14% BRAF-mutant. Patients with >5% muscle loss at 3 and 12 months experienced worse survival controlling for mutational status and weight (3 months hazard ratio, 2.66; p < .001; 12 months hazard ratio, 2.10; p = .031). We found an association of >5% muscle loss with BRAF-mutational status at 6 and 12 months. Weight loss was not associated with survival nor mutational status.

Conclusion: Increased muscle loss at 3 and 12 months may identify patients with mCRC at risk for decreased overall survival, independent of tumor mutational status. Specifically, >5% muscle loss identifies patients within each category of tumor mutational status with decreased overall survival in our sample. Our findings suggest that quantifying muscle loss on serial computed tomography scans may refine survival estimates in patients with mCRC.

Implications For Practice: In this study of 226 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, it was found that losing >5% skeletal muscle at 3 and 12 months after the diagnosis of metastatic disease was associated with worse overall survival, independent of tumor mutational status and weight loss. Interestingly, results did not show a significant association between weight loss and overall survival. These findings suggest that muscle quantification on serial computed tomography may refine survival estimates in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer beyond mutational status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/onco.13774DOI Listing
June 2021

Anxiety and Depression Symptoms in Caregivers Prior to Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HCT).

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Family and friends caring for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) recipients experience substantial disruptions in daily life as they prepare for transplant. These disruptions may increase their psychological distress, yet little research has described the extent of this distress. The goals of the present study were to characterize rates of anxiety and depression symptoms immediately prior to HCT and their relationship with modifiable caregiving domains. We conducted a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data of caregivers of patients undergoing HCT. Caregivers completed self-report measures to assess 8 domains of caregiving (Caregiver Oncology Quality of Life Questionnaire) and anxiety and depression symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]) prior to transplant. Scores ≥8 on the HADS anxiety and depression subscales signified clinically significant symptoms. We used multivariable regression models adjusting for age, sex, caregiver relationship, and HCT type to examine the associations between caregiving domains and anxiety and depression symptoms. We enrolled 193 caregivers (median age = 60 years, 70.0% female, 52.3% allogeneic transplant). A majority of participants were providing care for a spouse (79.8%), followed by a child (7.8%) or parent (5.2%). On average, caregivers reported more anxiety (mean = 7.04, SD = 3.94) than depression symptoms (mean = 4.18, SD = 3.49), with 46.6% and 16.1% endorsing clinically significant anxiety and depression symptoms, respectively. Caregiver anxiety was associated with worse physical well-being, less leisure time, and poorer coping (Ps < .05). Caregiver depression symptoms were associated with worse physical well-being and less leisure time (Ps < .05). Caregivers of HCT recipients experience substantial psychological distress, particularly anxiety, prior to transplant. This distress is linked to modifiable caregiving domains. Study findings identify possible targets for psychosocial interventions aimed at managing caregiver anxiety and depression symptoms as well as highlight the need for intervention early during the course of transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.03.002DOI Listing
March 2021

Association Between Baseline Patient-Reported Outcomes and Complications of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts.

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a potentially curative therapy for hematologic malignancies, but it often results in significant toxicities and impaired quality of life (QOL). Although the value of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is increasingly recognized in HCT, data are limited regarding the relationship between PROs and HCT complications. We conducted a secondary data analysis of 250 patients who were hospitalized for autologous or allogeneic HCT at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2011 through 2016. We assessed QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General), mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and fatigue (FACT-Fatigue) at baseline. We abstracted from the Electronic Health Record (1) hospitalization during the first 100 days after HCT, (2) days alive and out of the hospital in the first 100 days after HCT, and (3) cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) among allogeneic HCT recipients. We assessed the association of baseline PROs with HCT complications using multivariable models adjusting for patient and transplant characteristics. Overall, 44.4% (111/250) of patients underwent an autologous HCT, 25.2% (63/250) received a myeloablative allogeneic HCT, and 30.4% (76/250) underwent a reduced-intensity allogeneic HCT. In multivariable logistic regression, higher anxiety (odds ratio [OR] = 1.14, P = .004) was associated with higher likelihood of rehospitalization within 100 days after HCT. In multivariable Poisson regression, lower fatigue (β = 0.003, P = .015) was associated with increased days alive and out of the hospital in the first 100 days post-HCT. In multivariable logistic regression, lower baseline QOL (OR = 0.97, P = .034), higher fatigue (OR = 0.95, P = .004), and higher depression (OR = 1.15, P = .020) were associated with increased likelihood of acute GVHD. Baseline PROs are associated with health care utilization after HCT and risk of acute GVHD in allogeneic HCT recipients. These findings underscore the potential utility of pretransplantation PROs as important prognostic factors for HCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2021.02.029DOI Listing
February 2021

Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT) Recommendations Regarding Essential Medications Required To Establish An Early Stage Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program.

Transplant Cell Ther 2021 Mar 16;27(3):267.e1-267.e5. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Oncology Center, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Establishing a hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) program is complex. Planning is essential while establishing such a program to overcome the expected challenges. Authorities involved in HCT program establishment will need to coordinate the efforts between the different departments required to start up the program. One essential department is pharmacy and the medications required. To help facilitate this, the Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation organized a structured survey to address the essential medications required to start up an HCT program. A group of senior physicians and pharmacists prepared a list of the medications used at the different phases of transplantation. These drugs were then rated by a questionnaire using a scale of necessity based on the stage of development of the transplant program. The questionnaire was sent to 30 physicians, in different parts of the world, who have between 5 and 40 years of experience in autologous and/or allogeneic transplantation. This group of experts scored each medication on a 7-point scale, ranging from an absolute requirement (score of 1) to not required (score of 7). The results are presented here to help guide the prioritization of required medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtct.2020.12.015DOI Listing
March 2021

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Cancer 2021 Mar 25. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving intensive chemotherapy face a life-threatening illness, isolating hospitalization, and substantial physical and psychological symptoms. However, data are limited regarding risk factors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in this population.

Methods: The authors conducted a secondary analysis of data from 160 patients with high-risk AML who were enrolled in a supportive care trial. The PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version was used to assess PTSD symptoms at 1 month after AML diagnosis. The Brief COPE and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia were to assess coping and quality of life (QOL), respectively. In addition, multivariate regression models were constructed to assess the relation between PTSD symptoms and baseline sociodemographic factors, coping, and QOL.

Results: Twenty-eight percent of patients reported PTSD symptoms, describing high rates of intrusion, avoidance, and hypervigiliance. Baseline sociodemographic factors significantly associated with PTSD symptoms were age (B = -0.26; P = .002), race (B = -8.78; P = .004), and postgraduate education (B = -6.30; P = .029). Higher baseline QOL (B = -0.37; P ≤ .001) and less decline in QOL during hospitalization (B = -0.05; P = .224) were associated with fewer PTSD symptoms. Approach-oriented coping (B = -0.92; P = .001) was associated with fewer PTSD symptoms, whereas avoidant coping (B = 2.42; P ≤ .001) was associated with higher PTSD symptoms.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of patients with AML report clinically significant PTSD symptoms 1 month after initiating intensive chemotherapy. Patients' baseline QOL, coping strategies, and extent of QOL decline during hospitalization emerge as important risk factors for PTSD, underscoring the need for supportive oncology interventions to reduce the risk of PTSD in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33524DOI Listing
March 2021

Healthcare Utilization and End-of-Life Outcomes in Patients Receiving CAR T-Cell Therapy.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 Mar 11:1-7. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center & Harvard Medical School.

Background: CAR T-cell therapy has revolutionized the treatment of patients with hematologic malignancies, but it can result in prolonged hospitalizations and serious toxicities. However, data on the impact of CAR T-cell therapy on healthcare utilization and end-of-life (EoL) outcomes are lacking.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 236 patients who received CAR T-cell therapy at 2 tertiary care centers from February 2016 through December 2019. We abstracted healthcare utilization and EoL outcomes from the electronic health record, including hospitalizations, receipt of ICU care, hospitalization and receipt of systemic therapy in the last 30 days of life, palliative care, and hospice referrals.

Results: Most patients (81.4%; n=192) received axicabtagene ciloleucel. Overall, 28.1% of patients experienced a hospital readmission and 15.5% required admission to the ICU within 3 months of CAR T-cell therapy. Among the deceased cohort, 58.3% (49/84) were hospitalized and 32.5% (26/80) received systemic therapy in the last 30 days of life. Rates of palliative care and hospice referrals were 47.6% and 30.9%, respectively. In multivariable logistic regression, receipt of bridging therapy (odds ratio [OR], 3.15; P=.041), index CAR-T hospitalization length of stay >14 days (OR, 4.76; P=.009), hospital admission within 3 months of CAR T-cell infusion (OR, 4.29; P=.013), and indolent lymphoma transformed to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR, 9.83; P=.012) were associated with likelihood of hospitalization in the last 30 days of life.

Conclusions: A substantial minority of patients receiving CAR T-cell therapy experienced hospital readmission or ICU utilization in the first 3 months after CAR T-cell therapy, and most deceased recipients of CAR T-cell therapy received intensive EoL care. These findings underscore the need for interventions to optimize healthcare delivery and EoL care for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7678DOI Listing
March 2021

Clinical Outcomes of Patients Hospitalized with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Boston.

J Gen Intern Med 2021 05 24;36(5):1285-1291. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Hematology Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have been described in health systems overwhelmed with a surge of cases. However, studies examining outcomes of patients admitted to hospitals not in crisis are lacking.

Objective: To describe clinical characteristic and outcomes of all patients with COVID-19 who are admitted to hospitals not in crisis, and factors associated with mortality in this population.

Design: A retrospective analysis PARTICIPANTS: In total, 470 consecutive patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization in one health system in Boston from January 1, 2020 to April 15, 2020.

Main Measures: We collected clinical outcomes during hospitalization including intensive care unit (ICU) admission, receipt of mechanical ventilation, and vasopressors. We utilized multivariable logistic regression models to examine factors associated with mortality.

Key Results: A total of 470 patients (median age 66 [range 23-98], 54.0% male) were included. The most common comorbidities were diabetes (38.5%, 181/470) and obesity (41.3%, 194/470). On admission, 41.9% (197/470) of patients were febrile and 60.6% (285/470) required supplemental oxygen. During hospitalization, 37.9% (178/470) were admitted to the ICU, 33.6% (158/470) received mechanical ventilation, 29.4% (138/470) received vasopressors, 16.4% (77/470) reported limitations on their desire for life-sustaining therapies such as intubation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and 25.1% (118/470) died. Among those admitted to the ICU (N=178), the median number of days on the ventilator was 10 days (IQR 1-29), and 58.4% (104/178) were discharged alive. Older age (OR=1.04, P<0.001), male sex (OR=2.14, P=0.007), higher comorbidities (OR=1.20, P=0.001), higher lactate dehydrogenase on admission (2nd tertile: OR=4.07, P<0.001; 3rd tertile: OR=8.04, P<0.001), and the need for supplemental oxygen on admission (OR=2.17, P=0.014) were all associated with higher mortality.

Conclusions: The majority of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and those who received mechanical ventilation survived. These data highlight the need to examine public health and system factors that contribute to improved outcomes for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-021-06622-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904295PMC
May 2021

Patient-Reported and End-of-Life Outcomes Among Adults With Lung Cancer Receiving Targeted Therapy in a Clinical Trial of Early Integrated Palliative Care: A Secondary Analysis.

J Pain Symptom Manage 2021 Feb 20. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital (J.A.G.), Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Context: Targeted therapy has revolutionized lung cancer treatment and markedly increased survival, though data are lacking on patient-reported and end-of-life (EOL) outcomes among patients receiving targeted therapy.

Objectives: This study aimed to compare quality of life (QOL), symptoms, prognostic communication, and EOL care between patients receiving targeted therapy and patients with lung cancer without targetable mutations.

Methods: In this secondary analysis of a randomized trial of early palliative care in advanced lung cancer (n=154), we compared change in QOL and symptoms (per the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment [FACT]-Lung scale) over 24 weeks among patients with lung cancer receiving targeted therapy versus those without targetable mutations using linear mixed effects models, adjusted for receipt of palliative care, age and gender. We also compared prognostic communication and decedents' EOL health care utilization using logistic regression, adjusted for palliative care.

Results: Compared to individuals without targetable mutations, patients receiving targeted therapy (n=35) reported greater improvements in QOL (FACT-General B=0.46; 95% CI=0.19, 0.73) and symptoms (FACT-Lung Cancer Subscale B=0.12; 95% CI=0.03, 0.20) over time, independent of palliative care. Patients receiving targeted therapy were also more likely to report they rarely discussed prognosis with their clinicians (OR=2.59, 95% CI=1.01, 6.63) and were more likely to receive cancer-directed therapy in their last 14 days of life (OR=14.98, 95% CI=4.08, 54.96).

Conclusions: Relative to patients without targetable mutations, patients with lung cancer who receive targeted therapy experience improved QOL and symptoms, are less likely to discuss prognosis early in their illness course, and more likely to continue treatment until death and die in the hospital.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.02.010DOI Listing
February 2021

Sharing and caring: The impact of social support on quality of life and health outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Cancer 2021 Apr 17;127(8):1260-1265. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Social support is crucial for successful recovery after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and has the potential to affect patient quality of life (QOL) and health outcomes. However, there are limited data on the relationship between a patient's perception of his or her social support and these outcomes.

Methods: The authors conducted a secondary analysis of 250 autologous and allogeneic HSCT recipients enrolled in 2 supportive care trials at Massachusetts General Hospital from April 2011 through February 2016. They assessed social support as a patient's perception of his or her social well-being via the social well-being subscale of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy. The authors used multivariate regression analyses to examine the relationship between pretransplant social well-being and QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Treatment Outcome Index), psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms (PTSD Checklist), fatigue (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue), and health care utilization (hospitalizations and days alive and out of the hospital) 6 months after HSCT.

Results: Participants were on average 56.4 years old (SD, 13.3 years); 44% (n = 110) and 56% (n = 140) received autologous and allogeneic HSCT, respectively. Greater pre-HSCT social well-being was associated with higher QOL (B = 0.10; 95% CI, 0.06-0.13; P < .001), lower psychological distress (B = -0.21; 95% CI, -0.29 to -0.12; P < .001), and lower PTSD symptoms (B = -0.12; 95% CI, -0.19 to -0.06; P < .001). Pre-HSCT social well-being was not significantly associated with fatigue or health care utilization 6 months after HSCT.

Conclusions: Patients with higher pre-HSCT perceptions of their social support reported better QOL and lower psychological distress 6 months after HSCT. These findings underscore the potential for social support as a modifiable target for future supportive care interventions to improve the QOL and care of HSCT recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33455DOI Listing
April 2021

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for Population-Specific Palliative Care Interventions.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Feb 16. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Hematology-Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab021DOI Listing
February 2021

Associations of Skeletal Muscle With Symptom Burden and Clinical Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With Advanced Cancer.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 01 29:1-9. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, and.

Background: Low muscle mass (quantity) is common in patients with advanced cancer, but little is known about muscle radiodensity (quality). We sought to describe the associations of muscle mass and radiodensity with symptom burden, healthcare use, and survival in hospitalized patients with advanced cancer.

Methods: We prospectively enrolled hospitalized patients with advanced cancer from September 2014 through May 2016. Upon admission, patients reported their physical (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System [ESAS]) and psychological (Patient Health Questionnaire-4 [PHQ-4]) symptoms. We used CT scans performed per routine care within 45 days before enrollment to evaluate muscle mass and radiodensity. We used regression models to examine associations of muscle mass and radiodensity with patients' symptom burden, healthcare use (hospital length of stay and readmissions), and survival.

Results: Of 1,121 patients enrolled, 677 had evaluable muscle data on CT (mean age, 62.86 ± 12.95 years; 51.1% female). Older age and female sex were associated with lower muscle mass (age: B, -0.16; P<.001; female: B, -6.89; P<.001) and radiodensity (age: B, -0.33; P<.001; female: B, -1.66; P=.014), and higher BMI was associated with higher muscle mass (B, 0.58; P<.001) and lower radiodensity (B, -0.61; P<.001). Higher muscle mass was significantly associated with improved survival (hazard ratio, 0.97; P<.001). Notably, higher muscle radiodensity was significantly associated with lower ESAS-Physical (B, -0.17; P=.016), ESAS-Total (B, -0.29; P=.002), PHQ-4-Depression (B, -0.03; P=.006), and PHQ-4-Anxiety (B, -0.03; P=.008) symptoms, as well as decreased hospital length of stay (B, -0.07; P=.005), risk of readmission or death in 90 days (odds ratio, 0.97; P<.001), and improved survival (hazard ratio, 0.97; P<.001).

Conclusions: Although muscle mass (quantity) only correlated with survival, we found that muscle radiodensity (quality) was associated with patients' symptoms, healthcare use, and survival. These findings underscore the added importance of assessing muscle quality when seeking to address adverse muscle changes in oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.7618DOI Listing
January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic: unmasking challenges and vulnerability in the HSCT population.

J Psychosoc Oncol 2021 19;39(3):309-312. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07347332.2020.1868647DOI Listing
January 2021

Tracheostomy Decision-making Communication among Patients Receiving Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2021 05;18(5):848-856

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation experience high morbidity and mortality, poor quality of life, and significant caregiving and financial burden. It is unclear what is discussed with patients and families during the tracheostomy decision-making process. The aim of this study was to identify themes of communication related to tracheostomy decision-making in patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation and to explore patient and clinical factors associated with more discussion of these themes. We conducted a mixed-methods study involving adult patients in medical or cardiac intensive care units who received continuous mechanical ventilation for ≥7 days and were considered for tracheostomy placement during the same admission. We performed a consensus-driven review of documented family meeting conversations to identify characteristics and themes related to tracheostomy decision-making. A multivariate analysis was performed to investigate patient and clinical factors associated with the discussion of one or more of the identified themes. Of the 241 patients included, 191 (79.2%) had at least one documented conversation regarding tracheostomy decision-making, and 148 (61.4%) required further discussions before reaching a decision. We identified the following four themes related to tracheostomy decision-making: patient's previously expressed preferences, patient's baseline condition and functional status, long-term complications, and long-term prognosis. Of the documented conversations, 45.3% addressed none of the identified themes. Patients who did not undergo tracheostomy placement were more likely to have documented discussion of one or more themes compared with those who did (74.6% vs. 41.6%). In multivariate analysis, age ≥75, female sex, significant preadmission functional dependence, home oxygen requirement, and involvement of palliative care were associated with more documented discussion of one or more themes. Our findings suggest inadequate information exchange regarding patient preferences and long-term prognosis during tracheostomy decision-making, especially among patients who went on to pursue tracheostomy. There is a critical need to promote effective shared decision-making to better align tracheostomy intervention with patient values and to prevent unwanted health states at the end of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202009-1217OCDOI Listing
May 2021

Exploring the Process of Cancer Care for Patients With Pre-Existing Mobility Disability.

JCO Oncol Pract 2021 01 22;17(1):e53-e61. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Health Policy Research Center-Mongan Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Approximately 13% of the US population report mobility disability. People with mobility disability experience healthcare disparities, including lower rates of cancer screening and substandard cancer care compared with nondisabled people. We explored clinicians' reports of aspects of diagnosing and treating three common cancer types among persons with pre-existing mobility disability.

Methods: We used standard diagnosis codes and natural language processing to screen electronic health records (EHR) in the Research Patient Data Repository for patients with pre-existing chronic mobility impairment who were newly diagnosed with one of three common cancers (colorectal, prostate, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma) between 2005 and 2017. We eliminated numerous cases whose EHRs lacked essential information. We reviewed EHRs of 27 cases, using conventional content analysis to identify themes concerning their cancer diagnoses and treatments.

Results: Clinicians' notations coalesced around four major themes: (1) patients' health risks raise concerns about diagnostic processes; (2) cancer signs or symptoms can be erroneously attributed to the patient's underlying disabling condition, delaying diagnosis; (3) disability complicates cancer treatment decisions; and (4) problems with equipment accessibility and disability accommodations impede cancer diagnoses.

Discussion: Clinicians view patients with pre-existing mobility disability as often clinically complex, presenting challenges for diagnosing and treating their cancer. Nonetheless, these patients may experience substandard care because of disability-related problems. Given the growing population of people with mobility disability, further efforts to improve care quality and timeliness of diagnosis are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/OP.20.00378DOI Listing
January 2021

Effectiveness of Integrated Palliative and Oncology Care for Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2021 Feb;7(2):238-245

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Importance: Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving intensive chemotherapy experience substantial decline in their quality of life (QOL) and mood during their hospitalization for induction chemotherapy and often receive aggressive care at the end of life (EOL). However, the role of specialty palliative care for improving the QOL and care for this population is currently unknown.

Objective: To assess the effect of integrated palliative and oncology care (IPC) on patient-reported and EOL outcomes in patients with AML.

Design, Setting, And Participants: We conducted a multisite randomized clinical trial of IPC (n = 86) vs usual care (UC) (n = 74) for patients with AML undergoing intensive chemotherapy. Data were collected from January 2017 through July 2019 at 4 tertiary care academic hospitals in the United States.

Interventions: Patients assigned to IPC were seen by palliative care clinicians at least twice per week during their initial and subsequent hospitalizations.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Patients completed the 44-item Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia scale (score range, 0-176) to assess QOL; the 14-item Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), with subscales assessing symptoms of anxiety and depression (score range, 0-21); and the PTSD Checklist-Civilian version to assess posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms (score range, 17-85) at baseline and weeks 2, 4, 12, and 24. The primary end point was QOL at week 2. We used analysis of covariance adjusting and mixed linear effect models to evaluate patient-reported outcomes. We used Fisher exact test to compare patient-reported discussion of EOL care preferences and receipt of chemotherapy in the last 30 days of life.

Results: Of 235 eligible patients, 160 (68.1%) were enrolled; of the 160 participants, the median (range) age was 64.4 (19.7-80.1) years, and 64 (40.0%) were women. Compared with those receiving UC, IPC participants reported better QOL (adjusted mean score, 107.59 vs 116.45; P = .04), and lower depression (adjusted mean score, 7.20 vs 5.68; P = .02), anxiety (adjusted mean score, 5.94 vs 4.53; P = .02), and PTSD symptoms (adjusted mean score, 31.69 vs 27.79; P = .01) at week 2. Intervention effects were sustained to week 24 for QOL (β, 2.35; 95% CI, 0.02-4.68; P = .048), depression (β, -0.42; 95% CI, -0.82 to -0.02; P = .04), anxiety (β, -0.38; 95% CI, -0.75 to -0.01; P = .04), and PTSD symptoms (β, -1.43; 95% CI, -2.34 to -0.54; P = .002). Among patients who died, those receiving IPC were more likely than those receiving UC to report discussing EOL care preferences (21 of 28 [75.0%] vs 12 of 30 [40.0%]; P = .01) and less likely to receive chemotherapy near EOL (15 of 43 [34.9%] vs 27 of 41 [65.9%]; P = .01).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of patients with AML, IPC led to substantial improvements in QOL, psychological distress, and EOL care. Palliative care should be considered a new standard of care for patients with AML.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02975869.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.6343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7747042PMC
February 2021

Perspectives of Patients with Pre-existing Mobility Disability on the Process of Diagnosing Their Cancer.

J Gen Intern Med 2021 May 17;36(5):1250-1257. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Health Policy Research Center-Mongan Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1600, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Background: Mobility disability is the most common disability among adult Americans, estimated at 13.7% of the US population. Cancer prevalence is higher among people with mobility disability compared with the general population, yet people with disability experience disparities in cancer screening and treatment.

Objective: We explored experiences of patients with mobility disability with the process of cancer diagnosis.

Design: Open-ended individual interviews, which reached data saturation. Interviews were transcribed verbatim for conventional content analysis.

Participants: We interviewed 20 participants with pre-existing mobility disability that required the use of an assistive device or assistance with performance of activities of daily living and who were subsequently diagnosed with cancer (excluding melanoma).

Key Results: Concerns coalesced around five broad categories: inaccessibility of medical diagnostic equipment affecting the process of cancer diagnosis, attitudes of clinical staff about accommodating disability, dismissal of cancer signs/symptoms as emotional responses to chronic health conditions, misattributing cancer signs/symptoms to underlying disability, and attitudes about pursuing legal action for substandard care. Participants provided examples of how erroneous assumptions and potentially biased attitudes among clinicians interfered with the process of their cancer diagnosis, sometimes contributing to an insufficient workup and diagnostic delays.

Conclusions: Physical and attitudinal barriers affect the process of cancer diagnosis in people with mobility disability. Though people with mobility disability may be clinically complex, clinicians should be aware of the risks of diagnostic overshadowing (i.e., the misattribution of cancer signs/symptoms to underlying disability) and other erroneous assumptions that may affect timeliness of cancer diagnosis and quality of care. Further efforts, including educating clinicians about challenges in caring for persons with disability, should be considered to improve the process of cancer diagnosis for this population.

Trial Registration: N/A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-020-06327-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8131437PMC
May 2021

Fit older adults with advanced myelodysplastic syndromes: who is most likely to benefit from transplant?

Leukemia 2021 04 17;35(4):1166-1175. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

We conducted a prospective observational study of fit adults aged 60-75 with advanced MDS, enrolled hierarchically for adverse MDS risk (intermediate-2 or high-risk international prognostic score [IPSS], low or intermediate-1 IPSS with poor-risk cytogenetics, or therapy-related MDS) or standard risk with severe cytopenia. A total of 290 patients enrolled at two centers: 175 for adverse risk and 115 for standard risk with severe cytopenia. 113 underwent HCT after a median of 5 months; median follow-up for all was 39.5 months. In univariable analyses, the hazard ratio (HR) for death comparing HCT with no HCT was 0.84 (p = 0.30). The HR for death was 0.64 (p = 0.04) for HCT ≤ 5 months after enrollment and 1.20 (p = 0.39) for HCT > 5 months. In multivariable analyses controlling for age, gender, ECOG performance status, cytogenetic risk, and IPSS risk group, HR for death was 0.75 (p = 0.13) for HCT compared to no HCT, 0.57 (p = 0.01) for adverse MDS risk and 1.33 (p = 0.36) for standard risk with severe cytopenia. In this large, prospective cohort of fit older adults with advanced MDS, we found that survival was significantly improved if HCT was performed early or for adverse risk disease but not for standard risk disease with severe cytopenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41375-020-01092-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035144PMC
April 2021

Associations Between Disability and Breast or Cervical Cancers, Accounting for Screening Disparities.

Med Care 2021 02;59(2):139-147

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Introduction: Studies suggest that women with disability experience disparities in routine, high-value screening services, including mammograms and Papanicolaou (Pap) tests. However, few studies have explored whether women with disability have higher risks than other women of developing breast or cervical cancers.

Methods: The authors analyzed 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2018 National Health Interview Surveys, which involved civilian, noninstitutionalized US residents, and included supplemental surveys on cancer screening. The authors used self-reported functional status limitations to identify women without disability and women with movement difficulties (MDs) or complex activity limitations (CAL) predating breast or cervical cancer diagnoses. Multivariable models evaluated associations of disability status to cancer diagnosis, adjusting for other variables. Analyses used sampling weights, producing national estimates.

Results: The sample included 66,641 women; 24.4% reported MD and 14.5% reported CAL. Compared with women without disability, women with pre-existing MD or CAL had significantly higher rates of breast cancer (2.2% vs. 3.5% and 3.6%, respectively) and cervical cancer (0.6% vs. 0.8% and 1.0%, respectively). Women with disability had significantly lower recent mammography and Pap test rates than women without disability. After adjusting for all covariates, the values for odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of pre-existing CAL for cancer diagnoses were 1.21 (1.01-1.46; P=0.04) for breast cancer and 1.43 (1.04-1.99; P=0.03) for cervical cancer.

Conclusions: Pre-existing disability is associated with a higher likelihood of breast and cervical cancer diagnoses, raising the urgency of eliminating disability disparities in mammography and Pap testing. Further research will need to explore the causes of these higher cancer rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0000000000001449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855335PMC
February 2021

Associations of baseline patient-reported outcomes with treatment outcomes in advanced gastrointestinal cancer.

Cancer 2021 Feb 10;127(4):619-627. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) assessing quality of life (QOL) and symptom burden correlate with clinical outcomes in patients with cancer. However, to the authors' knowledge, data regarding associations between PROs and treatment response are lacking.

Methods: The authors prospectively approached consecutive patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer who were initiating a new treatment. Prior to treatment, patients reported their QOL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General [FACT-G], 4 subscales: Functional, Physical, Emotional, Social; higher scores indicate better QOL) and symptom burden (Edmonton Symptom Assessment System [ESAS], Patient Health Questionnaire-4 [PHQ-4]; higher scores represent greater symptoms). Regression models were used to examine associations of baseline PROs with treatment response (clinical benefit or progressive disease [PD] at time of first scan), healthcare utilization, and survival.

Results: From May 2019 to April 2020, a total of 112 patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer were enrolled. For treatment response, 64.3% had CB and 35.7% had PD. Higher baseline ESAS-Physical (odds ratio, 1.04; P = .027) and lower FACT-G Functional (odds ratio, 0.92; P = .038) scores were associated with PD. Higher ESAS-Physical (hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; P = .044) and lower FACT-G Total (HR, 0.96; P = .005), FACT-G Physical (HR, 0.89; P < .001), and FACT-G Functional (HR, 0.87; P < .001) scores were associated with a greater hospitalization risk. Lower FACT-G Total (HR, 0.96; P = .009) and FACT-G Emotional (HR, 0.86; P = .012) scores as well as higher ESAS-Total (HR, 1.03; P = .014) and ESAS-Physical (HR, 1.04; P = .032) scores were associated with worse survival.

Conclusions: Baseline PROs are associated with treatment response in patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer, namely physical symptoms and functional QOL, in addition to health care use and survival. The findings of the current study support the association between PROs and important clinical outcomes, including the novel finding of treatment response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33315DOI Listing
February 2021

Decisional involvement and information preferences of patients with hematologic malignancies.

Blood Adv 2020 11;4(21):5492-5500

Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

Understanding decisional involvement and information preferences in patients with hematologic malignancies may help to optimize physician-patient communication about treatment decisions and align the decision-making processes with patients' preferences. We described and examined factors associated with preferences of patients with hematologic malignancies for decisional involvement, information sources, and presentation of information. In a multicenter observational study, we recruited 216 patients with hematologic malignancies of any stage from September 2003 to June 2007. Patients were asked about their decisional involvement preferences (Control Preferences Scale), information sources (including most useful source of information), and preferences for their oncologists' presentation of treatment success information. We used multivariate logistic regressions to identify factors associated with decisional involvement preferences and usefulness of information sources (physicians vs nonphysicians). Patient-directed, shared, and physician-directed approaches were preferred in 34%, 38%, and 28% of patients, respectively. Physicians and computer/Internet were the most common information sources; 42% perceived physicians as the most useful source. On multivariate analysis, patients with less than a college education (vs postgraduate education) were less likely to perceive their physician as the most useful source (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.46; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21-1.00), whereas patients with acute leukemia (vs other blood cancers) were more likely to perceive their physician as the most useful source (AOR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.07-5.80). In terms of communicating treatment success rates, 70% preferred ≥1 method(s), and 88% preferred presentation in percentages. Our study suggests that decisional involvement and information preferences vary and should be assessed explicitly as part of each decision-making encounter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2020003044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656941PMC
November 2020